What Would You Do?

July 29, 2011 -

John Heald

The audiences in Europe are rather different than, say, a seven-day Caribbean cruise. One of those differences is that here on Carnival Magic I rarely have to deal with hecklers whereas in the Caribbean they are quite commonplace. However, last night at the show I faced one of the most challenging situations since we brought the ship out and more about this later.

There are some hecklers which are actually quite fun, but there is a limit to how much you can let someone try to take over a show. Now I’m no Al Ernst or Happy Cole or Ricky Gervais but I am quite happy to wade in and take someone on and I think for the most part I am comfortable going head to head with a guest who wants to be heard. The problem is that some guests enjoy the attention, even if they are being bollocked live on stage by me they just end up shouting absolute rubbish just so the focus and in some cases an actual spotlight remains on them. I remember when I first started as a cruise director, I wasn’t sure how to deal with hecklers. I was a bar waiter with the comedic timing of a stuttering hamster and really didn’t know how to handle the people who insisted on being part of the show. Was I supposed to ignore them? Did I have to keep taking them on until they lay on the showroom floor weeping and conceding defeat like a French soldier? Could I simply ask them to leave the lounge and call security, or would that be admitting that I was still actually a bar waiter?

I remember speaking to Gary Hunter and Bob Hamill, two established cruise directors, and I remember them saying that after an initial exchange, you can never win, and it’s unfair on the rest of the audience if you don’t do something. Some of our comedians have stock lines. The very funny Percy Crews has “I’m sorry, I don’t know how to deal with you, I’m a comic not a proctologist” or Billy Connolly’s classic: “The last time I saw a mouth like that it had a hook in it” There are other stages of getting rid of the heckler most of which a cruise director cannot do but our comedians at the Punchliner Comedy Club’s uncensored show can.

They usually involve:

  • Implying the heckler is drunk
  • Implying the heckler is childish
  • Implying the heckler is an idiot
  • Implying the heckler is ugly
  • Sexual insults, usually based on the heckler having a small gentlemen’s sausage.
  • Insults to their parents

So back to my situation which was far more complicated. This particular situation did not involve heckling at all but rather a disruption to a show as when last night I came out on stage there was a young man in a wheelchair with his parent or guardian sitting on the end of the row.

As I started my intro to the Groove Line show, he started to make guttural noises and then after a few seconds he shouted “hate you,” over and over again. If this had happened in my first week of being a cruise director I would have not known what to do. As it was I carried on regardless understanding the man’s disability, but it was disconcerting, and trying to negotiate my way through the constant interruptions.

Now, if this guest did not have such enormous physical and emotional challenges, I may have tried to make some sort of attempt at humour (which despite what a blogger said yesterday is spelt correctly, dammit!) but obviously that would be highly inappropriate. But I did wonder what I was supposed to do, not just for me but for the dancers and singers who were about to perform. It then got worse as he rolled his head around and started to yell at the top of his voice unintelligible words. There was nothing I could do but carry on, as best I could.

I cannot imagine the struggles this young 20-something man and his family must go through on a daily basis. To think that they had come hundreds of miles on a plane to get to the Carnival Magic, I am happy for anybody to come to see the shows, but if they are in a state where they are constantly disrupting the performance and distract everyone else in the audience, is it fair to other guests? I hope that I managed to deal with the situation as best as I could, but I think I need to seek advice again about this one from my blogging friends. In the end I said nothing but I could see as the cast came on and he carried on screaming and shouting that it was, even above the volume of the brilliant 70’s music of Groove Line, a disruption to other guests.

My concern is tonight when I have a show featuring Penny Mathisen who sings beautiful arias and Broadway tunes and other shows featuring jugglers and comedians, etc. If he is there again …….should I ask his caretaker to move him to the back of the lounge? I honestly don’t know what to do which is why…….I am asking you for your kind advice because now I have started to get complaints from other guests. What would you do?

Let’s move on to some Q and A shall we………………away we go.

Wayne Heintze asked:

We saw Dean Gaines on one of our cruises a few years ago and have been trying since to find his schedule so we can book a cruise to see him perform again. We are going to be on the Dec. 1 sailing of the Carnival Triumph out of Galveston. Is there any chance he will be on that ship?

If you know his schedule I will book another just to see him! Thanks for your help. We are 1 cruise away from platinum. Carnival is GREAT!!!!!!

John says:
Hello Wayne Heintze,

Yes indeed he is and I was just talking about comedians above and certainly he is one I would say is guaranteed to have audiences laughing. The problem is that unlike cruise directors who are assigned specific ships the comedians and fly-on entertainers are sent to mostly different ships each week, especially now we have the Punchliner comedy clubs across the fleet. We don’t have a schedule yet for December but if you check back with me at the start of November here or on Facebook I will be able to tell you where he will be performing and if he will be with you on the Carnival Triumph.

Congratulations on almost reaching Platinum status and thank you for those kind words.

Best wishes.


Jets Cruiser asked:

I cannot start to tell you how disappointed and angry I am that Carnival has given New York, my hometown, a small ship like the Carnival Miracle. New York people deserve better than this and it shows that Carnival doesn’t really care about us like other cruise lines that have their biggest and newest ships there. Give Florida or Galveston the Carnival Miracle but not New York. The post on Cruise Critic sums up what your customers think about this slap in the face.

The itineraries suck the big one, as well.

John says:
Hello Jets Cruiser,

I was surprised to read this and straight away I had to check with reservations about how the cabins are selling for this ship and its itineraries and it was no surprise to me that it is according to a top beard “selling very well.” Carnival Miracle is certainly not a “small ship” by any means – it’s 88,500 tons – and for many the Spirit class remains their favourite class of ship and the Carnival Miracle is first choice for many cruisers as well. I think the most important thing here is that you have a ship year round which shows that we do care about this very important tri-state market and who knows what the future holds. Sailing out of New York is an incomparable experience and it’s something I hope to do again before my time on ships is complete. I hope you get to sail on the Carnival Miracle and appreciate not having to fly to Florida or Texas.

Best wishes.


Baz asked:

First let me say thank you for arranging that surprise for my parents on their 50th anniversary. You are a special man and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. We had a fantastic cruise and the Carnival Inspiration staff was outstanding. I would like to mention our cabin steward Angelica from the Philippines whose smile and care made it so special for the four of us.

Thanks again John for all you do.

John says:
Hello Baz,

Thank you for those kind words and Angelica sounds like a very special crew member and she will be thrilled to see her name in writing here. I will make sure she and her supervisors read your words of praise. I am so glad you all had fun and thanks so much for taking the time to tell me.

Best wishes to all.


Sharon F asked:
Hi John,

I wrote to you THREE TIMES in so far this month and have not had the courtesy of a reply. You should get help so that your customer service is professional and quick to respond. My problem is that we are due to cruise on Splendor July 10 and need a table for two. My partner and I do not wish to be sitting with other passengers for reasons that are personal. This is URGENT. Please respond. Our details for the cruise are Bkg# **** in room # 1377

John says:
Hello Sharon F,

I wanted to make sure I apologised for missing this message and your previous two postings and I realize that now it’s too late because you have already sailed. I am around a month or so behind in my replies here and I am doing the best I can to catch up. Some requests do slip through like this on at this point all I can do is apologise and hope you had a brilliant cruise.

Best wishes.


Sarah Stowell asked:

Howdy John,

Just wanted to say how much I enjoy your blog. Been following it since I heard about it on CC…….somewhere around the issues with the Carnival Splendor. We are booked on the Jan. 29 sailing of the Carnival Magic….sounds like you will be our CD…….we are so excited! But we will understand and still have a great time even if something changes and you happen to not be there! We are going with a friend’s co-worker…I sure hope that we don’t have issues like you mentioned in today’s blog…We love cruising though and don’t let anything change our plans.

When we get to platinum and milestone please feel free to sit us with anyone you want because I don’t have a feeling that we are any better than anyone else on that ship.

I have a question and not sure if you can answer it or not. But when we were on Carnival Conquest in Jan. this year we had a great headwaiter…Gaudencio (spelling?) or Mr. G as he asked us to call him…..we were curious if he would stay on the Carnival Conquest when she moves or if he will be on the Carnival Magic and if so if there is a way to be sat at his table again? He was the best ever! Thank you for your wonderful blog and letting us cruisers hear what is going on! Hope you are enjoying your time with your family and your upcoming vacation next month!

Sarah Stowell

John says:
Hello Sarah Stowell,

I will indeed be on this brilliant ship with you when you sail in January and I know that you are going to truly love your Carnival Magic. I also hope we meet in person so I can thank you for taking the time to read the blog. Mr. G is now in fact on Carnival Dream and is due on vacation in September and then he is set to return to Carnival Dream once again. I will make sure that your words of praise are sent to him though and I know he will be thrilled. If there is anything you think I can do for you before you sail here please do let me know.

Best wishes and see you in January.


Louise Samatani asked:

The new smoking changes you wrote about are not nearly enough. Why are cruise ships so far behind when it comes to protecting people’s health? Putting me and other non-smokers in a room full of smoke is the same as putting me in a room with a gang of criminals armed with knives and guns as both will kill the innocent. The casino on the Carnival Legend was a disgrace and I had to walk through it with a towel covering my mouth and nose and I saw other passengers doing the same. Your statement today said that 90% of your passengers do not smoke yet Carnival panders to the 10%. Get a grip Carnival. Second hand smoke is a killer and the people who smoke are themselves killers.

