December 29, 2011 -

John Heald

There was bugger all on television last night so I spent the evening using Heidi’s Eye Pad to answer yet more questions on Facebook. Kye was fast asleep and so was Breeze. Kye was dreaming of Peppa Pig and Breeze was dreaming of ignoring the carefully laid out newspaper and instead taking a dump in my slipper. Yes, I wear slippers. So Heidi was flicking through the TV channels and ended up watching Fatal Attraction which is a prime example of what I hate most in movies…………..badly written and badly performed rumpy pumpy.

We should start a Blog Award for bad rumpy pumpy in movies. It’s so unrealistic isn’t it? I mean, in real life, do people really have rumpy pumpy standing up in public elevators, fully completing the act between floors 1 and 9? Good grief, if a pair of deer antlers in the dining room is going to have the Carnival haters up in arms, imagine the thread if someone was waiting for an elevator on deck 9 of the Carnival Fantasy and the doors opened to reveal a couple going at it like rabbits.

So in Fatal Attraction there is a bit of rumpy pumpy that is just bloody ridiculous. I mean, is there any lady reading this blog who would enjoy being humped vigorously on a sink full of dirty dishes. Leftover chili and bits of mac and cheese on the privates is I think something of a passion killer. I mentioned this to Heidi who promptly replied that it’s all done as a spur of the moment act of passion and that it’s erotic. She replied by saying that rumpy pumpy with me was about as erotic as an Amway conference.

And on that not it’s time for some Q and A…………………off we go.

Tina Palacios asked:

I am going to be on the Carnival Dream on January 21, 2012 and I need some help. There are 52 of us from Cruise Critic and we are looking for chance to meet on the Carnival Dream. The bar on Lido deck is always so busy and we don’t want other passengers to be with us. I’ve been going over the deck plans but I don’t know if there are any areas off limits or closed. I believe Sunday the sea day, would be the best day for everyone to meet like maybe 2 pm? What do you think? Where can we meet?

John says:
Hello Tina Palacios,

I would suggest that we use the piano bar or one of the conference rooms and I have asked the Cruise Director Gary to help me arrange this for you. When the Fun Times arrives in your cabin you will see that there will be a Cruise Critic meeting listed for that sea day afternoon and the location will be confirmed there. I hope you all have a wonderful cruise.

Best wishes.


Fred and Jeanette Nardine asked:

Please reply…how long will Ken be aboard the Carnival Magic? We will be sailing on her in April and would really hope that he is still there and that you could help assign us to his dining room on a table with other passengers. He really is a star and we love his voice and his Irish charm. Thanks John for helping us with this and our booking number is ******. This will be cruise number 17 for us and it will also be our 55th wedding anniversary.

John says:
Hello Fred and Jeanette Nardine,

Well the bad news is that Ken won’t be with you as he will be in the shipyard preparing the new Carnival Breeze. The good news is that you let me know your celebrating your 55th wedding anniversary and that means I can send you something to say many congratulations. I am sorry Ken won’t be there, he is indeed a star but I am sure you will have a brilliant time regardless and if there is anything else you think I can help you with please let me know.

Best wishes to you both.


Steven Kowalczyk asked:

I cannot tell you how angry and disappointed I was that the American flag did not fly at the aft of the Carnival Magic on Veterans Day. As a Vietnam veteran myself I am sure I speak for others that the sight of a foreign flag of Panama. This is a disgusting slap in the face for all those who have served and for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. I will never cruise Carnival again because of this.

John says:
Hello Steven Kowalczyk,

I am very sorry to see that you are so upset by this and please allow me to explain. The flag we fly off the aft of the ship is indeed the Panamanian flag as that is where the ship is registered. We are therefore not allowed to fly any other flag there. However, I do know that we had a large Stars and Stripes hung in the atrium and that there was a large Veterans Day celebration held in the main lounge which was I believe very well attended. Carnival certainly acknowledges the service you and your colleagues gave and are still giving today and we thank you so much for fighting for the freedom we all have to enjoy cruising today. I hope this brief apology and explanation will see you return to have more fun with us soon.

Best wishes.


Kris Basu asked:
We will be sailing on the Carnival Valor on 1/8/12. This will be my daughter’s first cruise and her birthday is on the Tuesday of the cruise. I want this to be extra special for her. Abhaya turns 9.


John says:
Hello Kris Basu,

Thanks for writing and may I suggest that you could have the cabin decorated. You can arrange this through the Bon Voyage department or onboard at the Celebrations shop as I am sure she will find this a great surprise. I wish you all a wonderful cruise and I will also send her a birthday something as well.

Best wishes to all.


