November 9, 2012 -

John Heald

So far, touch wood, things are going well here on Carnival Breeze. Today we are in Malaga, Spain and the weather is a bit cloudy and there have been a passing shower or two but overall the cruise is going well. However, as I have said before here on the blog, trans-Atlantic cruises tend to include a few guests who by tradition will be a bit grumpy and who will find things wrong because for them, finding things that are wrong is their favourite activity on board. It is important to note that they are the minority and 98 percent of the guests will have a brilliant time. I should add the price of a 16-day cruise is brilliant value for money, with wonderful food, entertainment and activities all included in the price. Anyway, let me give you an example of what I mean about being grumpy, have a read of this.


Sent: Thursday, November 08, 2012 11:40 AM
Subject: Mrs. __________ Unhappy with meal

Good Day,

Last night Mrs. _______ of stateroom _________ came for dinner with her husband and another couple. They all ordered the fillet mignon and Mrs._______ordered hers medium rare. The chef prepared the steak and when it was served Mrs. _______send it back saying it was not cooked medium rare but medium. We cooked her a new steak and presented her with that. After 10 minutes Mrs ______ called the waitress over and said her steak was still not cooked correctly and was noted that over half the steak had been eaten. Mrs. _______ refused the offer of another fillet mignon or other cut of meat. When the table was presented with the check to sign Mrs. _______refused to pay for her meal and also her husband’s and she stated their meal had been ruined. Please also note that Mrs. _______had three more bookings at the steakhouse this cruise.

Thank you for your time.

Kind regards,

Steakhouse Manager, Carnival Breeze

We are following up with this today and while we will comp her meal (despite her eating the appetiser, soup and dessert and most of her medium rare cow) but we are insisting she pay for her husband’s meal, as he ate all of it and, if she refuses, we will kindly suggest she doesn’t eat in the steakhouse again. This comment is very rare…….pardon the pun………and 53 guests ate their last night and only one returned their steak. If it’s not cooked properly, tell us and we will make sure you get what you ordered but to eat most of it and then refuse to pay for her meal and her husband’s ……..well, personally, I think that is ridiculous. He ate everything, appetiser, soup, salad, cowboy steak and the cheesecake for dessert but this lady will not pay. Oh FFS!

As we are talking about steak I have to say that I hate any redness in my meat and while Heidi is happy to have her steak waved in front of a candle for a few minutes and call it cooked I have to have mine burnt.

I know there are foodists out there who will tell me that this takes away the taste but they can …….. with respect………bugger off. I do not want my plate to look like a one of those horror movies complete with spurting fountains of blood. Yep, eating should not be a blood sport. Some therefore may say that I should consider becoming a vegan? Short of shaving Calvyn’s bottom, I can think of nothing I’d like less. Eating a plate of food that contains no animal product of any kind makes me ummmm…… a yak.

I respect vegetarianists ……..really I do……but eating only vegetables is like deciding to talk using only consonants. You need vowels or in this case…. steak. Of course, there are certain weeds I like very much, cauliflower and peas particularly. But these are an accompaniment to food, useful only for filling up the plate and absorbing the sauce. The idea of eating only a cauliflower, without even so much as a cheese sauce, is unfathomable. There are wider implications, too. Let us imagine that the world decided today to abandon its appetite for sausages, prime rib and roast lamb. The fields would be full of millions of cows, sheep and pigs and unless we introduce a yearly case of mad cow and foot and mouth – or reintroduce wolves and lions to the fields of Texas – then surely, just as in Planet of the Apes, the bovine creatures of the planet would eventually take over the world and rule us all.

It’s interesting reading complaints about our steakhouse because it wasn’t too long ago when there was no steakhouse, no Cucina del Capitano, no sushi, no Mongolian Wok, no Tandoor and no warm chocolate melting cake. Yep, we have come a long way when it comes to food and as I sit here in my underpants, the beards are working on new and exciting changes to our dining room menus and on other food choices around the ship and I look forward to telling you about them.

Time for today’s Q and A – off we go.

David Yermalenak asked: 

John, Not sure if you remember me but we met on the Carnival Freedom when we went to Istanbul and Greece. I sang the Sinatra song in the Carnival Legends show and the audience gave me a standing up ovation. I just got off the Carnival Magic and during the auditions I sung again and this time I was not chosen from the auditions because the man who was hosting the contest cheated and didn’t listen to what the audience wanted and instead he chose an old man to sing who sounded nothing like Sinatra and could not even hold the tune of the song properly. I was disgusted and so was the hundreds of passengers who came up to me and said that I should have been chosen to sing the Sinatra song because I was the best they had heard. This ruined my cruise and I am considering not coming back to Carnival Cruise Lines so wanted you know.

John says:
Hello David Yermalenak,

I am so sorry to read this note from you and I am sure that when you look back at the fun you had on your past cruises that you will realise that despite not getting into the Carnival Legends show that you had a great time. The voting is supposed to be done by the guests and having spoken briefly to the CD James on the Carnival Magic last night he confirmed that the auditions are indeed based on audience response. I hope you do sail again and I hope you will have another chance to be part of our Carnival Legends show.

