As you know, I went home recently for my daughter’s birthday and while I was gone, I left a certain person in charge…..yep……my assistant Calvyn Sean Champagne Martens. Now, overall he did a great job but I made a huge mistake…..I gave him the key to my cabin. Now let me explain why this was a mistake.

When showering I do so using one of those sponge loofah puffy things. Yes, I know that some tofu eaters out there will say that these are not hygienic and that I should use disposable wipes like my wife does but bollocks to that. I use a puff in the shower and that leads me nicely to Calvyn. You see, after I had already been back for a couple of days, he casually mentioned that while I was away he’d been showering in my bathroom and, of course, used my loofah sponge thingy to wash himself (I can only imagine where). This basically means that during the last few showers I’ve taken, I’ve been smearing my face with the slime and the dead skin cells from Calvyn’s armpits and other unmentionable places. There is no way I am using it anymore. It’s useless, and I am throwing it into the garbage …..and I might do the same with the loofah puff thingy.

Time for some Q and A – here we go.

Edward Puddick asked:
John,

We enjoy a good comedy show and certainly are not prudes but the language and subject matter used by comedians _____ and ______ on the cruise we took on the Carnival Imagination was disgusting and my partner and I and other passengers walked out. I am sure Carnival would pack the place if they did more family PG-rated shows and axed the X-rated shows.

John says:
Hello Edward Puddick,

Thanks so much for the post and I hope you both had a great cruise and this is an interesting point indeed. Currently we have two family and three adult shows in the Punchliner Comedy Club and have found this to be a good balance. Certainly, the adult shows are clearly marked as “uncensored” in the Fun Times and the host will mention this repeatedly on the microphone. I say this because we do give our comedians license to use material and language that comes with that uncensored rating and I apologise that it offended you. You do raise an interesting point so I am going to discuss this on Facebook and see if others agree. Thanks again and I do hope you had a wonderful time.

Best wishes.

John

Paul Duckworth asked:
Hey John,

There was a comment on your blog today that wanted you to ensure that there would be no smokers in the balconies on either side of a particular stateroom. I know that request is impossible. However, it is annoying to be on your balcony and have to breathe in smoke from another balcony. I am certainly not going to say that it has ever ruined my cruise like some may suggest, but it has caused me to go back into my room instead of relaxing on my balcony. I know Carnival has made several changes to the smoking policy over the last year which has greatly restricted a smoker’s ability to smoke, so I will not ask Carnival to ban smoking from balconies. However, has Carnival ever considered allowing smoking from balconies only on one side of the ship, be it port or starboard? By restricting smoking to one side of the ship, everyone could book whichever preference they have.

John says:
Hello Paul Duckworth,

I understand your point, of course, that as a non-smoker you are concerned that when you are enjoying the delights of your balcony that someone on either side is smoking. Unfortunately, neither Carnival nor any other cruise line has a policy where smoking is permitted only on one side of the ship on balconies. They have a blanket no smoking policy or allow it on all balconies. The policy at Carnival is that we allow smoking and, again, while we have restricted smoking considerably in recent times, it is still extremely difficult to appease everyone. Thanks, Paul, and please let me know if you have a follow up question.

Best wishes.

John

Robert Brunskill asked:

I am part of a Cruise Critic roll call on the Dream for the September 1, 2012, cruise and we have a large group of people who have joined. We are in the planning stages of a meet and greet and I was shocked to discover that Carnival does nothing for Cruise Critic groups. No munchies, door prizes or visits from the captain or ship tours even. Does Carnival not care because you would think that having 100-plus in our group should count for some VIP treatment but we are getting zip. Can you explain why?

John says:
Hello Robert Brunskill,

First of all, I want to thank you and everyone who has booked to cruise on the beautiful Carnival Dream and I know you will all have a brilliant time. I have answered this question many times before but the simple fact is that while we will organise a room for new friends to meet and have it listed in the Fun Times, Carnival does not offer anything further. Now I have sent some trophies for prize giving when asked but that is, I am afraid, all we can offer. I wish you all a fantastic time and hope that the people you have spoken with online will become great friends.

Best wishes.

John

Darrell Lalonde asked:
Hi John,

I enjoy receiving your blogs and enjoy your sense of humour. I did not get to meet you personally last year while I was on the Carnival Magic on the June 3, 2011, Mediterranean cruise but found you very entertaining. I thoroughly enjoyed my cruise on the Carnival Magic and the itinerary was amazing as was the ship. I have sailed on eight Carnival cruises thus far (my first cruise being on the Carnivale back in 1981) and find the ships getting better and better. I do have to ask you a question regarding the lack of an Empress deck on board the new Carnival Magic. The original ship Carnivale was once called the Empress of Britain and belonged to the Canadian Pacific Company which throughout its history provided ships, trains and eventually airplane service throughout Canada and the world. All of their ships were named Empress of (various countries and cities) and eventually so were their aircraft. Being a Canadian familiar with this name, it was quite obvious that the original Carnival Cruise Lines logo was based on the original CP logo (except with red and blue colours) and is still virtually the same today. I am also an airline employee and worked with Canadian Airlines (formerly called CPAIR and Canadian Pacific) prior to that.

