The Winter Olympics are well under way and it has been the ice hockey that has been the most watched on the Carnival Sunshine’s Lido Seaside Theater big screen. Interestingly, it has been the Canadian guests who seem to be the most patriotic. There are not many of them here, only 181 out of over 3,000 guests but those 181 are all wearing the maple leaf shirts and are extremely patriotic, it seems.


I guess it shows that hockey is as loved in Canada as basketball is in America, cricket is in England, rugby is in Australia, soccer is in Italy and running ……away……… is in France. I have never quite understood hockey and I admit to never actually sitting through an entire match. Let me see if I have this right. It appears to be a game between two teams attempting to score goals by driving a tin of tuna into the opposition’s goal with the use of curved sticks, shoes with knives on them and protective padding. Then why is it the games I have seen involve a bunch of huge men called Wayne and Pierre punching the crap out of each other while the crowd waits for a hockey match to break out?


Seriously…….can someone, preferably a Canadian……explain to me why fights are allowed to continue? Are the referees scared? Is betting done in the stadium to see whose nose will get broken first? Or is it just a Canadian pastime like lumber-jacking and eating Tim Horton’s doughnuts?  Please explain. Oh and why is the goalie dressed like a bomb disposal expert?


Time for today’s Q and A – off we go.



Jackie Lilico asks:

We are just off the Carnival Legend where there were a group of deaf passengers who had reserved seats at every show. I understand why Carnival has to do this but they had two interpreters standing right in front of the stage so many of us could not see. They did not just do the sign language but danced and did wild movements which were very off putting and I left the show on two occasions and I saw many other passengers leaving as well. Carnival should have done a private show for them so not to spoil it for others.


John says:

Hello Jackie Lilico,

I do hope you had a wonderful time on the ship despite the concerns you mentioned. I have cruised many times with hearing impaired guests and have seen the sign language interpreters not only sign the words of the shows but add the emotions as well and, I must say, I found it fascinating. What they do really does help enhance the silent world these guests live in. Once again I do hope you had a great time and I do hope we see you again soon. Best wishes.



Paul Bradley asks:

Yes, we were on the Carnival Sunshine 12/15/13 to 12/22/13. We took part in the ugly sweater contest. We won two parts out of four and they only gave us a medal and I was really wanting a ship on a stick they said they were out of them so if you send me two, it would be great. It was our 15th cruise with Carnival and our next cruise is 4/3/14 on Carnival Triumph. We love Carnival. Thanks


John says:

Hello Paul Bradley,

Congratulations on winning the contest and I apologise that they had run out of trophies. Please can I ask that you remind me about your next cruise two days before on Facebook at and include your cabin number and I will make sure I send you one? Thanks so much and I wish you a brilliant cruise and also hope to see that sweater one day.

Best wishes.



Damaris N asks:

Is Carnival Splendor being moved from NY? I saw a comment from a lady that said that Carnival is pulling out of NY. Also while searching for 2015 cruises, I saw that the Carnival Splendor will be leaving from Miami. I truly hope that the Carnival Splendor is staying in NY. Help?


John says:

Hello Damaris N,

We are continuing to sail from NYC on a seasonal basis.  We are bringing the ship to South Florida for the winter season. Our guests really enjoy sailing out of New York and we will continue to do so with our summer schedule from there. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Best wishes.



Jeffrey Reese asks:

Hello John,

I have spoken to you several times on your Facebook page. You may recognize the name. I am approximately your age (within a year) and I have lost both parents so I know what you are going through. I lost my father 10 years ago and my mother two years ago. But what I am here to tell you is that you helped me through a very difficult time. As I mentioned, I lost my mother two years ago but a few months after her passing, I was forced to medically retire from a job I had done for 15 years due to medical issues that I incurred while in the military. I have worked since I was 10 years old so all I have ever known was work. Now to my point A few months before my mother’s passing I found your blog and your Facebook page and became a semi-regular reader. As my mother’s Illness got worse and my own issues increased, I found myself reading your blog and Facebook page more often to lift my spirits with your wit and news of things to come with Carnival. With my mother’s passing, I began to speak from time to time on your Facebook page and found that there was alot of others that loved to cruise as much as I did and you would ask for opinions on things from time to time and I started to participate in those. Then a few months later, I was forced to retire from a job that left me at home with little to do so I spent alot of time on the computer and began to make suggestions to you, some good, some not so good but you would make your gracious responses and make me feel like I had made a contribution. I have sailed four times in the last two years and you have helped me through the rough time I had in 2011. For that, I thank you with all my heart. I just wish I could do for you what you have done for me in your time of need. But at this point, John, all I can say is keep your chin up. You have alot of people here to support you. Cheers, John, and don’t forget to take time to remember the good times and keep them close to your heart and have them available and close at hand for the tough times.  Again thank you for all you have done to make us all feel important!! Your fan and friend.

Jeff Reese


John says:

Hello Jeff Reese,

I, of course, always enjoy speaking to you on Facebook and I wanted to say a huge thank you for these wonderful words of kindness. I know you understand the hurt and pain of losing a parent and indeed I send my deepest condolences to you as well. It is one day at a time and, as I sit here on the Carnival Sunshine, I worry so much about Mum who, after 54 years with Dad, is having to adjust to her new life. Thank you again for thinking of me and I hope to thank you one day in person. Best wishes.



Paul Cole asks:

I want to report a disturbing issue that happened to me on our Carnival Valor cruise. We brought our own bottle of wine to the steakhouse and were charged a $10 fee to have them open it. There were five of us who paid $35 each person but that was not good enough because they refused to take off the charge from our check. This left a very bad impression on us all.


John says:

Hello Paul Cole,

I am very sorry that this has upset you but this is indeed a company policy that we do charge a $10 corkage fee to open and serve the wine that guests bring in with them which is standard throughout the cruise industry and most land-based restaurants, as well. I do hope that, this aside, you had a wonderful experience in the steakhouse, a wonderful cruise and that we see you again very soon. Best wishes.



Kimberly Thomsen asks:

Hi John,

I enjoy reading your posts and my family has a wonderful time when we cruise on Carnival ships. I do have one suggestion if you can please pass this along to the appropriate person/dept:  On the booking website, can there please be an option to search for connecting cabins? I know you have the option to indicate you want two staterooms but the results don’t return just connecting staterooms. Thank you!



