Cruising With The Sopranos

January 10, 2011 -

John Heald

My sister Suzanne and I have always had a relationship based on my teasing her relentlessly and her putting up with it as best she could. Once when I was 14 and she was 10 I told her that Mum didn’t love us anymore and had moved to Africa, when she had just gone to the local shop for some milk.

My sister has also has never forgiven me for the time I urged her to drink a glass of “strawberry juice,” only for her to discover it was blood drained from raw meat lurking in the family fridge. And my Mum still remembers the time I stuck bubble gum in her hair which had to be cut out.

Then there was the time when she was 15 and a boyfriend came to collect her. I told him she had been rushed into hospital because she had explosive diarrhea and was covered in spots and the doctors thought it was a rare tropical disease……..she was actually upstairs getting ready…… and we never saw him again…. good ……. because he wore leg warmers, had green highlights in his hair and was certainly far too comfortable with his feminine side. Anyone with brothers and sisters will have intense memories of sibling crimes committed against them.

Anyway, the reason I mention my sister this morning is because she is also an animal lover and believes all animals should be cuddled and given names like Fletch and Mr Poppy. Suedrip has just bought two white German shepherd puppies and if you like fluffy crapping machines then I guess you could say they are “cute.”

I had not seen the latest additions to her family until I returned from New York and when I did Suedrip looked rather nervous because I guess she was remembering her cat…. Silky…… and the hell I used to put the poor thing through. Now in my defence I did what I did based on the fact that with everyone else Silky was a purring, affectionate pussycat but around me she became quite simply the cat from hell whose sole purpose in life was to scratch me, bite me and piss on my shoes.

Well one day after a stealth attack that left me with claw marks down the side of my face I decided it was time for action. I was 15 at the time and addicted to two things one of which I cant write except to say that it’s bollocks……you don’t go blind…….the other thing was something called Space Dust. Now I know you have or had this in the States and Canada but for the life of me I can’t remember what you call it there. Basically this is candy that explodes in your mouth …………..what do you call it?

Anyway, Silky had scarred me for the last time so off I went to the sweet shop (candy store) and bought 10 packets of Space Dust.

Now the tofu eaters are getting ready to write and tell me what a bastard I am, thinking of course that I fed the candy to Silky. This would have been of course cruel. No……I didn’t feed it to Silky but instead sprinkled all 10 packets in her litter basket. In she went to do her toilet stuff and of course as soon as she did 10 packets of space dust exploded under her. She screamed, ran out of the basket, and through the cat flap and it was many many hours before she ventured into the house again.

For some reason, as I stood admiring Suedrips two new puppies I decided to tell Suedrip this story for the first ever time and she seemed to take it quite well and after all I thought, she is a professional middle aged woman, a successful banker and businesswoman who has held down a very important job and raised a beautiful family……..what could she possibly do?

This morning I found out that this thinking was a bit flawed. Because I had been ill I had not been out in my car for five days but this morning I ventured out for the first time to go get a newspaper and a repeat prescription for my sugar-free cough medicine. As soon as I got into the car my nose turned up at what was a disgusting putrid smell. Thinking it was probably because the car had been shut and not driven for sometime I set off to the shops but by the end of the road and with the window open the smell was overpowering. So I pulled over to investigate and it didn’t take long to find the source……….because there nestling in the foot well of the back seats was a white German Shepherd puppies dog turd…………with a ribbon round it……..on which was a gift card that simply read “with love from Silky.”

Time for today’s Q and A………off we go.

Thomas Rossini Asked:
Please Reply

Good Evening …

John… I feel as if I know you like a brother. What you have done for your fellow employees and passengers is more than anyone can hope for. I will be travelling on the carnival dream on Feb 19, 2011. I was checking to see if the CD schedule was out for that time of year but it is not. I do hope that you are the CD on that cruise as I would like to buy you a beer / champagne, buy you some new XXL thongs / Speedos and have a cigar while we sit in the Thalasso Spa and watch latvianwomanpart2… oh wait you have some pull… we can watch it on the pool side theatre Screen. But in all seriousness, if you are on the cruise I will be in cabin 11230 and would love to shake your hand and buy you a beverage and have you join us at the Chef’s table my treat.

John Says:
Hello Thomas Rossini

Once again this post is a prime example of how ridiculously behind I am in my replies. As you will have seen by now the cruise director schedule is out and you will therefore have also seen that the cruise director for your Carnival Dream cruise will be the only and only Butch whom I know you will truly enjoy. It really would have been wonderful if we could have been together though and thank you so much for your kind words. I hope that one day this will happen and we can sit and have a cigar and talk about our love of cruising and Latvians. Have a brilliant time.

Best wishes

BrendaAgain Asked:
John, could you please reply if you have time?

I have a couple of things to mention,

1.) I don’t mind if people wish me Happy Holidays, Hanukah, Ramadan, Christmas, Arbor Day or whatever. If someone gives me best wishes on the holiday of their choice, I would not be insulted if it were not MY chosen holiday. It basically says to me that no matter what kind of heathen I may be, they hope I will have a blessed day in spite of it. I’m OK with that.

2.) Could you please discuss how it is that you know so much about animal scrotums? You mention their smell fairly often, and I can honestly say I am having trouble figuring out why skunks, elephants, etc, would let you get close enough to study their scrotal aroma. Perhaps you went to a zoo that had a Scratch-n-Sniff feature in the visitors guide?

Brenda Again

John Says:
Hello Brenda Again

It is interesting that you should write about what the crew say at Christmas time to the guests because I discussed this from my bed of sickness via e-mail with the Miami office yesterday. The reports are that the crew saying Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays was met with little concern. The CD of the Carnival Valor reported that they received just three negative comments from guests about the fact that the word Christmas was used and all three of those comments also featured concerns about Christmas music and the festive decorations. So overall I think we have a good balance and thanks so much for your support. Now as for my love of bottoms both animal and human……..I think quite simply………………I need help.

Thanks for the great post

Best wishes

Danny Stout Asked:
Hello John,

Please Reply — When you have time…..

First and foremost, I’m so happy that you are at home with your girls after your Splendorous adventure. It’s truly amazing what you and your team were able to do given the limitations. A truly amazing feat – congratulations to you all…and Carnival too. I’ve been regaling my nephew with tales of how food for 3000+ people was brought several stories up every day by the people working on the ship. I think he’s even more amazed to be going now than he was about a month ago.

I had written a few months ago about our upcoming time on the Liberty, sailing January 29th out of Miami. You said to email you back and that you might have a special treat for Anthony as he prepares for his first cruise and first flight. (It’s amazing that Kye is already a seasoned traveler!) Anthony is 14 and is a bit nervous about CircleC, but excited all the same. If it’s not too much to ask, me, my partner and my nephew would be most grateful if you could shoot an email to the Maitre’D on the Liberty to see if we could get a table for 4 by a window. (Booking ______, Cabin 7322 — our first suite!) We’ll show him (or her) our appreciation in the customary way. And thanks about the idea for baseball caps for treats. We’re going to get a TU (Tulsa University) hat for our Steward. (It cracks me up with people call them Stewarts. Ha!

I wanted to ask a question about practical jokes on the ships. I’ve recently been watching Ellen (the talk show host – I know you probably don’t get to watch too much TV) playing practical jokes on her guests. She scared poor Taylor Swift so bad she fell down! Well, I could sneeze and knock her down, but it was so funny I almost wet myself. It got me to thinking, what kind of practical jokes you might have been a party to on your 20+ tours on Carnival ships. Do you have any you can share?

