Good morning everyone, this is Heidi and for those of you who are new to the blog thingy, I am John’s wife and John’s donkey. I will tell you what I mean in a minute but I wanted to say a very big thank you for your kindness and all the presents you have sent to Kye from the Bloggers Cruise. She loves all her Barney things and I love it because she loves it and Barney loves her and I love it even more because anything purple now drives my loving husband absolutely crazy so thank you everyone and I know I will see many of you on the Carnival Magic this year.

I know John is always having a pop at me here on the blog and I thought I would surprise him especially as we have a new blog format today. He knows nothing about this and thanks to Eric the Beard who replaced what John had written at the start of today’s blog with this, the first time he sees it will be later tonight. Ha ha ha ha ha.

I mentioned I was John’s donkey and I will explain why. Yesterday John took a reluctant day off from Facebook and the blog. I say reluctant because I had to threaten him with violence involving my foot and his bottom if I saw him turn on the laptop. Since he started Facebooking he spends an extra 3 – 4 hours a day and another 2 at night making sure he has answered questions. But we needed a day as a family and that’s why I insisted that we take Sunday to spend some time together. It was a lovely day and so we went for a walk on the beach which sounds nice and Kye really had fun collecting shells. It was a bright crisp day and all should have been good except that I was the donkey. While Kye and Dada skipped along the sand Mummy was carrying 300 wet wipes, a bag of dippers, toys, Kye’s food, spare shoes and an extra coat in case she got cold, Dada’s wallet, car keys, his cigar case and lighter and cutter, an oversized Barney, Barney colouring book and 24 crayons. Walking down the beach at Southend I must have looked like a female Quasimodo.

Thank you again for your kindness during the bloggers cruise and to everyone who is always writing kind words here on the blog thingy.

Heidi
x

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

Roland B Asked:
Response suggested!

I am very disturbed that Carnival will no longer have exclusive cocktail parties for their past guests. I feel that Carnival is not being loyal to me and the fact that I am a past guest does not matter anymore. I always loved my special recognition as a past guest at the party and will greatly miss it.

No more complimentary past guest pins. The Past Guest Rate is much higher than the Early Saver rate and no more past guest parties that this is a sign that past guest perks are gradually being eroded and our loyalty isn’t truly appreciated anymore. Will my shareholder on board credit be the next victim?

Is this a politically correct move so as to now “hurt anyone’s feelings” because they are excluded from a past guest function because are not a past guest?

In this economy, special recognition for being a past guest and especially a VIP is necessary. Other cruise lines have special parties for their VIPs only; will Carnival not consider doing this instead of a special party for all past guests. I have done 11 cruises with Carnival, more than most I would guess and am a VIP and deserve to be treated like one and not like all the other passengers. This is a huge mistake on Carnival’s part and I am disgusted by it.

John Says:
Hello Roland B,

Where oh where are you getting your information from? Whoever is giving it to you is talking absolute bollocks. We have not and do not intend to stop the past guest party. There are no intentions to change this. The pins are still available to all our Platinum guests which you are one of and we thank you for your loyalty. Our past guests have never been so important to us and we will continue to make sure that valued clients like you continue to feel special. So, keep smiling and know that everyone at Carnival, myself included, will continue to provide you with the best vacation in the world.

Best wishes,

John

Melissa Asked:
Dear John- PLEASE REPLY:

We Hope this letter finds you in good health and wonderful spirits, as I am sure you are missing Heidi and Kye. I am sure you are thinking that this letter is just like one of about a million you receive from people asking for a favor. However it is completely the opposite.

My husband and I are booked on the Magic Transatlantic (WOO-HOO !!!- We are so EXCITED!!!!!! not only for the first time experience on a new ship and a transatlantic journey at that, but for the fact that you will be the CD on board) We had the pleasure of you being the CD while we were on the Conquest in April, and loved every minute of it. You had us laughing so much and so hard, I think we just about peed our pants. Anyways, back to the reason why I am emailing you, my darling husband bought one of those electronic book reader thingy’s under the agreement that he would get rid of ALL of his books. You see, he has ummm…….well let’s just say ALOT of books. We would really like to donate them to the Magic, but we are not sure how to get them onboard. If we bring them with us to Barcelona, that could be a little pricey (with the way airlines are charging for checked bags) and then I thought that we could just have whoever came to pick us up in Galveston after the cruise to bring them, but when we were on the Ecstasy in September we asked one of the crew members in the library, and he said we could not do that. So we are coming to you with suggestions. We also have games and puzzles we would like to donate as well. Hopefully when we are on the Magic we will get a chance to meet You, Heidi and Kye in person. They will be on this voyage, won’t they?