Best wishes


C. Zuinig asked:
Dear John:

I wanted to get your opinion on this before my next cruise. After looking over the tipping policy I have decided to remove my tips and tip in cash. So that I don’t shortchange anyone, I am making use of the information regarding how tips are distributed. The $3.70 per day stateroom services is no problem. I see may cabin steward and his assistant and will be able to tip them directly. The $5.80 for dining room services is also not a problem as I will tip my waiter and his assistant directly. The $2 per day alternative services: distributed to kitchen, entertainment, guest services and other hotel staff members may be a little more tricky. But, I have devised a plan.

As this is a seven-night cruise, I will be bringing along $14 in quarters to hand out in increments equal to $2 per day.

When I go to the Lido buffet I plan to seek out the following people that I figure have taken care of my dining:

There is always someone behind the breakfast line taking care of the bacon and pancakes, etc. I will give that person a quarter every morning when I get my biscuits and bacon.

Beverages: I figure 25 cents each time I go to breakfast or lunch and get a drink from the dispensers. I always see someone taking care of that so I will give them a quarter at breakfast and a quarter at lunch.

Omelette station: This one is a little more tricky. This person is actually cooking my food at breakfast. I will give that person two quarters since I think they work harder than the person that just restocks the breads.

Desserts: I only see the person cutting up the cakes and I will give that person two quarters each day at lunch and ask that they give the other quarter to the pastry chef.

Waiters: I always see a waiter clearing plates and restocking the rolled up silverware. I will give that person 25 cents as well as they do a good job keeping the tables clean. (But if they take my plate before I’m done, no quarter for them. I may have to bring some dimes so they’ll know when they haven’t done a good job.)

I am now up to $1.75 and the additional quarter to total $2, I will give to the person behind the sushi bar as I do enjoy the sushi every afternoon before dinner. I figure this is all fair and this way the $2 per day actually gets distributed to the proper people.

As far as guest services go, I have never had occasion to talk to them. If I do, I will bring some extra quarters with me just in case.

Please let me know what you think of my plan.


C. Zuinig

John says:
Hello C.Zuinig

Please give my regards to your other screen names. Best wishes.


Bill Byrne asked:

I have been away from Carnival for a while and am coming back for the final trip on Carnival Destiny in February.  This is my first TA and while I am looking forward to it, I have heard comments that there won’t be a full crew, or that there isn’t much entertainment.   Can you tell us first time TA customers, what it’s like and what we have to look forward to? Thanks


John says:
Hello Bill Byrne,

I have no idea where you read that but I promise it is not true. We have so many shows and activities so that the sea days are packed with things to do. There are different shows, activities, music, dancing, arts and crafts lessons, seminars, games, movies, card tournaments, cooking demonstrations and lots, lots more. So welcome back and if there is anything I can do for you please let me know.

Best wishes.


Melissa asked:
Hi John!

I’m booked on the Carnival Breeze Dec. 16-22 for a winter break getaway/birthday celebration and I’m already counting down the days! I have two questions for you about the sailing though: I noticed that on the CD schedule it shows both Butch and yourself on the Carnival Breeze in December. Who will be (as of now) the CD on that sailing? My other question is, will Ken be the maitre’d? If so, which dining room will he be in? I have such great memories of dining/showtime on the Carnival Freedom where he was the maitre’d and would love to have him again.


John says:

Hello Melissa,

My apologies for the late reply to your post as I can see your cruise on this beautiful ship will soon be here. The CD will be the wonderful Butch Begovich and I know you will truly enjoy him. The maître d will be Ken and he will be hosting in his own unique style in the Blush (aft) dining room. Please let me k now if there is anything I can do for you and I will be here or on Facebook to help you.

Best wishes.


Jane asked:

I have two future cruise certificates that I will not be able to use before they expire. Can I get my money back? If so, how?

John says:
Hello Jane

Yes indeed you can. Please call Carnival’s guest service line and they will answer any questions you may have. Please let me know if you need anything else.

Best wishes.


Paul Matranga asked:

How cheap of your cruise line not to offer bar snacks!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was on the Carnival Paradise last week and asked the bartender at the pathetic sports bar you guys have there for a bowl of peanuts or pistachios and was told by the very rude bartender that I had to go to the shop on the ship and buy some. Carnival must be the only cruise lines not to have bar snacks. I will be bringing my family and one other family on the Carnival Destiny in January and there had better be bar snacks available then!!!!!!!!

John says:
Hello Paul Matranga,

We don’t have nuts or snacks at the bars, Paul, and we won’t have on the Carnival Destiny either. I can see you are very upset about this and that’s a shame as I am sure you had a fun time and hope you won’t let this one little thing get you all worked up. You may think the reason we don’t serve snacks is because we don’t want the expense but that’s not true. You see the major reason we don’t serve snacks is a public health one what with various guests dipping their hands into the bowls etc we decided not to take a chance of germs being spread. Plus, what with complimentary 24-hour pizza and room service and all the other food choices through the day we do feel that bar snacks are not needed. Now, the new EA Sports Bars on the ships that have had the 2.0 upgrades have snacks like wings and hot dogs served during sporting events so I hope you get to sail on one of those very soon. Have a great cruise on the Carnival Destiny and if you have any other questions please let me know. Best wishes.


Ed asked:

I enjoy playing the bean bag toss contest on the Carnival Miracle. If I brought my own bags could I check out the boards using my sail/sign card and play on deck? I’m cruising 10/13/12 on the Miracle out of NYC.

