Please Don’t Feed the Animals

March 30, 2011 -

John Heald

Before I get into today’s Q & A we need to discuss the Q & A from Monday which included this:

Scott T Asked:
Reply Needed,

I think this last cruise will be my last and you need to understand WHY! Check in process was long and unorganized. Holland America was much more organized. Three inside rooms are very small. Our Jr. Suite room was okay, with the balcony. Our tub and toilet were dirty when we arrived. The bathroom light was flickering on and off. I had to call maintenance. The internet (using my laptop) never did work for me, even though I stood in a long line at Guest Services 4 times to try to figure out why. No one could help me. Guest service was understaffed. The guest services person took my reservation for My Time dining, and then never reported to the dining room. They did not have us on the list. The safety drill was needful, of course, but the standing and waiting was far too long. I got in some real pain standing and waiting so long. They were waiting on people who never showed up. The internet is antiquated, slow, and expensive. It only worked once using the ship computer. It never worked using my laptop. And there is no internet availability in the rooms. You have to go to a hotspot. That’s a bit inconvenient after you’ve gotten into your pjs. My 22 year old daughter was treated rudely by two of the staff.

All this junk on board is way over priced. Water? Wine? I buy the same cheap wine at the grocery store for 1/3 the cost. The tender ticket saga for the boat ride over to Grand Cayman was a NIGHTMARE. I went early (45 minutes early) to get in line at Cleopatra’s Nook. There were already many people there, sitting around in chairs calling that the “line.” As I moved toward the back of the room to position myself in what was a poorly defined line, people started filling up all the chairs much further up than the “end of the chair line.” The woman behind me was really mad. She was right to be mad. These people were in effect, cutting the line by plopping down in chairs close to the front of the chair line…such as it was. She finally just went up there and told the all those people sitting around in the chair line waiting on the woman to arrive with the tickets that they needed to stand up, and make a real line, because nobody really knew where it started and ended. They did stand up and form a line.

The lady came and handed out the tender tickets. My family got in group one, but that didn’t matter when it came time. People with No. 2 group tickets were pushing and shoving. My oldest daughter had a baby in a stroller. She had a group 1 ticket, but when the disorganized crew opened the tape to let another group through, the No. 2 group ticket holders behind my daughter with the stroller almost trampled her and the baby. When she got through, she was crying really hard. It was just a horrible situation and very traumatic. Of course, they do call for all the people in motorized chairs to come first, but there also should be a call for young parents with small children or at least babies. NEVER EVER AGAIN.

As my husband said today, as we waited in yet another long line to re-board in Jamaica, “There are too many long lines to stand in.” We have both decided that we don’t care to cruise again for a very long time, if ever. I probably spent at least 1/2 day standing in lines. Too many wasted hours.’

As far as having a wonderful vacation, on a scale of 1 to 10, this is probably about a 3-4 at best. The food is pretty good, the service except occasionally is good, and the entertainment is good. Everything else pretty much “stinks.” Unless your company can come up with a way to insure me and my family that next time things will be better then you will never see the Terry family again.

My reply indicated that I couldn’t figure out what ship we had with a lounge called Cleopatra’s Nook but apologised for the cruise that Scott had experienced. However, thanks to an investigation by Kathy M and Angel B or Mrs Marple and Jessica Fletcher as we are calling them now……… appears that this letter refers to the RCI ship Voyager of the Seas.

So this morning, as I sit here in my underpants, I am trying to decide if Scott wrote this to me thinking that the Voyager was part of the Carnival fleet or he or someone else posted it knowing that thousands of people will read it and think “Bugger me, better not cruise Carnival.” Or maybe ……like the doctors said to a man that walked into hospital, naked, covered only in Saran wrap ……………. “We can clearly see your nuts.”

You know, I have been writing this blog for 4 years. We now have 15,000 – 20,000 views a day and are rapidly approaching 10 million total views, which I am truly humbled by. Yet, I have seen such a change here and what used to be a genteel cute little furry purring hamster has turned into, at times, a huge bite your bollocks of Great White Shark.

Now I only have myself to blame for this because I decide what gets published here. The beards send me 10 questions everyday and it’s my choice if I answer or indeed post them. But I promised you all full disclosure and have lived by that promise. But boy oh boy……there are times when I miss the old days.

And there is little I can do about it. You see, I have come to learn that there’s no one in charge of this internet thing……….. Despite the claims of thousands of low pant-wearing teenage boys who proclaim themselves to be “King of the Internet.” The online world is where millions of people are trying to get through another day of posting amusing pictures of their dogs dressed as Superman, typing in CAPITAL LETTERS and pretending that they know everything about Carnival.

Overall though, the internet is a wonderful place and I still love writing the blog and reading everyone’s opinions, including those who think of me as the sperm of the devil. Mostly it remains a remarkably amiable place, the warm cuddly hamster lives on……..but the shark is always lurking……ready to eat your spleen for breakfast.

A few months ago I learnt from my friends at Cruise Critic that over there the sharks are called “trolls,” who if I understand this correctly are anonymous posters who sit naked, in their mother’s attic making inflammatory comments. And we are seeing them here as well. You know, the more I think about it the more I think that these sharks/trolls are getting some kind of high off others outrage. It’s a bit like a young boy farting silently at the breakfast table then laughing out loud, “Oh my God, that smell has curdled the milk and melted my Cheerios. WHY would you DO that, John, WHY?”

It seems typical shark/troll behaviour is to write that I am a bastard, offer bugger all customer service and talk out of my big fat white arse or that taking a Carnival cruise is about as much fun as a week in a Turkish prison. Then the true Carnival fans round on the shark/troll for blasting him or her for being an idiot with no more right to live on God’s green earth than a dung beetle.

And listen, I am my own worst enemy; I know that I shouldn’t take it personally when people accuse me of all sorts of things when all I ever wanted to do was to help people. But like Kye ignores me when I tell her that Barney is an evil dinosaur that should be flushed down the toilet……I ignore your advice “not to feed the sharks and the trolls” and don’t satisfy their need for attention.

But I need to……I need not to worry about the things people say. Firstly, it’s a waste of time that could be spent watching TV or deciding which photo of Megan Fox’s bottom should be my screen saver. And, secondly, there’s always the feeling that, as I get all defensive the shark/troll is rubbing sitting in their attic, rubbing their hands in glee…….or worse……..rubbing other things!

So I need to do better and I need not to let the trolls get to me. I need to make this if I can a troll-free blog. This then is the Dead Sea Trolls.

Meanwhile this total mean spirited way of being is getting old and the only way to combat the nastiness is with pleasantries and fruit baskets………..otherwise, we all become trolls.

Or…………we could just tell them all to BUGGER OFF!

Let’s see what today’s Q and A has in store for us. Off we go.

Rebecca F Asked:


I am a strict vegetarian and need to know which of your soups you serve at dinner are 100% meat free. I read on Cruise Critic that the soups are not always meat free and that this fact is hidden from the menus and that because the servers speak poor English they will answer yes even though they don’t know. This will be our first Carnival experience and I need this information. We are on the Dream on April 2nd.

