Goodness, it’s late, bloggers! Since everyone has already gone home for the night, it seems appropriate to share this little bit of secret information… nobody else will ever know, right?

With John out and about (and not blogging), just like you guys, us beards have been relying on John’s Facebook updates for word on what he’s up to. In case you missed the latest on his page, it looks like he’s caught wind of some secret news… news so secret that we haven’t even heard the details yet. I’m not even sure he’s supposed to be telling anyone what he heard from PA 007, but if he hasn’t gotten in trouble so far, I’m not going to be the one to turn him in!

In case John’s Facebook posts mysteriously disappear, here’s what we’ve learned so far:

We already know that John is going to be in Times Square for New Year’s Eve… but what we didn’t know until recently is that he’ll also be there on a different day, too. Can’t tell for sure what he’s going to be doing, but as he put it on Facebook, “it might involve……………some of you.” And there are “tickets” for this “event.”

Wow. Not sure what else to say… or if there’s even anything else to say!

I could sit here until tomorrow pondering, but I’m sure you guys would prefer I just get on with it already. So go brush your teeth, put on your sleeping cap and settle into bed with your laptop for a little goodnight-Q&A.

Todd Rasmussen Asked:

Please reply.

I recieved confirmation of our Chef’s Table for the June 11 sailing of the Triumph. Thank you.

Now, here’s the question. What is the dress for this occasion? “Formal” like elegant night? Shirt & tie with no jacket? More casual than that even? Remember, retired teachers don’t have frilly shirts and cuff links pouring out of their suitcases like sand from beach worn tennis shoes.

I hope you and your family are enjoying your vacation. Merry Christmas to you all.

Eric the Beard Says:
Hey Todd,

I’m happy to hear that you will be trying out the Chef’s Table during your June sailing. I recently attended for the first time about a month ago, and the experience literally blew me away. The food and ambiance were spot on, and the chefs have some great surprises up there sleeves which is always a treat. 🙂 The only thing I will say is to make sure you eat a light breakfast and lunch as there is a TON of food that you won’t want to miss out on just because you are full.

As for the dressing attire, I don’t believe there is anything really set in stone. I would say a button down shirt and nice slacks works just as much as a polo and nice jeans, it’s really up to you. The only thing I will say is that if you are attending the dinner with any ladies, let them know not to wear heels of any kind, as it can sometimes get a little slippery when entering and exiting the kitchen.

Hope you have a wonderful time on your cruise, and look forward to hearing what you think about the Chef’s Table when you return!

All the best,

Cindy Miller Asked:
Hi John Please reply

I have booked a cruise on the Dream departing on January 8/2011. This will likely be my husband’s last cruise as he is quite ill and will be unable to travel much longer. We are both 56 and thankfully decided not to wait to travel until we were retired. We are now platinum. We are also travelling with my 2 grandchildren who have autism and aspergers. I was wondering if you could do something special for my husband Bob to make this last cruise truly memorable. We are in stateroom 8365. Thanks so much and I will understand if you can’t. Also I am lokking for info on renting a scooter for him that will be at the ship when we arrive.

Everett Says:
Hello Cindy,

I wish that we could look forward to welcoming you and Bob aboard more cruises in the future, but will do what we can to make this one memorable enough for a lifetime. You’ll find more information on renting a scooter that will be delivered to your room here.


Patti Asked:
Hey BEARDS!!! Please reply, but NOT urgent!!

Not too shabby for your first try at Q & A for John!!

Now I’m gonna suck up. What do I have to do to get a darn ship on a stick?? I am getting ready for cruise #7 (it MIGHT be #8) and no matter what I do, I can’t win one of those darn things. I can’t wait to cruise again on Jan 28th on the Paradise (it’s only 3 days, but I’ll be doing a longer one in Sept!!) and I’m in my first balcony/suite cabin!! I don’t know whether I’m more excited to eat my way thru the ship, or just to relax and smell the sea air in my cabin or on my balcony!! So is there SOME possible way that I can get one of those darn things?? I’d LOVE to have one to keep with all the other memorabilia I have from different events..

Thanks guys!!

Eric the Beard Says:
Hey Patti,

Thanks for the compliment! It’s not easy for us beards to fill in for a pro like John, but it’s definitely been fun trying! 😉

So you want a ship on a stick, eh? Hmm…while I know they are usually very sacred and kept for the lucky few that find a way to win them onboard our Carnival ships, I do have some bearded strings I can try and pull to see if I can do a solid for a loyal cruiser/reader like yourself. No promises but I will do my tofu-loving best, ok? 🙂

All the best,

Janeen Pike
Hi John, (please reply)

Feb 25th will be our first cruise on Carnival. We will be going to Mexico on the spirit and cant wait. Reading your blog has helped me learn a lot about Carnival I hope its going to be as great as you!

