And there I am once again right in the sodding doghouse and all because of best mate Alan….the total and utter bastard.

Yesterday Heidi, Kye and I popped over to their house for a cuppa (spelt correctly) tea during which his beautiful wife Alison decided to proclaim just how wonderful he was around the house and that he was able to multitask. Heidi looked on with cow eyes and I could see that Alan’s greatness would only highlight the fact that I was a useless sod whose multitasking skills only involved being able to pee in the shower.

Alan can apparently wallpaper the living room, put new tiles down in the bathroom, put up a shelf and defuse a nuclear bomb all before lunch. “Why can’t you be more like that?” moaned my wife as we drove home while I dreamt of multitasking different ways to murder my so called best mate.

To my wife, his wife and apparently legions of other women Alan is “the man” whose tool bag is “always ready to help.”

Me……..I think he’s bloody weird. I mean……he is fanatical about the workings of everything. For fun, he will take his old Landrover engine to pieces, and for relaxation, he will plane some wood. At night, he takes any new tool he has purchased to bed so he can, “look at them.”

Yep he is a fanatic and anyone who does not have his abilities is looked upon as being a lesser mortal…..someone who is not a real man……..someone who is used for reproduction only.

We had a good old argument about this. Alan draws outlines of all his tools on the wall so he can see immediately when one is missing. Meanwhile I am confused by which way a battery goes in anything. Alan is organised and enjoys watching This Old House and reads Practical Woodworking and Advanced Mechanics Weekly. Meanwhile I watch The Sopranos and West Wing, read “Latvian Big Jugs” magazine and couldn’t give a crap about the inner workings of 1965 Jaguar E Type engine.

I drive him nuts because I don’t read instruction manuals and because my brain doesn’t compute how to get anything to work. I remember once how he watched me trying to hook a bit of bait to the end of a fishing line. Eventually he could take no more, snatched the tangled line from me and did the job for me.

And that is the point of today’s blog thingy. If you cannot do something, then get someone who can to do it for you.

I spent years at school trying to understand Mr Sonnen’s math class. His classes were supposed to last an hour but because he was the most boring man in the world and spoke in monotones that turned his class into sloths and lasted three days.

He did his best to teach me long division and multiplication but I never understood a word. I always hoped that I would and one day I would wake up to discover that I did……but I don’t ……. but it doesn’t matter. Because now if I need to divide one number by another, I turn on Mr Casio and get him to do it on my behalf.

It’s the same story if I go into Alan’s workshop. Heidi told me to go and watch him so I could pick up some tips. Why? Why would I need to learn how to use a lathe? If I need something lathing I will call a lather. And besides Alan’s machine looks bloody dangerous as well. So asking a big fat brainless lump like me to learn how to use a lathe is like asking me to learn how to use a tampon. Pointless…………..and bloody painful!

Heidi’s bollocking also stems from the fact that as I write we are having some work done on the house. The driveway has a hole in it and needs concreting or something. So for the next three days a white van is parked outside and men in baseball caps who chew pencils, listen to loud music on an old radio, drink our tea and coffee and show the crack of their arse when they bend over are redoing the drive. Both Heidi and Alan think that I should have been able to do this myself. Do it myself my arse. I can’t work our coffee machine. I don’t understand how to open the main curtain in the showrooms. Plumbing is witchcraft. The dishwasher is a vindictive bastard that wants to kill me.

Yep Alan is boring and methodical to the point where you want to use the lathe on his dangly bits. But we need people like him who can weld and repair and fix and mend, in the same way as we need people like me who can….. er…….. ummmmm……… er ……. ummmmm……oh bugger.

We still teach woodwork and engineering in British schools which is a total waste of time. These days all our kids need to is how to fix a wireless broadband modem and how to transfer Eye Tunes from your Eyepad to your Eyepod. I don’t know how to do this either which is why I always have to call and get a man in India to explain it for me.

Yep, men like Alan make men like me look like troglodytes with no more right to live on God’s earth than something that lives in elephant poo. Yet as I said with out the Alans of the world. ………where would we be?

People who can fix things are in great demand and surely the greatest unsung hero on a cruise ship is the chief engineer. Remember they are responsible for everything which lights up, moves and makes noise on board a ship. That is a very simple explanation but really gives the idea the vast area they are responsible for. Plus they are responsible for the maintenance and repair of 99% of the technical systems of the ship, the only exception is the entertainment light and sound system where they share a 50/50 responsibility.

This includes power plant and main propulsion, air conditioning, electrical distribution, sanitary system, galley equipment, spa, pools and safety system, etc, etc……Beside all this, the chief engineer involves taking care of all the 70-plus members of the engine department both on a professional and a personal level.

At the Captain’s Celebration I see guests each and every week head straight to shake the captain’s hand ………and rightfully so. But maybe we should also shake the hand of the chief and thank him for all he does and simply say “thanks chief.”

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

Kathie asked:
Hi John- Please reply! Thanks

Just a question we seem not to be able to get a correct answer for: We are sailing on the SPIRIT Jan 2012 it is a 9 day and has a 2 days in Cabo, being that you have to get back on the boat at 6 00 in the evening some of the people in our group would like to know if they can get a room in Cabo to be able to enjoy the nightlife and reboard the ship on the 2nd day in Cabo? I haven’t been able to get an answer so thought maybe you could!!! Thanks so much and Glad to hear that Heidi and Kye made it home safe.

Thanks again
Kathie Geistler

John Says:
Hello Kathie

This new Carnival Spirit itinerary is of course absolutely brilliant. Now to answer your question about Cabo San Lucas, the answer is yes you may stay overnight in a hotel but there is a small sized Megan Fox but and a really big Rosanne Barr sized but as well. First of all if you are going to do this you must make sure you tell the guest services desk first. They will need to make sure that they inform the local immigration authorities which is just a formality but necessary. The guest services associate will also make sure we inform ship security as well so that we can balance our APASS system which is our security who’s on board machine thingy. But here is the big but. Remember that Cabo is a tender port and if you are in a hotel overnight and the following morning weather conditions do not allow for a safe tendering operation then the ship will have to leave …………without you. Personally I wouldn’t do it. Why spend extra money on a hotel and not enjoy the facilities of the ship that night? Anyway, whatever you decide to do I hope you have a brilliant cruise and if you have any other questions please let me know.Thanks for the kind words.

