Fighting Talk

September 19, 2012 -

John Heald

Now and then I get some posts that are very personal and attack me with such venom that it leaves me quite shaken up. There was one particular post I won’t grace with publishing but let me say it was so personal and full of such hate that it pushed my thick-skinned soul to the limit. You know, I spent all of my school years without ever getting into a fight, and even when the school bully Shane Ibrahim used to beat me with a wet towel in the changing rooms I remained calm and polite and tried to brush it off with humour. And that’s a practice that I continue to this day.

Even today when things get to me I would never, ever resort to violence but not everyone is built like me. I sit here, in my underpants and use the keyboard as a sword but often I think a swift kick in the bollocks to some folks might make me feel a bit better – but obviously it wouldn’t.  It’s just not dignified or professional. I mean, you wouldn’t see Gerry Cahill leap over the table and kick someone in the bollocks at the Cruise Shipping Miami conference when all the other cruise line presidents start blathering on and become annoying. You know, in my job and, indeed, in my life as a whole, I have been made in such a way as to stay calm and carry on. I hate violence. I really do.  But there are times when I do wonder how it would feel to take my fat, oversized hand and smack someone upside the head? Hmmmmmm.

Now that I have that off my chest, time for today’s Q and A……… we go

Scott Dieterle asked:
Thank you for the wonderful job you do keeping us up to date on EVERYTHING Carnival!

I just called to request an ash tray be put on our balcony. Unfortunately, there was no place except in the cruise notes to put it in and they weren’t sure the right people would see it.
We always request one when we get in the room but everyone is running around like crazy when we first board and it would be nice if they knew ahead of time so it would be one more thing they know ahead of time and don’t have to worry about getting at the last minute. Is there a place I am missing to request it early?

John says:
Hello Scott Dieterle!

We don’t have a place on the booking form for this but please don’t worry. May I suggest that when you drop your luggage off that you tell your stateroom steward that you want one and they have them on their service trolleys so one will be immediately available? I hope this is OK and if you tell me your cabin number and sailing date a couple of days before you sail then I will have one there for you. Thanks for the kind words and have a brilliant cruise.

Best wishes.

Leanne Baldock asked:
We were always told Carnival was for younger people and was surprised because on our Carnival Triumph cruise the DJ played mostly old music and not the music we wanted to hear. I and my friends are 22 and 23 years old and the DJ was rude because when we asked for more current club music he said no and ignored us. Who do I complain to about this?

John says:
Hello Leanne Baldock,

I have often said that the job of being a DJ is not an easy one because trying to please all the people all the time with everyone liking different music types is virtually impossible. I sometimes hear this the other way round that the DJ plays too much modern music and not enough variety so it is interesting to read this the other way round. Our DJs are being trained by one of the country’s best, DJ Irie of the Miami Heat, and one of the things they are being taught at “Spin’iversity” is to read the audience and to make sure a variety of music is played. I do hope that you and your friends had fun and I really don’t think the DJ was being rude but, as I mentioned, trying to appease everyone. However, I will for sure pass on your comments to the ship. Thanks for taking the time to write and I hope we see you again soon.

Best wishes.

Kelly Wentworth asked:

When my husband and I married almost six years ago, we sailed a competitor for our honeymoon thinking that spending more money meant a better experience. For our one-year anniversary, we wanted to sail again and chose Carnival for the value, and enjoyed this much more than the previous cruise. Since then, we have taken one to two Carnival cruises a year.  For our fifth anniversary, we thought we would treat ourselves to a trip on the newest Behemoth of the Seas. By the end of the week, we had missed Carnival so much. While some things were definitely done better and grander, especially if it was something they could tangibly spend money on, and they made sure we knew how amazing it was. Overall, we feel that that the value and experience are much better at Carnival, especially in terms of customer service.

Our next cruise will be a family cruise on the Carnival Breeze in early January, which has been planned for over a year. I recently gave birth to our first child, which was not an issue when we booked. Normally, my mother would watch our daughter at this young age, but as she will be on board, we will be brining my daughter as well. My question is why does Carnival charge third person rate on a child of less than one year of age? I have no problem paying for services and products utilized, so I would like to understand the resource burden a child of seven months creates. She won’t be eating any food, and will have to bring all of it with us. She is too young to use any of the entertainment options open to guests, including Camp Carnival.

