30 Bits of Q and A… And Other Stuff

October 29, 2010 -

John Heald

Good morning everyone from a very dark Cabo san Lucas. It’s dark outside because it’s only 6:10am and here I sit in my underpants ready to start answering 30 questions. As I mentioned yesterday I need to try and get a head a little bit because I am letting too many people down as their comments slip by the day of their cruise.

So without further waffle, heads down for a mammoth Q and A session……..away we go.

Babs Asked:
Hey John, (reply when you can)

My husband and I are planning to take our first cruise alone on the Dream (Nov 27, 2010). we are counting down the days.
He works so much (like most people) but this will be our only days off until after our season starts In April 2011 (we work in Minor League Baseball), but anyway I really want him to just relax. The last time we were on a cruise we brought the whole family and we were dragged here and there. You know how that goes.

We will be sailing the West Caribbean, we just want to go with the flow..What do you suggest to veg and relax? We are in stateroom 11221 so we will be going to the spa. Also anyone can answer this or the other question, but when we were on the last cruise I have to say we were clueless. We were on the Fantasy for the Christmas cruise 5 years ago and since we had a group with us we did not share a table at dinner, we have no problem with this but what happens if we are not compatible with our table mates? Is this just one of those oh well we have the whole cruise so no big deal (which we will do).

This is the best deal for a vacation!!! and even if not all goes to plan, sit back and go to plan B, which is have a cocktail. Oh and before I go, how does one get to go to the chef’s table? We are going to the steakhouse both nights out to sea. Also when is the behind the scene’s tour? We would love to do that….

John, love your blog!! Glad you got rid of the whiners and I hope I was not one of them buggers

Happy Sailing everyone!!!

Babs

John Says:
Hello Babs

Well let me start by saying that you will love your Carnival Dream and the ship has so many places for you to sit and relax and do absolutely nothing or get involved in all the activities and events. I would suggest that you sit on the Lanai in the morning with a good cup of coffee from the coffee shop on deck 3 and listen to the sound of the sea. Then enjoy a movie under the stars and do not miss any of the shows, especially the Dancin In The Street spectacular. I am sure yo are in much need or some R and R and this ship will definitely provide you with this. Please don’t worry about the table situation because it’s something I hear a lot. People often say ” suppose I don’t like the people I am seated with ” and while I hear that a lot I very rarely hear ” I didn’t like the people I was seated with.” That’s because friendships on Carnival ships are made at dinner and many of those friendships last way after the cruise is over. The Behind The Fun Tour is a chance to see the bridge, the engine control room, the galley, the store rooms and many other areas that are marked ” crew only.” I cannot recommend this enough as it gives you a brilliant perspective on what happens behind the scenes. As for the Chef’s Table……well this is another brilliant addition to the fleet and if you want me to reserve you a space just post again here on the blog thingy with the title CHEF’S TABLE RESERVATION and with the following information.

NAME
SAILING DATE
SHIP
NUMBER OF SPACES AT TANLE NEEDED
E MAIL ADDRESS

You will then receive confirmation by e mail directly from the ship.
The most important thing I think is that you both leave your worries and stress on the pier in Port Canaveral. I am sure they will be waiting for you when you get back but during those seven days just relax and allow our friendly crew to serve and entertain you.

Have a brilliant cruise

Best wishes to you both
John

Meg Norris Asked:
JOHN – PLEASE REPLY IF YOU WISH

Hi John,

Thanks for taking the time to provide us with our daily laugh via the blog thingy. My husband and I have enjoyed two Carnival cruises (Spirit and Miracle) so far, and they have been brilliant, to use one of your words. We are scheduled for our third, on Valor in August 2011.

I have no serious issues, and nothing to request, but I was wondering if Carnival has considered redesigning the uniforms that the poor assistant CDs are required to wear. Seriously, red, white and blue polyester???? Even fast food restaurants don’t make their workers wear clothes that awful anymore.

And what’s with Funship Freddy? He (It?) is just freakish looking. How do you choose who has to wear the costume each week? Is it someone who is in big trouble with the captain? Or someone who enjoys striking fear into the hearts of small children?

Anyway, thanks for the laughs. Keep writing (especially about Heidi and Kaye!)

Sincerely,
Meg

PS Is the Red Frog Pub idea going fleetwide? It sounds like a terrific idea.

John Says:
Hello Meg Norris

I have to admit that our Entertainment Staff uniforms are outdated now and we need to look at new ones. I don’t think they are Polyester though. As for Funship Freddy………what do you mean ” How do you choose who has to wear the costume each week? Is it someone who is in big trouble with the captain? ” Freddy is a real ummm…….funnel and most children love him……….eventually.

The Red Frog Pub is something I am very much looking forward to seeing on our Carnival Magic. I am sure it will be a success and if it is, don’t be surprised to see it branded and placed onto other ships. Thanks for your kind words for Heidi and Kye and the support of the blog thingy and if you need anything before you sail next year please let me know

Best wishes
John

Can’twaittocruiseagain Asked:
Hi John! (please reply)

We are cruising on the Carnival Freedom (Western Caribbean) next March for my birthday. I’m excited to say I will be turning the big 4 0 in Jamaica. It makes my friends who will be turning the same age here in plain old (cold) Michigan pretty jealous! I have a question regarding excursions. We’ll be cruising with our two teenage daughters. The really want to do the dolphin experience in either Grand Caymen or Ocho Rios. They both want to get into the water with the Dolphins, but their dad and I neither one do. We would; however, like to be there to watch them enjoy that experience (and would never dream of letting them go off on an excursion without us). My question is this – Do we all have to purchase the excursion in order for my husband and I to be spectators? How does that work? AND, as long as I’m asking, do you have an opinion as to which port would be better for this particular activity? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Thank you for all you do!
Jenny

