November 12, 2013 -

John Heald

This is not going to be my best blog ever, just letting you know. That’s because I have just come out of one meeting and in between organizing the last details of the Carnival Sunshine naming ceremony I have just had a two-hour meeting with someone who can only be described as ……………ummmm……………boring. The person who was leading the meeting is excellent at his or her job but bloody hell……he or she really is boring. Even if they had just been abducted by a naked space alien with three eyes and a 22 foot long thing who had said “take me to your leader” in a French accent..…he or she would still tell that storing in such a boring way. The meeting this morning was indeed so boring that I wished I was a horse so I could fall asleep standing up. I wish I could have found an excuse not to attend this meeting but when certain beards find out I am in Miami they like to schedule a meeting with. In the old days I would have found an excuse, I used to be really good at that but as I got older I got more responsible ………bugger. I have been thinking about my early life at Carnival recently and you will see why later in the blog and I remember one excuse I used.

One of the girls I dated (I like that — one of the girls – as though I was some sort of Tiger Woods) loved to talk. Her name was Sarah, a massage therapist who I met on the Carnival Sensation. She could talk for hours and one day we were watching a movie in the cabin. It was the beginning of our relationship and I really liked her. But she wouldn’t stop talking. Anyway, the movie was really good and I was aware that she was talking and talking and finally she must have gotten to the point and expected me to answer. But I hadn’t heard a thing which made her mad. Now, I was hoping that a spot of rumpy pumpy might be on the cards later so rather than telling the truth and saying, “I hadn’t heard a word you said love, shut up and let me watch Steven Segal shoot people in the face.” I told her I was deaf in one ear, in an attempt to explain why I hadn’t been listening to her. It worked. She believed me and felt sorry for me.


We were together for six months during which time I kept forgetting which ear it was I was supposed to be deaf in and sometimes I forgot completely. I lived in constant danger of exposure. I got away with it, mind you. And if you’re reading this now, Sarah…..sorry love. Oh by the way ……the relationship ended not because she discovered I wasn’t deaf…..nope……..she realized that she preferred Italian cannoli to British sausage.


My best excuse ever though was when I was a social host. I was supposed to be on gangway duty but had totally slept in. I was meant to be there by 8 am, but I had woken up at 9:15 am. By the time I had gotten showered and dressed I would have been nearly two hours late. Well sod that I thought – I might as well pack my Samsonite now because the CD at the time was not a chap with a forgiving nature. The only sane course of action was to pretend I was sick. So I called the cruise director’s cabin. Now some may have pretended to be sick and called using an “ill” voice. But I knew Mr. Capone my cruise director was a wise chap who wouldn’t fall for that so I called and said “Sorry Mr. Capone. I didn’t get to the gangway this morning. I shat myself in the elevator.”


I went on to explain just how embarrassing it was and how I thought it might’ve been something I ate last night. I told him how I had to waddle back to my cabin, making the description as vivid as I possibly could. I offered to come up to the CD cabin to apologize in person but for some reason my boss told me not to and to take the rest of the day off. I did…..and I slept the day away in my bed and my unsoiled underpants…….you may know that Eddie Capone (the godfather of comedy) and a great friend is still entertaining guests on our ships and is still a brilliantly funny entertainer. However, I have never told him the truth until now….. sorry Eddie


Time for today’s Q and A – let’s crack on.


Susan Morrow asks:

Hi John,

I just returned home a few days ago from sailing with you on the Carnival Legend. I must THANK YOU again for reading my letter about ‘THE RUDE MAN’ in tender line in the port of Edinburgh, Scotland.  I was so surprised to receive your ‘WITH COMPLIMENTS’ bottle.

Thanks again.

Susan Morrow – The Canadian with Pink Hair.


John says:

Hello Susan Morrow,

There is absolutely no need to thank me because I was outraged at what that guest said to you and he needed to know that there was an another side to the story. Most importantly I hope you had a wonderful cruise with us and I wish you health and happiness in future days. Best wishes.



Dorene Sikorski asks:

Hello John, I am a huge fan of you. I recently did the Baltic cruise on the Legend and had an amazing time. Loved watching you and Calvyn on the Morning show. I am booked on the Carnival Splendor December 27 and again next year November 9 with my family including my new grandson who will be 17 months at the time on the cruise.  We are very excited.  I want you to know that I enjoy Carnival cruises and I am hoping you go back to Europe in 2015.  I think my grandson will be Platinum before he is 10 years old.  Thank you again.


John says:

Hello Dorene Sikorski,

That’s two great comments in a row for the Carnival Legend and many thanks to you for taking the time to write. I am so glad that you enjoyed this voyage and I have my fingers crossed that we will return soon. Until then I see you have two more cruises booked which is great news and if there is anything at all I can do for you please do let me know. Best wishes.



