February 15, 2012 -

John Heald

Just before I left home for the Carnival Magic my two-and-a-half-year-old daughter Kye discovered the word “why.” “Don’t throw Dadda’s cell phone in the toilet” ……..”Why?” is her response. And judging by what happened to me last night at the captain’s celebration I only have even more to worry about from her in the future. You see I was standing with the captain and senior officers when two bloggers approached me and at this point let me say a big hello to Jodie and Tom Marshall and their five-year-old son Brady. As we were chatting and talking about the blog and Facebook and their cruise, Brady, who was obviously bored, pulled on his father’s sleeve and pointing at me asked “Why is he so fat?”

Now for a moment the parents were horrified and indeed I stood there thinking maybe
H82seaugo had paid the little chap to say this to me. Now I had a choice here. Laugh it off for the sake of the parents whose embarrassment was obvious. Or, tell Brady that Fun Ship Freddy was a monster and would be coming for him tonight armed with a chainsaw. I decided on the first option and laughed and said, “Because I just ate 12 pizzas.” OK, not the most witty answer in the world but it worked as everyone, Brady included laughed. I say here publicly to the Marshalls that their apology afterwards was not needed because kids as we know do say the most wonderful things.

This has as I mentioned gotten me thinking about Kye and what she might say as she grows older. I can imagine her asking Heidi “Mama, what is Latvian Bottoms magazine and why are there 27 copies of it in Dadda’s computer bag?” “Why are you older than other Daddies?”; “What’s rumpy pumpy?”; “Is it OK that I told Alice’s mummy you said she wore too much lipstick and had a huge bottom?”

Obviously there are some questions which are impossible to answer: “Who signed off on building the Norwegian Epic” and “When will our new loyalty program be released?” My favourite though belongs to my mate Alan’s son. Alan and his wife Alison had bought him two goldfish which he loved……for about 10 minutes….and then forgot. The fish were then the responsibility of the parents and that did not make them very happy and they were referred to using very colourful metaphors. Anyway, a few months later his grandmother came to visit and asked Alan and Alison’s seven-year-old son what the names of his fish were. Obviously his immediate thought went to what his parents had called them over and over again and so obviously his reply to 84-year-old grandmother was………… “f****g fish.”

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

Mel F asked:

My mother and I sailed recently on the Carnival Freedom and the service in the dining room left a lot to be desired. We had ordered Kosher meals ahead of time and yet the waiters seemed untrained in how to serve them and what to do. At first we were given PAPER KNIFE AND FORKS and the food itself was bland and of a cafeteria standard. We won’t be sailing again with you if this is how you treat your customers.

John says:
Hello Mel F

I am so sorry that this happened. I spoke to Ken, the maitre d here on the Carnival Magic, and he told me that there are sometimes guests who ask for Kosher meals also request plastic cutlery. Obviously you didn’t and we should have asked ahead of time obviously. I have sent a note to the office regarding your comments on the Kosher meals and I am sure we will strive to do better. I also hope that you will look back at the fun you had on the cruise and that you will indeed join us again.

Best wishes to you both.


Vicki Hart asked:

You may recall having heard from me before. My husband and I were to sail the Carnival Dream in February 2012. Due to his diagnosis of cancer we changed our trip to Oct. 15, 2011. Sadly he passed on Oct. 5 and that trip never happened. I had written to you a few times and you were helping me to make his last trip special for him. Thank you for your kindness during that time. Don wanted to take our adult daughters on their first cruise to introduce them to the joys of cruising. Since he never got that opportunity I have decided to honor the anniversary of his death by taking the girls on a cruise in October 2012. We will be sailing the Carnival Elation out of New Orleans. Would it be possible for you to arrange for us to be seated somewhere in the middle of the dining room? We will be on the ship for the anniversary of their father’s passing. I just want to make this trip as special as I can. Your help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for all you do!

John says:
Hello Vicki Hart

I am so very sorry for your loss and I am sure this cruise will be one full of mixed emotions. However, if I may be so bold to say, I think it’s brilliant that you are taking the family as per his wishes and to honour your husband’s life. May I please ask that one month before you sail you contact me here on the blog again marking your post time sensitive or indeed do so on Facebook and I will make sure we look after you? I will be thinking of you all and please let me know if there is anything I can do for you.

Best wishes and deepest sympathies.


