Last week Eric the Beard launched a contest on my blog to for you to submit a slogan for the T-shirt for Bloggers Cruise 6. Now, I know that the prize was a fantastic cruise for two on BC6 right here on the Carnival Breeze, but I was shocked that 260 of you entered. And while that is wonderful and somewhat humbling to see, I am bemused even more by something and that something is why would anyone truly want a T-shirt with my name or picture on it? Obviously, putting your face or name on a T-shirt is OK if you are a superstar like LeBron James, Justin Beaver or Captain James T. Kirk …….but me …….. I am confused.

You see, in my position as brand ambassador, I am aware that I am, in a massively diluted way a replacement for Kathie Lee Gifford while she was as beautiful as one of Mr. Radu’s sunset photos I posted yesterday on Facebook. I though am as ugly as a genital wart. I have always been ugly. This was confirmed when my friend’s dog started humping my leg and I looked down and noticed that it had its eyes closed. So thanks to those who entered the contest and I wish you all the best of luck.

Now we have to continue with T-shirts as you will see from this comment.

From: BREEZE GUEST SERVICES

Sent: Saturday, September 22, 2012 9:55 PM

To: BREEZE CRUISE DIRECTOR

Cc: BREEZE GUEST SERVICES SUPERVISOR; BREEZE GUEST SERVICES; BREEZE GUEST SERVICES MANAGER

Subject: Cabin ————
Hi John

I received a call from cabin ——— Mrs. ——–, asking to speak to you. She was on the Rome excursion to the Vatican today and was very offended, she states, by the T-shirt that another Breeze guest was wearing during the tour. She has photos and wants to speak to you.  Please contact her when you can.

Thank you and best regards,

Guest Services Associate, Carnival Breeze
Carnival Cruise Lines

And so yesterday, the shore excursion manager and I met with this lady, an American guest, who showed us a photo of an older guest wearing a T-shirt that had a photo a cartoonish Presidential candidate Mitt Romney that said “Romney 2012, Feed Me A Stray Cat,” which I must say I totally do not understand.  When she showed us the photo on her camera, I have to say the first thing I thought of was how she must have taken this without the guest knowing and then the second thought was that maybe she was one of those cat obsessive people. I am not a big fan of cats. They crap in my garden and when their tails stick high up in the air, their bottoms look like napkin holders.

But she wasn’t a cat woman. She was upset, for sure, as obviously she is a big supporter of Mr Romney. Yep, she felt that making a political statement on the tour bus and even worse, doing so in Rome and in the Vatican, was wrong and that Carnival “should have done something about it.” Given the way some folks are passionate about their politics, I can see why this lady was upset and I explained to her that obviously there was no way that we could control what other guests on the ship wear on excursions and, obviously, the Vatican police and security did not care either because they let him in and I have heard that they are very strict about dress code.

As I sit here, in my underpants, I am still not sure what the whole cat thing is about but what I do know is that this is a cruise ship thing. Let me explain. If this lady had seen this chap wearing the T-shirt in the lobby of a Vegas hotel or sitting in Ruby Friday’s or Hooters, would she have sort out the hotel manager or the restaurant manager…….of course not.

It’s a cruise ship thing and another example of how the industry is far more prepared to listen and explain and understand and help our guests and is then another example of how the cruise industry’s hospitality shines so much brighter than our land based competitors.

Anyway, the lady left our meeting still upset and still stating that we should check guest’s attire before they get on the excursion bus. I explained that we will do this from now on for sure and we will also make sure everyone has been to the toilet, has clean underpants on and anyone seen in a Royal Caribbean T-shirt, will immediately be arrested, water boarded and have their buttocks flogged by Fun Ship Freddy. I really did say that, hoping to lighten the situation with humour. I failed. She left still upset and I am embarrassed to say both the shore excursion manager and I sat there and just shook our heads. And no…she isn’t getting a sodding fruit basket!

Time for today’s Q and A……..here we go

Vera Jensen asked:
Hi John,

I am a single mother with two kids and am desperate to cruise again. I was on the Carnival Sensation 10 years ago but since then I have not been able to go. My question is that I have two kids and I want them to be able to go to camp for as much time as possible because I need some me time. They are nine and 12 years old and I cannot find anything that tells me the hours that the camp is open and what time I leave them there and the latest time I can pick them up and will they do their dinners as well? I want to book the Carnival Destiny at Christmas so can you help me?

John says:
Hello Vera Jensen,

It is great to see that you are ready to sail again with Carnival after all this time. Both Camp Carnival (for the nine year old) and Circle C (for the 12 year old) will open each day at 10 am and will be open throughout the day. Now they will close for dinner so you will be able to have a nice family dinner together but then you can return them to camp as with the Night Owls program (fees apply) there is now late night fun for the kids until 3 am. I hope this helps and, of course, I hope you are able to book. I am sure it will be a wonderful experience and you will be able to mix some “me” time with some family time and all three of you will have a brilliant time.

