So as you know by now, we have lots of British on board and they have had a jolly time and have been brilliant at the shows and have lent themselves to the atmosphere around the ship and have truly enjoyed the RedFrog Pub. Going down to the pub is as British as it gets along with drinking tea in the morning and having a huge portion of spotted dick for dinner. The other thing that is a British tradition as seen here on the Carnival Magic in abundance this cruise is wearing your favourite football (sacccceer) team’s colors. Yep, whether it’s Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Celtic, Newcastle, Glasgow Rangers, Arsenal or Southend United, you will see grown men wearing their team’s shirts, morning, noon and night. Why do they do this? That is the question. It’s obviously not to attract women, because when they pull a garment designed for a super fit 20-something athlete over huge beer bellies they look about as attractive and sexy as a baboon’s bottom.

So it must be to impress other guests, an attempt to bond and make new friends by hoping someone will approach them in the Ocean Plaza and say, “I see you’re wearing a United shirt – look, so am I. Great game last week.” Now that is really sweet… if you are a boy of eleven. Otherwise, you look like an idiot. My friend Alan used to wear annoying T-shirts. He thought it looked cool to wear an “I Shot JR” shirt and he wondered why every girl on the planet would ignore him. But it’s not just the Brits is it because I see Americans and Canadians wearing their LeBron Wade shirts and their Tony Romas shirt.

Replica sports shirts are basically kids’ costumes. Personally, I think that if you are old enough to have hair on other parts of your body besides your head, don’t wear them. A bloke my age and that looks like me in a Liverpool Football Club kit looks no less preposterous than if they were sporting the Batman outfit given them for their seventh birthday. It’s like women buying themselves a giant Cinderella dress from the Disney store.

And yet all around the ship here on the Carnival Magic, British men are wearing their football ensembles, some in their local club colours, some with names ironed on the back. Bloody hell, it’s like Jennifer, aged 45 from accounting, wearing sweat pants with “I Love Justin Beiber” written across her arse.

But I have to say the Brits love the ship. They really do and I have been very proud to show the ship and the Carnival product.

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

Jessie Barnstaple asked:

John,

We were with you on the inaugural cruise of the Carnival Magic and had the most wonderful time. One of the highlights was meeting Ken the maitre d’ who sang to us every night at dinner. I wondered if he ever did shows in the big theatre or did I miss it. He is so talented and my husband and I are huge Sinatra fans so it made dinner even more special. Thank you again for such a wonderful time.

John says:
Hello Jessie Barnstaple,

Thanks so much for writing and no, you didn’t miss Ken’s main lounge performance as he never sings there. I’ve tried to get him to perform in the main lounge but he just won’t leave his comfort zone which is the Southern Lights dining room. I will make sure he sees this and I know he will be thrilled to know he made a difference to your cruise. I am glad you had so much fun.

Best wishes.

John

Helen asked:
John,

I will be traveling on the trans-Atlantic cruise with you and will be bringing my service dog with me. I have severe sleep apnea and that’s why the dog is coming with me. My sister wrote to you before about the dining room to make sure that we have a table where my dog Bonnie can be as well but she didn’t receive an answer from you. I need to make sure that Bonnie can come into the dining room as I now understand that you don’t have professional dog walkers as they have provided me with on Cunard voyages. I suggest we have a table for my sister and I without anyone else there as Bonnie sits under my chair on my lap. We are in cabin 6424.

Thank you

John says:
Hello Helen,

Thanks for writing and I am sure that I replied to your sister’s post as I remember thinking how extraordinary that a dog can protect you from the dangers of sleep apnea. Bonnie must be quite a remarkable dog. Please don’t worry. I will make sure that the maitre d’ has you listed for a table for three. I have also asked our special needs team to contact you so that we can make sure you have everything you need and that all the paper work is correct for Bonnie to sail in Europe and return to the States. I am sure you will all have a wonderful voyage.

Best wishes.

John

radius101 asked:
JOHN, PLEASE PLEASE REPLY

I read the blog about The Chefs Table as experienced by Tom and Cheryl and I agree wholeheartedly with what they said. If the experience they paid for was ruined by the drunken behavior of other passengers and Carnival did nothing to stop them or refused them service, then I think they should have been offered a refund or to attend the table again on other nights. There is no doubt that this is another shining example of how Carnival is attracting a lower class of passenger and that is evident in so many different ways. I am on the Carnival Miracle in August and I have a feeling this 8th Carnival trip will be my last.