Diane Blissett asked:

I agree with others who said today that your language and sexual innuendos have no place here and that Carnival should reconsider your position as brand ambassador but I guess looking at it I should have expected nothing else from Carnival as I am still awaiting resolution to my complaints from my Carnival Valor cruise of November. Lurid language and sexual references may be OK for some but for many it is an immediate turn off and that reflects badly on Carnival. I read this blog to get information about the Carnival Breeze. Even though I am not interested in your bowel movements, farting, or your opinions of non-smokers, I put up with it to keep up with a ship that I’ll be on. Your humor is enjoyed by far less than you probably realize. I mentioned the Carnival Breeze, when the ship stays over the night in Rome is there anything to do next to the ship or in walking distance?

John says:
Hello Diane Blissett

Let’s start with the answer to your question. The ship docks in Civitavecchia and there is a free shuttle bus that runs until midnight into the town where there are loads of restaurants and a beautiful promenade but there is nothing next to the ship. Let me know please if you have any other questions. I am sorry if my cheekiness and sometimes candid way of writing is not for you. I happen to think British humor is some of the finest in the world but then I would I guess being British. I am sorry you had concerns in November on the Carnival Valor and I will investigate your comments and ask a colleague to contact you. I do tend to use bad language and that’s always been the case. You know, I thought my wife had a nervous tic but apparently she really did want me to “p**s off.” Just a little bit of British humor there for you. I’m sure you’re not laughing though…..oh bugger. Seriously, thanks for writing and I will look into your concerns for you.

Best wishes.


Marc W asked:

I understand that you are the person to write to about my cruise experience. I should say that I am a frequent cruiser with 25-plus with all the major lines and this cruise was far from perfect. The buffet upstairs was hit and miss. Sometimes it was good and sometimes pretty bad. We didn’t know whether the food we chose would be hot, lukewarm or cold. I liked the layout but not the delivery. I saw a stir fry station with all the ingredients but no stir fry cook. I stood there but no one seemed interested in helping me. One night we got the meat balls, which were excellent. The next time we went there my husband said the meatballs were like they were just taken out of the refrigerator. If we wanted hot food at breakfast we had to stand in line and order our eggs specially cooked. After a few days, we gave up on the buffet. The dining room at lunch — we tried this one day. The service was so bad that the table of two next to us left before ordering because they had waited so long just to be waited on. It took over an hour to receive our lunch. I had told my husband they had another five minutes before I walked. The waiter finally told us that it was the kitchen’s fault. They didn’t expect so many to eat there that day. In the dining room, we really enjoyed the service. The waiter and his assistant were excellent. I would describe the food as passable. Example: I ordered Mom’s pork chop, chef’s recommendation. It was a pork chop that was coated with shake n bake with a sweet sauce. You never knew what exactly you would be getting. Since I had already had an appetizer and a soup, it was no big deal. I will give the sous chef high marks. The soups were always excellent. Please take this seriously sir as I do know cruising better than most and hope that you will improve by the next time I choose to cruise with your line.

Marc W

John says:
Hello Marc Warsi

Please excuse me if I am being a bit thick here but I have read your post twice and I can’t for the life of me work out what ship you were on. The only reference is the pork chop you described which I am not familiar with. We do have a Mongolian Wok and yet there are always people serving food there so again I am not sure to what you are referring to. Please can you send me more details so I can help you because I really do want to know what ship you were on so we can take a closer look. Thinking about it I don’t think we serve meatballs on Lido either…… we? Anyway, let me know and regardless I am so sorry your experience left you feeling less than pleased.

Best wishes.


Johnny Byrd asked:

I guess you don’t have an answer for the questions I ask you about. I sent you questions about VIP guests where we stood in a line waiting on baggage for about three an hour to an hour and a half. I guess nobody cares at Carnival about their VIP people.

John says:
Hello Johnny Byrd

We absolutely do care and I am sorry that I haven’t replied yet to you as I don’t think I can remember seeing anything from you until now. Please can you let me know more details so I can look into this for you because we need to see where we slipped up. We have a new loyalty program due soon which I hope will prove even more just how much we do care about our VIP guests.

Best wishes and sorry for the late reply.


Gary Gorman asked:
John –

My family and I just returned from a wonderful cruise aboard the Carnival Spirit. We sailed on Nov. 13 for a five-day cruise to Cabo San Lucas. All together there were 23 of us on the cruise and we had a wonderful time. However, I have one small complaint but I also want to commend the maître d’ on the Carnival Spirit for his wonderful job of handling our problem.

