April 16, 2013 -

John Heald

There are things on this 15 day trans-Atlantic cruise that are not popular. The night club, for instance, which despite playing only a mix of 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s music and some country, have by midnight, been as empty as a book entitled Great French War Victories. Then there are things that have been a massive hit such as the matinee movies. These have been shown in either the Firebird Lounge which is where we have the Punchliner Comedy Club or the main theatre which here on the Carnival Legend, is called the Follies Lounge. Yep – Argo, Life of Pi, Lawless, Bridesmaids, Parental Guidance, and Taken 2, etc., have been very, very popular indeed.

 A few weeks ago I had written on Facebook about my doubts on showing some of these movies, however, all cruise lines, we get our movies from distributors that will cut any bad language and rumpy pumpy. They don’t cut the violence but the slightest sign of a breast, and the editor gets his scissors out.  This brings me back to when I was 14 or 15 I would try and sneak into a movie with an R-rating with my mate Alan. We’d say, “Yes, of course we are 18” in our deepest voices and, for the most part, it worked and we would be in the Odeon Cinema Southend on Sea watching Kentucky Fried Movie, Piranha, Carrie and Saturday Night Fever. If I remember correctly Saturday Night Fever had a rumpy pumpy scene in the back of a car. That scene was something Alan and I talked about for weeks but these days kids would find it as risqué as an episode of Judge Judy. Today, kids access Latvian rumpy pumpy on the internet before they are old enough to get a drivers’ license. It makes big screen rumpy pumpy rather boring doesn’t it?


I have a lot to thank cinema rumpy pumpy for because when I was first dating Heidi, the internet had yet to be created and so new and exciting ways to ummmm……….well, you know ……… came from the movies. Some worked and some did not. Like the time I copied the scene from Fatal Attraction when Michael Douglas and Glenn Close have fun amongst a kitchen sink full of dirty plates. I tried that with Heidi and it was a disaster. It wasn’t that she minded but it didn’t go down well with the chef and the rest of the galley staff on the Carnival Sensation.


Time for today’s questions………………off we go.


Donald Capozza asks:
Mr. Heald —
On our first couple of cruises, we enjoyed the music of the steel drum bands. My wife and I would go up on deck, grab an umbrella drink and a lounge chair while the ship pulled away from whatever exotic port we were at and be totally relaxed looking at the sunset and listening to the sounds of the steel drum music. It really made us feel totally submerged in the Caribbean experience. However, on our past several cruises, it’s been some type of hip-hop
rap tunes which make you want to go back to your cabin where you can watch the sail away in peace. Currently, I watch the ships depart out of Fort Lauderdale on the web cams and some of the other cruise ships, including those owned by Carnival are still playing the steel drum music during the departure deck festivities. We realize we may be in the minority on this issue, but would certainly love to have that steel drum music returned to the Carnival fleet. Thanks for the
opportunity to sound off, and, of course — happy cruising.

John says:
Hello Donald Capozza,
Thanks so much for writing and I know that for some the steel drums are missed. They do get old after a while and we need to have a band that can play a variety of music, not just on the Lido deck but around the ship in other lounges and bars. Now I agree, we do need to look at our live music offerings on Lido and we are doing that I assure you so, hopefully, we will be able to bring Caribbean live duos and bands back but ones that can entertain outside of the steel drum. I will keep you informed on this and thanks again for taking the time to write.
Best wishes.

George asks:
Good day Mr. John! I am a huge Carnival fan and we are going on the Carnival Magic the last weekend of June for a graduation trip for my daughter. We have about 20 people coming with us and they would like to know if the ‘cheers bar program’ will be available for that trip.
Thanks in advance!

John says:
Hello George,
Yes, indeed, the Cheers program is in on the ship so you and your friends can enjoy this. I wish you the most fantastic cruise.
Best wishes to all.

Jennifer Salgado asks:
I am so friggin’ ticked off with you and Carnival. I was on the Carnival Sensation when we missed the stop at Freeport because the captain was not going to go to the port because he said it was too windy. B******** because we saw other boats there, so why didn’t we go? We were given no refund and you guys made big bucks in the casino and on drinks, of course, so all the passengers new that this is why you did not dock the boat. Me and my three girlfriends will not cruise Carnival again unless you come up with something to persuade us to part with our money again.

John says:
Hello Jennifer Salgado,
I am so very sorry that you are so upset by the decision by the ship’s command to skip the call at Freeport. I assure and I promise you that we did not cancel the port to make money as you suggested. In fact, we have to refund hundreds of shore excursions and various other expenses, as well. The decision was made by the captain and I am sure the port of Freeport as well who felt that to attempt to dock the ship would have been unsafe for the ship and all those on board. I do hope that despite this disappointment that you all had fun and enjoyed the cruise and that we see you again.
Best wishes.

Lori Justman asks:
On September 16 my three sisters will be sailing with me on the Carnival Victory to celebrate my 50th birthday. It will also be the first cruise I will take with platinum status, so excited for this milestone! We have a cabana reserved for HMC but, as you know, you must choose the
actual cabana on board. Here is my dilemma, my youngest sister has certain health issues and needs to be fairly near a restroom. Because of that, I plan on using my platinum status to be on board early to select an appropriate cabana. Will I be able to then re-enter the waiting area so we can all get our photo taken together for embarkation? Haven’t been able to find anything on this so I appreciate what you can find out for me.
Thank you

John says:
Hello Lori Justman says,
Yes, indeed, you can. Once you return from the shore excursion desk, you can go off the ship as far as the photo area and wait for your family there. You will need to punch your card out at security as normal but that’s it. I hope things work out with the cabana and if there is anything I can do for you, please let me know. Have a brilliant cruise.
Best wishes.

