Carnival Century

August 17, 2011 -

John Heald

I would like you to see this e mail that I received from Tex, the brilliant CD on the Carnival Triumph. Here it is:


Sent: Tuesday, August 16, 2011 1:05 PM
Subject: Talent Show

Hey Gang-

Tomorrow night, Old Man Wiggle will be celebrating his 100th birthday. He’ll sign up for the Talent Show (he always does) and we need to put him last. When he’s finished with the act we’re going to sing Happy Birthday and present him with a cake. I would like to fire the green, gold and purple confetti when we finish the song. Same as we do for Big Easy.  If anyone has any questions, let me know.

Cruise Director, Carnival Triumph

Well first of all many thanks to Tex for organising this special event. I know Old Man Wiggle as I expect many of you do too and for those who don’t, I will be providing photos of the above celebration in a few days. He is a brilliant character and always takes part in the talent show and stands on stage, sings a song and…..well…..wiggles. He is full of spirit and life and how lucky we will all be if we get to be 100 and get to celebrate it on a Carnival ship surrounded by friends and family. He still lives with his family as well and that is so important. I hope if I live to be very old that Kye and her family will look after me. I have always promised myself that I would never do that to my parents and I intend to live out that promise. Funny isn’t it….they look after you ….. then you look after them.

Seeing Old Man Wiggle reach a hundred not out (that’s a cricket term, by the way) has made me think about my own old age and if Kye can’t look after Heidi and I, what will happen?  I hope I poop off before Heidi because without her or Ketut, there is no way I could look after myself. I don’t know how to cook, clean, operate a washing machine, change a spark plug or where the new roll of toilet paper comes from.

I also don’t want to go to the type of retirement home where you’re left to marinate in your own urine, while the “helpers” stand around texting their boyfriends, waiting for you to die but preferably not on their shift.  I am sure everyone here dreads ending their days in a stinky home for the nearly dead wearing someone else’s false teeth. If I am lucky enough to reach say……80 years of age I think I may hasten my departure.  Because if Kye says “Dada, we have found you a nice spot at The Sunshine Retirement Home,” I will start drinking again, smoking 20 cigars a day and eating nothing but animal fat and lard. Maybe we should have a have a happy hour for only those over age 75 where with pints of ThirstyFrog for $1 and let them smoke and have an hour of Frank Sinatra karaoke. You may spend the rest of the cruise in bed but that’s better than ending your days wasting away on a wipe down chair wearing a diaper. Anyway, congratulations to Old Man Wiggle and photos of his special day will follow.

Time for some Q and A………….here we go.

 Kris Brummett Asked:

We had a fabulous cruise on the Carnival Victory 6/26-7/3!   This was my third cruise with Carnival and I want to say for the first time I realized how hard the assistant cruise directors work. We had a fabulous CD in Karl with a K, but the assistant CD, Matt was phenomenal.  I won’t forget either of them. I also wanted to thank you for the kind gift sent to our room and thank Carnival for another wonderful cruising experience!


John Says:
Hello Kris Brummett

This is very important to mention Kris because you are absolutely correct when you say how hard the ACD’s work. I could never do my job without a strong ACD to help me. I will make sure both Karl and Matt get to see this and I am so glad you had fun. Thanks for taking the time to write.

Best wishes.

Lassiter Asked:

It seems to me and I am by the way someone who has been cruising for 18 years and have many with Carnival that your company is looking to be the bottom feeder in the industry. There is a big conversation on Cruise Critic about how Mr. Cahill is dumbing down Carnival and as I know how much you despise us Cruise Critic readers, I won’t waste my time putting the link on your blog. Hundreds of subscribers feel that with all the huge cuts that he is making that he is obviously turning the company into one that only wants blue collar workers and those who may not have high expectations. I am writing to you as the company’s ambassador which I understand is your title so I hope you will give me the respect of an honest answer and no some corporate clap trap and hot air.

John Says:
Hello Lassiter.

I will simply say this — what huge cuts? And the people we are trying to attract are people who want fun at the most affordable price in the vacation industry regardless of what colour their collar is. And for the last time let me be as clear as a polished piece of glass when I say I do not despise Cruise Critic but I am starting to despise the few that give a band name to the many. I hope that you will reply listing the cuts that you are talking about so we can discuss them. Please tell me what you are concerned with and I will help answer it, as honestly and as best I can.

Best wishes.