John says:
Hello Radius101,

I remember the blog where this was mentioned and I agree that it probably was somewhat disruptive for those guests at the table if there were some guests who were under the influence of alcohol. But they were there and I was not and respectfully neither were you so I think it’s wrong to say for certain if their behavior warranted intervention. The kind of person Carnival is trying and in fact does attract is simple. It’s someone who appreciates brilliant value for money and getting a huge return in fun for the money they have spent to cruise. If that describes the “lower class” then, yes, indeed……that’s who Carnival is hoping will board our ships. I hope you have a brilliant cruise on the Carnival Miracle and I guess that as this is your 8th Carnival cruise …….. we must have been doing something right. I hope you have fun and that we will see you for number 9 soon.

Best wishes.

John

 

Jo Trautmann asked: 

Re those who want to see US TV while abroad, you might try to see if they can get it via the internet. I know that I can watch some TV shows that I’ve missed this way. It does boggle the mind that people travel to the Med and still want to eat at McDonald’s! Enjoy your blog…a seven-time cruiser on Carnival out of Galveston.

John says:
Hello Jo Trautman,

You know, we actually average one of these comments every cruise while we are in Europe. I guess a few people’s understanding of what TV is available country to country is confusing. Mostly, they seem to get upset when they find out we will not have certain sports events and when I explain to them the NFL is not shown live on Italian TV they look at me as though I am stark raving mad. Thanks for the kind words about the blog thingy and for your loyalty. I hope to sail with you very soon. Best wishes.

John

Bethany Hanel asked:
John,

We’ll be on our honeymoon on the Carnival Valor starting Dec. 11. I went on this same exact cruise last September and loved it (which is why we decided I should bring him with me this time) except for one thing…it seemed impossible to find anyone who could tell me what was gluten-free during lunch! Who on board the ship would be able to provide this information so I can safely eat something other than a plain cheeseburger this time around?

John says: 

Hello Bethany Hanel,

I am so glad that you contacted me so I can say not to worry as we have many gluten-free options at all meal times. I have asked our special needs team to contact you so that they can discuss this in more detail and then alert the ship as to your needs. How wonderful that you will be sharing the start of your married lives with us and we are truly grateful and wish you many happy years of health and happiness. Best wishes and have a brilliant cruise.

John

Vanita asked:

This will be my first ever Carnival experience and I wanted to make sure that you have Red Bull available on the ship please. My best friend and I would also like to know if we should take the swimming with dolphins trip in Cozumel. It is very expensive but something we have both always wanted to do. Thank you for the very funny blogs. We are from South Africa and are very excited to be going on the Carnival Dream.

John says:
Hello Vanita,

We do indeed have Red Bull available at all the bars and yes the dolphin swim is worth every single dollar, I promise. I don’t think I have ever met anyone who has done this who has not said that it was the most incredible experience, my wife included. So I would highly recommend this and I wish you and your friends a safe flight and the very best cruise vacation ever. Best wishes to you both.

John

Alex asked:
John,

Carnival currently publishes the cruise director schedule for a certain number of months at a time. I was wondering if you could also publish the Club O2 director schedule. I’ve had some incredible Club O2 directors (Megan Boehner is one [Yes, that’s her real last name]) and some downright horrendous O2 directors. And I would love to know who the director will be for my next sailing 🙂

John says:
Hello Alex,

That is an excellent suggestion and I will certainly ask the lady in charge of the program if we can do this. Please keep an eye on the blog and I hope to have this here for you soon. It’s great to read that people like Megan made such a difference to your cruise. Thanks again, Alex. Best wishes.

John

Jon asked:
John,

I consider myself a good person. I don’t stick gum under tables, I’ll help a little old lady across the street and I try not to kick someone while they’re down. However, I’m having a moral dilemma about what to do during at sea days when I cruise with you on the Carnival Magic 9/4. Do I sneak down before breakfast and throw some towels on a couple deck chairs to make sure we have a place to relax under the sun, or do I do the “good person” thing and head down in the afternoon in my shorts and sandals, roaming around in search for a non-existent open chair? From what I’ve read regarding the often mentioned “chair hogging” topic (chairmageddon?), the best solution is to give in to the situation and “hog.” It seems that nice guys really do finish last in this case, so I thought I’d let you decide what I should do. Play dirty or play nice?