John Says:
Hello Rebecca F

Well, I see you posted this 7 weeks ago and you have probably given up on me answering for which I apologise. I hope you are reading this as I need you to know that the information you read is simply not true. I checked with the fleet’s executive chef and he has kindly sent me a list of all the soups that are 100% vegetarian. They are available at lunch and at dinner and will include the following:

  • Creme Dubarry
  • Caribbean Pepper Pot
  • Old-Fashioned German Lentil
  • Chilled Essence of Fennel and Celery
  • Cream of Spinach
  • Cream of Sun-Ripened Tomatoes
  • Black Bean Soup
  • Chilled Cucumber Soup
  • Yukon Gold Potato Cream
  • Old-Fashioned German Lentil
  • Wild Mushroom Cream
  • Asparagus Vichyssoise
  • Corn Chowder Maryland
  • Cream of Garden-Fresh Broccoli
  • American Navy Bean
  • Minestrone Milanese
  • Potage Saint Germain
  • Gazpacho Blanc
  • French Onion Soup
  • Chilled Avocado
  • Chilled Butternut Squash
  • Italian-Style Tomato and Borlotti Bean

I hope this helps and I wish you a wonderful cruise full of tasty meat-free soups.

Best wishes

Vcinny Asked:
John Please Reply

There is a large Cruise Critic group sailing with you on the Trans Atlantic cruise and we are starting to talk online about all the different events the group would like to do. I have an idea and before I post it I wanted to ask you if it would be possible. I want the group to have a private Behind the Fun Tour. I know we will still have to pay and not everyone will be able to go but I think it would be a wonderful service if you offered this. Then there is Karaoke. I read on your blog today that you will be having a private Karaoke party for the bloggers on your bloggers cruise and that made me think that this would be a fun thing for our group to do as well.

Can you tell me as soon as possible if these two events can be done? You would be making many Cruise Critic readers very happy.

Thank you

John Says:

Well again I need to start with an apology for the delay in replying. The bloggers cruise was a huge success and certainly the Superstar Live karaoke private event was a lot of fun…..apart from some fat sod singing that he felt like a woman.

So let me say that I won’t be able to offer the group a private Behind the Fun tour. This will be limited to probably three or four times during the 16-day voyage and to make one of those an exclusive one for a specific group would just not be fair. However, I think we could possibly have a private karaoke event. Normally there is a charge for when groups do this but I will waive that charge in this case as we are all on the same ship for 16 days. Now the concern I have here is that as I mentioned a few weeks ago, I need to organise everything through one person otherwise it becomes a mess. I understand that the group leader or organiser is a chap called Hank and if he would like me to arrange this private karaoke session I would be happy to do so. It’s just easier for me and the staff onboard to have one contact person rather than many. Hope that’s OK and please pass this message to Hank if you are able. I look forward to seeing you soon

Best wishes

Randy and Laura Asked:
Please Reply

Howdy from Texas John! Well, as much as we wanted to sail with you this summer on the Carnival Magic, it just isn’t going to happen. One of these days we have to meet up again. I’m sure you remember the last time…Ok, probably not. (1992 on the Ecstasy – lol) We were both a lot younger then. The good news is we are getting to sail on Carnival Victory on 4/17/11 for my birthday on 4/21. I have respectfully requested under separate cover our Chefs Table Reservation for 4. My sister and her husband will be joining us for her 1st platinum cruise. Laura and I have enjoyed these perks previously and they are awesome! Could you please attempt to arrange a table for the 4 for us by the window in the dining room at the 8:15 seating? Our room numbers are 7217 (Laura and Randy) and 7211 (Scot and Stacy). I know there are no guarantees, but anything you can do is appreciated. Thank you for whatever the outcome is!

John, keep up the good work on the blog. I read it every day and have loved each and every one except the ones the beards were doing (just kidding, they did a great job filling in). I have just started traveling each and every week for my job and, based on my experience, I know how much you miss your girls. At least I get to go home on weekends.

Keep your chin up. All of our best to you and your family.

Randy and Laura

John Says:
Hello Randy and Laura

Ye indeed, we were a lot younger in those days and these days I am starting to feel really, really old. I am so sorry that you won’t be joining me on your Carnival Magic but I am though happy that you will be on the Carnival Victory and I have written to the maitre d who will do his best to get you your table for 4. Have a wonderful cruise and thanks so much for all your kind words.

Best wishes to all

Simon, Serena, Brandon and Libby Asked:
Hi, John (please reply)

Just had to tell you that Julius our waiter on our recent Liberty cruise was the best we have ever had in 12 cruises and our kids haven’t stopped talking about him. Please can you pass this on to his boss as he needs a raise and it is because of people like him and others that we love Carnival?

Thank you John

John Says:
Hello Simon, Serena, Brandon and Libby

I certainly will do as you requested and when Julius sees this I know that he will be smiling the biggest smile. Thanks so much for taking the time to write and I hope you all had the most brilliant time.

Best wishes

Donovan H Asked:
Please note that on January 29th I sent you a question to your blog. It is now February 11th and you still have not replied. I know you have apologized for having a back log but there no point offering this service if you cannot provide prompt customer service. My Mother and I are going on the Valor on March 27 and would like a table for 2 only for cabin 6319. This is very important to us both. Please respond today.

John Says:
Hello Donovan H

I apologise that it has taken so long to answer your question. I do try and provide the best customer service I can but I am just one man and I receive hundreds of comments each week and reply as quickly as I can. I see you are sailing now and I have asked someone to send this note of apology to you along with a little something from me. I hope you are having a great cruise.

Best wishes,

Daniel Asked:
Hi John (Please Reply If You Can)

I’m fairly new to your blog thingy and I absolutely love it! Your sense of humor, the stories, and everything you write is awesome. Definitely keeps me laughing!

I have a quick question. My fiancée and I are going on the Fascination on October 1 for our honeymoon. We booked through my fiancée’s travel agent friend. I asked the agent if we could request a table for two in the dining room, early seating, as it is our honeymoon and I’d love to surprise my future wife with a private table. The agent said she would work really hard to see if she could get this done for us, and I noticed that she put “honeymoon” under special occasion on our booking information.

When we first board the ship, should we go find the maitre d’ in our assigned dining room to see if they got my request and were able to fill it for me? It would be amazing if they could do this for me, but I understand that there are tons of people on the ship and would understand if they can’t. I figure I’d ask your opinion.

Thanks John!
Daniel (Cabin #U9)

John Says:
Hello Daniel

Congratulations on your pending marriage and we are all honoured that you have decided to join us for your honeymoon. I will certainly do my best for you and I am sure in this case we can work something out. As we are a few months away from the big day and to make sure your request doesn’t get lost, please can you post this again here on August 1, or if you can 2 weeks before you sail on my Facebook page. Wishing you both a wonderful life together.


Paul Asked:

Good evening John. I just wanted to let you know how my cruise on the Carnival Miracle went.

