Safety Briefing…..With Gerry Simmons

April 18, 2011 -

John Heald

Sometime this week I have to try the water slides. Yep, for your enjoyment as I did on your Carnival Dream, the fat bloke will be doing it again on your Carnival Magic. Now I love you all but the only reason I did this the first time is because if I didn’t Gerry Cahill, our thrill-seeking, flow-rider riding, abs of steel president and CEO would have had me transferred back to the bar department where I would have spend my days making pina coladas and slippery nipples.

I remember thinking I would rather hang upside down naked from smokestack, legs spread wide with guests tickling me with an ostrich feather…….than go down the slides. My stomach was in knots as I edged towards the coloured tube that leads off into oblivion. I sat on the edge, the soles of my feet tingling, feeling the cool jet of water gushing under my lily-white thunder thighs. Your close your eyes and push off, slipping and sliding up the sides of the slide, your screams and laughs echoing all the way down before you’re spectacularly hurled off into a big toilet bowl thingy.

The simple pleasure of sliding down a chute into water is something I thought I would never want to experience but I am so glad that I did and………..yes……….I am ready to do it again. Here are some more photos and as you will see, the slides are even better and for the Kye’s of the world there are two little slides as well…………….ahhhhh.

Tomorrow I will write more about the SportSquare and what we will have and what we will do up there. One of the events we will have are yoga classes. I have been told that yoga is therapeutic and that putting one leg behind your ear and sticking your bottom in the air relives stress…….well…..I have never done yoga or tried to get in the crapping dog position and doubt I ever could……and even if I did manage to get one of my legs behind my ear and thrust my bottom out I doubt that the person behind me would appreciate the obvious effects that the strain of achieving this would have on my arse.

Nope……forget yoga……..stress release has a new name and it can be found in the Warehouse arcade here on the Carnival Magic. It’s a game called “Zombie Flesh Eaters Death Zone Halo Theft Assasin Modern Killing Bastards……or something……..who needs yoga when you can chop a zombies head off with an axe?

Time for today’s Q and A…………lets crack on.

Tracy W Paul Asked:
To K & G (John Please respond if you have time)

My partner and I have been on 2 previous Carnival cruises, and have never been treated any differently, nor was any of the staff on board homophobic towards us. The “Friends of Dorothy” group is awesome, and a great idea for people to meet and socialize. When we vacation, all we want to do is relax and visit exotic places and Carnival is by far the best way for us to accomplish this. We are not into the other types of cruises such as Atlantis because to us, they are nothing more than party, sex cruises. Our next cruise is fast approaching in April of this year, on the Victory and we are very comfortable saying that we will have a fantastic time.


Tracy and Steven
El Mirage AZ

John Says:
Hello Tracy W Paul,

Thanks so much for writing and I hope that K and G saw this. I am so glad that you enjoy cruising with us and long may that continue. We now have regular Friends of Dorothy meetings on all of our ships. I hope I will see you and your partner one day soon. Best wishes to you both


Cess900 Asked:
John (Please reply)

Me and my husband just gotten off the fascination our first cruise with carnival and before we have been with royal Caribbean and celebrity lines. I don’t like the food on fascination. It’s not as good as the other ships food. Your food has 50% less variety is 50% more badly cooked and 50% is served cold, I have written to the people at your office but no reply has gotten to me. Please get me the refund we deserve from this from cabin R165 our last name Franklin.

John Says:
Hello Chantelle,

I was very surprised to read your comment about the food and that in total it was 150% worse than on other lines. This is a very rare comment as the normal reviews on the food we serve are quite positive. I have sent your request to our guest services people in our Miami office although I have to be honest; I doubt a refund is on the cards. I do know that we strive to do better all the time and I will send your thoughts to the head chef on the Carnival Fascination because the comment about the food being cold concerns me and I know it will concern him as well. I hope you had a good cruise despite the food not being to your liking. Best wishes to you both.


