May 20, 2013 -

John Heald

Want to see how a creamy pastry got me in trouble? Then read on.


Sent: Saturday, May 18, 2013 2:44 PM
Subject: **** – comments made by CD


Hi John,

Mr. _______ asked that you contact him, John. He was at your travel talk this morning, John, and was unhappy to hear a joke you made about the Mafia in Italy. Guest is of American/Italian family and would like you to speak with him. Thank you and kind regards.

Guest Services Associate, Carnival Legend
Carnival Cruise Lines


Joke?………….I didn’t tell a joke about the Mafia. Anyone who has cruised with me in Europe will know what I say here because I was just talking about Messina, Sicily, and how in Taormina there is a famous pastry shop that states that they invented the famous Italian pastry the “cannoli.” I then mentioned my favourite line from a movie is from the Godfather, “Leave the gun, bring the cannolis.” OK, I said that line in a crude Marlon Brando impression. I then said that on the tour, The Footsteps of the Godfather, that you could visit many of the areas made famous by the most famous Mafia movie of all time. And this guest is upset at this – oh FFS ………….or……as they say in Sicilian……….“stugots.”


Anyway, I called the guest who is a member of an Italian-American organisation that is fighting to stop the movie and TV industry portraying Italian Americans as ………….well………..the “M” word. Most importantly to me was the fact that this guest has done 14 cruises with Carnival so I explained and apologised that I meant no offence but was simply describing the cannoli in the best way I thought I could. I think he accepted my apology which is great and I will be sending him a cannoli later in the cruise after we leave Messina.


These days you never know who you are going to upset. You could give me any subject matter: Creamy Italian pastries, cigars, mattresses, helping people, what’s the best hemorrhoid cream and I bet that after half an hour, I would hear from someone who was prepared to be angry about it. The problem is simple. If I say, on this page or my Facebook page, that I believe it is every cow’s divine right to end up on my dinner plate surrounded by crispy roast potatoes, then someone in an attic with a website will jump on my case and say what a bastard I am for saying this and that I should be fired and water boarded, tied to a Carnival Comfort Bed mattress and have my flaccid buttocks beaten with NCL beach towel by H82SEAUPETE.


Unfortunately, in the current climate it is no longer possible to express an opinion or make light of the world we live in because you are bound to upset a pressure group that then runs around waving its arms in the air and calling for you to be fired.  This week alone I have been bollocked for lying about the fact that we have changed our mattress provider and that all the beds are uncomfortable. We haven’t and they are not. And I was sent a charming comment that was posted to my blog by a lovely lady who called me a “douche bag” …….had to ask Uncle Google what that was………….and who referred to the many people who wished my daughter a happy 4th birthday as “a** lickers.” I can only wonder what I did to make her so mad at me and indeed ……mad at you.


When I started this blog and indeed my Facebook page that now has 36,000 like thingies, my only worry then was that an old girlfriend would post something stating that I had the love- making skills of a Benedictine monk. But I have seen these past few years that Facebook and the blog can be a public arena in which friends, family and colleagues can spread gossip and tell the world that you like to dress in stockings and suspenders and that on your stag night the romantic interlude you had with a stripper called Lucinda was, in fact, a romantic interlude with a stripper called Jim……..and your friends have the photos to prove it. So no more mention of the Mafia at my travel talk and no more stereotyping of Italian- Americans for which again I apologised to the guest sincerely and which I think he accepted. I just hope he forgives me as I don’t want to wake up with a horse’s head in my bed……. do I?  


OK, I am going to make you an offer you can’t refuse and that’s some Q and A……forgetaboutit


Janice Dean asks:

Hello John,

My family will be aboard the Carnival Dream on 6-29-13. We are looking forward to our cruise. My bucket list has included a Behind The Fun Tour. Unfortunately, we will not be able to board early and I am concerned the tour will be booked by the time I get there. Is there any way to book prior to the cruise? Thank you.

Janice Dean


John says:

Hello Janice Dean,

I am sure you are looking forward to your cruise and indeed that Behind the Fun tour. Unfortunately, we are unable to sell this online or here on my blog and it is only available once on board. However, most of the time, the tour does not sell out until the end of the first sea day after the CD advertises it so if you go to the shore excursion desk on Deck 3 on embarkation day or night, I am pretty confident that you will be able to purchase tickets for this. I wish you all a great time and please let me know if there is anything else I can do for you.

Best wishes.



Naddav R. asks:

Hello John,

I was on the Carnival Dream last summer and had the time of my life, and I was wondering, do all ships have a pasta bar? I am booked for the Carnival Sensation for the second time and I just want to know. Have a good one.



John says:

Hello Naddav R,

The pasta bars are a feature only on the Carnival Dream and indeed now on Carnival Magic, Carnival Breeze and Carnival Sunshine where they have the pasta bars for lunch and then the Cucina del Capitano restaurant at night. Carnival Sensation does not have one, I am afraid, but I am sure you will enjoy the food and all the fun. If there is anything I can do for you, please let me know.

