So there I was, chatting with a stunning girl from Latvia with huge breasts………hers, not mine, of course. She seems keen on getting together with me but says she can’t fly to join me on the Carnival Legend unless I send some money for the ticket. So I do. And then, shock horror, I never hear from her again. Obviously, this is not a true story. Honestly Heidi, it isn’t……..well, most of it anyway. But I write this because it does happen and yet very few people will ever report it. “Hello, Mr Police Officer, I’m a 48-year-old fat and ugly cruise director. My teeth are bent, my hair is grey and I’ve been ripped off by a stunningly sexy Latvian who said she found me attractive and wanted to fly to the Carnival Legend and act out chapter five of 50 Shades of Grey with me………in a lifeboat.”


Nobody’s going to say that because they know it would make them look like a total and utter idiot. The trouble is that we live in a world where we feel protected from scam artists. When Dunkin Starbucks serves you a coffee it says “Caution, Hot.” We are given best-before dates and notices on the ships advising us to watch our head and mind our step. We are made to feel safe all the time. And some of this is good but it also pushes us to do things we don’t really need like buying insurance for a washing machine and imagining that Latvia really is full of girls who like fat blokes with bad teeth.


But for the most part, many of us live our lives protected from the scam artists of the world and we are smart enough to spot then when something just doesn’t seem right. Until that is…….we go on vacation.


Sent: Wednesday, May 08, 2013 7:32 PM



Mr________ from cabin ________ called to say that he had purchased an iPhone from someone in Athens selling them on the street. Guest says he paid 100 Euros for the iPhone model 5. When Mr___ returned to the ship and looked at the phone, the box only had sand inside it and no phone.  Mr____is very upset because he states that the cruise director only warned about pick pockets and not this. Guest has asked for a meeting with you, John, so please advise.

Kind regards,

Guest Services Associate

Carnival Legend

Well, Mr_______ is right. I did not advise to be careful of this scam in the same way that I didn’t advise on the last cruise about the pollen count or not to stroke wild stray rabid dogs wandering the streets of Naples. Look, I truly do feel sorry for the guest but where does it stop. I warn about pick pockets and not to wear expensive watches and jewelry and to always ask the taxis in Italy how much a fare is………but where does it end and where does common sense take over? “Snake Oil Salesmen” are still alive and selling. The old saying, “A fool and his money are soon parted” still seems very true. There is something in all of us that wants to believe the unbelievable. I often wonder what that something is.


Time for me to send $3,000 to Lana from Latvia and then do some Q&A.


Bo Cadstone asks:

I have a steakhouse question, Mr Heald. I made a reservation on line for Fahrenheit 555 on the Breeze and the reservation for six included my son and he is only seven years old and I have read that he will have to pay full price which seems ridiculous to me because as I said HE IS SEVEN YEARS OLD. Surely, there is a children’s menu and, if not, a discount as he won’t eat adult portions, will he. I am sure not having a children’s menu loses business for you as parents won’t go. Seems like bad business to me.


John says:

Hello Bo Cadstone,

I am glad that you wrote to me about this so I could explain. You see, we don’t have a children’s menu because the steakhouse is designed to have large portions of great food most of which is designed around the main course of the finest cuts of steak. While we welcome children, we do not have a children’s menu, I am afraid, and I should point out also that the meal itself can take two hours or more. We want guests to relax and enjoy the atmosphere and great conversation with their families and this length of time may be a little much for a seven year old. Again, we welcome children but I do know that many parents will let their children enjoy the fun at Camp Carnival while they enjoy the meal. Our steakhouses continue to be exceptionally well received and I do hope you enjoy your meal there. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you and have a brilliant cruise.

Best wishes.



Katherine Mendelsohn asks:

On our recent cruise on board the Carnival Liberty our two sons, who are 10 and 12, had lots of fun. I will admit that they did not like the club which they said was boring but met up with others their age and had a good time. They had a midnight curfew and overall we felt they were safe on the ship. There is something you guys at Carnival should look at as a health hazard and …that would be the ice cream fountain machines. They are switched on and free for 24 hours and both my sons disobeyed our instructions not to have ice cream after dinner but we caught them time after time. Why does Carnival have this temptation for kids and as parents who try and watch their sugar intake this is unacceptable. I suggest they be turned off at night as you never see adult passengers eating ice cream at night time after dinner. I would say that they be turned off at 8 pm and I think other parents reading this would be in agreement.


John says:

Hello Katherine Mendelsohn,

Thanks so much for writing and I do hope that you all had a great cruise together. I spoke about ice cream on Facebook recently and a lot of people replied saying that they loved the ice cream, especially at night and many of those who replied were adults. So while I am sorry that your children had those naughty late-night treats, I think to turn the ice cream machines off would be a very unpopular move. The ice cream is really good and having it available without charge is an attraction that if I had been offered as a kid I would definitely have taken……..oh, if only. Thanks again and I hope we see you and the family very soon on another fun Carnival cruise.


