An Extra Large Batch of Q and A

November 15, 2010 -

John Heald

Here are 20 questions and I will try and answer more later this week.

Cosican Asked:

I have to agree with other posters on this site who have said that the people who cruise on the ships from Galveston are not your usual style of cruisers. I have never seen so many tattoos and badly dressed commoners on any of the other cruises my husband I have taken as we did on the Ecstasy. Just my 50 cents worth

John Says:
Hello Cosican,

I have to say that I found your posting somewhat harsh as I have experienced the Texan folks who sail out of Galveston and found them to be some of the most fun loving groups of people I have ever met. I do hope though that you enjoyed your cruise and that despite your misgivings that you will come and visit us again.

Best wishes

Jeanette Asked:
John, please reply

First off, isn’t half of California actors and actresses and did the dumb ass not KNOW that the show as being recorded and would be shown on the SHIP only….It isn’t as if you are broadcasting on Carnival’s own television network……

OK, now to the questions. Me and two others are booked and paid in full (thanks to the casino on the Liberty) for the bloggers cruise. I changed the booking to Early Saver and got a much much better deal with a cabin two decks up and added two more names. I did send the info on the link and it said submitted, but how do I know for sure….Yes, call me a little paranoid that the three of us will have been forgotten since Carnival FORGOT that cruise I came home from just over a week ago was my first Platinum cruise. They did manage to remember to give me the right colored card but I was not on any list of platinum guests until I went and inquired. So you see my reason for being paranoid. All three of us really wanna meet you and the BC4 is our chance…..

Thanks John!!!!!

John Says:
Hello Jeanette,

Please don’t worry as all will be well. A few weeks before the cruise we will do a full roll call here on the blog thingy so that everyone who is part of BC4 will have their names registered. I am very honoured (spelt correctly) that you are going to be joining me and I will have more information on the cruise itself very soon.

Best wishes

Cruzin 1025 asked:
John -Please reply

Wow…a second example of someone claiming to be an actor and wanting compensation for appearing in one of your shows. Sounds like when you’re sailing from CA you need to ask if they’re a member of the Screen Actors Guild before allowing them on stage!

Just a quick question. We’ll be on Carnival Paradise (full name) in 60 days (but who’s counting?) We are Platinum cruisers and I must admit we recently strayed to that ugly ship you speak so often of. We had a great time and made some great friends thru our Cruise Critic Roll Call, but have told everyone that we truly missed being on Carnival. I promise not to stray again – except maybe to one of Carnival’s sister lines. Okay, enough babbling, now onto the actual question…

As I said, we plan on being loyal to Carnival for a long, long time. I was wondering if you could tell us if we will be able to purchase the Future Cruise Certificates on Carnival Paradise? Do you happen to have a list of which ships the certificates are available on? We purchased one of these on our cruise on Carnival Splendor last year and would love to get a couple more to use as we build our way to Milestone status (just 10 cruises – approximately 5-6 years away!)

Thanks in advance for your help and for all you do for us loyal readers!!


John Says:
Hello Cruzin 1025

It seems that nearly everyone is in the business of show business here in California and certainly my encounter with Mr. Cloonpit was priceless. I know the ugly ship has some interesting features inside despite being as ugly as a baboon’s bottom on the outside. However, I am truly happy to see that you are coming home to Carnival and have booked the Carnival Paradise ……. thanks also for using her full name. I can confirm that there is indeed a Cruise Loyalty Desk on the ship and you will be able to purchase the certificate while onboard. It won’t be long before you have that treasured Milestone card and thank you so much for your loyalty.

Best wishes

Andrea Lukinuk Asked:
John please reply,

We cruised on the Dream this past February, a back to back. It was AMAZING!!! And you my dear are part of the reason. One of our favourite (spelled correctly) things was watching your morning show. We live in Victoria British Columbia, which has strong British influence, and appreciate your special sense of humour.(spelled correctly)

I was wondering, how long do you usually stay on one ship? Are you “transferred” or do you request a change? I imagine it would be quite dreary doing the same old route over and over.

