LOTS OF QUESTIONS AND A TV SHOW

February 20, 2013 -

John Heald

Today’s blog is all about questions so here we go.

 

Ruth Penlow asks:
Why does Carnival not offer only anytime dining and get rid of the early and late times then we wouldn’t have to wait for a table for TWENTY MINUTES as we did last week on the Carnival Dream? The boats should be anytime dining option only and I spoke to hundreds of passengers during the trip and everyone said they agreed.

 

John says:
Hello Ruth Penlow,

I do hope that you had a wonderful time on your cruise and I do apologise that you had a 20- minute wait for a table. There is no doubt that Your Time Dining is very popular and continues to be a great option for many guests. It is therefore at the peak hours of 7:15 pm to 8:15 pm that many of the guests on this option come to the dining room which can at times, not always, cause a little bit of waiting time. I will say that while we continue to give more dining room space to Your Time Dining, we still have many guests who do prefer assigned seating which is why there are no plans to cancel these options but to continue with as much choice for the guests as possible. I do hope this helps and please let me know if you have any other questions.

John
Mark Hartung asks:
Will they be changing the menu for The Chef’s Table soon? I really loved the old menu and not a fan of the new one.

Thank you.

 

John says:
Hello Mark Hartung,

Thanks for your comments and I will pass them on to the chef who is as we speak working on a new Chef’s Table menu which, as soon as I have it, I will post here.Thanks so much.

Best wishes,
John

 

Troy DeHavilland asks:
I cruised with Carnival last year on Carnival Sensation and it was average and that’s being kind. The DJ played music from two centuries ago and the food was something my dog would turn its nose up. I am going again with friends against my better judgment for spring break on the Carnival Victory and I hope it is a better experience than the last one.

 

John says:
Hello Troy DeHavilland,

I can only guess that your dog must eat filet mignon and lobster every night, lucky bugger. I am sure you will have a great time on the Carnival Victory where you will find two DJs who have been trained by DJ Irie who is one of the world’s leading DJs and official DJ of the Miami Heat. The food will be great and the fun will be everywhere and I hope that you enjoy every moment. Maybe you should bring your dog some chocolate melting cake back, I am sure he will like that. I am feeding our dog on Ex-Lax at the moment……..it’s a Shitzu.

Best wishes,
John

 
Dave Fernley asks:
I am sick of your cheerleaders who jump on anyone that does not think that the sun shines out of Carnival’s ass and those pathetic people who say how much they love you and Carnival need to get a grip on life or just get a life LOL. This site and your Facebook page have much sugar on it, no wonder you are a fat diabetic, LOL.

 

John says:
Hello Dave Fernley,

I am a diabetic because for a period of five years I had no self-control and am today paying the price. As for the term cheerleader, well, I have discovered where this originates from and that discovery certainly didn’t shock me. I really do not understand why someone’s enjoyment of a cruise line would make you so uptight but each to their own, I guess. I need to get you in a better mood so……….please………close………..your eyes………empty your mind……. picture me in a cheerleaders skirt and a tight tube top holding a big pair of pom poms. You are standing in front of me as I say give me a C give me an A, give me an R, give me an N, give me an I, give me a V, give me an A, give me a L……….what do you get……CARNIVAL! As I do this in front of you I am kicking my legs in the air and it’s then that you discover much to your disgust and jealousy that indeed all men are not created equal. Hope you feel less uptight now.

Best wishes,
John

 

Doreen Wilkinson asks:
My husband is originally from Jamaica and our cruise on the Breeze will be the first time he has been back there for 20 years. He still has family who are far from where the boat docks as they live in Kingston. I want to have his family of 12 persons visit the boat and have lunch with us and maybe we can get them to have some small token as well. I called customer service and they told me which is impossible to believe that this could not be something we can do. I want to know why not? I should let you know that my husband’s brother is a retired senior police officer in Kinston and his cousin is a reporter for the newspaper there. I was told by our travel agent _______ that you are Carnival’s boss man and can get this done so I write to you to do just that. Here are the names of the visitors as well as our cruise information.

 
John says:
Hello Doreen Wilkinson,

I thank you for writing and I did delete all the cruise information and names of the visitors you requested as it was private information, of course. I am so sorry to tell you that my colleagues in Miami are correct and we are not able for security reasons to allow visitors to the ships in the ports of call. I do hope that despite this you will find a time to get together and have a happy family reunion. Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns and I wish you both a great cruise.