D Clark asks:

Heald – you talked about the Vista and how “brilliant” it will be. My suggestion is do not over play this because look what happened with your “brilliant” loyalty program and how you became a laughing stock on Cruise Critic. Suggestion: think seriously about an ice rink. Royal has one and thousands of their passengers book the ship just for that. Regardless stop talking things up when you have no clue most probably what is being done there and until those people you call “beards” stick their hand up your ass and tell their “puppet” what to say.


John says:

Hello D Clark,

How truly wonderful to hear from you. Well, apart from me truly not caring what is thought of me on other web sites I will tell you two things. Firstly, we won’t be adding an ice rink and while I’m sure it is very popular indeed on other cruise lines it’s been done and is not for us. Secondly, I do know some of the things we will be adding on the Carnival Vista and they are yep….  brilliant. And knowing what these new things are I have absolutely no fear or trepidation of saying that. I hope you come and sail with us and see for yourself. Best wishes.



Alfonso Malian asks:

John, can you help with a unique problem. I will be taking a special lady on a cruise this December on the 22 cruise of Carnival Magic in Galveston booking number ******. The unique problem is that I was divorced from my wife Clara for 14 years but last year we started to talk again and have been in a relationship now for six months and its going very good. I was divorced by her because of my drinking problems but I have been dry now for four years. So I am going to propose marriage to her and will do this at the meal time. Can then I have a private table for two people so that we can talk and because I will be nervous she will say no I don’t want other passengers to see me this way. Thank you John for doing the needful with this for me and I hope my wife again.


John says:

Hello Alfonso Malian,

Please don’t worry as I am sure she will say yes and that this time you will do all it takes to make this marriage work. I will take care of the table for you and have spoken to the maître d about this and asked him to assist. So all you need to do is take a deep breath and give her the ring and I hope you have happy and healthy years together. Let me know how it goes if you can please and have a brilliant cruise. Best wishes.



Renee asks:

John when will the rest of 2015 cruises be out. I want to book one for our 20th anniversary and they only go to April 2015. I would like to see Junes schedule.


John says:

Hello Renee,

Please stay tuned as early next year we hope to have all those details for you. Thanks so much and please let me know if you have any other questions.  Best wishes.



Craig Iverson asks:

I like the guitar players on the Carnival Sunshine in our Med cruise but they are very much the same and play very much the same music. Adam was the best of them but we would have liked to have seen more variety. Had a blast though, John


John says:

Hello Craig Iverson,

Yep. I agree and so do the beards and in fact I can tell you that we are changing this and adding more duos and party bands across the fleet during the next few months. We have already started with the Carnival Sunshine that now has a duo and one soloist which makes for more variety. The guitar soloists are great musicians and entertainers but having them and a duo/four-piece band really does give us far more live music options. I am so glad you had a great time and hope we see you again very soon. Best wishes.



Joleen Koprucki  asks:


I just wanted to say bravo to my Carnival PVP Carmen Wilson. I had posted here about a week ago about cruising on the Carnival Glory in February, but due to unforeseen circumstances with the person I was supposed to cruise with I felt it was in my best interests if I cancelled. Carmen was terrific! She called the other person, got me deleted from that booking & got my deposit back ASAP. And a few days later she helped me get set up on another cruise (which is actually the cruise I’d originally been planning to take). Anyway, I just wanted to say how grateful I am to Carnival and their wonderful staff. And of course, John, that includes you and your wonderful humour. Carnival Liberty Here I Come April 5, 2014…YIPPEEEE. Thanks for all you do for us John and your brilliant sense of humour.



John says:

Hello Joleen Koprucki,

Thanks so very much for taking the time to write about Carmen and I am sure she will be thrilled when she sees this. It really is a wonderful advert for our PVPs and I appreciate you sharing this with us. I am glad all is set and if you need anything at all before you sail please let me know won’t you. Until then I wish you a fantastic cruises. Best wishes.



Iain O’Keefe asks:

When will you start spending more time answering questions on this blog and not on Facebook John? You spend too much time on Facebook and I don’t do Facebook because I have a life and am not 16 years old. I sent in this question ages ago and no response was sent to me. My family of 4 will be on the cruise of the Conquest 11/24. My children are aged four and eight and we need early sitting confirmed but for some unknown reason we are wait listed- this is our third cruise and we always get early sitting. Sail Date 11/24/13, Booking number ******. Can you do something about this and help us?


John says:

Hello Iain O’Keefe,

I realise that since Facebook I have not written as many blogs as before but also this has been because of my busy schedule, as well. Therefore I do apologise and am glad that you have written here and I have seen it in time for your cruise. I will ask the maitre d to assist you and I know he will do all he can for you and the family. My apologies again for the delay and I wish you all a great time. Best wishes.


Mindy Worthington asks:

How much does a cruise director earn? I am trying to decide if this is a career path I want to follow but there is no information anywhere about salary and benefits.