John says:
Hello Lousie Samatani,

I can see that you have very strong opinions on this subject as do many of course. Not to repeat myself, but the new smoking regulations, while not including a complete ban, have limited the places where smokers can smoke. And unlike our previous policy, for the most part, they are not in areas where non-smokers will have to walk through to get to other parts of the ship. Case in point the casino on the Spirit-class and the cigar bars on Conquest- and Destiny-class ships. Thank you for writing and I am positive the next time you cruise you will notice a big change.

Best wishes.


Satisha asked:

I have booked my first ever cruise and my son is going with me on the sensation. He is 9. What is the earliest I can give him to the children’s camp and how long can he stay at the night. Do they do meals for the kids or must he eat with me. Is this free or do I have to pay?

John says:
Hello Satisha,

Congratulations on booking your first ever Carnival cruise and I know you will have a great time on the Carnival Sensation. You can drop your son off at Camp Carnival from 9 am and, yes, they will feed him lunch with the other kids on Lido. I am sure you will all want to have dinner together in the dining room to spend some quality time together and after dinner you can take him back to Camp Carnival where he can have fun with the Night Owls program. There is a charge for this but he will have loads of fun and you can too.

Here are the details:

Owl Jams – a night of high-energy fun that runs from 10 p.m. to midnight and aimed at two- to 11-year-olds. Cost is $13 per child plus gratuity.

I wish you a brilliant family cruise vacation.

Best wishes.


D. Mann asked:

As a former purser, I consider Captain Cutugno an old friend of mine. Please tell me how I can get in touch with him. Also, I am about to book a cruise on Carnival Magic and would like to do so while he is still Master. How long will he be master of Carnival Magic (when does he go on vacation?) Also, how would I find out about other friends of mine – whether or not they still work for Carnival? For example: Aaron Thomas – hotel director; Shahnaz Kashanipour – hotel director; Keith Bunton – hotel director; Vivianna Nata – purser; Carol Lyman – accountant; Ute Pollig – purser. I would appreciate a reply to my email in the event you don’t care to publish this. Thank you!


Darren Mann

John says:
Hello D.Mann,

Thanks for getting in touch and I have sent your details to all you have mentioned except Aaron Thomas who no longer works for Carnival and I have no forward address or details for him. Shahnaz is now in the Miami office, Keith is on Carnival Spirit, Ute is in the Miami office as is Carol Lyman and Vivianna works for our agency in Italy. The captain actually left today on vacation and I will be sure to pass on your kind regards.

Best wishes


Grayson asked:
Hi John,

As a Platinum cruise I would like to know if you have priority seating at the shows as Royal Caribbean give their VIP passengers. Surely we should have the benefit of not having to scramble for seats after dinner.

John says:
Hello Grayson,

I was not aware that Royal Caribbean gave priority seating to guests who have their version of the Platinum card here at Carnival. We truly value your loyalty but I we do not allow seat saving for anyone in the main theatre and have no plans to have a reserved area for Platinum guests. Thanks again for your loyalty.

Best wishes.


David Wunderlin asked:

My wife and I are “repeat offenders” with your great Carnival Cruise Lines. We had the fantastic opportunity to share The Chefs Table w/ Panda on our last voyage out of Tampa on the Carnival Legend and were the 1st group to partake of that way cool event. We booked that at the shore excursions desk on that cruise. We were so impressed that we want to do it again on our Glory Sailing out of New York on 9/17/2011. However we do not see it listed as an opportunity. Can you help us ensure we can get a seating for that. Our Cabin: 1067, Our booking: *****?? We have never had such a fabulous dining experience. And huge kudos to Panda and his team.


Dave Wunderlin

John says:
Hello David Wunderlin,

“Repeat Offenders”……love that title. Yes, of course, I will send this to the ship for you today. The Chef’s Table experience continues to grow in popularity and I am glad that you enjoyed it so much. I wish you another great time on the Carnival Glory.

Best wishes.


That’s all for today.

Time to feature Mr. Radu and some gorgeous photos of the Cinque Terre region of Italy.

He is so talented, isn’t he? I am trying to encourage him to make a calendar for next year featuring the ships and ports of call.

Sometimes, I think my job is nearly as difficult as being a Jehovah Witness with a terrible stutter. Take a look at this.

Guest: Mrs. _________ Ref: 019614459A
Cabin: _____ Booking#: ___________ Added-Changed: 07/27/11 – 07/27/11
Guest wrote following in a letter addressed to the captain:
“Your bingo games are boring. I am a professional bingo player. Why not play some that would let us play more than five numbers at a time? We are adults, play making. Double cross, eight pack, two four-pack. What you play… is child’s bingo. I have played three times and won nothing because the games are too simple. I expect a refund of $40 as there is no chance to win and the game was not advertised before I paid for the cards.”

It would have been quicker and easier for her to write a letter that just said:

Dear Fat Bastard,

I have won bugger and I want my money back.


An Unhappy Bingo Player

Well, of course, she is not going to get her money back and I have to say I think that the fact she thought the captain was in charge of bingo to be absolutely brilliant.

John: Deck Officer Captain, we have some rough seas forecast tonight, should we put the stabilizers out?

Captain: Don’t bother me with trivial items like that, can’t you see that I’m busy. In the B column, Frank Sinatra’s favourite number, B2…….2B 2B 2B she had three boobies where they should be two (sung to “Strangers in the Night”)

Well, this will be a quick blog today as it’s a sea day and I have the morning show, travel talk for Venice and Dubrovnik, marriage show and elegant night to come. Yesterday we were in Naples and from around 3 pm the heavens opened and a huge thunderstorm engulfed the area for three straight hours. I have not dare look yet to see how many guests are blaming me for this and whether or not I will once again be told I have ruined people’s clothing and be forced to send hundreds of pairs of knickers and bras to the laundry.

I did read a report about a couple who rented a car in Naples and on the way back stopped at a gas station to fill it up, just as the contract they had signed told them they must. Unfortunately, they did not read the signs or understood that the car was a diesel one and they filled it up with regular petrol which meant the return journey was spent with the car jumping around like an epileptic kangaroo until eventually it stopped on a busy road.
The police became involved and I have seen the police in Naples……oh my. They all wear smart uniforms with Ray Ban shades, shiny leather boots and pristine white pants that look more like tights….in fact they look like actors from a porn movie rather than police officers. The whole incident cost them 480 Euros in costs and the tow truck. Ouch.

They were very brave to even attempt to rent a car and drive in Naples which has to be one of the most dangerous and nerve-shattering places to drive in the world. Another……is Miami. I hate driving there, I really do. I would rather tell a room full of little persons to sing It’s a Small World before asking them to pop onto Lido deck with me for a spot of little person tossing than drive in Miami. I-95 simply makes me crap myself. It truly does. You can be in the middle lane and no bugger will let you out into the inside lane even though your indicator is flashing telling everyone you want to get off at the next exit. You indicate and you beg and when the exit to the Miami Beards Head Office is there you have no choice but to throw your car into the inside lane. This usually brings forth a torrent of horn blasting, finger and hand gestures and if you are really unlucky……….some 9mm bullets being fired at you.

Talking of cars, you may know that I have a Range Rover at home in the UK and despite the fact that it is allegedly responsible for killing the world’s polar bear population, I really like it. Obviously I would prefer an Aston Martin in much the same way I would prefer Megan Fox’s bottom to be waiting for me backstage in a thong later tonight rather than Calvyn in a pair of tidy whities. But the Range Rover will do — except apparently it won’t.

Heidi has decided that we will get something different as it costs loads of money to fill up with petrol which at the moment is more expensive in the UK than diamonds. She also finds it too much of a “man’s car” — whatever that means. Anyway, she has been looking and has decided she wants one of those family wagons minivan things. Oh FFS! Especially the one she likes has sliding doors and a DVD player for Kye and hybrid tofu engine. Heidi said she loved it and at aged two years and three months apparently Kye loved it and my life is now officially over……… I am just one step away from incontinence.


Your friend,


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119 Responses to What Would You Do?

  1. Helen F says:

    I would kindly ask them to remove him from the room if he cant behave. Many of times when I child starts crying or throwing fits parents are asked to leave.
    I do not think its rude at all given the situation to ask the parents.

  2. Charlene Quednow says:


    I believe this evening, it would be appropriate to give the young man a chance in the beginning, however should he begin to be vocal and disruptive, a polite mention to caretakers that his actions are disruptive to the performers is in order. For last nights show his actions, all-be-it a disability, could have been potentially dangerous to the performers if it caused a loss of footing, etc.

    I believe the family has a “right” to see the show, however they must understand that they cannot disrupt the show for the other 2000 guests on the ship.

    Politeness goes a long way, and hopefully the family will understand.

    Good luck tonight, John. It’s a hard situation.


  3. Sharon says:

    Because I work with children with all sorts of health and social issues, I can say that it’s hard to tell you what to do about the guest in the show last night. Personally, I think maybe if they’d been asked to move towards the back of the theater that might have helped the performers and the majority of the guests not be disturbed but on the other hand do they not have a right to sit where they want? It’s a fine line and one that is very difficult to cross. That being said, on our recent Conquest cruise we were constantly interrupted during shows and dinner by children without health issues whose parents just refused to make them mind or remove them when they were so obviously disturbing those around them. So, again the question remains…what do you do? They couldn’t pay me enough to do the job you do and deal with everything that is thrown at you day in and day out. You are a far, far better person than most and just know we do appreciate all that you do. Also remember you will NEVER please everyone, so don’t feel bad when a few are upset. That’s truly their problem and not yours.