John says:
Hello Jon,

Well, that’s a good question. Let me say that we have the situation well under control on the adults-only Serenity deck. This area is easy to police and there we have a strict no more than 30 minutes seat saving time. No excuses, it works and is adhered to. Then there is the rest of the ship. I make announcements and I ask for the guests’ cooperation and many do indeed listen. But many do not. And I will say this again. We don’t have the staff to patrol the vastness of the open decks trying to enforce the deck chair rules. Now that may not be right and some may say that it’s not good enough but it is what it is and I am just being honest with you. I asked on my Facebook page for people to give suggestions on what they think we should do and I sent those to the beards so let’s see what happens. Now the good news. With the demographic of the 9/4 cruise being older and the kids back at school and the guest count down to 3,800 or so, I don’t think you will have any problems of getting the chair you want. So there really isn’t much of a question to answer after all so all you need to worry about is what factor sun cream to slap on. Best wishes and see you soon.

John

Robert Glassman asked:
John,

Will Carnival ever be able to put any influence on the parking situation in Miami? How can they charge the prices they do and how does Carnival not say enough is enough. $140 plus tax for my Carnival Valor cruise!!!

John says:
Hello Robert Glassman,

I guess I am out of touch with the parking fees because I always remember the Port of Miami charged $7 per day but I guess I am way behind the times. I know that the port owns the parking garage and that they set the price but I will certainly pass this onto someone at Carnival in the hope that they will speak to someone at the port. I hope you had a great cruise on the Carnival Valor. Best wishes.

John

Stuart Zaikov asked:
John please reply

We are platinum cruisers on Carnival and for the past few years have greatly enjoyed our two to three cruises per year on Carnival with two more booked. You have published quite a few reviews from me in which I single out crew members for making our vacations special and have thanked me more than once for a brilliant review. I enjoy reading your blog regularly for news and info but have never asked you to do anything for us and do not think we ever will as we are more than happy with our cruises. When something negative happens, I would never ever write to you or Carnival on behalf of CC and demand you do something. Having said this, I do have a bone to pick with you. Some months ago someone took something I wrote on CC out of context and forwarded it to you and you called me a troll on FB. When I explained what happened, you apologized. A few months later, you did it again and same result. After the second time, you said you would stop publishing stupid posts from CC members that would show the organization in a very bad light. This lasted a few weeks and then you started up again and now you have the stupid post of the day from CC. Not my words by the way. Then a thread started on CC as to why you kept showing CC in a bad light despite constantly saying what a fine organization CC was.

My comment is you are a very bright, caring and hard working fellow and as brand ambassador determined to show what a fine organization Carnival is. Therefore, you will counter negative posts on CC by publishing letters from idiots saying they are from CC. It does appear that many of these people are now part of a FB page saying CC _____ (Not going to put in the entire name and give them free publicity). In today’s blog you publish a letter from a fine fellow named Howard about our upcoming 9/11 Miracle cruise and in the middle of your comment you take a dig at me by putting me in the middle of Ugogolfgator. Totally unnecessary and incorrect as in most things I am a Carnival cheerleader. I agree that Carnival is a fine organization and great cruises keep us coming back. However, do you really need to lower yourself and your blog by publishing these letters on a daily basis and then adding things on FB so the folks from CC ________ can pile on calling the people from CC idiots? I hope this letter will give you something to think about.

Your friend.

Stu

John says:
Hello Stuart Zaikov,

Thank you for writing and I know you only posted this a few days ago but I saw it on the blog comments and wanted to reply as soon as I could. I take it from what you said that I am talking to “GolfDad” or something like that and if that’s the case (and forgive me if I am wrong), it is nice that you have posted your real name here on the blog rather than your Cruise Critic name. I remember that a few months ago, you started a post on Cruise Critic that was sent to me by the beards. In it you suggested that I post messages from Cruise Critic members in order to make them look bad or portray them in a negative light. In fact, I think I am correct in saying that there was a suggestion that some were fabricated. This really annoyed me because I read the remarks that followed and there were a few of you who seemed to pour scorn on me and the blog. So I am very grateful to you for writing and allowing me time to reply to this new post.

