January 7, 2013 -

John Heald

Social media can be a minefield that, if you are not careful, will blow your bollocks off. For many people, sites like Facebook are all about simply finding someone you had rumpy pumpy with 10 years ago and contacting her asking if there is a chance that you do so again.

But when you have thousands of readers, as I am privileged to have, then it becomes a place where you need to be ready to dodge the slings and arrows thrown at you by people who have a different opinion than yours. Last week, I wrote that I wondered if it would not make sense to make buying semi-automatic rifles and thousands of bullets more difficult so that the slaughter of innocents would not be such a regular occurrence. I didn’t suggest that guns be banned because I don’t believe that but the mere suggestion that they be more difficult to buy, had some of you foaming at the mouth demanding I be fired and sent to a French prison where I would become Jean Pierre’s La Bitch.

It seems though that I am not alone because I have been reading about my fellow Brit, Mr. Piers Morgan, who, from what I understand, has thousands of Americans demanding he be deported. Apparently, during his CNN show, he insulted American gun owners and is now as popular as a genital wart. I was talking to a colleague in Miami about this over the weekend and I was surprised to hear him tell me that, “Piers was rude and that it wasn’t what the American’s expected of a nice British bloke.”

This got me thinking about my own position both as a social media chap for Carnival and, of course, as a cruise director. I am very much aware that I get away with stepping over the line here and on stage because I am British and the “British sense of humour” is, in many ways, a bit of a license to extra cheeky and a little ummm………..well………….off colour. It’s not for everyone, obviously, and often when I speak to people on the ships or read posts here or on Facebook from people who don’t like my humour, it is mentioned that being British, I should be polite and drink my tea with my little finger sticking in the air.

There are some Americans who think we Brits are all perfectly-mannered like a character out of Downtown Abbey. Then along came Simon Bowell……sorry……..Cowell, opened the door for the speak your mind in your face Brit and Gordon Ramsay followed, telling restaurant owners across America that they were total bastards and their Beef Wellington tasted like f*****g h*****t. So while we want Americans to love Mr. Shakespeare and Mrs. Dame Judi Dench, we also want them to love Ricky Gervais and Eddie Izzard.

However, as for Piers……well that’s a different story. I read an interview about the problems caused by what he had said, and his reply was that he “Would much rather you hated me than ignored him.” Personally…………. I have no difficulty in doing both.

Time for some Q and A……………… we go.

Sean Ledger asked:
I was very disappointed that on my cruise on Carnival Valor I had to pay $95 to see the bridge. My son was with me and had graduated top of his class from Arbor High School and as a reward, I wanted him to see the bridge as he is considering a career in the U.S. Navy. I was rudely told by the front desk people that I had to pay for this and there were no exceptions. Why can Royal Caribbean have free daily visits to the bridge and Carnival does not? You let my son down and he left the ship deflated and disappointed and so did all our party!

John says:
Hello Sean Ledger,

Thank you for taking the time to post this and tell me of your frustrations so that I have the chance to reply and hopefully explain. I cannot comment about other cruise lines but Carnival does not have daily random visits to the bridge or indeed other sensitive areas of the ship. The Behind the Fun Tour does have a charge but it gives 16 people a chance to see the bridge, the engine control room and other “crew only” areas. They are accompanied by ship’s staff and security personnel and, it is at the moment, the only way we can offer visits to the bridge and the staff you spoke to were simply stating the current fleetwide rules. So my apologies that your son was not able to see the bridge but my congratulations to him on his graduation and I wish him much success in the future. I also hope you all had a wonderful cruise.
Best wishes.

Jill Ackfeld asked:
Hi John!

We just got off the 11/25/12 sailing of Carnival Conquest this past Sunday and cannot say enough great things about this ship!!! The 2.0 upgrades are AMAZING! I am not a huge fan of burgers but I HAD to pig out on at least two Guy’s burgers a day! 🙂

I had to write specifically to tell you how awesome our dining room (Monet) waiters, I Putu and Vladimir, are! They worked so hard to make us feel like we were their only table and treated us so special! We have a two-year-old (three in January) daughter (as well as a 15-year-old son) and every night I Putu would take time out to hand feed her the majority of her dessert treating her like the little Princess we think she is. 🙂 He also included her in the dances most nights which she LOVED! She is still asking me to sing the “Low, Low, Low song” 15 times a day! LOL! We would love for them to be recognized for their OUTSTANDING service!!

I also have to tell you, regarding dinner that we had an extra special treat in that SANTA was sailing with us this trip and was seated at the table right next to ours!!! Lilly (our two-year-old) was SO EXCITED! This was also the first cruise (out of three with her) that thanks to Santa we were able to all stay at dinner through the entire meal together and my darling husband didn’t have to leave with her in the middle of the meal because of her behavior. Santa was a FABULOUS incentive!! LOL!!

I also want to brag on our wonderful room steward, Randy. We participate in the “Elf on a Shelf” tradition every year at Christmas time. We brought our “Buddy the Elf” along on the trip with us and on the first night explained him to Randy. He was eager and excited to help us out with him. 🙂 Every night when we came back to our cabin after dinner, he had done something new with “Buddy” for Lilly to find and be surprised with. She quickly caught on to the game and would run into our cabin squealing excitedly after dinner each night. 🙂 So a special thank you to Randy for helping us build memories that will last a lifetime. 🙂

And finally, I have a question… My husband, daughter and I got interviewed on the first elegant night and my niece was in the first episode, my nephew in the second and my sister in the third of Hasbro the Game Show. So we all REALLY wanted to buy the video from the week but got so busy with all the wonderful activities that we all forgot to stop by the Shore Excursion desk and purchase it. 🙁 Is there ANY way to purchase it now?? It would be FABULOUS if we could!!