    Now for the easy stuff, Mr. Radu is brilliant and I so hope to run into him one day. Next to you he is the ONE person who works for Carnival that I truly want to meet. I enjoy his photos so much and do hope that he puts out a calendar but better than that a book featuring all the ports of call that Carnival goes to. Coffee table sized so I can look at it and dream 😉

    Lastly, the car issue. Sorry John, but since Heidi is home way more than you and has to drive it way more than you I think she has a right to get something she enjoys driving. I know it may not seem fair but let’s face it your bumper sticker reads “my other vehicle is a cruise ship.”

    Have a super weekend John and see you on FB!

    • crazycruiser says:

      Sharon I love it, my other car is a cruise ship. Although I only cruise once a year, I gotta get me one of those made up. Thanks for the idea.

    • Jes says:

      I’d order the book! I would love to see more of his pictures.

  4. R. Marr says:

    I had a recent situation where a group of carers, and adults who were mentally ill in our bistro. During their stay, we had to clean the toilets three times, and on leaving, one of the carers said “oh hm, sorry bout the mess, “SHE’s (QUOTE!) ALWAYS doing this!”
    I looked in to see that the female had pee’d the chair, the floor etc, and left a total mess. We had to close off the area and fully clean it as well as bin chair covers etc.
    The carers left not even a tip, in fact, they asked for a receipt.
    I was LIVID, not at the poor female, but at the carers, who HAVE a resonsibility.. (in this case were being paid for it!)
    In this situation, I think it would be reasonable to speak to whoever is caring for this poor person, and diplomatically (thats your middle name John!), request that he does not disrupt to such extent again. It is very selfish not of the poor person who is ill, but of the carer..who truly does NOT care, apart from anything else, the carer in this case was embarrassing his/her care. It is attention seeking of the WRONG kind, and one that should not be tolerated…
    There but for the grace of God goes I, we say, but I would have, that if I were in that situation, someone would care enough about me, to remove me from it…
    Tough call, but.. its tough being up there in the spotlight, tough being an entertainer, and guests DO have to respect that..
    Love the Billy Connelly ref HAH
    Maybe said guest need the Billy Connelly “BIG SLIPPER!” (My guests need his incontinence trousers, how can we forget THOSE!”
    Have a nice day!

  5. Amy Wadsworth says:

    Hi John, love your blog! I have a suggestion for your conundrum, and while it might not be feasible it’s the first thing that popped (not pooped) in my head. Would there be any way to get him his own private show, with just him and his family? Maybe you could even get a few of the performers to do a special show for him in one sitting? His family would feel special, he wouldn’t feel left out, and no shows would be interrupted? Like I said, I have no idea if this is even possible, but it’s one idea for ya.

    We’re planning a family cruise for next summer, and I am definitely voting for a carnival ship with you as CD. You do an amazing job! Thanks, Amy

  6. Cheria says:


    I understand your concern. I will say my first cruise with carnival there was a young girl who suffered from terits and she was most disturbing ar the shows. The cruise director did speak with the family after the welcome show. I know due to the fact we were at their dinner table. They understood and stayed in the back. But dinner was indeed a challenge.
    Good luck. Your the best.

  7. Joanne McNicol says:

    Hi John,
    What a difficult situation. I would say that as uncomfortable as it may be, I would most definitely take the mother aside and very politely ask her to move more to the back as the noise is very distracting to the performers. Of course, if were that mother, I wouldn’t need to be told…but what can you do. And “Humour” is, indeed, correctly spelled!!!!!!! Although the spell check on my computer consistently tells me otherwise as it seems oblivious to proper Canadian english..Cheers, J

  8. Elliesue says:

    Radu is truly a wonderful photographer. He has a great eye and I’m always impressed with his composition. May I know which camera he prefers for these masterful shots?

  9. Duane says:

    You have got to be kidding me!!!

    Guest: Mrs. _________ Ref: 019614459A
    Cabin: _____ Booking#: ___________ Added-Changed: 07/27/11 – 07/27/11
    Subject: PLAYING BINGO?
    Guest wrote following in a letter addressed to the captain:
    “Your bingo games are boring. I am a professional bingo player. Why not play some that would let us play more than five numbers at a time? We are adults, play making. Double cross, eight pack, two four-pack. What you play… is child’s bingo. I have played three times and won nothing because the games are too simple. I expect a refund of $40 as there is no chance to win and the game was not advertised before I paid for the cards.”

    Sounds more a like professional “Bi..h”. Also sounds as though person is not happy unless she is unhappy about something. I hope these people read your blog and realize how stupid they sound.

    Safe travels.

  10. Jennifer says:

    In regards as to “What would you do”, while those with disabilities should be accommodated as much as possible in order to enjoy a full quality of life, there is a limit to this. You can not ignore the needs of many paying guests to accommodate this person. I also think it is very inconsiderate for his caregivers to put this young man in this situation. It sounds to me as if there person suffers from some form of retardation that possibly makes the situation of the sensory overload of the show frightening. In any case, I don’t think that asking this person to be moved away from the stage is uncalled for. Also, please consider the safety of the performers. If this young man shouts at the wrong moment you could have an injured dancer as well. Is that fair?

  11. WayneN says:

    Again I see the Cruise Critic haters of Carnival have hit. lol, if they only knew that when they say that something was said on Cruise Critic, most readers of the blog just ignore them

  12. john it sounds to me like that young man yelling in the lounge might have tourette syndrome. uncontrolled yelling among other possible things. but seriously the care giver should remove him when he becomes disruptive as you would anyone disrupting a show. i don’t think he can help doing it but he should not be there when it happens. good luck. (and i have no idea how to handle it, sorry)…

    smiles, bee

  13. Preston Keith says:

    Simple to fix. Tell his caretaker his actions are disruptive to all. Make them sit in the back, if disruptive again, secutity will remove him ASAP.

  14. Leslie says:

    The poor man’s caregiver should remove him when he acts out. Just because someone is “challenged ” it is not fair to the other guests to let him disrupt the show. I can’t believe how we have become so politically correct that one person can cause such problems for so many. What a world!

  15. Raul Pentek says:

    Hey John,

    i think it is common sense and a matter of education, that the caretaker should have removed the young man without you asking it. But the situation being as it was i think you were and will be entitled to ask for the removal of the disturber regardless of his state. The rule of thumb wherever gatherings of public occur should be: when one individual is disturbing many, then that one has to go.

  16. MarkDavd says:


    Perhaps you could approach the young man and his caretakers and start by using the line you wrote above – that you cannot imagine the struggles he has had to endure in life. Then explain that his screaming is not only distracting to the audience, but to the performers and that an outburst at the wrong time could create a danger to one of the ‘physical’ performers (dancer, juggler, etc.) – someone could easily miss a cue and injure themselves. Tell them he is welcome to continue to attend the shows, but ask if they would mind sitting closer to the back.

    Good luck with this one. In the end, somebody will be upset, either the young man and his caretakers, or the many other passengers who are distracted by him.

  17. Steve Inglis says:

    John, The change of vehicle is only the beginning next we will see you wearing a beige cardi with a bugle duster knotted on the cnrs on your head. PMSL

  18. Helene Barness says:

    I think that the problem you have described with the handicapped passenger is sad. I think that the passenger has the same rights as the other passengers to see a show, however because of his disability his outbursts caused others around him to not enjoy the show.

    I am a person that always tries to find a solution to problems. So I was wondering if the show was taped? Is there anyway that maybe you can show him the taped show in his stateroom or a room on the ship somewhere where he and his attendant can still enjoy the performance and others aren’t disturbed. If not maybe not for this sailing but set something in motion for future sailings.

    As to your comment about driving in Miami – OMG I totally agree. I am a Miamian who grew up there but left in the 80’s to go into the military. I just went back there last year and I couldn’t believe how dangerous driving is there. The horn is the most important part of a vehicle apparently and the sheer rudeness of the driving population greatly disturbed me and I live in So California now!!

    Love your blog as always – I’m sure your situation with the poor guy will be handled well by all!

  19. Jennifer says:

    If Mr. Ragu does decide to put out a wonderful calendar displaying his talents please put me down for an advance order of 20 straight away! These would make wonderful Christmas gifts!!

    • J.R. says:

      yes put me down for 5 copys also

      cant wait till we cruise again

    • Becky says:

      I would buy several, as well. I know Carnival wants their pics on everything and that is understandable but with a calendar, beautiful scenery is what we like (ship in the background) We all love Carnival but we want to view beautiful European ports daily. Our next booking would be with Carnival but I hope the calendar has more scenes taken by Mr. Radu of the ports & beautiful plump lemons. 🙂

  20. Glenn says:

    John, as the person on stage, and being that you are as high up the staff ladder as you are, i dont think it would be appropriate for you to address the special guest. I think a staff member shoud come from the back, ask the caretaker if all is ok, then ask them to minimize the disruptions in a polite way.

  21. Kelli Pilsbury says:

    Haha, I missed the line above the pictures about Mr. Radu and actually thought YOU got off the ship again and took pictures!

  22. Nancy McQuarrie says:

    Hi John – Beautiful photos, Mr. Radu. Thank you for taking them, and thank you, John, for sharing them. This is one place remaining on my bucket list.

