October 10, 2012 -

John Heald

I don’t get up to the Sports Deck here on Carnival Breeze much, mostly because I simply don’t have time and because it has the word “sports” in the title. However, I did get up there yesterday to check out the new foosball and pool tables we have had installed and to look at some work that the Fincantieri workers were doing while we were in Venice yesterday.

While I was there, I watched a group of teens playing basketball. They must have been part of the “home school group” we have on this voyage and their fathers had decided to play basketball with them. Have you ever seen middle-aged men play basketball with their teenage sons or daughters? It’s like watching Richard Simmons trying to roundhouse Chuck Norris or the Washington Generals who always got their arses kicked by The Harlem Globetrotters. Not only is it exquisitely painful, it also makes me deeply grateful that we have an excellent medical team on the ship. Our doctors and nurses are under enough strain as it is without having to tend to the self-inflicted injuries of middle-aged guests attempting to keep up with a younger, fitter generation. Anyway, as I did my SportSquare inspection, I spoke to the dads who by their huge gasps of breaths were happy I had stopped the game to chat. I asked them why they were not ashore in Venice and both fathers said that they had been given the choice of staying on board with the kids………or going shopping in Venice with their wives.

It was obvious that these chaps and I had much in common. We would rather have Tabasco sauce pumped into the crack of our bottoms than go shopping. We would both prefer to French kiss a rabid camel than walk around the alley ways of Venice looking for a mask with some tired old feathers sticking out of it. We would rather spend the day on the ship listening to some short arsed psychic try to contact Michael Jackson than go shopping……..yep…….they hate it and so do I and so do most reading this blog, too.

Shopping kills men by the hundreds and I, John Heald, lead the fight against being dragged through the diamond, handbag and shoe stores of this world. I slay the dragon that is shopping and I slay those “modern men” who say that men should go shopping and I do this with fireballs from my eyes and bolts of lightning from my arse. I am John Heald. And I see a whole army of my friends and bloggers here in defiance of tyranny. You have come to fight as free men, and free men you are. What would you do without freedom? Will you fight?

Aye…..fight and you may be in the doghouse with the wife. Run and you’ll live — at least a while. And dying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance to come back here and tell our wives that we refuse to go shopping……..ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh ….. they may take our lives………..but they’ll never take our freedom!!! Bollocks to shopping…………..all those men who agree…………please post “bollocks to shopping.”

OK, time to take off my kilt, put my underpants back on and start today’s Q and A……off we trot.

Wandering Dog asked:

I thought I had seen everything but now it seems that your Healdites are trying to raise money to buy you a Hubolot watch you so shamelessly begged for. They are worshipping a LOSER?? AYFKM? What are you – a rock star? Maybe if they do get you one you will have to give this _______ guy a ———onstage at the Meet and Greet. What a joke.

John asked:
Hello Wandering Dog,

You know, say what you like when you like if you like, but take responsibility for whatever views you have by posting them under your own name, instead of cowering behind a pseudonym and a computer screen. Oh and it’s Hublot………not Hubolot.

Best wishes.


Al Verni asked:
Hi John,

Do you think it would be a good idea to have a layout of the dining room with table numbers posted so we can check where and what kind of table we were assigned? It would save a lot of time on embarkation day not having to wait for the maitre d’.

John says:
Hello Al Verni,

Dining room reservations are extremely complicated for the maitre d’s to do and I think posting something would be really good and would help them. Maybe I can add this to the blog and on Facebook and also add to the interactive TVs on board, so yes, indeed, Al, it is a great idea. Let me pass this on to the beards and see what they think. Thanks so much and I will keep you informed.

Best wishes.


Chuck Kiger asked:
Hey John,

Hope you are doing alright after your surgery. I had a thought today, based on programs with other companies that I do business with and after realizing how much I have promoted Carnival to many of my family and friends. Has there ever been a thought to offering or adding a referral incentive/program to the VIFP program? Example: If a past guest refers a new customer then both the new customer and the past guest receive an incentive (on board credit or discount for the new guest and same for the past guest or maybe even extra points in the VIFP program?). The new guest can provide the past guests VIFP number to the folks. Several companies do this that I know of…… very similar program is what DirecTV does……a current customer receives $100 credit over a year as does the new customer if they stay subscribed for at least three months. Both receive the credit in $10 increments per month. When the new customer signs up……..they state that they were referred and simply provide the existing customer’s account number. I think this would be a great incentive and perk for past guests and what a good marketing tool to attract new customers. If you provide a discount or onboard credit to the past guest, you can have it expire in one to two years as an incentive for them to return also. It might be hard to do if the new customer books through an agent……..but this would also help in the push to offer the best deals through if that is the only way to utilize the program. What do you think? Worth running it past the Beards?