The executive class was called Empress Class and I was a little saddened to see that the Empress deck no longer existed on board as I felt that the history behind your great company had been abandoned. Canadian Pacific ships provided worldwide service and had a wonderful reputation. When the ships stopped sailing and Carnival got involved, it was wonderful that the name of Empress continued to live on with Carnival and continued on with all of its ships thereafter. My cruise was not ruined in anyway by not seeing the name Empress Deck as I mentioned, I felt like a bit of history was lost. I know that things change but I think the world is going full circle and wanting to return to the good old days or back to its roots. I personally am crazy for all vintage travel-related items and wished I had been around in the early part of the century to experience travel in its heyday. On another note, I once sailed on the Jubilee and loved the buffet on the Lido Deck was called the Funnel Room. It was so cool as all the pillars were wrapped in what looked like original smoke stacks from old vintage steam lines. Even the tables were covered with decoupage vintage luggage tags, old ship schedules etc. It was very cool. I appreciate your time and just wanted to let you know about the Empress name.

Thank you,

Darrell Lalonde

John says:
Hello Darrell Lalonde,

What a fantastic post and for someone who has memories of the Mardi Gras, I know how proud you are of the Empress name. We still call Deck 7 on all the ships (I think it’s all) Empress Deck and even though we may not display the name anymore, all the crew know Deck 7 is Empress Deck. I had no idea where the name comes from so this was a real lesson for me which I thank you kindly for. I hope we sail together one day and do actually find time to meet as I am sure we would have lots to chat about. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you and thanks again for this wonderful history lesson.

Best wishes.

John

Shirley Blackmore asked:

I have a daughter called Megan that works in the spa on the Carnival Destiny. She is from South Africa and I will not get to see her for eight months and miss her very much. I read that you send people presents so can you send her something from me and tell her I miss her terribly.

John says:
Hello Shirley Blackmore,

I know what it’s like to miss someone but rest assured your daughter is in good hands and I am sure she is loving her time on board. I have arranged today for a little treat to be sent to her from you and I included the following note:

Hello Megan

I miss you and love you very much and am very proud of you.

Mum
X

Hope that’s OK. Best wishes.

John

Tammey asked:

I just have a quick question. John have you had any updates on what the new requirements may be for past guests? After this cruise I am just three cruises away from VIP and I would love to be able to get there and be able to share with my clients how well VIP check-in goes. Thanks and I really enjoy your blog and Facebook comments….have a wonderful day

John says:
Hello Tammey,

It’s been a long time coming but we are very close from announcing the details of our new program and we will reveal all then. Thanks so much for your loyalty and I thank you so very much for your kind words.

Best wishes.

John

Laurie asked:

My husband and I went on our first cruise last summer. I’m hooked I loved it so much that my best friend and I have booked one in early July to Cozumel. She moved away many years ago we are celebrating being 50 and wonderful. No husbands allowed on this — it’s just for us girls. Celebrating both of us also becoming Military Moms, as both of our boys joined the military in the same year. We are proud of them and the job we have done, so here’s to them 90 days and counting. Here we come Cozumel and Paradise.

John says:
Hello Laurie,

Indeed you should both be very proud and I thank them both for their dedicated service. Please drop me a note here again with your cabin number would you and I wish you both a fantastic cruise.

Best wishes.

John

Owen Rimmer asked:

Please consider moving to Pepsi products. From a taste standpoint, Pepsi is far superior to Coca-Cola. It doesn’t taste as sweet as Coke or leave that weird sugary film on your teeth, and it finishes crisp and clean without an aftertaste. This is very important when considering the food options offered on the ships, for sugary teeth film and chocolate melting cake are not such a delicious combination. John, wake up!

John says:
Hello Own Rimmer,

What an interesting post and, goodness me, you are a true Pepsi fan, aren’t you? I know that this is a well-contested battle, Coke or Pepsi but for now, Carnival will continue to carry Coca-Cola products. Maybe a nice glass of wine with the chocolate melting cake instead?

Best wishes.

John


Marion Vecchiarelli asked:

I sometimes use a walker and wonder how far it is to the beaches on the Carnival Pride’s Eastern Carribean voyage? I cannot walk much of a distance. Also is it OK to take a walker on a tender?

John says:
Hello Maion Vecchiarelli,

Thanks so much for writing. Yes, of course, it is OK to take your walker onto the tender and the crew members will assist you into the boat. There are no beaches within a comfortable walking distance for you so I do suggest you take a taxi or indeed a shore excursion. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do for you and have a brilliant cruise.