Donna Clelland Asked:
Hello John, (Please reply)

Thank you again for a wonderful blog. So glad to read about the Splendor having sailed on her in 2009 and living in So Cal.

I just wanted to touch on something I read today regarding the Morning Shows. My DH and I recently sailed on the Paradise (02/14/11), with Jeff Brrronson (yep, 3 r’s) per the FunTimes. I thought he was somewhat absent during the day, as there wasn’t a morning show and very few sighting’s if you will.

We took the Behind the Fun tour which was all we expected and more, and are planning to take it again in September when we sail on the Liberty. My only suggestion/complaint is that we met the Captain and all Department Head, but not the CD. This would be understandable if there was a Morning Show broadcast at the same time the tour started (8:45 a.m. sea day) but that was not the case. Is there a reason he didn’t show up or CD’s just don’t participate in this activity?

Thank you for all you do.

A loyal reader,


John Says:
Hello Donna,

I was surprised to hear this as Jeff is usually a CD that does indeed host the morning shows. I was therefore very disappointed to read that you didn’t see him out or on stage enough. I know when he reads this that he too will be upset and that’s a good thing because it will galvanise him to do better. I am though extremely happy to know that you enjoyed the Behind the Fun tour. I thank you so much for taking the time to write and for reading the blog and mostly for your very kind words. Best wishes to you and your family


Cowboy Fan Ed Asked:

John I have a question needs to be answered.

We have just reserved a 4F stateroom on the Spirit to Alaska. I’ve been trying to find out if the patio door in the room opens or not. Cruise Critic members say no but I need to have this confirmed. Check for me and let me know!

John Says:
Hello Cowboy Fan Ed,

Congratulations on booking an Alaskan adventure. I checked with the guest services manager and he confirms that although a 4F cabin does have an obstructed view due to the lifeboats the doors do indeed open. Hope this helps.

Best wishes and have a brilliant time.


David S Asked:

Dear John, (please reply when you can)

I’m pretty new to cruising and VERY new to Carnival. We (my wife and I), have only cruised once before and that was on a boat managed by a Mouse. (We did have an AWESOME time there, by the way)

My wife, my best friend and his wife, and I are all turning 50 this year and we thought we should do something BIG to celebrate this milestone. After reviewing all our options and budgets, we found that a Carnival Cruise on the Pride out of Baltimore on July 3rd was perfect!

Since we’ve booked this cruise, I’ve been scouring the internet for information about the Pride, the itinerary, and anything else I could find to try and make this trip unforgettable. It was during this research that I discovered your Blog Thingy. Wow, I was in shock and awe after reading the first entry I happened upon. I must say, you are a VERY entertaining, informative and helpful person. You also seem to be the most patient and positive person I’ve ever seen. The “demands” and “insults” you receive from your Blog Thingy are atrocious. I can’t believe how rude people are towards you. And I’m sure there are plenty of other “bad” responses to you that you don’t even publish. I would like to, on behalf of the entire human race, apologize to you for all those who have been rude to you. No one deserves that kind of treatment. As for some of the other information and Q&A, there seems to be a larger number of kind and thankful people to also respond to you. You are obviously well respected, well liked, and the sworn enemy of technology!

Now, having said all that, I’d like to respectfully request some assistance for our upcoming cruise. Would it be possible to get a copy of the Carnival Fun Times for the Pride and the itinerary we’ll be on? Also, would it be possible to get a table for 4 by the window for the 6pm dining? We’re dining at David’s on the Tuesday evening so even if it’s only for 1 night, that would be awesome, providing it’s not Tuesday J. Oh, and in case you need to know, we’re in cabin 5193 and our friends are in 5195. Regardless of your ability to honor this humble request, I and my wife and friends thank you!

Thank you for your Blog Thingy. I must say I am impressed with Carnival that they allow you to be so open and free with your blog. If the other crew members on the ships are half as nice and kind and helpful as you are, then they are some awesome people.

Take care John. I wish you the best!