Sabrina asked:

Mr. Heald “brand ambassador” a title you do not deserve and I have written today to Gerry Cahill and Micky Arison stating so! You wrote in your blog today that the show “Dancing in the Streets” is the not to be missed show on the Carnival Dream, but we walked out half-way through. That was the first time in over 50 cruises we walked out on a show. Terrible music and sound; poor lighting, high school quality sets, misogynist themes and childish behavior. Silly pole dancing and trampoline tumbling on too small a stage. Leave the juvenile hip-hop shenanigans in the slums of New York or on MTV where it belongs; not on the main stage of a cruise liner with grandma and grandpa in the audience as well as sophisticated travelers.

John says:
Wussup Sabrina,

Isn’t it funny — “Dancin In The Street” is a show that consistently gets huge standing ovations and reviews that glow like a squirrel from Chernobyl. Obviously it isn’t for everyone as your review shows and I am very sorry that you didn’t like it. I do hope you enjoyed the Motown and country shows that were also performed for you as well as the variety shows and the Punchliner comedy club shows. I do though as brand ambassador and as a cruise director stand behind the show and will respectfully continue to recommend it to anyone who sails on the Carnival Dream not to miss it. I do hope you had a brilliant time. Respect to the home boys.

East side!


Terri Callow asked:

I just returned from the Carnival Liberty and in all my eight cruises this was by far the friendliest crew we have ever experienced. Our room steward Mansour who never stopped smiling and our waiter Nassi and his team were so funny and always took time to stand and talk with us at the meals end. Every employee we encountered had a smile and a warm welcome.

I had read a lot of negative comments about the new menu. I won’t say where but I have a feeling you will know without me writing it. I have always believed in making my own mind up and not listening to others but I have to admit I was somewhat nervous based again on those reviews. But we loved it. We especially liked the Didja servings which gave us a chance to experience something different like alligator, shark, escargot and so on. We ate breakfast every morning on the Lido deck moved around for lunch from the Lido to the incredible Guys burgers which are partly responsible for me going up two dress sizes. So I am living proof that its best to go into something with an open mind and you will have fun. Next up for us is a cruise on the Queen Mary 2 in the Caribbean and we are really looking forward to that. Thanks John and keep writing the blogs and take care of yourself because we love you.

John says:
Hello Terri Callow,

You are indeed a brilliant example of making your own mind up and not being influenced by others and I am so glad you had such a wonderful time. I will make sure that the crew you mentioned gets to see what you have written and they will be thrilled as I was thrilled in reading how you thought that the crew was so friendly. I am also glad you enjoyed the food and the Didja items and of course the Guys burgers, even though they are responsible for your ummmm ……..need for a new dress. I hope you have a brilliant time on the Queen Mary 2. She just had an extensive re-fit and I am sure you will find her as I did to be an incomparable ship. Thanks for taking the time to write and for the very kind words and I hope we see you again on a Carnival ship very soon.

Best wishes.


Susan V asked:

I posted this THREE TIMES already but failed to get an answer! We are a group of 8 ladies on a girl’s only trip on the Carnival Fascination departing on 1/2/12. We will be celebrating 4 birthdays. Will carnival do something special for us? Our cabin numbers are
R77, R89, R93,R99

I hope you respond before we cruise. THANK YOU!!!

John says:
Hello Susan V.,

It sounds like the girls are going to have a brilliant time and I will send you something to share that I am sure you will enjoy. I am sorry I haven’t responded before now but I am glad I saw this before the start of your cruise. Best wishes to all and have fun.


Ray Barry asked:

I was wondering if you know of a wonderful entertainer who was in the piano bar for quite a few years named Ed. He was absolutely hilarious, especially after midnight. Do you know if he is still with Carnival and what ship he is on?

John says:
Hello Ray Barry,

You are referring I think to Ed Rocks who was indeed one of the very best piano bar entertainers we have ever had. He has been back with us here and there but at the moment he is not working for Carnival and I have no idea where he is. I wonder if our President of the Piano Entertainers Appreciation Society Laura “aka Dive Trash” may know where he is now and if so can let you know here on the blog.

Best wishes.


Wendi asked:
Hello John.

I am writing to you because I know you are a cigar lover just like my husband and I need your advice. I am cruising on the Carnival Glory to Cozumel and Cayman with Mom and want to buy my husband some cigars. My husband is serving in Afghanistan with his fellow Marines and I know he would love a couple of good cigars. I wondered if you could tell me where to go. By the way, you may remember us (or not) as we cruised with you in 2009 on the Carnival Legend and you had my husband on stage in his dress uniform and the audience all stood up for him which made him feel so special.

Thanks John from us both.

