Let’s start with this today:


Jim Brunswick

I wanted you to read this thread made on Cruise Critic made by Carnival’s top cheerleader.



My point of concern is that you will see a message from Pine Bluff who states that “the crew does not like you” that I think you need to address and have the right to reply to. Care to comment because this is a serious allegation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, maybe now you can see why I mentioned the subject of the overuse of exclamation marks on Facebook yesterday……….prepare for your nipple to be flicked, Jim. Most importantly, though, I found the comment by Pine Bluff quite upsetting. Now I guess you will have to ask the crew if that’s true or not because it is not my place to say if they like me or not but I will say that I work very hard when I am CD to make sure I look after them. I have never forgotten where I came from and by that I mean the bar department.


Yep, I started my career with Carnival in the bar department. I had bluffed my way through the first interview as a bar waiter with consummate ease. The only difficult moment was when Barbara Wang, the Carnival bar director who was interviewing me, asked if I knew what a “sex on the beach” was. I was about to say that being an ugly bastard, I hadn’t a clue about sex on a beach, a hill, a bed, a couch, a hammock …….in fact, anywhere….when I realised that it was some sort of drink …….. so I said, “Of course,” smiled…………… and got the job.


I have shared a cabin and a bathroom, I have worked hard and had no guest area privileges and I know how hard the crew works. I pride myself in never ever walking past any crew member without saying hello and always have an open door policy for all of them. I respect every crew member without measure and have always said they remain the most important part of your cruise. But again, you will have to ask the crew if what Mr. Bluff said is true. By the way, my guess is Mr. Bluff is the artist formally known as H82SEAUGO……..welcome back, mate.


Finding myself at the receiving end of these kind of comments can be distressing, sometimes intensely so. But I take it as given that being “well known” after 26 years at sea and a few years on social media means that I am expected to have such a thick skin that this kind of comment bounces off me. And, for the most part, they do but it is puzzling that just because someone is well known or indeed famous means that this should be so. Take anyone truly famous. They may have money in the bank and a high profile life that makes them a “star” and household name but does that automatically come with skin as thick as an elephant’s scrotum and should these people not have feelings about some of the spiteful and hateful comments they get? This is the same for most famous people, trolls attack and yet they are supposed to take it all up the jacksie (urban dictionary.com) without question.


When I first started this blog and was on the way to more than 46,000 likes on Facebook, my instinct when reading the trollage was to demand every nasty and personal comment be deleted, or have them branded on the head with a huge “T” for troll. But then, as time went on, I reminded myself about my total belief in the freedom of speech and so I felt conflicted. And so after a specific incident involving a man with a sombrero that evolved on Facebook and resulted in a kneejerk and stupid reaction by banning a few posters I vowed never to do that again and apologise again now for doing so. So, unlike other sites I do not ban or delete unless someone steps way, way, way over the line. So what about comments like Mr. Bluff and a few others throw at me? Well, I don’t think they’re necessarily dreadful stinky people. They may have only one or two friends. But I do get the strong sense that trolls of both genders do not have satisfying rumpy pumpy lives. Right Mr. Bluff?


This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t hold social media providers to a certain standard and ask them to moderate their pages to stop death threats getting through especially with internet bullying involving children. This worries me and, as Kye starts to discover the World Wide Web, I am well aware of the dangers that await her there. Online, as in the real world, we’re all free to say what we like, no matter how nasty or offensive. That’s a beautiful thing, and we should not lose it over its dark side.


Time for today’s Q and A……………..away we go.


Tanya Ellis asks:

I have Your Time Dining on the Carnival Elation in March and want to know if I order a bottle of wine the first night and do not drink it all will I have to take it with me and bring it to the table the next few nights even though we have different servers.


John says:

Hello Tanya Ellis,

Yes, of course, we are happy to do this for you. The waiter will ask for your cabin number and when you come into the dining room the next night, just tell your server you have a bottle of wine from the previous night and he or she will bring it to the table for you. I hope you have a fantastic cruise. Best wishes.



Michele Chase asks:

Hi John: I just returned back from my cruise on Carnival Valor. We had a great time on the cruise it was a group of 45 people. I do have one complaint; I was put in room 2477 aft cabin. I enjoyed the spaciousness of the room, but what I did not enjoy was the noise and vibration from the thrusters. There should be a disclaimer put on these aft cabins warning people about the noise and vibration. On the last day of the cruise from St. Maarten to San Juan I did not sleep the noise and vibration started from midnight until we docked at 7am. Other than the noisy room I enjoyed the Carnival Valor the CD was great, the staff was friendly and helpful, and I loved all the ports. I will be sailing again in Jan. 2014; on the Carnival Ecstasy I love Carnival cruises.


