April 13, 2012 -

John Heald

I remember when the mail used to be fun. Not email, not the offer of a larger thingy which, by the way, I decided to apply for and for my $45 I received a magnifying glass…..no, I mean real mail, the stuff the mailman brings. You know, back before e-mail, when I would receive a birthday card and check. Or even better, a birthday card with a check. There was nothing better than opening that white square envelope knowing that inside there would be money. It was such a letdown when it was just a card except when it was from my Uncle Norman who I knew was a cheap bastard and that the card would be as empty as Frenchman’s soap dish. Mail used to be exciting because every day was a new opportunity. You never knew what you were going to get. A handwritten letter, an invitation – maybe there would be a postcard from a friend on a Carnival cruise. Now, the only postcards that arrive have ads on them. Do I want a pizza? New decking? I have been used to getting emails for a larger gentleman’s sausage via email but yesterday I actually got a got a card in the mail offering me a bigger one and the handwriting on it looked very much like Heidi’s.

On Facebook in February, I think it was, we were all talking about PA announcements. If you remember we were asking if the cruise directors made too many and if they were too long and if guests should be able to hear them in the cabins or not. We are currently working on a fleetwide standard for the CD’s to make sure that they are informative, fun and not too long. I will, of course, let you know about this soon. One thing that seems to be pretty unanimous is that you don’t want to hear them in the cabins unless it is something of great importance which is, of course, our current policy. What we really need is a switch that can give guests an option to turn the announcements on or off in the cabin making sure that the switch was over ridden when and if an emergency announcement had to be made but that’s something we just don’t have. I can tell you that each ship as of April 1 this year now has an audio channel on the cabin TV’s. This will have a rundown of the day’s events so if you don’ want to read the Fun Times then all you need to do is turn the TV on to the audio channel and the assistant cruise director or an entertainment staff member will read the highlights of the day. This was introduced originally for our guests who were sight impaired but we noticed many other guests appreciated this as well so that’s now on all the ships.

Using the PA system is not easy and the trick I think is to use it as an entertainment tool and have fun amongst the announcement for the gift shop’s Inch of Gold sale or bingo. I have sailed on Cunard, Princess and P&O ships and outside of an announcement for the shows, the CD makes no announcements, none at all really. Is that a good thing? I am not sure. Certainly, announcements tell our guests what’s going on at different venues throughout the ship but I am sure there are some guests who would prefer none at all. The task is to find a happy medium, of course. Now it’s not just cruise ships that use the announcements. Back in January, I traveled to Liverpool to hire some British comedians for the Carnival Breeze and the PA system was used constantly. Every time we pulled away from a station a bored, rather sad voice announced that we are on a train……going to Liverpool……that food and drink was available from the buffet car…..he then went on to tell us that a cup of tea was £2…a coffee…£2…..a cheese and ham sandwich … £2…… in fact everything was £2…..except my ticket which was the price of a sodding three-day cruise.

Then, three times during the three-hour journey we were warned to look out for explosive devices and if you find one, not to be a hero and try to defuse it yourself but to let the conductor know where and he will halt the train and run away screaming. Here are some of the others I made a note of:

“First-class areas are for first-class ticket holders only.” Duh.

“This station is monitored by 24-hour CCTV.” Well, you’ve given the game away there you

“I’m sorry for the late-running of your service. This is due to the late-running of the previous service”…I am going to use this one the next time we start embarkation late.

There are times when we don’t use the PA system enough. I had a complaint from someone recently that we had closed the pool on the last sea day. Some guests were claiming that we had done this because we had scheduled maintenance for this sea day, which we would, of course, never do. The real reason was that someone had had an accident in the pool and this meant that we had to ……..and excuse the pun…….dump the water. The problem was that the CD had not informed the guests and he didn’t do so because there is no protocol for this, until now. It has been decided that we will let guests know when this happens over the PA system. And the words that the high visibility jacket wearing beards have instructed the CD’s to say over the PA system in the rare event we have to close the pool are; “Ladies and gentlemen, I am very sorry to let you know that we have had to close the pool this morning as there has been some human spillage.”

“Human spillage?” Sorry, but that’s far too PC for me. We should be saying:

“Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. We have, unfortunately, had to close the main pool because Mr. Thomas Runnybottom has dropped a Hummer-sized turd in the pool. A fruit basket and a solid gold plastic ship on a stick to any guest who retrieves it.”

Time for some non-toilet Q and A. Here we go…

Trina Simmonds asked:

We just returned from a cruise on the Carnival Conquest, our first with Carnival. One of the highlights of any cruise is the sailing from the port which was ruined because the captain decided to sail just as we had started the boat safety drill. We were forced to stand there for an hour and miss the whole sailing experience. This is not happened to me with Royal Caribbean or with Disney and my family and I were not impressed by this.

John says:
Hello Trina Simmonds,

I posted this on Facebook yesterday because I wanted to see if other guests had witnessed this recently and many haven’t. We know how important the sailaway experience is to our guests and sometimes it’s beyond our control and on the orders of the pilot or because of needing to get to our first port on time we do sail during the safety briefing. As I said, for the most part we don’t and I hope the next time you sail with us that the drill will be completed before the ship sails. I do hope that you had a great time.

Best wishes.


Tammye asked:
Dear John,

We are a family in law enforcement, my husband has been on the department and serving for 25 yrs now. We are on cruise #11 with Carnival and we have often asked the question with no one ever answering. Why does Carnival not offer discounts to police officers or firemen? I was beginning to think CCL just didn’t like police officers! The other cruise lines do offer us discounts like they do for military personnel. We love Carnival and have kept loyal by sailing with you. In fact, my husband and I cruise again this year on Carnival Spirit April 28 (excited to see her after her work!). So please do pass this request on to the beards in charge. Our men and women who serve to protect our citizens every day on the streets in our cities deserve this break as well. Thank you for listening, John.

