There are certain things in this world that cost ridiculous amounts of money for reasons I can’t fathom. Take razor blades, for example. Can someone explain to me then why razor blades probably cost about 50 cents each to make, but are so sodding expensive to buy? Maybe they are so expensive as the company that makes them has to pay David Beckham millions of dollars to stand at a mirror shaving with a cucumber shoved down his underpants. There are other things that cost so much to buy that I wonder why they can get away with such baffling sums of money. Batteries, sun lotion and bottled water that has been “flowing through the Swiss mountains for hundreds of years” yet costs ridiculous amounts and come with a sodding sell by date!  Or at least that’s what I thought until I discussed the outrageous price of Gillette razors with Calvyn.


But looking through November’s credit card bills online I saw a huge leviathan expense on our card and had to call Heidi about it. Now, for all I know this may be as cheap as chips in America and Canada, etc. but it’s not in the UK. What am I talking about? The answer is………printer ink.

Printer ink it seems is more expensive than caviar. You can dine at one of our steakhouses and have a bottle of Chateau Laffite for less than it costs to print off a few sheets of paper at our house. And unlike the steakhouse, printers bring bugger all pleasure, only pain as they reduce you to tears by running out of ink or jamming just when you need to print your boarding pass ………….the vicious bastards.  The ink costs more money per milliliter than champagne, gas and a night with a Latvian prostitute……………… allegedly.


The printing industry is like the mafia with Don Kodak and his wise guys controlling the market. Some cartridges you can’t re-fill, some even having ink in them stop before the cartridge is totally empty. Heidi and I have a Hewlett Packard printer and if the colour cartridge has run out, it becomes a total bitch and refuses to print black and white unless I change that one and buy new colour despite having a full black cartridge.  The ink my father used on his typewriter cost virtually nothing……..I don’t know about you but I think it’s time to bring back the pen!


Time for today’s Q and A……… we go.



Maria Pascoe asked:
We cruise on December 8 on the Carnival Breeze and will require a table of two booked for Michael and me and so far the maitre d emailed has not answered us which we think is not good customer service. Can you get us a table just for us is the question? We have done three Carnival, seven Princess and five Royal Caribbean so we are experienced cruisers!

John Says:
Hello Maria Pascoe,

Thanks for taking the rime to write and please do not be upset at the maître d. We ask that guests do not write to the ship’s staff. They are under no obligation to answer and while occasionally they may if time permits we do not want people emailing

Best wishes and have a great. cruise.


Carl asked:
Can you tell me how much is the pop card on the breeze?

John Says:
Hello Carl,

Yes, indeed, as follows;

For adult $36.00 + tax and gratuity – Total $44.28

For child $27.00 + tax and gratuity- Total $33.21

Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Best wishes.


Brandi Davidson asked:
I am 19 years old and will be cruising for spring break on the Carnival Fantasy in March next year. I am going to be with my parents and young brother Delwa who is 11. He was adopted and is from Chad, which is in Africa, and we want him to get something special done for his first cruise and first vacation with his new family so can you do something special for him. I do not know what information you needed, so mail me back if you want to know something.

John Says:
Hello Brandi Davidson,

I am sure you and your family must be so proud to be taking Delwa with you all on this wonderful cruise. Please can you go to my Facebook page at  and post me your cabin number two days before you sail and also please mention what ship so I don’t forget and remind me again about Delwa. I will make sure I send him something and I wish you all a great cruise.

Best wishes.


Jennifer Beal asked:

can you tell me what ship Captain Volpi is on. We had the privilege of cruising with him on the Carnival Spirit and he was a gentleman to me and my husband and loved by the passengers. We would like to cruise with him again so please if you could tell us his schedule we would be appreciative.


Jennifer and Mark Beal

John Says:
Hello Jennifer and Mark,

The sad news is that Captain Volpi has recently retired from a life at sea and he is much missed by many. I have seen many such comments that say just what an impression he made on our guests and I am sorry you won’t be able to cruise with him again. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you.

Best wishes.


Joseph Petrov asked:
I was sent a fruit basket by you for our 50th wedding anniversary which my daughter arranged. I wanted to let you know that it was received with no knife to cut the apples or pears with and this should be standard, I think, especially for older people who want to peel fruit. The ship was the Carnival Elation in case you are wondering.

John Says:
Hello Joseph Petrov,

You are absolutely correct — of course we should provide a knife for this and I know utensils are usually included so am surprised that this was not done in this case. I will address with the ship and indeed pass this to the fleet just to remind them. I do hope you had a wonderful cruise and I wish you and your good lady many more happy years together.

Best wishes.