Maria O’Donnell asks:

Dear John:  First, thank you for always making me laugh and smile with your blog and comments. I have a family traveling on June 23, 2013 aboard Carnival Freedom staying in cabin 7394 (name of Radames Maldonado).  He is also traveling with his wife Amelia and their 12-year-old son RJ in that cabin. Traveling in Cabin 7378 will be their son Pedro Maldonado and his girlfriend, Amanda Seeley. Some of them are Gold VFIP members and some are red.

 However, during this trip and on the day they visit Ocho Rios, Pedro wants to propose and become engage to his girlfriend Amanda.  This is where we need your help – any suggestions of when and where he can propose?  Anything special you can suggest?  Maybe something during

dinner or a show?  This will be a surprise for Amanda but his mom and dad will be in on it. 

 Anything you can help him with in planning this engagement, getting it to become a reality would be greatly appreciated.  They love Carnival and won’t cruise any other line.  They save every year to be able to take a yearly cruise, book into the cheapest available cabin (always

inside), so they can go away with their kids.  Pedro also served in the U.S. Army and is still a member of the Reserves, is a graduate of Chef School and Amanda is a very bright and beautiful girl with a degree in interior decorating.


Maria and Kevin O’Donnell


John says:

Hello Maria and Kevin O’Donell,

I am always happy to help with things like these so thanks so much for writing to me. I have sent this to the ship along with a few suggestions for on board proposals. Please leave this with me and can I also ask that two days before, you remind me of this and include the cabin numbers on my Facebook page, please. Thanks so much for all your support and I am sure this will be a very special cruise for them.

Best wishes.



Amanda Berry asks:

John, the more I look at what Carnival offers us Platinum VIPs, the more disconcerted I get. I was on the Carnival Dream again and even at boarding, my status was ignored because they let people for a wedding on first!! We have no priority seating at the shows and have to scramble to get a seat with the non-VIPs. On RCI, we have reserved seating at all shows and are treated as the dollars we spend deserves. How about the Internet? No free Internet and we have to pay the same as someone who walked on the ship for the first time!!! The list of how we are ignored is endless but the biggest complaint that I and reading what other VIPs are saying on Cruise Critic is that we don’t have a separate cocktail party. Is that such a stretch for Carnival to provide a few drinks and some nibbles? I cruise both Carnival and RCI but their loyalty to people like me may have me heading only in one direction as they separate us from the rest and treat us very well.


John says:

Hello Amanda Berry,

I really can’t comment on what another cruise line does, Amanda, but I do think overall our Platinum guests do appreciate the benefits they receive and, of course, we all hope that Platinum guests continue to sail with us and reach Diamond level as well. I hope you continue to sail with us and enjoy the actual cruise and its affordability and then the perks that come with being a Platinum guest. Your loyalty means a lot to us and I hope it continues for a long time to come and please let me know if there is anything I can do for you.

Best wishes.



Jerry asks:

Dear John: I have sailed seven times and will be going on another one next Feb. on my first seven-day cruise. I have asked our person at Carnival that takes our reservation this question and she said she has wonder the same thing. My question if a ship becomes unable to bring people back home cause of something wrong with ship I have seen that Carnival provides people with a fly back home what happens with the people that don’t like to fly and they only have a cruise passport card. Like me I will not fly on any planes does Carnival let the person stay on the ship or not cause I will not fly at all? So could you please let me know what Carnival would do for me if a ship I was on couldn’t leave the port? If Carnival allows me to stay on there until it gets fixed or till another ship shows up or what would they do for me since I don’t fly and will never fly.


John says:

Hello Jerry,

Thanks for asking a great question and please do not worry. In the very rare case such as what happened with Carnival Dream recently we would take care of you as we did with a few guests who we placed on an NCL ship that they sailed back to the States on. So please don’t worry and just look forward to a brilliant cruise. Please let me know if you have any other concerns.

Best wishes.



Austin Jones asks:

Will the Cheers bar program be offered on the cruises from Norfolk?


John says:

Hello Austin Jones,

We will offer it on the five-day cruises but not the two-day voyage. Have a brilliant cruise and please let me know if you have any questions.

Best wishes.



Brian and Hank asks:

John, my partner and I are sailing on the Carnival Freedom and want to make sure that we are recognised as a same sex couple. This is because last time on the Carnival Elation we were not and the cabin cleaner girl highly embarrassed us by separating the beds. Then the cruise director kept saying husband and wife at shows like the marriage show and we were ignored and highly offended. Hank and I will be on the Carnival Freedom in August for our summer vacation and I need to know these embarrassing mistakes you made will not be repeated. Our booking number is ****** and we are in cabin number Empress**** So can you have the cabin boy put the beds together so it’s done on the day we get on.


