Swinging… On A Rope… Or Not

January 13, 2011 -

John Heald

When I am home with the girls I start each morning the same way. Go downstairs at 7 am, make Kye a bottle of milk, check my sugar level, take my pill, collect the newspaper from the doormat, go back upstairs, give Kye her milk and then take the newspaper into the bathroom, sit down and enjoy 20 minutes of absolute total peace and quiet………minus the odd splash.

This morning the newspaper featured the terrible floods in Australia, President Obama riding the wave of emotion in Arizona and news of a nutter who threatened to blow himself up in the centre of London……and that was just on the front page. So I turned to page three to look at Jennifer age 22 from Birmingham who has decided to bare all and just beneath her was a story about rumpy pumpy. The story showed two different polls, one by the University of Edinburgh and one by our National Health Service or the NHS as we call it here in the UK. Both were conflicting….. which I guess was the story………..because one suggested people are having bugger all rumpy pumpy and the one from the Health Service stated we were having more rumpy pumpy ………….I mean ……….I know which category I fall into but which poll is correct?

The university poll said that the over 40’s are too tired for rumpy pumpy. Hardly surprising, is it, what with working until we are 93, caring for kids and elderly parents, Facebooking, Blogging, conference calls with beards, flying, and thinking up new jokes all of which are undertaken while shoving a broom up my arse because Heidi wanted the driveway swept? I’m too tired to fart let alone bounce up and down for three minutes. But, here’s a weird thing. The other study claims the over 40’s are fuelling a rise in rumpy pumpy transmitted diseases, owing to an increase in middle aged swinging.

Hold on a minute here. So here I am going to bed at 10 pm because I am exhausted and lying next to me is Heidi dressed in a top to toe dressing gown and hairnet doing a Sudoku while most over 40’s are throwing their car keys into a hat and getting “attended to” by Mr Gallagher, the accountant from next door. Both can’t be right. Most polls are bollocks though aren’t they? How do you stop someone from voting for themselves over and over again and in this case you have to ask where the heck did they get their information from. What kind of person admits “Yeah, I picked up a cougar last night. She gave me herpes……… and you can quote me on that!”

Anyway, this all leads me to ask you a question………….don’t panic here ………..I’m not going to get personal………………..well not too much. My question here is does your partner get more romantic on a cruise than he or she or both does at home?

I am going to suggest to Heidi that if she is too tired for rumpy pumpy we should get a Nanny……………….preferably from Latvia. I will let you know how that goes.

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

Pat Morales Asked:

I have a question, since royal Caribbean is going to increase the recommended gratuities to 19% and now the cruise critic boards are saying carnival is doing the same from January 1st can I remove the housekeeping tip by putting the DO NOT DISTURB sign on the door and not having housekeeping service? No way am I paying anymore for someone to make a bed.

John Says:
Hello Pat Morales

Well first of all let me apologise that I have taken so long to answer your question because as you know January 1 has come and gone and Carnival has not increased the gratuities. On Carnival, guests have the option of decreasing or increasing their gratuities and I will say that the stateroom stewards do far more than make a bed and for many people their stateroom steward is often one of the highlights of the cruise.

Best wishes

Paul W and Seth C Asked:
John Put This On Your Blog!

We are sailing on the Dream on 5th Feb 2011 and we are looking to meet other LGBT people who will be on board so we want you to advertise this on your blog. This is the second time we have asked but so far you have not done as we asked. Are you homophobic?

John Says:
Hello Paul W and Seth C

Sorry I missed this the first time but here you go, it is so advertised on the blog thingy. There will be daily Friends of Dorothy meetings on the ship and these will be advertised in your daily Fun times program. Have a great cruise

Best wishes to you both

KevinJ Asked:
John –
(please reply if you find anything interesting)

I just got off the Carnival Imagination and it was wonderful to see a smaller vessel and how she was updated to be more modern. (My partner continually commented she didn’t seem some 15 years old). This was like my 7th or 8th Carnival Cruise (COME ON PLATINUM!) and it was my second one getting to be around some of the crew. This cruise the lead male singer was one of my buddies from college and it was SO great to run into him after 8 years. It was surprising how quickly the entire entertainment staff took me in as part of their own. “Oh we are going here, oh please come there tonight, we are here ___ in port” I have to say, you guys have a great entertainment staff and I am SO happy that you continue to have live bands and live entertainment and Vegas style shows. You guys do make it truly fun to spend a vacation with. Tory, our CD, was AMAZING! (talk about energy, find a way to bottle it) She grabbed my partner, who is usually extremely reserved and would rather die than be in front of a crowd of people) and slapped him on stage next to what I can only call, comical characters. Since the entire exchange was video tapped (and he outed me to the ENTIRE vessel in one fail swoop – dinner was FUN, let me tell you, rolls eyes) he became as my friend put it – instant celebri-gay. He can’t stop talking about how much fun he had and how much he enjoyed himself. He also got to meet new and interesting people, which I truly enjoyed watching. On a different note, I am very glad that the Welcome Aboard show is going to get changed up, it truly needs it. Even the dancers show it on their faces (all of them, and every ship I sail on). While they have a pleasant smile, you can tell they are not “into it” as they are the Vegas Shows. PLEASE HELP THEM HELP US! Change up the show!!!!! I’m very willing for Carnival to put me on a cruise and I’ll gladly critique. Perhaps a suggestion, ask the dancers/singers what would be great for them to do during a welcome aboard show (sleep doesn’t count!) – You might get some amazing suggestions!

Thanks again for all!

John Says:
Hello Kevin

Thank you for the brilliant review and you should write more because you tell a great story. I am glad also that you took the time to write about Tory because she doesn’t get the recognition she deserves sometimes and I am happy therefore that you mentioned her energy and fun. She is retiring soon and we will miss her.

You are right and I couldn’t agree more that the welcome aboard show must be changed and it will be soon and knowing Kerry our director of production entertainment as I do, you can expect something special from her to replace it.

I will make sure that the ship sees just how much fun you had and of course most importantly it was brilliant to read just how impressed you were with the ship’s upgrades. The Fantasy class has definitely been reborn. Thanks again for the great post.

Best wishes to all

parentsof5 Asked:
Dear John, Please reply when you have an opportunity. Thank you for all the time you put into blogging and posting on FB. I have recently discovered your blog/FB, and appreciate all of your musings.

We will be cruising this next March on the Ecstasy to celebrate a triple graduation. (My two daughters from high school, and myself from college.) I would really like to treat them to some pampering in the spa, but am reading some things that make me leery – that the price is too high for what you get, too much pushing for purchasing product, etc. I want this to be enjoyable. Can you shed any light on the spa services available?