John Says:
Hello Can’twaittocruiseagain

What a brilliant way to celebrate your 40th birthday. As you may know I am a huge fan of Jamaica and Ocho Rios in particular. May I suggest that you book your daughters on the dolphin swim in Ocho Rios at a place called Dolphin Cove. This is one of our excursions and while they are enjoying this incomparable experience you can enjoy the facilities that Dolphin Cove has. The beach, swimming, shopping and much more. So you would need to purchase the basic Dolphin Cove excursion while the girls get the dolphin swim which is held right there so you can enjoy watching them. More details on the excursions can be found on our website Carnival.com and if you have a follow up question please let me know.

Best wishes to you and the family
John

Brad Asked:
John (Please reply):

Greetings from the CARNIVAL ELATION!!! We are sailing through the Gulf back to Mobile, AL on the last day of our cruise, and wanted to spotlight a couple of OUTSTANDING employees we have had the pleasure of getting to know this week.

We are in Cabin U235 and our room steward, Kevin, is by far the BEST steward we have ever had on any of our cruises! We also wanted to recognize Krisztina Borsos in the Gatsby cigar bar and dining room. Krisztina is on her first ever contract, and after only six weeks, she is already a top-notch example of why the crew of Carnival is the friendliest at sea and provides the best service.

Could you please pass along our comments and some recognition for these two wonderful employees to the beards in Miami?

Carnival did a WONDERFUL job of refurbishing the Elation as well – this is our first time back on board her since 2007 and she looks brand new!! Thanks to Carnival for taking such good care of our favorite ship!

Ah well, this cruise ends tomorrow, but it is only a few months until the Inspiration in February!

Don’t wory about the trolls, John, they can be easily exterminated by SILENCE – ignoring trolls is like kryptonite to them.

Keep up the great job, John – we love the blog thingy!

Brad

John Says
Hello Brad

My apologies for the late reply to this post and many thanks for taking the time to write from the ship about the brilliant crew who made such a difference to your experience. I have sent this on to the Carnival Elation Hotel Director who will show the crew you mentioned your words of praise and I know they will be thrilled when they read them. Please let me know if you need anything before you cruise on the Carnival Inspiration and thanks for the kind words for me and our blog thingy.

Best wishes
John

Jeff Asked:
John – please reply when you can…

I’ve been reading daily, but I haven’t written in a long long long time (though I have posted to Facebook). Anyway, I recently got off the Fascination and need a recipe. On the last night of the cruise, I had a meal that was exquisite, as good as any meal I’ve ever had. It was a seafood dish with shrimp, scallops, and calamari in a creamy reddish sauce. I don’t know if that description helps or if you can get it, but I need that recipe!! I must have more of it! Thanks,

Your pal,
Jeff

PS. I just booked two more cruises, neither of which is with you, sadly (one is to Alaska).

John Says:
Hello Jeff

I am glad you enjoyed your last supper on the Carnival Fascination. I have not had the dish you mentioned but it sounds superb. I will send your comments to our Executive Chef and ask him to send me the recipe. I am not sure if I will have it by the time this blog thingy goes live but I will promise you will have it soon. I am sorry we won’t be cruising together but i am very happy that you have two more cruises booked one of which is to Alaska. I hope you have a brilliant time on both and if there is anything else you need please let me know

Best wishes
John

Ms. D. Burns Asked:
Dear John,

I am a blog follower from the beginning and sailed with you on the Blogger’s Cruise out of New Orleans. Please keep your blog going strong and ignore the negative comments from mean spirited people, who should quit reading if they don’t like your posts. You are a very kind person, I think they are jealous.

My next cruise will be on the Carnival Spirit, November 12, out of San Diego. I have two requests 1) Chef’s Table reservation for 4 people, 2) a table for 4 in the MDR for the duration of our cruise. (Burns cabin 6136; Doyle cabin 6138)

Thank you very much for you assistance and the giggles you share in your blog.

John Asked:
Hello Ms. D Burns

Thanks for the kind words and as you may have seen in yesterday’s blog I banned my second person from posting comments here………..such a shame. Anyway, congratulations on booking another cruise and I will certainly send your request for Chef’s Table and your table for 4 to the ship.
Have a great time

Best wishes to you all
John

Patrick Armstrong Asked:
Hi from Essex John (reply appreciated),

Just started to read your blog on my mobile phone. My works filtering system see blogs as offensive content for some reason lol, which is a shame as I’m a really enjoying reading your blog thingy.

Anyhow, my wife to be has convinced me to take my first ever cruise on 28th march on the Paradise as our honeymoon. As her dad used to be a steward on Cunard ships and having grown up in Harwich, she has a love affair with the notion of cruising. she is of the opinion that this cruise although short will change the way we holiday forever and from what I have read so far I fear she may be correct lol.

I wondered if you knew who the CD will be on the Paradise in March? Do you have any recommendations on ship or otherwise to make the honeymoon extra special, I have already thought about a cake in the room. How do you find the Paradise as a ship?

Looking forward to reading more of your blog thingy.

As a note I typed this all on my mobile, I now have RSI in my thumbs.

