So, Wimbledon is over for another year and no, we have three weeks of rest before London hosts the Olympic Games where our opening ceremony will consist of a double decker bus, David Beckham in a pair of Speedos and that other British institution Simon Cowell introducing some Bollywood dancers. Yep, compared to the opening ceremony China gave us four years ago, this will look like it has been produced by the London Retired Ladies Knitting Association.

Even more worrying will be that the cruise directors who have Seaside Theatre Big Screens on Lido will no doubt be bombarded with requests to put constant coverage up there. I mentioned on Facebook last week that I had been pressured by lots of guests to put the Wimbledon finals up there so we could see one of the Williams sisters win and that Scottish chap lose. And it will be the same with the Olympics and while we will show the opening ceremony on the big screen and perhaps the 100 meter final, I don’t think any of us CDs will cancel live music and activities so we can watch the Ladies Syncronised Swimming or the Ladies Shot Put which will be won by a Russian lady called Boris.

It wasn’t a tough decision not to show the finals on the big screen. Now I did arrange for it to be shown in the conference room and at the casino bar but for every one person who wanted to see it, I know that there would have been many more who would have lynched me if I had canceled the live music and sunset party. I mean, for most people, tennis is about as exciting as reading 50 Shades of Grey with all the rumpy pumpy bits taken out. Wimbledon takes it to a whole new level. Hundreds of elderly Brits with their sunburn marks and their emergency wet weather gear sit there eating their cucumber sandwiches and applaud absolutely everything. Double faults from anyone who is taking on their beloved Andy Murray and when the umpire asks someone to turn off their cell phone. Unfortunately, what you have to remember is that Wimbledon attracts enormous television audiences from all over the world. I often wonder what these sophisticated people from abroad are going to think of Britain when they see some hysterical women applauding and cheering because a sodding pigeon has just landed on center court just as Federer is about to serve.

Yep, tennis is boring and it wasn’t a surprise surely that Federer beat Murray, was it?  Heidi was very unhappy when Nadal lost because he is, of course, in her eyes, “a hunk.”  Federer is though as boring as boring can possibly be. He would probably fold his clothes neatly over a chair before commencing the 30-minute window he has scheduled for rumpy pumpy. I often wish that tennis players would lose their tempers more and move into the realms of ice hockey where if they lost a point or the other player hits them in the bollocks with a tennis ball, then they have the right to jump over the net and bludgeon the other one with their racket. Now that would make tennis interesting again and if tennis had been decided on who the hardest, toughest most scariest, ready to beat the crap out of you player was…then nobody…absolutely nobody, would ever have beaten Martina Navratilova.

Time for today’s Q and A…here we go.

John Steiner asked:
Hi John,

I have a question concerning the photo department on the various ships. Does your photo staff transfer guest photos from SDHC memory cards onto DVD’s?  On our next cruise I will be using a new camera and expect to be shooting in the RAW format, which takes up quite a bit of memory space.  So I wanted to know in advance if the files can be transferred onto a DVD and how much that may cost. Oh, by the way, RAW doesn’t mean some Latvian doing rumpy-rumpy.


John Steiner

John says:
Hello John Steiner

I am afraid we don’t offer this service but it’s something that I can assure you is on the list of things to consider as we move to make our photo galleries branded areas and change the way we sell our photos. I will let you know news on this as soon as I am able. Thanks for taking the time to write and please let me know if there is anything I can do for you.

Best wishes.


Alan S asked:

You may not remember me but you were so awesome in helping my son with a very special wedding proposal on the Carnival Dream two years ago. We are sailing as a family again with Carnival on the Bloggers Cruise with you, John, and will include my new daughter-in-law amongst the eight of us who will be on that cruise. I hate to see the way you are bullied on the Cruise Critic and I am proud to say that my defense of you has gotten me a life time ban and I am never allowed to post there or read their boards again. They hated me there, John, and I hope you never get to read what some say about you but they do not know what a huge heart you have and how special you made my son feel on his return from Afghanistan. It will be an honor to meet you and finally shake your hand.

John says:
Hello Alan S

Thank you for taking the time to write and I am so glad you and the family will be joining me on the Carnival Breeze for Bloggers Cruise 6. I remember your son and I think I am right in saying that he was injured while serving his country and thanks to Butch who was the CD at the time on Carnival Dream, we were able to make his wedding proposal a night to always remember. I am sorry that you have been banned from Cruise Critic and I hate to think that this happened because you were defending me. In fact, I feel very guilty if that is the case. I will also look forward to shaking your hand on Bloggers Cruise 6 and if there is anything at all I can do for you and your family, please let me know.