John says:

Hello Kimberley Thompson,

I have to admit that I did not know that this was not an option and it would indeed make sense I think to add this. I have sent this to the right people so they can see this. Thanks for the kind words and I will be here if you need anything.  Best wishes.



Marc Wareing asks:

Hi John, we had a brilliant time with you in Europe on the Carnival Breeze (July 9, 2012). It was our second cruise so we are still quite new to the whole experience but you made it very memorable. My question is regarding our next two cruises. We have booked the Carnival Sunshine from Port Canaveral, April 19 and April 27.  On the internet I seem to find lots of conflicting reports, you have to get off in between cruises and go to the back of the queue, you have to go off but get taken to the front just to sign back in and others say you don’t have to get off at all? Can you give me any guidance on the best thing to do regarding this? Also, can we find out who the cruise director is? Do you move around ships for set periods of times or do you just stay on the same ship? I get the feeling you aren’t assigned to a ship?


John says:

Hello Marc Wareing,

I am very glad to hear that you had such a wonderful time with us in Europe and I am very happy to see you are sailing with us again soon. The cruise director will be the wonderful Jaime Dee who will be there to make sure you have lots of fun. And while you do need to get off the ship between cruises, you simply pass through US Immigration, take a photo for your new Sail & Sign card and then come back on board, you do not need to go through the check in process again. I do hope you have fun and if you need anything, please let me know. Best wishes.



Landon Groves asks:

You should check out the facts before resorting to juvenile humor Heald. Veganism may have been just a fad many years ago but studies by Harvard professors show that by 2020, one in five Americans will become vegan. If Carnival continues to treat veganism as a fad, don’t take it seriously and don’t do any planning or research into it you will no doubt be stopping thousands of passengers from choosing your cruise line Heald. Carnival’s poor attempt highlights everything that’s wrong with the way society as a collective now lives. I’ve been a vegetarian for years and when I truly learned about the inherent cruelty in the dairy industry and the egg industry I went vegan overnight. I forget the specific statistic but you save more sentient life by quitting milk and eggs than by stopping eating beef, pork, lamb and other meats. We simply don’t need these products either – which is what makes it all the worse. My last cruise on the Carnival Freedom I was hungry thanks to the biased lack of choice and availability. I am sure that this must seem a bunch of baloney to someone like you and someone of your “size” but if you are a representative ambassador of Carnival, then you need to know that we are a growing group and will soon represent a large proportion of your customer base. Ignore us at your peril.


John says:

Hello Landon Groves,

Thank you for writing such a spirited post and I can see how passionate you are about being a vegan. You mentioned that “someone like you and of your size” may not understand you and indeed I must admit that being vegan is something I personally cannot ever imagine becoming, I guess. I doubt if the human body has evolved so much that mother nature’s master plan is now obsolete. But that’s just me. What I will say is that Carnival is well aware that we carry vegan guests and we will continue to work hard to provide as much variety as we can for all guests and if you have any specific things you would like to see added, please let me know. Best wishes.



Cheryl asks:

Hi John,

Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading your posts on the CCPPF FB page.  We will be cruising on the Carnival Conquest this coming August.  I’m getting a bit nervous about all the negative reviews I’ve been reading on the Carnival Conquest.  We were really looking forward to our trip but getting a bit nervous when I see such poor reviews.  Any chance there will be some changes made to the ship/shows/food prior to August?  Thank you again for your wonderful posts!


John says:

Hello Cheryl,

Thanks so much for writing. Carnival Conquest is currently sitting at number four in the fleet as per the scores those guests who receive our online review cards have given. I can assure you that for every one negative, there are many, many more positive reviews and it’s important to remember that. She is a wonderful ship with a great crew and I have no doubts that you will have a wonderful time. Please let me know if you need anything and have a great time. Best wishes



Marc Barre asks:

Can I ask that you secure a VIP table for two where all the action is for our cruise upcoming on the Carnival Dream 3/1 cabin 2391. We are platinum!!


John says:

Hello Marc Barre,

I have written to the maître d and have asked him to assist with your request and I know he will do his very best for you. I wish you a great cruise together and thanks so much for your loyalty. Best wishes.



That’s all we have for today and thanks to everyone for their comments and questions.


So I think everything is pretty much set for the Bloggers Cruise and I wanted to share with you some of the activities that will complement the regular shows, etc. here on Carnival Sunshine.


Bloggers Cruise 7 


So there you go. As you will see, I am hosting The Chef’s Table, steakhouse and Ji Ji meals and hopefully thanks to the support of the guests we can beat the $8,000 we raised last year. The idea is to give them as much access to me as possible and, of course, to have loads of fun doing so. The tea times have become a big event and I serve the cakes and sandwiches and creamy treats to the guests and much laughter is shared. As you can see we have a special slot tournament with a balcony cabin on a seven- or eight-day cruise as the first prize.


I have the brilliant Gronway Thom flying in from the UK especially for these bloggers. Some of you may have seen him on the Carnival Legend during our European season and he really is a hilarious and brilliantly talented performer and I am sure the bloggers will enjoy this exclusive show.


The bloggers will all receive a special VIB lanyard and, at the end of the cruise, they will receive their bloggers T-shirt, as well. Plus there will be a special gift delivered to the cabins which I hope they all enjoy. Just a reminder that we don’t charge a premium for these gifts or the complimentary drinks and other extras. All you have do is register and enjoy all the fun. The biggest challenge I have is making sure I spend as much time as possible with the 688 guests and, exhausting though it may be, it is a challenge that I look forward to each time we do this.


I will have daily videos for you so you can see what has been happening and I will also be announcing when and where BC8 will be. It has been great to be on a ship again and I have been so busy that I have not had time to think about Dad and how much I miss him. Of course simply typing those words turns my eyes into Niagara Falls but there is no doubt that keeping busy has helped……….a lot.


Butch is, as always, doing a great job as CD but there have been times when I wanted to wrench the microphone out of his hand and do the shows myself. He has, in fact, been gracious enough to allow me to host my marriage show tomorrow for all the guests. I have not done a show for some months so this will be a great chance to get back on the horse again and see if I can still make a few people giggle. Before long, I will be back on stage full time as I journey with the Carnival Miracle to Alaska, something I am looking forward to very much indeed.