John says:

Hello Michele Chase,

I am so very sorry that you had a sleepless night and I will definitely pass this to the ship and the Miami office. I also want to thank you for your kind words for the crew and they will be very proud when they see this. Thanks again and please accept my apologies for the concerns you had

Best wishes.



Kevin Chartrand asks:

We were on the Carnival Freedom. We had a wonderful cruise but my wife twisted her ankle in St. Thomas. It didn’t bother her until dinner time. We headed back to the cabin after dinner to take care of her ankle. I took what ice we had and put it into a towel and wrapped it around her ankle, which was now elevated. The cabin steward was nearby and I asked him for help. His name was George and on the Riviera deck. He asked me to call room service, for a zip lock bag and he got additional ice. When I was on the phone with room service my cousin came into my cabin to tell me my family was trying to reach us because my father had died. I asked George to take over so I could go to the Internet cafe to let people know that I was aware of the situation. He took right over and helped my wife. When I got back to the cabin she was doing fine all thanks to George. I don’t know what I would have done without him. He went well beyond what he had to do. It was greatly appreciated.


John says:

Hello Kevin Chartrand,

May I start by sending my sincere sympathies for the loss of your beloved father. I of course know exactly how you are feeling having just lost my Dad too. I realise I am late in sending my reply to you so please may I thank you for taking the time to write about George who I will make sure sees this. I hope there have been better times since and that we see you soon. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you. Best wishes to you both.



Neil Camden asks:

Why is Carnival so far behind the rest of the cruise industry in its smoking rules? Smokers are still on Carnival and are allowed on their balcony to use their cancer sticks and ruin the health and ruin the cruise of others. More and more across the world, smokers are vilified as the rodents they are but, on Carnival ships, these rodents can spread their self-inflicted death sentences to others. Wake up Carnival, smell the fresh air and see your profits rise. That got your attention, I think.


John says:

Hello Neil Camden,

Thanks so much for taking the time to write. Certainly, there are arguments on both sides of the smoking argument that are worthy of discussion although I think the use of the word “rodent” is rather baffling to me. Over the last few years, we have reduced the smoking areas on our ships to and may I also mention that while smoking is allowed on balconies we do not allow it on spa balconies found on the ships that have the Cloud Nine Spas. We will continue to try and help both smokers and non-smokers as best we can. Thanks again for writing. Best wishes



Katarina Karpenko asks:

My parents are celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary on one of your ships the
Carnival Fascination this February 17. They are from the Ukraine and now live in New York. They speak zero English, so I am begging you nicely for a Russian speaking cabin boy and a Russian waiter. The cabin they are in is on a different deck to me because we booked different times. Theirs is Rivera Deck 91 and they are with booking number for the cruise that is ****** Can you make this come true?


John says:

Hello Katarina Karpenko,

I will certainly do my best on the waiter and I am sure in this aspect we will be able to help you and I have asked the maître d to assist you. The stateroom steward is not easy to change because each is assigned to their section and we can’t change that based on one cabin, I am afraid. I am sure though that if your parents have any communication difficulties, we will be able to help them so please do not worry. I wish them a wonderful anniversary and I wish you a brilliant cruise. Best wishes.



Heather asks:

Hello!  I just returned from a wonderful cruise on board the Carnival Victory.  There were eight of us total in my group. Everyone was great as always.  I especially enjoyed Jakob, Roly, Jenn

from Canada, Shane from Wisconsin, (I think that was his name) and one other young man whose name I have forgotten.  Sorry! I saw this group daily at trivia, the scavenger hunt, name that tune, etc.  They were loads of fun.  I walked away with a medal and two ships on sticks.

One question, am I mistaken or did the Lido deck have trays on the last cruise for the buffet lines?  It’s been a year since my last cruise, but I thought they used to have this. We made it work, but they would have been helpful.  One thing that was definitely different this time was the past guest party. I loved the party as always, but I missed the video.  The other three past gust parties I have attended were in the big lounge, and we would see a short film on the history of Carnival.  This time we were in the Punchliner Comedy Club and there was no film.  I missed that.  The party was great as always, though.  Already trying to plan my next cruise (or two).  I miss the port of Mobile, but at least we have New Orleans. Possibly taking a spring break cruise on the Carnival Sunshine. Hopefully, one day I will get a chance to sail with you.  It’s possible I did already back in August of 1995 on the Imagination, but who can remember that?  I was only 16 then, ha!  So I’m hoping that even if I did already share that cruise with you, I will get a chance again as an adult when I will appreciate the experience.  Keep up all the great work!  My family loves Carnival.