Chuck Kiger

John says:
Hello Chuck Kiger,

Thanks for the interesting idea. As you mentioned, some companies do have the referral schemes and I will mention this to the beards and see if we can look at it as the New Year approaches. Until then, may I thank you for telling others about Carnival and if there is anything I can do for you, please let me know.

Best wishes.


Robert Jones asked:

I wasn’t sure what subject this should be filed under because it is, I believe, an odd question. This past February, my family and I took a five-day cruise out of New Orleans just for a short winter break. It wasn’t the nicest ship in the fleet, nor the most amazing trip one could imagine, but it was inexpensive and very relaxing. What the ship lacked in Fun Ship 2.0, the crew made up in utter amazingness. This is where my question comes in. My entire family fell in love with our wait staff. They were the two most incredible people I have met on a cruise ship. Is it possible
to book another cruise and request the same wait staff?

John says:
Hello Robert Jones,

What a wonderful post and I am so glad you decided to write. The crew is fantastic and I am thrilled that you enjoyed your wait staff so much and while I should mention that they move from ship to ship at the end of or even during a contract, you can tell me who you are looking for and I will let you know their current ship. They obviously made a wonderful impression on you which is so great to know. Please let me know if I can help further.

Best wishes.


Denise Brown asked:
Hi John,

My husband and I are considering the Carnival Miracle out of NYC or the Carnival Pride out of Baltimore in October/November 2012. Entertainment is a critical subject for us, that is, live music as opposed to a DJ. I saw Gotham Lounge on the Carnival Miracle has a live jazz trio. What specifics can you tell us about ALL live entertainment on these 2 ships during Oct./Nov. 2012?!!!!

John says:
Hello Denise Brown,

I hope this reply isn’t too late as I see you are looking to cruise soon. The ship has great shows, variety acts and four different comedians so show wise you will be thrilled. You also mentioned live music so here is what guests are experiencing this cruise on the Carnival Miracle …………..this is a sea day.

11:00am – 1:00pm Lido Stage, 9 Mid
2:00pm – 5:00pm Lido Stage, 9 Mid

1:30pm – 2:30pm Fountainhead Cafe’, 2 Fwd
3:00pm – 4:00pm (Tea Time) Bacchus, 3 Aft
5:15pm – 6:15pm Gotham Lounge, 3 Aft
7:30pm – 8:30pm Gotham Lounge, 3 Aft

5:15pm – 6:15pm Atrium Lobby, 2 Mid
7:30pm – 8:30pm Atrium Lobby, 2 Mid
9:30pm – 11:30pm Atrium Lobby, 2 Mid

7:30pm – 8:30pm & 9:30pm – 12:30am Casino, 2 Fwd

8:30pm – 12:30pm Frankie & Johnnie’s, 2 Fwd

9:30pm – Late Sam’s Piano Bar, 3 Fwd

10:00pm – 10:45pm (Oldies) Night Club, 2 Aft
10:45pm – 11:30pm (70’s, 80’s & 90’s) Night Club, 2 Aft
11:30pm – Late (Hits & Mixes) Night Club, 2 Aft

As you can see, they have live music on deck with a Caribbean duo and amongst all that great entertainment, they have the brilliant party band Music Unlimited. Please let me know if you have any questions and I do hope you book that cruise.

Best wishes.


Kathi Duval asked:
Hey John,

Do you remember my family on our 50th anniversary cruise in 2009?? It was our 50-year anniversary (Ralph & Kathi) and we took our family (all 23 of us) on a cruise. Well, you sent us a picture of the ship (Freedom) and a bottle of champagne. The picture said, “Happy anniversary Kathi & David,” our kids still ask us who David is!!!

John says:
Hello Kathi Duval,

Oops. Yes, indeed, I remember that well and still to this day, I have no idea where I got David from. I hope you are all well and please send my best to all the family including of course David. Hope to see you soon.

Best wishes.


Rachel Klein asked:

This concerns our 7/22 cruise on Carnival Conquest. I should start by saying that I had asked for the door gifts for our meet and greet and, yes, the staff came with two bottles of bubbly and two ships on sticks but then they left in fact they could not wait to get out of there. Neither the cruise director nor the captain showed themselves and all of the 40 Cruise Critic members said how slighted they felt by their no show based on what happens on other cruise lines. I felt that as brand ambassador, you should know this because nobody seemed to care. The cruise was good and the cabin steward, Alina, was probably the best we have had on our many cruises.