Embarkation: Ft. Lauderdale – This hasn’t changed since I embarked 5 years ago on the Carnival Legend. Unfortunately it’s still very slow and tedious not like in Miami and Port Canaveral. When will they make the change? It made my day longer as it was since I awake at 03:00am to get my plane at 07:25. Also that photo that they want you to take. We been up early, stuck in two airports, flew for 3.5 hours, on a bus, standing to arrange to get on the ship, you smell like whatever and our clothing haggard and they want to take a photo of us. Please give us a break.

Our Balcony Cabin: A site for sore eyes. It always made me feel at home. Our stateroom steward Jose Solis came in to introduce himself and asked that if we wanted anything just call. He also made us feel at home. Carnival’s people have always been the best as far as I’m concerned.

Bacchus Dining Room: We’ve always enjoyed Carnival’s delicious food and how it was presented. Team waiters Kodak and I’m sorry to say I forgot the other gentleman’s name were the best. In fact one evening the ship was rocking like being in a bath and I was having a different time walking through the dinner room and Kodak helped me from the table to the front of the dinner room. He was fantastic. Later we met him and his lovely wife in Curacao and he was the one who noticed me and introduced himself and his wife to us. I thought that was so great.

Phantom shows: Though I was exhausted and was unable to get there my wife did go and she felt they weren’t as impressive as on the other ships. The best show was the Ticket to Ride show

Food: What can I say other then to say I was in heaven every time I sat down to have a breakfast, lunch and of course the dinner. The food was hot and tasty every time you filled you plate.

We enjoyed the entire ship. Before dinner I would go and have some sushi, have a drink and sit and talk with new friends from new areas. In fact Mary Lou and I had the opportunity to go though every room, bar and area of the ship. Very colorful and inviting. Dr. Frankenstein’s Lab was very interesting and the Mad Hatter’s Ball was unbelievable.

Debarkation: Here I had some difficulties. We paid for the “Express Luggage.” We thought since we didn’t have any luggage to pick up we should be allowed to leave the ship at any time. Unfortunately I was told that I had to stay until my luggage was off the ship and placed in the proper zone for us to pick our luggage up. We kept explaining that we didn’t have any luggage to pick and that we had bought the “Express Luggage.” It seemed that no one understood what “Express Luggage” meant. We had to wait until much later and we almost missed our bus to the airport. People should be aware what “Express Luggage” means.

Other then a couple little difficulties our cruise was just what we expected – a great time and a restful time. In fact while we were on board during the week Mary Lou and I put our name down for another cruise next year on the Carnival Freedom to Panama. We are ready and waiting for next’s year cruise. I’m hoping to eventually attain the name, Carnival Platinum Cruiser.

Also, regarding my cruise I forgot to add one of the most important things Carnival did for me and that was going to the different ports.

Grand Turk: Wow, everyone needs to go here for sheer relaxation. I also bought a great watch which I really needed. For history I didn’t know that a space capsule had landed near Grand Turk when the American Space agency was just starting out.

Catalina Island: I didn’t go the island because of the tendering but from what I was told from my dinner friends, they said they totally enjoyed the day on the sands and the beautiful waters.

Aruba: I’ve always wanted to go to Aruba and it didn’t let me down. What a beautiful island. We took an excursion on a bus tour of the island explaining the history of the island. The second part of the excursions was to have us sit in a glass bottom boat under the water viewing the different fish, ships and anything you could view. I was very interesting and very historical.

Curacao: I loved this island. What excited me were the many different types of coloured buildings and the pontoon bridge that crossed the two areas of the city. It was very warm but a cool breeze. In fact as we arrived back to the ship a storm took place with winds and a warm rain. What amazed me was as soon as the storm came, it quickly disappeared. I asked a man who lived there and he said that occurred often. I loved Curacao.

Now that completes my entire fantastic, beautiful cruise on the Carnival Miracle.

Paul F. Pietrangelo

John Says:
Hello Paul F. Pietrangelo

Thank you Paul for that most brilliant review and it was written by someone I know loves cruising and loves the Carnival product. It seems like we need to get the message through to the crew about Luggage Express and I have sent this to the hotel director on the ship. I know that United States Customs insist that it is screened properly before it leaves the pier and that we have to hold the guests onboard until it is done, but we need to communicate this better to the guests. I have sent your complete report to the vessel and my only regret is that I was not onboard to share the experience with you. I am sure many others will use this review as a point of reference.

Thanks again Paul and best wishes to you and all the family

Paulette Larson Asked:

Please reply

While on the dream last month we were recommended to go to a beach called divi little bay. This recommendation was given by our waiter Edgar. When we arrived we discovered it was a clothing optional beach and it was disgusting. I complained to the maître d and to the guest services desk but never received an apology and my husband and me were too embarrassed and to angry to go back to dinner and were forced to eat on lido deck for supper for the last 2 nights. I have written to customer service and have had no reply. This has left such a bad taste in my mouth that I am considering not cruising again with carnival

John Says:
Hello Paulette Larson

I am very sorry that your cruise finished the way it did. However, in the defence of the waiter I am sure he recommended Divi Beach because he thought it was a lovely place to go. Now I have never been there so I don’t know but I do know that often the waiters and other crew will recommend the place that they regularly visit, which is not necessarily the places that we would recommend our guests should visit. That’s why we have a guest services desk and a shore excursion team. I do not that think Edgar recommended this beach in order to embarrass you and I think it is unfortunate that he wasn’t given a chance to apologise to you because you both didn’t return for dinner. I hope that when you look at the big picture you will realise that you had a great time and not let this stop you from returning to Carnival. Best wishes to you both.


KP Asked:
John Please reply!

We will be cruising on the Magic on its first sailing from Galveston and wondered if there would be a naming ceremony or any special things done for the passengers.

Love your blog


John Says:
Hello KP

While we will be hosting the naming ceremony during the ship’s European schedule, we will doing some things to make the Carnival Magic’s first-ever cruise from Galveston extra special. At this time I can’t give any details away but……I will be able to soon…….so watch this space.

Thanks for the kind words.

Best wishes

Laurie Asked:
John Please reply,

We will be going on the April 9th cruise of the Carnival Dream. This will be the first time our friends and ourselves are making it a kids included vacation. Usually it is just the four of us. Is there anything we can do to make the kids have an unforgettable moment? Is there anyone they can meet that they would think was exciting? I know there are 3000+ people on board but I want something to happen to make these kids stand out. Thanks

John Says:
Hello Laurie

I wanted to wish you and the family the most wonderful cruise. Please can you write a letter before you get onboard and say something as to why your children are so important to you and how much you love them?  Leave this for the cruise director’s attention at the guest services desk and Butch will read this out live on his morning show and maybe send them a little something as well. Have a brilliant time.

Best wishes to all

That’s all for today, more of your questions answered on Facebook every day. But this will be the last blog this week as Thursday and Friday I intend to spend with the girls before I fly to Italy and your Carnival Magic. I will be on Facebook every day though for you and next week will mark the start of the first of many behind the scenes blogs about the delivery of a new ship.