John says:

Hello Heather,

Thanks so much for a wonderful review, which I apologise has taken me so long to respond to. I have sent this to the ship’s hotel director who I know will be thrilled when he sees your kind words of praise. The trays on Lido have been replaced with large plates which we find to be just as good and much nicer then the old trays, it also promotes less food waste. As for the past guest party, yes it has been revamped again and starting this coming month, each ship will have a newly created video to show all our guests that I hope you enjoy. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you and I do hope we see you again very soon. Best wishes.



William Starks asks:

Hello John, just wanted to tell you that we just returned from a cruise on the Carnival Dream.  It was the best cruise ever!  As a platinum member, it was great to get to our cabin way early. No waiting and they took care of us.  I wanted to let you know about our wait staff in the Crimson Dining room.  Eduardo was the head waiter, I Made and Jeffery were the best!  They were so great that we added more on our gratuity for each of them!  If you could say something to the beards about how much fun we had with them at our dinner we will appreciate it. Everything about the cruise was great. There were some minor glitches but nothing serious.  Already planning our next cruise.  Our table # was any time dinning 5:45-9:00pm, table #218 and 220.  Thank you and Carnival for a great vacation.  Hope to see you soon again.


John says:

Hello William Starks,

Again, my apologies for the delay in writing back but I am thrilled that you had such a brilliant time. I will be passing this to the ship and if there is anything I can do regarding those “minor glitches” or anything you need to let me know, please do contact me. I hope we see you soon.

Best wishes.



Dave Conlin asks:

Hey John, I convinced my group to come sail with me in February for back to backs on Carnival Conquest. My concern is the price of flights out of Miami coming back home to Ottawa leave around 11:50 and noon. Could you tell me what is the earliest flight we should book from docking in Miami and flying out from Miami… The site says 11:30 am but just wanted to know your input… Will the ship let us off first?  Thanks in advance.

Dave from Ottawa


John says:

Hello Dave Conlin,

This is another post that needs an apology from me for the late reply but, yes, we will indeed make sure you are off the ship once Customs and Border Protection give us permission to start. Please let guest services know that you have an early flight and be sure to use the self-assist system in which you carry your own bags off the ship. All should be well and I wish you a brilliant time.  Best wishes.



Beth and Arthur Havenstein asks:

Why does Carnival make it so difficult for my husband to use his CPAP machine? This made us both very upset and spoiled what was otherwise a good cruise on the Carnival Magic. Carnival should actually listen to someone who depends on these machines to get through the night alive.


John says:

Hello Beth and Arthur Havenstein,

I am sorry to read of your troubles and I would like, if possible, for you to send me more information on what concerns you may have had. I know that with some of our power outlets being away from the bed, that an extension cord is required but I know that we will provide one if someone asks. That aside, I really would like to know more so please let me know when you can. Best wishes.



Jennifer B asks:

Hi John, just wanted to say that myself, husband and toddler daughter had a great time on board Carnival Sunshine. Every time I see MakkaPakka now, I’m reminded of you singing this to my little girl.We’re trying to get my folks out for a Caribbean cruise in 2015 and just can’t wait. Would like to say that everyone we came into contact with on Carnival Sunshine were great and could not do enough for our girl, let me try to remember…John from Honduras, our cabin steward, Hilario and Mahai (sp), our waiters, Sean our bar waiter, Dewi (sp), our restaurant host and many more I may have forgotten.  In reference to another comment made about the Sunshine musicians, I have to disagree, and say that Robbie was by far the best, a great musician and really knew how to interact with the crowd.  Anyway, thanks to everyone who made that a holiday we won’t forget in a hurry.


John says:

Hello Jennifer B,

I remember, of course, your beautiful daughter and that priceless look she gave me when I sang the In The Night Garden song to her. Thanks so much for taking the time to write to me and for these wonderful words of praise for the great crew of this superb ship. I do hope we will see you all again soon and thanks once again. I send you all my very best wishes.



Linda asks:

I want to thank you for the amazing way you took care of my husband and me on our cruise on the Carnival Miracle. I had written to you telling you about Bruce’s motorcycle accident and how it had changed his life and what you did for him on the cruise was something he and I will never forget. Please also thank Jasmina our waitress at table 226 and Novko our cabin steward, for all their help and their smiles which brightened each day. We love Carnival. Thank you, John, for all you do.


