Well here we go again, another week on your Carnival Magic and we have three days left of this 12-day cruise. I haven’t been sleeping well, don’t know why but it doesn’t matter because I am alive and well and so are you.  I say this because this time last week we were all supposed to be dead and Henry O and his mates would be standing at the Pearly Gates being welcomed into heaven while me and a few of you would be in hell surrounded by fire and brimstone and nonstop Celine Dion music for eternity.

You have to feel a bit sorry for poor old Harold Cramping or whatever his name is the simple sod predicted that the world would end on May 21 and obviously as I sit here writing to you in my underpants it didn’t. And that’s why I feel sorry for him as it can’t be nice having the entire world’s population pointing at you going can’t “na nah na nah nah.”

But bugger me if the silly sod hasn’t gone back to his calculations and realised that oops, he meant to say that the world will actually come to an end on October 21, which does put a damper on the launch of the Carnival Liberty fresh from dry dock and bristling with new features. Even worse for poor old Harold is that whenever anyone sees him looking sad or depressed they will no doubt give him a hug and say “Cheer up, Harold. It’s not the end of the world.”

Time for today’s Q and A…………..let’s get on with it shall we?

Carmen Cartagena Asked:
Can you tell if Carnival is planning to have a ship in Europe for 2013? Planning a group and the most important issue it’s that has to be CARNIVAL!!!

Thanks

John Says:
Hello Carmen Cartagena

Thanks for asking and so far we have no released any news on this but we’re in the midst of a successful season on the Carnival Magic and Carnival Breeze will sail in Europe in 2012 so never say never I always say. I will obviously let you know as soon as I can. Best wishes

John

Lenny R Asked:
John,

I see that on the blog you are begging people to go with you on the bloggers cruise and that your sidekick and obvious Carnival employee Mach is doing the same on Cruise Critic by trying to put together a group. Why would anyone want to cruise with a bunch of no life zeros who have some strange fetish about you? I have cruised with you on the liberty and found you to be nothing special at all… I cruise where and when I want to and don’t need the company of others do so. In that regard I am on the dream on June 4 and hope that the smell I have been reading about has gone and that the service issues that have been reported have been taken care of. This will be my platinum cruise. I need the maitre d to have me at a table with single ladies. I wrote this on a post here on April 7 but you have not replied so I ask again. Cabin number is 8256.

John Says:
Hello Lenny R

Goodness me Lenny, I have to say you have thingies the size of a Budweiser horse to write that and then ask me for something. I have asked the maitre d to sit you with a group of single guests as you asked although I may have accidentally asked for him to seat you with a group of single men by accident. Host Mach is a fantastic person who we should hire as he knows more about the product than I do but for now he works as a moderator for Cruise Critic and remains a friend to me. I wish you a great cruise and as for the bloggers cruise reference I think its best I leave any comments on that to others.

Best wishes
John

Larry Mann Asked:
Hi John (or whoever is reading this),

Two questions…Is the Chef’s Table available on the Imagination? If so how can I make reservations before the cruise? Thanks

Larry Mann

John Says:
Hello Larry Mann

Yes indeed it is and I would be happy to make a reservation for you. All I need is for you to post again with the following details:

NAME

CABIN NUMBER

SAILING

SHIP

NUMBER OF SEATS

 

I will then send it to the ship and you will receive email confirmation from them. It is a great event that I hope you get chance to experience. Best wishes

John

Ron Valquez Asked:
John,

Today I read here a comment from a Carnival passenger who said that she was on a Carnival boat from Miami and none of the staff spoke any Spanish and that her parents could not understand nothing. This happened to me as well on the Freedom cruise in November. The ship was at Thanksgiving and most passengers were from South Florida but the ship had only English announcements and jokes were not in Spanish. The Latin band was Mexican and did not play any proper Latin music. Carnival should know that its passengers are from Miami and the area and should provide more Spanish as the language is on the rise in USA and in the case of Miami will soon be officially the language of Miami. Carnival has lots of ships in South Florida and should then have Spanish spoken on them.

John Says:
Hello Ron Valquez

Thank you for your comments and I understand how frustrating it must be for some when they don’t understand the announcements and entertainment. I am going through the same thing here with our large count of international guests. However, we are a product aimed at North Americans in the first place and while we realise that many South Floridians speak Spanish we really aren’t in a position to alter our product. We try hard to accommodate as many people as we can and I am very sorry that you did not enjoy the Latin trio who normally get excellent comments. So please accept my apologies and I hope that despite the communication concerns that you had a great time. By the way, your post was in English and it was written very well indeed. I am sure your comment about Miami and its official language is one I can’t comment on as I don’t live there but I can say that people from all over the USA, Canada and beyond fly to Miami to take a cruise and we can’t therefore make it a Spanish speaking one. I promise to pass your comments to the beards though and thank you for making them.