John Says:
Hello parentsof5

First of all congratulations on your daughter’s graduation, you must be very proud. And secondly many congratulations on your own graduation and how brilliant that you are going to celebrate on the Carnival Ecstasy. The Carnival spas, like the majority of spas at sea, are operated by Steiner of London and they are simply the best in the business. They have a huge range of massages and hair and beauty treatments which your daughters will enjoy so very much. Now it would be wrong of me not to mention that at the end of the treatment the ladies will suggest various creams and ummmmm…….stuff…………that they can take home with them and use to continue to look wonderful. As you can see I know very little about these treatments except that everyone I speak to that has one leaves feeling absolutely relaxed and rejuvenated. So yes, I can highly recommend these treatments and may I also say that you may want to take advantage of the port day specials when prices are lowered somewhat. Here is the link to our wonderful world of Spa Carnival.


I hope you all have a brilliant cruise and thanks for all the kind words about the blog.

Best wishes to all

Tracy Asked:
Dear John, (please reply)

I have been reading your blog and posts about the Carnival Splendor, and have really appreciated your wit. I am hoping to be able to travel on Carnival in 2011, with my husband, and I hope that you will be the cruise director when we do cruise.

Unfortunately, we are unable to book a cruise at this time, as my husband of 5 months is having some pretty major health issues. He is 41 and a diabetic (he has had diabetes for almost 30 years). He is currently in the hospital after having had a quad bypass, due to complications from kidney disease and dialysis. He is also on the waiting list for a kidney/pancreas transplant. So, after he recovers from the bypass surgery (which the recovery hasn’t been pretty for either of us!), hopefully he will be able to get a new/used kidney and pancreas within the next few months.

Right now, thinking and dreaming about a cruise, is the only thing that is getting me through each day. We had cruised on RCCL last February and it wasn’t a good experience! If/when we are able to cruise on Carnival, is there something special that we can do or can be done to recognize our surviving the past year?
Any suggestions on helping me survive the next few months?!

If we do happen to be on a cruise, where you are the director, I would love to meet you, have lunch and hear more about your girls.

By the way, I see from your posts that you are a diabetic. After seeing (and living with) the complications of diabetes, I would strongly encourage you to take care of yourself! I would hate to see what has happened to my husband, happen to you or anyone else!

Thanks for your posts and blog – you have been able to make some tough days a little bit better for me.

Take Care,
Tracy Fraedrich

John Says:
Hello Tracy Fraedrich.

That must have been a very difficult post to write and I hope that by now your husband has fully recovered from his surgery and is on the road to health and happiness. I am working very hard to stay well and healthy and I know just how difficult living with diabetes is. It was my own stupid bloody fault that I got this and now it is up to me to make sure I do all I can to keep it under control.

I will be on the Carnival Freedom for three weeks in February before going onto the Carnival Glory on the 27th of February for the Bloggers Cruise. Then it’s off to Italy to prepare your Carnival Magic and someway, somehow I hope that you and your husband will be able to join me. If not and you cruise with us on another ship please make sure you let me know so I can send your husband a sugar free treat. I am sure it has not been easy for you these past few months and I hope that the blog has given you the occasional giggle. All of us here wish your husband well and I would ask that when you have the time you let us know how he is doing.

Best wishes to you both and hope to see you soon

Alice H Asked:
Hi John (Please Reply when you get a chance)

I love your blog thingy and read it all the time you make me laugh. I have 2 questions

I was reading an old Blog from June 15th where a question was asked about the “Luggage Express.” This is the 1st time I heard about this. Will it be available on the Carnival Magic in Barcelona? I did notice on the bottom of the flyer you posted about it, it said International Flights do not apply. I was wondering if it has been updated to include Europe, since this posting was in June.

My husband and I are so excited about Our Magic cruise on Aug. 14th and have been sifting thru all the shore excursions trying to find the perfect ones, due to the fact he has degenerative arthritis in his back he can’t do much walking for long periods of time. If you have any suggestions please let me know.

We also want to book the Chef’s Table and I know that it is too early for that. When should I request this?

Looking forward to cruising with you and hopefully with Heidi and Kye also.

Keep up the good work your friend,
Alice H.

John Says:
Hello Alice H

I am glad you are enjoying the blog so much and hope that this continues. The luggage express will not apply to the debark procedures in Barcelona but the system there is excellent. You see there are no customs and immigration procedures so disembarking is very quick and very simple indeed. Closer to the time I will explain exactly how it works here on the blog thingy.

I will be opening bookings for The Chef’s Table on April 1 so if you can send me your requests then I will be able to take care of it for you. I wonder if I can pause here and ask other Carnival Magic cruisers to take note of this date. I know I have been up and down with this but now have the date set and I would also ask that Host Mach also post this on the boards.

The shore excursions in Europe are superb and we categorise them by walking difficulty. May I suggest that you have a look on carnival.com and when you see a sign with just “one man” you will know that there is very little walking involved. Have a look at what we offer and then tell me which ones you are interested in and I will let you know what I think. I am also very excited about this new ship and to be back in Europe again and I look forward to seeing you both there.

Best wishes

David123 Asked:
Your staff, specifically the cabin boys need to speak English. Ordering was made virtually impossible on the Spirit because all the crew were foreigners. My cabin boy didn’t understand any of my orders and this got very frustrating. The ship carries Americans so why can’t you hire servers who can understand the customer. I would be interested to see your response.

John Says:
Hello David123

I was very surprised to read this because my experience tells me that all our service personnel speak English. For most it is not their first language but certainly we make sure that if we put them in a guest area that their English speaking skills should be sufficient. This is a rare comment indeed and I wondered if you could to please write back to me and let me know your sailing date and cabin number so I can address this issue with the hotel director onboard.

I hope you had a fun time despite your concerns.

Best wishes

Kathy M. Asked:
Hi John,

Please Reply

On November 28th you answered a letter from IndyMichelle in which she was talking about cruising as a single. You mentioned that most of the single doings is for the 18 – 20 singles and that is the reason you do a second doing for the thirty somethings. John, it seems to me you are leaving out other age groups that travel single, like the 40 year old group, the 50 year old group, the 60 year old group and others. Single cruisers make up a good amount of cruisers, but we are left out of so many of the activities for singles. You would think for the money we have to pay to cruise as a single (200% which is not a cheap for us) you would be doing more for singles. I have a suggestion for you, how about a Meet and Greet just for single cruisers of all ages, that way people of different age groups could meet one another. Just a thought

Please give my love to Heidi and Kye,
from your #1 Bloggy Thingy Fan
Kathy M.

John Says:
Hello Kathy M

You are correct of course and I will remind my colleagues that we must look after all the single guests regardless of age. I realise that cruising as a single is not cheap these days and so we must do more to make life onboard even more fun for you. I will address this with Chris in the Miami office and suggest that the first hour the piano bar is open on the first night of the cruise is a single sing a long for the 40 plus guests. What do you think of that Kathy? Please let me know

Best wishes

Rick from Orange County Asked:
Please reply immediately John

I was disturbed to read that Felipe will be the cruise director on the Splendor. Most of the knowledgeable Cruise Critic members who have sailed with him have written how shocked they are that he has been chosen to be the cruise director. They rate him as rude and not funny and said that he was too busy with his girlfriend than to entertain them.  I am going on the Splendor for my honeymoon and having cruised with Big Tex who I loved I don’t want a boring cruise director. Can you help settle my nerves? I also want a table for 2 for my new bride and I. We are in cabin 7412 and going on March 12th

Look forward to your reply

John Says:
Hello Rick from Orange County

I have not seen the comments on Cruise Critic about Felipe but I can tell you that we at Carnival know just how important the Carnival Splendor will be when she sails and just how much she will be in the public eye. This is why we chose Felipe to be there as we have a lot of faith in him. I am not going to comment on what others have written because they are absolutely entitled to their opinion. I can promise you that he is energetic and really cares about the guests. I also know that there will be some bloggers here who will give their own honest opinion of him which I kindly ask them to do.