Brycen Edwards Asked:
In January I went on a cruise with my Dad’s office. Dad got sick and had to be disembarked. Well we paid around $2,500 before leaving the boat in medical expenses. I found out last week that the rest of our office was held on ship till they coughed up another $1,400 that the medical department forgot to charge us. While in this case it is hugely funny, if I had been traveling with friends I would be very upset to hear that it had happened. I think Carnival is going too far with their marine law in this case. The whole mess was a bit too far with marine law. Normally when you do this it is called kidnapping. However it was my Dad’s boss so I call it you should have kept the bloke and put him to work. 😛  I think Carnival should reconsider their policy in this situation. Not everyone is related to the rest of their travel party. It has needless to say left a sour taste in my mouth. I may reconsider traveling with Carnival in the future once my September cruise is done.

John Says:
Hello Brycen Edwards

I was very sorry to read about your father’s illness during the cruise and I hope that he is well now. Obviously I have no idea as to the circumstances and what insurance you had or did not have. However, I thank you for your email me and I will make sure that someone who will be in contact with you very soon. Once again I hope your father is doing better now.

Best wishes to all.

Linda Forshee Asked:
Hi John,

Just a quick question. We are going on the Carnival Ecstasy on the Oct 31 what night will they have the Halloween costume party. We were on it last year and it was a blast. See you Nov.14th in Galveston

John Says:
Hello Linda

Halloween has become a huge event at Carnival over the past few years and it will be again this year across the fleet. There will be the parade and all the usual events on the Carnival Ecstasy on the 31st and it will be literally……a scream. I wish you a brilliant time and hope to see you in Texas.

Best wishes.

James Keesler Asked:
We are taking our 17th Carnival cruise October 7 on Carnival Magic. We will be celebrating 30 years of marriage and also a birthday (78th) on this cruise.  We want it to be a cruise to remember. How about arranging something nice for us? Just to let us know that Carnival does indeed care about their loyal patrons. Guess you will not be the CD on this cruise. We were looking forward to sailing with you. Oh well, James should be fine. Oh we will be in cabin 1279.

John Says:
Hello James Keesler

We really do care about all our customers and I will be happy to send you something to celebrate. James will do a brilliant job and I am sorry I cannot be with you. Please leave a note at the guest service desk when you get onboard and there will be something delivered to your cabin. Have a brilliant time.

Best wishes.

Pixie56 Asked:
Like you, I am obese but I think I have grown to accept this and I think you should as well and you should stop putting yourself down and making fat jokes about yourself and just accept that you are what you are and that is obese. I think you will be much happier. I do have some questions John. I am worried about wanting to go down the slides on the Carnival Dream. Will I be able to and will I be able to keep a T-shirt on because I don’t have a bathing suit. I also need a table for two and chairs at dinner that has no arms, my DH also as we are both 350 pounds plus. My other question is that I heard that Carnival now delivers pizza to the cabins and I wanted to know if there was charge for this. We are so excited to be going on the cruise. It’s our first and the honeymoon we never had three years ago when we were married because of financial problems. Our cabin number for the cruise on Dream on 08/20/11 is 8341.

Thank you John

John Says:
Hello Pixie56

Let me start by saying thanks so much for your concern. I realise that my current weight is too much and I am on a diet and losing weight slowly and feeling good about myself that I am, thanks again for taking the time to think of me. I have asked the maitre d to request a table for two for you and we will have the chairs without arms. We do not deliver pizza to the cabins but it is available 24 hours on Lido deck 10. I think I already answered this question a few weeks ago now I come to think of it but if not I am glad I got to it before you cruise. I wish you both a brilliant time.

Best wishes.

Willis O. Asked:
Hey John,

Why is there only two cruise dates for the Panama Canal, and why can’t Carnival have a ship with balconies to sail through?

John Says:
Hello Willis O

There is no doubt that the Panama Canal cruises are really popular and every time we reposition a vessel from coast to coast, we try to do this. On this occasion it’s the Fantasy-class ships that are able to do this and they do indeed have limited balconies. We have also had the Spirit-class ships do the voyage and they of course have more balconies. The other ships are too big for the canal. Thanks Willis and I hope you get to experience the Panama Canal voyage soon.

Best wishes.

Karen Williams Asked:
Hello John,

I am booked to take the European 12 day cruise for October 2011. Since we are going to so many amazing locations, I wanted to have my passport stamped as a great way to have memories of the trip. How can I do that?

John Says:
Hello Karen Williams

The sad thing is that as we are going to mostly European Union countries they no longer have borders so there will be no need to show passports and therefore you can’t get it stamped. The only exception to this is if your cruise includes Dubrovnik, Croatia, which is not part of the EU and therefore they need to see everyone’s passport as you leave the ship and if you ask them they will for the most part, stamp it for you. I promise you a wonderful time.