Louis Baldwin asks:
I have been on a few cruises where Todd Whitmer was the cruise director. Is Todd still with Carnival or is he on leave?

John says:
Hello Louis Baldwin,
No, I am afraid Todd retired last year and is soon to be married, in fact. We all miss him very much both as a person and, indeed, as the brilliant CD he was.
Best wishes.

Marilynn S Walters asks:
Just finished reading your blog for 3/13/13. Just like one of your bloggers and many more that feel the same….Carnival have ONE SMOKE FREE CRUISE and see how quickly you fill all the cabins. You cannot please everyone as you stated but try and please ONE SHIP FULL OF CARNIVAL CRUISERS and let us enjoy without smoke….Surely, Carnival has enough ships and money to try this venture at least one time on one ship. You can’t imagine how much non-smokers hate the smell of smoke in our hair, clothes and that is just walking thru it and having to sit where the wind is blowing our way and can’t escape.

John says:
Hello Marilynn S Walters,
Thanks, first of all, for taking the time to read my blog and I thank you for writing. I guess the reason no major cruise line has a completely non-smoking ship is that we all believe it would be difficult to fill. Indeed, we found this when our Carnival Paradise was non-smoking. While many non-smokers loved this, we lost bookings with group business and family groups because if one person in the family or group smoked, they would not book the ship. I am not saying it will never happen but, for now, we will continue to do our best to provide a few smoking areas that do not impact nonsmokers too much. Thanks again for taking the time to write and hope we see you on board soon.
Best wishes.

Trish Carroll asks:
I am going to be cruising on the Carnival Pride soon and am interested in becoming a nurse on the boat. I am a nurse already working in the ER in a large hospital in Baltimore and I have eight years experience of this. I want to speak to the nurses on the ship before I commit to working on the boat and can you make an appointment for me to meet them then. I will be on the cruise with booking number ****** and can you message me back to confirm an appointment for me so I can talk to them?

John says:
Hello Trish Carroll,
I will be happy to set something up for you. I see you are sailing with us in August this year so I wonder if you can contact me again here on the blog one month before you sail or a week before if you can via my page. This way, I won’t forget and also the nurses on board may have changed as well. You can also find out more information about the job of a nurse at sea at I wish you a wonderful cruise and maybe we will see you as a nurse on board one day soon.
Best wishes.

David Malowski asks:
It has been mentioned on the “other” website that Carnival ships have stopped serving ice in the cabins. Is this true!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

John says:
Hello David Malowski,
Well, yes and no is the answer here. We have stopped putting ice automatically in the staterooms because many guests did not use it and the ice simply melted wasting a lot of water and made a mess sometimes. So if a guest wishes to have ice each day, they should simply request this from their stateroom steward and he or she will make sure that an ice bucket is placed in their cabin. Please let me know if you have any more questions.
Best wishes.

Jason Moretz asks:
Hey John,
We just went on the Carnival Breeze in February and took advantage of the Cheers program, which was great! I was wondering is the Cheers program applicable on Half Moon Cay. I wasn’t sure since you can use your Sail & Sign card there. We are cruising again in July and are planning ahead!

John says:
Hello Jason,
I am glad you enjoyed the Cheers program and yes indeed guests can use it while on the beautiful island of Half Moon Cay. I hope you enjoy your next cruise just as much and please let me know if I can help in any way.
Best wishes.


That’s all for today and my thanks to you all for your questions and comments.


I came on the Carnival Legend determined to make sure I change some of what I do and add new activities for this trans-Atlantic crossing and, so far, I think it has been a big success. Yes, there are the Minnies of this world (more on her later) but this cruise, so far the guests are enjoying the crossing very much. It helps that the weather has so far been good to us. It is certainly chilly outside which is to be expected but the sun has made lots of appearances. The seas have been mostly calm, they are a little choppy today but compared to many crossings I have done, the weather has been very good indeed:


Some of the things I have added this voyage are:

–          Glee Choir

–          Golf Chipping Into the Pool – Floating holes

–          Matinee Movies

–          Cigars Under the Stars with live jazz and with Marcus Anthony our Motown singer

–          Scrabble, Chess, Backgammon Tournaments

–          Open Mic Comedy Night

–          A new game show I host where guests watch a crew member do something and then they have to do it themselves including: Towel Folding, Pizza Tossing, Food Carving and Knot Tying


Calvyn and I also have a new Liars Club and I have some new audience participation which I will be trying tonight, actually which, I think, may be very funny.


Admittedly, I am doing new jokes and audience participation not just for myself, I don’t want to go straight into auto pilot and just do what I have always done. And while I have been able to change a lot, there have been some challenges with some of the new activities. You see, the problem is that while we weren’t looking, a coup has taken over places like schools, government, television, the police, the armed forces and of course…cruise ships. Yes, it’s not the head teacher or the general or the captain who’s in charge any more… nope, it’s the man or woman standing in a corner of Lido Deck with a clipboard, wearing sensible shoes and a high visibility jacket.