John says:
Hello Tammye,

First of all let me thank you for the service that your husband and all police officers and firefighters give and all of us at Carnival understand that the job they do is extraordinary. We do offer military discounts and in fact I understand it to be one of the best discounts in the industry but you are right, we don’t have similar discounts for police and firefighters. I will send this to the beards in charge but please let me again thank our police and firefighters who do brilliant work to protect their communities. Please let me know when your husband sails with us again so I can send him something as a show of our appreciation.

Best wishes.


Luke asked:
Good evening, John.

I was just reading through some comments on this blog and realized that I am always just reading and never replying. I wanted to let you know that my wife, six-year-old and I cruised on the Legend last September and it was wonderful. We have done many different types of vacations, but that was our first cruise. Very relaxing, lots of fun and what I would consider a very reasonable cost. We enjoyed it so much that we already booked the same cruise July 22 this year. We also talked my wife’s sister and her family, my wife’s mother and her husband and my mom (we are actually treating my mom, so pretty easy to talk her into it) to come as well. With the insane number of vacation destinations available, you know we had to love it to repeat the same trip. I also would like you to pass on to “Wee Jimmy” and Meagan a very sincere thank you. My daughter called in to answer a trivia question on the morning show and instead they chatted with her for awhile. She sang them the Winnie the Pooh song and was rewarded with a stuffed lion. It really made her feel special. Not many kids on a cruise during the school year so that made a world of difference to her. Thank you for the great job in putting those two in place. I hope that we have a fun CD and assistant CD on our next voyage.

Have a wonderful day.


John says:
Hello Luke,

It is always great to hear from people who don’t post much especially when they have such wonderful things to say as you did. I have passed your comments onto the ship and to Wee Jimmy who is currently the CD on the Carnival Paradise. Thanks again and I hope that we will see you and your beautiful family on one of our ships very soon.

Best wishes.


Christina Paris asked:
Hello John!

I really enjoy your informative and very humorous blog. My daughters and I only started cruising after I lost my husband on 9/11 in the terrorist attack. It’s truly a shame we didn’t go on a cruise together, he would have loved it! Anyway, I have a question regarding the Hasbro Game Show addition to the Fun Ship 2.0. I can’t seem to find out if this show will be included on the Carnival Liberty. We are going on the July 7 sailing to the Eastern Caribbean, and would absolutely LOVE to participate in this game show. On our Canada trip on the Carnival Glory in 2010, I played the “60 Seconds or Less” game show and won! It was so much fun, and that trip on the Glory convinced us to be loyal to Carnival from then on. Thanks in advance for the info, and thanks for listening!



John says:
Hello Christina Paris,

Please let me start by saying how very sorry I am for your loss. I am sure there are days when you feel so very sad and empty without him by your side and that’s why I hope that the cruise in July will rejuvenate you and your beautiful daughters. We won’t have the game show on the ship then, I am afraid, but I hope you can find some way either here or on my Facebook page to contact me so I can send your girls a prize for being so brave and someone Dad would have been so proud of.

Best wishes to you all.


Ian King asked:

I have a question about my cruise because we want a table for three people. The cruise is on the Carnival Imagination on June 6. The reason is that we are very religious people and belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and would rather not be around people who drink and use foul language. I do not know what information you need to achieve this but we are in cabin U107. Thank you.

John says:
Hello Ian King,

I have asked the maître d’ to keep this on file and I know he will do his best to accommodate your request. If possible can you remind me here again but preferably on Facebook if you can two weeks before you sail. Just don’t want to forget. I am sure we can help you out and hope you have a brilliant cruise.

Best wishes to you all.


Catherine Manchester-Reynolds asked:
Hi John,

Just wanted to let you know that later this week we will be booking to sail with you again this time on the Carnival Breeze and we could not be more excited. I do have one question and that’s about Athens. I see that there are riots there at the moment but we are due to go there on the inaugural cruise. Is it safe and if not what port would you swap it for. Can’t wait to see you again, will Heidi and Kye be with you?

John says:
Hello Catherine Manchester-Reynolds,

It will be wonderful to see you on our new ship and yes indeed my family will be with me. Now as for Athens, well I see you posted this six weeks ago and everything has become much quieter there. Please don’t worry, obviously we won’t send our guests anywhere that may be considered unsafe and we will continue to monitor the situation. See you soon and let me know if you have any other questions.

Best wishes.


Anthony Sullivan asked:

Love the patter on your blog. I am writing to ask two things. Who is going to be the cruise director on the new ship Carnival Breeze? My daughter and future son in law have recently booked a 12-day Med cruise on this ship. July 23 departure from Barcelona. They are traveling from Vancouver, Canada, and celebrating their honeymoon. Anything you could do to make it special would be appreciated!!



John says:
Hello Anthony Sullivan,

As you may have just read above it will be me and if they drop me a note at the guest services desk when they board I will be honoured to send your daughter and son in law something to say happy honeymoon.

Best wishes to you all.