Best wishes and have a brilliant cruise.



Chloe Menzies asks:

We are just off the Conquest where we had a Cruise Critic meet and greet for 55 people. You sent two bottles of champagne and two ships on sticks to us but not wanting to sound ungrateful, some of us thought that compared to the meet and greet we have had on other lines, that this was much less than we are used to. There were no nibbles or door prizes for every Cruise Critic member and then the big complaint was that the captain or cruise director never stopped by and met us all. Just saying that Carnival doesn’t take care of us like other lines and I wanted you to know the feeling of the roll call. The positives were Adriana who looked after our cabin and the dynamic duo of Joel and Svetlana at table 247. We didn’t care for the new style shows much and also found the new recipe of the chocolate melting cake to be not close to the old one and wonder if this is another Carnival cutback. Overall, a good cruise that was soured by the lack of attention at our meet and greet so hope this can be changed for the next time


John says:

Hello Chloe Menzies,

I hope you all had a wonderful time and enjoyed meeting the people you had been writing with on Cruise Critic. I am also glad you received the two bottles of champagne and two trophies that I sent for you to raffle off. While we appreciate you all booking a cruise with us, we don’t offer anything like food or prizes for everyone who comes. Each week I help organise lounges for Cruise Critic groups to meet and do provide the four gifts I mentioned but we don’t offer anything else, I am afraid. The CD will, if his schedule allows, stop by but on a busy sea day that is sometimes not possible and the same goes for the captain. The chocolate melting cake recipe has not changed since its inception so I am not quite sure what you mean and if it was not cooked to your liking, please know you can always address this with your waiters or the maître d’ and I am sure they will get you a different one. So, I hope you had fun and I hope we see you all again and if you need me to help you reserve a lounge please let me know.

Best wishes.



Martin Haff asks,

My wife and I will be on the July 4 four-day cruise on the Carnival Sensation. For personal reasons, we do not want any cabin cleaning done. We have our own towels and do not want the cabin cleaner to come to our room. I would like this request to be dealt with before the cruise so that we don’t have the embarrassment of having to tell the cabin cleaner ourselves. Can you please make sure this is something that is done for us?


John says:

Martin Haff,

Yes, of course, I will make sure this information is sent to the ship and that they are aware you do not wish the cabin steward to service the cabin at all. He or she may stop by as required by our own rules to make sure all is OK but no service will be given unless there is something you need. Have a great cruise.

Best wishes.



Mary Vines asks:

I just wanted to let you know that my husband and I just returned from our fourth cruise (third with Carnival) on Carnival Conquest. We celebrated our five-year anniversary in Jamaica, Grand

Cayman, and Cozumel. We had a great time, as usual. We loved Gary as our cruise director. He was also our cruise director on the Carnival Elation last year. The comedians were great, especially Azheem and Scotty K. The food was great as always. My husband eats quite a bit and he loves being able to eat so much on the cruises. We did the canopy excursion in Montego Bay and I cannot say enough good things about it. The zip-line was great and the men working it were very entertaining!! The food was great (could’ve eaten more chicken, YUM) the bobsled was fun and the view on the lift was AMAZING. I have the best pictures. Possibly the most beautiful place I have been. The only thing I didn’t like was having to use the other port in Grand Cayman. (They explained it was due to weather.) It was very difficult to get a taxi from there. (We eventually did and enjoyed the Seven Mile Beach). However, we had a great time and I just don’t see how people can complain about cruising. I believe it is the best vacation you can take for the money and value. Hope to go again next year. I am thinking Hawaii.


John says:

Hello Mary Vines,

What a wonderful review and I am so glad that you have written this wonderful advertisement for the Carnival Conquest and indeed for the beautiful island of Jamaica. I will make sure that the ship’s senior management gets to see these kind words of praise and I know they will enjoy reading this as I did. A cruise to Hawaii sounds like a great idea and if there is anything I can do to help with this or indeed anything at all please let me know.

Best wishes to you both.



Sue Mulliner asks:

Hello John,

We were on the Carnival Valor last week (April 7 – 14), and wanted to give you our positive feedback. Our first cruise was on the Carnival Triumph over a decade ago, then two on Norwegian. Your Time Dining convinced us to try Carnival again and we were so glad we did. A really excellent experience and with much better food and entertainment than Norwegian. A special note of high praise for the table magician in the Lincoln dining room, (Zolt?). We loved him. Thanks!

Sue & Phil Mulliner


John says:

Hello Sue Mulliner,

Thanks so much and what a joy to read you had such fun on the Carnival Valor. I have sent your kind words to the right people and I know they will be thrilled and proud. I will also see that Lincoln gets to see your very kind words. We will continue to work hard to make the cruise experience even better and so I hope we will see you again very soon.

Best wishes.



Carl Shaddock asks:

$10 cork fee, what a pile of bull ****. Another way to make money and fleece the passengers. I laughed when the waiter told me he wanted $10 for him to open the bottle I had come on the ship with. How can you charge this when other cruise lines do not?!!! How to lose passengers – charge them $10 to open a bottle of wine I bought ashore for $12, that’s how.


