September 7, 2012 -

John Heald

So here I am back in the cruise director chair again which up until this morning was brilliantly occupied by Butch Begovitch who will return to be the permanent CD here after the crossing. He has left the ship in good order and really has left me with no major headaches…… except one. You see we have a new staff member who is going to require some “counseling,” as tofu eaters would call it.

I can’t be nice here — there is no other way of describing this so I will simply say…..he smells. He smells like a dead skunk buried under a pile of yak crap. When this chap removes his jacket Lido deck, even the French guests, gag and put face masks on. Butch didn’t say anything and so I have to be the bad guy and, as anyone of you reading this will know, this is not an easy subject to talk about with anyone. I asked my assistant Calvyn about this and he suggested buying him a huge can of deodorant and leaving it and a note in his cabin that says something like “You are doing a great job but please spray some deodorant on and, for the love of God, have a relationship with your shower”……signed Anon!

Right. So rather than being honest and sensitive and taking this 20-something staff member aside for a discreet word about his hygiene problems and that his cabin mate has requested a hazmat suit or a cabin change, should I be a coward and drop off some armpit perfume in their cabin and run like hell to make sure I am not seen doing it? Ummmmm, well, yes, I actually considered it. Now some of you may be shaking your head and saying “No, John. That’s not good advice, you must tell him in person.” Bugger. But you’re right, of course, although I know that this chap will never thank me for telling him he smells like LeBron James’ thong. Seriously, I think he would hate me less if I told him he was fired.

But I sit here, in the same pair of underpants I have been wearing for three days, thanks to bastard airlines losing my luggage, I know my underpants don’t smell nice. I know that you could grow potatoes in the crotch but I also know that later on today in Barcelona, my suitcase which was found yesterday and will be arriving shortly and so these will be washed and I will have a clean pair on. But I also know that if it became an issue and others around me both guests and crew couldn’t stand to be near me because I stank then yes, of course, I would want to know. So this afternoon after sailing, I have a meeting with him and will be all warm and cuddly and nice and gently tell him that some have noticed an unpleasant aroma and that he smells like a turd sandwich.

Time for today’s Q&A but before I start, I need to mention something. Yesterday on Facebook I asked if people would be OK with me at some point stopping the Q&A portion of the blog and it seems the majority did agree. I thought about this a lot and did so for a few reasons I won’t bore you with here. The main one though is the time constraints and the fact that I am answering anywhere from 50 to 100 each day on Facebook as well. Now I was reminded by my colleagues in Miami that two other considerations should be looked at before doing this. The first is that not everyone is on Facebook and so the blog is their only way to ask a question and, secondly, that the Q&A section is very popular indeed and has been a stalwart of the blog since I started it back in 1876. Anyway, I am going to make a decision this week and will let you know but for now, here is today’s Q&A………….off we go.

Mary Wilson asked:
Hi John: This will be the first cruise with Carnival for my hubby and me. It’s also our 10th wedding anniversary. We are sailing on the Carnival Victory 10/14/12. We are both excited about getting away, celebrating and seeing the islands. I have been reading reviews regarding the Carnival Victory and I cannot find any positive posts. Can you please help? Thanks and have a great day 😉 Mary Wilson

John says:
Hello Mary Wilson
It is strange how some ships get more reviews than others and one ship that I don’t see much about here or on Facebook is the Carnival Victory and honestly I have no idea why. I can tell you that on the current rankings of the fleet, she is at number 7 and I the reviews that I have seen have been positive. Regardless, I want you to remember something and that is that reviews are based on personal opinion and if you simply walk up the gangway ready to relax and have fun then trust me, you will indeed relax and have fun. So get ready for a great cruise and I promise the staff and crew will be ready to serve and entertain you. If there is anything I can do for you please let me know. Best wishes.

Lee Tang asked:
I was told to contact you Mr. Heald after discussion with my travel agent as my family will be cruising again with Carnival Cruise Lines for the third time and I would like you to offer them something very special. My son has been accepted into the world’s most prestigious school of music, The Juilliard School, in New York City. Brett is a virtuoso violin player and during the cruise we will need him to keep up his practicing regime so I will need you to find him a room in which to complete this task daily for a period of two hours per day. Then I think our fellow passengers would appreciate his music and so can you invite him onto the stage and then have him play? I realize you don’t have a professional orchestra on the ship but if the piano player could accompany him in his performance, that would be most welcome. I hope to hear from you in the positive and I am sure that as entertainment director of the ship, you will have no regrets as Brett will be a very big highlight for the passengers! Our cruise details are:
Carnival Breeze
Booking Reference ******
Cruise Date: 9/19/2012

John says:
Hello Lee Tang
I had to ask Uncle Google about The Juilliard School because, I have to admit, I was not familiar with it and after reading the web site I see how proud you must be of your son to have been accepted there. I will be here as cruise director when you cruise and I will be happy to organize a place for your son to practice and will be in contact with you after we sail from Barcelona. We do have a talent show and I would be happy to have Brett play a short piece as we have to, of course, leave time for other guests to perform. I am sure he will thrill the audience and accompanied by our seven-piece group of professional musicians, will definitely be something your fellow guests will enjoy. So I will see you all soon and I wish you the most wonderful cruise. Best wishes.

