HALLOWEEN FRIGHT 2012

September 17, 2012 -

John Heald

Much of the news last week was dominated by a pair of royal breasts. Yep, poor Duchess Kate bared her bosoms in the garden of her and Prince William’s honeymoon villa only to discover that while she had her knockers out, a sleazy French photographer had disguised himself as a squirrel and taken photos of her nakedness. This should be no surprise as he was ….well, French, and this means I can talk about them. What can I tell you about the French? Well, there is a tunnel connecting France to Britain beneath the English Channel which has to make it easier for the French government to run away to London during future invasions. France has a large and diversified economy which is surprising because the French hardly work at all. If they are not spending four hours dawdling over lunch, they are on strike and blocking the roads with their trucks and tractors.

OK, that’s off my chest and while that was the news around the world, there was news, of course, here at Carnival with the sad goodbye to the Future Cruise Certificate. I collated all the hundreds of comments and have made sure the beards see them and we shall see what they have to say. I know how many of you appreciated them and the beards have seen that as well. The other news was the addition of the Carnival Breeze to the Awesome Drinks Program which is of course our all-inclusive drinks offering which can be found here on the Carnival Breeze as well as the Carnival Splendor and Carnival Victory. I have had so many positive comments about it, both in person from those partaking of it here on the ship and on my Facebook page as well. I have been asked countless times, “When will it be on the ship I am going on?”, and while I have no definite news on the roll-out plan, I imagine that as popular as it is, that we will see it on other ships soon.

Now with drinks in mind, I would like to switch to coffee. We have recently changed our Lido coffee brand and the way it’s filtered so I wondered how you are enjoying this and if you have noticed a change, please let me know, won’t you? However, our coffee shops remain very popular and I see many guests here and other ships with their coffee shop coffee cups in hand as they walk the ship. Now I enjoy a good cup of coffee myself although it will, for me, never replace tea because I am British and drinking tea is as British as The Queen, naked Princes and a curry. However, when I do have a coffee, I immediately shove a mint in my mouth because I hate the smell of coffee breath.

I don’t like the smell of coffee on someone’s breath and apart from body odor, garlic and vegetarian farts………coffee is the worst of the smells. If you have body odor, gas and have eaten garlic covered vegetables and you are French…….please do me and the rest of the world a favour and have a breath mint.

After the trans-Atlantic crossing here on the Carnival Breeze, I will head to the Miami office for a few days to discuss Bloggers Cruise 6, etc. At Carnival’s HQ office, Cuban coffees are all the rage and get close to someone who has had one of those and their breath could peel the skin right off your face. Have you ever tasted Cuban coffee? It’s like drinking diesel oil that has been filtered through a yak’s scrotum.

Yep, coffee breath is a huge turn off. I had one lady take a photo with me after I hosted the final HASBRO game show yesterday and she was simply stunning……I mean drop dead stunning. She was Russian, of course she was, and, wow, she had legs that went on for miles and breasts that would have a French photographer quivering in excitement.

She was wearing jeans tighter than 10 Scottish men. As she walked towards me, I thought “wow” right up until the point where she breathed on me and my “wow” turned into an “urrgh.” You may as well ask me to get aroused by H82SEAUGO playing naked pool with Prince Harry.

One of life’s mysteries is that a multibillion dollar global industry has been built off the back of something that requires a degree in quantum physics to make and stains all your cups and your teeth. We preach that addiction is evil and then fondly indulge adults on land and at sea sucking their fix through holes in plastic lids, like styrofoam crack pipes. Oh, yes……. one more thing………….for the beards that run Starbucks, can I just say that bowel movements are “regular”…..cup sizes are sodding not.

So what’s your point, John, I hear you cry? Well, my point is, should we introduce a coffee card so from ship to ship you get a deal, etc? Let me know as a senior beard asked me to ask you so please leave your comments at the end of this blog.

And now, while you sip on your coffee, I will crack on with today’s Q and A. Here we go.

