February 3, 2011 -

John Heald

Ssssssshhhhhhhhhhh………don’t tell anyone but I think two of the ship’s senior officers are ……….. well………… know………at it. It’s not like they need to tell anyone they are having an affair because it’s as obvious as posting five photos of naked bottoms on this blog …….four being Megan Fox’s and one being Judge Judy’s.

The pair in question probably thinks they were being subtle when by ignoring each other at yesterday’s department head dinner. But they might as well be running down Promenade Deck. They’ll think no one notices that in a darkened corner of the cigar bar after work they accidentally always manage to sit next to each other, legs touching under the table. But behind their backs other crew members are pretending to vomit, grinning at each other because ………… they know.

It’s an office romance and they are the same whether it’s on land or at sea. When a lady starts wearing short skirts with one of those push up bra thingies to work when before she wore long black pants and a blouse buttoned all the way to the top…….she’s definitely getting some post-work rumpy pumpy. A man will wear new cologne and if he is like the chap here on the ship he will walk down promenade like a peacock thinking to himself……………I am the man.

She’ll toss her hair a lot like that woman from Sex and The City does in that shampoo commercial…… know……..the one that looks like a horse. The man will stare at her bottom all day long without interruption. They’ll jump like someone has poured hot water down their underwear if anyone goes near their computers because they’re full of soppy “I am hot 4u! xox” e-mails.

Yep, they think nobody knows………but we all do and now so do you. The interesting thing is I know one of the people I am writing about reads this blog.

So have a look at your place of work. See if you can spot the obvious signs. Jen from accounting may be a hard worker but if her dress style has changed and she is smiling a lot…..she is probably having rumpy pumpy with Tim from purchasing.

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

Steve B Asked:
John Reply Please

I was alarmed to read on Cruise Critic this morning that Carnival has a big problem with bed bugs on their ships. What is being done about this and are passengers getting refunds if their cabin has bed bugs in them. We are sailing on the Elation in 5 weeks and need to know.

John Says:
Hello Safwatt,

I see your comment was posted on December 29 and I saw a similar comment to this on my Facebook page last night so I guess this rumor is still out there. And that is exactly what it is a rumor. Here are some facts. I checked with our Vice President of Operations just a few minutes ago and he confirmed that no ships in our fleet have reported an outbreak, infestation or whatever else you may want to call it and that’s because of the brilliant work carried out by our housekeeping teams on the ships. They follow the very strict protocol that we have set out for them to make sure the little bastards don’t ruin your cruise. So please ignore this rumor and I hope you had a wonderful itch-free cruise.

Best wishes

Optiron Asked:
Can you tell me (PLEASE) when the Chef’s Table will be on the BC4 as I am confirmed.

But don’t want to miss formal (LOBSTER) Night or an opportunity to go to the Steakhouse- Why not do it all??iron

John Says:
Hello Optiron,

The Chef’s Table will be on the 29th. It won’t clash with any of the private blog activities so please enjoy this brilliant experience. Best wishes and see you soon


Barb Shugart Asked:
John (Please reply),

Let me preface this with saying that I love Carnival and am platinum status. I also admire the way you and the entire CCL handled the Splendor situation.

That being said, you mentioned the old style captains parties here and I would like to bring up something about the past-guest party I attended on the Legend last week. It was less than pleasant for us and I will explain why.

We arrived at a time that they were directing people into the nose-bleed section. We were handed a plate of 3 sub-standard (based on past experiences with Carnival) hors d’oeuvres for one hand and a glass of beverage for the other hand. We then arrive at a theater-style chair that has to be lowered but both hands are full. Not what I would call good planning for the guests’ comfort.

I then got to sit and watch the people below get offered additional and a better variety of hors d’oeuvres. Up top, the waiter came around once to offer us a second drink but that was it. Another came around part of the area to pick up dirty plates and glasses but never got to us, so we ended up having to

May I suggest that as a platinum, I would much rather be considered for a reserved section on the mail level than to have a Freddy frame that will end up in the next garage sale. Might you suggest this no-cost (and potentially cost-saving if it replaces the frame) consideration to the beards?

John Says:
Hello Barb Shugart,

First of all I want to thank you for your loyalty to Carnival and also for taking the time to write. I know that immediate changes will be made by the hotel director on the ship as soon as he reads this. The bigger picture is that I want a separate Platinum and Milestone party. I have suggested this many months ago and everyone said yes but the beards are dragging their heels on this which is frustrating. So please can you accept my apologies and I will continue to pursue this avenue and meanwhile let the ship know what happened.

Best wishes

Brandon Aldridge Asked:
My girlfriend and I will be sailing on the Valor on the 12th March. I am planning on asking her to marry me on the cruise. Where and when would be the best and most romantic place, on the boat or otherwise, to ask her. I read that you give free champagne as well so how do I get you to arrange the proposal and make sure I get the free champagne. I want the band to play our song which is I belong to you by Muse. How do I make sure this is done as well?

John Says:
Hello Brandon,

I am sure we will be able to help you although I don’t think any of our bands will know your song ……..maybe I am wrong……but it might be a case of us playing it in the dance club for you. What I need you to do is to leave a note at the guest services desk as soon as you get on the ship with your cabin number and a note about the proposal. I have already sent this to Goose the CD. I will arrange a time and a place for the proposal to happen with him and yes you can have some free champagne. Are you bringing the ring or am I providing that as well? Wishing you both many happy years together.