So when I mentioned to someone in the office that I would like to have guests try to toss a pizza or carve a melon into the shape of a gentleman’s sausage the lights went up, the shutters came down and with klaxons blaring, we surfaced, special forces stormed my cabin and I am now writing this blog from a Gulag…… my underpants. I had tried to explain to the clipboard brigade that this would be fine and that we already allowed pumpkin carving at Halloween and dare I say that it would be fun, as well. I had to pause for a few moments while the man with the high visibility jacket grabbed a dictionary and looked up the word “fun.”


We, as a company, have come a long way and because of that, we remain the best cruise line in the world, even if I do say so myself. I miss very little of the old days when the only food on Lido was a hamburger served on a paper plate but, if I am honest, I do miss the days before direct phone lines to the office where if you wanted to try something new that you truly thought would work……you did it……it was better to ask for forgiveness than permission.


These days, to schedule an activity you have to complete all sorts of forms to make sure that you’re complying with all our rules and such, no matter how trivial. The trouble is that by the time you’ve done this, you have forgotten what your idea was in the first place. And I guess it’s not their fault. I just don’t understand how in the 1990s we did pillow fighting and the belly flop contest and the male nightgown but today ………….we can’t.  Anyway, I have approval to do all the new activities from the beards so that’s good news.


I was thinking about how these rules should also apply to other areas of the work place because the actions of others give me heartburn and headaches and puts my blood pressure up and I bet it does yours too. So along with the usual rules, lets add these, shall we, to the place where you work:


Anyone who cooks stinky food in the office microwave, who slurps their coffee and makes “Aaah!” sounds when they swallow. And to the Carnival officials, please give a warning to anyone who sends e-mails when they are only three sodding feet away.


Anyway, the new activities and some good old classics have meant that we have happy guests and this so far…….hope I am not tempting fate………….has been one of the best trans-Atlantic cruises I can remember.


There has been some sad news though. In Bermuda we had a guest rent a motorbike and, unfortunately, he was seriously injured in an accident and he remains in hospital in Bermuda. His wife is with him and all of us hope he will make a speedy and full recovery.


There have been some minor complaints but top of the list has been Minnie. There are I am sure skeptics who live together on another website that may think Minnie is a work of fiction and I don’t blame them as it is hard to believe that one lady can cause such havoc. But she is real and she continues to let us know what we are doing wrong. Here are the latest two comments from her:





Hello everyone. Here is the follow up to our conversation earlier.

Miss____ called the GSD from her stateroom and was saying that compared to Royal Caribbean and Princess Cruises there were no vegetarian options at dinner. Miss _____ was very upset and said that she only had fruit for dinner last night as there was nothing else. Miss_____also says that her internet minutes have been deleted and that she never used the computer yesterday at all and she has lost 100 minutes. John and I are talking to her first thing tomorrow so please add your follow up to icare.



It is an endless bombardment. Honestly, Minnie would wear down the toughest Navy Seal into a dribbling mess. Some may be saying that we gave in too easily and we should just ignore her but we can’t, we really can’t and we really shouldn’t either. Did she use the minutes or did they just disappear? Of course, they didn’t, and unless they were vaporised when we went through the Bermuda Triangle. She used them and certainly that’s what the records show. And we showed her the records, she refuted them over and over and over again until I turned French, waved a white flag and surrendered and we put 100 new minutes on her internet account. Was it the wrong thing to do? Yep, absolutely but you weren’t there. It was either do that or lose my job for being the first ever cruise director to strangle a guest with an oversized bow.


And then she went on to the food. Now I don’t believe for a moment that we have less vegetarian options than other cruise lines. Lunch is full of Minnies and as for dinner, well I have been posting the menu we serve to guests here on the Carnival Legend each night and there are lots of vegetarian choices from a main course to an everyday menu as well. Then there is the Indian vegetarian meal which is superb and if you are vegetarian then you can always ask the waiter for a pasta dish or similar.


Anyway, the chef will make sure that he is on standby at dinner to look after her as best he can. The waiter is working hard to look after them and the stateroom steward has too. I am sure that Minnie hasn’t finished yet and now it’s my turn to meet her and I have requested to do so later today because I want to ask her why……..she and her friend have removed all their gratuities?


Oh by the way Minnie (and any other would be Minnie’s) can I just point out the following

The louder you shout the less I want to help you and the more chance I switch off and think of more pleasant things like a sock full of runny yak poo. I really want to listen and to help you with your complaint Minnie about not enough vegetarian food but what I don’t want to hear is a detailed description of everything you ate on a cruise you took on a Holland America ship in 1988.


While the chef has a wide variety of items in his galley, he doesn’t have the time to wait until your bottom is seated at your table for two and for you to ask him to prepare a wild mushroom truffle in puff pastry drizzled with peacock scrotum. Order off the sodding menu please or an order simple vegetarian pasta dish. He does have the small task of cooking for 2,000 other people.


Let’s move away from Minnie and finish with a wonderful story with an ending that is happy but that could have had a far more serious finish to it.