John says:
Hello Wendi,

I do indeed remember you from the Carnival Legend and please would you send my very best wishes to your husband for his continuing service and I hope he comes home to you very soon. Meanwhile we need to get some cigars sorted out for him don’t we. Many of the cigar rollers will take the crap that’s left over at the end of the day, roll a few, stick a band on them and call them “premium cigars.” They look real, feel real, but like Pamela Andersen’s breasts they are hard and taste of chemicals. The best places to buy cigars is at a Casa De Habana in Grand Cayman. It is on the waterfront and owned by a great chap and a true cigar aficionado whose name is Emilio. You can expect to pay around $20 and up for a good cigar and yet I am sure that your husband will find them to be priceless. Have a wonderful cruise and again please send my best wishes to your husband.

Best wishes.


That’s all for today.

One of the highlights of 2011 here on the blog thingy has been the brilliant photography of Mr. Radu and we finish 2011 with yet more amazing photos. Here is Mr. Radu to introduce them to you.

Dear John,

This morning we have been in Costa Maya, and we met Carnival Magic, so we had two ships Carnival Legend and Carnival Magic docked together. Unfortunately most of the day was raining. I did take some pictures from Carnival Legend just when the Carnival Magic arrived and few from the port. Here they are:

Please can I thank your blog readers and people on Facebook for their nice words about me and I love taking photos for them.

Radu Ursu
Senior Photographer
Carnival Cruise Lines

Thanks Radu and of course it us who should be thanking you which I am sure many will do when they post comments here today. We all look forward to more brilliant photos from you in 2012.

So let’s look forward to 2012 and before I chat with you about some of the things that we have to look forward to we can and should talk about something that is already a feature on some ships and are now fleet wide. I am talking about the Sail & Sign Kiosks. These kiosks give you the chance to do the following:

• Check your S&S Balance
• View/Print your Statement
• Apply Payments (Cash and Credit Card)
• Withdraw Cash ($5 or more)
• Change Bills into Smaller Bills (Kiosk will dispense $20 / $10 / $5

And they look like this:

Now the very first time you use the kiosk it will, for security reasons, prompt you to set up a security pin (4 digits) similar to the casino slot machines and also a security question in case they forget their pin number. This can all be updated / reset at the kiosk. Each time you visit the kiosk after all you need is your S&S card and the pin number.

All the ships have them now and let’s see where these brilliant Kiosks will be on the ship you are sailing on:

Destiny Class

Destiny – Deck 3 Lobby Opposite GS; Deck 5 Port Side opposite Gift Shop
Triumph – Deck 3 Lobby Opposite GS; Deck 5 Port Side opposite Gift Shop

Conquest Class

Freedom –  Deck 3 Lobby Opposite GS; Deck 5 Port Side opposite Gift Shop
Liberty – Deck 3 Lobby Opposite GS; Deck 5 Port Side opposite Gift Shop
Valor – Deck 3 Lobby Std Side near D/R Entrance; Deck 5 Port Side opposite Gift Shop
Glory – Deck 3 Lobby Std Side near D/R Entrance; Deck 5 Port Side opposite Gift Shop

Fantasy Class

Sensation – Deck 7 Lobby near ATM; Deck 9 by the Coffee Shop
Imagination – Deck 7 Lobby near ATM; Deck 9 Midship by the LCE Desk
Ecstasy – Deck 7 Lobby near ATM; Deck 9 by the Coffee Shop
Legend Deck – 2 Midship inside the Casino; Deck 2 fwd by the Coffee Shop
Inspiration – Deck 7 Lobby near ATM; Deck 9 Midship by the LCE Desk

Dream Class

Dream Deck – 3 Lobby Opposite GS; Deck 5 Port Side opposite Gift Shop
Magic Deck 3 – Lobby Opposite GS; Deck 5 Port Side opposite Gift Shop

The kiosks have been very well received by guests and of course they take away some of the lines at the Guest Services Desk. So, if you want to see how much your wife has spent on your Sail & Sign card, change some money or print your statement you don’t have to wait in line at the Guest Services Desk while another guests stands there for 30 minutes complaining that there was too much hip hop on the ship. My sincere thanks to my colleague Gaynor for helping me with this and I am sure that she and her team will have more surprises for us in the year ahead.

So what else will 2012 bring? Let’s see. We will finally be announcing our new loyalty program. This has been a long time coming and I know it sounds like an excuse as big as my stomach when I say that we are waiting for the tofu eaters over at IT to finish what will be the largest program they have ever written. The changes are immense and it’s no secret is it that the old system of basing the loyalty on the number of cruises will be changing. I have also been promised that those who are very close to a particular level will not be punished and that they will be “grandfathered” into the levels. Now I do know when we are expected to go live with this but as I don’t want many different shoes inserted into my bottom I am not going to say when until it is 100% definite. I can tell you that Ron the VP beard who has put this together has been reading the blog and mine and Carnival’s Facebook pages everyday to see what you are saying and I can tell you he is totally dedicated to making our new loyalty program the best in the industry.