In fact, we were excited to find out the babysitting would be available to us, at what we felt was a reasonable hourly rate, only to realize the availability of the service have left us making other plans. Babysitting only available from port arrival to noon is too short of time to enjoy the port and add stress to our time on excursions. We had also planned to have an evening dinner in the steakhouse for the seven adults in our party, without the baby, of course, but babysitting hours aren’t until 10pm, so that is out as well.  Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to my question and concerns.

Kelly Wentworth

John says:
Hello Kelly Wentworth,

Firstly, it is great to read how the value for money experience has you wanting to return to Carnival and I am very happy that is the case. I do hope you enjoyed your cruise on the Something of the Seas but we are ready to welcome you back to Carnival. I totally understand your thoughts on the babysitting because last year, I was in exactly the same position with my then two-year-old daughter. I don’t have an answer as to why this rule is in place but I will get you one. As for the rate, well often we have specials where the third and fourth persons in the cabin do go for reduced rates so may I kindly suggest that you find a really good travel agent or even one of Carnival’s PVPs to keep you updated as and when these become available. Let me get back to you on the babysitting and if there is anything else I can do for you, please let me know.

Best wishes.

Jessica Murray asked:
Dear John,

My husband and I were discussing cruising (and your fabulous blog!) last evening and he asked me, “Just what does a CD do?” I told him that the captain is responsible for the sailing of the ship and the CD is responsible for everything else (entertainment, customer care and comfort, etc.). Am I correct, or did I just blow smoke up his arse? (By the way, we LOVE reading your blogs and FB page….makes me even more excited about our upcoming cruise on Magic in October!)  Thanks, John!!

John says:
Hello Jessica Murray

That’s right, I am responsible for scheduling activities and entertainment as well as hosting and performing activities and shows myself. The CD is also the voice of a ship and will promote different offerings on board, keep the guests informed and obviously meet and speak to as many of the guests as possible during each cruise. I hope you both have a brilliant time on the Carnival Magic — what a great ship she is and I know you will have fun. Please let me know if there is anything I can do and I am so glad you continue to enjoy the blog.

Best wishes.

Kevin Fitzpatrick asked:
I am very frustrated! I have asked two different morons at Carnival and gotten two different answers. DO YOU HAVE TO WEAR A JACKET AT THE STEAKHOUSE – YES OR NO?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

John says:
Hello Kevin Fitzpatrick

NO JACKET REQUIRED, HAVE A GREAT CRUISE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!……………Oops, sorry about that, my caps lock was stuck on. Have a wonderful cruise and enjoy the fabulous steakhouse. Best wishes.


Clara Menotti asked:
Hi John. Please can you tell me if the power has been changed to house Australian plugs on the Carnival Spirit? We will be on her first cruise and are soooooo excited but are concerned about charging cameras, etc. Please can you help?

John says:
Hello Claire Menotti

I can see how excited you are and yes, indeed, all the cabins now have both Australian and US sockets so you will have nothing to worry about. Have the most wonderful cruise and enjoy this great ship.

Best wishes.

Jeff Cifone asked:

Just want to say how much I enjoy reading your comments. I have been on Cruise Critic for a lot of years and don’t post there much since they beat up on pretty much anyone with an opinion. On our last cruise in 2010 on the Carnival Dream, my wife started to become sick the last couple days from an ongoing illness and a couple weeks later, I almost lost her twice in a very short period of time. We are now going on our fifth Carnival cruise this October and are very excited and grateful to be able to continue to be blessed with the ability to vacation and live the lifestyle not everyone in the world can afford. People in this country (USA) really do need to look at how good life is for us in comparison and if you can get on a cruise ship, stuff your face, drink too much, and just relax…do you really have a complaint? Please keep up the good work you do and remember……..there are more of us that enjoy it that don’t always take the time to comment than those that (female dog). The complainers just love to try and find company. Thanks again.


John says:
Hello Jeff

My goodness, I cannot imagine what that must have been like and I am so happy to know that your wife has made a full recovery and is ready to cruise again. We do sometimes forget how lucky we are to be able to cruise and to have a choice of when we cruise and who with.  There are many in the world who have not been able to have these choices and so it is indeed important to remember this and to enjoy every moment we have. Please, can you send me your cabin number here, or if you have Facebook, one day before on my page as I would like to send your wife a little something to say welcome back. Have a brilliant cruise.

Best wishes to you both.