Thank you so much for all you do! We can’t wait for our next cruise which will hopefully be the 9/28/13 Breeze sailing…my birthday!! 🙂 Blessings to you and your family!

John says:
Hello Jill Ackfield,

What a brilliant review and a huge thank you to you for taking the time to write. I know that many others reading this will have enjoyed it as well, especially for those who will be cruising on the Carnival Conquest this year. I promise to make sure that all the people you mentioned see your kind words of praise and I know just how proud they will be. I did check with the ship but I am sorry to say that they no longer have copies of the voyage. I am so sorry about that. So I hope we see you again soon and if there is anything you need before you sail again, please let me know.
Best wishes to all.

Robert Galitz And Timothy Haas from Tampa asked:

We sailed with you and Heidi in 2006 and 2007 in the Mediterranean. Please extend our warm greetings to her. Just came off the Carnival Legend and loved it. What a fantastic ship. So much so, we have booked a suite on the 9/25 sailing to bring her back to the U.S. What an exciting itinerary. We are looking forward to spending a week in London beforehand. I see you will be spending a few months on the Carnival Legend during her time in Europe this summer. Will you be on this sailing also? Best wishes and Happy Holidays,
Robert and Tim 🙂

John says:
Hello Robert Galitz And Timothy Haas,

I am so glad you had such a wonderful time on the Carnival Legend and I will be there with you in the summer. It will be a wonderful voyage and maybe you will see Heidi again as well as she will be sailing with me. We both send you our best wishes and look forward to seeing you soon
Best wishes.

Wayne Amobie asked:
I am platinum with 14 cruises and cannot believe my eyes when I was given a piece of plastic reinforced glass as the gift to thank me for my 14 cruises and many thousands of dollars that I have spent to get me to VIP status!!!!!!!!!!!!1 A Tervis tumbler! RUFKM? Free internet, upgrade to a suite, those are what you get with other lines but you guys reward me with a plastic cup!

John says:
Hello Wayne Amobie,

This was a surprise for me to read because since we introduced the Tervis tumbler I have spoken to many guests on the ship in person and read comments here as well from our Platinum guests saying how much they enjoyed and appreciated this token of thanks. I am sorry you did not enjoy it. To avoid guests who cruise a lot each year from getting multiple gifts that are all the same we will change the gifts again in the coming months and I hope that you will enjoy the new one. Until then, I do thank you for your loyalty and I do hope you had a great time on your last cruise with us. By the way, the Tervis Tumblers really are excellent and very useful indeed. I hope you will agree. I am off to try and find out what RUFKM stands for.
Best wishes.

William Baines asked:
Hello John,

A few days ago I received the Facebook post from Carnival regarding the contest that Carnival is running. There were numerous replies from unhappy people in that you must be a resident of the U.S. to participate. This is not the only thing that non-U.S. citizens cannot participate in. The other program being the Carnival credit card and points system. You must also be a U.S. resident to obtain the card and collect miles or points. Not sure what can be done about the contest rules, but there are many cards around the world that I am certain Carnival could partner with the allow folks around the world who cruise to participate. I asked these same questions on the Carnival FB page and haven’t seen a reply. Perhaps you could look into it for myself and many others who also commented about being left out! I would also be curious to know how many non-U.S. citizens cruise Carnival each year? Thanks.

John says:
Hello Bill,

I know how frustrating this is and I have also seen others who feel the same. Please note that this is not a Carnival regulation but a regulation that comes from countries such as Canada and the UK that do not allow their citizens to enter online contests based out of the United States. There are reasons such as tax, age limits, etc. As for the points card, well, for now MasterCard, which offers the credit card, will not allow non-U.S. Citizens to apply. I know how disappointing this is and I hope one day we can get this resolved. Please let me know if you have any other questions.
Best wishes.

Norm asked:

I want to take this time to thank you so much for the blog. This is something that is new for me, but I am looking forward to perusing and learning more and more about Carnival. I am a VIFP member, and just this past week celebrated my 40th birthday on the Carnival Paradise. On my first cruise back in 1998, you were my cruise director on the Carnival Destiny. Being in customer service my whole life (well, since age 14), and currently working for the last 15 years as a funeral director, I’m a stickler for detail. I wanted to pass along how much I enjoyed every Carnival cruise I’ve been on, and wanted to recognize the job Steve Cassel did this past week. He was personable, organized, and talented. Steve is a credit to your organization.
Thank you again,

John says:
Hello Norm

Thanks for the email. Your profession reminds me of an old Vaudeville joke about funeral directors being the “last person to let you down.” It is with great pleasure that I read this comment about Steve Cassel who I consider to be a brilliant entertainer and who carries the mantel of one of our best cruise directors. I shall take great joy in sending him this wonderful comment which I thank you for taking the time to write. I am glad you are enjoying the blog and hope we see each other one day soon. Thanks for your loyalty and please let me know if I can help in anyway. Best wishes.