Best wishes
John

The Granthems Asked:
Hello John.

I just discovered this blog and it makes my morning coffee even better. Can I ask you about the Steakhouse because I am taking my DW on the Splendor and have reserved a table for Wednesday night? My concern is that she is a vegetarian and I have read conflicting reports that there are and are not vegetarian dishes available so I thought I would ask you.

Keep up the great work
Dave and Katie

John Says:
Hello The Granthams

Thanks so much for those very kind words and I am sure you are getting excited about your Carnival Splendor cruise, in fact I hope I haven’t missed your sailing date. So yes, there are fantastic vegetarian options in the steakhouse and along with the vegetables on the menu, when you order, tell the server and he or she will tell the chef who will make something special. One of the signature vegetarian dishes is the mushroom strudel that I have been told by other vegetablists is fantastic. So welcome to the blog and if I am not too late may I wish you both a wonderful cruise? Best wishes

John

Rack2 Asked:
John,

I want to know why carnival has a stupid law that stops crew people coming out with passengers. My Mother and me were on the Inspiration and our waiter Jimi was so cute and nice and I wanted him to come to the disco with me but when I asked him he said it was not allowed. I asked the dining manager and he said no to as well. Why does carnival do this it makes me very angry John because I wanted to dance with Jimi.

John Says:
Hello Rack2

Well, that’s a great question and there are two main answers. The first is the most important and that is simply that we do not allow the crew to fraternize with the guests. This is for their safety and yours as I am sure you can imagine. Yes, we want them to be fun and charming and provide brilliant service but that’s it, it has to be strictly professional. I should point out also that with 800 crew members onboard if we were to give them all guest area privileges there would be no space for the guests. So I apologise you felt angry and I hope now that you have seen this explanation you will understand why we have this rule. Best wishes and I hope you had a great cruise

John

Penny McNulty Asked:
John.

The cabin stewards need to be given instructions that they should introduce themselves to their patrons, we didn’t even know his or her name!!! I took my gratuity away as if they can’t call me by my name or introduce themselves then they get nothing from me. The cabin service was nowhere near as good as our RCL cruise last month. The good news for Carnival is that the food was as good and the steak house pay extra restaurant was the best we have ever had.

John Says:
Hello Penny McNulty

Well there was good news and not very good news in that review. I asked my friend in the office to see what ship you had been on and I see it was the Carnival Paradise on a 4 day cruise if that’s the Penny you are. Anyway, I wanted to know because I needed the ship management to know so they can improve the training of the stateroom steward and I have sent your comments in accordingly. I was though glad to read that you found the food excellent and the steakhouse the same and because of that I hope we will see you again very soon.

Best wishes
John

Maureen Searle Asked:
Hi John (please reply if you can)

We’ll be on the Magic on June 3rd. Can’t wait!  Can you tell me what would be the best currency to use for extra onboard gratuities?
Euros?

John Says:
Hello Maureen Searle

I am glad I saw this before you sailed and it’s strange to have two very different comments back to back about gratuities. I would actually suggest dollars as well as Euros; both are fine and thank you for taking care of the crew. We are here ready to give you an amazing cruise and loads of brilliant fun. See you soon.

Best wishes
John

Tif Asked:
Hello John,

I am planning my first cruise in August, and I was wondering if I need a passport to cruise to the Bahamas?
John Says:
Hello Tif

While having a passport is always recommended, if you are a US citizen if you are traveling to the Bahamas on a closed-loop cruise (meaning a cruise that begins and ends at the same US port), you can use your driver’s license and birth certificate instead of a passport. Hope this helps and let me know if you have any other questions.

Best wishes
John

Ron Arant Asked:
I have been traveling with Carnival for about 8 years now and one thing I see missing is a Soup Bar.  I know it is usually hot in the islands but soups are great!  They would go well with your Deli Bar and for those who want a light lunch so they can indulge at dinner time.  Also Chicken Soup does really well for those who do not have their Sea Legs and are nauseated.  I feel this would add a great plus to the ship and I am sure Carnival would be the first cruise line to offer a Soup Bar along with their Salad Bar and Deli Bar.

