June 14, 2011 -

John Heald

I spent part of last night wandering around the perfume section of the gift shop with Heidi and Kye as Heidi began her search for a new perfume. Apparently what she has been wearing for the last few years is no longer good enough and so there I was pretending to be interested in what she would be dabbing behind her ears. I can’t pretend to have spent much time in this part of your Carnival Magic’s shops or any perfume section of a store on land either. I had no idea just how many different perfumes there are and…… many were named after famous people and this is something that I as a fat ordinary bloke just cannot comprehend.

I mean, how many Carnival Magic guests spent money at the local mall on Paris Hilton’s fragrance that they could have been spending at the steakhouse or in the RedFrog Pub or the casino? They thought they were buying a “lifestyle,” and seduced by the promise of “the scent of a fine champagne” complimented by the “essence of a rare tropical orchid.” Bollocks. Heidi sprayed some on a scrap of paper tester thingy and it smells like a slice of lemon complimented by essence of yak scrotum.

And for the love of God why does Brittney sodding Spears have her own perfume? That’s the same Britney that has shaved her head, driven her car with her daughter on her lap, and who knows what else. I may be a bit thick but………why would you anyone want to smell of her?

I guess people buy what they know and like someone who will go to the steakhouse and ignore the more exotic starters and order as they always do, the shrimp cocktail. Yep, it’s the same in the perfume industry which includes stuff by Beeoncea, the one who looks like a horse from Sex and the City and Elizabeth Taylor who’s dead. I can’t wait for them to launch a Charlie Sheen aftershave with top notes of cocaine and a lingering whiff of desperation.

In the end Heidi ignored all the celebrity perfumes and bought one called Buggeri or something. She asked me if I liked the smell of it and I said “It’s OK.” “Well, what scent drives you crazy?” my wife replied in a husky, sexy voice. My reply of “bacon” was apparently not what she was hoping for.

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

Steve Guthrie asked:
Hi John,

To become a Platinum Guest do I need 10 cruises on Carnival or 10 on the Cruise Lines owned by Carnival?

Here is my count of cruises:
RCCL Viking Serenade
Carnival Holiday
Carnival Destiny
Carnival Elation
Carnival Pride
HAL Zuiderdamm
Disney Wonder
RCCL Brilliance of the Sea
NCL Star
Sea Princess
Golden Princess
Carnival Spirit
RCCL Monarch of the Seas
Carnival Splendor
NCL Spirit
Carnival Magic

RCCL = 3; Carnival = 7; NCL = 4; HAL = 1; Disney = 1; Princess = 2

As you see Carnival + HAL + Princess = 10

John says:
Hello Steve Guthrie,

Goodness me you have enjoyed some wonderful cruises and sailed with some great lines. Unfortunately you do need to have cruised with Carnival Cruise Lines 10 times to obtain Platinum status. Princess and Holland America are part of Carnival Corporation & plc but each line has their own loyalty program and even though we have studied the feasibility of combining them it has not been possible as each one is so individual. So you have 3 more to go and then you will have the Platinum card and the benefits that go with it.

Best wishes


Regina Conception asked:

I had asked you to send me and my DH a gift for our anniversary on the Valor in cabin 1337. We were sent 6 chocolate fruits and some champagne. My husband and I do not drink and I am allergic to chocolate. I took them back to the front desk reception and asked for something else but they said no. I am very disappointed and you should offer a more variety of gifts than this and is not good customer service.

John says:
Hello Regina Conception,

I am sorry to read that you didn’t enjoy the gifts that I sent you. Unfortunately I have no idea of knowing who has what allergies and who does not drink alcohol and if I had been on the ship myself I may have been able to help exchange them for something. I do hope that you had a great cruise and a very happy anniversary and I apologise for the disappointment of the gifts I had sent.

Best wishes


H.L. Mullin asked:
Hi John,

I just read Ron Pass will be leaving in June. Who will replace him in the piano bar as I sail there with you on June 24? Why did he leave and why did you not warn passengers about this?