John says:
Hello Rachel Klein,

I am glad you got the gifts I organised and I am sorry that the cruise director and, indeed, the captain were unable to attend your meeting as obviously they were busy in their every day jobs running the vessel and entertaining the guests. I do hope you all enjoyed meeting each other and had fun doing so. Thanks so much for taking the time to mention Alina and I will make sure she sees your words of praise. I hope we see you again very soon.

Best wishes.


George Ostrowski asked:


I am a Carnival junkie with 18 in the past five years. I would not ask anything for myself; however, we just booked my Veterans of Foreign Wars Historian who served in WWII. He just turned 86 years old and will celebrate on the Carnival Miracle 10/13/2012. It’s his first Carnival cruise. Can you do something special for someone who helped defeat the Axis Empire many years ago? Walter Moeller 36TDH8, room 1196.

John says:
Hello George Ostrowski,

I am so happy that I saw this in time and, yes, of course, I will. I will make sure he is mentioned and we will send him something to say thanks for his wonderful service.

Best wishes and have a brilliant time.


Sally Anne asked:
Please can you tell me how I can get a table for two for our honeymoon cruise which is on the Carnival Dream in April 2013? Thank you, John.

John says:
Hello Sally Anne,

Please would you send me a request here one month before you sail or one week before you sail on my Facebook page Please include the ship and your cabin number and I promise to do all I can for you. Have a wonderful cruise and I wish you a brilliant life together.

Best wishes.


Isabel Jiminez asked:

Does the extra $5 charge in the steakhouse include tips to the wait staff or is it only for the improved meal and dining experience? I think $35 is too much but I also need to know if this includes the tip because it will be a deciding factor if I book David’s for my cruise or not. Is gratuity included, yes or no?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

John says:
Hello Isabel Jiminez,

The price per person in the steakhouse is indeed $35 and does include the gratuity. However, as always if you feel the service was special, then there is a space on the bill to add an extra tip, if deserved. You will enjoy the meal and the food and, indeed, the service. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Best wishes.


Joan Knowles asked:
Hi John,

We will be sailing on Carnival Spirit out of Sydney on Dec 16, our first Christmas cruise so very excited. Here in Australia, we are mainly massive cricket fans and my husband and son-in-law have Boxing Day all planned. They want to spend the day in the Sportsman’s Bar watching the Boxing Day cricket test match. Can you tell me if these cricket matches will be on the big screen aboard? My men folk are going to be devastated if not.

John says:
Hello Joan Knowles,

I am a huge cricket fan myself and I am well aware of how important this game is. And while the ship does not have a big screen we will show the game in the sports bar and on the stateroom televisions. Have a brilliant time.

Best wishes.


That’s all for today and thank you again for all your questions and comments.

As you may know, we are adding a few more highly talented beards to the entertainment department and under the brilliant leadership of Adrian, our VP, and the senior beards he reports to, we are going to have a lot of new faces there soon.

We are recruiting the following:


So, lots of new people will soon be sitting behind desks and in cubicles and together they will lead us forward and bring us new shows, more live music and more brilliant and fun events and I will make sure that each of these new beards sees your opinions and views. One thing the new beards will have to get used to is meetings because there are constant meetings in our Miami office. Now I know things are on a completely different scale in the world of cubicles and water coolers but bugger me…….do we really need so many meetings? Seriously, though, these are very exciting times and as we hire each of the people to fill these vacancies, I will introduce them to you so you can all see who is driving us to even better entertainment and fun.

One role that has been filled as of today is the manager of cruise directors and programming and I am very happy to say it has been given to one of our own, Mr. Ryan Fitzgerald.

Ryan joined Carnival in September of 2002 as a musician aboard the Jubilee. By 2007 he had worked his way to cruise director, a position he held for the next four years. In July 2011 he came shoreside to assist with many facets of Fun Ship 2.0, including serving as project manager for Hasbro, The Game Show. Ryan has a bachelor of arts & sciences from Middle Tennessee State University.

I am very proud of Ryan. He has come very far very quickly and having a total understanding of what the cruise directors do, I am sure he will do a brilliant job. This also means that he is in charge of updating our cruise director schedule as I know many of you are wanting to see who will be on your cruise and I hope to have that information sooner now rather than later.

Well, as you know, I will be leaving the Carnival Breeze on Oct. 16, head home for a couple of days and then fly to Miami for meetings, make a video for the Carnival Breeze’s naming ceremony (more on that soon) and then fly to New Orleans to work with kids and animals ………. oh, joy.

So often here on this blog thingy I spend time telling you about the difficult guests I have met, the psychics and people who want their clothes laundered because it rained and the lady yesterday who threw, yes, threw a steak, at the server in the steakhouse because she said it wasn’t cooked how she had ordered it. Yep, it would be easy to talk about these few who hog my headlines and forget about the wonderful, charming, funny, gracious and simply happy to be here guests that I meet each and every day. And so I want to finish today with a love story…..a love story from 1942.