Debbie asked:
Why can’t I get an answer to my question? I was on hold with Carnival customer service for 15 minutes and when the lady came back she told me she didn’t know and hung up the phone. I was as mad as hell! I called again and was told to contact you so I had to register on this web page and waste time doing so. My question is on Carnival Splendor cruise to the Mexican ports, does the ship stay on California time as we have PRIVATE TOURS!!!!!! I hope the cruise will be better than the poor customer service I have gotten so far!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

John says:
Hello Debbie

My apologies for the delay in my response and for you not getting an answer from our customer service department who I thank for putting you in touch with me so I can help you. The answer is that we remain on ship’s (LA) time until we dock in Puerto Vallarta and then move on our back after sailing. We then move one hour forward back to LA time after sailing from Cabo. Hope this helps you and again please accept my apologies for the late reply. Have a wonderful cruise
Best wishes.

Chuck Kiger asks:

Have yet to enjoy the pleasures of one of the Dream-class ships, but will be on the Carnival Breeze next year. I remember when the Dream came out, there was a lot of talk about the laser show with music on Lido. I don’t remember hearing/seeing anything about this with the Carnival Magic or Carnival Breeze, is this on those ships as well or did it get shelved?

P.S. – Just got off the Fantasy this week…..”Orlando Magic” was a trip!……he may be young, but I see an excellent cruise director in him for the future. Thanks.
Chuck Kiger

John says:
Hello Chuck Kiger,

The laser show was something we tried on the Carnival Dream and to be honest, it really didn’t work. We tried lots of different was to make the lasers more visible but it simply wasn’t to be so we have taken them off and have just decided not to bring them back I am afraid. The Carnival Breeze, though, will have lots to surprise and entertain you and so I wish you a great time there. I will also pass on your kind words for Orlando. Thanks again and let me know if you have any other questions.
Best wishes.

Mike Boyce asks:
Will you show the Super Bowl on the Carnival Liberty?

John says:
Hello Mike Boyce,

Yes indeed we will be and will have it on the big screen. There will be a special big game menu served on deck as well and it will make for a great evening. Enjoy the game and enjoy the cruise.
Best wishes.

Vee Gangley asked:
Hi John,

First, I must state I enjoy reading your posts/blog. Your writing style is humorous and often entertaining. You can’t please everyone with your style or approach to things, I wouldn’t suggest that you try. You are accommodating to those who send requests to you, including those with rude and demanding tones. I think people often forget that the requests that you grant within your power are not things that have to be done, but I believe you do it because you are a good sport and not just because these are things that people think they are entitled to receive from Carnival and you give it to them. I have a general question. This will be my fourth cruise on Carnival in February. I usually travel later in the year, but I will be traveling on the Carnival Breeze for my birthday and also for Valentine’s Day. Are there any special activities or differences in the menu in the main dining room for Valentine’s Day? I am trying to decide if I want to go to the steakhouse or the main dining room on this day. Thank you John, and keep on writing as you do!

John says:
Hello Vee Gangley,

I want to thank you so very much for the kind words at the start of your post. I do my best each day to help as many people as I can and provide a bit of cheeky fun n the process. Anyway, thanks again for the kind words and I am thrilled you are sailing again. We don’t have a special menu for Valentine’s Day but there will be a little gift for the ladies. I hope this helps you decide and if there is anything I can do for you please let me know. Thanks once again.
Best wishes.

That’s your lot for today.

There are some great cruises coming up and I thought I would share the itineraries with you and show you who will be entertaining them. Let’s start with the Carnival Splendor and her voyage to Hawaii.

Sat, Jan, 19 Long Beach Welcome Aboard Show dep @ 4.30pm
Sun, Jan, 20 at sea The Beat John DiCrosta/JeROME
Mon, Jan, 21 at sea MARCUS RAYMOND – comedy juggler John DiCrosta/JeROME
Tue, Jan, 22 at sea NED RIFKEN – singer
Wed, Jan, 23 at sea Guest Talent Show
Thu, Jan, 24 Hilo JERRY GOODSPEED – ventriloquist Merl Hobbs/Kim Harrison 10am-7pm
Fri, Jan, 25 Kona Greg Gleason – comedy magic Merl Hobbs/Kim Harrison 7am-8pm
Sat, Jan, 26 Maui Polynesian Show 8am-11pm
Sun, Jan, 27 Honolulu Activities/Dark Night 8am-overnight
Mon, Jan, 28 Honolulu JAC RENE – hypnotist overnight-3pm
Tue, Jan, 29 at sea Vroom Seth Buchwald/Stanley Ullman
Wed, Jan, 30 at sea Jerome Dabney – singer/entertainer Seth Buchwald/Stanley Ullman
Thu, Jan, 31 at sea Fiesta Latina
Fri, Feb, 01 at sea Carnival Legends
Sat, Feb, 02 Ensenada Activities 3pm-8pm

Speaking of Carnival Splendor, the ship will have to overnight in Puerto Vallarta for repairs after the seals on the propulsion shafts were damaged by some fishing nets. Of course, there are a few folks who have put on the tin foil hats and conspiracy theories abound. One or two of the comments I received are not worthy of posting because we, of course, are “covering something up,” even though we notified more than 3,500 guests and gave them the option of cancelling. Hardly any did. The long and short story is that the seals on the shafts were damaged and we need to be docked for two days for the underwater repairs to be completed. The end. Now if only there was a web site where the cruise ship conspiracy theorists could meet and plot and discuss their theories with other people who still live in their parents basement ………….. oh, hold on……………..there is!

Let’s move on to the bloggers cruise which I am very excited about. Here is the entertainment lineup and my thanks to the comedians who answered my personal call to come and entertain.