Best wishes

Dr. Deany Cheramie Asked:
Please Reply:

I have cruised 4 times with Carnival, mostly out of New Orleans (except for my first at the age of 18 on the Mardi Gras!). I regret to say that I have yet to win a “ship on a stick.” I have tried on the Conquest (pre-Katrina–that bitch!) and on the Fantasy.

Now I’m taking the Carnival Triumph for the Dec 27, 2010 cruise (New Years Eve in Cozumel!). My colleagues at work are daring me to come back with a ship on a stick. Some of them have earned their own in the past, and the little trophies hold places of honor in their cubes.
Could you speak with the CD for the Carnival Triumph about me receiving a ship on a stick? I’m willing to do the worst karaoke you can imagine for the honor of receiving this bauble.

Thank you,
Dr. Deany

John Says:
Hello Dr. Deany Cheramie,

Doc……..consider a solid gold plastic trophy yours if you send me some free hemmorrhoid cream. I will make sure you get your trophy and I wish you a brilliant time

Best wishes

Janet SammonsHi Asked:

Icebreaker Vic, All I can think of is “shut up”. John, I’m feeling badly that you are alone again. I really wonder why Heidi and Kye just don’t sail with you all the time.

John Says:
Hello Janet Sammons,

Well here I am home again with the girls. Heidi and I have often spoken about her and Kye cruising more but while there are many good things about that there are some difficulties as well. Routine is important for Kye as is being able to do normal everyday toddler type things, some of which are impossible when you are a small child on a ship for weeks at a time. Anyway, it will be slightly easier for me on your Carnival Magic next year as flying time from London to Barcelona is only 2 hours and they can come and go as often as they want. I am sorry if I come across as miserable when they are not with me…..although most of the time it’s because I am. Thanks for thinking of us, that’s very kind.

Best wishes

Scott Gallant Asked:

We are going on the 04/17/2011 sailing on the Valor and I have a question regarding dry dock. I understand that the Valor will be in dry dock in late January/early February. Do you know what will be done to her? Thanks in advance for all the laughs I get from reading your blog. This will be first cruise and I have learned a tonne from you!


John Says:
Hello Scott,

You are correct and the Carnival Valor while not having any major structural changes will have lots of very important work done both inside and outside of the vessel. New carpets, bow to stern deep cleaning and essential maintenance that can only be done when a ship has no guests onboard are the main inside jobs that will be carried out. Sometimes new propeller blades will be added as well as work on the engines that again can only be carried out during a dry dock scenario. The bottom line is that when you cruise you in April it will be on a ship that will have had loads of money spent on her to make sure she looks and feels her best until her next time out of the water. Thanks for those kind words and I hope you continue to enjoy the blog thingy and that you have a brilliant cruise next year.

Best wishes

MissKitty Asked:
Please Reply

The PC crap is just that. People are to easily offended, by what is meant to be silly or a joke!

I agree, we need to be respectful of people with mental or other disabilities, but we have lost the ability to tease and play.
Tell me; is this like this in England or other places, besides the US?

John Says:
Hello Miss Kitty Asked:

I am afraid that it is the same here and although I agree with you that respect must be given to a point there has to be some room for laughter. I know that comedians sometimes cause offense, well, isn’t that their job? One of the most talented writers I have ever met is Gene Sloan from USA Today. He recently described my humour as being “inappropriate” and I can see his point to a certain degree. However, comments like these are a hazard of comedy performers and comedy writers. Like smoking, it’s an issue that will always be debated and never be resolved. So, there are problems. But we don’t need more and more rules and PC regulations; we need more laughter and a willingness to admit to mistakes, no more than that. And if any of my comments have upset people here or on stage I will be the first to learn from those mistakes and apologise. Thanks for taking the time to write.

Best wishes

John Asked:

I have just read that Carnival will not be giving comment cards to guests on the ship anymore. Instead an E-Mail will be sent after the cruise. My parents live in a gated community in Florida and are frequent cruisers with Carnival. Most of the other people living in the community cruise at least twice a year. Many of these cruise a lot with Carnival (my parents have cruised enough to be “Milestone”). They have now asked me how people without a computer can comment on their cruise experience. Most of the people in their community do not have E-Mail because they do not have computers (“Computers look like work, and I did not retire to work in an office”). Someone even asked if a Carnival cruise now can be only be booked by someone who has E-Mail. Please give us more details about this and how people without E-Mail can pass on comments.


John says:
Hello John,

That is a very good point indeed. We have indeed stopped handing out the comment cards onboard and replaced them with a review card that is sent to our guests via e-mail. I know that some people are not getting them who want them and I am working on this at the moment. However, there is obviously a situation that you have correctly highlighted where those with no computers and e-mail access will not have the chance to get one at all. I am not sure what the answer is as we definitely won’t be returning to onboard cards anytime soon. I will certainly bring up this point to the beards when I meet with them in Miami next week and you will for sure hear more on this subject in the days ahead. Thanks for letting me know about this and if your family have cruised recently and have and good points or constructive criticism they wish to pass on, please do so via this blog thingy and I will be happy to act on it for you.

Best wishes to all

Crazycruiser Deb Asked:

My partner and I will be on the Legend in December for the New Years Eve cruise. Can you tell me the dress code please for the party?
I also want to suggest as other Cruise Critic members have done that you answer more questions and not spend to much time on the “fillinng” this will mean that you would be able to answer 30 or more questions a day. I think if you were to poll the people who read the blog and the people who are Cruise Critic followers you will find that most will say the same.

I hope you answer my question as quickly as possible as I need to make packing plans.