Tina Moreno asked:
Hi John,

We just returned from an amazing cruise on the Carnival Breeze. I have to say when we found out you were not going to be cruise director, we were very disappointed. We were looking forward to sailing with you a third time, but I think the angels were looking down on us when we were sent Jaime Dee as our cruise director. Jaime and her staff (specifically 6’3 and Alex) were one of the best group of people we have encountered on our 32 cruises with Carnival. We will be following Jaime and hopefully be able to cruise with her again on the Carnival Dream. She is truly a special lady. She took care of us well. Always very visible. Sometimes you don’t get that in a cruise director, but Jaime was there all the time, whether just walking along Promenade or even when we got off the ship. It was so nice to be able to say goodbye to her and Amy (6’3).

I wanted to give a special thank you to several others who touched our lives for 12 sensational days in the Med. Our dining team was probably one of the BEST we have ever had. Martina, Srdjan (Ricky Martin) and Jovan made going to dinner every night a joy. In fact, when we went to the steakhouse and Cucina a few nights, we missed our dining room team! Our room steward and assistant Constantine and Tea were again some of the best we have had. Can’t say enough about them. One other person stood out on the Breeze, Sebastian at the Red Frog Pub. Sebastian was always there with a smile on his face and a dish of pigeon peas waiting for us!! Thank you Sebastian. John, I also wanted to mention Alex from the entertainment team. We were able to see a different side of him in place of his always energetic and fun self. We had a situation that was quite unexpected and unusual. It was announced that a guest that had been taken off the ship at an unscheduled stop needing medical attention had passed away. The entertainment team had put out a large poster board for people to sign and then they were going to send off to the family of this passenger. While my husband and I were signing the card, Alex came up with extra poster board and asked me to help him draw something on the card. I told him that I thought it would be OK just to have it plain then people will fill it in. He was also concerned that he only had white poster board and not colored. I just reassured him that white was just as good as colored and not to worry. He was so warm and concerned it was a wonderful side of him that most people do not get to see. Please let Alex know he did a wonderful job. Sorry this is so lengthy but I wanted to be able to share with you this special group of people.

Thanks, John, also for arranging for the chocolate covered strawberries and champagne for not only my sister who was celebrating her birthday while on board, but also for sending Russ and me some as well as a fruit basket. All was so yummy and appreciated. You are the best and I hope your journey to New Orleans was a success. Good luck on the trans-Atlantic. Hope to see you next year on the Legend.

Your friends,

Tina Moreno & Russ Groman

John Says:
Hello Tina and Russ Groman,

I was disappointed that I could not be there with you both as well but I am glad that you had such fun. What a brilliant review and what a wonderful chap Alex is and you have no idea how thrilled he will be when he reads this. It’s young people like Alex who really make a difference. I saw the cards that Jaime made and bravo to her for doing so. Thanks again for taking the time to write and I do hope we will see each other one day on board.

Best wishes to you both.


Joe Harris asked:
Hi John,

On July 21 we were on the Carnival Breeze for our fifth Carnival cruise. The ship is wonderful and the staff, as always, very accommodating. We now have reservations on the April 7 trans-Atlantic cruise on the Carnival Legend. My question is on voyages such as this, with many days at sea, are there any additional activities or classes planned? Days at sea are always my favorite and I was hoping I could use those days to learn something new. Just wondering. Thanks for your wonderful blog. I always look forward to your Facebook comments.

John Says:
Hello Joe Harris,

Another great comment on the Carnival Breeze which is brilliant news indeed. Yes, we will have arts and crafts lessons, dance and bridge instructors and, of course, Calvyn and I will be there to make sure the fun is continuous. Please let me know if you have any questions and I will be here to help. Thanks for the kind words and see you soon.

Best wishes.


Samantha Perry asked:
What happened to the fake tattoos you used to do? My kids were so upset that they couldn’t get them this time on the Carnival Paradise and cried real tears they were so upset. Not happy about this, John.

John Says:
Hello Samantha Perry,

I am so sorry to read that the kids were crying, what a shame. We have taken the temporary tattoos off all the ships for now but I do hope you all had fun on the cruise and that the tears were replaced by laughter and that we will see you again soon.

Best wishes to all.



And that’s all for today. Thanks once again for all your comments and suggestions.


Our shows continue to be so popular and the new Playlist Production shows have been received with big standing ovations. Here then is the current list of the shows you will see on your next cruise plus some other changes for 2013.