Talking of your Carnival Magic I have to report that bookings are going quite well and we can’t wait to see the industry’s most famous cruise ship funnel in Italy, Spain, Croatia and beyond. There may be some people who have still yet to organise their summer vacation so if that’s the case…….come and see me…….let me show you our new ship and let me show you Europe. It will be a brilliant experience I promise.

So as we are talking about Carnival Magic, we had better have a look at her. Here she is during her very successful sea trials.

You have to say that she looks stunning doesn’t she?

Before we move forward with some important info, I just wanted to pass along the attached item from my mate Vance in public relations who has some wonderful news about Carnival awarding some special students with full college scholarships at Sunday’s Heat game:

Now earlier today I had a conference call with Captain Cutugno who is in Italy with the ship. We spoke about the first voyage and planned that very busy first day as we sail from Venice to Barcelona on her inaugural cruise. We needed to plan pilot times and it is a very busy day. I know many of you are sailing with us on this voyage so here then is the schedule.


2 PM                           NAMING CEREMONY


3:30PM                       WELCOME ORIENTATION PORT INFORMATION TALK WITH BIG                                  FAT CD JOHN


4:15PM                       ALL VISITORS ASHORE


4:30PM                       ALL BAR SERVICE STOPS AND FIRST SAFETY                                                                     BRIEFING ANNOUNCEMENT GIVEN


4:45PM                       SAFETY BRIEFING STARTS




5:30PM                       SAILING FROM VENICE – APPROX


5:45PM                       TRANSIT PAST ST MARKS SQUARE – APPROX


So, that’s the schedule as per the boss and I will do my best to make sure we adhere to that schedule as it will allow everyone to be outside to see the ship sail out of Venice with St. Marks Square on the port side. I intend to have the Three Tenors video playing on the big screen as we have done before.

Yesterday you met James the ACD of your Carnival Magic and today I want you to meet someone else although for many………he is a dear friend. Here then is a video of the senior maitre d of your Carnival Magic…………the incomparable Ken “No Surrender” Byrne.

That was the last time I worked with Ken and I cannot wait to do so again and I am sure you can’t wait to be in his dining room again.

Let’s change the pace a bit now and pop on over to Jaime the ACD on the Carnival Pride, who wanted to share this memorable moment with you all.

And here is Jaime.


Hi John,

This was a letter we received this week for the morning show. We followed up with the couple later, and this is ACTUALLY how she revealed to her husband that she was pregnant. Can you imagine??? Kirk is the person that actually told this fellow that his wife is pregnant! 🙂 I mean really…what if Kirk had been the one to tell you via the morning show that Heidi was pregnant? Kirk was ecstatic.

We felt so honored to be a part of this special message that we wanted to share it with you and the bloggers.

We are looking forward to vacation now; just a few weeks away and we’re off to that beautiful condo on the beach in San Diego.

Love to you, Heidi and Kye as you’re heading out to Italy 🙂
Jaime and Kirk from the Carnival Pride

Wonderful story……..something that would never happen in a hotel or resort and is unique to the environment a cruise gives. Brilliant stuff and please can I tell Kirk when you have a bun in the oven?

It is also a sad week though as we say goodbye to one of our most popular cruise directors Mr Chris Jefferson. As you may know he is off to become a father and his world is about to become one filled with joy, happiness, bugger all sleep and the smell of baby poo. I wanted to thank him for all the wonderful work he has done and the fun he has given so many people, many of whom are reading this blog. And I wanted to share this note from Chris with all of you.


Dear Guests and Team Members…

Thanks for a great time at CCL. It’s been nearly 12yrs and it has flown by! I will miss Carnival but it’s time to go home and be a husband and a daddy! It has been a pleasure working alongside some amazing people from all over the world; I have learned so much from them and enjoyed learning about their cultures.

To those guests who have sailed with me it has been a pleasure serving and entertaining you. For those guests who are reading this blog and didn’t get to sail with me, then I can only say you missed the best!!!

Not too sure who this John Heald bloke is but he certainly comes in a close second. Here are a couple of pictures from my retirement party very kindly thrown by our fantastic Captain & Hotel Director and my brilliant Asst. Cruise Director James (who will be a CD very soon!) and Musical Director Alan. I had a joint party with our Chief Engineer Alfonso Verdoliva (who retired after 35yrs with CCL) and it was attended by loads of team members. A special thanks to the Conquest Entertainment dept. for their generous gift to help out Emily and I stock up with lots of needed items for our nursery.

If you want to keep up with the Jeffersons then log onto our website and blog at:

All the best and happy sailings with Carnival.

Thanks Chris and I must send my own thanks and congratulations to Chief Engineer Alfonso Verdoliva who has given so much and whom I wish a wonderful retirement to.

So thanks Chris and we all wish you and Emily and your little thingy the most wonderful, healthy and happy life and we will miss you.

Well as I said I leave for Italy this coming Monday and while I am away Heidi’s Mum will be coming to stay. She arrives this evening actually and while I love her very much I always know that when she comes to stay that things change. Heidi cooks healthy food. The house is hotter than a hamster in a microwave and yet knowing all of this, nothing prepared me for what I found when I went downstairs just now for my Tuesday lunch time cup of tea.

Heidi was getting the house ready before going to the airport to collect her and I was horrified to discover……she had moved my “man space”…….…the only bit I have in the whole house……. my chair. This is the most important thing in the house as far as I am concerned. It was placed in the perfect position to give me the best view of the television, nothing was blocking the view and if anything ever did I would kick it out of the way. That’s the law. If something is blocking your view of the TV you must kick it out of the way. Wives, pets, mother in laws and small children …..none shall escape the Heald boot……this is not that feng shui bollocks….. this is man shui.

Anyway, Heidi had moved my chair because she wanted to rearrange the furniture a bit before Mum arrived because after I leave for your Carnival Magic her Mum likes to sit in my Lazy Boy chair!

What………no, no, no sodding no……that is one of the most important man rules…….. nobody sits in the chair but you! Having rumpy pumpy with another man’s wife is unacceptable, as is seeing a naked person on a beach in St. Martin, but sitting in my chair is a far worse crime.

Heidi had also committed another crime. Not only had she suggested that her Mother would be sitting in my chair but she had decorated it with ………and some of you may want to look away or have a bucket standing by in which to collect the vomit…….Heidi had decorated MY chair with cushions……………yes………………..fluffy brown cushions.  Oh FFS!

This is my chair and I cannot sit there and deliver sermons and opinions on things I know bugger all about (bit like some who post here and on the cruise boards) from a sea of cushions….… chair looks as manly and butch as Elton John’s underwear drawer. I remember my Dad’s chair from which he would lean down from and give me a good clip round the ear when I was naughty.

This is the piece of furniture that wives and partners hate the most, which makes it even more important. I am Kate Middlethingy will get annoyed at Prince Willie’s chair.

Heidi like most wives doesn’t seem to understand that it is where we men relax, unwind and put the world to rights from. Take a man’s chair away from him and chaos reigns. Look at newsreaders these days….they have been feminized by having to read the news standing up or perched on the end of the desk. My chair has also been feminized. I mentioned the girly cushions and they are not the worst thing…..nope….that title goes to the awful scented candles that surround my throne.