Samantha Anne Cattorick asked:
John,

I want to ask about why Carnival ships have this crazy rule about not allowing toddlers in the pool with swim diapers. We were on the Magic and I was told that my 18-month-old son had to get out of the pool with me because he was in a diaper. I tried to explain that this was a swim diaper and yet he did not understand English and this was very frustrating for sure. Swim diapers are made just for swimming so why the stupid rule?

John says:
Hello Samantha Anne Cattorick,

First of all, I do hope that you and your family had a great cruise despite the concerns you have mentioned. The rule is there simply because if a child does have an accident we have to close the pool, dump the water and re fill the pool. This process can take anywhere up to four hours to complete and that’s four hours that guests cannot use the pool. I have a three-year-old daughter and I know it’s frustrating but swim diapers do not offer 100% guarantee that accidents won’t leak into the pool so we do have the rule that all kids must be potty trained before swimming. I hope that explains this and my apologies for the frustration this may have caused you.

Best wishes.

John

Maddy asked:
Hello John,

I was on the maiden voyage of the Carnival Breeze with you and I was just wondering what are the names of the dancers on the Carnival Breeze?

Kind regards,

Maddy

John says:
Hello Maddy,

The Playlist performers are: Shelly Anne, Kelsey, Aashley, Heather, Lawrence, Thomas, Shane and Larry. I hope you enjoyed their shows and that you had a great cruise.

Best wishes.

John

Andrew (krusty) mulye asked:
John,

I’m trying to find out about bringing our golf clubs on the ship. Is this possible? If so, how do we go about doing it? Any help would be great! Thanks for all you do, all the fun and great info
you provide us. Thanks again!!

-Krusty

John says:
Hello Andrew (krusty) Mulye

Great name, by the way. Yes, indeed, you can bring your clubs on board and I see many guests do this, especially in the Caribbean. They will most likely have to come on as checked luggage so make sure they have one of the tags on them stating your cabin number. That aside, there are no concerns. I wish you two wonderful cruises.

Best wishes.

John

Brett Haskins asked:
John,

Is there any chance that you can organize a meeting for gay passengers for me on my next cruise on the Carnival Splendor? This is something other lines seem to do but not on the Carnival cruises I have been on. I enjoy meeting people with the same lifestyle choices as I have. I hope you can make my request happen!

John says:
Hello Brett Haskins,

Thanks for taking the time to write and I am surprised by this somewhat because it is a company standard that all the ships have these get-togethers. They will be listed as Friends of Dorothy and usually happen around 10:00pm at one of the ship’s bars and lounges. Please look for this in the program we call the Fun Times as the Carnival Splendor does have this scheduled. I wish you a wonderful cruise.

Best wishes.

John

Jim Craig asked:

My $120 shirt was ruined by the laundry people on the Breeze. Who can I talk to about this and get my money back? I only noticed when I got home that my designer shirt had a blue stain on the back and it will not come out. This is not acceptable. I have written and called Carnival but nothing has been done. I will be forced to take measures if this is not rectified. My wife also wanted me to mention that there were too many kids on the ship and that the service in the restaurant was too slow and that there were too many breaks of service while the workers did those stupid dances. Expecting a prompt resolution.

John says:
Hello Jim Craig,

I am sorry to hear this and if you had shown us this while you were on board, then we would have been able to assist you. I have though spoken to some colleagues and they will look at your case and see if anything can be done. I have also passed on your thoughts on how we can improve to the specific departments and do hope you both had a wonderful cruise despite your concerns.

Best wishes to you both.

John

Karen Speight asked:

Just working on scrapbooks of all my four cruises and am missing the names of both the captain and cruise director of two of my cruises. Just wondering if you would be able to find this out. Liberty, Nov 1,
2008, and Miracle Oct 26, 2010. Thank you in advance 🙂

John says:
Hello Karen Speight,

Yes, indeed, happy to help. The captain on your Carnival Liberty cruise was Captain Marco Nogara and the CD was Steve Knisley. The captain on your Carnival Miracle cruise was Captain Rocco Lubrano and your CD was Malcolm Burn. Hope this helps.

Best wishes.