John says:
Hello H.L. Mullin,

Ron did an amazing job as he always does and today will be replaced by Chris Novak who from what I hear is a brilliant entertainer as well. I think I did mention it when I posted it on my blog or my Facebook page and I am sorry if you missed it. I know you will love the piano bar and that you will enjoy Chris. See you soon.

Best wishes,


Waiting2cruise asked:

Need an immediate answer as there has been much conjecture on Cruise Critic these past few days whether or not Carnival has stopped the free milk and cookies. Can you confirm if this is true or not!!!!!!!

John says:
Hello Waiting2cruise,

I am a bit confused by this question as I am not totally sure what you are referring too. We still give milk and cookies at Camp Carnival and there are still milk and cookies available from room service and the late night buffet. I am not aware of us canceling anything. However, if you are referring to something I have not mentioned please let me know.

Best wishes


Stacie Pompili-Towe asked:

Hello John!

My husband and I are taking our first Carnival cruise for our tenth wedding anniversary on the Legend for the August 7 cruise and we are planning on renewing our vows…we wanted to do it on the beach but when I called to inquire about the vow renewal ceremony customer service informed me that they charge the same as a wedding, which is more than the CRUISE cost!!! Any suggestions? Can you tell me why they don’t do anything for vow renewals? I know there is a ceremony they do on the ship in a lounge they told me but somehow that seems very unromantic….I really would like this to be special……thanks so much for reading and I love your blog!!!!!

John says:
Hello Stacie Pompili – Towe,

Thanks for saying you enjoy the blog and congratulations on celebrating 10 wonderful years together. We do host marriage renewals and yes I know they are not cheap but I promise you the room we will host this in will be decorated beautifully and of course the ceremony is led by the ship’s captain. It is a very special event. We have not done ceremonies like this ashore and even if we did we would have to involve the local authorities as ship’s crew are not permitted to work ashore due to various immigration laws. If you decide to do this onboard and you need my help please let me know and regardless let me know here or on Facebook what your cabin number is and I will send you a little something to help you enjoy your anniversary cruise.

Best wishes to you both.


Roger Tollerud asked:

Several blogs ago someone asked if it were possible for you to publish a captain’s schedule. I would just like to add a “me too!” to that request. My wife and I have sailed with Captain Roberto Volpi and look forward to doing so again.

Thx and regards

Roger T

John says:
Hello Roger Tollerud,

I am so glad you reminded me about this as I had totally forgotten. I will work on this and ask the captains to produce a bio as well as a photo and their dates etc. Captain Volpi is a wonderful gentleman and is currently on the Carnival Spirit. I will get this done as soon as I can.

Best wishes


Snowcone asked:

I will be on the TA and need you to confirm that there WILL BE PROFESSIONAL BRIDGE INSTRUCTORS. I along with my Legendary Journeys group will be very angry if we get there and find no Bridge Instruction for the 6 days at sea. This happened on the Freedom TA as well!!!!!!!

John says:
Hello Snowcone,

I will pass on your request for bridge instruction to the beards in the office. I know they are certainly planning to have this along with arts and craft and dance instruction. I am sure you will have a great time and I am so disappointed I won’t be there to meet you and the rest of your group.

Best wishes


Marian Washington asked:

Do you know if there will be anyway I can take my son to the bridge during our cruise in July on the fascination July 10 in the cabin R121. He has graduated from high school and I think it will be nice if you allowed this. I now there is a trip that costs $$$ but my son did graduate so can you ask the captain and get him up there.

John says:
Hello Marian Washington,

You must be very proud of your son and I wish I could arrange this for him but the only way we are permitted to take guests to the bridge is on the Behind the Fun excursion. There is a charge for this but it will be something your son never forgets as it also goes to the engine control room and other crew only areas. You can purchase this tour on the ship from the shore excursion desk. Have a great time and I will also send your son a little something to wish him well done.