John says:
Hello Ed,

It is surprising just how popular these games are and on all our ships we now have the boards out each day so yes indeed, bring your own bags and play away and have fun. If we can help in anyway please let me know. Have fun.

Best wishes.


Michael Dearing asked:

John, will try to make this brief. I am the father of three children, twins aged 11 and a younger daughter who is eight. The children’s mother and I are divorced and she originally was awarded custody. After being divorced a couple years I met the woman of my dreams Lynn and after a shaky start have been “joined at the hip” since. About three years ago my ex-wife informed me that she was moving 2,500 miles away and taking the kids with her. Subsequently in initiated legal actions and the court decided to award me custody. Being as we live in South Carolina, a very conservative state, Lynn had to make a really tough choice, marry me and become step mother to three rather traumatized children, or run like hell. If the roles were reversed I’m not sure what choice I would have made. Anyways we had planned a cruise for December of last year but had to postpone because we felt it wouldn’t be appropriate to leave the kids for a week with relatives at that time. We subsequently changed the booking to the Liberty this Dec 1 sailing. Lynn has been an amazing stepmom while the kids’ real mother has continued to live thousands of miles away and not be part of their daily lives. All three kids are now excelling in school and are happy vibrant kids. There is no way on God’s green Earth I could have managed to do this by myself. Without Lynn taking an this monumental task and going way beyond what anyone could reasonably expect from her, my kids would be nowhere close to where they are today. Was wondering if there was some way we could have her recognized by the staff on the Liberty. This will in fact be our much delayed honeymoon and I really want to let her know how much I love her and how grateful I am everyday that she choose to spend her life with me! Our booking # is ****** in cabin 1039. Thanks for anything you can do to help….


John says:
Hello Michael Dearing,

Thanks so much for taking the time to write and it seems like you have all been through a lot of emotional times and are in need of this cruise. I have sent a note to the ship and asked them to send Lynn a little something on my behalf and I hope together you will have a brilliant time. Maybe you could also look at a night at the steakhouse, just the two of you while the kids are at the various clubs for kids and teens having fun. This maybe a great chance to tell her how much she means to you. I hope you all have a brilliant time and wish you all happiness in the future.

Best wishes.


Jo Westerfeld asked:

I will be on the Carnival Dream on booking number ****** with my husband and son. I need to make sure that the cabin boy does NOT MAKE THE TOWEL ANIMALS as they frighten my son who has autism. I called the help desk at Carnival but they won’t seem to get the seriousness of this request and said I should write to you. Make sure then that there are NO TOWEL ANIMALS on our bed in cabin 1397!!

John says:
Hello Jo Westerfeld,

Of course, please do not worry as I have sent a message to the ship’s housekeeping manager and I know he will make sure that this is taken care of and we don’t have any towel animals in your cabin for your December 8 cruise. If there is anything else I can do for you please let me know

Best wishes to you all.


That’s all for today.

I have many wonderful memories of the Carnival Destiny despite the fact that being the CD for her inaugural season gave me my grey hair. There are so many stories from those early weeks of the ship’s life back in 1996 including our passage into Boston. The ship was the largest cruise vessel in the world at the time, the first cruise ship at 100,000 tons and there was much excitement. I was on the bridge as we sailed up the river to our docking area. Suddenly, the Boston pilot ordered Captain Gallo to bring the ship to a sudden stop, he, of course, complied and we all wondered what the problem was? Well, the problem was that our course took us up river and past Boston Airport. The pilot was concerned that the ship was so tall that the planes on a landing approach may ummmmm………clip our smokestack. Good idea to stop then we all agreed. So, as the pilot contacted the air traffic control and after confirming that it was safe for us to continue.

This was just one of the many adventures we had on Carnival Destiny some of which I am sure I must have written about here on the blog. Yep, from our arrival into our docking space in New York Harbor which was heralded by the NYPD pulling a body out of the Hudson right next to the ship to the inaugural celebration and Regis Philbin throwing a microphone at me, there was never a dull moment. Those of us who were on the Carnival Destiny since her arrival in 1996 are looking forward then to her rebirth, her rejuvenation and her renaming as she becomes the Carnival Sunshine and in case you missed the news yesterday here is the latest on what will be a very exciting ship indeed.

So President Obama is back in the chair again for another four years and please at this point don’t get worried and all hot and bothered thinking I am about to make political statements here on a blog that usually talks about underpants, toilets, hemorrhoids, undercooked steaks and H82SEAUGO’s love of me and all things Carnival because I am not. I am going to simply say that it was interesting seeing a few guests at the election center we set up were wearing Obama shirts. I say this only because out of the 50 or so that I saw there was none were wearing Romney shirts. Now I have my own views on who I wanted to win and those views are based on my view of the world and that, of course, is my business which I won’t inflict upon you.

I did though that the night of the election listen to one guest who I know well and who is, in fact, a Diamond member and a regular contributor to my blog and my Facebook page tell me that he didn’t trust Mitt Romney because “He was a Mormon.” While I’m sure Mitt is a nice guy and I really wanted to engage this guest in healthy political debate but really I couldn’t because ummmmmm………..honestly…………I didn’t have a clue about Mormons or Mormonism.