The reason I ask is we are cruising again, but not until Feb of 2012. We will be on the Magic. Will you still be there? How wonderful if you were.
And thanks for the treats you sent us as well 🙂

I proudly display my “Ship on a stick” in my dining room window!

Thank you for your time

John Says:
Hello Andrea,

Thanks so much for those kind words. I am so glad you enjoyed the Morning Shows as I really enjoy doing them. When I do I never have any clue if anyone is watching them or if they are that people are enjoying them so it’s good to know that you were and that you did. I was only on your Carnival Dream for 7 weeks and then went to the Carnival Conquest and the Carnival Fantasy and here I am now on the Carnival Splendor. This current contract is my longest in a while and I will have completed 4 months by the time I disembark. Carnival is very good to me and allows me to decide how long I will stay on board. I will be on your Carnival Magic for most of 2011 and maybe, just maybe back there by the time your cruise in 2012. I am glad you had so much fun on your Carnival Dream and hope to see you soon.

Best wishes

Waiting4acruise Asked:
Dear John, (please reply)

I would like to give a review of our cruise. Conquest Crazies Too-September 26, 2010

This is our second Crazies Cruise with Host Mach. He is a wonderful host. This is our 6th cruise on the Carnival Conquest and 10th overall (first Platinum cruise) on Carnival. I am 49 and my DW is 46. We were in balcony cabin 7376.

We arrived at the Galveston terminal via the hotel shuttle around 10:45am. This was our first VIP embarkation in Galveston. There were not many people at the terminal when we arrived. VIP embarkation was quick and easy. My only comment on this the split off VIP and regular line does not occur until you are upstairs and go through a maze. This was not a problem this year as the line was short. Last year this part of the line was very long and would defeat the purpose of VIP embarkation.

Our Room Steward was great. He kept our room spotless and when we saw him in the hall called us out by name and asked how our day was.

We did Anytime dining. I have few comments about this. The Anytime on the Conquest is in the Renoir dining room. You enter on the lower level in the lobby deck 3. This is by the forward elevators. This was a little convenient for us as our cabin was located between the middle and aft elevators. Dinner on Lido deck was located on the rear buffet lines by the rear elevators. As a result and a few times we did not feel getting dressed up for dinner we ate in the MDR only 3 times. When we ate in the MDR the food was great. My suggestion would be that you be allowed to enter the Renoir via the back door which leads to the middle elevators. On previous cruises when we had early dining we were able to do this.

We had bad weather Tuesday night and Wednesday. As a result we missed the port of Montego Bay, Jamaica. The weather was nasty Wednesday morning and we encountered 60MPH winds. The Captain made 3 attempts in trying to get to the terminal. This terminal holds only one cruise ship and the channel is very narrow. From our balcony we could see the wind blowing the ship off course as we tried to enter the channel. The Captain made the right decision.

The next day we were supposed to tender in Georgetown, Grand Cayman. The weather was nice, but the seas were still high. The Port Authority closed the port. This was my 6th call to GC and the first time we missed it. I guess our luck ran out. Around 10:30am a letter was delivered to our stating that we would get our port taxes back. The letter also stated because we missed 2 ports there would be an open bar between 4:30-6:00pm. That was a nice gesture from Carnival even though they were not obligated to do so. To top it off the letter also stated that we would be getting 20% off a future cruise taken within the next 2 years.

Apparently this did please some passenger, who were mainly first time Carnival cruisers. I can understand them being upset for missing these 2 ports. I was on the Ecstasy last year that missed all Mexican ports because on the Swine Flu and this 5 day cruise turned into a cruise to nowhere. The actions that these people did were out of line. They attempted to pass a petition around falsely claiming that if they signatures of 55% passengers that they would get money off of this cruise. And to top it off some went to Guest Services to remove the auto tips from their Sign and Sail cards. I guess they felt the Room Stewarts and Waiters were responsible for the bad weather and missing ports.

The next day was Cozumel. It was a beautiful day. About 50 of us Crazies went to Nachi Cocom Beach. It was the first time there. It was great.