Cynthia G asked:
Hello John,
We will be sailing with you on the Carnival Breeze in October and have a quick question. I’ve heard there is an ATM on the Carnival Breeze that dispenses Euros. True? And if so, does Carnival add any additional charges? See you soon, but not soon enough. I also promise to make my husband leave his bagpipes at home.

John says:
Hello Cynthia G
It’s a musical Q&A today. First we had violins and now bagpipes which I hope he does bring as I love a good tune on the old pipes. Yes, we do have one machine outside of the shops on deck 5 that gives Euros and there is a charge of $6 for this. The better rate, I must admit, will be found when you pre-buy them at home. I will see you soon and wish you both a brilliant time. Best wishes.


Ethel Feagins asked:
Hi John I was a guest on the Carnival Destiny. Had a great time but my room accommodations was terrible they had me sleeping on a cot. Every day on the ship I begged for help with this problem and did not get it. I think because I paid as much as everyone in my group did and no one else had to sleep on a cot and deserve some kind of compensation for my discomfort. Had I known I was going to be sleeping on a cot, I would have stayed home. I was on a cruise not a camping trip. John, can you help me at all?

John says:
Hello Ethel Feagins
I was very surprised to read this and wonder how this could have happened. I am sure there is an explanation for this and I will also investigate this today and see what can be done and ask a colleague to contact you. My apologies and I am very glad though that, this aside, you had fun. Best wishes.

Kristin Jackson asked:
We just returned from a fabulous seven-day cruise on the Carnival Legend with the best cruise director EVER (James Dunn). We were selected for the Love & Marriage game show and from there forged a great relationship with James. We did a shore excursion with him and one of the dancers in Grand Cayman and we also went to the beach with them. They chose us to be a part of the Legends show on the last night of the cruise. James sent a gift to our cabin and even arranged VIP disembarkation for us. We’d like to send him a few photos of our time together. I can’t find James on Facebook and was wondering if there was a email I could contact him at? Thanks, Carnival, for such a great vacation!

John says:
Hello Kristen Jackson or, Hiyaaaaaaaaa, as James would say.
Thanks so much for this wonderful post and I have sent James this so that he can contact you accordingly. He is one of our best and I am thrilled to see how much you enjoyed him. Thanks again and I hope we see you all again soon. Best wishes.

Lisa Dekle asked:
I just want to commend the person I dealt with while calling the 800 number. I wish I had written down her name. She was very pleasant and helpful. I had a problem with my log-in on and she took care of it quickly and professionally. Love your blog and would love to sail on a cruise where you are the CD at some point. I’m sailing on the Carnival Ecstasy on Sept. 29 for a “ladies only” cruise with my friends. Who will be our CD? Also, will the shows be the same as they were on the Imagination when I sailed this past May? Thanks!

John says:
Hello Lisa
Thanks for this great post and I will pass your thanks on to our shoreside supervisor. The CD will be the wonderful Brent who is going to lead you through the new shows and events that are happening on board. It’s going to be a great cruise and I hope you have the best of times. Please let me know if you need anything and have loads of fun and enjoy the new shows of which I hope you saw I wrote about on Facebook yesterday. Thanks for the kind words. Best wishes.

Carlos Carrizal asked:
Hey, John, just wanted to ask a favor, we had our first cruise with you on the Carnival Conquest, my partner and I. You got us hooked and had a great time an feel lucky to have you as CD.We booked another cruise right after getting off and as luck would have it, my partner had a heart attack on New Year’s Eve and was in there for three months with by-pass. He was not able to go on that trip as he was too weak I felt bad leaving him but the trip was paid for, were going on our third on September 16, 2012, and it will mark our 14 years together. Just want to make this very special for him and see if there was a special something you could send for him from you. He’s a big fan – you sent a bottle of wine the first time to our room and that’s all he talked about. We look forwarded to sailing with you again soon and keep up the great work…his name is Sid…
Thank you in advance Carlos.

John says:
Hello Carlos Carrizal
I was so sorry to read about your partner and I hope he continues to have health and happiness. I wish I could be with you and wish you both the very best of times and, of course, will send you a little something to wish you bon voyage. Best wishes.

Martin Stansfield asked:
Dislike your blog today, John, as your comment about vegetarians was both unprofessional and immature. I will not state the obvious because I am not as crass as you are. I will say though that the fact that Carnival does not serve veggie burgers at Guy’s Burger Joint on the Carnival Liberty is a slap in the face to us healthy eaters and you should not dare chastise me or the millions of vegetarians who follow a healthy life style.

