The Red Light District

August 23, 2011 -

John Heald

Ref: 872294249A Cabin: **** Booking#:******Added-Changed: 08/21/11 – 08/21/1


Guest called the GSD at 6:15am and asked that someone come immediately to their cabin as the red stand by light on the television was stopping them from sleeping. Guest also asked that the stateroom steward remove the Bible from the cabin but he had not done so. Joiner on duty went to cabin and placed a piece of black tape over the red light on the television and the guest handed the Bible to him which was delivered to the GSD.

Added-Changed: 8/22/11 – 8/22/11 – Mrs. _______ removed all gratuities from cabin ______. GSA asked if she would like to discuss why this was done but she refused.

Red lights, Bibles and canceling gratuities. Let’s discuss this and try and work out what’s going on here. Ummmmm……….ummmmmmmmmmmm……..well honestly I haven’t a sodding clue. Do you?

Time for some Q and A………here we go.

Wanda Puckett asked:
Hi John,

Just started following your blog and comments and I absolutely love it. I will be enjoying my tenth Carnival cruise September 26 on the Carnival Fantasy. It will be my third (or fourth) on the Carnival Fantasy and I absolutely love it. My husband proposed to me in the piano bar on this ship in 2004. Just wanted to “poop” in and say hi. Looking forward to maybe sailing with you one day. Keep up the great blogs.

John says:
Hello Wanda Puckett,

It is always such a pleasure to welcome new readers to the blog and to Facebook and especially one who has been such a loyal customer to Carnival over the years. How brilliant that your proposal took place on the Carnival Fantasy where you will be returning to once again. If there is anything you need before you sail please let me know via Facebook and I wish you both a wonderful cruise.

Best wishes.


Julie Gregory asked:

I am cruising the Carnival Spirit 9/13/2011, and lucky for me I will be Platinum. Started cruising 2/20/2009 and just love it! My question is I understand on Cruise Critic that Carnival has set up a certain time for a meet and greet for Cruise Critic members, but that it was still under debate. Can you please let me know which day and time we will be scheduled for the Cruise Critic meet and greet so I can post it on our roll call? Thanks so much, and have a great week!

Julie G.

John says:
Hello Julie Gregory,

Many congratulations on reaching your Platinum status and doing so on the gorgeous Carnival Spirit. I have asked all the cruise directors to set up a meet and greet on either embarkation day or if there is a sea day directly after sailing then it will be scheduled for that afternoon. The Fun Times will reflect this with a “Cruise Critic Meet and Greet” listed in the rundown. If there is a specific time you would like to request please let me know. I wish you all a wonderful cruise.

Best wishes.


Jeffrey Berliner asked:

My wife and I were on the July 10 sailing of the Carnival Magic. We have done 16 cruises (not all on Carnival) and just wanted to let you know that this cruise may have been the best. The ship is beautiful, the food and service was excellent, the shows were great and you were hilarious. We agree with you that live music is best, and while many walked out on the violinist, and we are not real classic violin fans, we enjoyed her show. I am just disappointed that we didn’t get a chance to meet. It is interesting to read the blog and the Facebook posts to see what we missed on the cruise, all the complaining that people do. I don’t know how you deal with it without going crazy. I know that you get many complaints, but I just wanted to pass along our praise for a job well done by you and the entire staff that we came into contact with. No fruit basket or autographed book, but many good memories.

Best regards.

John says:
Hello Jeffery Berliner,

I was just telling a guest this morning how on a ship with 4,500 people how difficult it is to meet everyone, especially when I have blogs and FB and all the other stuff that goes into running the ship. So I apologise that we never met in person but I am so glad that you had such a great time and that the cruise was your best yet. I hope that we will see each other on board again and this time we will get to shake hands. Thanks so much for those very kind words and I am so glad you had fun.

Best wishes.


Veronica C asked:
Hello John,

I was part of a Cruise Critic roll call on Carnival Spirit on the May 4 sailing. Since returning I have read that on NCL and RCCL the captain and cruise director and other ship officers attend and stand at the door to meet the passengers. On our roll call there was no captain or cruise director just one lady who stopped by for 30 seconds and then left again. Why is it John that Carnival cares little for these functions and yet the other companies do? I feel very slighted by this having now seen that other Cruise Critic meet and greets are treated with care and attention by the other cruise companies.

John says:
Hello Veronica C,

First of all I do hope that you and your Cruise Critic friends had fun and that after talking to each other online that meeting in person gave you a chance to meet new friends and hopefully some of those friendships will last a long time to come. I have (as I mentioned above in answering Julie’s question) recently asked all the CD’s to set a permanent time for these very important Cruise Critic meet and greets. However, as important as they are, it is not always possible for the captain to attend. The CD maybe able to but again, it depends on his or her schedule and what is happening at that time. Please don’t feel slighted and I do hope that you had a wonderful cruise.

Best wishes.


FrankE asked:

Will you definitely be the cruise director for the first cruise of the Carnival Breeze, John? We sailed on the inaugural of the Carnival Splendor with you and had so much fun that we want to do it again and were looking at Carnival Breeze. Will you be there? You may remember me as I was the one who forgot the words to Mack the Knife in the talent show and you came out and held the words up for me and said that you were my music stand. It would be great to hear that we will see you on the Carnival Breeze.

John says:
Hello FrankE,

Yes indeed, I remember that well and standing there holding the words for you was fun especially if I remember I had my back to the audience and I did a little bottom jiggle while you sang. I will be there on the first cruise of the Carnival Breeze and I am glad that you will be there as well. Please let me know if you need anything.

Best wishes.