Best wishes


Bill Kohlmeier asked:


Just a quick note to let you know how much my wife and I have enjoyed our two cruises with Carnival. I’ve cruised primarily with NCL for the last twenty some years, and we took our first CCL cruise last October on the Spirit. We liked it well enough to try a second one, and just returned on the Splendor. We had an absolutely great time, and feel that CCL compares very favorably with NCL. The Splendor is a great ship with an outstanding crew. I won’t bore you with details, comparisons, and whatnot but just wanted to thank Carnival for a great cruise.

Best wishes,

Bill Kohlmeier

John says:
Hello Bill Kohlmeier,

Thank you sir for writing. I truly appreciate the fact that despite your loyalty to NCL, you decided to try Carnival and had such a great time. This is brilliant to read and I shall make sure I pass this on to the ships mentioned. Thanks so much and I hope we will see you again in the near future.

Best wishes


Kirk A. Butler, MD asked:
Hi John,

Please respond quickly. We are Platinum members scheduled to sail with you on the Magic July 24, 2011. I recently started reading your blog when I found out that you would be the CD on our cruise. I have been a big Ferrari fan for most of my life. My son and I would love to be able to visit the Ferrari factory for a tour in Maranello, Italy. Maranello is about 2.5 hours drive from the port of Livorno. Is there any way the tour desk could investigate arranging and adding this type of tour, or could they set something like this up for us personally. I realize this is an unusual request… It would be great to take my son to the Ferrari Factory. Also, would you be so kind as to request from the Maitre D, if possible, a table for 5 during the late setting. We prefer to sit with just our family for dinners. We are in cabins 11257 and 11259. Maybe you could go to the Ferrari factory with us. (I know you prefer Aston Martin).

Best wishes,


John says:
Hello Kirk A. Butler,

Thanks for reading the blog and of course being a huge petrol head myself I have visited the Ferrari factory and it is simply astonishing and a pilgrimage all petrol heads must take. Unfortunately when we tried to add this to our excursion list during the first season we had a Carnival vessel (Carnival Liberty) in Europe we were denied by the factory who didn’t feel they could handle large group numbers. So, if you decide to go you have three options. 1) A train from Livorno which will take about 1 hour and 30 minutes. 2) Hire a driver for the day and that price would be negotiated on the pier with the taxi drivers. 3) Rent a car and drive yourself which personally I would not recommend. I am afraid we can’t arrange this here but I have asked the maître d to help you with your table request. If you buy a Ferrari while your there can you get me one……..I would like the new F430 in red please with cream leather. But not before an Aston of course. I look forward to meeting you and I do hope you get to go see the home of the prancing horse.

Best wishes,


That’s all for today and I thank you all for the comments and questions you post each day. Let’s take a break and have a look at Provence……France…….yes France and while I may have an issue with the people……there is no doubt that the country is beautiful as you will see now through the eyes of Mr. Radu Ursu.

Well those beautiful photos were placed there to sooth you and put you in a relaxed “wish I was there mood” and while you are it’s time for me to be have a bit of a Leakapedia moment and chat with you about some news that I really shouldn’t tell you until the beards release it officially tomorrow. But the blog has 10,700,000 views and Facebook 13,900 regulars and so I think that between these two outlets you are all a great representation of the Carnival guest and therefore I feel obligated to let you know what’s happening even though a senior beards foot will no doubt be found hanging from my bottom later tonight.