Now I have asked the maitre d to assist you with your table request and I hope you have a wonderful honeymoon and wish you both many happy years together.

Best wishes

That’s all folks.

I see there was lots of excitement about the Carnival Spirit going to Australia, mostly from Aussies themselves who are thrilled to be getting their very own Carnival ship. I also read comments here and on Facebook from people in America, Canada and the UK all of whom said that they were now considering a trip down under. This is great news of course. There was also some sadness from our friends on the west coast who were disappointed that they were losing the ship. I can understand how but let’s see what the future holds.

Let’s pause and meet another one of our superb assistant cruise directors. Today we are off to the Carnival Valor to meet Gayve Kazak.

Gayve H. Kazak but guests call me by other names as well like Gabe, Gayvey, Gabrielle, The Guy From the Movie Ghost, Beatle Juice, Gallagher, Curly, The Sax player from the Muppets. there are so many I can go on and on.

I am currently on the Valor till January 16th then I will be heading off to the Sensation in March (17th to be exact)

I started to work for Carnival in 2004. I started off in the Casino as a Slot Attendant. And then one day I had a vision that’s right I saw it like I see myself in the mirror, it was beautiful, I can’t even remember the words that I used to describe it, I had tears in my eyes and when I finally held it, it was like holding a new born baby. It was my was first RED WHITE AND BLUE cruise staff shirt. I have enjoyed my ups and downs while working with Carnival. I have been ACD for about 2 years (was promoted on my  birthday while cruising Europe thanks Todd). I have had the opportunity to learn from  many great CD’s including yourself John. (We were on the Liberty together I was wee host then). This job has taught me many life lessons that I can take with me anywhere.  There is so much about this job that is amazing there is not enough room to say everything, I even met my wife 5 years ago this year, on the Fascination, and we have been happily married for 3 years.

I have two favourite activities, one is the Men’s Hairy Chest Competition and the other is the Deck Party. To see all those guests listening to you or dancing with you is such a great feeling… for instance we do the song Shout during deck party and to see all the guest jumping up and down laughing and having a good time knowing you are the provider of that fun, wow what a feeling……

As for my dream, it’s to have a cabin with a window……..just kidding. I like the challenge we get from the day to day changes that happen, we learn to make changes and  adapt to what we have to deal like a rainy day and/or a missed port day. Make you feel good to see even though it is not to nice outside, inside the ship is nothing but FUN FUN FUN.

I worked with Gayve on the Carnival Freedom and remember just how much the guests liked him. We have some great young people ready to move to the big chair and Gayve certainly is one of them

Small change to my own schedule I want to talk to mention. I will be flying to Cozumel on January 27th to join the Carnival Elation and will be sailing on her back to Mobile before then flying to join the Carnival Freedom. I am doing this because I have been asked to see the new show “Win” there which I hear is excellent. Has anyone seen this show? What did you think?

Here is an interesting question.

Mike Scilatchi Asked:
John – please reply

I have just found your blog and have been reading back issues. I am a writer for my college paper and am intrigued by your style. I am surprised Carnival Cruise Company allows you to write the way you do but I give them credit for doing so. The reason I am writing is that I wanted to ask you to tell me how you come up with what you write each day and ask your permission to publish your response in the Daily Gamecock which is the University of South Carolina’s newspaper. Thank you so much and I hope to receive a positive response from you.

Mike Scilatchi

John Says:
Hello Mike

Well first of all thanks for the kind words and I hope you continue to explore the world or writing. You know this blog is much easier to write when I am on a ship you know as so much happens and there is so much to tell. But when I am home it is rather different and there are far more distractions. I usually go to bed at night thinking already what I am going to write about the next morning.

Most days I have an idea what the first and last sections are going to be about but last night I couldn’t think of anything and when morning broke I knew I would be staring at a blank screen. And so I spent most of my time this morning trying anything but to write a blog. But eventually I could run away no longer so I retired to my writing little office. I’ve got to have a “writing room.” Because it’s a blog read by thousands so in my mind I need a special place to withdraw from the world.  All this is eventually done and I am ready to start my opus. I’d better make some coffee first, as it’s very early and my brain needs to be kick-started.

But I have no idea how to operate the coffee machine because I am not Mr sodding Spock so I utter the magic word “Heeeeeiiiiiiiiddddiii ” and few minutes later I have my coffee. I’m ready, but Kye is looking at me in a pleading way. I decide to spend a few minutes giving her cuddle and watching her favourite video on YouTube. Don’t ask me why she loves this video but a friend of Heidi’s sent it to her and now Kye can’t stop watching it and laughs hysterically every time. Here it is.

That was at 9 am and it’s now 10:30 am and I climb the stairs to the OFFICE. Halfway up I spot my Xboxstation thingy and decide to have a quick game of “Dawn of the Zombie.” I need to clear my mind before I start. I have never gotten past level 5 where the zombie comes out of the confessional box in the abandoned church accompanied by killer frog-like creatures that look a look like Judge Judy. I spend the next hour or so getting more and more frustrated as the slimy Judges eat me alive because I have run out of ammunition…. bugger.

This stresses me out and it’s nearly lunchtime, so I decide to make an early lunch and then really get stuck in afterwards on a full stomach. So, I prepare lunch ……. by shouting ……. ”HEEEEEIIIIIDDDDDIII”……..and 20 minutes later I am sitting in front of the TV watching a new show I had recorded called No Ordinary Family starring one of my favourite actors Michael Chiklis who I thought was brilliant in The Shield while munching on a very fine chicken salad sandwich followed by a Granny Smith apple and a big mug of monkey tea.

I feel a bit ill as I’ve eaten too much and decide to lie down in front of the telly while I digest the sandwich and fall asleep. It’s now 3 pm and thank goodness I am five hours ahead of Miami otherwise there would be no blog today. But once I actually sit down to write, Mike ……… the words seem to just flow, as they will for you I am sure.

Anyway, I send my best wishes to you and everyone at South Carolina University and I hope I see you all on a Carnival cruise.

I see no reason why you can’t publish this in the newspaper and unless my colleagues have any objection go ahead. I have always wanted to be associated with something called Gamecock.

Well as promised it’s time to tell you about the brilliant SportSquare on your Carnival Magic and here once again………..is our friend Vance.