John says:

Hello Carl Shaddock,

I am so sorry to see you so upset by this and I am glad you have given me a chance to explain. I think I am correct in saying that like many restaurants on land, cruise lines have a corkage fee for the staff to open the wine during dinner. Obviously, we hope that our guests will look at our extensive wine selection and buy something to complement their meal. If not, and they do decide to bring a bottle purchased ashore into the dining room, then we do charge the $10 for the waiter to pour the wine and to provide a service. Please do not be upset about this as it is a standard practice in the hospitality industry and I hope now as you look back you will remember lots of fun times and that we will therefore see you again soon.

Best wishes.



Ed Foss asks:

Recovering from a bad Disney cruise, I’ve booked the May 30 sailing of the Carnival Ecstasy.  I can’t figure out if this ship has a poolside video screen (Fun vision).  Also we considered changing our reservation to the May 27 sailing on the Carnival Fascination because it was scheduled to receive some of the Fun Ship 2.0 upgrades.  Did it actually happen?  Does the Carnival Ecstasy or Carnival Sensation have any of the 2.0 upgrades?  Thanks!


John says:

Hello Ed Foss,

I am sorry to hear that you did not have a good cruise with Disney and I hope you are ready to have fun with us on board the Carnival Ecstasy. None of the Fantasy-class ships have the 2.0 upgrades although they did receive the previous upgrades that we called Evolutions of Fun with Serenity, a huge water park, a redesigned pool and more. I am sure you will have the best of times and between now and then if there is anything I can do for you, please let me know.

Best wishes.



Edith Wiseman asks:

Will Carnival ever offer its Platinum members like me free Internet? I think it’s just not fair that we should have to pay the same price as everyone else. Princess has free internet for its VIPs and so does Royal so why not Carnival? On May 22, 2013 my husband and I will be on our 12th cruise on the Carnival Victory and I trust that you will receive this message in plenty of time to have the free internet ion place and I am sure I speak for the other VIPs as well. We cruised with you on the trans-Atlantic when you came on the Carnival Magic in Freeport when there was a long line to complain to you in Freeport because of failings to the engines.


John says:

Hello Edith Wiseman,

I do indeed remember joining the Carnival Magic in Freeport and that long line of people who wanted to say hello and some who wanted to tell me about their cruise, it was great to meet so many people. I am afraid at the moment we have no plans to introduce the free Internet you mentioned and I will though make sure that I send your comments to the people who are looking at the VIFP program and where we go with it from here. I hope you have a wonderful cruise and enjoy all the perks that do come with the loyalty you have shown us.

Best wishes to you both.



Bob & Chris LaFata asks:

Hi John,

Will the Carnival Legend still have the big band and big production show in November? Or will it be the Playlist eight-person shows? Thanks for all you do.

Chris & Bob


John says:

Hello Bob & Chris LaFata,

The Carnival Legend has a cast of 15 and a 10-piece big band who will perform the Jazz Hot and Big Easy shows ready for you in November. Have a brilliant cruise and please let me know if there is anything I can do for you.

Best wishes to you both.



That’s all for today and thanks for all the comments and questions. OK, let’s talk about music for a change because we haven’t spoken about that for at least an hour. Over the past few months I have read a lot of comments from you expressing your wishes for more live music on Lido deck and the return of the steel drum bands of which I will talk more later. Now, I should also mention that I also see comments like this one, as well.


Nathan Aldrick asks:

John – there are many young people who cruise your boats who enjoy the atmosphere the DJs bring to the Lido on the sea days. We don’t want steel drum bands or boring music and there should be consideration to us, as well. Keep the DJs, please. The girl DJ on the Splendor was awesome!!


John says:

Hello Nathan Aldrick,

Yep, I agree. We do have lots of young people who enjoy the DJs and older people too and I think most do an excellent job in the music they play on Lido and the atmosphere they create there. I will pass on your kind words to the DJ on the Carnival Splendor and thanks so much for taking the time to write.

Best wishes.



So, different opinions on this and it’s our job to appease as many of you as we can. Let me say now though that I am pushing for more live music on the deck. Personally, I would like to see a four-piece band on deck offering a cross section of Caribbean and popular music in addition to the great DJs who bring their own superb atmosphere to sunny days at sea. But let me make my own position clear, I love live music. For me, there is nothing better and I am putting my weight (insert fat joke here) behind the return of more live music on Lido Deck.


Although I think the DJs on board do a superb job at catering to all of our guests’ musical tastes, I really liked the steel bands. These were nice. They played nice steely drum music like, “I Shot the Sherriff” and other island music but after a while…….every piece of music sounded the same and became…….well, slightly annoying. So then we went to four-piece reggae bands. These were much better and played a whole variety of Caribbean music including all the favourites that people expect to hear and, unlike the steel drum bands, they could be used in other inside areas of the ships at night.