Ron Arant
South Carolina

John Says:
Hello Ron Arant

Now that’s something I have never heard of before and I wonder if it would work? I know our soups are very popular at dinner time and I wonder if anyone else agrees with Ron’s suggestion. Chicken soup is certainly massively popular as is our French onion as well. Thanks for the idea and I will pass it on to the beards. Does anyone else have a comment about this? Best wishes and thank you for cruising with us these past 8 years.

John

 

That’s all for today and I will be back with more tomorrow.

Time for my lunch and a bit of Bond. I now watch 30 minutes of a movie during my lunch break, if I don’t do this I find myself blogging or Facebooking and getting bits of tuna in the keyboard so I watch a movie on my little DVD player. I am going through my Bond box set and am currently watching Live and Let Die, starring Roger Moore.

For those of us in the throes of middle age, it is brilliant to watch the elderly Roger Moore as he creaks around the set while younger, fitter women fling themselves at his gentlemen’s sausage. And as I watched I realized that compared to today’s films the violence is about as offensive as a Barney episode… there was no swearing; the violence was as soft as my inner thigh. As for rumpy pumpy, the only racy scene involved Bond and the girl taking off their bathrobes, so that you saw their undraped knees — in the case of Roger Moore, a very wrinkly knee. But it’s a proper Bond movie unlike the bollocks that was Quantom Sodof and Casino Royalmyarse.

Roger and Sean and Pierce and the other chap were proper Bonds. The movie starts of with some random killing before we find Bond in bed with a girl who he had met a few minutes earlier. Hearing his Omega watch go beep which meant his Queen and country needed him he would haul himself from under the sheets, look at the long-legged beauty with no name and say, “My darling. You were brilliant last night. But I am a James Bond and I must go now because I have to blow up the head quarters of the evil Richard Feinfeld before returning to have more rumpy pumpy on the hood of my Aston Martin DBS.”

OK, back to the current world and while I eat a bit of lunch I want you to see what the guests are eating for dinner tonight here on your Carnival Magic.

Chilled supreme of fresh fruit, finished with peach schnapps

New England crab cake, served with apple relish, roasted bell pepper and rosemary remoulade

Grilled Portobello mushroom and handpicked mesclun lettuce, marinated with balsamic, fresh basil and virgin olive oil

Fatuous salad, garnished with arugula, mint, feta cheese and flat bread

American navy bean soup, simmered with root vegetables

Lobster bisque, hearty lobster soup with cream and oak wood aged brandy

Mango cream, iced mango cream soup, spiced with fresh ginger

Grilled chicken breast, served over fettuccine, tossed in mushroom cream (also available as a starter)

Norwegian salmon with dill mousseline, grilled salmon fillet with a dill butter sauce, creamed garlic spinach, gratin potatoes

Panko-crusted jumbo shrimp, artichokes, sun ripened tomatoes and kernel corn medley

Barbecued, whole Cornish game hen, marinated with southern herbs and spices

Tender roasted prime rib of American beef au jus, baked potato with traditional toppings

Zucchini and eggplant parmigiana, vegetarian entrée; served on a lake of pomodoro sauce

Variations of strawberries upside down strawberry cake, strawberry sorbet, strawberry and mascarpone cream

Chocolate mousse crepe, served in banana bisque with candied fruit

Tropical fruit lasagna, marinated berries, mangoes and papayas on phyllo with guava sauce

Dessert is prepared with a sugar substitute

Warm chocolate melting cake, served with vanilla ice cream

Fresh tropical fruit plate

Vanilla • chocolate • strawberry • butter pecan ice cream

Sugar-free ice cream is available upon request

Orange • pineapple • lime sherbet

Port Salut • brie • Gouda • imported Swiss • Danish bleu cheese

 

What would you have?

It’s been a difficult few days as I have spent much of my time dealing with a few really disgruntled guests. One or two have valid points. One has a noise complaint. Her cabin is right above Ocean Plaza and she goes to bed at 9 pm every night and she is disturbed by the music. This has resulted in me having to change the style of music I have there, as well as the hours. I have moved the Blood Power band to the Lido and the back lounge and placed one of our duos there instead and I have them finishing at 11 pm as appose to 12:30 am as normal. I understand this lady’s concerns and we are sold out of cabins so we have nowhere to move her to. Hopefully this change will allow her a better night’s sleep.

The other comments are most from guests who are……well quite honestly a bit ummmmm …… strange. Ken, the maitre d had one table all demand a different table or the removal of one couple because they were so mean and nasty to the waiter. Apparently they were clicking their fingers and unbelievably calling him “boy.” Anyway, Ken has delicately given them a table for two so all is well. This is the same couple by the way who made this comment.