John says:

Hello Linda,

I am honoured by those very kind words and I thank my colleagues on the ship who made all the requests I had sent them happen. I will be passing on all your kind words to the senior managers and I know they will make sure the brilliant crew you mentioned see your praise. I hope your husband is doing well and I do hope also that we will see you very soon. Best wishes.



Aaron Horenstein asks:

John, from the Carnival Splendor’s jazz club: so many thanks to the beards for leaving the bar open for us to enjoy our cigars at will—and for having the wonderful Latin band to play for us.  This is such an improvement over our 2011 voyage on the Splendor, when the jazz club was closed most evenings for private events, and an officer so rudely screamed at me when I asked her why she was booking private events in the only cigar-friendly bar.  CCL has earned back my loyalty.


John says:

Hello Aaron Horenstein,

It is interesting that we have two spectrums of the smoking debate here on today’s Q&A. You are referring to the aft bar on deck 5 which is one we do allow smoking in and as a cigar smoker myself, I know how wonderful and, indeed, rare it is these days to find a place to enjoy some long ashes. I am so glad we have your loyalty and hope we see you again soon. Best wishes.



And that’s all for today and many thanks for all your comments.


A lot of you have been asking for an updated version of the cruise director schedule and so I wanted to address a few things about that if I may. We are making changes and certainly the CD schedule is very fluid at the moment with lots of changes and movement happening. This means that I do not want to publish a new schedule until it is all set. And while I will, as planned, be the CD for the Alaska season on the Carnival Miracle there will be lots of other movement.


There are reasons for this and these reasons will be discussed with all my colleagues when we meet for our conference in Miami on March 31 – April 4. We certainly have lots to talk about and for reasons I will explain to you after we have spoken with the CDs, this will be one of the most important conferences we have had in a long time. Big changes ahead that I have no doubt you, the guest, will appreciate very much.


So if you have questions as to who your cruise director will be please let me know and I will do my best to confirm. The schedule will remain the same until March and then some of the changes will start. Obviously while the CD conference is on, there will be a chance for some of our assistant cruise directors to shine and I wonder if you have sailed with any that you would like to see in the big chair?


Anyway, more on the CD’s as the days progress and I still maintain that a great CD can make a great cruise a brilliant one.


Things here at home are getting better…….slowly. Mum is staying strong and she is a

remarkable woman but it must be so challenging and to suddenly go to bed, wake up, eat and spend the day without the man she loved and was married to for 54 years. But, as I said, her strength is extraordinary and with the loving support of the family she will get through this. I am here until the February 8 when I fly to Miami and then on to New Orleans to sail on the Carnival Sunshine to make final plans for the bloggers cruise on February 16.


As I mentioned in my opening waffle about the worries of the Internet I do have concerns about the world she is growing up in. Yes, she will be teased, that’s for sure – that’s just the way all kids are — but I hate bullying in all forms although there needs to be a clear understanding between teasing and bullying. Teasing for instance would be putting some itching powder in Justin Bieber’s underpants minutes before his court appearance in Miami.


Teasing was part of my school life and I am sure it was yours as well, right? Sure, it has its bad sides, of course, nobody likes to think that someone will draw a huge gentleman’s sausage on their children’s schoolbook but there are upsides, if you will, like in my school years where I spent all day with my head in a toilet you I didn’t need to wash my hair that night.


But today’s PC world means we can wave goodbye to the socially important pursuit of teasing. I tease people for being too short. I tease people for using!!!!!!!!!!! at the end of a post. And, in return people tease me for looking like I have a beach ball down my shirt and a tooth that looks like it could be used as a bottle opener.


Teasing can be a good thing – sometimes. It sharpens the mind and punctures the ego. Teasing, at its best, is faster and funnier than a drunk pop star in a yellow Lamborghini. Teasing is what separates us from the animals. You never, for instance, see a zebra laughing their heads off when one of their mates falls over or gets eaten by a lion. Well, I was bullied at school, mercilessly and endlessly for nearly two years. I had a fire extinguisher let off in my face. And I was thrown on a daily basis into the school’s unheated plunge pool.


I was punched, kicked and, at one point, had my hands super glued together. I had to do something to make them stop. So I tried my hardest to make everyone laugh. It’s not easy when you’ve got a mouth full of dog poo, but, eventually, I succeeded and the bullying stopped. There is though a fine line between teasing and bullying. If say, I was to meet Mr. Bluff, strip him naked ……..cover his dangly bits in honey……..and then invite a big group of wasps and hornets over for lunch…………..is that bullying or teasing?