I just wanted to say I have made 2 reservations for the steakhouse on the spirit and for both days have received a conformation email. I was very happy with how fast they responded! we are super excited as this will be wonderful alone time with out the boys! Wish the Spirit offered the chefs table your always talking about. do you know why they don’t? Or if they will, by late feb

Thanks for your blog keeps me laughing,

Everett Says:
Hi Janeen,

I’ve never visited the steakhouse twice in a single cruise, but that sounds like an awesome idea and a great way to try a few more things than you’d normally get to try. I’m glad to hear that you’ve been enjoying John’s blog and am sure your upcoming sailing on Carnival Spirit will be all you expect and more!

I’m not sure why exactly the Chef’s Table is not yet available on the Carnival Spirit, nor am I familiar with the roll-out schedule for the rest of the fleet, but I hope we can welcome you to the Chef’s Table on your Fun Ship of choice soon!


Tanya Brooks Asked:

Hope all is well with you. Terribly sorry to bother you again but I had asked you for a table for 2 and a ship on a stick for my 8 yr old. I was offered an upgrade today and on my previous request all I included was our room number. It is the 01/29/2011 Destiny sailing. Our booking number is ______. This is our aniversary cruise and since my husband has terminal brain cancer Im just trying to make it a little special(but it will be because we are on Carnival)!

Thanks for all you do for everyone John!

Eric the Beard Says:
Hey Tanya,

No need to say sorry! John is never bothered by his readers/friends and is always looking to help out when he can (which is why he started Q&A in the first place.)

As for your dining request, I will definitely do my bearded best to try have the Maitre D accomodate you as well as getting the o-so-sacred ship on a stick for your 8 yr. old.

I hope you and your husband have a wonderful anniversary and thanks again for choosing to celebrate it onboard the Carnival Destiny!

All the best,

Susie Trimble Asked:
Hi John,


I’m a new blogger. I was on the Splendor the cruise b4 the mishap. We debarked the morning of the 7th. I sent carnival an email as well as our local media and told them what an outstanding crew was on the Splendor and i knew that there were people that embelished what really happened. That being said, we are taking cruises 8 and 9 back to back on the Carnival paradise Feb7 and Feb 11th. Our Platinum cruise will be back on the Splendor Oct 16th. I’m wonderkng what you might be able to do to make this really special for my mom. She will be 67 and never thought we would reach platinum status.

Thanks John and keep up the outstanding work!
Susie Trimble

Everett Says:
Hi Susie,

It’s awesome to hear that you went out of your way to tell your Carnival Splendor experience in the face of such negativity. We really could not do what we do without enthusiastic fans like you… and you clearly have the experience to know what you’re talking about, having been on so many cruises with us! 🙂

We’ll certainly see what we can do for your mother when we can finally welcome you back aboard the fine Carnival Splendor in October.


Liznphil Asked:
John Please Reply

Thanks for all you do to keep this blog and the face book thingy going, I really am addicted to your posts !

We will be on the Glory bloggers cruise, I hope you get this in time. Just so happens my husbands birthday will be 3/6, the day we get off the cruise. Can you give him some sort of little extra somin somin to make just a little more fun? We are in cabin 8450. Thank you in advance

I hope you had a great vacation and welcome back!!!

Eric the Beard Says:
Hello Liznphil,

Wow…Bloggers Cruise AND a birthday…talk about a double whammy of birthday awesomeness for your husband! Doesn’t get any better than that! (You know…now that I think about it, my half birthday is also during BC4, so if I end up going, we can all celebrate together! Woohoo! 😉 )

Anyways, glad to hear that you both will be there and I will totally see what I can do to make his special day just a little bit special-er.

All the best,

Holly Asked:
Please reply!

Hi John!

First off, I’m on cruise critic all the time, and the only reason I knew and wanted to come to your blog was because of all the wonderful things people say about you there! I was hoping you would stay on Splendor for a few additional weeks after her return as I will be cruising her on 2/6. I’ll be happy to meet Felipe though.

This cruise will be my first and would not have happened unless of the generosity of my husband’s wonderful parents who booked it for us for Christmas. My father-in law only went several thousand dollars above his budget to ensure we would all have a trip we won’t forget. I’m very excited!

