Peter Speaks In Proper English

March 16, 2011 -

John Heald

You may remember in Monday’s blog that I got a bollocking from Geoff N about my use of British spelling in a blog read mostly by Americans. I wanted to answer him by screaming “Who invented the language you apple pie eating bastard” but I didn’t……….as that would have been unprofessional.

However, he wasn’t the only one to administer a bollocking to me about my language because I used the word “trash” instead of “rubbish” while talking to my father on the phone. And being a retired high school principal he turned into William Shakespeare and threatened his footeth wouldeth be forever upeth my arseeth………..if I ever spoke American in his presence again.

But it’s not just me. Kids here in the UK all speak like they are on the set of Glee. “Whatever” ……..“Shuuuuuut up” are the watchwords of today’s British children.

I guess that with Disney’s 24 hour channel on TV there is some excuse for this. But it’s not just the kids. I was with my mate Alan the other day and we were talking about something and he said “that sucks.” Now a 12 year old saying “what ev eeerrr” is one thing but a 46 year old man from Southend on Sea saying “that sucks” is not OK. Surely he must realize (spelt incorrectly Mr Geoff) saying this makes him look like a stupid sod.

My father has always said that American speak is slowly overtaking “proper” English. Well Dad, I am sorry to say it’s not slowly overtaking ………it’s here…….and has overtaken “proper English” like a drag race between an Aston Martin……….and a hamster on a skateboard.

There are so many to choose from. “Can I get…” has replaced “May I have…” when ordering in a restaurant. Estate agents are not called that any more; they are real estate agents and they don’t sell flats any more, only “apartments.”

Biscuits are now cookies, which would have my grandmother spinning in her grave. We don’t go to the cinema, we go to the movies and God help us……the loo has become the restroom. Bugger me……….is nothing sacred?

I’ve nothing against Americanisms when used by people called Hank Yankedoodle. It’s when people called William St John Smyth use them ………. it’s just wrong. But the battle is lost. It’s elevator not lift. It’s vacation not holiday and the way this is going it won’t be long until the Queen is saying “It is wonderful to meet y’all.”

There is one saying that gets the hairs on my ass (spelt incorrectly) standing on end and it happens on the ships to me all the time. And I can’t help myself. I know this is rude but it’s the one thing I just cannot stand and if someone asks me I have to give them the same answer. It usually goes something like this:

GUEST “Excuse me, do you know the best way to get to St Mark’s Square”

ME “Yes”

And then I just stand there……………..staring. I mean, the question was “Do I know the best way to get to St. Mark’s Square” Well…………….yes I do thanks.

If you had asked, “Can you tell me the best way to get to St Mark’s Square?” I would have answered yes, followed by an exactly how to do so. This used to be something only Americans and Canadians would say but now the Brits are doing it to. And it’s a shame.

Still, there’s one US word that we haven’t yet adopted and it’s the one that they use for “arse,” but which we use for something else entirely. Yes, when we start asking, “Does my fanny look big in this?” the empire will have fallen.

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

Joe Garcia Asked:
Hello John:

Please Reply

I was about to book my first Carnival cruise many years and now I am really nervous to do so. The last time I cruised was with my parents on the old ship Celebration and I had a total blast. Now I am married with 2 kids and was thinking about going on the Paradise. We live in Orange County, California and this would be just great for us but I saw the reviews on Cruise Critic and now I am not sure what to do. Here is what folks are saying.

It was while reading the Cruise Critic boards that I came across your blog and decided after reading it that you would be the best person to ask if this ship was the right choice for me and my family. Thank you for helping me.


I was trying to remember the name of the Cruise Director on the Celebration. He was a magician and had a lion on the ship and his show was the best.

John Says:
Hello Joe Garcia

Let me answer your last question first. The CD you are referring to is called Rand Woodbury and he did indeed have a cougar that lived onboard. His name was Geo and the show as you said was brilliant. Rand is no longer a CD but does his show (minus Geo, who has retired) on two of our ships. So, welcome back to Carnival and please remember one simple thing. If you were to go to the place on Cruise Critic where they store the reviews, you will find many, many more positive ones than negative. I didn’t read the links you sent me Joe and I want to be honest and tell you that. You see, these are based on opinions and the only opinion that matters is yours. I can tell you that you and your family will have the best of times if you go with an open mind and ready to let the crew serve and entertain you. So, read the negative ones, read all the positive ones and then decide.

Tell you what…………..has any other blog reader sailed on the Carnival Paradise recently and would like to say a few words for Joe? Please do if you are able. Have a great cruise Joe and my best wishes to you and the family.


Richmond Gal Asked:
please reply

My fiancé and I will be sailing the Legend out of Tampa for our Honeymoon in July. I can’t wait! He… well, he is having cruiser remorse. He’s starting to regret booking the trip because we have cruised together twice before. He feels like our honeymoon won’t be special enough because it will be like a repeat vacation. We will certainly be sitting front row for the Newly Wed / Not-so-Newly Wed Game (that is a souvenir not to be missed if we can make it on the show). We also have a balcony booked for the very first time. I’m looking for other ideas to make this his dream honeymoon. I basically begged to go on a cruise, and now I feel guilty because I think he is going to be disappointed. Any suggestions on how to make this trip different than the others??? So he doesn’t feel like he’s missing out or repeating the other vacations? Thanks in advance– and thank you for your wonderful blog!

John Says:
Hello Richmond Gal

Edible underwear, jello and handcuffs.

Best wishes

John Actually Says:
Hello Richmond Gal

Sorry……couldn’t resist the edible underwear joke. I bought Heidi a pair once but I ate them before I got home. Anyway…….I am sure that the staff will make this a honeymoon you will never ever forget. Please book a meal in the steakhouse and that night take a walk on the deck, under the stars and remind yourselves just how much you love each other. The balcony will be perfect for a morning cup of coffee and a late night glass of champagne which if you remind me two weeks before you sail I will send you and…..I can’t promise……….but if you remind me on my Facebook page 2 weeks before you sail I will do my best to get you in the newly wed game and send you a little something as well to help celebrate.

Best wishes to you both

Rochelle Phipps Asked:
Hi John,

Reply if you have time

I am a relatively recent reader of your blog. I came across your blog after going on the Carnival Glory last August here in NY. First let say that George was a great CD at first I was surprised at your openness in the blog because I am one of those with a Facebook page with very little info. However, over the past few months I have come to appreciate your candor and I have learned so much from your blogs. I am not a frequent cruiser, having only been on 5 cruises (all Carnival) since 1986 but your blogs have encouraged me to try and change that habit so that I can try out the many things I have learned on this blog from you and my fellow bloggers. I am now trying to get my family to go on the special 8 day Christmas cruise out of San Juan in Dec. And hopefully go to Alaska in 2012.

As a New Yorker, today’s blog about the meeting of the three ships made me feel real great about my city. As the historical person that I am, I spent some of my morning looking at some of your old blogs from the beginning and came across a Q&A from your Oct 11, 2007 blog that dealt with this today’s blog. Below is a copy of the post.

“GREG BALDASARRI – What a good question. What will the gifted people at Cunard do to top the soon to be launched magnificence that is Queen Victoria? Answer, I have no idea but it is going to be fun finding out. I wonder if this blog thingy will be around in 2010? Hope all is well with you mate and thanks as always for another great posting.” Oct 11, 2007.

Over three years later, we are past the year 2010 and Cunard has added a beautiful ship to their fleet and most importantly your blog is still around and going strong. Keep doing what you are doing, but make sure you take care of your family first. Hopefully 3 years from now, I will still be reading your blog and will have had the opportunity to have you as my cruise director.


John Says:
Hello Rochele Phipps

It is indeed very apt that the beards should send me your question to answer today as we have a special Cunard blog coming up in a moment. I am so very thankful to you for taking the time to read my daily musings. I realise that they are not for everyone but when people take the time to tell me how much they appreciate what I do…..well…… certainly gives me the energy to continue to write each day. I hope that I will still be writing in years to come and that you will be there to read it. And I hope that you get to see Alaska next year and if there is anything I can do to help you please let me know. Best wishes to you and the family and thank you again for the kind words.


Jason Buckley Asked:
Hi John,

I am starting to read your blog more and more as I just booked my first ever cruise for April 3rd 2011 on the GLORY, and I decided to go all out with a suite (7329), since 1: its my first cruise, and 2: I am cruising for my birthday April 6th…you better Belize, that I will be in Belize on my birthday!!! Anyways, what I was hearing about was the “chef’s” table that is only offered one day a cruise for only 12-14 people. I have heard from different people I have spoken with 2 different things about booking this. First was from the awesome and nice lady named Heidi who I actually booked through, she said that I need to get a hold of you for the booking. Second, I keep getting a call from a guy named Theo, who says I can only book this once I board the ship…

Who is right? I am a chef by trade out here in the Bay Area California, and have eaten at many fine restaurants at the chefs table and I always absolutely love the experience, which means I really don’t want to miss this chance!!! I have heard it includes a behind the scene tour of the kitchen as well, which would be awesome to see, as I can only imagine what it is like to cook 24 hours a day for thousands of people! I hope that you can help with an advanced booking, and if you can, next time you are in the San Francisco California area, I can get you hooked up at my restaurant! Thanks for anything that you might be able to do in advanced!