John says:

Hello Brian and Hank,

I sincerely apologise that you felt embarrassed by what occurred on your last cruise and I have already made a note for your next cruise to make sure the beds are together. You can request this also on the “manage my booking” section online. As a CD, I always try and add the word “partner” when I am talking on stage during activities like my Marriage Show and I will reiterate this to my fellow cruise directors. I am sure this cruise will be a special one and I wish you the best of times together.

Best wishes.



Troy Jepson asks:

Can you help settle an argument? I was telling my friend who is about to cruise for the first time with Carnival on the Carnival Paradise that at Carnival you can order as many main courses at dinner as you like. He says I am wrong so can you help me settle this as there is a case of beer riding on your answer, John. Thanks.


John says:

Hello Troy Jepson,

Enjoy the free beer mate because you are correct. Best wishes and I wish you all a great cruise.



Jerlyn Boyd asks:

I don’t like to fly, but would like to go to St. Thomas and other places in that area. We do go to New Orleans. Why can’t those ships go there?  We love Carnival cruise, as we go every year. But it would be nice to have other places to go without flying to Florida. We have other friends wondering about this as they don’t like to fly. Thank you.


John says:

Hello Jerlyn,

We, of course, have the new Carnival Sunshine that will be in New Orleans in November and although she will not sail to St. Thomas, she will be an amazing ship to sail on and enjoy other fun destinations. St. Thomas and the eastern Caribbean are too far to reach on a five- or seven-day cruise I am afraid but I hope you will be able to go there on one of our ships from Florida. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Best wishes.



Rachel Witt asks:

I need your help to plan something spectacular. My dad was the music director on the Tropicale in the early 1980s when it ran trips to Mexico. He met my mother on one of those trips, and their

30th anniversary is this August. I’d like to have Carnival help them celebrate, but I don’t know who to contact. I thought you might know!




John says:

Hello Rachel Witt,

That is really a great story and please let me know when your parents are sailing and I will make sure they are recognised and that I send them something. I hope to meet them one day and please give them my best regards. Hope to hear from you soon.  

Best wishes.



Edward Hillier asks:

John, can you tell me who the captain will be on the Carnival Triumph when she comes back to Galveston? I hope (if the cruise isn’t canceled again) to be on the June 13 cruise and have a special something I would like to present him after all he has been through and I need to get it engraved. Thanks.


John says:

Hello Edward Hillier,

How very kind you are and the captain’s name is Angelo Los who is a great friend and who I know will be so appreciative of your kindness. I know you wrote this three weeks ago so I hope by now you have seen that the ship will be getting the Fun Ship 2.0 upgrades, as well. The ship is scheduled to return on schedule so your cruise will be ready to go and you will, I am sure, have a brilliant time. Thanks again for your kindness.

Best wishes.



Jim Graszat asks:

Hey John:

We cruised with you (and Calvyn) on the Carnival Magic in Jul/Aug 2011, and are thrilled to be joining you again on the Legend this summer, same time period.  My children loved watching the “John and Calvyn” show on the TV every day, and my daughter Sophie actually got through one day and called Calvyn an elephant or something like that.  She ended up meeting him later and he gave her a very cute pink elephant stuffed animal. We did another cruise on another cruise line and did not enjoy nearly as much. See you in August!!



John says:

Hello Jim Graszat,

What a wonderful post and I am thrilled that you will be joining us again in August. We are both here and will do our best to make you laugh again. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you and get ready for the best of times.

Best wishes.



And that’s all for today. I will be back with more soon


Back in 1996, I was part of the team that delivered the Carnival Destiny, then the largest cruise ship in the world. She gave me grey hair and she gave thousands of guests the most fantastic cruise. She was in the spotlight and as helicopters hovered over her, and journalists sharpened their pencils (yes, she was pre-Internet) to write rejoicing words about her the ship took her place in the cruise ship hall of fame. But then bigger ships came along. Ships with more features and more bells and whistles and suddenly the Carnival Destiny was no longer in the spotlight. Yes, she carried on giving her guests the most fabulous cruise but the ship that was the talk of the town wasn’t any more and that was in a way………..sad in a way.


So when the beards decided that they would invest millions in her and give the ship the full bikini wax and Botox treatment I for one was really pleased. Would I miss the name “Destiny?” Well, yes actually but the name Sunshine……..actually the name Carnival Sunshine is perfect for what the ship has become. It has been a challenging start — not to mention that would be silly of me — and the crew have worked so hard to make sure the guests on her inaugural cruise have had a great time. What we have in the Carnival Sunshine is one of the most amazing ship transformations I have ever seen, stripped down to the bare metal, repainted, re-trimmed and refitted with sparkling new features and stunning new guest spaces. Tell you what ………… rather than me waffle on about it, let’s have a look at some of those areas through the lens of the brilliant Mr. Radu.




Your Red Frog Pub

Your Red Frog Pub


Your Red Frog Rum Bar

Your Red Frog Rum Bar


Market Place 1

Your Marketplace


Market Place 2

More of your Marketplace


Serenity 1

Your very tranquil Serenity Deck


Another look at Serenity Deck

Another look at Serenity Deck


Are you dribbling yet?