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.

49 Responses to APPARENTLY THE CREW DOES NOT LIKE ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  1. Donna Clark says:

    Hi John~

    Have to agree whole heartedly with Michele Chase in regard to those cabins. It is equally bad on the Splendor and Liberty. I love those cabins back there. There is an awesome oceanview I love to book. However due to the noise and shaking we have stopped.I have taped cabinets shut, put towels behind pictures on the wall and stuffed paper around the edges of the safe in order to enjoy the cabin, I’m not kidding it’s that bad. There really should be a disclaimer or those cabins should come at a bargain, because you wont get a lot of sleep.
    PS I AM NOT the DClark from cruise critc. Everytime I see you mention that name I shutter and worry you might think it’s me! Love you John!

  2. Christy Richardson says:

    6’9″ would make a fabulous CD. We had her as ACD on the Magic back in October and she outshone the CD most of the time. Sadly, I don’t remember her first name because everyone called her by her heighth

    • Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

      Her name is Amy and she is indeed delightful.

      She is so genuine..and that is a rare gift these days!

  3. Pam says:

    Hello John! A few cruises ago we had “Weeeee Jimmy” on the Legend. He was great – so full of humor and energy! Of course, I cannot remember his full name, so I have no idea if he is still with you, or where he is on the CD schedule. It is a suggestion of mine that you add a small section on your CD schedule that matches full names with the “nickname” of the Cruise Director so that we can find our favorites. Best wishes!

  4. Susan Clark says:

    Hello John my husband and I are getting ready to go out on the Breeze on Feb 1st with some friends of ours, was just wondering who the CD will be on this ship……..so looking forward to another week with the C family at sea………

  5. Kelli says:

    Hi John,
    Referring to the thread on Cruise Critic you posted at the top of your blog ~ we are wondering when you will be boarding the Miracle for the Alaska season? **HOPING**, like those on the thread, that it will be in April, as is stated on the CD schedule, but wanted to confirm with you for sure!

    Thanks ~ can’t wait to sail with you again!

    Another one of John’s cheerleaders!

    • Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

      I just wanted to add that where John’s schedule is concerned….there is always a chance that it will be changed.

      Hope it goes as planned and you get to sail with him!

  6. charlie kelson says:

    my wife and i were on the liberty jan.11,2014. we had a great time, our waiter, ovi was super, his assistants , erick and jurie were also very good, they will make good waiters someday. our room steward, puspa were so observant, doing her best to make sure we were well taken care of. not too sure about the new menus, time will tell. looking forward to our next cruise.

  7. Angela Shelley says:

    Hi John

    I think your response to Neil Camden about smokers being “rodents” was RIGHT ON !!!! apparently he has never seen one and is not from New York or his head is in the “sand”. how dare he hurl insults.

  8. Frank says:

    John , you had me worried for a second with the Cd schedule talk. Relieved to see your still on schedule for the Alaska season We are sailing on the June 24 Miracle Alaska cruise to celebrate my wife’s “rhymes w/ nifty” birthday on the 25th. One reason we chose this cruise was that 10 yrs ago we celebrated her 40th Bday with our first creuise ever on the Glory. You were the CD on that cruise and we had a fantastic time , so 10 yrs later we’re looking forward to doing it all again. I’m planning to make it a weeklong celebration for my wife. Hopefully we will get a chance to say hello to you and thank you personally for 10 great years of Carnival fun and cruises.

  9. Lynda Ulrich says:

    First, thanks John for another great cruise.
    Second Neil Camden, you are a ass. No smoker is doing anything wrong. And there can not be second hand smoke on a balcony. There is too much wind and fresh air.
    I only called you a name because I guess you think you have the right to call smokers names. Get off your soap box. We’ve all heard it before.

    • Leon says:


      Seriously? You have either never been in a balcony cabin or are a smoker clinging to self entitiled rights to smoke 3 feet from my family. Carnival should onsider designting one side of the ship’s balconies to non-smoking. There’s nothing worse than paying for a balcony, but seldom able to enjoy it b/c the chain smokers 3 feet from me.

      • jack danel says:

        We had a balcony just above a cigar chain smoker. We couldn’t use the balcony or leave the door open unless the ship was at speed.

  10. Lynda Ulrich says:

    Katarina, please don’t call them cabin boys. It’s just wrong. And there are a lot of female cabin stewards that are women. See I did even say girls.