In 2012 the Carnival Spirit will head to Australia and I’m told that reservations are moving along very well. She is having a two-week dry dock and as I mentioned yesterday the Cruise Director Stuart will be with the ship and reporting on what’s happening there. The Aussies love to cruise. Remember this is a nation that goes to work in shorts and who ignores the fact that they have kitchens and cook every meal in the garden despite there being spiders the size of Hummers and snakes more venomous than a “I Hate Carnival” Cruise Critic poster. Yep, this is a fun country and we are all sure that the ship will be a “bonza” success down under.

But of course that means we have to replace the Carnival Spirit with another ship in Alaska and in the early part of 2012 we will be telling you which ship that will be. I think you will all be very pleased when you hear and it may just encourage those who have never cruised the last frontier to do so. There will be lots of other surprises along the way – which I can’t get into now but believe me it’ll be worth the wait. As for 2012 I have the Bloggers Cruise in March and the new Carnival Breeze in June. She is going to be a very special ship with new architects and designers who have created a ship unlike any other Carnival vessel complete with some features we have never had before. I can’t wait to show her off to you all.

This year has been a brilliant one. It started off in Times Square with the New Year’s
Eve celebrations
and continued with us welcoming the Carnival Magic onboard which I enjoyed a wonderful five months as CD. It is being a cruise director that still gives me so much joy and I look forward to being a CD again on the Carnival Breeze. Other highlights were the Maroon 5 concert and of course the unveiling of Fun Ship 2.0 which I was honoured to be part of.

It has, without doubt, been one heck of a year for news. We had the royal wedding, a terrible earthquake in Japan, the embarrassing London riots, the Rupert Murdoch phone hacking scandal, the Arab spring and death of Osama Bin Bastard. 2012 will feature the Olympic Games in London and a brilliant opening ceremony featuring…….ummmm………Paul McCartney and David Beckham. And then of course this could be our last year together because if the Mayans are correct we will all be dead. Some of us will be in hell where we will be forced to eat every meal with people dressed in SpongeBob Squarepants underwear and forced to listen to 24 hours of uninterrupted hip hop music. Meanwhile others will be in heaven where there will be organic pita bread served for breakfast, Hallmark TV is on 24 hours a day and then, over the PA system, Saint Peter will announce that Justin Bieber has offered to sing a couple of songs. Anyway, regardless it’s going to be a thrilling year and one that I hope is a healthy and fun one for you and all your family. I will be here on the blog thingy and on Facebook and of course on the Carnival Magic and the Carnival Breeze as cruise director where I will continue to help as many of you as I can and continue to show you why Carnival provides you with the most affordable and fun vacation in the world.

Happy New………oh hold on………maybe the Mayans are right and the world is going to end. Just in case I think we should all do things we have never done before. Book a back to back cruise, run naked through Neiman Marcus shouting “I love Wal-Mart” or take your grandmother to a Flo Rida concert. What am I going to do? Well Heidi doing the dishes so time then for some hot rumpy pumpy action in the sink……a bit of turkey curry on my thingy isn’t a big deal after all.

Happy New Year.

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.


  1. Melissa Jurgensen says:

    Can’t wait to see the new loyalty changes! Glad to know everyone will be “grandfathered in”, especially since I’m Platinum. (16 cruises!)

    Happy New Year to you and your family!!!!

  2. Susan Brunner says:

    Hello John it has been great reading your pages over this year and meeting you in Galveston.I was the Brit from Cambridgeshire. Yes Im a new follower!!
    Im also going on the bloggers cruise in March and hoping as it is my first time (Yes Im a virgin to your cruises too!!). When are you going to make the agrangements for the cruise public. In expectation of your reply.

  3. peachcrek says:

    excellect move!!! with the sail and sign kiosks Happy New Year! John and Carnival!!!!

  4. Kaitlyn Olson says:

    The sail and Sign Kiosk is a great new idea. I always go nuts in the gift ship when I sail on Carnival. My mom gets worry how much did I spend shopping . Thanks so much John for making Carnival a wonderful line!

  5. Irene says:

    Dear John,
    What a load of bollocks Sabrina stated about the Dancing in the Streets show. I am 65, and a grandma and I thought that show was the best I have seen on any of the ships I have been on. Also,I am glad to see that Carnival passengers are now considered to be sophisticated travellers, which many don’t seem to think so either.

    Steven Kowalczyk…get over yourself. Where were you on the ship when all of those special things were done for the Veterans? Did you stay in your cabin…oh no, you were hanging off the back of the ship.

  6. Irene says:

    Susan V…where’s your manners? You forgot to say please and thank you.