John Vanecek asked:
Hi John,

I have given up trying to get answers from you, but if you read this will you at least pass it on to whoever is in charge of the program? A lot of us who have eight cruises like me, and two more booked, but will not sail before the loyalty program changes, are concerned that after years of trying to attain platinum status, that we will now have to back up and somewhat start over again. Carnival will require 75 points for the second level, where Royal Caribbean requires 30 under their new program. The system based on points accrues twice as fast as Carnival’s. I would hope that since it will take more than one cruise now to make the second level that the least Carnival would be to make one of the perks for second level, which was gold before, VIP check in. Those who have sailed five or six times with Carnival deserve that at least, I have e-mailed Carnival, talked to them on the phone etc, they are nice , but will not give me ANY definite answer as to if I would be “grandfathered” or not to platinum level, since my 2nd booked cruise would put me there under the old system. I really wish you would reply to this, and give me some answers that make sense. Thank you

John says:
Hello John Vanecek,

I know I have not been able to give any details about our loyalty program but I promise I will as soon as I can. All I can do for now is repeat myself and say a huge thank you for your loyalty and repeat the fact that I have been assured that those who are at Platinum level now will not lose their seniority and that those who are “close” will be grandfathered in. Based upon what I do know, and assuming nothing changes between now and the time the new program launches, you will most likely be grandfathered into the new program based on the sailings you have booked. Thanks so much for your understanding and again I hope I am able to tell you more soon.

Best wishes.


Bruce Muller asked:

I hope I have a chance to meet you on a cruise because I am very funny like you and want to be a cruise director. I am only 12 but it’s my dream to do but my mom wants me to be a actor and says I would get more money than a cruise director does is this true please

John says:
Hello Bruce Muller,

I hope that you follow your dream and become a cruise director because I bet you would be the best cruise director ever. If you become a famous actor you will have more money and more girlfriends and cars and houses but as a cruise director you will be making people laugh and that’s the best reward in the world. OK, that’s rubbish……..become an actor.

Best wishes.


Carla Antiebe asked:

The best employee Carnival has is Ken Byrne. The joy he brings to the dining room each night through his singing and his friendly personality is something that I will never forget. I don’t remember the names of any other maître ds I have had on my seven cruises but Ken is someone I will never forget.

John says:
Hello Carla Antiebe,

He is indeed one of a kind and I promise that he will see this and that the senior management at Carnival does as well.

Best wishes and thanks for this wonderful post.


That’s all for today.

OK, let me ask you a question. What is brunch? Not sure? Me neither because I don’t think I have ever said to my family or friends, “Let’s meets for brunch.” Looking at it I think that brunch was invented when enough people thought that breakfast arrived too early and lunch too late. It also suited those who can’t cope with a hot breakfast after waking up, but who love the idea by lunchtime. So basically then…………….brunch is for lazy buggers.

However, one of the new features I am looking forward to seeing on the Carnival Breeze is the Punchliner Comedy Brunch presented by George Lopez. Now this doesn’t mean George himself will be there but what it does mean is that we will have our top comedians entertaining you in five- to six-minute comedy sets while you enjoy a fabulous breakfast/lunch favorites created by our masterful chefs. Now we have started this on the Carnival Miracle already and I have read reports from the guests that it was something they really enjoyed. I know that the comedians were a little nervous about this and, of course, that is understandable, after all it’s hard to be funny to the sound of knives and forks on plates and hoping that people will be able to laugh when they have a huge mouthful of food. But, despite their nerves, I heard that it did indeed go very well and laughter was definitely heard above the chomping. Now this provides yet another great dining and entertainment option to our guests and is a great alternative to the Lido restaurant at lunchtime. In order to do this, we needed to provide you with a brilliant menu, a fun menu that does indeed complement the entertainment………..and you know what? We most obviously did.

Click here to take a look at the menu.

This menu and the comedy performances have already been implemented on the Carnival Miracle and I asked for some feedback from the ship’s senior management. Here is what they had to say.

• Great for late risers, as they can still enjoy eggs and other breakfast favorites
• Great menu – classics and new eats suggested by George Lopez, spicy eggs in the morning are a good treat!
• The shows start the guests off in a good mood for the day
• Additional exposure opportunities for our great comedians
• Comedians and guests enjoy a closer interaction with each other. Comedy-style meet and greet, and guests get involved in the show a bit.
• The shows create a wonderful atmosphere and get people chatting about the comedians.
• The attendance in the dining room has increased during the lunchtime hours with sometimes as much as 700 brunch attendees
• The lines on Lido have reduced, so there is more streamlined service upstairs.
• Brunch is much more appealing with the floating Bloody Mary cart, great touch.
• New uniform aprons for the wait staff. Outfits are more relaxed, and less stuffy.
• Some guests even stop in on the upper level just to see what’s going on, should they wish to look and not eat

I do hope though that while our guests are enjoying the Eggs Benedict that they will give good attention to our comedians because as I mentioned before there was a bit of nervousness on their part when we first approached them with this idea. Working in a dining room is certainly a bit different than a club but they give it their all and from what I’ve heard so far the concept is working fabulously great and the comedians are really enjoying it.

Our-fly on comedians really intrigue me. They fly twice or three times a week and live basically out of a suitcase. I love to laugh though and so often the best comedians die far too young. Peter Sellers, Peter Cook, Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, and my favourite, a British comedian called Tommy Cooper who literally died on stage. You know, talk to any of our fly-on comics and they will talk to you about the language of war that is often used when talking about comedy. You see, if Al Ernst or Happy Cole or George Solano or I bet even George Lopez does well you and the audience dies. If they have a terrible show, they die, and the audience kills. I wonder if anyone will heckle them during the brunch? Anyway, as you enjoy your brunch and if you laugh, which you will, please don’t spit bits of Huevos Rancheros over Putu the waiter…….he doesn’t like that very much.