  11. nicola mccormuck says:

    Sorry I haven’t sent this sooner but I would like to thank you for taking care of my parents on their transatlantic voyage onboard the legend last year. They really appreciated the additional quilt you organised and also the champagne and ship on a stick! Thanks again

  12. Bob says:

    John, As the father of a crew member who has worked directly for you, I can only say that he has high praise for you. He said that you really supported him and his fellow crew members and he wished that you were still the CD on his ship.

  13. Becky Parkinson says:

    You comment in todays blog “I still maintain that a great CD can make a great cruise a brilliant one” is so true. I took a cruise on another line a few years ago and had the worst dinning experiences (4 out of 7 nights) and complained about all but one because I had just had it. However even with the bad service (which has forever lost them a customer) the CD on board was wonderful. She always remembered us (my husband is hard to forget) and joked with us every time she saw us. She was by far the best thing about that cruise other than a couple of our excisions. And when I think about that cruise those are the things I think about and not the negative stuff.

  14. Jim Lanigan says:

    Hi John,

    We just returned from our cruise on the Triumph. We, being smokers, always get a balcony. One guest in the stateroom next to ours was infuriated over the smoke and loudly pronounced her disdain for smokers and that her trip was ruined. As I have noticed, you get many complaints about this subject. I am very concientious of my habit and do not like to inconvenience anyone because of my choices. The simple solution to this problem is to limit the “smoking” balconies to either the port or starboard, mid to aft sections. This way the smoke is only on one side of the ship and flows back into the “smoking” section at 20 knots. This would account for roughly 25% of the balcony cabins which is a fair estimate of the smoker/non smoker ratio. Problem solved, everybody happy.

    • Paul says:

      The simplest solution would be to ban smoking on Carnival ships altogether. As an ex-smoker (recovering nicotine dependent) I never realized how bothersome second hand smoke really is until I became a ‘victim’. From my own experience, you will be a much happier and healthier and better liked person if you stop smoking right away. I had great success using nicotine replacement therapy that included both the ‘patch’ and the ‘gum’. Also I have heard good things about the ‘electronic cigs’ and they do not bother most people nearby in the least, so I don’t know why Carnival restricts their use. Please trust me when I say that you will be a happier person just as soon as you are free of the tobacco and the nicotine dependence that has a grip on your life.

      • stephen voss says:

        Im not a smoker but I get the cigar smoker. I say put them in the aft balconies above the engines that everyone complains about. Call them “cigar balconies” put special cigar lounges near them so everyone is happy.

  15. Cheryl Walker says:

    John, I just wanted to comment on the message from michele. I was on the Carnival Glory last year and I know what she is talking about. I’m not going to complain, but what she said is so true. That cabin was horrible. The noise was so loud and even worse, the whole cabin shook constantly. The vibration was so bad you couldn’t have anything on the bathroom shelf or counters without them falling off. I dreaded going back to that cabin. We had people next to us the first couple of days and I think they finally requested a different cabin. Everything else was wonderful on the cruise:) although I’m quite sure I never want an aft cabin again. I just thought you should know. Thanks for all you do, John. Best wishes, Cheryl

  16. Hi John,

    It seem you and I both have haters on the (alleged) internet cruise board. Envy suits the whiny old goats. Yes, I started the Alaska cruise thread.

    It looks like perhaps you won’t be the CD for our September Miracle Alaska cruise, but it will still be great!

    Can’t wait.

  17. Kathleen says:

    John please give my sympathy to your mom. I lost my husband of 53 years 15 months ago. Life changes in a big way. God Bless.

  18. Shelly Paratore says:

    Thank you for asking guest opinions about the assistant cruise directors. I think Brittany from Toronto definitely has CD potential. Also, I would like to mention that Dan from Australia on the Breeze as entertainment staff is probably ready for a more high profile promotion. He is very entertaining, he does well with improvisation and he has a good personal connection with guests. I found him bright and enterprising . He had solid answers when I asked questions about the music on the ships. I was impressed. I also saw the flash mob he organized for the Morning Show. Very nice work. Just my two cents. He at least deserves a hearty pat on the back.

  19. Valerie DUNLAP says:

    You are the BEST! Regardless of how miserable my day has been, your outlook on life makes me smile. HUGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :O)

  20. Eileene says:

    I think the treatment you propose for Mr. Bluff should be considered justified. I know first-hand that the crew loves you, from all the comments my husband got when he dressed as you for Halloween 2 years ago. And on BC6, I spoke with 2 crew members who had never met you & really wanted to. As busy as you were, you sought them out, even greeting the server in her native Thai. They were thrilled – the only word that aptly describes the way they gushed after they met you. 🙂 See you soon!