John says:

Hello Mindy Worthington,

Obviously I am sure you understand I cannot discuss my salary here but I will say that any crew member who works on a ship in the cruise industry has the chance to save money as board and lodging is included. But the work is hard and takes you away from family for months on end. That aside it’s a wonderful career path and one I have been so lucky to enjoy and I wish you that same luck too. Best wishes.



Deb Shinder asks:

Hello, John. My husband and I are planning to book the July 1 sailing to Alaska. I notice in the CD schedule that for July 2014 on the Miracle, it shows “John Heald off” and “Troy Linton on.” Will you be on that first Alaska sailing of July? It would be fantastic good luck to get to meet you; I enjoy your sense of humor and I know my husband (who is finally about to go on his first cruise with me on the Triumph on October 26) would enjoy it even more. Either way, thanks

for the entertaining and informative blog.


John says:

Hello Deb Shinder,

You are too kind and I will indeed be on the ship for the entire Alaskan season so I look forward to seeing you there ready to explore together and have loads of fun doing so. Thanks again for the kind words and please let me know if you need anything. Best wishes.



Michael asks:

Hi John,

My family will be taking our first cruise on the Carnival Breeze December 1. To say the least we are very excited and can’t wait to experience our first cruise. My question is about dinner times.  My wife and I have 3 children (perfect little angels). They are 12 (almost 13 boy), and 11 and 7 year old girls. What do you feel is the best time for dinner?  I have switched a couple of times from Early to late and back to early. I guess we don’t want to miss anything at night that the might enjoy. What other advice do you have for first timers as we start our cruising adventures?  Thank you for your time and I sure hope you have enjoyed spending time with your family this weekend.


John says:

Hello Michael,

This is an easy question to answer. Please choose what we call Your Time Dining. This allows you to go to dinner any time from 5:30pm – 9:30pm and from your demographics I think this would be perfect for you. Have a chat with everyone and if you need my help with this or anything else please let me know. Best wishes to you all.



And that’s all for today.  Just before I continue I wanted to say I had a great time on the Carnival Legend this past European season and that I miss her very much. She now has a new CD in Brent Mitchell who as usual is doing a great job. However I have to use this medium to write a public apology to him because the day I left the ship in New York and before he moved into the CD cabin I dropped a large Richard the Third (cockney rhyming slang) in the toilet…….and didn’t flush.


Instead I left a Post-It note on the inside of the toilet seat that simply read…… “Handover of the Cruise Director’s Log.” This apparently angered Brent for which I apologise sincerely and should add that I did this before I started my non-carb diet which trust me Brent, would have been much, much worse.


I thought you might like to see the top five ships for October/November as rated by those guests who are sent and complete an online review card.


 1. Carnival Triumph  
  2. Carnival Magic
  3. Carnival Fantasy
  4. Carnival Liberty
  5. Carnival Breeze


Congratulations to the Carnival Triumph, what a journey she has been on these past months and how brilliant it is to see her in the number one position.


So the other day I sat down with a beard called Jim who basically gave me permission to start writing my book, yep finally I can get writing and Carnival will help me with a publisher, etc. Brilliant I thought and went back to the Intercontinentalhyattmarriott full of joy and excitement.

I stripped down to my underpants, sat down, at 5:30pm, with a Diet Coke and bag of Cuban style pork cracklings, and started typing on my laptop. My presumption was that when I finally stood up again— perhaps some time after 7:30pm — I would have my first book about life behind the crew only door completed and ready to give the publisher.


Looking up some time later, I was shocked to see that it was 9:45pm and I had only completed 3 pages. FFS. How could this be? I hadn’t even taken any breaks to watch some Latvian rumpy pumpy or even order some dinner.


So thinking that that, in order to write more quickly and more ummmm…..better………I decided I would have to drop something out of me and then put something in so I went for a number one and a number two and then ordered a Caesar salad with chicken. That, I thought, should give me enough energy to finish chapter one and most of chapter 2. When I looked at the time again it was just 11:30pm and I had written only three more paragraphs plus doodled a picture of a huge gentleman’s sausage.


Since starting the book I have come to realise that it’s not as easy as it looks and that its probably best I know how the book will end and indeed, who’s in it etc. before me and my underpants sit down to write. There is thinking about it so much to choose from with this book, stories that you can’t make up, they can only happen in real life…….real life on board a cruise ship.


I shall be talking about my learning curve as a CD like the time on the Carnival Fantasy in 1991. I had only been in the job a very short time and I must admit I was a bit full of myself. I was the youngest CD Carnival had ever had and I was the first CD not to be a proven entertainer, something which pissed of some of my colleagues I can tell you.