One thing new Carnival has added was the Punchline Comedy Club. This was the first time we had this on a cruise. The Conquest had 2 comedians Monday and Tuesday and another 2 comedians Friday and Saturday. Kim Harrison and Marc Reuben were great.

John Says:
Hello Waiting4acruise,

I had seen Host Mach’s report on this cruise and as I said then I will repeat now, the Cruise Critic Group under Mach’s leadership were true ambassadors for Carnival and their support of the crew who were at times under siege from some very upset guests was simply brilliant.

Itinerary changes and port cancelations are always going to produce negativity despite it clearly being stated in the ticket information and despite that these changes are made with the safety of the ship and everyone onboard in mind……there are still those who want to rage at the crew. Anyway, back to your review which included the piece about YTD which as you said was on the lower level of the dining room. We now have the doors closed at the back of the dining room on all the ships on the level where YTD is served because we have the hostesses who seat you and organize the tables at the front of the dining room not the back. I am glad you enjoyed the food there though and once again can I say a big thank you to you for highlighting how the captain tried his best to give you and your fellow guests the itinerary you had hoped for. I hope you and your fellow Crazies are already planning your next adventure with us here at Carnival and thanks so much for taking the time to write.

Best wishes

Paul Asked:
Hi John, (Please Reply)

I’m excited to say that I can religiously read your blog again. Not that I don’t enjoy reading your musings from aboard various ships, I always find myself missing my fun ship and all it entails if I don’t have a cruise booked…. well this past week my wife, myself and our son booked ourselves a week plus a day aboard ‘my’ Carnival Miracle. We will be going our usual time, in May… this time on May 8 to 2 new ports which we couldn’t be happier about and have always tried to see, Grand Turk and Half Moon Cay.

I have written you a few times in planning for past cruises, you probably don’t remember and that’s no problem, we remember all the help you have been. My wife and I were engaged, married and honeymooned aboard the Carnival Valor (not at the same time), and then we travelled with friends on the Carnival Liberty this past May. We have converted all out friends to cruisers, in our opinion the service provided, and options can’t be beat anywhere.

My post revolves around planning. How early would we have to request a table to site with our friends with the Maitre D? Or how close to sailing is a better question.

Does the Miracle still offer babysitting for under 2 year olds on sea days at Camp Carnival? our little guy had a blast last year and unfortunately will just miss the cut off for joining Camp Carnival when we cruise by 1.5 months… c’est la vie, we love every minute we spend with him.

We hope to sail with you one day, but until then we will keep on loving Carnival and all it offers to us.

John Says:
Hello Paul,

Congratulations on booking your next cruise on the Carnival Miracle and I know you will have a brilliant time. Please can you send me a post in late March/early April and include your cabin number and I will be happy to ask the maitre d to assist you with your table request. Your “little guy” will be able to spend sea day mornings at Camp Carnival and enjoying all the fun there while Mum and dad get some relaxation and maybe make a brother or sister. Thanks so much for all those kind words and I hope you continue to enjoy the blog and that you will let me know if you need anything before you cruise.

Best wishes to you all

E.Fernley Asked:

Reply to question on Chef’s Dinner Table,

Having just experienced this on the Dream I can tell you that in my opinion it was a rip off and a waste of money. The food was cold and the sea bass tasted as all frozen fish does of nothing. The soup was cold and the filet was overcooked. The people we dined with were not cultured and treated the experience like they did the rest of their time on the ship like one big party. My wife and I were embarrassed. We requested a refund but were denied, just another example of Carnival customer care. I am an occasional reader of your writing and have seen how much you praise up the Chef’s Dinner Table and my bet is that you have never eaten there yourself. If you had you and if you were an honest person which I believe now you are not, you would not encourage your customers to spend $75 and waste their money.