  • Carnival Triumph:  Wonderful World, Big Easy, Magic Show and Carnival Legends



  • Carnival Spirit:  Big Easy, Jazz Hot, Singing With The Big Band and Carnival Legends


  • Carnival Pride:  Wonderful World Vroom, Jazzin’ and Carnival Legends





  • Carnival Miracle:  Ticket to Ride, Generations, Singing With The Big Band and Carnival Legends


  • Carnival Valor:  Far From Over, Nightclub Express, Magic Show and Carnival Legends


  • Carnival Liberty: Wonderful World, Just Rock, Singing With The Big Band and Carnival Legends


  • Carnival Freedom:  Big Easy, Ticket to Ride, Jump Jive & Wail and Carnival Legends



  • Carnival Dream:  Dancin in the Street, Get Ready, X-Treme Country and Carnival Legends


  • Carnival Magic:  Destination Unknown, Groove Line, Win and Carnival Legends



There will also be some changes next year as follows…





  • Carnival Legend:  Starting February 2013 – a new high energy magic show featuring Justin Illusion




These great shows will be complemented by new variety acts that we are hiring and of course the best in comedy as our Punchliner comedians continue to make you laugh out loud.


On Monday’s blog, I was talking about my fear of having to ride a bike next to Kye and yet I know I have to try because I have my yearly medical in January 2013 and so I have been trying to prepare for my “stress test” which I did last year. I passed that test but it left me sweating like a cocker spaniel in a Korean restaurant. So each morning while I was on the Carnival Breeze I went to the gym and used the treadmill and last week I did the same at my hotel here in Miami and I have started to notice something. Next time you are at your gym, you will notice it’s actually full of older women pounding the various machines as they try to become cougars, and men, middle-aged men like me who are married but want to have rumpy pumpy with a cougar which makes them of course……cheetahs. What you are unlikely to see are younger people because they have metabolisms that crush pizza and burgers into six packs.


I have really been feeling my age lately, a fact that I think I have expressed here in the blog but going to the gym has me feeling even older. Gyms are places of misery where I go to recreate something that I lost back on the Carnival Destiny in 1996 which is when I became fat. Gyms are places of hatred and of sweat and hope where we pant on the treadmill, pretending to listen to our Eyepods where really what we are doing is mourning the loss of our youth. It’s the regret that gets me, not just the awning I have built over my gentleman’s sausage but the lost fact that when I was young I could eat, drink and be merry with the best of them and that now as a diabetic that has all buggered off and won’t be coming back.  All men my age, fat, slim, and muscle bound are scrunching, lifting and puffing to push back the years, have a particular look.


I recognise it. I catch myself wearing it: it’s a look of hope, fear, bravado, vanity and panic that the doctor will tell me I am too fat to be a CD. I particularly stored fat around my waist, like one of Kye’s rubber rings she uses in the pool, only bigger, and I know have Simon Cowell like man  breasts or moobs as I think they are called. I am at the point now where I avoid below-the-neck mirrors and so you can imagine the hell I have to through every time I sit on the toilet at my hotel here in Miami because the bastards have put a full length mirror on the inside of the bathroom door. Seeing myself naked was something that made me laugh out loud and then cry with shame. There I was naked; sitting on the toilet, legs open wide……I looked like a yawning hippopotamus.


Anyway, I am writing this to you on Tuesday afternoon and tonight I shall continue my exercise regime by carrying a big heavy bucket up three flights of stairs to my hotel room and not take the elevator. How about that. Impressed aren’t you? Yep, I shall then sit on my bed, turn the TV on and empty that bucket of KFC and watch the Miami Heat kick the crap out of the Washington Wizards.


There are certain things in life that have a huge build up and then once experienced are a major disappointment. ….my first proper kiss for example. My mates had told me what to do and I was so excited to “snog” a girl called Sally…….we did and for me it was a huge let down. Her tongue was as rough as an elephant’s scrotum …….I was a very disappointed 25 year old.


These days I am always careful of not over hyping something as I did with the loyalty program and which resulted in me getting a public flogging from H82SEAUGO and his/her mates. But saying that, there is an exception to the hype surrounding one particular ship. I said right from when I first stepped aboard her in May that she was special and that she was our best ship ever and now it seems that hundreds of you have agreed, in writing here and on our Facebook pages. Yep, most agree…the Carnival Breeze she’s our best designed ship yet and that she delivers massive amounts of fun and we are honoured that Cruise Critic awarded her their “best new ship” in a recent poll. I hope you get to sail on her. I hope you get some Carnival Breeze WOW time very soon.




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.