John Says:
Hello Patrick Armstrong

Which part of Essex are you from mate? Anyway, I am glad you found the blog and it seems you are both very excited about your cruise next year and with the nautical heritage of your wife’s family I am sure you will both feel right at home. You will love the ship and the ports of call although being on your honeymoon I guess there is a chance that you won’t see much apart from the cabin. If you do venture out make sure you see the shows and get involved in all the fun events. A cake via our carnival.com/bonvoyage web site is a great idea and the waiters will present it to you in the dining room and sing their fun version of Happy Honeymoon. May I suggest also that you post again 6 weeks before you sail and list your name and cabin number and sailing date so that I may send you a honeymoon gift. Oh and being from Essex I should warn you that we do not tolerate dancing around handbags.

My favourite Essex girl joke – with apologies to the thousands of people not from Essex who are reading this.

Girl from Essex is in a car accident. She is trapped in the car. The Paramedic looks at her and sees some blood on the floor of the car and asks her ” where are you bleeding from “Girl from Essex answers ” Harwich ”

Best wishes to you both
John

Noel Salas Asked:
JOHN PLEASE REPLY!

Bear with me the question is in here. : )

Okay, so in April 2011, we are sailing on the Splendor again, this time with my Mother in Law, 3 sons, and an aunt and uncle. BUT ALSO in July 2011 I have already booked/paid for a Surprise 10th wedding anniversary cruise for my husband and I on the Valor, including my arranging us renewing our vows on the beach in St. Thomas.
HERE IS MY QUESTION: I know that they tape the “Marriage Show”, and what I wanted to do is see if you can arrange via the CD at that time for hubby and I to be picked to participate during our Family Cruise in April. My idea is to answer the “Craziest place you’ve had Rumpy Pumpy” with this answer::::”On the Carnival Valor in room 8292 on 8/3/2011 after renewing our vows in St. Thomas” And then proceed to kind of propose to him to marry me all over again, and surprise him with that cruise. Then we would always have that memory on the DVD they sell.

This IS NOT an urgent request, and if you can arrange that but want me to write you closer to April, please let me know.
Hope you are enjoying your “Splendorific” time!

Thanking you in advance!!!
Noel Salas

John Says:
Hello Noel Salas

You have two fantastic voyages coming up next year and what a wonderful surprise you have arranged for your husband and you to celebrate 10 years together. I will of course be happy to ask the CD on the Carnival Splendor to arrange this for you as I am sure the audience will enjoy the surprise on your husband’s face as well. Oh by the way, congratulations on the correct use of the words “rumpy pumpy.” So, please make sure you post this request again 6 weeks before you sail and I will see what we can do for you.

Until then thanks for booking these 2 cruises and for reading the blog thingy

Best wishes
John

Kdsantell Asked:
John

Doubt you will reply but was told to show you this.

This is the link to my cruise critic report on my cruise and in particular my review of your pathetic Carnival camp program which another cruise critic member suggested I send to you and ask you to reply. It doesn’t matter if you do or don’t but if you are a professional then you will. This review will have been read by hundreds of thousands of cruisers and I hope they get the message that your kids program can’t compare to Royal’s

http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=72910

John Says:
Hello kdsantell

I was very disappointed to read that review and I must say I was very surprised. Our Camp Carnival program has won rave reviews and awards and that’s why I am so surprised that your opinion of it was so low. I will certainly pass on your comments to the Manager of the program. It is obvious that you are a true Royal Caribbean fan and while I would hope you will return to Carnival one day I also wish y0u and your family many happy vacations together wherever they may be taken.

Best wishes
John

Jennifer Asked:
JOHN PLEASE REPLY!!

First, I wanted to tell you that I love your blog and have banned Twilight from my house. My daughter wanted to see it and it was a quick NO!!

I am writing because I need your help! We leave on Oct 9th aboard the Elation sailing out of Mobile. We are traveling with my daughter and my parents. My daughter will be celebrating her 13th Birthday onboard (Oct 13th) and my mother’s birthday is Oct 8th, day before we sail. It is my mother’s first cruise and she is so excited, worse then a kid at Christmas. I would love to do something special for them since my daughter will be a teenager (UGH) and it is my mom’s first cruise. My daughter

Thanks for your help!!!
Jennifer

John Says:
Hello Jennifer

Thanks for the kind words and I hope my review of Twilight wasn’t the deciding factor of it being banned in your house. This is one of those posts where I apologise and say how very very sorry I am that I didn’t get to see this until now. I realise you must be very disappointed and all I can do is apologise and promise I will try my best to arrange something special for you the next time you sail. As the blog gets more and more popular I am having to ask everyone who wants me to arrange something for them to do post 6 weeks before the sailing date. Anyway, I hope you had a brilliant time.

Best wishes to you and your family
John

Brett R Asked:
John, *******(please reply ) ********

I am planning a cruise and would like to know if the cruise director schedule is announced for march 2012 yet ?

I really would like to book a cruise with you as the cruise director.

Thanks

John Says:
Hello Brett R

How very kind of you to consider taking a cruise with me. We are currently working on the 2011 schedule and I doubt 2012 will be out until this time next year. However, I may be able to give you an idea of where I will be once I see the ship deployments for 2012. I truly hope we will be together on a ship one day soon Brett and hope until then that you continue to enjoy the blog thingy

Best wishes
John

Nancy Sterner Asked:

JOHN – PLEASE REPLY — My husband and I are booking 2 back-to-back cruises on the Destiny for next March. I had heard that Carnival no longer makes you disembark. Is this true? That would be wonderful if we wouldn’t physically have to get off the ship and back on later in the day, especially since the port is Miami!