  7. Char says:

    OMG John this is your best yet. Thank you for making me smile. I’m composing a lovely critique of our cruise on Freedom last week. One or two tiny,tiny complaints and many, many compliments. The staff was the best ever. I have never seen so many friendly smiling faces. Thanks so much for arranging our Chef’s table experience. My husband was very impressed.

    Happy New Year to you and the family.

  8. Chrissy says:

    Where is the 2012 CD schedule?? Just curious as to where John will be from now until the Breeze is done.

    • Jacqueline says:

      Chrissy, scroll down to the bottom of this page, under Johns Helpdesk you see CD schedule to click on! John is on the Magic till he transfers to the Breeze.

  9. Elizabeth Flagg says:

    Ah, Costa Maya…my memories include too much tequila, a sprained foot, and the wheelchair of shame back to the ship…good times!

  10. Judy Sharum says:

    JOHN!! Elavator—How about sex in a GLASS elavator????? You talked about it between deck 1-9 GLASS would make it more fun for EVERYONE!!!! hahahahahahaha

  11. Cheryl K says:

    Happy New Year to you John and your family.

    Thanks to Mr. Radu for the beautiful pictures..

  12. Rita presnell says:

    Great blog, as usual, but a lot of grumpy, demanding people on here today! No pleases or thank yous! Sure wish you could ignore these snippy people. They do not deserve your kindness!

  13. tracy says:

    hi john nice blog as always. so the new loyalty program will be difirent will it take me longer to get to cruise 10? i just took my 7th cruise.hope all is well and the girls are good. and the puppy.

  14. Becky says:

    Loved the pictures from Costa Maya. The one with the dolphin and ships in the background was so creative. Great work, once again!

  15. Bill Heck says:

    Dear John:

    Gee, what a bunch of wankers, wrong flag, wrong show, moan and groan. No wonder you go a little crazy once in a while. Guess you realized it was Thursday night, sink or no sink. Or was it desk?

    Your Friend

    Bill Heck

  16. AnotherVietnamVet says:

    Steven the Vietnam era vet does not speak for all Vietnam Vets. I am a disabled Veteran who served during Vietnam and loved seeing the American Flag in the Atrium. I understand that the ships are flagged under another country and know it;s the law. I actually think the comment is a troll comment to make Carnival look bad that will backfire

    • Larry Meador says:

      I think it’s from someone who just like to complain before asking questions… You would think a military man would know that a ship flies the colors of where it is registered…

      • Suzie M. says:

        Exactly! A veteran would know this info. *sigh* Trolls come out of the woodwork from time to time. Best to ignore them.

  17. Jeanette says:

    Good luck John…Heidi might just have a headache…..

    I hope they move another Conquest Class, say the Freedom, to do Alaska and 8 day….then again, it could be another Spirit class…

  18. Happy New Year John, Heidi and Kye. Bob and I wish you the best of health and much happiness in the new year. We are looking to book the Breeze in January 2013, if the world does not end. We hope you will be CD then and have Heidi and Kye onboard. One could only wish. Again, Happy New Year!
    Marie aka Mary Ann

  19. DannyK says:

    I would recommend that the new kiosk be updated to break $5 bills into singles. Even though the tip is included I will often tip a bartender and additional $1 on my drink. So, being able to break a $20 bill only down to 4 $5 bills isn’t all that useful.

    • Barb says:

      You also can take it upon yourself and go to the bank at home and break a $100. and bring along all singles, we do that and we use them for everyone, from room service to tipping the bar servers, taxi’s, bellboys, luggage handlers at the pier…..

      • Barb says:

        also…. they would need a full-time person on staff filling the ones as I am sure they will constantly be emptied by everyone needing to tip a bar server 😉

        • Phil Hale says:

          The Casino Cashier is always happy to break whatever bill needed, just have to remember to do it before you go to bed as it’s closed when docked.

  20. Dana T says:

    John, please reply…but no hurry!
    I see the CD schedule is posted for the first half of 2012, and that you will be on my Carnival Breeze. I think you’ve mentioned, though, that you may take some time off from the Breeze during the second half of the year. Any idea when that will be? My friend and I will be on the 8/14/2012 European cruise, and I’m so hoping you will be there! If not, I swear I will not swear or be unreasonable or tell you that the only reason I booked the cruise was because you’re the CD…but I’m just wondering! It will be my 7th Carnival cruise…the first that I’m leaving my husband behind and going with my galfriend of 40+ years instead! We’ll try not to get too crazy… Anyway, we’ve had many cool CDs on all the past cruises, but since I follow your wonderful blog and Facebook posts, I would just love to be on a cruise with you! Thanks for all you do!

    • Dana T says:

      Ooops, maybe I was supposed to post this under “Ask John”? Ah well, if I don’t see anything in the next few months…I’ll just post again!!