Most of our family booked the cruise using the group booking number. A few of our family chose not to do that, and booked separately. We all did want to dine together, so as the group coordinator, I called Carnival’s group department on a few occasions, and spoke with someone about making sure that all of us were seated together. I did this each time someone booked without using the group number. Each time I was assured they would take care of linking their booking to the rest of us for meals. Well, we boarded, and started chatting and discovered that we were scattered over several tables with the exception of those that booked as part of the group. At first I thought maybe we were all together in the dining room, but soon discovered that was not the case. I contacted the maître d’ and spoke with him about the situation. This is where the story really gets good. He managed to move people around and by the second night, we were all sitting at two tables, side by side! I was absolutely amazed at what a great job he did of fixing what could have been a very vexing problem for us. Kudos and thanks to the wonderful dining staff of the Carnival Spirit!!! And a little bit of a pffffft towards the group booking folks. 🙂

Thanks for listening to my tale and I hope you can tell me what I could have done better to assure this won’t happened next time. And there will be a next time.

John says:
Hello Gary Gorman

A tale with a sort of a happy ending and that’s just what I needed to hear as today’s Q&A has been a bit……ummmm…..bumpy. It does look like we dropped the ball here though and I will make sure the right people know this. However, equally important I will let the beards know that the maitre d turned the situation around and that’s just wonderful to read. Thanks for telling me and if you ever need help with dining arrangements for your next cruise please do let me know.
I hope you had a brilliant cruise.

Best wishes.


Richard Glash asked:

I would like to know what happened to Chris Jefferson? He was the cruise director on the Carnival Conquest. If you have any information let me know.

Thank you.

Richard Glash

John says:
Hello Richard Glash

Chris retired two years ago and we all miss him. His wife gave birth to a baby daughter last year and they are all together living in the UK. Thanks for asking, that was very kind.

Best wishes.


Trudy asked:

We are cruising with you guys on the Carnival Fascination ship 2/27 for our Washington High School in Atlanta, Georgia class of 1971 reunion. We are in cabins R53, R55, R79 and M11 and wondered how we claim our free gift.

John says:
Hello Trudy

I am not sure what free gift you are referring to but if you are asking if I can send something to you to help celebrate your reunion then I am sure I can find something for you to share. Have a great time and hope you have loads of fun.

Best wishes.


Nathan Derringer asked:
Dear John (Please Reply),

I will be on a cruise for the first time with Carnival on the beautiful Carnival Spirit to Alaska. I will be joined by my wife and eight-year-old son, Nathan Jr. He has a morbid fear of mascots and after weeks of worry and various tests it was discovered he suffers from coulrophobia which is a fear of clowns. I have read that you have a mascot on the ship and seen photos of it and it will for sure make my son so upset and maybe as has happened before he will actually faint. How can I make sure that the mascot is not on the ship for that cruise? Please help. Thank you on behalf of worried parents.

John says:
Hello Nathan Derringer

I am so glad you have written to me and seeing that you are sailing to Alaska means we have some time to sort this out. I am going to look up your sailing date and make sure that when you arrive the youth director who runs Camp Carnival will place in your stateroom a schedule of when Fun Ship Freddy is due to appear. There won’t be any random appearances, just what’s on the schedule so you will know not to have Nathan Jr. there. You are not the first to worry about this, in fact I am sure there are blog readers who will be posting their thoughts about this below as they have had similar concerns. Please don’t worry, all will be well and I will make sure of that and be in touch before you sail.

Best wishes.


And that’s your lot for today. So the big news yesterday was of course Carnival Legend and her European tour in 2013 and in case you didn’t get to see the news yesterday, here it is again.

She has been to Europe before of course when in 2002 we sailed to the Baltic and round the British Isles and it was truly amazing. Now over the next few weeks I will be highlighting some of the brilliant places that we call at and let’s start with our return to the Baltic which I know so many of you are excited about.

One of the highlights will be Warnemunde where Kye was created during five minutes of das rumpy von pumpy. Seriously, Germany has a history and one that it is keen to open its doors to and ask you in. And, of course, for the best view of this country’s history that affected most of the world………you have to go to Berlin. Carnival Legend will have private trains to take you to Berlin and from experience I can tell you it’s a must see city. The whole city is packed with culture, history and attractions. The transparent dome of the Reichstag, and the Platz der Republik, architecture at its best, the views are incredible every which way you look.

You can gaze down into the debating chamber of the German parliament; across the void to the ingenious double walkways that spiral to the summit; or out onto the Brandenburg Gate and across the vast Tiergarten Park to the Kurfürstendamm. I got to stand where the Berlin Wall stood and where parts of this hated symbol of a divided Europe still stand. To see the Checkpoint Charlie museum, near the former East-West crossing point, which chronicles the many daring escape attempts and the blood spilled.