Nancy

John Says:
Hello Nancy

Yes Nancy, unless Customs and Boarder Protection change their minds all you will need to do is retake your photo for your Sail and Sign Card and there is no reason to go through the check in system again. Oh I should say that this applies only to US Citizens. The Guest Services Desk will send you full details of what you should do. I am sure you are very excited about your back to back cruise and if you need anything please let me know

Best wishes
John

Cynthia asked:
Hello John

I just came across your blog yesterday and have spent way too much of my time in the last day and a half reading everything I can!

I have taken 1 cruise with Carnival, with my mother, who has been on maybe 5 or 6 Carnival Cruises with my father. I loved the cruise, and even before I went I had considered trying to get a job on a cruise ship. During the cruise I realized that I need to do this!!

That was 2 years ago, right before I moved to Korea to teach Engish. I’m finished here in 1 month and I am now trying to get that elusive cruise ship job.

I have over 4 years experience working with groups of children (mostly aged 5-13), including working as a support worker for children with special needs and I would love to work as a Youth Staff.

I have sent in an application through a recruiter in Canada for a few lines including Princess, but have not yet submitted anything directly to Carnival.

I have heard that the cruise line industry is one in which it really helps to have an inside connection.

Do you have any hints or tips to help an aspiring Youth Staffer?

I’m sorry if this is not the right place to be directing this kind of question, but any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks for being so open with your readers on this blog thingy. I think you truly represent the hospitality of Carnival by being so open to suggestions and requests, while at the same time including personal experiences and anecdotes.

I look forward to reading your future posts, and hopefully meeting you at some point aboard a ship!

Cynthia

John Says:
Hello Cynthia

Our Camp Carnival and youth programs on board are excellent and I would encourage you to have a look at this brilliant website which will tell you all you want to know about the job and life onboard. Here’s the link thingy: www.carnivalentertainment.com

It seems you have already got lots of experience working with children and in traveling the world so maybe a life at sea is indeed the next step you should take. I wish you much success and if you do decide to follow this path the website I gave you will let you know how to do so

I wish you much success
John

Bill Asked:
Please reply:

John about six months ago you posted the list of smoking rules. I am hearing that the policies for the Carnival Paradise have changed and I know other ships have changed. Can you update the list? If you could can you post it as a sticky like the cruise director schedule?

http://johnheald.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/onboard-smoking.pdf

Thanks

Praying for the day the no inside smoking ship returns.

John Says:
Hello Bill

Yes indeed it is indeed time to update this. However, I would ask your patience a few more weeks Bill because our smoking policies are on the table of the President at the moment and under review. I have no idea what if anything will happen but I need to give the beards a little time to see what they are going to do. We have been discussing this for some weeks and hope to find the correct solution to what continues to be a provocative subject.
Please stand by for more on this soon.

Best wishes
John

Jeanette Asked:
John, please reply, if you so wish….

First off, Kye looks adorable sitting at your desk….now if she could only read…

Ok, I was ever so rudely dragged kicking and screaming from the Liberty yesterday morning. It took several guards to get me to leave the ship. I do need to bring something to your attention that annoyed me every so slightly. No it wasn’t a huge, massive, major disaster, but I really do get tired of being forgotten by anyone and everyone.

The situation was as follows: my friend and I get to the port and because I was on my 10th cruise I was now plantinum. The line for security was very short, but yet the security guard never told us to pass on by and head to the front of the line…no big deal on that. We got through security in a matter of two or three minutes and then proceeded to the VIP lounge in Miami to check in. I never sensed a problem when the agent had to leave to go get our cards cuz they weren’t there–It didn’t dawn on me then or she never said anything to me that I was not registered as a first time Platinum guests. All was well until I noticed by the second night that I didn’t have anything waiting for me in my cabin for me that any platinum guest would have. I knew it should have been second night, but no, nothing. I went down to guest services and it seems that my name was NOT on the list as one of the few Platinum or higher guests on the ship. I was a little annoyed because I always seem to get forgotten when there is a milestone or something important, it happens fairly often. It was corrected, but I really don’t think anyone should have to do what I had to get it corrected.

We had a very inattentive cabin steward and I was looking forward to the free laundry, but he always forgot and managed to get one load done only. My friend and I were somewhat disappointed with the cabin stewards attentiveness, thus I didn’t give him anything extra and of my nine cruises since Jan 2007, this is only the second one that was far from stellar and didn’t get an extra “thank you” from me….

Legends show–it is getting REALLY boring when you have the same performers songs done all the time. I think Carnival needs to change it up and if a guest did a bang up job on say, Stairway to Heaven or a Green Day song, I day why not have then do that song instead. I really think, Garth Brooks, Brittney Spears, Elton John, and so on are getting boring. True, some have great songs, but I would rather like to see something different.

I would also like to thank the casino in the Carnival Liberty for being so generous to me and coming up with the right combination of symbols to allow me to pay off the next cruise, which happens to be the Bloggers cruise 4. Thank you Wheel of Fortune $1 machine…..no, it was’t the $20,000, but it now means I don’t have to beg, borrow, and plead (or it is steal) to find the money to cover the costs of that cruise!!!!!!!!

Only five more months and I am so excited to finally get to meet you..

Cheers….HUGZ to Heidi and Kye for me!

