Time To Be A Cruise Director Again

May 5, 2014 -

John Heald

There is more chance of Donald Sterling being asked to be Ambassador of the United Nations than there is of me ever being asked to be top beard for Carnival Cruise Lines. OK, I would enjoy being president for a week and be involved in important decisions like hiring more Latvian supermodels as crew and making Southend on Sea, Essex, UK, the home port for the Carnival Vista. But deep down I know I will never be president of Carnival Cruise Lines, a senior beard or indeed any kind of beard because I know my limitations and when it comes to what is required to be a beard, those limitations are massive. In the old days and if you wanted to present an idea to the beards you either picked up a phone, wrote an e-mail or stood up at a meeting and said, “I know, let’s do this.”

 These days, it is all so different and to present any idea to Gerry and the beards, you have to build what is called “a deck.” Now this is beard speak for a visual program using Powerpointlessbollockswindowsmacpowerbookmyarse which, by beard law, has to be 377 pages long and include lots of numbers and columns and projections and dollar signs. The problem is that — considering I have the computer capabilities of a slug – it would take me two years to build this sodding deck and by the time I had done it, the idea I had would be outdated!

 But the less senior beards who report to Gerry and his more senior beards seem to have this down and knock out deck after deck and idea after idea and wait until you see what they have planned for the aforementioned Carnival Vista!

 “Why are you writing about being a beard,” I hear you cry? Well, as I hurtle towards 50 at breakneck speed I have been asking myself, “What’s next?” as President Bartlett would say. I think Alaska and I are going to suit each other really well and tomorrow when I finally take over as a cruise director, I think I will like it even more. But what, indeed, do I do next? I don’t know the answer, I really don’t. Maybe I could do more social media from home and travel every other month onto a ship? I don’t know what’s next, except I want my relationship to continue with Carnival for many more years to come.

 Oh one more thing, if I ever do get to be president of Carnival Cruise Lines I will allow myself one day, just one sodding day, on the blog and on Facebook where I can reply to questions without fear of losing my job……….Oh what true joy that would be. “No, I don’t apologise, it was a sodding joke you blithering idiot. Get a sense of humour and stop proving why some animals eat their young.” Oh, and anyone who calls me “Heald,” as president I will be allowed to strip them naked and have Fun Ship Freddy flick their buttocks with a wet Carnival beach towel. I would film it, build a deck about it and show it on the big screen.

 Talking of questions, time to crack on with today’s Q&A. Here we go.

 Chiquita asks:

 Hello John: My family and I are sailing May 8-12, 2014. I would like to know if there will be theme days or nights on the cruise, and if so how soon will we found out. Thanks.


John says:

 Hello Chiquita

My colleague, Michelle, tells me you are sailing on the Carnival Victory and they will have an elegant night on the sea day before Grand Turk but no other theme nights. I am sure you will have a brilliant time and please let me know if you have any questions. Best wishes.


 Curran Nichols asks:

 John, I just returned from a March 23 cruise on Carnival Sunshine with my family.  It was our last family vacation prior to our 17-year-old son goes into the Marine Corps in June.  Overall it was a great cruise on a really well done ship with one big head scratcher. Special kudos to the Camp Carnival staff.  My eight year old son had an amazing time there.  He did not want to leave.  Our room steward, Jury, was amazing.  From day one, he referred to all of us by

name which makes a surprisingly big impact. The shows were good, although I found the family game show fell a little flat. The food was overall good.  The dining room was a little inconsistent but overall still very good.  The wok and Italian stations were a lunch time favorite.  The Havana Bar is an underutilized gem.  The culinary highlight though was JiJi’s.  Amazing food with a fun and social presentation.  The staff on the ship overall were great. Now the head scratcher.  My wife and I did The Chefs Table.  A big part of our desire to this over a dinner at the steakhouse was the advertised tour of the galley and seeing how the molten chocolate cake is made. The dinner was enjoyable with appetizers in the piano bar and dinner in a private space in the steak house.  The presentation was nice and the food good.  There was a brief performance by one of the magicians which was fun.  And then it ended with a thank you and good night from the chef.  No tour.  No explanation of why the tour was cancelled. Just over.  The confirmation letter even told us to wear close toed shoes because of the tour.  No explanation, just thank you and good night.  While in no way a big enough bummer to hurt the overall excellence of the cruise, it was a disappointment.  If we would have known there was no tour, we would have booked the steak house for our couple night out.  As I said, at the beginning, overall a great cruise and a thank you to all who made this family vacation one to remember for a very long time.  P.S.  If you could find out what happened to the tour, please let me know.