Yep, 1942, that’s when a 15-year-old called Bruce met a 14-year-old called Stella. They met one night in London as they huddled in the old tube (metro) station to escape the bombs that the Luftwaffe were raining down on them. This story was told to me by both Stella and Bruce during my Marriage Show. Stella shared with us the story of how as the bombs fell, she met Bruce who was sitting with his family on the platform floor and how as the explosions ripped their homes apart, Bruce kept her smiling with his jokes and silly faces. They both lost their homes and they both lost loved ones during the Blitz but they found each other and here they are, on the Carnival Breeze, both in their eighties and both celebrating 68 years of marriage. Here, then, are Bruce and Stella.


During my Marriage Show, I asked Bruce if Stella was the only girlfriend he ever had. The answer from this 88-year-old man was priceless. “Yes, he said, or at least I think so, it was very dark down there in the underground bomb shelter so I am not sure.” Bruce and Stella…… together for 68 years and still laughing, still having fun and still cruising…………we should be so lucky.


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.

79 Responses to BRUCE, STELLA AND RYAN

  1. Ralph says:

    Wandering Dog,
    Appropriate name for you….you little _____!!!!

  2. Brian says:

    What a great story from Bruce and Stella. Brightens the day.

  3. Jon Keller says:

    bollocks to shopping

  4. Sharon Gelvin says:

    Great blog today. When on a cruise, I find my husband a place to sit, have a beer and do not force him to shop unless he wants to buy a gift for someone. He is very happy with that plan. Also the love story of Bruce and Stella was priceless. Having been on the Marriage Game, I would love to see the video of them on the show. Thanks for sharing with us.

  5. Scott Schaefer says:

    Bollocks To Shopping!!!!

  6. “bollocks to shopping.”

  7. Mary Moore says:

    Bollocks to shopping! I’m not a man or a husband but I don’t want to shop on vacation either. I don’t mind getting a little something to remember my trip, but sure as heck not planning to just shop. But this is why cruising is so perfect, everyone can do what they like.

    • Mary Mason says:

      Mary, I couldn’t agree with you more! Not a big shopper at home either. I make my list, check it twice before entering the store, go and get my things and get out as quick as I possibly can! My husband on the other hand? :}

      Bruce and Stella: What an absolutely beautiful and courageous story!

      John: Regarding the table numbering that one guest requested: My husband and I sailed on Victory last week. Numbering the dining table is already being utilized and we absolutly appreciated this!

      • Barbara says:

        Numbering of the tables does help but let me tell you what happened last year. Went in the dining room to find our table (was just curious where we would be) since we had a table number. There it was plain as day and I even took a picture of it – crazy me. Then to supper and lo, our table number was there but on a different table. Think it might have been due to mobility impaired guests as our 6 or 8 top had several who used scooters. We were next to them at a 10 top and enjoyed that location very much.

  8. Dave Myerly says:

    Double “BOLLOCKS” to shopping

    Carnival putting on 2 more Diectord and about 4 more managers and 2 more Supervisors etc. etc.
    I say that is way too many levels of management to have in place and will only make it more difficult to make decisions and implement them in a reasonable time. BAD MANAGEMENT DECISION CARNIVAL. Instead make all employees know they are empired and expected to make quick decisions as TEAM PLAYERS and meet all customers expectations quickly.

    • Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

      I just hope whoever they hire realizes that they can be “moved on” at any minute….

      how is Carnival going to draw the best when there is no job security there???

  9. Joe says:

    “Bollocks to shopping”

  10. Robinola says:

    I have to say that each and every one of the emails you responded to in this list are absolutely HILARIOUS! Where do these people come from?! Wow! And you respond with such Grace! Bravo!

  11. Robinola says:

    Bruce and Stella! You are AWESOME! Thank you.

  12. Dan K says:

    Bollocks to shopping!

  13. cruzin2some says:

    Dear John,
    Bullocks to shopping with the wife. Men are just better shoppers than women. You need to get a pair of shoes. Go to the shoe store find a pair that fits pay for them and go home. But with the wife she must try on every pair at every store on every store in town only to say that she cant find a single pair of shoes she likes. Men are just better hunters than women.
    The Cruzin2some
    James and shoeless Nancy

  14. Eilean Terry says:

    Dear John,
    So glad to read your blog. Even when I don’t have a cruise booked I can live onboard through you! Alas I have a question… I am unfortunately in a wheelchair. I cruised in November on the lovely Pride and while everyone was very helpful, at dinner we kept getting sat in the “inner ring” of seats. This meant that people that were sat at the outer table had to get up so my chair could get through. It was embarrassing. Is there any way to make sure we are seated at a table that is right off the walkway not in a row? We are cruising in April on the Splendor. I don’t particularly want a table for two… just not to make half the room stand to let me in!