I am so excited, only a little over 2 months to go!!! I hope I can get a response by you in that time!

Take care,
Jason Buckley

John Says:
Hello Jason Buckley

I am not sure who Theo is but it doesn’t matter as I am definitely able to get you a Chef’s Table spot for your cruise. This is an experience that you will truly enjoy and I hope that you can find a few moments to tell me all about it when you get home. It does include a tour of the galley while it is in operation so please let me take care of this for you and you will receive confirmation in a few days. Have a brilliant time.

Best wishes

Stephanie AKA Hockey Addict Asked:
Hi John!!(Please reply whenever you get time, no hurry at all!)

Well, our January cruise is officially over and of course we are super sad! I wanted to make sure you knew that ALL of the crew on the Carnival Fascination were fantastic, AGAIN. This was our 4th cruise on her and she is still perfect! ALL of the crew were super friendly and sweet! I wanted to let you know of some of your shining stars on the Carnival Fascination. Some of them we cruised with in October, and some new ones we haven’t met before.

Where to start…. that is the hard part. I guess I will start by saying this was kind of a cruise of firsts for hubby and I. This was the first cruise where we had a female CD, female Steward-ess and assistant Steward-ess, and a female assistant in the dining room!

Jen Baxter…. WOW… I was reading some of the things that were said on Cruise Critic. I of course went with an open mind! I loved Jen. She was very friendly, energetic, funny, sweet and would stop and talk to you any time! It would be my pleasure to sail with her anytime! She is a true gem!

Our Steward-ess’… I know I am going to mess up the spelling of their names but I will try…. Oksana and Alana were super sweethearts. I have never had a monkey towel animal and hubby had gone to Oksana without me knowing and told her that I have never had one and that I really wanted one. One night she made my monkey, AND she also made the frog and a puppy. (the smaller version of the dog) OK so I am a kid at heart and LOVE the towel animals. I screamed so loud when I saw them, I could have sworn that she would hear me all the way down in her cabin! The next morning after breakfast we ran up to our room to drop off our cameras and there was a kitten towel animal! I’ve never had one made for me during the middle of the day and it took me by surprise! This time Oksana was in the hall and I think she heard me scream! She just giggled at me when I went to thank her. Little things like this make me happy and smile…. and both of them put a smile on our faces the whole cruise! I think they spoiled us…. ok, I know they did! They took perfect care of us and I hope we get to see them again one day!

When we first stepped onto the Lido deck at embarkation I told hubby and the other couple that we were sailing with that I had to look for “Ninja”. Ninja is a bar waiter from Indonesia that we sailed with in October. He took such good care of us. When I saw Ninja standing on the Lido deck talking to a group of people I was so excited. I was very happy to see him and I knew that we would have some fun with him on board again with us! Ninja’s birth name is I Nengah. I don’t know how we started calling him Ninja in October but it stuck…. I guess when I looked at his name tag the first time with all of those Fun Ship Specials running through my veins, that is what I saw! He is super funny and friendly and he deserves acknowledgment for running around that Lido deck, making us laugh, and being super sweet!

Amy from Mexico City…. well, that’s what we call her… it’s a long story so I won’t get into it or bore you…. When I walked into the Passage to India bar the first night and saw her in there I walked up to her and asked if she was Amy from Mexico City, she looked at me and got a big grin on her face…. she said… oh my gosh!! Gave me a big hug and she said she was happy to see me. In October she was our Bar waitress in the dining room that always had our drinks waiting for us. She remembered us and we went and talked to her a couple times during the cruise. Her real name is Alny and she is from Thailand. She had one more 4 day cruise before she went home. Her next contract is on the Carnival Splendor. I told her that she is lucky that she is going there and that I thought it was a compliment to her because Carnival seems like they are getting a lot of good people lined up to go there. She blushed and thanked me. She is so easy to talk with and a true sweetheart. I also sailed with Felipe in the past and LOVE him too!

We got really lucky and got to get off of the ship in Half Moon Cay. The crew had told us that they have been unable to tender guests for the past 2 months due to bad seas. In October there was a thunderstorm so we missed it and had a day at Freeport instead. We’ve been there 3 times now and we will never get tired of it! We rented the Cabana and it was worth every penny. The new bar that they added to the beach is really cool. I just hope they don’t add too much more…. I think what is there now is perfect!

I can not forget our fabulous dining room staff and Maitre D’. It’s had for me to admit that I can’t remember his name. I always remember stuff like that. I guess I am getting old! His theme song is 007… you know who that is, right?!?! Just kidding… anyway…. he was all over that dining room every night talking to all of the guest’s. He was the first Maitre D’ that I have seen that got up and danced with all of us. Very professional and fun! (Sensation dining room)

Anytime Dining. This was the first time that we have chosen Anytime Dining and we will always choose this from now on. It’s perfect for us. I am so glad that Carnival added this! And of course the food was excellent every meal in the dining room, Lido and those early morning BLT’s from room service!

The first night when we went to the dining room we had asked for a table for four. (2 couples) We were told it would be a short wait and they gave us one of the beeper thingy’s that could be used anywhere on the ship except our rooms. About 10 minutes later the beeper thingy went off and we headed to the dining room. There we met our 3 servers. Tri, our head waiter, Antonius our Team waiter and Ni Made our Assistant waiter. I asked Tri if all 3 of them were going to be taking care of us and he said yes…. I soon saw why…. they have quite a few tables to take care of at the same time and Tri needed the help of Ni Made and Antonius. Let me tell you, these 3 are the BEST. They are another perfect example of why we love Carnival and will never go to another cruise line. They made our dining room experience so memorable and I will never forget them. After the first night in there we asked for them every night. We didn’t care if we had to wait 2 hours. We had to have them serve us. I couldn’t say enough nice things about them. Ni Made even got me to get up and dance with her! That doesn’t happen much! And of course…. I teared up like a baby saying goodbye. =(

Eli was our Assistant CD. He hosted the comedy club, I think you call it something else now, and was very funny. He also was in the Liar’s club. All 5 of the crew members that participated in the Liar’s club was fantastic. We laughed the hardest during this show then any of the comedian’s! I wish I could remember all of their names, there goes that old age setting in again!

That is all that I can think of for now…. if I think of anything else I will pop you a note on Facebook. PLEASE forward all of these people to Carnival for me. I haven’t gotten an online comment card via email and really want them to know that all of the crew were perfect and the ones I mentioned above are true stars in your Carnival family.

Thank you for being here for all of us to answer our 1,000,000,000,001 questions. I appreciate you, and I know so many others do too!

Wishing you, Heidi and Kye all the best!!

I hope this wasn’t too long!


P.S. We am still wanting to sail with you. We have to see where you will be late 2011!

Oh! I almost forgot! Don’t be upset that you wrote what you did about your late night phone call! (I saw on FB that you were feeling bad about writing it) That was uncalled for! They should have never done that in my opinion! That’s crazy!!! Some people just think they are special I guess!

John Says:
Hello Stephanie AKA Hockey Addict

Brilliant! What an absolutely brilliant review. Let me start by saying a huge thank you for sitting down to write this. I know it must have taken a long time to do so but we all appreciate you telling us about your cruise. I want to say a big thank you for telling me about Jen Baxter. I am very happy to read that you found her to be an excellent CD. The crew you mentioned are the shining example of what our crew are all about and each and everyone you mentioned will all receive a copy of this via the hotel director and the Fantasy class vice president and that I can tell you will make their day. I hope we get to sail together one day soon and I thank you for your loyalty to Carnival and your kind words of support for me and the blog. It was as I said a brilliant review. Best wishes to you and yours.


Seth C Asked:

I have to tell you how sick to the stomach I am of you sending free gifts to people on demand. I am a Platinum cruiser and why have I spent thousands of dollars on cruises when all someone has to do to get a table with the Chef, fruit baskets and other gifts is to tell you that its their anniversary etc and you send them whatever they want. It is not fair and I GUARANTEE other Platinum passengers will agree. REPLY TO THIS PLEASE


John Says:
Hello Seth C

Let me say first of all a big thank you for your loyalty for Carnival and congratulate you on your Platinum status. I hope you are enjoying all the benefits this brings. I am sorry though that I have to say how me sending someone a bottle of champagne or a few apples to someone to help celebrate a special occasion hurts or affects you? I try to help as many people as I can and if you were to ask I would be honoured to help you as well. I can assure you that nobody gets a free place at The Chef’s Table from me though. I hope we get to sail together one day soon and if there is anything I can do for you please let me know.