Best wishes.

John

David Rozek asked:
John:

On Feb. 2, 2013, we will be sailing on the Carnival Liberty. My wife has M.S. and cannot stand for more than five minutes at a time. Is there any way for Carnival to provide chairs for its handicapped patrons or speed up the registration process? I do all the pre-registration that I can. This is her second cruise and it might be her last as this disease is slowly destroying the woman I truly love. Thank you.

John says:
Hello David Rozek,

I am so very sorry to read this very sad post and of course we will look after her. Please do call Carnival’s guest access services desk and let them know this and they will assist you. Then, if there is anything else you can think of, please let me know as I am here to make sure you both have the most wonderful time. I wish your lovely wife better days and a cruise full of happy and fond memories.

Best wishes.

John

Melissa Crabtree asked:
I apologize if you received this message twice. My original message disappeared from my screen and I don’t know if it was sent. I want to attend the next Blogger’s Cruise (Jan 2013). I am a home-based travel agent and went on GoCCL to book myself. Well, the fare code for the blogger’s cruise was not an option. Since this is what I do for a living, I would prefer to book my own cruise. (Plus, it goes toward my booking counts for the year and let’s face it, each cabin counts towards getting me up to that next commission level). Having said that – do you know how I can book it myself and still be a registered “blogger” and involved/invited to all of the activities? Or, who I may contact? I did call Carnival directly and she could not find me an answer and suggested that I email you. My husband will be cruising with me as well and we will celebrate our 22nd wedding anniversary (he is a lucky man)! I look forward to hearing from you.

John says:
Hello Melissa Crabtree,

I am so glad you wrote to me and thanks so very much for thinking of sailing with me on our sixth annual Bloggers Cruise. All you need to do is book using the best price plan for you both and then closer to sailing time, I will take a registration of all who wish to be involved with the activities. Thanks for all your support as a travel agent and it will be an honour to host you on this beautiful ship.

Best wishes.

John

And that is all for today.

My apologies that the blog isn’t as long as normal but things are getting busy and it’s not easy to mix the blog and Facebook with preparing a new ship to set sail. Carnival Breeze looks amazing and we are just eight days from sailing. Most of the crew is here now and working hard to prepare the lounges and get cabins ready for the first cruise. In fact we have to prepare the ship for sailing on the May 31 as we will have retired captains and chief engineers as well as a whole flock of beards and some family members (my wife and daughter included) who will be sailing to Venice with us.

One of the busiest areas is, of course, food and beverage who have new areas to manage as well as to set and prepare the two dining rooms. This leads me to the menus for the 12-day cruises which I am about to unveil to you all and my thanks to Eric and Cyrus from our Miami team for allowing me to post them. Without further ado, here is what the guests will be eating on the 12- day cruises. Please note I do not at the time of writing have the exact order in which the menus will be served outside of the menu with the lobster on it being served, as always, on elegant night.

What would you have?

So it’s time to get back to work and this afternoon I will be meeting with the ACD Amy, Musical Director Eddie C and a few office beards as we discuss the entertainment, music and activity schedule for the first 12-day cruise and once the Fun Times are done, I will post them for you all to see.

Just before I go I mentioned earlier that I had gone home to see Kye for her birthday and while home I had a chance to read the prospectus that the three schools we are considering sending her to next year…….time goes so fast. Anyway, the schools all listed the lessons they would teach Kye between the ages of 4 and 7. Math, English, art, sports, sex education, music……..hold on ………. what…………..sex education? Yep, it’s true. I called both schools and both said that by age seven they teach the kids “a basic understanding” of where babies come from and learn “the correct names for parts of the body.” That means in less than four years, Kye will know what a gentlemen’s sausage is and why she doesn’t have one. Oh, FFS!

Look, I know I am old fashioned but this is ridiculous. When I was seven, I had just learnt to poo in the toilet rather than my underpants. How do they do this, anyway? Do they all have to undress Ken and Barbie dolls or maybe this will be explained by a character the kids are comfortable with. Barney Explores the Lady Garden……. or something like that. I don’t actually remember sitting through any kind of rumpy pumpy education when I was at school. The closest thing was a biology lesson on rabbit reproduction when we were about 14. The class was taught by “Miss Evans” who had breasts like the Alps…..and we honestly didn’t care about the sodding rabbits when she was teaching a class.

No way am I letting a teacher do this……..nope…….I am going to teach Kye myself. Where do babies come from……..well, Kye, they come from three minutes of exercise when Daddy used to but not anymore, do push-ups on top of Mummy…….and then a baby will pop out of Mummy’s tummy…….and that’s where babies come from……unless you are Madonna or Angelina Jolie ……. in which case they come by mail order.

Goodnight.

Your friend,

John

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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