    • Vivienne says:


      You need to go to the top of this page, and click on the “ASK JOHN” tab. There is a short form to fill out, with you name etc, and space for your message/request. John will do his best to assist. Hope this helps you.


    • The Cruzin2some says:

      You can also go to the Maitre D and request that he seat you on the outer edges of the dining room. They will usually be able to do so.
      The Cruzin2some

  15. Rodger laforce says:

    Bollocks to shopping!!

  16. Chris says:

    “bollocks to shopping.”

  17. Dominic Lacy says:

    Bollocks to shopping

  18. Mika says:

    @Eilean. I’m not sure if John reads the comments, but you should send your dining request to him on Facebook a week before you cruise. Good luck! 🙂

  19. Mika says:

    I can’t believe the guest that threw the steak at the server. Shame on her! I hope she got kicked off the ship!

  20. Lora Davids says:

    Hi John,

    Thanks for all you do. We are fans of you and Carnival. Nov. 24 we will begin our 5th cruise (first time on the Triumph) and are bringing along our very good friends. They are celebrating their anniversary (25, I think) and this is their first cruise. Is there a way to make sure we sit at the same table in the dining room? Their room is next to ours and we are in stateroom 7342. I have one more question: a couple years ago after clearing it with you on your blog, we brought kids’ things, small toys, school supplies, personal hygiene items and just stuff kids would enjoy and left them with the CD to give to a school/orphange in Cozumel. We have no ties with anyone there, but Brad Calabrese knew just want to do and had us leave them at Guest Services for him. It usually equals one small suitcase of things. Can we still do this? Does Carnival still know of a school or orphanage who would love having new things for their students? We are so blessed to take a cruise for the past 5 Novembers and realize there are kids in some of the places we go who have nothing.

    We’d also like to give a shout out to one of your PVPs, Bernadine Christian. She is amazing and we always feel like royalty after talking to her. Her knowledge, her love of her job, her clients and company is evident. After 5 years, we have come to think of her as a friend.

    Thanks again for all you do. We appreciate you and Carnival. We had the honor of meeting you once at the Maroon 5 Concert meet and greet before the concert. Thanks for that too. It was amazing.

    Danny and Lorrie Davids

  21. Barb Shugart says:

    Al Verni’s idea is not only a good one, but it would be fantastic if Carnival would set up an interactive page like the airlines have to pick your seat on the plane. It would be terrific to be able to choose your table/seat in the dining room of your choice! Of course, there would be a need to block off certain amounts of seats at large tables for larger groups to sit together, but it would be nice to have some choice.

    • Richard Taylor says:

      I thought Carnival used to publish a map of the tables?
      There is a nice aspect of not doing so and being taken to your table on the first night.

    • Rick Williamson says:

      Barb, with 2000 to 4600 cruisers on each ship frankly you just can’t do something like that. 80%of them would pick the window you are looking at. We enjoy on the afternoon we first get on a ship to go see what table we have gotten. And what the dinning room looks like. We enjoy meeting new people and learning about tours they have been on if they have been on this cruise before. Or what they did that day on the ship or off. Ofcourse we also enjoy the cruise (which are few) were it’s just the 4 of us at a table. I guess my point is you paid to go on a cruise (vacation) so relax and go with the flow.

  22. bill becker says:

    Bollocks to shopping!!!!!!! John, have a great day and keep fighting the good fight against shopping. Reinforcements will be there in 27 days. Stay strong.

  23. Chris says:

    Bollocks to shopping…..I do kind of like the places in the islands that give me cold beer while the better half shops for jewelry though…Takes the pain out of the experience…lol

  24. Lester says:

    Going shopping is not bollocks, especially when one wants rumpy-pumpy. Let me rephrase that to make it more PC. Spending time doing what your significant other enjoys and purchasing tokens of affection could lead to a deeper,loving, relationship.
    Out of PC mode, How deep depends less on the size of your Gentleman’s sausage, and more on the size of the bling. 🙂

  25. Steve says:

    Bollocks to shopping!

  26. Jessica says:

    Awe, I want to be Bruce and Stella when I grow up : )

  27. Jason says:

    Bollocks to shopping!!!

  28. Jeff Thomson says:

    Bollocks to shopping!

  29. Kevin McCarthy says:

    Bollocks to shopping!

  30. Kathy T says:

    I gotta say Bollocks to Shopping as well… what woman in their right moind would drag a man along with her while shopping? They will just suck the life and fun out of it. Go by yourselves, ladies, and have a good time! 🙂

    • Linda C says:

      Amen and High 5! Kathy T!!! Leave them at home and enjoy the shopping experience. lol! Of course, I rarely shop, but when I do I want to enjoy it!!!!