Best wishes.

John

Carol Anne Lowman asked:
Hello John,

I know you’re a very busy man but I need to find out which Carnival ships if any will be in Europe for 2014. My DH and I have decided to do a European cruise for our 25th wedding anniversary so, please, if you have any information can you let us know?

Thanks.

John says:
Hello Carol Anne Lowman,

What a wonderful way to celebrate this milestone of 25 years. To be honest, I haven’t heard about our 2014 plans for Europe one way or the other but as soon as I have any news, I’ll be sure and let you know.

Best wishes.

John

Paulette Edgar asked:

Can you send something to my new son in law and daughter for their honeymoon? They are going on the Carnival Triumph 10/4 and I heard that you send free goodies to honeymooners. They are in cabin 1434 and their names are Danny Bartez and Luna Edgar. Can you get them on the captain’s table as well for their honeymoon!!!

John says:
Hello Paulette Edgar,

I am sure the happy couple will have the most wonderful time on the ship and while I cannot I am afraid seat them at the captain’s table I will send them a little something to wish them the most wonderful time.

Best wishes to all.

John

Tucretia Loy asked:

On the Carnival Freedom, the webcam is broken. One month it may show a daytime scene, then I will ask Mary or Mischelle to get it fix. Then it breaks again. And now it is on a night scene. Any way you can take a shot at this to get it fixed? And stay fixed?

John says:
Hello Trucretiaq Loy,

Yes, you are correct, of course, and recently we have had a lot of problems with our web cams. They are all fixed now except Carnival Freedom which continues to be a problem but I am assured that this will be repaired as well in the next few days. Thanks for your patience and keep checking, please, as it should be up and running very soon.

Best wishes.

John

Chantelle asked:

I suggest that on your Facebook, you have a moderator system like Cruise Critic uses. The people who we call mafia members have taken over and the inmates are now running the asylum and we now call them mafia members as you will read here.

John says:
Hello Chantelle,

Just wanted to ask if you have a sister called Lucinda?

Best wishes to you both.

John

Robert and Gina Pettie asked:
Hi John,

We just returned from our Platinum cruise on the Carnival Breeze and WOW what a fantastic time we had. We loved the Platinum perks and have always thought that the laundry would be something we would not use but we did and it was a great service. Kudos to the crew, especially our servers Hector and Wayan who made each meal so fun. A big shout out also goes to the cabin steward who we called “Smiles” because she always was even at the early hours of the morning as we left for excursions. I can’t remember her real name now as “Smiles” was how we remember her but she was the cabin steward for 7238 so, please let her know. would you, John. There were so many highlights including Dubrovnik which you said would surprise us John and it did and became our favorite port. A special mention must go to the Bonsai Sushi server Lin. We went there three times, she remembered our names and would talk to us like we were old friends and the sushi was excellent, John. The list goes on but before I close, I do want to thank you and Calvin and how we miss your morning shows because you should be on national TV as your chemistry and humor together is something everyone should be able to see. We are already looking at our next cruise for January 2013. Thank you, John, and if you could show this to the young people who made our cruise so special, I would really be grateful.

Robert and Gina

John says:
Hello Robert and Gina Pettie,

Thanks so much for this wonderful post and I am so thrilled you had such fun. The crew you mentioned are fantastic and I can see what a brilliant difference they made to your cruise. I shall make sure everyone sees your words of praise and they will be thrilled. I hope we see you again very soon and if there is anything I can do for you, I will be here.

Best wishes to you all.

John

Pamela Dieterich asked:
Good morning John,

I will be taking my fifth cruise in September. On a couple of my previous cruises I have received Carnival pins with the ship’s name on it.  However, I did not receive one when I was on the Carnival Conquest last year.  Are the pins a thing of the past? I’ve been trying to find one on EBay but have been unsuccessful. Any suggestions or comments on the pins? Thanks for your help, John.

John says:
Hello Pamela Dieterich,

We had stopped the pins for a while, Pamela, only giving them to the Platinum guests. Now though with the new VIFP loyalty program, we have pins for our Gold, Platinum and Diamond members. These are ship and year specific and I think you will really like them and certainly the feedback we have been getting has been excellent. Please let me know what you think when you sail next and if there is anything further I can do for you, please let me know.

Best wishes.

John

Gail Francis asked:

My daughter is desperate to be an entertainer on a cruise ship and has applied to Carnival but nobody has responded. What can she do to get heard because she is an amazing singer and should be heard? Thank you

John says:
Hello Gail Francis

Please can you direct your daughter to www.carnivalentertainment.com.  This is where you will find all the information on how to apply and where auditions will be held. I wish her much success.  Best wishes.