Best wishes to all.


Laszlo Toth asked:

I would like to share this with everyone connected to Carnival. Even future passengers:

I would like to inform Carnival about our last fantastic cruise experience on the Carnival Valor. We always have a great time when we cruise with Carnival but this was more memorable that the ones in the past (nine other Carnival cruises). The main reason we had such a great time on this cruise is because of your cruise director Matt. We’ve sailed with Matt back in 2009 on the Carnival Valor and back then he was just an activity coordinator and we had a blast with him. He was so very entertaining, funny and he made sure everything we did with him was FUN. When we boarded the Carnival Valor this time and heard his voice we had to seek him out to make sure that it was him. And that is when the fun started for us. He is just so energetic, funny just a great time being around him whatever he does. Unlike some of our other cruises on Carnival, we hardly saw the cruise directors. Not Matt — he seemed to be everywhere making sure everyone on board had a good time and, most of all, he wanted all of us to have FUN. We have another booking on the Carnival Valor on Oct. 27 and just hoping we will get to be with Matt because we will know we will have an enjoyable cruise and have plenty of FUN. Lastly, I see Matt as a great asset to Carnival and I hope he has many, many years on Carnival ships.

Thank you.

Laszlo Toth

John says:
Hello Laszlo Toth

I am, at the moment, posting bios and photos of all our cruise directors and waiting in the wings, snapping at their heels, is a group of acting cruise directors who are all waiting for their full promotion. Arguably, at the top of that list is Matt who I continue to hear brilliant things about and whom I am very proud of. He is all we expect and more in a CD and I thank you so much for taking the time to write this and I promise he and his supervisors will see this excellent post. Thanks again and I hope we see you many more times on the ships of Carnival.

Best wishes.


Sarah Curtis asked:

My family and I will be going on our second cruise experience on the Carnival Dream for our summer vacation. My brother has Asperger’s Syndrome and I need to make sure that we have a table with no other passengers at dinner. I have asked three times here and no response to this!!! Here is our booking number ******. A reply would be nice, Mr. Heald, or does Carnival not care about people with special needs!!!!

John says:
Hello Sarah Curtis

Thank you for writing and my apologies for the delay in my response. I see that you are sailing at Christmas so I am going to ask that you send me a reminder about this on November 15 or thereabouts here on the blog and I will make sure that I request the maître d’ to assist you with your table request. I wish you all a wonderful cruise and please let me know if there is anything else I can do for you.

Best wishes.


David Toof asked:

I have noticed on the pictures of the new dining room on some of the ships that they don’t have any arms on the chairs!! Being a big guy, I hate the little chairs that they make a guy have to squeeze into in the dining rooms (and those nasty little plastic chairs on the room decks!). Is this going to be fleet wide?! Please say it is so!!!

Thanks for your comments.


John says:
Hello David Toof

That’s right, David, some of the dining rooms have all chairs with no arms and some have a few. Regardless, we will on all ships have a chair with no arms for you and if you need this you can request ahead of time through me or indeed when you are on the ship. Thanks for writing and please let me know if I can help further.

Best wishes.


Joe Shelvey asked:

I wonder how someone as obese as you is allowed to work for Carnival then. Today in your blog you said that every crew member has to have a medical but surely Carnival would not pass someone as severely overweight as you. Then you talk about cigars and you are the brand spokesperson! How can Carnival allow you to publicly talk about something that is killing you and those around you? This may seem like an obnoxious thing to say but as someone who power walks five miles, five times a week and who doesn’t smoke and has taken four Carnival cruises I find their choice as brand spokesperson strange. An obese smoker seems such an odd choice.

John says:
Hello Joe Shelvey

Every crew member does indeed have to have a medical which is part of our contract and set by the United States Coast Guard. Now because I am a rehire then as long as I pass the major elements of the medical, then I am OK to carry on working on the ships. However, you are right as if I was a new hire, my body mass index thingy would be too high or low or whatever it is so I would probably be refused work. As for my smoking, well, that is a lifestyle choice that right or wrong has, I think, and indeed I hope, have no bearing on my abilities as either a cruise director or brand ambassador. Thanks so much for your post and by the way, I used to power walk three times a week, then I realised…I had a car.

Best wishes and hope to see you on a cruise with us again soon.