John

Stacy B. asked:

When will the 2014 Hawaii cruises be available for vacation preview, planning and purchase? I am also dying to know what FFS means. I have my own thoughts on that but was curious if it was the same as yours!
Thanks for the great blog, and the “are you kidding me letters” from disgruntaled passengers. A Carnival convert! ♥

John says:
Hello Stacy B,

We should have all of our 2014 cruises released for purchase by the start of January 2103 so over the next few months, please keep checking here and on carnival.com for all the news. I am embarrassed to say that my FFS has become something I use now and then that I probably shouldn’t. It simply is a shortened term for Oh, For F***s Sake which I use when I have read or seen something that deserves that response. It’ naughty, I know, but, well…..it’s me. I love reading that you are a Carnival convert and I hope this means we will see you again very soon.

Best wishes.

John

Barbara Hasskarl asked:

This is in response to your question about the crew addressing me by my first name. I’m surprised by the announcement that this was going to be a new policy. My first Carnival cruise was in 2001. I don’t ever remember NOT being recognized and called by name on any Carnival cruise. This one thing is what really impressed me right from the start. It is always nice to see a crew member even remember you by name if you happen to see them on shore or other areas of the ship.

So even if you and the beards think this is a new policy, it’s been this way for the 13 years we’ve been sailing Carnival.

The best example of this was the young woman on the Splendor (May 6 and May 12, 2012) MTD hostess that even remembered my cabin number. I had a mild stroke last year and have a terrible time with short term
memory and could never remember my cabin number (fortunately, we were corner aft – easy to find!). Every time after she realized I had to look up the number, she would look at me and say, “Barbara, cabin
6485.”

A big thanks to every crew member in your fleet.

John says:
Hello Barbara Hasskarl,

What a wonderful post, really wonderful. You are right, of course, and it’s great to be reminded that our crew has been the best at sea for many years and, indeed, still are. We will continue to train our crew this way and to make sure that personal recognition of our guests is at the forefront of what they do and this will, I am sure, lead to many more wonderful stories like the one you so kindly posted. I hope this reply finds you well and that we see you again very soon.

Best wishes.

John

Betty Ruse asked:

Hello John! Can you find out if the steakhouse offers a choice of vegetarian dises as I have been told on the cruise boards that they do not cater to vegetarians. I hope this is not true. I have been told that you are full of misinformation and that I am wasting my time in even asking you but I guess have nothing to lose.

John says:
Hello Betty Ruse,

Each of our steakhouses do offer a vegetarian main course as well as vegetarian appetizers. I always suggest that vegatablists please tell the steakhouse hostess when they book so that the chef knows ahead of time and is able to give you a wonderful vegetarian dish. I don’t know where you heard that I give misinformation, although I guess some are still referring to my glaring mistake when I said the bon voyage drink prices would not be going up and then………they did. I have apologised loads of times for this but guess some over there still like to talk about it. What is most important is that you have a great cruise and if there is anything I can do for you, please let me know.

Best wishes.

John

Kristel asked:

Kudos to Carnival for a wonderful trip. Just got off the Paradise, 8/2 to 8/6.The dining room staff, Andrew and his team, went above and beyond our expectations. Nancy, who assisted one of our guests
with a special dietary program, was always pleasant and patient with us. We were a group of 13 with little children. We can’t say enough good things about the food and service.

John says:
Hello Kristel,

Thanks so much for the great review which I have just copied and sent to the senior management on the Carnival Paradise to share with the crew. I am so glad you had fun and I hope we will see you again very soon.

Best wishes to all.

John

Charlene Cooper asked:

I have never done this before but after just finding out about the Faster to the Fun program, I am kind of upset. WE are platinum and are sailing our 14th Carnival Cruise in Nov. Not once have we
complained over anything we have/have not received. However, when people can pay $50 and get into their cabin immediately and be entitled to the extras we have earned, I think that is wrong. Eliminate Platinum and just have us all pay the $50 per cabin. We understand the cutbacks/changes but to slap loyal Carnival guests in the face is just WRONG.