  31. mick says:

    bollocks to shopping!

  32. Elizabeth says:

    Why basketball and shopping in Venice? There are many unique sights to be seen in Venice. I’m sure that Carnival offers shore excursions there!

  33. Lori says:

    another female here joining
    the men
    “Bullocks to Shopping!!”

  34. Steve S. Chicago says:

    gnippohs ot skcollob

  35. Barbara says:

    For poor Isabelle.

    Guess she doesn’t get out much at all. Nowhere in the real world of fine food would she find such a wonderful meal for 35.00.

    If you want cheap, confine your “fine meal” to Appleby’s…they are currently offering a “2 for 20.00” special including steak…..

    As for me, I’ll continue a “cheap” gourmet dinner at the Steakhouse. Such a meal where I live will set you back at least 60 bucks or more…..and you’d have to drive 20 miles to find the restaurant.

    • lisa m says:

      The reason the person asked about the $35 is that THEY ALREADY PAID FOR FOOD IN THE CRUISE. This is not the same as walking into a restaurant and buying a meal. Some money has been put out already towards meals so the $35 per person for the steakhouse is EXTRA ON TOP OF SOMETHING ELSE, not the total coast of the meal. So you have apples and oranges here. You can’t compare the retail on the shore restaurant cost to the add on for specialty restaurants on cruises.


  36. Barbara says:

    Rachel Klein.

    THIS is exactly why I dropped my 5 year membership in the cruise forum that “shall not be named”.

    Gimme, gimme, gimme…and for free…

    Rank amateur travelers who rarely leave Podunk and then complain when they do irritate me…..

    I suggest she compare the prices on that Other Cruise Line to Carnival’s…and compare the superior Carnival experience to that “other” one…that has more “rules” than the state pen.

  37. Cindy K says:

    My husband and I just came home from a wonderful vacation on the Victory. The photo team took some great candid black and white photos as we got off at the ports. I loved them because they were so different and this being my 17th cruise it was nice to see something new. Now my problem… they come in 6×9 size… its impossible to find frames for these.. so my question, why does Carnival print photos in this size and not standard 5×7? Thanks & Best Wishes, Cindy K

    • robert says:

      I love those B&W photos there called color black and white there processed as a color photo. but i hav never had trouble finding frames for them i find them in wall mart.

    • Larry says:


      An 8 x 10 will work, just buy a mat for it, even larger will work and look good, you can mat them also.

  38. David Stern says:

    Dear John,
    I am a man that likes to shop! Buying a souvenier from one of the countries I have visited is a priceless reminder of my visit. However, those boys and fathers playing basketball are nuts. You are in Venice Italy and shopping aside, you would rather play basketball than explore the city, see St. Marks square and other sites? Another reason home school dosen’t work with most people. A valuable lost experience because they will probably never visit Italy again.

    • lisa wiggs says:

      Kathi Duval, you will love this story from the rehearsal dinner before my wedding. My future father-in-law stood up and made a toast to Lisa & Steve. Unfortunately my fiance was Ken (Steve is his brother.) From the far end of the table Steve shouted, “I never touched her, Ken!” The entire wedding party roared with laughter and we never let my father-in-law live it down.

  39. richard hillman says:

    bollocks to shopping!

  40. Linda The Mouse says:



    Unfortunately I have not been keeping up with your blog for months now…Mom turned 90 and is having a lot of health issues which occupy so much of my time.

    HOWEVER…I have some friends onboard the Breeze this week….the Angers….could you possibly give a shout out to them while they are onboard….Linda works for Disney Cruise Line, but is sailing with Carnival like I do….Can’t wait to hear to hear all about the Breeze from her on her return.

    How all is well with you and yours,


  41. Mark Levine says:

    Thank you for introducing us to Bruce and Stella. What a great story, wonderful couple, and great picture!

  42. Janice Bowers says:

    Thanks for sharing Bruce and Stella’s story. It put a smile on my face this morning. What a great sense of humor Bruce has.
    I was shocked to read that someone threw a steak at a server in the steakhouse. I can’t fathom any reason for this behavior. I hope the server wasn’t injured.

  43. JoeMo says:

    Bollocks To Shopping!!!!