  21. Chris Burleson says:

    March,10 we are getting Married on The Triumph. This will be my third cruise and her first. I have been trying to plan everything to be so special for both of us but i know there are things that you can suggest that I dont know about or may have forgotten. Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated..
    Chris Burleson

  22. Sean says:


    I commend you for having a blog, its very admirable. Working in the food industry myself; I understand people and (most of) their complaints. The fact that it is impossible to make everyone happy.

    But one thing you should consider, having been on 15+ cruises myself is, when there is a problem cruising Carnival or any other major cruise line, there are very few sound boards for customer complaints. Or at the least IT SURE DOES FEEL THAT WAY. (Because it doesn’t pay)

    I can assume that is why you have so many blog trolls. You and I both know, most cruise employees just simply say they will “tell Miami” and than we are to all assume and trust there is a special department that (1) monitors complaints, than (2) asses those complaints to see if its fiscally responsible (or otherwise beneficial) to fix those complaints. Is there?

    As you know a majority of the complaints guests make, simply get swept under the rug. Just like I am sure a large portion of the complaints are “unfixable” or not needed. But either way; we all get the feeling its just lip service.

    Many people like myself feel the cruise lines have an “oh well” sense of dealing with problems and complaints. (Valid complaints or not).

    The cruise lines priority is always money and while we all know its paramount, its sometimes painful when its so blatantly obvious. From the removal of trays mentioned above, to the shutting down of ALL the juice and ALL ice cream stations early, the removal of items off menus, to even the stuff that is sometimes just lazy employees, i.e. shutting down all lunch on a island 1 hour early. Its not like people are complaining that you guys keep 80% of the money in bingo. (ha)

    Some times people have valid points and other times, people should just except that cruising well, is not always exactly what they promise. (like most products in America)

    While I love cruising, I wish for the old days, when perhaps a cruise was a little bit more money and their wasn’t so much nickel and dimming. Before it seemed like it wasn’t so “bottom lined”. While today, with all the lines, if feels like there is an actuary on the chicken. Ha. Again, all lines, not just carnival.

    Did technology do this to us John?

    Again John, Thanks for being a soundboard. That task is like your ships, very big indeed!!! Especially with the 550 confirmed sick on the Explorer today (Jan 30, 2014). In a job, where people traditionally feel like nothing is being done, well… except the “I’ll let corporate know” thing, I commend you for having a public blog.

    Thanks again for having a public blog and tackling problems both big and small, head on.

  23. Fern says:

    Hi John! I’m sorry to say that I HAVE talked to a few bartender’s/waiter’s who are not very happy with some of the changes YOU (or the beard’s, with your okay) made :(. I was very surprised that they expressed this dissatisfaction to us and I’m really not sure WHAT the change’s were. Something to do with division of tip’s, I think. Frankly, I think that crew shouldn’t be complaining to passenger’s… .

    This doesn’t change our opinion of Carnival (still love it), but I wonder how these changes are disseminated :(. Maybe they’re not explained well?

    Love the Blog! Come sail with us on the Legend at the end of August :)!


  24. Conni says:

    I have a question regarding the platinum treat of chocolate covered strawberries. They are beautiful but I have severe allergic reaction to them my daughter has also developed this allergy. Is there anything else that could be sent as a substitution? Help I love the idea of the treat but the treat doesn’t like me 🙁

  25. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


    Your Mom is blessed to have so many around her at this time.

    My Mom and Dad were married 54 years before Dad passed away. She lived another 20+ years (to the age of 97). We did all we could to fill the void.

    As for the smoking on the balcony, since we do not smoke, we have just stopped booking balcony cabins since our Hawaiian and Alaska cruises.

    Unfortunately, even at 22 knots, the minute we opened our balcony door… a cloud of smoke was sucked into our cabin. (no, our hallway door was not open…I know that can cause a draft).

    This was in April 2012 and every balcony cabin we have had since then has had the same issues….no matter how fast the ship was sailing.

    So we just book OVs now.

    Perhaps on the Vista, if they turned some of the balconies into sunrooms (encased in glass) or just huge picture windows where you could see a large range of views without it being open to any smokers who are around you.

    The only other solution to nonsmokers is not to book balcony cabins.