On Wednesday, the Carnival Sunshine was in Montego Bay and I met an old friend who came to visit me on the ship. He reads this page and indeed my Facebook page. His name is Khem and he was an assistant food manager when I worked in the bar department as the worst bar waiter Carnival has ever had.


He was a quiet, unassuming man who just did his job and went to bed….you would hardly have known he was there. Then, he left and I didn’t see him for many years. When I did, it was through my Facebook page and I discovered that he was now a pilot for Jamaica Air. The reason he always went straight to his cabin was to study…….to be a pilot…….and now he was a captain flying people from Jamaica around the world…………brilliant!


Talking of changes of job, there is Captain Gaetano Gigliotti who was the first captain of the Carnival Miracle and is now working in our corporate offices for Carnival. Before becoming a deck officer and eventually captain he was…………guess what……a wine steward on the Mardi Gras and Festivale…………what a great story.


And finally we have Mark Felix, ex-Carnival bartender originally from Grenada. He joined CCL in 1987 at the age of 18 and now one of the world’s strongest men. Here he is in competition



I am sure there are other Carnival crew who I have forgotten and who have gone on to do great things and I will see if over time I can remember some more and share their stories with you.

The hockey games will be on the big screen this coming cruise and, if the final is between Canada and America, that will be fantastic. My friend and assistant Calvyn said something to me tonight. He said that he wanted to go to the Winter Olympics and take part. I asked him what he wanted to do and his answer was ………”I want to wave a rainbow flag in front of Putin dressed liked one of the Village People”………………..brilliant.



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. colin cairns says:

    Hi John, love ur blog, makes me laugh. Any news on the Freedoms dry dock and what is going to be done to it, we are sailing on her in September. The cruise forums are rife with speculation that it is either not getting a refit or that it’s purely just a technical refit.

    • Rick Williamson says:

      colin, if you have a PVP you use, just try calling and asking them. I did this before my cruise on Carnival Valor last week. And I found out the ship has not had the 2.0 up grade yet. Maybe he or she will have that info on Carnival Freedom.

  2. Eric says:

    John I want to thank you for the great gifts you left for me on my past cruise.
    it was on the glory sept 2nd
    I really hope you can put in a great word for the cruise director we had on the ship, Eversen (dr E)
    he was by far the best I have cruised with, I also herd he is just filling in..if it was up to me I would make sure he continues as a CD.

  3. Mary says:

    Would just like to say expressing emotion while signing IS sign language. The interpreters were just doing their jobs! Great blog as always John.

  4. Barby Kaplan says:

    Hi John, We are registered and so looking forward to the bloggers cruise this Sunday! Your blog says you will be hosting the Steakhouse , Ji Ji dinners. Which night or nights will you be there so we can make reservations ?

    Thank you and see you Sunday

    Barby Kaplan

  5. Johnelle Cimino says:

    Tell Calvin we have Johnny Weir doing a fabulous job of that.

  6. Catherine Thomas says:

    Please tell Calvyn that that is a fine idea but maybe a maple leaf on it somewhere. Just a little one LOL

  7. marsha breen says:

    I don’t get why you get these complaints from “vegans”. I see plenty of vegetable choices both on the Lido Deck and in the main dining room.

  8. charlie says:

    landon groves, who are you to tell people what to eat. if you want to be a vegan, thats your right, but dont try to force your beliefs on others. and to try and ridicule john and others who are large shows what an idiot you are. carnival provides a non meat meal each night plus pasta, and if you dont like carnivals pfferings, then dont let the door hit you on the way out, try another cruise and see what you get.

  9. Marco & Sally Clupper says:

    Just a follow-up to the people who are doing the back to back cruise from a couple that just did the same on our last cruise. First of all I’m assuming you’re in the same cabin both cruises right? If so you don’t have to move anything out of your room, it is probably a good idea though to let your cabin steward know however, that way he or she knows they don’t have to completely turn over your room for new guests between cruises in your room like they usually do. That and sometime during your first cruise go to front desk and let them know, they’ll probably have you come down there at the end of debarkation of your first cruise. We had someone personally take us off the ship and explain that we were a “back to back” got everything processed and then just had to wait for customs give the all clear and we got right back on with the first group of people waiting to get on. I don’t think we were off the ship much more than an hour if that.

  10. Hi John:

    I am looking forward to your honest review of the Sunshine.. I’ve been reading a lot of negative comments about her and really need to know if I have made a mistake to book a cruise on her for May… Have most of the issues been resolved? I know there will always be a few things that go wrong… things happen! But, comments like rude staff, mold in the showers, exposed wiring, not enough staff in the dining room, sewer odors, leaks with buckets all over, etc.. are a concern… Do I need to be concerned?

    Thanks for taking time to answer my post..


    Karen Hutchins

    • George Ostrowski says:

      Karen, we sailed the Sunshine in January. I could not find any of the complaints valid. My only complaint was that they have two benches for smokers uncovered on the top deck. If you are a smoker the only place during bad weather was one end of the casino bar.

  11. Tim Kriebel says:

    You can tell your guest that the corkage fee is clearly stated on Carnival’s site. That pissed off guest should consider themselves lucky because the corcage fee in the Steakhouse is actually $14… the main DR, the fee is $10.

  12. Hi John,

    As a shareholder in Carnival Stock, I am shocked that Paul Cole was charged $10 corkage fee in the steakhouse. AFAIK, the proper corkage fee in the steakhouse is $14. Carnival must charge the whiny cheapskate the extra $4 immediately.


  13. Stacy Johnston says:

    My comment is to Landon Groves the rude, mules rear, that he is. Vegan or not there is no reason to be that horribly rude to John. You concerns were delivered and your choices of how you live are yours. To make such a pissy comment about John was uncalled for!

  14. Carol Kinsley says:


    My husband & I will see you Sunday for BC7 but I HAD to write to you before then!

    I just read the comment from what we would call a douche-bag, Landon Groves about Carnival not catering or caring about vegans, and I HAD to write you!