There is, of course, a place that we give you the chance to visit that will change your life …….. here is what I wrote in 2008 when I visited somewhere I will never forget. “As I sit here on the bus for the three-hour ride to Warnemunde, I only have thoughts for the place I just came from ………Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. We walked as the prisoners did up to the huge foreboding iron gates that have the feared insignia of the SS on either side and in the middle the words ‘Arbeit Macht Frei,’ which translates to ‘Work Will Give You Freedom.’ Nothing was further than the truth as this was the place where 50,000 Jews, Russian soldiers and anyone who did not fit Hitler’s ‘Kampf’ died. We listened to the stories from our expert guide about the torture and we visited the cells and chambers where these acts were carried out. Then there were the stories about the children…oh, the children…I cannot even bring myself to write the words.”

I thought I would share a video with you of Germany and my time there on the Carnival Splendor. Now you have to remember this was filmed some years ago and long before Peter the Hair and Jay The Recently Married got their hands on me and tried to mould me into a cross between Andersen Cooper and Wolf Blister. Things were different back then, the logo has changed of course and so has the production value. Myself and Heidi and the shore excursion team went on location to film some Travel Channel-style video footage which we play on the guest televisions. When I say Travel Channel…well……it was a little different. They have huge teams of cameraman, sound engineers, make-up artists and beautiful women supplying the host with anything he needs.….we had a bloke……who was cameraman, soundman and supplied me the host…….with bugger all. As for makeup….well…I refused to wear any and would rather tie a piece of old cheese to my thingy and have H82Seaugo put a starved rat down my underpants ………. than wear mascara and foundation.

The videos were also shot in early March which is why it may look a bit grey and wet on occasion. Remember when you will be on the Carnival Legend the weather will be different but the excursions and the places featured here will be the same and our brilliant excursion program will offer you a chance to see places like this.

Our shoreside excursion team will start work on the excursions and get them ready and available ASAP and I will keep you informed. Tomorrow we will talk about St. Petersburg and that is a city that should be on everyone’s bucket list and we haven’t even mentioned the Norwegian fjords. Have you booked yet?

You know, the way public debate is now conducted, there is nobody who is safe from public mockery and ridicule and I have finally come to the realisation that I am included in that. I am the first to publicly ridicule myself and along the way have upset Al Gore supporters, loads of Cruise Critic members, other cruise line executives, environmentalists, Diane Blissett and, of course, the French. There are one or two people who seem to take great pleasure in sending me snippets from other cruise pages and most of the time I delete without being read but one caught my eye yesterday because it was very funny. It simply said “Carnival has chosen Eliza Doolittle as their Brand Ambassador” and as I read that I laughed out loud because in a way………they are absolutely correct……they did.

I don’t think my language is that bad is it? I don’t swear that much in writing or in real life, I really don’t. Swearing is bad and any children reading this please do not listen to Uncle John’s ranting and use of colourful metaphors. It isn’t easy to swear well though. We should celebrate those who swear well. Genius swearers, in my book, include John Cleese, Billy Connelly, Ricky Gervais, Richard Pryor, Ray Winstone a brilliant British actor and the undisputed king of swearing ……….Tony Soprano.

By the way, did you know there is a village in Austria called “F**k”………….The “Welcommen Zu F**k” sign has apparently been stolen many many times………….sorry Diane.

Well tomorrow is Thursday and be sure and check my Facebook page when we have some interesting and exciting news indeed.


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.

45 Responses to BACK TO THE BALTIC

  1. jgeraci says:

    Hi John,
    We had the choice of doing the Baltic again or booking the British Isles. Even though our cruise on Splendor in the Baltics was memorable, we decided on the British Isles. Am anxiously awaiting any info. you have on that one. Time to make new memories!

  2. Rick says:

    Thanks for posting John, always a nice break in my day.

  3. Avie Sloan says:

    John, Could you please reply back to me about this. Can you tell me if James (he’s a piano player) will be on the Splendor for the April 29th sailing? A friend of mine was on the Splendor back in June of last year and James was the piano player in the piano bar and my friend also was on one of the ships the day after Thanksgiving and James was playing the piano in the main bar on this ship. He can’t remember the name of the ship but he did remember it went to Jamaica. Please let me know. Thank you so much. Looking forward to seeing you on the Breeze Transatlantic Cruise.

    Best regards, Avie

  4. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

    Nathan Derringer:

    I would like to post our experiences that might help with your son’s fears about cruising with Funship Freddie.

    We have a son (now 20 years old) that has always had severe panic attacks around mascots. I can not stress the word “severe” enough.

    DJ has cruised with Carnival since 1998. In 2002, Carnival introduced Funship Freddie.

    We thought we would have to stop cruising.

    However, Carnival worked with us and assisted us in ways that today helps him in every day life.

    We have never asked that Funship Freddie be removed from the ship. There are other passengers onboard that look forward to Funship Freddie and it is unrealistic to expect him to be removed.

