On Monday I wrote about how having a dog is a brilliant way not to get blamed for letting out a monstrous and eye-watering fart. Yep, blaming my dog Breeze for the Hazmat teams knocking on the door has been one of the best things about canine ownership. But revenge, as they say, is sweet and last night the four legged German bastard got his revenge.

I had spent eight straight hours in my office here at home on Facebook, writing the Super Bowl blog, e-mailing the beards and arranging conference calls about the naming ceremony of the soon-to-be Carnival Sunshine. Yep, it had been a long day and Heidi had been on Kye duty, cooking duty, German bastard dog walking duty and quite frankly both of us were very tired

So there we were on the sofa watching some God-awful program about some New Jersey desperate housewife who had become a billionaire for inventing something called “skinny bitch” drinks and products. It was dreadful and I would have rather watched the box set of the Best of Richard Simmons than this crap. Anyway, realising that I was never going to regain control of the remote control, I decided to try some sexual healing as a reason to turn New Jersey housewife off and bugger me……….my advances worked. Things were getting interesting but Mr. Floppy was soon on deck. Why? Let me tell you. There is nothing more deflating than to be watched by a round eyed, panting, German shepherd. And………..he was drooling. And that was that, with the New Jersey housewife back for another episode. Bugger!

This got me thinking, how the heck do actors in movies do it? At least at home on my sofa I didn’t have a huge Sony camera inches from my thingy and a boom microphone with something that looks like a dead hamster on the end tickling me who knows where. How do they do it? Still, hold on John………mmm……let me think about it for a minute. Yep, those last two sentences were bollocks. Offer me rumpy pumpy with a beautiful and sexy Latvian movie star and Steven sodding Spielberg can shove an entire production company up my bottom, I wouldn’t care.

Time for some Q and A – here we go.

Michael Rizzo asks:
I just read your blog about service dogs being allowed to eat at the restaurant and this has me very concerned. I am soon to be traveling to the Carnival Splendor from my home town of New York. I know these dogs do a service for handicapped people but they should never be allowed to be where people eat and I think it’s wrong that Carnival does this. I shall expect that there are no dogs near me and the family when we cruise or I shall demand to be moved. Carnival needs to rethink this policy.

John says:
Hello Michael Rizzo,
Thanks for taking the time to write and please don’t worry because I am sure you will not even know that if there is a service dog on board that it is even there. You see, most spend the time under the table and sleep and are trained to be still and calm. They obviously are there to provide an important service for their owners and I am sure, legally, we cannot refuse them even if we wanted to which, of course, we do not. So again, please do not worry and just get ready for a brilliant cruise.
Best wishes.

George Smith asks:
will you be sailing on the Carnival Legend Sept 1 out of Dover?

John says:
Hello George Smith,
Yes, indeed, I will be there and I look forward to sharing this wonderful voyage with you.
Best wishes.

Jonathan Cox asks:
Just returned from the Carnival Splendor cruise which was terrible. Staff on the Carnival Splendor is anything but accomodating. Besides the fact that many of them appeared to have zero command of English and very poor communication skills, they also appeared haughty and callous. From the desk staff to the bar staff, these folks acted almost annoyed when approached, and wait staff seldom made eye contact. Often, bar staff would seem to almost ignore passengers who were obviously wanting service. Shop staff was equally lackluster and rather snooty. Unbelievable for an industry that can enhance profits by being friendly! We had one shore excursion planned, which was part of a package deal from Orbitz. Unfortunately, we lost this because the propulsion system on the Carnival Splendor was in trouble and the itinerary changed. We went to the customer service desk to see, ha ha ha ha ha, if Carnival would comp us with “something,” but their only advice was “to call Orbitz and complain??????” Huh? wasn’t this the ship’s problem? By the second day of this cruise, we were longing to be home. We knew we had made a horrible mistake, and we lamented the fact that we could have saved that money for a decent cruise down the line. We couldn’t get off the ship fast enough, and actually laughed because we had a better time sitting at LAX for six hours than we had on the seven-day cruise. Does that tell you something and you, Mr. Gothopotamus, should be ashamed to be its brand ambassador.

