Kids On TV and Kids On a Block

November 2, 2010 -

John Heald

I wanted to start today’s blog with this comment I just received.

L and A from Mass Asked:
Hi John,

We are two hard working home makers who are so excited. We have just booked to go on the Destiny on May 12 on the NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK CRUISE! We were wondering if you were going to be the cruise director and also if you could arrange a little surprise for us (preferably Jordan) in our cabin 2340. We love your blog and we LOVE New Kids on the Block.

Thanks so much
Tina and Annabe

John Says:
Hello L and A from Mass

I can feel your excitement and of course while I won’t be the CD I will send you both something. I am not sure who or what a Jordan is but if I can’t get you one of those I will be happy to send you something else. I wonder though that as your cruise is not until May next year that I may ask you to send me a reminder 6 weeks before you sail. I am sure you are going to have a fantastic time. Best wishes to you both.


Good grief they are excited and I know that they will not be alone. These rock cruises and music charters featuring people like John Mayer and Kid Rocking and others are very popular indeed and the companies that charter our ships and puts these concerts on are absolutely brilliant. None though are as popular as these New Kids on a Block events. That’s because of course there are thousands of people, mostly it seems ladies like “L and A from Mass” who have never stopped loving these lads. Of course these kinds of music groups are made from the same recipe…

Take 4 or 5 ridiculously good looking boys in matching outfits. One who sounds like a cat climbing over an electric fence when he sings but because he has a six pack and looks like he has a cucumber in his underpants, he’s in the band. A law that says you can’t get up off your stool until the key change two thirds of the way through the song, at which point you do a funny pointy thing with your right hand. And one who while 3 million girls want to have rumpy pumpy with…..only has eyes for Bob. Unlike the ingredients of Kentucky Fried Chicken, what makes a good boy band isn’t a secret recipe.

Now I have to admit that I am not a big fan of this music genre. A few years ago I was forced by Heidi to take her to see a British boy band called Take That for her anniversary gift. It was at a big arena called the O2 or as I referred to it at the time “The Oh FFS What the Sodding Hell Am I Doing Here Arena.” There were 15,000 people, most of them screaming, hysterical ladies and sitting amongst that sea of female hormones gone mad…..was me. Now, most of you will never have heard of Take That but let me tell you they are a hugely popular band here with having had more number ones than someone with a bladder problem. They retired a few years ago and have since I am told made a huge comeback because they spent all the money they had made on Latvian lap dancers. Anyway, Heidi was a huge fan so that was me…..£150 ($300) poorer …… listening to the 4 boys singing sloppy cover songs about love, heartache and why all men are complete bastards.

Robbie Williams who now has a very successful solo tour used to be a member but he saw sense and buggered off to smoke a palm tree but even he is back now with them. My overriding memory of this event was sitting at the concert looking around at the stadium and seeing that it was full of women, some very beautiful and some who had decided not to wear skirts but instead wear a belt….they were all over the place, along with two very excited men in touch with their feminine side…. who screamed, waved at the band and generally swooned every time one of the boys would say anything.

I remember thinking that I would have rather have been anywhere on earth……except Paris of course. But I of course am a minority because I know how quickly these cruises sell out and that on the Carnival Destiny in May there will be 3,000 screaming fans enjoying the brilliant music and of course because it’s boy band law……occasional crotch grabbing.

Right, while I grab my crotch…….why don’t you get comfortable as we do today’s Q and A ……. away we go.

AGF South Carolina Asked:
John, Reply please

I am not sure if you have been reading the press and seeing the TV about the bedbug plague that is happening right now everywhere. My wife and I are gona be on the Fantasy in a few weeks and we are worried that we might be bitten. Has Carnival had a plague of these critters on the ships and what’s happening?

John Says:
Hello Al

Let me start off by saying thanks to you for using the word “critters” because it’s a word I don’t think I have ever typed out before. Seriously though, we are taking every precaution here on the ships to make sure we are not affected by this problem which yes, I have read about these past few weeks. Please don’t worry and be assured that that your stateroom steward will take steps to make sure that you have 7 nights of restful sleep.

Have a great cruise.

Best wishes

Ernie/cruizer4662 Asked:
John, Please reply:

Ice tea, I used to drink it, but it did seem to have a different flavor that what I’m used to. I now mix the lemonade & the fruit punch together.

Breast feeding in public, as long as the feeder was discreet in feeding the baby, no problem.