 Johns says:

 Hello Curran Nicholas

Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful review which I will send to the chef and the hotel director among others. I have no idea why you did not get a tour as that is very much a part of what The Chef’s Table is all about and I apologise sincerely why this did not happen. Let me find out why and let you know what the story is here as I am sure there must be a good reason. I am so glad you had fun and I do hope we see you and the family again very soon. Best wishes to you all.


 Hello Curran, I was just informed that there was a technical problem within the galley that night which meant there were lots of people working on repairs so a tour could not be carried out. Now that should have been explained to you and it is not good that it was not. Please accept my apologies and those of the hotel director who wrote to me with this explanation.

 Deidra Grafton asks:

 I need to bring to Carnival’s attention the embarrassing situation me and my life partner, Helene, were put in by our rude cabin steward _______ on the Carnival Dream last week cabin number _____. We came to the cabin and put our bags in and saw the bed was a king bed as we wanted. Then came back to the cabin and found that he had made them into twin bed setup. I could not find him until the next morning and had to tell him that we wanted the king bed back. Does Carnival not understand or acknowledge that there are millions of lesbian and gay couples that deserve the same service as heterosexuals or was this just because our cabin steward was anti-gay? Helene was in tears and no apology was rendered by Carnival.

 John says:

 Hello Deidra

I do apologise for this because I absolutely understand why you found this upsetting. I will send this to the managers on the ship so they are aware and I am sure your cabin steward felt bad about his mistake and I am positive that he certainly did not mean or intend to be “rude.” I hope that aside from this, you both had a wonderful cruise and that we see you both soon. Best wishes.


 Maria Kaczor asks:

 Our first Carnival experience was on the Carnival Paradise last week. Overall it was really good but I have one HUGE COMPLAINT. Why is nothing offered when the daily paper comes to the cabin for passengers like me who cannot read the SMALL PRINT? I found it impossible to read. They used a very small font and nothing was done to help me. This is discriminatory in the United States.

 John says:

 Hello Maria Kaczor

You are right indeed when you say the Fun Times has really small print because with so much to tell our guests about, we have very little room for it all. However, we do provide two services for those guests who have sight problems. There is an audio channel on every state room TV on each ship that will provide an audible and complete run down of all the day’s events, shows and meal times. Then if you request through our special needs desk ahead of time or indeed through me here or on Facebook or directly to Guest Services Desk on the ship a large print Fun Times can be given to you each day. I apologise that we did not communicate these options to you during your cruise and please do let me know if I can help you before we see you again. Best wishes.


 Benjamin Linka asks:

I read your blog from time to time so I am used to your biased, unfounded and sick comments about the environment and those of us who cherish this planet we call Earth. Your comment today suggesting that Carnival passengers be given guns to shoot at birds that may fly over the cruise boat took your lurid humor to a whole new level. You obviously are void of a decent education so I actually have pity for you somewhat. Keep your comments to yourself because from what I understand this is a supposed page offering advice to cruisers and not some platform sickening jokes and anti-environmental opinion.

 John says:

 Hello Benjamin Linka

Thank you so much for writing and I did want to move this comment forward to answer today as it is current and needed an answer. Thursday’s blog was viewed 70,289 times and I have seen four different comments about my end joke about trapshooting. I do apologise for upsetting you, that is never my intention, Benjamin, and yet it was a joke and I am surprised that you and three others took it seriously. I love animals, I really do, and in hindsight I should be a bit more careful with this type of humor but sometimes I just cannot stop myself. I do again apologise for upsetting you and I hope that one day we can discuss together on a great cruise like this one to Alaska our different opinions on the environment and talk as men do. Best wishes.


 Curlene Ravidas asks:





 John says:

Hello Curlene Ravidas

You will be very happy to know it will indeed be Butch. Have a brilliant time. Best wishes.


 Ray Griffie asks:

 Hi John: my family and I just finished my 11th cruise on Carnival (Breeze, 3/15/14).  I have a question/comment on the Cheers program.  When we sign up for the program, the 15% gratuity is added to the charge.  When ordering a drink from a bartender, or server, does their portion of the tip somehow get traced back and credited to them?  If not, are they expected to wait on us for nothing… and Carnival keeps their gratuity?  It would be great if Carnival somehow reimburses them for those tips… I feel guilty NOT leaving another one…. but feel as if we are getting double dipped and the servers are getting the short end of the ship on a stick…. can you clarify?


