May 9, 2012 -

John Heald

Stephen James Caulker asked:

Heald: Urgent!!! On my cruise on Carnival Magic there were no workers checking IDs to get into the Serenity area and I know for a fact that there was a family who was next to me who had a son who was 19 and you said in today’s blog the minimum age to get into Serenity was 21. I know he was 19 because they were talking about what he wanted for his 19th birthday. There must be deck boys checking the ID of all the passengers so that it is 21 which is what you said in your overinflated blog today!!! The sign should say “Teens not allowed!”

So good morning, everyone, and I moved this comment to the top of the blog for two reasons. One, because it is an important subject and two, because its 6:30 am here in Italy and I am really tired and couldn’t think of anything else to write about. So, Mr. Caulker is correct, the minimum age for the Serenity area is 21 and again I am answering this question which was posted on April 4 so I guess he is referring to an “overinflated blog” I wrote some weeks ago.

Two weeks ago, the beards gathered to talk about everyone’s favourite subject — Lido Deck chair saving. The beards came up with some excellent ideas and all agreed that something must be done and decided to reconvene at the end of this week for a follow up. The Serenity area will be a focus regarding seat saving for sure but, suffice to say, we won’t have the staff standing at the entrances checking IDs. If they see a child there, they will ask them to leave, that they have now been empowered to do and in the days ahead, a new seat saving policy will also be enforced.

I don’t think we should allow children into the Serenity area and for the most part we don’t. Yes, occasionally a kid will pop up there to see Mum and Dad which is fine, of course. Granted, there are some kids in their late teens who are well behaved and obviously some who are not. I certainly don’t pretend to understand today’s teenagers but there are some who are certainly different from when I was 18. I used to take the bus to college and would always stand and let an older person take my seat. This rarely happens anymore as far as I can tell, I think, and I am sure if I were to get on a bus in the UK, America, Canada or wherever you’re from, I would see an 18-year-old strapped to his Eyepod, sitting in his seat and texting while a 70-year-old grandmother has to stand and be catapulted to the other end of the bus like one of those Angry Birds each time it brakes.

But are they any worse than the cocktail slurpers or the guests who have come straight from their stateroom without showering and smell like a suburb of Paris? How about the snorers who end up on the sun bed next to you, drooling on themselves and snoring so loudly it feels like the captain just turned the thrusters on?

Anyway, we are working hard on seat saving and we will continue not to allow kids into Serenity areas and are working on making sure that the age restrictions are followed.

Time for today’s Q and A……………..here we go.

Dan Walden asked:

Is there any way to get my son a tour of the bridge on the 6/22 Carnival Inspiration cruise without paying the cost of your Behind the Fun tour. Andrew is a member of the Naval Sea Cadets Corps and at 14 years old has already expressed a desire to be at sea for his career. I know other cruise lines allow sea cadets access to the bridge and I hope Carnival will not let me down here as one day Andrew will be at sea serving his country protecting your passengers’ freedom.

John says:
Hello Dan Walden,

Many congratulations to your son and I am sure you are already proud of the path he wishes to follow. Unfortunately, I cannot waive the fee for the Behind the Fun tour or allow private access to the bridge as we follow very strict rules in this regard. I will send a note to the captain though and ask that maybe Andrew can have a photo with him and answer a question or two and I wish you all a wonderful cruise.

Best wishes.


Richard Taylor asked:

The US Carnival website is shouting about “Early Saver” fares where price reductions and on board spend increases are passed on to cruisers who booked before these events. My travel agent here in the UK (co-op) is saying it doesn’t apply to my booking. Could you get the beards to clarify the UK situation, please? Why would my booking be called “Early Saver” if there were no similar benefits?

Thanks, mate.

John says:
Hello Richard Taylor,

Please allow me to apologise for the delay in answering this and I am aware of some shortfalls in the current UK website and I am pleased to tell you that a new dedicated website for our UK guests will soon be here. Meanwhile I have sent this to our UK office and I am sure they will be able to contact you and explain and assist you. Please let me know if there is anything I can do.

Best wishes.