Best wishes.
John

 

Lynn Hicks asks:
John please can you thank the wonderful room steward we had on the Carnival Inspiration. Her name was Lana and she is from Belarus and what a wonderful, charming and funny lady she is. My husband Eric has a medical condition which I won’t describe but it meant a lot of extra work for Lana and she did it with a smile and always as we asked her too. We did not get a comment card John and so please would you let Lana know how much we enjoyed and appreciated her and that she is one of the reasons we booked again for June.Thanks John

 

John says:
Hello Lynn Hicks,

It is people like Lana that continue to be the reason why Carnival remains so popular with so many people. I will indeed make sure she sees this and I know she will be thrilled. Thanks so much Lynn and if there is anything I can do for you before you sail again please let me know.

Best wishes.
John

 

Bill and Linda Schneider asks:
John,

Just checked the latest cruise director schedule and see that you will be our cruise director on the Carnival Legend for our trans-Atlantic crossing on April 7, 2013, and for the following 12-day Med cruise. Delighted!! We’ll be with you for 28 days!!! We had you for our cruise director on the inaugural Carnival Legend cruise, Aug. 24, 2002, and the following trans-Atlantic to New York, Sept. 5, 2002 — another 27 days. Do you remember coming in late at night to Saint John for the medical emergency and the greeting by the residents? Quite a sight, especially just a year after 9/11. We have also sailed with you four or five other times. This trip we’re taking this time, on the Carnival Legend, is to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. Your being there as the cruise director will add to the pleasure. See you in about 85 days. We hope to get a chance to say a personal “hello.”

Bill and Linda Schneider

 

John says:
Hello Bill and Linda Schneider,

I do remember that very well and the lights of all the hundreds of cars that had parked on the hill sides and cliff tops lit our path to port. The next day, the captain and I were given the key to the city in a parade on the pier, it was a wonderful voyage. I am so thrilled that you will be with us again and for such a long time and I will do my best to make it a wonderful time for you both. Please let me know if you need anything and I will see you soon.

Best wishes.
John

 

Carlyle (Irving) and Sue Wells asks:
Hi John –

we will be sailing on the inaugural voyage on the Carnival Sunshine leaving from Venice in early April. Having been to Venice with Carnival on two other occasions, we had a great time at the masked ball onboard the ships (Carnival Liberty in 2006 and Carnival Magic in 2011). Can you tell us if there will be a masked ball when the Carnival Sunshine sets sail from Venice on April 13? FYI, prior to sailing on the Carnival Sunshine, we are sailing on the Carnival Splendor on February 3 for the entire voyage around South America (Los Angeles all the way to New York). We will both achieve Diamond status as well as attaining our 25-cruise milestone on these back-to-back cruises, all making for an exciting and memorable voyage. As you can tell, we enjoy cruising with Carnival and have grown rather partial to you as well. We are looking forward to seeing you on the Sunshine in April and then again on the Legend in the fall of 2013.

Your cruise friends,
Carlyle and Sue Wells

 

John says:
Hello Carlyle (Irving) and Sue Wells,

First of all, a huge thank you for your kind words and many congratulations and many thanks for your loyalty. I know you will love the Carnival Sunshine and in fact on Friday I will be there to watch her start the transition from the Carnival Destiny to Carnival Sunshine. I will speak now to Noonan the CD on the ship and recommend he does a masked ball as we did before as it is indeed very popular. I hope to see you soon myself and if there is anything I can do for you, please do let me know.

Wishing you a brilliant time.
John

 

Charles Mirfin asks:
I am booked on the Carnival Sunshine and want to know if the new cabins that are being added will have mini bars. I have asked your customer service team who I presume is on minimum wage and have no clue about either service or the product.

 

John says:
Hello Charles Mirfin,

My apologies that the guest services team did not know the answer as obviously the ship’s redesign has yet to start and not everything is known by everyone. This is not an excuse but fact and I can tell you that they all work so very hard to provide the hundreds of callers each day with the correct information and I receive many excellent comments about them here and on my Facebook page. Anyway, to answer your question, we are refurbishing all the existing cabins and suites. We will have mini-bars in the suites but due to space availability, the existing cabins will not have mini-bars. I hope this answers your question and please let me know if you have any others.

Best wishes,
John

 

Patrick and Rose Kiernan asks:
On March 24, 2013 Breeze. Looking forward to seeing you again. We were friends with John & Darlene Wiley. I worked with John. RIP. We have a big group sailing. This will be my 50th on Carnival.
See you in March.

Patrick & Rose

 

John says:
Hello Patrick and Rose Kiernan,

Thanks so very much for letting me know you were sailing and even though I won’t be there with you I know you will have a brilliant time. I feel so guilty as it’s been a long time since I saw Darlene and had no idea her beloved husband had passed away. Please would you send her my deepest sympathies and I hope that we will see each other soon. Best wishes to you all and please let me know if there is anything I can do for you.