More photos next week.



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.

53 Responses to BRING ME SUNSHINE………………OK, HERE SHE IS

  1. Nicole Novesky says:


    Just writing to say how much I love you! I look forward to reading your blog whenever you post. I think that you are a wonderful brand ambassador for Carnival. You are definitely a big part of the Carnival Fun for our family.

    My wife, mom and I just had a wonderful time on the Carnival Valor (and were incredibly appreciative of the gifts that you provided us with) and are now looking forward to another trip on the Carnival Dream in December.

    Thank you for all you do for us Carnival People. (or Healdites perhaps?)

  2. Phil Imbesi says:

    John when you meet the the iSand guy make sure you remind him to breathe. Cause if dies of suffocation it’s obviously your responsibility.

  3. Helene Barnes says:

    OMG I am so excited for the bloggers cruise – we get to see the new ship Sunshine and we finally get to meet John and hopefully Calvyn and all of the other bloggers I have been talking to over the years. CAN’T WAIT!

  4. Leon says:

    John, the comment about the bed selection on “My Cruise Manager” needs a little correction. It has for quite a while been broken. You can select “King” but it won’t save it and keeps going back to “2 Twin Beds”. I believe the beard in charge of the website is aware of it, but it’s still broken and has happened before.

    • cruisin'lovebirds says:

      Hi John! I reported the glitch this weekend regarding bedding type; did not know Carnival already knew. I received a reply the same day (Saturday)- great service. They know of the glitch and hope to fix it.

  5. Bryan Cozzaglio says:

    We were on the Destiny four times and saw nothing wrong with it, but the Sunshine looks AMAZING!

  6. Jim Munkittrick says:

    John, you comment about “fools and their money……”
    Is so true, our biggest problem on this side of teh pond is that they also vote.

  7. Paul Salata says:

    Mr Heard, thank you for being who you are, thank you for your patience with people who do not deserve it, thank you for your humor, thank you for all you do for special request people, thank you for just being you, you have a beautiful daughter, and a lovely wife. I would love to cruise with you some day. Cheers, Paul S

  8. Cynthia Ravenscraft says:

    John, I really like this blog. This is my first visit in the blog. We have cruised twice on the Fascination and Sensation respectively and are already booked for another cruise on the Sensation (with family and friends this time). I do understand Mrs Katherine’s concern with her children eating too much ice cream after dinner but PLEASE do not take that feature out. My husband and I really enjoyed a late night ice cream treat. In all honesty, it is a vacation after all. Some latitude should be allowed. Our cruise in November will be our third in 18 months. I check the website often just to watch the countdown to fun. Thanks.

  9. Gail Schultz says:

    Outstanding ship..Carnival had done a great job and looking forward to sailing Nov1, 2013 on her. “Sunshine” looking forward to her.. Thanks John.

    • Jimmy Vann says:

      I too am looking forward to the November 1st sailing. Can’t wait to see Barcelona as well.

  10. Matt says:

    Dear John,

    Just got back home after a wonderful cruise on the Carnival Valor out of San Juan. It was a great Carnival cruise as usual !

    I have a couple of questions for you:

    Any plan to add Quebec City in Canada as a homeport during the summer season? It would be great to offer 7 days cruise from Quebec City to New York or from New York to Quebec City.

    Any plan to offer a water package onboard (unlimited bottles of water)?

    Any plan to launch a frequent cruiser program for guest who are loyal to Carnival Corporation cruise lines (Carnival, Costa, Princess, etc)? A program similar to Star Alliance, SkyTeam or OneWorld in the airlines industry. Each brand have something different to offer and it would be great to encourage your guest to discover your sister companies without being penalized.

    Why people from Quebec are not allowed to win a free cruise while completing guest satisfaction survey online?

    Any plan to improve the speed of the Internet onboard ? Hope a better technology will be available soon including an “All you can surf” package 😉

    Thank you !

    Great blog by the way !

    • Doc Bill from Galveston says:

      A frequent cruiser plan across the CCL brands would be a wonderful idea and might keep me from going back to RCI or any of the other “initial” ships.

    • Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

      Yes, reciprocating perks between sister cruise lines would be wonderful.

      I can understand why they may not do it for Platinum level (because of the large number)….but it would be a great perk for cruisers who are double Diamond….
      (400 sea days or more).

      We would still cruise Carnival, but it would be a temptation to try other (more expensive) sister cruise lines as well.

      Princess and Cunard already have this between those two lines because they were purchased together.

      And RCCL and Celebrity do this as well.

      Linda (Mom of DJ)

  11. Teresa Cooper says:

    You know John…you can’t possibly warn every passenger of every scam there is in every port. People need to exercise some common sense. And I think they need to build a taller ship to accommodate Amanda Berry’s nose.