Last Friday a lovely lady called Sammie was eating dinner in the Truffles Dining Room here on Carnival Legend. She was enjoying her main course when a piece of meat got lodged in her throat and she began to choke. She could not breathe and was turning blue. Her table mates and her husband all tried to help and they all started shouting for help. As they did, a waiter calmly walked to the table, picked her up and performed the Heimlich maneuver and with one squeeze out shot the offending piece of meat……………..and she could breathe again


The waiter then picked up the used dishes he had collected from another table and calmly walked back to the galley. There was no fuss, no looking for applause or thanks, he just simply went back to work. Our dining room staff all goes through training in the Heimlich maneuver and many in CPR, as well. And our medical staff would have been alerted and been there very quickly. But as we know, choking is extremely dangerous and so thanks to this waiter, Sammie was saved from something that could have been life threatening.


Sammie is a bit bruised, but has been checked out by our medical team and had nothing but kind words to say about the person who helped her.


And here is Sammie with the waiter in question. His name is Sladan Stevanovic and he has worked for Carnival since 2009 and he I think it’s safe to say that, to Sammie……..he is a hero.




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.

52 Responses to MORE ABOUT MINNIE

  1. Jenn says:

    I do hope Minnie reads this blog and sees Sammie and knows that life is indeed a short thing. I hope she rethinks her “issues” with Carnival and decides to have FUN. I can’t believe the gall of her to remove gratuities. Perhaps, john, you should ask her for $20 each time she summons you?

    Thank you Sladen for being a hero!

  2. Joe Smith says:

    I would like to give 2 thumbs up to the waiter Sladan Stevanovic who saved that ladies life. Awesome job and should not go un-noticed.
    I would just to mention since a lot of passengers like the steel drum sounds on sail away days maybe the audio staff can get a recording and play it on the large speakers out by the lido pool

    • Kath says:

      I was thinking the same thing. They have the DJs – just tell them to play Steel Drum music for 45 min to an hour at sail away.

      I found a bunch on iTunes – I’m downloading them to my iPod, so I’m going to have Steel Drums no matter what!

  3. Lisa says:

    I nominate Sladen for employee of the month!!!!

  4. Carol Hairston says:

    Regarding “Minnie”, working in the customer service related field is something that you do extremely well, and “hats off to you”. Working with someone like Minnie tells me that there is something else that is bothering her that you probably will not be able to help her with. Is she lonely and seeks attention, if she creates a scene she might be getting the attention she desires deep within. Whatever the problem is with Minnie, you and the crew are doing an outstanding job to help her. But how far do you go? Yes, she is a guest, and the guest are always right (usually), but I feel that she taking advantage of you, the crew, and now the chef and his staff. Hats off to you and the staff/crew again for working with Minnie.

  5. Joko Joan says:

    Hi John: looking forward to our July 15 cruise on Carnival’s Legend. Will Calvyn be with you on this cruise to the Baltics? I haven’t sailed with you since pre-Kye. I remember sitting with Heidi at several of your shows. I don’t remember exactly which ship because as you will learn, I Suffer from Some-timers disease…Sometimes I remember and Sometimes I don’t….who knows, it could have been pre-marriage (I just don’t remember)

  6. Linda says:

    Another great story!!! Go Carnival!!!!

  7. jgeraci says:

    I always look forward to meeting the room steward & waiters assigned to us. Their varied nationalities, and personalities make for an international experience before even getting off the ship in the ports. I think that’s why cruising is my favorite form of travel. Where else can you get this added bonus!
    Minnie needs to have an attitude adjustment. Life is way too short to sweat the small stuff!

  8. Danno says:

    Sladan Stevanovic- Bravo!

  9. DMI says:

    I did comment on this same topic some time ago but I do think it is wrong to post any comments of any guests that are shared at guest services. It is really an invasion of privacy for any guest. I realize all the comments about Minnie are true and she is certainly a complainer but still she has the right to privacy in all respects. It’s unkind to put this on your blog and facebook for everyone to make fun of. If I were on a ship and made a complaint I would be very offended if the cruise director would be sharing that information, I’m sure it’s difficult for you and you go above and beyond but it’s still private information. Perhaps she is even ill or has a mental problem no one needs to be made fun of. Thank you and hopefully you understand what I’m saying and no one will criticize me for commenting.

    • Kath says:

      He’s not using her real name – Minnie is made up, so unless she told the world what she said to Guest Services no one knows who she is, so her privacy is intact!

  10. Jo Ellen Allen says:

    All I can say is I LOVE YOUR BLOG. I am now hooked!!!!!!

  11. Cathy Woodard says:

    John, as a vegetarian I can vouch for Carnival’s veggie-friendliness. I have had hostesses stop by my table every single night of my cruise to go over the menu for the following day to see if I liked what was on it and if not, what they could create for me. Mind you, I did not ask for this and would never have caused such a fuss – it’s just that Desi was so very attentive and wanted to make sure that everything was just perfect for me every single day. I’ve never been anywhere so accommodating as a Carnival Fun Ship.

  12. Anne Seitz says:

    I’m so jealous of the guests that get to see you & Calvyn do your liars club routine. When we did the Carnival Breeze ‘s first cruise we laughed so hard at this show that
    my stomach hurt . You two are great!