John says:
Hello Martin Stansfield
As I am a month behind on my questions here. I am not sure exactly what I said that offended you but I do apologise for doing so. I realise that if I were a vegetarian, I would indeed not have a beach ball stomach but I am afraid I live a lifestyle based on the fact that I believe it is the right of every animal to end up on my dinner plate surrounded by roasted potatoes. However, I respect your choice not to follow the same mantra. Although we do not offer a veggie burger option, there are though of course many alternatives for the vegetablists guests and those include a brilliant veggie burrito right next door at the BlueIguana Cantina and, as I said, many other choices. So please forgive me again and if there is anything you would like to add or ask of me please let me know. Best wishes.

Andrea De Rossi asked:
I recently cruised on the Carnival Imagination and had a blast. I do have one complaint and that was that our cabin cleaner woke us up one morning even though we had the do not disturb sign hanging on the door!!!!!!!!! Me and my friend had been partying all night and didn’t get to bed until 5am and at noon, he banged on the door and demanded to be let in. We refused and were so mad, we took off his tip because he also did not clean the cabin well, as well. He should be told what do not disturb means!!!!!!!!!!!

John says:
Hello Andrea De Rossi
I am very sorry to read this and I also have to say I am surprised as well because normally if the “snoozing” sign is out it is respected and guests are not disturbed. The only exception to this rule is if the guest has the sign out for a long period of time in which case we will make sure all is well inside the cabin and check on our guest’s safety and comfort. So I have to ask, was there a chance that you had the sign out for an extended period of time and therefore the cabin steward knocked to make sure you were both OK? I have sent this to the ship so they can check and see what happened. Thanks for letting me know and I am glad you had fun. Best wishes.

David Cribben asked:
Graffiti in elevators on Carnival Legend. I have read several reviews about this problem. Can you direct the correct personnel to fix this? Seems like an easy fix. Thanks, David.

John says:
Hello David Cribben
I asked the management on board about this and here is the hotel director’s reply:

I am not sure where he read this but there’s nothing to this.

Best wishes.

Cindy Kearney asked:
We are cruising on the Carnival Victory out of San Juan on 9/23 this year. The ship doesn’t leave port until 10pm. Our flight arrives at 11am. Is it possible to drop bags and go exploring before checking in. Or check in and then go exploring in the port? My husband and I are platinum members and have never had a bad experience with Carnival. We love you guys!

John says:
Hello Cindy Kearney
Yes, indeed, you can and I hope you do as Old San Juan is beautiful so check yourselves in and explore away. Thanks for your amazing loyalty and for those very kind words and I wish you the most wonderful cruise. Best wishes.

And that’s all for today. Thanks to everyone for their comments and questions. So here I am in the chair again and let’s see who is sailing with us and, wow, what a difference to my last cruise here when we had 4,600 guests and 1,400 under 21.


Amazing, 79 kids! We still have lots of the UK guests here and this cruise we also have a UK film shoot as we will for the first ever time be broadcasting TV commercials for Carnival on UK television which I think is brilliant and about bloody time. I will, I am sure, be writing more about this in the weeks ahead. Let’s see where we are going:

Fri, Sep, 07 Barcelona 5am-5pm
Sat, Sep, 08 Marseilles 7am-4pm
Sun, Sep, 09 Livorno 7am-7pm
Mon, Sep, 10 Rome 7am-8pm
Tue, Sep, 11 Salerno 8am-7pm
Wed, Sep, 12 At Sea
Thu, Sep, 13 Dubrovnik 7am-4pm
Fri, Sep, 14 Venice 10am-11pm
Sat, Sep, 15 At Sea
Sun, Sep, 16 Messina 10am-7pm
Mon, Sep, 17 At Sea
Tue, Sep, 18 Mallorca 8am-6pm

Wish you were here.

Let’s go Down Under to Australia where the people go to work in shorts and that’s a good enough reason to be jealous of them. Also, they have stoves in their kitchens but choose to cook their prawns in the garden. And the only invention to have come out of Australia, ever, is the rotary washing line. However, these blokes and sheilas all love cruising and are very excited, it seems, about the impending arrival of the Carnival Spirit.