The reality is that that this lack of information that can lead to opinions – fair or unfair — being formed. We hear small pieces of conversations and or a bit from the news and tend to just go with it. For example, I have no idea what Scientology is all about either. Do you need to be able to fly a F16 Fighter Jet and have a mate called Goose and believe that humans were transported to Earth millions of years ago from a distant planet or Uranus perhaps? Ignorance makes us afraid and that’s why I always hope that when you read a bad review on that you look for the good ones as well because there will be good ones, many good ones written by people who have had a brilliant time, just as you will. I am sure Romney would have made a great President. I am also sure Mormons are great people and have lots to offer and I especially like them because they don’t knock on my door at 8 am to tell me Jesus wants me for a sunbeam.

We started with a comment about the steakhouse and I wanted to finish with one today, as well, actually it’s a comment from me. On Wednesday night during my walk around the ship I pooped (spelt correctly) into the steakhouse to see how it was going. I was waved over to a table by two of my blog readers who are sailing and as we chatted my attention was drawn to the table next to them and to a very well dressed family. They were an all American family of Mum, Dad and two children, one aged around 15 or 16 and the other at the very most was five and in front of him sat a plate of one of our most popular appetisers, tuna tartar. Now I think he probably wasn’t enjoying it judging by his face which as he spooned in a bit of tuna made a face like a cat’s bottom.

I would never judge how parents raise their kids just as I would hope that nobody would judge the way Heidi and I raise our daughter but in this case I have to say something here. I personally would never take my five-year-old to a restaurant like the steakhouse if other options like Camp Carnival were available and if I did I would probably ask if there was a kids menu. OK, we don’t have a kids menu at the steakhouse but it seems that even if there was this kid would not have been given that option “No, no, five-year-old Justin will have the tuna tartar followed by the Chilean Sea Bass drizzled in fennel laying in a bed of truffle oil. He’s got a very advanced palate for his age you know.”

As I smiled and said my good evening to this family I couldn’t help but look at this kid and think that deep down…….what he really wanted was a plate of chicken nuggets and fries. One last thing ……….the lady with the half-eaten steak who refused to pay for her and her husband’s meal has again refused to do so and she was therefore politely informed that we would not be serving her again in the steakhouse and surprise, surprise…….she has removed her gratuities for the wait staff and her stateroom steward. At this point I could attempt some attempt at humour at her expense but you know what, in this case, I will simply say that I think that this is sad …… very sad indeed.


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.


  1. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

    David Yermalenak:

    As an avid singer myself who has participated in no less than 30 Carnival Talent Shows and Legends Shows over the years…..

    I can tell you that sometimes the best technical singer does not win spot. Sometimes the audience responds to a singer which may not sing as well but gives a better overall performance.

    I happen to know the karaoke host on your cruise and I can assure you that he does everything in his power on every cruise to put together the best show possible.

    Now (since it is based on the audience)…. Karaoke hosts face the challenge of making sure that someone is not selected just because they are traveling with a large group.

    And I have seen karaoke host make the final selection to prevent someone from stacking the vote with all their friends.

    In these kinds of cases, it is the best performer that is selected….since no one should lose just because they are traveling by themselves.

    I will add one specific incident of a young man who was one of the best singers I had ever heard. He tried out for every male part available and did not win any of them, BECAUSE he was highly visibly arrogant and that turned the audience off.

    Since the other cruise lines do not even offer this experience, how silly is it to stop cruising Carmival over this. Not getting to sing at all on another cruise line is just cutting off your nose off to spite your face.

    Linda (Mom of DJ)

    • DJ Son of Linda says:

      That is hysterical! Pot calling the kettle black! How the heck would you know about any other cruise line AND you are one of the most arrogant and unfriendly people on this Earth!

      • Jose says:


        You are not DJ son of Linda. If you are going to post, have the testicles to use your name. There are plenty of spineless folks on here already. We don’t need another one. I get a hint of jealously from a coward? ROFLMAO

      • Jose says:

        By the way, is your life that miserable and you are too embarrassed to use your real name, that you have to post using a special needs child’s name? DJ is a real person with autism and an interesting kid if you get to know him. Step up to the plate like a MAN or WOMAN if you are going to post and use your real name. You are a sad individual to post under a special needs childs real name. I will pray for you because you will need it. You obviously do not know Linda as she is extremely friendly to all. Arrogant? Maybe, to stupid people because you can’t fix stupid. It appears you may be eaten up with jealously. Relax and don’t let it get to you. Be proud of who you aren’t and enjoy life. God Bless you and take care.

    • Rick Williamson says:

      David, all I can say is get over yourself!!! You are on a cruise NOT a talent show on tv. You need to stop wasting your money if that’s all you go on a cruise for.

  2. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


    I am with you….if it is beef….BURN IT!!

    Linda ( Mom of your friend DJ)

  3. Peggy Martin says:

    I cannot believe that Mrs. Grumpy Pants is removing the tips from her S&S. Why penalize the poor steward, let’s say, because of something that happened in an area out of his control. Perhaps her steward should short-sheet her bed a few times. Poor John…it’s going to be a loooong journey!

    Can you put her at the same dining table with the Strait of Gibralter lady and the man who’s begging for gluten-free tasties and they can compare miserable experiences.

    Smooth sailing, John.

    • Rick Williamson says:

      I don’t know why someone like this isn’t ban form a cruise line. They are going to be trouble where ever they go on the ship! I my opion she is just acting this way to get a free dinner. I would put it on her bill also.