John Says:
Hello Jeanette

Thanks for the review of your Carnival Liberty cruise and lets start with Carnival Legends. I happen to agree with you and its not just because I hate that sodding Dolly Parton dress. The show itself is excellent but it is time to replace the artists. I know that they are working on this in the office and looking at Michael Jackson, Lady Garf Barf and others to replace the acts we currently have. I am hoping to have more on this very soon…..but you are right…change is needed. I am going to send your comments on the Platinum mix up directly to Miami and make sure that this is never ever repeated and that you are listed as a Platinum member. I am not sure why this happened but I sincerely apologise that it did. I know that you always look after the State Room Stewards and therefore I know that the one you had on the Carnival Liberty must not have been up to the high standard you are used to. I will make sure the Hotel director on the ship is aware of this and makes sure improvements are made.

Many congratulations on your casino win and I hope that you invest the money on another Carnival cruise. I remain here at your service and I will sort out your Platinum concerns

Best wishes and see you soon
John

Nicole Dertouzos Asked:
Hi John,

I am new to your blog – and have really been enjoying it! We are cruising on the Glory on October 17 for my best friend’s wedding – and I can hardly wait! As it gets closer, I am stalking every website I can find with details, reviews, and hidden treasures to look for on the Glory (and I have found great stuff!).

I recently emailed you requesting a reservation for the Chef’s Table – and you came through for me so quickly!! I am so happy and grateful!

The reason that I am writing is that my initial email was “all business”. I put the information in the message that Mach from CC indicated that you needed – and nothing more. (I didn’t realize at that time how interactive you were with your blog followers!) I just wanted to make sure that I communicated how thankful I am for your help. My husband and I are going to LOVE the Chef’s Table and I would just die if my message came across like certain others (Mr. Benny K. Rudeness) with an air of entitlement or without appreciation. So thank you for your help – and thank you for sharing your correspondence with Andy! What a special young man he is and what a special man you are too!

THANK YOU!
Nikki

John Says:
Hello Nicole Dertouzos

Welcome to the blog thingy and I hope you are enjoying reading it. I am sorry that this posting has been answered after your sailing date and I hope you had a brilliant time and that you enjoyed your Chef’s Table experience. Host mach and I communicate everyday and please don’t worry about your posting being rude because it wasn’t …promise.

Thanks so much for all your kind words and once again I hope you had fun

Best wishes to you both
John


cruise lover Asked:

Good morning, afternoon or evening whichever one applies,

Will you please respond to this question,

I see questions from past guests wanting to invite their friends who are first time cruisers to the past guest party. Half of the answers are yes you can bring them and the other half say no. I believe the party is for past guests and not their friends. What is the policy on this issue? Thank you for responding and happy smooth sailings.

John says:
Hello Cruise Lover

The policy is quite clear on this. The party is for past guests only. Now saying that, if a family of 8 are cruising and 7 are past guests and one is not we are not going to turn that person away. However, invitations go to the people who have cruised before and the number of people who ask if they can bring someone are very very few indeed. So we try and be kind and flexible when asked but as I said, it doesn’t happen that often.

Thanks for the kind words

Best wishes
John

ktravis Asked:
John Please Reply..

I am going to stop reading this blog because of your constant insulting of the worlds most important cruise website Cruise Critic of which I am proud to belong.

Goodbye

John Says:
Hello ktravis

I am sorry to read that you will not be reading the blog anymore. However I must defend myself in saying that I have never ever insulted Cruise Critic and have many many times written how much I value most of the people’s opinions on there. We all know that it is indeed a very important source of information for people who love to cruise. I hope you will reconsider.

Best wishes
John

Theresa Taylor Asked:

John, if you can, please respond.

I love cruising and of course carnival is absolutely my choice, bar none. But in April, 2008 I took a cruise to Hawaii, my first there. I had no warning but my allergies to cigarette smoke rose its ugly, bloody head . I was not prepared and my love for the casino was striped from me. I got walking pneumonia and a $ 600 clinic bill. I am in No Way calling any blame but on myself, but I am sincerely asking if there can be an improvement to the air filters be done….or more added? I know I can’t ask it to be made smoke free and I don’t wish to make any casino smokers angry, but I hope the smoke/air filters can be improved. I have since cruise several times and try loaded for bear with antihistamines, allergy blockers for my nose just to survive, cause I do love my let it ride and 3 card poker. Am going on the Glory in 2 weeks from today, and I hope maybe by next year I can do casino with out snorting all over the cards. Maybe the beards can be told? Surely I am not the only poor gal who has this issue.

Thanks John for all you do. Teach Kye all you know then maybe we can let you retire when ur 80. You are truly loved and cared for by so many people.

God Bless.
Theresa Martin- Taylor

John Says:
Hello Theresa Taylor

You may have read on the blogs recently that smoking is very much in the limelight here at Carnival. I know that we tried the non smoking Casino on your Carnival Dream with only a small section at the back being available for smokers. This proved to be a huge success and while I am not sure if the rest of the fleets casinos will go this way it certainly would not surprise me if they did.

I was so sorry to hear about your illness. How are you now? Please let me know if you are ok and I promise your comments will be sent to the right people.

Thanks for the kind words and I hope to sail with you one day soon
best wishes.

John

Jim Burke Asked:
Hi John Please reply

Carnival Corp has many cruise lines under its umbrella. Are there any plans to merge the different loyalty programs? I’ve sailed on some of the lines, mainly Princess. It would be nice to have one loyalty program for all the lines.

Jim

John Says:
Hello Jim

I love Princess Cruise Lines as well Jim and I am determined to sail with them again one day soon. I know that there quite a few people who would like to see our loyalty programs merge and this has in fact been looked at previously. However, it was deemed that as each cruise lines loyalty program is so different that it would be far too complicated to put them together. Now this decision was made right when I started writing this blog thing some three years ago so i will certainly put it forward again Jim and let’ see what happens.