Cruise Critic, I don’t bother going on there to post anymore, only to post on the next two cruises we are going on. The “DREAMer Cruise with the Crazies” room 1262, 6 November. This will be a belated 51st anniversary for us. We were with you last year on the BC3. The other blog is: The TA on the Carnival Magic. Booked and paying, we have our hotel in Barcelona already booked.

John, thanks for all you do and we loved the picture of the New CD you posted the other day. Enjoy your girls.

Your Friend,

John Says:

Hello Ernie/cruizer4662

Thanks Ernie. Not being an iced tea drinker, I never really knew how important this was to people’s cruise vacations. It’s interesting ready that you do a little mixology with yours to get the taste you want. Anyway, I just wanted to say a big thanks for your kind words and wish you a wonderful time on your Carnival Dream.

Best wishes

Vic C Asked:

I just read a thread on Cruise Critic about Christmas cruising. I am booked on the Valor and am now worried because there was a lot of mention about Christmas activities etc and no mention of anything that is done for Jewish people like me. Many people do not celebrate or recognize Christmas and I was hoping that the ship would be a sanctuary from having it rammed down my throat as it is everywhere else. Can you confirm if the message “happy holidays” is used and that there will not be excessive Christian music etc? It would be nice if there was a polite balance.


John Says:
Hello Vic C
Well first of all let me thank you for taking the time to write because this gives me the chance to tell you that we do indeed celebrate Hanukah, as well as Christmas on board. There is a nightly lighting of the candles at sunset and a chance for all our guests of the Jewish faith to gather. Yes, there will be holiday music and decorations but I am sure these will blend nicely into what will be a wonderful cruise for you and your family. Please let me know if you have any other concerns

Best wishes

Pat G Asked:
Dear John, *Please Reply*

Just returned home from Our Carnival Dream on Saturday 9/25/10, what a wonderful trip! We tried the anytime dining for the first time on this cruise we were a party of 6 and were a little concerned how this would work. I have to say that it was the greatest ever. To not have to worry about rushing back from sail away or a port to be ready for dinner at 6 or to try to keep children happy until 8:00 for dinner was awesome. We showed up at different times every night and never had to wait. We were always seated immediately. This was our first trip to Mahogany Bay, Carnival did an outstanding job here. We did the Maya Key excursion and loved it! At Maya Key we were joined by Naomi from guest services. Naomi joined our group of six and spoke about her family and her home in India. She seemed to enjoy spending time with our family and especially our friend’s daughter Katie who is 6-year old and was on her first ever cruise. Naomi also told us she was on her second contract and how great Carnival is to their employees. She truly loved her job and had nothing bad to say or would not say anything bad. When asked if she has seen a lot of silly guests she just laughed. What a professional. We felt honored she spent her time off getting to know us and letting us know her.

The Dancing in the Street show was the best show we have ever seen. This was our 28th Carnival cruise and everything was the best! Butch was outstanding as usual. We sailed with him in June and he remembered us and our 12 year old platinum son. We enjoyed spending time getting to know him better and would book a cruise knowing he was the CD just to see him again. Baby Butch (George) was also a hit. He is also a great asset to the Carnival team. Calvin was great at trivia. He was a lot of fun! Carnival has a great team on The Dream. We were able to celebrate at the Birthday Party for the Carnival Dream. We were moved that staff members on board that were original team members were allowed to attend the celebration. Seeing tears of pride in their eyes was just so moving. It was great to see how so many of the crew love Carnival. Being a stockholder now we were really impressed to see these things. The Lanai was by far the best thing about the Dream! To be able to escape the Promenade deck when it was crowded was cool. Reading reviews on Cruise Critic we didn’t know what to expect. The ship never felt crowded to us, we never noticed “the smell” and found everything and everyone to exceed our expectations. Now we are counting down to our Thanksgiving cruise on the Carnival Miracle. Our 12 year old will be “Milestone” on this one.

Thank you for making our day with you humour everyday! Looking forward to more family pictures and stories.

Pat G

John says:
Hello Pat G

I wish I could reach down the computer and give you a big hug after reading that great review. It sums up everything that the Carnival product is about and why so many people return each year to have more fun. The people you mentioned including Butch and his team will of course read your words of praise and I know they will be so very happy as of course will Naomi who will be so proud I am sure to see her name in writing. So, thanks so much for taking your time to write this review of your Carnival Dream. She is a beautiful ship and has so much to offer. I hope it is not too long before we see you again on another fun for all cruise. Thanks so much also for the nice words about me and the blog thingy.