Jerome Racine asked:

I know you have heard (read) enough about the new loyalty program but I have just one question?  We have seven cruises completed with eight, nine, and 10 which will be completed in fall of 2013.  No grandfathering for this?

John says:
Hello Jerome Racine

Thanks so much for booking those three cruises and the day you walk on the ship for cruise number 10, you will receive that shiny new Platinum card.

Best wishes and congratulations


Sherry Scharf asked:
Hi John,

I have a little situation which I hope you can help me with as a onetime courtesy.  Two weeks ago, we came back from a wonderful eight-night cruise on the Carnival Valor.  While on the cruise, my husband and I purchased four Future Cruise Certificates.  I used one to book our Sept. 2013 cruise on the Carnival Liberty, I used one to book a three-day cruise on the Carnival Imagination for this weekend (trying to get grandfathered in for Platinum) and I tried to use one for our upcoming Sept. 2012 cruise on the Carnival Freedom (already booked). It was declined because it wasn’t a new reservation. I know the FCC states they can only be redeemed on new bookings, but they have always been accepted. Since we have multiple cruises booked, I was hoping something could be done for us this one time.  In the future, I will be sure to have a FCC before I book.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Sherry and Robert Scharf

John says:
Hello Sherry and Robert Scharf

I appreciate you getting in contact with me and I hope you had a brilliant time on Carnival Valor. I am not sure what happened in the past but having checked for you, I was told we do not make exceptions — they can only be used on cruises booked after you purchased the certificates. I am so sorry if you were given the wrong information last time and if there is anything I can do for you regarding this or anything else, please let me know.

Best wishes to you both.


Terri Kerr asked:

We have a family friend that just came back from being on Carnival Triumph she was disappointed because there wasn’t much to do on the ship. I have planned a trip in November on the same ship hoping that we are not disappointed as well. Hope you can shine some light on this problem.



John says:
Hello Terri Kerr

I am sorry to read this and indeed it is an unusual comment. Carnival Triumph is one of our most popular ships and certainly looking at the activity program, there appears to be lots do all day and night. At the bottom of my blogs home page is a link to the Fun Times and I would ask that you have a look there at the Fun Times for Carnival Triumph and see what we have planned. As for your friend, please, would you ask her to let me know more, what she felt was lacking, etc. so I can investigate this more? Thanks so much and if there is anything else you need, please let me know.

Best wishes to all.


And with a big thank you to everyone for their comments and questions, we will end there and be back with more on Friday.

Time for another cruise director bio and today we go Down Under to meet Skip Lyons.

G’day all,

A little bit of background information. After completing high school, I went straight into the work force working in bars as a waiter and a cocktail barman. I also spent some time working radio and a good amount of time working with a theatre company and eventually I found myself working in the Adelaide Casino as a casino dealer.  I started working with Carnival in December 1996 on the Carnival Sensation as a casino dealer. After one month, I was promoted to casino host and after a couple of contracts in the casino, I made the big move and joined the entertainment department as a social host. From social host, I moved to an assistant cruise director and then finally into the position as cruise director.

I have worked on every itinerary that Carnival offers and one day I hope to work the Alaskan and Hawaiian routes as those are the only ports we visit that I have yet to see.  I have worked on many of the ships, including now-retired ships such as Tropicale, Holiday, Jubilee, and Celebration, and current ships Carnival Imagination, Carnival Inspiration, Carnival Fascination, Carnival Paradise, Carnival Elation, Carnival Ecstasy, Carnival Destiny, Carnival Victory, Carnival Triumph, Carnival Conquest and Carnival Spirit. I love performing and being on the stage. Having fun and making people laugh is what gets me up each and every morning.

Skip is a true bundle of energy and, like his name suggests, will bounce around the ship meeting as many guests as he can and is one of those cruise directors who will never rest until he has met everyone and bravo to him for that. His Aussie wit and energy make him a brilliant CD and I hope you all get to sail with him one day.

So then, good morning from Livorno, Italy, where I am feeling very sorry for myself. I am sitting here in my 50 shades of brown underpants typing this blog to you because I have a sinus cold and headache. My head feels like the cast of the John Heald Blocked Me Facebook page are having a party in there and H82SEAUGO has joined them. Being on stage means adrenalin kicks in and you forget that you feel tired and blocked up but sitting behind the desk here at 8:45 am means I feel as energetic as a dead hamster.