So, “Why not just hire a new band then,” I hear you say? Well, it’s not that easy. This is a subject that last time I tried to explain I was ridiculed here and on cruisemoaners.com for basically making this up. Well, I am not and it often makes me laugh out loud when people refuse to believe that people who actually work on board the ships may know just a tiny bit more than someone who, just because they have made 40,000 posts, believes they know everything.


It’s a matter of mathematics. You see, each department has a certain number of beds allocated to them and there are a finite number of crew cabins available. Yes, it would be easy to just hire more musicians but where do they sleep? What we have to do and what was already done on the Carnival Sunshine was to look at what we have, make some changes and adjust without going over the allotted cabins for the entertainment department. And from what I have heard from the Carnival Sunshine the beards have done a brilliant job with this and that the live music selection there is superb.  The beards have heard your comments here and on my Facebook page and I (with the exception of the return of four chaps banging empty garbage cans with sticks) want to see more island/fun music on Lido Deck and I would love to see it played live so………..let’s see what happens and, meanwhile I will ask that all our superb DJs include as much island music as they can.


I am, now and then being bollocked by on Facebook, the blog and I am sure on other websites that I care not to read for all sorts of things. I’m portrayed by a few as a, racist, bigoted company spin doctor who works for the devil incarnate — or Carnival Cruise Lines as they are sometimes called. Here is one such comment.


David H Clark

I know your blog is marshaled by your “brilliant” beards who refuse to allow through any comment that does not fit Carnival’s own bigoted view. The censorship of written comments here is so bad that I have stopped reading it. As the brand ambassador can you honestly say Heald that you are proud to represent a company that has had incidents that have made news headlines for weeks on end with the Triumph fire and the Dream’s engine failure? When you go to bed at night you must have nightmares about who you work for. Can you really stand behind the people who are running Carnival into the ground?!!!!!!!!!!  Brilliant!


Let me say this, Mr. Clark and that is I think I have proven over the years I have been writing in this blog that I post the good and the bad as shown again in today’s Q and A.


You know, I used to take comments like this to heart but not anymore. I have, I guess, worked out that it makes no difference. My wife and daughter still love me. People still read my blog and Facebook page and guests still laugh at my silly jokes on stage and at night when I go to sleep I feel I have done my best to be a good cruise director and a caring brand ambassador and unless I am constipated………I sleep very well indeed. And that brings me to this article that I also posted on my Facebook page last week and for those who missed it, here it is again.




I really enjoyed and really appreciated that article and I know that Gerry and the beards enjoyed reading it as well. All of us who work for Carnival should remember that many hundreds of thousands of people continue to support and to truly love the Carnival product and still trust us to give them the most brilliant, safe, affordable fun vacation in the world.


So David H Clark, in answer to your question…………yes, I do stand 100 percent behind the people I work with. When I am asked, I am still filled with pride when I tell someone I am Carnival Cruise Lines senior cruise director and brand ambassador. And I still get a shiver of excitement every time I hear laughter at something I have said from on stage or see that 40,000 people read a single post on Facebook about a young man called Will and the amazing generosity and care showed to him by my Carnival colleagues.


It seems to me that these days Carnival’s success is rarely praised, but failure is always criticized …………………… and we will all continue to work hard to change that.



Your friend,


Comment Policy

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


  1. Rob Dobson says:

    John, In all regards, by my writing and posting on your stuff, I have always been respectful and backed you up, but this time I think the people are wrong, for real, your making a funny, people need to get a life! Its a funny and jokeing round, afterall they are on VACATION, people are way to serious! keep up the good work, To the beards stop being so picky!!!!

  2. allan stonehouse says:

    Hi John, I just wanted to say after doing23 cruises with Carnival, we have 3 more booked for Jan and Feb,2014. I know you get some posts that people just complain ( I think its because they just want to hear their own talk..LOL ) But I just wanted to let you know that we will only travel with Carnival . We have done a couple other cruise ships but in the end, Carnival is the best !!!!

    Hope you have a great season, and we look forward to having you on another cruise with us… We where on your very first bloggers cruise , and had a blast!!!

    Take care
    From a very loyal Carnival Cruiser 🙂

  3. Carol Hoefs says:

    John, The newspaper column written by that guy about Carnival was FANASTIC! Kudos to him for making the statement he did in the article.
    I wish that article could be published in all US papers
    Carol Hoefs

  4. Irene says:

    Edith Wiseman….you do realise that you probably paid more for those cruises on Royal and Princess Cruise lines. That’s why the Internet was free. I’d rather pay less for my cruise and if I want internet I will be happy to pay for it. BTW I cruise to get away from the outside world. My family knows where I am and would not contact unless there was an emergency.

  5. Randall Anson says:

    John- Re: Carnival Positives!

    We were married on the Ecstasy in Dec 1991 taking our families with us. It was an extraordinary experience. Relatives who had poor opinions of Carnival quickly switched teams to raving fans.

    We took another Carnival Cruise at Millennium (last doomsday) Christmas and New Years to Aruba, Cartagena. Stunning cruise. So many extra things were done by Carnival for EVERYONE aboard, we were amazed!