John

 

Elizabeth and Joe De Luca asks:
Bkg # ******
Hi John,

The problem with this blog is that far too much time is spent posting stupid immature stories. I then read you complain and moan that you have a lot of questions outstanding and surely if you spent more time answering your customers’ needs and not with lurid puns you would catch up. I am also sure that your readers would not miss the juvenile humor attempts either. I hope then that this question gets answered before my husband and I cruise with Carnival for the fourth time. Our sail date is 3/17/13 on Carnival Fantasy and I want to know what the shows are and also if you can tell me who the captain will be as my husband’s family is Italian and he would like to spend some time with him and would like this arranged before we get on the ship. I hope you do not mind me speaking my mind and I would think that I am only saying what many desire to happen, as well.

 

John says:
Hello Elizabeth and Joe De Luca,

Please always feel free to speak your mind here and some will agree and some will not but opinion is always welcome. Let’s have a look at the shows you will be seeing, shall we? Here they are;

  • Sunday March, 17    Charleston     Welcome Aboard Show Dep @ 4pm
  • Monday March 18     At Sea         Motor City/Brits    Kim Harrison/Johnny Millwater
  • Tuesday March 19    Nassau         Hasbro/ Deck Party  Dep @ 6pm
  • Wednes  March 20    Freeport       Brits/ Talent Show  Dep @ 5pm
  • Thursday March 21   At Sea         Motor City/ Brits   Kim Harrison/Johnny Millwater

The captain will be Francesco La Farina and while I cannot promise a specific time or place now, I will send him this note and ask that if his schedule allows, to please contact you so that your husband can meet and chat with him. I do apologise for being behind with my blog questions and am already trying harder to catch up without diluting the other stuff I write here which I hope most still do enjoy. I wish you a wonderful cruise.

Best wishes to you both.
John

 

Manfred asks:
Hello John,

I am the first to tell you when something is wrong and when something needs to be changed. I am also one to always eat humble pie and I can tell you that after tasting the coffee served on the Carnival Valor Lido Deck cafeteria today at embarkation, that I am eating a large slice of it. Whatever you did, it is 100 percent better than my last cruise on Carnival Triumph. Thanks,John

 

John says:
Hello Manfred,
I am so glad you wrote this as I know the food beards have been working hard on improving the Lido coffee and judging by this and other similar comments, it appears it is working. We do have a new brew and I am glad you liked it. I hope you had a wonderful cruise and that we see you soon.

Best wishes.
John

 

Craig asks:
John,

My recent cruise on the Carnival Magic was great, aside from a (minor) issue. Though I don’t know the protocol, I didn’t hear the captain blow the ship’s horn once. What’s the deal? Should I have my hearing checked?

Thanks.
Craig

 

John says:
Hello Craig,

Your hearing is fine because these days there are many ports where it is now forbidden to sound the ships horn while in that port. This is the work of the health and safety beards who wear high visibility jackets……..even in bed. There are still places where the captain can have the freedom to sound the ship’s horn but in many places now he has to get permission. Hope this helps and if you need me to know about the issue you had, I will be here to help.

Best wishes.
John

 

Donna Friedman asks:
I hope I have read the chart right and you will indeed be on the Carnival Legend on May 4. If so, it will make the cruise of my dreams and bucket list even more memorable. Please say yes.

 

John says:
Hello Donna Friedman,

“Yes” 🙂

Best wishes and see you soon.
John

 

William (Bill) Geick asks:
Last week, I sailed on the Carnival Dream (for the third time) and wanted to comment on the selection of Jaime Dee as a cruise director. She is fabulous! We had a great time and she made our 34th wedding anniversary very special. What a friendly and dynamic CD. Just cannot say enough about her.

 

John says:
Hello William (Bill) Geick,

Yes, indeed, she is and many would agree I am sure. I know that Jaime will have a huge smile on her face when she sees this and I thank you most sincerely for taking the time to write. I hope we see you again very soon.

Best wishes.
John

 

Brenton Pires asks:
Why did you not cancel my Carnival Paradise cruise? It rained four days straight and we were in the middle of a major tropical storm. The Lido deck was (partially) occupied maybe 10 hours total for the four-day cruise. We were late getting off the ship and there was little regulation of passengers getting off in an organized manner = stampede. Lines to board were much worse than any airport I have ever been to (think Newark!). We should all get refunds.