However, while writing to you and performing on stage are all things I can do while feeling like this, hosting a table at the Cucina del Capitano is not something that the doctor ordered and is something that I’m really not up for, like of manscaping Calvyn with a pair of blunt nail scissors. But that is what I had to do last night because we have some Diamond guests on board (more on that later in the blog) and as you may know, one of the benefits of this is that the captain will host our diamond members for a special event. I hear on some ships the captain is hosting a cocktail reception and some are hosting a table in the dining room and this is driven by the number of Diamond guests we have on board. Regardless of what the captains decide, it is a special event that I am positive our Diamond members will enjoy.

On the Carnival Breeze, we, of course, have the highly successful Cucina del Capitano which last cruise served 1,385 people a brilliant Italian meal costing only $12 for adults and $5 for kids. At Cucina there is a round table that the captain sometimes uses to host VIPs and so I was asked to go with them him for our first Diamond event last night. My nose was blocked, my throat sore so I was really not in the best frame of mind for conversation. But everyone else at the table was having fun. The guests and the captain and senior officers were all laughing and joking while Mel, Charlie and the cast of Blocked by JH continued to have an orgy of fun and loud drumming in my head. Then, eventually, the lovely waitress came over but had to stand there for hours while the table continued to have a great time. And, as usual, it was the ladies at the table that were not ready. Why is that always the case? Along comes the waiter and asks you what you want and the reply is always the same, “Er, what, me? Oh dear, I haven’t looked at the menu yet.” Why is this? It’s not your first time in a restaurant and it’s not like you don’t know that the lady will be invited to order first. The men have always decided. Why haven’t the women? How did it become law that the person who is invited to order first is the one who never knows what to sodding well have? And that’s what happened last night as my head pounded and my nose stayed blocked and my throat felt like I had swallowed most of the golf balls that went missing from SportSquare and all I heard was “Why don’t you go first, while I decide?”

Sorry but I have had enough of this bollocks and so I have written to Gerry Cahill our president and CEO and asked him to sign off on a new rule. The new service rule at Carnival will be to make it the men who order first. The women will get asked last once they have had another three hours to look at the menu before they say, “I’m not very hungry, is it okay if I just have two appetizers? Do you think that’ll be enough…if it’s not I can always have some of yours.”

I will close today with this comment from a guest.

Sent: Tuesday, July 10, 2012 12:10 PM
Subject: Comment about music in nightclub

Good afternoon,
Mrs _____ came to the desk today, John, and said she was disappointed in the selection of music played in the dance club. Guest is looking for more of what she said was older music and rock. Guest is from the UK and wanted to speak to you.

Thank you in advance and best regards,

Guest Services Supervisor, Carnival Breeze

Carnival Cruise Lines

Now I must admit that since the ship was delivered, I have paid very little attention to what’s happening in the Liquid Nightclub. I know I have two great DJs there and that our Skyy Blue Vodka promotion night and the evening our cast performs in the club is very popular and I must show you some photos of that soon. The place is always packed so obviously something is working there. This, I think, has a lot to do with the DJs, the branded uniforms the servers wear and the design of the club itself which is what I have heard described as “uber cool.” Anyway, I decided I had better take a look and I went to the Liquid Nightclub last night. Not the sort of sentence I get to write very often because I enjoy nightclubs less than I enjoy seeing myself naked in a full length mirror. But because of this comment and my guilt in not supporting the DJs more I had to go. Obviously, at 47, I was more than a decade (or two) older than almost everyone else, and subsequently may as well have been smeared head to toe with my in yak poo.

Most of the guests there had not seen my welcome aboard show or Calvyn and I on the morning show. Nope, they were way too cool for that. Therefore, most of the people in the nightclub regarded me with a combination of pity and disgust. I spent the entire time with the expression of a man about to be sentenced to 17 years in a Turkish prison.

“I am too bloody old to enjoy this,” I thought. And then remembered that I have always felt this way about clubs. And I mean all clubs from the awful ones back home that smelt like a bucket of vomit to the posh ones on South Beach. I didn’t like them when I was 20 and I certainly don’t like them now. I just don’t have to pretend any more. Nightclubs are hot and cramped and play the latest tunes thumping through the humid air so loud you can’t even hear yourself or anyone else fart. I could understand why this lady who was a bit older than me had complained about the music but we were a minority because it was packed. The Liquid Nightclub is then one of the most popular venues on the Carnival Breeze and the décor and the music and the service make it so. I watched the 20-something guests sharing panting pelvic thrusts with someone who they hope will be having rumpy pumpy with later. Yes, everyone was having a great time. The guests, even the bar staff were having fun. Me…I just couldn’t wait to get out of there…and I realised that at that moment, I would rather be anywhere in the world than the hell I was in now. Except Paris, of course.