Well, that’s all for today. It’s been a great week yet spoiled a little by some awful things said by people who are apparently my “friends” on Facebook. No, not about me, they can say what they like as they are as entitled to an opinion about me as I am about me. Nope, this was an awful attack on someone who had been taken off the Carnival Magic for urgent lifesaving medical attention. And what they said wasn’t even said on my Facebook page yet when someone sent it to me, I realised that there are some people whose morals are lower than a snakes bollocks.

This made me realise that like all entertainers face hecklers so there are hecklers on the World Wide Web, too. I, for one, should accept it with humility which I don’t always do, but more worryingly anyone who becomes even briefly famous or is mentioned on any social media site now risks heckling by faceless “trolls.”

These days children suffer as their Facebook pages are attacked with the kind of bullying that used to go on in the school yard. Yep, these last days I have once again realised that it’s a troll world we live in and parents like me are going to have to make sure we teach our kids…….. how to have a very thick skin.


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.

72 Responses to WHAT’S FOR BRUNCH?

  1. Glenn says:

    Another great blog John. When reading about Mr. Thomas Runnybottom, the first thing that crossed my mind was the scene from Caddy Shack with the “Doodie” in the swimming pool…”Don’t touch it!” I couldn’t stop laughing. Looking forward to the comedy brunch when we sail on the Liberty in September. I hope it’s in place by then.

    • SheriL says:

      That is what i thought TOO! What a classic scene from a classic movie! Not only does Bill Murray retrieve it, but then he takes a bite of it!

  2. Lester says:

    On my 1 Carnival Cruise on the Miracle Miracle a few years ago, Malcolm earned his nickname. My wife and I were enjoying a couples massage for our anniversary. Right in the middle, Malcolm comes on the All Call P.A. (Tannoy to you) to peddle something insignificant, and the mood was lost. Malcolm in the middle indeed.

  3. Sharon says:

    Love your blog!
    I like the way DCL does their annoucements. You hear the chime and can turn on the TV or pop your head out into the hallway and hear the annoucement. The important ones will play in the cabins.

    Looking forward to meeting you on the Breeze and also having a good laugh during brunch!

    • lisa wiggs says:

      The brunch menu looks delicious, but it may contain a typo. I believe the Mexican Churro should read chocolate “sauce” for dipping, not chocolate “dough” for dipping. Although any chocolate is fine with me.

    • Rick Williamson says:

      I wish they would still come on over the tv like they use to. I don’t like having to run to the door to hear what’s going on. And you also can’t hear them on the balcony.

  4. unixrab says:

    Why John….!!! Brunch is BRITISH!

    ” the term was coined in Britain in 1895 to describe a Sunday meal for “Saturday-night carousers” in the writer Guy Beringer’s article “Brunch:A Plea” in Hunter’s Weekly’ 1895
    Instead of England’s early Sunday dinner, a postchurch ordeal of heavy meats and savory pies, why not a new meal, served around noon, that starts with tea or coffee, marmalade and other breakfast fixtures before moving along to the heavier fare? By eliminating the need to get up early on Sunday, brunch would make life brighter for Saturday-night carousers. It would promote human happiness in other ways as well. Brunch is cheerful, sociable and inciting. It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.
    – Guy Beringer, “Brunch: A Plea,” Hunter’s Weekly, 1895

  5. LOVE the brunch comedy idea!!!

    smiles, bee

  6. Teresa Cooper says:

    I had to comment on the person who said they didn’t want to sit at a table with people who drink or use foul language. As a fellow member of the same church I am embarrassed by that request. Let me say we are not all so inclined to isolate ourselves from our fellowman. Whatever happened to taking an opportunity to set a good example? And how can you assume that everyone else will use foul language at the dinner table? The people we have dined with have always been a pleasure to be around. I consider it a privilege to dine with my fellow brothers and sisters no matter what religion they may be. And if they are a little rough around the edges then well I can be forgiving and just try to remember what Christian behavior I need to exhibit.

    • Mark Similey says:

      AMEN! I humble and whole heartedly agree. What if Jesus isolated himself?

      • Bruce loves2travel says:

        Indeed. Jesus was someone sinners wanted to be around and he chose to be around them as well.
        Sharing a meal with someone in the 21st century may be something that is casually done but to share a meal in 1st century Palestine was equivalent of being close friends. As a Jew, one would not want to wine and dine with impure people, not only is this socially unacceptable but could risk becoming impure yourself.
        Not only did Jesus dine with them he celebrated it! Jesus chose to recline with impure people as a symbol of mutual acceptance and as a response to the establishment.

        • Rick Williamson says:

          Amen! What was Jesus’s great comission? To spread the good news AROUND the WORLD. Also I have NEVER heard foul talk at the dinner table on a Carnival cruise or with anyother cruise line! The only time I did hear some was when I was playing BlackJack. The person was ask twice to stop it by the dealer. He didn’t stop so the manager came over and had him removed. And he was told never to come back in there.

      • sharon says:

        I agree also. I have had wonderful people to dine with on all my cruises. Certainly I have seen (and HEARD) people on the cruise that I would NOT want to dine with, but I am sure the dining management would help change our seating arrangements if tablemates were too “rough” to enjoy eating with them.

    • Linda says:

      I also agree. My fathers family are all LDS and they never separated themselves from public situations because of their religion. If someone was profain they would just ask that person to try and control themselves around them and if them wouldn’t would excuse themselves. I have heard worse just sitting in a deck chair than in the MDR.

    • Rita presnell says:

      Awesome response!

