The Island of Cappee

July 22, 2011 -

John Heald

 

Mr________ Ref: 848003163A Cabin: 9*** Changed: 07/20/11 – 07/20/11

C – 9*** – GST FINED IN CAPRI
Mr______ came to the desk and was very upset. He was on the Pompeii and Capri excursion and during the free time part of the tour he needed to use the bathroom. Guest could not find a public toilet and went into some trees. Guest was then later stopped by police and given a ticket and fine of 300 Euros. Guest states that there were no public places and that he has a bladder condition. Guest feels that as he was on a Carnival tour that he should have the fine paid by Carnival.

Wow. That’s one expensive pee. I feel sorry for him in a way but also it is laughable that it’s our fault and that during the two hours of free time of the tour for shopping etc and after the included lunch at a beautiful hotel where there are indeed toilets for guests, that Carnival should pay his fine.

Public urination was something commonplace when I was a lad and I admit in days gone past that I have drained my dragon in a few bushes and once, when I was coming home from the pub, I once emptied Percy in Mrs Martin’s garden because she was a witch……………her and that cat!

But these days, public pissing is a strict no, no and obviously in Capri it is going to cost you 300 Euros!

But I understand a little bit why this guest is angry because these days in Europe, public toilets are a rare site indeed. I know this because Kye is potty training at the moment and when I was home two weeks ago we were in the car and she said ” Mamma plash Maam plasha “…………..plasha is Dutch for wee wee. The UK is like the rest of Europe when trying to find a place to go to the toilet. When I was a kid my Mum and Dad would have stopped the car at the side of the road and held me up in the air while I did my business. It seems nobody wants to do this anymore, so unless there’s a McDonald’s around, you’re basically screwed. And in Italy and in other parts of Europe, you have to get a token now if you want to use the toilets in a McDonald’s but you can’t get a token unless you buy some food. This means if your kid wants to go to the toilet you have to buy a Happy Meal just so your two year old can have somewhere produced a thimble full of pee.

And if you do find a public toilet in Italy and they are as rare as finding an Italian man who won’t stare at your bottom, you have to pay 50 cents to the woman who sits outside. She is always dressed in black and always has a face like a sack of potatoes………….still, can’t blame her really.

Can’t blame the Italian authorities either for fining this guest but 300 Euros seems a bit harsh…………..thank God he didn’t have to take a crap.

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

Sharon Tieman Asked:
Hello again John,

I know you won’t remember me but we have sailed together quite a few times and will be again on the Magic 9/25.

Can you tell me if we will be going to Monaco on that sailing? I have two different papers,with the same booking number and one showing Monaco and the other shows Marseills. I want to book shore excursions but am not sure where we go. The other ports are no problem, just these two. I know we go to one or the other. Thanks for your time and your help.

Sharon from Alaska

John Says:
Hello Sharon Tieman

It won’t be long until you are here and I know that you are going to absolutely love this brilliant ship. Here is the confirmed itinerary for you.

 

Sun, Sep, 25

Barcelona

dep @ 5pm

Mon, Sep, 26

Marseilles

/

7am-5pm

Tue, Sep, 27

Savona

/

7am-8pm

Wed, Sep, 28

Rome

8am-10pm

Thu, Sep, 29

Naples

7am-7pm

Fri, Sep, 30

at sea

ELEGANT

Sat, Oct, 01

Dubrovnik

7am-7pm

Sun, Oct, 02

Venice

2pm- O.N.

Mon, Oct, 03

Venice

dep @ 7pm

Tue, Oct, 04

at sea

ELEGANT

/

Wed, Oct, 05

Messina

/

7am-4pm

Thu, Oct, 06

at sea

 

There you go. No Monaco but a wonderful voyage and I will be here to help you make this your best cruise ever. See you soon.

Best wishes,
John

Abe H Asked:
I had written to you asking for a table for two which indeed we received and also we had asked for a request for Kosher meals. We got these as well but the variety and choice was unacceptable. If Carnival is going to cater to Jewish passengers that request Kosher meals then I do think that you need to provide better choice and more varied menus.