    While BC7 will be my husband’s & mine only 3rd Carnival cruise together, I have not eaten meat in 30 years! While I do not claim to be a veagn, I have NEVER had any problem on any of Carnival’s ships finding something for me to eat! But again, I do eat shellfish & seafood, which is why I refer to myself as “someone who hasn’t eaten meat”…
    The culinary team on every one of the ships we’ve been on has ALWAYS had plenty of options for “non-meat eating” people! So, for him to complain about a lifestyle HE CHOSE, is insane! FFS!
    There are plenty of options, if he just looked!
    We love Carnival because they aren’t like “all the other cruise lines”, which is why we continue to sail CCL! And, why we’re going on BC7!

    See you on Sunday!
    Let me just say one last thing: The passing of your Dad will remain painful for the rest of your life (and Heidi’s) but you WILL remember the good times, have the fond memories, laugh at times at things he used to do or say, and missing him will get easier, but will never go away! I lost my Mum 30 years ago this coming June & since her birthday was 2 days after mine, some years I’m okay & some years, not so much! But we hold the memories very dear & you & Heidi will as well!
    Can’t wait until Sunday!
    Thank you so much John for doing the Bloggers cruises! Love you!

  15. Hi John. Unfortunately, maryLou & I weren’t able to make the BC7 this year. We’re hoping to make it next year depending where the ship leaves for the cruise. I thank you again for thinking of the two of us. Your wonderful gift of Champagne, chocolate strawberries & the ship on the stick was well appreciated by my wife & I. Thanks again my good friend. Have a great BC7 and say hear to all my blogger friends. See you in the future John.

    Paul F. Pietrangelo

  16. Steve Siegmund says:

    Hey All,

    First of, I want to thank Kimberly Thompson for her great idea. Being able to filter for connecting rooms would be awesome.

    Second, I just want to vent that I cannot stand it when someone just addresses John as “Heald”. Ugh.

    • Gus Sherman says:

      John –

      On Carnival Sunshine BC7 with you right now, excellent cruise so far – question, are there no production shows with the Carnival Dancers? Maybe I’m missing something?

  17. CruiseCrazy Daisy says:

    Inquiring minds wish to know exactly which village person’s costume would be selected by Calvyn! And what outfit would he choose for you?

  18. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


    We have had a wonderful week with you and Calvyn.

    I know BC7 will be a hoot!

    We will be there in spirit….especially haunting Blogger’s Karaoke.


    Linda (Mom of your mud bogging friend DJ)

  19. Elizabeth Angelo says:

    I just was appalled by the comment left by “Jackie Lilico”. If all you could find to complain about after your fabulous cruise was a hearing impaired interpreter service, than you had a great time now didn’t you! I have two children with disabilities and one has a hearing impairment. I would never expect Carnival to put on special shows just for us. How disappointing this world is, to think that only perfect people can view the shows. Sad.

  20. Brian L. says:

    You have no idea John. We would travel to the nearest igloo. It’s bred into us. Hockey men’s, hockey women’s and now sled hockey in the Paralympics. Sit back and take it in and you’ll see why. On the pride going home but on march 9th valor out of San Juan. Go Canada.

  21. Brian L. says:

    John here’s a few hockey things also. Goalies are dressed like that because they freeze the vulcanized rubber puck. Fighting is to make sure teams don’t take Liberties with your players. Better players would be attacked. So, enforcers are brought in. The tougher your team. Well more the other team fears them. True gladiators. Offsides…….player carries the puck over the blue line before the other player can enter the zone. If not whistle is blown. Icing……team in trouble clears the puck all the way to the other end. Whistle, puck is brought back down to the offenders zone for a face off.

    Face off…..puck is dropped between two opponents and they scramble to get it to their team mates.

    Goals same as football. Puck most completely cross the line.

    Penalties…..hooking, tripping, slashing and fighting….pretty well self explained.

    Enjoy John and yes a Canada/US final would be great but Russia would be an equally challenging match but on the bigger European surface Sweden and Chechs are just as good.

    • Tobie Gerbrandt says:

      “GO CANADA!!!” against the Swedish team. USA is no longer in the medals as they lost this morning, 2 to 0 in the Bronze medal game with the Finnish team. I believe the GOLD MEDAL game is on at about 3:00 AM on Sunday the 23rd here on the “Best Coast” of Canada.

  22. Kevin Nichol says:

    I have cruised with you a lot ,i am pissed as we have booked our last 4 criuse on the ship thus getting thus on boards credit. The last four did not have a cruise specialest on board s o we could not booked our next cruise . We look on line and no insentives are there. I askedyour phone guys to get the on board credits but he could not. So i ask you we should we suffer and get no onboard cre credits because carnivals did not put one on our last cruises. We did 3 seven days and one 16 day cruise. Can you help.

  23. Doris Hansen says:

    I have sent you questions several times and never received an answer which was very upsetting as you are not usually like that. I have sailed with you a few times and had a great time. All I want to know is who will be the CD on the Splendor on March 9?

  24. BarB says:

    Poor Jackie. Perhaps she would rather see the deaf, blind, disabled banned from cruising. I mean nothing can kill a “buzz” like someone who moves around with a physical challenge of some sort. It’s all such a downer.

    Having cruised with Carnival for 30 years and having watched many shows, with interpreters of all sorts, I can say that not once was the view blocked. Jackie needs some sensitivity training….or perhaps a challenge or two of her own.

  25. BarB says:

    Poor Paul. Another traveler who doesn’t bother reading the fine print found in “terms and conditions” or the “contract:. It’s no wonder some of these folks wander around in a fog of unhappiness and disappointment. There has ALWAYS been a corkage fee…not only on cruise ships but many restaurants and venues that let your BYOB. He must not get out much.

  26. BarB says:

    Dear Landon. Perhaps cruising is not the vacation for you. With 3000 passengers and more, they do a good job. Also, at the time of your booking, you can specify your dietary preferences.

    With a new menu every day, and literally hundreds of offerings, there is something you can enjoy.

    Or you can always stock up on Vegan energy bars.

  27. Ken says:

    Regarding the $10 corkage charge for a bottle of wine the cruiser brought to the steakhouse:
    Yes – the steakhouse was in error as the Carnival policy states $10 corkage in the MDR and $14 corkage in the steakhouse.
    Friends of ours recently returned from a cruise on NCL and were charged a $15 corkage for each bottle of wine brought on the ship.
    I believe Carnival’s policy is fair.