Thanks again for all you do. I know you have a million and one things to do, and it’s much appreciated that you take valuable time out of your schedule to help those of us with special requests. It’s truly a Carnival personal touch. (This’ll be my third Carnival cruise, and I don’t ever see myself going anywhere else. Unless I win the lottery, then I might buy some space on the Residensea 🙂

Warmest Regards,
Danny Stout

John Says:
Hello Danny Stout

Thank you so much for mentioning the great job both the shipboard and shoreside personnel did with the Carnival Splendor fire and the way they looked after the guests. Please tell Anthony not to worry and that he will have the most fun he has ever had. He will make some fantastic new friends while you all relax and have fun yourself safe in the knowledge that he is having a great time. I will certainly send Anthony a little something and have asked my friends the maitre ds to do their best with your table reservation request. The ships are indeed a breeding ground for practical jokes and I will be happy to share some with you over the next few days so please keep an eye out for that. I know you will all have a brilliant time and I hope you will tell me all about it when you get home. Best wishes to you and all the family


Rhonda Asked:
Dear John (please respond)

I am sorry it has taken me so long to pass on a heartfelt thank-you to a Carnival Freedom crew member but I really could not let it pass. On Oct 3, 2010 we sailed the Freedom. My Sister and her Son and I paid for the behind the scenes tour with Kimberly as our guide. What an interesting time we had! The tour was wonderful, and Kimberly was so knowledgeable. As we entered the bridge the entire group was awestruck. I made the comment to Kimberly that my 18yo son, who could not take the tour as he has Aspersers and uses a wheelchair for cerebral palsy, would have really loved seeing the bridge. Wouldn’t you know that a few hours later I received a call from Kimberly that the Captain had invited my son for a personal tour of the bridge! Kimberly escorted us there and even had the ships photographer on had to capture his absolute wonder. The Captain and all the bridge crew introduced themselves and gave Kris the grand tour. What a wonderful group of people. Can you please send Kimberly my heartfelt thanks and make sure the suits at Carnival know what a gem they have on the Freedom. Thank you. Rhonda

John Says:
Hello Rhonda

I wanted to take the time to say a huge thank you for letting me know about this brilliant example of just why the Carnival crew are quite simply the best in the business. I will make sure that Kimberly sees your words of praise as will the captain and the beards in Miami. Thank you once again and best wishes to you all


Carolyn Asked:
Please, please reply

John, I’ve been reading all your blogs for the last week about the Splendor and thinking about how many ships you must have been on in all your years with Carnival, lots…. Anyhow, my husband and I had our first cruise on the Fascination 2 years ago. We are both 62, don’t ask me why we waited this long to do a cruise, we love them and can’t get enough of it. We have now done 4 in 2 years and our 5th one is on the Splendor Feb. 6th, hopefully you will still be there. However, my questions is this. On our first cruise we had the most remarkable wait staff we have ever had. Our head person’s name was Mel. I still remember every dinner and how we looked forward to our time in the dining room with him, we wanted for nothing. I know that Carnival employees thousands of people and you probably don’t know half of them, but if you know “Mel” and if you know what ship he is now on I would really appreciate the information. I would book a cruise on that ship just to have him take care of us at dinner again. While our wait staff after that cruise has been outstanding, no one was like Mel and we would really like to see him again. Longshot I know, but do you know if he’s still on the Fascination or another ship now?

John Says:
Hello Carolyn

I am glad that you have found the time to read the blogs and the time to post as well. I had this comment in my in box for a few days because I had to ask personal to investigate your search for Mel because without a last name it is very difficult. In fact they have drawn a blank because the thinking is that Mel was probably a shortened name. However, they did find a Melaranie who is from the Philippines. He was on the Carnival Fascination at that time and if this rings a bell I can tell you that he is currently a team headwaiter on the Carnival Elation. I hope this helps and if you have any other information that you think could help confirm that this is the chap you are looking for please let me know. I hope we see you both again soon on another Carnival cruise.

Best wishes

G and E Crouch Asked:

I am so angry having read today’s forum about smoking because as a smoker yourself you have taken the side of the passengers that smoke. This is both unprofessional and you deserve a reprimand at the least for doing so and I have written to Gerry Cahill telling him so.

If smokers want to cruise why doesn’t Carnival give them one of the older ships so they can all cruise together and give each other cancer? The fact that you as a Carnival employee support smoking onboard is disgusting. We cruised on the Fascination in November and it was three days of which we were had to put up with hundreds of rude smokers blowing poison in our faces. Smoking is for people with no control, no caring for themselves and others. How can you support this? I will be taking action and won’t be on your boats again until smoking is banned!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Garath Crouch

John Says:
Hello G and E Crouch

I am so very sorry that you are so upset by the issue of smoking. In my defence I truly do not believe that I have “taken the side of smokers” but have in fact written many times that I support the current policy that has limited smoking facilities onboard and have gone one further than the current policy by saying that it is my opinion that smoking should probably not be allowed inside the cabins with the exception of the balconies. Although smoking policies continue to be updated, at the moment there are no plans to change the smoking policies on board and overall I think we have a middle ground that has allowed us to make both non smokers and smokers reasonably happy. It is though a challenge and one that will spur more and more robust comment in the future for sure.

I hope you had a brilliant time on the Carnival Fascination despite your concerns and that you can look back on the fun and the service that hopefully will persuade you to return to Carnival one day soon

Best wishes

MoMo Asked:
Hello John,

Please respond.

I have to admit that my DH and I cruise Celebrity all the time because they have very few children on their ships. We do not like children and we are not people who want to cruise with loads of unruly ones that we read about every day on Cruise Critic. My DH and I have talked about cruising with Carnival though. So my question is will Carnival ever have a ship that is adults only. I really think you should as you will attract a better class of passenger for sure.


John Says:
Hello MoMo

It would be fantastic to see you on one of our ships and I promise that you would have the most fun you have ever had. Carnival is proud to be the most popular cruise line for the families and we have no plans to have a ship that is dedicated to adults only. Now we do have times when the kid count is lower and these are usually times when the schools are open. I will also say that for the most part the children who cruise with us are very well behaved and that our brilliant Camp Carnival, Circle C and Club O2 programs keep the kids safe and give them a brilliant vacation as well. So think less and worry less about the children on board and think more about the brilliant value for money that a Carnival cruise brings and the absolute fun that you will have. Best wishes to you both


Angie Asked:

John 17 of us just got off the Carnival Dream on Saturday November 20, 2010. This made my 7th cruise (all with Carnival) and we had 8 first time cruisers with us and some this made their third. I must say we all agreed that the Dream is a beautiful ship.

We enjoyed our cruise director Josh Waitzman very much. We had the best dining room staff Hari and Franklin was great and our room steward was Marco he was just as wonderful.

We only have one complaint and that is why the main dining room has started allowing the men to wear shorts and at time tee shirts. Even at times the women were in shorts as well. Those of us that are returning cruisers found this to be very different than when we had crusied before. We like the dressing up on formal nights and wearing nice clothing on non formal nights.

This was my second husbands first cruise and he is now hooked we will be saving and taking our family again in two years and it will be on a Carnival ship.

John Says:
Hello Angie

I am so very glad that you had such a great time on your Carnival Dream and I will certainly pass on your kind words to those mentioned. I am interested in your comments on the dress code in the dining room. I know that we have a relaxed dress code on the first night because of luggage delivery but unless guests have lost luggage shorts should not be allowed in the dining rooms after that. T-shirts……..well that’s a different story and as long as the shirt is not a tank top then yes we do allow them if they are well presented. Please let me know about the shorts and when you saw people wearing them. Most of all I wanted to thanks you for your loyalty and that we will see you and your wonderful family again very soon.

Best wishes to you all

Joseph Petrovski Asked:
John reply please as soon as you get this.

I have often been disgusted by your sexual and rude references on this blog. If you bothered to ask most blog readers you would find come here to find out what’s happening in the world of Carnival and not to read your immature toilet humor. USA Today wrote that you were “outrageously inappropriate” and maybe this will get you to stop writing filth and concentrate on information and fact.