  4. Daniel & Natalie Inks says:

    @ Jane …
    I’ll buy them from you 🙂 hit me up at

  5. Linda C says:

    David Yermalek: I agree, you were the better choice. I am sure that does not help you in the situation now that we are off the ship. Not why it went that way. There was also a try out for Elvis where the “wrong” guy was selected, but I think it was because J could not distinguish who was getting the most applause. You will have plenty other times. Dont let that ruin the other 6 days and 22 hours of your cruise! 🙂

  6. Brenda Crabtree says:

    I hope that woman’s husband has the guts to speak up to her. My husband didn’t care for his steak but he didn’t even tell the waiter. I am afraid you will hear from her many more times before the cruise is over. On another subject, when we did a TA there were much more to do on sea days than a normal cruise. I am not sure that people realize that. I would do another in a minute if I could.

    • Jacki says:

      Brenda –
      Thank you for your comment. I am going on my first Trans – Atlantic next year and was getting nervous. Hearing people say that “there’s nothing to do” and how many “grumpy people” are on TA’s, I thought maybe we made a mistake and should cancel. But I LOVE sea days, and am looking forward to sitting back and relaxing and doing nothing. But glad you said there are many things to do, just in case I want to, and that you would do another one. And all those grumpy people can just stay away!!! I don’t have time for negativity.

  7. Lynda Lukow says:


    Have you ever seen advertisements where a man’s deodorant or cologne attracts women by the scores? Having read your Q&A’s many times and seeing the lunatics you attract, might I suggest it’s time to change your brand.

    I’m looking forward to sailing on the Pride 12/2-12/9—my first cruise ever. I hope that CD has half your patience and a quarter of your sense of humor.

    All the best,

  8. Kim Walker says:

    Im not sure who gets the SUTA award this blog..just so many to chose from…..

  9. I’m with Heidi – I like mine still mooing. I was in the restaurant business for some years. There are some people that… ahem…”We believe you would be happier someplace else”. We still talk glowingly of our dinners in Splendor Steakhouse.

    I’d love to hear the story of Regis pitching a microphone at you.

    • Elizabeth says:

      You have said several times that there will be fussy people on TAs. Why? I can think of nothing nicer than a 16 day cruise! All the food, entertainment and my book!

      Please do tell us about the microphone.


  10. Sarah Oxfurth says:

    What a biotch that woman in the steakhouse. UGH

  11. Luis R says:

    I don’t get it with some requests that are referred to you John. Although I didn’t see please or thank you in Jo Westerfeld’s request and referring to the room steward as “cabin boy” seems rude, it is a very reasonable request that should have been taken care of by the help desk staff without having being sent to this blog for help.

    • Rocknsoul says:

      …or even by talking with the room steward him/herself. The unfortunate use of “cabin boy” suggests perhaps that Ms. Westerfeld may not feel that the steward is worth speaking with. I can’t imagine that any of the stewards who have taken such great care of us would not quickly agree to refrain from making towel animals if we asked them.

  12. Luis R says:

    Carnival Destiny was my first ever cruise back in 2006 when she was still sailing out of San Juan. I see the refit and subsequent renaming with mixed feelings. Some of the best venues are being eliminated and the whole name changing thing to a totally different name is like trying to erase the legacy of a record-setting ship that started the current breed of new builds. Perhaps the name should have been New Destiny or something else while keeping the Destiny name.

  13. Tom Cantele says:

    Well John it looks like you are going to have your hands full with this bunch. I agree with the person who suggested that the three be seated together. Kathy and I have sailed numerous times on Carnival and other lines. Our cruise out of Charleston our hometown was just Great looking forward to Christms on the Dream. Good Night and sleep well you are going to need it. Oh I also like my steak waved over the candle stick.

  14. Cruiser Dave says:

    I didn’t know that we cruisers have the option of not paying for things on board, as per Mrs. Grumpypants. Thanks for the heads up. I’ll be sure not to sign any chits presented to me as well.
    As for David Y., the karaoke guy, I’d say that if I saw the same passenger on two different cruises hogging the limelight in the legends show, that it would ruin MY cruise. Give me a break, and better yet, give someone else a break. The cruises are not run to stoke your ego.

  15. Cruiser Dave says:

    I didn’t know that we cruisers have the option of not paying for things on board, as per Mrs. Grumpypants. Thanks for the heads up. I’ll be sure not to sign any chits presented to me as well.
    As for David Y., the karaoke guy, I’d say that if I saw the same passenger on two different cruises hogging the limelight in the legends show, that it would ruin MY cruise. Give me a break, and better yet, give someone else a break. The cruises are not run to stroke your ego.

  16. Daniel Grief says:

    John, in ressponses to those that complain about TA voyages claiming there is ‘nothing to do”. I grew up cruising, summertimes my family would take me and my Brother to Europe from US. We would play shuffleboard, lounge on the deck, blanket over us and the wait staff would bring us sponge caake and tea! Ping Pong, coloring and reading occupied us. Today at 57, I STILL enjoy the solitude of sea days…. it’s one of the reasons I won’t sail on ‘Whatever of the Seas’… I hate malls and prefer reminders that I am in fact AT SEA.

    So those that only seek to be entertained, either due to boredom or not knowing any better… I say… get over it! Learn to adapt. When in Rome..etc etc…. Relax and enjoy.