  13. Betty Norman says:

    Sad to say some people actually go on a cruise just to complain. They are people we should all feel sorry for, sorry they are ignorant, sorry their little lives lack any importance they must whine about everything to feel more important. These people do get staff, such as you John, to bend over backwards for them, they do not deserve any attention they get, but I understand your reasons for doing so.
    Everyone on the ship should let them know what a sorry lot they are. As you indicated you would prefer to help those who state their issues in a quiet manner and ensure you really have an important complaint, not there’s no tv, not enough vegetarian meals etc.etc.
    I took a trip to the Dominican Republic some years ago and despised the food, ( it was an all inclusive vacation at a 5 star resort) I did not complain, everyone else in my group enjoyed the food, so obviously it was my problem. I ate spaghetti and tomato sauce for dinner for 14 nights, did not die, had a good time otherwise.
    My husband and I took the inaugural cruise of the Breeze last year, food was awesome and we had the best trip.

  14. Congratulations to Mr. Sladan Stevanovic for saving Sammie. This why I love Carnival. All of its workers are amazing and show that they really love their work. My wife and I have always been shown nothing but the deepest respect from these wonderful workers.
    I’m really angry that Minnie and her friend have removed all their gratuities? I don’t know why you should show any respect to her. All she does is show disrespect to everyone at Carnival. They would have to fire me if I had to put up with that witch. I wanted to spell it differently but due to my respect to you John I spelled it witch.
    I hope to see you again my friend. You’ve shown me & MaryLou the deepest respect and having a friendship with you is one we’re very proud of.
    Enjoy the rest of your cruise my friend.

    Paul F. Pietrangelo

  15. Ann Rainey says:


    I sympathized with Sammie and thank heavens Sladan was around. I had the same thing happen to me on the Miracle. The piece of chateaubriand I was enjoying lodged in my throat, one of the most terrifying moments of my life. Luckily for me, one of our table mates was a nurse, saw what was happening and did the Heimlich on me. The only complaint was my piece of meat struck our friend seated across the table from me and he has yet to forgive me for that.

  16. Marlynn says:

    Poor Sammie, I’m glad she’s okay.

    And I just *know* that piece of meat was meant for Minnie – she must know it too, that’s why she’s upset about the vegetarian choices!

  17. Rich says:

    Re Minnie -Sorry John. You say “The louder you shout the less I want to help you”, which may be true but yet you allow this woman to terrorize the staff. This is wrong.

    • Kurt says:

      @Rich- Your comment ““The louder you shout the less I want to help you”, which may be true but yet you allow this woman to terrorize the staff. This is wrong.” is jejune at best. John Heald may be acting in the capacity of Cruise Director at this particular time, however his primary responsibility is “Brand Ambassador” (an excellent one as well I might add). Is he just supposed to ignore this paying customer? Whether or not you feel she is justified in her diatribes to the guest services staff, she is still a paying guest. It is the Primary responsibility of the Cruise Director and the Brand Ambassador to assure that every guest is satisfied with their cruise experience, regardless of the fact that they are insatiable. I’m not certain of how many times you have cruised, but on your next one, pay attention to how MOST guests treat the crew. Most are rude, demanding, lack common social graces, and display an air of entitlement. I am not stating that you act in this manner (but your comment has raised a wondering eyebrow…). I personally have witnessed more than one “Minnies” on every cruise that I have taken, and I am always sickened by them. I for one am not afraid to “call them out on the carpet” when I witness their acts of self entitlement (fair warning to all the Minnies of the future). The fact that Mr. Heald has not had this social miscreant flogged at the mizzen mast is adequate testament to his placement as Brand Ambassador to the largest and greatest cruise line in the world. I personally am grateful he was a lousy bartender.

      • Rich says:

        I hate being jejune however… Whether JH is acting as a CD or as a “Brand Ambassador” is irrelevant. He is sacrificing his staff in a vain attempt to appease the unappeasable or in your words, insatiable .
        Your response to my post is baffling. You agree that Minnie’s behavior is sickening and that she will never be satisfied but you applaud him for offering up his staff to be further bullied and abused by her. Leadership does not mean allowing those lower on the corporate totem pole to be treated poorly because of “the customer is always right” ethos. Leadership means have the courage to stand up for what is right, try to satisfy the customer and when that is not possible to put ones foot down. It’s cowardly to do otherwise.

        • Kurt says:

          The customer is not always right, but the customer is always the customer. I never applauded Mr. Heald for offering his crew for sacrifice to this insatiable guest, and I do not recall reading anything to support that statement. I do not condone the behavior of this guest or her methodology. Try putting yourself in his place and truthfully answer what solution you would come up with. Would you just “put your foot down” as you state, because you gave up? True leadership is overcoming obstacles no matter how insurmountable they may appear. Did Hannibal say the mountain was too high? Did Patton say that Rommel couldn’t be beaten? How long do you think John, or any one else in his capacity would remain gainfully employed if they subscribed to the “oh well, I tried” attitude? As I stated earlier, on your next cruise pay attention to the way most guests treat the crew and staff. When you see and hear their rude behavior (and you will), put forth what you publicize. Put your foot down. Correct their bad behavior and say to them what the crew is prohibited from saying. To not to is truly cowardice. It very well might not change anything, but it might make the crew member whom is being “sacrificed” feel better. Remember, guest relations policies are written by the beards in Miami, not by John Heald.