Carlynn Chappell asked:

I am going to be cruising on the Carnival Sensation in cabin R75 along with my daughter Jade for some mother and daughter time. She is 17 and I wanted to know what time the teen ClubO2 closes at night. Can you send her a gift? She has done well at school and I am a single mom.

John says:
Hello Carlynn Chappell,

After checking your booking number I see that you actually board the ship on Thursday so I am glad I caught this. Club O2 closes at 2 am and I am sure Jade will have fun there. I will send you both a little something and wish you a brilliant cruise.

Best wishes.


Terry Mavis asked:

Would you please post the cruise directors for Carnival Triumph for February 2012 cruises or at least advise when they will be available?

Thank you.

Terry Mavis

John says:
Hello Terry Mavis,

Thanks for writing and I will have the completed schedule sometime in the middle of September. It’s almost done and as soon as it is I will post it here on the blog thingy. Please let me know if you need anything else.

Best wishes.


Thomas asked:

When the Carnival Magic comes to Galveston, will you still be the cruise director?

John says:
Hello Thomas,

I will be the CD from the cruise of November 14 and leave for vacation on December 4. I return again at the end of January. I hope I will get to see you and we are all very excited about bringing this amazing ship to Texas.

Best wishes.


Bill Duncan asked:

I am really concerned as I just booked a cruise on the Carnival Conquest for me and 12 other people to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. Then I read this review on Cruise Critic that now has me concerned I may have made a big mistake.

Most of us do not smoke and certainly don’t drink a lot either and when I read about how people are allowed in the restaurant in “swim trunks and sleeveless tee shirts” I was very surprised and somewhat shocked. This is our first Carnival experience and so I guess I am asking you to clarify if this and the other statements the author made are true. Thank you for your time.

John says:
Hello Bill Duncan,

I am so glad you decided to write to me so I can absolutely say that you have not made a mistake. Let me start by saying that Cruise Critic is a brilliant site for people to be able to post their opinions about their cruise and most are honest and subjective. However, there are some people who sometimes, you have to wonder, were they on the ship at all. Now far be it for me to say that the author of this was talking nonsense but I can assure you and promise you that we never ever let guests into dinner in “swim trunks and sleeveless tee shirts straight from the pool.” In fact I sent an e mail to the maitre d of the Carnival Conquest who wrote this to me: “John, we have never allowed bathing suits and trunks at dinner or sleeveless t shirts and I am upset that this accusation has been made at me.”

As you can see, he is really upset and I don’t blame him. Look, I know that we let some of our dress codes slide, allowing a T-shirt here and a pair of jeans there but to state that we have guests coming in swim trunks is quite honestly a lie. The end. Bill, please take the time to read the other reviews on Cruise Critic which are honest and true and most of which give the Carnival Conquest rave reviews and although I can’t say for certain as time doesn’t allow me to read them …..I bet none of them mention swim trunks being worn in the dining room. So have a brilliant time and I wish you a very happy 50th wedding anniversary.

Best wishes.


Kelli Pilsbury asked:

Hi John,

Thank-you so much for answering my last question! My husband is a huge wine lover…….but fussy. My next question for you: Why can we each take a bottle of wine on board for a three-day cruise, but still only take one bottle each on an eight-day cruise? I suppose it is either a tracking issue or legal issue?

John says:
Hello Kelli Pilsbury,

I have to say that this is a rule that I never quite understood but it is the rule. If you are on a three-day cruise or a 16 day trans-Atlantic crossing then the one bottle rule stands. I will bring this up with the beards again. I will say that our new wine list has something for everyone and hopefully your husband will agree. Please let me know if you need anything else and have a brilliant cruise.

Best wishes.


Helen M asked:
Hi John,

I have enjoyed reading your blog so much these past few weeks as I have been preparing for our first ever cruise. I know that people ask you for things here and normally I would never do this but I know if anyone can get this done you can, John. My fiancé has returned from his second tour of Afghanistan. He doesn’t have one of those war stories you read about so much because he is a chef and cooks the hundreds of meals for the men and women at Bagram Airbase. I don’t get to see much of him and I was hoping that we could have a table for just the two of us so we can get to know each other again as it’s been seven very long months. We will be on the Carnival Fantasy ship on 9/10 for five days together. Thank you John and thank you for keeping me laughing. Booking ******.

John says:
Hello Helen M,

There are still some people who question why I help people with dinner seatings and there are still some who get angry about it. So for those who question “Why??”……here is your answer.

I wish you the very best time Helen and I hope that this cruise will bring you closer together. I have asked the maitre d to reserve you a table for two and please thank your fiancé for the wonderful work he does and give him a big “welcome home” from us all.

Best wishes.


Lifelong Browns Fan asked:

I sail on the Carnival Freedom right at the start of the NFL season and I am getting conflicting reports that the boat will show the games. The game I want is Bengals at the Browns and it is on CBS. This is the Browns year and I have never missed the start of a season in 15 years and I wasn’t happy when I discovered that my wife had booked a cruise. Will the game be shown!! Please respond!!!

John says:
Hello Lifelong Browns Fan,

I can feel your passion Mr. Brown and I am glad this is going to be your year. I have no idea who the Browns are but if their game is shown on CBS there is a chance that we will get it and that it will be shown in the Carnival Freedom’s sports bar on deck 5 forward. I can’t promise for sure but I hope for your sake and your wife’s that it is. Have a great cruise and hope you win the World Series.

Best wishes.


That’s all for today and I will return tomorrow with more and each day on Facebook.