    Sorry for my outburst, but I have heard this complaint often…

    • Jose says:

      Daniel, I agree with you. A cruise is what you make of it. Sea days, port days. Life is too short to focus on the negative. I enjoy it regardless. Take Care, Jose

  17. Mary says:

    I do think that people with requests like Jo Westerfeld should add the magic word ‘please’! It does sound so rude making demands like that….

  18. Ralph says:

    David Yermalenak & Paul Matranga,

    With your attitudes….you both should be spending the ENTIRE cruise with people of the same age and emotional level….Camp Carnival!!

  19. Cruiser Dave says:

    The song “Proud to be ab American” is the least of your worries. I almost snorkeled my morning coffee when I read on FB that “Imagine” is the other song choice. To me, that is much more inappropriate for Remembrance Day. It amazes me how that ode to communism and atheism worms its way into earnest performances from Sunday school to high school graduations. “Imagine no possessions, and no religion too” – that’s been tried in Stalin’s Russia, and didn’t work out so well. It certainly is antithetical to the values our side fought for in the great wars.

    • Rick Williamson says:

      Well don’t look now but, the voters of the US say on Nov. 6th that we want to be like Russia!

    • Craig "Bigdog" Johnston says:

      “Imagine” is a well named song. It asks you to imagine a world where there was nothing to kill or die for….a world full of peace. It’s an idea….and to compare it to Stalinism is patently absurd! Having said that….Garth Brook’s “We Shall Be Free” would be a much better, easier to understand, choice.

  20. grizel robertson says:

    I am not expecting a reply John. Suffice to say that I continue to to be taken aback by the trivial complaints you get on this blog. I am about to apologise to you for failing to thank you for my “Welcome Aboard” gifts on Spirit on the TP to Sydney. The tab I received indicated these were from the CD on board & I only discovered after debarkation in Oz that you were the benefactor. Thank you for alowing me to share the goodies with my US friends, many of whom you know. Have a good TA trip & pass my regards to Heidi & Kye.

  21. Liane Holder says:

    Sailed on the Magic Oct 21 and just to drop you a line to say we had a wonderful time and we thoroughly enjoyed our night in the steakhouse. My only quibble would be the size of the delicious steaks. Were I home I could take the leftovers for breakfast steak and eggs. Very generous sizes. Loved every course and especially the chocolate sampler!

    Due to serious health challenges I took this cruise thinking it was my last chance to do something extraordinary. Indeed I had a difficult time as we pulled out of Cozumel to head home. I wanted the cruise to keep going. I returned to testing that provided the happy news that I’m still doing well on my course of treatment. That lifted my spirits so high that I convinced my husband to consider going on the Magic again next year. So good lord willing we hope to book another wonderful adventure on your gorgeous Magic next Fall.

    Have a wonderful day.

  22. Steven Newcomb says:

    Although I obviously do not know the situation with this particular young man, I think you should be careful making assumptions about someone’s food preferences based on age. On our first cruise on the Mardi Gras, I was 10 and my sister was 6. If there had been such thing as a steakhouse back then, we certainly would have all been there as a family, and our parents would not have dreamed of asking for a children’s menu. Under no circumstances would we have wanted to have to eat chicken nuggets while our parents had filet mignon or Chilean sea bass. Even at six years old, Rebecca’s favorite meal was filet mignon, prepared rare, baked potato, spinach salad with bleu cheese dressing, and hot tea. As a matter of fact, we used meals on cruises as prime opportunities to try new things and discover what we liked as well as what we did not. Perhaps this young man chose to order the tuna and now knows he does not care for it.

    Hopefully you know that I think you are great, and I am not looking for an excuse to complain. I just couldn’t help feeling that this comment made some unnecessary assumptions. Now 38 and 33, Rebecca and I still like to cruise and try new things, which we look forward to during our 9 days on the Elation next week.


  23. Lori says:

    Well, first off, eating half of your food and hubby eating all of his food and not paying is called stealing where I come from.

    With regards to childen’s palates…My last cruise I got to know a family with two daughters that had such sophisticated palates I was told that they would only eat rare steak. From the looks on their faces, they disagreed but seemed to want to please their parents. I felt bad for them too, but it’s not my business. When my son was young he always ate cheese pizza and french fries every single night at dinner with ice cream for dessert.No variations. Waiters described all the other enticing possibilities thinking they’d win him over but, nope, the pizza it was! He through in some chicken tenders and a burger or two during the week for lunch. Healthiest dinner? No, but he’s on vacation and my only food rule on vacation is don’t eat to the point of getting sick (that rule is more directed at the ice cream stations–those are still his favorite). For me, vacation is a time with no real rules except for manners and safety. To each their own though.
    My son is 16 now and 200 lbs at 6ft tall and eats everything in sight. The only tme I get my leftovers is when I eat steak b/c mine has to be medium rare and his needs to be burned to a crisp.

  24. Robinola says:

    As regards Mrs. Unhappy with her Meal…..One can HOPE that she also posts her displeasure on websites like, too.
    That way, All Cruise Lines will be prepared to put a little somethin somethin special into ALL her meals from now on!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. Paul O'Brien says:

    Hello Mr Heald,

    It’s refreshing to read your blogs and see how passionate you are about your job and the pure enjoyment you have doing it.
    I’ll be taking my wife on our second Carnival cruise on Dec 8 on the Dream. This is my gift to here after managing without me for nine months while I have been deployed to Afghanistan. I have to admit I have lurked about reading some of the dubious comments on CC, and frankly do not understand why folks seem to expect sooo much.
    If your want to cruise five star and be waited on hand and foot go somewhere else.
    Sweet Jeebus…just go and have fun!
    So endeth the rant.
    Anyway I really just wanted to pass on my thanks for all you do. Keep the faith and never forget not everyone is needy.