  28. Cathy says:

    @Jackie Lilico: Shame on you for suggesting the hearing impaired be segregated from the other cruisers! Why should they have to attend a show all by themselves? We cruised on the Carnival Spirit once with a huge group and their interpreter was off to the side of the stage where we could clearly see her, but she certainly didn’t block our view or ruin our show. In fact, the comedian was 10 times as funny as the interpreter tried to come up with the proper sign language for an Adults Only Show. All you had to do was move to another seat or attend another show.

  29. John says:

    Attn: Mr Landon Groves. Those So-Called Havard Professors are NOT True Vegans. They Will Never and Have never gone 5 plus years eating only veggies. You can not base your stats on unfounded information. Vegan is a LifeStyle. Industry will soon come around to have 40% of all mankind eating just veggies BUT it will Never become a Veggie only in your or my lifetime. Your assumption the Cruise Industry HAS TO cater more to Vegans is not ever going to happen. Cruise Lines will still offer as many options as they can. Many lines do ask the question on their booking if vegetarian. So Take your Vegan Stats and go to those more expensive lines.

  30. Diane says:

    Landon, Landon, Landon…. 20% vegan by 2020? Perhaps you meant 2220? But hey, it is always good to dream BIG.

  31. Daryl Parsons says:

    Hi John,
    We had the pleasure of sailing with you on the Legend this past Fall, from Dover to New York. It was a fantastic cruise – made all the more enjoyable by your humour and constant banter with Calvin! Although we still haven’t seen the postcard you posted for us in Greenland (perhaps the locals used them for fuel to keep warm this winter?), we have thousands of photos of really memorable sights to remind us of a truly great itinerary! Many thanks to you and the ‘beards’ at Carnival for making the detour through Prince Christian Sound possible! Our pictures are the envy of all our friends!

    I just wanted to add that the food on the Legend was great. I often choose vegetarian options when available, and the selection on the Legend was really good. I especially liked the fact that I could order Indian Vegetarian entrees any day since that option was available on the daily menu. And it was delicious – different components every time I ordered it, but equally good each time!

    Thanks again for making our North Atlantic cruise special. We’re looking forward to cruising with Carnival again in the not-too-distant future, and hopefully our paths will cross again!

  32. Frank Coey says:

    John, keep the BC7 posts coming, I am so sorry I had to cancel as I will miss the last great John & Calvyn bloggers cruise. The end of an era. WIWT…

  33. Robert Y says:

    Hi John,

    I just stepped off the Carnival Pride in Baltimore this morning. Thanks for the champagne and the ship on a stick thingy!

    I just wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed our cruise director Kirk. He went out of his way to make things fun and enjoyable for us. I had a rather hilarious (and intoxicated) performance during Love and Marriage that left me slightly embarrassed, but he really did make me feel special as a passenger and was super-nice about the whole thing.

    One thing that touched me very deeply–he remembered that I am a two-time St. Jude alum, a survivor of two bouts of childhood cancer. At his Q&A session on the last day, he pledged to make a donation to St. Jude in my name. That gesture cemented us as very loyal Carnival customers, and we can’t wait to go on the Pride again next year when she returns to Baltimore.

    Never having been on a cruise before I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy, but we made great friends and board and lifelong memories.

    Please pass on to the beards what an incredible asset Kirk (and his assistant Paulie!) are to Carnival.

    With Gratitude,
    Robert (and Spencer)

  34. Tammy Montgomery says:

    Who said the hearing impaired aren’t perfect! Just because someone has a disability doesn’t make them less perfect. I can’t believe someone actually complained about having interpreters. Wow! How petty.

  35. The Cruzin2some says:

    Dear John,
    Tell Calvyn that Johnny Weir is waving the flag for him. He is a former ice skater and now commentator for NBC the channel with the Olympic coverage. The former ice skating champion is now championing another cause for all the rainbow people everywhere. When asked if he was worried about being so openly gay in a country where it is banned he replied “I am not afraid of Russia.”
    James & Nancy
    The Cruzin2some

  36. Olivia Hernandez says:

    I went on the Ecstasy ship on 2/14/2014. On 2/15/2014, I got really sick (with vomiting and diarrhea, went to the medical center at the ship and was given some pills to control it, which was fine. What was NOT fine was the fact that they obligated me to stay in my room for the next 24 hours, which made me loose participation on a few of the most looking forward event I was hoping to attend (including the “Meet the Captain” and others. They asked me to go back in the afternoon the following day to see how I was doing, which I did at 3:30 p.m. and I was then told that I had to stay in my room until 5:45 p.m. I told the lady over there (a tall, blonde lady with officer’s white uniform) that I didn’t understand why did I have to stay even longer and why did I have to be punished for a mistake you guys made, giving us bad food and she threatened to call the Captain who would “throw me out of the ship”. I felt like asking her where were they going to throw me to , the ocean? Is that what Carnival does with people that get sick with their rotten food? I am very upset and insulted with the lack of professionalism on Carnival’s part and I think that the LEAST you could have done, was to give me a free voucher for another trip, which I would consider using!

  37. SandyTXTX says:

    Dear John, Thank you for the smile you put on my face every time I read your blog, or face book. I have written you 2 times in the past, and have never gotten a answer,
    but I know how busy you are. We are going on our 50 Anv cruise on April 6 on the Magic, our cabin is 2477, and I am asking you to send something special for my great Husband. I realy do have a great Husband , and I am a smart enough lady to know it. We have had 50 great years…. and I only want 50 more. That’s not asking to much is it??, Thank you Sandy

  38. shirley cato says:

    John, regarding the vegan passengers, we sailed on the Magic in January 2014 with a couple who are 100% vegan. They are platnium cruisers trying hard to be diamond members. They said they had plenty of choices of foods to eat. They ate mostly on Lido because of more variety. Shame on the cruiser who stayed hungry. We are having a blast on this bloggers cruise.

  39. CAROL says:

    Hello John, I am presently on the Breeze. I would like to see Fox News on the ship for news. CNN is to slanted for my political view and makes it hard to catch up with the news. Help us conservatives!!!! Carol

  40. Samantha says:

    John, you must understand the leafs hadn’t been in the playoffs for 7 years until last year. In Toronto, you bleed blue. GO LEAFS GO! I’m pretty sure we don’t even have a leaf on team Canada this year. We have two on America.