    However, they have always given us his schedule on every cruise and we simply stay away from where Funship Freddie is.

    14 years later (and almost 50 cruises) our son has learned to compensate where mascots are concerned.

    He won’t be having his picture taken with Freddie any time soon, but he did learn to compensate and extract himself safely.

    Again, this did not happen overnight. It took years and many cruises, but the outcome has been nothing short of a gift.

    So now when we go to a ballgame or a Nascar race or the numerous other events where mascots are, DJ can attend and safely deal with those mascots that may be around.

    As the years went by, DJ actually started “stalking” Funship Freddie. He watches him from a distance. DJ still watches Freddie through the window of the disco, etc.

    Now Freddie can be at the Past Guest Party, as long as DJ is on one side of the theater in the front and Freddie is on the other side of the theater in the back.

    Carnival has worked with us. They know where DJ is and they keep Freddie on the opposite side of the theater.

    Again, they won’t be best friends any time soon…but DJ has learned to co-exist with him.

    Now in 50 cruises, there have been some accidental sightings.

    But we have always understood that we are dealing with human beings and as such, things like this can happen.

    Also be aware that there can be mascots and people in costume in the ports as you get off the ship.

    One other trick that we learned was using the “secret service” method.

    My husband and I put DJ between us and “escort” him off the ship.

    I go first and politely ask the mascot to step aside and my husband scoots DJ behind me and away from the mascot.

    We actually learned this from the Secret Service who were sharing our Hospitality Suite at the Hilton in Anchorage, Alaska one year.

    DJ got a real kick that it came from the Secret Service. Because they told him about that directly, it gave him confidence that we could execute it properly.

    It still comes in handy. Because as you already know, you never realize how many mascots are in the world every day until you have a child with this phobia.

    If I never see Lady Liberty, Sportcuts baseball guy or the ChikFila cow will be to soon!!

    So I would suggest that when you board, go to Camp Carnival, explain the circumstances and ask for Freddie’s schedule.

    We leave it taped to the cabin mirror.

    I would also suggest that you take your son with you, so that they know what he looks like.

    Also make sure you note this phobia on the Orientation paperwork that you fill out.

    I hope that your son has a wonderful experience and benefits as our son has.

    Linda (Mom of DJ)

  5. Amelia Brown says:

    Hi John,

    So, I, and many other platnium members are wondering when you are going to change the past guest rewards. Hopefully soon. We have been very patient, but getting tired of waiting. I have been on a lot of cruises with you and other lines. I sincerely, hope Carnival finally gives it’s loyal cruisers the rewards that other lines have. Please give this the attention it deserves as loyal Carnival cruisers deserve better. Thanks.

  6. cindy56 says:

    This is the best the beards could do today with questions from Carnival guests???? Honestly, the only letter writer that I would be concerned with is Nathan, the rest is as you would say rubbish. At least Gary sent Carnival a compliment but Kosher meals and free gifts???? I think I’m going to skip the Q & A section too like so many other bloggers and just read what you are writing about. People are getting too darn picky about things when they are supposed to be enjoying a VACATION. 10 more sleeps until the Carnival Dream and I guarantee you, I won’t complain about anything or ask for a free gift. Cheers!

  7. MARY H says:

    Hi John. Love the new itineraries especially the SA Splendor. Have booked all three segments.
    I am on the Carnival Spirit to Hawaii On April 13th and am dismayed at all the bad reviews this itinerary had in January.
    Please reassure me that these problems won’t happen again. This is an expensive trip.

    • Marsha Breen says:

      Mary – we cruised to Hawaii on the Carnival spirit on December 3rd. The weather left much to be desired which made most of the sea days challenging at times, but I would never hold that against the cruise line. You can’t control weather. Also my MIL passed away while we were on the ship and yet we still managed to make the most of our trip thanks to the crew and some of the passengers we met. I thought that the crew on this ship was the best we had ever sailed with in our 24 cruises. We just booked the 1/18/14 cruise to Hawaii and are looking forward to that 15 night cruise. I would say that cruises are what you make of them. Some people get upset if one little thing isn’t what they expect so therefore their “cruise is ruined”. Go and have a great time.

    • Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


      We are on this April 13th cruise as well and I have read many reviews.

      What I have found over the years is that while some complaints are valid, some of it is just people having unrealistic expectations.

      For example….one complaint I read was that the ship was late leaving. For the life of me, I am still trying to figure out how that would “ruin a cruise”.

      Except for the casino, everything else on the ship is going on as normal…not matter if it is sailing or docked.

      There is still dinner being served…still all the other activities, drinks being served…etc.

      Some people get a bee in their bonnet over nothing.