Now we have changed some things around a bit to accommodate Australian guests and I thought I would share some of those things with you and the “Aussification” of the bonza Carnival Spirit. The process included the following items:

1. Adding Fat Jimmy’s Seaside BBQ to include Angus Beef Sausages, among other choices ……….no shrimp on the Barbie, though……mmmmmm?
2. Switching up menu items to reflect local tastes – lamb, more Indian and Asian dishes, meat pies, etc. Examples include:
•Australian Lamb Roast served with Barossa Valley Cabernet and Chocolate Sauce
•Fresh from Sydney’s Fish Market Grilled Barramundi Fillet
•Soy and Ginger Marinated, Broiled Salmon Fillet
•Spice Wrapped, Grilled 200 grams Rumpsteak from Grain Fed Beef
•Pan-Seared Chicken Schnitzel served with Fries, and Tomato Sauce
•Cantonese Sweet and Sour Prawns

Let’s have a look at one of the dinner menus:

And there will be changes on Lido which includes the brilliantly named “Pies and Snag Shop,” offering:
• Aussie Steak and Kidney Pie
• Tasmanian Chicken Pie
• Chicken Curry Pie
• Sausage Rolls
• BBQ Lamb and Feta Sausage
• Beerstick In A Bun……………..and I have no idea what that is!

3. Adding Aussie beer with a total of 16 draught beer taps around the ship.
4. Coffee. New machines and fully trained baristas. You see Aussie coffee is based on espresso, not drip coffee. And coffee “their style” is central to the Australian lifestyle so we have made sure we have it just the way they like it and will include:
• Short Black: a single shot of espresso.
• Long Black: Espresso with water (1/3 espresso 2/3 water)
• Flat White: This is a popular drink in Australia and New Zealand. An espresso with steamed milk (about 1/3 espresso, 2/3 milk). The closest approximation in North America would be a no foam latte.
5. Dollars and cents: The ship will have all charges in Australian Dollars and the ATMs will distribute Australian dollars, of course.
6. There will be an Australian cruise director in Mr. Stuart Dunn.
7. Some of the Carnival Legends characters have been changed to include Kylie Minogue and Jimmy Barnes.
8. The ship will feature headlining Australian variety acts and the Punchliner Comedy Club will feature some Australian comedians.
9. TV stations will include Fox 8, Fox Sports, CNN International and Sky News Australia.
10. Smoking: We have made some modifications to the smoking policy on board Carnival Spirit sailing from Australia. There will be no smoking in the casino or the staterooms (including balconies). This is in accordance with the Australian marketplace.

And don’t forget we added the amazing Green Thunder slide and a stunning Serenity deck recently so the ship is ready and from what I have been reading, Australia is ready to welcome her to one of the most beautiful and spectacular countries in the world and I have a feeling that once on board, the Aussies will take fun to a whole new level. There has been a delay in some of the excursions being available online and I have received a few comments about this. I am so sorry that there has been this delay and I promise this is being looked at by the most senior beards and I will have news soon on what is happening.

One excursion we won’t have is swimming with sharks. I know some folks like to do this here in the Caribbean but that’s with sharks who love to be tickled. In Australia, of course, they have huge buggers. I am talking about great white sharks which are always called “magnificent” by people who wear sandals. I bet anyone who has been attacked by a shark didn’t think as those teeth sank into their leg that the shark was so magnificent. It’s the same story with the mosquito. But because it’s never been the subject of a soppy program on National Geographic, even the biggest protector of all God’s living things is at liberty to run around his bedroom at night with a rolled-up newspaper and a can of bug zap, shouting, “I’ll get you, you little bastard.”

A great white is no different. It’s a dangerous, ugly, killing machine that takes a chunk out of you and lets you bleed to death before its very eyes. It’s a 29-foot-long wanker, an underwater monster with razor sharp teeth, and it should be treated as such. We should therefore turn the tables round. Instead of letting the damn things cruise around eating us, we should start eating them. I’m kidding of course. We should start on something else that would change the world for the better….……and we’re starting with the French followed by baggage handlers!


Your friend,

John Heald

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. Beth says:

    Please do not quit answering questions on your blog. We do not have facebook. Thanks Beth

    • Kevin says:

      Ditto. No reason to read the blog otherwise and no way to learn more about what Carnival will and will not do. The last is equally important to the first as that is what set’s the right expectations. Correct expectations equals happy customers 🙂

  2. Donna Wilhelm says:

    John, I wanted to address the problem that you have with one crew member and the body odor that emits from him. This may not be an issue of not enough deodorant, showers or lack of hygiene on his/her part. It very well good be a medical problem that he/she has. You need to sit down with him and ask if he/she has had a full medical work up and had notice that their is a problem.

    Be Kind…..

    PS The consultation charge will be a ship on the stick, payable on demand. 😉

  3. Anne Seitz says:

    Welcome back, John. Hope your not overdoing it with all that typing.

  4. Mara says:

    John, please help. Several months ago I sent you a message but I did not get a response. What is the best way to correspond with you?

