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,


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.