John Says:
Hello CrazycruiserDeb,

Thanks for the comments on the blog. I hope that you are wrong and that most people like the blog as is and that taking all the information and fun out of the blog would reduce its appeal. Anyway, the dress code for New Years Eve onboard the Carnival Legend will be marked as Cruise Elegant. You will find that most guests will dress for the dinner part of the evening and while some will stay elegantly dressed for the entire night, just as many will change into something more comfortable for the party itself. The festivities and countdown to 2011 will be centred around the Lido Deck so a more casual dress code as I said may be preferred. The Carnival Legend docks on Sunday and New Years Eve is on a Friday so you don’t have to worry about packing the night of the party. I hope this helps with your packing plans.

Best wishes

Daniel Grief Asked:
John, (reply at your discretion)

Regarding the comment by IceBreakerVic and the whole “smoking” issue.

I have sailed most of the other cruise lines, (unhappily), and note that most have very strict and IMO severe rules re: smoking in any public area… outside or inside, including cabins. One reason I don’t sail with them. Now I know that there exists “smoke eaters” that are widely used in many casinos and lounges/bars throughout the US, and wonder why the ships could not be fitted with these in areas like the casino, lounges, etc. They work fantastically and you cannot smell any smoke in the room because the smoke is sucked up into the ‘smoke eater’. No one complains of smoke in the Vegas casinos that I know of.

I am a smoker and enjoy having a cocktail and a cigarette at my leisure. I also do smoke in the cabin and always bring a spray room de-smoker bought at ‘Home Depot’. It works! I also would not spend (lose) my money in the casino if it were non-smoking. While I appreciate the sentiments of those that do not smoke, I also find some can be extreme in their hatred of smokers. THERE HAS TO BE A MIDDLE GROUND! So while discussing this with the ‘beards’, please be aware that smokers are not 2nd class citizens and shouldn’t be treated as such.

Carnival allows smoking at the pool area on the starboard side of the ship…Good Compromise!

Carnival allows smoking in the Piano Bar… again the right place as lounge singers around a piano conjure memories of Casablanca, or Billy Joel (~ sing us a song, your the piano man…~)

Casino… having a few tables non smoking seems to work… although as on my last cruise (Liberty Sept 25) not many sat at those tables. Dining room should remain non-smoking…Good Job! Cigar Bar.. YES. Overall, the current policy seems fine with me as a smoker… as a compromise. Sure, some want the entire ship smoke free, (didn’t Carnival try this a few years ago?) as I am certain some smokers would like to smoke throughout the entire ship! Middle ground. Try having the ‘beards’ look into these “smoke-eaters” and see if that ends this constant battle.

Thanks again for all you do.

John Says:
Hello Daniel,

Thanks so much for your honest and open thoughts on smoking and as I mentioned earlier smoking is an issue that will always be debated and may never be resolved. It is always important to remember that compared to hotels and resorts on land the cruise industry as a whole is typically more liberal with our smoking policies as we try to take everyone’s feelings into account.

All our cigar bars have smoke extraction systems in them and they do a great job and that’s one of the reasons why I am such an advocate of the cigar bars. I do understand how non smokers feel when they walk into a cabin and smell smoke. I am sure the spray you mentioned works well but for some it is not enough which is why if my opinion is asked I always say that smoking in the cabins should not be allowed but restricted to balconies only. There is a middle ground and right now I think Carnival has one foot there and is thinking carefully about where to plant the other. This will not be the last I shall write on this subject and I am sure it’s not the last time I will hear from you Daniel………… least I certainly hope not.Thanks for taking the time to write.

Best wishes

Mary Haverland Asked:

John (please reply)

I really enjoy your blog and great personality.
My husband Terrance and I are going to be on the Glory on 11/28/2010 to celebrate our 19th wedding anniversary. Terrance is the most wonderful husband anyone could ask for. Could you send him something to our cabin 6481?

We are a bit of different type of cruiser in that we spend the evenings strolling the ship while everyone else enjoys dinner in the dining room. We’ve done the dining room and have had great service, but we really enjoy the alone time on deck while everyone else is eating. That’s why we love cruising so much you can do as little or as much on the ship as you desire. Of course after strolling the deck you likely find us in the casino or the piano bar.

This will be our 12th Carnival cruise and we are looking forward to it as if it was our 1st Carnival cruise. Thank you for all you do to make Carnival such a great vacation!

John Says:
Hello Mary Haverland,

I hear more and more people tell me that they don’t use the dining room and eat all their dinner time meals on Lido. Certainly the menu choices are excellent and solitude most nights can be found there. I want to thank you for your loyalty to Carnival and I will be happy to send your husband something and wish you both a brilliant cruise.

Best wishes to you both

Lisa Asked:

Still trying to check rates for ES booking on your website. Since the new website has come up, there is no breakdown of rates between 1, 2 and 3rd passenger in the room.

Love the new layout, but it certainly looks like it is keeping those of us that booked ES from getting any kind of credit if rates go down… Can you help?

Thank you in advance for your help!

John Says:
Hello Lisa

As I don’t have beard and there is no tofu in my refrigerator I am not going to be able to help you. However I know 344 Stephanies who can help and a few chaps whose name starts with an “E” who can as well. One of those will be in touch soon.

Best wishes

And that’s all for today and I will return with more tomorrow. As you can see the number of comments has risen these last few blogs and as I read them all I continue to be reminded how important you writing them is because this blog thingy is read by the top beards in Miami. Please keep them coming.

Before I forget, Carnival yet again won another huge batch of Porthole Readers Choice Awards. Here’s my friend Vance from PR to give you all the details.

Carnival Cruise Lines took home six Porthole Magazine Annual Readers Choice Awards, earning top honors in the Best Value for the Money and Best Entertainment for the 12th consecutive year.

Since the awards were established in 1999, Carnival Cruise Lines has earned 115 individual honors – the most of any cruise line.

The annual awards are based on on-line and mail-in surveys of Porthole readers who are asked to rate their favorite cruise line in a variety of product- and service-related categories.

Carnival’s 2010 Porthole Readers Choice Awards include:

  • Best Value for the Money
  • Best Entertainment
  • Best Mexican Riviera Itineraries
  • Best Casinos
  • Best Web Site
  • Best Theme Cruises

“Carnival Cruise Lines continues to innovate and evolve the ‘Fun Ship’ vacation experience and to consistently win so many awards in so many different categories year after year is a wonderful testament to these efforts,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival president and CEO.  “Further, to be recognized for providing superior value and entertainment – two core elements of a Carnival cruise – for 12 consecutive years is very gratifying,” he added.