John Says:
Hello E.Fernley,

Well let me start by saying how very sorry I am that you did not enjoy this experience and I will most certainly pass on your comments to the executive chef of your Carnival Dream. I have indeed tried the table on two occasions, on my Carnival Dream and here on the Carnival Splendor and it is because of these experiences that I have absolutely no trepidation in continuing to say how brilliant I think it is. The most important thing is that I apologise again that you did not enjoy your time at The Chef’s Table but it would also be remiss of me not to mention that yours is I believe the first negative comment I have ever heard about it. I do trust the rest of your cruise was enjoyable and if you have a follow up to this please let me know.

Best wishes

Barry McConnell Asked:
John, please reply

Only 35 days until my Sweetie and I sail on Carnival Dream. I’ve never sailed with Josh as CD. Your suggestion of a small appreciation gift for Butch was spot on so I’m asking for your help once again. What might Josh like, a favorite chocolate, wine, ball cap, etc? And the Captain?

If I may impose on your generosity further, I would also ask a small favor of you. This sailing will be our 5th anniversary. For our honeymoon we sailed on Carnival Miracle which was appropriate because finding Kim at this late stage of my life is the greatest miracle next to my two wonderful children and three precious grandchildren. It was her first cruise and she has come to love cruising as much as I do. However, all was not as perfect as I would have liked. Two days before our wedding my Sweetie was stricken with a bad episode of Bell’s Palsy. We have no photos of our wedding because she couldn’t bear to be photographed in that condition. I’ve asked her to bring her wedding dress with us on this sailing so we can have some nice photos done. She loves your blog so I would like to ask if you could send her a note for our anniversary. It will make the occasion even more special for her.

Thank you for all you do and being the man that you are. It’s wonderful to hear that your weight is coming down. Slow is fine, it didn’t go on quickly either. Besides, one reason it’s so hard to lose fat is your body and the fat have become such good friends over the years…LOL.


John Says:
Hello Barry,

Phew, just saw this in time as you boarded the ship on Saturday and I just sent a note to Josh, or Big Sexy as he is known, and he will be sending you and your wife a little something. Two years ago I had Bells palsy and I know how awful this is and cannot imagine how she must have felt having this happen to her two days before the wedding. I think it is a wonderful thing that you are going to have photos taken in your wedding dress and I hope that this cruise on your Carnival Dream is a very special one indeed. I have asked Josh to show you this reply as well.

Best wishes to you both.

Mani Asked:

Me and my girl will be on the Fascination in December and I want to propose and need you to arrange this for me. How and what do I do. The cruise is on December 2eond so make sure you tell me now what you can do for me.

John Says:
Hello Mani,

I can certainly help you and need you to please send me your name in full and your cabin number please. Please also let me know if you would like me to kindly arrange a public proposal on stage or if you would prefer something more private. Please get back to me via the blog thingy and mark your post time sensitive and I will be pleased to help you.

Best wishes and please please don’t forget to write back.

Marty Paul Asked:
John (please reply),

The complaint from “Ted (Urgent)”, really Ted Nugent, about Iced Tea was about the music on Carnival ships not the drink. You see, “Ted Nugent” does not care for rap music, especially the rapper “Ice Tea” (known for his mega hit- “Ice, Ice Tea Baby”). I’m glad that Ted pointed out that RCI has not removed fruit punch from their ships….explains why the carpet on their ships looks like their passengers just got their first glimpse of the Norwegian Epic (-ally ugly). Perhaps RCI should rename their ships “Stained Carpet of the Seas”…

The only thing that tops “Ted Nugent’s” urgent iced tea complaint is Sea2See’s suggestion that because of your “vulgarity and condescending gutter humor” (spelt correctly btw) you need to do 2 blogs. Yes John, you don’t want to inconvenience people like Sea2see making them have to read through all the “vulgarity and condescending gutter humor” to get to the part of your blog where Sea2see can ask (demand) the best table for 2 by the window in the dining room. So, my advice to Sea2see is to follow Big Ed Konefee’s advice (see below) and hit the red “X”. Just a thought Sea2see…

Ok, sorry to digress…I do have a Q; Carnival has changed up the website and I can no longer find a link to your blog. I clicked on “Community” then “Blogs and RSS” and then a bunch of blogs from The Mayor of Funville comes up and seems like links to a lot of other Carnival staffers’ blogs but I didn’t see yours! I also just turned 50 but am I “loosing it”? Where did the link to your blog go on Carnival’s website? (I found your blog by “googling” it and have saved it as a favorite).