      That being said, I can imagine that trying to entertain people for 10 sea days (when the staff is used to only one – three sea days) can be an issue.

      So I suggest that we all get on the ship with the intention to make this the best cruise the staff and crew have ever sailed and I bet we will end up with a great one as well.

      Look forward to seeing you onboard, as I try to figure out how to make my singing voice last 15 days. (I am usually miserably hoarse after 5!! ) LOL

      Linda (Mom of DJ)



  9. Isabel says:

    John, all I can say is HOW THE HELL DO YOU DO YOUR JOB! WOW! Some people really need to get a life!

  10. Dear Diane Blissett,

    Welcome to the real world. you might as well get used to it, because it isn’t going to change to suit you.

    • Richard Taylor says:

      Whilst Diane Blissett’s question re Rome, and Citivecchia is opportune to our cruise on Breeze, and thank you for answering it John, please tell me she is not on it! (9 July).

  11. George Douglas Saunders says:

    John, just wanted to thank you and the Liberty crew for a wonderful cruise last Thanksgiving.

    I know it’s late but I was just booking my next cruise and remembered I never got around to thanking you properly for the welcoming gift you gave us for our anniversary cruise and to tell you just how much we liked the funship 2.0 upgrades.

    Butch, Amy 6’3″ and the whole crew made sure we had a great time and I can’t wait until September when we board the Victory for the third time, can you believe that?

    Thanks again!

  12. Marc W

    You are a moron and a troll. Besides, the pork chop of which you speak is on Celebrity, not Carnival. Maybe next time you should try a cruise line with good food, Carnival.

    • Shawn McGoldrick says:

      I say he is just a troll from the cruise site we don’t mention. There is a review on the other site that this complaint appears to have been cut and pasted from by bubbasqueen. The real review is much longer and more comprehensive.

  13. David says:

    Hi John,

    I don’t know why Mel F. is complaining. Most people who go to the trouble of ordering kosher food in the first place prefer to eat it with plastic, disposable, utensils. Having sailed on a number of other lines, I can tell you that they all serve their kosher meals with plastic cutlery.

    And seriously, “bland and of a cafeteria standard”?! What do you expect? The kosher meals have to be pre-cooked and frozen and then re-heatedin a double-wrapped plastic container. I think he should just be grateful that you offer them as an option at all.

    Keep up the fewkin’ good work!

    • Jackie S. says:

      I was just about to write the same thing regarding the kosher meals. Most of my friends who would need kosher meals would ONLY eat them with pre-wrapped, plastic utensils, to ensure that they have not touched kosher food. Carnival doesn’t have a whole separate kosher kitchen, nor does it make sense for them to have one, so you shouldn’t expect anything more than the prewrapped, frozen meals that are served anywhere that you request a kosher meal outside of a kosher restaurant. My husband usually chooses to eat vegetarian-style when we are out instead, but that has to be up to each person’s comfort level.

  14. Chris says:


    You are doing a great job! You keep us filled with laughter all day long. It doesnt matter what other people say. If they don’t like it hit the road. Since I started reading your blog and your facebook I am dying to cruise with you!

    I hope your doing well!

  15. kelly says:

    Loved the blog!! And never stop talking how you feel. Its what makes you unique. Your video was very informative and insightful…and makes me want to take a trip to Germany. So job well done! But I have a question off the subject. Its about possibly getting a lounge chair on our balcony on the breeze. We are sailing for the 8 days out of Miami on Dec 8th. )And Hope you will be CD at that time. Would love to meet you! ) but we want the chairs that are n the pool deck. We will be in grand suite 7321. If you can not its ok. Just thought i would ask. O can we get something sent to our room to celebrate out anniversary?? Haha I am kidding. We have no problem ordering from the bon voyage store, and we have already got some things on hold. Just getting the lounge chairs will be all we need…oh and being on that boat!! Thank you even if you can not do this.’I will try and see if i can also get you on Facebook.

  16. Jay83 says:

    John, compared to then you look fantastic! Keep it up! Thanks for sharing that video on Berlin – gotta get there someday soon.

  17. Stephen Gore says:

    Hi John. I have been trying to write to you to set up an extremely large group on the Carnival Glory March 4th, 2012 so we could all sit side by side by side at tables. I never heard anything from you. Should I try again or can you email me? Would be a HUGE help!!!!!!!!

  18. Barbara says:

    Dear Diane Bissett…..

    …..and yet… you are. Reading the blog…….

    I feel you are old enough to know this: The Sun doesn’t revolve around you; you go around with the rest of us.