Best wishes

Helen Asked:
Hi John

I have a question for you… for all of us that are not American citizens, (Aliens) disembarking in Miami is a breeze, fill out the form on board, go to a separate line to clear customs but my concern is Tampa, I have booked Legend and thinking of cancelling and leaving out of Miami instead for the following reason. I have been told that on the last day of the cruise I will have to show up at 6 30 in morning to clear customs while on the ship in the likes of the theatre. Why is that we can not get through USA customs like we do in Miami? It makes our last day of the cruise very long, considering most of have a very long trip to get home. IE last cruise I was off the ship by 9:45 in morning and arrived back in Canada and to our home at 8:30 at night. Can not anything be done to ease clearing customs in Tampa? I know customs is not a Carnival job but can Carnival work with them to come up with something better?


John Says:
Hello Helen

I am sorry to say but Carnival has no control at all as to how our guests are processed through United States Customs and Border Protection. They decide when and how and it is different in each home port but non US citizens do not have to disembark any earlier than others. You will be called off by your tag or zone number which you will receive from your stateroom steward on the last day of the cruise. Please don’t worry. It’s going to be a long morning of travelling regardless but the Carnival Legend is a magnificent ship and she will give you so many memories to look back on during the journey home.

Have a wonderful cruise

Best wishes

Paul S Asked:
John Please reply

My wife and me will be with you on the Magic in July and are trying to decide what tour to take in Dubrovnik. I am thinking about the country home tour in Konavle. Have you done this and is it any good. Thanks so much

Paul and Terri

John Says:
Hello Paul S

Ahhhh the Country Home Tour in Knovale. This was always one of Heidi and my favourite tours………anywhere. It is a pure example of how they used to live and how they live now ….. and you will see that there is very little difference. The home is situated deep in the heart of the Croatian countryside and has seen five generations live there. They have seen good times and bad times and the bedtimes of course meaning the early 90s when civil war saw many thousands perish. The family were forced to run to the hills and the Bosnian forces actually overtook their home and it was only when the war ended that they were able to return. The family are virtually self sufficient as they have always been and they will show you how they grow their own vegetables and still use donkey power to press the olive oil that is made there.

After a tour of the countryside and gardens and the house itself you will sit down as a family and enjoy a traditional Croatian lunch remembering everything…and I mean everything is grown or raised right there. The family is also musicians and…..… well ……. actually ……hold on ……. I am going to stop there because I don’t want to spoil the surprises. Let me just say this ……….. you will never forget this trip and the families’ amazing hospitality. It is so nice to offer to bring a gift but it really is not needed. Just the fact that you are visiting them and of course the money they take from us when you buy the excursion is more than thank you enough. Take a photo with them or just shake their hand. They have been through so much yet as you will see…….they are a family united ……….and oh yes………watch out for grandma and her bottle of potato vodka!

See you soon

Best wishes to you both

Carnival Platinum Cruiser Asked:


One subject which I read on Cruise Critic all the time is the desire among Platinum cruisers for a “Platinum Past Guest Party” – or similar get together. Royal Caribbean and Celebrity do one so why not Carnival? It seems that Platinum rewards compared to other lines are poor. Look what CC members said when I asked

We would all be interested to read your reply and defence!!!! Probably though like all my posts you will ignore it and instead to continue to bask in the glory your pathetic cheerleaders give you.

John Says:
Hello Carnival Platinum Cruiser

I will start by saying that once again, I didn’t read the link. I can’t talk about other cruise lines and what they do but I can say that I agree that we should absolutely hold a separate past guest party for our Platinum and Milestone guests and I continue to promote this idea to the senior beards. Let’s see what happens when the loyalty program changes are announced. I wish this would be soon because I have been talking about this for far too long now. Anyway, I would love to discuss this more with you but I am off to so some basking…………naked. Best wishes and thanks again for your loyalty


Alison D Asked:
Hi John,

Please reply.

This is rather a strange request but if anyone can help with it you can. I want to propose to my girlfriend. Yes, I am a girl too and that’s my dilemma. You see my partner has always wanted a romantic proposal and I thought that while we are on the Dream I would make her Dream so to say come true.

My question is that if I was to ask you to help me arrange this during a show or on a stage in front of the rest of the passengers, could you and as important do you think that the rest of the passengers would be uncomfortable. We live in Orlando and two lesbians walking the street hand in hand is nothing unusual but I am not so naive to think that this is accepted everywhere. So I am in your hands Mr John. We cruised with you on the Legend and were part of the Goth group which I am SURE you will remember. We cruise in August and I know I am way ahead of myself here but I have read that you are months behind on answering your questions so I thought it best to write now.

Thank you so much


John Says:
Hello Alison D

Well I certainly do remember the Goth cruise, especially the man that had wings, black eye balls, sharpened front teeth and his wife who had no problems showing the rest of the ship her 2 new purchases………..if you know what I mean.

I would be happy to help you arrange a public proposal during or just before a show. Maybe elegant night would be good and if this is something you are interested in please let me know.

As for if this would upset anyone. I will admit it would be a first for me but I honestly don’t think it would upset anyone so let’s move forward with this shall we? Please let me know if you wish me to start arrangements. Best wishes to you both


That’s all for today. Let’s take a break and this week all the cruise line presidents are gathered at recently renamed Cruise Shipping Miami Convention — it will always be Seatrade to me — for the annual pretend we like each other festival. One of those there is Cunard’s President and our man in London Mr. Peter Shanks. Here is his latest blog written just for us and I know as always that you will enjoy and appreciate his passionate writing.

Here then is Peter.

Queen Mary 2 at her best…

I do so much enjoy spending time on Queen Mary 2. Over recent months understandably many of us at Cunard Line have been nurturing Queen Elizabeth into her new career at sea. Spending time back on Queen Mary 2 has firmly reminded me of just how special she is. I joined in Sydney, and I have already written about the very special Service we had onboard for Australian Veterans. Leaving Sydney we sailed to New Zealand, spending a day in Wellington and I write this as the sun sets and we will arrive in Auckland in the morning. I have just snapped the view from my balcony;

This leg of the voyage has become especially poignant following the tragic events in Christchurch. We were meant to sail into Christchurch but had to go to Wellington instead. There was a lot of compassion onboard for Christchurch and rightly so. Whilst I was discussing with the Hotel Manager how we should start a collection for the Relief Appeal, one of the reception team came into the office to say that a guest was asking how they could donate to the appeal. So we were at one with our guests and we have since been collecting. On arrival into Wellington, and unbeknown to me , our Food and Beverage Team unloaded 5,000 bottles of water, and through the Port Agent arranged for it to be collected by HMS Canterbury of the New Zealand to be taken down to Christchurch. I say unbeknown to me — I was aware we were looking at doing something — but the F+B Team know me well enough that they did not have to ask.

What a lovely city Wellington is. It was a Sunday and many people were out on the beautiful harbor front. I took the shuttle bus into town and sat down over a coffee with the local paper and read of the distressing events in Christchurch. I have always admired New Zealanders — I hate to admit it but they are very good at Rugby and for a nation so far away from everywhere — they are very resilient and very successful. As we sailed out of Wellington there was a full rainbow to the port side of Queen Mary 2 — and I had a strange sense of the power of nature, nature that can deliver tragic consequences through earthquakes and at the same time reveal its true beauty.

I had two reasons for being on Queen Mary 2 — not that I normally need reasons. Firstly to spend time with our guests and the Ship’s Company and secondly to walk every area of the ship in preparation for the refit we have coming up in November of this year. And over the last few days I have been reminded of many of the special things about Queen Mary — and I thought I should share them with you. So, in no particular order, here come of the special things about Queen Mary 2 that I have witnessed over the last few days…

Secret of the Library — Up on deck 8 forward you will find our Bookshop and Library with over 16,000 books in many languages. I came across a delightful Australian couple who had found the secret — four white leather chairs and sofas that have a panoramic view over the bow of Queen Mary 2 — they looked so happy, so relaxed – and told me so — marvelous.

Jazz — Walking past the refurbished Chart Room, a classy jazz quartet playing, dancing, laughter, clink of champagne glasses — a wonderful night out to match any jazz venue.

Hosting the Captain’s Table — I will let you in to a secret. I think the Senior Officers like me to host a table as it gives them a night off — and why not. I had a lovely table, delightful guests from around the world. Not many of us are lucky enough to sit in that seat, with three decks above us, surrounded by guests in black tie having a wonderful dinner. Let’s not forget just how awesome the Britannia Restaurant is on Queen Mary 2. It does not recreate how it used to be on ocean liners of the past — it is how it used to be only much, much better — it is the real thing and no other ship comes close (although her little sisters Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth are pretty cool too).

Lunch in the crew mess — I will always eat in the crew mess once when I visit the ships. Gives me a chance to be seen out and about, ask how things are and of course make sure that our crew is happy with their food. I think they are — there have been some real efforts by Chef and his team recently to add variety. Sometimes I will have the ‘sticky rice and salty beef, or ‘fried chicken’ – but this time I went down the European line and had Cottage Pie – it was fine.

