A Quicky Blog

February 28, 2011 -

John Heald

I have an hour to write you a quick blog and I am cheating a bit here because it’s 6:45am on Sunday morning and I am sitting here in the conference room……..in my underpants…….. writing Monday’s blog. You see, I know that when Monday comes there will be bugger all chance of me writing a blog so feeling as guilty I decided I would write a quick blog. Obviously it’s the bloggers cruise today and I will be writing more about that shortly……….but first I want to talk about your Carnival Magic…………….well………sort of.

You see, last week I was in Jim Berra’s office. For those of you who don’t know who Jim is, he is our absolutely stonkingly brilliant chief marketing officer whose “Mum’s Got Air” commercial is proving a massive hit and is someone who allows me to write this blog and my Facebook page in my own words. Now I pretended I needed to meet with him to talk about this and that but the real reason I went to his office is that he has a proper Italian espresso machine in the east wing of his palatial office.

So at 2 pm I was escorted into his kingdom by his gorgeous 6 foot 5 supermodel secretary who had a skirt on that was so short you could see her…………oh bugger………just realised that Mrs. Berra might be reading this………..so I was escorted into his kingdom by his secretary Bob.

Once seated in my palatial leather chair, sipping my delicious espresso we talked about your Carnival Magic and Jim brought up something very interesting. He was saying that there had been difficulties in getting flights to the shipyard ready for the inaugural cruise for himself and other Carnival executives. One reason was that it was a public holiday in Italy which meant that millions of Italian men would be putting on their Speedos and flying away on vacation. The other problem that flying to the other main hub from the UK……….London…………was difficult as well……………..because of the Royal Wedding.

Ah yes, the Royal Wedding. It seems the entire UK is getting massively excited about this event and judging by what I have seen here in the States…………….it’s the same thing here. Me …………. am I excited? Yes, but I’m managing to rein in my elation quite well so far. I only allow myself nine thoughts a day about it, and wear a rubber band around my thingy so I can ping it if things get out of hand.

But what really shocked me was that during my 12-day layover in Atlanta while mincing around the shops I saw that you could buy souvenir mugs, spoons, British style pint glasses and towels ……in Atlanta……..in Georgia…….in the United States of America. But as I shook my head in disbelief I was reminded that when President Obama was elected leader of the universe, you could buy the same crap with his photo on it in the shops in my home town………..in the UK.

What surprised me even more I guess was not only that this stuff was for sale but people were actually buying it. Why? Why were Americans buying this stuff…….do they really want to drink a pint of Budweiser out of a glass with the photo of two British royals grinning aimlessly on it?

I just went googling and typed in Royal Wedding souvenirs and found that there is no shortage of items. For children, there’s a £15 ($25) Happy Land royal wedding set including plastic figures of Prince William and Kate, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh and a corgi and corgi poo.

What is even crazier and bringing me back to Jim’s point about it being a mad travel day is that the police are estimating 7 million people will line the streets of London with many sleeping on the street to get a better view. Why? To get hypothermia and possibly Ebola by sleeping outside Buckingham Palace in a foil blanket to catch a glimpse of Princess Kate’s left ear…….what a load of bollocks.

Don’t get me wrong. I hope Willy and Katie will be very happy. Hopefully Will’s has more of his wife’s genes in him than his Dad’s which means he will be faithful to Katie and not be tempted to have an affair with a horse. Anyway, I am proud that we have a Royal Family but our Carnival Magic could not have her first cruise at a better time.

Here we go with some Q and A…

Chrissy Fennel Asked:
Please Reply.

John, I was on the Carnival Dream this past New Year and had a great time with my friends like I’ve had the past 3 cruises I have taken with Carnival. This trip we had the privilege of talking and seeing comedian Tommy Drake. We absolutely loved him, but forgot to get his information about tour dates and how to purchase his CD at the end of the night. Is there any way you can put us in contact with him (email, website, etc.), or someone that would have that information?