Best wishes to you and your family

Carol Asked:
Hello John (Please Respond)

I’m really enjoying reading your blog. Keep up the good work!

My boyfriend, John D., and I will be cruising on the Carnival Spirit on November 4, 2010 (Room 5165). John’s 48th birthday is November 8th and as a surprise, I made reservations at the specialty restaurant. If it would be appropriate and not too much trouble, he would be very touched and appreciative if you could send him a happy birthday note or something like that.

This will be our 8th Carnival cruise and hopefully one of these days we’ll get to cruise with you!

Thank you for making us smile and hugs to your beautiful family.

Carol T.

John Says:
Hello Carol,

I am glad you are enjoying the blog thingy and I will be honoured (spelt correctly) to ask the CD there to send your boyfriend a birthday gift. I wish you both a wonderful cruise.

Best wishes

JGK12 Asked:

Have booked the Liberty for New Years cruise and have 3 balcony cabins. I want you to make sure that the partitions are removed so we have one big balcony. Cabin numbers are 6251 6255 6251. Can you tell the cabin steward to have this ready for when we get on the boat so we don’t have to look for him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What is the dress code for New Years Eve?

John Says:
Hello JGK12,

I will certainly ask your stateroom steward to do his or her best to have the partitions removed as soon as possible for you. The dress code on New Year’s Eve is usually elegant although many change after dinner into something more casual for the big deck party that will see in 2011 in a wonderful way. Hope you all have fun.

Best wishes

James H Asked:
Good Day John (PLEASE REPY, thank you 344 Stephanies and John)

All I have to say about the latest group of trouble makers is for them to get a life. I do hope the Crew member that was airlifted is OK!!!!
Been a while since I have commented but still read daily, and enjoy it very much, I find the behind the scenes look at Cruising interesting. Especially the people who feel they have the right to complain over nothing.

We have a very special Cruise coming up this Jan 01 on the Freedom. My Wife’s Parents celebrated their 50th anniversary and as a gift we gave them a Cruise. We are also going with them and so are some of the family and friends, I believe we have about 8 Cabins so far, will confirm this later. I was hoping to do something nice for them on the Cruise and I know that you take very good care of your Bloggers and anyone else who requests from you, (which I think is very kind of you) We enjoyed the Fruit baskets you provided for us a few years ago on our Splendor Family Cruise, thank you. If you have any suggestions for us that would be great.

Please do not stop telling us about your Family, friends, passengers (good or bad) or anything else you fancy, it is your blog so tell it how it is!!

Enjoy your time with the Family and smooth sailing.

Your friend
James from Georgetown ON Canada.

John Says:
Hello James H,

Thanks so much for the kind words and thank you also for your continuing loyalty to Carnival. I am sure you are all looking forward to your Carnival Freedom cruise and what a wonderful way for you to celebrate your parents marvelous milestone. I hope you are considering a trip to the steakhouse with them and please can I ask that you post this again around early December and I will send your parents a little gift to wish them a wonderful anniversary. Thanks again for your support of the blog thingy.

Best wishes to you all.

Hawks 20 Asked:
John, (Reply)

How do I get a DEFINATE table for 2? I am new to this site and was directed here by MillieOK from Cruise Critic.

John Says:
Hello Hawks 20,

Welcome to the blog thingy. Although I can never confirm a definite table I will always ask the maitre d to do his or her best to try to make this happen. I need your name, cabin number and sailing date please posted to the blog marked “John Please reply.” Please allow 4 weeks before the sailing date.

Best wishes

Dennis and Kathleen Asked:
Dear John (Please Reply)

Myself and the love of my life, along with 18 other friends and relatives will be sailing on the Carnival Miracle 11/11/10. As a past carnival cruiser (I discovered the great value that carnival provides for a vacation, It can’t be beat) I just love it!!! (No I’m not blowing smoke up your BUTT ). First and fore-most I would like you and the beards to give our PVP Sean Maharaj a metal for having to put up with the craziest of our family in booking this vacation. Sean has been great thru it all–every question no matter how dumb has and was answered and he always closed with call me anytime –Believe me when I say I don’t have to give our booking numbers anymore because he knows our voices .I’ve been putting this cruise together for over a year and a half (planning one room is bad enough try 10)

We will be celebrating 2 mile stone birthdays on the cruise, a 50th and 60th ,just wounding if at dinner we could get a table for 20 Yes that’s 2-0 back of the ship by the windows of the dinning room . We have the late dinning. Anything you could do would be great. I think by the time this vacation is over I will need another vacation just to recover from this one