John Says:
Hello Abe H

I am glad the table worked out and that the Kosher meals were prepared for you. I must admit to not knowing exactly what it is that we provide but I will certainly pass this onto our Head Chef and let him know that you are requesting more variety as obviously this is indeed important. I hope you had a great cruise and I will hopefully have more news on the Kosher menu soon and when I do, I will make sure I mention it here on the blog.

Best wishes,
John

Philip M Asked:
John,

I am writing to you because I was disappointed in the standard of your complimentary shower gel you provided during my cruise last week on the Liberty. I had read that you provided this and did not bring my own brand thinking Carnivals would be of a similar standard and it certainly was not. Not only did it not give sufficient lather but afterwards my skin felt dry and itchy and I hope that you can understand why I felt compelled to write. On a positive note, our cabin boy did get me some nicer shower gel when I complained to him. I asked him why this was not put in the cabins and he said it was his own so that was very kind of him. The only other comment I have is that the carved ham during the Lido lunch and dinner was awful. It was wet and salty. We did have a good cruise though. Please do something about the gel and the ham and we will come back.

John Says:
Hello Philip M

I think this has to be the first of many thousands of comments I have received here on the blog thingy that ever had the words “ham, gel, dry and itchy” in it. Nonetheless you bring up two good points and I have sent your comments regarding the complimentary shower gel we provide to our vice president of housekeeping and I know he will look at this seriously and see if indeed we need to consider changing the product. I have also sent the comment regarding the Ham to Chef Sanjay and thanks for letting me know about that. How brilliant that your stateroom steward should bring his own soap gel thingy to give to you, that really is exceeding expectations. I hope that despite the lack of foam and the salty ham, that you will be back because, as you said, you had a good cruise.

Best wishes,
John

SereneLdy (Karla) Asked:
My family and I,(9)of us just returned from the Splendor and had a wonderful cruise, our third. I’ve been in Princess 11 times. The food and service on this cruise was excellent. I was surprised that none of us received a survey form to fill out. Does Carnival not do this? Princess always did. Would you see that the steward for 2288 voyage June 5th (Sum) and our waiter at table 128 (Rubin) are given a good word. Also, I was very impressed with the way all crew members from engineers to hostess, etc. went out of their way to wish us a good day, etc.

Thank you for the great info and fun you share.

John Says:
Hello SereneLdy (Karla)

This is wonderful news indeed and thanks so much for taking the time to write. Carnival now sends some of its guests a review card and this is done online. Unfortunately, not everyone who wants a card gets a card and this is something I certainly do not agree with. However, I am glad to be here to help pass on those who don’t get a chance to complete one so I can send the comments and words of praise to the right people which I have done with yours. Thanks again and I know they will be thrilled to see their names. I hope we will see you again one day soon.

Best wishes,
John

Dee Asked:
John,

I would like your personal opinion, please. My mum and step-dad are going on a cruise here in a few months, and I would really like to do one of the stateroom decors for them (they are going for their 5th year anniversary), their story is pretty awesome in my opinion, and like I said, I would love to do a stateroom decor for them, but I’m not sure which one to do…let me tell you their story, then maybe you can help me decide.

Like I said, this is their 5th year coming up, they originally meet online, chatted over things like Skype for a good while, and then the man she had met actually moved all the way from Australian to Florida to marry her!

My step-dad and mum both are fun loving people, and good people, so I can see how they would like the Bon Voyage stateroom decoration, it’s fun and all…but I think they would also like the anniversary one too…so ya see how I don’t know which one I should buy them? Lol, which one do you subject? Or could I do both?

Thanks for your time!
-Dee

John Says:
Hello Dee

That is indeed a lovely story and true love always finds a way through. Personally, I would do just the anniversary one as it’s personal and says exactly what you want it to say. Maybe you could buy them a nice card and give it to them with instructions to open it on their anniversary, maybe at dinner and in it you can say just how much they both mean to you. If you remind me here when they sail or a few days before on my Facebook page maybe I can send them a little something as well.