Rose Howse asked:

I don’t know why Carnival even bothers to publish a dress-code for dining as it is NOT enforced. It is absolutely disgusting to have passengers, especially obese ones eating in the Lido area without shirts on. Yes, they come in from the pool area, but Carnival should have someone turn them away at the door unless they put a shirt on. There is nothing worse than seeing obese people standing at the buffet lines. There are outside food venues like the hamburger/hot dog grill, tandoori grill, deli, and pizza that they don’t have to wear shirts. But in the indoor seating area? Seriously???

John says:
Hello Rose Howse,

Well, as a fat chap myself, I certainly would never want anyone to see me shirtless reaching for a piece of fried chicken. However, while I agree with you I must say that this comment comes across as being a bit unfair to those of us who are large. Are you saying that if they have a six pack and a body of a Greek God that it’s OK and it’s just the fat ones who should be made to cover up their bodies? I hope not. I do agree that we should not allow guests to have no shirts on inside the Lido restaurant and for the most part guests do cover up and I will send this to the CD’s to ask them to mention it in the Fun Yimes. I hope you had a great cruise.

Best wishes,

John ………..writing this topless.

Lisa May asked:

Hi John,

My husband and I have sailed on Carnival around five times, yet we never get perks, upgrades etc. I hear people referring to platinum status, how do you get in on this? I hope to meet you on the March 17 cruise. I just learned about your blogs and they are nice to read…

John says:
Hello Lisa May,

Welcome to the blog and I hope you are enjoying them. Platinum status means that you have cruised 10 times or more with Carnival although the new loyalty program which reverts to the number of days sailed. Upgrades happen rarely and are based on many different formulas depending on the ship, the cruise and what staterooms are available. I hope one day you get an upgrade and I thank you for your loyalty and hope one day you get to your platinum status

Best wishes,


Simon and Grace Bradman asked:

We were very nervous taking our cruise because it was our first Carnival cruise and we had read so many bad reviews on other sites about the food. I am a picky eater and most of the food even in the buffet was excellent. I never went hungry though so they were doing something right! We had anytime dining which was great but there was a 30 minute wait on the formal night. The best food we have every eaten was had in the Nouveau steakhouse. So worth the money!

John says:
Hello Simon and Grace Bradman,

I am so very glad that you had such a great time and enjoyed our wonderful food and I will pass this on to the ship which I think from your mention of the Nouveau steakhouse is the Carnival Spirit. Online reviews are very useful but it’s always good to go on the ship with an open mind remembering that reviews are based on personal opinion. I am glad therefore that your opinion is that the food was excellent.

Best wishes to you both.


Milly May asked:

My husband and I will be celebrating 50 years of marriage with you on the Carnival Breeze’s first cruise from Venice, Italy. I have always wanted to go in a gondola but am worried that with my bad knees I won’t be able to get in it. Tell me if you can, John, what you think for me to try this, please.

John says:

Hello Milly May,

First of all, many congratulations on your 50 years of marriage and I will do everything I can to make this a very special cruise indeed. The step down into the boat is very easy and there will be a strong Gondolier to help you in and out and so I would say yes, absolutely you should do this as it’s something you have always wanted to enjoy. Have a great time and I will see you on board

Best wishes and see you soon.


Rhonda Kight asked:

We are taking granddaughters two teenage girls on the Carnival Magic July 22. They wanted me to ask if you are going to be CD on that cruise. We’ve been reading your blogs, they love you said feel like they know you.

John says:
Hello Rhonda Kight,

The CD will be Butch Begovitch who will have just returned from the Carnival Breeze. I am so very sorry I can’t be with you but you will love Butch and his incomparable energy. I send my best wishes to you and all the family and I hope one day to sail with you.

Best wishes


Jewels of Da Sea asked:

There seems to be a problem with Carnival’s number one dessert — warm chocolate melting cake……..I have heard this from other cruisers many times and have also experienced it myself on many cruises. The way it is made is inconsistent – one night it’s goopy and runny, and sometimes baked the right way with a cake like top and then chocolate sauce under the cake. When I get it baked the wrong way I tell the maitre d and ask him to talk to the chef. Then the next few nights are fine. This is something all ship’s chefs should be aware of. Striving to keep the chocolate melting cake the award winner that it is.

John says:
Hello Jewels of Da Sea,

So noted. I will make sure that I send this to our fleet executive chef. We will make a note of your comments as we want you to continue to enjoy the best and most popular dessert at sea.