    We took the Destiny’s final voyage TA to Venice just last February, followed immediately by and NCL and a Costa cruise. Carnival was head and shoulders above both other lines for our needs. Nice cruises, but we missed being on Carnival.

    So for this fall, we have booked the Sunshine for Oct 11, Oct 20, and Nov 1 TA. So did many of the folks on the Destiny TA with us.

    People can always find fault in a multi-day experience such as a cruise. As far as we are concerned, we have never had a bad cruise with any line, but Carnival is over the top our favorite.

    I always say to the complainers on board—-“How was that flight?”

    Carnival is still doing a great job, and we always try to take Carnival. To say it is our first choice would be an understatement of immense proportions.

    We are now both retired, and with the consistent valuse offered by Carnival, you will be seeing us quite often.

    By the way, I couldn’t care less about anyone’s VIP status. We have never had a problem with boarding or with debarkation on Carnival.

    Read your blog everyday.

    Someday you will retire and you can stay home, while the rest of us travel the world on Carnival!

    Please pass the word on about AnnaMarie Kiss—yes that is her name. Wonderful bartender in the Lobbby on Destiny. Think she has been reassigned to Triumph. Hope so anyway as we would enjoy seeing her again. Triumph is our favorite as we are near Houston. Let’s get it back soon, please.

  6. Laura says:

    I LOVE CARNIVAL. I love your silly jokes and your British humor! Your blog and FB page make my day! I tell my friends when they have a bad day to be a duck and let it roll. Well, John…be a duck and let it roll. YOU ARE WONDERFUL!!!!

  7. CherylC says:

    It’s great to see more ships added to FTTF. I’ll be Platinum in Sept and would love to go to my Inspiration cabin when I board, but can’t until you add FTTF. When will this happen?

  8. Vicki Longoria says:

    HI John,
    Please reconsider live bands. The experience of a live band is nice in theory, but sound levels in an open area like the Lido (and even in closed rooms) always end up being off- with high end and low end levels bouncing all over the place. I’m a fan of the DJs but sometimes the music selection on the Lido confounds me. There are so many great ‘vacation’ type songs NOT played and so many ‘uh what?’ songs that seem to make it. Songs of celebration and party and ‘it’s five oclock somewhere’ should be carefully selected- ask your readers to send you playlists of cruise music to be considered- make it a contest! Cross reference the selections, see which come up the most and make sure those get played. I see Carnival using this opportunity to put themselves ahead of the game by not doing the same old thing but mixing in international tunes of energy and excitement. John, I’ll send you a playlist with links to the music if you like and why, yes, I would love to apply for the newly created position of Musical Recreation Analyst! Best, Vicki Longoria

  9. Mr Derek says:

    If the people that complain so loudly about there not being ‘nibbles’ and other free things for their ‘meet and bitch’, maybe they should take the money they saved from the booking on Carnival and buy some nuts and cookies as nibbles. They will still come out saving money in the long run and can have something more to eat!

  10. Cesare (Nick) Peralta says:

    David H Clark,

    My wife and I will be taking our 25th Carnival Cruise October 19. We would not have gotten to this milestone if we did not feel safe and truly enjoyed ourselves sailing with Carnival. Unfortunately, some people are not happy if they do not have something to complain about. We have met a lot of nice cruisers and some great Carnival crew members. Mr. Clark my wife and I have had the pleasure of sailing with Mr. Heald on three cruises and find him to be a real humble talented gentlemen. All businesses that deal with the public have mishaps from time to time but life goes on and we all learn and become better. Carnival has treated guests fairly and have taken positive steps to become an even safer cruise line. If you don’t feel safe cruising then take a safe road trip instead driving a car is safer than cruising and people never have accidents and automobiles never have engine fires do they?

  11. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


    Morons like Daivd Clark should just be ignored.

    How did the Dream get back to Florida ON IT’S OWN POWER, if it had engine failure???

    Of course the answer is that the Dream NEVER had engine failure….this moron is just to stupid to know that ….

    I guess some people are just such big losers that even humiliating themselves with their own ignorance on a public forum…..is better than no attention at all.

    As for the people wanting more for their meet and greet……since Carnival enjoys well over 100% occupancy rate, they do not have to waste their advertising funds like other lines who run less that 93%. I appreciate Carnival for keeping costs low by not wasting it just so some entitled child can brag about what “they got” for a meet and greet.

    The same thing for the person wanting free Internet like Princess…..have they compared the price of a Carnival cruise with a Princess cruise?

    Carnival’s Platinum perks are very much in line with the price you pay for a Carnival cruise. Especially when you consider that old Platinum members could get there with as little as 30 sea days under the old plan. No way can you do that on Princess.

    You have always told the Good, the Bad and the Ugly and have given us a voice about our preferences. If people are not smart enough to see this (or are just jealous)…then there is nothing that will ever convince them. Hence why it is just best that they be ignored.

    Linda ( Mom of your friend DJ)

    Typos due to auto correct on this IPad…….