  18. Kurt says:

    I tried to post this earlier, however the server timed out, and I’m not sure if it made it. If it did, please accept my apologies in advance

    I believe that Minnie will not be satisfied until her entire cruise is comped fully, if even then. Some people just can’t be satiated. You could give them a brand new car, make the payments for them, and they would still find something to complain about. (I wanted blue, the seats aren’t leather, where’s the navigation system…) She was probably banned from Holland America, Princess, and Royal Caribbean, and rightfully so. I sincerely hope that Carnival follows suit. I am almost certain that John will dance a jig on the Lido deck, in his underpants, out of pure joy when she disembarks. The saddest thing is that she’ll have to return to us Stateside. (Maybe we can pawn her off on the French. Just a thought…)

    Sladan Stevanovic is a true hero in the purest sense of the word. He quietly entered, did what he was trained to do, and just as quietly returned to his other duties. A hero acts out of duty, not for accolades or fanfare. This a stellar testament to the quality of training that Carnival provides it’s employees for the safety and well being of it’s Guests.

    In regards to Jennifer Salgado, please do us all a favor and make good on your threat. I would dislike immensely to have to share a ship with a naysayer the likes of you. If you had bothered to read your passenger contract, you would have known that ports ARE NOT guaranteed. Also, if you had read the Sail & Sign statement provided to you at the end of your cruise, you have seen that the port charges were credited to you for the missed stop in Freeport. What if the Captain had decided to dock that day, and something tragic happened where guests were injured? What song would you be singing to CNN, Fox, MSNBC, a fleet of litigators, and any other talking head that would listen to you?
    These are of course rhetorical questions…

    • Teresa Cooper says:

      Well said!!!

    • Terry Mavis says:

      The comment to Jennifer was well stated. I have been on cruises where a port was missed because of weather and excursions and port fees always reimbursed as long as excursion booked thru CCL. Again just check your final statement for the credits.

  19. Karen says:

    John, John I know Minnie is a problem but you are just encouraging her. Thank her for her comments but stop giving her ANYTHING. All you do is encourage the few who must “get something for nothing” with their complaints. You are correct most people would not shout at you like this nor should you or Carnival reward them. Please, tell her enough already….

  20. Laurie says:

    Minnie is a scammer. She should be arrested not rewarded. Anyone who takes all their gratuities off is CHEAP and mean spirited. I could see tipping less if you had horrible service. But to not tip at all when all the employees count on their tips is just so wrong. If you can’t afford the tip you can’t afford to be on a cruise in the first place. Just my not so humble opinion.

    • Teresa Cooper says:

      And taken all of them off as if EVERYONE has given her poor service…and the trip hasn’t even completed yet! There is no way that every single member of the staff serving her has given her such poor service as to deserve no tip.

  21. grem says:

    Lovely ending to your blog. Too bad you just couldn’t have disembarked Minnie and be done with her.

  22. Alan Greer says:

    Hello John,
    My girl friend and I will be sailing on the Carnival Breeze Apr on 27, 2013 in rm6311, booking number 223PN2. This will be her 13th cruise and my 10th with Carnival. We are looking forward to the trip. We have loved every cruise with Carnival. We are sailing with our dear friends the Browns whom we meet on the Carinval Liberty and have sailed together every year since including the the Magic before in went trans-atlantic.
    On this cruise my girlfriend of almost 18 years and my friend for 39 years will be celebrating here birthday, number not 40 and not 60, I told here I would never tell, so if this message finds you in time could you send her something. She loves you and your blog and Carnival. Keep up the good work and we hope to meet you someday. We missed you by a week on the Splendor and the Magic.
    Take care,

  23. Ed Bell says:

    Hello John The ships Jennifer S. saw at Freeport were most likely ships in Freeport for repairs. Not ones fot the day. As far as Minnie I don’t know why you even try. Why should one person who can never be happy take so much time that would be better used for the other 2000+ passengers. I bet she has even ruined parts of other passengers cruise. Carnival should tell her that she is not welcome to cruise with Carnival again. Giving in to people like her just encourages bad behavior and the entitlement attitude too many people have. Its getting more and more that what makes a bad experience on a cruise hasn’t anything to do with the cruise line, but with bad passenger behavior. A legitimate complaint is one thing, but this constant stupid complaining shouldn’t result in rewards. Without them even reading this blog I bet if given the chance the passengers would vote to have her removed from the ship. Time for Carnival to look at the big picture and even consider refunding the fare for remaining days and leaving passengers like Minnie at the next port. I guarantee Carnival would gain more than they would lose. I would also not respond to her demands for the rest of the cruise, even just to meet with her. Again the beards must understand that one passenger is not more important than 2000, and thats whats going on here. Like a little kid throwing fits to get attention. Thanks for your time,enjoy as best you can the remainder of the cruise.

  24. Lise McKay says:

    Hey John – I was just wondering how Zoe is doing? What you did for her earlier in the cruise is so classy, and a testimony to all that is great with Carnival! I am one of your loyal fans. Keep up the good work, and keep those funny stories coming.

  25. marsha breen says:

    Minnie continues to complain because she is getting personalized attention from you and your staff. Maybe if you politely told her she could fly home from any port since she seems to be unhappy, maybe she will stop bit&%ing. You should also tell her you will not talk to her again if she cannot have a civil conversation without yelling.

  26. Melissa says:

    As I sit here reading your blog, I am thinking about how awesome it would be to be on this cruise. A transatlantic cruise is definitely on my bucket list. I know it would be a blast! But Minnie is already on this cruise, yet she is complaining about everything! What a waste. There is no pleasing some people, in fact my dad would always say “These people wouldn’t be happy in Heaven.” Just keep doing what you are doing and enjoy the rest of the cruise. Can’t wait until I can cruise again!