“With six wins this year alone, Carnival Cruise Lines continues to be a reader favorite,” said Bill Panoff, publisher and editor-in-chief of Porthole Cruise Magazine, the leading consumer cruise magazine. “Year after year, Carnival proves that it has a product that cruisers appreciate — from value to entertainment to itineraries. I congratulate them on all of their much-deserved wins.”

That’s brilliant and to win Best Entertainment and Best Value for 12 years running is wonderful indeed.

Just one quick follow up from yesterday and a question asked by Elizabeth who wanted to know if any of the cove balconies on her Carnival Dream and her Carnival Magic were motor scooter accessible. I checked with the ship and I am sorry to report that none of these cabins have the wider doors. I thought you might like to see which cabins on the Dream class of ships were accessible though and so here they are:

I hope you can read this OK Elizabeth and if you have any questions please let me know.

Yesterday we highlighted the first of our brilliant piano bar entertainers and we continue today by introducing you to the performer on the Carnival Victory. Here then is Justin Abrams:

Justin Abrams

Name: Justin Abrams

Hometown: Orange County, California

This is what Karl with a K the CD on the Carnival Victory has to say about him:

Justin has been with the company 4 months now and has just begun to get into the piano bar scene and is already making a great impact. His favorite style of song to play is classic rock and he loves being a little wild and having fun with the crowds with lots of interaction, competitions and various theme nights to get the energy going. He is warm and welcoming and on his way to being a great entertainer within the company. He has a natural way of having the guests want to come back night after night. Being in music all his life he was in a band back home for a long period of time before deciding to undertake the adventure upon the seas.

Most Requested Song: Sweet Caroline

He sounds like a great asset to the entertainment onboard and just what we look for in our piano bar entertainment. Has anyone cruised with him? We will feature another performer tomorrow.

This morning I awoke and checked my emails to find that I have one from Carnival’s legal team asking me to call them. After reading why I didn’t know whether to laugh, cry, vomit or just go back to bed and spend the day dribbling on myself.

Why…….well apparently a guest who sailed with me recently has contacted his lawyers Bastard, Bastard & Bastard……………and that guest is Mr Cloonpitt.

Now for those who don’t know who that is I will explain and do so very carefully because obviously this blog thingy could eventually be used as evidence. Anyway, the facts are that I chose six volunteers to come on stage with me for the welcome aboard show. Amongst them was a fine young man who got into the whole spirit of the show and all was well. However the next morning he demanded to speak to me telling me that I must remove the show which had been recorded and was playing on the cabin televisions. The reasons behind his demands were that he was an actor and if I played the show I would owe him royalties…….lots of royalties. I respected his request and had the entertainment technical manager edit out his interview portion so there was no speaking although I kept the spoon game section in as it involved all six of the guests.

This made Mr Cloonpitt very unhappy and he demanded I remove the entire show which on the third day of the cruise I eventually did.

He spent the rest of the cruise telling me I owed him money and that he would be contacting his agent which……I guess he did. Now I have cleared all of the above with the Carnival lawyers and they have no problem with me telling you about this because amongst other things Mr Cloonpitt volunteered to do the show and there is a waiver thingy within the ticket policies. However, I now I have to write a formal report about this and that’s got me mad as I wanted to spend the afternoon with Kye and Heidi. I had Googled the actors name and nothing came up on ………….he hadn’t even played a dead body on ER. I guess he is like many in California, indeed the world, who wants to be an actor and who wants to be famous.

When I was growing up and anyone asked me “John, what do you want to be when you grow up?”……I would always say a police officer. My father found the ambition to be not of a high enough standing and kept on at me to upgrade to brain surgeon…or chairman of a leading cruise corporation.

As I got older I wanted to be a vet, a spy, a pilot, a novelist and a porn star. As I reached the age of 18 it was obvious to everyone that I had neither the brains nor the equipment to be any of those. And so I flirted with Customs and Excise. Had a brief affair with Lloyds of London until I buggered off and HOORAH…..…unless you’re my father, whose still dreams of me holding a scalpel – a cruise director. My sister wanted to be a horse riding thingy and a fashion designer. She could have done either but ended up being a banker …..a highly sought after head hunter banker with a beautiful family.

My mates were the same. Ask Danny, Alan and all my friends what they wanted to be when they grew up and they would have probably said “a businessman,” a pilot, an astronaut and in my best mate Alan’s case…………….a ballerina.

Now, I admit that I did go through a phase when I had rock star dreams but they involved singing into my sister’s hairbrush in the privacy of my 80′s rock bedroom…….I was Freddie Mercury (Queen), I was David Coverdale (Whitesnake) and I was Ian Gillian (Deep Purple)… little did I know I would end up looking like sodding Meatloaf. I still feel guilty about the time I was singing Whitesnake’s “Still Of The Night” into my sister’s hairbrush in my underpants and my Great Aunt Rosie walked into my room…………she died three days later.

Yep……..these days it’s not just that people want to be TV stars or pop stars instead of doctors or teachers ……it’s that they want to be these things even though they don’t have even a dollop of what’s required to reach their goals. I mean, look at the thousands and thousands of people who line up to audition for American Idol programs. Every one of them believes that they will win ………… become famous…………..and become rich.

In Mr Cloonpitt’s case, I think that maybe he truly believed he was famous or maybe even more so that he will one day be famous in which case the last thing he wants to have brought up on Entertainment Tonight is some fat Brit telling him to shove a spoon down his pants? Sitting here writing this blog I actually feel very sorry for the young man.

I still have dreams of having my own TV show but I know that there is more chance of Kathy Lee Gifford standing on the deck of an RCI ship saying how amazing it………oh bugger. I can only imagine how many ridiculous lawsuits are slapped against companies each and every day which is why we have had to give so much power to the beards and their high visibility jackets and their watch your step, head, swim at your own risk, coffee is hot signs are plastered all over the ships.