Ray Griffie

 John says:

Hello Ray Griffe

Thanks for asking, that’s very kind of you. The gratuities are pooled between the bar staff in this case, Ray, and they all really do appreciate it. If there is one specific bar waiter or bar tender you wish to tip you can remove the 15% and tip that server in cash which he or she will keep then. But most people use multiple servers so that’s why the gratuities are pooled. I hope this helps you and please let me know if you have any questions. Best wishes.


 Daniel McDonald asks:

 John: Just out of curiosity, why are the beards called “beards?” Do members of upper management have affinity for facial hair, or is there a slightly less obvious, more esoteric reason?

Best regards,


 John says:

 Hello Daniel McDonald

Funny, were just talking about them at the start of the blog so this is good timing indeed. I have always associated those people who make the big decisions in life with having brains and beards. And so I started calling the Carnival top management “beards” and while some have beards many do not, especially the ladies but the name has stuck both with gather guests and with crew and shore side employees as well. I do hope that explains and thanks for the great question. Best wishes.


 Simon Montfort asks:

 When is the Carnival Magic going to a dry dock to get upgrades and what will she get!! Why the news blackout on this!! Much discussion on the boards but no answers. Something to hide, Heald?

 John says:

 Hello Simon Montfort

No sir, nothing to hide at all. Carnival Magic will be in drydock from February 8 – March 18 2015. We have yet to announce what she will receive during this period and although you and a few others may look for a conspiracy theory, there is none. We just have not announced it yet and when we do I will post the information here or on Facebook and as always try and keep you informed. Best wishes.


 Joseph Spence asks:

My wife and I are booked on our first cruise on August 30, 2014 on Carnival Fantasy. She became ill last year and this is the one vacation she has always wanted to take so I want to make it really special for her. Is there anything you could suggest? Thanks and I enjoy reading your blog. Get quite a few chuckles out of it!!!

 John says:

 Hello Joseph Spence

I am sorry to read that your wife has been unwell and I do wish her nothing but health and happiness for future days. Please contact me here three weeks before your cruise or two days before on my Facebook page (facebook.com/johnheald) and I will see what we can do. Best wishes to you both.


 Teresa Bowman asks:

 Hello John!  I am currently on my 7th cruise with Carnival and I am on board Carnival Magic.  I only have one concern.  This is my second time on the Carnival Magic.  Both times I have run into problems with the mini bar.  Both times I have been charged for something I do not use. The last time I did not take an inventory of what was in the mini bar before I removed those items and replaced them with my own and was charged for items.  This time as I was taking inventory I found that a bottle of Vitamin Water had been half drank and then put back in the minibar.  I took the bottle out and put in on the vanity and then told my cabin steward.  I made it clear that I did not drink nor open the bottle.  I explained to him that I had brought my own water (Ozarka), cranberry juice, Gatorade and Monster energy drink on board.  I was charged anyways.  I have had it removed from my bill.  I just wish that there was a better way to avoid this happening again. Are we able to request that everything be removed from the minibar prior to us embarking? Possibly when we are booking? Thanks for taking the time to read this….and I hope to cruise with you one day!

 Johns says:

 Hello Teresa Bowman

You’re absolutely right, this should not happen and I will pass this on to all the right people. Please allow me to apologise for the obvious frustration this has caused and I will make sure its addressed. You can next time ask me and I will have the contents removed before you embark the ship. Thanks again and I remain here at your service. Best wishes.


 And that’s all for today. Thank you all for your comments and suggestions.

 So after seven and a half months, tomorrow the ship will be in Seattle and I will become a Carnival Cruise Director again as I join the guests for their Alaskan adventure. Here is tomorrow’s itinerary, who is sailing with us and some more information on this cruise.