Best wishes

Sarah Asked:
Dear John, Eric, and Everett (a plea — please reply),

This will be one of the more odd requests you have to field. Here’s the story: on the Carnival Dream’s voyage to the Western Caribbean this March, my son Joe (then 5 years old, now 6) bought a blue cylinder-shaped neck pillow (not the crescent-shaped kind) with the Carnival logo. He proceeded to fall in love with it, and for nine months he treated the pillow as a security blanket and a toy. The thing went with him everywhere.

Sadly, on Saturday night, the neck pillow met a tragic and unlikely end in our fireplace while being used as a football. Joe was brave but devastated. I would like to replace it but can’t find one online. Can you help?

Many thanks!

John Says:
Hello Sarah,

Poor Peter the Pillow……cremated. We still have these in the gift shops onboard and I have sent an e-mail to the company that runs them for you. They have asked me for you to contact them using the following e-mail address to see what can be done:

My apologies for the late response to your request and I hope Joe gets a new security blanket soon and also works on his football skills.

Best wishes to you all

Kim Leisinger Asked:
Hi John, (please respond).

My husband and I will be on the Victory 02-20-11 (room 9231) and are taking my brother and sister-in-law. They are first time cruisers and I can’t wait to show them how awesome Carnival cruises are! It is also my birthday. Is it possible to get a seat by the window in the dining room? I appreciate anything you can do. I enjoy your blog thingy so much. The “beards” did great – I actually enjoyed them in your absence. : )

John Says:
Hello Kim Leisinger,

I have asked the maitre d to do his best to help you with the table request. I wish you all a wonderful cruise.

Best wishes

Virginia Benard Asked:
John and the helpful beards,

I just started reading your blog after the carnival Splendor incident. I love it and find it very entertaining. I have a special request.
We were schedule to sail on the Splendor on Jan. 16th and have now rescheduled for the Feb. 20th sailing. (fingers crossed) I am traveling with my family and we are also taking my sister and her oldest grandchild who is 8. They are first timers to cruising. We would love to have the early dining with a table for 6, but due to us having to change sail dates we lost our early seating confirmation. I would love for my Great Niece to experience the early dining with a fabulous wait staff. Do you think you could help us out with that request? Our stateroom numbers are 2469 and 2467. Thanks in advance.

John Says:

Hello Virginia Benard,

I am sure you are very excited that your Carnival Splendor cruise is just around the corner. I am sending your request to the maitre d and he will do all he can to assist you. I hope you all have a brilliant time.

Best wishes

Kenneth Fargnol Asked:
John – (Please reply when you get a chance)

We are platinum cruisers and we just completed a cruise on the Miracle which embarked on the 28th September. I just wanted to drop a line to tell you that, as always, we had a great time. All the staff was outstanding, but I want to let you know that a bartender was incredible friendly and fun. She made the trip special and I do hope to run into her again. She worked in the Gotham Lounge and her name was Monica Tanase. In addition I wanted to make mention of our PVP Dave Robinson who is awesome.

We will be cruising on the Spirit on February 25th and I am taking a group of 8. These people rarely take Carnival and prefer your sister line of Holland America so I really am showing off Carnival on this trip so if there is anything you could say to the Maitre-de to get us a great table of eight I would appreciate it.

By the way, we met you and your lovely wife on the Freedom in the Mediterranean. You were so funny and entertaining that I have been following your blog since then.

Best Regards
Kenneth Fargnoli

John Says:
Hello Kenneth Fargnoli,

Thanks for that wonderful review that highlighted both shoreside and onboard staff who together helped make your cruise vacation so memorable. I will make sure they all see your words of praise. I have sent your request to the maitre d on the Carnival Spirit and he will do all he can to help you. I hope you all have a brilliant time and thanks for all your kind words.

Best wishes

REINA W Asked:
Please reply,

Is there a chocolate buffet on the fascination boat when we go in on in March and does we have to pay.

John Says:
Hello Reina W,

Yes indeed, there will be a chocolate buffet served on the last sea day on Lido Deck 9 and there is no charge. I know you will enjoy it. Have a great time.

Best wishes

Sign Of the Fish Cruiser Asked:
Please reply

Your comments on religion were disgusting John. You need to repent and find forgiveness at the mercy seat.

John Says:
Hello Sign Of the Fish Cruiser,

Ummmm…………I apologise if I upset you but honestly I haven’t a clue what you are talking about. Please can you send another post with the comments I made that have made you so upset.

Best wishes,

Alyssa Asked:
Dear John, (Please Reply)

First off, I hope you had a great vacation!

The hubby and I are cruising the Destiny on May 2, 2011 and are so excited! I have cruised many times but this is the first one without my mother, and first REAL vacation as an adult. I think I’ve earned it 🙂 ! This is hubby’s first cruise ever and first time even leaving New England, U.S! I keep trying to explain it all to him and I still don’t think he realizes how great it is going to be.

We will also be celebrating our Anniversary on May 6th. Figured this would be the perfect occasion for our first family cruise together! I was hoping you could think of something extra special for him to celebrate these occasions. Our cabin is 8335 and booking number is ______.
I can’t wait to show him what a blast Carnival really is!

