May 16, 2013 -

John Heald

We had a wonderful birthday party for Kye yesterday. It was attended by Heidi and I and Calvyn and a few of the staff. She had a butterfly birthday cake and a grand total of seven gifts to open. Those seven gifts meant that I had to ask 27 crew members to help me take away all the packaging. Honestly, have you seen the packing that children’s toy’s come in these days, bugger me they are more entombed than a sodding Egyptian mummy. This makes me so angry that my hemorrhoids flare up and my teeth start to itch. I mean why, for instance, does Disney’s Rapunzel doll have to be sold with 12 plastic fasteners that need a Black & Decker power drill to cut?

 And it’s not just Kye’s toys, either. If you buy a razor, it comes in a toughened plastic box that is impossible to break into. Scissors, a flame thrower and even a hell fire missile shot from an F16 fighter plane are useless. Within five minutes of trying to get the sodding thing out of the box, there is blood everywhere, which requires a couple of bandages to stop the flow of blood. And I then have to ask the 27 crew members to come and help clean up that packaging that the bandages were sold in. I bought a flash drive before I came to the Carnival Legend because I thought I might need one to transfer work from my laptop to the CD computer here in the cabin. The flash drive is smaller than a hamster’s thingy but comes in a container big enough for one of those families on that TV show Doomsday Preppers to use as a nuclear shelter.


I hate waste and I was brought up to eat whatever is on my plate and that if I didn’t “children in China would be sent to my house to eat it for me.”  This morning after I had said an emotional goodbye to Heidi and Kye I felt like crap and actually considered doing something I never do………no, not go to the gym……stroll around the upper decks. I walked across the Lido deck at approx 2 pm, I saw the staff cleaning up so many discarded plates that had most of the second hamburger uneaten, a huge pile of  pasta untouched and various other plates brimming with food that we can’t do anything with……except discard. And that is such a shame, isn’t it?


Anyway, let’s not waste any more of your time with my ramblings and instead do some Q and A ……….off we trot


David Gold MD says:

On the Carnival Liberty cruise we just came off from, I noticed that there were hand sanitizers at the entrances to the restaurants and also one at the Internet stations. These have been medically proven to be useless against the spread of gastro-illness that your ships are infamous for. I suggest that they be removed and a more rigorous cleaning regime is implemented and emphasis instead be enforced on washing of hands. The workers did nothing to do this and I understand that some passengers did come down with gastro-illness which if the workers and officers had shown leadership and care probably would not have occurred.


John says:

Hello David Gold MD,

Thank you for taking the time to write and I do hope you had a great cruise. Obviously, as a doctor, you know far more than me about this but if I may respectfully correct something you said and point out that Carnival is not “infamous” for gastro illness outbreaks. In fact the whole industry is unfairly labeled with this even though it does happen far more on land. I should also point out that there have been no “outbreaks” on the Carnival Liberty this year. We strongly encourage our guests and crew to wash their hands frequently and certainly we know that they complement the washing of hands with warm water and soap which we do advertise each cruise through announcements and information on the in-cabin TVs. The staff and crew make sure all public areas and staterooms are sanitized in accordance with the strict guidelines of United States Public Health and are all trained in what to do cases of illness rise should. Thanks then for the advice and I do hope you had fun and that we will see you soon.

Best wishes.



Sherri and Andrew Planter asks:

We are very anxious about all the negative views of Carnival in the press because in June we will go on the Carnival Splendor for our first cruise ever and it will be a special fifth anniversary cruise as well. Can you set our minds easier and just tell us that we will have a good time please


John says:

Hello Sherri and Andrew Planter,

There have been some unusual challenges that we as a company have faced these past few weeks but what is important to note is that each and every week before and since those challenges that tens of thousands of people walk up the gangways of our ships ready to have fun and walk off at the end of the cruise having had even more fun than they ever expected. You will have a brilliant time. Carnival Splendor is a superb ship and sailing out of New York is an amazing experience. So please, get ready to have fun and allow the staff and crew to serve and entertain you and this will be the most special way to celebrate your anniversary.