John says:
Hello Charlene Cooper,

Thanks for taking the time to write. The Faster to the Fun program is currently in a test phase on two ships and we shall see what happens after the results are looked at by the beards. I do want to remind you that the guests embark the ship only after Diamond and Platinum do and that your cabin will also be ready and you will also have your luggage before anyone else gets theirs. These are additional benefits, not part of the regular VIP program. Plus it should be remembered that the program is capacity controlled and other benefits like the free gift, entrance to the VIFP party and the laundry service are not part of the FTTF program.

I thank you so much for your loyalty because it continues to be important to us and if there is anything I can do, please let me know.

Best wishes.

John

Lucas Moskowitz asked:

Me and my DW are PLATINUM VIPS with Carnival and read with disgust today about your Faster to the Fun addition that means anyone can buy the perks we have spent many thousands of dollars to get to. If you are going to do this, then give us something extra. We should not have to stand in line to get a seat at the show like ordinary passengers do and we should get the best tables in the dining hall. I am now giving consideration to going to other cruise companies because there is no point calling us VIPS if we get the same service as ordinary passengers!! Please explain.

John says:
Hello Lucas Moskowitz,

I want to start by mentioning, as I did just above to Charlene, that the Faster to the Fun program is currently in a test phase on two ships and we shall see what happens after the results are looked at by the beards. I do want to remind you that the guests embark the ship only after Diamond and Platinum do and that your cabin will also be ready and you will also have your luggage before anyone else gets theirs. These are additional benefits not part of the regular VIP program. Plus, it should be remembered that the program is capacity controlled and other benefits like the free gift, entrance to the VIFP party and the laundry service are not part of the FTTF program. I am afraid that we won’t be starting a system of priority seating at the shows, although you and any Carnival guest can always contact me here or on my Facebook page if you need assistance with a dining request.

We truly value your loyalty and I truly hope that it will continue.

Best wishes.

John

Thomas Johnson asked:

Hi John,

I’m a 20-year-old active duty soldier on deployment at the moment. I booked an ocean suite by myself for the Carnival Destiny in January using Carnival’s military policy. I’m going with a group of other
soldiers, two of whom are getting married on the ship. I wanted to know if I would be able to get on the Serenity deck on the ship. I would hate to be excluded from my group. I understand that this area
is for 21+ but wondered if there were special circumstances due to how I booked.

All the best,

Thomas

John says:
Hello Thomas,

We have a rule that says you must be 21 to use the Serenity deck but after the service you have given, after you have held a rifle to defend the freedom we all have to enjoy cruising and indeed to enjoy life…………….of course, you can go there, mate, and to say otherwise would be bloody ridiculous. Please send me your name and cabin number here on the blog one month before you sail or preferably on my Facebook page at facebook.com/johnheald two days before you sail and I will let the ship know. I wish you and your mates a wonderful time and I thank you so much for your service.

Best wishes.

John

Toni Riccio asked:
Hello John!

Can you find out for me how many calories and carbohydrates are in the Red Frog Beer? Art and I have booked back to back cruises on the Dream in October and are on a limited carb diet. We are also booked 63 days on board the Splendor going to Hawaii and South America.

Thanks!

John says:
Hello Tony,

With much thanks to Eddie A., our VP of bars, I can tell you that the 16oz ThirstyFrog Red contains 162 calories, 14.2 carbs and 5% ABV. Time for another pint, then. I wish you the most wonderful times on your two cruises.

Best wishes.

John

And that’s all for today and my thanks for all your comments and questions.

The other day, I posted a blog that contained information about the Christmas decoration schedule showing when each ship would have their Christmas trees standing tall in the lobby and the decks full of bunting and cheer. So now, then, it’s time to go make like a French tank and go backwards and talk about Halloween as I share the schedule of activities for October 31st with you.

Carnival puts a lot of effort into this with each ship celebrating (if that’s the right word) Halloween. As you will see shortly, each ship, including the Carnival Breeze, will have decorations and skulls and scary spiders and enough candy to ensure every kid who sails will have a chance to projectile vomit across the Promenade Deck. So from the Carnival Breeze to the Carnival Fantasy, here is what the ships will be planning for the 31st Of October 2012.