56 Responses to BLOG INK………………..AND A LIST OF OUR SHOWS

  1. Don H. says:

    How horrible it must be for your children to be denied tattoos on your recent cruise. I can imagine how, while taking them to the local biker bar, you told them that soon, they will be getting a tramp stamp just like the bartender. What a disappointment it must have been for those youngsters when they boarded the ship, only to find out they would not get to deface their face with a tattoo. I can understand how they began crying. I imagine that you are sleeved at least and your children want to be just like Mom.
    I hope you demanded a refund of your cruise fare! How dare Carnival not provide this valuable service that prepares children for their eventual entry into their teen years and adulthood where tattoos are needed to advance in life. (Unless you’re going to enter the boring world of military service.)
    Good luck to you and I hope Carnival makes this right with a free, or almost free, cruise in the future.

    Don Ed Hardy

    • Julie says:

      Best reply ever ! I almost cried “real tears” 😉

    • Doah says:

      While the lady’s letter was worded in a slightly rude way, your comment Mr Hardy is totally rude and nasty and shows that you are an angry, prejudiced man who lashes out without reason. I pity you but I hope you are never at my table!

      • Larry says:

        Samantha Perry’s comment wasn’t so much rude as it was silly, and petty. If she truly let the lack of phony tattoos for her kids ruin her cruise, she’s really hurting.

        As for Mr. Hardy, he can sit at my table anytime, with that sense of humor and right-on take. Doah, you see prejudice, and I see incisive humor, I guess it depends on what kind of glasses one wears as to what they see.

    • M. Smith says:

      Did you miss the part where she mentioned ‘fake’ tatoos? Get off the soapbox please.

  2. Jeff Hamlett says:

    Hi John,

    Yes, printer ink is in the same category with cordless phone batteries. In both cases, it’s cheaper to buy a new printer or a new phone than it is to get the expendables. Don’t know about the razor blades, they’ve been completely out of reason for years! Glad I could recover from your reposting of the bathroom event in China in time to comment on this. Keep up the good work!

    Yours, Jeff

  3. Kathy Young says:

    John-What will the playlist production be for the Ectasy in 2013. This was the only ship not mentioned in your blog of 12/5/12

  4. Irene says:

    Has Maria Pascoe ever heard the words, “Please” and “Thank You”? The same for Joseph Petrov. He could have sounded a little more grateful as well. Did he not realise he could get a knife and fork from the lido deck? We sell fruit baskets where I work but I’m sure we don’t supply a knife and fork with them. Learn some manners people….

  5. John H (no, not that one) says:

    John – please, please, please do the civilised world a favour and stop responding to ungrateful people who cannot bring themselves to say “please” or “thank you” when they write to you expecting special treatment? Bringing the ignorance of these “experienced cruisers” to the world’s attention does nothing to promote cruising to the rest of us…

  6. Jose says:

    Brandi Davidson – How Rude and the typical entitlement mentality of many Americans that stinks. Were you not taught the word please when you want someone to do something above and beyond? “we want him to get something special done for his first cruise and first vacation with his new family so can you do something special for him” Grow up and work on your manners. You are obviously from the land of Entitlement.

    • Jaymee says:

      Hi Jose,
      Just so you know, I felt a little disheartened by you’re statement. I grew up and lived in California my entire life, and yes my parents still taught myself and my siblings manners. I understand that many people did not get taught these same important things, but don’t blame us all as a country. It’s not my fault that there are many people who are rude out there, in fact just like we all witnessed in John’s post I have witnessed in person multiple times especially in my job working a a retail clerk and a daycare provider as well as others that most people think that they are entitled to treat their fellow person with disrespect. So please don’t blame the country, keep the blaming to the person themselves or you might be put into a category like this yourself.

      Happiness to you and yours this holiday

      • Jose says:

        Jaymee, Merry Christmas to you and your family as well. I did not blame all, I do blame many as my post indicated. Unfortunately the entitlement mentality is had by many. They know who they are. Take care

  7. Catrin says:


    That soda card price may not be correct if it is an 8 day sailing. Prices are BY DAY and the price you gave was for a 6 day cruise. Adults are $6 per day plus tax if bought in the US and 15% gratuity.

    Hope that helps,

    • Michael says:

      Well, since the Breeze is doing a lot of six day cruises, it makes perfect sense that he posted it for a six day cruise.

  8. Tom Cantele says:

    John, I have become very worried about my printer, we will be cruising on the Carnival Dream on 12/22. I am mow printing our boarding passes. Boy you had me worried. I have still not received my backstage pass?
    I guess I will have to reread your blog and dream. Goodnight,

  9. Catrin says:

    We recently sailed on the Carnival Liberty and I have a few thoughts. First of all, thanks to you, Karl with a K and Asst. CD Steve for the nice gift in our cabin! What a nice surprise! Also Thank you for our table for 2, it was nice to dine with my husband alone for the first time in 7 years.