Carl & Sheila Rice asked:
Hello John,

Love your blog! My wife, who is blind, would like to know if ship personnel will let her take the ship’s tour? She would be guided by me. If she can’t, then I will be the one going. She has been on tours on the galley and the bridge before and she hopes to get to go! If she will be allowed to go, can we ask a favor? Since we take longer to get on the ship, could we sign up for the tour early?  Also, she would like to do The Chef’s Table. I know that she should be able to do this one. While I took up too much of your time I’m sorry. Hope to hear from you soon….
Carl and Sheila Rice.

PS Can you ask your wife if DOT or Pauline on EASTENDERS DIED?
Thanks again!!!!

John says:
Hello Carl and Sheila Rice

Yes, of course, she can go and if you feel comfortable guiding her, then yes, I don’t see any reason why not. Now I should inform you that there will be some stairs involved in the engine control room area and one or two other areas. Most of the time, we can use the elevator but there will be a few steps here and there so if that’s OK then go ahead and I am sure she will have fun. I can’t reserve them online, I am afraid, but please go to the shore excursion desk as soon as you board the ship and they will make sure you get tickets. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to make your time on the ship more comfortable. As for Eastenders, well, Pauline Fowler dies and, unfortunately, the actress who played her, Wendy Richards, passed away some months earlier. You may remember her from Are You Being Served. Dot is still going strong.

Best wishes.

Ed asked:

I really enjoy reading your blog. I have a question about the karaoke with a live band. My wife and I are scheduled for the Carnival Dream on April 27 and I love to sing karaoke. What tips can you give on getting to sing with a live band as much as possible during our cruise?

John says:
Hello Ed

It is called Superstar Live and, during your cruise, you will have at least three one-hour sessions and that should give you multiple chances to sing with them. I hope this helps answer your question and please let me know if you have any others. Have a great time.

Best wishes.


That’s all for today.

So just before I tell you the specifics of the new voyage that starts today here on the Carnival Breeze let me quickly tell you something about the naming ceremony in Miami. Here is what I know……………….. ummmmm……………’s bugger all, actually.

I am asked about this a lot here and on Facebook with guests wanting to know when it is and what’s happening but so far no final decisions have been made as to when and what we will do. There will be a naming ceremony, of course, but we have not announced who the godmother will be and at this point I am considering going to Neiman Marcus, buying a designer dress and I will smash the sodding bottle myself. Seriously, plans are nearly complete and I will let you know who it will be and when the ceremony is as soon as I have the information.

Anyway, today we started a new cruise and here is who is sailing and where they are going.
Wish you were here.

TOTAL GUESTS         3,778
USA                 1,622
Great Britain (UK)         695
Canada             523
Russian Federation         209
Australia             168
Canada (French)         143
Israel                 74
Ukraine             57
Netherlands             49
Taiwan             24
Mongolia             1
GUESTS UNDER 18     91

Wed, Sep, 19    Barcelona                5am-5pm
Thu, Sep, 20    Monaco                9am-8pm
Fri, Sep, 21    Livorno                7am-7pm
Sat, Sep, 22    Rome                    7am-9pm
Sun, Sep, 23    Olbia                    7am-4pm
Mon, Sep, 24    at sea
Tue, Sep, 25    Dubrovnik                7am-7pm
Wed, Sep, 26    Venice    Activities            arr @2pm
Thu, Sep, 27    Venice                    dep @ 7pm
Fri, Sep, 28    at sea
Sat, Sep, 29    Messina                7am-4pm
Sun, Sep, 30    at sea

No Naples this cruise as the port is too congested, so instead, we head again to Olbia. Last time we were there this beautiful Sardinian port was a huge hit with the guests and the hospitality we received from the locals was superb. We have an overnight stop in Venice again and overall this is a really terrific itinerary.

It’s interesting reading all of your comments and it reminded me of a guest I met last cruise. It was after Calvyn and I had hosted the Divas show before which we have some fun on stage and turn one lady into a Diva. Anyway, we did this and introduced the cast and walked off stage, through the audience and to the back of the lounge to watch the show. As I stood there a man came up and asked to speak to me and I knew instantly that he was not happy. Funny, isn’t it, that after all these years doing this I can tell straight away who isn’t going to want to give me a big hug and say, “This is the best thing I have ever done” but rather wants to say, “I need to complain about….”