Well I finally got told what my confirmed schedule is for the rest of this year and there have been one or two changes. Here it is:

So I was due to leave the Carnival Magic on October 6, have two weeks at home and then head to the first cruise of the Carnival Liberty as she comes out of dry dock. I will also spend some time on Carnival Liberty during dry dock taping before and after videos with the beards for the blog and Facebook. Now I am not sure if I am staying the whole two weeks or if I am going to fly from Miami to the dry dock facility in Freeport, Bahamas, but I will be showing you close up what happens during this time. Now this means pulling me off the Carnival Magic earlier than forecast. And no……I can’t tell you any details about the Carnival Liberty yet but the fact that Carnival is taking me off the ship, lodging my fat arse in an economy seat and making me wait for four hours under the kind and welcoming hospitality that is Miami Airport’s United States Customs and Border Protection, shows you just how excited everyone is about this project.

So this is what’s happening then:









Now it is still my intention to have a bloggers breakfast or something in Galveston to mark the arrival of the Carnival Magic and I don’t have details of this just yet but I fully intend to meet as many of you as possible. Now I know me leaving the Carnival Magic early will disappoint some people who are sailing here and please allow me to say how sorry I am for this. I go where the beards tell me to go but I will certainly miss this amazing ship and sailing with you.

Let’s take a pause and have a look at some stunning photos of Venice at night as taken by the one and only Mr. Radu.

I have to say what a busy few days it’s been for the beards in the office. Hurricane Bastard has played havoc with scheduling and itineraries with probably the most challenging being the Carnival Victory. As you know, the United Sates Coast Guard closed the port of San Juan and the Carnival Victory had to depart, despite dozens of guests not having checked in yet. And so, for obvious safety reasons the ship sailed out of the path of the storm leaving those disappointed and I am sure some very angry people behind. Carnival though is so good at these kinds of situations now. We certainly were not always so but the last few years I think that our response teams and our care teams both shoreside and on board have done a brilliant job making sure that when something like this happens the guests are taken care of properly. And so they were all placed in hotels and when the storm passed they will be flown to Barbados to join the Carnival Victory tomorrow (Wednesday) and once on board I can promise a whole big fuss will be made of them.

Other ships have had their itineraries changed and each of those ships will have the same scenario on them. Most guests will be disappointed. Most guests will be understanding. A few guests will throw all their toys out of the stroller, jump up and down, scream, shout and hurl abuse because it’s Carnival’s fault that Hurricane Irene is heading their way. Such is life on a cruise ship. Let’s hope that Irene buggers off quickly. Anyway, the beards are continuing to meet in the “situation room” which is a state of the art conference room with ummmm……. ummmmm …….telephones…….and ummm……..a table and chairs………and they will all be monitoring what Irene is doing. We will keep you informed on and on my Facebook page, as well.

One of the Facebookers, Tony L, who sailed with me recently and who came on board with one pair of underpants and a $10 bill and did not change either of them, asked if I would write a timeline of a typical day at sea. So this was my day yesterday as noted down by my wonderful assistant Melody with personal gaps written in by me.

7:00am: My alarm goes off. It’s my raspberry alarm and it plays the theme from West Wing so I can feel all presidential when I wake up. Sad bugger, aren’t I? Then it’s time to have a shave, shower, and my first pee of the day which being diabetic and with all the pills I take means my first pee looks like Ozzy Osbourne is going to rise up out of it.

7:35am: I am dressed and ready for the day. I check my sugar level – it’s 6.1, not sure what that is in the US standards but it’s about normal for me. I then do my blood pressure. I do this every day, I don’t know why. I guess I have become paranoid about this and bought myself a machine. This morning it’s 117/71 which is good I guess. Glad it wasn’t hooked up to me during the night when I had a dream about Megan Fox and a trampoline! I then take my morning pills which include my diabetic pill, my multi vitamin, cinnamon, cod liver oil and an extra B12 pill as well.

7:45am: I am now having breakfast which is an effervescent orange drink called Berocca and a cup of tea which I make myself. I know I should eat a good breakfast but the Berocca and the tea are good enough to get me through the morning.

8:00am: Now looking at the first thing I always look at when I sit down at my desk …………….kidding……… and check out the news and what’s happening around the world.

8:10am: Open up the email box hoping that I will have only a few. But of course I don’t because I have two accounts. My ship cruise director account and my Carnival shore side account. There were a total of 15 in my in boxes when I went to bed and this morning its 71. Bugger.

8:45am: I have spent the last 35 minutes answering and sorting emails as well as deleting the offers of a larger thingy and a loan to pay for it. Then right on time as always in comes Melody my assistant. She has the letters that have been dropped off at the morning show and more importantly she has coffee from the Promenade Cafe. Cappuccino, skim milk, extra hot, two Splendas. I have a total of 12 new letters overnight. All but two are dedications for the morning show. One is a letter of complaint about the lines for the Vaperettos in Venice. This is standard I am sorry to say but when 4,000 guests from the Carnival Magic plus another 3,000 from the Star Princess all get off together there are going to be lines. The letter is to the point if not a little flippant and I keep it on my desk to call the guest later in the day. The other non dedication letter is another usual type, a request to visit the bridge without paying for the Behind the Fun tour. If the guest is in the Coast Guard or has served in the Navy or has a special reason why, then I will ask the captain. There is no special reason why here except it’s a graduation cruise for someone called Tyler whose parents love him very much but not enough to pay for the tour. I will send them a note back, with an apology and a trophy for Tyler, aged 16.

9:00am: Calvyn walks in dressed in – well have a look for yourself what he was wearing for the Morning Show.