    Cheers mate.


    • Jose says:

      Paul, Thank you for your service in Afghanistan. You have served, so that these entitlement mentality ungratefuls can complain and whine about the simplest issues in life. Thank You and God Bless!

  26. Mike Wilson says:

    John – we are on Carnival Breeze with you right now and have heard you publicize the very real need for frequent handwashing to the guests. I think you are pretty much wasting your breath as when I visit the bathrooms I see more walkers than washers, and many guests are coughing into their hands frequently – as are some of the crew in the buffet.
    Also – my one gripe with the design of this great ship is that the public bathrooms are pretty much tucked away, not too close to the bars either, and are quite hard to find. Better signage would help some.
    Anhyway, having a great cruise on this beautiful new ship.
    regards, Mike

  27. Reggie Lekinala Harris says:

    Dear John,
    Multiple personality disorder seems to find its way to your blog more often than not. Quarters indeed…keep up the great work and grace under fire.

  28. Mary Freidel says:

    Dear John,

    My husband and I were on the Miracle out of Fort Lauderdale a while back and we went to the steakhouse every night. It was the most wonderful time we had on the ship. Yes, you could say we are foodies but the experience was beyond anything we had ever experienced. The chef came to our table every night and sent out special little tidbits for us to try. They made us feel like royalty. (I’m a nurse and my husband is retired from AT&T) Who treats common everyday people like this. I guess Carnival Cruise Lines does. Well we’ve cruised out of New Orleans since then. (Missed the steakhouse on the Elation, but still had a great time.) And December 1, 2012 we will be going with our daughter, her husband and our oldest grandson. He’s 4 and we hope to hook him, as we have all the rest of the family, to cruising. Everyone wants something for nothing, just like the lady that complained about her steak in the steakhouse, but to pull tips from people is, as we say in the south, “Just dad burn wrong”. Like I’ve always told my children, “A person maybe mean, but they have to go home with themselves, you can just walk away.”

    With much respect for your company,
    Mary Freidel, Newbern, TN

  29. Andre Peterson says:


    I noticed your comments about Mitt and Mormons – and that you didn’t know much about Mormons. Knowing how extremely devoted you are to your family, you might be interested to know that Mormons belive that families can be together, not only in this life, but after this life as well.

    Love your comments,

  30. bb says:

    to Jo, I have no manners, Westerfiled
    Perhaps…and this is just a thought… the evenings– you or your husband could go into the room first and if there is a towel animal–you could remove it???

  31. Brian says:


    Read with concern your “almost confession” that you are a “meat and potatoes” person. No one would have every guessed! Ha.. On the other hand, read with interest the boorish behavior of someone eating at the steakhouse—must have been an A******n or a “B*****h cruiser. But at the end of your November 10 blog—I was really distressed to read this person’s behavior of “taking it out” by not paying the “standard” cruise tips. In other words, those who were not anywhere the steak house were being punished as well. I hope the “beards” stepped in and made up for this short changing…

    Here is a suggestion—I wonder if those on the BC6 cruise in January would be interested in passing the hat around for these “short changed” crew members? Furthermore, I for one think that all of those “crew members” involved in BC6 activities should also be rewarded for their extra efforts. SO, I THINK IT WOULD BE APPROPRIATE FOR US “BC6” CRUISERS TO GIVE A LITTLE SOMETHING BACK as well. What do you other bloggers think about doing this….?


    P.S. O.K. to post this on Facebook to see what sort of response you can get to this though….

  32. There must be a way to deal with a rude guest like her. She overdid her amount of being a Carnival guest. Her and her husband should have been placed off the ship quickly. People like her are not needed on a cruise. I’m disappointed that there are very rude people like her. The workers treat the guests great and should be given what they truly deserve.

    Paul F. Pietrangelo

  33. Robin says:

    Hey, Ms. Westerfeld, there are a couple of short words and phrases in English that are very easy to use in a message and which will prevent you being mistaken for a nasty, inconsiderate person. They are “please” and “thank you”.

    And really, why can’t you or your husband precede your son into the cabin and check for towel animals, if this issue is so important to you?

    As for Mrs. Steakhouse, John, I hope you will put the cost of her and her husband’s meals on their bill, and refuse to back down when she inevitably contests it.

  34. Susie says:

    Regarding the unhappy steakhouse lady – perhaps this lady is suffering from some sort of organic brain disorder…. (Alzheimer’s or something similar?) or perhaps she is has recently gone through some major trauma in her life that has just made her plain old MEAN but either way I can’t help but feel terribly sorry for her!! There is just no quality of life went it is spent being a victim. And it is certainly no way to spend a cruise/vacation! So sad it must be to live her life 🙁

    I will be on the Breeze in a few short weeks and on my night in the steakhouse (Dec 5 @ 7PM if anyone wants to come say hi!) I will be sure to tip extra and I will also be sure that I spread around enough other extra gratuities for the week to hopefully replace at least some of what she removed. I know there is a chance that my “extras” will not be distributed exactly to the same people who are shorted on this sailing but I hope they will help in some way to off-set the unkindness shown by her.