Canyon Ranch — well it was a Sunday so I was allowed some time off. Six times round the deck (two miles) — and then time in the amazing Canyon Ranch indoor pools, Jacuzzis and steam rooms. I find that so relaxing and it is always good to experience just how good the Canyon Ranch Spa is. When you go into the shower, one of the team will rinse out and dry your trunks and when you approach your locker, miraculously a towel is laid out on the floor for you to stand on as you get dried and changed — nice touch.

Boy, are the deck areas in great shape — you see Queen Mary 2 is a proper Ocean Liner. When you walk around all the deck areas — you walk on real teak and you pass brightly painted white steel. Despite now being 7 years old — I would argue the external areas of Queen Mary are in better shape than any ship at sea — and that is a credit to every member of the deck team. I asked Deputy Captain to briefly gather every member of the Deck Team the next morning — along with their supervising officers. I thanked them and shook each of their hands. In doing so I told them they should be proud keeping the most famous ship in the world in such great shape.

Regular coffee fixes — Coffee has moved on so much these days and on the ship Sir Samuels now offers proper coffee — either in a lovely china cup or in my case in a take away cup. No matter which way you take it — it is always served with a smile.

Queens Room — Picture the scene — 1,000 guests in formal dress, champagne all round, canapés and classical music. Commodore Warner introduces his Senior Officers and tells his joke (I have suggested he develops a 2nd joke but the one he has seems to work every time). I was able to say a few words of welcome. As I always do — I asked our guests to applaud our White Star Ship’s Company. I mentioned that we were — for our Ship’s Company — going the wrong way around the world with the clocks going back in time. So far we have lost 18 hours and 18 hours of sleep for our hard working staff. Good for our guests — they responded with warm applause for the staff — and the good news is that now we have reached New Zealand (which by the way is bloody miles from everywhere) — the clocks will start to go back the other way and they will get some extra rest.

It’s Sunday — so let’s go to Church — Commodore led a very nice service and the Theatre was quite full. Our thoughts were with those in New Zealand as we sailed along their shores, I read the lesson and it was a moving occasion — and we always feel better for a little prayer. Going to church on Sunday is something many people do and it’s rather nice to do so on Queen Mary 2 on a Sunday — and if you like you then go on to have a rather nice Sunday lunch — a perfect day.

Standing room only — we have recently started to give computer lessons on how to use Apple Macs, iPads and iPhones. I popped down to see it — and was surprised to see every computer station full and many standing at the back of class. We are going to extend the area used for this. When you think of it — technology can be daunting. So to have the time and ability at sea to go to lessons is a great way of learning. The ship also now has Wi-Fi service and full internet access so once you have mastered it you can try it for real. I wonder just how many emails have been sent that start with the words ‘I am sending this email from Queen Mary 2 in the Pacific Ocean….’ We are all so used to fast internet access at home and at work we do have to remind guests that as we are in the middle of an ocean and at the mercy of satellites — they need a little more patience than usual.

I had forgotten about Tom Hanks — Well who else would you get to narrate the Planetarium shows. They are a fairly short 20 minutes — but to sit in a full size planetarium whist at sea listening to Tom Hanks tell you about outer space is something that has to be done.

We turned out the lights and — I spotted in the daily program that our Astronomer Lecturer was going to describe the night sky up on deck 13 at 2200 hours. So there were about 200 of us, it was a clear night; we were sailing about 25 miles off the New Zealand coast. The astronomer had a neat little green laser gun. As we waited for the deck lights to go off — we were not sure what we might see. When the lights went off — there was an audible gasp. We often talk of how Cunard delivers unique experiences — well I had happened across one of those moments. The night sky was incredible — I have never seen so many stars. The Milky Way stood out so clearly, we were asked to look at one star and it was clearly a bright red color — I have never seen the color of a star before. Then — to some surprise — the astronomer let out a shriek. He had seen a far away galaxy with the naked eye for the first time. We could all see it as a distant cloud — he told us the name which seemed to use every letter in the alphabet at least twice — and his evening was made. I stood back from the gathering — and made a note to remind as many people as I can as to the many special experiences on this fine ship.

Knackered and Proud — On arrival in Auckland, and after taking our 700 plus Full World Voyagers out for a special dinner, my time on Queen Mary 2 was over and ahead of me was a 27 hour journey back to Southampton. I had a really clear idea of what work we need to undertake in our November refit , I had really enjoyed spending time with so many of the ship’s company and of course meeting so many of our guests. But overall I had two overwhelming feelings. The first was one of being ‘knackered’ (British technical term for being rather tired). I had been away for Two weeks, Two Ship Visits, Two Queens in Sydney, Two World Voyage Dinners and One Earthquake. The other feeling was one of pride — pride in everything that the ship’s company on Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary 2 were doing to look after our guests. And if you would like to experience some of that pride, and some of those special moments — then please do come and sail with us — they happen every day, 365 days a year………….


Best Regards,

Peter Shanks
President and Managing Director
Cunard Line

Those planetarium shows sound so brilliant and having Tom Hanks voice those shows is quite an achievement. I never fail to appreciate how marvellous it is to have the president of the world’s most famous ocean liner company write just for our blog thingy and each time he does ………..we all get to feel what it’s like to experience a Cunard voyage. Thanks Peter.

Yesterday I posted a question on Facebook that asked a simple question. Why do you choose to sail with Carnival? Well 381 people replied instantly and here is what they said:!/JohnHeald/posts/185209044854998

Fantastic answers and it is obvious that for many it is the value…….pure and simple…… what you pay and what you get is excellent. The comfort level is also important as well because when you pay for the cruise you know exactly what you are going to get. Included in the price are amazing food with more variety than ever before, the highest level of friendly and fun service, shows, activities and music from the wee small hours to the ummmmm…..wee small hours ….. towel animals on your bed, no cleaning, no cooking, relaxation, swimming, fun, and more fun.

I guess that’s why chain restaurants are so popular for tourists in foreign lands…….whether you walk into one in Moscow or Manila you know that your Big Mac will taste exactly the same…… unless of course you are in Korea when that funny taste may be because you are eating a McSpaniel.

As I said, that’s what I love about Carnival. You know what the extras are ….. drinks ……… shore excursions… etc. But that’s not the same with other things in life. It’s because companies have made it so impossible to find out the actual cost of their sodding products. Honestly, unless you have a beard and like math…… are buggered.

Let me explain. Heidi called me and told me that our internet provider which is British Telecom has told us our contract is up for renewal and sent a whole menu of new…….. ummmm …… broadband thingies.

In ancient times, you didn’t have to worry about broadband because it didn’t exist. But then it did exist, so you had to phone one of about two internet service providers who offered simple contracts at a fixed monthly rate. When they answered they were in the UK not Bombay and all you had to say was “Hello, I’d like the internet to be put into my computer,” and they’d say “Fine, that will cost $30 a month.” And they’d put the internet in your computer and you could start booking a cruise, book a cruise, see videos of Charlie Sheen waving a machete around and Latvian women lying naked on the deck of a billionaire’s yacht.

Now, it’s sodding impossible to work out how much anything costs. British Telecom is now offering Heidi and I broadband for £18 a month. That’s $30 in Uncle Sam money. “Woo hoo” as my friend Mr. Bentley would say………..oh, but hold on…….. because that’s only for the first six months. It then goes up to £28 pounds a month which is $42 and I should point out that it mentions this in a significantly smaller and less colourful font. Oh and right at the bottom in words that are smaller than my thingy…………and that is really small…………it tells you that you’re locked in to an 18 month contract. That means the average cost is £27. So why not just say that…………you utter bastards.

This trend has spread to cell phone contracts and has mutated. You now require a crystal ball, several weeks of spare time and the mind of Professor Stephen Hawking to work out which deal is right for you.

I saw a commercial recently where one provider has resorted to animals in their TV commercials to show you the way. If you want unlimited texts, you’re a dolphin (even though dolphins don’t have thumbs). Beavers, as we know, enjoy unlimited calls to landlines and if you go for the premium package of unlimited everything, you get to be a grizzly bear……..what a load of bollocks.

But how am I supposed to know whether I’ll need 500 texts a month? Or 350 anytime minutes? And then, there’s another worrying thingy, you get more minutes/texts/haemorrhoids if you sign up for a longer contract. Twenty dolphins get 75 texts on a 12-month contract but 300 on 24 months. Is that good? Is that even English? And if it is, will I need 300 texts a month in two years’ time? Will we still be texting in two years? Will cell phones and raspberrys exist or will we all them implanted in our arses and have rolls of toilet paper shoved up there in case someone sends us a fax?

I’m obviously taking this to the extreme but it’s only a matter of time before you won’t be able to read this blog thingy on a daily basis. Eric the Beard will give it to you free for three weeks, then it will be $10 a hit for a month, after which he will send you a John Heald bobble head if you send us photo of you naked…….. but only if you don’t have a beard ………and it’s a Thursday. Of course, I am kidding. I would never let this happen…….but you get my point.