I’m hoping you might be able to help me out with an idea or two of an inexpensive way to thank them while on board. They have done so many wonderful things for us, and I’d love to show my appreciation while we are on Splendor and am looking for your ideas. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I’m very much looking forward to cruising and to continually follow your blog as well as your Facebook page.

Everett Says:
Hi Holly,

While I don’t frequent Cruise Critic myself, I’m glad to hear that there’s a lot of love for John Heald over there, as it makes the work we do on his blog and Facebook thingy all the more rewarding… (not to mention that John certainly deserves it!)

Your father-in-law sounds like one capital bloke as well. While I’m not sure of your budget nor the kinds of things he’s into, it’s become little secret that I’m a fan of dining in Carnival’s steakhouses (and, actually, got to try The Pinnacle Supper Club aboard Carnival Splendor back in October!), which offer a pretty good value relative to a comparable meal at a nice restaurant ashore. If he enjoys gambling, you can very easily set a budget and purchase him a specific credit in the onboard casino, where he just may turn a profit on the cruise. 🙂 Perhaps something special from the duty-free shop, which like our supper clubs offers a good value relative to what you would normally pay on land.

In any case, I’m sure you’ll enjoy your time aboard Carnival Splendor!


edit: P.S. Oh dear, it looks like I overlooked your Carnival Splendor sail date. I can only hope we have the opportunity to welcome you to aboard at a later date!

Linda Asked:
John and/or the bearded ones (Please Reply)

John I hope your vacation with the girls is (was) wonderful and relaxing. I do have a request but first a huge thank you for everything you do. I will be sailing on the Carnival Spirit 2/11/2011 and would like to request a big table for dinner early seating with singles. I enjoy getting to know others at dinner. I had the perfect table on the slow cruise to nowhere, the Carnival Splendor in November. The table was large but only one person showed up for dinner the first and only night, great company and excellent melting cake. I would love to try this again (large table with singles) on the Carnival Spirit.

Secondly, I would like to take this opportunity to express how great Carnival was with the speedy refunding of our Carnival Splendor cruise. Carnival does take care of its passengers. The only issue I had was refunding my expenses that I paid with cash, for example the taxi ride to the port in Long Beach. Overall, I’m a happy cruiser and looking forward to my cruise in February and December 2011.

Lastly, John come play with us on the Carnival Spirit, I need to see you as Dolly. I can make you something wonderful if you do join us.


Eric the Beard Says:
Hey Linda,

I just spoke to John today and heard that he is having a wonderful time with his wife and daughter. He does however miss all of you like crazy and can’t wait to come back and start blogging again (which btw, will be tomorrow! 🙂 )

I’m glad to hear that everything worked out with your refund regarding Splendor and that you are booked for another sailing on our beautiful Carnival Spirit.

I will be more than happy to reach out to the Maitre D to see if he can accommodate your request as I know dinner is one of the best times to meet new people onboard.

Hope you have a wonderful time and thanks again for all the kind words.

Janet W. Asked:
Dear John Please Reply,

We are cruising on the Magic on September 4th. and was wondering if you’ll be the CD at that time also?? We so much enjoyed you while on the Splendor in the Baltic – would love to see you again!


Everett Says:
Hi Janet,

I’m not sure whether or not John will be on your Carnival Magic when you sail in September, but I’m confident you’ll have a great time regardless! Keep an eye on the sidebar of John’s blog for the cruise director schedule (which currently only lists sailings through June 2011) as the time approaches.


Joel Richter Asked:
John Please reply when you return,

I just read that they are canceling sailing on the splendor now through the 13th of February where are you going to wind up being since you won’t be coming back to that ship in January? Are you on the magic?

Thanks so much

Eric the Beard Says:
Hey Joel,

John will in fact be on the Magic in April, May, and June. You can actually see the entire Cruise Director schedule (up until June) by clicking on this link.

All the best,

Julie Asked:
Hi John (please reply),

My husband Rob and i will be sailing on the Miracle Feb. 23, 2011 to celebrate our 28th anniversary.Stateroom #5266 We are confirmed for early seating in the MD and was wondering if you could help us with a request to be seated at a smaller table for (2). I would also appreciate it if you could help me arrange something nice for my husband to celebrate our anniversary. Thank You in advance if you can help and for all you do to help others.

You were our CD in 2007 and we enjoyed your humor very much. I just recently started reading your blog and am enjoying that also.


Everett Says:
Hello Julie,

I most certainly was not your cruise director in 2007, and why does everyone keep calling me “John”? (Has that joke gotten stale yet? I think it has! 🙂

Kidding! Congrats on 28 years, and thank you for choosing to celebrate this special time with Carnival! I’ll ask our friends on the Carnival Miracle if they’ll be able to accommodate your requests. Please enjoy your cruise!