John says:
Hello Jonathan Cox,
Some people may wonder why I post comments like this and as always I will say it’s because right from the start of this blog back in 1787 I said that I would never hide from bad and always post what is presented to me. I am so sorry that you had such a negative experience and I sincerely apologise for that. I know the ship had a technical problem which did mean a change of itinerary but we are not responsible, I am afraid, for guests who have booked private tours. A change of itinerary is always disappointing and modifying the itinerary is something we never like to do. Again, I apologise that we did and that your private tour company were not helpful. You know I could argue that this type of comment is very rare indeed and that the staff is renowned for their smiles, fun and friendly service. I could also mention that all of our front line staff must have proficiency of English as per our own internal requirements and in accordance with United States Coast Guard regulations. Yep, I could say all of that and normally I would but there are rare occasions when I have to hold my hands up, apologise that you had such a negative experience and judging by your comments about the fun time you had at the airport simply say ………that in this case, cruising just might not be for you. I could be wrong and this may not be the politically correct statement to make or one a brand ambassador (a position I am fiercely proud of) should be making but it seems that in this case it is the right thing to say. Carnival continues to provide brilliant and affordable vacations for thousands of guests each week of the year and the very vast majority has a brilliant time and come back for more Carnival-style fun. I do hope you come back and, rest assured if you do, I will do everything I can to help you and make sure that you have the best of times. I am off now to ask Uncle Google what “Gothopotamus” means although I have a feeling it is not a term of endearment.
Best wishes.

Teresa Leakey asks:
Just got off the Carnival Magic, Dec. 9 sailing, and now I know why they call her that. From the moment we got on board, everything fell into place. People we met on line, we hooked up without even trying. Every time we turned around, something else was falling into place and when I commented to the crew to explain, they just looked at me and said, “That’s Magic.” It truly was. They have the most amazing bartender in the steakhouse named Suapanie “Supy,” she really knows her liquors and introduced us to some of the best. Melissa “Millie” had the best wine tasting party we have ever been to. The steakhouse staff was THE BEST EVER!!! The MDR got us a table for two (thanks to you) but when we mentioned another couple joining us for dinner one night, our table was set up for four without us even mentioning it again!!!! They were Magical!!! Lerlak even arranged to have Magic Mike come to our table for a card trick that night. Rick ordered Chateaubriand one night, medium rare, and Lerlak showed it to him and said this is not acceptable and she took it right back and brought out the perfectly cooked one. Without us even asking!!!!

Ramilo was perfect, with serving and attending to our every need, and Charlie was all smiles taking our drink orders every night. AMAZING crew. We did the BTS the last day and Guada and Annessa were perfect and had lots of energy. I am telling you John, this is the best crew, the best ship ever!!!!! I can go on and on talking about the crew. Our room steward Harry was filling our cooler without us even asking! He provided us with a dry robe each day as we used the spa often and those robes are thick and absorbent, but hard to dry out. Harry was all smiles and addressed us by our names, making us feel welcomed and appreciated.

We had taken vegan cheese to James (CD) and even bought it in Galveston so he can find it again if he liked it. I went up to a girl to inquire about where I may find James to give him this vegan cheese and she told me he was on holiday. I explained what I had and she said she was James vegan buddy and the only other crew member that was a vegan on the ship. I gave her the note and the cheese. To run into Abigail Freeman was magical, I mean over 1,000 crew members and I run into the only other vegan on board. That was how our whole cruise was, magical!!!! One magical experience after another. Had to share!!!!!

John says:
Hello Teresa Leakey,
It was such a joy to read this brilliant review and I hope that you know just how proud you will make those you mention feel when they read this. I am so sorry you missed James but, wow, what a small world and the fact that you met Abigail was wonderful. I hope we took care of your vegan needs on board and I will again pass on these wonderful words of praise. I hope we see you again very soon and if there is anything I can do for you, please let me know.
Best wishes.