  21. Don Glaser says:

    I highly recommend Churchill’s Cigar store in Grand Cayman. Great selection, good prices, knowledgable staff and be sure to spend a few minutes viewing all the photos and notes from the many celebrities that have shopped there! I just wish they had the same prices as every little store in Ocho Rios which have those “100% Real” cuban cigars!

  22. Easttex says:

    For Sabrina: For not only what you said, but especially for how you said it…Sabrina, you have no class.

    • Robert says:

      You woudn`t know a good show if it bit you in the arse. carnival has some of the best shows at sea. you dont know what sophisticated is. BIG difference between sophisticated and snob. anyway… have a great new year. cant wait for my next awesome cruise. 🙂

  23. Margaret Herrmann says:


    I am new to your blog but just wanted to comment that we took our first cruise on Facination on Dec 10. It was a fantastic trip with great people and great food. I am now hooked on Carnival and am looking forward to hopefully moving up to the Dream next November. Keep up the great work and thanks for a great trip!!! Thank you!!!

    • Maurice says:

      A wonderful year it has been for Carnival, indeed. And a busy one at it. Im very much so looking foward to the new loyalty program. As of Jan 29th, I will be 7 cruises in, and growing. Wonder if I would be apart of the “grandfathering in” for the next tier? I will continue to be patient. As one of your loyal followers, John I would like to again, thank you for all that you do for us who cruise Carnival. A brand that is dear to me. I couldn’t think of a more affordable experience to enjoy my vacations. Money well spent.

    • Debbie says:

      John, I love you. I love your blog. I just don’t understand why you have to constantly bring up Cruise Critic?? You have said, more than once, that you would no longer even mention the name of that place. I wish you would stick to that because it just fans the flames. I get that you and the beards want Carnival’s social media to be THE place to go for Carnival info. But to publicly disparage another website and it’s members is getting on my nerves. PLEASE stop talking about Cruise Critic. Please? Pretty please????

      • Dana T says:

        Seems like “damned if you do, damned it you don’t”…if he doesn’t mention, fans flames; if he does mention, fans flames. I’m all for John making up his own mind as to when to mention and when not to mention. Whatever he does, it’s always entertaining to me!

  24. sparks1093 says:

    Mr. Kowalczyk, I hope that you re-think not sailing CCL again as they are required to fly the flag of the nation they are registered in, just as any other cruise line and shipping company does. So if you had been sailing with any other cruise line you would have had the same issue, except for the one cruise ship that is based in Hawaii and is American flagged.

  25. Val says:

    Sorry Sabrina. I respectfully disagree with your OPINION of the “Dancing in The Streets” Show.
    Hope it’s not to lonely out on that limb!
    Everyone is entitled to an opinion. What sets us apart is the MANNER in which we voice them.

    • Ron Moyer says:

      And is John supposed to be alarmed that she “wrote” Gerry Cahill and told him John is NO Ambassador to cruising? Get a grip, Sabrina.

  26. Larry Meador says:

    Happy New Years to you, Heidi, & Kye! May you be blessed beyond measure. I look forward to 2012, and anxiously await the new news such as Alaska for 2013 and the new loyalty program. Hopefully, this news comes out before my March cruise on the Carnival Dream.

    Take care and great blog!

    Your friend from Texas,

    Larry Meador

  27. Jacqueline says:

    Sabrina, you must have had a very bad hairday. Not all shows are to everbodies liking, and it is really no problem for you to walk out. Enough other passengers like the shows very much, so I think you will not be missed much.
    For writing to the Cahill/Arison men, I can tell you their secretaries (stephanies) manage all incoming correspondence, and silly complaints like yours end up in the trashbin. Having John fired because you did not like the show, made me laugh.
    I am sorry you dont enjoy your life, just please dont spoil it for the millions out there who do.
    I wish you a brilliant 2012 with lots of great cruises, with or without fun.
    Remember, life is too short to be so negative.
    Hugs from Europe, dear.

  28. Ashlee says:

    Mr Heald: Thank you for your blog and all the info and fun you bring to us. Hope you are feeling better from your surgery. My question is about a cruise coming up in February. My mother and I are cruising the Dream Feb 18th and would like to request a table for 2. We both have some hearing loss and find it hard to converse at a large table with other guests. I know we have late seating and we are in room 2400. Could you let me know if that would be possible?? Usually when we wait until the cruise and speak with the maitre de, it is too late and we end up spending the whole cruise at the upstairs buffet. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks and best holiday wishes!