    • Janey Winford says:

      Well said Linda…….I hope all is well with you and the family….hope we’ll be cruising together on BC7….

    • Hugh R Stuk says:

      Linda as a bus riding tourist you only know CCL I booked a 15 night Princess inside cabin for I in Jan for 2848.47 with Insurance The Miracle leaves a day Earlier i also am getting 300 in OBC CCL will charge me 3015.77 without Insurance I am top status on both lines

    • Hugh R Stuk says:

      Linda it is possible to become Platinum on Princess with 3 days at sea by booking 3 1 day cruises between Seattle & Vancouver in a single cabin you can become Elite doing 8 solo 1 day cruises

    • Ally Hampton says:

      Linda (Mom of DJ) Whatever that means. You may want to relook at Princess and their policies. You are dead wrong. As for the pricing you are wrong on that too. I found a Princess cruise for 75.00 more total than on Carnival for the same amount of days. Not too sure why you can think Carnival does no wrong and every other line does everything wrong. Sad really, expand your horizons.

    • Diane says:

      Your name calling never ceases to amaze me. Speaks volumes about you.

  12. Rob says:

    I would just like to note that that link to the orlando sentinel was an “opinion” piece by one person, not actual journalism.

    • Teresa Cooper says:

      And I suppose the over sensationalized reports on the Triumph fire was actual journalism???

  13. trudy says:

    My first cruise was with Carnival and the criteria was the price. I met my now husband on that cruise and we are now planning our 4th cruise, again, on Carnival. I refuse to let bad press dictate my choices. I have read many reviews on all the cruise lines and found there are cranky fussy people on all cruises. I love CCL, I am working on gaining platinum status eventually and wouldn’t dream of wasting my money on any other cruise line. John, remember the serenity prayer, ie., if you can’t fix it, change it or do anything about it, let it go and move on to the stuff you can. Love ya and please don’t stifle that BRILLIANT sense of humor!!!!!

  14. Frances Rodriguez says:

    The old saying goes that you can’t please all of the people all of the time. There are just some people that lead a negative life. I pray for people like that. My brother seemed to find fault in nearly everything on the cruise. I don’t plan on ever cruising with him again. That being said, he just booked another cruise with Carnival for this summer. That’s what it boils down to. If someone is on vacation and can’t relax, there is nothing Carnival can do to save them from themselves.
    When I fill out a survey and have some criticism, I don’t make it personal. I try to make my comments constructive. I love Carnival and want them to succeed. I don’t want to go anywhere else.

  15. Diane F says:

    While I have only 40 days sailing on Carnival – soon to be 52 after our cruise in July, I find it terribly gauche the way platinum and diamond guests complain about their perks, or lack of them. If you don’t like the policies of Carnival, then sail with someone else and pay much, much more for your cruise. Kwitcher, bitchin. You sound like a two year old.

  16. Ed Bell says:

    John I’m am so sick of cruise critic members wanting something for free I want to puke. It’s like every two weeks you get the complaint letter. We want more, x cruise line gives us more. Then why the hell are they on Carnival. Probably the price. If they want to pay 50% more to get snacks go there. And why does a computer make them more important than 2500 to 3500 other passengers. Because to be a cruise critic member the requirement is ability to go online. I really don’t think even half of these complainers were even on a cruise. Same thing over and over. Enough already. Don’t know how or why put up with the bs from anything to do with cruise critic. There are hundreds of cruise web sites and no others demand something ever, ler alone ever couple weeks. Thanks for all youdo.

  17. Diane Alexander says:

    I was really really really sincere wishing your daughter a very Happy Birthday!

  18. Gary and Chris Byler says:

    Dear John,
    My husband and I just completed 22 nights aboard Carnival Miracle April 14, Long Beach to Vancouver via Hawaii and again May 7, Seattle to Seattle via Alaska. We tried to cruise April 30 on Miracle, Vancouver to Seattle via Alaska, but the Jones Act put a wrench in that. Can’t that be addressed as it wasn’t written to include cruise lines, but unfortunately it messes things up!

    But what I really wanted to ask about…the beds on Miracle are not comfortable! I was fortunate that my room stewart, Sherwin, put an egg-crate mattress pad on our bed to help somewhat. but I have to say, I think the mattresses on Miracle have seen better days. I am an avid cruiser and have 19 Carnival cruises under my belt. We loved our cruises and we have another cruise booked on Legend for the transatlantic crossing in September, 2013. My concern is the bed…I hope the beds are much better on Legend! Thanks for letting me vent. I am excited to get even closer to Diamond status, only 70 more cruise nights to go!

    Chris Byler

    • Luis R says:

      The Jones Act relates to cargo ships and it’s not what prevented your trip. It’s the Passenger Vessel Services Act that did. Similar to the Jones Act it states that vessels transporting passengers between US ports must be US flagged unless they visit a foreign port. Cruise ships are passenger vessels.