Best wishes to you all.
John

Janice Adoo Asked:
John, I am bringing a group of 38 on the Sensation October 24. We are a church group and will be spending each morning and afternoon in Bible study and Knee Drill. Can I book a place to do this through you? We need a room with a piano and that is private. We want to have a room each day and when we are in Freeport and Nasau. Thank you.

John Says:
Hello Janice Adoo

Thank you for writing to me and I will send your requirements to our groups department as they will need to look after this for you. I am sure it will not be a problem and they will be in touch with you shortly to make arrangements. I hope you have a rewarding time both spiritually and enjoying the ship and her crew.

Best wishes to you all.
John

LoneStarCruisinCouple (Lisa&Gary) Asked:
I see where you as well as Carnival have seen the light as to having a Meet and Greet for the folks of Cruise Critic and that is great and wonderful, but I, along with about 40 plus Cruise Critic members, are sailing on the Victory 9/4/11 and well for a ship that is still in port and doesn’t set sail until 10PM a Meet and Greet to be held at 2:30 in the afternoon isn’t to me such a good idea as most will be out and about in port. We are ahead of most as we normally arrange a private cocktail party for our group and have done so already as well this year. For Tuesday our only day at Sea from 1-3 in the piano bar and also have entertainment to come as well. Great idea for most, but just not a ship sailing at 10PM like the Victory. Also, I would like to thank you as well as Host Mach as last year the two of you helped me with a situation of the grand cabana in Half Moon Cay for two little boys that were less fortunate than most. Scoliosis and making their faces smile. Then we were The Loco’s On The Liberty also in September of 2010. Maybe a long time in saying thank you but you and the folks of the Liberty did so very much as to make these two little guys enjoy their first every cruise.God Bless and thank you for just being you and the very kind crew of the Liberty.

Lisa & Gary Havins
LoneStarCruisinCouple

John Says:
Hello LoneStarCruisinCouple

First of all, thanks for taking the time to say thank you to the crew of the Carnival Liberty who did such a kind thing in honouring our request to help. They will appreciate this very much as do I. Host Mach has not been well and I want to take this opportunity in wishing him a very speedy recovery.

We tried the Cruise Critic set time for the meet and greets but my CD colleagues have told me it doesn’t work. Each group wants different times not set times and when we did a set time, people did not show up. So knowing that this is the case, I am going to be the point person for this and ask that each roll call leader contacts me, preferably on Facebook or here, if needed, and tells me exactly what they need and I will make it so. So as we have some time before your cruise, please have a chat and let me know what you need and then let me know. I will then contact the ship for you.
Thanks once again for the very kind words.

Best wishes,
John

Mary Shepheard Asked:
John,

I believe the year was 1993 when I took my first cruise on the somewhat new Carnival Sensation. We all so enjoyed you as our cruise director, well 14 cruises later, five with Carnival we are coming back for a January journey on the Liberty and as I was filling out my forms noticed your blog. Just a quick note to say, you have been one hard act to follow….have had many excellent cruise directors on various lines but by far you were not only our first but the best………all the very best to you!! CHEERS!

John Says:
Hello Mary Shepheard

It’s great that you have written after all this time and I see that cruising has stayed in your blood. I hope we get to see each other again very soon and I want to thank you so very much for those kind words. Please let me know if you need anything.

Best wishes,
John

Ian Reading Asked:
John,

Can you tell me who the captain of the Triumph will be in September when we sail? I have a personalized gift I want to present to him but need his name.

Thanks and love the blog John

John Says:
Hello Ian Reading

How kind you are and I am intrigued as to what the gift is. Anyway, the Captain will be my great friend Angelo Los who will truly appreciate you doing this for him. Have a brilliant cruise and thanks for your kindness.