We are not like this at Carnival……….that is………….ummmmm…….unless you buy the early saver thingy which I can’t seem to grasp case and feel as confused as baby in a topless bar. Honestly, every time I get asked a question about this I get a new wrinkle as I worry about how to answer it. It’s obviously a massively popular program but my understanding of it is equal to bugger all. I have so many wrinkles now that these days………… my face looks like an elephant’s scrotum.


Your friend

P.S. Here are the Fun Times for today, for both your Carnival Dream and your Carnival Splendor! —Everett

Comment Policy

Look, friends — there are a few things you should remember before you comment. The space below is for you to post your comments about the post I've just written above. Now, while I may not be able to reply to your comment below, I do sit in my underpants almost every morning and read everything that is here. So feel free to comment on the comments and then if someone wants to comment on the comment to the comment then go ahead as well. Please be courteous, unless the poster is French...........then you can say whatever you want.

88 Responses to Peter Speaks In Proper English

  1. Sghetti says:

    I’m cajun and I have no problem reading a blog done by an English gent as yourself…lol some people just love to be ignorant poor chaps 😉

  2. Lisa Taylor says:

    As always an enjoyable read John. This Canadian has no problem with you or your British spelling.

    After reading Carnival Platinum Cruiser’s comments I have to wonder if he walks around thinking he’s that special and entitled all the time. Good for him for paying thousands of dollars. He does get recognized for that with the perks due to a platinum cruiser.

    • Cant believe someone has to complain about being Platinum!! We will be Platinum May 14 and boy are we excited! took a long time but will be celebrating our 35th anniversary so we couldnt ask for a better way to celebrate…as my mom always said..if you cant say something nice dont say anything 🙂

      • Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


        IF that May 14th cruise happens to be on the Triumph….we will be there with you !!

        I agree … there is no better way to celebrate!!

        Linda ( Mom of DJ)

      • Jodi says:

        Hear, hear!

    • Diane Shepherd says:

      This Canadian too.

      Re Platinum – I agree with you – I turn Platinum next cruise and other than bypassing the getting on and getting off I had no idea that there was other things too — I was just looking forward to those!!

  3. Susie Trimble says:

    Hey Joe,

    I have sailed on the Paradise for times. I love it. In fact i have 25days to go before I sail on her again. I say go for it!!

    • Susie Trimble says:

      OOPS…4 TIMES

      • Laurie says:

        Susie, we’ll be there with you! My second time on Paradise, husbands first. Go for it, she’s a great ship!

        • Susie Trimble says:

          Very cool. This will be my 1st cruise by myself. Mom and I always went together, unfortunately she passed away on Jan 23. We were suppose to do B2B cruises on the Paradise last month.

          Maybe we can get together for a drink or something.

  4. Heather says:

    Just tell them to Piss Off.

  5. Rob Shay says:

    John, I’ll be on the Magic trans Atlantic with you and I think it would be Grand if we could do the “We turned out the lights” like they did on th QMII, during the crossing, maybe you could talk the captin, or another officer into hosting a “show” Just an idea. Thanks, Rob

    • len susman says:

      Most of us never really see the night sky.

      Seen it a few hundred miles offshore on my own boat but mid atlantic and probably well South would present a different night sky

      I am for this.

      • Jennifer Effler says:

        I’m on the Spirit, Hawaii to Vancouver and would also like them to try the ‘lights turned off’ bit to see what we can see. I know the other cruise line that sails Hawaii all of the time does this!

  6. Preston says:

    Everyday it is more cruise critic BS… Why continue to post it….

  7. Jacqueline Triguero says:

    Thank you for another great blog entry, John. Have a nice night!

  8. Phil & Liz says:

    To Alison D :
    Not that a public proposal would be bad (I did it just that way to Liz-on stage at the Capts party) but if you want a romantic setting I might suggest the Steakhouse.
    Just a thought.

  9. Sage56 says:

    This is for Joe G. reference the Paradise.
    John is correct the only opinion that matters is yours. If you elect not to go on the Paradise due to reading a message board, that is your choice.

    Personally, I love the Paradise. I have 4 more cruises booked on her before she leaves California.

    I find the crew and staff exceptional (as they are on all Carnival Cruise ships!)

    I don’t want to read the CC thread you posted, as I have seen them in the past, and most of the negatives that I saw posted I just didn’t see on the Paradise at all.

    Book your cruise and have a wonderful time. Let us know how it goes!

  10. Doug Hilton says:

    Good on ya mate for your reply to AlisonD. I hope that people aren’t weirded out by a public proposal, but I agree with Phil&Liz, a nice romantic setting would be great too!
    Alison, I hope you and your partner have a great cruise! And congrats!!

  11. E&E BEARDS,

    I see you are know putting the ships name when you save the FunTime files. That will make it a lot easier for those looking for them.

    Thank You

    BIG Ed

  12. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


    I don’t find Early Saver confusing. But we don’t ever book Early Saver, because we like to be flexible and be able to make changes.

    As I understand it, if you book Early Saver, you are agreeing to some restrictions…BUT you are willing to get any rate decreases up until 2 days before you sail.

    Perhaps the confusing part comes when someone is trying to confirm a lower rate or applying for the applicable on board credit?

    Linda (Mom of DJ)

    • Mary Fairbanks says:

      Linda; I always book early saver, our Europe trip has dropped 3 times, for a total of $300 per person. there is an online form and within two days our billing is adjusted downwards. I have not had a problem as I use to book. Have fun on your next cruise.

    • Jodi says:

      Early Saver works for me!

  13. Starr says:


    Great blog enjoyed the info from Cunard and the QM2. The mother nature tragedies this year are hard to deal with. Such sad times. It gives everyone with a heart a moment to reflect and appreciate the other things in life. I sadly say that the “Carnival Platinum Cruiser” needs to do dome of that as well. You are a kind man with a generous heart. I am not one of the privileged Platinum’s yet but will be someday. I hope I never get that up into it. I am happy to be cruising at all and pray I never have to suffer the devastations suffered by the people of Christchurch or Japan. My heart is with all those who have lost so much.

    I also want to say what a great review by Stephanie aka Hockey Addict. It is so nice to read when people come back and absolutely loved their cruise. I will be sending my review sometime mid April when I return from the Freedom. Can’t wait to sail again.

  14. cindy otoski says:

    John, keep doing what you’re doing…its great! Love to read all that you post.
    Newbies from New England ( RI). See ya on Magic 5/22/11…so psyched.

  15. Peg Dunbar says:

    Great blog today and I love the new layout, it looks great. I also love your new picture 😀

    Thank you for replying about the Country Home Tour in Knovale. We have not booked anything for our Carnival Magic cruise in September but are very interested in what you have to say about our cruise.

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

    My best to Heidi and Kye.

  16. Roy Goetz says:

    I am a past cruiser on the Paradise, Feb. 28, 2011, 4 day, and July, 2000, 7 day western carribean, I saw no differance in the condition of the ship, except for non smoking in 2000. I don’t understand why people try to compare the carnival line to more exspensive cruise lines, where carnival reaches a lot more reasonable cruisers. Just quit complaning and enjoy the cruise. As for cruise critic? THey are just afraid to look at themselves in a mirror.

  17. We did the Country Home in Konavle on Carnival Dream and probably will repeat on one of our Carnival Magic cruises. You can see pictures here:

    or maybe I need to do it this way now:

  18. Sharon says:

    To Mr Joe Garcia, my husband and I sailed out of Long Beach on the Paradise last month and had a very enjoyable cruise despite the cool weather and many bachelor/bachelorette parties! The staff was great, the food good, and heck I was on a cruise so I didn’t let anything else bother me! Have fun!!

  19. Dave Myerly says:

    John, I think your (BRKN ENGLASH)or Cockney slang is fine on the blog. People are reading this all over the world and you know we do not really have a WORLD LANGUAGE. However I have often wondered how many countries are reading the blogs. Do you know? Do the beards know? If not post a memo asking for every one OTHER THAN US people to post what country they are in reading this blog.

    • Alana Owen says:

      I think this is an interesting idea. Maybe a poll thingy could be set up by one of the beards?

    • GermanGirl says:

      Dear Dave,

      here is one German reader. I love this blog and have been following the posts for months now. We Germans learn English at school and most teachers also have us learn the differences between American English and British English.

      I personally do not care for one additional or missing “u” letter. I find it much more difficult if “there” and “their” gets switched. It sounds identical when speaking but gives any sentence a totally new meaning if switched. But I see this switch now quite often. I even once saw the mixed version “theire”.

      But I enjoy this blog way too much to care or complain. (Anyone finding an error in my spelling may keep it – free of charge!)

      Keep up the good work John!