Best wishes,


Ian Reading asked:

Please can you tell me how often the lifeboats on your ships are actually put in the water as it seems to me the only time this happens is in an emergency which isn’t enough is it!!!

John says:
Hello Ian Reading,

Thanks for taking the time to write. The lifeboats are lowered to the water and spend time circling the ship every month during our monthly full crew only evacuation and emergency drills. Each ship has a dedicated lifeboat maintenance crew who spend each day working on the engines, cleaning and testing the boats so I am glad to say that God forbid we should ever need to use them…………they will be ready.

Best wishes.


Robert Durao asked:


Please can you tell the beards that the two bartenders at The Alchemy Bar on Carnival Liberty are incredible and should be given a raise. I don’t know if it’s all the alcohol we consumed or the fact that I am now 65 and my memory is shot but I can’t remember their names just that they were fantastic and we spent many wonderful evenings in their company.

Thanks John.

John says:
Hello Robert Durao,

This is a fantastic post and I am so happy you enjoyed these two wonderful people who will indeed be thrilled when they see this. I am not sure who is there now and don’t want to write their names in case it’s not them but if it’s who I think it is I know they are indeed brilliant. Thanks for taking the time to write and I hope we see you soon on another Carnival cruise.

Best wishes.


Victor Buskirk asked:

Can you tell me who the comedians will be for the five-day cruise on Carnival Triumph May 26. I have asked Carnival’s help desk but they told me to come here so can you tell me as I am frustrated by the lack of help I have gotten!!!!

John says:
Hello Victor Buskirk,

The help desk does not have access to the movement of our fly-on entertainers as I do which is why they could not answer you. I am glad you asked me though and that I am able to give you the answer before you sail. You will have Chad Elsner and Tim Young both of whom I know you will find very funny indeed. Have a great cruise.

Best wishes.


And that’s all for today. Yesterday I discussed the remaining cruise director schedule with Chris Prideaux who has been working on which CD’s will be going where and when. First of all, one just wanted to acknowledge one our longstanding cruise directors Trevor Block who has left the company and I wish him well in his future endeavors and I also wanted to let you know that we have decided to add the cruise directors to the core service teams. I already wrote in the blog some months ago how the three major figures on board, the captain, the chief engineer and the hotel director are now assigned together on the same ship for at least two years to provide much needed stability for that vessel. Well, now we have the cruise directors added to these teams so we are finalising which ships they will go to in order to become part of that team.

One change already decided is that next week Wee Jimmy will leave the Carnival Paradise and head to the Carnival Sensation. Carnival Paradise will have the lovely Laura Sparkles as CD for a few weeks before the incomparable Steve Cassel takes over as CD where he will, of course, continue to be the star of the brilliant Extreme Country show which showcases his fabulous fiddle playing. Anyway, I will have the full schedule ASAP. Now talking of cruise directors, I wanted to highlight one today and I thought you should have a read about a CD that is very much in focus at the moment due to the Carnival Spirit’s pending journey to Australia.

Here then is CD extraordinaire Mr. Stuart Dunn:

As cruise director now for eight years and having been on many Carnival ships over the years I would have to say that the last couple of years have been the best. I have been on the Carnival Spirit since October 2009 which currently sails the Mexican Riviera, Hawaii and the ultimate itinerary, Alaska, every summer. Well that is all about to change, as I am incredibly lucky to be doing a first for Carnival Cruise Lines, sailing the Carnival Spirit to Sydney, Australia, October 2012. Sydney is my home and I will be able to welcome Australian guests on board just as I have done for many North American guests over the years. With time and age, I feel a greater desire to learn more about my own country’s geography, history and culture, and as I do I will be sharing my passion for cruising with the people of Australia. I could not be any happier.

Thanks, Stuart, and we all look forward to hearing more from you when the ship heads down under and thanks for all the brilliant work.

So more and more Carnival crew are arriving in Italy and the move on day for the crew remains the 11th and all of us who have been living in hotels are looking forward to that very much. The cast are rehearsing the shows and the Hasbro team is battling for time in the lounge and Ken and his dining team are slowly beginning to arrive. I am waiting for confirmation on the 12-day cruise menus which are being finalised and some changes are being made. I know many who are cruising here want to see them and I will post them as soon as I have them. Work is in progress and as usual it will be a mad dash over the finishing line which is May 29, delivery day, but as always we will make it and the ship will be ready for you all. Once on board and once the areas are ready I promise to post photos galore.