    As for the handicapped screamer, I think it should be handled the same way a loud, unruly child in a restaurant would. A staff member, in that kind and courteous CCL manner, should speak with the caregiver explaining that this behaviour is disturbing the performers and the rest of the guests who cannot hear the show. Then offer to help relocate the party to the back of the theatre, explaining that you’re willing to try that for a while, but if the behaviour doesn’t stop they will need to leave the theatre. Then stick to it. Before everyone flames me as heartless, please know that I am not. I am a retired hospice nurse, and loved my patients dearly. I’ve also raised four sons. If they misbehaved in public, they were simply taken home. Although this person’s situation is unfortunate, he has no right to ruin the show for other paying passengers. If you do nothing, this will continue the entire cruise – and nobody will want to come see the shows.

    Just my humble opinion.


    • John, do you know if radu will be on the magic for the blogers which we have never done before? He takes amazing pictures, I would love to see some of his works and perhaps learn a bit more. I have a very good camera but my skills STINK. My camera is in the 2000.00 range probably nothing he would have as his pictures are so wonderful. At any rate I will keep taking pictures and hope to be atleast a little bit like Radu one day!!

  23. Kelli Pilsbury says:

    About the disturbance…maybe they will realize that it may have caused a problem and will not sit up front again? Maybe ask the caregiver if maybe sitting so close bothered him and suggest they try sitting up front on the sides instead? tough one…have a guest do it…lol!

  24. Diane says:

    We were recently at the movie theatre and the manager came in at the beginning of the show, thanked us for coming and requested 2 things, one to please not text during the show and 2 if parents were there with small children and the children got fussy, to please take the child into the hall till they settled down. He stated this was a courtsey to all that was there to see the show. Maybe this would work with the parent of the young man, ask them to stay at the back of the theatre and if the young man got fussy then to please take him out of the theatre as a courtsey to all that were there to see the show.

  25. Cheryl Bishop says:

    I wanted to comment about the young man in the wheelchair you spoke of. Did he calm down after you left the stage and the performers started? If not, I would have asked his caretaker to either move to the back, or to leave. If it were a young child I would expect the parent to remove the child from the situation as not to disrupt the performance or the enjoyment of the other guest.

  26. Phil & Liz says:

    Hey Jets Cruiser:
    NY got a freakin space shuttle ! What the heck did NY do for the space program to earn a shuttle? Houston had everything to do with the space program and they got nothing but lost jobs at NASA!
    You get a Carnival ship like many other cities have. Be happy with that.
    Quit your crying.

    • Loretta says:

      Hey Jets Cruiser,
      Be thankful to have any Carnival ship. We are in San Diego and we are losing the Carnival Spirit. We would take a sand barge with a painted funnel at this point!

  27. Karen Long says:

    Regarding the heckler…it really shouldn’t matter that he was in a wheelchair. If he was being beligerant he should have been asked to leave or at least his caretaker should have been have to take him out. If he wasn’t enjoying the show he has every right to wheel out…but he chose to ruin everyone else’s night. I think he was being obnoxious just because he knew you wouldn’t make him leave since he was in a wheelchair. I’m sorry, he should have been treated like everyone else there and not allowed to disrupt the show just because of the chair. But John, you do a wonderful job doing what you do, whether it’s on the ship dealing with everything you deal with or online doing what you do here wonderfully! Keep it up!

  28. Shelly says:

    Here is an example of another kind of disruption and you as a parent can understand this. Having a child with a disability can kind of feel like having an infant or young child that never grows up.

    Ok so you as a father knows that when your infant decides to start in with an uncontrollable cry that you as a parent can not do anything to get them to stop. The polite thing to do when this happens in a public place like a movie, restaurant, or show of some kind is to get up and politely excuse yourself. Then come back when you have settled your child down. This is the same thing here. They should have been polite enough to excuse themselves not putting any one in the situation your in now. Now if this would have been a crying baby in the audience would you have politely asked the parent to step out? Of course you should so you need to think of that in those terms. Now you do need to be careful on how you ask or politely talk to the family as there may be a fine line of discrimination. I would personally sit down with the family and discuss this before they even come to another show to eliminate feeling of embarrassment for the family. Also I am not sure if there is services on board for care takers who bring there disabled family members. A place to bring them to where some one trained can help care for them while they enjoy things like the shows. If there isn’t maybe Carnival should consider a service of such kind. That honestly could be a win win for Carnival and family or friends of the highly disabled. You might get a jump on it if other lines don’t have it and in return you would cater to a whole new crowd. I know that you have services for children with our with out disabilities but what about for people over 18. It could be for during dinner times and show times. Just a suggestion as I am sure this family was stick between a rock and a hard place. They wanted to see the show but they had no place to bring their son.

  29. Helene Apper says:

    What would I do…well I certainly wouldn’t have your patience, that is for sure.

    I probably would calmly speak to the caretakers and advise that maybe it would be best and less disruptive to the entire ship if they sat in the last row, where they could discretely remove the person if the nose level got too much. The truth is I would do this as a passenger if someone from the ship didn’t do it.

    I understand disabilities and I understand political correctness. But at what point do you have to set it aside for the good of all the others. This is one of those times.

    Keep up the good work John — as many say — you are a saint.

  30. Andrea T says:


    With regard to the disabled person who disrupted the show… I think not saying anything the first night was appropriate. I do think that you may benefit from meeting with the caretaker and asking if they are planning on attending more of the shows. Just let the caretaker know that while you don’t want to take away from their vacation, you do have to consider the other guests and the performers. Maybe this cruiser would be interested in watching the show from another location in the theater or perhaps would skip the show if you offered to let them attend rehearsals. I realize that this is a very difficult and delicate situation, but I would most likely walk out of the show if I were trying to watch with this type of distraction. I wish you the best of luck with this guest. Cheers.

  31. Denise Barickman says:

    HI John, What a predicament…I would have called security…

  32. Karen C. says:

    Regarding the disruptive disabled man. I would address the situation before it happens again. Call the cabin and have a polite discussion with the caregiver. I would hope they would be reasonable.

  33. Linda M says:

    John Please Reply
    First of all, I think you are doing a Fantastic job. You are a great and valuable asset to Carnival and the crusing community(my Opinion). Upcoming cruise (Carnival Liberty 10/29/2011) will be my 4th in 2 years(3 times on the liberty). Each cruise I recruit and introduce more people to join. Upcomming cruise will be a total of 10, including my 85 year old mother(new to cruising),2 paramedics, 3 EMTs, a phlebotomist, along with a 4 year old. My question is, what is the chefs table that i have read so much about on your blogs? Do you think it would be something our group would enjoy? That is if I can pry myself and Mother and a couple others from the casino with drinks in hand. If so how would i find more info on it.
    Also, we met a wonderful member of the Liberty entertainment staff last Sept (Brian L) and would like to know if he is still onboard and if you know of how we could reach him.(had a blast at the adult quest with him) Would like to send him a token of appreciation. How about Halloween on board? Cant wait to see whats in store since her (Liberty) dry dock. Keep up the good work John, you are GREAT!!

  34. Timoneer says:

    While I certainly empathize with a person with a physical/mental disability and his/her family, if that person is disrupting everyone elses enjoyment of the entertainment, the person should be removed (hopefully voluntarily by the caretakers, but by security otherwise).

  35. Ruth Dunn says:

    I’m responding to the question of what should John do about the disruptive person in the audience. I do believe if he is in the front again his caretaker should be asked to move him to the rear of the theatre where he will be less disruptive.
    If I had a problem like this or something like tourette syndrome I would not want to bring anymore attention to myself than necessary thus I would sit in the rear of the theatre.
    If this boy is with his parents I can not understand them wanting him to be in the front of the theatre disrupting the show.
    I do understand they probably want to treat him as normal as possible and in my opinion this would not be putting him on display in the front of the theatre.

  36. Jess says:

    I literally can’t stop laughing because of what you said about 95. You are just too funny sir. 🙂

    Yeah you have two women at home, you don’t stand a chance sir 🙂

    Thanks for the laughs and keep up the great work.

  37. Cathy W says:

    I think it would be appropriate to find a place with a good view of the stage but in an out of the way area (perhaps near the sound system so the speakers muffle some of the involuntary sounds the poor man makes) and respectfully request that this man’s family use that seating area. Maybe you could plug it as a special needs area.

  38. Anne Moore says:

    Hi John,
    What a dilemma concerning the disabled young man. I would think you could speak privatly with his caregiver, explaining the problems this presents and maybe offer to let them sit in during rehersal so that they could get to see some of the show but not be a problem for other guest.

  39. boaterette says:

    John, I would ask the caregiver to please remove the young man. He is disruptive to the rest of the audience. The caregiver should have done this on their own without having to be asked so I wouldn’t feel bad about it at all.

  40. Mary says:

    John, I am no expert and certainly do not have the answers but as the grandmother of 4 year old twins who are autistic, I have an opinion. We try to avoid taking the kids to restaurants that are not already noisy since we never know when she will start screaming or he will refuse to sit still. They are wonderful children and we love them unconditionally but we try to respect those around us. When the situation requires it, we will leave rather than make others uncomfortable. Maybe your group feel “entitled”. Unfortunately, a lot of people these days do, as is witnessed each day by the comments we read in your blog.

  41. Kathie says:

    Hi, John — I love reading your blog, it’s a daily smile 🙂

    In reference to the disabled guest whose loud outbursts were a disruption to your show — Maybe once you were off the stage and the dancers & singers began their part of the show you could have gone to his family and asked for their assistance, as others in the theater were complaining. Certainly if it happens again, you will need to do something, or you will continue to receive complaints from other guests AND make your life utterly miserable. You tried to move on in spite of the loud remarks, but it must have been a distraction to MANY of the other guests. To disappoint one family in order to have others enjoy a show is, in my humble opinion, within your rights as a Cruise Director.