John Says:
Hello Chrissy Fennel

I am so glad that you enjoyed Tommy Drake’s entertainment. He is a very funny man indeed and a fine juggler as well. I took the liberty of sending him your e mail address through our entertainment office and hope that by now he has been in touch. If you need my help again please let me know.

Best wishes

Thomas L Asked:
Mr. Heald
please respond

Having just returned from the Conquest ship I wish to tell you of my disappointment at the total lack of entertainment designed for people like myself. My wife and I don’t drink, don’t gamble and are proudly religious. Yet we were seated at a table with a couple who not only drank excessively at dinner each night but were loud and obnoxious. We demanded a different table and were then seated for the last two nights at a table on our own which was unfair. I must also comment that the shows featured degrading costumes or jokes that certainly were not suitable for a family audience. The entire cruise seemed to be based on drinking and gambling. This is our fault as it was our first cruise and we should have realized that the Carnival line is all about this but surely you can arrange to seat people at dinner who have the same interests and beliefs and not with a group of drunken Texans with zero morals.  I write to you because I have had no reply from your customer satisfaction department which is an oxymoron and so I will be expecting a prompt reply.

Thank you
Thomas L – Park City, Utah

John Says:
Thomas L

Thank you for taking the time to write to me here on the blog. Just before I respond I wanted to apologise that you have not had a response from our guest care department whom I will send your post to immediately. Our guest care department is usually very prompt with replies so I’m not sure what happened here. I am disappointed to hear that you did not enjoy your first Carnival experience. Our dining room team does their best to seat guests together according to age demographics however with 3,000 plus guests each cruise this is not always possible. I am sure you will understand that it would be impossible to arrange seating based on any other parameters such as religious beliefs however, saying that, I am sorry that your table companions were not to your liking.

I hope you do try cruising with us again and if you do may I suggest our Anytime Dining option which as it says allows you to eat at anytime between 5:30 pm and 9 pm. This will also give you the option of either eating with different guests each night or if possible, having a table for two.

I am also sorry to hear that you did not appreciate the entertainment which unless advertised as an adult comedy show is I feel certainly family oriented. But I realize that not everyone has the same tastes and again my apologies that you did not enjoy the shows. Hopefully you did enjoy the activities, food, friendly service and the ports of call.

Thank you again for taking the time to write and I will forward your comments to our guest care team.

Best wishes

Devon J Asked:
Please reply

I want to tell you of a big complaint from our recent Freedom cruise. Myself and my 4 friends are in our senior year at the University Of Florida. On the last night of the cruise we wore our rented Toga costumes after dinner yet we were refused entrance by the security staff at the door of the nightclub. We were not intoxicated yet were treated as though we were criminals by a very rude security doorman. Why were we refused entrance? We were doing no harm and there were people in the room with far more revealing clothes than we had on.

Please provide me with an explanation.

John Says:
Hello Devon J

I can’t provide you with an explanation, only an apology. I checked and we have no specific rules about this so I am not sure why you were not allowed in. You bring up a great point because if we don’t allow togas then we should not allow the guys who wear their pants so low we can see the crack of their arse. I will pass this onto someone who will make sure that our onboard teams aware of your situation. I hope you had fun despite this problem on the last night of your cruise.

Best wishes

Colin Redwood Asked:

Enjoy your blog and face book hearing the updates on the Carnival Fleet and it activities. Reading the infamous cruise critic there have been some very hard reviews about the Carnival Dream and its rating is now near the bottom of all cruise ships listed on cruise critic in the overall ship category. We really want to spend our summer vacation on a back to back cruise but reading comments like this really make me nervous.



As you will see there is much talk on cruise critic about the smell and this is also what concerns me. I love Carnival but I need assurances from you that the smell is gone and that what they are saying on cruise critic is not true. Sorry to heap so much pressure on you.


John Says:
Hello Colin Redwood

Don’t worry about the pressure Colin as I feel none at all when I recommend the brilliant Carnival Dream to you and your family. During the start up of the vessel we did indeed face some challenges with a bad odor on certain parts of the ship but they have now been eradicated. I didn’t read the review link you sent but I do want to say this instead. For every one negative comment on Cruise Critic there are hundreds of guests who do not post anything on any site and who have had the most fantastic experience. Please let me know if you have any follow up questions Colin and book that Dream vacation………………..I promise you will have the time of your life.