Thanks so much,

John Says:
Hello Alyssa

It looks like you have a lot of things to celebrate when you cruise in May. How wonderful that the first time your husband will leave his home state will be on the ship. Now I will be honoured (spelt correctly) to send you something for your anniversary but as the cruise is sometime away please can I ask you to post this again on March 10th here on the blog thingy or a week before you cruise on my Facebook wall. This way I will be sure to get it done. Thanks for all the kind words and have a great cruise

Best wishes

That’s all for today. I continue to answer as many questions as I can here and on Facebook and if yours has not been answered yet I promise to do my best to get to it soon.

I spoke to the beards and they have agreed I won’t be Twittering. By the way, Eric the Beard who is truly a brilliant chap will be joining us on the Bloggers Cruise as will Jordan who is the chap with overall responsibility for They will host a bearded Q & A

Here then is the latest piano bar roster featuring the brilliant men and women who provide so much fun on our ships.

LI Brad Alexander 02/19/11
SE Barry Miller 02/24/11
FS Jordan Heppner 02/24/11
EC Lorraine Ingle 02/24/11
DR Tom Riccio 02/26/11
VI Wally Boik 03/06/11
SP Jafar Curry 03/06/11
DE Linda Wiggins 04/09/11
FA Robert Crucilla 04/13/11
MI Greg Gallello 05/14/11
TI Ben Prince 05/14/11
LE Angela Johnson 05/15/11
IS Richard Atha 05/16/11
EL Bruce McGhie 05/26/11
PA Todd Troutman 06/03/11
PR Roger Concepcion 06/05/11
CQ James Morris 06/12/11
IM Mikael Smith 06/13/11
FD David Filsinger 07/16/11
GL Dana Honey 07/23/11
SL N/A Drydock
VA N/A Drydock

Just one correction- Ron Pass will be on Carnival Glory for 2 cruises-02/20 and Blogger’s Cruise on 02/27

We are in Tortola today an island that unlike St. Thomas, St. Martin and others never really gets the recognition it deserves. Heidi and I first came here on the Carnival Triumph during her special 10-day Millennium cruise back in 2000 and we really loved it and still do. There are no high rise hotels, no casinos, and very few loud touristy bars. Today the Carnival Freedom is sending 200 guests to the neighboring island of Virgin Gouda. Here is what they will be doing.


Virgin Gorda is the third largest and second most populated of the British Virgin Islands.

On this excursion you will:

  • Begin with a 40-minute cruise across the Sir Francis Drake Channel; to Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda.
  • Board open-air safari busses for a short 5-minute ride to the famous baths.
  • Swim or bask in the sun amid mammoth boulders in this unique atmosphere of palms, sand and sea caves.
  • Take a stroll through the intricate network of trails discovering hidden caves and sea pools.
  • Enjoy a complimentary beverage before boarding the boat back to Road Town and your ship.
  • This is a brilliant excursion and Tortola should be a place everyone visits and on this superb 5 port 8 day cruise………….you can.

OK, time to go and see Ketut and ask him for one of his magic potions to get rid of chewing gum. He is actually my friend again after I gave him a $3 raise. Heidi loves chewing gum…….as do many others. Me………I sodding hate it. Heidi says it’s comforting…….. how is chewing gum “comforting?” It’s a tiny thingy that lasts five seconds before you’re left chewing a flavorless knot of horse scrotum…….my underpants have more flavor…… and will last longer.

Honestly, the taste of mint or spearmint or tofu lasts but a few minutes. Unless you sit on a discarded lump of it like I did this morning on Lido deck thanks to some little bastard who left it on the chair………then the stain on your best JC Penney pants lasts a bloody lifetime. People often ask me why we don’t sell chewing gum in the gift shops………..well now you know why.

Well, it’s nearly time to go but first we need to talk about the Carnival Splendor. She is expected to leave her dry dock position in San Francisco on February 11th and will sail to Pier 35. I know many of you have been asking about this because you want to go and see her. On the 12th and 13th of February the ship’s crew will join and then sometime on the 14th (not sure exactly when) she will leave for sea trials before heading to Long Beach with 1,500 crew and contractors onboard arriving in Long Beach sometime on the 19th before returning to service on the 20th.

It has been a long time coming and it will be wonderful to welcome her back to the fleet. There is though one problem. You see, I am in a bit of a pickle. Carnival beards have suggested that I should be there for these sea trials and to help Felipe get the ship ready. I’ll be blogging, of course, and there may be some press stuff to do as well once we arrive.

Carnival is being truly great about this and is leaving this up to me because they know I have been traveling a lot already to New York, Memphis twice and 5 trans-Atlantic flights in a seven week period. But it’s not the 6 hour flight to San Francisco in coach that bothers me…………it’s the fact that I really wanted to be just a simple, badly dressed, overweight cruise director with a large white arse again and being here on the Carnival Freedom allows me to be just that. And I know if I were to go then I would be letting a lot of people down who are sailing here between now and the 26th. But my heart is telling me that before the Bloggers Cruise that I should go home ………to the Carnival Splendor and be part of her return. So I have a lot to think about. It’s not just me I have to think of though because if I do go I will have to leave the ship to Dan who is the current ACD here as he will become cruise director until Ryan returns. So there is lots to think about and I shall talk to Heidi now as she always helps me see things sensibly. I will let you know my decision later tonight on Facebook as I won’t be writing a blog tomorrow as I have busy day regardless of what I decide to do. Any advice you have would be most welcome.