  42. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


    John is NOT a Customer Service Representative. IF you knew John…you would know this. But you don’t know John…or his blog. You just came onto this site to DEMAND special treatment. What a
    piece of work.

    THIS BLOG is for ENTERTAINMENT. John tries to assist, when he can, out of the goodness of his heart.

    And YOU did not even have the decency to post this in a timely manner (since everyone knows it takes as long as 6 weeks to get an answer)….. poor planning on YOUR part does not constitute an emergency on John’s part. Instead of typing URGENT in all caps next time to a total stranger….how about not coming to an entertainment site with your personal list of DEMANDS?


    This special needs individual should be treated the same way you would treat a screaming toddler. You would not allow a screaming child to disrupt a performance.

    Unfortunately, the problem is not this individual. The problem is the caregivers who are not handling this special need individual’s situation correctly.

    Just like it is never the toddler that is the problem. It is the lack of parental attention that is the problem.

    You should not have to walk through this minefield…but sadly….that is what you have to do….because the caregivers are not doing their job.

    As the mother of a special needs adult, this is not acceptable behavior.

    You are correct that the Spirit class is the most popular class. Every poll done on various cruise forums have confirmed that.

    Btw, I am convinced that people like Louise Samatani are trolls just trying to stir up trouble. No one is that big of an arrogant ignorant waste of human cells.

    Linda (Mom of your friend DJ)

    • Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

      meant to add that this was not acceptable behavior “of the caregivers”. This young man of course has no control over the situation.

    • meowsmurphy says:

      Linda…WELL said on all accounts..thanks

  43. BIG MIKE RHONE says:

    You have a very difficult problem with the special needs person. The Parents or Guardians should know better. I don’t think it would be out of line to provide them a special spot at the back or one of the Balcony’s. You always seem to run into the most interesting Cruisers. Many Thanks Mike Rhone

  44. capt Bill says:

    Hey John,

    I think the best thing to do is to ask the people he is with to either move him to the back or remove him completely. they know how he is and how he will react, they should not allow him disrupt the shows becuase they tune him out or just don’t care. having a disability is tough, I have a step daughter who is disabled and my wife is also disabled (not the same as your passenger but disabled just the same)I have to take certian percautions with them when traveling as should your passengers. they are ultumetly responsible for him. he should not be allowed to interfear with the show. it almost seems to me that his gaurdians are using his handicap to get front row seat to the shows. * you would be surprised how often this actually happens- I see it alot now that I have to deal with it first hand. ( this is by the way why I am no longer working at sea, i need to be aroud to take care ofd my wife…)

    as for the person complaining about the Miracle being to small for NY and that the Itinerary is not good, stop complaining well actually keep it up, maybe they will send the ship to Boston instead, we would love to have a Carnivale ship year round no matrter what size. as for the Itineraries, I would be just hapy to be where it is warm for a few days and not have to travel in a metal tube breathing recycled air for 4 hours and have to have someone i never met before get upp and personal with me. before youcomplian think about those of us that don’t have the luxuary you have.

    AS for Alaska, I have heard it is great and you need to do it I would ike to someday also, I hope if you do go you are the CD as I would love to do that cruise.

    take care and Hello to Heidi and Kye and remeber the next time your in Boston I would love to buy you dinner to try to repay all the fun you have given me over the years. you freind

    capt Bill

  45. vicki wren says:

    John, I have worked with developmentally disabled people for 19 years. You handled it well by carrying on. I am guessing the caretakers wanted to keep their good seats for the show. They should have removed him from the show or at least to the back. Tonight, I would talk in advance to security and have them monitor the situation. If he acts out again, I would have security ask them to either remove him or find another handicap seating area. Many of our clients act out just like this and we do remove them completely. Its called natural consequences. If anyone else without disabilities were disrupting a show constantly like that, security would not tolerate it. He shouldn’t get any special treatment. Most people with disabilities want to be treated normal. This situation shouldn’t be any different. Put it on security, not yourself. The show must go on! 🙂 keep up the good work!

  46. Sharon says:

    John – RCI does not have priority seating for their “frequent” cruisers, they have reserved sections for their Grand Suite and above guests. Evidently even with the “reserved” section…chair hogs abound and you need to get there early. Personally I enjoy my dinner and sit where there’s an empty seat…much less stressful.

    Your problem with the special needs person is indeed a tough one. My first thought is if it were me I’d be in the back however thinking about trying to give my child a sense of normalcy maybe I too would want to be in the front row. As a member of the audience I think while maybe disrupting it wouldn’t upset me that this was happening while I was watching the show.

  47. Jeanette says:

    John, as for the problem with the disabled passenger disrupting the show, you could talk to his parents and arrange for him to be looked after by a Camp Carival staff at no charge while the parents enjoy the show. The staff member would have to be briefed, but it probably would be a nice gesture for the parents.

    Or if they had a medication that lightly sedates him, heck, anything to dull ones senses would work…..

  48. Julie Mendenhall says:

    I think offending young man should have been removed from the theater by his guardian. Since they obviously did not do that , I think something should be be said to the guardian. Something on the line of: Your child is welcome to our shows but if he gets upset and starts shouting, for his sake and the other guests please take him out of the area.
    Oh and vans are nice. I have one !!

  49. Marie Wolff says:

    I know the young man in the wheelchair is pretty sick, but, his companion should know that he will be disturbing the audience, and, should have the young man in the back of the showroom. I do not think it would be bad of you or someone in authority to ask them to sit elsewhere. You are a very compasionate person.

  50. Jules says:

    Clearly your loud guest is suffering from Tourrette’s Syndrome. Their nervous ticks tend to get worse in unfamiliar situations and they have no control over it. It was kind of you to let it slide. I would express to their family that the person is welcome to sit near any exit. You want them to enjoy the show and everything else Carnival has to offer but when he becomes disruptive during a show, he needs to be moved outside until he is not being disruptive.

  51. john&patty says:

    TIME SENSITIVE john, this a tough situation you had to deal with, i know you well enough to know that was tearing your herat away!, you are correct as stated , the person did not ask to be this way; most people understand this and will deal with it, how ever , his caretaker , or family was aware of this situation and had to know that perhaps this would happen, and maybe they did not have a plan”B”, their thinking may have been , we are on vacation , we need some happy time, or they just did not care about anyone else, either way they shold of at some point left, the aera, when things like this happen it touches all of our hearts, and i think perhaps you could maybe have a gentle talk in private to see what can be accomplished for the remainder of the cruise, in any event you did the right thing, and may i say again i knows this was a situation that you were clearly concerened aboit take care john?patty

  52. Eliot D says:

    I certainly do not envy being in your position! Obviously the family must suffer tremendously having to deal with the disabilities. It is unfortunate that they must be so used to the outbursts that they do not realize how disrupting it is to the other guests. I am sure they are embarrassed but they should be more considerate of those around them. I feel sorry that they probably can not get away without him to enjoy a vacation. I would approach them and inform them that being that close to the stage is too much of a distraction and interferes with the production. I would tell them that you would not think of excluding them from any of the shows but would ask if they could sit off in the back as to cause as little comotion as possible for the performers and the other guests.

    Glad I am not in your position. Thank you on behalf of all the other guests for all that you do…..and good luck dealing with this family.

  53. Barb says:

    Too funny about the tight whitey comment. We had a little episode with a gentleman in his tighty whitey’s trying to get in our cabin on the Emerald Princess cruise. 3:00 in the morning our phone rings, I was closest to the phone so I answer it, the person must have been our neighbor and she told me that my husband must have been outside our door trying to get in and that I should let him in, since he has been trying for a while.

    I looked down at the bed and there he was…. sleeping. So I went to the peeky hole in the door and saw a little old man in his tighty whitey’s looking at our mail in the mailbox. I proceeded to wake up my husband to have him check it out as I called the customer service desk.
    Mike asked the guy what he was doing?
    The man told him that he was trying to get in his room and that we were in it, Mike tried to explain that it was our room and that he should maybe go back to his room, just then the security came down the hall and asked the guy a few questions, finally getting his name.

    We have seen him on the ship before and after that and figured the poor guy had alzheimers. He was always confused and lost and yelled at friends when we tried to give him direction. Did not seem like the wife was very concerned but we thought it was very dangerous for him to be walking around alone at night.
    That is my tighty whitey story 😉 ENJOY <3

  54. Linda Pearl says:

    John, I had the pleasure of meeting you on the inaugural sailing of the Magic,and I saw first hand how caring you are. What I might have you suggest to the parents of this young man is, to perhaps suggest they take seats in the back of the theater, as a safery issue for the people on stage. A loud outburst at the wrong time might, might put the dancers at risk. At the end of the show, if you, and, one of the stars of the show, go back and engage with the young man, & his parents, I bet that would be most appreciated. I know you will handle it with kindess and compassion. Linda Pearl

  55. Terri says:

    Dear John:

    Your blog is fabulous! I only wish I would have known about it sooner.

    Now for your dilema concerning the passenger that apparently is afflicted with Torettes Syndrome. You my dear friend are in an extremely tough situation. No matter what your decision is, it will definately make someone upset.

    So that said… As a parent of a handicap adult, I hate when people tell me they can not accomodate my child, But as a parent I hate when my child insist on inconviencing numerous people because of her selfishness. I would take the care takers aside and explain the situation in full. Ask them if they could sit closer to the back of the stage as not to disrupt the entertainers. Then let the chips fall where they may…. I hate it for you big guy….