 May 6

Seattle                                                 Safety Briefing at 3:30pm

Depart at approx. 4:00pm

 May 7

At Sea                                                 10:30 am Travel Talk

2:00pm Naturalist Talk                                                                      Elegant Night

May 8

Sitka, Alaska                                      Noon – 8:30pm

 May 9

Juneau, Alaska                                    10:00am – 10:00pm

 May 10                                                           

Cruising Glacier Bay                          National park rangers are on board and conduct seminars                                                                     and talk about the wildlife, etc. 4:00pm after Glacier Bay.                                                      

May 11                                   

Ketchikan                                           7:00am – 1:00pm

 May 12                                   

7:30pm – Midnight                             Victoria British Columbia, Canada

 May 13

Seattle                                     7:00am


Here’s who is on board this cruise:

 TOTAL GUESTS                               2128

 USA                                                    1776

 CANADA                                           27

 FRENCH CANADIAN                       10

 AUSTRALIA                                      54

 JAPAN                                                33

 CHINA                                                27

 UK                                                      31

 GUESTS UNDER 18              112


So, there you go and, of course, I wish you were here with us.

 Let’s talk about the shows and, after lots of deliberation and after watching the shows this cruise I have decided to go with 8:15pm and 10:15pm shows. Brent, the wonderful and very Canadian CD here, has experimented this past cruise with early shows starting at 6:30pm.

 But with it being so light outside and with so much eye-catching Alaskan scenery to enjoy, the attendance for these early shows has been very, very low. So my idea then is to treat the ship like any other and do dinner and then shows and also to keep the nightlife going as late as possible and make sure the fun is the same here in Alaska as it is in Cozumel, Cabo or Curacao.

 I have four great comedians, Smiley Joe Wiley, Lenny Schmitt, Tony Esposito and Lowell Sanders, plus hypnotist Jac Rene and of course three big production shows including my favourite, Ticket To Ride plus a little bit of my silliness thrown in, as well.

 And with dinner times being 5:30pm and 7:45pm and, of course, with 700 or more on Your Time Dining I think what I have planned should, I hope complement the meal times and allow the guests to experience everything.

 Tonight, I will host my Welcome Aboard show and see if I can remember how to make people laugh. It will also be a busy day because we have a new cast of dancers and singers joining the ship and, along with them, a new 10-piece orchestra with two singers, as well. Yep, this a new policy where the orchestras will join the ship together, leave the ship six months or so later together and have for the last three weeks, been rehearsing together in a studio in Miami.

 This means we have a new 10-piece orchestra with two singers who I have scheduled already to do some fun things around the ship plus, of course, they will play for the three shows that the new cast of singers and dancers will be rehearsing over the next three weeks here on the Carnival Miracle.

 One of the things the orchestra will be doing will be playing live jazz for Cigars Under the Stars on deck 9 aft. OK, it may be a bit “chilly on the willy,” as we say in the UK but we will have hot red wine, you know the glue wine stuff or whatever it’s called, hot chocolate, etc. and a chance for cigar lovers to enjoy some time together accompanied by live jazz. I may have to provide the band with a few shots of Jagemeister before they play up there but I think it will be a wonderful event…………..or I might just be totally bonkers and just looking for a chance to smoke a decent cigar. I will let you know how it goes.

 Also joining us will be a brilliant band called Music Unlimited from the Philippines. I have worked with Ike and his band for many years and so it will be great to welcome them back and to listen to their wonderful party music again. I also have Adam in the piano bar who is engaging and very talented and two brilliant soloists in Vinnie and Dylan. I have great passion for live music and I know the entertainment beards have big plans to add more across the fleet and here on the Carnival Miracle, I have some of the best which I know the guests will appreciate for sure.

 So the ship has lots to offer and the crew here is ready to dedicate themselves to providing the best of service with the biggest dollop of fun at sea. But as I get ready to sit my flaccid arse in the cruise director chair once again I know that not everything will be perfect and for newcomers to this blog I wanted to mention that I will continue to write about the good and the not so good. This may include some of the more “interesting” comments made by guests. And if I do write about comments I receive or that are part of our guest services icare report I will never disclose names and always make sure I write about what we have done to help these guests and discuss their comments so we can continue to learn…………………..and yes, yes…………maybe one or two will be posted simply because they provide……..ummmm…………………..entertainment.

 So, tomorrow is the big day and tomorrow I shall also return to Facebook to start answering your questions there as well and post all the news. We are three or four hours behind EST and 8 or 9 hours behind the UK which has made finding the right time to talk to Heidi, Kye and Mum rather challenging. There are also times and places here in Alaska where there is bugger all internet connection so please don’t panic if you don’t hear from me for a while, I haven’t been mistaken for a blubbery seal and been eaten by a polar bear.