Carnival Cruise Lines Unveils Carnival Magic’s Top Deck Sports and Recreation Complex’s Features and Challenges Fun-seekers to Name Its New Mini-Golf Course

MIAMI (January 13, 2011) – The sky’s the limit when it comes to outdoor fun and fitness at the innovative SportSquare to be featured on Carnival Cruise Lines’ newest vessel, Carnival Magic, when it sets sail May 1.  The line’s most expansive outdoor recreation area by far, SportSquare on Carnival Magic (www.carnivalmagic.com) is an active cruiser’s on-board paradise, featuring SkyCourse, the first ropes course at sea, and cruising’s first-ever outdoor fitness area.  Guests can also get in the swing of things with the line’s first-ever two-level nine-hole miniature golf course, which the company is encouraging fans to help name at www.carnivalmagic.com/contest.

Sure to be a talked about feature will be SkyCourse, the first-of-its-kind ropes course located on Spa & Sports Deck 12. The spectacular new attraction will offer fun and adventure for all, along with magnificent views of the sea nearly 150 feet below. On SkyCourse, thrill-seeking guests can strap into a safety harness and choose from a beginner or intermediate course, traversing across rope bridges, swinging steps and beams suspended above the top deck.  Approximately 20 guests at a time can zig and zag along the two 230-foot courses, while friends and family can join in the fun by cheering participants on from the deck.  Each of the 20 different elements on the ropes course is named after a notable bridge in the U.S.

“We’re literally taking fun and fitness to a new level with SportSquare.  Whether you’re climbing our amazing new ropes course at sea, doing some fresh-air cardio or just taking it all in, there’s something fun for everyone to enjoy, day or night,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival’s president and CEO.

Guests can get pumped up at Sky Fitness featuring a wide array of exercise equipment, stationary bicycles, elliptical and rowing machines, punching bags and more. For a run in the sun and fresh sea air, Sports Track offers an 800-foot-long jogging path that surrounds the entire area. When guests are ready to get their game on, they’ll find lighted multi-purpose space for basketball, volleyball and soccer, along with a six-station Vita exercise course and ping pong and foosball tables at Sports Court. And for those who just want to relax and check out the sports action in the area or on TV, SportSquare also features a full bar with a large flat-screen display.

Have a Ball and Name Magic’s Miniature Golf Course

As part of its Make The Magic Yours campaign, Carnival is continuing to give fans the opportunity to add their personal touches to its newest and most innovative “Fun Ship.” Winning fans have already created witty coaster sayings for the line’s first Caribbean-themed pub at sea, named a delicious dish for its family-style Italian restaurant, and the giant water dump bucket that will provide a splashing good time for kids and adults alike.

Today, the company is challenging fun-atics to name SportSquare’s two-level, mini golf course. Through, January 24, 2011, fans ages 13 and older can submit their suggested name at www.carnivalmagic.com/contest for a chance to have their winning entry forever “linked” to the nine-hole course, along with a prize package which includes a digital camera and Carnival-branded golf paraphernalia.

Entries must be no more than 50 characters and Carnival ship-worthy, as they’ll be judged by the company based on relevance, creativity and originality then culled down to five finalists.  In late January, Carnival will invite fun seekers to vote for their favorite name to choose one lucky winner who will be announced in mid-February. Additional information and contest rules are available at www.carnivalmagic.com/contest.

SportSquare, along with Carnival Magic’s many other unique innovations, are highlighted in an interactive micro site, www.carnivalmagic.com, which features a full-screen virtual tour, exclusive images and videos, construction footage and more.

The 3,690-passenger Carnival Magic is slated to debut in Europe with a series of seven- to 12-day Mediterranean cruises operating May 1 – Oct. 16, 2011.  Following a 16-day trans-Atlantic crossing, Carnival Magic will launch seven-day Caribbean service from Galveston, Texas, Nov. 14, 2011, becoming the port’s largest year-round cruise ship.

For additional information and reservations on the “Fun Ship” vacation experience, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit carnival.com.

Carnival also can be found on:
Twitter: www.twitter.com/carnivalcruise

Facebook Fan Page: www.facebook.com/carnival

Flickr:  www.flickr.com/photos/carnivalcruiselines/

Journalists also can visit Carnival’s media site, www.carnivalpressroom.com.

About Carnival Cruise Lines

Carnival is “The World’s Most Popular Cruise Line®,” with 22 “Fun Ships” operating voyages ranging from three to 16 days in length to The Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, New England, Europe, Bermuda, the Pacific Islands and New Zealand.  The line currently has two new 130,000-ton ships on order – Carnival Magic, set to debut from Europe May 1, 2011 and Carnival Breeze, scheduled to enter service in spring 2012.


It looks and sounds superb doesn’t it? I particularly like the foosball tables being out there. I know that’s only a small part of the action but its great family fun and I can see them being very popular indeed.

Now as for the rope course. Well I know that the adrenalin junkies will be salivating at the thought of swinging from rope to rope. Me though……….well I have mixed feelings. While as a CD I know that the guests will love this and that it’s a fantastic addition to our onboard activity program, I also know that somewhere right now, in Miami, a man called Gerry is planning something sinister.

I can see our president and CEO now, sitting at his desk plotting just how he is going to make my life a living hell. Yep, just as he made me race him down the slides on your Carnival Dream he is plotting something similar on this sodding rope course.  I can imagine the conversation he is having right now with Carnival’s Executive Vice President of Ship Operations Ruben Rodriguez.


Looks like I am in the sh*t again and if you are one of those standing below me while I swing my arse on a rope………….you might be in the sh*t as well…………..literally.

I won’t be blogging tomorrow as I am going to spend the day with my Heidi and Kye. I have been in NY and then been sick so I owe them a day. Back on Monday but will be on FB all weekend if you need me.


Your friend

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76 Responses to Swinging… On A Rope… Or Not

  1. Kristen says:

    Hi John, I just wanted to mention that I was on the Valor at the end of October and my friends and I all loved Gayve Kazak – he was super fun! The whole cruise experience was fantastic and I am looking forward to booking my next Carnival cruise – hopefully in September! Thanks for writing this awesome blog! Kristen

  2. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

    Rick from Orange County:

    Allow me to put your fears about Felipe to rest.

    As a long time member of Cruise Critic with 20,000+ posts, and having sailed on Carnival 40+ times…..I have a little experience on this subject.

    The complaints about Felipe that I have read on Cruise Critic were from people who sailed with him over a year ago, when he was just starting out as a CD.

    As with any profession, no one is perfect at it in the beginning. I am an Accountant and I can tell you that I am a much better Accountant after practicing for several years than I was when I was a greenhorn.

    Our family just sailed with Felipe in August and found him delightful. He was attentive, visible and most of all, you could tell he truly loves what he does AND the people he does it for (passengers).

    The smile on his face was genuine. It is not a job for him….it is a passion. And no one can ask more than that.

    Plus….he is cute as a bug.


    • Diane Shepherd says:

      While I’ve never found bugs particularly cute – I am looking forward to sailing with Felipe on the Splendor in exaclty 50 days!