    Love Carnival Staff please send my kudos to all.

    Oh PS….You are not fooling me none… You would do anything for those girls in your life. They make you a better man….

    God Bless

  56. Barb says:

    I would like that plate of lemons delivered to my cove cabin on the Carnival Magic in February. Thank you <3

  57. Sarah Oxfurth says:

    Still need to finish the blog, but in regards to your questions regarding the screaming disruptions. First, let me say I have loved family with Tourette’s Syndrome. My loved ones do not shout out uncontrollably, but they do have some uncontrollable vocalizations. In any case, my point there is only that I am not coming from a place of non-understanding. what I can say is that if this man were a child that were crying or screaming (also uncontrollable and not likely anyone’s “fault”), it’s likely the parent would be asked to take the child out until he/she can calm down if he/she is causing a serious disruption. I don’t see someone with serious disabilities significantly different. I have two children with special needs and the fact is when they are with me, there are some things we just can’t participate in (my stepdaughter has CP, she cannot walk long distances, wheelchairs are not always feasible, etc.). I believe that the caretaker/guardian should KNOW to move to the back at least where perhaps her loved one would not disrupt the performers so much. Likewise, if the guardian really is that oblivious, then someone should ask him/her to please leave the lounge until the gentleman calms down, or to move to the back where his vocalizations will not be as disruptive. I do know that it is surely very difficult to deal with this all the time, and it’s also not fair that the guardian cannot take part, however, there are ALSO respite programs and homes that would give the guardian a chance to cruise and go to teh shows and all of that without the additional needs of this man (son, perhaps), and if she is choosing not to take advantage of any of those programs, then she surely is aware that there may be things they cannot take part in because it is simply a disruption adn not fair to the performers or other cruisers. This is how I feel about my children (and anyone’s children) when they are disruptive, even if they cannot help it. If I choose to take vacations with my children, there are certain things I will not be able to do. The same is true of adult disabled children (or legal wards.

  58. Peggy Dunbar says:

    I am afraid John that you will not get our replies until after your show tonight. Mike and our daughter Suzie was special needs and even though she was very well behaved once in a while she did say inappropriate things. I am very disappointed that his care giver and or parent did not quietly take the young man out of the room. Since they did not, I believe that you should say something as he is being disruptave to the other guests and the performers. In your gentle way, that only you have, you will find the right words to say.

    I did not know that you can ask the Captain for a refund when you do not win at Bingo. Here all the time I have lost I just thought it was something that happens. When I get on the Carnival Magic and play my first game of Bingo and loose like I always do, I will head to the, is it the bridge, and look for the Captain. Do I also get a free cruise?

    Mr. Radu has such a magical eye, I am so envious. His pictures are just amazing.

    Keep smiling John; you truly are an amazing man.

    My best to Heidi and Kye.

  59. Cheryl K says:

    I just typed a long comment only to have it disappear to a screen saying my comment was not accepted??? What is that about? I didn’t say anything wrong that I’m aware of.

  60. Marylou Hansen says:

    some of the letters/emails to John are so inane and pathetic… complainers be gone!

  61. CruisinSue says:

    Hi John
    I’ve been ghosting here on the blog but decided to input my comment about the handicapped person disrupting the shows. I do realize that the handicapped do not realise they are disruptive, so it should be the care giver that recognizes this and resolves the situation. I have a family member that is disruptive at times, and his care giver will remove him or occupy him so that others aren’t distrubed. If the caregiver does nothing, then perhaps they need to be reminded that others are being disturbed. It is a difficult situation, but it isn’t fair for others to be disturbed.
    Good luck with the minivan situation. Sometimes you have to do what mama says…as the old saying goes….If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.
    Give my best to the girls. Hope to sail with you again soon.

    Gloria aka Sue

  62. Mike says:

    I say you should ask the disabled guest to move. While we should have compassion for him, he is one person disturbing hundreds. As a former musician I can say that it would be very distracting to the cast, and as a passenger I can say it would be frustrating and distracting to the other guests.

  63. Karen L says:

    John, the situation with the young man who was shouting loudly during your introduction and the performance is indeed difficult. It’s certainly not the man’s fault that he has such a severe disability. But it’s not the fault of the rest of the audience or the performers either. I think the best way to handle such a situation is to ask his caretaker to move the young man to the rear of the theater where his shouting wouldn’t be so disruptive to the rest of the audience and to the performers.

    And I’m very glad I don’t have your job!

  64. Rita presnell says:

    Oh, John, you poor dear!! This is just the first of many times that Heidi and Kye will gang up on you!! Get used to it!! Us women always stick together!

  65. Beth Selinger says:

    John, I am director of theatre and we face similar challenges with audience members at times. We have always had our usual pre-show talk about turning off cell phones, pagers, etc., no flash photography and the like. More recently we have added “Please be considerate of those around you and the actors on stage. If your child should become uncomfortable during the performance, please feel free to either step to the back of the theatre or into the lobby until the child feels more at ease.”
    It is a polite way to say, please have consideration for those around you.
    This situation you have dealt with is one of those “There but for the Grace of God go I” times, knowing that those people are just trying to give their family member who is dealing with a disability a chance to enjoy themselves also. However, that being said, there is also the fact that if it is obvious that the person is not tolerating the situation well, it might be best to have an alternate plan. Just my humble opinion.
    Your friend,

  66. Ann says:

    I would ask his care giver to please place him at the back of the lounge as he totally disrupted the previous evenings performance. I would also let the care giver know that if it did not work out they would have to leave altogether.

  67. kathy says:

    In regards to your problem I would try and locate the guests and speak to them privately

  68. To the whining, complaining, arrogant Jets cruiser: Lots of ports would love the Miracle. I hope Carnival takes your advice and leaves New York high and dry. Suck on that.

    “When we get to platinum and milestone please feel free to sit us with anyone you want because I don’t have a feeling that we are any better than anyone else on that ship.”

    Now that is a healthy and proper attitude, unlike some certain snooty, stuck up, elitist cruisers. I’d rather eat with the crew than listen to those idiots.

    I doubt Carnival is stupid enough to take your suggestion, however, if they ever should, it will be my pleasure as a Milestone cruiser to cut in line in front of you. Enjoy Shopping Mall of the Seas.

    To the Bingo Beotch:
    Obviously some people do win at Bingo. Thank you for contributing to my winnings!

  69. Janet says:

    Great pics, I am partial to the one with the cat! It appears that you have a lot of bloggers that have experience with disabilities…there is alot of good feedback. My best advise is communication. Talk with the family involved and come to a mutual understanding on a solution. Bingo—on our honeymoon, I won a cruise playing bingo. It is all about the odds…it is like rumpy pumpty or what grandma would call “flippin the diddle”,sometimes you get lucky!

  70. Phil says:

    this is for Lousie Samatani I can not stand it any more talking about the smoking thing it is what it is like it or not get a grip on life lady

  71. Sage56 says:

    “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few (or the one).” comes from the motion picture Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan, and were spoken by the character Mr. Spock, and attributed to the Vulcan philosopher Surak.

    Bottom line; that being said, the caregivers whether parents or not were aware of the disruption, and should have acted accordingly. (move to the back or leave)…[on this part I speak from experience as I have both worked and lived with this type of situation] Sometimes, when people are tasked with taking care of special needs young people, they lose sight of how it may also affect others around them as they themselves may have become callious to the behaviour and may have to be reminded that there is an “issue” as it relates to other paying patrons.

    Sounds like another disclaimer like the no video or pictures.. should include no loud disruptions as it may distract the entertainers.

    A problem well defined is a problem half solved… and if the young may had other disabilities besides being in a wheel chair, then you could better understand why he was doing what he did.

    Talk to the caregivers. Find out what his “issues” are. Perhaps if it is pointed out to them that the behaviour was disruptive, they may take the appropriate action next time.

    Of course there is always the possibility they either didn’t want to lose their seats, or they are phishing for some compensation if they were asked to leave.

    However, I realize that after all this useless verbiage, that you will have to tread lightly with this situation. I certainly don’t envy you and your job some days.
    On the petrol matter.. I chuckled big time, my boss did that on one of the recent trips to Italy.. (whoops)…

    As far as the Range Rover; well John, it is just a means to get you to and from one location to the next. Consider the “mini-van” a badge of honour. Wear it proudly.. you are after all …Kye’s dad, Heidi’s husband…. and a “Family” man!

  72. Peggy Halford says:

    I’ve looked and looked and cannot find the “ASk John” tab above. So first I’ll comment on the blog topic. I agree with all the others that it would be totally acceptable to ask the parents to relocate with their special needs child. I am shocked that they were so insensitive to all the other passengers and crew. I know you will handle it appropriately in this difficult situation.
    Next, I love the blog and appreciate all the time and attention you put in it. My husband and I are booked on the Transatlantic voyage of the Magic in October. I would like to ask if there is any way to get a Captain’s Table invitation for my daughter and her husband, Beverly and Donnie Drilling. They are booked this Sunday, July 31st on the Conquest room # 7442. We are so excited for them…this is their first cruise without taking any of their 4 teenage children. I know they will have a wonderful time on Carnival. Thanks! Peggy

  73. ashley says:

    From a woman – GET HER THE CAR – or your life may very well be miserable hearing about it ALL the time till you cave in! 🙂 Good luck John

    I love how ignorant some are and think that English is spelled the same everywhere in the world.