  5. Michelle Butzer says:

    oh john, i should have known better than to read your blog while drinking a margarita. its all over the screen and keyboard of my laptop. but it is proof positive that you have written another brilliant blog and made me laugh out loud. thanks so much for taking the time to write these blogs. you are a wonderful writer and your blogs always brighten my day.

    thanks again


  6. Sherri Buchanan says:

    John, I love your humor and your blogging!! Your a hoot. I will be sailing on the Ecstasy Sept 20, to the Bahama’s. My first cruise, my sisters 2nd. Her and I along with our friends are leaving the husbands at home while we enjoy the sun and fun. Will the all inclusive alcohol card be available then? When I read that it is being tested, I was hoping it will be available when we sail this month. Keep up the good work with your humor… love it!

  7. Jo Myery says:

    Hi John, I understand your stinky co-worker problem. Years ago I worked with some one like that. Nice girl. Looked clean. But stinked of BO. The smell was in her clothes. I bet your friend has the same problem.

  8. Amy Salvage says:

    Hi John, in relation to Mary Wilson’s post about their first trip cruising on the Carnival Victory. My husband & I went on our very first cruise on the Magic this past February. And YOU were our CD 🙂 Loved you then and love you now! I was in awe of eveything about that great ship. Now we are sailing on the Triumph, October 22,2012 and I am wondering will the Triumph be as spectacular as the Majic? I’m thinking that the Majic kinda spoiled me so I’m a little leary of trying another ship and not sure what to expect on the Triumph. Any comments on this to soothe my nerves? Thanks, Amy Salvage. p.s. Thanks for being such a wonderful CD!

  9. Jodi Saracino says:

    Thank you John for making my recovery from a thumb tendon repair and subsequent fall down the staircase where I am now assigned to a chair enjoyable. (Yes, I am clumsy – It’s ok you can say it.) Looking forward to sailing on the Inspiration in December.

  10. Dennis Perkins says:

    We are going to be on the Spirit for the cruise “down under” and hope they have already changed the coffee on Lido..WE have lots of Aussies on board and they appear to be a fun loving group..Would like to try some of the new menu items also..See yah on the Bloggers Cruise..

  11. Andy Gord says:

    John, it sounds like your colleagues have already mentioned to you what I have to say about not answering questions on the blog. I am not on Facebook, nor will I be anytime in the near future until I become convinced my privacy will not be compromised there. And, I do love reading the questions here and your always-brilliant responses. Of course it is your decision to make but please do consider this will be a big disappointment to at least one blog reader should you decide you will no longer answer questions here.

  12. Yvette says:

    Glad to see that you’re back John. We recently cruised the Carnival Liberty and had a complete blast. Truth be told, there is NOTHING that I can complain about. Our room steward, Enrique, was the best. We loved Karl with a K. It’s truly unfair to just pick person because everyone, in my opinion, did a great job. We had so much fun that we put a deposit down on another cruise (while on board) for next year.
    By the way, I just wanted to comment on the Julliard parent. While I think that it’s awesome that their child was accepted into such a prestigious music school, their letter seems VERY similar to the letter that the parent of the spelling bee had posted not too long ago. Just saying….

  13. Diane Hodges says:

    We can hardly wait to be with you on the Oct 25 and Nov 6 Carnival Breeze sailings. Is there anywhere on our Carnival profile that we can choose dining table options? We enjoy having dinner with other guests and treasure the friends we have made on previous cruises. It would be great if we could specify “main floor, round table seating 6 to 8” on our profile. I understand that every requests cannot be met. See you soon.

    • Rick Williamson says:

      They can’t do this because everyone would like a window table or whatever. So do like us enjoy the luck of the draw. And also enjoy the new people you meet at your table.

  14. Martin Stansfield,

    Veggie burger is an oxymoron. Why would you want to have your veggies smashed into something that looks like a burger and even made to taste like one. You want meat eat meat if not go to the salad bar and enjoy veggies as they are ment to be eaten.

  15. DMI says:

    I do so enjoy your blog is it not only a day brightner but also contains relevant information. I do feel people can feel free to ask questions without being attacked for their questions or comments. Many choose not to subscribe to facebook for various reasons. Your facebook page seems to have been taken over by a certain group and it’s almost that you don’t own it anymore. I will not post there as any comment I have made has been ridiculed or responded to by a smart remark. I think the questions are overwhelming for you to answer. Just too many of them. Please take care of yourself and spend more time enjoying your CD duties which you excell at. Have always been satisfied with our Carnival experiences I would like to give a special thank you to your tech department which I had to call as I couldn’t access my cruise docs to fill out the fun pass. A wonderful man, David, answered and very quickly solved the problem in such a kind and courteous manner. Thank you.

  16. Joyce Loomis says:

    this is for Mary Wilson who wrote she couldn’t find any positive remarks about the Victory…John..we sailed on the Victory and absolutely loved her!!!!! We are fonder of the smaller ships and we found her to be one or at least she felt like one. Had a fabulous crew although I’m sure it has changed by now as our cruise was in 2004. Good luck Mary and enjoy your cruise…it’s always the thrill of something new anyway!!!

  17. MARY says:


    I hope these changes you have posted about the Spirit will occur once the cruises start from Australia.