      I’ve heard a couple of times now that he’s a great CD.

      • Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

        You will have a GREAT time…..

        I will sooo glad to see folks sailing on the Splendor again. She is my favorite ship.

        Tell Felipe that DJ’s Mom said HI….

        Linda (Mom of DJ)

        PS: would Lady Bugs qualify as cute ???

        • Diane Shepherd says:

          I will try to remember to say hi for you.

          My very first cruise in October 1988 took this same route and I am looking forward to seeing the changes in the ports.

          This will be No. 9 with Carnival!!!

    • flynlo says:

      Does the fact of having 20,000 posts on a public posting board make you more credible? Just curious why you had to make that statement.

      • Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


        I never said I was “more credible”. Where did you read that????

        What I actually said was that “I have a little experience on this subject.” (ie Carnival Cruise Directors AND Cruise Critic)

        I am unclear how you get “more credible” from that statement.

        Rick from Orange County said :

        “Most of the knowledgeable Cruise Critic members who have sailed with him have written how shocked they are that he has been chosen to be the cruise director.”

        Since RICK made a big deal about mentioning Cruise Critic….I was simply demostrating that I was not only a knowledgeable Carnival cruiser, but knowledgeable with Cruise Critic as well !! (having been a member for many many years)


  3. Sharon says:

    To answer your question for today, the answer in our household would be no. We are romantic several nights a week whether at home or on a cruise and we are 23 years married! I will say though that our child is 21 which makes a huge difference in the time we have to devote to our marriage and each other. 🙂

  4. RK says:


    Perhaps you would receive better service if you didn’t give the “cabin boys” “orders.” They are not your personal servants. Not referring to them as “cabin boys” might help, too, as well as judicious use of the words “Please” and “Thank You.” Just a suggestion.

    PS: Please don’t shout at them. No, you didn’t say as much, but I’m betting a shiny button that you’re one of those folks that thinks foreign = deaf. Yelling isn’t going to make them understand you any better; try speaking more slowly. And politely.

    • Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

      Thank you RK…well said !!!

      It always totally amazes me that Americans (who only know ONE language~ and many of them not very well) will be critical of someone who has learned a SECOND language will enough to pass a test.

      Yes, these cabin STEWARDS (perhaps if David 123 was a little more educated; he would know the proper title) will have an accent….but I am from the South and so do I.

      I figure if they can go to all the trouble of learning a SECOND language well enough to pass a test, then I can spend 3 SECONDS extra to understand their accent !!

      Linda (Mom of DJ)

    • mIkeL says:

      RK, you summed up exactially what I was going to say and said it so much better

    • Lisa Taylor says:

      David123’s post only serves to highlight how rude and self-centred he is. Sadly, any comment you or I might make about it would simply go over his head and he’d carry on in his ignorant, offensive manner.

    • Elizabeth says:

      RE “Cabin Boys” – The word “orders” jumped out at me when I read the blog. What???? “Orders”???? That’s just… awful. A lot more respect and less entitlement on the part of the poster…. What an idiot.

    • Agent Dotski says:

      I agree! I was offended by the “cabin boy” term, and it wasn’t even directed at me! I’ve sailed quite a few times with Carnival and have never had any issues “communicating”…chances are because I’m of the mindset that you get more with sugar than you do with vinegar. Human nature – regardless of nationality – shows that if given a little respect, people will go above and beyond to please. You should try dishing it out a little…

  5. Jan "Peaches" Silvius says:

    Yaaay John!! I was so glad to read about Gayve!! He and Darcy Kneivel were two of my all time favorites. I have had some really good CD and CDA’s in my cruises, but these two stand out, just like Wee Jimmie and Jorge (after dark).
    I am really looking forward to your being our CD on the first Magic-al cruise out of Galveston in Nov. You and your blog are the best! Thanks for all you do for us, John, you are a treasure.


  6. Cheryl says:

    The rope thingys will be fun for as you say the sports fanatic and of course will be a good challenge for families as well. I will watch it from a safe viewing area. It is always exciting to see the new ideas on each new ship. The Carnival Drfeam is a fantastic ship and I’m sure the Carnival Magic will be even better.

    Enjoy your girls.

  7. Sheryl says:

    Hi John,
    Firstly thanks for the wonderful blogging. We are leaving on our 3rd Carnival cruise on the 28 of Feb, and I was wondering what your favorite diabetic friendly dessert in the dinning room is? My husband is diabetic also, and would love to enjoy dessert too.

  8. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


    Glad you are feeling better.

    As for your question…. there is one word I don’t understand…

    “romantic”? What is that???

    You have to remember that I am married to a man that did not even propose to me. He said OVER THE PHONE “hey, I am being transferred … do you want to move to Natchez with me?”

    To which I replied “OK, if there is a ring and a preacher first”…..

    He said “sure”.

    The rest is history….

    But hey…at least he loves to cruise !!!

    Linda (Mom of your friend DJ)

    • Elaine says:

      Ok, I got a giggle from this one Linda…

    • Jodi says:

      Linda I have to say I love your comments on the blog thingy. I think you are showing our age though. I too am in total love with man who has no idea what the word romantic means most of the time, He proposed in the produce department. But again cruise or no cruise that doesn’t change.

      • Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

        Hey Jodi:

        What a sweet compliment.

        Yes, I am older than dirt. And believe me, I tell everyone my age because “I earned every year!” LOL

        Nope, he never “formally” proposed….but I wouldn’t trade him for the world. One look at the way he cares for his special needs son is all the “romance” I need!

        You and I are blessed indeed.

        Linda (Mom of DJ)

  9. All4Fun&Fun4All says:

    Sometimes it makes me a little sad when folks reference Cruise Critic in their posts to you. I am a member of Cruise Critic and it makes me almost ashamed sometimes with the “air of entitlement” some folks bring to your happy blog.
    Happy Carnival cruiser here! They call em cheerleaders on CC but I dont care. Cant wait to get back onboard. We are thinking about Fascination this time. YAY!

    • Lisa Taylor says:

      I also find the frequent references to Cruise Critic as if it’s the be all end all disturbing. It’s a public message board no different than any other public message board. As has been shown time and again, the gospel of Cruise Critic is often wrong when it comes to these rumors about Carnival (or any other line I suspect).

      Thanks again John for all you do with the blog and FB updates.

      And to those few requestors who can’t seem to remember their manners…. a Please and a Thank You do go along way.

  10. Tim Dewing says:

    My wife is the same on land or on board ship. Her favorite word is NO.

  11. Beth Selinger says:

    In answer to your question about romance on the high seas…yes, yes, yes..oh sorry let me compose myself…(ahem) why yes John, my husband does get much more romantic on cruises which is why we will be platinum next year!