    Lastly – on what you asked advice – you are forced to upsetting one family or potentially upsetting many – ALL paid to come miles to cruise that ship not just the handicapped man. Disrupting and especially yelling hateful things are not tolerated. Curious if he was not in a wheel chair shouting that would you have called security? Whatever you would have done (minus some heckling) I would do to this guy. The standards cannot drop just because someone is cruising in some wheels. Handicap people fight to be treated equally and well treat him as such. I feel for the family, but they also need to understand they have no right to ruin others vacations. As a business having someone be that disruptive it could potentially be a loss of business later. Good luck John, I do not envy your job.

  74. SereneLdy (Karla) says:

    In Regards to What Would You Do?
    Dear John: Thank you for recently answering a question I submitted in June. I never expected to be writing you again. About your difficulty with a disabled gentleman I would like to share the following. In my career, some of my clients have had disabilities, and I often worked with their families.

    In the first place, as a parent, or loved one of someone with such a disability as you describe, I would not take them into a situation where they could be a disruption. It is common courtesy, not fair to them, me or those in the audience. I agree the disabled should be allowed to lead as normal a life as possible but common sense should come into play. As a family member, I would come to talk to you about the various acts and ask what might be appropriate. And I certainly would sit in the back area if I felt I might need to remove my loved one. Perhaps, a private meeting with a few cast members for the gentleman , where everyone understood the situation, might work. I don’t know.

    I feel it would have been appropriate for you to talk to the family, in private, and try to work something out. If they refused, their loss and they are merely subjecting their loved one to criticism or worse. The disabled person cannot help themselves, but their caretakers need to make better decisions.

    If I had been in your audience, I might have gone down to them and talked it over to see what could be worked out. That might have been interesting! I applaud you for your concern.

  75. sprint180 says:

    Dear John,
    I cannot tell you how disappointed I am that Carnival has not sent their biggest and best cruise ship to Stuart, Nebraska (my hometown). We are overlooked time and time again and it has got to stop. Nebraska has many beautiful waters such as the Elkhorn, the North Loup, the Loup, and the South Loup. The fact that you sent the Miracle to New York and not Nebraska is a slap in the Face.
    Yours truly,
    the Cornhusker Cruisers

    • Laurel says:

      If my child is tired or off his normal behavior I wouldn’t subject him to be overly stimulated and I would expect he would act out choosing instead a milder form of entertainment. Most of us mothers have an instinct for what our kids can handle.

    • BDR says:

      Perhaps the hijackers of Achille Lauro had the right idea….

      • Z Moscovitz says:

        What an utterly tasteless remark. Have you forgotten that the raid upon the ship was an act of terrorists upon passengers on the high seas? Shame on you and shame on people who thought this remark was “cute” and the moderators for allowing this comment to be posted. Who are these moderators and do they know the meaning of your remark?

    • Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


    • J.R. says:

      now thats priceless great coment. lol

    • jgeraci says:

      Quit whining! I live in Illinois & Carnival won’t give us a cruise ship either. We have the beautiful Rock River here in Rockford. But does Carnival care? No! We Illini deserve as much consideration as you Cornhuskers!
      JoyceG- proud of the Land of Lincoln!

  76. Lonnie says:

    While I sympathize with the difficulties someone with special needs may have, the simple fact remains that disruptions, whether from drunks or attention whores or crying babies or whomever should not be tolerated.

    Common decency should dictate that a caretaker would automatically remove the person if he became disruptive (crying baby’s mom, drunks wife etc). However, sometimes the hard job of enforcing decorum must be undertaken and they should be removed.

    Simply “moving them to the back” will still disrupt others. Again, I sympathize with their plight, but if the outbursts are disruptive, then that venue is not appropriate.

    This is one area where I do feel Carnival lacks. Everyone is not entitled to everything everywhere all the time. There are unwritten “rules” of common decency and self control in a public setting that, should the person not be willing to self impose, should be imposed upon them. Sometimes you have to step on some toes of those who unfortunately need it and not be worried if they are offended.

  77. Joko Joan says:

    Dear John: along with Linda M., I, too, would like to see in your blog more information about the Chaf’s Table.

    We were privileged to enjoy dining in one of the special dining areas but unfortunately I get overwhelmed at quantities of food and dislike wasting food. Can you give us some insight to the Chef’s Table. Are the portions large, for instance or are there more courses with smaller portions? Could you use your blog to give us some guidance? Thank you so much for what you do to making our cruising experiences so enjoyable. You are a special person and fully deserve the title of “Carnival’s Ambassador!

  78. Harmony T says:

    ignore it. I have a severely developmentally disabled brother who at age 24 is far behind cognitively from my 7 year old. going on such a vacation and trying to enjoy it are hard enough without having to deal with ignorant people who a) have no clue what it’s like to walk in these shoes b) treat them rudely mock them, call them derogatory names, and flat out make fun of them to their face (they may not get the meaness but us who are with them we have to go through the hell of listening to people attack our loved ones) and c) life with a disabled person is hell at times we deserve to enjoy our time too. if the people in the show can’t deal they can leave. Its not like Carnival offers an in-room care taker so the parents and family can enjoy the show so they come along. this is a major reason why we havent brought my brother on a cruise even though we all know he would love it. If the dancers can’t ignore an audience member then they need a new profession.

    his family should be rewarded for living their lives. as their son is probably in the age range of my brother and thus born in the 80s he’s damn lucky to be alive.

    this shouldnt have even been an issue and if cruises were more handicapped friendly (not physical but developmentally disabled) maybe more of them would cruise and this would be a non-issue as it wouldn’t be so out of the blue.

    feel free to contact me for suggestions on how to make the industry developmentally disabled friendly ive spent my adult life trying to accommodate my brother and adults like him in the real world and holidays.

  79. Charles Qualls says:

    John, let me add my voice to those who empathize with the delicate position you and your staff are in with this. I can not begin to imagine the impact this adult child’s needs place upon the parents/caregivers. However, I see a few things that seem apparent: 1) In a situation like this, the needs of the many simply have to outweigh the convenience/wishes of the family. 2) There is a slim chance that any approach to keeping this from happening again will be acceptable to them. Because they have chosen to remain at the front, and therefore allow the disruption to continue, your most tactful and polite approach (which you must use) will not prove to be tactful and polite enough. Odds are, your request/instruction as to where they should sit in future shows will offend them. No matter the words chosen. Still, I know you all will be at your kindest. 3) I have to agree with others– if you have a staff member whose judgement you trust to handle this (in consultation with you first)– you should not be the one who moves them. Leave yourself in the position to come back and reinforce/mop up if things don’t go well. I would hate to see the CD put in this likely “bad guy” role. Being a stand-up guy, I know you will feel that it is your duty to do exactly that. I would disagree. I’ll be interested to see what you end up doing, and how you feel that it all resolved.

  80. Emma O'Neill says:

    If he is causing a disturbance to other guests then you have no other choice then to ask his carer to kindly move him towards the back.Its not fair on the many guests who are trying to watch and enjoy the show.A very difficult situation but you’ve gotta think of the majority first.

  81. Lindsay Patterson says:

    I’m not sure I can offer much advice about what to do in this situation, but I will try my best. My sister is a teacher in a high school special needs class and deals with many different children with needs from ages 10-18. I think that this situation should be handled very delicately because most times family and caretakers are VERY protective of the one they are caring for. I agree they should have rights like everyone else and it should be a priority to give them the best quality of life. BUT there are times when something needs to be done/said. If a child in my sister’s class is acting out and disrupting the rest of the class, they have to seperate that child and/or say something to them. Just because they are special needs does not mean they are completely exempt from having to follow rules, even though those rules may be different from children that are higher functioning. In this case, you don’t know the extent of this man’s disability and maybe it would be respectful for someone to speak to the family/caregivers first to get an understanding of what they are dealing with before anything is said of them being removed from shows. Then once you establish what this young man can and cannot control, as far as outbursts, then you could speak with them about other options and ways of not distracting others and the performers. I saw that there was another reply on here that said that there is a possiblity that the noise and confusion of the show could have frightened the young man, I agree with this. Depending on what disablitity he has, too much stimulation could have a negative effect on him and cause the outbursts. In my sister’s classroom they have a calming room with soothing noises, soft things to sit on and hold, and a slightly darker, distraction-free environment. Basically, it’s just so that the child can have a place to go when the outside world is too hectic. Maybe it can be suggested that his caregivers take him someplace less stimulating for a short time and try to come back. I wish there was a quick fix to this problem, but I think it will just take some time and understanding.

  82. Ron I. says:

    Have a quiet word (not reaching out offline) with the parent / guardian and arrange to have a place at the back of the loung /theatre.

    Everyone deserves a second Chance.

    If it happens again then ban the passenger from the show.

    All too long now the majority has to knuckle down to the minority (e,g, ONE passenger doesn’t like the singing and dancing in the restauraant, what happens a beard ask John to conduct a market survey as to what we want. What we want is the staus quo of old, where the majority (not a mob) ruled the waves.


  83. Laurel says:

    I love your blog. I can read all the good and bad and the ugly. No one should be “surprised” by anything on a cruise and
    your honesty prepares us to accept it all and just enjoy. I plan on doing that soon.

  84. Ron I. says:


    I take serious object to a statement in days blog namely:
    “…the comedic timing of a stuttering hamster”

    I have taken much from you in the past, but the stuttering remark was the last straw.

    As a stuttering, diminutive stature (midget) of Serbian ancestory and a pet hamster classified a service dog (to get me a beer from the freezer).