Linda Leach Asked:

Hi Guys!

I sure appreciate what you are doing to help John. Speaking of the Master CD, I have talked hubby into booking on the Freedom Feb. 6 so I can finally have John as my CD. I am so excited! We just got off the Fascination last Saturday, which was our 6th Carnival cruise this year, so I had to give hubby my puppy dog eyes to get him to agree. Anyway, we are Platinum, this will be cruise #14, and we have never had a table for two for dinner. My booking # is ______ and we are 8:15 dining. I don’t have a cabin # yet, it’s a TBA. If you can help with this request, I will very much appreciate it!

Eric the Beard Says:
Hey Linda,

Wow, your 6th Carnival Cruise this year?! That is, as John likes to say….brilliant! 🙂 In all seriousness though, we know there are a lot of choices you could make for your vacation, and for you to continue to choose us over 13 times…is truly amazing — so thank you 🙂 I am sure you will have an equally (if not more) memorable time on #14, especially with John at the helm!

That being said, while nothing is 100% guaranteed, I would be more than happy to see what I can do to ensure you and your husband enjoy a nice table for two on your upcoming cruise.

All the best,

Marsha Breen Asked:
John – Please Reply:

Last January we sailed on the Carnival Dream which we scheduled because you were going to be on the ship. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize until after we booked that our sailing was your first week on the ship and you weren’t the acting CD that week! Bummer…. We did have a great time and in fact are going to sail again on the Carnival Dream on January 22nd so that we have more of a chance to explore the ship and experience the things we didn’t get a chance to see last year. My husband and I will be celebrating our 32nd anniverary that week and I would like to ask if you could possibly request a table for 2 (we have early seating) for us? We are in cabin 6492. I’m really going to miss not being on the BC4 but I already had this January cruise booked and the 12/02/11 Hawaii cruise on the Carnival Spirit booked so just can’t quite afford 3 in one year! That also means I can’t bring you another Aston Martin for your birthday but maybe we’ll sail together again in the future! Thanks for all you do John – we bloggers adore you.

Everett Says:
Hi Marsha,

I’m sorry to hear that you missed John aboard the Carnival Dream, and even more so that your comment missed him today on the blog as well! Well, I shall do my best to fill John’s shoes for you… I’d be glad to pass your seating request along to the Carnival Dream, and hope that you’ll enjoy your anniversary aboard. I’m sure that John understands that three cruises in a single year may not quite be do-able for you, and would probably be pleased to accept a lesser car… pretty much anything but a Peugeot, I would imagine.


Cathy K Asked:
Dear E & E:

You two are a hoot! Loving the “new” Beard Blog.

I have a question — I recently returned from a fabulous cruise — and I had so much fun and great service that I could hardly wait to write my review. As I never received the e-mail survey for feedback, I sent a note to customer service. Their reply was this:

“The reason you did not receive the survey is because our system shows you have opted out of emails”

I have searched my profile on the Carnival website and cannot find any where that I opted out of e-mails. Also, I do receive e-mails for special offers and cruise info. Do you have any suggestions as to how to fix this? I have sent my feedback to customer service – but will be sailing on my Platinum cruise on Jan 30th on the Glory and want to be sure to get that e-mail.

Thanks for the fun blogs – and for giving John some memorable time with his family.. Happy holidays!

Cathy K

Eric the Beard Says:
Hey Cathy,

Thanks for the kind words. It’s definitely been fun filling in for John these last few days, but as you know, all good things must come to an end, and for Everett and I, that time is tomorrow 🙁 I’m sure we will back at some point here and there to join in on the fun though!

As for your comment card, I just reached out to guest services to see if it is possible for them to send you a new one to the email address you listed in this here comment form. Not sure what might have happened regarding you opting out to our emails, but usually that means you clicked the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of one of the emails, which indicates that you no longer wish to receive emails from us.

One thing I would suggest (if you do want to continue receiving emails) is to head over to and enter your email address in the form located in the bottom right hand corner of the site. That should fix the problem moving forward.

Thanks again for reaching out and hope you have a wonderful time on your January 30th sailing!

All the best,

P.S Congrats on reaching Platinum status! 🙂

Howard Asked:
Hey John (Please Reply)

I would love to take the “behind the fun tour” while onboard the Spirit in March. I did not see that tour listed as an option to sign up for online. Having spent a good amount on Navy ships while at the US Naval Academy, I am always interested in shipboard ops.

Anchors Aweigh!