Sat, Jan, 19 Miami Welcome Aboard Show/Latin Nights dep @ 4pm
Sun, Jan, 20 at sea Latin Nights/Brits Al Ernst/Tommy Drake
Mon, Jan, 21 at sea Brits/Divas Al Ernst/Tommy Drake
Tue, Jan, 22 St. Thomas EDGE – juggler and comedian 7am-6pm
Wed, Jan, 23 Antiqua Guest Talent Show Deck Party 7am-6pm
Thu, Jan, 24 Tortola Hasbro/Hasbro Percy Crews/Mutzie 7am-3.30pm
Fri, Jan, 25 at sea Divas/Latin Nights Deck Party
Sat, Jan, 26 Nassau Hasbro/Divas/Brits Percy Crews/Mutzie 1pm-8pm

I will be hosting private Hasbro game shows for the bloggers which will be fun and thanks to the ship’s CD Butch who is allowing me to perform my marriage show to the entire ship. Other bloggers activities will include a private morning show with Calvyn and me, private tea times, cigars under the stars and lots of other surprises.

Finally here is Carnival Destiny’s trans-Atlantic voyage at the end of which of course………….she will become the Carnival Sunshine.

Mon, Feb, 04 Miami Welcome Aboard Show dep @ 4pm
Tue, Feb, 05 at sea Voila Paris KARAOKE
Wed, Feb, 06 at sea TOMMY DRAKE – JUGGLING SHOW Lance Montalto/Mark Evans
Thu, Feb, 07 at sea Peter Gross – Comedy Magic Lance Montalto/Mark Evans
Fri, Feb, 08 at sea Guest Entertainer TBA KARAOKE
Sat, Feb, 09 at sea Rudy Lowe – Singer HALF WAY DECK PARTY
Sun, Feb, 10 at sea Larry Omaha – Comic Larry Omaha/Tommy Drake
Mon, Feb, 11 at sea Guest Talent Show KARAOKE
Tue, Feb, 12 at sea Nightclub Express Larry Omaha/Tommy Drake
Wed, Feb, 13 at sea Peter Gross – Hypnotist We Made it Deck Party
Thu, Feb, 14 Malaga SP VARIETY ACT TBA 10am – 6pm
Fri, Feb, 15 at sea VARIETY ACT TBA
Sat, Feb, 16 Barcelona Dark Night/Activities 8am – 5pm
Sun, Feb, 17 at sea Emily Reed
Mon, Feb, 18 Livorno IT VARIETY ACT TBA 7am – 7pm
Tue, Feb, 19 ROME Deck Party 7am – 8pm
Wed, Feb, 20 at sea VARIETY ACT TBA Comic #6/Comic#7 R Rated
Thu, Feb, 21 at sea John Lorry – COMEDIAN Comic #6/Comic#7 R Rated
Fri, Feb, 22 Venice 8am

The TBA entertainers will be filled this week through the entertainment agency we use in the UK and who provided the brilliant acts this past season on Carnival Breeze. I will let you know who they are soon. For those who love sea days, there are nine of them in a row and I know that the CD Noonan and will make sure there is lots to do and that fun will be had by all.

I am not French. I don’t smoke 100 cigarettes a day accompanied by as many coffees or own a small annoying dog that is allowed to crap anywhere it wants with the owner having no intention of clearing it up, I use deodorant and understand the word soap and oh, yes…….I pride myself on being polite. Clearly, I am going to have my work cut out if I ever want to live the Frogdom lifestyle. One other aspect of French life I do not partake in is the enjoyment of nibbling on some snails which after all are slugs without the shell. Yep, escargot, so many people love them and in the dining rooms on our ships they are a popular order indeed. So then it is with sadness that lovers of the little slimy bastards that I have to tell you that due to more terrible droughts in Indonesia where they are sourced from, Carnival and other major cruise lines have had to take it off the menu for now. We have enough for our steakhouses but not enough for the hundreds of orders per week across the fleet. Now our Fleet Executive Chef Peter tells me a new source is on its way, and before the end of the month, it will be available on all ships again. I am sure that will please many to know that escargot will be back soon and you will be sitting in the dining room enjoying a portion of snails topped with garlic so you will indeed for that moment be as French as the Eifel Tower. I have only had escargot once. It was many years ago during my last ever trip to France. I tried them and hated them although knowing I was English, I am sure that Pierre, the waiter, replaced the snails with strips of sheep testicle.

I am preparing for the bloggers cruise and my return to the Carnival Breeze and meanwhile my daughter Kye has gone back to preschool. I have grown used to her being around the house over the holidays and wow, she really is growing up fast. This morning she asked me “Where do the stars go during the day?” And my answer of “Ummmm………ummmmm………..they go to sleep” probably wasn’t the right one. But as she grows up, there are many questions I dread far more than that. Not least: “Mummy, why was Dadda on his computer looking at ladies with no clothes on?”

Obviously there are some questions Kye will ask that have no satisfactory explanation: “Why do people eat snails?” for instance, and “Who’s Piers Morgan?”

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.

68 Responses to ESGARGONE

  1. Lisa Piratzky says:

    John, I had to ask my 14 year old son, but was able to ascertain that RUFKM means “Are You F**#^ Kidding Me”. He told me this, with the appropriate rolling of the eyes LOL! And, I would like to second the kudos for Orlando Magic on The Fantasy! He is one of the best. You better keep him!!