Last cruise I arranged for the DJs to play more Latin tunes for the Mexican group and this cruise I will arrange a classic rock hour as well for this guest but I can’t fix what is in no way broken as the Liquid Nightclub is like so many things here on the Carnival Breeze, the best nightclub in the fleet! I stayed as long as I could…which was 10 minutes. And then I turned around and headed to the exit leaving the guests to gyrate themselves and each other to the sounds of the hippy hop music and for the men to stare at the Russian female guests and the thongs that stick out of the waistband of their jeans and went to bed…feeling really, really old.


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.


  1. Mary says:

    Joe Shelvey, is that a picture of you on FB? If that’s you, dude, stop walking so much! You appear to be underweight to the point of unhealthy. Hope your employer is okay with that.

    • Greg P says:

      I think Joe Shelvey must be a very very tall man because for someone who power walks 5 miles a day….it seems that very little blood is making it up to his brain!

  2. Phil Hale says:

    My sweetie and cabin mate has a couple of questions about the comedy Brunch. Do you need to make a reservation? Is there any additional cost? Hope you feel better soon. Have the steakhouse chef or Cocina chef make you some special chicken soup with onions and garlic.

    • Faby Karam says:

      There is no need for reservations and no extra cost for the comedy brunch, I enjoyed a few months ago and was excellent. Hope you you enjoy it as much as I did.

    • John says:

      Phil, I sailed on the Breeze recently so I am able to answer your question. You do not need reservations and it does not cost extra. The brunch is hosted in the main dining room and the comedians perform a roughly 10 minute set on the hours.

  3. April Stonecypher says:

    John, I am new to your blog and find it quite entertaining and informative. We leave on Elation this Saturday 7/14 for our 5th anniversary which just happens to be on Friday the 13th. We also spent our honeymoon on Carnival 5 yrs ago. I am so excited! I can’t believe we made it five years! Ha! Anyway, it has been fun reading your blog and I plan to write you again upon our return. Tim and April Stonecypher from Alabama!

    • Carol Ciongoli says:

      Hi April, I’m new to the blog as well & I’m loving all of the comments. Today is the 13th so you leave tomorrow on your cruise. Have a wonderful time & let us know how it was.

  4. Renee says:

    Alan S.

    I think it’s terrible Cruise Critic banned you for life for defending John. There is a group for you on Facebook if you want, it’s Cruise Critic Sucks, you should look it up!

  5. Kathy Anderson says:

    Hello! My question is how do you find what cruise director is on which ship? We will be sailing the Valor in September. We LOVE Carnival!!!! This is our 8 th cruise!!!

  6. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

    Sarah Curtis:

    I am pleased to report that Carnival does indeed care a great deal about special needs individuals.

    Our son with Asperger’s has been on 50 cruises and the only way this was even possible was due to the wonderful and attentive care he has received from Carnival all these years.

    He just turned 21 last week and we look forward to many more Carnival cruises in his future.

    I would suggest that you email with a list of the accommodations your family member needs.

    Carnival can provide things like a “quiet” muster drill, VIP check in and other accommodations that are so necessary when someone with special needs.

    While it is important to keep your expectations reasonable, we have found that Carnival has indeed exceeded those expectations in this area.

    Hope you have a wonderful cruise.

    Linda (Mom of DJ)

    • Carol Ciongoli says:

      As a person with minor disabilities, a bad back & knee. Everyone from the porter at the Port of Boston to every crew member I came apon on the Glory went out of their way for me. I couldn’t have asked for better service. PS, whay are the toilets & chairs so low? I did have a hard time getting up from them…

  7. Jim Munkittrick says:

    John, the “delayed” ordering by women is no where near as bad as the check out line….All items get scanned, the clerk give her a total, she goes into total shock….suddenly remembering she need to pay! The digging in the purse begins….and the digging…..and the digging….and the digging. Out comes either the ATM card or cash.
    She will look at the ATM as if never having seen it before. Then get a dazed look wondering what she is supposed to do with it…every time, she will follow directions, but only if given one at a time. Then comes the dreaded question, do you want cash back?
    Speaking of cash..that is even worse..never have the cash out….make sure it is in the wallet, at the bottom of the purse. Then never hand it over and get change! NO! fumble though the bills, then dig for the coins. Your milk goes sour by the time get to the register.
    Ordering off the menu? That is easy, getting in line behind her at the grocery store? That is a nightmare.