    • Teddy Gautsch says:

      I am not sure where they have been dining but I have never witnessed such behavior being common in the dining room of a carnival ship, each person is unique in their own way and I believe in accepting people for who they are as long as I receive the same courtesy in return. If you cannot accept others into your lives for who they are you really should dine in your cabin.

  7. Thomas says:

    If the “beards” decide to start implementing a discount for police and fire fighters, please be prepared to be inundated with requests from all lines of work for a similar discount. Frankly, I am tired of hearing similar gripes about the military discounts being offered but no discounts for police officers and fire fighters. I truly respect those in “these jobs” but what makes their job not as important as mine. As for the “other cruise companies” offering this discount, feel free to sail with them if this discount is so important to you. Why is it that posters have to continually add in “other cruise lines” as if that is going to give their gripe much more weight…Our men and women of the armed forces deserve this discount and it is adequately applied and should not be changed any further than them. Book the early saver and stop griping already!

    • Josea says:

      I agree with you. Where does it stop? Didn’t they choose their career path? The entitlement mentality of American’s is why this country is in the financial shape it is in. Everybody wants something for free. By the way, I want my discount for being unemployed. Rediculous!

  8. Philip B Hale Jr says:

    It only SEEMS like it’s a Troll world because that’s the way they thrive. It’s NOT a troll world though, there are far and away more wonderful people like you John and the thousands of regular readers here who need to know that by treating trolls like the insignificant minority of minuscule minds that they are and ignoring their tantrums, we can always prevail.

    • anthea says:

      Hear, hear! Excellent! Ignore them and we will defeat them, instantly! Their game is done!!!

      Wonderful blog John – have been reading over 4 years – love it!

      My best to Heidi and Kye.

      Best from a Brit in LA!


  9. Philip B Hale Jr says:

    Ooops typo alert on the menu, Churros with chocolate DOUGH(?) for dipping. Shouldn’t that read Chocolate sauce?

  10. Tammye says:

    Great Blog as always!! JOhn, I want to thank you for answering my inquiry above in your blog. Please….no need for anything sent to my husband, though that was so very thoughtful of you to want to do that. The question was certainly not intended to ask for something,as we are not like that! I was merely inquiring about the difference in the discounts offered for certain professions etc. and I had seen a few others post about it as well. Like I said in my post, we are loyal to Carnival and will continue to be! To be honest with you John, CCL has the best prices in cruising! I always recommend my friends and family to cruise CCL. Your Early Saver pricing beats any discounts out there for EVERYONE! i Love it! Thanks again for being so kind! What would Carnival do without you?! I hope we never find out!! 🙂 Cheers to you John!

  11. chris Benson says:

    John, the Titanic slowly slipped beneath the waves. You are going faster
    How can Carnival allow “enterners” to annoy or otherwise people while they are having breakfast/lunch. I cannot see how someone trying to be entertaining/funny can increase my breakfast experience. What can your passengers do? Stand up and be rediculed because we disagree this latest brain storm. If CARNIVAL want to turn their ships into Las Vegas on water this will be the end of your and their cruise business.
    You are slipping under the waves faster than most other cruise lines.
    There is no need for any announcements except for emergencies. You have electronic and daily shows on your TV unless you are trying to sell things.
    Sail on UK P&O and other non US ships who are there for the cruise experience not to on-sell everything to make everyone $$$$$$$.

    • jgeraci says:

      Nobody’s forcing you to attend the comedy brunch! I’m sure if it annoys you that much, you could find something to eat at the Lido buffet. It really doesn’t sound like you are the Carnival type anyway. So better yet, why not cruise some other line! We’ll all be happier.

      • Carnival Fan says:

        And you don’t seem to be the “human” type, ahole. We can all give an opinion and sail with any line we choose.

  12. Jeff Thomson says:

    Hey John, whenever someone has an accident in the pool, just announce, “We have to close the pool due to the fact that there has been a Caddyshack incident.” They’ll get it.

  13. Cindy McCormick says:

    My husband and I are sailing on the Miracle in May of 2013. I’m very excited about the Comedy Brunch and hope to enjoy it while sailing to Alaska. Thanks for your blog, John. I really enjoy it…and you!

  14. First, let me say that I really enjoy reading your blog and finally just subscribed! If, when you have a spare minute, would you please advise me on how to handle a issue on regarding my upcoming first back-to-back cruise listed on the reservations page, I would really appreciate it. The issue is that I am using two future cruise certificates on this back-to-back cruise on the Dream, but only one reservation has the $100 onboard credit showing. I have called three times and it gets put on and then it disappears again. I am concerned as I’ve heard that some people don’t get their credit and I want it to show up on my reservation. Any advise as how I can get this fixed would be pretty wonderful! Thank you in advance for any assistance you may provide. NOTE: the credit shows up with $100 on the first leg but not on the second…

  15. Brandy Meyer says:

    So when are you adding the brunch to the Magic? We sail on her on 4/29 (410TF5) and I LOVE Brunch (mainly because my husband and I are lazy buggers and we love to eat Breakfast food any time day or night). Seriously if you think about it…on a vacation…do you really want to have to wake up at the crack of dawn to go eat breakfast or sleep in and enjoy your vacation?

    Anyhoo John, love the blog as always.

    Read a facebook post recently from someone who thought you were a bad brand ambassador. They obviously don’t get it. It is PRECISELY for your off color jokes, racy humor, and overall smarmy attitude that you differentiate Carnival from the other stuffy cruise lines. Carnival is the fun ship and we have a VERY fun HCD.

    Love ya and everything ya do.