  19. Robert Ramunno says:

    brando didnt say “leave the gun take the canoli ” it was clemenza, but I guess you havent seen the movie as many timesas I have

  20. Alex G. says:


    Maybe you should do your research a little better on other cruise lines rather than making up pitiful lies that other cruise lines don’t charge a corkage fee. I believe NCL charges $10 as well and Royal Caribbean charges a ridiculous corkage fee of $25! I will never understand why trolls got nothing better to do.


    The bottom line is that you are brilliant at what you do, and I have always enjoyed your stories. Thank you for keeping us entertained!

    -Alex G.

  21. Bruce Press says:

    John after 30 in years in law enforcement I have found that he who complains the most and loudest is normally the guiltiest. Mr. Mafia complained because he probably has relation that are connected. If I saw him I would let him know that. In spite of Hollywood there is no such thing as a good member of the Mafia.

  22. carl rice says:

    GREAT BLOG……KEEP up the great work!

  23. Lisa adorno says:

    I am so disgusted by people sometimes! Whining, ungrateful, hateful people who think the world revolves around them and that everything they say is what everyone else believes! Ugggg. I don’t know how you do it! I really don’t. You are a wonderful, funny, loving human being. Most of us appreciate everything you do. We appreciate that you keep us informed good or bad what is happening with our beloved carnival! I love carnival and cannot imagine ever changing my mind about that! I will happily pay my corking fee, I will happily pay for my Internet, I will be grateful for any perks that come with being platinum. If I am at a group get together on a ship I will be happy that a meeting space was made available to us and I will be happy that any sort of gift is offered. Contrary to what those hateful, spoiled people think most of us do not agree with what they say! How obnoxious that they even say those words! Please be assured that you have true friends and fans who have your back! Thank you so much for everything you do for your friends and fans! 🙂

  24. Ralph says:

    David Clark & Carl Shaddock,

    Go back to riding Greyhound. It’s perfect for both of you!!!

  25. Luis R says:

    Carl Shaddock, good luck with your $12 bottle of wine in the other cruise lines. They all charge at least a $15 corkage fee with some (like NCL) charging as much as $30. There are two lines (Costa and MSC – both Italian perhaps a connection) that don’t but you won’t be able to bring your $12 wine bottle onboard anyway. A short search in Google is enough to find that you are lying when you say other lines don’t charge a corkage fee.

  26. Ben Chappell says:

    Hi, John…I sailed with you in 1995 on the brand-new Imagination, in 2010 on the Carnival Splendor, and in 2011 on the brand-new Carnival Magic. I’m saddened that you’re having to change your personal style that has made so many cruises so memorable for so many, just to suit the lowest-common-denominator needs of the overly sensitive. I understand the bind that you’re in, in your position…but I wanted you to know that I hate it when someone so dear to so many is held hostage by the vocal minority. Chin up! 🙂

  27. Hi John,

    We are sailing on the Carnival Inspiration on May 31 (19th time onboard) to celebrate my 67th birthday and our last cruise before my total hip replacement surgery. We have been sailing Carnival for the past 27 years and celebrated my 40th nirthday omboard the Tropical in 1986. As both a passenger and an agent I want you to know that I think Carnival does an outstanding job and I sipport the brand 100 % because Carnival has continued to support the West Coast when the competition pulled out of California.

    Thank you for the outstanding job you do and may you continue to bring joy for many years to come’

    Karen Burnham and Bob Petersen

  28. robin says:

    Hello John

    Thank you for another great blog, you know I read the article and I agree unfortunately in this world people are to quick to judge, and will always focus on the negative aspects of news stores.

    Its interesting working in the Travel industry how much people listen to the news and opinions and you do find yourself daily reminding people that the internet is a forum to voice opinions and points of view, no one says one is right, one is wrong….. I think its about maintaining a balance!

    Sorry thought i would give my opinion.

    Keep up the good work chap, and thanks for reminding us, to not take life to seriously!



  29. Jeff Lutz says:

    Hi John
    Just wanted to say keep up the good work! I enjoy reading your blog whenever I can and when I see things like todays blog that chastizes you for the mafia comment makes me worry that this blog may end someday and I would hate to see that happen so keep up the good work and thanks for keeping us informed

  30. Paul Salata says:

    In regards to the corkage fee of $10, we think it is quite reasonable, unlike the person above. We carried two bottles on board which we had in the dining room, and bought two more bottles on other days. This was on a Fantasy 5-day out of Charleston. I simply don’t understand why some of these people bother cruise at all.

  31. Eileene Plummer says:

    John, I hope your last statement rings a chord. My family in the hospitality industry brought this home to me years ago, so whenever I have a great experience, I like to make it known.

    @Edith Wiseman: I don’t know you, and you don’t speak for me regarding free internet. Carnival’s fun, low fares & great service keep us coming back, not the perks. Sorry you’re irritated by something so minor. Hope you enjoy your cruise anyway.

  32. joyce geraci says:

    Not all Americans of Italian descent would be offended by your cannoli, Godfather reference.
    My son is second generation Sicillian-American, & his favorite movie is “The Godfather”. His favorite quote is, you guessed it, “Take the gun, leave the cannoli”.
    So don’t even try to be politically correct, you’ll just end up boring us to death!