Until then I remain here at your service
John

George and Alice Asked:
Hello John

I just got off the Splendor and had the best vacation I have ever had. It was my fourth cruise with you and my wife and I have now cruised with Carnival 17 times between us. Your bedtime story remains the funnies show at sea and your improv skills at the first night welcome show and marriage show are hilarious. My question though is about the crew member who was taken off by helicopter. How is he ? I have not been able to stop thinking about him so please can you update me on his progress. Hoping for good news and with thanks for another great cruise

George and Alice

John says:
Hello George and Alice

Let me start with the most important part of this answer. The State Room Steward from Grenada who was airlifted to a San Diego hospital is miraculously doing very well indeed. When we flew him off the ship we all feared the worst but since then he has recovered most of his speech and movement and while he is still in hospital we are hoping he will be well enough to fly home to Grenada very soon. Thanks so much for your care and concern which speaks volumes about your character.

I also want to say thanks for your loyalty to carnival and your wife also and for the kind words. I am glad to know that after so many times with me that you still find my sill humour (spelt correctly) to be fun. I hope we have many more cruises together

Best wishes to to you both
John

Shawn Asked:
John (Please reply before October 22 if possible)

I am going on the Carnival Glory out of Norfolk VA on October 25th. We are in cabin 6272. I sailed on her for Thanksgiving in 2008. She is a beautiful ship. I am traveling with my mother. She has been wonderful in taking care of me since I was diagnosed with a seizure disorder in July. Can you recommend something I do for her. I don’t want to do anything publicly as she is a private person who gets embarrassed by such things. Any suggestions you can give me would be appreciated and I will tak care of it as soon as I get on board. I love the blog and any day I miss it just is not complete.

Your Friend,

Shawn

John Says:
Hello Shawn

I just saw this now and have e mailed the CD on the ship to send your Mum something. I am so sorry I did not see this until now and I hope you are having/had a brilliant time. Thanks for the kind words and please write if you have time to tell me all about your cruise. I hope you you are feeling well and please give Mum a big hug for looking after you.

Best wishes to you both
John

First Lady Mel Asked:
( please reply)

There was a big uproar on Cruise Critic this week about how poor the ice tea on lido deck is. I am about to take my first EVER Carnival cruise and now am already going with a bad tatse in my mouth because of the bad taste that according to all the cruise critic members your ice tea will leave in my mouth. I drink nothing but ice tea and if its as bad as everyone says then this may be my first and my last time with Carnival. What is your reply?

John says:
Hello First Lady Mel

I do remember some while ago there being a posting here on the blog thingy about some comments on the ice tea. I certainly do not remember that ‘all the Cruise Critic ” members saying it was bad, some did for sure and many also said it was OK. I am not an Ice Tea drinker. Tea for me is served hot and with a dash of milk so it would be unfair of me to comment. But what I will say is that when you get onboard whatever carnival fun for all ship you are going on that I am positive that you will not judge your vacation by the ice tea but rather by the fun, service and value for money that this vacation will bring.

Please write again after the cruise with your review on everything……including the ice tea.

Best wishes
John

Dorothy Asked:
John,

I was sitting here being depressed about having to cancel my BC4 cruise, I gave my son the money so he could keep his home, which should of made me feel better, but it didn’t especially after you talked about making BC4 plans. I then read Andy letter and if I could, I would had kicked my rear end for being so selfish.

Andy touched my heart so much. As soon as I read his letter to you the tears started to flow. I know how this young man feels about losing his mom at his age, as I was only 10 years old when I lost my mom. I would like to help if I can in any way. God has a way of smacking people in the face and letting them know that there are more important things in life than feeling sorry for yourself, I got that lesson today. It time for me to go find the tissues, the tears have return again, tears for Andy and tears for my mom, who I still miss after 41 years.

Love the new CD, she is a beauty.

John Says:
Hello Dorothy

I wanted to say how sorry I was when I read your posting but how proud you should be feeling about the wonderful love you are showing to your son. A mother’s love knows no boundaries and you have proven that by giving up the money you would have used to cruise with us so that your son can keep his house. As sad as that makes you feel it should also make you feel glad that you have been blessed with such a big heart.

The letter from Andy is something I will be speaking about in the blog next week and I just wanted this reply to be about you. Thanks again for what you did and for being who you are

Best wishes to you and all the family
John

Vicki N Asked:
John, reply asap

The Carnival ship Conquest has being getting some pretty shody reviews and especially about the people who go on there being rough and with no class. My DH and i will be on the ship in December for the Christmas cruise and are worried that it will be full of drunk Texans. Can you set me at easey please.

Thanks
Vicki

John Says:
Hello Vicki

As you may know I recently spent 8 weeks on the Carnival Conquest and I can tell you that Texans are wonderful people and I never ever felt that the comments that have been posted here and on other sites about the people who cruise there were justified at all. Please don’t worry. Just make your own mind up when you go and remember that the vast majority of reviews for the Carnival Conquest are first class. Get ready for the best Christmas ever.

Best wishes to you both
John

Robert Turmell Asked:

I sent you a request for a table for two while on the Miracle sailing Nov. 11th. We are confirmed for Early Dining. We have since taken an upgrade to diffferent cabin. We will be in cabin 4121. Names are Robert and Donna Turmell. We will celebrating our 35th anniversary on November 14th. Thanks in advance for any help in this matter.