Meanwhile it seems absolutely bloody ridiculous that I will have to sit here in my underpants writing a report about an actor no bugger has ever heard of and how his first starring role was in my welcome aboard show. I woke up totally relaxed and now having read this e-mail I feel totally pissed off. Heidi saw my mood and told me to cheer up which is like asking a turkey to high five you because it’s Christmas Eve.

But I guess I had better crack on………..oh but first…..time for a break……..while I jump around in my underpants , banging my head and singing “Smoke on the Water”……..come on everyone ……. strip down to your underpants……and join in.

Your friend

Comment Policy

Look, friends — there are a few things you should remember before you comment. The space below is for you to post your comments about the post I've just written above. Now, while I may not be able to reply to your comment below, I do sit in my underpants almost every morning and read everything that is here. So feel free to comment on the comments and then if someone wants to comment on the comment to the comment then go ahead as well. Please be courteous, unless the poster is French...........then you can say whatever you want.

72 Responses to Chief Engineers…We Applaud You…Oh Yeah…And I'm Being Sued.

  1. mofopo says:


    Um, let me see if I have misunderstood. You are going to be staying in the stuffy “olde world” next year on the Magic?? Oh what will we colonists do?


  2. CruzinMan says:

    Yes John the Early Saver program has become a joke. Carnival offers their customers a great deal if they book ES. And then slaps them in the face by making it harder to find pricing information.

    Enjoy the blog, kiss the girls for us 🙂

    • Sandra Clark says:

      I totally agree!

    • tanya says:

      I have had no problem finding the new and updated prices .I booked my Carnival Magic Cruise on 9/11/2011 and have received 3 different price adjustment the lastest being 11/22/2011. 15 mintues after i put in my new request. If you know your Deck,Cabin #. and location it should not be a problem.

    • Big Ed says:

      It’s very easy. I just have my PVP do it. I just email him and ask if this sale effects my cost. In a little while I get an email back showing my old cost and the new one, up or down.

      Big Ed

    • Susanne says:

      The previous format was much easier in looking for cruise prices than the current one. I liked it much better, not just for early saver rate but for everything.

  3. Jennifer says:

    Hillarious as always John and yes…I am in my underpants …just for you 🙂

    • Glenn says:

      Well Mr. Cloonpitt is the pits and so full of himself….uuggghhh
      Underpants…. that would mean I would have to get dressed!

  4. Linda Hernacki says:

    Mr. Cloonpitt isn’t a wanna be, he is a has been, so don’t even give him another thought, it is not worth it. Mr. Cloonpitt if you insist on suing Carnival, you will be made to look like a laughing fool, and that will really boost your ratings as a so called actor, you will be known as Mr. Loser! Hope you choke on a turkey bone Mr. Cloopitt, a NOT so happy Thanksgiving to you, unless you are being roasted in the oven with the bird. Get Real and Grow up!

    • Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

      Yes indeed…it does sound like Mr. Cloonpitt was a “has been that never was”.

      How sad…he is only a legend in his own mind.


  5. Peggy Lindsay Brousseau says:

    Plumbing is easy John, two basic rules

    1) hot on the left cold on the right
    2) Poop flows downhill

    The actor, well it takes all kind to make this world…

    • IRENE GARNER says:

      Not all these rules apply in the UK. Some things, like light switches, handles on the toilet cistern are opposite to the US.

      • Julie Anne Husbands says:

        Not always in the US either 🙂

        My PROFESSIONALLY installed kitchen faucets are hot on the right, cold on the left, while the bathroom faucets they installed 6 feet away are hot left, cold right!

  6. Dee says:

    why are u being sued ????

    • Chas says:

      Did u read the blog?

    • Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


      Some “wannabe actor” (who never was and probably never will be) VOLUNTEERED to be part of the Welcome Aboard show (which they film and replay on the ship during the cruise).

      This “wannabe actor” this demanded the entire show be removed from the ship OR he needed to be paid because he was a “professional actor”.

      John did remove his part and then by the 3rd day of the cruise, the Welcome Aboard show is replaced by other filmings that has happened during the cruise….

      He is now suing Carnival for filming him and not paying him.

      Yet another case of why there should be penalties for frivilous lawsuits.


  7. Big Ed says:

    Crazycruiser Deb,

    I don’t know were you think you got the right to tell John what or what not to write on HIS blog. The Q&A section of John’s blog is just a service he started doing to be of help to his REGULAR bloggers that at times had a question. The Q&A was never the main part of HIS blog. The blog is about the everyday life of a cruise director, John Held, by John Heald. It is for people that have sailed with him and call him friend. AND YOU ARE NO FRIEND. I also doubt if their are to many people on CruiseCritic that call you friend. You may have lost them now after your comment about John’c blog.

    BIG Ed

    • Nomad498 says:

      I agree with keeping the day in the life stories alive. I have not cruised with John (and have not been back to Carnival since the inaugural season on the Pride) but happened upon the blog thingy after the fire and am hooked. I rather read John’s stories and quick wit than 50 questions about most stuff that can be found by calling Carnival, a travel agent, researching on one’s own or even reading an posting questions on Cruise Critic. I think the number of questions John has been answering is more than enough and what a great service he provides.

      Keep the stories coming John! You’re great! 😉

      With great fondness,
      A new fan

    • completely agree ed. bugger off deb or get some manners. cruise critic membership does NOT make you special. really.

      smiles, bee

    • Sue In Nebraska says:

      You said it Big Ed!!

      I’m a CC member, and I sure don’t want John to change anything on his blog. I truly enjoy his blog and like it the way it is…..I also LOVE hearing about “his girls” too!!

      I tend to skip over the Q&A part most of the time and read the rest of it as I LOVE it!!

  8. Mary "Mrs. Shy" says:


    Can your best friend Alan make hundreds of people laugh, does he have a blog read by millions, can he keep thousands calm and feeling secure on a troubled ship? Is he the best CD on the high seas? No, you are though so Heidi needs to give you a break.