I booked myself a ticket back to the UK today, just for an overnight trip but I promised myself and my family that I wouldn’t miss another of my daughter’s birthdays and I am going to live up to that promise. Kye’s birthday is on the 15th but she has her birthday party on Saturday the 19th and so on Friday the 18th I will take a flight home and return on Sunday morning and I should add a huge thank you to the beards for allowing me to do this.

Obviously, it is important for me to be here but I have Butch to cover for the 48 hours I will be away and so far everything is on schedule. I have missed Kye’s 1st and 2nd birthday because of my commitments as cruise director and brand ambassador and as I said, I promised that I would not miss anymore.

The one downside to all of this is the fact that I have to fly on Ryan Air which, as some of you may know, make other low cost airlines look like Rolls Royce’s I believe that flying Ryan Air was the good Lord’s way of deterring everyone but the most determined traveler from ever setting foot on a plane. Those who have not been killed en route by thrombosis or poisoned by what they refer to as “food,” emerge at the end looking and feeling like the unlikely offspring of Calvyn and Judge Judy. Just once, I would like to experience first class with soft sheets, fine wines, exotic nuts and a good chance of sitting next to Megan Fox. But I’ve discovered that economy class was merely purgatory, no more than a waiting room for the true hell of flying: Ryan Air where the only nuts I will be served will be crushed ones…….. mine……..as I try and fit into a seat designed for Snow White’s seven best friends. Anyway……..get this. A return flight to Trieste, Italy, costs 34 pounds. Let’s break it down, shall we?

Adult: 34 GBP
Online Check-In: 10.00 GBP + Taxes
Fees: 31.77 GBP
Total Price: 75.77 GBP

Fees….what fees? I was the one who sat here in my hotel in Italy in my underpants using the Europalace’s internet and electricity………so what fees………..fees my arse. They also charge for food on board and for a “priority” boarding pass, which gives lucky holders the opportunity to take part in a “priority” scramble for seats, which — presumably through sheer spite — are unallocated……..which means I will be jockeying for position with old Mama Isabella, an-87-year old from Trieste, for that converted row one with the extra room……..Watch out mama….the fat man’s coming.


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.

42 Responses to 19

  1. Robert Rich says:

    awwww man Wee Jimmy leaving the paradise I was so looking fwd to him June 2nd ..

  2. Lisa Dekle says:

    Hi John! I love reading your blog and it never ceases to amaze me the people who complain about the silliest things. I love cruising and I’m grateful to have the opportunity. I am so excited to be booked on the Imagination on May 28th out of Miami with my husband and also booked on the Ecstasy out of Port Canavarel on Sept. 29th for a “ladies” cruise!! Those will be my 3rd and 4th cruises with Carnival and I cannot wait! I’ve never sailed on those ships and I’m looking forward to it. One of my dreams for the future is to do a European cruise and hopefully you will be the CD on board. Anyway, I just wanted to write and say that I love cruising with Carnival and can’t wait to sail!

    • Pam says:

      My parents sailed on the Ecstasy in January and they loved it! They said the decor was beautiful and that staff were very helpful. I haven’t sailed on the the Imagination but my first two cruises were on its sister ship the Inspiration and I really enjoyed that size ship. I hope you have a great time

  3. Jose says:

    Rose Howse:
    What an idiot you are. I agree indoors they should put a shirt on if they’re in line at the buffet, but if it bothers you don’t stare. Btw sitting here w/o a shirt.

  4. Brandy Meyer says:

    First, Happy Early Birthday to Kye! So glad you won’t miss it.

    Comment on Rose’s post about the shirtless people in the Lido. I think that you are right, John, she just doesn’t want to see fat people shirtless. She would probably be taking snapshots if Joe Sixpack were topless in the Lido. But I do have to agree…people should have a bit more decorum in a restaurant.

    My husband and I laughed one morning in the Lido buffet last week on the Magic when a woman came in wearing her Robe and slippers with a towel on her head like she had just stepped out of the shower and thought “Oh hey…I need an omelet before I can face getting dressed for the day”.