  27. Margaret & Brian Harvey says:

    We have just returned from the amazing Panama Canal Cruise on the Carnival Miracle. Let me start by saying, if anyone is considering taking this cruise – JUST DO IT! You will not be disappointed. In addition to the outstanding experience, we met some wonderful people, and would like to commend the following: our room steward (Deck 6) – Newbon always pleasant, always accomodating & always kept our icebucket full – we thank you! Bar server in the Baccus Any time Seatting Dining Room -Filipe, he always had a smile & never forgot my husband’s favorite drink – he even went out of his way to make sure my husband had an ample supply of cranberry juice – we thank you! The hostess at the Baccus Anytime Dining Room, Precious – and yes, she is prescious – she is a perfect hostess – welcoming, humourous & so pleasant – we thank you! And last, but not least – The Captain of The Carnival Miracle, Vito Giacalone – we found him to be one of the most informative captains we have had – he was always concerned about the passengers safety, particularly as we traveled through the canal – he advised us well in advance of approaching rough waters, so we weren’t caught unaware and he had the greatest sense of humour – I think if Mr Giacalone decideds to give up driving the ships he should consider the Cruise Directors position – we thank him for the most pleasant cruise we have had to date. Please let these people know that their actions made our vacation GREAT. Thank you.

  28. Darlene Taylor says:

    I just have some random thoughts about your blog. It would be nice to have live music on the Lido deck and I really hope Carnival is able to do that soon. It probably won’t be in time for my cruise in 11 days, but maybe the next one. Todd Wittmer was a great cruise director. We saw him on the Splendor last year and loved him. It is too bad he retired from Carnival. It is a shame that non-smoking ships don’t work out. We cruised the Paradise three times when it was non-smoking and loved it. I am sorry you have to deal with Minnie, John. I’m sure there is absolutely nothing you can do that will satisfy her. She just loves to complain. Sladan really is a hero. I enjoy reading these blogs and always enjoy my Carnival cruises as I will later this month on the Glory.

  29. Lisa Wiggs says:

    Love your idea of a new game show where passengers have to try to duplicate the crew activities of towel folding and food carving.

    As for Minnie’s missing internet minutes, isn’t there time-stamped security video of her in the internet cafe?

  30. Mickey says:

    Ya know A LOT of people go missing from these cruise ships…. just sayin’….

    LOL! Joking, joking….

    Keep up the good work, John! You rock!

  31. Jules says:

    Dear John,
    Continue to do what you do and regarding challenging guests such as Minnie, “kill them with kindness,” it’s sad they experience life in this way, and I know the crew are used to and well trained in dealing with such achallenges. I dispute earlier comments that you shouldn’t publish complaints as they are private, you don’t publish names, and if you didn’t back up the scenarious with concrete evdence, the cynics wouldn’t believe your tales on the high seas. Likewise you would be criticised if you only showed and spoke about the numerous compliments of the ships, crew and yourself. Sometimes one cannot do right to be accused of doing wrong. I’m pretty sure you are just trying to illustrate a clear picture of the good, the bad and the ugly of shiplife…
    Regarding the good, you didn’t mention Zoe today, I’m sure like myself many are interested to know she is well.
    On a final note regarding the post midnight departure of the dance club, which also happens on the Panama Canal cruise, have you every considered trying a little ballroom dancing?… I know it’s not very carnival, but it might suit the clientele of this type of cruise, there’s something about a little foxtrot on the ocean waves, and if you don’t have a dancer with such training, I’m sure as eggs are egs, that 1 of the 1,000 crew has the skills, if not, you might find a few passengers who have hidden talents. I know you are always open to change and cater for the best service of current guests, and you never know it might fill your dance club.
    If you don’t try try, you’ll never know. Personally when I first walked into the aft dining room on the then Destiny, I thought it would have made a perfect ballroom.
    Wishing you a safe voyage across the remainder of the Atlantic to Europe where the weather is glorious.

  32. Bob Heinson says:

    Way to go Minnie! Make these people earn their pay and tips. Until you get everything you want just like they over promise in all their ads, someone needs to have the guts to take them to task. They have been getting away with too much for too long. As for them wanting to know why you remove your tips, tell them Carnival says you can do so in their policy and the reason is none of their business! Wish I was there having fun right by your side!

    • Laurie says:

      I still say anyone who takes off all their gratuities is CHEAP and mean spirited. You should never cruise again if you are too CHEAP to tip. Don’t care if it says you can or not. It is one thing to reduce them for bad service. It is another if you never tip just because you are a huge A**hole.

      • Laurie II says:

        An “A**hole” is someone who comes on here calling people names just because they express an opinion, which very likely is more tongue in cheek than anything. Carnival is their own worst enemy for the tipping situation and should just eliminate them and pay their staff appropriately. A better PR person than John could have put Minnie in her place on day 1.

  33. Mary H says:

    Just wanted to mention that I am on this Transatlantic cruise and am having a wonderful time. Enjoyed the Liar’s club last night with John, Calvyn and Taylor.It was a riot. So lucky to be able to cruise like this. Haven’t met Minnie yet but looking out for someone with a big bow in her hair LOL
    A special hello to Ann R. and Joyce G.

