WHERE I LIVE

May 14, 2012 -

John Heald

Let me ask you a question. Why the heck do people who I hardly know put an “X” at the end of their emails? I have never kissed these people and never will. You have never had rumpy pumpy with these people yet…….they finish their emails with a kiss. Most people now seem to feel that it’s the law to send electronic kisses, not only to people they work with, but everyone else as well. It used to be that “best wishes” sufficed but now routine messages, even to someone you have never met, must end with an electronic tongue down the throat. I would guess that nine out of 10 women who write emails to me from Carnival’s land and sea operations finish with a kiss. And this happens so much that I worry that an email without kisses means this person is angry with them.

I once got an email from a very upset beard because I had sent an email using only capital letters and he thought I was shouting at him. I wasn’t. The caps thingy lock was pressed and by the time I looked at the screen and noticed, half the e-mail was finished and I didn’t want to write it again. But the “X” kiss thing is out of sodding control. The problem is that once you start, you can’t stop. Kisses are a plague. Let’s say I write an email to Carnival’s President and CEO Gerry Cahill asking for a raise and finish it with a kiss, even if he tells me to bugger off, his email must finish with an “X” as well. You’re effectively blowing kisses to everyone like some lady of the night standing on a street corner.

One of the worst side effects of the Eye Phone/Raspberry phone thingy revolution has been to make people more needy and demanding of attention 24/7, no matter where they are. I often find myself saying, “It’s been five minutes since I emailed you and they haven’t replied,” I moan, eyes glued to my Raspberry, “Do they hate me? Has Carnival fired me?” No, they’re probably just terrified because I have put seven kisses on a message that simply says, “Carnival Breeze’s schedules are attached.” I guess, though, that one thing is escaping me and escaping you more and more each day…..if it’s an instant response that we want, well, here’s a thought… why not make a sodding phone call? Oh, sorry…..I am not allowed to say “phone call”…..even that has changed. We don’t make phone calls anymore…….we “reach out” Oh FFS!

Time for today’s Q and A……here we go.

Sandee Holland asked:

I just went on my third Carnival cruise, this time on the Carnival Triumph. There were nine of us in all and eight of us were past guests. I have never been dissatisfied with a Carnival cruise until this one, and the others in my party agreed. The service was lousy, the crew was grumpy, and two of the cabins were just nasty!! (And yes there are videos) When I reported it to the service desk they put me on the phone with bar and dining room managers, they truly seemed to not care. The first cruise I was on was with you on the Carnival Conquest and it and you were truly wonderful. The second cruise was also on the Carnival Conquest and even with fire or something in the kitchen on formal night, I was still very pleased when I got off the ship… not so much that night but they made every effort to make it up to us. This third cruise was totally a disgrace… It may be all nine in my parties last cruise with Carnival, it was so bad. I don’t know what you can do or who to contact but the Carnival Triumph is giving Carnival a bad name. I even met a man yesterday that was on the Carnival Triumph two weeks before me and he said it was bad too. Thanks for your help or passing this along.

John says:
Hello Sandee Holland,

There may be some who are surprised that I post and reply to comments like this but I do because I promised myself that we would never hide from the negatives. I want to sincerely apologise that this cruise did not meet the expectations that were based on your previous cruises on the Carnival Conquest. I was though very surprised to read this because the ship usually gets nothing but praise but it seems we have work to do. I want you to know that I have sent this to our operations people in Miami and to the senior management on the vessel and they will address this I can assure you. Meanwhile please accept my apologies again and if there is anything I can do for you please let me know.

Best wishes.

John

Mira Brecher asked:

I will be travelling with my service dog which I have to have for sleep apnea. I have sailed on NCL with Sari (my Maltese) and am considering a Carnival cruise as you have your big ship Carnival Splendor coming to New York where I now live. Will Carnival as NCL did allow my service dog in the dining room and what steps do I need to take to make sure she is well looked after.

Thank you.