Thanks for everything you do !

Melissa

John Says:
Hello Melissa,

Thank you so very much for those kind words and I am thrilled to read that you will be joining me on the trans-Atlantic cruise on your Carnival Magic. I see that your husband has become a Kindle fan and I still can’t get into the whole electronic book idea. However, what really stood out from your posting is that he wants to donate his books to the ship. Wow…………that is truly fantastic. I have send your posting to someone in the office on Miami and they will be in touch with you as I am sure we can arrange to bring them onboard without any problems whatsoever. Thanks so much for your kindness and I look forward to thanking you personally in a few months time and showing you your new home. Thanks again and see you soon.

Best wishes,

John

Geoff N Asked:
John – Please reply

I started reading your blog following on from the Splendor fire and while it was well written I have to point out one very important mistake you seem to be ignoring consistently. I realize that you are from the United Kingdom but from what I have seen, most of your subscribers are American. Therefore you should respect this and use the correct North American spelling. This applies to your addition of the letter “U” for words such as “color” and the replacement of the letter “Z” in words like “realise”.

These are but two examples but there are many more and your constant repetition is annoying not just to me but I am sure to many others as well.

Now I wish to move onto my recent cruise on the Conquest. The majority of the experience was fulfilling yet one aspect has me very concerned. The daily program which you called Fun Times was riddled with mistakes both in spelling, grammar and punctuation. Each day I would sit down and highlight these errors and yet when I asked for a meeting with the Captain to discuss these I was told my request for a meeting had been denied. I found this lack of customer service to be humiliating, especially after I had taken the time out of my own vacation to highlight these glaring errors. I am requesting your immediate response to this and in your much heralded position as brand ambassador for Carnival Cruise Lines it will be interesting to see how you respond.

John Says:
Hello Geoff N,

Let me start first of all by saying how I hope that you had a brilliant time on the Carnival Conquest and that you found the time to relax and have fun. I am very sorry to learn that the Fun times had so many mistakes in it. I was also shocked by this as they are checked by two or three people before going to print. Now I should also say that one of those two or three people is not the captain and while he has overall command of the ship, he is not responsible for the production or the content of the Fun Times. Thank you for taking the time to check them and I am sure that the mistakes that you found have been corrected. In fact, a few days ago, here on the blog thingy, I posted the Carnival Conquest Fun Times. Maybe therefore you can have a look and see if those changes have in fact been implemented. Thanks again Geoff and I am so glad you enjoyed my blogs about the Carnival Splendor incident and that they had the right mix of information, fact…………….and humour (spelt correctly.)

Best wishes,

John

ZackAttack Asked:
Dear John, Please Reply

It’s Zack again, the teen cruiser who posted awhile back requesting more adventurous things that the Royal jerks have even though they lack the service and fun that Carnival revolves its Fun Ships around.. I remember your reply saying something about something coming on the Carnival Magic that will more than suffice this craving, and you’ve hit the jackpot with the Sports Square. Carnival never disappoints and the Carnival Magic is going to be one heck of a ship! Now if only I can convince my parents to book a cruise on it.

One suggestion for the ropes course… I am almost positive some form of release will be necessary for the ropes course that will require a signature here, there, and everywhere from the parents that, although they are on the ship, are “nowhere to be found.” Instead of going through all this trouble of signing in the middle of the cruise, possible in a windy situation outside where attendants could be doing better things than giving out release forms, include a release form(s) in the cabin on the first day of the cruise so it can be taken care of instantly and away from the wind. Or, if an employee is required to witness the signatures here there and everywhere, have the service managers working shoreside issuing Sail & Sign cards and checking guest in to offer the release forms. This would save time, paper, and annoyances onboard. That was a bit long winded (sorry) but I’ve experienced the same problems aboard the Snot of the Seas and… well… it wasn’t fun to say the least.