He never dresses to Carnival “code” but it doesn’t bother me. He is an unusual …….ummmmmm……..shape and finds it difficult to get a uniform to fit properly and obviously I understand how he feels. But there is another reason I let him get away with this. You see he is not your cookie cutter good looking handsome or cute E staff member. Yes, he may have the posture of a three-legged yak and yes he may be as camp as Richard Simmons’ underwear drawer (sorry Richard and the guests who complained) but he is so talented and the guests………well they love him so who am I to say that he should conform? Anyway, he walks in singing that sodding Justin Beaver song again so I throw a desk calculator at his head. It hits him and he yells “Ow” and it’s off we go to the morning show.

I am going to stop there as some of you may have already slipped into a coma. I will be back with 9:15am – noon……tomorrow. I feel like Jack Bauer…….without the explosions, the man bag and not going for a poo for 24 hours, of course.

Well it’s 10:55 am now this beautiful Tuesday at sea and I just walked the ship after my Morning Show and said hello to lots of guests although I got little response from some of the kids. Do you remember when we were at school and those big text messages we used to read….they were called books. I noticed today as I wandered the ship and looked at the many children sitting on deck and along the Lanai with their parents that not one of them was reading a book……. not one. They all had their heads buried in prayer…….well, that’s what it looked like but of course their heads were bowed as they worshipped at the temple of Playstationnintendobox portable games, their minds concentrating totally on beheading a zombie.

But that’s part of the modern family I guess. Gone are the days of The Cosby Show and the Brady Bunch. Anyway, the Cosbys would show a family in love and despite their problems they would all get resolved just in time to go and eat vanilla pudding. And the Bradys…..well there were six kids. None were drug users or had criminal records yet we all loved the show and I loved Marsha. She was my first Megan Fox. Nowadays, the shows have to feature a family with no Mum or no Dad or a divorced family or a kid who is actually a mass murderer or a mother who has three jobs including a stripper but comes home to look after her teenage son who wants to be a girl and change his name from Calvin to Clarissa.

As I have mentioned in a couple of blogs last week, we have close to 1,500 British guests on board and when I say British I mean Scottish, Welsh, Irish and English and it’s fun listening to all their different accents. At the welcome aboard show I had a delightful young man called Ben on stage. He is seven and from Manchester and had a very cute and very broad Manchester accent. I also had Vera, a Scottish lady married to Dougal………what a fabulous name that is ……. Dougal …………for 52 years. As I interviewed both I could tell that the multinational audience could not understand a word they were saying so I found myself translating from Manchurian English and Scottish to……..well, American I guess. There are many regional accents in the UK, I like this, it gives us some identity and even if we move from London to Louisville or from Newcastle to New York we still have our accents, but will the next generation?
I worry about this because if you think about it whether you live in Cardiff or California, Seattle or Southend on Sea…….kids all watch the same TV.

British kids today spend half their day watching pink animated programs from America and are becoming a generation that thinks you dial 911 if you want the police and that “colour” has no “u” and they all talk like someone from that annoying TV show Glee.

A few years ago everyone thought that speaking properly meant you had to talk like the Queen who speaks like she is trying to keep a peeled grape between her buttocks, and that her vocal cords are actually made from glass. Walk around the Carnival Magic today with 1,500 Brits on board and while my generation still speaks proper English the kids sound like Beeoncehay or Justin Beaver.

But it seems that even I am slipping…………I have always considered myself to be as British as spotted dick but not anymore it seems because yesterday my mate Alan called me on my cell phone and asked “How are you?” And I replied “I’m good.”

“Sorry – you’re what?” asked my mate. I realized what I had said but it was too late and a massive bollocking followed as my friend berated me.

Americanisms from British children can just about be excused since they watch American TV all day and are too young to realise how silly they sound (that’s realise spelt properly). But from a 45-year old fat British cruise director saying this stuff, well I sound ridiculous and the more I think about it the more it seems I am really becoming American.

“Can I get….…” has largely replaced “May I have….…” when I order food. I say “apartment” not flat and the other day I remember now I said “that sucks.” Rubbish is garbage and when I mentioned this to Heidi this morning on the phone she said I also say “mail man” instead of the postman.

I’ve nothing against Americanisms – when used by Americans. It’s when us Brits use them that it’s bloody embarrassing. And now, as I sit here in my underpants (thank goodness I haven’t started calling them ummmm – what do you Americans call them by the way?) I realise it’s a losing battle because just a few minutes previous to writing this blog I had to go to the bridge and asked someone to “hold the elevator” and not “hold the lift.”

Still, thankfully there’s one US word that I haven’t yet started to say. The one Americans use for “arse,” I don’t mean ass……no I mean “fanny” which we use for something else entirely. Yes, when us Brits start asking, “Does my fanny look big in this?” ….the English language will be lost forever.


Your friend,


Comment Policy

Look, friends — there are a few things you should remember before you comment. The space below is for you to post your comments about the post I've just written above. Now, while I may not be able to reply to your comment below, I do sit in my underpants almost every morning and read everything that is here. So feel free to comment on the comments and then if someone wants to comment on the comment to the comment then go ahead as well. Please be courteous, unless the poster is French...........then you can say whatever you want.

57 Responses to The Red Light District

  1. Carol says:

    The pictures of Venice are so beautiful. Has Carnival ever considered letting us order some of them? I cruised with Carnival to Venice but my photos are just snapshots. I’d love to be able to order some of Mr. Radu’s.

  2. Dennis Hanovich says:

    We’re very disappointed to find you will not be on the 9/16 sailing of the Magic. I was looking forward to shaking your hand and giving you a comprehensive lesson on the history of Texas and its importance to the universe. (just kidding about the lesson). Oh, well, we hope to catch you on the Magic another time when she sails from Galveston.