  12. John J Chmielewski says:

    Thank you for all you do for the guests, and even more so for the wonderful crew who always smile while making us spoiled cruisers so happy. Will the Sunshine have a badly needed Cigar Bar (or any indoor venue for cigars, Cognac and conversation)? I rode the Legend from Tampa to Venice and enjoyed the “Cigars under the Stars” nights.

    Thanks again,


  13. Beverly Winford says:

    John….what a beautiful transformation. The new Carnival Sunshine is just stunning. I can’t wait to see her on BC7.

    I’m thrilled that the Carnival Triumph is getting the 2.0 upgrades. I don’t often go on cruises shorter than 7 days, but since Galveston is my homeport I can envision many B2B’s on her.

    Thanks for posting another great blog, and thanks to Mr. Radu for great pictures.

  14. Barbara says:

    I can’t resist answering poor Bo Gladstone. Sir, believe it or not, there are some places and some events that are truly adult. Little children cannot belly up to the bar and order a cold one, for instance.

    The Steakhouse experience is one of those. You may drag little 7 year old Johnny with you if you insist…but he’s going to hate it. He won’t like much of the food, he won’t like the pleasant adult atmosphere, the excellent service and he certainly won’t like the 2-3 hour experience of sitting on a chair waiting for something to happen..,and the quiet atmosphere will make him cranky.

    However, you’ll probably take him anyway. After all, he’s simply a little adult, right?

    Here are a few tips. He will have to remain seated. Explain to him he cannot wander around the place interrupting others who are there to enjoy an adult experience. He must remain quiet…including conversations. Explain it will be a couple of hours when he will have to NOT be a 7 year old. Then let him decide.

    Meanwhile, stop complaining about paying full price. This is not a children’s place. If you insist on dragging him along for what will be one of the worst experiences of the week for him, hush up and pay the piper.

    • Laura says:

      You go girl!! There are places that are just not suitable for children. No normal seven year old is going to sit quietly through a meal of that length. I not only feel sorry for the child but for the other adults who thought they were going to have a plesant meal. Even the most well behaved child could not sit that long.

  15. Barbara says:

    For the non-flying Jerilyn.

    John, perhaps Carnival could arrange to have St. Thomas dragged across the sea and bring it closer to the Bahamas. The you could replace Freeport. Or, drag it closer to Jamaice or something.

    Here’s an idea. Perhaps traveling by train to Florida ports would work for non-flyer.

    The sooner an adult recognizes that the world doesn’t revolved around him/her, the faster he/she will find peace.

  16. scott walls says:

    First I must say I love reading your blogs, they are always entertaining and informative and I hope to get the opprotunity to meet you in person some day. Second, I LOVE cruising Carnival and cant even imagine sailing a different cruise line, and its because of the customer service ive always recieved starting with the sweetest PVP imaginable, Carrie Nipper ( I could go on and on about her ) whos been so helpful and fun to talk to, to the room stewards, wait staff, CD’s and all people in between.
    Now for the question … is the Sunshine haunted?!? I noticed in the fabulous photos taken in the marketplace by Mr Radu, there seems to be some ghost images in there! If it is, please let me know so that I can make sure to book my next cruise over Halloween on the Sunshine!

  17. GWEN FOSTER says:

    Yeah! I’m on a boat, I’m on a boat, look at everyone checkin me, I’m on a boat.
    I’m on a boat, just look at me sailin all around the Caribbean Sea
    Drinking frozen Margaritas or some Long Island Ice Tea.
    I’m on a boat, I’m on a boat, dancin around in my flippie-floppies
    Havin’ the BEST time on the CARNIVAL BREEZE, I’m on a boat!
    Wishing Becca and Ryan congratulations on graduation and getting engaged! Sailing may 10 2013, on the Breeze, rm 11207! Chocolate strawberries if you can swing it . Thank s John

  18. mike ceglio says:

    Hi John: Forgive me if this is a little long, but I wanted to get everything in. First of all, thank you for being so kind and thoughtful to Maureen and I on our Carnival Freedom cruise on april 20th. As you may recall, I had written to you telling you that we had to cancel bc6 because my mom passed away 5 days before the cruise. After going through our time of grief we booked the Carnival Freedom to celebrate our anniversary and we had a fantastic time. This was my 9th carnival cruise and it couldnt have been better. The crew, the ports, the food. the entertainment and the weather couldnt have been better.Also, having the assistant CD come to our door (forgive me, but I forgot his name) and give us a personal gifts from you, just put it over the top. In fact, we had such a great time that we went ahead and booked the Carnival Liberty 7 day western caribbean cruise on Sept. 21st of this year. I do have one question for you as I have received a couple of different answers to this and I thought I read it corectly, but then again im not the sharpest tool in the shed. I currently have 63 days cruising and am gold VIFP. After the Liberty cruise in september I would have 70days but still be short of platinum by 5 days. But, this will be my 10th Carnival cruise since 2002 and I think the rules state that you would be grandfathered into platinum if you went on 10 cruises before the end of 2013. So, if this is the case, will Carnival be aware of it? As they will see by the number of days i am still a little short, but will have 10 cruises. I dont want to go to embarkation and make an ass of myself and tell them i should be platinum and they tell me to bugger off. How does that work? Sorry to be so long winded but wanted to get it all in. Again, a big thank you from Maureen and I, and am thrilled that Heidi and Kye have been able to be will you this cruise. God bless, Mike and Maureen Ceglio