      • Sharry says:

        also they’re

        • GermanGirl says:

          Hi Sharry,

          “they’re” I would read as the short form of “they were” or “they are”. You are right however, this would also confuse if used instead of “there”

          Each language has it’s own problems 🙂

          (again, all spelling errors are free of charge)

    • Jodi says:

      The sad thing is American Speak, is rapidly becoming assimilated by much of the English speaking world as a ‘world’ language.

  20. Carnival Platinum Cruiser needs to step away from the pipe. What a moron!

  21. antiquitys says:

    John, I saw the post by the Canadian who was upset about the debarkation procedure in Tampa. Now, all us God fearing Americans know that you cannot trust a Canadian any further than you can throw them. What I propose is that Carnival drop off all the Canadians at Guantanamo Bay on the ships return trip to port. And yes, I am kidding.

  22. Bill Heck says:

    Hello John:

    Please respond.

    More complaining about Platinum benefits today. I would be happy to get more benefits, after all, who doesn’t want more?

    But I thought I would list out some of the benefits we enjoyed as Platinum on our recent B2B on Carnival Glory.

    1. Fast boarding. We skipped the lines and went to the VIP office where they had our room keys and sent us around the lines onto the ship. 10 minutes curb to Atrium.

    2. Priority seating in the main dining room. We prefer anytime dining and walked up to the counter and requested a table for two. Every night we got our preferred table except for one night when they were busy. On that night, we were given a booth for four with no one else seated. We never waited for a table.

    3. Priority tender use. We walked onto the tender with the people who had excursions without getting the numbered stickers.

    4. We could have had priority tendering from the port back to the ship, but there was never a line so it didn’t matter.

    5. The appetizers and canapes were pretty good these two weeks and we got them at the right time.

    6. The little coolers came in handy on the port visits. We will give some to the kids.

    7. The ship pins were nice.

    8. The wash and fold was great. In at 9 AM, back at 5 PM, every time. We used it every day, fresh jammies every night. We pack much lighter. 14 day cruise, no problem.

    9. Platinum desk at the Purser desk. Long line? No problem, just walk to the desk and get it handled.

    10. Time to go, we got up, showered, ate breakfast, and walked off the ship with our luggage. How easy is that? If we had put our bags out, we had number 1 luggage tags, but we didn’t use them.

    So, we felt more than a bit pampered as a valued guest.

    But John, we want more. With a rebel yell, she cried more, more, more.

    By the way, my sides hurt.

    Your friend

    Bill Heck

    • Bill Heck says:

      oooops, re Platinum, forgot to mention the free pass in the casino tournament, sorry. Eleven good benefits.

  23. FAQ


    We lost John’s PO BOX address that was on the right side of the old blog. Where did you move it on the new format?

    BIG Ed

  24. Tim Kriebel, MCPO, USN Retired says:

    Come on John……you know that ever since the Revolution Americans have been improving the “Proper” English you Brits cling to…..get over it and keep up with the times…..cheers mate!

  25. hi john, i love the idea of computer classes onboard on sea days, or any other things like this. there used to be crafts and that has gone. some, like me, don’t do the sun things (too many times skin cancer!) and still love to cruise. just a suggestion my friend.

    smiles, bee

  26. Courtney Ann says:

    John, I am SO SORRY that people keep being so rude to you! It amazes me every time I read the posts. It’s very sad to me. 🙁
    You do such a great job and you are SO appreciated by many of us. Please know what a blessing you are to so many of us and I hope you are having a fantastic week. 🙂

  27. An Aussie with itchy feet says:

    John, I think you must have the patience of a saint.
    I have no idea how you are able to answer so tactfully day-in and day-out to some people who quite simply seem to have not evolved fully yet.

    I tips me ‘at to ya!

  28. Erin says:

    Again thanks for the laugh! I am curious why the entire spelling or way people choose to speak even matters. I think what is most important is how we as PEOPLE treat one another. I love the different accents, words and ways many different cultures sound and use to describe things! All I can do is respect the people I come in contact with and hope they do the same. I try & teach my children to be courteous and respect the differences of people in society, not judge them. I like your style and if someone has a problem with the way you choose to speak/type in your blog they should simply close the page! I am an American and I would never expect you to change a thing! It doesn’t matter who the “majority” reading the blog is, that was rubbish ( 😉 I’m liking so many of your words….been saying “bugger” a lot as well!) Have a fantastic evening!

  29. Kathy G. says:

    Dear John,

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading Mr. Shanks blog! My dream is to take a world cruise however unless I win the lottery that won’t happen – but I can dream and live through the experience of others who are so kind to write it down. One of my favorite times of the cruise is late at night, on my balcony watching the heavens light up. And pity my poor neighbor who turns on the balcony light and leaves it on! (one of my pet peeves!)
    I believe that balcony lights should be rendered inoperable at midnight! 🙂

    As for Mr/Ms Carnival Platinum Cruiser – wonder if he/she has ever really cruised at all!

    Thank you for once again providing a wonderful blog! It is nice to have this available as I sit in this stuffy hotel room wishing I was home, or better yet on a cruise. 65 more days and I’m there! Carnival Legend here I come! Maybe the Captain will turn off the balcony lights for me!

  30. Henry Nyhuis says:

    From a Platinum Cruiser to “THE PLATINUM CRUISER” We are NOT John’s cheerleaders! We just appreciate it when somebody in a Corporate world cares about the people that allows the corporation to see what we care about and helps them to improve their image and our experience. After all we pay their wages! IMHO there should be more corporate “JOHNS” (no pun intended). Why do you think you are so special? Just enjoy it!

  31. Mark Thomas says:

    John, my father would have loved this blog. He tried to teach his children to speak properly and cringed every time he heard a question ending with a preposition…”Where is it at?” My children suffered through the same response when they asked me “Can I…?” Boy, this brought back memories. But have hope, there are still a few Americans who really do try not to mangle the “Kings English” even if we do speak it properly without that funny accent.

    Mark T.

  32. Helene Apper says:

    Two comments: First to Jose – I’ve taken the Paradise out of Long Beach at least once a year. Please don’t listen to the Cruise Critics critics. They want to make a point because they felt they were slighted. More often it is because their bar bill was in the neighborhood of $1000 and they didn’t keep track of it. The Cruise on the Paradise is what you make of it. If you have never been to Ensenada there are some lovely places to visit. The cruise will be whatever you make it – you can have fun or you can wallow in your drink with the little umbrella. I know all the kids have a blast on the ship. Don’t hesitate to go!

    John – as you may remember, I am set to sail on the Splendor. I must seriously request that if I am to read your blog while I am on the ship, I would appreciate some disposable diapers sent to my room. I laugh so hard sometimes I pee in my pants. Please assist. Either stop making me laugh or send the diapers 🙂

    Thanks for doing what you do!


  33. Terri Walljasper says:

    .All I can say is that I wish I was platinum. Enjoy your blog!

  34. First off, to Joe: I’ve sailed the Paradise myself, and have recommended it to clients as well. She may be a bit aged and small in comparison to her upstart younger sister Splendor, but she’s been kept in excellent shape, and the service, food, and entertainment are all lovely. You’ve nothing to worry about.

    I’ve just started reading (and participating on) your Facebook page and have also just started reading your blog. It is absolutely NOT what I expected, as you actually speak in your own voice and aren’t afraid to get a bit shirty when needs must.

    As for Early Saver – if you think it’s confusing for you, try being a travel agent. We have to explain it several times over each time, and often still catch grief when the client is told they have to pay $50 to simply change cabin assignment or fix a misspelling on a name. Add to that the clients (I’m dealing with one now) who couldn’t book early enough for Early Saver, but apparently didn’t wait long enough for a senior fare to be offered, so she got to watch her cabin category drop in fare $240. Because she wasn’t booked in Early Saver, and because the fare dropped after final payment, Carnival Corp refuses to refare her booking. I managed to get her an upgrade, but even that cabin is pricing at $180 less than what she initially paid. (I tried to get them to toss her a dinner at the steakhouse, but was told that they simply couldn’t do it.) Yes, Early Saver is clearly very popular, but sometimes, the rules for both it and its fare-code brethren can feel a bit like CCL is saying, “Haha! We got your money and you will get nothing and like it!”. Then perhaps giving them the finger for good measure. While I’m not blaming YOU (please don’t think that’s the case), I can speak first-hand to the difficulty that it has caused my clients.

    In any case, keep up the good work! Honest writing and advocating for the passengers is really refreshing to see, and I for one appreciate it greatly. Thank you!

  35. Theresa Stamper says:

    Tell Geoff he should just spell it “Jeff” and quit being so damn uppity! We are cruising the Glory in 4 weeks for our 25th anniversary. Cant wait!!

  36. Cindy says:

    I promise you that there would be plenty of people upset at a GLBT public proposal. There are lots of us who still believe same-sex relationships are not natural. It’s one thing to propose in private, but in front of an audience that wasn’t asked or invited, that’s quite an in-your-face insult. Yes, I am aware this position is very un-PC, but you should know that it would make many people uncomfortable.