  44. bridget says:

    To Whom it may concern:
    I wanted to let you know about a situation that occured with my husband and myself. We ‘won’ a free Carnival Cruise. We were so excited. We told everyone. Several of our family members were going to go with us to have a reunion and it was going to be great. We figured out which excursions we were going to do and everything. Well when we went to book the cruise we were told it was full. Then we were told we could pay 450.00 to be upgraded and go on the cruise. I told them I would have to get back with them because this sounded funny since other members of our family were going for 500.00. How could a free cruise cost 450.00? I was dumbfounded. Needsless to say we are not going on our $450.00 FREE cruise that we won. Also, after this was all discovered our family reunion has been cancled for now. My kids are devistated. How do you explain to a five year old that told all her friends at school that now shes not going on a cruise. This is a double whammy. No cruise and no reunion. This really makes the entire group of us reconsider ever going on a Carnival Cruise. Attached is the worthless voucher that we ‘won’. I have read the voucher and see that its not directly through Carnival but it puts Carnival in a really bad light. They present it like it is from Carnival and the Carnival logo is on it. I think this is breaking some copyright laws as well if it is not from Carnival. How can they use the logo unless they are affiliated with Carnival or its just Carnival operating under a different name. Because if I used the logo on something you better believe I would be in court. This just adds more to the fishy story. Not a day goes by when someone asks me about the cruise and I have to tell this story. Its really sad. And I thought Carnival was a good company. However, Carnival is getting a lot of bad press when people hear about this story.

    • Melli_fera says:

      Carnival IS a good company. You just said it yourself that this “prize” was not affiliated with Carnival. Sorry you got duped. If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is. Good thing you didn’t send them the $450 and then have no cruise AND no $450.

      • Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

        Why in the world would you hold Carnival accountable for something they had absolutely nothing to do with?

        Scam companies (ICE and time share companies) use cruise lines all the time to sucker people in…

        be mad at the people who were trying to sucker you…not Carnival.

        Being mad at Carnival just makes you look foolish.

    • Rick Williamson says:

      Bridget, first you should have known better. Secound you SHOULD have check it out before opening your mouth about it to the family. Anytime you go on a cruise you get booked on board before you start thinking of what you are going to do in each port of call. I know Carnival does give a free cruise each month for those that do a survey each month that Carnivals emails out. It for an ocean view. Now I would think if I want an up grade to a balcony say I would have to pay the diffence. Now I don’t know this for sure. But that’s how I would be thinking if I did win. Now yours was something different al together. You were suckered in by some company. If it’s to go to be true check it out first with the cruise line it says you have a free cruise on. Lastly plan a family reunion on Carnival but do it on your on through Carnival. And have a great time they are a great Cruise Line to go on. We just finished #16 a few weeks ago. And try to get over that free cruise that wasn’t.

  45. June Stevens says:

    Hello John! We just returned from the Carnival Dream and had a fantastic time. In fact, we booked the Carnival Breeze for next March while on board! Which brings me to my question…. Have they started booking the Faster to the Fun program for the March sailings for the Breeze yet? I really want to get this, because I am handicapped and being able to get to my room early and put my bags down would be a great relief!

    Thanks so much for the information!

  46. Bob McAdoo says:

    “bollocks to shopping

  47. Johnathan M says:

    Hi John,
    I will be going on my first cruise on Nov 12 the Imagination to Cozumel. I am very excited and can’t wait! However I ran into a snag with customer service. They are not at all customer focused and they will quote company policy and that’s it! I even spoke to customer relations and the man did not even try to make me a happy person, no I’m sorry or anything. This is my first cruise and you think you would want to make it Epic so I return and refer friends as I have been referred by my friend to your line. Btw this is all over $3.43 kinda stupid but its just the principal.. Anyways we will see how the trip goes on if I cruise with you again or not. Not a very good first impression. Thanks,

    Johnathan M

  48. I have a question John. Are you now spending more time on Facebook? I use to always check on you on the blog and you are on the blog less time. I miss you on the blog John.

    Paul F. Pietrangelo

  49. Susan says:

    I pay $40 a month for 5 GB of air card service and can get free wifi services in many hotels, restaurants, etc. I fail to see why service at sea should cost so much for just one week. Both new and old policies seem to be price gouging.

    • Connie says:

      Yes, the price for internet on this cruise line is absurd. But then again, the price for any small luxury with Carnival, ie: Movies, water, phone service, is ridiculous! I am sitting on the Pride right now. It has been 4 days of turbulent and violent seas. Raining is coming down in sheets and we are all sick of being on this ship. Do you think Carnival would give any concessions to make our stay a bit better? Heck no! We were forced to cancel 2/3 of our trip and head across the caribbean to Port Canaveral where we have no clue what happens next. This is the cruise from hell and Carvival is not willing to lose a dime!

      • Nick PA says:

        This is gonna sound weired but I like the high prices…It keeps the temptation to grab my tablet away causing me to enjoy experiences I may have missed.