David Grampp asks:
A group of us (14 confirmed now and four to six more thinking about it) will be cruising on the Carnival Sensation on May 2, 2013. The reason for this cruise is to spread my mom’s ashes at sea. I have contacted Carnival and have been told that the ship will assist us. We need to go to the guest services and tell them when we get on board. I am just a little worried about just showing up on the day of sailing to set the service up. It has been a bear finding a cruise date that everyone can make. My mom and dad (my dad will be there (15 Carnival Cruises, VIFP# 56256406, booking #43ZVB7, cabin E244) loved to cruise and my mom’s written request was that her ashes be scattered from the stern of a cruise ship. I don’t know if any advance arrangements can be made or not. Any help or information you or your staff could provide would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance as I know that you will do whatever you can. I read your blog and Facebook pages and see how much you try and help.
Thank you.
Dave Grampp

John says:
Hello David Grampp,
I am very glad you contacted me because I will be honoured to help you with this. I will make sure the ship is aware and that all the paperwork is ready for you and that all is arranged. As we are sometime away I would ask that you remind me here on the blog in early April or seven days before on my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/johnheald. I wish you a wonderful cruise and if there is anything I can do for you please do let me know.
Best wishes.

Andre Yeboah asks:
I read your blog and would like to request a private table for the three of us. Our cruise is on 4/18/13 on Carnival Triumph and we would want to be booked on late sitting. Our experiences with being with other passengers’ last cruise was not good. It was not Carnival’s fault, of course, but the people we were sat with were very racist and it was very uncomfortable and we ate mostly on the Lido deck. Thank you, John, for making sure we do not have to go through this again. Our booking number is ******.

John says:
Hello Andre Yeboah,
I am so sorry to read about your concerns from your last cruise and even though I feel certain that this was a one off that will not be repeated this cruise I will ask the maitre d to assist you and reserve a table for three. I wish you the best of times.
Best wishes.

Marty Robb asks:
Hi John,
Hope you can help. I just returned from a trip on Carnival Inspiration. I have collected the wooden ship models on every trip since the inaugural sailing of Carnival Destiny. It was my inaugural also so I’ll miss her. When I looked in the gift shop there were no ships. I was told they were sold out. I asked how I could get one and was told they could only be purchased on the ship and maybe I could find a friend or family member to sail in the future and buy one. I’m not kidding. I proceeded to guest services to ask them and was told “the gift shop is not run by Carnival and we have no control over them.” Please let me know what can be done so I can get one.
Thank you.

John says:
Hello Marty Robb,
The shops on board are indeed run by our concessionaire, Starboard Leisure Services, but they do not have an on-line shop for you to purchase this model. However, I’m checking with the beards to see if these models could be made available off the ship as I know they are so popular. So as soon as I hear, I’ll let you know.
Best wishes.

Dee asks:
I had the privilege of cruising on the Carnival Breeze last month. Wonderful ship and had a great vacation! I was cruising as part of a singles tour group and just wanted to share an observation regarding the new Cheers program. Those of our group who were able to participate in the program loved it. However, one of the services provided by our tour group was roommate matching for those of us who had no one to travel with and did not want (or couldn’t afford) to pay the single supplement for a cabin. There were a few situations where one roommate wanted to purchase the Cheers program but could not because their roommate was not interested in purchasing it. I understand why Carnival would require all adults in a cabin to purchase the program if they were on the same Sail & Sign account to prevent abuse of the program. But in the case where each person in a cabin has their own Sail & Sign account, I don’t see why Carnival couldn’t figure out a way to allow those individuals the option to purchase the program regardless of what the roommate does. I was one of the fortunate ones who was on the same wavelength with my roomie so it wasn’t an issue (we did not purchase it) but there were others that were disappointed! I would imagine there have been other Carnival cruisers traveling with friends/family that found themselves in the same situation. I think the Cheers program would be more widely used if Carnival could charge based on how many adults are signers on a Sail & Sign account rather than how many are staying in the cabin. As I said, just an observation and I appreciate the opportunity to express my thoughts on the subject! And now … I’m going to get back to planning my next cruise and hope to be sitting on a Carnival Lido Deck by early summer! Thanks again for a great vacation!

John says:
Hello Dee,
This is a place where people can always express their opinions and I am glad you did. The Cheers program has been met with much excitement and is very popular on all the ships that have it. It is still very much in a test phase and we are examining all the results and looking at all the guest comments. We realise that it is not for everyone and with the rule that every adult in the stateroom having to purchase it, we know that certain parties will not find it is something they should purchase. I will pass on your comments to the VP of beverage operations who I know also reads this and every blog. There are no immediate plans to change this but, as I said, it is in the test phase so let’s see what happens. I do hope you had a great cruise and please let me know if there is anything I can do for you.
Best wishes.