  29. chad says:

    sabrina i think you need to post an apology to the people of new york for your comments you made about them

  30. Karla Sellers says:

    John, Just a word of thanks for the wonderful job that you do. I read the posts, and the outrageous demands of some of the guests and I’m amazed and the tact and professionalism in how you respond. I’ve had a great time when cruising, and hope for another soon! Take Care

  31. Dianne says:

    Hi John,

    My hubby and I sailed with my parents on the Magic at the end of November. I also wanted to compliment Ken on the great job he is doing as Maitre’d. Not only did we enjoy his singing and visits to our table every evening to chat about Ireland, but we were thrilled when he sang a special song for my parent’s 61st wedding anniversary. My dad was smiling from ear to ear when Ken asked my parents to stand up and everyone in the dining room gave them a round of applause. Hands down, Ken is the best maitre’ d of them all!
    My best wishes to you and your family for health and happiness in 2012.


  32. Martha says:

    Sabrina….really! You’re mad at someone because the show on the ship wasn’t to your taste? Really? You do realize you are not the only one on the ship right?

    Wendi….please thank your husband for his service to his country.

  33. Barb says:

    As we were looking for 2012 calendars recently, I lamented that there was not one to buy featuring Carnival ships and/or the photographs of Mr. Radu. Would Carnival please consider publishing a calendar to sell of Mr. Radu’s and the other ship’s photographer’s pictures? Mr. Radu’s pictures, especially some of the ones you have posted in your blog, have been breathtaking. We would buy one every year if one were to be published.

    By the way, our recent cruise on the Legend 11/27/11 was spectacular, even though the weather did not cooperate. The crew is outstanding and we can’t wait to go again.

  34. Ron I. says:

    I respectfully disagree in that Sabrina certainly has class.

    Since she is now trying to get Beeg Bad John fired (see John’s FB ietms) she has in my opinion VERY LOW class.

    Now about John’s song:

    Big John

    Every mornning in the atrium, you could see him arrive.
    He stood 6 foot 6, weighed 285.
    Kind of narrow at the shoulders, wide at the hip.
    And everybody knew you didn’t give no ship to Big John.


    • Phil Hale says:

      LOL Priceless! You should record it and sneak it aboard Breeze to be played just before the morning show!

  35. an open letter to sabrina, why is that some people seem to write about their negative comments, my husband and i are both vip’s in our 70’s. WE LOVED THIS SHOW, AND WE LOVE JOE BANANA. this was one of the best showes we’ve seen , and we’ve seen it twice. if you don’t like something leave, why would you impose your opinion on other people. oh right IT’S YOUR OPINION. BOO:(

  36. divetrash says:

    John and Ray Barry,

    Ed Rocks did his last cruise with Carnival before I really got involved with the piano bars. But I’ve heard a lot about him. I do believe he is living in New York state somewhere and still entertaining, just not on ships.

    I believe Stormin’ Norman is still in touch with him and could answer you better.

    Happy New Year,


  37. Suzie says:

    Steven Kowalczyk- “I’ll never cruise Carnival again” How old are you??? I just don’t understand why people don’t do a little googling before they jump down some ones throat !!!! The internet is a wealth of information, like Johns Blog…….

  38. marie philhower says:

    john as for the posting about the cc jan 21 2012 requesting a meet and greet. i am active in this role call and dont think its valid. i dont know who tina is or the number 52 came from. there is some talk of meeting but nothing is organized yet. it may be a family function.