    • Rick Williamson says:

      YES YES YES! #10 you ARE a VIP and you will have your new color and it will no longer be GOLD. And this will be at the start of your 10th cruise not after! Check your fun pass after you have made full payment for that cruise. And enjoy

    • Grady Reese says:

      Mike, When you book your 10th cruise before the end of December Your cruise documents will say PRIORITY on them indicating Platinum status. Also on the Guest Confirmation under the GUEST section in the VFIP LEVEL column you will see PLATINUM.

  19. Eileene Plummer says:

    I’m drooling over those photos of the Sunshine, John. We’ll be on her for BC7, but she also might become one of our “regular” cruise ships, since it’s not TOO far of a drive from Houston, TX. It will be truly different for us, after sailing mostly on Conquest & Dream-class ships. Thanks for the kindness, good humor & great info!

  20. Hi John! My husband and are taking our first TA on the Sunshine and are super excited to help bring all of that Carnival awesomeness stateside (Barcelona –> NOLA on Nov. 1). We pretty much cruise this same week every year for our anniversary and since this is our fist TA, I’m curious to know how the age brackets stack up on a cruise like this. We are a fairly young (early 30’s) couple and wondering – are we likely to find friends our age? Also, do you have any tips from you insider Sunshine radar to offer up to us TA newbies? We can’t wait to see that thing for ourselves!

    • Eric Hardt says:

      We are on the ship and the average age is 50+. Probably due to Med cruise. Currently we have no access to waterworks, sports deck, mini golf, running track or main pool. Also the ship did not get the Banzai sushi bar. Hope your cruise goes better.

  21. Maggie carroll says:

    Hi John,
    We are due to sail on the sunshine in July, this our 3rd back to back cruise, 1st was on the magic with you 2011, 2nd on the breeze with Bruce, and bus we are looking forward to the sunshine( hopefully all her teething problems will be fixed by the time we set sail). The reason for contacting you was to tell Joe disappointed we were to find out that carnival have decided to pull out of Europe in 2014 as the cost of flights for your US customers into Europe is causing a down turn in passengers. When we travelled on the magic you made a passenger total announcement, the US were out numbered funnily enough by europeans. We have had fantastic holidays with carnival, our children love all that is on offer, surely rather than pull out all together have a smaller class of ship available during the peak summer months rather than offer your Europeans passengers on a plate to p&o, rcl and ncl
    Shame really.
    Best to you and your family, keep up with your wonderful sense of British humour.

  22. Laura says:

    Love the blog. Don’t change anything you are doing. Since I work for a school district I usually have to cruise during the high volume dates. This year my Wonderful boss has agreed to let me use some time and take a cruise in January. We are taking a belated 48th wedding anniversary cruise. All of this is just to say I CAN”T Wait to see the Sunshine. Someday we hope to cruise with you. Keep on doing what your’re doing it is working.

  23. Soley Ragnarsdottir says:

    Hi. We are six together trying to book the Steakhouse and for some reason it is not working. Is there a email that I could possible send a request to book it for us? We are going on the trip on the 26th of May, and we are getting over excited!

  24. Doc Bill from Galveston says:

    Greetings again John, I will also be on the Triumph’s “inaugural” cruise from Galveston on 6/13. After reading Mr Hillier’s comment it made me think about what else we could do to welcome the ship back home. Any suggestions?
    Doc Bill

  25. Sharon Seybert says:

    Dear Mr Heald

    I respectfully say to Katherine Mendelsohn that if she doesn’t want her kids to enjoy the 24/7 ice cream bar (or the pizzaria, or beverages, for that matter)it is her responsibility to address it and not Carnival’s nor other cruisers. Carnival provides these things because most of us do not mind our kids enjoying them whenever, as THEY ARE ON VACATION AND SO ARE WE! Stop trying to ruin these pleasures for everyone else! We enjoy late night walks and these wonderful treats…if you are that worried about it, keep your kids with you rather than letting them roam the ship. They are yours to raise, not the world’s.

    • mike ceglio says:

      Rick Williamson: Thanks for the info on being changed to platinum. Just wanted to make sure i was right with my facts. Thanks again. Mike

    • Cruze Guy says:

      This woman lets a 10 & 12 year old wander a cruise ship till midnight and she’s worried about them having ice cream? Get some PRIORITIES!!!!