Thank you
Dennis aka The Fun Guy

Ps I met you on the Dream back in Feb. of this year –You and the Captain were walking by just as the love of my life asked who you where?? I said,” That cruise director”. (I didn’t have enough time to say John) You stop dead in your tracks turned and said, “That cruise director, That Cruise director, Hi, I’m John glad to meet you “as you shook our hands — A funny moment from the Dream

John Says:
Hello Dennis and Kathleen

I am glad I saw this now and I have time to ask the maitre d on the Carnival Miracle to see what he can do with your table request. I am glad we got to meet on your Carnival Dream and I am sure that this family vacation will be the best yet. I will certainly make sure that Sean gets to see your words of praise and if you have time please write back when you get home and tell us all about your cruise. Thanks for all the kind words and the smoke free bottom.

Best wishes to all.

That’s all for today. As we continue to get more and more new readers to the blog thingy may I kindly remind you to please add the words “John Please Reply” to your posting and will do so as soon as possible.

Well, as promised it’s time to bring you some photos from the Frightfully Fun Halloween parties from around the fleet. Today’s photos come from the Carnival Miracle, Carnival Spirit, Carnival Freedom, Carnival Dream, Carnival Sensation and Carnival Fantasy. So with thanks to my colleagues Malcolm in the Middle, Jen Baxter, Ryan Fitzgerald, Big Sexy Josh, Skip Lyons and Ugly Craig…… are the guests and the staff having some frightfully good fun.

As you can see the guests had a great time and cruising with Carnival at Halloween is now becoming something of a must do event. I will have more tomorrow for you.

On another note, today unfortunately we had to reprimand one of our employees who got a little carried away in dealing with a disgruntled guest. Before I continue I have to remind myself and everyone else that our crew is absolutely brilliant. I have mentioned time and time again that whereas in other areas of the service industry standards are falling quicker than Mel Gibson’s career, Carnival’s service continues to shine. However, in every barrel of apples there is one that is going to be bad bugger and it seems that we found one. Now, I don’t know why he got upset but obviously to act like this is simply unacceptable. I bumped into his department head this morning and was told that this employee had gained reputation of being a bully among his co-workers as well.

I hate bullying. This is probably because I was bullied at school, mercilessly and endlessly for nearly two years. I had a fire extinguisher let off in my face. And I was thrown in the pool and worst of all Shane Ibrahim once pissed into my school bag. I tried to do something to make them stop. So I grew my hair very long, took up smoking and tried my hardest to make everyone laugh. It’s not easy when you’ve got a mouth full of dog poo, but eventually I succeeded and the bullying stopped. It wasn’t just me that they bullied, they picked on anyone and everyone and my hope is that somewhere, somehow that someone bigger and stronger that Shane Ibrahim gave him a taste of his own poisonous medicine.

So what about this employee who acted in such an inappropriate way? Well I can tell you that various steps have now been taken to make sure that this crew member will not be in a position to ever do this again. However, this is was one bad apple in a barrel of 1,200 brilliant employees here on the Carnival Splendor some of whom have been recognized as the employees of the month for October.  I thought you might like to meet them.


Galley Steward

James was born in Malolos, in Philippines. He completed his diploma in Hotel & Restaurant management but his dream was to travel around the world. He got this opportunity in July 2009 when he joined the Carnival team.

During his vacation most of the time he plays basketball or billiards. He is very quiet and humble person who goes extra miles to help his colleagues and does his job well. He is always on time and properly groomed to duty at all times. He is a very good team player who goes extra miles to help his colleagues and does his job well. He is always on time and properly groomed to duty at all times. He is a very good team player.


Bar Steward 

I Putu was born in Indonesia. I Putu joined the company in 2009. He has done a good job during the period under my observation. I could say he has reached to a stage for an advancement from current position with the overall job performances. I Putu has a good knowledge of all bar related matters; he proved to be resourceful and reliable for his team.


Trainee Cook 

I Vasa was born in Bali, Indonesia. Vasa is very energetic, very hardworking and honest in his work; he is a perfect example of Teamwork. He graduated from Bali Tourism Hotel school, and his dream is to be a great Chef and go extra miles with Carnival Cruise Lines; he might become a future Chef. He joined Carnival Cruise Lines in May 2010. He likes to spend his free time with his friends and family and cherish the beautiful landscape of the island where he was born.


Sales Assistant 

Throughout the day Nasir always welcomes every guest with a smile and his attitude always makes every guest feel welcome.