  • Camp Carnival Trick or Treat Hunt
  • Adult Costume Meet & Greet
  • Costume Contest
  • Halloween Dance Party
  • Specific Movies for Halloween to be shown
  • The ship will be decorated in selected lounges on board
  • The Photo Department will have a specific backdrop for the event – along with photographers capturing some of the festivities
  • Casino – Witching Hour Tournament
  • Food Activities – Pumpkin Carving Contest / Halloween Desserts

I will have more details soon but hopefully many of you will get involved and bring a costume for some scary fun. Oh, one more thing. For those readers living in the New Orleans area………….I may have some frightfully fun news for you very soon.

To be honest, I don’t understand Halloween because when I was growing up, it never existed. In the UK, we have something called Bonfire Night where we celebrate a chap who tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament…….sort of a 17th century terrorist. Now, though, as we have done with skate boarding, nipple piercing and wearing trousers that show off people’s arse cracks, we’ve followed the USA into making Halloween another consumerist load of bollocks that puts fake severed heads on sale in August and our local shops dedicating whole aisles to selling children plastic crap celebrating death and mutilation.
“What are you doing for Halloween?”, is something nobody said when I was a lad. Not these days. Even Heidi and her “we all had babies at the same time” friends giggle over what they are going to wear and what their children are going to wear.
As I’ve said before……I just don’t get it. We give people license to loiter outside other people’s houses and give kids excessive amounts of candy and waste millions of perfectly good root vegetables for one night that doesn’t even give you a day off work. You see, while we protect our kids from all the scary things in the world 364 days a year, on the 365th day, we allow them to celebrate murder and mayhem. Last year on the Carnival Magic, I remember a kid, not older than 12, dressed as a vampire with fake blood dripping and oozing from his mouth. The other thing I don’t understand is this trick or treat thing because today’s trick or treaters leave a lot to be desired when it comes to the childish tricks and pranks.

Trick or treat? No point asking the question these days because everyone gives out tons of candy or, if you’re lucky, I hear some houses in the States hand out cash, although I am sure some householders pretend not to be in and spend the night hiding under the bed. As for the trick option, that just doesn’t happen anymore. Whatever happened to the grumpy old sod grunting, “Bloody kids, I’m giving you bugger all, now f**k off ”? At least that would have the Princess Barbies and kids dressed as Angry Birds jumping up and down all over his flowerbeds. At least that would burn off some of the sugar.
Maybe it’s the other way round. Maybe people are frightened today that if they shut the door in the trick or treater’s face, they will get a brick through their window or wake up to find a puddle of piss on their doorstep.

The kids on board our ships will be doing trick or treating but it’s organized and structured. No knocking on cabin doors and no tricking allowed. How boring is that. And I have to help apparently because in one of the lounges, I am supposed to give out candy and read the kids a scary ghost story. The nice kids will get Snickers bars and M & M’s. Just in case there are some brats in the pack ……. and there will be…….I will be armed with chocolate for them……….laxative chocolate. Better not tell them ghost stories after they have eaten that.

As you know, we have theme nights these days on our Dive In Movie big screen on Lido Deck and last night I took a wander up there. I have to say the new blankets, the branded Dive In complimentary popcorn and the atmosphere was excellent. Yep, it’s a hit and so are our themed movie nights. We have Superhero Night with Iron Man 2 and The Avengers. We have mystery night with Sherlock Holmes 1 and 2 and we have last night, musical night with Grease as the featured movie. There were probably 100-plus guests watching this when I went up there and they needed the blankets as it was quite chilly. Yep, the September Mediterranean nights are changing with temperatures in the mid-60’s when the sun goes down. Anyway, I watched a few minutes of Grease, a movie I don’t think I have seen in many, many years. I caught the film towards the end. I had forgotten Olivia Newton-John’s transformation from virginal nun to a leather-clad hottie looking for some instant rumpy pumpy “down in the saaaaaand.” But I had also forgotten the final shot in which John Travolta’s flaming car takes flight and soars away into the clouds. Oh………FFS! Sorry, but that movie has to go and welcome back The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Time warp anyone?

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.