    My question is did Rose mention something to someone working in the restaurant and they refused to ask the person to leave? Or did she merely huff and puff and wait to blast you for something that you have zero control over?

    My husband and I are seriously considering the Blogger’s Cruise just so we can sail with you again. We had the pleasure of sailing with you on the Conquest out of Galveston a couple of years ago on Easter and you literally made what started out a horrible experience if not a sheer delight, filled with fun.

    Thanks and keep up the amazing work.

  5. Sarge1 says:

    Anytime any idiot begins a comment “Heald” consider it a troll from a site that causes all kind of grief and wish’s you would be fired. This guy is a big time loser who has never stepped foot on the Carnival Magic and did this just to get his minute of fame

  6. colin thomson says:

    MR.HEALD I am wondreing if you are going to be on the BREEZE inJAN./13

  7. Kelly says:

    Good Luck to Trevor Block, he was our cruise director on the Pride last Oct during the storm and did a great job keeping everyone informed.

  8. gus melchion says:

    Sir John, you were talking about heavy people in an earlier blog. I have calculated that i have been on over 120 cruises (81 on carnival). It turns out that that is exactly how over weight. So, considering how many cruises you have been on you are doing brilliant controling your weight. if i had your job for all those years i would weigh somewhere in the range of 7 to 8,000#’s. I’ve got your back mate.

  9. robin jones says:

    Hello John

    Another awesome blog, and as always very amusing, in reference to Richard Taylors, comment, then there is a Carnival UK Agents website, I use it on a regular basis, being a UK based travel agent myself, working for an online based cruise agency, and normally any on board spend should pull through the UK system if it is applicable, this should include early saver rates!

    kind regards


    PS If richard you want to talk more about this then get john to email me as i am a member of the blog and i will pass on my work email details

    • Richard Taylor says:

      Robin, Thanks for your kind offer.
      And thank you too John.
      Something happened because Carnival USA sent a revised, much lower, invoice through to the coop. There was no note to me that coop passed on, so I am unable to mention the beard or whoever actioned this. So I would very much appreciate it, John, if you could find out and thank them very much from me. (I suspect you too had a hand in it?!) That was much appreciated and the saving will go toward the March 2013 Carnival cruise we’re thinking of to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary.
      Yet again, superb service from Carnival US and I know the UK office is as good as they found my past guest details for me.
      Keep up the good work, John, ignore the rude and nasty trolls!!
      (Who’s wife was born in Southend)

    • Tim says:

      My interpretation of the ES rates for the UK is that we are under different legislation, so although we can book at ES rates, the rate at the time of booking is contracted, so Carnival are not bound to reduce it, like they are in the US, once the booking has been made and deposit taken, nor are they bound to offer OBC, which is why I book using the US website.

      • debs barr says:

        This is an interesting post. I contacted my UK online travel agent (ideal cruising) approx two weeks ago enquiring about Carnivals ES price promise as the cost of our cruise has dropped. The person I spoke to was at first unaware of Carnivals policy but after making an enquiry told me I didnt qualify.

        I booked this cruise early – can anyone tell me why would I not qualify?

        Regards, Debs

  10. Mike J. says:

    @Ian Reading, well looks like John told YOU didn’t he? Seems to me that you were wrong. Have a nice day! 🙂

  11. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


    So glad you will be there for Kye’s Birthday!

    Glad to hear yet another person praising the food on the Carnival Spirit.

    I have to say that I was surprised to see them go to all the trouble of having a different menu every night of our 15 day cruise. BRAVO!!

    Stu was delightful and always everywhere all the time. (even with his battle scars….he and his skateboard had a disagreement and the skateboard ~ or should I say pavement~ won!)

    Speaking of the Spirit, sure do wish we could clone Doug (solo entertainer in the Casino) and put him on every ship.

    Safe travels home….