    Nobody is holding you down and forcing you to log on to John’s blog and read it, is there,

  19. Maria Palmer says:

    Hello John,
    Have been reading some of the comments and there’s lots of complaining going on. I on the other hand love Carnival and have been on many ships that you were the cruise director. The same jokes get old, but hey, that’s not a big deal. Will be sailing The Breeze in August out of Venice. Is there any chance of an upgrade? We will be celebrating our 40th anniversary and I think our 25 cruise. It might be more but the representative at Carnival said they don’t go back further than 1993. Anyway, I keep going back to Carnival even though we’ve done river cruises and other cruise lines.
    Regards, Maria

  20. robin says:

    Hello John

    How are you mate? Thank you for another excellant blog, its a great way to start a working day with a coffee and some humour! I was just wondering with the new cruises on the Legend being released for next year are you going to be the CD as they are sailing from Dover? The only reason i ask this, is in part the fact that I think crusing with you would be a good laugh, and it would be a good way to get my parents cruising, my dad has actually just started reading your blog and agrees with me, that is awesome!

    Thanks for giving us a light hearted point of view on life!



  21. Chris Benson says:

    John do you invent these Diane Blissetts?
    I do not think she would know the definition of lurid.
    I sit here looking at my wife thinking how lucky we both are not to have Diane’s problems. I hope her children are safely a thousand miles away living their lives in mainstream “today”. Perhaps this is not what we all want but we can get on with life.
    Now can we get a free cruise update for this reply? What do we have to do for an in-cabin pressie? Stop doing this.
    Please do not waste what can be useful insights to your cruise world with irritating cr-p from the likes of Diane. I loved the way after all her complaints she still wanted information from you. A true haemorrhoid. Can’t wait to see the Spirit down under, well, not literally.

  22. Marsha Breen says:

    Am I the only one that doesn’t consider John to be overly “fat”? Yes, he needs to lose weight but so do I and alot of other people. I don’t understand the people who post on here that they don’t like John’s humor, yet it is obvious from their comments that they continue to read his blogs. Jealousy perhaps???? It doesn’t matter how many times people are reminded that John’s blog is “JOHN’s” and not Carnivals….. they just don’t get it.

  23. Phyllis says:

    Hi John,

    We just returned from a 5 Day cruise on the Destiny. Kudos to the guest services people, in Miami and aboard the ship. We had one of our group book on thier own and Carnival made sure to link all our reservations to make sure we got to sit close to each other for dinner. We all had a great time (there were 12 of us). Noonan is an EXCELLENT cruise director, and had us in stitches. The only downside is that there seemed to be a problem with the sewage system, there were “odors” in several places on the ship, especially deck 3, but we held our noses and had a wonderful cruise. We are looking forward to booking our 6th carnival cruise in early 2013 with an even larger group.

  24. Richard Taylor says:

    John, another great blog and welcome back. Regard the Legend in Europe in 2013 Carnival UK has seriously c*#ced up their mention of it on the UK website! Could you please get them to correct it? Ta!!

  25. Tom Vaughan says:

    Hello John,

    In reference to your off color (colour) style of writing, I can only beg you not change a thing. If someone lacks a sense of humor, then they can go F@@k themselves and go back to the land of denial and wait for the Easter Bunny.

    Rock on Brother John.

    Thanks for you wit and wisdom,


  26. Stephen says:

    I agree with other posters on here! What a bunch of party poopers! John represents everything that Carnival is…a FUN ship! I have yet to have the opportunity to sail with John, but reading these blogs certainly makes me want to sail on Magic this year.

  27. Wally Smith says:

    Morning John. I read the comment from someone that did not like your humour. I read the story about “why” and the f’n fish and really enjoyed. Some people are just too sensative.

  28. Henrietta Lala (Granny Lala) says:

    I found your language and sexual innuendo’s offensive AT FIRST, just because they seemed out of place, not that I haven’t heard the like before. They came across to me as disrespectful to your audience and explained why a page as useful as yours didn’t have over 100,000 or more “Likes.” Once I realized it was only your style, I just brushed it off as “Cheeky Monkey.” It’s not your humor which is off (you are rather hilarious), just that you appear to be portraying Carnival as disrespectful in their social behavior to customers. Blah, blah, blah. You’d always be welcome in my home, I have relatives who would make you appear stiff and formal, and could make a Parisian whore blush. Keep thumbing your nose at us-it does a body good.

  29. clipper says:

    OMG – I can’t believe someone would request that the brand mascot not be on board the ship because their son is scared of mascots!!! I’m glad Carnival has a schedule of Freddy’s appearances and the boy can avoid him by not being in the same place he is scheduled to be, but my gosh, the nerve of someone to request that he not be on board the shipo!!!! ROFLMAO

  30. Ellen Z says:

    John, it sounds like you have had a very rough day. I’m sorry for everything you’ve had to go through. My husband and I are scheduled to cruise on the May 27th cruise in the Southern Caribbean. We are so excited and will be celebrating our 20th anniversary on the cruise. This will be our third cruise (the other 2 on other lines) and we’re thrilled. However, I am a little concerned after seeing all of the issues the other guests have posted on your blog.