  3. Martyn jupp says:

    Well done John, Shit day at work and as always you make it a good laugh before i go to bed Night night and Bloody hurry up and visit us for some good old ENGLISH fish n chips Take care love the Jupps

  4. Carol says:


    Loved Mr. Radu’s pictures of Venice at night. He should consider putting the pictures together from his travels and get them published into an oversize book(us Americans refer to them as coffee table books), then Carnival could sell it in the ship gift shops.

  5. Debbie Tucker says:

    John my husband and myself will be goin going on our 10th and 11th Carnival cruise on September 18th on the Pride.

    Just want to thank you for all the information you provide and I will be sure to give the cruise director on the Pride a big smile and a thank you when I see him.

    I know that all of you at Carnival do a wonderful job to make sure that we can have the best possible vacation.

    Thank youl.

  6. Host Mach from Cruise Critic says:

    John, you need to come to Galveston one day earlier… Nov 6… to see all the brilliant changes that are being made at Cruise Terminal #1 for the arrival of our Carnival Magic! Wonderful stuff is going on AND the Crazies return from our voyage on the Carnival Conquest… the last seven day voyage from Galveston for her. We’d love to get a chance to say hi before everyone heads home.

    By the way, speaking of Galveston… Blogger’s Cruise 5! We have about 215 folks sailing with us for BC5 and they’re from a fantastic range of places… Alaska… various parts of Canada and, of course, TEXAS!!! This is gonna be a tremendous group of Crazies and Bloggers! Can’t wait!!

    Regarding the review that Bill Duncan referenced… these are typically ‘everything was terrible… all the staff stunk and there wasn’t a thing worth eating’ reviews and we ALL know that’s impossible. Yep, some of these are no doubt penned by Carnival haters who have most likely never set foot on a Carnival ship and for sure not on the brilliant Carnival Conquest.

    Please send our love to the girls!!


    Host Mach

  7. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

    Veronica C:

    Please do not feel slighted that Carnival does not do more for Cruise Critic Meet and Greets.

    What you do not seem to understand is that other cruise lines use these Meet and Greets as part of their advertising budget.

    Carnival does not need to spend their advertising budget this way, because they are already booking above capacity…while RCCL is only about 93% and NCL even less. (the last figures that were posted)

    I prefer that Carnival not WASTE money on a Meet and Greet to keep my cruising cost as inexpensive as possible.

    Telling folks on your Roll Call…”hey meet us at a particular location after the Muster Drill” just isn’t rocket science.

    Most people are intelligent enough to handle it on their own.


  8. Wendell Pendell says:

    Hi John,

    Here’s a photo that I hope will remind you of the Spirit Dawgs’ request for a Pub Crawl on our Carnival Spirit cruise departing November 18th. Best regards, Wendell

  9. hi john,just wanted to comment on your sense of humor.i love it. i think it’s time for people to get a life and enjoy the silly and not so silly things on your blog. we have been fans from the time we had you as a cd on the glory in florida.we have booked the dream for october 1st. booking xxxxx. this is for our 53rd wedding anniversary . i was hoping since it’s our 19 cruise on carnival you could send a small something to our room 8425. if not we’ll love ya anyway thanks you for all you do with the blog and fb i am one of the mellow yellows from cruise critic you treated so great on the freedom in europe. i remain your friend kathy

  10. cherylc says:

    Sounds great- but I was hoping you’d be on the Inspiration in January, as it will be my first time cruising on this ship!
    Have the Legends acts changed, & when will you announce the new line up?

  11. Sharon says:

    Dearest John,
    Underpants=underwear, boxers, briefs, boxer briefs…brilliant blog today my friend and while you find yourself using Americanisms, I find myself using Britishisms such a “brilliant” more and more!

    Today, I want to again compliment Mr Radu for sharing his talent with us. I truly hope he is still on board Nov.14th, as I plan to find him and thank him personally. He is such an asset to Carnival.

    To Bill Duncan: We sailed the Conquest last month and while I have no idea what you refer to from Cruise Critic, I can tell you the level of dress in the MDR FAR SURPASSED any ship we have ever been on especially on Elegant night. There were no bathing suits or muscle shirts. I can also tell you on our particular cruise there were far less smokers than on other cruises we’ve been on. As for alcohol consumption, it was about average. I’ve been on cruises way worse (Paradise weekend cruise out of LA) and some where I didn’t notice people drinking hardly at all (Legend last September). You do realize this will change from cruise to cruise. I say, go enjoy your cruise and have a wonderful 50th anniversary!!

    Thanks again John and talk to you soon!

  12. Jim Ashmead says:

    Oh My! You will be leaving the Carnival Magic on the day we sail….Disappointing. I am sure we will have a great cruise, but like you say “WYWH.”

  13. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


    I really hope that Bill Duncan reads today’s replies.

    As a Cruise Critic member, I wish to reassure him that he and his party will have a wonderful time.

    I, too, don’t smoke…. don’t drink a lot….and (while not celebrating my 50th wedding anniversary) I am closer to 60 years then I care to admit. We have a wonderful time on Carnival.

    My “in-laws” have been married more than 50 years ( 56 I believe) and they sailed with us in January…will be with us in September AND will be sailing in Nov with us on the Magic before sailing with us in April to Hawaii.

    In fact, they are Platinum….my father-in-law is 80 years old.

    so I hope Bill Duncan and his party go and have a wonderful cruise.

    Linda (Mom of your friend DJ)

  14. Chris Yust says:

    Underwear…undies…step-ins. ..Briefs…boxers…shorts. ..Underpants
    All the same! Lol
    good nite
    your friend

  15. Lauren says:

    Brilliant blog……as usual. The rain in spain falls mainly on the plain. Just say that like Audrey Hepburn 10 times every morning. Let me know how the accent goes.