Best wishes to you both.



lovetocruise3447 asks:

Dear John,

Does James Dunn have social media profile such as Facebook or twitter (similar to yours as well as a few other cruise directors)? If not, I think that he should make one. He made our last cruise

fantastic! It would be nice to be able to follow him and know how he is doing. I can understand though if he doesn’t and does not wish to create a social media page, as I can imagine that being a cruise director is a VERY busy job! I love Carnival and have never ever had experienced any problems with them  (: I hope to sail with Carnival next year yet again! I certainly hope to sail on one of your ships because I am a huge fan of yours! (: Keep being awesome!!! My best wishes to you and your family. Thanks so much!!!!!!!!!!


P.S. After you leave the Carnival Legend, what ship will you be going to?


John says:

Hello lovetocruise3447

Thanks for the wonderful words for James who is a brilliant cruise director and he will be back here on the Carnival Legend after her trans-Atlantic back to New York. He doesn’t have a company Facebook page or a blog but I will make sure I pass this to him. I am not sure where I will be after this but I will let you know and hope we see you on one of our ships very soon.

Best wishes.



Robert Guacci asks:

Great to have met you on the Carnival Magic on the European Cruise May 2011, I gave you a few cigars, and then you sent us awesome chocolate strawberries to our room. Just wondering what ship you are on this time.  Hope to meet up with you again.


John says:

Hello Robert Guacci,

I remember that well and I am so thankful for your kindness. I am on the Carnival Legend at the moment and it would be great to see you again soon. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you.

Best wishes.



Dave Arbour asks:

What can I do about getting my daughter into Circle C – even though she’s only 11?  Her 13-year-old cousin is sailing with us and we prefer not to split them up.  We’re sailing one week before her 12th birthday and Camp Carnival does nothing for her the past two cruises……..she gets stuck helping watch five year olds……….For a kid who’s in an advanced class at school and listens to Rihanna, Pink and regular radio, playing leap frog with seven year olds and listening to the Wiggles isn’t going to work.  Any suggestions???


John says:

Hello Dave Arbour,

I am so sorry but in this case there is nothing we can do. For various reasons we have very strict guidelines about this. I realise that she may not have everything in common with all girls her age but I promise that the program will be far more varied and fun than the activities you mentioned. I assure you she will have a great time as I hope will you. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Best wishes.



Erik Wurmlinger asks:

Hey John…just got back off the Carnival Legend from 3/24 till 3/31.  I want to start off by saying thank you for the champagne and strawberries.  The only problem was I think there was a mistake (not your fault) but I think the crew got the rooms wrong.  I requested for three rooms and they only went to two and the one they forgot was mine. I just wanted to make it nice for my fiancé whom I just proposed to the day before at Disney. I just thought I would give you a little review of my cruise quick and let you know the pros and cons.  I am not writing to cause a big fuss but thought that maybe you could get in touch with the right people to keep them informed and improve.  Everything started out good but once we got on the Lido Deck we observed that the overhead roof was broken and was being worked on.  It did not open until approximately two days into the cruise I think. This was a real disappointment considering this is where most of the events happen and it was really muggy. The next thing I noticed is that there was a DJ playing instead of a band. I know you had talked about it before on the blog but I really missed having the Calypso band and heard quite a few other people say the same thing. Next, while in the main dining room for breakfast one morning I noticed that my water smelled like fish. Thinking maybe I was imagining things I asked a few others at our table and they agreed. I called over a female employee that was dressed in a blue outfit that smelled it and she agreed also. She was very nice and apologized but I was concerned because I remembered that the night before I smelled it too. I wondered how this could happen.


Also, this same morning we waited and waited to be served and it seemed like it took a crew member in white (I’m assuming he was a manager) to come over and start shouting orders for them to get moving.  They were all scrambling at that point.  This bring me to my last point that I considered a real con on the ship was the lack of staff. I am used to waiters constantly trying to push buckets of beer and fruity drinks on the Lido Deck.  I noticed I was constantly looking for a waiter.  This was also obvious in the dining rooms.  Again John, this is all constructive criticism and I don’t want to make it sound like I’m a big complainer.  I have always been the one to stick up for Carnival and dog the people that complain about every little thing.  This is my fourth Carnival cruise in as many years and I’m sure I will cruise with you again but I will say that my expectations are a little lower because of this last cruise. All in all it was a great time other than the things I have mentioned. After we were informed of the problems with the propulsion system on the ship and the fact that we would not be traveling the itinerary that we thought we all tried to stay upbeat and make the best of it.  Thanks again John and I wish the very best for you and Carnival.  I really hope that we all get back to the old Carnival I enjoyed so much.