  35. Bill Byrne says:

    Thanks for responding John, I am really looking forward to being on Destiny for her final TA. We have a group of about 60 and growing on Facebook that are getting to know each other before we sail together in November. We have named the group Manifast Destiny, and I was wondering is there anyway we can set up a group meeting place the first sea day so we can all meet the fun people we have been chatting with on Facebook, sounds like we have a lot of dedicated Carnival Fans taking this great ship for her last sail and I would love to help plan a fun way for the group to mee and kick on our 18 days of great fun


  36. JTC says:

    When it comes to Tips/Gratuities you need to look at just adding it to the Price of the ticket (cruise price) and that way it can’t be removed. As for me last year when we cruised I had to remove them since I was cruising the week of my payday and need extra spend money during the cruise(got told I had issue with my SS account) But then added it back at the last day of cruise. We always budget for the extras but sometimes we overspend. This years cruise they broke it down into two different charges that made it easier on us as we always cruise on a budget.
    As for that Steakhouse girl you should have billed her double for trying to skip out on paying. As they say if you eat you own it.

    • Holly S says:

      Oh My God! You people are hilarious! Reading some of your complaints and especially the ones mentioned in the blog itself made me laugh so hard I couldn’t breathe. This is Carnival – and I’m not saying that in a bad way at all. If you want fun, a slew of activities, entertainment and dining venues to choose from, and great value, you’re in the right place. I don’t know how the crew don’t smack you in the face every chance they get. If complaining about absolutely everything and having a staff member follow you around wiping your butt for you all week is what you’re looking for in a vacation, you belong on a different cruise line – one that you must shell out a lot more money to sail on. So stop being so cheap and rediculous. We’re all just laughing at you! 😀

  37. Phil Grape says:

    “the beards are working on new and exciting changes to our dining room menus and on other food choices around the ship and I look forward to telling you about them.”

    The beards and chefs can change anything they want as long as they don’t touch the chocolate melting cake!!!!

  38. Raymond says:

    Hi John, I Was on the Carnival destiny for the inaugural cruise what a beautiful ship. It’s kind of sad to see the ship change so much and it will never be the same decor/ feel. Joe farcus did such a great job designing all the carnival ships and now they’re all designed in-house so they have a different feel to them. I guess all the carnival Ships that farcus designed will become classics.

  39. Harry Hathhorn says:

    Hello John. Like your blog, that I got hooked on after the fire on the Splendor. Nice job.

    Just want to comment on the question above asking about “why no bar snacks”. I fully understand your answer and Carnival’s position on this. However, I think Carnival should reconsider for the following reasons -and I think I speak for more people than just us.

    We enjoy late dining and like to stop for a martini or two on the way to the dining room. We have not been snacking all day. It is nice to have a few pretzels or some kind of mix to enjoy the drink with. It is not a health issue if it is not peanuts, and those small shake out bottles are utilized and not reused for other patrons until they are washed. It is also a known fact that a salty snack makes another cocktail more desireable, thus boosting sales. These small snacks also reduce the appetite before dinner and you tend to eat less. Dieticians reccmmend it. Other cruise lines do it this way and usually the snack is only available if you ask for it.

    We both commented on the lack of a small bar snack on our last cruise on the Splendor in August. We are booked on the 48 day Splendor cruise departing Feb 3 and sure would like to see a bar snack available.

    It is just a small amenity that pleases people. It also, takes away the issue that Carnival is too cheap to provide them. Just my two pesos worth and hope that Carnival will revisit the issue. Best Regards, Harry and LaRue Hathhorn

  40. Cheryl says:

    Haven’t been on Princess for four years after many cruises with you. I enjoyed Princess, but with each cruise the “Movies Under the Stars” program took on a life of it’s own and finally became too much. WAY to loud and constantly running a movie or music video DAY and NIGHT! I cruise to relax and enjoy time in the sun by the pool. With all the loud action from the movies, or the very high volume of the music videos that play ALL DAY, I stay away from the one pool as do most other passengers which makes the other pool area over crowded. Any chance that this has changed in the past four years? Movies under the stars was a great idea. Evening was the perfect time to get your blanket, popcorn and cozy up at night on deck to watch the show, but to run movies ALL day long at a very loud volume, just ruins the cruise experience for me. I have continued to cruise on other cruise lines at least twice a year, but until you stop the daytime drama on deck, will not be back. Any hope of a change?

  41. Mike says:

    I got a huge kick out of that steak woman..My feelings on steak is are only going to be happy with Steak a percentage of the time. It’s not going to meet your expectation at all time’s. I personally would never send it back unless I was starving and then I would probably eat it anyway. Someone should remind that woman that she is going to be able to eat three meals a day for the rest of her days. relax!

  42. Donald Hatfield says:

    Hi John, I am booked on the Breeze for Nov. 9 , 2013. I am also entered in the Texas Hold`em Challenge, and I am verry excited about it. I ahve been on a lot of ships with Carnival and I think you are the best. What I would like to know is why you do not say more about buying stock in Carnival. I am a stock holder and I think anyone who uses Carnival a lot should also be stock holders. It pays you back every time you cruise. Thank You and God bless.

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