So, what can I tell you about this guest? Well, he was from California and a successful business man. I know this because he told me so right at the start of our conversation. This was his eighth cruise but it was his first with Carnival. And while he thought the crew was friendly, he didn’t like the food; the ship was too big and he didn’t care for the people he and his wife were seated at with at dinner. I asked him for his cruise history and basically he has cruised with one company only before this, and all his eight previous cruises were with Celebrity. I was going to write “Brand X” but that would have been unprofessional and you know me, I am never that.

Now I am sure Celebrity has a great product and as I listened to him tell me how they did everything better than us (except he said the Carnival crew was friendlier) I wondered why then after being loyal to Brand X……bugger……..I mean Celebrity, why did he change and decide to cruise with us. I asked him and he said the price was excellent and that he had been recommended it by a work colleague. But even taking the brilliant value for money into the equation and having heard his list of previous cruises, it was obvious that, quite simply, Carnival wasn’t for him. Sometimes certain people feel comfortable doing, eating, sailing on and wearing different things. I mean, would Prince Charles ever have been photographed playing naked pool? Would Mr. Radu have taken photos of Kate Middleton’s breasts? Can you imagine me wearing clothes from Abercrombie and Itch or whatever they are called? No, of course not. People tend to know what suits them ……..and what doesn’t. It is rare to find someone who has just finished reading the Art of War by Zang Su and has now picked up a copy of 50 Shades of Grey. So value for money is what brought this chap to Carnival but even that wasn’t enough to put a smile on his face.

I guess my point is this. In the same way as having your nipple pierced isn’t for everyone, occasionally you are going to meet someone who doesn’t have a great time no matter what you do and, in the case of the “successful businessman,” I spoke to last cruise it’s safe to say that Carnival wasn’t for them, just as vacationing in Paris isn’t right for me or indeed for anyone with a good sense of smell.

Opinions, everyone has them and they continue to be fascinating to read and to listen to. It always amazes me as I continue towards 30,000 readers on Facebook and 15 million views here on the blog thingy how opinions on what we do are often as different as a beautiful Latvian models bottom clad only in a Versace G-string and my bottom clad in a pair of mostly white baggy underpants from Wal-Mart. Some people may wonder still why I post negative comments about the company I work for and indeed negative posts about me. I always thought that the danger would be that I would make this blog a bit self-pandering and right from the start I promised myself that if I was going to continue, that I would always post the good, the bad, and, in my case, the ugly.

There are people on other pages who think that I do this so that I get waves of sympathy from the readers. They could not be more wrong. I do it because it’s one of the reasons that I think we do have close to 15 million page views and close to 30,000 likes on Facebook. It’s one of the reasons our blog has won awards including one last week from Cruise International Magazine. I post these comments so that the blog and my Facebook page remain real and I remain grounded and I think, or at least I hope, that this is one of the reasons why people continue to read.

Speaking of complaining, women are always complaining about their looks and looking for new ways to enhance our facial features so they look and feel our best. But even men are getting into the act with Botox and other treatments as they were getting tired of their loved one shouting, “Ohhhh, Johnny Depp, you are the man” all the time. I am going to have one so when I fly back home and I burst through the front door like an all-action jaw chiseled hero Heidi will be yelling my name rather than thinking about Johnny sodding Depp. Then again… will have been many weeks or more since I have been blessed with any rumpy pumpy…….so she can call me Johnny, Gerry, Micky or as some have called me, “the sperm of the devil”…. if there is rumpy pumpy involved…………I will answer to anything.


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.

51 Responses to Fighting Talk

  1. Patty Martin says:

    Some people (as us Texans would say) Have no coothe! Let ’em go…They are not happy in their own they lash out at others. You’re a great person. So down to earth…So NORMAL but yet extraordinary!
    They have more flaws than you so they lash out…Take this as a compliment. You have what alot of people WISH they had! That being bein said let me jack ’em up for ya!

  2. Linda Pearl says:

    John, these people are bullies with keyboards.
    Anonymity, gives them the bravado, they don’t have in their real lives. Pity the fools.

    • Barb says:

      Amen! cyberbullying is out of control. Adults who still have low self-esteem from their teenage years now have a weapon. They can belittle others anonymously and apparently derive a great deal of pleasure from it. Best to ignore or block these people from your page John, as they will never change. There are way more people who like you and enjoy your musings than don’t. The number of page views and likes proves it!