John Says:
Hello Joseph Petrovski

I apologise that you find this blog offensive and that you have found it necessary to write and tell me so. I had a quote from the LA Times sent to me from a blogger last week where the writer had also mentioned that she thought my blog was “lurid” and I guess that USA Today feel somewhat the same. This though is who I am and while I apologise sincerely to anyone I ever offend (except the French) I don’t think I will be able to change the way I write my blogs……. I would in fact rather stop writing altogether.

Please accept my apologies

Best wishes

Tim (9/11 patch guy) Asked:
John (please reply)

Why don’t you have a uniform like Gary Hunter???


John Says:
Hello Tim

For those who don’t know what my friend Tim is referring to, let me explain. Gary Hunter was my mentor and is now a CD for Crystal Cruises. On those ships the CD is a 4 stripe officer and wears the white uniform. I am not sure but I think very few cruise lines have their CD’s in uniform, certainly none of the Carnival family do. It was discussed a few years ago when one of my colleagues suggested it. He did so because of course he is metrosexual and uses product in his hair and has manicures and would look great in white. Me though……well I would just look ridiculous. However………let’s ask your fellow bloggers, Tim. How many of you would like to see the CD dressed in a uniform? I hope you are well Tim and I hope we sail together one day soon.

Best wishes

That’s all for today and I have asked Eric the Beard to send me any questions that are time sensitive to the front of the line. Please though keep the comments coming as they are read by many of Carnival’s senior beards.

Time for a break and we continue with our look at the young and exciting Assistant Cruise Directors who make your cruise activities so much fun. Today we go to the Carnival Inspiration and meet TJ SWART.

I am from South Africa and am currently on the Carnival Inspiration ending contract as ACD 10 January 2011, but will stay on the Inspiration to roll out the Entertainment Staff College starting 24 January.

I started working for Carnival in 2004 as a bar waiter. After the first contract I decided never to do this again, but after a short two week vacation, I missed my ship family so much that I had to return. I worked in the bar for another three months after that and then applied for the job as a “social host.” Within two weeks I was transferred to the Inspiration and never looked back again.

As an entertainment staff member this was the perfect job for me. Not only did I get to travel the world, but I also got to meet all these different people from different countries and cultures, whilst getting paid… In my almost six years with Carnival I got to go to Hawaii, Alaska, Europe, Mexican Riviera and of course the Caribbean.

While I was working on the Carnival Fantasy as an entertainment host I was asked if I wanted to be the trainer for the new Entertainment Staff College. I jumped at the opportunity because I love a new challenge and I feel that I can bring something to the new hires that will make their experience on ships just as great as mine has been.

In the past six months I was working on getting the training manual ready, and jumping from ship to ship helping out as ACD where I could. This journey took me to the Carnival Destiny, Carnival Liberty and now of course the Carnival Inspiration. Back to where it all started!

While being an ACD the activity that I think guest should not miss is my game show. It is wild and crazy and you never know what is going to happen. I might feel like making you dance for a prize or sing along to the music, I sometimes don’t even know what is going to happen. Then my hairy chest contest is also a huge hit….. Need I say more?

The best part of my job as a trainer is to be part of the future of Carnival Cruise Lines. The “young” hosts I’m going to train will be the future cruise directors of the fleet and   that makes me proud to think that I will have a part in their making.

So as you can see not only is TJ a brilliant ACD but has been chosen to help start the Entertainment Staff College. This is where all new entertainment staff will come to train and learn about the job. At the end of the training period some will be offered a job and sent across the fleet but some others will not. I doubt this will happen too much because I know Chris in the office has a brilliant eye for who is qualified for this job and those who are not. But for the CD’s this is brilliant because rather than get a brand new person who we have to train on the job, the college will allow the CD’s new staff members to have already learnt what to do and nearly as importantly they will have learnt all about ship’s life and the challenges that this brings. I worked with TJ on the Carnival Fantasy last year and I can totally understand why he has been chosen to open the college. Good luck TJ and congratulations.

Well as you know I have been sick these past five days. In fact all but one of the Carnival staff who went to the New York event returned with the plague. Maybe this was because we all stuck our tongues down each other’s throats when the ball dropped. My friend Jen from PR was so sick she hasn’t had a glass of red wine for 8 days.

Seriously, though we have all been quite ill and on Thursday last week I was so bad that Heidi insisted I go to the doctor. For those of you who don’t know ……I hate going to the doctors …….I would rather suck Judge Judy’s toes than go to the doctor. But because I had a temperature of 100 and was coughing up giant lumps of green ……..Heidi insisted because she was worried I had flu………swine flu even. Now being diabetic I am supposed to get a flu shot because that’s what the white coats recommend. You see, my immune system is weakened and is as likely to fight off a cold than Tiger Woods is likely to fight of a lap dancer’s lady garden. I had intended to get a flu shot onboard the Carnival Splendor when they came onboard……..on November 7……but I got a little busy that cruise and never got a chance to get one.

I was worried therefore that Heidi might have been right and that I did in fact have swine flu. And men in nuclear spillage boiler suits will want to know if I have had any contact with Mexican pigs. And then, when they’ve gone away, I would die having never gotten to see Megan Fox’s bottom or tell you the exciting news about…….oops sssshhh John.

Flu is nasty and claiming you have it when all you have is a cold makes you look ridiculous so when Doctor Ramitin asked me what was wrong I just said I had a cold. But what I had in fact was a chest infection and a throat infection and worst recorded cold in the whole of human history and I am defying medical science by being here, at my computer, writing this blog.

I am allergic to penicillin as well which doesn’t help but the Doc did give me some other antibiotics which made me drowsy and made my pee orange. I still don’t feel 100% and as I sit here, shivering now and then and with a tickly cough, I can’t help wondering why there is still no cure. And whether or not a beard might be on the brink or creating one.

We have been to the moon, invented the George Foreman Grill, devised the Eye Phone and created the Queen Mary 2. But still no one knows how to tell a cold to sod off. Anyway, I apologise for being away so long and I am determined to give you a full week of blogs. By the way, talking of doctors I want to share this comment with you.

Meadow Soprano Asked:
John Heald _ reply please

I’m having a very minor procedure a few days before my cruise at the end of the month, and will be stuck with 4 stitches. I called Carnival to see if the “doctor” on board could remove the stitches, and was told there was no way as this was “against policy.”  What can the “doctors” do on board? I’m a little disappointed at the prospect of having my stitches removed in Cozumel a third-world country. I intend to post this on Cruise Critic and get their support and hope you can help me get this done and with no charge as I am already a paying passenger.


John Says:
Hello Meadow

I hope your procedure goes well and that you are well enough to cruise. I checked this morning with our medical team and indeed unless it is urgent the doctors will not take your stitches out. The ship’s medical staff is onboard to look after guests who get sick or hurt themselves while onboard. Since doctors are independent contractors, there are fees incurred here which is why insurance is always recommended. Now having been to the doctor myself recently and having seen your comment amongst the huge pile of questions I have been asked to answer I thought I might touch on your point as to what doctors do onboard.

We have a total of 24 senior physicians, and 28 ship’s physicians, who rotate through the ships on contracts that range from four to six months. We have approximately 90 registered nurses working for us at any given time. All our physicians and nurses have to had emergency and critical care experience, and are certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support. Most of our physicians and nurses come from the UK, South Africa, Europe or Australia and New Zealand. Our infirmaries exceed the CLIA/ACEP guidelines and are designed to treat and stabilize most emergent medical conditions until we can get the patient to the hospital. Our medical teams deal with everything from seasickness and colds and flu, to heart attacks and injuries from falls or accidents. One minute they may be advising a mother on how to treat symptoms of a sore throat in a child, the next running help manage a guest in an emergency situation.