Anyways, love the blog as always and keep em’ coming! Also, you probably don’t remember because you are very busy and I completely understand, but if you could someday find that chance to interview an I/S Manager onboard, that would be simply fantastic because it’s my dream job… computer’s + cruise ship = Dream Job Keep the other interviews coming (ACDs) as they are great too, anything ship life amuses me!

Thanks for all you do… I’ll be on a cruise with you someday, parent’s cruise choice permitting…

Zack

John Says:
Hello ZackAttack,

It is great to hear from you again mate and I hope that by now you have indeed convinced your parents to book a cruise. There is no doubt that RCI have some fantastic things on their ships for the thrill seekers out there and now we have something to rival there hardware with your Carnival Magic’s ropes course. The staff will be trained on this as obviously safety is the priority and I am sure therefore we will be have many hours of training conducted by men with beards wearing high visibility jackets. I am going to be publishing all the details about this once I get to the shipyard in a few weeks time and I will certainly bring up your idea on the waiver form being placed in the cabin as it is an excellent one mate. I hope by now that you saw the interview with the head of the shipboard IT program John Harshaw which I posted at your request and which I hope you found fascinating. I truly hope we see you soon and that you get to experience the rope swing course for yourself.

Best wishes to you and the family.

John

USAFWANDM Asked:
JOHN – PLEASE REPLY

Well my Mother and I just returned from our cruise on the Fantasy and I have to say that what you did for my Mother was so special. You may remember that I had written to you on Facebook saying that this year had been tough for her with my Father being diagnosed with Alzimers and my DH being posted on his second tour of Afghanistan with the USAF. I asked if you could arrange a table for two so we could talk as I live in Washington and my Mother lives in California so we don’t get time to really talk. Well not only did you arrange this table but your thoughtful note telling Mother that you were thinking of her and the chocolate strawberries you sent along with it brought tears to her eyes and mine. You really did something very special there John and I will never forget it. Can I though ask for one more favor from you and that is to tell whoever is in charge of the room stewards that Lamai who looked after us in cabin U 102 was fantastic.

Thank you again John. You are a very special person to so many and that includes me and my Mother.

John Says:
Hello USAFWANDM,

Thank you for those beautiful words and I will make sure your stateroom steward Lamai and her supervisors, the hotel director and housekeeping manager, gets to see your words of praise. I am glad you both had time to talk and please know that your family remains in my thoughts.

Best wishes and thanks again for taking the time to write.

John

SallyOwl Asked:
John please reply

Hi John,

We haven’t read your blog for a couple of days because we’ve been so involved with the news of Queensland’s terrible floods – we’re OK, but more than 20,000 homes have been under water this week, and the town where John’s parents lived (until they were too old) has literally been swept away. You can imagine how much we needed some good news – and this is WONDERFUL news!!

Is there some way that, as past passengers (and Carnival Spirit lovers!) we can be notified when bookings open? We want to be on the first Carnival cruise from Sydney!!

Good on you, mate – this is beaut news!

John Says:
Hello SallyOwl,

As I write this blog I am watching the continuing news of the terrible tragedy in Japan and it is easy to forget that just a few weeks ago the city of Christchurch New Zealand was also devastated by an earthquake. I am so glad that your family are OK and please send them all our best wishes. It sounds like you are excited for the Carnival Spirit to join you down there and hopefully very soon we will be releasing the details you need to book your Carnival fun for all cruise……..which judging by what you have just been through………is a cruise you truly deserve.

I am so glad to know you are all OK and please stay in touch here on the blog thingy and on Facebook.

Best wishes to all,

John

Fun Dad Asked:
Hi John. PLEASE REPLY SOON.