John says:

Hello Erik Wurmlinger

Thanks so much for your comments and as I have said many times constructive criticism is so important to us so thanks for taking the time to write. I remember you giving me a list of cabins you would like deliveries for and I am sorry that we missed one. I hope that the other cabins enjoyed their surprises and were able to share them with you. Regarding the water, all drinking water from the ship’s tanks are adhere to the regulations put forth by United States Public Health and is 100% safe to drink. I apologise for the repairs that were being made on the roof and will pass on the comments to the bar manager as certainly we want to give the best service possible. So I thank you for your comments and apologise for the concerns you had that will be addressed. I hope we see you soon and please let me know if there is anything I can do for you.

Best wishes.



Alan Smith asks:

Hello John,

My wife and I will be sailing on the Carnival Freedom in May along with our daughter to celebrate her graduation from college. Both my wife and I are Gold VIFP while our daughter is still red as she has been in school. My question for you is will we be able to bring our daughter to the Past Guest Party? I would hate to miss the party but would not be able to attend if we had to leave her in the room. Thanks for your time.



John says:

Hello Alan Smith,

Yes, of course, we would be happy to have you bring both your ladies and I hope you all have a great time next week. Please send your daughter my congratulations on her graduation and I wish you all the best of times. Best wishes.



Molly Andersen asks:

I am writing from the Carnival Magic where on the Lido deck today and getting ready for a day at the beach for me, my husband and my five-year-old daughter. I went to the breakfast and took just some miniature small boxes of cereal and as I was placing them in my back pack I was stopped by a rude man in a white uniform called Anton who stopped me and made me take the cereal boxes out again. This was so embarrassing as other passengers were watching. I have always done this on cruises so you can imagine how angry I am and will make a formal complaint!! This has left a very bad taste towards Carnival!


John says:

Hello Molly Andersen,

I am sorry it has taken me a few weeks to reply so obviously you are home now. I am sure that the staff member did not mean to embarrass you in any way but was acting on the instructions he had been told by senior management. There are in most ports strict rules against bringing any food items off the ship and I’m sure he was thinking of this when he told you not to take the boxes. So, please don’t be upset at Anton, he was doing as instructed. I do hope you all had fun and that by the time you got back from the day at the beach that you had forgotten about this and that you had the most wonderful time. Please let me know if you have a follow up to this or if there is anything else I can do for you.

Best wishes.



Patrick Casey asks:


I would like to know, why doesn’t Carnival offer price protection to past guest rates?  I have sailed 14 times with Carnival and when I book at rates for past guests I see a rate drop and I can’t take advantage of it due to it is past the final payment date. I would think in this day and time you would want to take care of the people who keep coming back.


John says:

Hello Patrick Casey,

Thanks so much for writing to me. We do offer rate protection with our Early Saver promotions. However, this promotion come with several restrictions that guests must agree to in booking this promotion. It simply would not be fair to protect rate reductions for guests that did not have to agree or adhere to such guidelines. Overall I believe most find this to be fair. Please though let me know if you have a follow up to this or if there is anything else I can do for you.

Best wishes



Kurt George asks:

Mr Heald,

My beautiful wife and I will be enjoying our 10th cruise with Carnival on the Carnival Pride this coming September! My question to you is will we be afforded all the wonderful perks that Platinum members enjoy on this sailing or will we have to wait until we embark on our 11th sailing? I’m trying to figure out if I need to bring my normal amount of underpants, or if I can cut back because of the free laundry service offered. (Please extend my apologies in advance to the poor soul with whom this task is charged!) Thank you for your attention, and Godspeed!


John says:

Hello Kurt George,

I am proud to tell you that you will both receive your Platinum cards at the start of the cruise and I hope you enjoy all the benefits that come with it. Have a brilliant time and let our staff serve, entertain and wash your underpants for you. Best wishes and many thanks to you both for your amazing loyalty.