Anyway, I was in the middle of my travel talk for Nassau, which I did before the ship sailed from Miami and was in full flow about the tours and what to see and where to go doing my usual information dissected with various off the cuff remarks and as the talk went on I realised that there were very few laughs coming from the audience. This puzzled me a little but I carried on regardless. I mentioned the casino that Carnival used to own in Nassau called Crystal Palace. We used to send guests there during our overnight stay to see a spectacular show that featured “topless dancers” in a showgirl scenario and some panthers and lions that were so old that they were as ferocious as a hamster wearing pink fluffy slippers.


Anyway, I made my usual reference to the show saying don’t worry about the topless dancers because “If you have seen one you have seen them both” …….usually this joke got a good laugh but this time the laughter was sparse to say the least…….and as I looked up and then suddenly loads of guests stood up and left..…yep……….they walked out together shaking their heads.


I finished my talk in record time and went back to the cabin dumb struck by what I had seen. I called the chief purser (this was before we had hotel directors) and told him what had happened and he said “Didn’t you read your memo; we have 400 Jehovah Witnesses on board?”


Oh FFS. Well I felt an idiot for upsetting these nice people and indeed I had not read the memo which in the days before e-mail came in written form in a big brown envelope which was sitting on my desk………..unopened


I spent the rest of the four day cruise apologising and making sure I said nothing that would upset them further…………but they never forgave me………I don’t think they enjoyed the Male Nightgown Contest too much either and every time there was a knock on my cabin door……..I hid under the bed. Anyway, write I will and obviously with all the expense involved in printing a book I hope some of you buy it. The book itself is all about my journey with Carnival the people I have met and some of the things that have happened along the way. I hope it will, unlike some other books give you a true description of life below decks, the good, the sad and the funny. It should, based on my current writing timeline be ready for Christmas 2019. Kidding, I hope to have it finished and printed as soon as I can and I really hope you will buy it………..and enjoy it.



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. Stephanie says:

    This post was not the greatest IMO. I don’t want to hear about your poop or porn, or in particular about crude drawings you do. I normally appreciate your sense of humor, but this post had a lot of grammatical errors and gross content. Just thought I would share my opinion. I know others that read this will disagree and I will probably get flamed, but this post just really grossed me out.

    • Stephanie says:

      And just to clarify, the crude humor in previous posts did not bother me. I think you are generally funny. It was only this particular post that I thought mildly offensive.

    • Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


      No flames here….not everyone is going to like every word that John ever writes.

      That would not be normal.

      So expressing this wasn’t your cup of tea is fine as long as you realize that you are in the minority and do not expect John to change his style to suit your taste.

  2. Katherine hadoulis says:

    John,in reference to the loyalty program,I was wondering do we still get 25 per cent off our 25 cruise.I know things change,but couldn’t remember if that had changed too. Thanks for th clean answer:)

    • Carolyn says:

      Katherine you do not get 25% off of the 25th cruise you get an on
      board credit that amounts to 25% of whichever cruise you decide to use it on. We held ours and finally used it on our Hawaiian cruise because it cost $4000 and 25% of that amount OBC on our sail and sign card sure helped pay for all of the tours we took

  3. BIG Ed Konefe says:

    I truly hope the final chapter is really not THE END.

  4. charlie kelson says:

    d clark, so you believe everything you read on cruise critic, they have their own agenda, and so i take what they say with a grain of salt, i have cruised RC and of the 3000 or so passengers only maybe 200 skated, so thats not a draw for most cruisers.if you like RC so much no one forces you to read johns blog or cruise with carnival.i have cruises about 25 times on many lines but mostly on carnival, and i think they give you great service , good solid food and good entertainment, we all have a choice where we spend our money so your choice should be the one you think will make you happy

    • Carole says:

      This unfortunately is one of many reasons why I avoid that site anymore 🙁 sad because there are many good people there too.

  5. Martha Morris says:

    A book!!!!!! Wonderful. I will be one of the first to purchase. Please notify us when it is released!!!

    I think a compilation of your blogs would be well received, as well.

    Thank you for all you do for others, and for the belly laughs you have inspired.

  6. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


    I have no doubt your book will be as brilliantly entertaining as you have been all these years.

    Congrats !

    Linda (Mom of your friend DJ)

  7. Sara says:

    Hi John, you are too cute. I can appriciate the last experience you posted. I am also one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and, even though they walked out because they felt uncomfortable, I can assure you that they forgave you. Thank you for being sincere about it though 🙂 Trust me, there are countless Jehovah’s Witnesses that are aboard a Carnival ship at any given time. I look forward to your book coming out. Enjoy your time with your family in the near future.

    Sara 🙂

  8. Sara says:

    P.S. the comment about JW’s being onboard at any given time wasn’t a warning to keep you on your toes. LOL. I just meant that, your experience doesn’t stop us from enjoying carnival 🙂

    Sara 🙂

  9. Laura says:

    You write it I will buy it! I love the way you write.