My wife and I have enjoyed several Carnival cruises, the last one was on the Glory. On every cruise we received the best of care from the whole Carnival team. I say team because not only did we receive the best service ever, it was obvious that the Carnival crew supported each other and worked well together. The Carnival crew puts in long hours and long contracts. Because of there long tours at sea, they miss out on a lot of special family occasions, like holidays, birthdays, weddings and funerals.

My son the Fun Dude, who you met on the dream and is still on the Dream, is one of those hard workers that misses out on these special occasions. So my brother and I are going to celebrate my 70th and his 63rd birthday on the Dream April 9th cruise. My birthday is Sunday April 10th and my brother Kelly, is Friday April 15th. It would be great if you could arrange so Jeff the Fun Dude could have dinner with us on those two occasions. We have early dinning and his shows I believe don’t start until 8:45 PM.

I am booked in state room 6463 and my brother is booked in stateroom 6443. We would be great if you could send my brother Kelly Shaw a birthday surprise on Friday April 15th.

Carnivals comedy club has gotten a lot of great reviews and that makes me very proud that my son was part of that success. If you ever plan to feature him and the comedy club, please let me know so I won’t miss it.

I enjoy your blog and I hope you don’t change a blumin thing.
I hope some day we can meet and I will light your cigar and buy you a beer.

Thank you

Tom Shaw (Fun Dad)
P.K.

John Says:
Hello Fun Dad,

I am a big fan of your son and he does such a wonderful job with the comedy club which as you know is now called Punchliner. I have written to the CD on the ship and asked Butch to give his permission to have Jeff be off duty so you can celebrate your birthday with a great dinner and lots of family time. I am positive this will be OK. I wish you a wonderful cruise and please give my best to the Fun Dude.

Best wishes,

John

Peggy Defoe Asked:
John~ (Please read and reply)

My husband is an alcoholic and it’s best for him and I and those around him to stay away from it. Last year our first cruise was on Celebrity and it was rough, they really didn’t have enough activities to keep us busy and don’t get me started on the lack of evening food choices. I know Carnival will have a much better entertainment list and the 24 hour places to eat will help. I would love to get him the soda card (juices and ice tea get old after a few days) but it is my understanding that you have to go to the bar for it. I have read on Cruise Critic that the bar servers don’t like serving people for sodas as they don’t make as much money. This has me worried because then my husband may then go to bar to get served and then end up drinking. Is this true?

Thanks John,

Peggy

John Says:
Hello Peggy Defoe,

Thanks so much for writing. We have some truly excellent bar waiters who are committed to providing the same prompt, friendly service whether you’re ordering a glass of Diet Coke or a glass of scotch. Please don’t worry then and if you need anything else or wish me to do anything for you please let me know.

Best wishes to you both

John

Duck Duck Girl Asked:
REPLY PLEASE !!

The subject I am referring to is the case of the missed port on the Carnival Glory. If you are not aware of this let me fill you in. The ship was heading for Nassau when a someone was taken seriously ill and the ship had to turn around, rendezvous with United States Coast Guard who collected the patient. The ship was unable to make port the following day due to this and, passengers were given just $25 shipboard credit. Later that day we were told that the patient was CREWMEMBER a fact that had been hidden by the captain during his announcements. To receive just $25 for a missed port and the one that my boyfriend and I had been excited about the most is not acceptable. Why couldn’t we have taken him off by helicopter? My sister says that usually they take them off by helicopter which if had happened here would have allowed us to go to Nassau. I have written to Carnival but have not heard any reply. We are going to post our complaints online so millions will see that customer service at Carnival sucks. What are you going to do to make your customer happy?

John Says:
Hello Duck Duck Girl,

I am sorry but you might not like this reply but I am speaking from the heart. So while I can understand that you were disappointed about missing Nassau I cannot believe that you would put a price on a person’s life. So I ask you, how much money is a human life worth ……. $50? …… $100….$1,000……….a free cruise?…….How much would make you happy?………and to suggest that because it was a crewmember whose life was saved the refund should be higher than if it were a passenger makes me feel physically sick.