    Hugs to Heidi…Kisses to Kye…

    Linda (Mom of your friend DJ)

  12. Marylou Hansen says:

    John.. I am not opposed to a 19 yr old BUT if you have set the minimum age at 21 to enjoy the serenity deck I guess you somehow need to enforce it otherwise you will be inundated with these kind of insults, emails, Facebook posts, etc.. the guys at the top NEED to make a decision and stick with it ☺

  13. Lori Drew says:

    Just wanted to say we had Stuart Dunn as CD on the Spirit May, 2010 on our cruise to Alaska. He was wonderful ! I lost our birth certificates and I was so upset thinking we might not get home. Well, he comforted me and assured me we would indeed get home and every time he would see me he reassured me again. Such a sweet guy and a funny and great CD! He kept lots of things going all the time. We love Stu!

  14. Mark Levine says:


    Thank you for your incredibly fast service in reserving our Chef’s Table for the November 4th cruise on the Conquest out of New Orleans.

    We loved cruising on the Conquest previously out of Galveston, and enjoyed all things gastronomic. The Chef’s Table, of course, is fabulous, but the steakhouse is a marvelous value, and the sommelier was excellent and staged two wonderful wine pairing events.

    I hope you have the help of some Jane’s back in the home office with all these requests behind the scenes, but it’s wonderful to be able to just send all these requests to you.

    Sort of like having a personal concierge service…And one with a sense of humor!

  15. Nancy McQuarrie says:

    Kye’s birthday is the same day as my first born granddaughter’s – I shall never forget it! I’m so happy you will be able to be with her to celebrate this year, and know she will be delighted. I’m looking forward to meeting Heidi and Kye on the Breeze inaugural where I will celebrate my birthday. Happy Third Birthday, Kye!!!

  16. William Jordan says:

    It seems to me that the life boats are in the water at every tender port — maybe not every lifeboat, but I think I remember seeing some drop and in the water a lot.

    • rick williamson says:

      My wife and I saw one being lowered on our April 9th at Port Canaveral before we even started our cruise. This was on Estacy.

  17. Erin says:

    Happy birthday to Kye!! 😀

    My Kai turns 2 next month. I can’t imagine having to be away from her, especially on birthdays. Your job is not easy at all, my friend.

  18. Larry Meador says:

    I can’t really see all the fuss about a 19 year old in the Serenity Area. We send young men and women younger than that overseas to possibly die for their country. I know many in this age group that are far more mature than others I’ve seen within my own age group (backside of 40….).

    Now as far as “kids”, sure try and keep them out with the occasional exception of a quick trip to see mom and dad, but for someone who is considered an adult, by all standards but drinking alcohol, it seems a bit unfair…

    Your friend from Texas,

    Larry Meador

    • Joanna says:


      As another poster commented, the age of 21 is a bit high considering that age of 18 is an adult in the US. Carnival allows 18 yr olds to gamble in the casino, why not lounge on a chair? The 18-20 yr olds don’t have that many options as far as hang out spots and they might want some quiet too! If they aren’t breaking the alcohol consumption laws, what harm is an adult of 18-20 doing to anyone? When I was 20 (not too long ago), I was already enlisted in the USAF and stationed overseas. Please reconsider the serenity age to 18.


  19. Rick says:


  20. Leigh says:

    One of these days I want to cruise when you are the DC, but who is the CD on the Dream – 6/2? Happy Summertime!

  21. Chris Yust says:

    John I am so glad you will be with Kye for her 3rd birthday! Give that little one an extra hug from all the moms and grandmoms out here who think her Da Da and Carnival are tops !

  22. Lambie says:

    I’m onboard the SPIRIT right now, we’re seeing snow capped mountains on both sides. Stu is a doll!!! After listening to his excursion talk, I just had to book the Train from Skagway!!! CAN’T WAIT!!!
    He’s a great CD!!! I was in the Mixologist contest… Got an A for my dancing, but was judged too sweet as a cocktail… It was called ‘Lada Kisses… That’s me… TOO SWEET LAMBIE…
    Just had to let everyone know how GREAT this CRUISE IS!!! I’ve never cold weather cruised before, unless you count leaving Galveston, in Feb, from Texas snow… But the ship is balmy, the decks are BRISK, and they’ve got towels or BLANKETS to check out by the pool!!!
    P.S. Gede is a WONDERFUL Cabin Steward!!! He’s pampering us and we’re LOVIN’ it!!!
    I encourage anyone to try this!!!
    Love you John!!

    • rick williamson says:

      We were on that cruise the sametime as you but last year. And we went on the White Pass bus tour. It had snowed 18 inches the day before. That my favorite time of year to go up there. ENJOY! And keep the rest of us updated!