Best wishes.

Rocca Asked:

Coming up on our seven Carnival cruise and have never had a table for two always with other passengers some nice some morons so now I think we deserve our table for two for the Carnival Imagination September 2, cabin E71.

John Says:
Hello Rocca

I have asked the maitre d on the Carnival Imagination to help you with this request and I hope you have a brilliant time on your seventh Carnival cruise. Best wishes to you both.


Wally Cronin Asked:
My family and I sailed on the Carnival Magic last week. Please thank the entire crew for the incredible trip we had. The ability to see the Coliseum, the Vatican, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Pompeii, Monte Carlo and so much more while enjoying most of what the ship has to offer was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Especially worth mentioning were the cabin stewards for 10264, who did a wonderful job of keeping our room fresh and keeping us up to date on what was going on onboard. Our headwaiter Freddie and his staff were always there to serve and assist. Their food and wine suggestions were always on the mark. Alexandra did a fantastic job of making our kids feel special during the past guest’s reception. As for the ship’s amenities: The sky course was my 12-year-old son’s favorite. My daughter loved the poolside movies. My wife loved the general level of pampering she received. It’s a tossup between the RedFrog Pub and the cabin’s balcony for me. The RedFrog has a great atmosphere but there’s nothing quite like sipping a cold drink in the moonlight and watching the stars on the water. We had a marvelous time. Thank you again to the entire Magic crew for making it happens.

Wally Cronin

John Says:
Hello Wally Cronin

This is a great review and I thank you so much for taking the time to write to me. I promise to make sure everyone you mentioned gets to see this and I know they will be thrilled. I have no fears in saying that I think Carnival Magic is simply…….our best ship yet. My best wishes to you and your family.


That’s all for today.

Well just for a change it’s time to talk about food………oh FFS!

Let’s start with a request for the fantastic recipe we use here at the Cucina del Capitano for the spaghetti carbonara. Here it is.


 After all the concern and worry about the new menus it seems that for the most part they have been met with much praise and if not praise then understanding and an acceptance not to judge until tasted which is, of course, the sensible approach. But there has been a lot of praise as I said and some questions. One of those questions is about what menu is served on the Carnival Freedom and other ships that have eight-day cruises. So to answer that, here is the eight-day menu from the new rotation:



Now, let’s stop talking about food shall we and move onto what happened to me yesterday……. and it’s not very nice.

I had a terrible nightmare last night. I was in the hospital waiting room. The wind was gusting outside throwing heavy rain against the window. A gorgeous Latvian nurse had just left the room having told me that Doctor Longfinger was just checking a few things. She had done her best to look like nothing was wrong but I could tell something was. A large brass clock on the wall ticked away the seconds and the minutes.

Then suddenly the Doctor Longfinger appeared.

“Sorry to keep you waiting, Mr Heald,” said with an accent that was pure New York. He was carrying a large brown file with my name written on it and he didn’t look happy at all to see me.

His expression was a gloomy as the weather outside and I hoped that was because he was worried about the economy or if his wife would find out that he was having rumpy pumpy with the Latvian nurse. He was a large man himself, not fat like me but tall and wide and, well a little chubby and he had a sort of hunch………bloody hell, he looked like Calvyn.

He coughed nervously, never a good sign. “I just wanted to make sure I was seeing this correctly,” and as he said this he took a seat next to me.”I wish I had better news for you.”

I turned back to look at the rain thrashing against the window. “Mr. Heald, are you still with me?” asked Doc Longfinger.

I just didn’t know what to say so I turned to him and said the first thing I could think of, “Am I buggered, doc?”

With that Doctor Longfinger opened the brown file and pulled out an X-ray and pointing to a large object he said “It’s Pandalus Borealis Anus.” And with treatment it can be made bearable and with surgery there is a small possibility of survival. If you don’t have surgery…… then you will die.  It was hard to believe that this was it, the end of the road. I always imagined it would be something a bit bigger like a climbing wall landing on my head, or an angry Cruise Critic member having me whacked. But it wasn’t, it was Pandalus Borealis Anus.

I looked at Doctor Longfinger and trying to hold back the tears, I simply said, “What is Pandalus Borealis Anus?”

The doctor ran his fingers through his hair, removed his glasses, looked me in the eyes and said. “You’ve got a shrimp cocktail lodged up your arse.”

And that’s when I woke up……………..screaming.


Your friend

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