  10. LeAnne says:

    Best of luck to you as you write your book. I will most definitely buy your book. My family and I love Carnival, and have never cruised with anyone else. I will ALWAYS remember my first cruise, as I lovingly call it my “Amazing Race” cruise. Oh so memorable and the start of a lifelong CARNIVAL only cruiser!

  11. Dawn says:

    Hi John,

    I’m a Jehovah’s Witness, and though I was not on that cruise, I forgive you. BTW… I love sailing Carnival. Will be gold on my next sailing!

    PS. We are the forgiving sort, so I’m sure they have forgiven you too.

  12. Denise says:

    I have to tell you that your blog is a great way to start my day. It is 16 degrees out and I am dreaming of our Sunshine voyage on April 19th and just about rolling off the couch with your writings! Thank you, thank you!!

  13. Treshele says:

    I love following your blogs and Facebook. The experiences you talk about are entertaining and hilarious! I would definitely buy your book and hopefully cruise on a ship you are on and get it signed!! How exciting for you to have your memories put into a book. Congratulations and best wishes!

  14. Steve says:

    Renaming the Sunshine officially? Will you put this much effort into helping and reassuring your guests/victims when that bucket if bolts breaks down yet again? Oops..I forgot, you don’t like stuff. Like the truth getting your bs blog.

  15. Joleen Koprucki says:

    Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of your book

  16. Donnell Price Jr says:

    Dear Mr John Heald,

    I have been on Carnival Magic two years in a row. I have a great time on both trips. Magic is a wonderful ship with lots of things to do. I had a ton of fun on your ship both times and have one statement. I think it would be wonderful if you upgrade Magic into one of your 2.0 Fun Ships. Think about it, Magic can be another Carnival Sunshine and I know a lot of people will enjoy that. Just wondering?

    Donnell Price Jr

  17. Eileene says:

    As usual, John, you handled the troll well, and made me laugh throughout. I shared the “Handover of the Cruise Director’s Log” with my family & cruising friends for a Friday laugh. I can promise there will be at least two households in my circle that will own a copy of your upcoming book! And I’m sure we will give you some fodder for it on BC7. 🙂

  18. chris says:

    wow! Talk about the charactors on carnival, you have got to be at the top…i have been on a few cruises & meet my share. but wow! writing a book in your underwear with real stores! first- to much info. second i hope the names are changed to protect the innocent? this is the first time i’ve read your blogs. can i say if your what it takes to be a cruise director the i’m a sure in for CD myself! even though every cruise has it’s share of colorfull people i have enjoyed every single cruise with carnival. partly cause the ships are plenty big! lol plus there is losts to do. ( thank god for both) so in closing good luck with the book deal hopefully all of those clororfully true life stores you write about will have a good since of hummor.
    i’m not beliveing this! as i sit aboard carinval dream emailing you,i turn to my wife to ask if i should even bother sending this. when WAM! this women sits down whips out a breast & starts feeding her kid! (to old to be breast feeding in my opion) but wow! talk about charactors you meet. there you go johnny boy another true store for your book! i’d ask her name for you but somehting tells me anyone that bold would like it to much..now if you’ll excuse me i have to get out of this room & back to the fun ship. be safe!

  19. Kathy Lake says:

    As a solo travelor is their a website to go to advertise that I am looking for someone to share a cabin with on upcoming cruises? It has been hard for me to find people to share a cabin with. I am a retired senior citizen female so I would want someone who was female to room with.

  20. Daniel West says:

    Hi John,

    I realize it’s part of your job to make everyone feel as welcome as possible on Carnival cruises, even people like D Clark…but what about the hundreds and thousands of other people that you are condemning to enduring a cruise with someone as rude, ignorant and unkind as D Clark? Keep up the good work!

  21. mehyder says:

    John, go to the well of early blogs (back with the Carnival Freedom). You will never walk alone, Fatima, Alan, mah Jong, (guests running to ship), bloggers cruise and evil crew shenanigans, Aston Martin, Angelina Jolie/Megan Fox/Dame Judi, miracle of Kye, the bitter sweet timing of losing Heidi’s dad, your wedding, ribs in the south, Regis and Howie … It will take a good chunk of time to do it right. Maybe make first book volume 1 to be followed by volume 2…Good luck. I would by the book (hope available on iPad). Mary

  22. JIM KING says:

    Wife and I sailed and met John this past May on the LEGEND-Voyage LE20130504012-had a blast and the CD was the best and wrote the BEARDS to keep him!! Do let me know when John’s book will be available for purchase!!

  23. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

    I am typing this from the Carnival Sunshine.

    We are having a wonderful time.

    Our balcony cabin is fine. The temp is great.

    The foods we have tried from the various venues has been excellent.

    The staff and crew we have met have been welcoming and fun.

    One personal disappointment is the lack of karaoke.

    (if you are not into karaoke, then skip this part….)

    1 hour and 45 minutes …. on 3 sea days only is not what we have come to expect from a Carnival cruise.