I watched one of the ships movies last night. It was some romantic movie starring Drew Barrymore and some actor and basically it involved lots of romance and rumpy pumpy followed by loads of cuddling. This of course is a work of fiction because as any male blogger reading this will know……..what happens after rumpy pumpy in the real world has bugger all to do with what Hollywood portrays. We fall asleep after rumpy pumpy. It’s the law because rumpy pumpy is usually last thing at night. Also, as men, we’re already thinking about the next thing……..job done ….. let’s move on to the next one, which, after a good fart…… is going to sleep……. Cuddle? ……………….cuddle my arse.

See you on Facebook tomorrow………what am I going to do? Honestly at this moment ………….. I don’t have a sodding clue. I really am


Your friend

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58 Responses to



    • Dawn Marie says:

      I agree please stay on the Freedom. It is our first cruise with Carnival ever and I heard about you and have been following your blog and facebook. I thought you would make our cruise so enjoyable and comedic. Please return to the Splendor with the first sail of passengers. The rest of us would like an opportunity to meet you and enjoy your humour and entertainment. I especially want a bedtime story. We are sailing on the Freedom on February 12, 2011. Please be there.

  2. Ashley says:

    I was a little disappointed when I heard you weren’t going to be on the Splendor for her return. It sounds like the place you want to be in your heart.

  3. Optiron,

    I hope John is mixed up and not pulling your leg because there is no 29th this month.

    BIG Ed

  4. Joanne says:

    John, thank you for being such a great CD. You were on our first cruise on the Dream last Feb. You handled some difficult issue so sensitvely (the passing of a passenger). But, what a blessing the Splendor was to have you, followed your blog, what a team effort by all, crew and passengers. One comment I must make, I CANNOT BELIEVE the requests people send you, “champagne, better table, table for 6). Your are ONE person. I suggest, as we do, call Carnival, we have a wonderful travel guy, Russell Szerby, who takes care of all our requests. Its great you meet SO MANY needs, but just a suggestion for all who read, CALL CARNIVAL, they will help, they are terrific. And BOOK ONLY THROUGH CARNIVAL, they are great!! Oh, by the way, the icing on the cake was reading someone call you AT HOME requesting something! Keep well, A Very Appreciative Cruiser

  5. Martha Carter says:

    You have said for months that you plan on being on Carnival Splendor her first time back in service. I think you know the answer deep inside, you just don’t want to disappoint anyone.
    Hang in there!

  6. April says:

    Does Ketut follow you from ship to ship? Or do you just refer to all your stewards as Ketut? Very curious! Also, how many rooms does he tend? Thanks!

  7. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


    Fly back to the Splendor on the 12th. Welcome the staff and crew back onboard. Do the Sea Trials and send her off on her first run in style on the 20th.

    Yes, you will miss the 12th and the 20th sailing of the Freedom….but I think you will really regret not being there. Life is to short for regrets. Those who know you best will understand.

    After she has sailed, you can fly back to Miami and use that time to work on the Blogger’s Cruise.

    Linda (Mom of your friend DJ)

  8. jgeraci says:

    I say to follow your heart & welcome the C. Splendor back in service!

  9. Bonida says:

    You will do what is right and fair to all. Love your reply to the question of free champagne, LOL!

  10. Lance says:

    John, I know it is a difficult decision, but you were such a magnificent part of the Splendor rescue that you must see her properly placed back in service. I think it is quite fitting. I know there is much to think of. Good luck with your decision…

  11. Liane Ammerman says:

    Oh no….we are sailing next week on the Freedom and are so excited you are the CD. You were suppose to sail with us two years ago on the European cruise on the Splendor but changed your plans so we missed you again! I am hoping you will stay with Freedom and do what you do best…be a CD! Keeping my fingers crossed! 🙂

  12. Minsk says:

    “Are you bringing the ring or am I providing that as well? ”


    As for advice about what to do : listen to your heart. It rarely steers you wrong. (And listen to your other heart; ask Heidi.)

    Sail safe.

  13. Sharon says:

    Although I know it’s your decision, I think you will regret not going to be a part of the Splendor returning to the fleet. I know the travel isn’t fun and you have to be exhausted after all you’ve been through lately but having you there to report to all of us poor suckers stuck at home would be in your words “brilliant.” WIWT

  14. Mary M says:

    Hi —

    I enjoy reading your blog. My 11 year old daughter, my Mom and a friend will be crusing on the Dream on 4/2. My daughter took her first Carnival Cruise when she was only 2 and has been a regular cruiser.

    This is my daughter’s spring break, Mom’s 65th birthday and our friend – her first cruise! We’re looking forward to being on the Dream again.

    Any suggestions to celebrate for my fellow travelers?

    Years ago, Marco Colorado was one of our favorite crew in the dining room. We were on several cruises with Marco and miss having him as we travel.

    Hope you are doing well and hope to be on one of your cruises in the future.

    Mary from SC

  15. Glen demark says:

    Hi John
    Go visit the Splendor. I know you want to see the crew in person which will make the long flights much easier.
    Linda and I will be sailing aboard the Miracle, on March 11. We are hoping to see many old friends.
    Glen and Linda
    GalaxSea Cruises

  16. Kathy G. says:


    You do have a tough decision, and since you asked I will post my thoughts. You were there when the Splendor set sail, and when she got into trouble. She is now ready to welcome guests once again, and who better to be there for the celebration than you! This will only happen once. You can be a “simple, badly dressed blah blah blah” anytime! (I can’t even write what you did it’s so untrue) this is those once in a lifetime moments! WICBT!