They smell of vanilla and are, according to Heidi, “romantic” and “set a relaxed mood” …..… well, we shall see how the scent survives after I have eaten a curry this evening. They don’t understand that from this chair is where a man must by law flick through all 150 channels pausing for no longer than 1.5 seconds on each…..unless he sees sports……or Megan Fox’s bottom.

So, just before I go I want to thank you all for continuing to read the blog thingy. I know that doing so puts me in the firing line and that the trolls, sharks, Carnival haters and people who wish that the fat British bastard would just shut up and quit will keep on writing here. But I am not going to stop.

You see, spilling my guts to an invisible audience feels good. There are undisputed cardio benefits. Is there then a temptation to expose more and more of yourself, like a Latvian striptease artist peeling off her clothes? Yes……..I guess there is but for now I am going to keep on getting naked and not give a two shiny shites if that upsets the few……….until the few become the many.

My biggest fears are there’s a worry that I spend more time on my blog than with my family.  How I am going to manage the blog, Facebook and bringing out a new ship. Will the Miami Heat win the NBA championship? And……..why did nobody ever tell me that I could see naked people at the beach in St. Martin?



Your friend

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.

63 Responses to Please Don’t Feed the Animals

  1. Lisa Taylor says:

    I can’t imagine why Paulette and her husband would be embarrassed to go back to the dining room after their visit to the clothing optional beach. While obviously not their cup of tea, I’m sure their waiter had the best of intentions. If in a similar situation I might mention to the waiter that he should add that little tidbit in when making future recommendations but it’s certainly not something worthy of embarrassment in my eyes.

    I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again, I’m very tired of reading about the rude, demanding people making requests of you John. If I were in your shoes I would stop taking table requests, balcony partition requests, etc., etc. and let these people deal with it themselves when they’re actually on the ship.

    Love the blog thingy as always and am looking forward to my first cruise, ever, on the Spirit in 3 weeks.


    • The Cruzin2some says:

      Dear Lisa Taylor,
      You have every right to be excited. The CCL Spirit is an absolutely beautiful ship. She was our first as well. Please if you can afford an extra $30.00 per person, make reservations at the Steakhouse for the best meal you will ever have at sea and maybe anywheres. They really take care of you. Nancy & I celebrated our fifty years together there and I whole heartedly reccomend it. Have a great cruise!
      The Cruzin2some

    • Jennifer Effler says:


      I’m so excited you’ll be on the Spirit with me on April 22. It should be a blast and I hope it is your first of MANY cruises!

  2. Adam Olson-Laake says:

    Does Heidi have a death wish? I mean… What will happen now? Your last few days at home with the girls will be a tug of war… with the chair as the rope!

    I hope the last few days are blessed indeed.

  3. Terry de la Mare says:

    Hi John,

    Keep up the good work! Ignore the trolls with nothing better to do with their sad lives. Rise above them!

    We all know the truth about Carnival and how good Carnival is (Maybe the trolls are your competitors jealous of what Carnival does?)

    Have a good time in Italy. Don’t work too hard !

    See you on MY Carnival Magic in August.

  4. Windy says:


    Thank you for posting the YouTube video of maitre d Ken Byrne! I was on the Splendor in May 2009 (during the Swine Flue so we went to Canada….which was AWESOME by the way) and I could not remember the name of the maitre d. All I knew was he could SING and he was the BEST maitre d we ever had!!! SO, thanks again for posting it because now I know his name.

    Windy – CA

  5. Have a great time with your lovely family and I can’t wait until you write about your time on the Carnival Magic. See you my friend.

    Paul F. Pietrangelo

  6. Mary ( Mrs Shy ) says:

    To Paul F. P.

    You do not have to have your photos at any time if you do not wish to. A polite no thank you will suffice.

    We have not taken an embarkation picture in over 10 years. We politely say no or if we notice they are busy ahead of us, we just scoot past.

  7. Pnjkeith says:

    Great blog today. Hate to see Chris Jefferson leave, he always made the Conquest fun

  8. Duane says:

    I just want to say…. Shout out to Kirk, Jamie and John from the IC….. PEACE OUT!

  9. Duane says:

    Well since I am the first post I may as well make a second. This is for Kirk. (he may read this blog thingy) I was on the Carnival Pride the week you had your first female Celebrity of the Week. Do you think we will ever get a single Celebrity of the Week? The selection process is geared to married persons fully. Enjoy your time off. To the IC …. PEACE OUT!

  10. Donna Clark says:

    Hi John~

    Turn off the computer and enjoy the two days with your girls!! We will all live and you truly deserve them un-interrupted!!

    Hugs to you all!

  11. The Cruzin2some says:

    Dear John,
    The reason nobody said anything about St. Maarten having nakey people on the beach is ’cause most of them are senior citizens who should not be seen even in their
    “Ta Dant ta Das” let alone their skin.
    The Cruzin2some

  12. Patricia "Carole" Holley says:

    Hi John, so sorry to hear about the “troll thingys” and I know there are many more folks here who really appreciate all the things you do and all the wonderful information you provide to us readers. I’m really leaning toward the “bugger off” view. Just my humble opinion.
    Now as for the “man chair”, first as s lady of a certain age, I should tell you I laughed so hard, I almost leaked. My husband has his “man cave” with his man chair and his man decor. I’ve even helped him picked out some things for it-only really manly things to do with cars, etc. Never would I put a cushion on his chair or sit in it or move it (it’s too heavy anyway). So, that being said, you have a standing invitation to visit here and sit in his man cave with him and you can both fight over the remote control. I’ve never been able to understand why men need to view 1.5 seconds of every channel available on the TV though-it must be in the genes. If you ever get to Pensacola, FL, you’re very welcome here and I’ll serve you a diet coke while you smoke your cigar and you and my husband watch all 4000 channels on the TV!
    Again, thank you for all you do as you are the best thing Carnival has and I know so many people feel the same way.
    Have a wonderful time with your girls,

  13. Joel Richter says:

    John you should have know about the above letter you posted yesterday and yet again today that it might have been meant for another line, I am a seasoned Carnival Cruiser (: and to my knowledge there is no Jr Suits on Carnival. there are the suits (which when we last sailed where cat 11) and the grand suit or pent house. Anyway Mate just thought I would post. Happy Sailing to you on the Magic and will be seeing you soon I am sure (we are talking about the next cruise, which might either be Europe or Hawaii) Cheers Mate

    Your Friend

  14. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


    As much as we love reading the blog and chatting with you on Facebook, you are going to have to add the word “balance” to your vocabulary.

    You are the only one who can do this.

    Your true cruise friends will not be disappointed if you take a good hard look at what you need to get done and design the best way to do it.

    Perhaps it is the Blog 3 times a week instead of 5. Perhaps it is letting your Personal Assistant respond to the ever growing Facebook requests.

    But whatever it is, you need to set the boundaries now before it truly gets out of control. You are only one person and Heidi and Kye get first dibs!!