    • Anthony Chastain says:

      Good evening John. Loving BC7 here on the Sunshine with you and waiting with baited breath on your announcement of BC8. Hoping it is an Alaskan cruise as we have dreamed of doing this for many years. We don’t mind the sunburn, but time for a change of climate perhaps.

      I’ve been very surprised that no other bloggers are checking in while we are all on board. Then again I wouldn’t be posting if Cigars Under the Stars wasn’t postponed. Hopefully this lousy (and rather windy) weather situation will improve and we can all “smoke em if you got em'” before this wonderful experience comes to an end. Props go out to the bridge crew for giving us as smooth a ride as possibly in what the position/weather info TV thingy is reporting as 42mph winds up our collective arses.

      I also wanted to thank you for bringing Gronway Thom on board for his brilliant performance. I’ve never cared much for the playlist shows so this was a refreshing change. Not that I have anything against the playlist performances they just aren’t my “cup of tea” so to speak.

      Anyway look forward to everything that is planned over the next few days. See you around the ship.

  41. Captian Bill says:

    Hey John,

    here is my review of the carnival Breeze. Not sure where else to post it because its so long. hope you enjoy it.


    Here is my review of my trip on the Carnival Breeze Feb 1.2014 with my good friend who is also a platinum member. A little back ground, I have cruised over many years (starting back in 1993, and sailed on many ships (all Carnival). I am a Platinum cruiser and have been since the late 90’s. This was my first cruise in 10 years, and my first under the new Carnival Rewards program. So now that you know a little about my back ground with cruising, here is my review.

    First arrival at the port of Miami and check in.
    Well let’s first say that this ship is big. The largest ship I have ever sailed on was the Carnival Victory, however I have toured the Carnival Destiny, when she first came into service in Boston, her first US port of call.
    We arrived at the port around 1130, via private coach, We stayed at a local hotel in Miami and they brought us to the ship, 50 people going to Carnival ships alone, most of them to the Carnival Triumph however. The porters where right there to assist with our bags, and where very helpful. Check in, we were directed to a set of doors that everyone was entering, a person checking tickets said oh good morning, you need to go to that door over there , pointing to another door, we headed over there and another friendly person who looked at our tickets and said welcome Mr. Collins come right in. we were directed through a security check and then to another door where another friendly person welcomed us with a smile and by our names and took our paperwork and said please have a seat (showed us where) and our names would be called shortly. After about 10 minutes our names where called and we were lead to the counter and another friendly person (yes I am seeing a pattern here) who called us by our names got us checked in, took our picture, gave us our sail and sign card and welcomed us aboard. We were then directed to the escalator. After a short walk we encountered another person who checked our cards and directed us where to go. We then checked in at the security station (putting our sail and sign card in the machine like you do boarding and departing the ship). Total time from arriving at the port to being on the ship about 45 minutes. (The last time was over two hours, and we were there before 11 am.) Everyone we encountered from Carnival called us by our names, and was very friendly.

    Our first stop once on board was the shore tours desk to book the two tours I wanted Behind the Scenes Fun tour and the Kon Tiki Raft party tour. Again we were meet with smiles and friendly people who gladly helped us with our purchase. More on those tours later. We then headed to our cabin to drop off our bags, remember I said this is a big ship? Well I felt it by the time I got to my cabin. We had an ocean view cabin, 2501. You cannot get any further to the back of the ship as we were. The room was great, the room steward and his helper where fantastic and always called us by our first names. (Which I prefer). The only thing I noticed about this cabin and the last Ocean view I had on the Carnival Victory was the bathroom was noticeably smaller. I am used to the bigger showers on the Fantasy Class ships. Other than that the room was great. There was very little noise (I expected more being at the back of the ship.)
    We ate in the Blush dining room early diner. The food was as always great. My Team waiters where good and always remembered what we wanted to drink. The Marta D was really good. He likes to sing also and has a good voice. I want to mention a young lady, who was not on our waiter’s team, but she went above and beyond. Her Name is Denisa and she works in Blush dining room. I noticed her on the first night that the crew preformed for us during diner. She was a “Table Dancer” as they were called. There were 4 of them that danced in the Middle section of the dining room so everyone could see them. She really put on a show, and looked like she just loves to be there. Kind of like what it used to years ago before tips where automatic. (I think the dining room staff, some of them anyways, doesn’t put as much effort into the dancing as they used to, especially when the Bosses are not around.) I had a chance to meet her on the last day of the cruise, she was working the Lido deck Brunch serving Juice and coffee, I had the opportunity to tell her what we thought and it was nice to see her smile and know that her hard work was appreciated, I stopped at the desk on the way out from diner the last night to talk to the Head Marta D but he was not there for some reason. I spoke to the Hostess but really wanted to tell someone higher up, and it was the only night we did not see the Marta D at all. So I really wanted to point her out here.
    Some of the others that did an outstanding job during my cruise where Lucia and Adi at the Piano bar and Mirko at the Serenity bar. All 3 made everyone feel at home and remember what we liked to drink and how we liked it made. They really made the time you spent there worth it, and kept you coming back for more.
    While on the subject of the Serenity deck, while it was a great place to go, you really had to fight to get a chair. The staff unless really pushed never enforced the chair policy until the last the sea day. Only then did they do something after several people complained and some even moved others belongings because staff didn’t. I had one lady complain to me that she had come up at 5 am to claim a bunch of chairs, only to have the stuff removed because no one was there for hours at a time. She became very upset with us, not the crew for losing her chairs. She accused us of taking them. My friends only complained loudly to the staff and they (Staff) moved the chairs so we could use them. Something for someone to look into.
    Getting back to the food, I think I tried just about everything for lunch except the Mongolian Wok, too hot for my taste. Guys was everything it’s been reported to be and then some, I did not eat at the red frog, not enough time, nor did I do the specialty dining rooms, (something we decided on before we went, we like the regular dining rooms). I did go the Italian restaurant for lunch one day. I have to say that that was the only time I was disappointed with a meal on board the ship. I went on the 2nd sea day.
    To start the service was a little lacking, as tables were slow to be cleared, and people coming in had to wander the dining room looking for a clean table to sit at. I ordered the Bow Tie pasta, with the white sauce, broccoli and grilled chicken, and bread. The food was good, however again the service was lacking. While my order was taken right away, and a glass of water was delivered, that was the last time I saw the waiter for a while. I watched another pair of folks come in sit down (about 10 mins after I did) place their orders and they got their food 8 mins before I got mine. I know because I timed it. I tried to signal a waiter to say something, but I could not get their attention. Finally one noticed and took my number away and brought me bread, but I still waited a few more minutes for my meal to arrive. As I was leaving I stopped by the entrance to say something, but no one was around, and there were a lot of people waiting for takeout. I decided not to wait around to complain. The other thing I really noticed while sitting there was that it sounded like a herd of horses was bouncing on the roof. I guess the sports area is right above the restaurant.
    This was the only bad dining area I found on the ship. Oh and one of your hidden gems is Fat Jimmies barbeque. Open only on sea days it was right up there with Guys.