 

John says:
Hello Brenton Pires,

I am so very sorry that you had bad weather during the cruise. This is something we cannot control and I should also say that safety is our top priority and that we would never allow the ship to be in a storm if we felt it jeopardized the ship and those on board. I do though have total sympathy about the bad weather as I am sure you were looking forward to sunshine and good weather. We can control our debarkation process to a certain extent and it seems from your report that we need to work harder here on doing so. I will pass this to the ship and my apologies that you were late ashore and I do hope that despite these concerns, that you did have fun and that we will see you again soon.

Best wishes,
John

 

Rachelle Cohen asks:
John,

I love cruising and had the pleasure of being on two Carnival cruises where you were the cruise director. Based on my past experiences with Carnival, I recently talked some relatives into booking on the Carnival Splendor for a cruise leaving New York on June 26. I did not think to read the reviews before booking the cruise (or talking others into booking with me). My concern is that after booking the cruise I started reading reviews on the ship. Three things were repeatedly criticized and are quite troubling. They included poor quality food, bad wait staff service, and, of all things, a boring and inappropriate cruise director and too little to do (especially during the day). I was taken aback by all three of these criticisms (which were repeated too often to ignore). My question to you is whether there is any assurance that you can give me that these criticisms have or are being addressed, and if not, if you will look into the complaints to see that they are. I realize that you are very busy but I know that you are a highly regarded person at Carnival and I would really appreciate your looking into this and replying.
Thank you so much.

 

John says:
Hello Rachelle Cohen,

Reviews are opinions they are never facts. Please simply remember that and also that for every single negative comment you read I can show you many more positive ones. The ship is wonderful and so are her crew and I know without doubt that if you go on the ship with a free and easy mind ready to have fun then that is what you will all have……..fun. We are not a perfect company in any way but there are sites where people like to be a critic and forget in doing so to post the positive stuff as well. I know you will have a wonderful time and if there is anything I can do for you please let me know.

Best wishes.
John

 

Amadi Okeke asks:
Mr. Heald,

my parents are originally from Africa and now live in Grand Rapids, Michigan where I was born and they are going on a cruise with me and my sister for our spring break on the Carnival Ecstasy. I found your blog while doing some research and you really make me laugh. I am writing this because my parents have never been on a cruise and they have been saving hard so that my sister can go to Northwestern Michigan College. I saw that you send gifts to people who have celebrations and I know this is not a real celebration but they have been through so much in their lives that I hoped you can do something. I did not know what you would need so here are my details.

Thank you, Mr. John Heald.
Amadi Okeke

 

 

John says:
Hello Amadi Okeke,

Thanks so much for this thoughtful post and I am sure your parents would be very proud if they could see this which, in fact, they will. Let me explain. I deleted all your personal details and booking numbers and phone number as they are private of course but I see that I saw this just in time because you are sailing next week. This makes me very happy as I would have been very sad if I had missed it. I will be sending your parents something to say have a great cruise and along with the gift will be a copy of your post as I think they need to know what a wonderful son they have. I wish you all a brilliant cruise.

Best wishes and have loads of fun.
John

 

Hannah Nowakowski asks:
While recently on the Carnival Breeze, I had a very unpleasant experience which may not bother everyone but if it upset me I am sure it upset other passengers like me as well. I am a strict vegan and have been since I was 15 years old and now I am 44 years of age and my partner is also a vegan, as well. This is a lifestyle choice and we do not subject others to our beliefs and practices and I expected that Carnival Cruise Lines would do the same but you did not. We entered the ship which is really beautiful and were exploring and then all our great mood was brought to an abrupt halt because there on the passenger deck 5 was a lady standing in front of a huge tray of raw uncooked animal meat which she literally pushed into our faces. We were both very upset and went straight to your front desk to complain. The man there said that this was an advert for the steak restaurant and laughed it off as though it didn’t matter. It does matter and the fact that we were offered no apology or given anything as a way of an apology left us both very angry. We know cooked meat appears on the menus but we should not be subjected to raw animal meat inches from our face while on our vacation. I hope something is done about this

 

John says:
Hello Hannah Nowakowski,

I must admit that this post didn’t go the way I expected and this is a new comment for me to answer to. I do sincerely apologise for the discomfort you felt. However, like many steakhouse restaurants on land, we do advertise our steakhouses with these displays during embarkation to try to demonstrate the types of offerings we have available. Please accept my apologies and I hope you both enjoyed the rest of your cruise.