John Says:
Hello Robert Turmell

I am sure that your new cabin number was updated in the system and the Maitre D was informed but just in case it was not I have sent this information to him. Happy anniversary and have a brilliant cruise.

Best wishes to you both
John

Peg Martin Asked:
John (REPLY IF POSSIBLE),

You are such a kind man, it is an honour (spelt correctly) to read your blog thingy. Your response to Andy Poulsen was excellent and I hope his Dad does indeed let you call Andy. It is when we encounter such people that we realize how very blessed we are.

I am particularly impressed by your ability to maintain your composure when faced with irrational complaints of some cruisers. That’s not something that is learned in school.

A colleague and I will be onboard the Legend 1/16/11 out of Tampa (Cabin #4224, 4196) and will be using the ship as a backdrop to videotape some mini-lessons for our online classes that we teach. We would not be putting employees on film but would love to talk with some of them about how they got into their field, where they received their training, etc. We both teach Career & Technical Teacher Education. Out of courtesy, I wrote Carnival in August requesting permission to carry on such activities but have received no response. I know they are incredibly busy and receive so many requests; may I ask you if you think if would be permissible for us to do this videotaping?

Do you have a memorable teacher or one that influenced your life the most?

Keep up the good work, John, you have a profound effect on people. Someday Kye will also be flashing that charming smile!

Peg

John Says:
Hello Peg Martin

Thanks for the kind words and I am sure we can arrange something for you. I am going to copy my friend Vance here from Public Relations so that he can help you with your request and see what can be done. I will leave this in his capable hands and please let me know if there is anything else I can do for you. I appreciate your continuing support of the blog and of my family.

Best wishes
John

MissKitty Asked:
John, please reply

D
Dear Miss Kye,
I am curious on how your name is pronounced.
Is it, Kie like Pie, or K as in the letter “K”? Do you have a middle name?

What is your favorite thing to do with your dad on the ship?
Please don’t fire your dad, you can make him your assistant, ok? We would really miss him!

MissKitty

John Says:
Hello Miss Kitty

My name is spelt Kye and pronounced like pie but with a K. It’s a name from Hawaii that Mummy says means “beautiful ocean ” because I was made on the Ocean. Daddy though keeps calling me Desk…….I dont understand why.

I love my Daddy very much and Mummy says she does to except when he leaves his underpants on the bathroom floor

Thank you for being so nice
Kye

Erik Valentine Asked:

Attention – One of the many Stephanies.

Re: Reply to John’s remarks to BoooBooKitEFk on 9/24/10 blog

Note: Unless I got my calendar wrong, Halloween will be on a Sunday this year (10/31), rather than a Saturday (10/30).

Someone better let John know so he doesn’t show up on his morning show in costume the wrong morning! *grin*

John Says:
Hello Erik Valentine

Sorry if I got the date wrong in a previous blog. We are actually decorating tonight for the first of the Halloween celebrations and I will be posting photos very soon.

Best wishes
John

Dennis Moore Asked:
Hi John, (Reply if you wish)

I just returned a couple of days ago from a 5 night cruise aboard My Carnival Inspiration. Without question it was the best vacation I have ever had. I will give you a review in a moment but first and foremost I want to say THANK YOU!! As a result of your kind gestures my wife and I felt as though we were truly special the entire cruise. Even without your special surprises we would have had the best vacation ever. The personal touches were truly special and very much appreciated.

The staff of the Inspiration were wonderful beyond words. I will start with Stephanie Meads our cruise director. I met her at the past guest reception. When I introduced myself to her she quickly told me that you had sent her a note asking for her help in delivering the surprises to my cabin. I thanked her for her kindness and attention. During our conversation I told her that she was the 1st of the 344 Stephanie’s that I had met. She was very quick to point out that she was the “Original” Stephanie. She had many kind words for you John. Her respect and admiration showed in her words and attitude. She did a great job all week. And everytime she saw my wife and I she made sure to say hello and made sure we were doing well. She is a keeper! Our assistant cruise director was Matt. All I can tell you about Matt is that he is a star in the making. He was kind, funny, and always available. I can’t tell you how many times we laughed at the shows and events he hosted. He was without a doubt one of the highlights of our cruise. Oh, and according to my wife he wasn’t very hard on the eyes either. He is definitely an asset to Stephanie and to Carnival as well.

Our dining room staff were incredible. Our head waitress was Gergana. She was an absolute pleasure. She was friendly, efficient and extremely helpful in anything that we requested of her. Her assistant was Victor. Everyone at our table fell in love with Victor. He was so charming and attentive to everyone. We all felt incredibly special every evening at dinner. We got very attached to both of our servers. On the last evening during our goodbyes not a single person at our table left the dining room without hugging Gergana and Victor. They were wonderful!

I have to apologize for not remembering my stateroom stewards name. He was very attentive and took care of our every need without even being asked. I wish that I could remember his name so you could pass along some kudos to him but for the life of me I cannot. If it helps we were in cabin R203 on the September 20 sailing.

Overall the cruise could not have been better. We had 12 friends sailing with us which made the trip special. We had linked all of our reservations together so we could be located in close proximity in our cabins. That went off without a hitch. We asked that we get a table in the dining room large enough to handle our party. That happened without a problem. Anything and everything we needed pre-cruise was handled by Angela Clendenin, our personal vacation planner. She came through for us with flying colors.

I guess the best way to let you know how much we enjoyed our cruise is to let you know that we are already planning our next one. In fact, as we were standing in Customs after leaving the ship we were already trying to decide where to go next. We are also looking at our schedules to determine how long we have to wait to go again. We have done 2 Carnival cruises in the last 4 months. I have 3 total Carnival cruises. I can tell you now that it will not be long before my wife and I are Platinum. We are sold on Carnival and the fun and value that we know we will get each time we cruise.