  16. Diana says:

    Only one week away from my second cruise (the last was in 2003 when I took 23 hot flashing subscribers to my website on a “MeltDown Cruise” on the Fascination) and this time (4/21 on the Paradise) my only daughter will be getting married on Cozumel which is why I stretched my budget to go on this one! I just think this is the best way for a couple to have a vacation, wedding and honeymoon all at once at a reasonable price! Her daughter (my granddaughter-14) will be there also for her first cruise! Well, it’s just all exciting! I’m planning on getting them a chocolate cake for the dinner after the wedding, but although it’s probably too late, I thought I would request some kind of fun something in their cabin (R176- Tara & James).

    I also wanted to ask you about your diabetes (after reading that in one of your blogs). Do you have T1 or T2? I was dx with T2 2 years ago and I’m pretty strict with myself. I’ve seen that Carnival offers the Spa Carnival Cuisine and I’m glad there are some sugar free offerings for dessert, but as most diabetics know, it’s not just the sugar we have to watch. I’m just wondering how you deal with all the temptations. And how are you doing? 🙂 I’m so glad I stumbled upon your blog and Facebook page! I didn’t post on FB because my daughter would probably see that I had posted and then the surprise would be ruined! 🙂 Thank you for being such a special person. You have truly changed my (and I’m sure many others) impression of Carnival! Best wishes, Diana

  17. Nick says:

    If you think malcolm is bad steve cassel comes on the all call every 15 minutes to say the same thing to annoy you

    • elizabeth says:

      I was sorry to read the comment about Steve. I thought that he did a great job and am sorry that he is no longer sailing from Galveston.

      • brent says:

        Steve was a highlight and a joy when we sailed with him on the Ectasy out of Galveston. The following year we were on the Conquest and to this day I couldn’t tell you who the CD was or what they even looked like.

    • Rick Williamson says:

      I just got off Carnival Ecstasy last Saturday (4/14) and Steve was on there. And our talbe talked about him one of the last nights. And most felt that there was to few. He never the first time told us that the ship had been cleared by the port officals. So he has for sure changed from how you say he was in the past.

  18. Craig Mullenbach says:

    Good afternoon John.
    As you were talking about CDs, we have been fortunate on our 1st 2 cruises to have Steve Cassel be our CD. The first time was on the Holiday and then on the Ecstasy. He is extremely friendly, funny, and a heck of a juggler and fiddler. I am about to go on the Magic in a couple of weeks and (nothing against the Magic CD, as I have not met him/her) am bracing myself for a possible letdown only because Steve was that great!! I hope that he will have a chance to get one of the larger ships so more people can experience a cruise with him. You may have heard of his infamous Newlywed Game final answer about the Missionary and the, well, I’ll just say the ‘Lady of the Evening’ from a naughty 60 yr old gentleman. I was there and like the rest of us, I think Steve lost his breath for almost a minute from laughing so hard. Please pass along my kudos to him as he does a fantastic job.

    Also, regarding tendering in Grand Cayman, we will be freestyling but need to get as early a tender as possible. I am planning on going to Guest Services as soon as I embark to acquire a tender number. Is there preferred status for those who book an excursion though Carnival, or should I not worry? Thanks!!

    • brent says:

      My experience in Caymen was you got a tender “ticket” based on your excursion. Those with early excursions need to be off first as they have paid for a trip. After that it becomes first available. We also waited in the ships main theatre.

  19. Wayne says:

    John —

    I want to thank you and Carnival for introducing our family to cruising back in 1999. We sailed on the Triumph and you were our fantastic CD. We still talk about our (then) 13 year old son falling off his chair laughing during the Stormy Night skit.

    We tried to spread the word by coordinating a couples getaway cruise in 2010 on the Glory. No surprise, we all had a great time.

    We’re doing a family cruise on another line only because we’ve sailed all of Carnival’s routes out of NY and Baltimore as a family or as individuals. However, we don’t expect the same outstanding food as CCL. We agreed with both of our now married daughters that other lines don’t compare in taste, quality, and selection of CCL.

    My wife and I are planning on celebrating our 30th anniversary in September on the Miracle. It will be our first cruise to to make use of our shareholder benefit. Hey, that kind of make me your boss.

    Anyway, our family’s love of cruising started with our Triumph cruise. So thank you with venom.


  20. Deborah Silver says:

    My husband and I want to voice our opposition to the “Brunch only” option for breakfast and lunch on sea days . As platinum members, we enjoy having breakfast and lunch at separate times in the dining room. This would really affect us. We cruise up to 4 times a year and admire Carnival on their choices of dining experiences. I would hate to not be able to have an early breakfast on sea days. So our vote is a definite “NO”.

    • brent says:

      Why do people always throw in “platinum” member. Platinum get the perks that they get but that doesn’t make their opinions on whole ship related functions more valid or important. It’s like someone getting pulled over by the police and tell them “do you have any idea who I am.”

      • Teddy Gautsch says:

        Platinum member or not we all pay to cruise and the color of your sign and sail card doesn’t make you any more important than the next person so impress without the self righteous attitude just because you have been on a carnival ship at least ten times.

  21. Carnival Fan says:

    I think this guy revealed the ugly truth about why this was done…sounds like a stupid idea to me…

    What they have done is introduced the Comedy Club into a brunch in the main dinning room. So on sea days there is no breakfest or lunch as there was in the past, but brunch starting at 9am till 2pm-ish. During your meal a comedian will do a short 10-15min comedy routine every hour.

    The menu is a mix of breakfest and lunch items, many of the same things we have seen on the normal breakfest menu with a few twists like cereal encrusted french toast, filet mignon and eggs, some mexican inspired dishes and the lunch side includes a samon dish, caesar salad with different offered toppings, and some other items. This menu does not change.