    If Alan was really your best friend, he’d be the handy man around your house. After all, you don’t have the time. You’re too busy. We each have our strengths and yours unfortunately for you and your family takes you away from home a lot and you’re excelling at sea. See if Alan can say that?

    You’re the best,

  9. ronny davidson says:

    John please reply….Hello John! First let me say that my wife and I read and enjoy your blog thingy every day…ok heres my question…i have sailed on several different ships,and only recently started collecting the model ships from the gift shops..i would like to complete my collection, but i need to know if there is another way to get some of the ships without revisiting each ship again,as this is somewhat geographically challenging. I have the Triumph,but still need Holiday,Sensation,Inspiration,and probably one or two more that escape my mind right now…Is there a warehouse,or website where i can purchase the remaining ships for my collection? Thanks for your help…KEEP ON BLOGGING! we enjoy it so very much! Ronny

  10. MissKitty says:

    John, I wonder if Mr Cloonpitt, isn’t “famous” in another realm, i.e.. a porn star or America’s Most Wanted? Just a thought.

    • Alice Sloan says:

      Ah ha! You’re on track! Maybe wasnt supposed to be on a cruise or has an extra woman?

      • Jodi says:

        These would be my thoughtsas well. But perhaps his “brush with fame” on CC might induce him to actually change his name to Cloonpitt. Its probably the closest he’ll come to being a “famous actor”

  11. Debbi Walker says:

    Thank you for this blog thingy. I enjoy reading them every evening, making it a question/answer only would be a shame.

    Poor Mr. Cloonpitt. He is rather deranged isn’t he.

  12. Zuriel says:

    John (please reply)-

    A group of us are cruising on the Carnival Spirit on Feb 25th, 2011 (Carnival cruise #6 for me) and are really looking forward to it! I was wondering if there was a list anywhere of what shows are being done on what ships. While I love “Ticket to Ride” I’ve seen it on the past 3 cruises and was hoping for something different this time around.

    Thank you for sharing such a wonderful and honest blog with the cruising community. I eagerly look forward to reading it every day!!


  13. Donna Gregory says:

    Crazycruiser Deb:

    Wow. I just got the memo that the you are, indeed, the center of the universe. Thanks for reminding us.


    Since you, dear friend, have a fabulous sense of humor, I know you will see the funny in the above statement.

    Meanwhile, I read (and occasionally post) on Cruise Critic. (Please don’t hold that against me!) As a CC member (a membership whose value is decreasing every day, I might add), I say to you BLOG ON!! I find your blogs entertaining and fascinating. And I usually learn something from reading them, too. So thank you for what you do and how you do it.


    P.S. Oh yeah. Don’t sweat Mr. Cloonpitt. My niece had a stalker who actually sued her and her employer (a grocery store) for banning him from the premises after he gave her a homemade voodoo doll. It was a pain in the arse for a while, but now makes one hell of a dinner story. This too shall pass!

  14. Cheryl Killian says:

    I’m so glad we are back to normal being ticked off by these rude CC people again…tis the season.

    Crazycruiser Deb…you need a lesson in manners.

  15. Jeanette says:

    OMG, this Cloonpitt idiot is truly a tool. I hope it does’t take long to write the report, or at least let Kye in the room with yu to keep you company…..

    As for not being handy, I can agree with you on that, I usually call someone to do it for me cuz I am NOT handy…….Does Britian have a “Englands Worst Handyman” program on their Discovery channel….well Canada has it and is it ever funny….Heidi could nominate you and you can prove to the world that you aren’t the worst…..

  16. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

    Ok John:

    Just letting you know that your first true love in songs is getting jealous with all this talk of “Smoke on the Water”.

    We all know that “I’m to Sexy” will always be your theme song….

    AND it will be a huge hit on You Tube as soon as I can figure out how much I have to pay Peter the Hair for the entire performance…..LOL

    Linda (Mom of your friend DJ)

    • hug71 says:


      that was the first song i put on my IPod when i started to put songs on it. And all because of John


    • Big Ed says:

      Linda, I would like to know how we can pay Peter the Hair for the video of BC3.

      I think we need someone who can make him an “offer he can’t refuse”. (no LOL attached)

      BIG Ed

  17. Fun Dad says:

    Hi John: I am in my senior years but I am still employed and I am very tired at the end of the day. I need to just sit back and watch the telly. But I no longer can do that. I have been addicted to your blog thingy and cant get enough. On my breaks at work and as soon as I get home I rush to the computer thingy to read your nexxt blog. So many people like me, have become your blog groopies because of who you are and the honest and funny coments you make. I read where some one suggested you reduce your blog and do more Q & A. That would be like having just one item on your plate insted of a full corse meal. I am a Cruise Critic Bloger and I say don’t change a thing. No disrespect intended to the person that would like more Q & A, thats just my opinion.

    I am proud to have my son as part of the Carnival team and I am booked on the Dream with him on the April 9th cruise. I will be celibrating my 70th birthday.

    Is there a Carnival, Love Boat TV show in the near future?

    It would be my honor to one day meet you and shake your hand.

    Could you please tell me who the CD will be during my cruise and profile information.

    Please reply

  18. Randall Murphy says:

    Oh yes, this blog needs more questions featured that a lot of times could be answered by using common sense, or taking the take the time to look at Carnival’s website. I realize initiative is an invention of the past. More questions about what to wear to a party, if Christmas can be eliminated from cruises, and if John feels like a fool because Carnival is charging for premium steaks are so entertaining. I’d rather read those than the perspective of a very entertaining man, John and his adventures on the ships.
    I’m sure most of the people on Cruise Critic are great; however some of the ones that ask questions (Crazycruiser Deb) on this blog seem pretty pretentious.

    We should all get to sue Mr. Cloonpitt for causing us mental anguish due to his being and a tool and a jackass!

  19. Martha says:

    A couple things! To the gentleman regarding smoking. Many of the casinos in Vegas are smokey. I know I live there. I have no problem with the policy as it is, I would rather have someone smoke in their room, rather than the balcony though. I would like one lounge that is non-smoking, so I can go enjoy music and a drink without my hair and clothing smell. Not have a non-smoking area in a lounge, as it will still be smokey. I don’t mind half the ship is smoking. What drive me crazy is when people smokers or non-smokers don’t have the good manners to follow the guideline. Just my opinion! Second, I love the blog thingy. I get information and it cracks me up!! Don’t change!!
    Thank you!