Best wishes

Dragonfly Asked:
I was a passenger on the Carnival Dream last year and I really enjoyed the Karaoke Hostest MOUNA CRANE….. She is the best!!!!!! I have been on three (3) Carnival ships with her and my wife and we both I really enjoy seeing her, she is very amazing. Will she be on the Magic. The next cruise for us will be # 10 yes VIP members and I hope to see Mouna again.Please Respond…

John Says:
Hello Dragonfly

Everyone who meets Mouna never forgets that they have done so. She is truly incomparable and I know she has many fans on this blog thingy of ours. I will make sure she reads your very kind words and thank you for taking the time to write them. I will though have to send them to her private e mail because she has since left Carnival and moved on to other things……we miss her a lot. Congratulations on reaching your Platinum status.

Best wishes

See2Sea Asked:
Response needed

Cooler Bag as a Platinum benefit gift. What nonsense and what a cheap person you are John for trying to paint it as acceptable. You are nothing more than a corporate mouthpiece. Other lines give guaranteed free upgrades to suites for people who have cruised 10 times or more, what did I get on the Fascination last week a cooler that looked like it came from the dollar store. I will not be reading your blog again as I am so over you and what you have to sell

John Says:
Hello Sea2Sea


Best wishes

Norman H Asked:
John – Reply requested as soon as possible

My wife and three children will be sailing on the Valor on 27th March and want a table for the family together with no other passengers. It is my youngest son’s birthday on the 25th and understand you send free birthday gifts and I would like you to please send this to Zack during the elegant night dinner.

We are looking forward to our second Carnival cruise.

John Says:
Hello Norman

I have sent your dining request to the maitre d and have asked Goose the CD to send a little something to Zack. It will probably have to go to your stateroom though so you will be able to give it to him on my behalf at dinner. I truly hope you have a brilliant second cruise.

Best wishes to all

Linda and Chuck Asked:
John (please reply)

I haven’t yet gone back and read all the blogs I missed while on our cruise on the Carnival Miracle. Eventually I will catch up!

I did want to say we had a wonderful time, and just note a couple of things (will be writing a more detailed review later…before I get caught up reading your blogs, I have to get caught up at work!). We tried the “Your Time Dining” and found that it worked very well for us — and when you asked a while back on the blog, we voted for traditional assigned dining! *LOL* But we have previously found that early seating dining makes us feel a bit rushed to get back to the ship on port days (so we are rested, showered and dressed in time for dinner), but that late seating makes us miss the start of some of the evening activities we enjoy. “Your Time Dining” = problem solved! On the other side of the coin, we did not like the new version of the Captain’s Party at all. Quite a disappointment.

Love to Heidi and Kye!
Linda and Chuck

John Says:
Hello Linda and Chuck

I am so glad that you liked the Anytime Dining. More and more people seem to be opting for this but I know that some still are not sure, especially those who have cruised many times and are used to the assigned seating. However, the flexibility of dining when you want is invaluable and thanks for confirming this is so. I know the new captain’s celebration has is not as popular as the old version……..but let’s see what happens in the near future shall we? I am glad you had a great time and thanks for the kind words and my best wishes to you both.


LVU101 Asked:
Hi John, (please reply)

We will be on the Dream, April 9th, stateroom 6230. My husband is my hero; he was injured in a car crash when he was hit by a drunk driver. He lost his left leg and has limited use of his left arm as well. My question is, can you arrange us to be on the main level in the dining room and at a large table where he has some room for the wheelchair. My husband is only 28 years old and is still coming to terms with his accident and this will be our first vacation since our night of horror. This though will be my 4th cruise on Carnival; it’s my cruise line of choice. Believe me I’ve been on ALL of the others, carnival has come a long way and has not forgotten who the customer is. Thank you for all you do. I said I’d never write and ask a favor, but, this is for a special man that has had the toughest of times.