  2. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


    The deal with Piers Morgan is simple.

    We Americans won a war so that you Brits could not tell us what to do and most Americans think that good ole Piers needs to remember that!

    He is a GUEST in our fine Nation and needs to remember that as a GUEST, there is a responsiblity to act accordingly.

    Linda (Mom of your friend DJ)

    • Michael Stewart says:

      To Linda (Mom of DJ): It’s a good thing you don’t speak for the majority of Americans. There was absolutely nothing wrong with what Piers Morgan said because it was the truth.

      • Jas says:

        T0 Michael Stewart,
        Piers Morgan is a jerk, plain and simple. I suspect he always has been and always will be. Just like a lot of people in the US his idea will do nothing to solve the problems with mass murders. Anyone with an once of common sense would know that.

      • Steve says:

        Actually, it is good that YOU, Mr. Stewart, do not speak for the majority of Americans. Linda is right on. And people (more than a simple majority of Americans) were all too willing to leave that no talent hack of a man, Mr. Morgan, alone until he started lecturing people on their 2nd Amendment rights. People using their 1st Amendment rights to abuse others’ 2nd Amendment rights should not be surprised if some use their 2nd Amemdment rights to supress others’ first amendment rights. We need to handle this very carefully and Mr. Morgan was far from careful.

      • Eric B says:

        I agree we did win that war !! And piers can go back where he came from . He has no ideal about Illegal markets that would come from his remarks on guns . I have seen with my eyes way to many times shootings from someone that has no right to own guns(Im a FF AEMT-IV) and OMG there would be so much more problems. If you have 100$ you can have a gun no matter of your past !!!

    • BarB says:

      For Linda.

      Dear, you do not speak for the majority of we Americans. Piers is a perfectly fine Brit who shares the opinion of many of us…that we are sick to death of the carnage left behind by the gun-crazy crowd in our nation.

      67% of us do NOT own guns…that’s called a “majority”…and most of us are sick to death of the minority who DO own them.

      • Eric B says:

        Ma’am You really need to look up who and where you are getting your info from . Honestly I have legal document’s at my job (In public service ) that proves whether or not it is legal for these people to own a fire arm! In over 70% of American household’s own a fire arm (WOW) . When you look at the whole picture if the gun was left to you buy a family member, you bought for hunting, or you bought a gun for protection . OVER 70% of american homes have A GUN IN IT and ammo. In my line of work I have to know that so when my crew and or I go in to these houses to put out fires and or save a person having a heart attack or what ever may ill the person! I am truly sorry but we have alot better info than some idiot that puts lies on the internet and most people beleave it . Some No ma’am you are not the majority ! So I wish people would get there story straight before posting stuff they have absolutly no ideal what they are talking about . Such as if you have never lifted a cars hood you probley should not tell some one how to fix it!! So If you are in the 30% that dont own a gun go get educated (NOT ONLINE)!! But I guess the 15 to 20 % americans that dont own car want them banned as well due to cars with drunk drivers kill more people of all ages in 7 days in America than all gun crimes in a year !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Cruise Critic Sux says:

      Fortunately I have met many lovely’ kind Americans. Had I not and your arrogant comments were the first I had experienced, I’d be distinctly unimpressed. Suggest you stick to being a ‘Mom’!

      • Eric B says:

        I think people should stay out of something that dont affect them ! And Never ever tell a woman to stick to being a mother something that most people today have no ideal about being ! In all she is right !! Maybe you should keep your opinions to your self!

  3. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

    Btw, John:

    The difference between you and Piers is that you were simply expressing an opinion and that is perfectly ok….

    Piers was dictating a directive that he expected us to “snap to” and follow….


  4. Rita Presnell says:

    Sean Ledger.. .why would you and your kid be any more special than everyone else?? Big whoop!

  5. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

    Wayne Amobie:

    Have you priced that plastic reenforced glass?

    I just bought one with the Navy seal on it and it was $20.00.

    Get over it!!

  6. Randall Smith says:

    Hi John,
    Diane and I are so excited to see the Bloggers’ Activities you have planned for BC6 in 11 days, 17 hours, and 20 minutes (but who’s counting?). We’re really pleased to see that Butch will be working with you on this cruise. He’s one of our favorite CDs. Tell him we won’t show anyone (except you) the photo of him dressed as Dolly Parton and another of him wearing a pink tutu from our previous cruises with him as CD. Will Amy Barton still be a social hostess on the Breeze for BC6? We really have enjoyed cruising with her in the past.
    Randy and Diane Smith

  7. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


    Your humor (I know, not spelled correctly) is perfect….do not change a thing!!

    Both our boys learned to love escargot on Carnival. Me, well, not so much. I am allergic to shellfish, but I probably would not eat them even if I wasn’t. lol

    I know that CD Noonan will do an amazing job on the TA. He is incredible!! We can not wait for the Sunshine to come to New Orleans….an easy drive for us!!!

    We are so looking forward to the Blogger’s Cruise.

    And YEA!! a talent show!!!! woo hoo

    Better eat your Wheaties….you are going to need it!!