  3. Triumph Cruiser says:

    I have to say that the person who complained about the music on the Carnival Triumph is dead wrong and her saying the DJ doesnt take request is dead wrong also. Have travelled on the Triumph a few times in the last couple years and the DJ’s have always played a wide wariety and to be honest, geared toward the younger crowd, Think yiou had a troll on that one

  4. Liz says:

    Just ignore the morons!

    BTW, I am available to be the godmother. Conveniently, I will be on the Breeze as she sail into Miami for the 1st time on 11/21 :-))

  5. Ralph says:

    Kevin Fitzpatrick,
    Are you a moron?? YESSSSS!!

  6. Vintage Princess says:

    John, you have the same affliction that I do;compelled to tell the truth. If something false is stated, you fix & apologize. This affliction can cause some squirming and red-face, as well as loss of a couple of friends. You, as well, are compelled by inner personality to be nice & kind about your truths. But gee, John, dont you feel kinda feel like kicking some peoples’ ass? Hey, I want to do it for you; just call me up!

  7. Bo says:

    Hey John,
    My wife and I are coming on the ship for our 20th annivarsary. Do you have any tips for me about how to make her wild and crazy in the sack. Any help will do.


  8. Scott VanBaaren says:

    John.. We have been following your blog since our very first Carnival cruise on the Carnival Freedom in 2008 and absolutely love keeping up with your journeys. We are booked on a cruise coming up on the Carnival Valor on October 13th to the Southern Caribbean. We started with one cabin booked back on 1/3/12 and within 3 days after the Concordia incident we were on the phone. To our PVP’s surprise, we were not cancelling but adding an additional two cabins as more of our family decided to join us. As of 9/19 we are now up to four cabins and 9 passengers. Some of our party are confirmed for early seating dining and some are wait-listed. We would appreciate any assistance you can offer in making arrangements for the 9 of us to be seated together as we are celebrating a 5th Wedding Anniversay which occurs the day before our departure, along with our 4 y/o nephew’s very first cruise.. (we told him all about his special BLUE boarding card and how he would be the only BLUE person since the rest of us are reds and golds)… also our mom will be on her first cruise since her husband of 55 years passed away last year.. and it would mean so much for us all to be together at mealtime… Thanks for anything you can do to help us all get the same table… Thanks
    Scott in Florida

    • Rick Williamson says:

      Scott, to me you can do this on your own. Just have everyone switch to anytime dinning. Then just go about the sametime as early and ask for a table for 9. 🙂

  9. Hi John, Carnival Legend comment for you. Please post this because I want to give the Legend staff major props. They were fantastic on our August 19th cruise, the cruise that was diverted to Port Canaveral. I especially want to give major props to Sr Team Waited Jeffrey from the Phillipines. He was heading home after a few more weeks but was already set to return to the Legend. He was awesome, making paper animals and towel animals evefrynight at dinner for our two year old son. Please, please, please post this and forward this to the appropriate people. Jeffrey deserves a promotion.

  10. chali mendoza says:

    Carry on, cruisers..carry on..

  11. Tim Cuneio says:

    John.. I wish you would post More videos.. We love seeing you and hearing your voice. A day with john would be a good one, But please start filming after you put some pants on. I dont want to see you in underpants.. Post at least one message a week…

  12. cruzin2some says:

    Will you answer to H82seaugo?
    I didnt think so.
    The Cruzin2some

  13. Aida Fonseca says:

    John you do the best you can, and I know you go over and over to please people. I go thru the same everyday, but you know what those are the minority and there are others that appreciate you. I enjoy cruising and we always have to sacrifice so we can have the money to go so as soon as I get in that ship is my “wonder world for me”, we had cruised with only a few and I mean a few dollars in our pocket ( like taking my three daughters in a cruise with only $100.00 cash in our pocket) reason why I try to enjoy and appreciate every grain of rice, piece of meat, music,etc…and we always have the best time! Financially Carnival has always given us the opportunity to cruise on a very small budget, something that we will not be able to enjoy in other types of vacations. By the way my daughters now adult and married with children still talk about the blast they had on that 7 day Caribbean cruise even though we had so little to spend on extras.Some people need to learn to just appreciate even thought they are paying for the service they are receiving.