I can relate to turning 50. Not sure if I’m having a MLC but I do need extra medicinal care these days. So, as I am boarding my next Carnival ship, security may find me carrying 2 bottles of Crown Royal aboard. I assure you, they are for medicinal purposes only, as they help with my frequent nightmares of Fun Ship Freddy chasing me on the promenade deck of a Conquest-class ship with a meat cleaver.

Fair winds & following seas to you, Heidi & Kye.
P.S. Please be on the lookout for the Yoopuerwoody (Vicki & Gordi from Upper Peninsula, Mich). They will be cruising with you on the Carnival Splendor soon. I asked them to say hi to you from Jeanne & I (the “Kissing Rock of Canada” couple).

Marty & Jeanne Paul

John Says:
Hello Marty Paul,

First of thanks for that very, very funny posting which was a joy to read. Sometimes I do wonder why if people hate me more than a bleeding hemorrhoid just why they continue to read my daily musings. Anyway, yep, there used to be a link on the front page but I have been removed. I am not sure why but I certainly will ask the 344 Stephanies and the 49 blokes whose name starts with an “E” to see what they can do to put a tiny link thingy somewhere on the page. I hope we get to sail together soon and want to thank you not only for reading the blog but also for being a Facebook regular as well.

My best wishes to you and your family.

Carlos Ortiz Asked:
Dear John Please Reply

On September 12th. me and my wife took a cruise on the victory coming out from San Juan, Puerto Rico. I was very excited because it was my 10th cruise with carnival. I was told that I would become platinum .at the port in San Juan the people at the counter they well having a problem. Counting how many cruises I have taken, I was told that this was my 10th cruise. They said they could not find any evidence so they gave me the blue card, and was told it would be fix inside the ship. I went to the guest services and was told to come back within 24 to 48 hrs later .because it was Saturday and the office in Miami was close. I came back the next day and was told that it appeals that all I have taken was 7th cruises which I know they were wrong. They ask me if I have any evidence. I told them no but that I took my first cruise in 1986.wich was my honeymoon. They told me that carnival started counting since 1995. So I call the main office in Miami. I explained to them my situation they look up and told me the same thing I was told at the ship. But they said they started counting since 1990. I know for a fact that I have taken ten cruises. I ‘m very disappointed at carnival, and just for that I might take my business to somewhere else. I have told family and friends how wonderful to take a carnival cruise were now I not so sure!!!

Thanks John

John Says:
Hello Carols Ortiz,

I was very sorry to learn of your disappointment and I want you to know that I have sent this to someone at Vice President level to see if she can trace your cruise history again to see if indeed you do qualify for Platinum status. I can understand that you are very frustrated by this and I promise that we will give this our full attention and that someone will be in touch soon.
Thanks for taking the time to write

Best wishes

Simon Gooch Asked:
John Please Reply

If I take a Carnival cruise will there be free sodas like Royal Caribbean, NCL and celebrity have. My wife and I do not drink alcohol and have always appreciated the free sodas that the other lines give. I can’t find the answer as my travel agent says yes but others say no. What’s the answer please?

John Says:
Hello Simon Gooch,

I thank you for considering taking a Carnival cruise and while we do not offer free sodas we do have an unlimited soda card which for one price allows you exactly what it says, unlimited sodas for the entire cruise. The price depends on the length of the voyage so please let me know what ship you are considering. I had no idea that the other lines you mentioned served free sodas but I hope you will take into consideration the fantastic value for money that the entire Carnival package offers. Please let me know here on the blog if you have any other questions.