    We are on the transpacific from Hawaii to Australia and hope that the onboard charges will still be in USD. Can you clarify or confirm?

    Thank you,

  18. Lynn in VA says:

    John, some people don’t do Facebook so please don’t stop answering real questions on your blog (you can skip the ones where people demand/ask for free stuff-I don’t imagine many people are interested in those).
    We always buy the embarkation photos (we’ll be taking our 20th Carnival cruise in November).

    • jgeraci says:

      I also do not do Facebook. There’s too much nonsense to read through. So please continue the Q&A here on your blog. Answer questions that are helpful to your readers. Cut out the others!

    • Joleen says:

      I agree with Lynn from VA…it’s not necessary to post ALL your questions/comments on here…like the ones “demanding” something, or comments about your weight, etc….Loved the blog today another LAUGH OUT LOUD day 🙂
      ps…why would someone who doesn’t eat meat even think about going to a place with the word “burger” in it? hmmmm

  19. Phil Hale says:

    Another great blog my friend, how about bringing the Aussie menu to the Caribbean in the spirit of international cooperation of course…and maybe the Brit menu too could be tested on American pallets as well?

  20. Julia says:

    I am so looking forward to the Spirit coming down to Australia. Our cruise in June 2013 will be our third, but only our first on Carnival. It will be my birthday cruise and we’ve gone all out and booked a Vista suite with the wrap around balcony. Only 272 sleeps! My husband will be glad to hear you’re changing the coffee! 🙂

  21. Teddy G says:

    Lee Tang maybe you could use a good education to learn some manners, rather than demand things, try asking sometime. I personally prefer not to hear a violin solo. Martin just because you don’t eat meat does not make your diet any healthier than a meat eater, you actually deprive your body of many nutrients meat provides.

  22. cruzin2some says:

    Dear John,
    In regards to leaving off the comments part of the blog. I think it would be ok as long as there was still a place for the readers to ask questions and have your team answer their questions with a email. I think we would miss hearing from some of the longtime members like big ed and linda mom of dj but understand that all things must change or they tend to die. So I think we could live without the comments but not the blog. We need our Johnny Sparkles fix
    The Cruzin2some

  23. Thomas Michels says:

    John some of the food for the Australian sounds wonderful I would love to see it on some of the American cruises as an option

  24. Alex Aguilar says:

    John, we are only a couple weeks away from seeing you on our cruise the 19th of this month.

    Oh yeah, and he spells his name Butch Begovich. Come on man, you should get the spelling correct, right?

  25. Richard Taylor says:

    Sounds like Oz is the place to cruise from! Real coffee from espresso and more no smoking areas! Shame it’s so far away.
    But how is the coffee in the Plaza Cafe on Breeze made? The Cappuccinos tasted good (so it should as it costs!!). Is that not based on a shot of espresso?

  26. Warner Watkins says:


    There IS graffiti on the Legend elevators– it is scratched into the metal. We sailed in May of this year.

  27. MARY H says:

    Dear John,
    Please continue to answer questions on your blog as many people do not do face book.
    It is really not necessary to reply to the people requesting freebees tables for two etc such a waste of your valuable time.

    You mention that Butch has now left the Breeze for a while..
    So happy that you will be the CD on the TA. Will Calvin also be there?
    Looking forward to seeing you both.

  28. Alyson Skodack says:


    Must say you have me laughing this morning on the blog post! Leaving a week from today on the Valor with another coupon for my first cruise with Carnival in 12 years! The itenary has a fabulous lineup and very excited to relax, eat, drink, and be at every social event. Hope our cruise director next week is as awesome as you! Also hoping there will be NO 100 yard dashes from the Señor Frogs back to the ship! 7 more days!!!

  29. JPO says:

    The Lee Tang query is EXACTLY why you need to stop the Q&A.

    • Tracy says:

      No…the Lee Tang question is exactly why the questions should be limited and special requests should not be included. Many of us do not subscribe to Facebook and only use this forum to receive information from John.

      I have seen John’s FB page and I have to agree that it sometimes gets a bit vicious. People other than John seem to try to take over and answer for him. At least here, we know the reply will be from John.

      Personally, even if I had a FB account, I would not frequent his page because it is so loaded with requests and “demands” for his help. It makes the comments and questions on the blog seem mild. Best of all are his indignant “friends” who would never ask for a favor but make sure to “remind” him when they are leaving to go on a cruise (hint, hint)!

  30. Tom says:

    I love the French–taste just like chicken….