  14. Mike P says:

    Regarding Mr. Celebrity cruiser, I have to put in my $0.02 having experienced both products. Celebrity appeals to us in the aesthetic of the ship interior, their selections of live music, and their crew was friendlier in my experience. But that said, I kept wishing they had Carnival’s galley and entertainment staff (and price tag, haha)! Seriously, I gained 4 pounds on X and 7 pounds on Carnival. Every night I was excited for then MDR on Carnival and had to narrow my choices down. And while all the food on X was good, I had to study the menu to decide which one to actually eat each night. None of their desserts came close to Bitter & Blanc or WCMC!

    I share this just to give some positive feedback to your chefs. I hope we can one day cruise together, maybe BC7!

  15. Tom says:

    Rock on John. Don’t let the A$$es get you down. Pity the poor unhappy souls their sorry existence.

  16. Luis R says:

    To the question about power outlets in the ship headed to Australia. When I was on the Carnival Magic in the Mediterranean last year, the stateroom had US and European outlets with the correct voltage. However both were 60 Hz (Europe uses 50 Hz) because the ship electrical system is 60 Hz (and I will assume all ships are the same). That should not be a problem with most modern electronics using so-called power bricks or wall warts (laptops, cell phone chargers, battery chargers) since most these days are able to work with 120 or 240 VAC and 50 or 60 Hz with with just a plug adapter. Look at the lable to make sure. However, devices with an AC motor (those that connect directly to the wall without an adapter or brick such as hair dryers or shavers) will not work properly. Australian devices designed for 50 Hz will operate at the wrong speed if plugged into the ship’s 60 Hz outlets.

  17. Gerry says:

    Just tell the bloke to F O A D

    • Tucker in Texas says:

      I am one of those dreaded smokers. I bring an ashtray with me that I got at the $ store. It has a lid that fits on it with a “bump” in the middle to extinguish the cigarette. The lid keeps the ashes confined to the ashtray along with the butts.

  18. Kathleen says:

    Hi John, our family of 9 are cruising from San Juan March 3, 2013. We have cabins on Verandah Deck aft. We would love to be able to eat in the Washington Dining Room near the windows, instead of going to the front dining room, The Lincoln. Is there a way we can do this? Our cruise agent said he can’t arrange this.Thanks, Kathleen

  19. Berta Fairbanks says:

    Dear John,

    Love your blogs! I also love sailing on Carnival and do it as often as I can, 3 times this year alone. The entertainment is always fabulous and the service stupendous. However, I sailed on the IM in May and found the Carnival band lacking variety, all they played thru the 3 days was Latin music, I understand the demographics, however, not everyone was Latin on that ship and a little more variety would have been great,that music can get old day after day. I also found offensive that the band would address the Latin crowd all the time and in Spanish, although I understand Spanish, being originally from Argentina, the rest of my group did not, nor did a lot of the guests on the ship. I truly believe that if you are sailing out of Miami, and Miami is still in the United States, the main language should be English, for everyone, including the band. I hope that you can advise the CD of that ship and explain how offensive that is to us Americans.
    When we got home we immediately switched our sailing for September to the SE and had a wonderful time dancing to a variety of music.
    Thanks John, had to get this off my chest.
    Have a great time cruising Europe!

  20. gus melchion says:

    John remember the keyboard is mightier than the sword and the fist is mightier than the jaw.

  21. David Stern says:

    John: RE Insurance. Not cruise related but relevant. I had booked a safari to Tanzania and did not take the travel insurance as “I never get sick” and it cost a fortune like $570.00 which if you don’t use it it is gone. However, two days before I was to leave I got appendicitis and could not go on trip. Lost @2300.00 land cost. Company did give me a 500 credit for next trip and I did get all my “non refundable” air ticket back. So learned a valuable lesson.

  22. Helgi Skulason says:

    Dear John.
    I have never met you nor do I know you at all, but here is what I think you should do.

    In your underpants with your eyepad walk to the bathroom mirror. Grab your wifes lipstick and write the number 15.000.000. on the mirror.. ENOUGH SAID.. now put on some pants and give your wife and kid a HUGEMONGUS hug and remember. THIS IS WHAT LIFE IS ALL ABOUT…… take care.

  23. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


    I know violence is never the answer…but to be honest…there is a reason we Southerns love Cast Iron Skillets!!