John Says:
Hello David S,

I am sure you had a brilliant time on the Disney ship and I continue to hear great things about their product. We are very excited that you have decided to join us at Carnival and I am absolutely positive that you will have loads of fun. I have sent a request to the maitre d on the ship for your table request and I know he will do all he can to assist you with this. At the bottom of the new style blog thingy you will find the Fun Times for the fleet and I am sure this will be very helpful as you plan your days with your friends. Thanks so very much for all the kind words and if you need anything else before you sail please do let know. Have a brilliant time.

Best wishes,


Dana J Asked:

John, I am wondering what plans Carnival has for the Olympics. Will any of the Carnival ships be heading to London and used as hotels. I saw that some other cruise lines are doing this and before I book I wanted to ask you if carnival is doing this?

Thanks John.


John Says:
Hello Dana,

I didn’t know that anyone was offering their ships as hotels during the 2012 Olympics. I am not surprised though as I am sure hotels have whacked their prices up a lot for the event. I am not aware of any plans for Carnival to do this and sorry I wasn’t much help Dana. I do hope you get to see the Olympics as it should be quite a spectacle.

Best wishes,


Jeffery Grimes Asked:

Dear Mr. John Heald. I really hope that you get my message because it is so important to get your feedback. A very wonderful person in your fleet is a hostess onboard the Carnival Freedom. Her name is CHARO ZAFRA. We had the wonderful experience of meeting her while we were cruising to Acapulco on The SPIRIT in 2009. It was our first cruise with Carnival. We have been on Royal Caribbean, and Princess, and NCL. I must say that the overall experience that we had onboard The SPIRIT was SUPERIOR to the other cruise lines. It’s the people that work onboard your ships that make ME the customer, HAPPY!! I want you to know that because of CHARO ZAFRA we went on another Carnival cruise and that was also SUPERIOR…WE WENT ON THE DREAM… WHAT A SHIP… Thank You for having the BEST cruise line in the industry. It’s because of your wonderful crew that we always want to come back!! There is a MAJOR difference on Carnival over the others and that was THE SMILE, THE ATTENTION TO DETAIL that CHARO showed us on our cruise. (SHE REMBERED OUR NAMES AND WHO
WE WERE) not only that but she went over the top for us in Acapulco. There were Mariachis onboard playing at the diner in the dining room and it was my friend’s birthday. She brought the Mariachis over to the table and they played the Mexican birthday song for us. Being a Mexican, you can’t imagine how happy that made my friend feel. CHAROS attention to detail was immaculate!!! WE ARE SO VERY GLAD TO HAVE THE SPLENDOR BACK IN LONG BEACH AGAIN. We live here in Long Beach and it is wonderfully convenient and special to be able to jump on such a great ship and just go to Mexico when we want. We hope to see CHARO ZAFRA working on SPLENDOR someday. WE LOVE CARNIVAL. We live on the beach and miss seeing her come and go every Sunday. WERE GLAD SHES BACK!!! Thank You So Much. I hope to hear from you soon. Sincerely and Always on Carnival Forever… Jeffery Grimes.P.S. HOPE YOU LIKE MY PICTURE. If my picture does not show up you can see it at my page on Facebook. I really love doing Carnival.


Jeff Grimes on Carnival Spirit

John Says:
Hello Jeffery Grimes,

Charo is going to be absolutely thrilled when she reads this as will her supervisors. It is, as I have mentioned countless times before. The crew that make difference between a good cruise and a brilliant one. I truly appreciate you taking the time to write and I promise that the right people will see this. Best wishes to you and the family.


Sharon CBC Asked:

I have a comment about Jill H’s post on crew being in the same line to get on and off the ship ahead of her passengers. I happen to agree with her. Listen! We are on vacation but the crew are paid help so why don’t they have another place to get on the ship. I know this may seem a little harsh but if have paid thousands of dollars for a cruise I shouldn’t have to see the servers and cleaners standing in front of me on the various pier sides in the ports. It’s not professional at all. I am going to be on the Valor for the 3rd time on April 24th and in suite 6388. I will need a table for 2 for my husband and me. Thank you!