    It is marvelous to see the teens getting their scholarships. UPS (Jim Casey Scholarships) was instumental in Joshua graduating as a Chemical Engineer in May with no college debt.

    It was based on his academic achievements on the SAT.

    And since Josh got a 4 year academic free ride….we can spend the money we saved for his “college fund”….on cruising!!!

    Linda (Mom of your friend DJ)

  15. tom says:

    How sad that people like Donovan continue to be so rude. Table assignments can be handled onboard. Plus sitting someplace while you eat is never an emergency or reason to get snippy with anyone. Johns blogs are not just about doing people favors, since thats what they truly are, for table reservations etc. With all that John does daily for people its one of the main reasons I will stay loyal to Carnival.

  16. Linda Youse says:

    Oh John!!!! You sure know how to leave us laughing! My husband was reading the last part of the blog over my shoulder because he had to see what was so funny. I should have clicked off the blog before he started reading because all I’ve been hearing is….see, see, see what I mean? Don’t mess with my chair! Thanks a lot John!
    On another note, I know how hard it is to not take things personally. It’s much easier to tell someone to not let it get to them than to acutally not let it get to you. You do what you do because you care. I hope you know that the majority of us appreciate what you do.
    Enjoy your last few days with the girls….all three of them….hehehehe. Have a safe trip to Italy and I can’t wait to hear about the new ship.

  17. Duane says:


    Let’s talk about my Carnival Breeze. Can we make it leave from NY? Just a thought.

  18. Dwayne says:

    To Paul:

    Some of the best Embarkation Photos I have are when I was looking haggard after driving all night to board a Fun Ship. I wouldn’t trade them for any other pictures.

  19. Bill Heck says:

    Dear John:

    Well Grasshopper, you read my mind. I am looking forward to how you juggle the blog, facebook, and bringing out a new ship. Hope you find some new, exciting excursions for the 12 day itinerary, we did love the Capri, Sorrento, and Pompeii from Naples, but can you do better?

    Remember, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. We need your brand of humor John! This keeps us going between cruises.

    Can I just mention, without incurring your wrath, that some folks just don’t have a clue when it comes to social grace. Perhaps me included. But, it takes different folks to make the world go round, how boring would it be if we were all the same sensibility.

    What do you think about somebody that doesn’t know what ship they sailed on, and what cruiseline you blog about?

    Enjoy your time with the girls, it will pass quickly and you will be at sea, doing what you do best. Hope they can spend some quality time with you on the ship, you have a nice cabin don’t you? Kye will be old enough for Camp Carnival about mid May? I noticed that P & O has creche for little tykes so mom and dad can have a formal dinner without taking turns walking the babe, good idea to copy maybe?

    Buy Heidi a handful of airline tickets to Barthelona before you go, she will use them then and you can work on another Heald.

    Your Friend

    Bill Heck

  20. Sharon and Harry Cole says:

    John please reply.

    Will the “on us” program be available on the Carnival Magic? I hope so! Can’t wait for our September 4 cruise!!

    Sharon Cole

  21. Lisa McCarry says:

    John, on the question about vegetarian soups you list French Onion, yet the recipe you posted on the Dinner Club French Onion Soup just last week contains Veal Stock, which of course, is not vegetarian. This could be confusing.


  22. 4shee says:

    John how she do that to you. Most wife’s have no appreication for our things. Bot if you want the Rumpty Rumpty you have to give in. 4shee she you in Galveston.

  23. Jeanette says:

    The Bog Thingy–I have been coming and looking at this blog from the start too and I have noticed a lot more people complaing and airing their gripes. I also see a lot of people being rude and demanding you do something for them, and also people being nice and asking if you could please help them. I have asked for a favour or two, but I am nice about it and if it can’t be done I have no problems. I do appreciate you and everything you do and I truly hope that when I sail on the Magic later this year (still waiting for vacation approval) that your are the CD. I was on the last Bloggers cruise and had a great time, even though I would have liked to have chatted with you for a few, alas, there were 340 of us and you knew probably half of the people!!!! Me, I was an unknown face and only remembered, I hope, by being that crazy Alex lady, or one of the few Canadian fans of John!!!

    Chris Jefferson–he was the CD on the Valor and I did meet him and his lovely wife. I wish them well. He was an amazing CD and a cheecky little devil with his humor.

    YOUR chair–Well, Heido shouldn’t have mentioned it to you so you would never have known about it, Alas, you won’t be sitting in it while gone, so let your dear mother in law enjoy the chair…who knows she might be nice and buy you the Astin Martin you dearly want *BG*

  24. Erin says:

    I hope you enjoy your time with the girls! I think your remarks about the Internet and blogs were spot on! The funny thing is I met my husband 13 years ago on the Internet, the days of dial up AOL! None of those dating websites, a simple chat room…..we just celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary and have 3 amazing children. Unfortunately the Internet has changed and I can honestly say I probably never would have met a complete stranger I was chatting with on the computer (I even made my brother-in-law go with me on the first meeting 13 years ago). But it’s not only the Internet, I think society itself has fed into these ignorant people who feel it’s ok to be rude and cruel to others. All I can do is teach my children the proper way to treat others and hope others do the same. Treat people how YOU want to be treated.

    Take care and thanks for being you!!

  25. shari seibert says:

    To Heidi I say…”You go girl”. And to you John I say..”Dont ever stop writing your blog”.

  26. Sallie says:

    John, Please reply when you can.

    My wonderful husband Michael and I will be sailing with you on our Carnival Magic doing the last 12 day Med. cruise October 16th 2011. This has been a dream of mine (Cruising the Med.) for so many years I lost count and one I never thought I would be doing but my amazing Michael has always done his best to make my dreams come true and he hit the proverbial ball out of the park with this cruise.

    What I wanted to know and wish with all my heart is that you/Carnival will be showing the Three Tenors or Pavarotti on the big screen as we sail into Venice.

    I know you posted that you will be doing this on the Carnival Magics maiden voyage sailing out of Venice but I do hope this will be on every sailing.

    Thank you John for all you do each and every day for us your fans. You truly are one of a kind.

    Hugs and kisses to you, Heidi and Kye.
    Princess Sallie of the Thong
    Proud member of Big Eds Evil Krewe

  27. Waiting4acruise says:


    You need to through those cushions off your chair and on the floor. Show them who is boss.

  28. Wendell Pendell says:

    WOW, what wonderful singing by Maitre D Ken Byrne!

  29. Rita Presnell says:

    Oh, no….poor Heidi…NEVER mess with a man’s chair!! But, I can top that…I GOT RID OF my husband’s favorite chair—30 years ago and he has never let me forget it!!!!!

  30. MaryC says:

    Hi John,
    Keep your chin up and never give in to the sharks/trolls. We all enjoy the blog thingy very much.
    Safe trip to Italy.

  31. Sharon says:

    As always loved the blog and yes there are trolls everywhere. We just send them back under the bridge and pretend they don’t exist. They really don’t warrant your time.

    As for the person who was upset about the beach recommendation, all I can say is that’s another beach to add to my list of places to visit.