From: MAGIC GUEST SERVICES
Sent: Saturday, May 31, 2011 8:33 AM
To: MAGIC CRUISE DIRECTOR
Cc: MAGIC ASSISTANT CRUISE DIRECTOR; MAGIC GUEST SERVICES MANAGER; MAGIC GUEST SERVICES SUPERVISOR; MAGIC GUEST SERVICES
Subject: ———-

Good afternoon

Please could you read the below CRS and update us accordingly. Sorry the guest was upset about everything yesterday.

GUEST UNHAPPY

Guest continued to advise that she thinks it’s disgraceful that you get no free drinks during the casino. Guest also wants meeting with John about the shows. Guest has also stated that she wants another state room steward as her current one________________ has according to guest been looking through her clothes (guest specified her underwear and night clothes) John, please call the guest and I have also spoken to the HKM as well.

Guest Services Associate | Carnival Magic | Carnival Cruise Lines |

Well the show, Groove Line received two huge standing ovations and if you take her comments about this and her table mates wanting her off and the fact that she thinks the stateroom steward is looking through her drawers…….literally. Anyway, I shall be meeting with her today and will listen calmly to what she has to say and do my very best to sooth her troubled brow but there are times when you know that even before I go and see her that there will be little I can do to change not just her opinions but her outlook on life. I will listen though and do my best for her. So off I go to meet her and I will be back soon.

Here I am and I was right, my 30 minutes with her made absolutely bugger all difference. I am sure the skeptics amongst you are thinking that it can’t have been that bad and you would be wrong. I wish I could secretly film these conversations but, obviously, I can’t. I especially would have like to have done that this morning just so you can enjoy the sight of me bobbing around like a boxer moving my head from side to side, something I had to do in order not to be covered in her spittle, which was flying out of her mouth like a venomous cobra. I couldn’t help but think of the late great and much missed Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin who if he had been faced with this venomous creature would have grabbed her by the end of her legs and swung her around the Carnival Magic lobby shouting “Blimey, she’s a little grumpy.”

Mrs. Cobra hates the shows, the service and her stateroom steward which we have changed to a female steward already. I apologized as did the guest services manager who was with me but our apologies meant very little to her and she left saying of course that she should be compensated her stateroom steward was allegedly wearing her underpants……..which of course he wasn’t. She won’t be getting any compensation just our apologies and in fact it’s me that should get some compensation from her because my blue blazer looks like it has been given the good news by a flock of birds with explosive diarrhea.

It’s easy to concentrate on people like Mrs. Cobra and forget to mention that 99% of the people who cruise Carnival week in and week out have the best of times, but it’s always that 1% that are the most vocal. This cruise I have had many great comments, like this.

 

 

And that’s why I keep going because I know that for most of our guests the Carnival product and the crew that provide it remains the absolute best in the industry. But it is as I said the very few that take up most of your time. Do you remember the comment I posted here, or was it on Facebook; I can’t remember which but it was about the costumes in the show which the gentlemen in question described as “deeply offensive.” Well, he won’t let it go and has written to me three times and when the captain met him on elegant night he gave him both barrels as well. I personally don’t find them offensive and based on my experience most of our guests agree. There are no G-string numbers as of old just flashes or leg and thigh and a bit of bottom as the dancers jump, twirl and do what dancers do. The guest is middle aged and married but it seems that he thinks that a woman’s legs grow directly from her midriff with no bits in between, like a Mrs. Potatohead.

Of course there’s another explanation — that this man is one of the seemingly growing band of habitual complainers who spend their lives seeking reasons to be offended, who’d see sinful messages in Barney and probably cover up the table legs at home lest he is tempted to dry hump them. I mentioned some weeks ago that when I started as a CD I simply don’t remember people complaining. It seems thought that the more we add to the ships and the more we offer our guests on a Carnival cruise vacation the more some guests demand that his or her voice be heard.

But my growing concern is that complainers enjoy a ridiculous amount of power. It requires just one person to say something and once it’s recorded onboard it has to be investigated and reported back on to the beards. Now don’t get me wrong, we make mistakes and is our product perfect? ……. No, absolutely not and constructive criticism is of massive importance and we (I) must listen. But the industry as a whole seems to have opened two massive barn-size doors and put a huge welcome mat down that says “complainers welcome.” And now after many hundreds of thousands of dollars in refunds and lashings of fruit baskets later… it’s now bloody impossible to close them.

Just once I wish I could be like Basil.

Goodnight

Your friend
John

 

P.S. Here are today’s Fun Times, from the Carnival Valor!

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

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