    Linda (Mom of your friend DJ)

  26. Kathryn MacKenzie says:


    Please know that not all people who post on Cruise Critic are whackadoos. Pine Bluff is actually one of the posters I blocked some time ago so I was no longer subjected to his/her annoying posts.

    I am very sorry for the sudden loss of your father. I experienced the same about 10 years ago and it honestly has taken me a long time to be able to discuss him without a tear coming to my eye.

    I just returned from my first cruise in 14(!) years last weekend. My husband & I went on the first real vacation in our 8 years of marriage & THOROUGHLY enjoyed on cruise on the Carnival Liberty. So much so in fact that we booked our next for 02/2015 on the Sunshine. I had the pleasure of cruising on her with a family in 1998 when she was the Destiny & you were our CD. We really enjoyed you as a CD and I not-so-secretly wish you were going to be on the Sunshine next year.

  27. William Becker says:

    Dear John, I wasn’t going to mention anything after my last cruise but since you brought it up. I showed the Stewart the goodies you gave me and he rolled his eyes when I said your name. I questioned him and he mentioned something about how over worked they cabin Stewarts are now. I guess he was blaming you? Not your fault they are overworked and underpaid!

  28. Steve says:

    What happened on the Carnival Triumph John?

  29. Charles Smtih says:

    Just a ridiculous annoyance. Just got back from the Glory. Wonderful ship as are most of the Carnival Ships. However, I was wondering why, when everything else on board uses the Sign and Sail Card, do we still have to go to the Casino Cage for quarters for the laundry. It seems like is would require very little retrofitting to make the Self Serve Laundry accept the Sign and Sail Card as well. Or is the plan of Carnival to have us all wear stretched out and dirty underpants?

  30. ThomasO says:

    Interesting thoughts.

  31. Sean says:

    I vote for Matt from the Conquest to get a shot as a CD. He did a phenomenal job for us last week!

  32. Shirley Greenwood says:

    Hello John, we just finished a transit thru Panama Canal on Imagination. As usual, it was a great trip. I had asked you a few months ago about how I could know when Marcus Anthony would be performing and on what ship. I was so happy that Marcus was on the Imagination for a performance! We watched both shows and loved every minute of it! It was so great to be able to see The King Of Motown and Soul–one more time! We met the nicest chef, Lowell from Jamaica. We were so impressed with the food this time.
    Thanks again for another great memory!
    Shirley Greenwood

  33. CruisinSue says:

    What gives Neil, non-smoker the right to come onto a public forum and call people rodents because they exercise their right to smoke if they want? Some people never cease to amaze me.

  34. THE CRUZIN2SOME says:

    Dear John,
    Neither it is JUSTIFIED!
    James & Nancy Enslow

  35. Coloyaren says:

    This is truly a nice blog, I have seen many and many blogs and people are just creating blogs all the time but successful blogs are rare.

  36. jordan says:

    why cant kids have a ping pong tournement

  37. jordan says:


  38. Barbara Westfall says:

    Hi John!
    I just wanted to let you know that I spoke with one of the crew members on the Sunshine. When he found out you were on the cruise this week he smiled and told us what a great guy you were and how much he enjoyed sailing with you in the past.
    Just thought you would like to know.

  39. Nancy Bauernfeind says:

    Well I thank you are great you was on our cruise a couple years ago and you are one funny man do you remember the man from corn and his wife so funny that was the best cruise we went on a cruise in oct our Ann. Well my back went out when I first got on the ship was in bed 4 days end up going to the dr on the ship the people on the ship was so nice to me thank you for all you do for carnival keep up your great work carnival can’t do with out you . Your the best EVER. Your cruise friend NANCY

  40. Karen clarkson says:

    There are a lt of very hard working employees on this cruise we are currently on. Carnival Sunshine but I seriously cannot get over how terrible the sit down meals were every night. We left each night with only bites taken from each choice. Every course was ice cold and completely disgusting. I don’t think we will ever take another carnival cruise again. We have had far better service on princess and NCL The screaming children across the hall the entire trip was the icimg on the cake

    Also the stink of sewage on the pixels floor was unbearable. Something is not right about that ship.

  41. Carol Cooper says:

    Really wanted to enjoy our balcony on the Miracle 16 day Hawaii cruise BUT the cabin balcony occupant right above us was continually smoking cigars. Horrible!!!!!! Especially bad when docked due to no wind. Not sure what was worse. Please start no smoking on balconies !!!!!!!

  42. Carmen says:

    Will James Dunn or 6-3 be on the magic 2-115 as the cd, I love them both or yourself as cd?

Copyright 2017 John Heald. All Rights Reserved