    • Carol Ciongoli says:

      That’s just not women Jim. What about the food store check out, guys always forget what the wife asked for & hold up the whole line to get it. But yes I agree, when I get in line the money & coupons if needed are out & ready. I want to ring people’s necks that are not ready. They know where they are & what needs to happen, so WHY???????

  8. Dave Soreff says:

    John…about the nightclubs? I hear you loud and clear. You know that over here at Princess, we have Skywalkers, and I can count on one hand the number of times I have been there in my seven years with Princess. Not because the DJs aren’t wonderful, which they are…or because the service isn’t spot on, which it is…but because I always feel too darn old. Especially since we perform Hawaiian music now instead of “nightclub” or “dance” music in the Wheelhouse, I just can’t keep up with what is popular on the radio. Oh well…I imagine that to my parents generation, Bruce Springsteen or The Kinks is a little mystifying. We are no longer the young people eating at the Bus Stop Buffett at 2:00am. Aloha!

  9. Rick Velez says:

    Your post regarding the Seaside theater not viewing the Wimbledon finals reminded me of the old adage that goes something like this: you can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time…

  10. augustus f. melchion says:

    Sir John,

    Judy and I are on the Valor 9/1/12. it’s our 30th wedding annivesary. in my 83 ccl cruises i’ve tried to get on the marriage show but sadly i never was. i was hoping, with your help, we may have a better chance.

    we are proud to be diamond level,
    Gus and Judy

  11. Kathy Anderson says:

    How do you know what cruise director is on which ship? We are sailing on the Valor in September!!’ we LOVE Carinal this will be our 8 th cruise!!

  12. Elaine Brovero says:

    Some random comments on today’s blog, John. I say Hooray to anyone who defends you on Cruise Critic, some of those posters are just nasty people and they should be the ones who are banned. To the person who judges you not by the job you do (brilliant, by the way) but by how you look and what your personal habits are…I say, oh poop to you, sir, get a life! As far as ordering from a menu, I have the opposite problem, everything looks delicious and I can’t decide which I would like best..
    Oh well, carry on John, love the blog..looking forward to crusises 16 and 17 on Freedom, in November, yes, hubby and I are addicted to back to backs. Hope you get rid of your cold soon, feel better.

  13. Steve Piette says:

    I must join Sherry and register my complaint regarding the FCC no longer being applicable to an already booked cruise. I was told by the person I bought my FCC from that Carnival did not enforce that rule, and I have previously used my FCC on an already booked cruise. Very disappointed. Carnival should have some form of grace period for those of us who were told by Carnival employees that the FCC could be used on an already booked cruise.

    • bill becker says:

      The FCC never could be used on already booked cruises, so there is not a (no longer). The FCC states on it the it can only be used on new bookings. Just thank them for letting you get away with it once.

      • Rick Williamson says:

        Bill is right. I’m looking at mine right now. And it says. WHEN YOU ARE READY TO BOOK! That’s the whole idea Carnival had behind this. To get more people like us thinking ahead (like we don’t already) and planing for a future cruise. NOT like one that is booked like our in Sept. of this year to New England- Canada.

      • Steve Piette says:

        I am aware of what it says on the FCC. I specifically asked the Carnival rep I purchased the FCC from and was told Carnival did not enforce the rule. I am simply asking Carnival to honor information supplied to me by one of their reps.

  14. Glenn Hughes says:

    OMG how can someone be so rude – the comment from Joe Shelvey is just totally RUDE! Your mother should have taught you much better manners that this. John, your comments were way more than kind – Carnival made a wise choice when you were selected or appointed at Senior Cruise Director…. this does not mean that you have to be subject to such rudeness. My Goodness!!!

  15. Jess Bumpus says:

    Hello John,

    When you started discussing the VIP program I was interested.
    When instruct5ions were give to get to it and they worked including giving my past cruise nights I was happy.

    Now I am totally and completely pissed at Carnival.

    I went back last night trying to access my account and every move I have made since then has led me into a wall.
    1. Suddenly my password does not work..I never changed it.
    2. I request a password and it takes your system move 24 hours to generate the email.
    3. I get in and find that my past cruise credits have disappeared.
    4. I attempt to use the “contact us” screen to report this only to find that keying into the name area makes it jump to a search screen.