    Heidi knows you better than anyone and she will give you the best advice. I would tell my hubby ( if I had one) to BE THERE!

  17. mike mcd says:


    Like My wife just told me “Life is too short, Do what you want and think you should do”

    Very Smart woman MY wIfe is


  18. len susman says:

    With all you left of yourself on the Splendor I think you should be there for her rebirth

  19. mike mcd says:

    John, do what yoyou think is right


  20. Dave Myerly says:

    Tough decision…… Wish I could offer a good solution.
    Maybe fly to San Fran, go on the Splendor and stay for the first port
    on the 2/20 cruise. Then come join the bloggers on the Glory for BC4.

    The information below is my educated guess at what it takes to bring
    the Carnival Splendor back into service.

    So how long and how many people does it take to repair and get the Carnival Splendor back in service?

    Initial problem loss of power at sea off Mexico Oct, 17, 2010 and could not restore power to maneuver.

    Here is what I think was affected and what it takes to get the ship back in service

    3500 concerned Carnival Splendor paying passengers
    1200 Carnival employees on board
    4700 People on board with no bathrooms and running out of toilet paper
    with no hot food and limited availability of suppies
    25 Carnival Ships Officers
    1 Cruise Director with soiled underpants

    1 US Navy Carrier with 5000 crew
    4 US Navy Helicopters with 20 Crew and Officers
    2 Ocean going Tugs from 2 countries
    A 3 day slow tow from somewhere off Mexico to San Diego
    35-40 food and water supply drops to the ship by Helicopter
    5000 1 lb. cans of SPAM for use if desired
    Several boat visits at sea from US Navy Carrier doctors and others
    News crews fly over ship for days getting photos

    Approximately 1500 hotel rooms and meals for crew at San Diego
    Daily transportation for crew and techies to and from ship while in San Diego tryig to identify the problems
    2 weeks to determine and act on issues concerning crew assignments
    Air and transportation costs to send crew to other assignments
    2.5 months of discussion about the root cause of the problems (Oct 2010 to Jan 2011)
    On board investigations and tests by hundreds of techies
    Manufacture in Italy of various parts needed to repair the Splendor
    Shipment of parts by either Air or Ship to San Francisco to install on Splendor

    A 3 day slow tow – San Diego to San Francisco to go into dry dock.
    1 month minimum in San Fran dry dock to install various newly manufactured parts
    20 Carnival Officers on board
    385 Carnival employees on board
    300 Tech reps from many companies on board
    1000 at various places around the world in communications with those on board
    500 San Francisco shipyard employees supporting work and repairs
    50 Coast Guard Officers
    4 Coast Guard ships (Mexico-San Diego-San Francisco)
    100 Coast Guard Crew
    500 Ship Yard dry dock crew in San Francisco doing repair work
    Costs to return 1200 crew and 300 tech people to the ship for underway operational tests on completion of dry dock.
    More tugs to manuever the ship in and out of dry dock and get it to underway readiness and pass Coast Guard operational tests

    The money and reduced cruise rates given passengers on the Splendor
    The offer of reduced cruise rates given those booked from Oct. until the Splendor is back in service.
    The additional publicity this event already generated world wide for Carnival (PLC).

    It is an educated guess that the Splendor will again be fully operational to begin the next voyage with passengers and crew as predicted on Feb 20, 2011 from San Diego.

  21. semper fi says:


    Please allow me to be a bit selfish. I would vote for you to stay on the Carnival Freedom
    While Cindy and I certainly understand your feelings after all you and the Carnival Splendor Crew went thru to bring home the wonded duck with all on board SAFE AND SOUND. But when you get right down to it you and the crew DID YOUR JOBS, allbeit you all performed YOUR JOBS in a truly MAGNIFICANT MANNER, at the end of the day you did what you have been trained to do.
    it is time for you to do what you have been TRAINED to do again, That being, having the guests of the Carnival Freedom experience John Heald as their Cruise Director.
    Both Cindy and i look forward to seeing you the week of FEB 12th

    I dont know if that helps you decide but also remember that the Carnival Splendor will just be completing Sea Trials without guests on board.

    Just our opinion

    See ya next saturday

    Bill n Cindy

    • Kathy M says:

      To Semper fi He will also be a CD on the Splendor helping Felipe. I think you are being a little self centered about this. John is a CD no matter where he goes,

  22. Jacqueline Triguero says:

    Follow your heart and you will make the right decision!!!

  23. Nancy McQuarrie says:

    Follow your heart — join Splendor for her re-commissioning cruise!! It’s a once-in-a-lifetime, and you did such a fabulous, momentous, fantastic job handling the gargantuan task of CD during her troubles that you certainly deserve to be there. Being aboard her in all her glory again is appropriate closure. She’s calling your name!! On the other hand, folks face disappointment almost daily in life. The scales point to Splendor!

  24. Sean B says:

    Goto the Splendor…its a special event during a historic period in Carnival and Cruising history…..or be a CD on a ship in the caribean that no one will remember (except for the passengers of course).