John Says:
Hello Sharon CBC,

First of all I have asked the maitre d to do his best to help you with your table request. I am sorry that you feel that the crew should not be in the same line as the guests during the return process from the ports of call. Many times we have crew-only gangways but this is not always possible. You see, it depends on the port and if there is room or space on the pier to open the aft shell doors for a separate crew gangway. I can also tell you that the crew does not like being in the same line as the guests either. You may have seen that the crew, unlike the guests, is subject to strict laws set by government agencies meaning we have to remove our shoes and have a pat down as well by the security team and its better for all if we can do this on a crew only entrance to the ship. I hope this clears this up somewhat and I wish you a wonderful cruise.

Best wishes,


Mo the Cruiser Asked:
John, Please Reply

It’s only 6 weeks now to our dream cruise on the Dream. This will be our Platinum sailing and we are so excited. I wanted to say thanks to you John for helping me answer my questions on Facebook and other cruise lines must be mighty jealous that they don’t have anybody like you doing what you do. I have one more favour please and that is can you tell me who the entertainment will be for our cruise. I only ask because we are trying to plan the night we will eat at the Steak House and we don’t want to miss the best shows. Can you please please tell us who the shows are and when. Thank you again for EVERYTHING!

John Says:
Hello Mo the Cruiser,

Thanks so much for the kind words and I am glad that I have been able to help you on Facebook and many congratulations on reaching Platinum status. I am sure you will enjoy all the benefits this brings. Here as requested is the entertainment schedule you requested for your Carnival Dream cruise.

Sat, Apr, 23- Canaveral Welcome Aboard Show – dep @ 4pm
Sun, Apr, 24 – Nassau- 8 More Seconds – Lance Montalto/Percy Crews- 8:30am-2pm
Mon, Apr, 25-at sea- Edge- Lance Montalto/Percy Crews
Tue, Apr, 26– St Thomas- Dancing in the Street- 10am-8pm
Wed, Apr, 27– St Maarten – Bob Brizendine – Deck Party 8am-6pm
Thu, Apr, 28– at sea – Get Ready – Phat Kat Tony Esposito
Fri, Apr, 29 – at sea – Carnival Legends – Phat Kat Tony Esposito

8 More Seconds is the country show. Edge is a brilliant and multi talented performer who includes juggling like you have never seen before. Dancing in the Street is a show featuring Fun Force and must not be missed and Bob Brizendine is a very funny comedy magician. Get Ready is the Motown show. So, tough one when to eat in the Steakhouse. You will also see we have the Punchliner comedians as well and you have 4 of the very best there. I hope this helps, enjoy the show and have a brilliant cruise. Thanks so much for your loyalty to Carnival.

Best wishes,


And that’s all for today.

So then, what’s happening here on your Carnival Magic?

1. Well, we now have most of the crew onboard and even though the work from our Fincantieri friends continues the ship is starting to feel more like home for us all. I have been reluctant to post photos of the lounges etc because the ship continues to be in a state of undress but I think I can start posting some so let’s start today shall we with some photos of the Cucina del Capitano.

Cucina Del Capitano

Cucina Del Capitano

Now the table clothes are not on and the walls still have to be adorned with photos past and present of the Carnival captains but I think this gives you an idea of how wonderful this area is. I know I keep repeating like a hamster that has eaten a barrel of baked beans……but the $10 charge for this sensational food is simply ridiculous and with the entertainment and service that the staff will provide there……this is a place not to be missed and you will truly feel Italian. Except your clothes will match, of course.

2. The lobby of the Dream class ship has gotten a raw deal I think. This is because of the Ocean Plaza and Lanai which tend to take all the glory. But there is no doubt that the lobby on this class of ship is beautiful and I need to plan more events there. I do have the fabulous duo of Joel and Lana scheduled to perform here and I know they will have people dancing the night away. Here then are some photos of the lobby…………remember that work is still being carried out here.