  12. Julie Kurkowski says:

    Luggage express sounds like a great program, 20 of us had planned pn using it in Puerto Rico in July and planned our return flights accordingly so we could spend the day in PR..too bad the program was not be used in PR and we didnt find out until we got on board

  13. Greg Cox says:

    Hey John,

    I believe you were cruise director on my first cruise ever on the Carnival Fantasy way back in December/January 1989/1990. It was a great time even though I got sick. Now, many cruises later, we (me, my wife and my two sons) are booked on the Carnival Splendor for the March 20, 2011 voyage, a spring break trip for us. I’m attempting to monitor the progress of the repairs. I’d readily switch to another carnival ship if the Splendor will not be ready in time. The trick is knowing that in time to rebook before the other ships fill up. Our dates are not flexible.

    Carnival indicates that the Splendor will return to service February 20. Today’s news from San Francisco indicates that she is expected there at Pier 70 for dry dock repairs starting on January 22. The port executive director, Monique Moyer, was quoted in the San Francisco Examiner as saying the repair work will take 4 weeks. Hmmm. That puts the Splendor completing repairs in San Fran on February 22. I would think she would require 2 days to sail from San Fran back to Long Beach, putting her there on February 24, not in time for the Feb 20 voyage. Also, after such extensive repairs, will she need some trials at sea before re-entering service? That might put her in service even later.

    Basically, the dates don’t seem to add up. I know we have a month more “pad” before our voyage, but I’m getting nervous. Any insight would be welcome.

  14. Julie Mendenhall (jrmende63) says:

    You asked if my spouse is more romantic on a cruise ship…………………YES YES YES YES : )
    The sports rope thingy on The Carnival Magic looks great!

    • Julie Mendenhall (jrmende63) says:

      PS John, I forgot to say that I agree with Kye, that video is hilarious! I loved that baby Charlie’s grin! Thanks for sharing it!

  15. Carole Hoffman says:

    I am fairly new to reading your blog although I am not new to Carnival Cruises. My husband, granddaughter, and in-laws will be setting sail on the Carnival Dream Feb. 5th. This will be my husbands and my 3rd cruise but the first for our 3 yr old granddaughter and in-laws. We are counting the days until we cruise. I keep reading about getting to sit at the Captain’s table and wonder how that works? Is it too late? My in-laws have actually cruised on a different cruise lines and didn’t like it very much so I am anxious to see how they like Carnival. My fingers are crossed they will love it as much as we do!

  16. Phil&Liz says:

    Rick from Orange County:
    “Please reply immediately John
    I also want a table for 2 for my new bride and I.”

    What an A$$ ! Get some damn manners! There never seems to be an end to the CC arrogant people and their demands.

    • Marty Paul says:

      What is the deal with CC being referenced so negatively all of thime? It’s just a public forum for cruise reviews and opinions! You;ll find arrogant people anywhere…has nothing to do with CC.

  17. Erick Guttierrez says:

    Hi John, comments on the show “WIN”

    I sailed on the Carnival Elation January 1, 2011 and absolutely loved it. It was my first cruise and needless to say I am already planning another cruise! We absolutely loved our room steward we called him Al because his name was some variation of that and he was from Indonesia. He was so funny and took great care of us and even told us to come party with him at his mansion in Indonesia some day! I wish I would have gotten his full name so that I could send thanks to him. We stayed In Cabin V32, maybe you could somehow pass this on! I would also like to say how great our head waiter Royston was! He was such a character! It amazed me how hard he worked. He said his day started at 5:30am as it seemed that he ran the team in the Lido restaurant because every morning we saw him up there walking around making sure everything was in order and then he would be at dinner having a good time serving us. He and his assistant went way beyond our expectations! I also wanted to say how excellent the dancers and lead singers Jason and Emily were! Their shows were AMAZING!!!! They sure know how to put on a show! It made me wish that I was as talented as they all were. And one last comment was our cruise director Steve Knisley. Awesome guy, he sure knew how to keep us entertained and laughing, and his announcements over the PA were very helpful! Keep up the good work Steve!
    One thing I would have to say is that there seemed to be a lack of Lido deck entertainment on this ship as some of the people that were with us said that on other ships they have been on, there was something happening on the Lido deck every night of the cruise. We absolutely loved the deck party with Skylar though!

    Now to comment on the show “WIN” It was absolutely incredible! Action packed from start to finish and definitely very exciting to watch. It was amazing how many different songs they sang and danced to. It is a show I would definitely recommend that people see! A show like this further proves the great value for the money that Carnival provides! A show of this caliber would probably cost around 100 bucks a person in any other venue. Thanks for all that y’all do and keep it up! Erick

  18. Brent Grinnell says:

    Geez Rick..you moan and complain and then you demand a table for 2…How about a little tack and courtesy..The word “please” makes everything just a little better

    • Agent Dotski says:

      Agree!! What would these “dining demanders” do if John wasn’t around and so accessible! If they check on the Carnival website, they would see that they can contact the dining department directly with their “requests” at this link: http://www.carnival.com/contactus.aspx?icid=CC_Footer_89
      . Then they can stop blaming John for not getting a chance to do something that isn’t even his job to begin with!

  19. Bill says:

    Hi John,

    Love your bloggy thingy. I just have one word of caution: Never, ever give people ideas even though they probably are already thinking about it. Gerry and Ruben are probably reading this and definitely plotting for you whether they were before or not. You are in bugger of all trouble mate but it will be super funny to see you trying to be a rope hugging guy dressed in a leopard speedo. I would love to be invited to this great event to see it in person….LOL

    Have a great day with the girls especially since you have been sick and will start traveling again very soon.

  20. Brian says:


    Just wanted to say a HUGE Thanks for passing our issues to Guest Care. Clarisa contacted me the next day and was very helpful in answering our questions and addressing our issues with our previous cruise.

    I do think you should do an interview with her about how guest complaints are compiled and
    tracked, especially cabin issues. I know my lengthy conversation with her was eye opening.

    Thanks John, looking foward to the Carnival Elation in April! WOO HOO!

    Brian and Katie

  21. Beth Bowell says:

    Awesome video… made me laugh too!!

  22. Sarah says:

    Seriously? “Cabin boys”? Are we pirates on the high seas or something?

    If you’re treating them that rudely when giving your “orders”, I’d worry more about what they’re saying about you that you can’t understand. And I wouldn’t blame them one bit.


    John, our very first cruise was on our 25th wedding anniversary. Our next 11 cruise were on our anniversary. Then you came along and changed all that with your Blogger Cruise 1. After I suggested you have a Bloggers Cruise you went and set the date the week before our anniversary cruise. So after bloggers saying “BIG Ed has to be on the BC since it was his idea” You began begging Pat and I to come on BC1. We ending up making it a Back-to-Back cruise. So now I have to share Pat and our anniversary cruise with you.

    BIG Ed

    • The Cruzin2some says:

      Big Ed,
      You really don’t share Pat with John do you?

    • The Cruzin2some says:

      Dear John,
      My wife is definitely more romantic at sea than she is at home. Our daughter and the two grandkids moved back home and romance and rumpy pumpy it seems had to move out to make room for them.

      As you can imagine I am really looking forward to our cruise in 22 days.
      The Cruzin2some

  24. Kel says:

    For some reason your newsletter doesn’t post well on AOL mail. Must be the beards tired to improve it.