    As you know, our cruise ship had some propultion problems and did not go to St. Thomas as planned. Although we were disappointed, we felt that the communication was very well done. In these circumstances, I always have faith in the Captain of Ship will make the best decisions for the safety of the passengers. I could not believe the reactions from some other passengers who thought there was a conspiracy theory going on, and who were second guessing the reason why we skipped the port. “they should have done this, we could have done that, etc etc”. We were refunded our port charges, and a very generous $50 per person. Others, of course did not think that was enough. I guess the lesson is, when you said, be ready for anything!
    I wanted to mention some people that made this a most enjoyable cruise. First.. let me mention Karl with a K and his team. Karl was EVERYWHERE… and was the most (including YOU, I must say!) visible and outgoing Cruise Director we have ever encountered in our 13 Carnival Cruises. He was never without a smile and we loved his goofy singing and dancing. I will never hear YMCA ever again without thinking of Karl! We particulary loved the Casino Bar area sing a longs, which we had never seen before. Also, our dining room waiter, Robert was outstanding. It was his last week, as he and his wife were heading home after a long contract. He was one of the most professional and efficient servers we have had in a while. Our food was always served hot and not one error was made all week. We did not receive a comment card, so I hope you pass these along!
    We loved the 2.0 Upgrades… especially Guy’s Burgers (loved a little too much actually!)
    The only criticism I have are 1)VIP boarding vs FTTF was a joke. When the VIP group was called, we had to walk quite a ways from the lounge to the boarding area. During that time we were being escorted, they called the FTTF group… who jumped ahead of our line that was being escorted and went on the ship first. Don’t get me wrong, we were all within the first hundred on board, but I think they should wait to call the FTTF group when the VIP group has gone through the first checkpoint. The other criticism was the Past Guest Party. To those who think it is a smaller group…. not on the Liberty! The main lounge was full, and it was very difficult to get a drink!!The films and partytself was the same as in years past. Also, in the past there was always a raffle drawing from the invitations handed in. There was not this time.
    But.. overall, John.. all these minor issues did not keep us from having one of the best cruises in our 20 year history cruising with Carnival. Thank you to all once again and we cannot wait for the next cruise!

  10. Carnival Fan says:

    What’s ridiculous are the prices Carnival charges for razors, batteries and bottled water on the ship. Don’t know what you are complaining about…bet you get them for free.

  11. Linda ( Mom of DJ) says:

    Maria Pascoe :

    To bad you do not have as much experience in etiquette as you do in cruising.

  12. Linda ( Mom of DJ) says:


    We had the great pleasure of sailing with Captain Volpi many times and were privileged enough to be at his 35th pinning ceremony on the Spirit.

    I will never forget his dedication to the guests. He used to walk through the Main Dining Room at lunch to speak to the passengers. His smile and his welcoming demeanor was 24 / 7. He was a joy to sail with!

    You are indeed correct that the Breeze has earned every accolade you have posted.

    We can not to go back for BC 6!

    Linda ( Mom of your friend~soon to be famous~DJ )

    • Hugh R Stuk says:

      “Linda ( Mom of your friend~soon to be famous~DJ )” famous for what?

      • Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

        John has asked DJ to write a book of jokes….he and John are going to write it together…

        it is all in the video on John’s Facebook page.

  13. Leah Walker says:

    Hello John! We cruised on the Triumph in May and had the best server team we’ve ever had in 8 cruises! We are cruising again on the Triumph on Dec 31 and would really love to have the same team of servers. Is there a way to request that?
    Thank you.

    • Elizabeth says:

      I am afraid that I am spoiled for all time and all shows after enjoying Steve Cassel’s fiddling country shows! Most of the others are a letdown.

  14. Jeanette says:

    Ha ha ha, if Heidi ever convinces you to get a color laser printer please do ask how much the replacement toner/drums cost as well as the replacement fuser…she’ll quickly lose interest in color laser printing….Get a Canon where one ink tank can cost $15 if you get a refilled cartridge……

  15. Richard Taylor says:

    John, Another great blog and how patient you are with those who do not have the decency to say please and thank you!
    As regards printer ink then, in the UK (as always), you can save money by shopping around. Either Heidi or you should find places like Amaz** or Valueshop or Choice cheaper than full price!!

  16. Phil Hale says:

    I’m on the Beautiful Breeze now and I concur with those who voted her best in all respects. Is there a way to bottle Butch and Amy’s enthusiasm? Falmouth was FUN! Butch is probably glad it’s not a regular stop though, He has a heck of a time pronouncing it FALL muth and it always comes out closer to Foul mouth. I sure picked the right ship for a back to back, can’t wait to experience a cove balcony. People you HAVE TO TRY THIS SHIP!