    Linda (Mom of your friend DJ)

  24. Robinola says:

    oooops……..caps lock was stuck on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    hee hee hee

  25. janet Reem says:

    John, as I have been a reader of your blog for some time now, I find you rather handsome. Please do not think you are ugly! I find that kind, imaginitive & funny people to be very good looking…the inside shines through as my granny used to say. Love your blog & I am sure I would love you if we ever were to meet. Keep up the good!!!

  26. Lisa says:

    Dear John,

    There is a reason that trolls live under a bridge. Ignore them. They haven’t enough gentlemen sausage to spew their venom in person. 🙂

    On a completely different note. I haven’t had my first cruise yet but it’s coming up soon and DH and I are very excited! That said, I’ve heard the tea sucks, half the staff sucks and the ports suck. I’m guessing pretty much everything other than our balcony will suck after reading cruise critic.

    I typed that trying to put myself in bitch mode. It did not work. I hated myself. 🙁

    If we have to sleep on the deck and drink water that had a tea bag waved through it, listen to music we’re not fans of and eat chocolate melting cake (I can’t wait!) we will be happy and feel very blessed. Life is what you make it. If this cruise is fab and we become lifetime awesome cruisers, I know we will never get uppity and complain because we don’t want “those other people” that haven’t earned their “perks” included with us because we are so special and privileged. Mr B and I will never snicker and say rude things about others in the MDR, either. (I’m betting the parents that act this way teach their kids the same and they are little bullies to those not as fortunate as they are.)

    John, please make sure we do not run in to those that think their underpants don’t stink.

    Kind Regards,

    Mr & Mrs. Grateful Empathetic Non Haters


  27. Juanita Pappas says:


    I have noticed the same thing. Some people become quite vicious on-line. It’s almost like the anynemity (spelling) gives them license to say ANYTHING. I have noticed the same thing at Cruise Critic. I go there alot because I have received much valuable information there and its fun BUT some of the people are there ONLY there to complain. There are about 7 people who seem to spend their days at the Carnival portion of CC waiting to say something negative. I’ve read some of there posts saying they were leaving Carnival for another cruiseline weeks or even months ago and yet they continue to post almost exclusively at the Carnival section. (how odd!) Some of these have not even cruised on Carnival in 10 years! I will be going on my 10th and 11th Carnival Cruises December 2nd-16th as a B2B on Carnival Glory and have my 12th cruise already booked on Magic for March 17th. I have enjoyed all my Carnival cruises and I expect that to continue to be the case. I love the Karaoke, the comedy club, shows, friendly atmosphere and staff, etc… Just wanted to let you know its not all negative. Its just that some of these folks are just so vocal about it.

  28. mary kay says:

    First let me tell you that I love you. You were my first. (CD that is) this was way back in 1991 I believe. There has not been a CD to match you since, a few have been outstanding but you will always have my heart. It pisses me of that people can be unhappy with just about anything. I will be on the Splendor for the first segment of the South American cruise (3247 hours and counting). This will be my 4th sailing on the Splendor, it is marvelous ship. This will be my first time with a cabin on the Lido deck we are about halfway down the hall. Do you think it will be noisey? I like the idea of being up higher altho I might regret the movement but that will be my bad. I am a really good sailor so we shall see. Keep up the great blogging it give e my dailly dose of laughter. I hope to beon a cruise with youinthe future.

    Mary Kay


  29. Tammy says:

    Aloha John! we will be in a cove balcony on the Dream in February. Any chance the Faster to the Fun program will be implemented before we sail? mahalo!

  30. Michelle Meyer says:

    I got a T-shirt for my mom (or mum as you’d say) says “I don’t have an anger problem, I have an idiot problem.” Should have bought one for you as well! For us, you are THE BEST cruise director !! Take care and the best to your family.

  31. Cindy McCormick says:

    I’m terribly sorry you have to take such insults as a part of your job. It just doesn’t seem right…

  32. Dear John
    I wonder if you cn give me any advice? I am running a project which will give 8 aspiring Southampton writers the opportunity to create a play called ‘My Ship of Dreams’, inspired by the Oral Histories of city people who went to work on the Cruise ships which dock in the city. It would be wonderful if the play could be performed on board one of the P&O Princesses as part of its shoreline tour. I know it seems a longshot, but it would be a wonderful oportunity to connect Southampton people with their shipping heritage, and I am sure it would meet P and O’s social responsibility / community agenda too.
    I would really appreciate it if you could spare me the time to tell me what you think, and who I might contact?
    Kind regards

  33. Steve S. Chicago says:

    Mr Fitzpatrick,
    It takes one to know one.