  25. Susanne says:

    To: Rick from Orange County

    I cruised with Felipe a couple of years ago and he was an excellent Cruise Director. I later found out that he was actually the Acting Cruise Director but no one would have only known that. He was as good (and better than some) as any other Cruise Director I have sailed with and yes I have been on a lot of cruises.

    He was very polite, funny and entertaining and this would have been early in his career so I imagine he would be even better now although I really can not see how that would be possible. I have also sailed with Big Tex who I also enjoyed. I do not see you or anyone else being disappointed with Felipe.

  26. Curtis McCrea says:


    Have you ever been CD on Fascination? We are going on her next March. We hope to have lots of fun…second Carnival cruise!


  27. David says:

    John all of these concerns about Felipi are unfounded, having been on 23 cruises my wife and I place Felipe in the top three off CD’s we have sailed with. Most of the complainers about Felipe on cruise critics are those who complain about everything, and like Rick from Orange County are rude and inconsiderate and I would put little stock in anything they had to say. Felipe is a wonderful CD andI can not wait to sail with him again. So if those on the west coast do not want him I would gladly welcome him back to the est coast.

  28. Tammy says:

    Hi John,

    I’m so glad that Gayve was featured today! I was on the Valor at the end of October for my Birthday and he did a fantastic job. I was also one of the crazy people jumping around to “Shout” at the deck party! I think I’ll go see which cruise I’m taking next now….

  29. Russ says:

    Hi John,
    John, I think its great that Carnival is expanding down under. I read today that the Spirit will NOT be replaced out of San Diego after its departure. Does anyone realize that out here on the west coast, a quick getaway consists of… MEXICO. We west coasters have to fly east for any excitement other than MEXICO. Carnival was running a nice 4day down to Cabo on occasion, and I am sure there must be some folks out there that would like to jump on ship outta San Diego to Cabo on a 4 or 5 day sailing like it was doing recently with 2 days in Cabo. We need some variety out here other than ENSENADA. I know I know its all analytical stuff the beards do over there in Miami. I hope someday they come back here as there are so many ships in the caribbean doing the same ports from different origination points. Perhaps they could spare 1 and send it to San Diego, so when we take a 1 week long or 10 day or 2 week Carnival cruise during the year, which in all honesty us middle income folks have to save for, we could maybe have a little itty bitty getaway to Cabo or something at some other juncture during the year. But, there is not going to be a ship here. We are CCL stockholders and my wife and I will have sailed on our 25th , 26th and 27th cruises as of later this year. We are dissapointed there is no option from San Diego. We hope CCL returns out here.

  30. Marty Paul says:

    John (no need to reply),

    Yes, I also think the romance goes up while on a cruise. Is it the salt air? I plan to test the theory when me & my wife sail Carnival Magic out of Galveston. I plan on attempting rumpy pumpy on the ropes course. Please let me break it to her in my own way.

    What is the deal with a lot of negative comments associated with Cruise Critic? Don’t people undersand that it is a wide-open public forum and that people can easily spread mistruths if they want to (e.g. “trolls”). As with a lot of things on the internet, you have to take it with a grain of salt. I am am member of CC and I LOVE IT; we got to meet a great group of people before our cruise on the Carnival Dream in the Med last October. We had been chatting on our thread months before the cruise, so it was like you already knew them and had a big group of friends even before you sailed.

    I enjoyed your communication with the University of South Carolina newspaper writer. It’s hard to beat those ‘Cocks…

    Marty (& Jeanne) Paul

  31. Stacy R says:

    We are lucky that after more than 20 years of marriage we haven’t lost the ability and desire to be “romantic”, but we also suffer from the syndrome of too many things to do, and not enough time in the day. Being on a cruise means that the todo lists of our normal life are not pressing and we can relax, rest, and rejuvenate. As a result we connect more, talk more, touch more, and enjoy romance the entire time. To put it bluntly making love is a lot more than “rumpy pumpy” (smile) and on a cruise foreplay begins in the morning, continues all day and night with “Rumpy Pumpy” anytime we want…day or night or both.

  32. Linda Herrnacki says:

    John: You were too nice to David123, what is this with “Cabin Boy”, he should be very thankful to have someone clean his room each day and make the bed, and get it ready for night time etc. If this David wants room service tell him to pick up the phone and call for it! His Cabin STEWARD is not his personal waiter! I have never had an issue with my cabin stewards, if their English was a little lacking we always are able to communicate anyways. David you are so uncooth! Perhaps you should get your own Yacht and crew staff who you can speak to in that way, but on Carnival we are ALL equal, whether a passenger OR a crew member! Remember that next time you decide to make uncalled for comments! Don’t shoot off your mouth so much, you are no better than anyone else. In fact after reading your comments I know you must be very arrogant! Linda & Mike

  33. Ellester says:

    Hi John! I am really enjoying your “blog thingy”. My children (ages 12, 9, 6, & 2) LOVE the “Charlie Bit Me Video”. They found it several months ago on YouTube and love to reenact it complete with cute British accents. Hilarious! So funny Kye likes it too! We will be sailing on the Destiny in March and are so excited! My dad and step-mom are taking the whole family to celebrate his 70th birthday. My son will also turn 7 the day after we get back. We can’t wait! They took my oldest and her cousin on the Liberty last spring, leaving the rest of us at home to mope. But this time we all get to go! Hurray!!

    Thanks again for the daily dose of entertainment, it is a great guilty pleasure to sit down and read it!

  34. Jodi says:

    Well John, welcome back to the land of the living. I too have recently had a spell with a cold that grew into more and have been fighting it off. Sorry to hear you too have had so much trouble with “the bug” but are winning, I am indeed happy for that! Thanks for all your hard work and sticking it out for us. The Magic sounds like she is coming along nicely, although I have to say you probably shouldn’t give the tofu lovers ideas, if they weren’t, they are now……… Romance on the high seas? Absolutely, and the low seas, at home, wherever. And about the guy with the cabin boys: where do these arses come from? I mean really who does he think he is, Blackbeard?

  35. Winston says:

    Good evening John

    My wife and I are sailing on the Liberty Jan 29 and again on Feb 5 (Back to Back our 4th and 5th cruise)
    just noticed in one of your comments about the changes Carnavial is trying out to save on fuel and we are wondering if our 2 cruises will be affected.

    We are counting the days and to day is 14 to sail.

    Looking forward to your response

    Winston Ingraham
    Sydney NS Cape Breton Canada

  36. Courtney Marsteller says:


    Hi John,
    I can’t find where to send you an email with the info for the Captain’s Table. Can you please let me know where to submit that privately? Thank you!

  37. Ross (from PrinceEdward Island) says:

    Here’s another video for Kye…

  38. Deloris says:

    Hi John, just wondering if the trial with the Liberty works. Saving gas what will happen if they don’t stop at HMC ? Will they go to another port or spend more time at one of the other stops ? If they stay longer at another port-San Juan would be great to spend extra time at ! Will Carnival keep us up to date on that situation? Please reply-I need to know if I need to make changes on my cruise, thanks- Dee

  39. Rhonda says:

    First I have to tell u we r very sad u will again not be the cd on our cruise. We r sailing on tbe valor on march 20th, can u plz get us a window table in the main dinning room for dinner, late seating….thank u very much.