Having helped organize many of these rescue operations myself I can tell you that the captain does not decide…..you go where the US Coast Guard tells you to go. The captain then navigates to the designated rendezvous to meet the helicopter or ship provided by the brilliant men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard. I know it’s upsetting to miss a port of call however I simply ask this question. If it was a member of your family whose life was being saved by the ship’s medical staff, the Captain and crew and Coast Guard……..How would you feel?…….. thankful and grateful that they had saved your life I am sure.

I hope you enjoyed your cruise and I know I often try and help resolve guest complaints here on the blog. What I am I going to do with this comment……………absolutely bugger all.

John

Calgary Cruiser Asked:
Hello John, Please reply

John I just wanted to Thank You and all the others for the tireless work you put into this blog thingy. I do have a question for you. We are on the June 24, Grand Med sailing on the Carnival Magic. I know that when we land in Rome we will get our passports stamped. How would I go about getting it stamped in all the country’s we visit? (Yes even France.) Also do you know if they will stamp it in Monaco and at the Vatican since they are technically individual countries? Thank you for all you do not only for me but for everyone.

John Says:
Hello Calgary Cruiser,

Thanks for the kind words about the blog. I am glad that most people enjoy it. I know it maybe not everyone’s cup of tea but I do my best to make sure that it has a constant mix of fun and information.

While we will not be taking your passports onboard or require you to go through customs and immigration it is still possible to get your passport stamped in many of the ports of call. The places you will visit with the exception of Dubrovnik, Croatia, are all part of the European Union and thus have open borders. However, if you take your passport to the local post offices in Naples, Venice, Cannes and Florence or Livorno they will stamp them for you. I have not heard of anyone being able to do this though in the Vatican. I don’t think that is possible as they don’t have an official crossing area just a ring of different coloured pavement marking the boundaries.

You will need to take your passport ashore in Croatia as everyone needs to have their proof of citizenship with them when they proceed ashore and if you ask the inspectors they will stamp the passport for you.

I hope this helps and if you have any questions about these ports and what to do there please let me know. See you soon and thanks again for those kind words.

Best wishes

John

That’s all for today. I will return with more tomorrow.

This week the annual Cruise Shipping Miami Convention, the year’s largest cruise event got underway in Miami. This yearly event is where everyone who wants to attract business from the cruise lines pitches their wares and hopes someone will take them onboard. This ranges from people representing ports of call from all over the world to tour operators, food vendors and people who want to offer their services.

The day starts when all the presidents and top executives sit at a table and pretend to like each other in the same sort of way you pretend to like your wife’s ex-boyfriend. You shake his hand and smile while secretly thinking what a bastard he is. My suggestion that the State of the Union cruise ship forum all the cruise line presidents give be replaced with presidential cage fighting was ignored. Probably because Mr. Fain was scared that Gerry Cahill would open a huge can of whoop arse!

Anyway, I will let you know what’s happening at the convention here and on Facebook.

So, how do you like the new blog? I love it and I think you might need a tour so let me turn things over to the designer of this new page. However, before I do, here is a quick message from me about the new blog.

 

 

Here then is Eric the Beard to take you around and explain some of the new features.

Hello Bloggy People! Hope you all had a brilliant weekend!

As you can see, today is the day we’ve all been waiting for, John’s new blog thingy design is finally alive! This morning, I put on my special tux and my limited-edition John Heald head cuff-links, and was about to shave for the occasion until I tweeted what I was about to do and Bearded Everett @-replied some sense into me, reminded me that the bearded look is in this season, and suggested I calm my nerves with a tofu shake using the “good stuff” from our secret stash. I’m not sure what had gotten into me.

Anyway, I digress…

By now I’m sure most of you have taken a look around the new blog thingy and done some exploration on your own. However, there are so many new and exciting features that we’ve added with this redesign, that it might be a little overwhelming at first, and could cause some lightheadedness if you try take it all in at once (similar to the way you might feel if you walked into John’s stateroom with a pair of his underpants enclosed inside for a couple of hours.) It might even make you hallucinate and feel like you can read John’s thoughts! 🙂

With that said, I wanted to give you a quick breakdown of some of the new features you can now find on John’s blog, to make it all a bit easier.

Are you ready?! You sure? Strap on a high visibility jacket and let’s go!