  25. Karen(formerly Techmom) says:


    I think you should go to the Carnival Splendor. You will not be happy unless you see for yourself that she is okay and I think it will put many at ease seeing you on there.

    If I was sailing on the Carnival Freedom and found out you weren’t going to be my CD, I would be sad but sometimes things happen and we all have to adjust.

    Karen (formerly Techmom)

  26. Jeanette says:

    You did say you wanted to be on the first voyage after the repairs, alas, the much anticipated BC4 gets in the way, BUT you could be the CD from the 20-25th and leave the ship at Cabo and fly to Miami from Cabo…..

    I so wish I could be going on the Splendor again soon, she is one wonderful ship!

  27. John, go to the Carnival Splendor. It will be important to everyone since you were the one who kept all the guests calm and at ease at that difficult time. It’s important that you be there.

    Paul F. Pietrangelo

  28. Frank and Bridie says:

    John I think it would be better for you to stay on the freedom buddy. You have been running yourself nuts. Just try to get back into the swing of things and enjoy. Wouldnt it be more fair to the people that booked the freedom because of you and the bloggers if you were rested and at 100%?

    Big Fans as Allways,
    Frank and Bridie

  29. Christy says:

    oh and… I’m LMAO at your blogs right now!

  30. simon says:


    You have to go on the Splendour, you were a great inspiration to the passengers on her last cruise, and you need to be there on her return!!

    You can be a simple, badly dressed, overweight cruise director with a large white arse again but you can never sail again on the first cruise of Carnival Splendor!!

    Go or it Mate!

  31. GaleLovesCruising says:

    I know it’s more traveling, but from all you’ve said, your heart wants to be with the Splendor. And, as they always say, “Follow Your Heart!”.

  32. DannyMissy says:

    Ahh, yes, floating or landlocked (very landlocked, in my situation), office romances are pretty much the same!

    Can’t tell you how much we’re looking forward to BC4! We are cruising Carnival for the first time, and kind of stumbled into the Blogger’s cruise entirely by some miracle of making our schedules all work together. Now all four of us in my party are SUPER excited!

  33. John,

    Thank you for always going over and beyond to help people, make us laugh and provided information. I have been on several Carnival Cruises and my next cruise is coming up this Spring–(My Honeymoon cruise–finally!!!) and I have found a wealth of information simply by reading posts and other cruisers’ comments. I hope folks realize that you are doing twice as much work as a normal CD by providing this service AND performing your regular responsibilites. I am disappointed at the insults and stupid rumors you have to weed through just to provide this service to us–your dedication is greatly appreciated! I have taken the link to cruise critic off my personal blog because I refuse to help support a site that uses HOSTS that are rude. I am very fortunate that I have never had an issue with any of my cruises, but it is nice to know you are here to help. Thanks again for everything you do.
    P.S. Good Luck working through your Splendor delimma.

  34. dancergirl says:

    John please reply

    This may be a very stupid question but could you let me know what ship go with which abbreviations? Also, are the dates listed the days the piano players will be leaving the ship or when they will be getting on?

    Thanks so much

  35. Wyldjim says:

    Well, John, I hope you are happy! You created a cruising addict:) My 6yr old and I were on the Splendor with you 2 months before the misshap. I said then in my coments that I would sail with you anytime anywhere! My wife has never come on a cruise becuase she gets a little seasick and just could not see how it would be so much fun. Living in San Diego we were keeping an eye on the ship. When we heard about what happed she looked at me and said, “See, I told you those ships are safe, it’s just like the Titanic.” I told her, “But, you don’t understand. They are all safe and they are probably having a laugh with John.” She looked at my face and said, “You wish you were on that ship right now, don’t you!” Yup, I’d be laughing my ass of with John and he would make sure we were having a good time:) Anyway, she decided to give cruising a try. We will be on the Spirt April 1st in cabin 7151. We will be celebrating her graduating with her Ph.D. in Psychology (Another reason I would like her to meet you). If you could send somthing to Dr. Leah from you I think it would be a great surprise. Thanks:)

  36. Cathy says:

    You know in your heart it will be the Splendor.
    Tell me when you arrive. We will get you and take you to lunch! Or dinner. Ok – maybe breakfast too…but we’ll be delighted to be at your service! Mr. and Mrs. Cannoli of Taormina….

  37. Leon Biesiadecki says:

    The advantage of you going to the Splendor is the world will want to hear from you that she is ready and able to resume service. You were an important source of information on her last year, and would be the same as she returns to service. This is an important event for Carnival.

  38. Jodi says:

    John – Follow your big, everlovin’ heart my friend, it will make the best choice.

  39. James says:

    I am sailing with my girlfriend on the Carnival Fascination March 10-14th this year. I plan to propose to her while on the cruise, and I was wondering if you could help me contact someone on that cruise to help set it up? I haved tried contacting wedding services, and guest services, and haven’t gotten much help. If you could please help me, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks.

  40. MrPete says:

    Sounds like you’re just letting the cat out of the bag for the Freedom cruisers.

    Your rightful place is to be on the Spendor for its triumphant return.

    You already know this.