    Please point me to the “beard” who does IT I would like to try giving a Brazilian wax…LOL

  16. Rich Brenner says:

    Hi Johni think you can pretty much satisfy all the people on lido by simply showing the Olympics or any other big sporting event on the big screen and simply cut the sound. That way guests can still enjoy live music and watch the events. For the most part any sporting event can easily be watched and enjoyed without the audio. It would certainly be far better than the spinning CCL logo we are often forced to look at

    • Lindsey says:

      I totally agree! We’re going to be on board during the Olympics and I really want to watch them (but not from the casino or a conference room). I’m looking forward to cheering on my country while others cheer on theirs. I think it will be great to have it going at the Seaside Theatre (sans audio).

  17. Luis R says:

    I sailed with Skip Lyons on Carnival Destiny in 2006 and although he is not nearly as funny as you John, this guy did a very good job and somehow.. I am still wondering… he managed to be everywhere at any time of day or night. No matter the activity, there he was hosting it. Did he have many clones around the ship???

  18. Marsha Breen says:

    Joe Shelvey – who made you God???? Did you parents really bring you up to think it is okay to say things like this to another human being? Once again, people like you don’t bother to pay attention to the fact that this blog is John’s PERSONAL blog and he can say and do anything he wants. No one is forcing you to read it. He is a cruise director, not the Pope, so criticizing him for smoking cigars occasionally is ridiculous. It’s not like he runs up and down the passenger cabin corridors puffing away and blowing smoke towards cabin doors. Geez….get a life.

    • Lettienets says:

      I too think it is terrible what Joe Shelvey said about you. I am amazed that you even printed his letter on your blog. Congratulations for doing that. Because you showed you are brave and your character is strong and good.

  19. Joleen says:

    First Off…John, Keep up the BRILLANT work…MOST of us LOVE YOU and Your Blog…And as far as Joe “I am perfect and better than every one else” Shelvey I say…BITE US and if you don’t like it or John quit reading…geez…and John you should be highly commended on your graciousness for those who clearly don’t deserve it. BRAVO to you John 🙂

  20. Karen P. says:

    Hi John! Never commenting or writing to you before, I felt compelled to comment on what people are writing to you regarding your size and smoking habits.
    I am a smoker and my hubby enjoys a good cigar every so often. To hell with those who are too engrosed with what the masses dictate as “right” or “wrong”!
    In addition, I see you as a handsome man with more to love and I’m sure your family feels the same way! Piss on those who think being toothpick thin is sexy! Life is too short to work out six hours a day and say “no” to dessert (or a few cocktails)! I’m not a toothpick by any standards, nor am I obese, but fall into the “volupuous” catergory and I am happy! Hope you are too.
    Sailing on the Breeze 3/2/2013 and hope you are the CD as I would love to shake your hand.

  21. Elizabeth says:

    John, you keep talking about being fat. You may have been but from recent pictures, I don’t think you are now.

  22. SueM says:

    Hello, my name is Sue and I am a CC member.

    I love the information I get there and enjoy the spiteful comments (confession) and the nastiness when we talk about formal nights. I have not, however, EVER seen bad comments about you, John, on there. Not sure what that says about my membership or participation, but I go there and get my questions answered and read reviews (funny when there are two opposing reviews for the same cruise). So – not all bad…

  23. Denise R. says:

    Why do people feel they have to comment on John’s weight? The weight of the cruise director has no bearing on whether or not enjoy my cruise. Whether he or she is funny/outgoing and in tune with the ship and its guests is all that matters. John meets those requirements. Hats off to Carnival for not requiring him to be a string bean to be the cruise director. If weight were a factor, a large percentage of us cruisers wouldn’t be allowed on the ship.

    As for the smoking, as he said it’s a lifestyle choice. Hopefully one he’ll keep in check so he can enjoy life with his family once he decides to spend life on land instead of the sea.

    Thanks John for writing a great blog, being the person who you are, and putting up with the crap that you do.

  24. Scott Lara says:

    John, Love ya brother, but you were recently quoted as saying that some Carnival passengers DON’T sail for the perks. Wrong sir! When people invest thousands of dollars over several years to sail a brand they like (for me it’s Holland America, but I have sailed on the Fascination many times from my home here in Jacksonville, Florida) and they EXPECT and deserve the perks. For me, free laundry is a true perk which brings me back to Holland America. When the loyalty programs change on a whim, you see how important loyalty programs are to people. Follow me on Twitter @scottlara1961 and you can check out my videos under slara1961 on YouTube. Scott Lara, Jacksonville, Florida

    • Tx Lady Di says:

      You, honest to God, sail for the PERKS?? I think most of us sail for the fun, relaxation, enjoyment, time away from work, but fur the PERKS – NO!