    Thanks for posting the video of Ken, he truly is a remarkable man and I’m hoping he’ll remain on the Magic a few weeks after it gets to Galveston and will still be there for our cruise. We luckily sailed with him twice last year and he truly makes the MDR experience special.

    Have a lovely couple of days with “your girls”. You all deserve some family time before you leave once again. Thank you for being so open and always answering questions and helping everyone with their requests. You truly are one of a kind!!

  32. Cyndi says:

    Loved the signature on the Jamie & Kirk note. Having been on the Pride in February we all know that the names are in the correct order! and….. Hope addressed her letter correctly as well. See Jaime, we listen very well.

  33. Mary H says:

    Thank you for reminding me John. Please could you arrange for me to be in Ken’s dining room again- Magic Oct 7th sailing. Also my sister Margaret, friends Beryl, Joyce and Bonnie. Loved seeing the video of Ken.

  34. Margie Tracy says:

    Please reply

    Hi John, I just wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed our cruise last week on the Carnival Pride. Yes we were on that cruise where the gentleman found out about his impending fatherhood through Kirk and Jamie on the morning show. Here is my “brief” review……

    Embarkation: The port is only 2 1/2 hours from our house so it was a nice change to not have to leave until 8:30 in the morning and arrived feeling excited and refreshed. We drove up, waited in a car line for approximately 1/2 hour and within another 1/2 hour we were on the ship. It was a piece of cake.

    The ship was beautiful and the artistic designs quite interesting. We didn’t go to all of the shows as we have seen most of them already on other ships. This was our 9th Carnival cruise in 9 years each on a different ship. We look forward to #10 (hopefully next year) and becoming Platinum.

    Dining Room: I was going to send you a message before we left requesting the lower level for dinner but not never got around to it. I’m so glad we didn’t do that because if I had we would never have gotten to meet Fransisco and Imade. We were at table 336 on the upper level (first seating). He was by far the best waiter we have ever had. I think he enjoyed us as well as he seemed to spend more time talking at our table than others. If you can get a message to him tell him we were the table with the young boy eating lots of shrimp cocktail every night.

    Cabin: We were in cabins 6220/6222 with Jesus as our cabin steward. Again nothing but praise. Always smiling, room was meticulously clean always. He would ask how our day was or what tour we were doing and seemed to genuinely care.

    Entertainment staff: Kirk was good and very funny…..but Jamie needs to be a cruise director. She is excellent. We saw her everywhere and she too was always smiling and up. The rest of the staff (Adam, Nate, Anna and dancer Neil) did a really good job. We got to know them pretty well in just a weeks time. Jamie would remember my daughter and her boyfriend (Kelly and Kyle) since he burned a CD of pictures for her of the entertainment staff during the deck party.

    Ports of Call: Port Canaveral was a convenient day for us to spend with my husband’s family who live there. Nassau we had been to last year on the Dream so instead of the usual Atlantis we did Blue Lagoon Island. It was just as pretty as the pictures indicated. Freeport was a day for us to enjoy the ship while everyone else went ashore.

    Disembarkation: It seems more than 3/4 of the ship decided to do self-assist. We were in no hurry so we opted to leave our luggage out the night before. We enjoyed the movie in the lounge while waiting to leave. The only bad part I can think of is that when we got off the ship it was COLD. No worries though our hearts were warm with the memories we had just made.

    We are saving our pennies now so that we can become Platinum next year. We purchased a Vacation Certificate while onboard so intent is there. We want to thank Carnival for once again giving us the “vacation of a lifetime”. The only way to make it better is to cruise with you again.

  35. Robyn says:

    OMG Paulette, I am trying to stop laughing long enough to answer you, seriously hun, I am sure you were embarrassed, but we as Americans are ridiculous in our expectations, most of the world does not share our hang ups about nudity so I am sure Edgar had no clue you would be offended, he was just trying to get you to a pretty beach. You should have gone back to the dining room, that was your decision. I wouldn’t hold it against Carnival, in the future just ask Guest Services.

    PS. John get off the computer LOL, Heidi and Kye want to see you. Just wanted to let you know we unfortunantly we can’t cruise right now as Makaila is on TPN, but she has taken her “ship on a stick” to both hospitalizations this month and its a great reminder of the fun we will have as soon as she no longer needs the TPN. You are forever in my debt for your acts of kindness and I thank you for keeping our happy memories alive.

  36. j c w says:

    WOW John… Bollocks to the troller!!! Anyone who has gone on a CARNIVAL cruise will know the truth about the whole experience. Sure there are a few items that you could work on but for the most part (like 95%) its all done right. Keep it up and I will continue to give my hard earned once a year cash savings to CARNIVAL.

    thanks John

  37. Ross says:

    John, thanks for your blog, it brightens my day. one day hope to try the cruise vacation. you are teaching me much. and also allowing a day dream.

  38. annette says:

    I like the Dead Sea Trolls motto!

    I find your list of 100% vegetarian (also known as “vegan”) soups suspect. 100% vegetarian means no animal products at all:
    – no animal/meat bits or broth (e.g., no eggs, fish, shell fish, chicken, beef, veal etc)
    – no dairy (e.g., no cream, butter, milk, cheese etc)

    Out of the list above, I would say only a couple have the possibility of being vegan and then I would question it because most chefs use animals to make the stock.

    Suggest you double check to make sure the chef understood VEGAN.

    • Bill Heck says:

      Vegetarian is a little different than vegan. Vegans do not use any animal products including leather shoes, as far as diet the biggest difference is eggs and dairy. Vegetarians think it is ok to eat eggs and dairy.

      So, most of the soups would not fit a vegan meal plan. I too noticed the french onion soup which based on veal stock would not fit vegan or vegetarian.

      Must be hard to live vegan.

  39. John Moran says:

    Vegan French Onion Soup???
    Every recipe for that that I’ve seen is based on beef stock. Are you sure about you soups?
    Incidentally the list has one duplicate.

  40. Marylou Hansen says:

    I have a question. Can you please post an explanation of the On Us card. There were way too many posted comments and an array of descriptions. Thanks!

  41. jerry calvert says:

    “Illegitimus Non Carborundum”

  42. Marsha Breen says:

    Glad to hear you are thinking about ignoring the trolls and naysayers. If you do, I think you will eventually see less and less of those types of posts being sent to you which will give you a chance to get caught up on the questions and comments from the folks who come here for the proper reason. Like they say – if you ignore the school yard bully and let them know they aren’t getting the best of you, they eventually stop.

  43. lil'Mike says:

    Hi John,

    Where is this clothing optional beach? Wife and I try to find on every island.

    May you next day be better than the last.