John says:
Hello Mira Bercher,

I am glad you wrote and thank you for considering Carnival for your 2013 vacation. We do allow service dogs and, obviously, we require the proper documentation before allowing them onboard proving it is a service dog and not the family pet. Once onboard a special area will be reserved near the lifeboat stations for your dog to do its whoopises but please note that the staff do not in any way take care of the dog, that is down to you of course. Please call our special needs desk so that you can find out what you need to do and I hope we see you on the Carnival Splendor soon.

Best wishes.

John

Tamsin Hawkins asked:

I am taking my three kids aged three, five and nine and on a cruise. I am a single mom and wondered if Carnival does anything for single moms as money is tight. We will be on the Carnival Sensation 5/31 three-day cruise. Can Carnival do something for me?

John says:
Hello Tamsin Hawkins,

Congratulations on taking your children on a cruise and I am sure they will have fun. We don’t have a special package for single parents but I will send each of your children a special souvenir of their cruise which I hope they will cherish. Have a wonderful time.

Best wishes.

John

Harry Wald asked:

Mother and I have enjoyed three Carnival cruises and we like the food and especially like the convenience of being able to sail from Charleston where we live now. I do have one suggestion that I would like you to consider Mr. Heald. The food in the dining room is surprisingly good but the service is brash and loud and certainly is not something that everyone enjoys. We also cruise Celebrity where we are Captain’s Club members. I understand the two companies are vastly different but why must Carnival think that the waiters have to be so loud, play jokes and worse perform lurid dances on table tops? I think there should be one dining area where a more professional silver service style is offered with maybe just some nice, relaxing music allowing for good table conversation with family and friends. On my last cruise on Carnival Fantasy I spoke to many passengers who agreed with me and I would not mind wagering that your dining service staff would prefer a silver service environment rather than being treated as performing monkeys. I look forward to your response.

Thank you.

John says:
Hello Harry Wald,

First of all, I am glad to read that you enjoy your Carnival cruises and I hope that you will build up to the same loyalty level as you have shown Celebrity Cruises. I understand that the singing and dancing and the fun atmosphere the staff provide in the dining room may not to be your taste and yet I must say that the comments and the feedback we get show that the vast majority enjoy what we do during dinner service. I must say that for the most part also that the staff enjoys it as well and what happens during dinner has become a tradition at Carnival that we have no plans of changing. It is an interesting point you raise and this is why I hope you don’t mind that earlier today I posted on Facebook to encourage others to discuss. I respect your comment though and I hope that this will not deter you from cruising with us again very soon. If there is anything else I can do for you, please let me know.

Best wishes.

John


Brenda Blackard asked:

Where or where can one get a copy of Fun Times for a cruise? Tried the list from your help desk below — to say the least it was painful — surely one of the beards has an able assistant who could gather ALL of the Fun Times from all of the ships/destinations and list them in an easily accessible spot. Just a thought — loyal cruiser (18 and counting!)

John says:
Hello Brenda Blackard,

At the bottom of my blog, you will find a link to the Fun Times for the fleet. If the one you are looking for is not there, please let me know and I will post it for you. I am sorry you had a tough time finding the information you need and I hope you will let me know if I can help further.

Best wishes.

John

Mark Sagan asked:
John,

I think it is ridiculous and unprofessional to take a chunk of time off and have nobody to carry on answering questions. I posted a request for my 15th anniversary that went unanswered and I discovered it was because you took a vacation. It’s unfair that people who don’t have Facebook accounts get treated like s**t because you are on vacation and leave the blog unattended. I am not impressed and my request for a table for two and a little something extra for my wife was ignored.

John says:
Hello Mark Sagan,

I did take some time away from the blog as I was traveling and spending time with the family which has left me behind on the blog questions. Since then the wonderful duo of Michelle and Mary are helping me with questions so things like this don’t happen. I can only apologise and hope that you had a great anniversary cruise and next time you sail please try again and let me know what you need and I will do my best to help you.

Best wishes.

John

Art Seago asked:
John,

We just finished our first seven-day cruise on Sunday. The Carnival Magic is truly a great ship. The accommodations and the staff were wonderful. Our first cruise was the one of the last voyages the Carnival Ecstasy made out of Galveston. We also had a great time on that trip. The one thing we missed on the Carnival Magic that was on the Carnival Ecstasy was the water depth on the info channel in the room. There were a few new pieces of info, but knowing how DEEP the water was, was a nice little touch. The kids were really looking forward to seeing if we went into any water deeper than 11,000 feet…but it was missing from this ship. Is/Can that be added back to the info screen?