Debbie Acton asks:
Hi John,
My family and I were on the Carnival Dream over New Year’s Eve. We had a great time. The ship, food, staff, service and events were all great. My question is on New Year’s Eve Stevie Wonder played a set right at midnight. We were told there would be a special guest at midnight but we missed the introduction and we are unsure if it was really him or an impersonator. Before we go and tell everyone we know who we saw that night, can you confirm that in fact it was him or not?
Thanks very much.

John says:
Hello Debbie Acton,
Ahhh yes, the famous Stevie Wonder appearance. This was actually an impressionist and not the real Stevie but I am told by the CD Jaime that he was superb. I am so glad you had fun and what a brilliant way to ring in the New Year. I hope we see you again very soon. Best wishes.

And we will finish there for today. Thanks to you all for your comments and opinions.

OK, to finish with today, I am posting a revised version of the cruise director schedule. We have made a few changes to it and my thanks to Ryan, our manager of cruise directors, for allowing me to post this here for all to see. We will have the schedule past July to years end in April or so but here, then, is the updated schedule from now – July


It is great to see the wonderful comments I often see here and on Facebook about our brilliant current batch of cruise directors and I hope I will continue to see those and indeed any that feel someone in the position needs to improve. If you have any comments or questions about the schedule, please let me know and I thank each and every one of my colleagues who I know give 100 percent to make sure that you all have the fun that Carnival continues to place at the core of its cruises.

I want to finish with a special mention of two people I met again on Bloggers Cruise 6….Michael and Rhonda. I cruised with them before and I know they are readers of this blog. I must admit that when they first approached me on the Carnival Breeze after one of the bloggers events, I didn’t remember them straight away. I meet so many, many people that it’s not always easy to remember everyone and, besides, I am getting old. However, within seconds of talking to them I noticed the necklace around Rhonda’s neck and then …………I remembered. The first time they cruised with me, they had their beautiful new daughter Rachel with them. Soon after that cruise Rachael passed away …..she was only four years old. I saw the necklace and, upon it, Rachel’s photo and I had a clear and present memory of Rhonda telling me that the years following had been so very difficult but Rachel had spoken to them from heaven and told Mum and Dad to do something fun and so they booked a cruise which I think was on either Carnival Dream or Carnival Magic.

I do remember talking to them on whatever the ship was and that the conversation took place next to the shore excursion desk. I remember this piece specifically because I had gone there to listen to a guest scream, really properly scream, and shout at me about an excursion he had taken. After I had finished calming the guest down and taking care of his concerns I met Michael and Rhonda who told me what a brilliant time they were having but how the memories of Rachel were overwhelming.

As I sit here in my office, Kye is getting ready for school, she is only a few months from being four years old. I can only imagine that losing a child must change your whole perspective on life. There’s an unnatural order about experiencing your child’s death before your own. Nothing surely can adequately describe the pain of child bereavement and so I once again send my thoughts and prayers to you, Michael and Rhonda, and thank you for sailing with me again and for sharing more beautiful stories of Rachel who I know you miss so very much.

Your friend,

Comment Policy

Look, friends — there are a few things you should remember before you comment. The space below is for you to post your comments about the post I've just written above. Now, while I may not be able to reply to your comment below, I do sit in my underpants almost every morning and read everything that is here. So feel free to comment on the comments and then if someone wants to comment on the comment to the comment then go ahead as well. Please be courteous, unless the poster is French...........then you can say whatever you want.


  1. Patricia Irwin says:

    John, BC6 was wonderful and of course, we both love the Breeze. There was only one thing that really upset us and we did speak to Pierre about the situation. Seems someone had a service dog for diabetes and the gentleman always carried the dog to the buffet line as he filled his plate with food. He obviously had handled the dog and then handled the serving spoons. Seems he had been spoken to but then refused to comply and leave the dog with his partner while he got his food. It was very upsetting to see the long haired dog being held at the food level each time we were at the buffet….. I seriously doubt the man was going to have a diabetic crisis in the few moments it took him to get his dinner onto a plate!!!!!