Best wishes,
John

Tim D. Asked:
John,

First, let me say how much I enjoy your blog; it certainly adds a bit of humor to my day. My wife, four year old daughter and I are set to sail on the Dream early September. My wife and I have sailed the Dream before (actually after we complete the Sept. sailing we’ll be platinum guests with CCL)and have really enjoyed this beautiful vessel. My question is: is Camp Carnival appropriate for a four year old? I know the staff is first rate, but I worry if my daughter is too young to participate in the activities…

Please let me know your opinion on this if you could.

Thanks so much,
Tim

PS: Butch is a fantastic CD and we can’t wait to sail with him again.

John Says:
Hello Tim D

I am very glad to know you enjoy the blog and as a father myself, I understand the concerns about what to do with your daughter. However, as an employee of Carnival and as a dad, I promise that she will have the best of times. There is a schedule specifically created for the young ones and of course the activities involve all the things she will love. Playing, painting, drawing, singing, dancing and so much more. Then after 10:00pm, we have the Night Owl program which has proven very popular and will allow Mum and dad some special time together. So I hope you have a great time. Butch will be with you again and yes, indeed, he is a brilliant CD. Please let me know if you need anything at all.

Best wishes to you and the family.
John

Jason Gatting Asked:
Hi John.

I am 12 years old and on a Royal Caribbean cruise they had a horror night on their giant tv. They had a zombie night and had dawn of the dead and zombie flesh eaters. We are going on the Dream in August. Will carnival do the same thing, maybe all the saw movies?

John Says:
Hello Jason Gatting

I was very surprised that RCI would do this but I can see how it would have some appeal to some guests. Unfortunately, we won’t be having a zombie night unless you count watching some guests coming out of the RedFrog pub after drinking too much. We will have some great movies on the big screen though and I hope you enjoy them. By the way…………….when I was 12 I was watching The Sound of Music and Chitty, Chiitty Bang Bang……………how times have changed.

Best wishes and have a great cruise.
John

 

That’s all for today and thanks for a great week of comments.

I was thinking about the comment above regarding Kosher food and that I knew nothing about what we offer so I have asked the Chef for the menu and here it is should anyone else need to know.

 

KOSHER MEAL – POT ROAST 4CT
KOSHER MEAL – ROAST TURKEY 4CT
KOSHER MEAL-ROAST CHICKEN 4CT
KOSHER MEAL-FILLET OF SALMON 4CT
KOSHER-STUFFED CABBAGE,BEEF,PEAS,EGG BARLEY
KOSHER-BEEF, STEAK GRILLED JARDIMIERE, SMASHED POTATO, CHIMI
KOSHER-GRILL CHICKEN LEG, RISOTTO, SPINACH KUGEL
KOSHER-SNAPPER, POT CROQ,JU;IENNE CARROTS

 

The guest was commenting about not enough variety although on a seven day cruise or less it seems that there is some variety there. Anyway, lets see if we can improve and take better care of our guests who request Kosher food.

Well, we definitely did the right thing reversing itineraries this cruise. I know it caused some concerns for those who had booked private excursions but it was the right thing to do. If we had been on a regular cruise, the captain said we would have missed the port of Livorno as well as Monaco as the high winds were causing huge swells there as well and he would have had to have canceled the call. I am sure there is not one guest on board who would have wanted to have missed one port, let alone two ports so as unusual a decision as it was to reverse a cruise rather than cancel a port…………..it was absolutely the right one. However, regardless which Italian port we would have been in, they would have had their public transportation unions on strike. Yep, a national strike today and many of the guests who had planned taking trains have had their plans ruined. We have opened extra tickets for our “On Your Own Tours” to Florence and some have booked those and some………….obviously………have blamed us for Italy’s decision to strike and I am not going to give anymore air time to these ridiculous comments. Most guests are very happy though despite this defiantly being…………..one of those cruises!