  17. David Grampp says:

    Concerning what Joseph Petrov asked:
    “I was sent a fruit basket by you for our 50th wedding anniversary which my daughter arranged. I wanted to let you know that it was received with no knife to cut the apples or pears with and this should be standard, I think, especially for older people who want to peel fruit. The ship was the Carnival Elation in case you are wondering.”

    I don’t know Joseph Petrov, but please let me rewrite it for you as I am sure he intened:
    John, I wanted to thank you for the wonderful fruit basket you sent to my wife and I on our 50th wedding anniversary that our daughter arranged on the Elation. I would like to reccommend that a knife be provided with the fruit baskets to cut or peel the fruit. Again, thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to reconize us on our 50th anniversary.

    • Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

      Your rewrite was perfect !!

      • Bob says:

        And also add…”for future reference, fruit is good…but did you know you can get all of that you want and more for free on the ship??? How about some good old fashioned booze and rum cakes next time? Would definitely put us in a good mood, probably even a buying mood, that would make us spend more money in your stores! That is what it is all about after all. Thanks again!

  18. Froufie says:

    Have to agree that Carnival has outdone themselves with the creation of the Breeze!

    I was fortunate to be able to sail on her Transatlantic voyage and I had a blast. Also enjoyed meeting you and Calvyn.

    I just wanted to mention some people that made my cruise extra special and hope you can pass this along to the ‘powers that be’?

    Room Steward Picard from Haiti (I was in cabin 2212) was excellent – always having a huge smile on his face and providing me with a menageria of towel animals throughout the trip.

    Wait Staff Edis and the gang (table 609, lat, Blush) -always got our meals out in record style and we enjoyed chatting with them every evening.

    Head Teatime waiter Sasa (sasha?) from Croatia – what a guy! Teatime was a highlight on all those sea days and Sasa made it all the more fun ensuring we were all well taken care of and didn’t want for anything.

    I had the pleasure of cruising with Ron Pass before so knew I was in for a treat – and I wasn’t wrong – I had so much fun every evening pre-dinner enjoying the music and camaraderie there – and special thanks to bar staff Alex and Silviya – who created the best ‘custom made’ martinis.

    Of course hearing Ken Byrne sing and enjoying your and Calvyn’s antics all over the place were also extra special.

    Thanks to everyone for making this a fabulous cruise (and having made so many good friends we are already planning a ‘reunion’ TA cruise on the Sunshine next year!


    • Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

      I love Sasa.
      He is the BEST!!

      While we were not in his station this time, we were close enough to get a hug when we walked into the dining room!!

  19. Henrietta Lala says:

    I knew you’d find the gym sooner or later, and I feel your pain. But, believe me, when I say no matter what size your tummy is, you are still incredibly attractive, appealing, and any woman would gladly spend time with you and you are lovable just the way you are. You overestimate physical attractiveness, and waaaaaaaaaaaaay underestimate the value of your humor, intelligence, wit and devotion to your family. I’d say your inner appearance ranks right up there with Mr. Universe, and that lets us see you as the shining star you really are.

  20. Karen says:

    Unbelievable! To complain about a complimentary/gift fruit basket just shows bad manners! It’s these kinds of people who turn “givers” into bitter cynics who wish to never do anything nice again. No wonder our world is full of angry people… good deeds never go unpunished.

  21. Hank Muller says:

    What’s a pop card?

    • Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

      It is an unlimited soda card whose price is based on the length of the cruise.

      And children’s cards are cheaper than adults.


      Linda (Mom of DJ)

  22. Stephen Bumbaugh says:

    John :
    WHen will the FTTF be avalable on the Carnival Splendor ?