  16. Christine says:

    I guess you don’t have a “Fanny Pack” either. 🙂 My husband is British and just about fell over when he saw a “Fanny’s Fabrics” (fabric store in Calgary Canada). I also work with someone named “Minji”:p

  17. lester says:

    You do not have a fanny, I hope.

  18. antiquitys says:

    Lifelong Browns Fan: Do not worry if you do not see the Browns play the Bengals. As I live in the Greater Cincinnati area I can assure you the Browns will not only win but it will probably be a blowout. The Bengals are, without a doubt, the most pathetic team in the NFL.

  19. Juan and Maria Santana says:

    John please reply:

    Hi, John! Yes, you’re 100% right, there are going to be some very disappointed people because you’re leaving the Magic earlier. Juan & I are 2 of those. We’ve been booked on the Oct. 16 twelve day Magic cruise from Barcelona since early June & were very excited to be able to sail with you again. Shortly after booking it, we wrote you (using the “Ask John” reply form) to let you know about our plans & trying to confirm that you were going to be on the ship. We never got an answer. About a month ago we wrote you again because something I read on the blog made me suspect that you may not be on the ship for that sailing. Never got an answer. Also, a couple of times we asked Adrian Perez, our Carnival personal vacation planner here in Miami if you were going to be on the ship & his answer was affirmative. We know that you have to go where your bosses send you, but we just wanted for you & the bosses know how disappointed we are.

    Would you be able to tell us at this time or in the next few wks. who will be the CD replacing you on the Oct. 16 Magic sailing? We are flying Miami to Madrid on Oct. 1 & will be doing some traveling throughout the southern part of Spain before heading to Barcelona a couple days before the Magic sailing.


    The Santanas of Miami Beach

    • Wendy Jackson says:

      If you look at the very bottom of this page to the right, you can click on 2011 Cruise Director Schedules. Looks like James Charlton will be replacing John on the Magic. Hope this helps.

  20. Margaux Branton says:

    Hi John,

    I think your blog is just wonderful and you are so funny. Every morning before work I look forward to opening my email and reading your blog before my stressful day. On September 5th my boyfriend and I will be cruising on the imagination (cannot wait!!). We just love carnival!!! We will be on the Breeze 11.22.2012 and really hope you are the CD and we get to meet you! Thank you for the wonderful blog!!!

  21. thomas tunks says:

    Bill Ducan
    the wife and i have been on the CONQUEST the past [4 ] yr and i dont recall seeing any one at DINNER in swim suits or sleeveless T shirts
    now u will see some at the buffett which is next to the pool

  22. Shelly Schroeder says:

    Too funny John.
    Being an American, I thought I’d enlighten you on American for underpants:
    Unisex – underwear, undies, drawers, skivvies
    Men’s – boxers, briefs, whitey-tighties, BVDs, jockeys
    Women’s – panties, intimates, lingerie, g-string, bikini

    Keep up with the blog; it’s a hoot! (Americanism for makes me laugh)

  23. Jane Ireland says:

    My night is ruined and I doubt if I will be able to sleep. We are going to be on the Magic October 7. I just read on your thingy you are leaving the ship before that cruise. I can’t believe it!! I am so disappointed. We have cruised with you before and our whole group (18) is going to be sick too. Well I guess you probably deserve time off with the girls (actually I know you do). Have a great time with them but know that there are 18 people that will be waving to you (in our underpants) as we sail out of Barcelona with a very sad look on our faces. Then we will go to the Redfrog and get over it!! We will really miss you. I love your blog thingy and feel really bad at how people treat you. Keep up the good thingy. 99.9 % of the cruisers really do appreciate you and all you do. P. S. Throw those little buggers over to get the golf clubs back.

  24. Sandy says:

    As an American, I so enjoy hearing a British accent. And, I love the difference in terms like “lift”. I think that is what makes the world so wonderful is our differences. I guess that’s why I love cruising, so I can enjoy other cultures.

    • Sheri says:

      I went to London several years ago and there was a LOT that i couldn’t get used to…one being that the double decker red buses would zoom right past me from behind while on the sidewalks….scared me to death everytime!