Let’s start with the pages up at the top. Some new things we’ve added are:

  1. Sail With John – Here you will not only find out what ship John is on right now and in the future, you will also see the most up-to-date Cruise Director and Assistant Cruise Director schedules across the entire fleet.
  2. John Talk – Ever read something John has written and you have absolutely NO IDEA what on earth he is talking about? Well, you’re not alone. So have us beards, and I can tell you it’s more frustrating than trying to track down Megan Fox’s new unlisted number, on a daily basis, for John Heald’s little black book. That being said, this is where John Talk was born; a glossary of John-isms that will hopefully help both you and all of us beards FINALLY understand what John is actually sodding talking about 🙂
  3. FAQs – As many of you know, John receives hundreds of questions every day on this here blog thingy. What you might not know is that over half of them John has already answered, between 5–10 times, on his blog while sitting in his underpants of course. So, in an attempt to make things easier on John, his underpants, and everyone, we now have a section where all of those questions are now answered and easily accessible. There are currently only a few posted, but we are looking for many more! Read below to see how you can help!
  4. Ask John – This is a brand new feature and a BIG change for everyone, including you, John and us beards. We feel it’s truly the best way to move forward, and will keep all of your questions organized and help John answer them more quickly and efficiently. To find out how this works, check out the Ask John page here: link

Now let’s move onto the sidebar, which is on the right-hand side of the blog.

  1. Subscribe to John posts via email – This is now easier than ever. Just fill out the form on the right and you will start getting John’s blog sent to your inbox after each new post goes up.
  2. Media Center – Catch John’s latest video, and his most recent pictures, all in one spot.
  3. Facebook – You can now “Like” — that’s not a euphemism! it’s cleaner than it sounds! 🙂 — John’s Facebook page and follow along with his daily musings without ever leaving this here blog thingy. Ahh technology, gotta love it!
  4. Mate of the Week – There sure is a lot of John around here these days, isn’t there? Well, one of the main features John wanted in this new design was a place he could show off all of YOU… thus Mate of the Week was born. So, if you have a photo of you and John that you LOVE and would like to maybe be the next Mate of the Week, please send it to socialnetworking@carnival.com with the subject line “Mate of the Week,” for consideration… and check back every Monday to see if it’s your week.

Last but not least, let’s move onto the footer of the blog at the very bottom.

  1. Connect with the Beards – This is a place where you can connect with all of us all over the Internet thingy including Facebook, Twitter, and more. You’ll also notice our new bearded tofu mascot, who according to rumour (spelt correctly) was modeled after some glamour shots I had taken of me on the Carnival Triumph.
  2. John’s Help Desk – This section was created for YOU. It has links to some of the most-asked-about content, including Fun Times, CD schedules, Steakhouse reservation links and more! It will be continuously updated, and if you have any other suggestions for what you would like there, please let us know.

There you have it: a mini breakdown of some of the newest features of John’s blog! Before I go, I just want to send a HUGE bearded shout-out and thank you to Bearded Everett, who was a HUGE part of the redesign and overall functionality decisions. I can’t forget the rest of the beards, either, who helped in more ways than you will ever know. Thank you guys!

We are all super-excited about the new design, and I truly hope you all love it as much as we do! 🙂 If you have any suggestions, feedback, or random thoughts about anything you see here, please let us know. Many of these changes were made with you in mind and were based on the feedback we’ve been receiving for the last couple of years. However, we’re not done making John’s blog rock, and we’re looking to you to help us make this blog rock even harder.

Thanks again, now go explore!

Eric the Beard.

I want to thank Eric so very much for this brilliant new design and I hope you tell us what you think as well. Now one of the pages above is incomplete and that’s the FAQ’s…………or the “Oh bloody hell, not that question again, I just answered it yesterday you idiot “……..bit.

So this is where I need your help. Rather than me sit here…….in my underpants…………typing up the FAQ’s I wondered if I could ask for your help. Is there a question that you are sick and tired of seeing again and again? If so, please can your post the question and the answer on today’s blog. Yes, I am a lazy sod but I am also taping into the vast array of knowledge that you all have so…………off you go…………..and thanks so much. I truly do hope you like the new blog thingy.