    • divetrash says:

      It’s not an un-PC point of view, it’s an inhuman point of view. There are lots of us out there who think the banning of same sex marriages is absolutely morally wrong. Who cares who someone else loves? If they are two consenting adults who have decided to commit to each other for life how dare anyone else presume to declare it wrong? Love in ALL forms is something to be celebrated, loud and proud. In this world where there is so much tragedy and hate and violence and divisive rhetoric every day, I applaud anyone who will stand up and celebrate love and commitment publicly, privately or somewhere in between.

      Congratulations on finding “the one”, I say go for it Alison D.

      Happy Cruising,


      • Laura
        How this Scottish lass missed you, Ron Pass & his piano bar followers, bloggers, John Heald’s supporting team & everybody I met on BC4. Week 2 of my BtoB on Glory was tame in comparison. Ron is a treasure & the best I have ever heard on my 21 Carnival cruises. You are a super sporting person whom I hope I shall meet again on BC5.
        Laura you are an Inspiration (no pun intended) to those of us who have been at an all time low but have dusted ourselves down & got on with life by injecting some humour into our daily activities.
        Keep on blogging Divetrash, you are the salt of the earth & I shall keep taking a pinch of your medicine. My email address is & I would be delighted if you sent me a message however brief.
        Grizel, from snowy Scotland

      • An Aussie with itchy feet says:

        LIKE !!

      • Jodi says:

        Very well said! In fact I can’t think of any thing else to add!

    • Jay says:

      So I guess it’s safe to say it’s quite an “in-your face” insult if a man proposed to a woman in front of me? Because i think heterosexual relationships are unnatural!!! LMAO!

      Please note i’m being sarcastic. My point? My “opinion” sounds just as ridiculous as yours. 😉

      Congrats to alison! YOU GO GIRLZ!!!

    • Suzanne says:

      I get that you don’t agree with the idea. I get that your OPINION is that it’s wrong. I don’t agree and can’t even say I respect your opinion but I do respect your right to have it. However, what I don’t get here is why you feel it would be an in-your-fact insult? How is that they are personally offending you? Would you feel the same way if it was a “traditional” couple? Is it marriage you are offended by, or the public aspect of the proposal? Or is it simply because 2 people who happen to be created by God and who happen to be the same sex? I myself am mildly offended that you happen to think it’s really any of your business who sleeps where. Do you ask all of your acquaintances with whom they sleep? Nope, didn’t think so. Sheesh, grow up.

    • cruzn buckeye says:

      I wasnt going to comment because I know there are many that disagree. However, I agree with Cindy. Yes, I have friends that are gay, I am not a homophobic. But I am a believer in God and the bible. I am a believer in marriage being between a man and a woman. I am a believer in the familys consisting of moms, dads, (male) and kids. I think people are wrong to pull children into this. It is fine with me for two people to love each other, whatever floats their boat. But please stop shoving it down the throats of those that believe in God and what marriage really means. I am not offended by gays. I have a friend that is gay and have known him for half my life. Love him to death as a friend. But, if he wants to propose to his “guyfriend” Please keep it away from me. I am one that would be truly offended if it happened on a CCL ship while I was attending a show. I am not gay, dont approve of it, dont care if anyone likes it or not… I am entitled to my opinion and beliefs. I certainly dont want my night spoiled by a gay proposal. I know I will be bashed for this . But I truly believe, that people are so worried about being politically correct that they would say they approve even if they didnt. You know what they say… if you cant beat em join em… that is how I feel people have fallen into this… hey its okay… attitude. Sorry folks, thats my story and Im stickin to it…

      • An Aussie with itchy feet says:

        The GOD that I believe in loves everyone the same and is not constrained by human prejudices & contradictions. No ones love is better than someone elses.

      • Jay says:

        Wow…talk about contradicting yourself! LOL.

        You’d let a gay proposal ruin your whole night?!?! Overdramatic much?

        And you have a friend who’s gay? Love him to death? Ok…so what if your friend became engaged? You’re willing to give your life for him (love him to death), right? So would you attend their wedding? I’m guessing no? Not much of a friend there then, eh?

        Sorry…but your comment really threw me for a loop!

      • T. Sanford says:

        The problem I have with saying don’t do this because the bible says no to same sex marriage is this: the bible also says unless you are without sin, you shouldn’t cast stones and also says that no sin is greater than another. You aren’t offended when we are encouraged to eat until we are stuffed (gluttony) or any of the other various sins we all commit on a daily basis. Unless you have never lied, never over-eaten, never been disrespectful to your parents, etc then you aren’t really in a place to judge them on their sex life.
        I know that I am a sinner, regardless of how hard I try, and I would bet that you are also. I doubt that God considers you “unnatural” because of your various sins. I would encourage you not to cast stones or to consider other sinners (in other words all of us) not natural. Just my opinion.

    • Kathy M. says:


      You asked the question if you should start making arrangements for proposals, I say “NO” please don’t start doing this. The only reason that I am saying this, is you already have so much on your plate now that I think taking on more is only going to make you have to take time away from something else. You have been doing this blog for years, but since you started on Facebook, you are now talking about cutting back on the blog, so if you take on more, I am afraid that the blog will end up paying for it and will become a thing of the past.

      John, here is a couple if idea’s for you. For the rest of your vacation, write down everyday the actual time you spend on filling requests from passengers. This would include anything that someone has asked you to do for them. Keep track of how much time you spend everyday writing the blog, write down everyday how much time you spend on facebook, how much time in filling reservations for the Chef’s table, how much time is spent in filling requests for gifts, and requests for help from the main office. Then a couple of days before you have to go back to work, see how much time you have left over at the end of the day while you are at home. When you go back to work, then start another daily diary of all of the above and also the time that is involved doing your job as a CD. After you have done this for a week, then analyze how much time each task takes. You will be amazed John, at how much time is involved in keeping the blog, doing facebook and filling all of the requests that you get. Sometimes it takes us to see it in black and white to realize how much time we spend on certain tasks.

      To Cindy, I agree with you, a marriage should be between a man and woman. I hope that these kinds of proposals do not start on Cruise ships.

    • Debbie says:

      I don’t know how I feel about it either except feel things of such a romantic nature should be private. But that is just me, and what I prefer for myself. We are both showing our age! Whatever occurs, I hope their love stays true and lasts a long time. Love is still love and that is what Jesus wants is for everyone to love one another. And we can all do that by being tolerant of others.

  37. Nancy McQuarrie says:

    Hi John – Thanks for a great blog, once again. Your patience is amazing, and your heart very generous. How you can tolerate some of these comments, let alone post them and answer graciously/honestly is far beyond me. I appreciate you every day, and I know that others do as well.

    As for the proper “English” – it adds so much enjoyable reading and lets us see the real John – please don’t stop.

    Best wishes to you and the family.

  38. Karen says:

    On the language thing. The person who suggested you right in there language (american English). Is a complete a$$. It is a racial remark. You speak your language and we should adapt to read it. I do love the proper British language , like instead of trunk in a car a boot. If you give into this person the next thing will
    be the French eating there language

  39. Sheila says:

    John, please ignore the idiots who complain about the way you speak and write. One of the things I enjoy most about your blog is the differences in “proper” English and American English. You can never please everyone and a person who doesn’t like your blog or the way you talk or the way you write, they certainly don’t have to read it. I have decided that some people on read your blog so that they will have something to bitch about.

  40. Susie says:

    Wow..i can only say when i reach platinum in 2 more cruises, i will appreciate what is given and not expect that i deserve everything like several others have suggested. Be grateful for what you get

  41. Robert says:

    John, please reply.

    WHY does Carnival charge an extra 100% for single travelers? My cabin mate for the MAGIC TA voyage has canceled. If I can not find someone else to go I have to pay double to go on this cruise. This will cut back my spending on the ship just to be on the MAGIC with you.

    • Angry Single says:

      Well don’t expect an answer from either John or Carnival as it was mentioned when the double charge for singles in 1A cabins began that he would find out what was going on. But it has just revealed himself to be just another Corporate mouthpiece as a. Nothing has happened (and nothing has been said about it since) and b. Being the good employee that he is he has done what his management have said and has adopted the company line instead of trying to investigate and get something done about this. But of course singles are the only group that it is legal to discriminate against. What with 200% charges, and forced into smaller cabins (usually inside) just because you are single.

  42. Kathy Preis says:

    To Joe Garcia about Paradise: Short and sweet…a holiday is what you make out of it. When I’m on my next cruise on this beautiful ship out of Long Beach (next will be the 5th on Paradise, 15th with Carnival, 22nd total cruises), I will choose to do what I always do: have fun! The Paradise has been my weekend cruise of choice since she replaced the Ecstasy and I will sail her again with pleasure! I’ve never had bad service, never experienced overcrowding and always enjoyed the entertainment. My son loved the ship as a 14 year old, as a 22 year old and with his fiance as a 27 year old. I recommend Carnival and the Paradise to everyone.