    Pete the Cruise director was as you said he was really good. I had a nice chat with him after the shore talk. He said he would be around to talk to anyone who had questions. It was really nice to talk to him. And some of his staff, well Classy Casey and Jarred where hoot. I had a chance to meet them during the super bowl game. They were down to earth and easy to talk to and we had fun while watching the game. I ran into them later in the cruise and they remember me and we joked some more. They are what Carnival is all about. And it is nice to see up and coming stars who love their job as much as they do.
    Now for the Shows. Well the ones I did see anyways. I am not a fan of the 2.0 shows, I really like the ones with the band and live music and the stage props, the old shows so to speak. So I really did not stick around after seeing the British tribute. It was good, but not the same. As for Peter, The CD, he was great on stage and interacted well with the passengers. I enjoyed watching him.
    The only bars I really spent any time in where the Piano bar with Brad, and club O2. The Piano bar was really great and Brad had a following from the first night, and I know he really didn’t like to come up and play between early and late seating dinners, but he attracted a large gathering, and I think Pete hit is off with the singles get together at the Piano bar during that time. Only wish it was publicized better. The wait staff as I said before where some of the best. And part of the reason I kept going back to the piano was too bad Brad got sick the last couple of days at the end of the cruise. The replacement where not as good and only 1 played the piano. The other was the guitar player and was not as good. Besides it was the piano bar not Guitar bar. As for Club O2, well I went in there after the piano bar closed a couple of times because it was the only place that still had music going, and I think the DJ’s need to pay a little more attention to who is in there as to what type of music to play. There were some nights that they would have had people in there if the music were a little different than the music they were playing. Just need to learn to read the crowd a little better. For the most part they did ok out on Lido deck during the day from what I listened to. The only other issue I had with Club O2 was the Smoke. I know it’s the only club on board that you can smoke in and that’s ok but there need to be more ventilation or something. Some nights the cloud of smoke was real heavy. (And I used to be a smoker).Not asking for it to be nonsmoking just asking for better ventilation for us nonsmokers who want to enjoy the club also.
    The tours I went on. Well I only did 2 Carnival tours. 1 was the Kon TIKI Raft party. Let me start by saying that I have been on this so many times the old crew new me by name. It’s a totally new crew and owner since I was last on her. Remember it’s been over 11 years since I have been to St Thomas, Wow has this tour changed. It used to be the one, if you did not go on you waited at the dock for it to return to watch the people pour off the boat. The trip itself was still nice, but it is no longer the party boat it used to be. The Captain and crew have done a great job keeping her up and looking great for the time of year (busy season) but the, excitement and entertainment were just not there anymore. Maybe it’s because they don’t serve free rum punch anymore, or something else I am not sure. I know the crew did their best to make it a fun trip, it’s just not the same as before.
    The Second tour I did was the Behind the scenes tour. Now that was well worth the time and money spent. The young lady who took us around was fabulous (can’t remember her name, she was the HR person if that helps). It was really great to go behind the scenes and see everything. Now I have done the Galley tours and the Bridge tours (way back when) but this was different, we got to see everything, and meet the people behind what was going on. And we got to see it while meals where being served. It was great to see where the crew lives as well as the environmental area and the laundry areas as well. It was nice of the captain to take time out to speak with us and have our pictures taken with him, however it would have been nice to have him explain a little about the bridge itself and some of what we were looking at. (Not that I did not already know I use a lot of this stuff already). He did answer some questions but that was it. I don’t think he was very comfortable with the passengers, I have been on other cruises were the captain has been funnier and joked with the passengers and felt like he was having fun. This Captain tried but…. Being able to go behind the scenes on stage was really great too, seeing the Dressing rooms and getting to meet the people who run everything. It would have been nice to have the CD there but I’m sure he was busy as it was a sea day.
    Debarkation, well that was interesting also. It’s the first time I did self-debarkation. It worked really well and I would do it again next time I think. Note, we had to return early because of a medical issue with a passenger who need to be transferred right away. So we arrived in Miami at 0100 (1 AM). I know a few people were disappointed, because everything had to close earlier than normal, but everyone seem to understand and was concerned for the ill passenger.

    Over all I would give the cruise 5 stars and a 10 out of 10 rating. Carnival did everything I expected and then some to make my vacation everything I wanted it to be. I will be back again on Carnival, and I can’t wait to make Diamond

  42. Jodi says:

    John- Do I understand you will be on Carnival Miracle for this upcoming Alaska season? I would so like to know as my husband and I would love to sail with you, and find Alaska absolutely gorgeous! How do we find out the dates for those sailings? Thank-you, your fan always, Jodi

    • Cruzin2some says:

      If you click the SAIL WITH JOHN link at the top of the Blog and then click where it says for the latest Cruise Director’s Schedule you can see when and where all of the CD’s are going to be. However John is scheduled for Mid April to Mid-June to be on the Miracle sailing to Alaska.
      Welcome to the blog and I hope this helps.
      James & Nancy The Cruzin2some

  43. Robert Y. says:

    Ooops, meant #28. Sorry, don’t have my glasses on.

  44. kevin says:

    From the Carnival Freedom,and just after seeing our men’s team win gold (along with the women’s team), I agree with my fellow Canadians that hockey is a proud part of our great traditions. There are many non Canadian folks that do not understand the game and that’s ok. For me, watching soccer is like watching paint dry, wake me up when it’s over. And when England has as many world cup titles as Canada has gold medals for hockey, let me know. Cheers !