I have been second guessing myself these last few minutes and I have found my finger has been hovering over the delete button as I try to decide whether or not to delete my reply to Duck Duck girl. I have though decided to leave it there as I was speaking from the heart. So maybe I should say sorry then.

It wouldn’t be the first time I have had to say sorry today. I also had to say sorry this morning for not replacing the toilet paper roll. Women have the gene that allows them to do this and men do not. I will use the very last piece of paper on the roll and look down at the bare cardboard cylinder and simply hope it gets replaced soon…..sort of like a dog looking at his empty bowl. This does not just apply to toilet paper roll but all the goods in the house. I guess this comes from living at home where Mum took care of everything to working on a ship for 21 years where various stateroom stewards all called Ketut took care of my every need…….including replacing the toilet roll. But then I realised something that means I am not going to delete my reply or say sorry. I maybe would have if the writer had used their real name………..or even half a real name ……………but to have to reply to someone called Duck Duck………..is ridiculous. I should have finished my reply with:

Best Wishes,
Johnny Wonny

Talking of complaints I have to mention my conversation with Ken Byrne, Carnival’s premier maitre d. He is just off the Carnival Conquest and will be joining me on your Carnival Magic in April. We have been friends for many years and I like to think we are very, very similar. We are both are very close to our families and have an unrivalled passion when it comes to Carnival Cruise Lines. We both always try to put the guests first and always do everything we can to make sure the guest has what they desire………sometimes though that is not possible and what they ask for is something that cannot be done.

Ken was telling me about some guests he had on the Carnival Legend this past year. The guest wanted a table for 14……..Ken explained that the largest table we have in the dining room was 12 …that’s the captain’s table and even offered him that with a smaller table close by. Now, not only was the guest not happy with this but he swore, screamed and threatened Ken with violence. This man got so upset that he was shaking his fist inches from Ken’s face. Now Ken, being Ken, managed to calm the situation down because he is the best at what he does. However, there are many who would not have been able to handle that situation and, of course…..… should never have to.

Ken laughed this off because he is a true professional but as Ducky Duck……oops……..I accidentally nearly replaced the D with an F there………….has gotten me in a bit of a mood……….I want to say that this behaviour would never have been allowed on a plane. Can you imagine shouting at a flight attendant asking why they don’t supply parachutes or why we have to pay a billion dollars for a Diet Coke? If we did what that guy did to Ken we risk being accused of air rage and thrown off the plane. It’s the same story at the hotel check in desk. Or at a car hire desk. Or in a restaurant. It’s the same story everywhere. React, and you will be thrown out, kicked off or a burly security guard has arrived and you’re lying on the sidewalk with a broken spleen. But not a cruise ship. And this drives me crazy. Yes, there is a certain standards of service that we all must adhere to and sometimes guests have a reason to get angry. However, threaten a crew member…. any crew member……..with violence……………then that guest must in my opinion be disembarked in the next port…………preferably naked with a Fun Ship Freddy doll protruding from their bottom.

So I hope you enjoy this brilliant new design that Eric has produced……..my favourite bit is the cartoon Tofu character ….complete with beard. See you here tomorrow and on Facebook throughout the week.

I can’t go today without talking about Japan and the pictures I have seen on the news. The devastation is of biblical proportions yet I was humbled by the sight of hundreds of people bedded down quietly, presumably following instructions.

I am thinking of the catastrophic damage of the earthquake and tsunami and how they all pull together. No stories of looting yet, complaints about lack of information or complaining at all for that matter, although they would be forgiven for doing so. My girls are safe, fed, warm and dry, and yet this morning I found myself complaining about the price of petrol (gas) here in the UK. Shame on me for doing so.

On all the footage I have seen on the news of wives search for missing husbands and the families sifting through broken homes, I never heard a single raised voice or expression of impatience. Fuel prices, missing a port call in Nassau…..suddenly those things are put totally into perspective and I could learn from the Japanese who are dealing with tragedy beyond my wildest nightmares ………in such an admirable manner.

Goodnight.

Your friend,

John

P.S You can find the Carnival Liberty Fun Times here.

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.

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