Everett Says:
Hey Howard,

I’m not immediately certain whether Carnival Spirit offers the Behind the Fun Tour. You may want to ask at the Purser’s Desk once you board the ship, as they will also be able to help you book a spot on the tour there.

Anchors aweigh, indeed!

Durward “Santa” Blanks Asked:

Hello Bearded ones, and John. It has been a pleasure to follow this blog for the last few months. My wife and I cruised the Valor in Feb. Loved it so much we have started our own travel biz now. While we have been working on groups and seminars for next year, I just booked our first individual family. They are celebrating the new year on Elation, Jan. 1.

Mark and Laurie also have a 4 y/o and are on wait list for the early dining. We upgraded to an outside cabin so they can enjoy the view. I’d love to assure them they have the early dining so they will not have to worry about the late hours for Jack. Also, I’d like to do something special for them when they get onboard. Any suggestions or assistance would be appreciated. I’ll provide the PNR and other info if you need.

E & E, you have been doing a great job. I’m looking forward to sailing with John some time in the next few months.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Eric Says:
Hey Durward,

Glad to hear you’ve been enjoying the blog, and congrats on starting your own business…sounds exciting!

Lucky you to be sailing on the New Years cruise as well, I hear that sailing is always a ton of fun and something tells me this year will be even better! 😉

I can definitely sympathize with you as to why you and your friends would prefer early dining and I will reach out to the Maitre D now to see if he can accommodate you.

Hope you have a brilliant cruise and a Happy New Year as well!

Marie Wolff Asked:
Hello Erick the beard:

Thank you for sending the video our way while John is on holiday (well deserved) with his family.

Perhaps you as one of the Beards can help me?

We are a cruise critic group sailing on the Carnival Miracle on Januay 6, 2011. Our group is having a cocktail party On Wednesday Januay 12th in Sam’s Piano bar, at 3:30 p.m. We would like to invite our CD Malcom in the middle to join us. Is it possible you could get this invitation to him? If this is not possible for you, please let me know how we can get to invite him.


Thank you,
Marie Wolff, cabin 8112

Everett Says:
Hi Marie,

I’m not sure whether Malcolm will be available at that time, as he’s a pretty busy guy, but I’ll be sure to pass a note along, extending your invitation to him. I hope he’ll be able to come and party with you guys!


Renee Donte Asked:

Long time loyal CCL sailors here.

We doing our first B2B (CCL Miracle) with DD and SIL to celebrate our 43rd and their 11th wedding annys.

This will also be our 21 & 21st and their 14 & 15th CCL sailings together.

We will celebrate with a dinner at the steakhouse on 3/27/11 and Chef’s Table on 4/10 of these sailings. I do have reservations.

My cruise group is also coming with to help us celebrate so it will be a nice big party.

I would like to know if there is a groups manager onboard the Miracle as I would like to see about planning a private party.

My TA is not helping me with this effort so I thought I would try to handle it myself.

Appreicate your help if possible.


Eric Says:
Hey Renee,

Great to meet you and thank you so much for your continued loyalty. This particular sailing sounds like quite the occasion for you and your group, and with the Steakhouse and Chef’s table booked, I have no doubt that you will once again have a brilliant time!

Also, I’m sorry that you’ve been having trouble reaching a groups coordinator for the party you are trying to plan. I will definitely see what I can do to expedite the process and have one of them reach out to you as soon as possible.

Thanks again for reaching out and hope you have a wonderful time celebrating your anniversaries on the Miracle!

All the best,

Joyce G. Asked:
John or Eric or Everett Please reply,

First of all, thank you both E & E for picking up the slack while John is on Holiday.

My sister & I are sailing Jan.22 on the Miracle. Her Birthday is Jan.24. If something could be sent to her in our cabin, she would be thrilled. She likes anything chocolate. Since both our husbands have passed away, she has been very willing to accompany me on these cruises. She’s already platinum with Carnival, & I will be by then. Her name is Grace & we’re in cabin #5232.

Thanks so much.

Happy Holidays,

Everett Says:
Hello Joyce,

I’m glad to hear that the two of you have enjoyed that many Carnival cruises and continue to come back for more fun. I’ll ask our friends aboard Carnival Miracle to see if they have something for her that fits the occasion and her taste.

I hope that your sister enjoys her birthday at sea, and the two of you your cruise!


Well, I hope everyone is satisfied with the answers they received from Eric and I over the last week or so, the shiny new (and dare I say perhaps even faster) blog server, and in knowing that John will be back tomorrow dressed like Dolly Parton to blog for you once again!

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.