    Linda (Mom of your friend DJ)

  8. Gale David says:

    Dear John,
    This is NOT a complaint. I have been a loyal CCL Cruiser having taken my 1st ever cruise on the Mardi Gras in the early 1970s. (At that time three of my sisters were employed by Carnival. One was asst. to Mr. Wessel, one opened your group desk (when they were HAND WRITING Tickets-she also dated Mickey for a little while) and the other worked in Reservations). Unfortunately, I was unable to take a lot of cruises in the ’90s due to my work schedule. I cannot get VIFP credit for my early cruises in the ’70s and ’80s, I am told, because you all were not keeping past guest’s records at that time. Too bad…I’d be a diamond member as I have been on approximately 22 Carnival Cruises. My next adventure with Carnival is on the May 21, 2013 sailing of the Carnival Miracle’s Alaskan Cruise. I am an (volunteer) event coordinator for a national organization of Retired Border Patrol Officers, so for their 2013 Annual Conference, I arranged to take 140 of them on this cruise. (You better warn the bartenders to be well stocked!LOL) I just made a reservation on for dinner in the Steak House for 6 on May 25 but have not received any kind of a confirmation back. I did the reservation twice on line because there was no acknowledgement of receipt. How can I find out if my reservation is secured? I am so looking forward to this cruise and just today booked my tours, as well. Two of my aforementioned sisters (past CCL employees)are joining me on this cruise and we are so excited to experience the new features. Have a wonderful day.

    • Robin says:

      Sometimes Carnival-per their website- are not sending out confirmations on steakhouse reservations-but would let you know on board. That being said I did receive an email from them that went into my spam folder. So you might check there. I made the same reservation twice. Once through the mangage your cruise and once through an email to the steakhouse (did mention I had also made reservation though (manage your cruise). I am guessing the response was from the email request. So might check your spam folder.

  9. Mike Teixeira says:

    Rats! I was looking forward to the Tervis tumbler when my wife and I would be on our first Platinum cruise this summer

  10. Dana T says:

    Regarding Jill Ackfeld’s post: I know there are several fellas out there named I Putu, but I’m betting that the I Putu you are talking about is the same I Putu that we fell in love with on the Spirit in 2010, and again on the Triumph in 2011. We have kept in touch with him, and I know he is on the Conquest now, so what are the odds? Especially hearing about how impressed you were with him, as were we? Besides being wonderful to us (enough that we stayed in touch with him), I recall how attentive he was to the little fella at the next table–I Putu made him the cutest birdie out of a napkin and I of course have the photo. We’ve been on many cruises now, and have been more than happy with all the Carnival folks we’ve come in contact with, but there is just something extra special about I Putu, so I was just thrilled to see him mentioned in your post. Kudos on writing such a great post.

    • Jill Ackfeld says:

      Dana T.

      I bet that is him! He made Lilly little birdies too! 🙂 That is awesome you have kept in touch with him. Would love to be able to contact him. He told us his daughters name and it was the most gorgeous name but for the life of me, I can’t remember it. Grrr.

  11. Paul Salata says:

    As far as gun-owners. I am afraid that most of them, and the NRA itself, are paranoid nut-cases.

    • Jas says:

      And you base that on what Paul? I own guns, not a member of NRA anymore and I am far from being paranoid. IMO, it is the anti-gun crowd that is paranoid.

    • Steve says:

      You sound like you are the paranoid one, being afraid of guns and their owners. Watch out Paul, they are coming for you. (insert scary music).

    • nick palermo says:

      Really, we’re all paranoid nutcases. we’re the nutcases that patrol your streets, and patrol foreign countries to keep you safe in your little cocoon of bliss.

    • Betty Baldok says:

      Hate to say this, but NOT ALL gun owners are paranoid!! I carry with a concealment permit and an open carry permit. But, with all that has happened lately, we GUN OWNERS have a right to defend our right to have guns!! Its in the history books!! You take that away from us, and your gonna find that more deaths and more thefts are gonna be horrific!!!

    • easttex says:

      You Paul Salata, don’t have a clue as to the mental makeup of any gun owner. Folks who stupidly use a broad brush to paint others across the board often lack the skills needed to do any critical thinking.

    • Laura Brown says:

      All gun owners are not nut-cases. My husband and I both own guns. We have used them to protect our livstock, to harvest wildlife at the proper hunting season for food, and for target shooting. Both of my children were taught to not only use a gun but to respect their power. I do not own a assault rifle or automatic rifle. These types of guns have only two uses; to kill people or to target shoot. I do not own one of these but I do think you should be able to own one if you aquire it legally.

    • John Tracey says:

      Ref: Alex Jones performance on Piers Morgan show.

  12. Karen says:

    Let me be one more bloody American to add my two cents…
    Making guns harder to buy is only hurting those who actually abide by the laws. Our problem is not with law abiding citizens, but those who are wackjobs and will find any means necessary to kill. Take a look at prisons… if someone wants to kill someone, they can do it without a gun! People, stop blaming guns for our problems!! Guns don’t kill; people do!

    • Michael Stewart says:

      On the same day as the Newtown shooting, a man in China attacked 22 children and 1 adult outside a primary school. In Newtown, 26 people (mostly children) died. In China, all of the crazed attacker’s victims survived. You’re right. People do kill people, but guns make it much easier.

      • Jas says:

        You forgot to mention that the killer in China didn’t use a gun. When you can come up with a way of ridding the world of guns, by all means get it done. Until then your argument does not hold up.

      • Steve says:

        So do cars, baseball bats, clubs, etc. Just admit it Michael, you want the government to protect you. The question is, who is going to protect you from the government?

      • Jose says:

        Michael, Maybe you should move to Ireland where guns are more difficult to get. Guess what, they still have crime, they use screw drivers and knives to break in homes and kill. FACT – More people die in swimming pool accidents every year than from guns. Should we outlaw swimming pools?