Again John, thank you for everything. Some people may complain about the personal touches you provide for folks on the blog. I for one can tell you that I certainly did not expect anything of you. I can also tell you that the fact that we did get some surprises made an already great vacation just that much better. Your kindness and generosity are greatly appreciated. I hope that someday soon I will get the pleasure of sailing with you. It will be an honour (spelt correctly for you) and a privilge to shake your hand and thank you in person.

Please give all my best to your lovely girls.

Dennis Moore

John Says:
Hello Dennis Moore

There goes that song again.

This is the perfect way to finish today’s Q and A and I will make sure that your words of praise are shown to the right people. I hope that you will let me know if there is anything else I can do for you before your cruise again and thank you ………for taking the time to say thank you.

I am so glad you had a brilliant time.

Best wishes
John

Oh and just one last thing from today’s Q and A……..as requested Jeff here is that receipe you were asking for.

PENNE MARISCOS

Yield: 8 Servings

Ingredients

Seafood

Raw Shrimps medium size   –   30 oz

Sea Scallops   –  20 oz

Calamari Rings  – 20 oz

Salt & Crushed Black Pepper –  to taste

Chopped Tarragon – ¼ bun

Chopped Garlic – 1 oz

Vegetable oil  – to Grill

Pasta

Pasta Penne – 2 lb

Olive Oil Virgin – to finish the pasta

Tomato Cream Sauce

Onions Red – 1 oz

Garlic Peeled Fresh – 1 oz

Parsley Fresh – 1Sprig

Basil Fresh – 10 Sprigs

Bay Leaf – 1

Olive oil Blended – 1 tasp

White Wine  – 1 cup

Cream Heavy Fresh – 2 cups

Half & Half  – 1 cup

Basic Fish Sauce  – 1 cup

Lobster Stock – 1cup

Cooking juices from shrimp –  As available

Cheese Parmesan Grated – 4 oz

Blended tomato sauce  – 4 cups

PROCEDURE

Seafood

  • Marinate seafood in oil, Garlic, Tarragon and crushed black pepper.
  • Seal separately over a flat top. Store in a perforated lexon.

Pasta

  • Boil Penne until Al Dente.
  • Drain and spread on oiled surface to cool.
  • Tomato Cream Sauce for Mariscos
  • Sauté Bay Leaves, Onions & Garlic in olive oil.
  • Add the sealed seafood and deglaze with white wine.
  • Add blended tomato sauce, fish sauce, lobster stock, cooking juices from shrimp and herbs.
  • Finish with Heavy cream, Half & Half and parmesan cheese.
  • Adjust seasoning.
  • Finish & Presentation
  • Reheat Pasta in boiling water. Toss in seafood cream sauce.
  • Finish with chopped basil and Parsley.
  • Arrange pasta in a bowl and top with seafood sauce, garnish with parsley sprig.

Well those 30 questions takes me up to October 10th which means I am still 3 weeks behind. Maybe this is a good idea and I should answer a triple blast of questions once a week. Anyway for now please may I ask that you allow 6 weeks for me to answer if it is a time sensitive request, thanks.

It’s nearly time for this mornings department head meeting.  Oh joy, another meeting. I need another meeting like I need another bollocking from someone from Mexico about my warning not to drink non purified water. I have been doing this every time we go to Cozumel and now here I say the same yet it’s only here that it seems to upset someone each and every week. Yesterday I had a guy in a rage at me about it and even though I tried to explain that when we don’t issue this warning and even though that it is backed by our ship’s doctor who is from Mexico …….the case of gastro illness goes up. This chap was originally from Mexico now living in Los Angeles and he SCREAMED at me yesterday. I put the word SCREAMED in capitals to emphasize just how mad he was. It was pointless me trying to defend myself though because he wouldn’t let me get a word in at all. I stood there……..in the lobby…….being abused……..doing my best to feel sympathetic but for some reason all I could picture in my mind was this guest…….in his cabin bathroom………cluster bombing the toilet. Anyway………I am now thinking about getting something put ion writing from the Doctor and adding that to the Funtimes because I am getting tired of getting kicked in las bollockso every sodding weeko.

So PA 007 owes me $10. He had bet me that I could not get the song title ” I like Big Butts ” into the meeting with the beards. I did….well……………..sort of. What i said was ……….” I am not sure about this idea. I like………mmm….big…….. buts have doubts about it though.” Not a single person laughed or caught on……….so PA 007 sort of owes me $10. I didn’t try to get Slap My Bitch Down in there though………I like my job too much.

It has been a beautiful week of weather and of course tonight we will have our Halloween party. This is happening all over the fleet now and of course next week as well. I have asked all the Cruise Directors to send me photos of the most unusual costumes and the winner of the best costume event and you will see those on a special blog thingy next week.

When you rejoin me on Monday we will have had the Halloween celebrations across the fleet. I have e mailed the Cruise Directors across the fleet who will be sending me photos of their parties and the winners of the best costume competition. I will be hosting the party here and helping the children in a fun filled evening of demanding Snickers bars with menaces from little old ladies before hosting a parade of witches, pirates, ghosts and the one chap who you always get at these events who doesn’t need a costume because he already looks like a deranged serial killer who intends to catch you, cut off your dangly bits and use them for costume jewelery.

I love Halloween.

Goodnight
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.