  2. Hi John,

    I’ve just started reading your blog within the last few months, and really enjoy your comments & wit!

    My wife & I have cruised Carnival 6 times now, with our next voyage on Oct 13th aboard the Freedom. I am always dismayed when I read about things beyond the control of Carnival (or any cruise line for that matter) like missed ports due to weather, or delayed departures due to a medical issue. My wife and I have had these happend to us on a few cruises, and, while it can be disruptive, you gotta “go with the flow” as they say. I think Carnival offers a great product for a great price.

    One other thing…. I do love to document my cruises. So, for your viewing pleasure, I’ve pasted a link to my latest cruise video (only 11 min) of our last cruise aboard the Pride. (Nov 3012)

    Thank You John, and thank you Carnival for a great cruise back in November — it was our 35th anniversary!

  3. Ralph says:

    Jonathan Cox,
    You stated “We couldn’t get off the ship fast enough”. For the crew and other passengers..I’m sure it wasn’t fast enough!!

    • Karen says:

      I agree! One can only imagine just how fun this couple was… bundles of joy,I’m sure! My guess is that this person did NOT want to be on this cruise and looked for every reason to find fault. If one looks hard enough, they will find what they are looking for! Personally, I’m looking for fun on the Breeze in 9 days and I’m sure I’ll find it!

  4. Carol Hume says:

    To Michael Rizzo! I hope and pray that some day you will require a service dog for a special need and people treat you the exact way that you expect Carnival to treat their guests with special needs. This has to be one of the most ignorant comments I have ever read on this blog. If you weren’t so rude I would almost feel sorry for you.
    And to Jonathon Cox if it was me at the Guest Services desk I would have laughed too, which I believe is totally untrue. There’s this great tool that people use to get very valuable information called the Internet and maybe if you would have checked this out and read the print on your contrct with Carnival you would have found out that they are not responsible for privately booked tours. Don’t you just hate when you have nobody to blame for stupid mistakes that some people make.

  5. Steve says:

    Being a Potamus myself, you may be one as well. But Goth? No way.

  6. John, I want to thank you for all the many things that you and your helpers arranged for the people on the blogger’s cruises. My wife & I thoroughly enjoyed the cruise and meeting the many bloggers. I thought the opportunity to have a photo session with you was thoughtful. The Carnival Breeze was a great ship and I hope to go back on Breeze soon. Once again my friend, thank you very much.

    Paul & MaryLou Pietrangelo

  7. Robinola says:

    It’s funny how a name truly defines a person.

    jonathan COX is testimony to that!

  8. Robin says:

    Well, Mr. Rizzo, if you do happen to encounter a service dog and demand to be moved I hope you are moved right off the ship. It would be one thing if you were allergic to dogs and needed to be moved for that reason, but it’s quite another to demand to be moved because you’re intolerant.

    As for you, Mr. Cox, you really need to save up and buy yourself a clue. How is it the ship’s fault if you bought a private excursion that you then couldn’t take? Itinerary changes aren’t done lightly and if you were that concerned you should have booked a ship’s excursion. As for the rest of your rant…if you’re that sensitive that a missed port ruins your cruise, you must be an absolute joy to travel with. Or not.

    And “Gothopotamus”? Really? Grow up.

  9. Travis Maxfield says:

    @Marty Robb

    I haven’t seen the wooden models of the ships, only the resin ones that sell for $30. I will look while I am on Inspiration in October and if I find one I would be more than happy to pick one up for you.

  10. charles cornell says:

    John, was just on the carnival imagination and it was a great time. This is are 8th cruise and it always is a great time. Are cruise director was marcelo and he was awesome and we cant say enough about the asst. Cruise director craige johnson he is the best thing out there cannot wait for are next cruise keep up the good work!!

  11. Richard W says:

    John, I simply do not know how you do it. After reading the selfish and rude comments of Michael Rizzo and Jonathan Cox, I give you a perfect score on your responses. I’m not sure I could have. For Rizzo’s information, as you point out, service dogs provide a valuable service to people who have one or more physical disabilities. They are trained from puppyhood to be quiet and non-disruptive. Indeed, when a service dog is working, one should never approach its human and try to pet or otherwise distract the dog from its duties unless his handler gives permission. I would love it if more people cruised with their service animals.