    My take, as well as my familys is this is a real bummer of a deal for cruisers. We always felt the breakfest could use a little spicing up and so this did this but you need to wait until 9am to have breakfest and as we always enjoyed the changing menu of lunch in the dinning room it completely eliminated this. It should also be noted that there is no lunch served in the dinning room on shore days. However, the regular breakfest (not brunch) is served in the dinning room on shore days.

    In addition, the staff is sitting guests all over the dinning room so as not to hammer the wait staff in any one area, but the comedian only stands in the general center of the room (at least on the two sea days we were in the dinning room) so you can’t see him in many cases and comedians (at least the two we saw) really had a difficult time connecting with the guests and getting into a routine in a 15 min window with guests all over the place.

    It seems to me that Carnival got great feedback from there comedy clubs (we like them a lot) and said hey lets expand this program and also eliminate some food costs with getting rid of lunch in the dinning room. I believe this will push more people to the buffet on the Lido deck (just what my waistline needs….not!).

    This was such a disappointment to my wife she would like to start looking at a different cruise line as she misses the variety she got at lunch, didn’t enjoy the comedy and wasn’t happy with the hours the dinning room is now open and we are veteran Carnival cruisers of a half dozen cruises.

    Like I said we are veteran Carnival cruisers looking forward to getting our platinum status one day, so we aren’t Carnival haters, but if you like the dinning room (which we clearly did) I believe you are going to hate this program. It also seemed that Carnival has revamped the dinner menu as well, of course no shrimp cocktails (only 1 formal night they had them), but it seemed the whole menu was toned down a bit with fewer unique items and more run of the mill “comfort foods” and standbys like fried chicken, flat iron steak, samon all available every night.

    We love cruising and part of the appeal was the almost exotic nature of the event and that was enhanced by the dinning experience, We recognize that Carnival is the value leader, but I would hate to think that they are now trying to appeal to the lowest common denominator vacationer and forget about the rest of us.

    • Richard Taylor says:

      John has posted further news on Facebook which seems to confirm this.
      If so this is a bad move from my point of view too. Whilst having a comedian do a show may be entertaining, I can’t see the waiters moving through the room and guests coming and going is doing them too big a favour.
      We prefer the dining experience at breakfast and lunch too. We have paid for it!!! Not too keen at all of joining in the free for all at the Lido self serve. We also appreciate the quieter atmosphere at an early breakfast.
      Perhaps the later start for brunch is a subtle move to reduce lounger reserving?….

    • Scott Nickle says:

      “appeal to the lowest common denominator vacationer and forget about the rest of us.”

      Gee, Carnival Fan, don’t you find it difficult walking around with your nose stuck so high in the air?

      • Brandy Meyer says:

        My thoughts exactly. It amazes me how stuck up and superior some people feel. If you want a quiet breakfast without dealing with people, order room service to be delivered to your balcony.

        I read on one of the facebook posts that they still offer breakfast from 7-9 and this takes over at 9. Is that the case? Frankly, on my vacation I don’t really want to have to get up at 6:00 in the morning to get to breakfast by 7:00.

      • Rick Williamson says:

        I was thinking it was stuck where there was no sunshine. I hope he does move to another cruise line. If it wasn’t this it would be something else he didn’t like.

  22. Tim says:

    Please check how to spell cheque! Remember your routes! :):)

  23. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

    Hi John:

    Just a note to let you know that we are having a wonderful time on the Carnival Spirit to Hawaii.

    DJ got to stand up at the Past Guest Party and give a wave, when Stu announced this was his 49th cruise at the age of 20.

    David was awarded a bottle of champagne for being the cruiser with the most Carnival cruises.

    We were so excited to get the opportunity to sail with Captain Volpi one more time before he retires.

    Marchelle (Youth Director) has made sure to keep Funship Freddie far away from DJ.

    Ron N. is one of the most delightful Hotel Directors that we have sailed with.

    And all I can say about Jay in karaoke is “absolutely brilliant”. (Those who have sailed with him will understand!!)

    Linda (Mom of your friend DJ)

  24. Greg says:

    Hi John,
    I’m new to your blog, and to your facebook. I think it is great that you put yourself out there, and answer questions for guests. With that being said I have a question for you.
    Last year on the Destiny I got Bitter and Blanc as a dessert in the MDR. It was fanominal, and now I crave it like i’m pregnant. (Not that I actually know what that feels like). I’ve been on two cruises in 2012 so far, both shorter cruises, and neither have had this dessert. My question is are the menus all the same on shorter cruises? I sail next week on the Elation 4day(4/26), and I am wondering if they will serve Bitter and Blanc?
    Thank You,

  25. bryan nantz says:

    Hey John,
    I am on the Magic right now typing this!I like all the fun hubs and I am on on e right now in the library. Lots of fun spaces on board and Magic is def my fave ship now! We are geading to grand cayman now. I only have 4 nights left on my cruise and im sad! I like keeping up with carnival through your facebook age and your bloggy thing! I am in room 2280 which is a cove balcony and I LOVE IT. This is mt 12th carnival cruise and I have 2 more booked this year! I love being platinum! I guess I am one of your “cheerleaders”…lol. I will ttyl my carnival friend!

    • bryan nantz says:

      Ok, so now I only have 2 nights left! We JUST left Cozumel. I dont want to go back to galveston!