Thanks.

Art Seago

John says:
Hello Art Seago,

Carnival Magic is currently at the number one spot in the fleet as per review cards completed by the guests and your review is another fine example as to why. The water depth is supposed to be on the information channel and I will have to investigate as to why it was not there so thanks for letting me know. I will pass your comments to the ship and I hope we see you again very soon.

Best wishes.

John


Faye Murray asked:

John we are booked on the Carnival Breeze for June 15th – my question is simple – I have prepaid gratuities but tip extra for room service, and special service. Should we buy Euros for tips or good old American dollars? Is there a preference on a Mediterranean cruise? Many thanks!

John says:
Hello Faye Murray,

How wonderful you are to ask that question and the answer is that to save you rate of exchange and commission, USD are most welcome. However, if you have Euros they too will be fine so the answer is I think, what’s best for you, Faye. I must say you are so kind to ask and I truly look forward to welcoming you onboard.

Best wishes and see you soon.

John

Vicki W asked:
Hi John!

I enjoy reading your blog and FB page and would like to know who the comedians will be for our cruise May 26. Thanks John and you are a diamond for putting up with what you do.

John says:
Hello Vicki W,

Thanks for the very kind words and here is your entertainment for your cruise. I hope you have a brilliant time.

  • Sat, May, 26 – Miami Welcome – Aboard Show dep @ 4pm
  • Sun, May, 27 – Half Moon Cay (9am-5pm) – Wonderful World – Tommy Drake / Dan Smith
  • Mon, May, 28 – At sea – Edge (Tommy Drake / Dan Smith)
  • Tue, May, 29 – St Thomas (10am – 6pm) – Singing With The Big Band /Chris Graves
  • Wed, May, 30 – San Juan (7am-3:30pm) – Fun Hop Deck Party
  • Thu, May, 31 – Grand Turk (11am-5:30) – Just Rock Joe Bronzi /Allyn Ball
  • Fri, Jun, 01 – at sea – Carnival Legends Joe Bronzi /Allyn Ball

Best wishes,

John

Linda Bailey asked:
John,

I don’t understand why they are renaming the Carnival Destiny after she is redone to the “Sunshine.” Who picked that name? Sounds from the forums like there are not many cruisers who like the name. I am sailing on her anyway Christmas 2013 but I sure think they could have come up with a better name. Just a thought! But for now, just looking forward to the Carnival Glory in a little over a month on April 29. Thanks for listening.

Linda

John says:
Hello Linda Bailey,

I know there were some questions when we announced the name change from Carnival Destiny to Carnival Sunshine and I totally understand that some have a firm allegiance to the vessel under her own name. It is important that we all remember to use the full name, Carnival Sunshine and not just Sunshine as the Carnival prefix really makes a difference. The most important thing is to wait and see what we are doing to the vessel and I promise that when she returns from her 49-day dry dock that Carnival Sunshine…….will be a perfect name for her. I am always here to listen and I hope you will let me know if there is anything I can do for you.

Best wishes.

John


Ken Martin asked:

John,

It’s been too long since I’ve cruised (kids in college, a divorce, etc.) But Woo Hoo Hi Diddlee Dee It’s the Carnival Liberty for me and my friends (over 14 rooms with 100+ Carnival cruises under our belts. I’m still getting the info tallied). Just a thought as we’ll be on the 2.0 Liberty. Are there any plans to have Guy Fieri do a cruise and have him do some seminars on some of his famous dishes or his Diners, Drive-ins and Dives recipes? There are lots of us who’d sign up (Just ask the question on Facebook and I bet you’ll get a ton of positive replies. Thanks mate in advance for your checking this out and look forward to hearing what may or may not happen. Ken P.S. can’t wait to try one of Guy’s Burgers. The closest thing we have to it is Five Guys Burgers here in SW Florida

John says:
Hello Ken Martin,

That’s a brilliant question and one I don’t know the answer to. I will though certainly suggest this as it’s a great idea. I saw him cook live in New York and it was a fantastic rock and roll experience and the end result was the best burger in the world……as you are soon to discover for yourself. I will follow up on this and let you know.