  25. Elaine & Family says:

    I promised to let you know about our Carnival Destiny Aug 8th sailing……a couple of bumps and bruises (literally but I’ll tell you about that later!!)… Boarding process was amazing…per your help and the letter from Mischelle Beattie Coccera, the “VIPs” (along with the 17 yr old boyfriend who I was responsible for and who was on my Sign n Sail card) and the “Regulars” went to their prospective lines, then met up in the VIP room, waited for boarding to start and were all allowed to board together, thus getting a great boarding picture… The table requests in the dining room were perfect… You and Desmond, the Maitre’d did a great job…Lower level Galaxy Dining Room right in the middle so we could see everything, tables 173 and 169. We all think we had one of the best wait staff team, if not the best, we have ever had, Benjamin and Dennis. By the end of the very first night, they both knew all 18 of us by name and by the 2nd night forward, Poppy had his rye bread waiting for him and I had my iceberg lettuce waiting for me!!! The kids loved them and they had a great dining room experience. Desmond is definitely a hands on Maitre’d who also visited us and made sure everything was ok… The gifts that you sent to all the cabins were met with more excitement than I have ever witnessed before… I have to tell you that although it wouldn’t have ruined our cruise, we wouldn’t have been upset or made a scene, and we wouldn’t have come back and yelled at you if we didn’t get the Champagne, Chocolate Covered Strawberries, Ships on a Stick etc, but it definitely made it so much better… Everyone really got a kick out of the surprises and really enjoyed them… Another nice gift we received from the Ocean Players Club (courtesy of my awful gambling habit) and one that I would now purchase in the future as gifts for friends cruising was the Bon Voyage Cookie box…. the best chocolate chip cookies in the world… And, the food was delicious and no one went hungry… John, one of the nicest people we have ever met on a cruise was our Hotel Director, Kevin Thorogood. What a terrific man he is… On this particular sailing, there were only 18 Milestone/Platinum cruisers. My parents, Naomi & Marty (Grandma & Poppy) were the only 2 Milestone on board and of the 16 Platinum, we were 8 of them!!! Kevin came to our dining room table 2 or 3 times that week to say hello to them, welcome us all back, asked us if everything was ok, did we need anything etc… He also sent bottles of wine to our table each night… And he says hello to his friend, you John… You and I took a couple of pictures together, which I will post on facebook when one of my daughters helps me, but unfortunately WE fell off the horse on Grand Turk and didn’t get lots of pictures after that!!! Thank goodness we rented a cabana on HMC!!! We’re ok now, but like I mentioned earlier, a couple of bruises on the tailbone OUCH…. Another little bump, was that we were denied priority boarding from HMC back to the ship, but again, didn’t ruin our cruise…Strange thing is that my parents along with my sisters and some of the kids left before us and they were allowed to go to the front of the line without a problem. While in Nassau everyone went shopping but because I couldn’t walk, I stayed on the ship. After 21 cruises, this was a first for me, but certainly not the last… I was “hanging out” in the hot tub singing along with Tom Jones who was in concert on the big screen having a blast (ok, and showing my age too!!!)… Now I know why some passengers choose to stay on board… its so nice, peaceful, quiet, amazing etc etc etc…and you get some really great one on one time with the Staff… Which brings me to this… the Staff on the Carnival Destiny were absolutely amazing… One of the friendliest staff we have ever encountered. Everyone was always smiling, happy, got a good morning, have a nice day etc from every Staff Member we saw… Some of us were on the Carnival Destiny in 2000 and yes, she is getting old, but she is still beautiful and we had another great family/friend cruise. Yes, their were chairhogs but we found lounges on the top deck, no big deal. Yes, during “peak” hours, the lines on Lido were extremely long… But, we were on vacation, and packed our patience… So, while I realize this is long, the feeling we have for you and Carnival is just as strong as ever and we all want to THANK YOU once again for everything you do… It is really appreciated… I just hope you know that it is the little things that you and the Carnival Staff do that have made us keep coming back for more…So THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU times 18… Luv U

  26. Which beards do I need to talk to for a full refund when I cancel my Magic trans Alantic?

  27. BARB says:


    • BARB says:

      I cruise with others spread around the U.S. and they all have different accents and you never think of yourself with one until someone mention you have one. 🙂

  28. Amanda burden says:

    Don’t feel too bad about using americanisms…. Thanks to the blokes at BBC America my sons and husband get to watch Top Gear & Dr. Who constantly… Now they call the elevator a lift, ask me to open the boot of the car rather than the trunk, and when the hubby gets mad he tells me he’s cross rather than pissed off!! Love your blog and can’t wait for the chance to cruise with you!

  29. bill says:


    It is working. We are slowly indoctrinating you to Americanisms. You are closer to moving your family to Miami so you can be a part time (PT) cruise director, PT CD trainer, and full time brand ambassador. You could do a east and west coast BC every year.

  30. kathy says:

    I will be sailing on the Magic on the 16th of Sept. although I was looking forward to you as CD and am now very dissappointed I am glad you will have time with your girls. Maybe someday we will sail together.

  31. David Raila says:

    We have following you on Facebook and your blog almost as soon as we booked our Magic cruise on Sept. 16. Disappointed that you will not be our CD for it. I think it’s more of a disappointment since it is so close. Thanks for letting us see things from the Magic before we get there. Have fun on your new assignment.

  32. J. Shavonne says:

    The person who removed the gratuities because of a Bible and a red light is a total female dog. She didn’t want to pay the gratuities to begin with and used those things as an excuse to not pay. Some people are pathetic. BTW…beautiful pictures of Venice.

  33. Keith says:

    Dear John (or as my wife says “John Dear”,

    My wife and I just got done reading your blog together. She is really sad (like almost in tears) that you are not going to be the cruise director for our two cruises on the Magic starting in mid October. She keeps walking around in circles saying “not fair, not fair! Why are they doing this to me? I was so happy.” She even made a handmade present for you and your family, but now someone else will get it. Do you feel bad yet?

    I know that this is the work of the evil “beards”, but that doesn’t make it easier.

    The question remains; Who will be the CD from October 16th through November 13th while we are on board? It needs to be someone funny or she won’t be happy. She was so looking forward to meeting you.

    The only thing that’s likely to make her happy is to get picked to be in the “newly-wed” game. She’s always wanted that, but after 25 cruises, never has been chosen.

    Keith (aka Mr. Sharon)

  34. Linda says:

    SO SAD!! I was so wanting to meet you John on our FIRST CRUISE on Magic on October 7…who is going to be the CD for that time? BUMMER!!!!!