    John, I’m not HAPPY, I am very GRUMPY about this situation, if we ever meet I will be very BASHFUL so that you will be DOPEY and SLEEPY and you will have to see the DOC. I’m very sneezy now because of my bloody hamster allegy.

    It’s time for the silent majority to stand up and be counted.

  85. Laura Gallagher says:

    I could have picked a sports car, a new truck, or even SUV, there is just me and husband but no I wanted a minivan just to haul people and bags to Galveston to cruise! See you in november can’t wait to see the Magic! I wonder if the caregiver was the one who really wanted to see the show?

  86. Jeff says:

    There should be ZERO tolerance for this type of behavior from anyone. He should be tossed out. Why should the other paying guests have to suffer this type of nonsense?

  87. Debra says:

    John, in regards to the disabled young man, I personally think the best approached would be to have a conversation with the family/caretaker on a solution. As tough as this may be, the other passengers have a right to enjoy themselves as well. Most conscientious folks would take their disabled child and leave because they are considerate. Some years back when I was on a cruise there was a disabled young man in a wheel chair, similar scenario. The family in-tuned to others, planned on having a good time too. They seemed to hang out in the disco where the music was loud and they danced around, and with, the son in the wheel chair. Ultimately, he seemed to enjoy himself as well.

  88. Brenda says:

    I think security should have asked them to leave.Fun is fun but that was not what John and the other guess are there for.The care takers should have taken him out.They should have known better.

  89. Melanie Russell says:

    In regards to your show where the child was disruptive, you handled it with grace.
    When I was a food server, one of my first customers was a woman with her son (in his 50’s) who had a mini seizure, and was pawing the counter with his knuckles like a dog.
    I was perplexed on what do to when she asked me my advice. The only thing I could think of is to tell her “Get your food to go”

    • Michelle Hazelwood says:

      Holy Crapolies! JOhn, anyone, I need suggestions!
      I’m cruising out of Miami on Oct 17 on the Destiny. I’m a solo traveller and couldn’t find any way, at the end of my cruise, to get from Miami back to my hotel in Fort Lauderdale, then to the airport the next morning!
      I inquired of SAS and others as tyo such transportation but they refused saying they don’t service SOLO passengers, period.

      I’m a nice little mature lady of good humoUr, who had to save up for 8 years to go on this much needed vacation, my first vacation in 20 yrs. There’s no limo in my tiny budget, so ………………I reserved a rental car.

      Never mind the fact I went without driving at all for 15 yrs & have only purchased my own car a year ago, if Miami residents can’t stand and fear driving in their own city…

      ….well shoot, are there still Sealy’s lining some of Miami streets?
      I may need one… hahahaha!!!

    • Jim says:

      We are sailing on the Carnival Magic Transatlantic on 10/28/11. Booking is for Harry (I go by Jim) and Karen McMullen. We are on a late 44th Anniversery cruise. Our stateroom is 7310.

  90. Becky says:

    Please continue to encourage Mr. Radu to make the calendar of the beautiful ports, including lots of lemons & sites in Valledemossa & Amalfi. His work is brilliant and the epitome of a great eye.
    It is wonderful to sit and view his work, after having been there. I feel like my vacation is on-going. Thank you for sharing all the beautiful pictures.

  91. STILLmissingthesmokefreeparadise says:

    John –

    It is a sad situation indeed – one that must be handled with extreme tact and sensitivity. However, as another poster stated “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few”. He should not be allowed to disrupt the show for the thousands of people in the theater just because he is handicapped.

    As one who was raised with a severely handicapped sister (Down’s Syndrome), I witnessed my parents sacrificing their own needs for her needs (and the families). In my entire childhood, the family took only one vacation – a two week stay in a camp on the lake. Even then, Dad went to work everyday.

    IMO, the proper way to handle the situation would be to meet with the caretakers and understand the individual’s condition – we are all assuming that his remarks are related to a condition, but are they?

    If he has a condition that causes disruption regularly, it would seem to me that the caretakers have faced this situation before. Perhaps, they wanted the opportunity to take in the show and had no alternative but to bring the young man along. If this situation is the case, could Carnival provide an alternative where someone from Carnival stays with the young man while the parents (again assumed) enjoy the show?

    If you can, look for alternatives to just excluding him and the caretakers from the enjoyment of the shows. You may not find them, but, if it becomes necessary to ban the individual from the show, you will do so knowing that you have explore other alternatives first.

    Best of luck on this issue – I know that you will handle it in your incomparable manner.


  92. Don says:

    Dear Jets Cruiser:

    Do I detect a sense of inadequacy? Remember, it’s not the size of the ship, but the motion of the ocean!

  93. Bernice Capers says:

    Hello John,
    First let me say that my husban Steven and I had just watched the vhs of the bedtime story featuring willie banger. We were on the curise (Glory) that night and had a blast! We are getting ready to sail in Dec on the Dream (second time) for our fourteenth cruise and wish you were there (by the way Butch is great). As for the young man I would think his parents knowing his condition would have sat in the back from the start. I have been to a program before when the person would shout foul words out or noises, but they stayed in the back. Maybe if you see them through out the ship to just ask to meet and discuss the complaints you are getting. Just a thought.

  94. Jes says:

    Once again a great blog. Wonderfully incredibly pictures. I’d buy the calendar if available. I am so-so sorry for Heidis wanting a mini-van, though as I say that friends of ours have one and its great for hauling adults around as well as kids so this could be an indicator of more social events when your home on break, good luck in keeping the Land Rover

  95. Barbara A Hamill says:

    Hi John. This is the first time I have seen your blogs, but just about fell off my seat reading about your poor Range Rover. My daughter, and I are sailing on the Oct. 28, 2011 Carnival Magic for it’s transatlantic cruise to Galveston. We are big fans of Carnival, having been on 5 cruises with them …so far. I’m excited, because Galveston is within 40 miles of home for us, so I can see lots of Carnival Magic in our future. Hope to get the chance to meet you sometime. You’re a really…..intersting, fun loving person. Take care, and untill we meet, may your travels be safe. Thanks, Barbara P.S. Give my info to Bob Hamill,maybe he will want to get in touch. Don’t meet many Hamill’s.

  96. WPB Dave says:


    From a practical standpoint I believe that the needs of the 1200 other patrons in the theatre (who have paid their way onto the ship) trumps the rights of a single individual. There is a reasonable expectation that the others in the theatre should have the opportunity to enjoy the show without excessive interruptions.

    Of course, forcibly removing the person from the theatre likely will result in some sort of a lawsuit. Given that the show takes place in international waters I’m not sure what court it would be tried in, but the media likely will have a field day with it nevertheless.

    Good luck

  97. Jodi says:

    John, dear, dear John. Your girls are beautiful and I love keeping up with them on the blog but I have to say dear Heidi has a terminal case of femininity. I shall lament the loss of your Range Rover and send you all the sympathy I can. However you will be fine, eventually. Enjoy the mini-van days while you can, trust me they are over too soon. I can officially say now that I have all adult children and can take my baby to the bar w/me. It is fun, but it isn’t the same as having babies and road trips etc.

    Oh and thanks for the warning about Miami, I am not surprised. There are enough Cubans and Dominicans there that I probably should have known. I’ve never been to Havana, but Santo Domingo is another city you really don’t want to drive in, trust me on this if you’ve never been. How do I know about Cubans? well there is a good population of them in the DR and the Dominicans I know blame the crazy driving on them.(I’m not sure I really believe it 100%)

    About the young man in the wheelchair: I hope Carnival guests are generous and caring enough to recognize that this young man and his caregiver deserve to be entertained as much as anyone. People always say things like “you are so strong to be dealing with such issues” or “bless his heart” or some other such nonsense to the parents/caregivers, but if they truly feel this way, then they should be able to withstand disruption on the rare occasion they encounter it in this way. Well that’s my 2 cents on that, and I hope it helps. I know that however you deal with the situation it will be with kindness and compassion for all.

    Fair winds a following sea to you! Thanks for another great blog!

  98. Jodi says:

    PS: honoured to be called your friend, Jodi

    • Annie says:

      Hello John,

      Difficult situation indeed with the handicapped young man. If his parents let him be disruptive once it is likely they will continue to do so on other occasions. Either they don’t realize how disruptive he is or they accept that his outbursts are part of life and they can’t control them.

      Is there a room near the stage where he could see and hear and not be heard? Maybe a sound room or a technical room or a changing room for the performers? Maybe somewhere with a video feed of the stage? I know space is tight (I took the Behind the Fun tour on the Magic a couple of weeks ago and it was great!) but if there was such a place it would solve your problem. He’d get special treatment and wouldn’t be heard by other passengers again.

      I wonder how the waiters in the dining room handle him. He’s probably disruptive there too, don’t you think?

      Best wishes, definitely not an easy call to make.


  99. GaleLovesCruising says:

    I have a feeling the young man with disabilities isn’t even the one that wanted to see the show. Very tough situation to handle but I agree that his caretakers should have had the common sense to realize if they sat at the back it would have been more appropriate. Caring for a disabled person, be it physical or mental disability, is very wearing on a person. However, they are around it 24/7 and sometimes really just tune it out and don’t realize how disruptive it is to others. Our family – my brother & his wife – had a son, Eric, with physical and mental disabilities. He had occasions of vocal outbursts, etc. but he also could give you a grin, hug and kiss that would melt your heart. He was 12 years old when God took him home to Heaven, where he is now talking, walking, running, and playing ball on the streets of gold!!! We face trials here on earth we don’t understand and for these special needs families my heart goes out to them.

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