  41. Meowsmurphy says:

    Purely for selfish reasons…PLEASE stay on the Freedom…we sail on the 12th…one week from tomorrow.. -)

  42. adam says:

    “I am hot 4u! xox” 8 )

  43. adam says:

    “I am hot 4u! xox”

  44. Mikey says:

    John –

    Thanks for the update on the Splendor in your Feb 3 blog. I shall be sailing on the Splendor this April 3 and looking forward to this voyage. I must say that I am a carnival virgin in that I have never sailed Carnival before and I am very much looking forward to meeting yourself and the entire Splendor cruise staff and based upon your blogs and replies, YOU ARE THE MAN!

  45. Gerri says:

    I think you will do what you feel is best. Just be sure it is best for you. I do believe you want to be on Splendor to have closure of the episode.

    Good luck in making your decision.

  46. capt Bill says:

    Hey John,

    I can’t begin to even think of what you should do…. That my friend is something you will have to decided. Instead I am going to comment on two other things you brought up in todays blog, 1. the past guest parties, the last couple I have been too (7 Yrs ago, the last time I cruised) we where in the main theater with a lot of other people who where on there 2nd or 3 rd cruise, I was on my 23 while my wife was on her first, it was ok, but I remember the days when it was held in the aft lounge and a dance band played, and people danced on the small dance floor. You got to mingle with the staff and crew, CD’s and ACD’s and the others on your staff. It was fun to go to, plus the company liked to unviel plans for the future (new ships, etc). The last 2 I went to, where, more like going to the captains party, or one of the shows. I liked hearing the ships band play, but I was not about to go up on the stage and dance where everyone could see me make a fool of myself (at least in my eyes I would have been). you did not get to mingle with the staff, and social hosts or the CD. it was very,I am trying to figure out how to put it, boring…. I hope the beards who read your blog are reading today, and will see these comments.

    As for #2, I hope Carnival will continue to offer these 8 day, 5 port cruises out of miami to the southern crib. and Panama. I for one like many sea days, but cant afford to be off from work for 10 or more days to travel to those beautiful islands. I know your saying we you can always cruise out of San Juan, I have before they made it 6 ports in 7 days. thats just not for me. I like the sea days where you can just unwind and sleep in and relax on the pool deck take in the sun etc… instead of jumping form port to port to port every day….. thats not a cruise it a bus trip….. so please ask the beards to continue to keep the 8 day trips out of fla.

    I wish you luck on your decision. thank you for being you and being the best cruise director in the fleet.

    may you have fair winds and following seas

    Capt Bill

  47. ErikV. says:


    I can see how you would be torn over this one, but as a Texan my thoughts fall to the old addage “You have to get back up on the horse you fall off of”.

    Not that you actually fell, mind you, but I think that being there on the Splendor as it enters back into Active Service would do you a world of good.

    Just my 2 cents,


  48. BarB says:


    Coupla things,,,

    Read your blog this morning and would like to stick my opinionated nose into the issue of a party for Platinum and Milestone folks. I think it would be a great idea and have often thought how nice it would be.

    The Past Guest party, once the highlight of the cruise week has, for the last several years, seemed to have turned into a free-for-all. Folks on the forum to which I belong brag about how many freebie drinks they can toss back in 45 minutes or how they manage, through strategic seating, to get plates and plates of food….to feed their restless children who are unhappy to be there, usually ending up crying or running around annoying people or running into the waiters trying their best to keep a stiff upper lip and somewhat of a smile on their faces. Then, of course, there are the guests who are not “past”…snuck in or let in by their buddies or the Carnival folk at the door…who soon lose control of the mob.

    I stopped going a few years ago…let me tell you why. It was on Triumph (one of my faves). I was amazed..the place was packed. The CD, during his welcome and before the video presentation (where I clap almost constantly, having been a cruiser on Carnival since Mardi Gras was their only ship..on it’s 2nd voyage-there aren’t many ships I haven’t been on). He announced half-humorously – that there were 1500 people in the room and 700 actual past guests on the ship…and made a sort of half-joke about it. He didn’t find it humorous at all…neither did I, neither did some others who were sitting nearby. When the video presentation started, the room started emptying out (liquor not being served, you see). I vowed “never again”…..

    I can see why Carnival changed that event….I wonder they didn’t do it sooner.

    Anyway, I think your idea is perfect. What can we do to help????

    Next thing…thought you’d like to know:

    My darling daughter, who passed the century mark in December (and who looks 35…I really don’t like her at all) has a very high-pressure job, a 19 year old, and had a very stressful year. I had booked the Pride, sailing on Jan 9. As a solo traveler mostly, I had already paid for my extended balcony on Panorama deck. I suggested to her that she should come along…wouldn’t cost her anything but her fun money and gratuities. She has resisted in the past…always too busy at work or somesuch. She agreed and right before the holidays, I added her name to my booking.

    She had cruised only once. A short 3-day on that Mouse ship after (for me) a grueling 6 days at Mouseland with “the kid” who was 8 at the time. Frankly, I forced a smile for those 3 days… There was something like 900 children on the ship…and no casino… Don’t get me wrong, it was a great time for the kid and is a great ship for those who enjoy running away from almost 1000 children.

    So, off we went, taking AMTRAK from Philly and boarding that beautiful ship..smack in the middle of the coldest weather in years.

    Making a much-to-long ramble shorter: She loved it…everything about it. Cold? Who cares. Everything about the Pride was perfect. She ate herself silly (it’s interesting to watch a vegetarian stuff herself), slept 9 hours a night, found the Sunset Garden where she spent hours gazing at the steaming ocean, reading and enjoying 7 days of pampering. She’s now a cruiser…. BTW: we had dinner at fabulous David’s one evening to celebrate our co-birthdays and, boy, did they fix her up right with the veggie entree and selections.