  44. DannyK says:

    I am somewhat surprised by Paulette’s “horror” on finding a clothing optional beach at “divi little bay.” If that is the resort I find on Google, I would be surprised if it was really clothing optional and not just a topless beach as is common on that island. They may have ended up at Orient Point, (I think) a beach near Divi Little Bay, that is clothing optional, but in lists of clothing optional beaches on St. Maarten, i don’t find that listed. In fact, in a post on another web site they specifically mention Divi Little Bay is not a topless beach. Maybe Paulette’s husband slipped the cabbie some $$ to take them to a nudie beach. But, if you’re going to St. Maarten, you should expect to find topless sunbathing. It’s amazing how Americans find this so surprising. Much of the world is surprised that the USA has very few topless or clothing optional beaches. I think many Americans have very dirty minds and can only think of sex when they see a topless or a naked female. Hey Paulette: Lighten up.

  45. Michael says:

    John, please stop apologizing to people that are rude to you and then ask for a favor in the same paragraph. Better yet don’t even respond to them at all. Looking forward to meeting you in person on the Magic December 4th.

  46. BarB says:

    After reading the missive from Ms. Larson, something went “ding,ding,ding” in the back of my head.

    I swear, I’ve read a similar letter with almost the exact wording a year or so ago. Same dealie, same “waiter”, same “ruined my cruise”…same “embarassed”…..

    I’m gonna find and post it.

    Troller alert.

    It may be authentic, but also may not be….

  47. Jeff says:

    Miami Heat winning the championship. You’re too funny.

  48. TROY I. says:

    The only thing ugggglier than the Holland America Epic is your man space, darn Heidi.

  49. Genevieve says:

    John you are amazing. I agree that blogging to a giant sea of strangers has a releasing effect on me. I love to tell my stories no matter how juicy the details are. Things will settle down for you soon and before you know it you’ll be able to spit out a blog answer millions of questions on Facebook AND spend what society feels is an accepted amount of time with your family. As for the trolls/sharks, it’s almost as if they are paid to write the nasty things they do. You can almost compare it to Reality Television, no? Where you would like to think that everything that happens on those shows is actual when in fact the producers are writing the script to LOOK as though deception thrives in Reality. Anway, you must trudge on and ignore those mean people. I wish you well during your time on the Magic and someday we will meet!


  50. Steve S. Chicago says:

    Rebecca F Asked:


    I am a strict vegetarian and need to know which of your soups you serve at dinner are 100% meat free. I read on Cruise Critic that the soups are not always meat free and that this fact is hidden from the menus and that because the servers speak poor English they will answer yes even though they don’t know. This will be our first Carnival experience and I need this information. We are on the Dream on April 2nd.


    Why must people be so rude ?
    The waiters don’t understand English ? El toro poo-poo.
    Why do people who are anti something always have to point it out first ? “I’m anti-meat”, “I’m anti-smoking”, “I’m anti-opposite sex attracted”

    • FunFab5 says:

      That was one of the funniest posts I have ever read. I must admit I have very limited patience for all the whining, nastiness and self-righteousness on these blogs and forums (CC too!) but often if you can muddle through you get some really helpful information or, as in this case, a hearty laugh! If I had to constantly respond to people and their self-important requests I’d pretend to speak poor English as well.

      I believe the “el toro poo poo” is an animal product as well. Be sure to avoid.

      • PipergrlKerry says:

        Hi John

        Thanks for posting the video of Ken. Of my ten cruises, he was the BEST!! I wish all the Maitre d’s could be like him! We were on that bloggers cruise with you both and are so sad to be missing this one. We’ll be on the Freedom instead.

        Enjoy your time with the girls!


  51. Rev Barb in Canada, eh? says:

    Dead Sea Trolls. HILARIOUS. Thanks John.

  52. Cindy56 says:

    My 1st and 3rd Carnival cruises were with Chris Jefferson and he was a wonderful CD. I wish you, Emily and your new baby all the best and will read your blog to keep up with the Jeffersons! You’re moving on up!!!!

    Ontario Canada

  53. Wyldjim says:

    Well, we just boarded the Spirit in San Diego and there is a Pharaoh’s Place:) I’ve never sailed on RCI so maybe I should send them an flaming email demanding to know why I was not personally greated by John Heald when I arrived on board:)

    we did find a note in our room saying our gift was waiting for us in the formalities store. I thought wow! The blog thinging really worked and John sent us something to celebrate Leah’s graduation.

    Nope, looked closer and it was for the last guests in room 7151. Which makes me wonder if they ever noticed it because it was inside the guest info book?

    Anyway, John I’m glad you’ve had some time with your family, and I honestly don’t know how you manage to do all the things you do.

    We are about to sail, but I did just want to give you the feedback of our last short notice cruise. My son and I couldn’t wait for this cruise so we took a quick 3 day cruise on the Paradise (March 4). I tried the chiefs dinner because everyone on the blog said it was so great. And you were all so right!!! It was worth every penny, and in all honesty I’m cheap John:)

    My only complaint about chief Russell and his crew is one I never thoght I would have on a carnival cruise. I normally only drink a glass or two of
    wine. Well, they keep filling your glass! I had 3 glasses of champaign just on the kitchen tour;) Then there was white wine with fish, red wine with beef, etc. Everytime I put my glass down it was topped of. Well the chiefs dinner took about 3 1/2 hours. Needless to I shall try not to do that on the last night of the cruise again.

    Well, looks like we are about to sail. And John the only reason I’m taking this 9 day cruise is because you recommended it, and 7 days with you on the Splendor was just not enough. So, it’s all your fault if we have a good time:)

    Jim, Leah, Nathan 7151

  54. Dee says:

    My husband and I have cruised many, many times and enjoy each and every trip,and look forward to many more. I get a kick out of all the requests that you get from future cruisers, but can you explain something to me. On any cruise, one is surrounded by water for as many days as you are cruising. I can’t understand when people request a table near the window for dinner, especially the late seating. It’s dark out!! What can they see!! Really enjoy your blog and having had the great opportunity to cruise with you as cruise director twice, we are looking to make that happen real soon. Give our best to Heidi & Kye. Dee

  55. Terry says:

    Hi John ,
    My name is Terry and I just thought I would tell you that my 4 sisters and I have a sisters weekend each each .This year is our 15th anniversary of enjoying our weekends so we are celebrating with a Cruise aboard the Valor on October 9th of 2011 . We are all very excited ! Just saying !
    Take care

  56. Daina Smith says:

    Hi John!
    (Reply if you can)

    Just found your blog through Cruise Critic and I love it! Thanks for the great information and entertaining stories!

    My family and I are leaving in a few weeks on our 3rd Carnival cruise (working our way to platinum) sailing on Carnival Pride on 5/1/11 for my sons graduation, our anniversary, and my birthday! So much going on at once we decided to lump it all together and have one great vacation. I was wondering if you could arrange a table by the window for the 4 for us in the dining room at the 8:15 seating? Our room number is 8152.

    Thanks so much!!

  57. Debbie Tucker says:

    John – I have a two questions. We will be doing a back to back on the Glory starting June 9th. I know that you can bring 1 bottle of wine per person. Since we are going back to back can I bring on 4 bottles and Carnival hold two until the last day of my first cruise.

    Also, the second cruise on the 13th will be my Platimum cruise. Will they be able to get everything ready so that I can get my platinum cards when I go back on for my second cruise.

    Thanks a lot for your help. You are always full of information

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