  26. Joe Johnson says:

    Good Morning All

    After hearing about Carnivals actions regarding the 3 boaters, 2 whom died, I am cancelling my Carnival Cruise and encouraging all my friends also to do the same.
    The only way I will take another carnival cruise is if Carnival does some monumental humanitarian act along with a humble public apology.
    Joe JOhnson

  27. Diana says:

    I made a post on this thread on April 14 and checked the “notify me of followup comments”. Now I see it was in the wrong place and today I’m getting notifications in email for every post made! I tried to unsubscribe but they’re still coming! Then I tried to find a way to unsubscribe completely from the blog and can’t find it!! Can someone point me in the right direction? I’m leaving for my cruise tomorrow and I just know my email will have hundreds of responses when I get back in 5 days!!! PLEASE HELP!

  28. Frances Watson says:

    John, my husband, Robert, and I recently returned from a wonderful cruise on the Carnival Glory (Western). This was our 11th cruise with Carnival. My husband wears bilateral leg braces and on Monday evening after our wonderful formal night dinner we were walking back to our stateroom and my husband said something is wrong with one of the braces. When we finally reached our room and he took off the braces he noticed that one of the braces lost a small screw. Here we are out to sea and wondering if there is a hardware store on Grand Cayman. I decided to call Guest Relations and I was told by a gentleman that there is no maintenance personnel on call on the ship at that hour of night and I thought to myself that is strange what if an emergency occurred??? So I decided to go down to Guest Relations and a wonderful blonde lady (wished I would of gotten her name) picked up the phone and called maintenance for me. By the time I got back to the Lido Deck – Stateroom 9280 – there was a knock on the door and it was a maintenance man. He had small little bags filled with all sorts of screws, bolts, nuts, screwdriver and pliars. His name was Julieto Asst. Joiner from the Phillipines and he was able to fix the brace. I do hope Carnival recognizes this man for he saved our vacation.

    I also want to thank the Russian Lady – (can’t remember her name) wearing a navy colored uniform – on the Lido Deck Main Dining area that helped my husband with his food tray and she always got coffee and juice for us.

    Our room steward Lito and his helper Noel were so kind to us and always willing to help
    with any of our requests.

    I do hope these people can be recognized by Carnival.


    Frances Watson

  29. Steve Chafe says:

    You are a funny guy and very entertaining, you know how to put a favorable spin on any Carnival policy that is not popular with the cruisers. Take the constant sales… I mean announcements. Nothing says “Serenity” like a blaring announcement when you are trying to soak up some sun in peace, on my last cruise on the Carnival Pride. I put my own “spin” on the announcements, I reached over to the speakers and turned them from facing the sunbathers, to facing out to sea. My fellow passengers gave me a round of applause.
    Please cut off announcement in cabins and turn DOWN the volume in the Serenity areas.



  30. MARY H says:

    Hi John,
    Another happy person on the Spirit to Hawaii cruise.
    The ship food etc are wonderful and everyone seems to be having a good time.
    What was very special is that Captain Roberto had the old fashioned Captain’s Welcome Aboard party and had it in the theatre with free drinks and shook our hand as we entered. None of this dollar off nonsense. It was just like old times on Carnival.
    I must admit I was concerned as the previous Hawaii cruise had such poor reviews but this one is really very special. All thanks to the great captain and his staff.

    • Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

      Aloha Mary:

      We are having a brilliant time, aren’t we!!

      I had also read the reviews before we boarded, but kept an open mind.

      So glad I did, I would not have missed this cruise!!

      Stu is wonderful, as is Captain Volpi.

      We loved the Captain’s Party as well. (and I hear more surpises are in store on our way home)

      Looks like “the beards” listened….because this is indeed a GREAT cruise!!

      Linda (Mom of DJ)

      • richstowe says:

        Why is this blog still up? Clearly you are not bothering to put in regular updates. Over 2 weeks since your last update and closing in on 3 weeks. You don’t answer questions here without a delay of a month or two so really why bother.
        Not even sure if this is a question but just wondering what the future of this blog is.

  31. Rob from Florida says:

    Is John ok? Not like him to leave the blog without announced vacation plans. This is very strange. Hope all is well.

    • Richard Taylor says:

      It’s all on his facebook page. He’s been on holiday at home in the UK, and just gone over to Italy to check out Breeze again. He’s replying to facebook comments and will resume the blog this week.

  32. Russell Chapman says:

    on Trina’s comment I was on the Valor January this year and it was the first time we did the life boat drill before sailing. We made it back up on deck as we were leaving the dock. This was my 7th cruise and we were surprised the drill was done before departing. Is it a new policy?
    On Tammye’s comment I am a retired firefighter of 29 years and wouldn’t mind a special rate. I know in some areas of our country professional firefighters barely make over minimum wage so vacations may be an unaffordable luxury.
    Lastly, John, you are still my favorite CD – Triumph, spring 2004

    • Rick Williamson says:

      We have never left our home port without doing a fire drill FIRST! We were just on our 15th cruise with Carnival in April on this year. Even when we were on other cruise lines it was this way. The only differents now is you don’t have to take your life vest with you to the drill.

  33. Jim Fritz-Halsted says:

    Hey John. I have a question about eating at the Captains table. How does that happen. My wife and I will be Celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary on the Inspiration for the July 2 sailing. This will be our 13th cruise. All but two are carnival corp lines. All of our big celebrations have been on Carnival because it really is the party boat. Can you give me some advice as to how we might go about trying to arange this. Our anniversary is on July 3. Thanks for any help you can give me.

  34. Hey John when will you put out your blog? I notice that you do more writing in Facebook then your blog. I miss what you usually do in your blog. Is this the end of your blog my friend?

    Paul F. Pietrangelo

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