I have to say that the entertainment staff has been working very hard preparing everything and without them and especially James the ACD and Mel my PA, I would not have been able to blog and Facebook and deliver a new ship. It is quite a challenge to plan everything and still do the thingy and the Facebook but thanks to them I am managing so far to keep my head above water.

Carnival Magic is as I said taking shape and proudly………very proudly……….she will be the 100th in the Carnival fleet. She is different to any other Carnival ship as many of you will see very soon. I cannot tell you how good this ship is. I tried to tell someone back in the Miami office how beautiful she is but I end up stammering and dribbling and talking wide eyed bollocks.

The ship cannot be judged in the same way that we judge other Carnival ships. It is technically a Carnival ship. And yet it just isn’t. It is a ship that the beards have put all that blue sky thinking stuff into a box and outside the box and have come up with something totally brilliant. It is a triumph for Micky, Gerry and all the Carnival shipboard and shoreside employees and a triumph for Carnival Corporation & plc as we reach 100. We have some surprises up our sleeves to mark the Carnival Magic’s distinction as 100th ship in the Carnival Corporation & plc fleet so stay tuned. I will also have coverage of the handover ceremony later this month and the naming ceremony on May 1 right here on the blog thingy.

I am seriously considering going home on Friday night to see the girls for Easter. The yard shuts down on Friday and I can take the Ryan Scare flight to my local airport on Friday at 3 pm and be back in the yard and at my desk in my underpants at 2 pm Sunday lunch time. Now, I am also considering this because I need to get more of my diabetic pills. You see, I take Metmorphin Glucophage by a particular manufacturer that my body has become used to these last 4 years.

The problem is that the medical centre here onboard can’t get me the exact same pill and so I think I may pop home and get a double prescription order to bring back to the ship with me. It’s probably all in my mind but I don’t want to take any chances. Anyway, I have asked Heidi to put a prescription in with Doctor Longfinger at home and I may just go and get them myself. Yes, yes ………’s an excuse to see the girls……………but a pretty important one.

Now there is another reason I need to go home. On Thursday I was walking through the ship on the press tour and I tripped over a metal rod that was sticking up on deck 10. While watching me fall on my arse was fun for those around me it also put a whole the size of a quarter in my leather shoes. So, that was me on Saturday in Monfalcone shopping for shoes but unlike everything else in Italy which is as easy as Paris Hilton……..buying shoes is not.

The Italians make some fantastic shoes, but I can’t buy any. That’s because I’m a size 11, and all Italian men are it appears size seven. I’m surprised they can even stand up. I tried three shops and each time I was told they had “orgatz” for me ……..which I think is Italian for bugger all. So I may have to go home and buy some or host the naming ceremony with my big toe sticking out of my shoe. I will make the decision soon and knowing me I won’t go because a huge wave of guilt will wash over me for doing so.

The safety briefing on the Dream class ship is rather different as the lounges are used as the muster stations and we don’t actually send the guests to stand in front of the life boats as we do on other class of ships.

It can though still be a little tedious I know but it is also so very important that everyone attends. But, I think it is very important that I add a sprinkle of fun in the announcements as well. Now, there are obviously is only a certain amount of humour I can put in there but humour there will be. I take my inspiration from this video which I saw a few days ago. The video, created for Air New Zealand and called Fit to Fly, features our old mate the sparkly underpants wearing Richard Simmons in a retro camp fest update of the boring old instructions on seatbelts, oxygen masks and tray tables that are largely ignored by you and me these days. In the video, Richard is joined by New Zealand television and sporting personalities as they work out to the soundtrack of 1980s classic track The Only Way is Up while explaining how to stow your baggage and switch off your Eyephone.

Anyway, have a look at this video…………..I think it’s brilliant.

Also starring in the video was the airline’s CEO, wearing pink shorts and a purple head band and it was great to see the airlines president taking part in the fun. And as we here at Carnival are all about fun, I think that I should have President and CEO Gerry Cahill in our safety video wearing a life jacket……..nothing else…………….just a life jacket.


Your friend,


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