  23. Violet Martin says:

    Hello John! I want to thank you for responding to my post from a month ago about whether I should wait to book our next cruise while on board the Breeze, which you suggested I do because you offer on board incentives for booking. Let me start by saying we just got off the Breeze in Miami after our 8 day voyage…what an amazing ship! I can not say enough about how wonderful everything was! Our room stewards for room 10261 were outstanding and so was our team of waiters Louis, Andre, and Gordana. Anyhow, my only complaint is the one thing I wrote to you about a month ago, booking a future cruise while on board. There was only one girl, Valeria, doing the booking for future cruises so unfortunately there was always a LONG line around the RedFrog Pub to get to speak to her. I waited in line for over an hour to speak with her about the incentives and to find out you no longer do it the old way where we pay now to receive a future credit which gave us the opportunity to go home after our current sailing to research which cruise we want to do in the future. Many people in the line in front of me were upset that they now have to plan the date/ship of their future cruise while on board. So after waiting in line I was directed to go to a fun hub and find the ship and sail date I wanted to book before she could set me up with the incentive booking. I took a couple days to do my research and decided on the Dream (which we have sailed on before and is a beautiful ship) on November 9th. I went back to see Valeria and waited in line for 45 minutes before I just butted in the front to ask if there was a way I could just schedule an appointment. So I scheduled for the next day at 4pm. I showed up 5 minutes early the next day for my appointment to book our cruise and Valeria said that she still had two people to wait on in front of me and that it would be a while before she could get to me, so I am not sure what the point of giving me an appointment was. Anyhow… I waited to speak to her and told her about the incentives they were offering online (2 upgrade and 50% off deposit) she said she had emailed her boss the previous day to see if she could offer this incentive to those who book while on board but had heard nothing back from her boss. Finally by the last day on board she still had heard nothing back from her boss so I just decided to go ahead and book anyways so that I could at least get the $100 on board incentive she was offering. At 2pm on the last day I asked if I could schedule another appointment because she said she didnt have time to help anyone waiting in the line to see her and she told me she was all booked up until 1am and if I wanted to come back at 1 in the morning she could get to me then to book my future cruise but she couldn’t help me before that time. Honestly, we have two toddlers and the thought of staying awake until 1am just to book a future cruise was not going to happen. John, you do see a huge problem here, right? All I wanted to do was book another Carnival cruise and there was no one to help me do so. Carnival should make booking a future cruise one of the easiest and quickest things to do while on board, but it was quite the opposite. If there is anyway to help me now with an incentive to book that cruise (dream on November 9th) please let me know because as I checked the computer when I got off the ship the (2 upgrade and 50% off deposit) incentive has been taken away and I obviously have no way of getting the on board $100 credit.
    Thank you,
    Violet Martin

    • Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


      We experienced the same thing. I do not think Carnival realized the strain it would put on the booking desk once they took away the FCC.

      It got to the point where she did not have the time to try to “sell a cruise”…she was just doing paperwork. In fact, she asked that people go to the Fun kiosks and do their research so that all she had to do was book it.

      We booked our Alaskan trip where we were onboard AND have now talked family members into going with us … so they are using the Family and Friends coupon to get $100 OBC as well.

  24. Roger Tollerud says:

    Add my wife and me to those who will miss the wonderful Captain Volpi. We sailed with him many times on the Spirit and everything that has been said about him is true. A gentleman who represented Carnival very well–he will be missed!
    Roger T

    • Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

      AMEN…he was our FAVORITE Captain and the favorite of those who had the honor of getting to sail with him….

      Linda (Mom of DJ)

  25. Richard Taylor says:

    The Gym on the Breeze has a great advantage! It’s only two floors up to the Serenity Deck 🙂

  26. Linda Songer says:

    We were on the Breeze transatlantic and were thrilled that you were our cruise director. We were disappointed, however, that you had to leave the ship before the end of the cruise and we didn’t get a chance for a goodbye. The Breeze is beautiful and we can’t wait to be back on her in June with kids and grandkids. The only thing we found uncomfortable was the amount of smoking allowed on the ship. Just walking through the casino required holding our breath and when trying the watch the movies under the stars I had to change seats to try to avoid the smoke blowing in my face. I realize that some people are addicted to smoking and an allowance for them must be made, but far too much of the public areas were polluted by smoke. Is there any possibility that some of Carnival’s newer ships will be smoke-free, as many hotels are today?
    We hope to have the pleasure of crusing with you as CD again sometime in the future.

    • Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


      Years ago, Carnival did have a completely nonsmoking ship called the Paradise.

      And while it never lost money, its revenues did not reach the MARS of the other ships or Corporate expectation.

      But the biggest problem was group bookings.
      Groups are the lifeblood of any cruise line and even the smallest of family groups has a least one smoker.

      If only Carnival had Oceania’s forward thinking with that one ship (as does Princess, Azamara and Celebrity today) that severely restricted smoking but it was not totally banned….it would faired much better.

      For new cruisers who are not aware of how awful it used to be, I am sure it still seems bad (especially in the casinos). But trust me, Carnival has come a long way.

      And with the perfection of the Electronic Cigarettes, I see more improvement in the future.

      Personally, I see a light at the end of the tunnel…and it isn’t a train. lol

      Glad you enjoyed the rest of your cruise….