    As for Cox, well, what can one say? I often wonder if people like him wear a grouch 24/7. He is determined not to like the cruise. Period. My missus and I have been cruising Carnival or a Carnival affiliate since 1989 and not once in 21 cruises have we ever encountered people like those described by Cox. To the contrary, those we’ve been privileged to work with have been friendly, outgoing, spoke good English, and always had a smile on their faces, even when dealing with the Jonathan Cox’ of the world. Cox will never be happy. He’s one of those folks who would visit a foreign country, say, Latvia, and get angry with the residents because they don’t speak English. In short, he’s a dolt and deserves what he gets. So thank you, John. You always keep me smiling.

  12. Eileene says:

    Wow, John – Jonathan Cox went a little overboard (pun intended) on the trolling – especially with so many negatives in one narrative. He must be taking lessons from H2-you-know-who. 🙂

    Thank you for a brilliant blog, and especially thank you for BC6 – it was our first bloggers cruise, and we’re hooked!

  13. Tom Vancel says:

    Thanks for posting the 2013 CD. I feel privileged to be crossing the Atlantic with you as CD on the Carnival Legend in April.

  14. rick williamson says:

    mr. Cox, I have NEVER had a problem understanding ANY of the crew on ANY of the 16 cruises we have been on with Carnival. Or for that fact the other six cruises on other cruise lines ships. By the way the first day of each cruise since we have become VIFP’s we are looked at in the face and with a smile we are told by any number of crew both getting us on the ship and the ones on the ship. WELCOME BACK! So you are either the most unhappy person in the world or you are just telling John this hopeing to get a free cruise out of it.

  15. Barb S says:

    Gosh, Jonathan Cox, after 10 cruises with Carnival, I have yet to meet any of crew member who didn’t speak English vastly better than I could speak their language and who was less than friendly. Perhaps, it was just a case of reaping what one sows.

    Carnival crew members, for me, are the most interesting people to talk to and they have always gone out of their way to treat us like royalty. Thank you, CCL, for setting the bar high for those you hire to take care of us. I am especially thankful that I’ve never been put into a position where their main purpose is tested, and that is to guide and protect us in emergency situations.

  16. Ken Allred says:

    John The splendor is sailing away for her home in long Beach. That is sad. We still have the inspiration which we are sailing on this June. Any news about a new ship coming to California. We would love to have another 7 day cruise out of Long Beach or San Francisco. Love the blog. Keep it up. Ken

    • Travis Maxfield says:

      The Miracle will be moving to Long Beach to cover Splendor. It should arrive late March.

      • Eva Olmsted says:

        I’ve been cruising since 1958, I have run into a few Jonathan Cox’s in my life. If Mr Cox had booked thruoght a Trave Agent, not on the internet he would have learned something about his cruise, he would also have learned about the cruise guarentee and gotten off the ship. Some people arn’t happy unless they have somethng to complain about.
        I’ve never paid for a vacation and not enjoy it to the fullest
        Just cruised the Imagination LOVED every minute of it. Go Carnival

  17. Dennis Hanovich says:

    Mr. Rizzo is out of line. The service dog will be better behaved than many of the guests he’ll encounter on his cruise.

  18. Well “Young” John I will be sailing with you and your super humor again on July 20th on the Breeze.I promise not to put you in handcuffs and put you in the back of a cruser in front of passengers joining the ship.I do however look forward to seeing you,having a d?rink and doing a lot of catching up.By the way; do you remember that joke you had me play on the comedian who was knocking the “Miami Police Dept”?,I don’t know why he suspected you!!!!!!.
    Best Always

  19. Barbara Johnson says:

    I was on the Golden Princess last December, and there were 17 service dogs on board. We had 2 dogs, at 2 different tables near us, they were so well behaved, and so beautiful, and big, I think Golden Retrievers. It was a delight. Never thought of them as dirty or germ carriers. Loved it!