  50. gordon sharpe says:

    Hi there John,
    We were on the Splendor together, and you kept us entertained.. right next door in our cabin next to the Bridge -8202.A memorable time!

    Just completed a wonderful cruise on the Magic through the Carribbean.. enjoy your trips there!!

    We live in Edinburgh , and its a far cry from the hot Jamaican sun here !

    Thinking of a cruise through San Juan down to the Carribean Islands in the future for our family..
    Would be good to meet up again..

    Shopping is not high on our agenda either.. usually can’t spare the room in our suitcases to take anyn stuff back on the long haul flights!!

    Best wishes,

    Gordon, Linda and Graham

  51. Sheri says:

    I think the wives have the brains..they were probably TELLING the husbands they were going shopping and went to the bar! Either way, NO KIDS!!! LOL

  52. Tiffany O'byrne says:

    Hi John,

    We have recently returned from your mediterranean cruise leaving from Barcelona on the Carnival Breeze. There was 8 of us. We’re from Geraldton in Western Australia. We travelled 5 hours by car to get to the airport and then sat on a plane for around 18 hours. It was well worth it. We had a fantastic time…… We loved our wait staff in Blush Restruant. I head waiter was Milen. We loved him… Pichet serviced our rooms and we loved him too, nothing was too much trouble for anyone and was always performed with a smile. Our kids favourite person of the trip was Alex (the Whoo hoo guy). Italy is a place i have always wanted to visit and found the holiday to be great for everyone because it included history, art, architecture, great food, great wine and fantastic ambiance oh yeah and lots of water and boats for my husband. We’re the guests who left you the canollis from Taoromina at the guest information desk.. Just wanted to let you know that the long terrible plane flight was definitely worth it and we rave about the trip to our friends We took the trip because September 3 was my father in laws 70th Birthday and September 29 was my husbands 40th birthday, neither like to be the centre of attention and neither wanted to have a party…. my father in law said Im not having a party Im going on a cruise, so I said Great Idea, we’ll all come and then proceeded to plan the trip. I can’t believe its over now but we’re all so glad we’ve experienced the Carnival Breeze.


    Tiffany Obyrne
    we were room 6212 and 6214 and departed on October 1

  53. Joan Whitby says:

    Would like to talk to you about our dinner reservations for party of 12 please email me since I was told to contact you by my vacation planner, we are platinum vip and I would appreciate your help John or Calvyn as the last time I saw Calvyn was on the Dream 3 years ago sharing a bottle of champagne with Heidi.

  54. Jeannette says:

    What a great story about Bruce and Stella. It might have made me a little teary. 😉

  55. Hey John, have you quit the blog and decided to only write in Facebook? I’m disappointed in you. The blog was the thing that got you involved with all of us. The last blog was October 10th. It’s now the 26th of October. What gives?

    Paul F. Pietrangelo

  56. Sean says:

    Howdy John,

    I was wondering why won’t allow you to purchase Fun Ship Dollars online anymore. The webpage has been broken since at least mid september (the last time I purchased online). You can’t pull down the list of states to put in an address. Ive sent numerous emails via website to tech services and keep getting the same canned answer “Sorry…Please call….”. Although my purchases can be handled over the phone it takes a bit longer and I, like you, am very busy and where ever I can shave 5 minutes off in a day is a good thing. Please pass along to the appropriate “Beard” and get the thing fixed. Thanks.

  57. Ed Preston says:

    “bollocks to shopping.”

  58. salvador carrillo says:

    I came back from a very disappointed cruise trip on the Legend. Trip from 10/21/2012 to 10/28/2012 my number one concern and complaint is with the cruise director James Dunn. I approached him with my disappointment on the management and logistic on the ship and lock of pools available in the ship due to slide close during the trip and pools open rarely sometimes not open at all, his exact words ” well you should got off at Cozumel” I took this comment as very unprofessional and racist as I’m from Mexico. The worst part about it no apology or wanting to hear more, he just told me to have a good day.

  59. Paul F. Pietrangelo says:

    November 3, and still no John Heald Blog.Every night I still check on it yet the same one that you did on October 10th.

    Paul F. Pietrangelo

    • Amy in Florida says:

      Hi Paul,
      I see you’ve posted about your disappointment with the lack of blogs. John has been around the world the last couple weeks but will resume his usual 3 blogs per week starting today. 🙂

  60. Christine says:

    Hi I was just on the Carnival Breeze. The guitarist was fabulous . He gave me his card with his name and e-mail. He played in the Piano Club and the Red Frog. I believe his name was Ron or Ryan. I am interested because I would like to purchase his CD’s
    Please let me know this! I really was impressed and would like to spread the word
    about him. Thank you So much
    Christine Gagnon

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