Thanks so much

John Says:
Hello Lizzy

Thanks for the touching tribute to your husband whom I will make sure is looked after with the table request and in many other ways. We all send our warmest wishes and hopes that this cruise will rejuvenate both of you

Best wishes

That’s all for today.

Well it’s now 8:30 am and in a few hours I will be joined by 340 bloggers. Peter the Hair will be here and we will be filming everything that happens for the blog and will be posting updates as well.

So last night there was a bit of a domestic issue here on the Carnival Freedom. According to Anuj the hotel director a couple in their forties had a huge argument which resulted in a 2 am bust up and her throwing all of his belongings off the balcony and in to the ocean causing him to stand at the guest services desk in his underpants………no really he did…………and also causing the environmental officer to have to complete a ton of paper work.

This kind of situation happens now and then on cruise ships and I wonder therefore if these sorts of arguments are relevant at home as well as when they come on vacation or do these arguments intensify due to the confines of what can be a small stateroom? Certainly from my experience it is the couples who have just got together or are in the early years of their relationship who seem to have these intense arguments.

I don’t know the answer to that but I have been thinking that there I need to try and help here and stop these arguments from happening. And so with that in mind here is my pre-cruise test to make sure the partner you are taking your Carnival cruise with is the right person for you. Let’s crack on and start with a test for the ladies to see if he is the perfect cruising partner for you.

  1. It’s elegant night and your wife has been getting ready for 3 hours. She finally emerges from the bathroom and asks “Does my arse look big in this dress?” Do you answer?
    1. Yes, it looks like someone has put a beach ball in your knickers so for the love of god can we go to dinner.
    2. No, I have never seen such a small and cuter bottom as that. I thought Megan Fox was in my cabin
    3. If I say “no” you will think I am saying it just so we can get out of this cabin and if I say “yes” you will be grumpy all night long and there will be bugger all chance of any rumpy pumpy. Please may I have a different question?
  2. You have been wandering the Carnival Magic for 15 minutes trying to find the RedFrog Pub and realize you are never going to find it without asking for help. Does he say?
    1. I am a man. I am not programmed to ask for help. Let’s keep wandering the ship for another 15 minutes because maybe we will find it
    2. I am not wrong. I know exactly where I am going. I know this ship like the back of my hand. Oh……..hold on……….why are we in the galley?
    3. Darling you look gorgeous in that dress and your arse seems to be getting smaller as we walk. Tell you what, you go buy yourself a ring from the gift shops while I ask that large white arsed cruise director for directions to the RedFrog………..mmmm….….I love you to darling.
  3. You come back from a wonderful night onboard of great shows, food and fun. You get into bed and realise you have a headache. Does he:
    1. Says he feels sorry for you and feeds you little bits of the chocolate mint that Ketut left on your pillow
    2. Get his laptop out and Google “rumpy pumpy is a cure for headaches”
    3. Tweak your nipples and lick the back of your neck like a rabid cocker spaniel until you scream “get off” which results in the people in the cabin next door calling security.
  4. You arrive at the ship and go straight to your stateroom. Does he:
    1. Unpack the suitcases for you telling you to go up to the spa and have a massage while he sorts everything out here
    2. Says “See you later and buggers off to the Lido to drink beer and watch the Miami Heat win the 2011 NBA Championship”
    3. Unpacks for you while you have a massage and when you come back you find rose petals on your pillow, champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries, a fruit basket from John the fat cruise director and dinner reservations at The Chef’s Table. You then realise…….he’s been doing a Tiger Woods and you kick him in the bollocks, throw all his clothes overboard leaving him standing at the guest services desk in his underpants.

See you soon here and on Facebook.

Your friend


P.S. Here are today’s Fun Times.

Hi, I’m John, and this is my blog. So please don’t mistake my opinions — or those of my dear friends, fans or commenters — for those of Carnival Cruise Line or Carnival Corporation. My apologies in advance for anything I may say that upsets you, but this disclaimer covers Carnival and puts the blame directly on me………….. bugger.