  43. Michelle says:

    We probably better make sure they know the “bring handcuffs” thing is a joke, since a friend of mine accidentally brought some on her honeymoon cruise (they were in a bag with some stuff from her bridal shower and she didn’t know they were there) and had to be called down to security to have her bag inspected. She was questioned about why she brought them and everything. She was so embarassed.

    They are actually on the list of restricted items you can not bring on the ship, aren’t they?

    • MarkT says:

      Ok, I’ll bite and say what everybody was thinking…Yeah, right…”accidentally” brought them on her honeymoon! Nobody “accidentally” brings handcuffs anywhere, do they?

      Hope they had a great time, handcuffs or not!

  44. Jack Danel says:

    Speaking of proper English – my wife and I are taking shagging lessons. Does Carnival expect to have shag music in any of the lounges on the Magic?

    Those of you who speak Brit may laugh now, it is allowed.

    And for those who don’t know, the shag is the legally designated official dance of South Carolina, passed by the legislature and signed by the governor and all that.

  45. Zannett says:

    I am always shocked at how RUDE people can be. I am so excited that we will hopefully be milestone members next spring. I fail to see how my quantity of cruises has anything to do with the assistance given on this blog. I do agree with the idea of having a reception for platinum and/or milestone passengers, it would be ANOTHER nice gesture.

  46. K Syrah says:

    Ahh, Queens English. I was riding in a coach (bus) through London and my mate (friend) could not believe all of the signs for bathrooms. He was reading “To Let” and thought it was misspelled. We then had to “queue up” for the train. I haven’t been to the UK in a few years. I am sad to hear that the language is disappearing. I won’t miss the cuisine, though.

  47. Mark Kivirahk says:

    Hi John,
    I must admit I am a recent devotee to your blog. My wife and I just booked our 2nd cruise on the Conquest on June 26th (#6201) for her 40th birthday on June 29th. I’ve gone wild with the Bon Voyage items but I still feel like I’m falling short on making the day special. Is there anything you might recommend we do to make this milestone birthday that much more special?

    On your telecom items….as far as how we operate in the states vs overseas I’m not sure…. I’m a project manager for one of the top telecom companies in the US. Long story short, most telecoms will retroactively bump your plan to a higher level if you run over your limit. So go with the lower message/data plan and check your usage. It may take talking to a supervisor but most companies are interesting in keeping their customers. As far as broadband, that term is probably associated with a high early termination fee, so beware.

    Thanks again for your time!

  48. The Cruzin2some says:

    Dear Allison D.,
    Best Wishes on your upcoming cruise and proposal,
    I would like to say that while a public proposal may be what you want to do, (I know how you feel I wanted to shout it from the rooftops myself) This is really something very personal and depending on what the young lady you are going to propose to wants it may be better to go with the more romantic option. May I suggest the following.

    Reserve the Steakhouse for a marvelous dinner for two in a very romantic sitting. The food is better than most five star restraurants. Afterwards take the young lady for a walk on the deck and when the time is right, under a stary stary night, hold her hand and tell her how she has made your life so much better by just being a big part of it. Drop to one knee (Yes Iam old fashion that way) and ask her to be your life partner from now until the stars all fall from the sky.

    This way it is something special only shared by the two of you. No worries about what anyone else thinks and the two of you don’t become the item where people point and whisper about. Yes some people can be cruel that way.
    Regardless of what you choose to do I wish you many years of happiness and a life filled with LOVE!
    The Cruzin2some

  49. Elissa ( Crazy4Koko) says:

    John, I think it only PROPER for you to speak in the language as you have been taught, as it should be for ‘Americans’…. I try to remember to use ‘proper’ UK English when contacting someone from the ‘other side of the pond’, but sometimes I fail. I just happen to feel it is respectful. So, be it “honor” or “honour”, both will be found in the dictionary, as will ‘realize and realise’, and a host of other words.

    PLUSWHICH ( and don’t bother consulting your Funk and Wagnals, you won’t find it)… I do believe AMERICAN is just a watered down version of ENGLISH..and its our laziness that has decimated the language over the years!! Those who feel they need to correct you perhaps need a lesson in humility.

  50. Kathy M. says:

    To Joe Garcia,

    Joe, let me tell you about my experience on the Carnival Paradise. My brother and sister-in-law had never cruised on Carnival before, because they to had heard bad things about the Carnival ships. They had heard that they were just party ships and that only the young people cruised on them and even one of their friends who had never cruised on Carnival told them they would NOT enjoy their vacation, so when they asked me to go on a cruise with them, I asked them if we could do it on a Carnival ship and they agreed reluctantly. They had cruised before, but only on the line that has the mall of the seas and they said that was the best cruise line there was. We cruised over Mother’s Day last year and at the end of the cruise, I asked my brother what he thought of Carnival and he said, “I have two cruises booked for next year, but when I get home I am canceling them and re-booking on Carnival.” and he did, one to Alaska and one to Hawaii for their 40th Wedding Anniversary. He said the crew really surprised him, he was amazed at how friendly they were and that after the first night in the dining room, they were able to remember his name. He said that his room steward was on top of everything and he was so surprised at how clean the ship was for her age.

    Joe, I know that you will have a wonderful time onboard the Carnival Paradise, so please take the negative reports with a grain of salt, because I know that you will be writing to John with a fantastic review.

  51. Mike says:

    I haven’t sailed on Paradise, but from what I have been seeing on Cruisecritic, other forums and on John’s Facebook page I get the feeling that a lot of the recent spate of “negative reviews” are part of a grudge-campaign by a single person.

    The other day we had clearly fake accounts “backing up” a complaint on facebook and telling people to cruise with a certain other line instead.

    I think, as John said, you’re better off looking at the overall rating of all reviews rather than a couple of complaints.

  52. Jodi says:

    John I need to put in my 2 cents regarding a first cruise, a return to Carnival Cruise Lines cruise, or for that matter ANY cruise on the Carnival Paradise. Please, please, please DO GO. You’ll have a load of fun, enjoy some great entertainment, and receive some stellar personalised service! John is so right about Cruise Critic, there is far more positive reviews of Carnival as a whole, and the Paradise in particular that are positive! Especially on Cruise Critic. However, as the wise Senior Cruise Director has said, the only OPINION that matters is yours, and if you want to enjoy yourself you will!

    • Jodi says:

      oops that comment was for Joe, not John. John already knows how great the Paradise is! Silly me.

  53. Don says:

    We have been on the Paradise 3 Day (Fri – Mon)twice and both times found it to be the booze cruise of cruising with every So Cal. Jersey Shore Guido Guidette wannabe. There is Security all over the place and it is definetely the party boat. That being said, we do it occasionally and have fun knowing what to expect. Beware of Spring Break or Labor Day Weekend! We have not done the 4 day (Mon – Fri) but have been told that is a whole different crowd. Most of the people on CC giving it a bad review are doing so in comparison with a 7 day product for which there is no comparison.

  54. Tony McGurk says:

    I have nothing against Americans but the same is true here in Australia. Teenagers especially drive me nuts with their Americanised Rap/Ghetto style way of speaking these days. “Yo dude, whassup homie” What the hell kinda talk is that anyway because I sure as hell don’t understand what they’re on about. I love to take out the rubbish not the trash & put my clothes into the wardrobe instead of a closet. I have to admit that I don’t get the “Restroom” thing. I’m not in the loo for a rest. I have even noticed how some words have crept into my own spelling & languague un-noticed. I find myself at times saying GUY, I hate that word I am a bloke not a guy but we hear it so often on TV or other people using it it seems to have infiltrated my brain’s speech centre (notice centRE not center) I even used the old spelling for Programme on my blog sometime ago but no-one picked up on it. Australian languague which is largely based on British English seems to be going downhill faster than a lizard drinking. And many of our colloquial phrases are dying out too. Seems a shame. As for someone expecting you to change your way of spelling to suit them that is just downright rude.

  55. John, I have to comment on the word “FANNY” at the end of this blog thingy. My parents have been to England on many occasions during holiday. After two or three holiday’s spent in England, my brother married a sweet British girl and the ceremony took place in your Country. When my mom and dad reached East Sussex where the girls parents lived, my dad sat on the couch for a little rest. My brothers future mother-in-law asked my father if he would like a scotch and he declined saying “it would only make my fanny drag the ground even more than it is already”.

    For the next two days, my parents couldn’t figure out what in the hell it was they did to make the future in-laws so furious with them. Until finally my brothers fiance’ explained in complete hysterics what “fanny” meant in your Country.


    • Don says:

      I had to Google the fanny definition to find out what you and John were talking about. In finding the definition I also found this…Serious misunderstanding may therefore arise when what people in Britain know as a `bumbag’ is referred to in the US as a `fanny pack’!

Copyright 2017 John Heald. All Rights Reserved