    And then for staff to cut in and sing during that 1 hour and 45 minutes is a bigger insult.

    There were at least 20 very good to excellent singers on this cruise.

    The venues were packed 30 minutes before karaoke started.

    There was not even bar service.

    Hope this is not a sign of things to come.

    As for the issues posted, folks need to know that while most are true….there are a couple of exaggerations coming from long time Carnival cruisers with an agenda…and that is sad.

    As all travelers know, it is not the issues that define any company…it is the way the issues are resolved ….

    All cruise lines have issues….and yes in almost 60 Carnival cruises, we have had a few ourselves.

    But we have always found Carnival to offer a reasonable solution to any legitimate complaint.

    And we have no doubt that this level of customer service will continue.

    Linda (Mom of your friend DJ)

  24. Marla Feinstein says:

    Hi John,
    There will be 11 of us sailing on the conquest December 29, 2013. We have cruised annually for the past 5-6 years and have always had a great time! My question is about formal nights. We will be bringing in the new year on this cruise and the people at carnival tell me the formal nights will be on the 2 days at sea and not New Year’s Eve. I understand the benefits of formal nights on the sea days, but this is New Year’s Eve. Can you please confirm this, or help me understand this? We experienced the same last year and we all brought in the New Years casual dress.
    Thanks, Marla.

  25. Albina and James Hollins says:

    Hi John,
    We are avid Carnival cruisers. We actually met you last April on the Legend and you nicknamed us Mr. and Mrs Plymouth . My husband is from there ,now living in Canada.
    One week ago we disembarked from the Sunshine in New Orleans .
    We had a fab time on the ship . Food was really good and the staff wonderful as always.
    One problem though, our stateroom had only the bed and a stool in it. No bedside tables, no table and chair. We were told the removal of such items were a new policy. I can only tell you John that was a disappointment .Many other passengers also said they didn’t have bedside tables . It included inside staterooms, balcony as well.Why would someone decide to pull furniture out of the cabins. We will not sail on the Sunshine again .

  26. Starr Willaman says:

    Dear John,

    Wow that sounds so ominous. I am back a week from the Glory. This was my second time on the ship once before 2.0. I still love the ship and the staff on-board. I am grateful for the Champagne and strawberries and my best friend from the UK loves her ship on the stick. We met most of the 13 British Citizens on-board the ship and had a great time with them. Johnny in the store with all the jewelry was terrific. We had a wonderful waiter in the dining room who definitely needs recognition. We started day 1 with Agus and his staff. The 2nd night we were at a larger table and didn’t like whoever served but it could have been an off night for her. The remainder of the cruise on Your Time Dining we requested Agus and staff. He was funny, attentive and always trying to please. He told us he is considering marriage and may not return. Please work to keep this man he is so worth the effort. Out room steward was Margarita 6th floor aft. She was also excellent. Being from the Philippines she had her concerns about family but never let on and was there with a smile and always wanting to do more for us. We hated to leave her. Please recognize her to the hotel manager as she deserves the recognition as well. I was prepared to not care for Matt Mitcham and he was great! Following in the footsteps of the great Josh “Big Sexy” Waltzman I felt he had a lot to live up to but he did well. Very well, as you told me prior to my cruise I enjoyed seeing him everywhere on the ship. So my 2nd Glory cruise was just wonderful. Did I like the upgrades, well yes except for Guy’s Burger! It really could use a veggie burger option. I know he makes them as his sister is a veggie as well. Not your cup-o-tea I know but it is what it is. Love your blog John, you make me laugh especially when I need it. Please don’t give up. All the best to you and yours for the Christmas season. Starr

  27. Marcy Oleary says:

    I was on the Dream Nov 9th. I had the worse time of all the 9 cruises I have been on. I signed up for 6 pm dinning. When we got on the ship we had anytime dinning. I went to dinning room and asked to be put back. Was told they were full in main dinning. Went to anytime dinning, 10 minutes before anyone even noticed us and brought water. No one talked to us. It was terrible dinning. The second night we received a table in main dinning room. WELL, again no noticed us for 5 minutes or longer, NO waitier came to our table and introduced himself. Finally got water, no one talked or smiled. By watching the other tables, we knew Nelson was our main waiter, didn’t come to our table until the 5th or 6th night of the cruise. I felt like I was the red headed step child of the Dream. This was the worst cruise with Carnival I have had.No one on this cruise ship was happy to be there, the help looked pressured and un friendly.

  28. Vickie Hickman says:

    Hi John,
    My husband and I just returned from a back to back on the Victory. We love the Victory. 4th cruise on her. She was our 1st and my Platinum. Just wanted to take a minute to tell you about some of your wonderful staff on the Victory. I will start with our room steward, Arisara. She was friendly and attentive. All of our needs were met in a timely manner. She was like a ninja, in and out like magic. She always addressed us by name. I love that! Send that lady a lobster dinner. She mentioned she loves lobster. 🙂 Next, I am a trivia fanatic and love the activities on the ship. I have never had a better group. Lee, Jakob, Katie and Jenn were fun, patient and helped my cruise to be an excellent adventure. I didn’t spend much time with Kevin, the asst CD, but I told him, and now I am telling you that his game show was the best we’ve ever seen on a ship. Please, please send them pats on the back and big hugs from me.