      • Eric B says:

        With a ave. 3 to 6 min responce time across the nation of the normal police dept. A knife , gun, and any weapon in the wrong hands can be lethal! I Ran a full mile at a point in my life in 4 mins an 59 sec! So all I am saying is Alot can be done in the normal amount of time it takes for your local P.d to arive to YOUR rescue (So I have chose to teach my family to handle guns with saftey in mind and be a responsible gun owners). I have seen this with my own eyes when you ban anything it creates an ILLEGAL market for it and then there is NO one to keep an eye on who is buying it and they dont even think about who is buying it because cash rules and it can be bought by ANYONE and I mean anyone with 100$ in there hands! Either way I am glad I live where we have the right to our opinion and the choice to own a gun !

        • Karen says:

          Thank you! And for those who feel guns should be outlawed in the US, take this comparison for what it’s worth: Cocaine is illegal, but does that mean it can’t be had? NO! Those who want to break the law will do so regardless of bans. Banning guns or threatening to ban certain accessories of guns &/or taxing us more only makes us law abiding citizens want to buy more! If you don’t believe me, look up any gun website and see what is back ordered due to the threat made by our government. How’s that working for you Oblama aka: “Gun salesman of the year” (repeatedly)???

  13. betty mckinnon says:

    John,love your blogs and all your quips.We sail on Carnival Breeze Feb.2. Will you be our cruise director?

  14. lil griffin says:

    dear john happy new year again! i have a thought…………..why don;t u become a us citizen and run for president, i truly like the way u think on soooooooooooooo many issues and of course calvyn could be vp cheers hope i get to go ireland lil

  15. Diane says:

    Hello John:

    You hit some pretty serious topics in your blog. I am a US citizen who does not own, nor does not want to own a gun. I believe in the right to bear arms but I also believe no one needs a semi-automatic rifle or should own one. I know I am naive but I imagine people who own guns are mainly hunters of wildlife (with a license to do so) for food or sport. I am a huge, huge fan of Eddie Izzard and when the whole gun topic came up after Sandy Hook, I kept thinking of his bit about the NRA saying guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Well I agree with Eddie, the guns help.

  16. Chris says:

    Oh how we have missed you and your blogs! Thanks for the grins and laughter!

  17. Becky says:

    We are all missing pictures by Radu. Is it possible to continue posting beautiful scenery?
    Thank you in advance ~

  18. Eric Bunch says:

    Dear John ,

    • Eric B says:

      Dear John , Love the blog . Just wanted to weigh in on the guns I own a few and I am glad we still have the freedom to do so . But I am not nut case . I am just a FF EMT-Iv That the people where I live trust me with there lives . I will say this 99% time that I have seen with shooting cases(I live in a major city) the shooter cant by law even own a gun (I do agree with stong gun laws for people that should not own one I think 5 to 10 YEARS IN PRISON MAY DO IT and dont let them out ). But I dont think The problem will ever be solved . Cause If you ban them then only criminals will be the only one with guns!!!! I dont like those odds !!!

      • Karen says:

        Thank you Eric B! I live in Wyoming, one of the only states that does not require a permit to carry a concealed weapon. Ask me how many shootings have happened since this law was pasted almost two years ago… nada! We had a psycho kill his father and step mom, but it was with a cross bow…NOT A GUN! Guns are not the enemy, psycho people are!

  19. Michael Stewart says:

    I wanted to comment on the person who had spent thousands of dollars only to be disappointed with his VIP gifts and perks. I thought cruising was the point of cruising. If the goal is something other than cruising, surely one could get a better return on his investment.

    • Tom D says:

      Thank you for saying that! Cruise to cruise not to rack up points for prizes. Those that complain about the gifts and so rudely so are like little children that complain because one kid got a better piece of candy than they did. The ‘thank you for your patronage’ which Carnival provides you is the continued experience you have obviously found so delightful to repeat over and over again. Expecting gifts in return is like telling someone you cant get enough of them but how dare they not reward you for it.

  20. Lynda Ulrich says:

    RCI does not have trips to the bridge. You have to be Diamond Plus to be invited on a bridge tour. I know, I am Diamond Plus. And I just got off a RCI ship yesterday.

  21. Jessica says:

    Um… just wanted to say that I’m extremly excited for the Tervis Tumblers for platinum guests. My family and I are sailing in April and I really hope they’re not gone by then, we LOVE Tervis Tumblers and are stoked to get one from our favorite vacation provider : )

    • Rick Williamson says:

      I just have to ask why have my wife and I not gotten this tumbler? We have been Platinum members since this thing started last June and have not seen ours. Having said that we have gotten a gift each time as VIP’s even before becoming Platinum members.

  22. Amy Fisher says:

    I read with interest your response to (the very cranky) Debbie about what time Spendor will follow during an upcoming cruise. I was surpirsed at your answer, but then I have only cruised in the Caribbean, where the mantra is always, “Stay on ship’s time when in port”. They switch times when cruising out of LA?

  23. BarB says:

    For Sean Ledger…and long time cruisers everywhere.