Best wishes

Vinny F. Asked:
John – Please Reply (if you want)

I just want to say I love your blog and follow it daily. I recently sailed on the Dream in July and had a great time. I do have one suggestion though. On the lido deck during breakfast there were very large lines during certain times, it seems that the bottleneck was the bacon station. You have a line coming from each direction, converging in the middle at the single bacon station. This created a traffic jam which backed the lines up on each side. Maybe the bacon can be moved, or two stations setup so traffic can flow more smoothly. This is just my 2 cents.

Thanks again for the great blog! Keep it up!

John Says:
Hello Vinny F,

And you are absolutely right because I have seen this for myself. The problem is that we have the bacon served rather than self service like everything else. That’s because people were taking tongs full of the stuff and leaving most uneaten, resulting in a lot of food waste. I will certainly bring this to the attention of the hotel director there on your Carnival Dream and let’s see if indeed we can move the service to another area. I am thankful to you for this great suggestion and for your kind words. I hope you had a brilliant cruise and that we will see you soon

Best wishes

Daniel Grief Asked:
Reply if you have time….

I just wanted to thank you for your efforts on my behalf regarding dining table companions on the Sept 25 Liberty sailing. The HEAD Maitre’D did his best and knew all about my contacting you. (I was a bit surprised). But here’s a funny tale about what happened and the lesson I learned…. I was sat a table with 6 ladies. I was the only man at the table. So far so good, huh? Well… let’s just say that I wasn’t welcome at that table (perhaps it was just me, I did check to make sure I wore deodorant), so when the Maitre’D saw me the next day he asked if the table mates were acceptable. I laughed and told him my tale.. He said he would ask Romeo to move me … I said it was not necessary as I learned that the grass is not always greener …blah, blah, blah…My lesson is learned… I WON’T ASK FOR ANY FAVORS as it may make things even worse. Well he did move me and I had great table mates. On one cruise on the first evening, I mentioned to the waiter that I loved Indian Food… for 3 more nights all he served me was Indian food. NO MORE I told him. I should never have said I liked Indian food…

So I do thank you for your efforts… the staff onboard were great!

My Peruvian Steward (cabin 2473) was fantastic. The piano player “Wally” was one of the worst I ever saw on a Carnival ship as he seemed to talk more about himself than play ‘sing-alongs’. Oh well… the Comedy Club performers were the best. A great move by Carnival! However the main production shows were lacking and not up to Carnival standards. As for meals, my only irritation was that the first night I had the Chicken Tender appetizer and asked that the ‘honey mustard’ served with the chicken be provided with my salad…well the dressing that they served was like a tarter sauce and was told that was their ‘honey mustard’ dressing. Oh well…. I can live without a dressing…

Life is too short to be so critical… so, with a smile on my face… I take things as they come. I remain, loyal to Carnival.

John Says:
Hello Daniel Grief,

Please don’t ever think you can’t ask for favours as that is one of the reasons I am here. I am glad things worked out in the dining room for you eventually and that you found the staff to be great, especially the stateroom Steward and the dining room staff. I don’t know “Wally” but I will certainly pass on your comments to the cruise director of the ship and want to thank you for all your thoughts and your loyalty. Please let me know if you need anything when you sail again

Best wishes

HARRY – 1st Cavalry Division ( Airmobile) Vietnam 1966 – 1971 Asked:

You really need to work on getting more English speaking staff and crew. My experience on the Miracle was ruined by too many crew not understanding anything I asked them for. The cabin boy was the worst and yes he did tidy and clean my cabin but try and talk to him and ask for ice or something and he would just smile and nod and I would not get what I wanted which is not good enough !!!!. English speaking crew are a must if your line wants to be the best.

John Says:
Hello Harry,

I see from your screen title that you served in Vietnam and before I reply to your comment I wanted to thank you for your service to your country. We really do have a great crew on our ships and while their English is not perfect I think the majority speak good English. Certainly they all have to pass an English examination as per United States Coast Guard regulations before they can work onboard so I was surprised to read your comment. Can you tell me what cabin you were in so that I can pass on your comments about your stateroom steward?

I do hope despite this you had a fun cruise.

Best wishes,

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.