    She and I had a wonderful week, reconnecting, spending time together, drinking a little too much, eating more that we should, laughing. It was great to see the stress lines in that beautiful face disappear.

    The Pride, by the way, is beautiful, inspite of the “pornographic” murals thanks to the great Rennaisance Masters……. Honestly, some people never get out of Podunk.

  49. Troy says:

    When we sailed on the Freedom 2 years ago, we made our excursion out of Tortola, the trip to Virgin Gorda and the baths. I can still picture that beach in my head now. The most beautiful beach Ive ever seen in my life.

    When you arrive at the welcome center on the top of the hill, there are 2 paths down. One to the baths, and one to Devil’s Beach(? Devil’s something…name slips me). If you go down to the baths first, I recommend not spending too much time there. The little hike thru the caves/rocks is a lot of fun, and the beach on the other side is definitely the highlight. The water was crystal clear. Gorgeous.

  50. Agent Dotski says:

    You were there with Spendor during her toughest days. So I’m sure there has to be a bit of sentiment for you on that level. Therefore, as others have said, I really think you need to be with her when she sails out like a shiny new penny! You’ve said since it happened that you wish that you could be there when she sails out again…and now you can! Go and enjoy!

  51. Paula Vazquez says:


    I would just like to say that I love Carnival we fell in love with the Liberty and cruising last May when we were on our very first cruise for our honeymoon! We loved it so much we are going on the Liberty again for the May 7th sailing for our first anniversary and can’t wait to be on the ship again. Thank you for all the hard work you and the other do to make our vacations wonderful!

  52. Heather T. says:


    I was wondering if you could respond to a rumor that I read online somewhere.

    I read that Carnival will be firing the crew members and replacing them with bed bugs. The beg bugs will then be charging for the nightly turn-down service. They will, however, be sleeping with you at night, so they will be sure to clean up the moment you wake-up in the morning.

    They will be charging for the lobster and flat-iron steak. If you decine to pay the extra fee, they will eat it infront of you, while giving you dirty looks and gossiping about you to the other bedbugs.

    Also, on the last night of the cruise, they will get to drink any alcohol that was purchaed at the ports. Then they will pick the passenger who has treated them the most poorly, and sacrifice them to the Chief bedbug during the morning’s debarkation.

    Can you PLEASE let me know if this is true? While I can obviously read the rediculous, I am too ignorant to find out if these rumors are true.

    If they are, I will never travel Carnival again, and I will make sure that my friends and family do not either. If we change our minds, however, would you send me a bottle of champagne, a bon voyage cake, and arrange for a quiet table for two in the middle of the dinning room for my bed bug of choice and I?

    Thank you or something,

    A. Moron

  53. Steve Brinkman says:

    We were really looking forward to having you as the cruise director for our cruise on the Freedom on Feb 12th, but I agree with your decision to return to the Splendor.
    We are sailing on the Dream 3-12 and the Inspiration on 12-3. Hopefully after that we will find a ship that will have you as cruise director again.
    Best wishes
    Steve and Jeanette

  54. ayla.kristen says:

    John, please don’t reply but rather read this and do nothing:

    How you respond so patiently and kindly to some of the people that write to you… it’s just beyond me!

    Maybe it’s easier to type a diplomatic response than it would be to act it out in person if some guy came up to you and was like,

    “Hi, I hear you’re giving away free stuff, can you plan my proposal because I’m an idiot and I don’t know my girlfriend well enough to know what she’d want me to do or say? Do you write speeches as well? Can you just propose for me and sign my name at the bottom of the card that will come with the flowers you could give her?”

    I mean, seriously… I’d have SUCH a hard time writing a reasonable answer to that. My reaction would probably include expletives and insults.

    I cruised with Bonnie and Sarge Charlie during Christmas, and I just never even felt the urge to ask you for something. Granted, they arrange our seating for dinners so we all sit together at early dining, but I just don’t think a free bottle of wine or whatever would make my cruise too much better… Carnival cruises already rock my socks off! The only thing I might ask for is my own personal Mongolian Wok chef, can you work that out?

    And I wanted to tell you that you were the very first CD we ever experienced about 4 years ago on the Liberty and we were morons and didn’t know how amazing you were… And now here I am reading the blog thingy and I’m just dying to cruise with you again! I feel like I ate a piece of gourmet something thinking it was vending machine quality and I didn’t realize how good it was until it was too late and I’d already eaten the whole thing! That might be a bad analogy, but ohhh well. 😀

    I hope the mean people don’t get to you too much, John. You’re a fine human being and I like you pretty good.


  55. Paul Clayton says:

    I just returned from 7 day cruise on the Glory (2-6 thru 2-13). During the cruise I had the occasion to go to the Guest Services Desk. On the wall next to the desk was a large framed photo of The Cincinatti Reds baseball team on opening day 1963. I would sure like to obtain a copy of that photo. Can you point me in the right direction in that regard?


  56. Debbie says:

    My Husband and I will be on The Conquest The week of September the 11th and would like a Chefs Table Reservation, I am not sure if making request at the right place , please let me know Thanks for your help.
    Terry and Debra O Neal

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