Let me say straight away that I never have and never will support the Web site that you are talking about and I have never visited or will I visit the site in question. I receive 10 questions each day from the beards to answer and amongst those questions are ones that involve postings from Cruise Critic and those that have false statements from Cruise Critic and it is my job to answer them all as best I can. I have learned over the past few months that there are three types of people who post on Cruise Critic.

1. The vast majority of posters are those who want to learn from experienced cruisers like yourself and those who wish to pass on their experiences, good or bad. You and they are the lifeblood of Cruise Critic and you are why the site remains the most important in the industry. I don’t expect it to be a place that is all about let’s talk about how great Carnival is but a place where if our guests feel that we can improve, that they can talk about it with others. The 11,400,000 views here on the blog are based on the same principle.

2. Those who for some reason dislike me and what I do. To those who have met me and don’t like me, then I accept that. Such is life. But to those who dislike me and have never met me then I hope one day that they will sail with me and give me a chance to prove to them that I mean well and just want everyone to have the best cruise possible.

3. There are those who have no intention of ever cruising Carnival again and whose sole purpose is to pour hatred upon us and stop people from cruising Carnival. And there are some who are just plain rude and nasty. I had some on my FB page and they have been told to bugger off.

So to sum up, Stuart. I answer the questions I get and I am not going to pander and protect those who post ludicrous comments. If I see them and what they have said is bollocks then I will protect the company I love. This week alone we have had comments regarding wet bathing suits in the dining room and a rumour about cancellation of the alternative dining venues. It’s not “free publicity” as they have already posted their opinions on Cruise Critic so should I not have the right to reply? I don’t need to discredit Cruise Critic because thanks to a small number of your fellow members, they are doing this without any help from me.

But here is the most important thing, Stuart, and I say this with most sincerity. I am here for two reasons and they are to provide some fun and information to experienced cruisers and new cruisers alike and to help everyone as best I can to have the most brilliant vacation they can. So I will answer every question here as best I can and that includes helping arrange the many meet and greets that I do each month and where necessary correct wrong information that has been posted on Cruise Critic.

Now I know that your name is Stuart and that you will be on the Carnival Miracle for 9/11’s special cruise, I hope that we can both use this as a turning point and by me apologising for anything that I may have said to offend you in the past….. That we can move on, disagree at times and still though enjoy the passion we both have for cruising. Best wishes and thank you so much for your loyalty. Hope I get to shake your hand one day.

John

That’s all for now and I will be back with more tomorrow

Take a look at this:

Guest: Mr. —–Ref: 901010671A
Cabin: ____ Booking#: ______ Added-Changed: 8/24/11 – 8/24/11

PUSHED BY ANOTHER GUEST
Guest came to the GSD to say that during the bracelet sale in the gift shop that another guest had pushed her out of the way to get to the bracelets before her. Mrs____says that she was pushed and her foot was trodden on…

Now, let’s set the scene here. These were four tables set up outside of the shops where upon the gift shop manager had placed these bracelets. Now they are “Pandora’ style bracelets called Bella Perina. They are beautiful and obviously the price of $24.95 sent people into a frenzy. But come on, it’s a bloody bracelet!

As you know I hate shopping and if I see the word “sale” I run away, very quickly. What is it that makes nice people magically shed their civilised skins and change into rude grabbing bastards who’d gladly head butt a grandmother if it meant getting the item before anyone else? Honestly, this morning, guests were using SWAT-team tactics as ferocious women linked arms with their battle axe friends to barge through crowds while other guests used their children’s strollers to create a cordon around the table like a lion over a freshly killed deer. There is no doubt that our on-board shops are truly providing our guests with bargains but I think we have to find a better way to sell them, don’t you?

Yesterday I started my time line thingy on what I did on the first sea day after leaving Venice. We reached 9 am so it’s time to take you from 9 am – noon.