  33. Steve Koogler says:


    I read all your blogs and it just boggles my mind how much people can complain about the silliest of things. The U.S. has become degraded by the ‘Political Correctness’ of everything. One of my closest and dearest friends from the my 20 years in the U.S. Army was a First Sergeant (black no less) many a weekends would be spent at my wife’s and my apartment in Germany drinking Chivas Regal and eating Calzones watching ‘Blazing Saddles’ (definitely not politically correct) and dying from laughter. My wife never understood. People who go on a cruise and have 99% go right will still complain about that 1% that went wrong.We recently went on the Dream and short of one incident everything was outstanding. So much so that we have booked our next cruise for December.
    You continue to be a wonderful voice for both cruising and Carnival and I appreciate everything you discuss, both good and bad. Keep up the great work.

    Steve K

  34. Karen Raiche says:

    Hi John,
    Over the last few blogs I have read letters from various Platinum cruisers criticizing the perks provided to them by Carnival and touting the perks provided by other cruise lines.
    With 16 cruises under my belts, and 2 more cruises booked, I would like to remind people that Carnival doesn’t have to provide these perks and are not required to provide more. As for what the other lines offer, if I’m not mistaken most of their cruises are more expensive which means that the other cruise lines make up for those perks by charging more for the cruise. So I want to thank Carnival for the perks that they do provide their Platinum cruisers and for keeping the cost of their cruises more reasonable for all cruisers.
    Karen Raiche (one of the original MonkeyHeads)

  35. Jim says:

    🙂 I love these. Just the right combination of diplomacy and ascerbic wit. Watch out for that horse’s head though.

  36. Jules says:

    Wow! it’s actually quite funny your “American-Italian” complainer (whatever that means..?)has an odd strain of Italian blood, I did write Italian not Sicilian, as it’s obviously not that, else he’d have merely tutted at your “joke” is that a non-pc word in America these days..?
    Without going into details (as statistics cannot count what they don’t see or know…)& it’s no different to any other country in the world, merely a stereotyped word from the Godfather films, but, a few facts on why the association is still made, (not as deeply as it actually perpetrates,)Firstly, it’s not even an Italian word:
    – THE WORD MAFIA: The Arabic word mahyas means “aggressive boasting or bragging.” This evolved into the Sicilian adjective mafiusu, which means arrogant, with a determination to dominate others through intimidation and bullying. And of course, people who have incorporated this behaviour into their way of life are the Mafia.
    – Does that mean African Americans should be angry at Italian Americans for utilising their word, and making so much money through the associated name in the restaurant and souvenir industry? And what do you call a Brit-American anyway, AngloAmerican???
    – Secondly, as published in Rome by Confercenti last yeat the Mafia Inc bank had the biggest bank reserve of 65 billion euros, (make that 100 in US dollars)and a profit of 100 billion euros (do the math(s).)over 14% of the Italian GDP. Since then the Italian government have estimated 7% and independent universities over 10%, and that’s based on only the business they know about. As any real Italian let alone Sicilian would say, just like the 3 “animals” (PC correct) “See no evl, say no evil, hear no evil.”
    In the meantime don’t let your humour change or be spoilt for the majority by the minority, stiff upper lip and all that.

  37. Mary Knapp says:

    Mr. Heald — as someone who is also engaged with customer service on a daily basis, may I just remark:

    you have the patience of a Saint.

    With all best wishes to you, Heidi, Kye, and those who are fortunate enough to have you as a colleage — Mary

  38. Lisa says:

    I’m SO happy to hear Carnival is rethinking the music on the Lido deck. There are many places onboard to hear a wide range of music, but on the Lido deck (& especially on a Caribbean cruise) I want to hear a live steel drum band and some Caribbean music, mon! 🙂

  39. Jill Roberts says:

    John, I was wondering if you could pass this on for me. I have tried to leave a comment on the Diamonds International web site, but it does not let me.

    I would like you to know what an asset Candice Hall and Brinda Buxani are to your company (DI). I had the pleasure of meeting them on the Carnival Freedom February 17-23. Their help in the ports were extremely valuble to me in my shopping experience. They worked well with the Carnival shopping expert Will Oldman. They made sure I was getting the best value for my money and they were so great to work with. Again, I can’t say enough about them and the pleasure it was to meet them.
    Thank you.

  40. dave j says:

    Definately need live bands as well as DJ’s. The great live rock/contemporary bands Carnival has employed are not only fun to listen too but also fun to WATCH! DJ’s are good as filler in between live sets, just as in clubs, but not as entertainment! They are simply playing cd’s. Please don’t tell me they are entertainers no matter what they do between songs. Hell John, Kye could be a DJ. I’m sure she knows how to put a disc in and press a button. Admit it, DJ’s are only one person therfore cheaper to hire. Please more live bands of all styles. Tell the Beards to stop trying to Jam as many passengers as possible onto the ships, free up 2 or 3 more cabins for staff.

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