  45. Robert Thibodeau says:

    Hello,I whrite you a complain, for your personnel, When I call your Compagny nobody can speak white me in french Language why you dont have somebody can speak white me in french Why ?

  46. Gill Raynor says:

    I spent a week on a Carnival Cruise about 8 years ago and this particular Carnival ship went from Caliviston. The cruise was part of a deal we had with Travelsphere. On board were a large group of people (mainly older people I must say) who were dancing most evenings to a lively kind of folk music playing early century Louisiana kind of folk music. One man had a fiddle I think. They danced in pairs, were mainly Aamerican on this trip but there were people from other nationalities. This group is apparently known world wide and has a very large following. They went with Carnival because apparently they had been given such a good deal. I first heard this music on deck late one lovely evening and it was great. I befriended some very nice people and it would be good to know if this group had travelled with Carnival since. I would appreciate hearing from you. Gill Raynor

  47. Tina says:

    I just want to say we just got back from a cruise on the Sunshine and we had a great time. Our dining room and cabin staff were great. Looking to our next cruise to Hawaii.

    • Carol Moore says:

      What was your favorite thing on Sunshine? Was theater shows good and Comedy? Did you do any excursions?

  48. renee says:

    Love your blog, Thanks for the great work!

  49. John, was wondering if carnival will be visiting islands of St. Lucia, Barbados, St. Martin, Aruba more often and out of Miami? The dates that are offer are so few and depart from San Juan mainly. Please offer more destinations and dates out of Miami.

    • JT says:

      Shut ‘er down. Time to close this blog. Nothing to see here anymore. Very frustrating to come here and find maybe one blog posting a month. John has clearly given up on it. Move along.

  50. Sidney says:

    Just wanted to say that our last cruise aboard Paradise 2/22- 28th out of Tampa was great. We love CARNIVAL and can’t wait to book again. We LOVED Alan-from Barbados ” Piano Entertainer” and would love to know how we could get in contact with him. He is way beyond amazing. He was definitely not your typical piano entertainer…he was amazing at the piano, incredible at singing and outstanding as an entertainer. He was so engaging!!!!!

  51. Cruzin2some says:

    Dear John,
    Next Year are you going to change the name of the bloggers cruise to the Facebook Cruise since it seems you never do the blog anymore?
    Inquiring minds want to know!
    James & Nancy the Cruzin2some

  52. Margie Holt says:

    John, could you please help me get on the list for the VIFP Connection News Letter.

    Thank you

  53. joe says:

    your c.s people are not very friendly. you say you have a price garr. but no one knows how you use it i know the price went down and there were up grades to cabins. this is my second trip on your ship if this is the way you treat people. r.c lines treats there platum members very well. there price drops are easy to understand. they stand behind there word. thou they go to the same prots

  54. Rich says:

    Here is what I previously posted

    “January 23, 2014 at 2:15 pm
    November 12 2013 – Date of John’s last blog R.I.P.
    Hey John ,why don’t you do the honest thing and formally end your blog instead of allowing it to die a slow death.
    It will be a pity but waiting weeks and months for new posts from YOU (not your minions), is silly.”

    I now repeat the same point. If you don’t care John, then let it die.

  55. Brittney says:

    I was one the Carnival Sunshine for Mardi Gras 2014
    and during the muster station briefing we met one of the playlist production guys I think his name was Aaron and he was just so funny I hope to get to cruise with him again… This was the best cruise I have ever been on and I have been on a few.

  56. Stitcher says:

    Hi John, Going out of NYC on Splendor in October and was curious who will be the cruise director and if there’s an entertainment schedule yet.

    Thanks much

  57. Bonnie Jones says:

    Who will replace Risa Barnes as Cruise Director on the Fantasy? Will it be Mat Mitchum, or Josh? We don’t even know the ACD as Brandon is now on the Sensation. Risa has become a friend and she emailed me the notice sent to all the ships. She will be really missed!
    We spent a good hour with Mark Hoffman on his last day as we knew him well also. His replacement, Pavol (did I spell it right?) seems very nice too.
    Now the only officers we know well are Carol and Jolly!

  58. John Bielecki says:


    Please encourage more of your quests (men only) to grow beards, then during the cruise have a contest.

    how do i post a picture of my beard my next cruise is 12/7/14 on the Dream. So needless to say my beard would be entered!

  59. Sharee Williams says:

    I just want to let whom it may concern know that me and my family went on the Carnival Cruise Ecstasy from March 24-28,2014 to Mexico. We did not go to Mexico because of circumstances that could not be help. I understood that the Cruise by law had to accommodate the situation but what about the passengers thinking that Mexico was going to be the destination? I called Carnival and spoke with a lady named Annie and she told me that she was sorry and that there was no compensation at all. I told her that me and my family will not go on Carnival again. It should of been something that could of been done; like a discount off of our next cruise or a woucher. But, it doesn’t matter anymore.

  60. Carol Mannon says:

    This is in regards to the smoking policy of Carnival. I have just returned from a 16 night Queen Victoria cruise. We could smoke on our balcony, but the only place inside and out of the sun was in Churchill’s Cigar Room. If you are considering doing away with balcony smoking, may I suggest that you set aside 2 decks on one side as smoking areas. If you find that they don’t fill up after a few cruises, then make your decision. I have been on 4 Cunard cruises, and due to their smoking policy, will not be doing any others. I can take 3 cruises on Carnival for what 1 costs on Cunard. This is simply an FYI, and no response is necessary.

  61. Gail Dittbrenner says:

    John, I have tried everywhere to find a lay out of the spa cabins on Carnival Sunshine, especially 10107 and 12002. Suite 12002 has a video on Youtube and looks like there is only one sliding glass door and/or window to look out. It seems the sofa is blocked completely from any view except the TV. I am concerned which cabin would be the best for me as I spend some of the day actually in the cabin.

  62. Michael B says:

    I do a lot of commenting on a lot of blog, this one is so funny !!

  63. Lee Baker says:

    Since Carnival is called the “Fun Ships” may not be the correct line for Landon Groves to sail on.

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