    • Big Ed says:


      I agree with you on smoking in the cabin. As a smoker I feel a lot safer smoking in my cabin while sitting under a smoke detector and a sprinkler head. Out on the balcony in the wind it’s hard to control the ashes. The wind even blows the hot ashes out of your ashtray. My wife and I put some water in the bottom of the ashtray to keep the ashes from flying around but that doesn’t stop them blowing off the cigarette itself.

      BIG Ed

  20. LadyJag (Laura) says:


    Thanks, John! I enjoyed our sing-along.
    Hope this is the last you have to hear about Cloonpitt.

  21. Nancy says:

    Hey Crazycruiser Deb,

    Don’t put words into others’ mouths. I am a Cruise Critic member and I also read John’s blog every day. I like the blog just the way it is. Most of us come here to hear about John and what’s happening in his life and on the Carnival ships, not so much to listen to people like you tell John how to handle his personal blog.

    John, don’t change a thing.


    • Rebel says:

      I agree. I come here to read the blog. I do glance through the questions if I have time, but I COME HERE FOR THE BLOG>
      John, please do not change the blog!!!!!

    • Denise says:

      Ditto Nancy! There are plenty of web sites where I can read questions and answers about cruising, your very own cruise critic being one of them. I recently started reading John’s blog for the accounts of the Splendor, but kept reading because of the fantastic personality of the blog thingy. Don’t change a thing John!

      I would like to see Mr. Cloonpitt’s performance when this is over also. Please post it when you can.

  22. John Carnaghie says:

    I for one enjoy your Blog and find it provides some very valuable insight into the life of a Cruise Director and his staff. By the way, in “Real English” Engineer = Mechanic in “American English.” The U.S.’s dropping of the “Mechanical Arts” from High School is a real disservice to students. Not everyone is suited for or needs college. It seems the push for everyone going to college is to (1) provide employment for college faculty and (2) provide four years of keeping the students as consumers instead of producers.
    Tell the Beards in Miami to keep crusing fun!

  23. Susan Myers says:

    After Mr. Cloonpit’s case is dismissed, can you put the video on youtube? I would love to see what he is so up in arms about.

  24. JR says:

    We just finished another fantastic cruise on Carnival. Thanks John for starting our trip off right. We sailed on Carnival Fantasy out of Charleston on Oct.30th. You arranged to have gifts in the room for our granddaughter Frankie (age10). This was her 1st cruise. You really made her feel special.
    She enjoyed Camp Carnival very much. A great program for kids.
    We have not received an email comment so please pass this on to Carnival power that the wait staff was the best ever. We were at table 390 for the 6pm seating in Jubliee. The staff Antonio(Phililipean),Vallansina(Belarus) and Kert Clyde(Grenada) were so very kind to us. We were able to tip them extra but never could find out who our cabin attendant was and unfortunalty was unable to tip him/her personally. We asked 3 attendants in our area but no one would admit they were ours!!!!
    We do have a question about debarkation in Freeport and Nassau. No announcement was ever made that we arrived or could debark the ship!!!! This was very confusing to new cruisers for us and several week later for some friends on this cruise. Is this something Carnival is trying out? They may want to think again.
    Great debarkation in Charleston. The best we have ever had. Great job.

    Thanks again John for your blog and hard work.

    God Bless,

  25. Annette says:

    Hey John-
    Humour is sooo sexy. Sure you’ve got Alan beat in that department. You can always hire a nerd.

  26. Tiffany says:

    I know I am late with this, but a few days ago you asked about how we felt regarding Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays. I felt I must share my opinion. I believe it is a shame that the term Merry Christmas has been deemed offensive. No one is forced to celebrate Christmas, but most people do, and we shouldn’t have to have our holiday censored. I don’t get offended if someone wishes me a Happy Hanukah. Please don’t let Carnival fall prey to losing Christmas from its vocabulary. Don’t lose the respect of many to please a few.

  27. MrPete says:

    Mr. Cloonpit appears nightly in his own mind.

    Which is worse? A has-been, or a never-was? Or even a coulda-been?

  28. Madame Wong says:

    John –

    You need to make sure that any ship sailing out of California has a SAGgy waiver. An example follows:

    “If you board this ship, you will be videotaped. You will not whinge or flop about, claiming you’re in need of royalties due to said videotaping. You will put on your big girl / boy pants and enjoy your vacation.”

  29. joyce g. says:

    When will these sue happy people ever realize that the only ones who benefit from silly lawsuits are THE LAWYERS??
    I just got back from sailing on the Valor for the third time & it was, as always, fabulous. I see She is going into dry dock soon. Some sprucing up is indeed needed. That’s OK though, my house could use a good thorough cleaning too!
    Next cruise is on Miracle in Jan. Can’t wait!
    Had to finish reading my favorite book “Smoke on the Water” when we returned this week.
    I am so proud of you & all who were on board the Splendor!

  30. Dr. Deany Cheramie says:

    Hello John,

    Just a big thank you for the “ship on a stick.” I wish I was in my underwear while writing this, but, alas, I’m at work. My client’s might not appreciate it. But I am playing “Smoke on the Water” from my computer’s speakers in honor of you.

    BTW, where would you like the hemorroid cream shipped? I can get you a really BIG tube. I’m a doctor. Do you have Cloonpitt’s address?

    Dr. Deany

  31. MrPete says:

    The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.

    My confession:

    I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees… I don’t feel threatened.. I don’t feel discriminated against.. That’s what they are, Christmas trees.

    It doesn’t bother me a bit when people say, ‘Merry Christmas’ to me. I don’t think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn’t bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu … If people want a creche, it’s just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

    I don’t like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don’t think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can’t find it in the Constitution and I don’t like it being shoved down my throat.

    Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren’t allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that’s a sign that I’m getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

    In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it’s not funny, it’s intended to get you thinking.