  26. jillian watkins says:

    Hi John,

    could you please tell me if the sunshine waterworks will be up and running soon??? postings on cruise critic are stating that it wont be ready this cruise or the next. we are on june 16th so we are starting to worry. we have young kids and those slides are what made us choose to go the europe on a cruise in the first place. We are travelling from australia, so 24 hours in a plane was a big decision, not to mention the cost. we were simply sold on be able to do europe with kids because of the facilities on the ship,

  27. Doc Bill from Galveston says:

    Hon. Lewis Rosen,

    Dear Mr. Mayor, My name is Dr Bill Boudreaux and I am a proud resident of the City of Galveston and an avid cruiser. My family and I made the inaugural transatlantic voyage of the Magic and I have been on the Triumph several times. The Triumph is a remarkable ship and Carnival has gone to great lengths to ensure safety and provide a new look as evidenced by the enclosed press release.

    I am writing to you today to request a proclamation welcoming the Triumph back to its home port in Galveston. I will be on the “inaugural” voyage on 6/13 and I cannot wait to see the new look. Carnival and its ships Triumph and Magic remain a valuable asset to this community.

    The Captain will be the very capable Angelo Los and I have been in contact with John Heald the senior cruise director.

    Thank you for your kind consideration.

    Doc Bill

  28. Barbara Johnson says:

    My partner and I have been together 28 yrs. I always, on …I X the box “king size bed”, but it’s NEVER done, so when I meet my cabin steward I just ask and he does it! They are so kind and accommodating, NEVER a disparaging look. Just ask you shall receive. Love Carnival!

  29. Gay says:

    Hello John – I am a cruise travel agent & I just love reading your blog. It always makes me laugh, and I have learned so much about good customer service by reading your responses to various queries & complaints. No wonder you are the Senior Cruise Director! You are damm good at it, my dear!
    My question here for you is about the Cheers Program. My 3 daughters are planning to sail on the Inspiration from Los Angeles (Long Beach) in September 2013. Will the Cheers program be offered on the Inspiration at that time? I hope so because these girls can really knock ’em back, if you get the picture. And they sure have fun, fun, fun, whatever they do & wherever they go. They are sooooo excited about going on a Carnival Cruise! OK then, i look forward to hearing from you. Thanks a million – Gay

  30. Diane Alexander says:

    In 25 days we will be sailing on the Glory 🙂 My husband keeps arranging that the beds get put together on Manage Your Cruise on line but day after day it gets changed back to two separate twin beds.

  31. Jim Roberts says:

    Tell you what, John…the next time a guest starts whining about things that, in the eternal scheme of things, don’t matter a flying fig, you refer them to me.

    I’ll tell them all about what CCL did for me after that disastrous trip on the Breeze last October…(yes, I’m THAT Jim)…what Jaime did as CD…what Katie from Guest Services did to save my sanity in a town where I didn’t speak the language and was stuck there for the worst two days of my life…those amazing sympathy cards from passengers and crew…how Guest Services found all the unpurchased formal photos of Jana and I and sent them to me, no charge.

    Then I’ll tell them how Jaime, Gumbie, Eliott, Alyssa, Mr. B. Janae, etc. helped me along the slow and painful journey back towards the land of the living when I was on the Dream in March…and how I’m going back to the Dream for New Year’s.

    After all that, somehow getting caught in a scam or a broken bottle of booze or not getting two chocolates on your towel animal or the horror of having ice cream available to kids at 2am when they ought to be in bed anyway…just doesn’t measure up.

  32. Paul says:

    I’ve been trying to find out if the Carnival Legend has Guy’s Burger Joint. I get a different answer from each person I talk to. Luv them burgers!

  33. Dom says:

    Is the Carnival Sunshine ever going to be finished? It sounds like a disaster and I’m booked on the 18/8/13 sailing from Barcelona with my family.

    I’m starting to dread my first cruise on Carnival.

  34. Luis R says:

    I know a lot of people like the flashy decor of the Carnival ships (the work of Joe Farcus) over the decades but I can’t avoid thinking after looking at some of the pictures that have been published from Carnival Sunshine and the looks of Carnival Breeze, that the rest of the fleet should be “de-Farcused” to some degree. The Breeze was the first non-Farcus ship (I believe he did design a several venues) and Carnival Destiny was the fist ship to be de-Farcused into Carnival Sunshine. I think this change was positive in that both ships look very modern in their interior decor. I have only been to two ships (Destiny and Magic) and liked their decor (except for the hideous white and green round lamps found everywhere in the atrium and main lobby) but I have seen pictures from other ships and they are starting to look out of place in this age and time.

  35. BubbaGeorge says:

    In response to Katherine Mendelsohn and ice cream: You have a curfew and strict rules with your children eating ice cream but have you ever heard of discipline? Change a policy for millions who enjoy something to take care of you responsibility as a parent. Hate to hear what you think about smoking on board.