Best wishes.
John

 

Keith Muller asks:
We are taking our first Carnival cruise and wanted to know if you do anything for Catholics at Easter as far as services and holy mass. Thank you for your prompt reply

 

John says:
Hello Keith Muller,

I am sorry to say that most likely, we will not have a priest or any religious services during the Easter cruise as we do not have a current religious program on our ships. I do hope that this will not spoil the excitement of your forthcoming cruise as I am sure it will be the first of many. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Best wishes.
John

 

Dave asks:
John,

My wife and I are hooked on cruising with Carnival! She has nine cruises on record with Carnival (I only have seven, d’oh!) and we understand that if she cruises one more time before Dec. 31, 2013, she will be Platinum status even though she would not have 75 VIFP points? Is this correct? Looking forward to another cruise this year on the Magic and hope it makes her Platinum!

Cheers!
Dave and Carol Clark from Texas

 

John says:
Hello Dave and Carol,

Yes indeed, your wife will be the proud holder of her Platinum card and I wish her many congratulations in advance. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you.

Best wishes.
John

 

And here we finish today’s very eclectic questions and I will be back with more here on the blog next week. I am off to Trieste, Italy, tomorrow to make a special video for you so please look out for that.

 

Here, as promised, is a link to a TV show I did here in the UK. It is a dedicated TV show all about cruising and it was a lot of fun to make. So, if you don’t have the Playboy Channel or if you have seen all the episodes of Real Housebitches of Beverly Hills and if you have absolutely bugger all else to do, why not have a look?

OK, I will be back here on Monday as I head to Italy to see the end of the final voyage of the Carnival Destiny and the beginning of her brilliant new and sparkling life as Carnival Sunshine. My desk top calendar thingy just shouted at me to remind me I have a conference call today with the beards about the content of the video plus, in case I forget, I also have 2,089,761 emails about it.

 

I remember when we first got e-mail on the ships. I was on the Carnival Sensation — or the Sensation as she was known then — and we had a bearded person give us all a one-week course on e-mailing. We were all very excited and found it to be a great convenience. There would be bugger all need for piles of stationery in the cabin. No typing……..yes typing……… the “passenger mood report to the office” which I am sure they never read anyway and the same goes for the 20-page voyage report, checking, correcting with Whiteout and screaming “Oh FFS” every five minutes because the ribbon would get all crooked.

 

And if I wanted to send carbon copies, no need for carbon paper or a photocopier, or the hunt for addresses: just hit reply all, or key in the first few letters of the copy recipient’s name in the box marked CC. Yep, we were all very happy Carnival chappies ……..and now things have changed. If I had a time machine I would journey back in time and just as the chap that invented e-mail was about to have the idea, I would give him a good whack with a baseball bat so that when he regained consciousness he would have forgotten what his revolutionary idea was.

 

Carnival, like most companies I am sure, thrives and lives and survives by e-mail and could we manage today without it………..nope………..probably not.  But it’s getting out of control. In fact, I am getting out of control as well. I reply to e mails which I’ve been copied in (and increasingly I’ve slipped into the habit of copying others into my own e-mails, just in case) but woe betide the e-mailer who ignores my mail for which he or she isn’t the primary recipient, for with e-mail silence can be taken as being rude and that means you have to reply………quickly.

 

I don’t know how it is with you but at Carnival both on land and at sea, each of us hits reply all for each of our replies and from time to time, it occurs to a few of us to add another name, usually someone with a beard, and this party will also press reply all, then the entire correspondence can like explosive diarrhea………….it never stops.

 

Let me see if I can explain this disease that I have caught like many of my Carnival colleagues have as well. Replies fly back and forth at supersonic speed and things get out of sync, and we find ourselves confirming that we can do a proposed date for a conference call before we’ve realised that somebody else has e-mailed to say they can’t do that date and by the time we’ve e-mailed again to say we will change the time of the call and proposed a new time, they’ve e-mailed back to say they’ve shifted another meeting and so can do the first after all. By then you are sitting in a dark room, dribbling on yourself making weird slurping noises wearing a big pair of Depends. The first thing I used to do in the morning when I woke up was have an Eartha Kitt (cockney rhyming slang)……..not now. First thing every morning I quickly check my e-mails to see if there’s anything that has to be dealt with before I drop the kids off at the pool even if I am already touching cloth.

 

Was it really better in the old days? Would I really swap now for then? I cannot say. All I know is that I’m 48, and I’m spending up to half my waking hours in front of a screen…………and that’s not including my nightly visits to www.latvianwomenwholovefatmalecheerleaders.com

 

Goodnight.

Your friend,

John

 

 

 

Hi, I’m John, and this is my blog. So please don’t mistake my opinions — or those of my dear friends, fans or commenters — for those of Carnival Cruise Line or Carnival Corporation. My apologies in advance for anything I may say that upsets you, but this disclaimer covers Carnival and puts the blame directly on me………….. bugger.

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