Nasir is the ultimate example of a team player and is always willing to assist his team. His track record in sales is impeccable and he always strives to surpass his target. Nasir resides in Mumbai, India and has recently tied the know and got married. His wife is now in the process of becoming a shipboard Gift Shop employee as well. He is a graduate of the Rizvi College in Mumbai. His biggest passion is Cricket and he doesn’t miss a single chance to hear about the scores of the latest games back from home.


Team waiter 

I Made was born in in the city of Badung (Bali), Indonesia. He graduated from F B B Tourism School in Denpasar Bali. He worked in the Le Meridian hotel in Bali for 2 years before joining CCL in 2007. He started his career with CCL as a Galley Steward and worked his way up. He is presently a Team Waiter in the dining room and does a great job at it. He likes to spend his free time with family and friends. He listens to music to relax and loves reading books. He loves driving fast cars!!


Stateroom Steward 

Sweca was born in Kuta, Bali, Indonesia. He graduated from Hotel tourism school in Indonesia in 1997. Sweca likes to travel so he started his career with Star cruises in the Housekeeping department. In 2001 Sweca joined Carnival Cruise Lines as experience worker on the position of Staff steward and later on he was promoted to Stateroom. Sweca has been providing great service to our guests with a positive attitude and always volunteering himself if anyone needs assistance.


Security Officer 

Rohit was born in Banke, a small town in Nepal about five hundred kilometers from Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. He graduated from Bio medical science from the University of Uttrakhand in India in 2007. After the graduation, he worked in a five star hotel in Kathmandu in the security dept. Then he moved to Carnival Cruise Lines in September, 2009 as security officer. He is interested in playing football, listening to music, reading books while on vacation. He is a very honest and reliable security officer.


Now here is a new one on me.

Guest: Mrs. ———-Ref: 842021942A
Cabin: ————Added-Changed: 10/31/10 – 10/31/10

Guest came to the GSD to say that she had gone to the Camp Carnival at 9:00pm to find that her 4 year old was watching cartoons on the television there. Guest was very upset and demanded to speak to Cruise Director. GSS called Youth Director and arranged appointment with her for tomorrow morning as Youth Director was working at time of comment made.

Actually I received the above comment after the fact because when The Beat show was finished I took a walk down promenade with Marcello the ACD and that’s when I met this child’s mum ….. and she let me have both barrels. She was really upset and told me that she hadn’t taken her child to Camp Carnival to watch TV but to meet other children and I quote “for him to bond with other children.” She then went on to tell me that she was a psychologist and that she only allowed her son to watch TV on Saturdays and only for one hour. Then with her finger wagging a few inches from my face she said “Children should be banned from watching TV for their own protection” and that “Children will never, ever learn anything from TV.”

Now before I pass judgment on this lady and add my opinion as a new Dad, I want to point out that our Camp Carnival staff only allows kids to watch TV during what they call a “chill out” period before the parents come to get them. The majority of the time they are playing, drawing, dancing and picking boogers from their noses and wiping them on the toys and on each other.

Now this guest told me that she is an expert and far be it for me to challenge her expertise but I personally don’t think there’s anything wrong with kids watch TV – in moderation, of course – and TV these days is far more educational than it was when I was a lad. Is this lady really correct by saying that there’s an issue if her 4 year old watches thirty minutes of Dorito the Explorer while his mum is munching down a chocolate melting cake in the dining room?

But the guest had another point and that was insisting that if she takes her son to Camp Carnival again that he must not watch ANY TV but read a book instead. The youth director will comply with her wishes as best she can but it will be hard because all the other kids will be watching some Scooby Doo while sitting all on his own reading “1,000 Ways Tofu Recipes” will be one solitary 4 year old. Makes me kind of sad. But this is her child and she has every right to raise him as she feels fit and I respect this tofully …….I mean totally.

However, Kye discovered TV a few months ago and it as a joyous moment for both Heidi and I. That’s because we could let her watch Thomas the Tank Engine or Bob the Builder and she would be happy. And so would Heidi and I be happy as well because we could sneak off to the bedroom. Both programs last 15 minutes which is enough time for some rumpy pumpy………with 10 minutes to spare.

Kids shouldn’t watch TV………….my arse.

Your friend

Hi, I’m John, and this is my blog. So please don’t mistake my opinions — or those of my dear friends, fans or commenters — for those of Carnival Cruise Line or Carnival Corporation. My apologies in advance for anything I may say that upsets you, but this disclaimer covers Carnival and puts the blame directly on me………….. bugger.