      Perks are just added extras, that the company gives us, not something we deserve, or should expect. They are extras – over and above what we paid for. In my opinion, you should QUITYURBITCHIN! And relax. . .

  25. richstowe says:

    Hey Alan(the Sponge) S,
    Sorry you have been banned from CC. You were a good balance to the J H and Carnival haters there.
    You, along with Host Mach, are missed. Didn’t always agree with you but felt your heart was always in the right place.

  26. judy jean smith says:

    The new VIP program….I was excited to hit my 25th cruise in Jan ’13, but it looks like I have a long way to go…(153 sea days so far). I have cruised booked for Dec ’12 on the Triumph, Jan ’13 – Elation and Nov ’13 on the new Sunshine…will I be “grandfathered”???? or just keep on cruisin

  27. Kevin Mullins says:

    I am a platinum club member and my siblings and myself are taking my mother on the Pride on her August 5th sailing for her 75th birthday. My mother is not staying in our room but I would like her to share in the VIP boarding process with me to give her a great experience, is there anything you can do for us?


    Kevin Mullins

  28. Jennifer Mashke says:

    Hi John-
    I hope you’re having a wonderful week. Ive been on two cruises with carnival and I’m booking on the breeze for this upcoming March. As those who cruise know, pictures purchased upon the ship can get quite expensive. Would you pass a suggestion on for me? I think it would be a great idea if we were able to purchase a memory card with the pictures taken upon the ship that we like, instead of having to purchase each picture separately.
    Thanks for the great laughs on your blog!

  29. Tanya Wells says:

    Hello John,
    As I am doing my late “spring” cleaning, I ran across a couple issues of Carnival’s Currents magazine. I loved receiving them, and was wondering when, and why(beside the normal “financial cut backs” answer) did Carnival stop sending them?
    I figured, you, the man with all the answers, would be able to answer my question.
    Thanks John.


  30. Johnathan says:

    Matt is still just an acting cruise director?! What are you guys waiting for?!

    I’ve cruised with Carnival 6 times and an un-named competitor twice and Matt was BY FAR the most memorable and all around FUN cruise director we’ve had! Sorry for yelling, we did that a lot with him! Haha

    Matt is the only CD I’ve had the pleasure of cruising twice with, and I’ll tell you he was definitely part of the reason we chose our last cruise, we knew we’d be in good hands.

    So Carnival: what are ya waiting for?! Promote this guy before you lose him! 🙂

  31. Former Carnival Fan says:

    What a great blog…well, almost. It is nice to see you talking about cruise experiences, handling tacky questions in a humorous way only you can, and cutting the vulgar language. Then I come to this…”My head feels like the cast of the John Heald Blocked Me Facebook page are having a party in there and H82SEAUGO has joined them.” Are you going to keep up the crap about that facebook page, which are a group of true fans forever? You won’t see any of them stumbling over each other asking for freebies like the “minions” do. Don’t know much for H82SEAUGO, but he is a Carnival customer as well. I know my opinions have changed toward Carnival to the point they are no longer my first choice because of your constant bitching about CCS and the other page…it just amazes me the baloney you dish out on your paying customers. Your blog and page or not, you are the face of Carnival. And you don’t need to tell me 27000+ people on your page (which includes me) may have a different opinion than I do…I would it would be better to wonder how many of the 300 million+ people in this country may agree with it! Thanks for listening.

  32. GAIL DAVES says:

    thanks for the PICTURES OF WEE JIMMY

    In my 12 cruises WEE Jimmy was the very best,so glad to know he got married. Please let him know how much he is enjoyed on a crusie. Would just love to cruise with Him Again. SO GO WEE JIMMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  33. Thanks for sharing this great post!

  34. kathy says:

    dear john, at least I am in good company, I got kicked off trip advisor. I am loyal carnival cruiser. my friend started going on carnival when it first started in the 70s,. I love carnival, but I have a terrible experience at a well known bar and restaurant and reported it on trip advisor and then people on the site said I was lying I must be an op. yes I am a senior I did not hide it so I an not sure why they called me a old person. I know this place is a stop for senior citizens and carnival and did not want the same thing to happen to others. no swearing, no fighting, just loud. in the past I have read your post in the past. I thought I was being helpful, what do you think went wrong. I was not lying and it was the truth.

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