    Thanks John,


  29. Toni Justiniano says:

    I can see why people rave about you. When I finished reading the current blog, I had the biggest smile on my face which I believe will not fade for awhile. Thanks for the laughs. I hope that I will have the pleasure of meeting you someday on one of my Carnaval cruises.

  30. Alicia says:

    would like to let everyone know how Carnival Cruise lines ruined our dream vacation, so you can go prepared in case it happens to you. Not only did they ruin it, they didn’t even care…not the agents on the ship, not the email support, no one called me back. This was our first and LAST cruise with . We are already planning our next cruise with a rival company after the horrible service from Carnival. The only positive thing I can say about the cruise was the friendliness of the staff on the ship…EXCEPT the service desk…no matter what your issue is they do NOT care. Carnival says you must dispute charges PRIOR to disembarking….well good luck on that, they REFUSE to fix mistakes, so once you give up and leave the ship, you’re stuck. Prior to leaving for our cruise, I had set up my spending account online, with my mothers discover card. I printed out all the forms and had my mom sign that I could use it. I called Carnival at least 3 times prior to leaving to verify I had EVERYTHING I needed since I was nervous about forgetting something. Nope I was good to go. No problems boarding the ship, no problems the first night. Next day I try to purchase souveniors at the gift shop. Nope my account was declined. Go to desk and ask what the problem is…they said I never created one. I have all the evidence I need to prove I did in fact create one. They argued over it, I told them I had all the documents and everything and my moms card company was aware I would be using it in other states/countries. Still they refused to let me use it. Why was I using my moms card? Because I had saved all my money for airfare and the cruise, my parents were going to pay for all of our excursions because I had little money left. This should not have been a problem, not only was I treated rudely, they wouldn’t even attempt to set one up even with my moms signature and photo id and card. Then when I later complained they told me discover decline the card…discover did not decline it and my parents have a near perfect credit score. For someone with money this wouldn’t have been a big deal. But to my kids and I it was because we only had a few hundred dollars for when we returned from the ship to spend a night in Miami. Now we were stuck on a ship with no money for anything or else we would be stuck in Miami with no money. We missed all excursions we wanted except for one…although I needed that money my daughters only reason for being on that cruise was to swim with a dolphin, so I paid for that. Once we returned to Miami in the early morning, we were stuck with only money for ONE meal in Miami until the following day, we couldn’t afford a taxi to take us anywhere because I needed that money for the taxi home the next day. Im sorry the rich folks at carnival don’t understand, but we ad it planned completely, my parents to pay for excursions and ships stuff and my little bit of cash for Miami. They destroyed our dream vacation. No other excursions, no other souveniors, no money to do anything Miami and they blew me off. The day we went on the one excursion (which I could only do a beach day since I couldn’t afford the dolphins for myself too thanks to Carnival), I had bought the kids each a burger, nothing for myself, the menu stated a clear price, but gave me a receipt for carnival with no price, I get my spending statement and see that they doubled my charges, I argued that the menu clearly stated how much it was, they REFUSED to fix it and also called me a liar over it. So make sure you have plenty of cash in case they claim your card doesn’t work, and always ask for them to verify price and write it on receipt before you leave because carnival will rip you off. Plus my last heads up, guests can be extremely rude. All the 20 something girls with their boyfriends sit around the pool and don’t want you to splash them…my kids and friends kids were yelled at by these divas numerous times for simply swimming in the pool. Then at half moon cay, we were just having a day at the beach. My son was on a raft and an ADULT woman literally went to him, tipped the raft over on him and called him vulgar names. My son was playing with his sister and friends. Not even bothering this lady. People like that do not belong on cruises and NOTHING was said or done. Fortunately my son can swim, had this been a child who could not swim, then the outcome could have been very different. Carnival is a money making scheme, they do not care about you or the services they provide. The ship staff does, but those big wigs at the office who are fattening their own checks off of poor people don’t. Thanks for making your wrongs right Carnival….NOT. You know what carnivals response was when I contacted them again about this issue? Oh we cant put anymore time or attention to this matter. TERRIBLE service. Worst Ive ever had. And I dont usually complain. You ruined our dream vacation. We truly would have loved to cruise again, but cannot afford to take these risks of running out of money again. Customer service is a job I have done for years and I expect good service when I do spend money. This is something we just didn’t get with the staff at carnival. Nothing has been stated as to what will be done about these things, such as how you would handle making sure accounts are valid before boarding, how you will do with unruly guests, etc…I cannot afford to waste my money on a company that cant answer these things. What ive basically gotten out of this is that I shouldn’t have cruised if I didn’t have cash, well I had my acct set up, I even have all the printed documents, I shouldn’t have had to bring cash or my bank acct. This is very upsetting for a family who worked very hard to go on this cruise. I know the staff at carnival are making good money, while I work for $8 an hour…that’s why my money is precious to me and I want to make the most of it when I go places. Unfortunately with carnival it just didn’t work out that way. I hope one day your service will improve, then we may reconsider, but without a guarantee things will change I cant risk my money. Im sorry to turn to you, but I have gotten nowhere with the staff onboard, your phone center, or by email. I really don’t want another family to go through this either. Thanks for your time.