  36. Rhonda H says:

    I just returned from the Sunshine’s 12 day Un-Brilliant inaugural trip, which I’m sure you are getting loads of mail about. Although I am a huge fan of yours, I will scream and ask for the BRILLIANT T-Shirt back if you say “anyways, I hope you had a brilliant cruise,” because intermittent commode availability (have you ever gone to the Lido deck in a mad dash in your jammies to use the John?), hot water issues (have you ever tried to use the Carnival shampoo with cold water?), no pools until the very end (even though we were promised a brilliant water park, a family pool and a no-splash zone adult pool which was turned off after just a few days of fun, so NO POOLS FOR US), cold prime rib and tepid soups brought by poorly trained staff (twice) who had no interest in learning our names or preferences, imaginary cabin stewards who neither remembered to knock for promised wake-up calls since there were no phones for 10 of the 12 days nor did they care to learn and use our names, and so it went. How about the cruisers who the staff allowed to SLEEP in the Serenity cabana pods to hoard them, yet we can’t go have lunch for 41 minutes without our stuff being snatched up by the staff?? I have already written Carnival my opinions about most this, but since you are dedicated to airing all sides, I wanted to let you know that I won’t be the loyan and vocal champion for Carnival that I have been prior to this trip. I am embarrassed that I took my travel buddy, a first-time cruiser, on this sailing and she is certainly less than enthusiastic about Carnival as a whole, or even considering cruising as a future vacation choice. This is the first cruise that I uniformly had a better time on excursions than on board, and other than the ship’s wonderful singer/dance team with brilliant light panels, it would be over-generous to say that the rest of the headliner entertainment was mediocre at best. Many times I have read comments like this and wondered how anyone could be so negative and tainted after an over-all lovely cruise experience, and now I understand! The paltry on-board credit they gave us as compensation was offensive, considering the amount of cruise-wide inconvenience and poor quality of service and entertainment. This ship should not have been sent out without the modifications being completed (isn’t there a check-off list for carpets and beds in all the rooms??) and shame on the Carnival CEO for sending us that insipid Welcome Home letter. I did see a Russian in a Speedo finally, but it did not make up for 2 weeks of disappointment, where all I got from Guest Services was a weak apology and very few improvements. Next time I sail with you I am going to give you some unsolicited advice about how widespread bad PR goes, and how CCL could better handle its captive cruisers in these circumstances, although I am not in Minnie’s league. As a post note, the ship looks lovely, all shiny but honestly, I could hardly believe that the steward told me when I asked for a single night stand to share with my roommate that the interior rooms are not going to be given them (even though there is room plenty of room. The other ships have them in interior rooms so I think that was a typical BS answer! So we breathed the crud from the floor through our CPAPs placed there instead of on a bed-side stand, accidentally stepped on our little travel alarm clocks, and even worse, I kicked over my water goblet onto my Kindle on the floor and when it shorted out I couldn’t finish 50 Shades. Well, that part of my story is not actually true, because I do know that all ended well – LOL.

  37. Martha Evans says:

    Hurry and put the May 2014 7day trips from New Orleans on the website.. I am ready to book any good deals would be great i have a group of about 15 people that are going to book with me… Love CARNIVAL

  38. Rebecca Howell says:

    May I ask when you might be offering a Greek Isles cruise?

    Also, would love to see more pics by Mr. Radu. His work is brilliant and past passengers enjoy seeing more of them.

    Thank you.

  39. Tim says:

    I am preparing book a 25th anniversary cruise and wondered what you would suggest as the BEST of the cruises Carnival has to offer. Or maybe what the best ship to sail on is.. We done Mexico, Western Caribbean, and would be open to almost any suggestion you might have an the EXPERT… THanks! Were fairly young so still enjoy lost of fun and activity!

  40. Brittany says:

    Hello, my husband and I became obsessed with cruising after going on our first cruise this past May on the Breeze. Best vacation ever and such a beautiful ship. We recently booked to go on the Sunshine next May for our 6 year anniversary. I was wondering if they have a Bonsai Sushi, as the Breeze did? I’ve read they do or they’re going to have one this fall. Also, i’ve read a lot regarding leaks in halls (with buckets), sereinty deck, etc. Is that something that’s going to get fixed soon?


    • WEBBIT says:

      Hi Brittany,

      My family and I were on the Breeze this past June. We had such an awesome time. We loved all ports. I’m worried about the negative reviews regarding leaks, lack of friendly staff, poor food quality and lack of activities. I hope John can reassure us.

      Looking forward to the Sunshine.

      Happy Holidays

  41. WEBBIT says:

    Hi John,

    I’m getting worried reading all these bad reviews on Shipmate about the Sunshine. She’s supposed be awesome but I keep reading about rude staff throughout the ship, leaks, horrible smell and lack of activities. My 8 year and 13 year are really looking forward to August 16,2014 sailing. I know a cruise is what you make of it but it’s hard when every single post has more negatives than positive. I loved the Sensation, Paradise, Victory and the Breeze. I’m hoping the Sunshine will be fantabulous. My hubby and mom are looking forward to the Mexico ports, I’m the family vacation planner and I don’t want to get a bad rep with this one. Promise me that August sailing in 2014 will be fab.

    Xoxo Webbit from NYC

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