      Linda (Mom of DJ)

  27. Chris V. says:

    Dear John,
    The story about the printer ink really hit home for me! I work at a large university in NYC, & when Hurricane Sandy hit we were closed that Monday & Tuesday. Then, on Wednesday, the Provost sent an email that we would remain closed until the following Monday, 11/5. Even though I had just gotten off the Miracle (fabulous time!) a few weeks prior…I knew Carnival was doing a quick 2-day CTN out of Baltimore leaving on Friday 11/2…so I thought about it for a day and booked it on Thursday 11/1.

    Immediately I did the online check in, & when I attempted to print my fun pass…you guessed it…I was out of ink! Because I have a fairly old printer I figured it would just be my luck that I wouldn’t be able to find the cartridges anywhere…so I called a Staples about 2 miles from my home, & hallelujah…they had them! VERY expensive though!

    PS – I never expected that I would EVER do as short a cruise as a 2-day CTN…but I have to tell you, it was a ton of fun! Next one up: Miracle 10-day out of NY on 3/6/2013 & I can’t wait!

  28. Laura says:

    Hello John!
    Just wanted to tell you I just got off the Carnival Sensation this morning (12/6 to 12/9). It was a short cruise (I have the 10th one booked for March) but well worth the getaway. I wanted to mention some of the people that made my short cruise special.
    Room Stweard: Amy (U53) and her helper. She gave a wonderful service and an extra clean cabin 2 times a day. Towel animals are my favorite…so she surprised my with a PERSON on night…using my pillows, bathrobe, sneakers and sunglasses! What a great “fright” that was when I opened the door to the cabin. I also had an alligator invade my room…that was so fun!
    Dining Room waiter: Catalin (aka “Bobby”)
    He was my waiter in 2006 (2nd cruise). He made an impression on me then…and againg this time…it was like old times…he made dinner every night a treat!
    Social Hosts: Jennifer, Woody, Chris, Christina, Jonathan and Sam
    What fun they were to see in action. Sam from Alabama was great fun. I had the longest talk with Jennifer. She is a special young lady. She has great energy and sparkle! I also talked to Christina who manages the Punchliner Club. She is wonderful as well. What I learned from them was they were on their 1st contract! I thought they were ALL doing this for years…they are a talented bunch and hope they go a long way with Carnival!
    Assistant Cruise Director: Weezie (not sure if I am spelling it right)
    She was great in the Marriage Show (hearing her say Macho was great fun)…and all the shows she helped with!
    Cruise Director: Wee Jimmy
    I had to save him for last! He is AWESOME. I was lucky enough to sail with him in March on the Paradise. Just want to tell him THANKS!!! He will know what I am thanking him for!!!

    • Stefan Clark says:

      We agree. We sailed there a short while ago and had a blast with the staff as well. One thing I really enjoyed was the fact that Wee Jimmy didn’t have to come out on the first nights show and state “I am an American, etc”, like another Cruise Director we sailed with (can’t remember his name). We felt bad for the crew who are not from the U.S. and it really makes no difference in any show but only to serve the self serving ego of that individual and cheap applause – and we are American. Wee jimmy is definitely a keeper. Thanks for a great cruise.

  29. Pat and Dennis Murphy says:

    HI again John,
    We so enjoyed sailing with you twice in the Mediterranean, and thank you for making us laugh with your blog after we are home. We too were greatly blessed by having Martina, Srdjan (Ricky Martin) and Jovan, look after us in the dining room although we thought that Jovan was known as “Ricky Martin.” (Our cruisemates christened Srdjan “Tom Cruise” for the duration.) We did forward our compliments to the beards when we completed our comments card. Take care, and let the grumpy remarks fall to the wayside–you and Calvyn are the best. We will miss you on the Pride over New Years.

  30. Steven Rissman says:

    John, my wife and two other couples are going to be on the Breeze January 19, 2013. I know you have been our CD before, but I can’t remember which Carnival cruise it was. Were you on the Dream out of Port Canaveral in February 2010? I think it was you.
    Looking forward to sailing with you again.
    Steve Rissman

  31. Mike says:

    Need a fav’. Carnival Magic Feb 3-10 & 10-17 back to back cruise. We love to cruise (30-something Platinum’s!). Our request for the Carnival Caper / Fun Times:
    1) An all Michael Jackson hour in the disco.
    2) Some disco parties, music or bands on the ship.
    Why? Carnival Spirit did both of these in 2010 and we loved it! We would LOVE it if you could hook us up with James Charlton (Or whoever the cruise director is) and some boogie’n.

  32. Steven E Rissman says:

    What up with the bloggers cruise? It’s 16 days away and I haven’t received any information o. It yet. Cruised with you On the Dream can’t wait to do it again.
    Steve Rissman

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