  35. Greg Manchester says:

    Truly great blog again Sir. Always a highlight particularly as its now 2 weeks since I got off the Magic and I am missing it all so much. Fantastic pictures as ever from Mr Radu. Just FYI here in The Peoples Republic of Mancunia, often mistakenly called “Manchester,” we speak neither English nor Manchurian, we converse in Mancunian. Keep up the good work

  36. Hi John,
    Now I have read your blog, I am about to laminate my luggage tags for the C Magic sailing on 26 August. It doesn’t seem like 6 months since I was doing the same for joining BC4 or only another 6 months until I will be doing so for BC5!
    I am flying out to Barcelona from Prestwick early tomorrow to enjoy a day in the city before embarkation. This will be the shortest flght I have taken to join any of my many Carnival cruises, just over 2 hours rather than 12+ together with changing planes.
    I hope I bump into you sometime over the 9 days aboard. I am bringing you a bottle of sugar free Irn Bru which I shall leave at Guest Services in case our paths don’t cross.
    You probably won’t read this until I am back in Scotland but that doesn’t matter, just wanted to say hi. Keep that wonderful Blog humour flowing.

  37. Victoria Ryder says:

    John, of course you are going to pick up some American phrases, you aren’t in England 12 months of the year.

    What’s more annoying to me is that some members of cruise critic are picking up British phrases, it just sounds sooo phony.

    Love Calvyn’s attire lol.

    • Mark Thomas says:

      And, if you talk to the folks in customer service on the phone for most companies long enough you can pick up on those amazing Indian, Indonesian, and Filipino verbal mannerisms as well.

      “Talking to you, I am!”

  38. Richard Taylor says:

    Wonderful, funny blog as usual. Brilliant, thank you, John.
    But the best bit? Don’t laugh! You mentioned Splendas with your drinks. Yes!!! In the years, in the past unfortunately, we holidayed in America we got used to those blue sweeteners. The packets, not the powder! But they had a bitter aftertaste. Nice to see Splenda has hit the US.

  39. Shelly says:


    I read the comment or question about swim trunks and not that I am complaining because we actually found it quite amuzing every night but we had a gentleman on our valor cruise last fall wear trunks every single night to dinner in the mdr. Our table of 8 would make bets every night as to which ones he would have on. He would wear polo shirts ord button downs with them. he honestly looked absolutely ridiculous but it was what he was comfortable in so who are we to judge I guess. Not sure how this could actually ruin some ones dinner though as we found it to be funny and a great start to every dinner. On vacation people need to just relax and enjoy and not be so up tight about everything.

  40. Trudy says:

    Don’t forget the Lift!!!

  41. Kim Harrison says:

    If a Bible in a Drawer in your room is bothering you enough to stiff a young person who caters to your every other need, a little glowing red light will be the least of your problems mate.

  42. Michelle says:

    I was so looking forward to meeting you on my Sept 25 Magic Cruise…..but when duty calls…..maybe another time….i am sure whom ever takes your place will be awesome…..

  43. Susan says:

    Hi John,
    Really disappointed to see you are leaving the Magic earlier than planned. I will be on the 16th September sailing and was so looking forward to cruising with you again but you do work hard so do deserve your holiday back home in the sunny (not)UK. I still love reading your blog and the Magic will be my 17th Carnival cruise and she looks fantastic. It is also great to see so many Brits onboard as I have been telling everyone how great Carnival are for nearly 20 years now.
    One favour can you make sure they keep the English bacon on board for this sailing.
    Take care

    Susan from the West Midlands

  44. Julie Gregory says:

    John Please Reply- Thanks for your response to my questions in today’s blog- If’s its not to early I would like to go ahead and schedule the Cruise Critic Meet & Greet for Wednesday 9/14/2011 at 11:00 AM on the Carnival Spirit. We have alot of new cruisers and they want to check the ship out the first day and not do the Meet & Greet until the 1st seaday. Thanks again for responding. I love your blog and can’t wait for the Bloggers cruise in March, I am already signed up and I convinced 3 more couples from this roll call to join in on that cruise too! Julie G.

  45. Starr Willaman says:

    Great Blog once again.. Loved the pictures, Radu is a genius with the camera. Oh to be so gifted. Good laugh about the arse…please stay with it… to funny!

  46. Jes says:

    Another brilliant blog and more incredible pics from Mr. Radu. He really needs to be published or even hightlighted on the CCL website. Something, somewhere so we can enjoy his art on a regular basis. When you come to the Liberty, can you bring him along?

    You’re comments about the Libertys dry dock time has got me even more excited for our cruise, Oct 22 cannot come soon enough for my group & I.

  47. Ken & Lori says:

    We are so sad that you will be leaving Magic early. We’ve been looking forward to meeting you. Lori got some bad news at work and this made it a double whammy, so she’s needing a vacation. I even had a complete speech to hassle you about how you hadn’t properly prepared us for the wonderful service and excessive fun and so we should therefore get free cruises for life.

    And your post today answered one question we had: I wonder if we need to take our Bible along or will Carnival have one in the drawer. One less thing to carry (of course there’s an electronic one in the phone).

  48. Catherine Pierce says:

    Hi John, hope all is well. Before I worked for the cruise lines, I worked in a nursing school, financial aid, yuk, anyway, a sweet young lady, Patty, who is now a registered nurse, is going on her first cruise with her boyfriend to celebrate their anniversary. This is their very first cruise and I was wondering if you could do a little something for them. Nothing big or course, maybe a balloon in their stateroom. Anyway they are sailing aboard the Imagination, Oct. 24th, out of Miami. Their stateroom is R20 and booking info: 686KV8. Thank you soooo much John and I hope you can do a little something to welcome them to the Carnival family. If you can’t, let me know. By the way, I’m still waiting for that job offer, really, I am waiting. Ciao darlin!

  49. Edward Ondak says:

    I sailed on Carnival Spirit out of San Diego. Thoroughly enjoyed the cruise. Each night for dinner I had 2 slices of the rye bread. The most delicious rue bred I have ever eaten. I asked our waiter if it was baked on board and he said it was not, it was bought commercially. I have been trying for a year to find out how to order some of this delicious bread. Can you help me find it?

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