So Meadow, this is the life of the cruise ship doctors and nurses and hopefully having read this you will have a better understanding of what they do. I should also point out that the medical facilities in Cozumel are hardly “third world.” However, none of this matters because having just realised that you are affiliated with a particular “family,” I can promise that you will have no problems in getting your stitches taken out and you will also be upgraded to the penthouse and your drinks will all be free. Please tell your father I tell Tony I hope we see him on his Carnival Magic. This will be the best cruise ever……can RCI match a Carnival experience? ……………. “fugeddaboutit”!


See you on Facebook and here on the blog tomorrow


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.

86 Responses to Cruising With The Sopranos

  1. Susie Trimble says:

    Hi John,

    I think you look good as you are. Thats what sets the CD;s apart from the rest of the crew. You are not in Uniform and there fore standout!!

    keep up the good work


  2. sher says:

    The candy you spoke about is called “Pop Rocks” in the US.
    Please do feel better soon.

  3. Ducky says:

    Hey Moo Moo, do you think you are a better class of passenger because you hate children or sail Celebrity?

    Wrong on both counts you shrivelled cow.

  4. kiciaski says:

    Hi John,

    Glad you’re feeling a little better. You have to enjoy the rest of your time at home.

    Sad to say but Carnival does allow shorts in the dining room and this is from Carnival’s website:

    Both dress codes for the dining rooms are described below.

    Cruise Casual Dining Dress Code: Gentlemen – Sport slacks, khakis, jeans (no cut-offs), dress shorts (long), collared sport shirts; Ladies – Casual dresses, casual skirts or pants and blouses, summer dresses, Capri pants, dress shorts, jeans (no cut-offs).

    Not permitted in the dining room during the Cruise Casual dinner for ladies and gentlemen: shorts, gym shorts, basketball shorts, beach flip-flops, bathing suit attire, cut-off jeans, sleeveless shirts for men and baseball hats.

    Cruise Elegant Dining Dress Code: Gentlemen – Dress slacks, dress shirts. We also suggest a sport coat. If you wish to wear suits and ties or tuxedos, by all means we invite you to do so. Ladies – Cocktail dresses, pantsuits, elegant skirts and blouses; if you‘d like to show off your evening gowns, that’s great too!

    Not permitted in the dining room during the Cruise Elegant dinner for ladies and gentlemen: shorts, gym shorts, T-shirts, beach flip-flops, bathing suit attire, jeans, cut-off jeans, sleeveless shirts for men, sportswear, and baseball hats.

    It doesn’t mention shorts for Elegant Night but I don’t think anyone is ever turned away.

    Don’t worry about those who complain about your humor (spelled correctly). This is who you are and we don’t want you to change. People can stop reading your blog if they don’t like it. You’ll still have a huge following.

    I like the idea of cruise directors wearing uniforms. It would make them more visible as they walk around the ship. Now, if you don’t know the CD you probably wouldn’t recognize him/her. I know you don’t really care for that idea and I don’t expect it to change but I think it would be nice.

    Get some sleep.

    Linda & George

    • Susie Trimble says:

      Nobody is turned away. We traveled on the Splendor the last full cruise b4 the fire and there were an older couple of 4 that were dress i blue jeans and tshirts…they were permitted in..kinda tweeked me as if they allowed that on elegant night i would be in tshirt and jeans hands down!!!

      • Sarah Oxfurth says:

        the code listed there specifically says no shorts in the MDR.

        However, jeans are acceptable. i don’t know whhy folks are so worried about what other people wear, to be honest.

      • Ronda Hensley says:

        I dress up for Cruise Elegant night because I like to. It’s a nice opportunity that I don’t get at home. I personally couldn’t care less what other people wear, that has no bearing whatsoever on my enjoyment of the evening. If you prefer t-shirts and jeans- party on!! It’s a Fun Ship – let’s all have Fun!! : D

    • Becca's Mom says:

      I agree, This is your Blog if they do not like your humor (spelled correctly) then they DO NOT have to read!!!!!

  5. Danny Stout says:

    Thank you so much for your reply John. It’s quite the feeling to have a question I write be answered on your website. My nephew is indeed excited and I can’t wait to hear stories about the practical jokes!

    • Ronda Hensley says:

      Danny, my daughter was 14 on our first cruise, and she had the time of her life. She is still friends with a couple people she met there! I also agree with you about winning the lottery – The ResidenSea would be my first call after double-checking the numbers! Happy Sailing!

  6. John those were Pop Rocks here in the states.

  7. Valerie says:

    The exploding candy here in the US is called PopRocks!

  8. Roger Tollerud says:

    We are sooooo tired of the boorish anti smokers and those who are offended by your humor. We wish them well as they go else where and ask that you change nothing about your very funny and interesting blog!!
    Roger T

    • Roger I am not a “boorish antismoker” I am a person that is allergic to cigarette smoke, as well as fireplace smoke and campfire smoke….. and any other kind of smoke. We do not have a fireplace and when we camp we do not have a campfire.
      God gave me fresh clean air……. smokers take it away from me. If you want to die of lung cancer as my ex did that is your perogative, but personally I don’t , nor do I want any of our grandchildren or great grandchildren I have battled cancer once and won, I sure don’t want to have to battle it again due to second hand smoke. So please smoke where Carnival says is for smokers and I’ll stay on my side of the ship. Incidentally I love Carnival we just came off of a B2B2B and will be Milestone the end of Feb. I do not find John’s toliet humor……….spelt correctly…….. offensive and I love children I have never found any problem with children on the ships. Camp Carnival does a tremendous job entertaining the children

      Carolyn………….. an avid blogger and cruiser

      • Barbara McQuillan says:

        I too am allergic to cigarette smoke–but am an avid cruiser. I just ask that smokers be considerate of those who truly cannot tolerate the smoke–I have had ER visits because of it–plus my husband died from the complications of smoking–so I do not want to be subjected to second-hand smoke!

      • JT says:

        Carol; have a better life. But smoking will be part of life no matter what. Sorry you have that issue but please let us smokers be. stay in your cabin and enjoy the cruise via CCTV or live life to it fullest and enjoy what ever life throws at you. When Life gives you a lime and mint make mojito’s.

      • Janet says:

        Well, I really have to tell you that smoke is not an allergen, it is an irritant. Therefore it is impossible to be allergic to smoke. You can ask your Dr.

        • Susanne says:

          You are correct that no one really is allergic to smoke. Smoke technically is not an allergen, but an irritant. This explains why most people feel no relief when they take antihistamine after exposure to smoke.

          However, for some people, exposure to tobacco smoke can cause a list of symptoms:

          Sneezing, Coughing, Watery and burning eyes, Runny nose, Post nasal drip, Congestion, Shortness of breath and Headache

          For many people, these symptoms appear shortly after exposure to cigarette smoke and last for hours afterward. In addition to these symptoms, individuals exposed to smoke on a daily basis are more likely to experience constant respiratory infections like sinusitis and bronchitis as well as the development of wheezing and asthma.

          A burning cigarette is capable of releasing over 4,000 different chemicals into the air (and 80 of these are known or suspected carcinogens). Depending on the severity of your reaction, sometimes the residual smoke scent on another person’s clothing or in a room where someone had smoked in the past can cause irritation. So, even though avoidance of tobacco smoke is the best method to prevent “smoke allergies”, it may not be a practical solution.

          Allergens are small particles that are made up of proteins that the body has mistaken for a dangerous intruder like a virus or other germ. Smoke contains tiny tar ash particles (that form a white cloud as the tobacco burns), but these are not the same as a true allergen because they are not protein based.

          Smoke particles are classified as an irritant, which can cause you quite a bit of discomfort, worsen illnesses like asthma and allergies, and cause other serious health problems. So, no one can truly be allergic to smoke, but they may actually be suffering from a complication of their existing allergies or another illness.

          If you have allergies or allergic asthma, smoke can trigger an allergic reaction because it is putting an extra strain on your body and immune system. Asthma becomes dangerous when mixed with exposure to tobacco smoke-even deadly for some.