  20. Mr Lawrence says:

    Just have to comment on Teresa Leakey’s take on her cruise on the Magic. My wife and I have sailed on the Magic four times in 2012. Ms Leakeys’ comments are right-on!!!
    Of the 26 cruises we have had on Carnival ships, these were by far the absolute best!!!
    Please pass this on to the great team on the Magic.

  21. Erik says:

    Mr. Rizzo…

    I’ve met, and heard of allot of ignorant people in my time, and I think you have a place somewhere in my top 10.

    You’re “very concerned” about service dogs being allowed to accompany the guests they assist in the dining room. What’s is this specific concern? Reading into your response a little more, is it germs you are concerned with?

    You say your “home town” is New York. I assume that means New York City, because I’d bet that docking the ship in Albany would be difficult. Do you use any form of public transportation (like most in the City) Mr. Rizzo? Do you use public bathrooms? Fly on commercial planes? Or in general, occupy any other other space that another member of the public may have before you? Do you realize you’re FAR more likely to be affected by the many germs in any of the above mentioned situations, than what few germs a service dog may have? Do you think this service dog may come over to help you clean your plate? If you do, you need to spend a little time doing some research on the training these dogs receive.

    Would you be offended by someone who demanded to be moved away from a person in a wheel chair, or a blind person with a cane, or a deaf person using ASL to communicate? I would assume you may say yes to this. Guess what Pal, you’re in the same league.

    Don’t believe me? Try this little experiment;
    When you get on your ship, and find out where you’re table is, chances are there probably won’t be any service dogs near by. When you discover this, you should voice your relief about this to anybody you happen to make small talk with on the cruise. I bet you’ll make lots of friends!!!

    Better yet, you should probably just cancel the cruise all together, and go hang out with Mr. Cox.

    Mr. Cox?(I use the Mr. loosly)
    Ahh yes…

    I hope someday you get the chance to grow up, act like an adult, and take responsibility for YOUR OWN ACTIONS.
    You sound like a child, embellishing how horrible the whole trip was when one of the plans you had didn’t go your way. A real grown-up realizes that from time to time ship happens, and sometimes your plans don’t work out. Again, plans that Carnival was not privy to, and had absolutely not responsibility to honor.

    Enjoy your future vacations hanging out at LAX.. And if your future time spent at LAX doesn’t work out exactly as planned, be sure you write a letter to the management in the same whiny way you did with Carnival. I’m sure they’d like a good laugh…

  22. douglas says:

    john: we are sailing on the breeze on may 11th, and see butch is the C.D. this is our forth cruise with carnival and love carnival, butch was our C.D. on our second cruise which was on the dream, i am woundering if he will still be the cruise director in may on the breeze because he is great, right along with you, because on our first cruise in may 2010 on the fantasy you were our cruise director it was the second cruise out of charlston, please let me know, and i hope its butch…. if you have to extend his tour so he is….. lol

  23. Libby Throckmorton says:

    Dear John,
    I’d like to respond to Michael Rizzo’s concerns about service dogs being present in dining rooms/restaurants. We are blessed to have a service dog in our family; she works for my daughter and has made a tremendous difference in my daughter’s ability to live more independently. A true service dog must have a photo ID license from the US Department of Justice displayed on a vest; if Mr. Rizzo is seeing individuals feeding or playing with dogs in restaurants, he is entitled to ask to see the dog’s license and inform the management if the owner/handler does not have one. We are very conscious of how people perceive us in public and want to provide a positive image for service dogs/owners and to educate the public on how legitimate service dogs can benefit their owners. Anyone who is feeding or playing around with a dog in a restaurant I suspect may not be a legitimate service dog owner/handler – if they aren’t, they should be asked to remove the dog from the premises. Thank you and Carnival for supporting the rights of people with disabilities – but please be aware that there ARE those out there who want to call their dog a service animal without the appropriate credentials!!

  24. Tonya Burns says:

    Hi John,
    My husband and I cruised on the Magic April 2012 and were more than over the moon about how fantastic everything was, the ship, the crew, the food, the entertainment…everything!!! We are making it a yearly tradition to go for our anniversary every April and are booked on the Magic again for April 14. I was sad to see that Butch is no longer on the Magic! He was so great and will be missed by us on our next cruise. I see he is on the Breeze now, those are some lucky passengers for sure.