Best wishes.

John

And that’s all for today.

I have made quite a few mistakes since I started writing blogs and there have been times when in retrospect I probably should not have written about certain subjects. Top of that list is the new loyalty program which I first wrote about some two years ago or thereabouts. Back then it looked like we were just a few weeks away from launching but suddenly we were not and I was told that the project was far grander than first planned and it was going to be not weeks but months, lots of months before we were ready to announce what we were doing. It was my fault, 100% my fault. I was so anxious to tell you all that this exciting program was on the way that I jumped the gun so to speak and here we are still waiting.

Since then I have been ridiculed somewhat for this by posters here, on Facebook and on Cruise Critic and rightly so. I can understand why and as I said, it’s my fault. If I didn’t have this social media site and my Facebook page then nobody would have been any the wiser and while I think for the most part that my pages do help get the Carnival messages out and while they do keep you informed, there are times when silence would have been as golden. So please let me apologise to you all for my glaring mistake. In the coming weeks we will have the grand launch of a program that will keep our loyal guests returning to Carnival for another brilliantly fun and affordable cruise vacation.

So here I am on the Carnival Breeze in my cabin and it’s good to be finally onboard the ship, my home for the next few months. I am about to show you photos of my cabin which so many have asked for and I can understand the fascination of why people want to see where the crew live and in this case, where the fat bloke sits in his underpants writing blogs to you. Back when we had the Holiday class the CD cabins were huge. In fact they were Verandah suite cabins, exactly the same as the guest suites on the Holiday, Jubilee and Celebration and they were fantastic. I could hold a full department meeting there and still have room to swing loads of cats and invite a few Latvian casino girls over. God I was a stud back then with the female staff desperate for my attention. I had a huge cabin and a bathtub and I might as well have replaced my cabin door with a revolving one for the Latvian casino girls………and a cat flap for the cute girls from spa. OK, that was bollocks but a man can dream.

Then came the Fantasy-class and the cabins were still nice but a little smaller although the bedroom was probably the nicest of all the classes. Then we had the Destiny- and Conquest-class and for all the senior officers the cabins were smaller and so indeed were they on the Spirit-class as well although we have balconies on those ships. So the Dream-class has smaller cabins for the senior officers because of The Lanai which as you know wraps around the entire deck 5 and this has meant the cabin is smaller than that on Destiny/Conquest/Splendor class of ships. Anyway, let me show you my home and this is as I found it this morning so you are seeing what I saw just a few hours ago using my Raspberry video, so excuse the quality

So overall I am lucky to have a very nice cabin. The only problem is that when Heidi and Kye sail I have to buy a cabin for them as having a three-year-old trying to nap or play while I do my CD and brand ambassador stuff is impossible for all of us plus the cabin isn’t big enough for an extra bed for Kye. But it’s home. I work from the cabin, as well. Yes, I have an office just around the corner but the staff work from there as well so it’s easier for me to concentrate if I work from the cabin. However, I don’t use the cabin for meetings or gatherings, it’s my space and I like to keep it as private as possible……so no meetings and no Latvians. Heidi will be here for the first cruise and will make sure I know that she adds the female touch and add photos of Kye and the family and a scatter cushion or two while I put up my full size wall poster of H82Seaugo and I playing naked beach volleyball together.

Yep, that’s my home and as you can see from the photos I have a bit of a problem…….. ummmm ………..there’s no office chair. In fact there are no chairs at all as they haven’t been delivered yet. This means I am here writing to you in my underpants………………sitting on Calvyn.

Goodnight.

Your friend,

John
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Hi, I’m John, and this is my blog. So please don’t mistake my opinions — or those of my dear friends, fans or commenters — for those of Carnival Cruise Line or Carnival Corporation. My apologies in advance for anything I may say that upsets you, but this disclaimer covers Carnival and puts the blame directly on me………….. bugger.

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