          So even though she might not be allergic to the smoke, she could very well have a smoke triggered allergic reaction which will not be helped by an antihistamine.


  9. patti says:

    That candy is called “Pop Rocks” here in the States, and they still make it. It’s still pretty good, but probably not as much fun as we thought it was when we were kids. 🙂

  10. Beth Selinger says:

    “Space Dust” = Pop Rocks???

  11. Kelly Utsinger says:

    Here in the US, your Space Dust is called Pop Rocks.

  12. jason says:

    John they were called pop rocks here and that is a good pratical joke anyway, I was wondering what happens on ships without steakhouses is a better cut of meat offered? Also Do you have any suggestions on things to do in Grand Cayman? I enjoy your blog keeps me in the loop between times i can journey to the Best Ships at see and most certianly the least stuffy.

  13. Melissa says:

    Pop Rocks in Canada…

  14. Astros77 says:


    You are wrong. It would not be “fantastic” to see Momo on a Carnival ship. She thinks that you and I are of a “lower class” since we have children. How about Carnival builds a ship for up-tight bit**’s like Momo.

  15. Shari seibert says:

    I loved your story on TJ. We had the pleasure of being on the Fantasy while he was. He’s so funny and entertaining. Love, love, love him!

  16. Melanie Russell says:

    Bless your sister’s heart!!! I think they are called ‘Pop Rocks’ in the states here.

  17. Ashley says:

    POP ROCKS!!!

    And here I thought you were talking about nose candy or something and I was like “no way”

    Anyways – this one made me laugh – thanks needed it today – and your sis had every right!


  18. Tina Goodwin says:

    John – Welcome Back! Please continue taking care of yourself and feeling better. The crud ripped through our house right after Christmas and DH is still recovering. We have 6 weeks until we take our boys on their first cruise (our second) and everyone is taking vitamin C until we go!! All our best – Tina,Jack & kids

  19. Alison says:

    Pop Rocks!!

  20. Suedrip,

    Good one it’s about time you got back at your BIG brother, ROFLMAO.

    BIG Ed

  21. Susie Trimble says:

    Hi John-reply if you feel like it!!!

    Ok…i know i already posted once…but this is too good to pass up. what you are refuring to in the US is called pop rocks. I myself have 4 cats and to have seen what the kitty did after peeing in the box full of pop rocks must of been very funny!!! On the other side…the puppy poop in your car is sweet revenge having had puppies of my own too!!!

    Touche John!!!

  22. Lily says:

    The Space Dust is called Pop Rocks in the US 🙂

  23. Sarah Oxfurth says:

    *sigh* I am SO TIRED of complaining about smokers and calling them names and being so hateful. I am NOT a smoker. But no one ever promised us that we would never smell something rancid, hear something we don’t like, see something distasteful, or have a whiff of smoke in our nose. It amazes me that these same people that so HATE another person due to a habit will probably sit and talk around a campfire or a fireplace…especially a fireplace…which gives off as many carcinogens, if not more, than a cigarette-and then talk about the romantic qualities of that cancer-producing fireplace. A whiff of smoke in an outdoor venue isn’t killing anyone.

    As to the “adults only” person, while I wouldn’t mind if Carnival had an adults only ship, I resent the implication that childfree people are “a better class of people.” I have read some childfree message boards that are, in fact, the exact polar opposite of “a better class of people.” Some children are unruly. So are some adults. Once again, no one ever promised us a life of never being inconvenienced, never seeing something distasteful, and never hearing a moment of a crying child or having to step aside as a forgetful child runs through a hallway. There are low-class folks with children, there are low-class folks without children. I am not of a mind to believe that “a better class” of people would be attracted to adults-only cruises simply by virtue of being childfree. I can certainly understand the attraction for both parents and non-parents to going childfree on a vacation…but to state that an adults only cruise would automatically be “a better class” is just absurd and obnoxious.

    JOHN, I am so glad you are feeling better, and that Heidi clearly takes such good care of you! Please continue to take care of yourself and your family! And the lurid raunchiness … well, keep it coming! THIS blog reader enjoys it-but then, I’m one of those low-class parents!

    • Princess Susan says:

      I am not a smoker, and I don’t complain about the smokers unless their smoking in a non-smoking area and one of my three children are with me!! All three of them are allergic to smoke. They do NOT sit around a campfire nor will they ever get to. We used to have to leave restaurants because of the smoking. YES, smoke will kill them. I have rushed all three to the ER because of someone elses smoke! No they don’t grow out of it, they grow up learning how to deal with it. So All I ask is to please smoke only in the smoking areas…and leave the non-smokers alone. Don’t call them name to their faces (it’s already been done), don’t laugh at them because they can’t breathe, and enjoy having a fireplace in your house because I will never have one and neither will any of my children…..
      ok, I’m off the soapbox….

    • Beth Flynn says:

      *sigh* Me too. And, as well educated and professional as I am, my child still forgets himself and runs when told not to, and loves to jump up and down for no apparent reason. I still adore taking him on vacation and dont mind other children when I travel without him. I dont smoke and move away if another’s smoke bothers me. I think I can handle moving all by myself.
      I love the Carnival product just the way it is and I love the lurid and inappropriate humor found here in John’s blog, also, just the way it is. 🙂 Peace and love to you bloggers!!

    • Kelly Utsinger says:

      Thanks to Sarah for such a well thought out, logical reply to some who… well… not so much.

  24. Frank and Bridie says:

    John that dust stuff is called pop rocks here in the States from what I can tell. Glad you are feeling better. John do they do zoomba classes onboard?.

    Big Fans as Allways,
    Frank and Bridie

  25. Rochelle Phipps says:

    John, I believe that uniforms would make a CD look to formalized for a ship that is suppose to be fun. You are fine as you are.

  26. Joseph Petrovski ,

    This is not a blog about “what’s happening in the world of Carnival”. This blog from the very start was about the tales of a Cruise Director by a Cruise Director John Heald. We that have been with him from the very start love his toilet humour. If I could I would even post a picture here of a toilet cake that the Evil Crew presented John on BC3. The Chef on the Carnival Dream made the beautiful toilet cake and it even had floaters in it.

    So if you don’t like JOHN HEALD’S blog and John Heald’s toilet humour just click on the little red X at the top right corner of your screen. Then go to where you can find the answer to any question you may have. The rest of us will stay here and enjoy John’s humour with our Carnival info added as a side note.

    BIG Ed

  27. Marivonne says:

    to Joseph Petrovski:
    You dont have to read this blog, go to your wonderful world and read nice pink stories and get the stick out of your ass!!! We dont need people like you here. So Bye Bye and dont let the door hit you in the ass.

  28. MaryC says:

    Great to see you are feeling a wee bit better. Continue to rest.
    Loved your blog today but Sue owed you one.

  29. Darleen says:

    Holy Cow! John is back and I havent laughed so hard for about an hour or so! I LOVE this blog and the freedom of FREE speach we have in this country! Poor kitty, you almost deserved the poo in the car BUT sis should have went easy on you since you did tell the truth. I am not sure where this smoking talk came from in the few other posts, I hope you arent on the Triumph Feb 5th sailing because I will be smoking like the smoke stack. It is still legal and I am ON VACATION!!

    • Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


      Yes, smoking is still legal. So is alcohol, but drinking and driving is not legal…because you may harm another human being.

      Being legal isn’t the issue….being responsible with the “privilege” of smoking (it is not a right) is the issue.

      No one has the right to harm another human being, especially a child.