    Billy Graham’s daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her ‘How could God let something like this happen?’ (regarding Hurricane Katrina).. Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response.. She said, ‘I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we’ve been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?’

    In light of recent events… terrorists attack, school shootings, etc.. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O’Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn’t want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.

    Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn’t spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock’s son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he’s talking about.. And we said okay..

    Now we’re asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don’t know right from wrong, and why it doesn’t bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

    Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with ‘WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.’

    Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world’s going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send ‘jokes’ through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

  32. Bill Heck says:

    Hello John

    I like your blog the way you do it, your way. So whatever way you do it is fine.

    Congratulations on Carnivals 6 awards, well done. You play a big role in this, so good show mate.
    Your Friend

    Bill Heck

  33. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

    Crazycruiser Deb:

    As a long time Cruise Critic member, I am going to suggest that Cruise Critic members stop coming on John’s blog and using it has their personal “begging site” with their rude comments and pitiful suggestions.

    You are making the rest of us look pathetic.


  34. Elizabeth says:

    To respond to Crazycruiser Deb…

    I am almost embarrased to admit that I am a Cruise Critic member. I think John is kind to answer questions BUT I read the blog for his comments at the top! Filler indeed!

  35. Sharecruises says:

    Hello John….

    glad to see you all back safe and sound from Splendor…however….I have not heard from you about the horrors of my group’s Halloween cruise on the Destiny Oct 28-Nov 1

    I have written some reviews of this on the internet (censored at Cruise Critic)..there were some real problems…the main one is that the Hotel Director allowed a KNOWN troublemaker/crasher/stalker to go to our private parties and sit in our dining area

    He allowed this simply because the guy is “milestone” and he did NOT even look at our “folio” where myself and our travel agent requested help from security to keep this troublemaker away

    this resulted in a lot of stress and confusion…and only ended when the guy became physical with me on the Lido buffet and I stood in line and made reports…the hotel director was soooo wrong and he put our group intergity and safety at risk

    I am really angry at Carnival..I don’t think you want groups or singles..and I won’t be returning after the 2 more cruises I have booked with you

    I have posted this before your Splendor disaster but I am not going away

    *and ps..regarding Splendor …maybe time to tighten the smoking rules?? I know this wasn’t caused by a cigarette but think of it….people smoking in cabins and balconies and drinking…eeek

  36. Erica says:


    I was on the Carnival Splendor (when it caught on fire). Thanks for keeping us up on everything that was going on while we were at sea. You and the rest of the crew were AMAZING.

    However, since I have returned back to land I have had difficulties getting my flight refund because I went on points. Please let me know who to talk to at Carnival to resolve this issue, I have booked my “free cruise” on Dec 27, 2010 and need the money from my previous flights to pay for these flights. I would appreciate your help.



  37. Andre says:

    Mr. Cllonpitt will never as great, humorous, entertaining and famous as you are, John.
    He is suing out of pure jealousy.
    What a douchebag…

  38. Astros77 says:

    John (please respond),

    In response to Crazycruiser Deb who thinks that this blog should only be you answering questions and not “”filler” as she put it. And from what she says the “Majority of people on Cruise Critic feel the same way (some one really needs to explain the diffence between majority and minority to some of the members of that site). I would like to ask a question and I want you to answer it differently every day. Here is the question…

    Can you please write about what it is like day to day to be a cruise director? Even when you are not on board. Please let me know what is going on with Carnival, tell us about your under pants, tell us about your family and if you have time maybe throw in some crude humor and a joke or two about the French. If you could answer this question for me about 5 times a week I would appreciate it.

    There, now whenever someone complains about the blog being too much about you and not enough of you answering questions you can tell them that you are answering a question.

  39. Camden says:

    Think of how much you’re helping the economy by paying other people to do these sorts of jobs! If everyone were like Alan, there’d be lots of unemployed laborers out there.

    Besides, since you’re gone so much every moment of your time is valuable – and I’m sure you want to spend it with your family rather than toiling away on home repairs.

  40. Nicholas says:

    John Please reply
    My wife and I will be on Carnival Ecstasy 12/02/10 and we are also booked thenext week do we have to get off the ship or do we stay on the Ship
    Thanks Nicholas

  41. Michele Gaffney says:

    “smoking issue”
    I am a non smoker , and though not much of a gambler, i have to say, if I could “breath” in the casino area, I would be very likely to try my luck! I had even walking past it! Here in Michigan, smoking laws have passed, so no smoking in resturants and bars! My husband and I love it.. we dine out more now because of it. Although I do feel there should be designated places for the smokers, we the non smokers shouldn’t have to worry about our lungs because they want to destroy theirs. I am a new reader of your blog and really like it, keep up the good, work! I have cruised on Carnival 3 times and have booked one for next Nov.2011, with new friends we met on our last Carnival cruise this past May! We love it and plan to continue cruising for a long time to come.

  42. scott says:

    Hello John!

    First of all I wanted to applaud you and the crew of the Carnival Splendor ( Although I was not onboard ) on a fantasic job of handling of the situation at hand. I have read all your blogs, and would never doubt “any” of Carnival Crew on any ship and will continue to sail.

    Speaking of sailing, I saw that Kathie posted a question regarding the 9 night sailing on the Carnival Spirit about the 2 days in Cabo and staying in a hotel for the night. I will be on the Feb. 25th sailing and was wodering what time do the tenders stop making trips? Will it be at the normal time as if the ship was just there for the day? Do we have any extra time in port that night??? This will be my first time on the Spirit, and 6th time in Cabo, any tips or to do’s you recomend onboard and or on land???

    Thanks John! Happy Holiday to you and your Family!

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  45. Dave G says:

    John, I’ve never cruised but have been reading your blog since your ship melted somewhere west of Mexico. You are your brand–I will definitely have to check out one of your cruises. Keep it up!

  46. Adrian says:

    Regarding Mr. Cloonpitt

    The rotten bugger!! I am also an unheard of actor with no credits to my name whatsoever, and he plagiarized my entire act!
    “A lawyer, a lawyer, my kingdom for a lawyer” is what Lear SHOULD have said!


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