John

Christopher Stevenson asked:

Please, John, would you tell me if comedian Will Marfori is starring in the comedy club on the Dream in October. We sailed with him on our last cruise and he was hilarious and such an inspiration. Thanks

John says:
Hello Christopher Stevenson,

Unfortunately Will who is indeed both hilarious and inspirational no longer works on the ships. The last I heard he had given up comedy and was working on other projects. I hope that is not correct because he is so funny. I hope you have a great cruise and enjoy the Punchliner Comedy Club.

Brian asked:

I will be on the Carnival Dream on Halloween. We will be Costa Maya, Mexico for Halloween. Question is there any shore excursions for Halloween celebration in Mexico?

John says:
Hello Brian,

There are no excursions that concentrate on Mexico’s celebration of Halloween, I am afraid, but there will be a big party on the ship which I hope you will be able to take part in. There will be a costume parade and the ship will be decorated accordingly so get ready for some Halloween fun.

Best wishes

John

That’s all for today. The time is getting closer for the Carnival Spirit to head over to Australia and let’s have a look at how she will get there and who will be entertaining our guests.

Lots of sea days for relaxing and having fun. And, of course, we have the “Not a real day” event which is when they cross the International Date Line and a special ceremony is performed. I will have news and reports about this from the ship. Now we have worked hard to secure lots of entertainment for the Aussies and recently I posted some of the “Aussie-fications” we had made to the ship. Since then, we have been asked lots of questions about rules, regulations and what guests can and cannot do once the ship starts cruising from Sydney. So here then to help you is the first edition of the FAQs for Australia. The good news is that the brilliant Mischelle who helps manage this blog and helps me so much on follow-up questions on Facebook, will be managing the Aussie version. That means Australia has a ripper and bonza Sheila who will make sure she works tirelessly to give the guests a brilliant time…………..thanks, Mischelle.

As I said, this is a work in progress and we will have version two with new additional questions and answers soon. This is a new adventure for us and we want to make sure we get this right and make it a brilliant time for everyone who sails in this exciting and expanding market.

Back here on the Carnival Breeze, we are in beautiful Olbia, Sardinia, today. Sardinia has some of Italy’s (if not Europe’s) best beaches and this is a perfect port after Rome and Livorno to relax and do little or just enjoy those beaches with sand whiter than my inner thigh stretching for miles. Elsewhere, rugged cliffs plunge into the sea and tiny coves and picturesque harbours are what our guests are exploring and enjoying today. The waters really are the deepest blue and Olbia is a wonderful new addition to our itinerary.

Wish you were here…

Now, here’s a subject that most men, including our friend Dwight below, seem to always want to talk about: breasts.  Anyway, here’s Dwight’s question that I got via the blog thingy.

Dwight Lawrence asked:

There was talk on the site that you hate about what we miss about the old Carnival and amongst the list was the old topless deck. This was something that the passengers enjoyed and I am asking on behalf of others for this to come back and the adults only Serenity deck is already on many of Carnival’s ships so you already have the perfect place to do this again. I hope you will not ignore this and pass it on because you say you have the ear of the so-called beards so prove it and bring back the topless deck.

Hello Dwight,

Ahhh, yes, topless deck or booby deck as the crew used to all them. Yes, indeed, I remember them well…….both of them. I should explain for those who don’t know that back in the day on the Holiday, Celebration, Jubilee and I think on Fantasy and Ecstasy, we did indeed have topless decks. They were right at the top, midship, next to the smoke stack and I remember the sign at the bottom of the stairs leading to Knockerville that had a camera with a huge red line through it………NO CAMERAS ALLOWED it said. Now you couldn’t really take stealth photos back then because this was pre-digital and cameras were the size of baby yaks and it would be hard to take a secret photo of a pair of huge pendulous bosoms with one of those Polaroid cameras where the photo comes out the bottom, accompanied by a noise similar to an industrial sized photo copier.

The topless decks were mostly frequented by the dancers, younger guests and those men with moustaches and in Speedos who had “just gone up there to have a look at the funnel” in much the same way when at age 15 I used to read Playboy magazine for the articles on what the rich and tanned were wearing. Nope, I looked at Playboy for a look at Crystal, Age 19 from Montana ……. and I’m sure that’s why most of the men went up there, as well.

Topless sunbathing is a thing of the past, Dwight, and I don’t think the beards will ever bring it back, I am afraid. And besides, if there was a topless deck now, it would be probably like the few remaining topless beaches in Europe…….full of old retired people. And there is nothing worse than looking at an old topless lady, having to bend down toward her toes to be able to rub sun cream on her breasts. Oh, and back to Kate Middleton and the now infamous topless photos ……………it appears that having seen the photos that royal pottery company Wedgewood are to produce a commemorative pair………… of small jugs.

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.