  30. Marqueta from Oklahoma says:

    I too would have to nix the white uniform for the cruise director. I think that the uniform of the day and the suits are more appropriate. The white uniforms remind me of the days when the guy behind the counter at the soda shop would serve us floats and malts. I truly believe in equal rights as far as the smokers and nonsmokers, but as the smokers cannot control where the smoke goes then I would say that it would be best for them to have their own outdoor smoking area and not their balconies as they may be next door to someone who is a non smoker. And the debate goes on. There will never be an end to this saga. Glad you are feeling better. Make sure you mind Heidi and finsh getting well or you may have a relapse. Best wishes to Heidi, kye and yourself

  31. Jeanette says:

    John, you were a little devil as a teenager!!! That poor kitty must have had a life scared out of them!!!! Then again, my brother never did stop my cat from her annoying chewing on a live power cord habit in his bedroom and she magically survived a nasty jolt after chewing hard enough she broke through and got a strong enough jolt of electricity that rendered the basement as forbidden territory for well over a year and then suspicious territory forever after that….

  32. Karen says:


    That story with the cat the Pop Rocks/Space Dust is HILARIOUS. Thanks for sharing!!!

    We are stuck here in Georgia with 6 inches of snow and a coating of ice on top. I am glad to have your blog to read and something to laugh at. Can’t wait for my March 13th Carnival Legend cruise!!!!!


  33. Fern says:

    “BrendaAgain Asked:
    John, could you please reply if you have time?

    I have a couple of things to mention,

    1.) I don’t mind if people wish me Happy Holidays, Hanukah, Ramadan, Christmas, Arbor Day or whatever. If someone gives me best wishes on the holiday of their choice, I would not be insulted if it were not MY chosen holiday. It basically says to me that no matter what kind of heathen I may be, they hope I will have a blessed day in spite of it. I’m OK with that.”

    Brenda Again, you’ve put into words just the way I feel! I hope you won’t mind if I use your “1.)… . I’ll be glad to give you props! Thanks,

  34. Kelly says:

    “Outrageously inappropriate”???

    To me, that’s a compliment!

    Carry on, Sir John, carry on!

    • Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

      You are correct.

      Gene Sloan wrote that article and he did indeed intend for that comment to be a compliment.

      Sadly some petty people like Petrovski are always looking for an opportunity to be an idiot.


  35. ann mccleskey says:

    dear john, no need to reply. just wanted to say welcome back to the land of the living. glad you are better. and your sister is my kind of person.
    ann from schulenburg

  36. Chris Oeser says:

    It does say John’s Blog! Does anyone else see that on the website? For the cry babys here, go somewhere else! Other people blog in and answer alot of the questions I have. And John is very humorous and enjoyable. Life is boring sometimes and John makes it better! Even though some ridicule your posts I am grateful that Carnival isn’t a stuff shirt. As for the uniforms, I work for a living and honestly I would be happy to be with out them! Your lucky John! I wear one everyday!
    Any how I am going on the freedom in Feb 26th and was wondering who the ACD is on the ship? Just curious? -Chris from Anchorage Alaska

  37. Brent Grinnell says:

    Joseph Petrovski can kiss my big white you know what. John does a great job of entertaining us bloggers. I have for years enjoyed his sense of humour (which to be honest is also my sense of humour). If you dont like it then dont come to the site it as simple as that.

    John, believe it or not they still make Pop Rocks. I am wondering what you will come up with next in the sister battle. Next time I am at my sisters house I am going to try this trick on her.


  38. Liddy Korb says:

    Hello John, hope your feeling better. I love reading your blog and following you on facebook. I wanted to thank you for making our reservations for the Chef’s Table on the Conquest. We leave on January 30 which happens to be my 50th birthday. My hubby asked me what I wanted for my birthday and I told him I wanted to stay in one of the Aft wrap balconys. We got lucky and have cabin 7445. Have never had one of these but had read so much good things about it, wanted to try it. My sister in law and brother in law are going with us and have the side balcony next to us. It’s going to be a great 50th birthday.

  39. Terri says:

    Oh the antics of siblings!
    I think my brother and I were 6 and 4. I prepared my cake to go into my easy bake oven but realized I first had to be sure the oven was preheated. I did have it turned on but how was I to know if it was hot enough….BAM it came to me…..”joey can you put your hand in my oven and see if its hot enough for the caked to go in”
    Screaming and crying shortly ensued. I guess it was hot enough.
    I can tell you this….I never did it again. What followed was the spanking of a lifetime hahaha.
    The following day we had our photos taken. 40 years later we have those pictures showing the burn marks on little Joey’s hand.
    Why would someone be dumb enough to put their hand in an oven anyway?

  40. Elaine says:

    I am sitting in my car laughing so hard that I am crying. Suzanne is great. Luv that sister of yours!!! When they say payback is a bitch, this is the perfect case. WTG Suzanne!!!

  41. Linda says:

    John – We were on the Paradise back in 2003, when it was a non-smoking ship. I have to admit, we were on her truly by accident. No, we didn’t get on the wrong ship. We had 3 cabins booked on NCL’s Norway. This had been my favorite ship and had been on her at least 5 times. We never made that 2003 cruise because of the boiler room incident. We scrambled to get on another ship, as this was a graduation trip for our daughter.
    The only ship we could get on was the Paradise. This was our first encounter with Carnival and THANK GOD we found it! Carnival couldn’t have found a better name for a non-smoking ship. It was the best cruise we were EVER on. Our kids and their friends, who joined us, still talk about that cruise.
    It’s sad there is no longer a smoke free ship. I understand the Paradise didn’t fill up as well as the other ships and when you come down to it of course the whole idea is to take out a full ship as opposed to half full ship.
    The Paradise sold us on Carnival. My husband and I have been on many Carnival ships since then. It is now our cruiseline of choice. The only NCL ship we liked was the Norway. She is now a reef somewhere and we’re happy we stayed with Carnival.

    As for the comment about children. If you don’t like kids, don’t cruise in the summer or over holidays. Personally, I have encountered more unruly adults on ships than kids. The kids have so much fun at Camp Carnival, etc, they are hardly ever seen around the ship.
    We started taking our children on cruises when they were very young. They grew up knowing how to act when in public. They also knew if they didn’t behave on a cruise they would be going to Nana and PopPop’s while Mom and Dad went on the next one! They even enjoyed the “fancy nights” as our daughter called them.

    I’m sorry, I didn’t intend to write a book. Please don’t change a thing about your blog. I look forward to reading it. I love your humor and anyone who doesn’t like it doesn’t have to read it. I’m sure you are not sitting by their computer making them read it against their will….or are you????? 😉


  42. gman0119 says:

    In reference to Joseph Petrovski… Chances are, not a single person that comes to this board is being forced to. If something offends you, go somewhere else!

    John, I come here to read your stuff because of your humor (spelled correctly in Louisiana!) I really don’t think you would have the growth and the fan base you have if you were doing something offensive. It is so great to see how in this weird political correctness world we have, there are still a few that will have fun and say some things that make the prudes “offended”.

    Thanks for what you do John, and keep up the great work!!! Thanks for giving me smiles, and for often making me spit soda on the screen from laughing!

  43. Jim says:

    Dear John, I was a little disturbed that Mr Joseph Petrovski took the time to write to you about how you present yourself to your readers. I am absolutely certain that he has never cruised with you since he would have recognized the humor that you have brought to the many of us who not only enjoy cruising but the special treat that we find in you. I love the way you responded to him and can only say that unfortunately we have become a far too politically correct world where we cannot find humor in anything. As Big Ed says hit the big X on your screen and move on.

    Keep up the good work, see you soon.


  44. Wnt2bol says:

    To answer your question to the bloggers. No, I don’t want to see CD’s in uniform. I like the fact that you blend in with the rest of us normal people. IMHO, If you were in a uniform then the “Fun” factor with the CD’s would be gone. And besides, no one would want to see you dressed in white after soiling your underpants – LOL

  45. Suzanne says:

    Hahahaha, loved the cat/Pop Rock/Space Dust story! I sent it to my boyfriend, but immediately regretted it as it may give him ideas next time my cats get on his nerves! Thanks for the laugh and hope you feel better soon!