 This has been a strange kind of blog because it has for the most part been devoid of humour ………….no change there then some of you are no doubt saying but I wanted this blog to be more about my plans and what we are working on to make this Alaskan season the best ever and less about my underpants. I realise that I talk a lot about my bottom and its movements but let’s face it, our bowels can be a great leveler. Prince Charles, President Obama, the Pope and Pine Bluff must have suffered with galloping gut rot after eating a rancid oyster or some undercooked chicken. I am sure President Obama has come out of the White House bathroom and said to Michelle, “Oh, I wouldn’t go in there for an hour or so” while waving an executive order under his nose. So, the blogs are back and you can expect the usual mix of information, comment, conjecture and bottoms. Yep, it’s time to be a CD again. I am excited and ready to go and, of course……………I wish you were here.

 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.

56 Responses to Time To Be A Cruise Director Again

  1. Martha says:

    We are so looking forward to the Cigar Under the Stars event with live jazz. Perfect! See you in September.

  2. Kimberly Walker says:

    Regarding the non joker….If ya can’t take a joke, you shouldn’t read someone’s blog, FB posts, or go to a comedy show. Oh, and you should lock your miserable self in a room devoid of any outside contact as your obviously having a love affair with that stick up your ass…John, welcome back to CD. Have a blast and be sure to keep them entertained. Life is short..Enjoy and shrug off the idiots

  3. Rob Holloway says:

    Enjoy your four months in Alaska and the Pacific Coast . We are a bit more laidback then the Eastern part of the States and Canada and of course eight hours behind the UK which makes for funny communication times/
    As to moaners,,, well it is a large city on water so smile and oh yes , wipe your head when under a light pole in Victoria. Ask the beards to give you and your guests more port time in Victoria, well worth it and the weather will get better

    Cheers mate … / Rob

  4. Mike Kane says:

    Great blog as always John.

    Benjamin Linka needs to pull that big old stick out of his arse. Lighten up Benji…..it’s called humour (spelt correctly), if you don’t find it funny then too bad. Please spare the rest of us from your pretentious rantings.

  5. Dan Atkins says:

    Hey John, you left off how many platinum and diamond gusts you have this cruise. We’ve been watching this a little closer since out TA on the Sunshine last year, where there where so many Diamond guests, that we missed a lot of the reported celebration that goes on when becoming “DIAMOND”. Hope you will be able to make up for some of the loss when we sail with you once again in September (10th. Cruise safe and we’ll see you soon.

  6. Bill says:

    I find it interesting that people complain about the mini bar and how they want to request it be emptied. What planet are they from that they don’t understand its a mini bar, not a personal fridge. Carnival should put locks on them and if you don’t want to buy from it have the steward lock it up. The amount of spoilage from soda and candy being chilled and warmed then chilled is a waste. Soda, water, etc are sold on board stop being so cheap and expecting a business to give a a revenue stream so you can chill your many cases of soda and water you had to lug on board.

    • Lise McKay says:

      Some of us need to use the fridge for medication that is not convenient or practical to have stored through guest services, so locking the fridge is not a good idea. We usually have the fridge emptied by our cabin steward and have never had a problem. We like to buy our water and some soda from the ship and store it so we have it in our cabin – it’s not always convenient to leave the cabin to purchase these items during the night. If it’s not a problem for the cabin steward to empty the fridge for guests, then Carnival would not offer the service.

    • grizel robertson says:

      I have no complaints about the mini bars, I just don’t normally use any of the alcoholic/soft drinks. However, to suggest this should not be used as a personal fridge beggars belief. For many years I have used the mini bar to keep small containers of probiotic yogurt drinks and water that I drink chilled – not at room temperature. It is far superior to the provision of a big ice bucket with towels below to soak up the thawing process.

  7. janet says:

    Since the freedom is in dry dock have they had a pile of things found. We lost a phone and are sure it would turn up when they took the ship apart.

  8. Sherry Hale says:

    West Wing Rules!

  9. Sue March says:

    Any chance you are going to be on the repositioning of the Freedom to Galveston?

  10. Ken Wilson says:

    Re: Offended Bird Lover

    John, my only conclusion is the bird lover didn’t get the joke because he has never been bombarded by flying rats. These huge, disease ridden aerovermin must have evolved from rabbits because you could detonate a anti-matter device among their breeding grounds and within months the population would be restored.