  34. John Mowatt says:

    Hi John, the wife and I had a great time on the last Breeze cruise and are sick as parrots now that we are home, so much so that we are already planning the next Carnival adventure! I totally agree with your comments about what suits some wont necessarily suit others. In our case we never once went to the main dining room as we really enjoyed eating at our convenience and having the vast choice on offer in the food market and we never got dressed up on the elegant nights, not that there was any problem with this, it is just not us, however we did think that the people who did get dressed up looked fabulous! What I am trying to say is that a Carnival cruise provides choice for the cruisers to do it the way they want it and rightly so. One last question, “were the Adkins the last people off the boat?”

  35. carla brown says:

    Hello John, We sail the Magic on october 14th. WOOHOO just around the corner. Have sailed with one other cruise line and WOW back to Carnival. Since have sailed 7 or 8 with Carnival. We aren’t going anywhere. carnival is “OUR HOME”. We feel pampered, and made to feel special. GREAT JOB. CARNIVAL. see you on OCTOBER 14th.

  36. Jessica Rodriguez says:

    John, i think you are a wonderful person. and everytime i see these rude comments you tell us about makes me think “wow people dont grow up at all” i will be on the breeze in march and i hope you will be there. if not hope too see you in the future cruises.


  37. Barry Brown says:

    John I missed the great announcement prior to boarding the Glory last week about doing away Future Vacation program, many of us do not have the luxury of being able to book our vacations ahead without checking with work first, you might pass along to management it was a pretty good incentive for folks to stick with Carnival. That being said I have been on 8 cruises, 7 with Carnival and I have to say Matt Mitchem is the best CD ever. (Never being with you of course LOL) Great Cruise, very windy, and cold but we made the best of it. Had a couple of serious medical emergencies One at Boston the other at Halifax, I could not believe the bitching about being late getting back to New York. If it were my families life in danger I would want the best appropriate medical care available. Carnival handled this exactly right. Will be on the Freedom January 12. Take care.

  38. Hi, John!

    First of all, let me tell you that I want your job. I would love to be able to cruise, write and still get my bills paid. My husband and I have cruised three times, each time ending our cruise talking about ‘the next time’.

    Right now, I’m a little frustrated.

    At the end of each cruise, Carnival offers a travel-planning seminar that outlines future cruises and strategies to win discounts and (be still my beating heart) free cruises. One of the strategies was the use of the Carnival Mastercard. Our cruise director suggested using the Mastercard like a debit card for everyday expenses and buying at selected retailers to maximize points toward future cruises and excursion expenses. I had already been doing so with my Discover card, earning points to redeem for purchases and payments. I seemed like a good idea.

    However, I’ve encountered a problem. I have multiple jobs, and get paid several times a month. I’ve been using my Discover card for everyday expenses and paying off my balances with each paycheck. The payments post the next day; and, I have access to my credit immediately. I never encountered a problem arising from making a payment. With the Carnival Mastercard, the payment posts and the funds are withdrawn from my bank within 48hrs; but, I won’t get access to my credit for several days. My money is not in the bank and my credit is not on the card. I hope I don’t need gas, milk or a loaf of bread before Barclay grants me access to my own funds.

    That’s the caveat I would offer to anyone sitting in on one of those seminars who might want to use their Carnival Mastercard to earn free cruises. The card was handy on the cruise and planning the cruise and excursions; but, after coming home (and coming down to earth), using the card has been pretty inconvenient.

  39. Doug Lincoln says:

    John, I was really disappointed that Carnival has discontinued the future cruise certificates, would really like to see them bring it back.

  40. Teresa patterson says:

    Our third cruise!! We are sailing on the Breeze on March 24th. Looking so forward to it. Celebrating 38 years with my wonderful husband!

  41. Christy Page says:

    This will be mine and my husband’s first cruise with Carnival and we will be on the Dream on February 23rd. I have to say that I have been completely impressed with the helpfulness and friendliness of everyone so far. My husband has had 4 surgeries in the past 3 years and now has a permanent medical device implanted. This makes travel (and everything else) difficult. This will actually be our first trip since all of this happened and it is to celebrate our 15th anniversary. I have had numerous questions to make sure everything goes smoothly for him. I must say that everyone I have spoken with has been kind, considerate, and just plain wonderful. Thank you!

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