  23. Jan says:

    Hi John, I love your blogs. I read somewhere and then again here that you can make reservations for the Chef Table event. We sail on June 3, 2012 on the Carnival Splendor and would love to make our reservation prior to sailing. Is this something you can do? If so, please let me know what I need to do. We will be elebrating our 25th wedding anniversary on June 6 on this cruise and we are very excited. Counting the days! Keep up the good work.

    • Alison McCaffery says:

      Jan, to make Chef’s Table reservations, go to Ask John, select Chef’s Table, and in the comment box, tell John how many diners, their names, the ships name sailing date, booking number and cabin number.

      You should receive an e-mail from the ships steakhouse within a week, make sure to check your spam since it sometimes ends up there.

  24. Biscii says:

    Having been on the Pride recently, I have to say there’s nothing to let 18, 19 & 20 somethings know that the adult means 21. Just says adults only. And it’s rather small in silver font on brown above the doors. So even obviously underage kids wouldn’t necessarily notice that they didn’t belong, especially since that was an all ages area the last time I was on the Pride and kids might not recognize the change.

    I also saw a few parents with toddlers wandering around the Serenity too during the first two days, but those looked like they were touring the ship rather than taking the toddler to the sun deck. I did watch and see that the crew didn’t intercept them. Not that I’m complaining, although, I might have said something if they were on the hammocks or the kids were noisy.

    I also have to add that the sponsored by Budweiser “adults” occasionally spoiled the “Serenity” of the area. But what are you going to do in that case? But I expect that at the bars, and hey, I was on a cruise!

  25. dave j says:

    In the serenity area even 18-19 would be fine as long as they are not acting as if they were 8 and 9. one other comment, the comment about the chocolate melting cake was “spot on” so to speak. Have been on many Carnival cruises over the years. The last 2 in Jan. of 2012 [Freedom} and Feb.2012 [Imagination] both cruises one night great, next night, not so good. This is my favorite dessert of all time! Please keep it Great.

  26. Jacquelyn howard says:

    good day, I am wishing to express my displeasure with the carnival glory’s comidians in the past were rude and offensive,(not funny). My family is not prudish but when every other word is a swear or a racial slur especially on a multi national voyage not smart. I will be steering clear of the comics this trip.

    • cindy56 says:

      If you look closely at the Fun Times, it will tell you that certain showtimes are Family and others are Adult 18+ only. You obviously went to the Adult only times. I was on the Dream in February and we went to both and I have to say I much preferred the Family times shows. We saw the same comedian and he used some very off colour expressions which we weren’t comfortable with. I’m not a prude but I don’t like hearing f**k or t*****s every second word.

    • Lindsay says:

      Sad to hear this Jacquelyn. I`ve used Carnival`s services on a cruise to nowhere a few months ago and everything was nearly perfect. I`m sure your situation was not a general issue with this cruise line. I`ve used their service many times and they are considered among the best cruise lines in the industry.

  27. beverly ann says:

    My husband and I are “breezing” on 12/8 to celebrate our 25th anniversary which is actually in July. The only time we have cruised with carnival was on our honeymoon! We went on the then new Celebration which was the largest ship afloat. We want to know about demographics as far as seniors go. We are.young sixties. We are so hoping to enjoy this cruise enough mot wait another 25 years before we.go on CArnival again.:)

  28. Julie Campos says:


    My family (the Yip family) of 78 people will be sailing on the Magic for a reunion that only happens every 4 years. The Yips are coming in from all around the country (CA, OH, NJ, CO, IN, OR, AL and TX) to be together, and this is the first cruise that we’ve ever taken for a reunion. Many are first-time cruisers, and included in our group are 10 siblings of the original 12, who are now in their 70’s and 80’s. They’re of half-Mexican, half-Chinese origin. We’ll take up 31 cabins among us on 2 decks (Main and Empress). Is there anything special that you can do for this special, momentous reunion aboard the Carnival Magic? Also, I should mention that our sale date also happens to be my 23rd wedding anniversary (July 29!). Anything that you could do for our group would be greatly appreciate. By the way, I’ve greatly enjoyed reading your blog as a lead-in to our reunion!

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