  40. Pamela Peters says:

    My husband and I sailed on the Elation the week of January 10th. This was our 11th Carnival cruise and have loved everyone of them. Even with the propulsion/navigation problem the Elation experienced, we had a wonderful time. Carnival made sure we were entertained and did their best to turn a bad situation into a good experience. Our waiter, Anas; and, assistant waiter Roma were fantastic. This was a five day cruise and one of the gentlemen at our table mentioned that Creme Brulee was not on the menu and we were told it was only seved on 7 day cruises. When the desserts were served Anas made sure we all had Creme Brulee, in addition to our ordered dessert. In response to your inquiries regarding the show “Win,” it was incredible. I have to rate this as one of my very favorite shows. The audience never experienced a dull moment. Jason, Emily and the dancers must have worked very hard to present this very professional show. We are looking forward to our cruise on the Dream in April, and many more cruises with Carnival.

  41. Robert says:


    Enjoy the blog. Sailing on Magic July 24, 2011 – My birthday!

    Just curious, has Carnival looked into putting Ipod dock stations in the staterooms?


  42. phoenix says:

    Cruise Critic is now perceived as arrogant because they’ve chased all the fun people off with their warnings and point system. Ad then the main host on the board says there’s no such thing.

    Make a joke or funny, and you now get a warning, time out, or banning.

    So now it’s a bunch of grumpy posters who can post, because it’s allowed.

    The fun ships had the fun people who posted fun things on the fun boards. That’s what made the Cruise Critic Carnival board different.

    Ah, the good old days.

  43. Peg Dunbar says:

    Hey John, great blog today. I can tell that you are feeling much better. As far as “romance on the high seas/vs home”, well as a matter of fact there is more
    on the high seas.

    Keep smiling John; you truly are one of the good guys.

    My best to Heidi and Kye.

  44. mjbearit says:

    John, you can throw us in the “yes” catagory for the romantics! Let’s see, no phones (we make a point to leave them packed!), no driving or rush hour to worry about, no office, no phone calls, no cooking and cleaning, no kids problems (they are all adults and they have to save up their problems until we get home!). In fact sometimes our cbin steward and company will end up coming by several times before we will let them in the room some days! LOL! Oh and notice, that is Cabin Steward, not “Cabin Boys”, that is a whole different meaning! And while on the subject, we have sailed on the Carnival Spirit twice, or Steward “team” have never had english as a first language, yet some how, we always manage to communicate…hmmm….maybe because I’m not a jerk to them? And for the record, you don’t tip the cabin steward just to make your bed! Tip them well up front and you’d be surprised how attentive they can be! By the way, we tip both the Steward and their helper/assistant. They work hard for their money and it’s not that much to begin with! You’d spend more on a driving vacation or a plane trip or whatever and certainly more on other cruise lines! I figure that means we can spread the wealth a bit! Is it so hard to treat others well?

  45. Judy aka Arizona cruisers says:

    Hi John (no response necessary),
    I made my first post on your blog thingy a few weeks ago. However, since I asked for a response to that it hasn’t shown up yet. I asked about booking the Chef’s Table and steakhouse. No worries…

    My main purpose for writing that post was to say how wonderful Felipe is! Instead of going on the Splendor for Christmas, we went on the Paradise. We loved it and had a fabulous time! We ended up doing more of the indoor activities than we normally do because the weather wasn’t cooperating. Felipe was so excellent! He was visible everywhere on the ship, always friendly and enthusiastic, and so very genuine and passionate about what he does. His ‘Game of Love’ show is hilarious and not to be missed!

    At the time I wrote the original post, it was in response to SueZoo or ZooSue (I can’t remember). Now Rick from Orange County is writing here and prompting me to write this. I read what was said on Cruise Critic myself and personally know one of the people that made negative comments. I posted a positive review on Cruise Critic when we returned, as well as your blog thingy. I can just say that none of us are at our best at each and every moment, and I respect what other people think, but Felipe is certainly at the top of his game now! I suspect that we are booked on the same cruise as SueZoo and Rick from Orange County, although Rick mentioned 3/12. Our cruise on the Splendor is booked for 3/13/2011 (don’t show up at the dock a day early, Rick!) and we can hardly wait to see Felipe again! I put him up at the very top of the cruise directors that we have experienced and the Splendor cruise will be our Platinum minus one (we can hardly wait for the Miracle in December that will be Platinum!).

    Anyone cruising with Felipe…you will have a blast!!!

  46. Beth Flynn says:

    I am definitely more romantic on a cruise! See. He should take me on more. 🙂

  47. Michael Hepler says:

    Does anyone know how I can eat at the chefs table. I am sailing out on Elation one the 24 of Jan for 5 days. I also heard that John will be on this Curise. Any ones help would be great.

  48. makeda says:

    “cabin boy”? “orders”? foreogners”?…the poster needs to stay home

  49. Linda says:


    I tried emailing back on facebook but you are gone from there now. Anyhow there are a bunch of us on a cruise that are repeaters from the Freedom, Liberty, Splendor and now the Magic. All from the Med and the South America and happy to be back with you and Ron Pass again. The problem is we are trying reserve several tables in the steak house for a certain night in advance and we keep getting error messages. Can you help us please. Can’t wait to see you again. We are on the inauguaral cruise and are coming in from Texas, Arizona, Maryland, Florida and what have you.


  50. kimberly says:

    Hey John….same question…who should I contact to be reserved for the Chef’s Table…? It would be a party of two for the Elation sailing January 20th……..and thanks….K.

  51. Andrea says:

    Hi John,
    yes yes yes my husband does get much more romantic on our cruises and this cruise traveling with 8 family members, but then we are doing a back to back for the first time 2nd cruise on our own just the two of us yippy. Say hello to your family and I love having my tea and reading your blog, will hopefully see you on the carnival freedom in February we are counting down the days.
    Best wishes

  52. Lilly says:


    In response to your question re: being romantic I guess that remains to be seen. My husband and I have been working so many hours the past few months that we’ve hardly seen each other. We will be on the Glory next week, so hopefully it will be somewhat romantic (unless we’re both too tired from working so much that we will be sleeping the entire week)!

    I will give you an update once we return.

  53. TiffanyN says:


    Getting ready (should be packing instead of tooling around the interwebz) to head out on our family’s 4th cruise, this time on the Glory on 2/6, to celebrate my husband’s return from a 6 month deployment. We are looking forward to meeting our CD Jorge. I am hoping you can tell us whether or not there will be a venue available to watch the Superbowl on that first night. We are hoping that lovely new jumbo screen will be put to good use! Thanks John, and happy blogging!

    Tiffany, Pete, Evan and Jillian (1st cruise and born 9 months after family cruise #3! hahaha)

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