    That being said, we will be staying in a suite while on board. On the other cruises we were on, suite guests received some special amenities that other passengers did not – including a concierge, a concierge lounge, preferred boarding at tendered ports, a tour of the bridge, special seating at the pool, etc. I have perused your website and have been unable to find any amenities for your suite passengers outside of preferred boarding at embarkation – is that all ports? Can you advise if suite passengers receive any other amenities?

  31. Kelly says:

    Dear John, (Everything else from this point on is for entertainment purposes only)

    Ok, dear friend, here’s the plan to polish up that tarnished, vulgar, sexual-innuendo image of yours:

    Bring me on board for a week and I’ll teach the guests everything and anything they need to know about sex (and a lot of things they don’t need to know and probably a lot more things they need to know but they didn’t know they needed to know until I taught them).

    After one week of me (ahem–no “innuendos” from this sex professor), you, my friend, will be thought to be as pure as the Blessed Mother, and people will no longer complain that you are vulgar.

    Sister Mary John. I think it has a nice ring to it.

    LUV YA! Don’t change a thing about yourself!

  32. Paul Featherston says:

    John. My wife, kids and I will be sailing on our 8th and 9th cruise, back to back in Nov on the paradise. I have two questions. First, is the.paradise scheduled to be refurbished before thanksgiving. Second. Being that after our ninth cruise, we were looking forward to.becoming VIP’s. Is this still going to happen or will the new program take us out of the VIP group. Thanks and I hope u get a chance to write back. Ps. Carnival is the only cruise line we travel with, and yoy were my very first cruise director. You were also Paul

  33. Casey says:

    Hi John,

    My buddy and I are going to be taking a spring break cruise on the Destiny in March and need to put in a request to the maitre d’. Is there some way I can e-mail/contact him or her. It’s very important that we are seated with some attractive, single females.


  34. John Holland says:

    There is also a village in Bavaria, Germany, called W**k!

  35. Pamela Rivers says:

    Thanks for the comments above about visiting a concentration camp. I am taking a cruise to Europe this summer, and somehow left this out of my after-cruise itinerary. I know most of your blog is a mixture of information and silliness but I like to see that you talk about things that are meaningful outside of Carnival as well. I don’t love the cussing and such either (reference to woman who wrote in today) but I take that as part of who you are and honestly deeply appreciate the time you take to answer questions and respond to some often not very nice comments.



  36. Joko Joan says:

    Reading about Carnival Legend’s 2013 itinerary, your description has moved it higher on my bucket list and hope, God willing, hope to one day be on the cruise to the Baltic. I don’t usually book this far in advance but I need to make an exception.

    I have to apologize for taking so long to do this but was prompted today after one follower mention Carnival’s Fascination that I need to mention how attentive, kind and caring the Maitre D’ was. Out of our 45+ cruises, he was the ONLY one who visited us every day. We all just loved him. Unfortunately in my golden years my memory fails as to his name. Carnival should be proud to have him. He was very attentive to my Granddaughter, Rachael, who has been on more cruises than she’s been alive and she, as well, was taken care of in light of her allergy. He is to be commended….

  37. Becky S says:

    As for those who think your humor is less-than-desirable, everyone is entitled to their opinions, but I for one like to have a laugh and I think your humor is hysterical. My thoughts are the opposite of Mrs. Your-humour-is-less-than-desirable-by-more-people-than-you-think. There are a LOT of fans of you, John, so the masses far outweigh those who disagree.

  38. Josephine R. says:

    Dear John,, I think your down to earth humor is refreshing. people don’t realize what a great person you are because they have no sense of humor. they can put a sock in it. when i was on the ship you were always kind and considerate of others. even when you were dead tired late at night, you and your entourage took the time to chat w/ me (i lost my luggage), empathize, and even take pictures..i think you’re a wonderful man,, even if you’re off your rocker, but that’s what makes you so awesome! keep it up John,, (for Heidi’s sake)

  39. Paula Baile says:

    Hi John, We just returned from the Legend transatlantic cruise and had the BEST time with you and your staff! What a great group of people you have wor!king for you….from Erica at guest services to Maricio, our cabin steward, we were treated like family. We especially enjoyed the cigars and jazz at Serenity on one of the last nights. Bravo for a job well done! You and Calvin were a laugh a minute. Cheers!

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