  46. Don Kraeft says:

    I think Garath mistyped his last name. It should be spelt Grouch!

  47. Liznphil says:

    No smoking, no kids, clean underpants, jeez, what’s next? The French using deodorant, shaving or brushing thier teeth?

    For those of you who expect a perfect world, as per your expectations, here is a little know secret, it does not revolve around you !!
    IMHO, we are better off to deal with what is thrown at us, good or bad and make the best we can out of it with a POSITIVE attitude.

    Better class=no kids???? Were your parents of a lower class society?

  48. Kathy M. says:

    Hi John,,

    The candies that you called “Space Dust” was called “Space Rocks” in the US.

    To Mr. Petrovski, John can write anything he wishes on this blog, it is his blog and no one else’s. There are some of us that accept John for the way he is and overlook the kind of humour (spelt John’s way) that John writes about. I like reading his blog to get information about Carnival and I also like to read about other’s experiences on this fantastic cruise line.

    To G and E Crouch, I guess you will won’t be cruising on any cruise line, because all the major cruise lines allow smoking aboard their ships. I did a google search and found that all cruise lines allow smokers, but they have designated areas where they can smoke. Some lines will not allow any smoking in the cabins, some don’t allow smoking on the balconies, but do allow smoking in the cabin

    To MOMO, ( I had a dog by that name) This is a quote from your post, ” So my question is will Carnival ever have a ship that is adults only. I really think you should as you will attract a better class of passenger for sure.”
    What do you mean, a better class of passenger? Carnival has THE BEST because they are all down to earth people and not uppity like you seem to be. Personally I have not heard anything good about Celebrity Cruise line and that is one reason why I have never cruised with them and another reason that I don’t cruise with them is that they are very costly for the same that you would get from Carnival.

    • kiciaski says:

      Renaissance Cruises was an adult only cruise line. Passengers had to be 18 or older to sail. It was a more upscale cruise line however and after 9/11 they, like some others, went bankrupt. I would assume if you sailed on other upscale lines that there would be few children on board. I think Carnival does a good job of keeping the kids occupied but if you want fewer kids, then sail when school is in session.

  49. Shareen says:

    OMG some of those Q’s & A’s..i swear some people need to get a grip, stop B!tching and enjoy life without worrying about ever single little thing!

    JOHN dont EVER change!!! Im sure there are more lovers then haters out there and the haters just done have a sence of humor!!!

  50. Scott says:


    Flush these sod’s who don’t enjoy your humour, it isn’t their blog. The rest of us will stand here in the cubicle with you and see what floats by next! Best wishes for a speedy recovery!


  51. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

    Joseph Petrovski :

    IF you are going to complain about someone AND post a QUOTE…..please have the courtesy to quote it CORRECTLY.

    You took what Gene Sloan said out of context, which makes you look like a fool.

    Here is the QUOTE from the USA Today:

    “The guests have been magnificent and have risen to the obvious challenges and difficult conditions on board,” says John Heald in a post on his personal blog, which is widely followed by cruise fans.

    Apologizing for not posting earlier, the famously irreverent Heald, known for his candid, funny and sometimes outrageously inappropriate daily missives about life at sea, notes that like passengers on the Splendor he’s been without not just Internet access since a fire broke out in the ship’s engine room early Monday but other services.

    “I don’t smell of roses at the best of times but as the laundry is not working and I only have two pairs of underpants I smell like Paris on a hot summer’s day. That’s Paris the city, not Paris the person,” he jokes.”

    Over 8 MILLION hits it a good indication that we LOVE John’s humor (however it is spelled) and that you “Petty Petrovski ” should remove the large starfish from your arse and replace it by pounding sand.


  52. mjbearit says:

    What is the big deal with the kids on a ship designed for family vacations? My wife and I have raised our 5 kids and they are all adults now. This of course means that they don’t come with us on most vacations as they have their own lives to live. We tend to go on vacation, whether it be to Acapulco or the Grand Canyon during the time when kids are in school. This allows the folks at our places of business with small kids to have summer months for their vacations as we are still at work to cover for them. The other good side is that there are usually less adults and children. Shorter lines, less traffic, we just love the spring and fall for our vacations. But whenever we have been on a Carnival cruise ship, I am always amazed when the announcement is made about how many kids are on board. Camp Carnival & Co do such a great job with those kids there have been times I have gone a whole day without ever seeing a kid on the ship (until dinner time of course!). Where folks come up with this bit about unruly kids screaming through the ship is beyond me! On the other hand I have seen full grown adults of every age group display rude, obnoxious, demanding and even demeaning behavior towards crew members, other passengers and tour operators. The way some adults can act I’d happily trade them for a bunch of “unruly” kids!

  53. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


    We are back from our 9 days on the Elation (b2b) and had a good time.

    Steve K. surprised DJ with some “spontaneous celebrity status” at the Repeater’s Party. It was greatly appreciated. DJ felt like a star.

    Now that DJ is to old for Club O2, the recognition actually started a conversation with other kids onboard…so DJ got a chance to make some new friends.

    We got to sail with Frank D. (hotel director) again. He is such an amazing gentleman. Since we were just on the Elation in August, we got to see some old acquaintances and make some new ones!

    It will take some time to catch up….but great article on TJ. We have cruised with him several times and he ROCKS !!!

    Unfortunately, while I really like the Fantasy class, I fear our time on it will be limited in the future. Yes, smokers have the privilege of smoking in their cabins….but it travels. And even with our A/C fan on full force (getting the cabin to 62 degrees) …. we could not keep the smoke from adjoining cabins from filtering in under the door.

    We tried stuffing a towel under the door…but that only works when we are in the cabin. Once we leave and the towel moves as the door closes…our cabin was once again a smoky mess when we would enter. (as was the hallways)

    Carnival does ask the smokers do not open their cabin doors (allowing the smoke into the hallway to protect other passengers and children)….but the smokers do it anyway.

    I feel the only reason Carnival has had to add more and more restrictions… is because to many (certainly not all) smokers do not follow the rules currently in place.

    The other problem is NOT the smokers….but the inadequate design of the ships. For example: If someone is on the Fantasy, their children have to walk through the “nonsmoking” side of a smoking bar. Now we all know there is no such thing.

    On the Elation, the Cole Porter is a nonsmoking lounge. However, the doors are always open to the smoking side of the bar next door and the smoke is pulled into the Cole Porter. (especially the cigar smoke)

    And with articles in the USA Today with quotes from the Surgeon General like this one:

    people have every right to be concerned. (especially those with children)

    In a hotel, if I get a room that has an issue….I can always go to another hotel. Once I get on a ship, I am trapped. The only option is to exercise the Carnival Vacation Guarantee. I am not sure that Carnival would want 75% of the ship doing that on a regular basis; but I have to admit it would probably get Carnival’s attention.

    There are vents in the doors of the larger ships, but I can tape those easily to avoid smoke from entering the cabin.

    Perhaps now that digital cigarettes are becoming perfected; this will be the compromise that allows smoking any where at any time without bothering others.

    NJOY 510 or NJOY EGO both seem to be popular among the smokers on Cruise Critic. With them costing about $2 a pack, they would save smokers money, make Carnival money and make (the vast majority~nothing is going to make everyone) non smokers happy….

    The BEST part of our cruise was that we ran into a family who had a little boy (age 7). He has a muscle disorder (Ataxia) similar to DJ and still used a walker. The family was so encouraged to see that while DJ still has a hop (and one foot that turns it)…he does indeed walk. (and walks A LOT).

    Their son was so encouraging to us. Because he would really scoot along on that walker; he did not let it get him down.

    David and I fixed up a gift basket for him. Josh had won a medal, so we awarded Noah our version of the “HERO” award along with the gifts.
    Noah just beamed with pride.