    He has obviously never encountered the single, pitiful looking Johnathon Livingston Seagull limping in a circle with one wing drooping, begging for a scrap of food. This is a well know trap here on the coast of California. You feel sorry for him so you toss him a french fry. The instant that happens Alfred Hitchcock rises from the dead and points his finger at you. “Do NOT feed The Birds!” he warns accusingly. Thousands of seagulls instantly materialize out of thin air and pelt you with their white gobs of goo, screeching ‘Mine! Mine! Mine!’.
    It is at this moment nearly everyone can appreciate an impromptu skeet shoot.

  11. Raegan Bauman says:

    Hi John,
    I just wanted to tell you how great Risa is on the Carnival Fantasy I sailed on her last august and she was fabulous. On the elegant night my mom asked to take a photo with us and her fun crew and they were awesome she is a great cruise director

  12. timbo says:

    as you tour alaska, i enjoy your reports as you learn more and more about the state.

    question: wil kids enjoy that trip or stick with the beach itineraries?

    be honest

    • Margot Wright says:

      We took a family cruise to Alaska a few years ago, and our grandkids, aged 5 to 13, had a great time. There are some terrific shore excursions that kids of all ages will enjoy. Don’t worry, the kids will love it. And
      Camp Carnival will entertain them when the ship is not in port.

  13. Marie Wolff says:

    Good Luck John:
    I am sure you will be a wonderful CD as you always have been. You will also enjoy beautiful Alaska. Wish I could join you, but, health keeps me from flying. We sailed the Carnival Spirit in Alaska a few years ago, and, the trip will be a wonderful memory always.
    Again, have fun, and, enjoy Alaska!

  14. Sue Brooks says:

    Very disappointed that the Conquest has had the 2.0 upgrade but NOT the Serenity Adult area. The area it should have been is was totally empty and unused. What a waste of space!

  15. Karen Clawson says:

    Great bog entry John. My husband and I along with his parents will be joining you tomorrow on the Miracle and are so looking forward to it. My husband is quite excited for Cigars Under the Stars as well.

    Since you’ve had the chance now to visit all the ports, can you share with us what kind of wild life you saw? Any bears?


    • Rick Williamson says:

      I’ve been to Alaska twice. And have never seen bears from the ship. You will on tours maybe , but then I have never seen them then either.

  16. Another great blog post Mate…Enjoy your CD duties………Sail on to frozen paradise and stay warm…..

  17. Steve Hecht says:

    Now if only Calvin was there to assist you

  18. Alma Fancher says:

    I have enjoyed all of my trips with carnival not platinum yet lol just gold.
    I have loved getting to know you and your great stories, so my question is we will be sailing on the carnival liberty September 13th sailing who will be our CD you I hope I would so love to meet you.

  19. captnlen says:

    Hi John enjoyed your blog and list of the bands and entertainers you got for the Miracle. The question is why don’t we see other CD’s doing this on other ships. Yeah we get the shows, but no live bands or the number of entertainers you also manage to provide for your guests. Lets hope you do something from Miam (beside the one time BC8 and I get to experience this type of entertainment.

  20. Brownthrasher says:

    I took several pictures. If there should be a question, I have photos on my phone!

  21. charlie says:

    john, we just got off the conquest, sailing date ,4/27/14. our room steward, he told us to call him peter, due to the difficulty of pronouncing his real name, was excellent, took the time to make sure all our needs were taken care of. our waitstaff, monet dining room, early seating,were ricardo, headwaiter, assts. domagu and nelson were great, made sure all the little things, like lemons , iced tea, and a glass of milk for my wife, were on the table when we were seated.they also made sure our meals were exactly what we ordered and cooked properly.they did a great job.our breakfast waiter, david,in the monet,was also great,every morning greeting us with a smile and welcome back.they all deserve some kind of recognition.

  22. Kitty L. says:

    I’m confused. Is Ketchikan back on the schedule? Last I heard it was taken off due to propulsion issue. Looking forward to joining you on June 24th.

  23. Clarissa says:

    Hi John!
    Going off of the Chef’s Table excursion, I had an idea if it would be possible to have a tour behind the scenes of the production shows; possibly even watching a little bit of the “behind closed doors” rehearsals/ classes. I have been professionally dancing for 14 years and this would be the most spectacular thing to see and I would be more than willing to pay for. It’s just and idea I thought I might drop. I hope you’re enjoying Alaska.