  31. Jennifer Ward says:

    I must post a comment to Mr. Martin Stansfield. Your comment shows the closed mindedness of some vegetarians. There is nothing ANYWHERE that says a healthy diet or lifestyle must exclude meat! I am currently, haven’t always been, overweight. I have modified my diet to minimize carbs, eliminate junk and fast food, increase my exercise and veggies and make smarter food decisions and to date have lost 37 pounds. I eat least daily. Chicken, fish and lean steak RARE which is loaded with vitamins and iron. While I respect your choice of diet you are rude and ignorant to imply that being a vegetarian is the only way to eat healthy. It is not. As far as the veggy burger at Guy’s goes, that it just silly. Guy’s it what it is and that is a burger joint, not a vegetable stand! It would be the same as me demanding a burger rare at a vegetarian restaurant! Get a bit of a grip and respect the choices of others! As a side comment, John has lost a lot of weight and looks fantastic. Weight loss is a personal battle and choice. Again, show respect and manners!

  32. Jess Bumpus says:

    Hi John,
    We are taking the Carnival Splendor on the 7 day Mexican Riviera trip on Nov 4. As we live in San Diego we will be driving to Long Beach the morning of embarkation and were wondering if it is possible to park in the parking garage that morning, check our bags and spend some time at Champagne brunch over at the Queen Mary before checking in for the Splendor? Any idea of how early they will start taking bags?
    Many thanks for the advice you’re the greatest and don’t sweat the undies…:LOL

  33. Isa Cranston says:

    Good evening John,

    I had to write and let you know what a great crew we had on the Carnival Fantasy. We left August 4th for a 7 day cruise. It was our first cruise and we could not believe how perfect it was! When I got back home I told everyone who had given me a negative experience about cruising that they must have not gone on a Carnival cruise. Keep up the good work….can’t wait to go on another one.

  34. Karen L says:

    John, I am not surprised that the majority of people who responded to your question about no longer answering questions on the blog agreed with the idea – you posted the question on Facebook. Those of us without Facebook couldn’t participate in your poll!

    Please don’t stop answering questions here. The blog came first and is available to everyone with a computer. Facebook, added later, is more limited.

    And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that your carpal tunnel problems started after you began spending so much time typing on Facebook. Maybe that’s the place you should consider cutting back on.

    • Carol says:

      I’m also one of those that don’t use facebook. Please continue to reply to questions here on the blog. Thanks

  35. Jeanette says:

    John could you please give me some info about the CCL shuttle bus from the Breeze to Piazza Roma? I would like to know the beginning and ending times for the bus. We have always taken the shuttle bus to P Roma where we board the vaporetta into Venice. Even with the people mover, due to some mobility issues, it is just too far for us to walk to P. Roma from the ship.
    Thank you

  36. CrusinBob says:

    I think you should stop Q/A for questions that have in it can you get me..or my son/child/aunt/parents should get or need..limiting Q/A to info about “behind the crew door” would be way cool

  37. Pam Wagner says:

    Martin Stansfield — You talk about being a vegetarian as leading a “healthy lifestyle”. I know several vegetarians who are overweight — just because they don’t eat meat doesn’t mean they’re leading a “healthy lifestyle”. I also no several vegetarians who look like death warmed over, as if they’re not getting the nutrients they need. Just because a person is a meat eater does not mean they’re not leading a healthy lifestyle. Maybe you would be a little less judgmental if you would only have some meat!

  38. Roger Tollerud says:

    Just my 2 cents. Please don’t stop the Q and A on the Blog. It is informative, funny and some times maddening but a good part of the blog for us!
    Roger T

  39. John & Cindy says:

    @Mary Wilson,

    We have sailed on the Victory 3X so far and love it. the itinerary is the BEST! The ship is a little smaller also but that means NO LINES for lunch! We are sailing it again for a back-to-back on 10/7 and 10/14 so see ya there.

  40. I have a problem John. When you listed the name of the people from where they came from you mentioned Canadians and later French Canadians. I don’t get it. Why the different? We are all Canadians. These people must be from Quebec. I from Ontario. Why don’t you mention that when I go on my cruise as a an Ontarian Canadian or the ones from the Calgarians Canadians or those from Saskatoons Canadians. I thought we were all Canadians. I’m disappointed that you separate one province from the rest of us. By the way I’m an Italian Ontarian Canadian if you want the truth. Sounds petty doesn’t it but I want all Canadians mentioned together.

    Paul F. PIetrangelo

    • Richard Taylor says:

      This has been covered many times before!! John is really showing how many different languages CCL is gearing up for.

    • Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


      Probably because French Canadians speak French…

      and US Maritime laws require the Muster Drill and announcements to be in that foreign language if there are enough of them onboard.

    • The Cruzin2some says:

      John has mentioned on the blog before that the reason for the difference is not the location but the language. ie Canadians that only speak french.
      The Cruzin2some

  41. Darcie says:

    Please don’t stop answering questions on the blog! I’m not a facebook subscriber and would really miss this opportunity.

  42. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


    If folks want Veggie Burgers at Guys….does this mean we meat eaters can get STEAK at the Salad Bar????

    Fair is fair!!