So what am I talking about? Well let’s not beat about the bush… of tomorrow all guests will be required to wear thongs and nipple tassels on Lido Deck. OK, I am kidding. It’s not thongs I want to talk to you about but……….smoking. In the not too distant past, the notion of not being allowed to smoke in someone’s house would have been as alien as not being allowed to use their toilet. Today things are different and asking to light a cigarette or cigar in someone else’s house is only just behind asking if you can borrow their bedroom because you and your wife feel like some rumpy pumpy before the shrimp cocktail is served. Smoking, then, has become like freemasonry. We have our secret signs. Our equivalent of funny handshakes. We use tricks and nods and winks to establish a bond with other smokers. We coerce them into lighting up first, to gauge the reaction, and then we huddle around the lone ashtray, feeling lost in the room but somehow strengthened by one another’s company. But times have changed and the cruise industry continues to change as well.

Tomorrow I’m told that Carnival will be modifying its smoking policy across its fleet. Many will be happy with the non-smoking piano bars and there will be some other subtle changes as well. Please watch my Facebook page tomorrow because as soon as it’s released I will post it there. Now there will be questions and tomorrow’s blog will be 100% dedicated to explaining the new rules in-depth by class of ship. As always I will be here to help you as best I can.

Let’s talk food now and in particular the Cucina de Capitano which has been a roaring success. Our last cruise was a nine-day and we had 905 people eat there. Why? Well the cost of $10 is definitely part of the reason but the rest is, when you think about it…..the answer is pretty simple. Delicious Italian food served family style by friendly staff in casual surroundings. It is a brilliant but so simple idea and we have never had a complaint about the service, the food or the overall experience. Well…………..apart from this one.

Guest:——–Ref: 848001931A
Cabin: ——- Booking——-Added-Changed: 06/13/11 – 06/13/11

Ms_____ came to the GSD explaining that she wanted to say that the Cucina had no Vegan options. Guest asked to speak to F&B manager or chef. Guest was quite upset saying she owns) business card scan attached) this restaurant Earth Cafe in California. F&B manager and chef will speak to guest.

Now isn’t vegan vegetables and if so we have loads of the sodding green stuff at Cucina. I maybe as thick as an Elephant’s scrotum but what else are we supposed to serve vegetables other than ummm…..vegetables? And what the heck is an Earth Cafe? Is this a place where you eat grass and drink air while eating some tofu?

So here we are in Rome. It’s 2:25 pm and there are only 197 guests on the ship out of 4,000. I wonder why those 197 people are on board and the rest of the ship is exploring the eternal city. Anyway, it’s all peace and quiet and I am sitting here in my underpants writing to you. Kye is asleep and Heidi is sitting in the sun while I keep a watch on our daughter. Accompanying my wife on her worship of the sun is of course a magazine. It’s one of those I Hate Men magazines that pretend to be all about fashion and which celebrity has lost their mind. But what these magazines are really is a hate fest against the male population. Take the one she is reading now whose front page, as well as having a supermodel with a bored look and boobs smaller than mine on it, also had the headline “The Top 50 Most Annoying Things About Men.”

Well as I can’t be asked to think of anything else to write about on today’s blog thingy and as all you will be talking about is the smoking stuff, here are some of my most annoying things about women.

We start with the ability to cry whenever you want obviously. Then there is shopping; being controlling; crying; talking too much, discussing your thingy size with female friends, being nice to someone on the phone telling them how lovely she is and then as soon as you put the phone down you make another call to another friend to tell her what a bitch she is, spending ridiculous amounts of money on purses, perfume and Birkeksoddingstock sandals, wearing too much make up, not bothering to wear makeup, crying, asking us to go to the shops to buy nipple pads and anything your lady garden needs, crying, having black gunk in your eyes after crying, texting your friends about bugger all, saying “What are you thinking?” knowing if or not we will get any rumpy pumpy ever……….oh yes and crying.

Yesterday I wrote how after watching a bit of Teletubbies with Kye I found myself later, in the shower, preparing for my Welcome Aboard Show, singing the Teletubbies Theme Song. Well I returned after the show with Kye spending some time in Camp Carnival and Heidi feeling frisky. But it wasn’t to be because Kye’s cuddly toys were still on the bed and no one can be expected to rise to the occasion in a bed containing La La, Po and bloody Barney.


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.