    Who remembers the “good old days” of cruising? Heck, friends and family could board the ship with you…remember those wonderful “bon voyage” parties in your cabin where all your envious friends joined in wishing you a wonderful trip? I miss those “all ashore” announcements…such nostalgia. And,how about those “dinner bells” where a member of the crew would actually walk around the ship, ringing the bell tubes announcing “1st sitting” or “2nd sitting”…

    I recall that during the week, they would offer several tours of the bridge, the engine room, the galleys, the medical facilities…sometimes even a quick tour of crew quarters. I can even recall being invited to a small party in those quarters…and a great game of pool where I got my socks cleaned by a wonderful Jamaican fella who worked in the engine room.

    There were no security walkways, no “wands” waved over you, you could bring your own booze from home and make margaritas around the pool with your own blender (also brought from home). All areas of the ship were open to passengers….standing at the bow (a la Titanic) with nothing between you and the night. Sitting on deck directly under the bridge..where you could stargaze without lights ruining the view.

    Those were wonderful days.

    9/11 changed all that…and almost everything in our lives. Sean, you missed it.

    BTW: there is nothing more valuable for a cruiser….or for any traveler than “research”. Everything one wants to know about cruising can be found on the websites, on cruise forums, or by “google”. People who claim such outrage and anger are usually those who haven’t done their homework…

  24. Jane Boahn says:

    Question about the alcohol package policies. They give a price per day, required by all over 21 in a room. Can you purchase only a individual or a few nights versus every night? Otherwise,the cost for a 7-day cruise, etc, is just too high.

    • CathyWolf says:

      You can purchase the drink package only on day 1 or 2 and must purchase it for the remainder of the cruise.

  25. Migdalia Perez says:

    Hi this year I ride the Carnival Valor, we’ve saved up for this trip, as only my husband works, I am a disabled person, but even so I’m going with all and wheelchair. I wonder if you noticed the early or separating the cab and submit at discounted prices for the same date .. I would qualify?

  26. Lynda Ulrich says:

    To Wayne Amdoie, I have 42 cruises with Carnival in less than 8 years. I love the Tervis Tumblers. They retail in Florida for about $18.00. This is one of the best gifts they have had. We are also Diamond Plus on RCI and have hd no upgrades and no gifts for years. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

  27. Ralph says:

    Speaking of the French….You know how to spot a Frenchman at a 4th of July parade? He’s the one waving a WHITE flag!!

  28. Aarron says:

    I am from Canada, and I have been able to enter tons online contests based out of the US… just sayin…

  29. diane says:

    You can’t please everybody. Darn it. I was disappointed with the plastic cup too. I was glad we were sailing in December because they were giving binoculars and the cups were coming in January. Not, we got the plastic cup.

  30. chyreise adams says:

    Hi I am sailing on the Splendor Jan 19 to Hawaii does the ship have a luau and what type of hawaiin activities are on board Also its my parents 55th anniversary how can I get something special sent to them


  31. Rebecca Alberts says:

    Hey John, I’m getting mixed information (once again, and thought I’d come right to the source). I would like to start putting money onto my sign n’ sale card if that is possible in advance to our upcoming May cruise on the Glory. Some are saying that with the new Carnival Gift Card program that you can not make/add credit to a current paid in full cruise? This is our first cruise in 5 years after having our little girl, then 2 years later our son (we are tired and ready for Carnival to spoil us). Time for mum & dad to get away for the first time post babies/9 year wedding anniversary. What a better way to celebrate then on our favorite cruise line CARNIVAL :). Thanks John in advance for your time and advice, it is much appreciated! CHEERS!

  32. Dawn says:

    Hi John-
    We will be on Magic for Mardi Gras/Valentine’s this year and are looking forward to our first Bahama’s jaunt. We’ll become gold again on this trip;-) I am thinking that one of our Cruise Elegant nights may fall on Feb. 14th… how do y’all plan so well????? Anyway, happy to be taking another cruise out of Galveston with you guys.

  33. John Humphries says:

    Hi John, My wife Sue and I will be on the Breeze Jan 13th. We are celebrating the fact that I survived brain surgery on Oct. 31st. I would love to say hello to you if you have time. Can’t wait to see the Breeze.
    John Humphries

  34. linda althouse says:

    Could you please tell me if the Carnival Pride is going to be dry docked…. and will it be updated to The Guy Fieti Bar, the Blue Iguana and The Frog pub….

    We were just on it and would repeat the trip if it is being re furbished…

    Thank you

    Linda Althouse

  35. Harry Hathhorn says:

    Enjoy your blog but believe this is no place for politics, social issues, Piers Morgan, hate mail, excessive bragging, etc. Keep it to cruising please. As for cuisers, who cares what the other cruise lines do. Been on them also and most cruise line benefits and policies are similar. We think Carnival is about fun and a great experience for your hard earned money. Best Regards and looking forward to the Splendor and 48 days from Long Beach to NYC. Only 20 more days!! Will be grateful for even a plastic thingey.

  36. Marilyn Potenza says:

    We are going on the LEGEND in Sept 2013 to United Kingdom and Norway. We are planning on staying onboard and take the next 15day Transatlantic Cruise to NYC. Are you, John going to be on any of these cruises??

  37. Tim says:

    Currently sailing the Carnival Glory and the Captain decides not to stop at our last port of call. We are NOT HAPPY and do not like being forced to spend TWO days at sea. We are Gold Club members with Carnival and this has been the worst cruise for service, food selection, shows, and on-board shopping. Our past experience and motivation for returning each year to Carnival has NOT been met this cruise. We just want off the ship and to return home. We have been on cruises with two days at sea and intentionally AVOID cruises with two days at sea. We are not happy. 🙁

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