9:00 am So Calvyn and I go through the mail for the morning show and head to the studio. Well, when I say studio I mean Club O2 because for some strange reason this is the place that has the live feed on the Carnival Magic to the big screen and every TV on board is at Club O2. Anyway, we do the show and as always Calvyn is a joy to work with.

10:00 am: I am back in my cabin now having walked back along Deck 5 to say hello to guests. Once here I meet with Mel and she and I decide if any of the letter writers from the morning show need to be sent a gift and if so what. I like to send champagne to honeymooners and anniversary couples and the kids who have written in all get solid gold plastic trophies. I then go through the emails with Mel and ACD Kevin and discuss what needs to be done that morning. I try and delegate as much as I can because of what comes next.

10:30am: I make my morning announcement on the PA system. I am aware that some guests find this annoying but I still think it’s an important way to get the message out there and of course it helps to promote the various happenings on board, as well. But I try not to make it too long and to include some fun, some well wishes and relevant weather information. Today, I did all that and spoke about the slot tournament in the casino, charm bracelets special in the gift shop and teeth whitening at the spa, as well as the rest of the morning’s activities. I asked Mel to time it and it was 2 minutes and 22 seconds. Not bad, I guess.

10:30am: The most important part of the morning…..I call Heidi and Kye and say good morning to the two reasons I do what I do.

10:45am: And so I take off my CD hat, slip into my underpants and become brand ambassador and start the blog thingy. I try when I can to get a head start on this by working from 6 am – 9 am on the blog. I did this for the first couple of months here on the Carnival Magic but after five months with only seven days off……..I don’t mind admitting I am tired. And so my alarm now goes off at 7 am and that extra hour is priceless to me. So between 10:35 am and noon, I write the blog. During this time, my phone rang 14 times and I had to page for a seven-year-old child who had lost his parents and was waiting for them at the guest services desk. Mel brought me another cup of coffee and I am aware that I am probably drinking too much of that but needs must.

Noon: I stop writing. This is something I force myself to do otherwise I will forget what being a CD is all about. I have to tell you that juggling the job and the blog was difficult but with 17, 500 mates on Facebook now it’s really hard to get it all in. But as I said, I have to force myself to get away from Mr. Dell. At noon I have written the opening to the blog and just about finished the Q&A section. But now it’s off to host Great British Pub Trivia contest in the Ocean Plaza and I will write more about this in a forthcoming blog.

1:00 pm: I am back in the cabin and back at the computer continuing the blog. The great thing about being in Europe is the time difference to the states from where the beards post the blog. I am not sure anymore if I could do this in the Caribbean. I guess we shall see in November when we get to Galveston. As I continue to write, there is a knock at the door and my lunch has arrived. I know it’s cheeky of me to have it delivered to the cabin but it’s one of the privileges my position brings and honestly I don’t have time to sit at lunch and gossip the minutes away. So here I sit eating a tuna and cheddar cheese sandwich on wheat bread (no chips) and a Caesar salad while still cracking on with the blog. I have only an hour left to get it done as I have a busy afternoon on stage and goodness knows how many Facebook questions to answer.

1:15pm: I have a poo.

I will be back with the next few hours when I write again. It really is like an episode of 24, isn’t it?

“Dammit, Chloe — we’re running out of time. Someone from Cruise Critic is trying to smuggle a rum runner on board the Carnival Magic but we don’t know who. It’s time to torture someone ………quick, get the photos of the Norwegian Epic and if that doesn’t make them talk, get Calvyn in here and we’ll do some naked wrestling. That will make the bastard talk.”

“OK, he talked and the smugglers are heading for a meet and greet in the RedFrog Pub. Chloe, can you download the schematics to my Raspberry and tell Ketut to set up a perimeter?”

Yep, I am like Jack Bauer without the multiple gunshot wounds and having my testicles electrocuted by the Chinese. However, I wished yesterday I could have been him, just for a few minutes. I would have loved to have locked the parents of the kids who threw golf putters off the side of the ship and the soccer balls too and ripped the basketball net in a small room. They had laughed when we told them what they had done and then started to shout and me and the guest services manager in their own language! Yep, that would have been the perfect time to lock them in a small room on Deck B and gone to work on them with a cattle prod.

Goodnight.

Your friend,

John Bauer

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.