Ashley asks:

Dear John :

My parents took my sister and me on our first cruise last year to celebrate our respective graduations.  I thought it was a terrible idea… Boy was I wrong!  I had the best time ever on the Carnival Valor! In fact, I had such a good time, that when I got the winter blues this year, I decided to book a cruise on the Carnival Victory.  Along with my sister, we will be headed for a girls week on the Fun Ship starting May 13! We have been so excited for our trip and have been reading your blog to pass the time.  So far we have made it back to the 2010 archives!  We were wondering if we promised not to dump red wine on each other in the piano bar and start a sisterly scuffle requiring security (blog reference), if you would be so kind to send us a little something in our room?  We will be in stateroom 8268 and our booking number is ******.  Thank you so much!  We look forward to reading more of your blog until we set sail… 42 days to go!

Ashley and Ericka


John says:

Hello I am so glad I saw this (bugger, I am 42 days behind as you are sailing now) and have asked the ship to send you something to wish you all a brilliant time together. Have fun and be careful of that red wine.

Best wishes to all.



Shaun Bleikamp asks:

What can be done to celebrate my friend’s achievements of graduating from Rutgers University. She will be on the Carnival Dream on 6/8 with me and three others and we want something special done for her as she has had a difficult few years being at university and being a single parent. This is her chance to relax and have a blast before she starts to work and support her son. Can you make sure she is recognized and spoiled? Her name is Kristie Garcia and the booking is her name and it’s ****** on the Carnival Dream.


John says:

Hello Shaun Bleikamp,

I am sure you must be very proud of your friend and please send her my congratulations. You can go to carnival.com/funshops where you will find a great range of gifts that you and your friend may wish to purchase for Kristi and I know she would appreciate that very much. I will also send her a little something as well. I wish you all a brilliant time.

Best wishes.



And that’s all we have time for today and my thanks for all your kind words. So today we started another cruise and as always I would like to share who is sailing with us and where we are going and who is entertaining the guests.


TOTAL GUESTS                                                   2,185

BRITISH                                                                    437

CANADIAN                                                              306

FRENCH CANADIAN                                             84

RUSSIAN                                                                  36

SPANISH                                                                   64

WIFE AND DAUGHTER                                         0 🙁

GUESTS UNDER 21                                                59



And this is the voyage and who will be entertaining them


Thu, May, 16


Welcome Aboard Show

dep @ 5pm


Fri, May, 17


Brett Cave/Piano Ent


Roman Murray/Mark Simmons



Sat, May, 18

at sea

Jazz Hott


Roman Murray/Mark Simmons



Sun, May, 19


Emily Reed/ Vocalist





Mon, May, 20




John Lory/Andy Leach



Tue, May, 21


Goronwy Thom/Juggler


John Lory/Andy Leach



Wed, May, 22







Thu, May, 23


Joe West/Multi Inst





Fri, May, 24


Guest Talent Show and Liars Club




Sat, May, 25

at sea

Big Easy


John Rathbone/Mike Macy



Sun, May, 26


Paul Emanuele


John Rathbone/Mike Macy



Mon, May, 27
















Great shows and certainly the variety the guests are seeing here is superb and I am very lucky that the beards allow me to select who the fly on entertainers will be. The six comedians include two British chaps who are really funny and lend a different style to their North American colleagues and the fact that we have 437 Brits means we have something for everyone I think.


Also entertaining the guests here is our piano bar entertainer and we have a new chap joining us this cruise and as we are talking about piano bar entertainers, here is a look at the current schedule which since the last time I posted it has had a few changes. Here it is with the first column the day they leave the ship and as you can see we have also scheduled some ships for their replacements:



Milburn Dumas


Bob Berhalter




Derrek Robertson


Martin Gast




Greg Sampson


Bruce McGhie




Ron Passalacqua


Ben Gentry



David Filsinger


Douglas Ross




Michael Geier






Jim Morris






Augustin Villarin








Augustin Villarin




Peter Brenner


Jim Morris




Robert Crucilla






Lizl Strauss


Dana Honey




James Quigley


David Filsinger



Martin Aucoin






Billy Reid


Seth Gibson




Andrew Pobjoy






Hrvoje Knezevic






Angela Johnson





Hailey Wiebe






Joe Nagy






Larry Maconaghy





Rick Yerkes






Tom Grable






Roger Concepcion






I hope you all appreciate us posting this as I don’t think any other cruise line is as open as we are when it comes to posting schedules like this and the cruise director schedule as well but we know how important they are too many. Laura – aka Divetrash – has a Facebook page that she runs that is dedicated to these wonderful entertainers and I would ask her to post her link as usual in the comments section below the end of this blog.


Talking of Facebook I was chatting about this with a friend of mine Alison the other day and how her daughter who is wonderful, smart and intelligent 18-year-old who loves her Mum very much……….has defriended her from Facebook. I guess this will happen to most parents but when Mum and Dad first set up an account, aged 12 or so, they instantly befriend every adult they know. You love the fact that they “like” butterflies or Disney World. But a year later you wonder aloud if your daughter really needs to post so many shots of herself wearing red lipstick and a tube top and suddenly that’s it: you’re dead to them. Slowly, every other adult is unfriended. Except maybe their cool Aunty who knows Justin Beiber’s manager or hip uncle who is uber cool. And then suddenly, you Mum and Dad are unfriended. But thinking about it, when Kye is 18 I don’t think I will want to see what she’s saying on Facebook which by the time she is 18 will be implanted in her wrist.


It was impressive seeing the kids on the ship this week who have had a tutor with them providing four hours a day every day of school work. Plus I met another family who were able to take their three children on this Carnival Legend 12-day cruise because they “home school” them. This seems to me to be more and more popular in North America but not so much in the UK though. Heidi and I were talking about this during our steakhouse meal a few nights ago and if we would ever home school Kye? We decided no, we probably would not.


Heidi is worried that I would only teach her to tell bad jokes and to say “bugger.” I have already taught her jokes about poo and if I can, by the time she is five, have taught her to say “H82SEAUGOPETESTORM lives under a bridge” and to draw a troll with huge ears and a massive boil on his/her bottom………….she will have in my mind at least ………….have graduated.


So, as promised here are more great photos of Carnival Sunshine and my thanks to Mr. Radu for his brilliant work once again. We start with the new beer station where guests can grab a glass, swipe their sail and sign card and PYOB ……..pour your own beer. You have a choice of real beer as in ThirstyFrog Red or water with a head on it or American-style light beer as it’s sometimes known. Seriously………….what a fantastic idea and from what I hear it is very popular.


Next up we have the thrill of the Water Park which is open and treating guests to screams of fun.








Candy anyone? Time to find your sweet spot at Cherry on Top.

Ocean Plaza is one of the superb new additions to the Carnival Sunshine and like it is on the Dream-class ships it will be a center of attraction for sure.



The Alchemy Bar is the place for outrageous cocktails where our mixologists have a recipe designed just for you



And now the place to sit and enjoy a Mojito, a Cuban iced tea and a selection of zesty Cuban “style” sodas. And of course we have caliente musica Latina from our brilliant band “Latin Nights.”





Back here on the Carnival Legend all is well. It has taken a bit of adjusting being on a ship that isn’t the biggest and newest in the fleet but I absolutely can tell why the Spirit-class is a firm favourite with so many of you. The ship was built in 2002 and like everything that’s made in Finland she was built to last but a few things have taken some getting used to.


I have to say I am having a problem adjusting to the way the cabin lights on. On my last ship the Carnival Breeze there is that key card system that when you stick the card in the lights are all on in a millisecond.  That is not the case on the Carnival Legend. Two nights ago I had one of those desperate moments where I had been on stage and from the moment I had said “good evening ladies and gentlemen” I had needed to pee. I rushed back to the cabin, ran into the bathroom, turning the light switch on as I grappled with my zipper and explored the cave for the beast. And as I pointed the beast at the porcelain, the lights were in their disco stage and were still flickering which meant I missed the target completely……and let me tell you……. my stateroom steward Ketut isn’t happy.



Your friend,


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