    These are the kinds of things that make cruising so special.
    Carnival has been so kind to DJ …. that is naturally makes everyone want to “pass it on”.

    Linda (Mom of your friend DJ)

  54. Stacy R says:

    Carnival does a fantastic job at removing smoking odors from their cabins and there are few areas where smoking is permitted. What more do you want? The dining rooms are all non-smoking, the shows are non-smoking, the spa, Camp Carnival, and very few other inside areas are smoking….except for the casino, and there isn’t a casino anywhere that bans smoking because they know what happens to their revenue when that happens. As for outside on the ship, it is OUTSIDE in the wind and you have half the ship that is non smoking. Stay on the non-smoking side and you can’t be bothered, unless it is all in your mind. If people smoking on their balconies bother you, don’t get a balcony, or book a spa balcony, or ask your neighbors respectfully to share the area with you and not smoke while you are out there. It isn’t rocket science people.
    As for having a child who is so effected that they need medical treatment……why would you take them somewhere smoking is allowed? I can’t imagine putting my child in that type of situation. I wonder how people survived earler in my lifetime when smoking was allowed and even encouraged everywhere. Even doctors offices and hospitals allowed smoking….inside….across from the desk as you checked in. Planes were all smoking, as were every public and private place. I wonder if these children were like the boy in the bubble back then?

    • Princess Susan says:

      As you put it, I don’t take my children somewhere smoking is allowed. It’s when the smokers smoke wherever they feel like they have the right to smoke. I never have had problems with Carnival. My children did not fly when smoking was permitted on airplanes. We drove everywhere. I have never had my children in a doctor’s office or hospitals where there was smoking. No my children did not live in a bubble. They have traveled to Japan, all over the Caribbean, fly first class, attend colleges now, and have a wonderful life.
      My question to you is…why do smokers get to smoke on balconies? Why do they have that right over non-smokers? Why do we have to put up with your smoke smell?
      I never put my children in any dangerous situation. Other people did by smoking where smoking is not allowed, and I highly resent you implying that I did. And as my children being the boy in the bubble…well, that’s just a stupid statement!
      Once again, Carnival is wonderful and I have NEVER had any problems with Carnival. I do miss the smoke free ship the Carnival Paradise, but Carnival is so wonderful, I would never switch cruise lines!

      • Stacy R says:

        Sorry you took my reply personally. My comment about how children lived before wasn’t directed at you but I seriously wondered how they survived and existed when smoking was allowed everywhere. I am older and I remember when smoking was everywhere, even at doctors offices and all the places that I mentioned, as well as schools and every workplace. No one went around fake coughing and stating they were allergic, although I am sure smoke irritated some people. I think some people have a true medical reaction to smoke, and others pretend they do. The difference is that many smokers are ignoring everyone because they are just as sick of non-smokers who come to their areas and then complain. I have never purposely smoked next to a child, and I try to be considerate even when I am outside and in a smoking area to ask those around me if it bothers them, but I am an adult, and I smoke a legal product, in places where I am allowed, which at this time include on my balcony. Those that book balconies and then get upset because someone smokes out there……they can complain, but they knew when they got the balcony that smokers would smoke out there. I also hope that Carnival gets a non-smoking ship. It would be great if they had one on the East Coast and one on the West Coast. But until then we are all going to have to find a way to live together and compromise…..and again I ask what more do you want from Carnival and Smokers?

    • Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


      Actually you are incorrect.

      We had a cabin on the Fantasy that took 2 DAYS of my 7 day cruise and $30 of my own money to try to get clean after 2 smokers occupied it 5 days before we boarded.

      I emptied bottles of Ozium and Febreze and tipped the cabin steward $20 because he worked so hard for those 2 days to try to get the cabin even livable.

      He had to replace all the pillows, duvet, duvet covers, bed skirts etc etc etc …wash the walls, shampoo the carpets and run the ozone machine twice.

      Again it took 2 days of my vacation to deal with the filth of someone else’s addiction.

      And even after all of this, there was still about 5% oozed out when you sat on the mattresses.

      Also, this means I can not go to the piano bar, disco or the cover lounge…all of which I paid to use…just like smokers did. Why shouldn’t nonsmokers have the “privilege” of getting a balcony or use these other facilities they paid for?

      Yes, it isn’t rocket science. Nonsmokers should not suffer from someone else’s addiction. A child should not miss out on cruising just because some adult is a drug addict..

      Btw, you know how people survived all those years ago….
      they did not. We just did not have the technology to know what they were dying from.

      NOW we do…..we should be smart enough to use it.


    • @Stacy……… Yes at one time smoking was allowed everwhere, but in recent days it has been outlawed in any public place in some states. Tennessee for one…… How did people survive? A lot of them didn’t. My children’s father for one,died of lung cancer. If you will read the recent statistics even heart attacks have decreased since people have quit smoking. So you’re saying that because I am allergic to cigarette smoke I should not cruise? Because a child is allergic to cigarette smoke they shouldn’t be allowed to cruise? How stupid…………. If you want to continue to smoke and take the chance of killing yourself have at it, but keep your 2nd hand smoke away from me. If all people were as considerate as Big Ed and his wife and use the e cigarettes in public, there wouldn’t be an issue about smoking. Don’t tell me it’s impossible to quit smoking……….. After smoking for 30 years, I laid mine down 26 years ago and haven’t picked one up since then. . I soon found out that the bad sinus infections that I was having was caused by none other than the cigarettes I had been puffing on…….. My house no longer stinks like smoke, as well as my clothes, car, etc. and I no longer have sinus infections unless I get a whiff of someones cigarette

  55. Barbara McQuillan says:

    i disagree about your feelings about smoking. As a nurse and someone who cannot tolerate cigarette smoke, I think it is unfair to say we should not go somewhere where smoking is allowed. I love cruising, but I have had to leave areas so that I do not become ill. Subjecting children to second-hand smoke and its dangers is inconsiderate!

  56. Kim Harrison says:

    If you don’t like smoke, don’t go in the smoking bar.
    If you don’t like kids, book a cruise while they are in school.
    If you don’t like John’s Humour, don’t read the blog. and If you want to dictate what people can and cannot do as if you are they’re PARENT and take away the freedoms they have left, You should start your own country. Then you can be the boss.
    Was that too bitchy?

  57. Barb S says:

    John, I’d like to add my two cents to two people you replied to today.

    MoMo: I have been on 10 cruises with Carnival and the only one that had a lot of children was a 3 day summer cruise. Otherwise, you hardly even know that there are children onboard.

    Angie: Before you judge others–I pray that your garment bag containing all of your dress clothes is never lost. On one cruise, ours was until the night AFTER the second formal night. I assure you that it is not confortable being on that side if things and I could feel many eyes like yours on us as my husband and I walked through the dining room to our table in casual clothes. However, the Carnival staff was very understanding and reassuring that we were as welcome in the dining room as anyone. Things happen and you don’t always know the circumstances.

  58. Shana E says:

    I was upset to learn there are no longer surveys at the end of the cruise. It was suggested I drop you a line to let you know how much we enjoyed our recent cruise. We left out of Miami on 08 Jan. 2011 on the Liberty. This was our 5th cruise and the 4th in a row on Carnival and it was really spectacular. The CD Todd Whittmer was great and very informative. It was really refreshing to see all the officers floating around the ship and so friendly. We dined in the Silver Olympian Dining room and our Maitre D was very friendly and always out talking to the guests. Our waitress, Chuleekorn, was so full of pep, she and her assistants always remembered exactly what we liked. She made going down to dinner a real joy, after we lost our second set of tablemates.
    Our Room Steward, Ge-De, was also really great. He did a great job keeping our room clean. After I asked him to check on a problem, I never even thought to ask about it further, as I had a total confidence that he took care of it.

Copyright 2017 John Heald. All Rights Reserved