  39. Mary M says:

    Wanted to comment about our wonderful family cruise on the Carnival Triumph December 19th. There were 17 of us cruising together — most were first time cruisers. 9 were ages 8-17. This was my 8th cruise, 1st time on Carnival. Start to finish, it was the most wonderful Christmas ever for all of us! Comments in this review don’t even begin to cover the great service and experience we had.
    The instant we stepped foot on the Triumph, we had a 100% perfect experience. Absolutely no complaints.
    With several trips to Guest Services we were ALWAYS treated with utmost courtesy and pleasantness, and ALWAYS received the help we asked for. I particularly enjoyed our interactions with Ivan. He is so patient and fun.
    We had 3 balcony rooms in a row. The staff accommodated our request to open up the dividers so we could enjoy one long balcony between our rooms. Good times out there!
    We had 7 rooms all together, and I was amazed at our steward Antonio. The man is a saint! He not only took extra special care of our rooms, he also kept us laughing and entertained. The 9 kiddos in our group LOVED him! Antonio spent quality time with each of us — actually had all 17 of our names memorized by the first day. Special towel animal requests? Done. A little extra chocolate for the 8-year old? Done. Ice down our coolers each day? Done. Kiddos locking themselves out of their rooms? No problem. Antonio made our trip so outstanding. At the end of the cruise, he gave our 8-year-old a straw hat that the child wore proudly as it was from his new friend Antonio.
    Dinners were also a very pleasant event. Consistently pleasant and fun service. We had 2 tables (430 & 432), and to say the least we were a very lively group. The waitstaff joined us in the fun. We had an outstanding head waiter. I can’t spell his name, but he had been sailing with Carnival for 16 years. We could tell by the pride and fun he showed each evening, that it was more than just a job for him — Carnival is his life. We especially loved the waitstaff evening table dances. What a hoot!
    EVERY Carnival employee was pleasant and very accommodating. We did not have one single unpleasant experience. That is pretty outstanding. They’d laugh and joke with us, tell us their stories….outstanding group.
    We broke out into small groups each evening to explore the activities on the ship. There is a wide variety of things to do; something different each night. Boredom isn’t possible. And there are activities for all age groups and interests.
    The kiddos (okay, and some adults as well, had a lot of fun on the water slide) The lines for riding it were not bad at all. And the same for the mini-golf and shuffleboard.
    We absolutely loved the Camps for the kiddos. Our two oldest boys didn’t spend too much time there, but the others did. The teenage girls in our group actually made several new friends and have already found each other on Facebook. The younger ones looked forward to going to Camp each day as well. This is a great Carnival concept.
    The food throughout the day was just fine. We found the burgers and panninis were perfect for lunch. And I particularly enjoyed the fresh pico. Salads are very good. Plenty of food in plenty of places with great variety. And the midnight pizza runs? Yum! The wok was a good option as well. At times, there were some lines for food. But you have to expect that with 3000 passengers. We never had an unreasonable wait though, and we took the opportunity to laugh and visit with other passengers while standing in line.
    You can go to breakfast early to avoid the crowds. Or, we found the fruit bar also had eggs, grits, potatoes….then you walk across to get your bacon/sausage. And the key? No lines! Some of our group really enjoyed the omelettes.
    The pools and hot tubs were never overcrowed. Kiddos being too loud? Well, they were probably ours. But seriously, our rooms were on the 10th level under the Camps. We had no issues with too much noise from above.
    We thought the diningroom food was quite good. And there was certainly plenty of variety each evening to accommodate everyone in our group.
    The first evening, our 17-year-old granddaughter had a pretty bad case of seasickness. The waitstaff brought her a sliced apple (to eat then and also for later) and told her that would help her feel better. I consider that over the top service.
    The two ports of call were Progreso and Cozumel.
    Would not recommend you stay in Progreso. This port is not yet built up to accommodate a high level of tourism. Kind of scarey spot where you get off and get on the bus. However, one of our nieces had a great time at the bar in the plaza just off the ship. And we did have a lot of fun shopping in that plaza as well. However, for Progreso Carnival does offer several interesting excursions — several Mayan ruins tours, trips to Merida, etc…
    We loved Cozumel! (Who doesn’t) There are so many things to do. We split up into small groups, and all of us had a blast. We loved the Dolphin adventure, the Stingray adventure, snorkeling, shopping……….and there are so many other things to do. We have to go back!
    We had such a good time that we are already starting to book our 2012 cruise — on the Magic December 16th.

  40. merrill OKarma says:

    I agree that the Liberty was perfect except for the dining all the cruises I have been on and I am a Platinum , love Carnival. The dining staff was absolutely awful. The menu was fine.The staff was doing nothing but talking about going to dry dock in two weeks. I will always stay with Carnival. I am sure this was an exception.

  41. Theresa Taylor says:

    For Mr Radu….. your photos are awesome…. how did you get that dolphin so perfectly? You rock!!!!

  42. jame booher says:

    my son and daughter in law signed up for a cruise she developed acute apendisidus and had to not show,she didnot buy your insurance i realize its a hardball world but is there no value to having a heart in my veiw u picked her pocket the problem with this world is there are people that use contracts to steel money and never look at people in the eyes as humans or even brothers and sisters just other animals to prey on

    • Easttex says:

      You know what Jame? You need to get off your pitty-pot and quit whining. Your kids are adults and chose not to buy travel insurance.

    • Char says:


      • Ron Moyer says:

        What do you mean, what? She is right. Trip insurance is what is bought in case sickness or other emergencies happen. THEN, you get your $ back. If you decide not to get it, don’t make Carnival out to be thieves! It is just life showing up. You agreed to the terms when you booked the cruise. What makes these people think they are so special that their $ should be refunded while everybody else’s don’t?

  43. Todd A. Breitenstein says:

    Hi John,
    We used the Sign and Sail kiosks on our just completed Freedom cruise. They are fantastic and took care of quite a few things we would normally have to wait for the Guest Services personnel to handle. Well done!

  44. JoJo says:

    Steven Kowalczyk, obviously you’ve got a Polish name, but were you born and raised in Poland? I don’t think so. It’s not a Polish spirit that you are representing. I appreciate your service in a Vietnam, but demanding american flag on a cruise ship, where people are having well deserved vacation???? Get over yourself

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