In today’s Q and A, I mentioned Captain Angelo Los. I have worked with every kind of captain. Ones who love the social side and ones who are only truly at home on the bridge. I have worked alongside those who are friendly and outgoing and some who are quiet and reserved and one or two who have the personality of a washing machine. But I respect them all 100% and although I may not agree with some of their management styles ultimately they are the ones whose my life depends on and that alone deserves my respect and admiration.

There are very few captains with bigger hearts than Captain Angelo Los. He is one of my oldest friends and I hate the fact that I have not worked alongside him for many years. He was my first captain when I was a cruise director on the Carnivale in 1990. I used to secretly call him Captain Cartier as he had a Cartier watch, a Cartier ring, a Cartier pen and probably wore Cartier underpants…………..do they make underpants?

Captain Los is the great entertainer and many a Carnival executive and employee has tales of his legendary seven-hour dinners which included the funniest jokes and the occasional magic trick as well. On the night Heidi and I got engaged the Carnival Imagination was in wet dock in Miami and we shared a wonderful dinner with Angelo and his beautiful wife Elizabeth at the Chart House restaurant. We sat overlooking the water and it was indeed a special night……….one that included a dolphin making a surprise appearance.

Angelo………..he insists on being called that rather than Captain, would give you his last penny, the shirt off his back and then shave all the hair of his body and knit you a blanket if he thought it would help you.

My favorite example of his kindness came back in 1998 when we were together. We were in Cozumel and Angelo had been out for dinner when he came across a small sack lying in the gutter……….something was moving inside it………..he discovered a small puppy which some complete and utter bastardo had dumped. Captain Los is a huge animal lover and knowing that he could never just leave the dog lying in the gutter to die he took it on board breaking a few laws as he did so.

However, he didn’t care, the welfare of this living thing was too important to worry about red tape. The dog lived on board for the rest of the cruise while Angelo called the company and various agencies to tell them that he wanted to take care of the animal. He did……..and “Cozumel” as the dog was called lived for many happy years with them in their beautiful home in Port Dover, Canada. …………….That’s Captain Los……a wonderful example of why our captains are the best.

There are so many stories I could tell about this captain and I should start by telling you that he is a true man of the sea and a brilliant sailor. Anyway, he has quite a reputation for “speaking his mind” and he certainly did just that when I was a young 25-year-old cruise director onboard the Carnival Fantasy.

This is back in 1991 and we were on the bridge together getting ready to leave Miami our home port. With us was the now Chief Miami Pilot and a good friend of mine Captain John Hernandez whom on the odd occasion we see each other will automatically relive this event with me.

At the time, the Fantasy was the newest ship in the world and we always docked next to the trusted old Chandris vessel Brittanis. This is how it went…………………oh, by the way, in order to hide now retired captain’s identity, I will refer to him as Captain C ……. one more thing…………read his lines in your best Italian accent and move your right arm up and down rapidly while doing so.

CAPTAIN CARNIVAL you zeee Mr. Pilot we are ready to go

PILOT JOHN HERNANDEZ Sorry captain but the Brittanis has already let go of the ropes and is leaving

CAPTAIN CARNIVAL you zeeee Mr. Pilot, I don’t wait for that Greek piece of sh*t

Anyway, the poor chap that peed in a bush on the island of Capri is down 300 Euros. I mentioned this to my friend and co-morning show host and entertainment staff member Calvyn Champagne Martens and he just sighed and openly admitted he pees in the shower. And not just in his own shower either, other people’s showers as well, apparently.

Calvyn, you see, is a vegetablist tree hugging tofu eating friend of the earth and believes in saving water wherever possible. He told me that while he does, he sings a song “Pee in the shower! Save the rainforest.”

He followed this up by telling me that Madonna has advocated it as a cure for athlete’s foot. I’m mainly dwelling on Calvyn saying that he “tries” to refrain from doing it in other people’s showers. So if you’ve had Calvyn as a guest recently, probably best to have a quick whizz round the bathroom with the Lysol.

Goodnight.

Your friend,
John

P.S. Fun Times! Carnival Triumph!

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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