  25. Gina Campbell says:

    I will be sailing in the fall on the Carnival Breeze and I’m looking forward to it very much. This is the first time I log onto this blog and was stunned to read the first post by a Mr. Michael Rizzo who basically suggested that Carnival change it’s policy in allowing service dogs in the restaurants. Basically Mr. Rizzo is saying that people with disabilities do not have the same rights as those who do not. Shame on you. If you had a family member in the same situation would you exclude that member and your family from things as well?

    Anyway, enough time wasted on lower minded individuals.

    John, I’ve seen some video footage of you in interviews and you seem to be a great Cruise Director. Thank you for sharing your humor with all of us. Great blog.



  26. Normand Vermette says:

    Hi John! Looks like we will be sailing together again. We were on the Breeze’s inaugural cruise last June and will be on the Legend for the August 8 cruise. this cruise is a gift to my wife for our 40TH wedding anniversary and her 60th birthday . If it is possible I would like to ask you,at a later date, to do something for her for this occasion. One thing for sure, she will be thrilled to sail with you again We are looking forward to see you in August, it will be FUN.

  27. Tinamarie Hughes says:

    what does the highlighted names on the cruise director schedule mean?

  28. Steve Halstead says:

    The director must be living at my house due to all the unwanted calls I receive from this place! I’ve ask these incompetent people to quit calling but insist on keeping me on the phone list. Therefore every place I can say how frustrated they have made me I respond.

  29. Philip Incorvia says:

    Hi John, I just wanted to know if you will be CD on the Legend at the end of October? We had the privilige of having you as CD on the Triumph on our honeymoon in 2003. What great memories We are booked on the Legend on 10/26 out of Tampa. This time we are cruising with our kids, our honeymoon friends Rob and Lydia Delavan and their 2 children plus our good friend Rohit Sachdeva. Hopefully you are on this sailing and we look forward to seeing you once again for some good times.

  30. Richard & Connie says:

    We are on board on the Carnival Sunshine in May/June 2013. Dinner tables for two was not available during our original booking, request are supposed to be done on board by seeing the Maître D. We arrived early before noon on boarding day hoping to arrange a table for two. Even with our early contact with Maître D with no success of getting a set time for table of two. We do not understand the process on how the priority of tables is arranged. The maître D gave us open dining next day with no explanation. We are a repeat Carnival customer and are very disappointed with this Maître D customer services. In general, Sunshine crew members are not as friendly and helpful as our prior cruise experiences. Fun Shops assistance was sub-standard on customer services. We purchased a watch as a gift, request to add an extra link to the watch band which was overlooked or ignored. The only compliment was the hard working and friendly room services. We have enjoyed the ports and places of this cruise experience but not pleased with Carnival.

    • ExtremelyDisappointed says:

      Couldn’t agree more! We are on the boat now, and have been charged incorrectly for the wine package, and been to guest services 3x at a tune of 1 hour each time. First time for crushed luggage. Not sure how our luggage makes it thousands of miles on 4 separate flights yet gets demolished from port to our room. We haven’t had water 3x so far in our room on 3 different days. The seconed time my husband was in the middle of a shower and poor water stopped. (guest services STILL has done nothing to compensate us) I had to get rude about the wine package to get it justified. The service of everyone on board is NOTHING like we’ve ever experienced with Carnival. Our only good service has been our room service guy. He’s awesome! If this were my first Carnival cruise, it would be my last. We “upgraded” to a spa room and paid extra. What a joke. The steam facility hasn’t worked the last 4 nights we’ve tried to use it, the heat room hasn’t been working 2x, and the staff looks like they’d rather stab themselves in the eye with a pencil than “pamper” you. The windows in the room where the heated lounge chairs are (which are wonderful and HAVE worked each time) are so gross, and I’ve taken pictures of them for my nice letter to carnival when I return. I refuse to let my birthday “trip of a lifetime” be ruined by Carnival, but I am definitely not done with them. We cruise Carnival all the time and have actually never even considered giving another cruise line a chance…..until now! Until this cruise I never even knew where guest services was. To spend the money they did on this boat, only to see they literally half assed most areas is a severe disappointment.

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