    • Don says:

      This T/A cruise on the Legend is outstanding. Vast majority of staff are flat-out incredible, the itinerary has been splendid, the day-to-day mechanics of making the cruise activities happens has been solid.

      Yes, there are ways that Carnival could improve the product. ** But a litany of whining isn’t ever effective.

      Sorry to DMI, but your comment (April 16, 5 p.m.) is 100 percent wrong. This woman’s name wasn’t published, her privacy wasn’t violated.
      And by the way, if she’s so horribly aggrieved, she shouldn’t be afraid to attach her name – publicly – to her complaints.

      FYI, John Heald’s announcement about the Boston nightmare was handled professionally and humanely, and Carnival is to be applauded for hooking up satellite reception so we could stay abreast via TV.

      **Improvements? I’d like to hear a whole lot less C&W music on a transatlantic, add a string trio for something tasteful in the lobby and at tea, train the dancers/other staff to be a lot more helpful when they’re assigned a shift in the library. I could tweak a few other things here and there, too.
      But honestly: More than 2,000 passengers for 15 days, with many cabins sold at remarkable affordable prices …. and the biggest grievances are things to “tweak”? You’ve got to consider that a hugely, hugely successful cruise – made possible by an outstanding staff!!

  34. susann says:

    I’m currently on the Legend having a fantastic time. My first TA and it has far surpassed my expectations. John & Calvyn are keeping us entertained every day. I am the proud owner of my first SOAS. So sad that Minnie doesn’t seem to be on the same cruise.

  35. Rob Dobson says:

    Hey John, with less than 17 days til we set sail on the Breeze, we just want to let u know we TRULY enjoy everything about our cruise i.e. shows, music, movies, etc…! Wishing you were on the BREEZE, so we could chat, but maybe someday…any more word on Grand Turk? expectations for May 5th, sailing on the Breeze with regards to the stop of Grand Turk? I am presuming its to early to determine! Hope the trans-Atlantic sailing is going GOOD! God Bless

  36. Karen L says:

    I’d like to weigh in on the pizza. I agree with Gavin. The old pizza was much better; in fact, the pan pizza is the best pizza I’ve ever had. I was delighted to find it on the Carnival Splendor going around South America.

    I had the new pizza on the Carnival Breeze last summer, and it was very boring. I can get just as good pizza in the frozen food section of my local supermarket. On the Carnival Spirit transpacific cruise the man working at the pizza station said he could make me a pizza with a thicker cruise. I said “Great, I’d like pepperoni, sausage, onion, and green pepper.” He said “We don’t have sausage, we don’t have onion, we don’t have pepper.” I had to bite my tongue to keep from saying “Then you don’t have pizza.”

    Please go back to the wonderful old pizza. Or, better yet, would it be so hard to offer both kinds?

  37. Michelle Holderbaum says:

    Dear Sweet John,

    I don’t know how you’ve managed to keep your composure while dealing with Minnie’s whining and crying. I suppose you’re thinking about rompy pompy with Heidi in the galley while she’s spewing her filth! I have to tell you, I think I saw her sister on my last cruise aboard the Legend. Sour woman with a permanent frown on her face and she COMPLAINED ABOUT EVERYTHING!! Her poor companion just quietly followed behind her with his tail tucked between his legs, I felt sorry for him. If she would of had a bow, I’d think it WAS Minnie, but no bow. Next time Minnie wants a private meeting with you to rattle off yet another list of demands, invite her to your cabin in the morning while you’re reading these in your underpants. It could go either way, but hopefully it’ll make her smile and lighten up! Life is short people!! Why waste time making those around you as miserable as you are when you could open your eyes and see how lucky you are to be alive and sailing on a beautiful ship!

    If I ever entertained the thought of being a Cruise Director, I take it back! One sailing with a Minnie and I’d be either sent to the brink, fired or BOTH! You have my sympathy and I pray the next leg of your cruise is quiet and uneventful.
    Michelle Holderbaum

  38. Becky Barley says:

    If you are on the Legend crossing the Atlantic, when is the Legend going into dry dock for updating? I saw an online schedule that stated Feb of 2013. We will be sailing Thanksgiving week 2013 and the only persistent complaint that I read about the Legend is that it needs some TLC. We were hoping for a spruced up ship in November! Thank you!

  39. Linda says:

    Laurie II. Have you a situation like Minnie handled in another instance by someone “better than John?” How did it go down?

  40. Ellen Armao says:

    Dear John, Just a short note to say “thank you” for the surprise gifts of a “Sunshine” ship on a stick and wonderful chocolate covered strawberries and truffles. My 2 cabin mates and I enjoyed the treats very much. We just got home 5/18 from a 12 day cruise on the Sunshine. While it did have it’s problems, we were well taken care of by Carnival and all it’s crew members who went over and beyond their regular duties to accommodate us. Our cabin attendant, Felicia, was amazing, our waiter, Jose and his crew were sooo attentive and fun and please thank our matre d’in the Sunset Dining room for singing such memorable Sinatra songs. All of Carnival’s employees worked really hard to get things done and we appreciated that. Linda Smith and Anneta Brown(a 1st time cruiser) and myself and a marvelous time and are devoted fans of Carnival. We are in the process of booking our next cruise to the Caribbean. Thanks, John, for all you do and never let the nay-sayers get to you.

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