  31. Kate W says:

    Does writing a book mean you are not writing the blog anymore? Sure seems like it.

  32. shaubri mecom says:

    Good afternoon john i love following you and because i have followed you for so long i am finally taking my very first cruise and im so excited in 70 days on the carnival triumph leaving feb 10 i cant wait.

  33. Debbie says:

    We will be sailing on the Victory in January. There are four of us who are celebrating my husband’s birthday as well as the four of us completing our doctoral degrees. Can you please tell me the best way to be able to get a place for the Chef’s dinner and galley tour?

  34. Debra Gaynor says:

    HI John,
    I’m excited that you are writing a book. I’d like to offer you a free book review. Matter of fact we can review it before it is published. Good luck!!!

  35. Debra Gaynor says:

    Hi John,

    I just noticed a mistake on our cruise documents. UMMM I’m female not male. I could not see anyway to edit the information. It seems that might be pretty important when I try to board the ship. How do I make the changes that are needed. We are cruising on the Dream, Dec. 28.
    I look forward to your answer.


  36. Jeff Derry says:

    Hats off to our PVP with Carnival. Joey Hernandez! We book our cruises through her! We recommend others call Joey! She got us end of deck cabin! Am sure she was thinking that we need to walk further to walk off the great food Carnival serves! LOL

  37. Josie Martinez says:

    Hi! I just “discovered” your blog site that most likely has been in existence for some time now. I’ll be venturing forth on my 9th Carnival cruise for NYE; specifically, Carnival Miracle on 12/29. No, I couldn’t squeeze another cruise before the holidays, my family would have locked me up! Knew I should have gone to Vegas like last year. I’ve been reading your past blogs and you have missed your calling. You are a fantastic comedian and I when I read the one about the hotel, I was howling. Thank you for giving me such a great laugh. You have a gift and I do enjoy British humor. Must be all those years watching Benny Hill.

    May the New Year bless you with good health and continued sailings.

    PS….you are losing weight the right way. Slow and steady you go.

  38. tom & jane rachford says:

    what are all the FREE dinning places on the Breeze ?

  39. brian o neill says:

    Hi John..had the great pleasure of work in with you ago on the fantasy and sailed the sensation from Helsinki to Miami as a head bartender…glad to see you are still I evolved with carnival am am lookin forward to bringing my wife and kids on a carnival cruise in the near future….shine on kid…!!!

  40. chip thompson says:

    Dear John , as I sit here waiting on disembarkation off the Sunshine I just wanted to take the time to brag on here crew .The entire entertainment team was awesome Fernando, Alex, Kate , and Lexi made this trip memorable , especially Lexi . My wife and I became friends with her from the Comedy Club . I i think real soon she will have here own ship as a cruise director , she is that good . Having Jaime and Stephanie leading their crew was a site to behold . I think if the engine broke you could run the ship off Jaime’s energy I hope you forward this to the Beards in Miami to let them know how high the bar has been set by the crew of the Sunshine

    Sincerely Chip Thompson

  41. Gail Harvey says:

    This was my 4th cruise all with Carnival and my most disapointing from excursions to on board services/spa and credit issues and lack of guest services just passing the buck for me to go to different locations in order to voice my complaint. I totally regret having pre-purchased my cruise in October on this cruise line and now after having no resolve with my spa services, or exclusions then my last cruise in Nov. 2013 I was over charged for photos so now to me all’s carnival ships are good for is a moving hotel from port to port and I will plan my own excursions.
    Very Disapointed Passanger

  42. Cindy Huge says:

    I am posting this comment while aboard the Carnival Fantasy. This ship and staff are outstanding!
    The food has been superior!!!!!!!! and I am comparing to RC,CELB,and PRIN cruise lines.
    The comedy club has been far superior to any I have ever been to. Older adults may need to wear a depends because you will laugh so hard you may pee your pants.
    The cleanliness of this ship is attributed to the wonderful staff who are constantly cleaning up with such cheerfull attitudes.
    The excursions were fantastic and very true to how they were described.
    This has been my second Carnival Cruise and it will not be my last.
    ~~~Thanks Carnival….your the best!

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