    Linda (Mom of your friend DJ)

  43. DMI says:

    Why can’t questions be answered by Carnival reps either on their facebook or on their webpage. Your time is more valuable than to sit for hours typing a response to everyone. Much of the information on the blog is very valuable that you provide the chatter by others on facebook is insane and you answer each remark that is insane. Keep your blog and the Carnival experience.

  44. Rob Rose says:


    I do hope you keep answering questions in the blog. While you do get the annoying, self-important Lee Tang’s of the world that somehow think that we should care about what thier little cherub is able to do. Here’s a clue, as a guest on that same sailing I’m not at all interested. This type of accomplishment should be celebrated within the family and the rest of us on Breeze should be able to enjoy our vacations how we see fit. Your answers allow us a window into your world. A world most of us don’t know very much about. I think it is good to view things in this way.

  45. Mark Levine says:

    Save Facebook for telling us how many people miss sailing, and what country they are from. This is a much better forum for questions.

  46. Steve Owen says:

    You are too kind John….let the kid practice his violin in his room instead of telling you to find him a practice room on board the ship. (reference to Lee Tang’s note)

    If the parents were courteous and respective of your position then it would be a different story, until then he should pratice in his room, the bathrooms have terrific accoustics, at least my voice sounds better in there, maybe you should let me sing aboard my upcoming cruise on the Dream on 9/22….I am sure the others on board would be thrilled to hear me sing.

    As always I love to read your blog, welcome back, hope your “Carpool Tunnel” is much improved.

  47. Tibor Kovacs says:

    You guys do realise we go on cruises to get away from the Aussie way of life and we want to sample other cultures

  48. Marion Cochran says:

    Welcome back!!!!!! Hope your underpants have made their way to you or somebody may be having one of those dreaded talks with you!!! Truly, know that was a bad feeling; just can’t see you writing sans underpants!!!(

  49. John Wilds says:


    Love the Blog!

    Just wanted to address a couple of things from the Q&A section:
    1) Your answer to Mary Wilson abour going up the gangway with a positive attitude is exactly right. My family and I were on the Legend at the end of August and there were weather related issues that cropped up (re-scheduled itinerary and postponed shows among other things), but we had a blast because we had a great attitude and open mind about it all. James and the staff did a great job dealing with the situation…(my wife and I loved the “If I weren’t upon the sea” skit…)

    2) David Cribben’s comment about the graffiti are mostly accurate. It is actually stuff scratched into the metal on the elevator doors, moreso the aft ones.

  50. Linda says:

    John, love both the blog and reading your post on FB. Please keep the Q&A here. FB to me is more of the what is happening now stuff. Plus if more people read the blog like the folks just on the Spirit crossing with us from Vancouver to Hawaii then they would have known about the changes you mentioned this time and in your earlier posts of when this cruise was almost scratched for a few weeks in dry dock instead. And maybe then they would not know be on FB blasting at you why “No one told us” Yes was it slightly inconvient for one coffee station at a time to be closed for refitting, for the outlets in every cabin to be changed, for additional locks to be placed on balcony doors, for the balcony cabins to be pressure washed on one sea day, for a new tasting station to be added on deck 2 adn half teh aft Serenity Bar to be closed for adding the new beer taps. But with each Carnival gave us notice, kept the inside cabin work (locks and outlets) to days most would be off ship in time brackets of only 3-4 hours after 9 and before 5. To wash the balconys at sea (because they are required to) and again with notice and only between 10-1 or 1-4 and did it all in one day. Just be happy you get to have this transition cruise at all. I know I was.

  51. Gabyhandyman says:

    In this blog of yours, I found so many interesting themes and even if I did not yet responded to none, you to know that I read them with great interest. Success.

  52. Mick says:


    I appreciate that you wrote this well before the Spirit arrived in Australia, but you should be aware that what you wrote about the Aussification of the coffee has got quite a bit of press – but is simply untrue. I was on the second cruise out of Sydney, and the baristas all confirmed they were doing the same things they had done for months and had no special training – and well still making awful coffee (by Aussie standards).

    I don’t expect good coffee on a ship – but I do expect to be told the truth. I am very disappointed that Carnival couldn’t stick to the facts when promoting the ship down under.

  53. Bruce from Sydney says:

    I’m on he ship right now Its 11:00pm sat 23/3/13. Just one thing I don’t know why Paul Hogan ever said chuck another shrimp on the Barbie? we don’t even call them shrimp we call them Prawns?? Any way we (my wife Linda and my self are having the best time of our life aboard this Beautiful Ship. tomorrow morning we arrive at our first Port at 8:00am Noumea New Caledonia part of our 12 night New Caledonia / Vanuatu / FIJI Cruise OUR FIRST BUT NOT OUR LAST every one is so friendly staff Great LOVE IT
    Thanks so much to all at carnival Spirit

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