  24. Diane F says:

    Welcome back to the CD chair, John. I’m sure it’s like riding a bike for you. The best news is that you have a 10 piece band sailing with you AND two singers! Wow – so glad to hear that since it appeared that those big bands were disappearing from your fleet. That’s the only thing that would have made our Panama Canal Imagination cruise last January better. Bon Voyage – pardon my French – lol.

  25. Dennis Hanovich says:

    Welcome back to the Big Chair, Big Guy. Knock ’em dead!!

  26. Welcome back Cruise Director John Heald. I think once you are back in the saddle, It will be like that you never left the CR chair. One day we’ll see each on board one of the Carnival ships. See you soon My good friend.


  27. La Tonya Robinson says:

    Hi John
    As this will be a first cruise for myself and my husband to celebrate our 16th anniversary, his birthday, and Mother’s Day, with this being our first time leaving our now older kids at home and just enjoying our time together, I just wanted to thank the cruise line and past cruiser’s, just spending time reading the blogs, and Facebook pages I now feel like I ready to cruise… Ecstasy May 9th 2014 here we come.

  28. Ralph says:

    Benjamin Linka,
    You have got to related to “Pine Bluff”.

  29. Martha Fields says:

    John, when will the new CD schedule be posted?

    When Legend was in dry dock, what was done to the ship? BTW, we missed Guy Burgers when we were on it last month?

    My daughter and SIL will be cruising with you to Alaska the middle of June. They are looking forward to their cruise with you.

    Good to have you back as cruise director. Your blogs are the highlight of our day. However, I cannot believe the way some people treat you and blame you for various things while expecting some sort of “gift”.

  30. Teresa Cooper says:

    In tears? Really Deidra? Over bed placement? Your cabin steward simply made an inaccurate assumption. Stop finding offence where there is none. Most of the time-note I said most not all-2 women in one cabin means 2 beds. He was just trying to correct what he thought he had overlooked doing. Cut people some slack.

    • Pam Wagner says:

      My thoughts exactly. On our first cruise (with my HUSBAND), our beds were apart. It was no big deal — if we wanted to have “some fun”, we just slipped over the the other’s bed. No tears, no big catastrophe! Being it was our first cruise, we didn’t realize we could ask for the beds to be put together.

    • Steves542 says:

      What would her reaction have been if he didn’t seperate the beds and she was just friends with the other person ?

  31. Tanya Ewasiuk says:

    Thanks for the great Q&A session this afternoon in the Phanom theatre. We enjoyed seeing you in person. We also enjoyed our brilliant Alaska Cruise this week. It truly was spectacular. My son Zayden asked a question in the Q&A about why the water slide wasn’t ever open during the 8 day cruise but neither CD Brent or yourself had any answer. My boys managed to stay busy with endless rounds of mini golf and soccer (football) but were truly disappointed about not being able to ever use the slide. The weather was perfect for it! Enjoyed the cruise, enjoyed the staff. Have an amazing summer! Tanya Ewasiuk room 7201

  32. Beverly Jane Winford says:

    John, so glad to have you back and writing a blog. Donna and I had hoped to join you in Alaska this season as it is a bucket list cruise, but it’s a bit out of our budget for this year. Your rearrangement of dining and show times is interesting, I hope they work out for you. It must be quite a challenge with summertime sunsets so late and the guests being torn between the breath taking outdoors and the fun going on around the ship.

  33. Heidi says:

    Hi John,
    We sail May 18, 2014 on the Breeze. This will be my firset cruise along with 11 out of 15 other adult family members sailing. Just wondering the itinerary? One formal night? Two? Is it requirement to dress up? It’s it just for pictures? What can we do as a group of adults to make this a special cruise? and another question is if they do the deck towel Zoo…I would like to see it.i read mixed things on the timing of this. Any Idea when they do this. Thanks so much. Heidi

  34. Valerie says:

    Welcome back to CD, someday I hope to cruise with you!
    We are on the Freedom May 10th 2014 to celebrate my husbands birthday and my daughters graduation from High School. so excited and looking forward to being back on the fun ship.
    is it possible for you to send a note to them to congratulating them on the events? booking number is 1J3TG6

    Thank you have once more welcome back to the CD chair.

    Valerie Mesch

  35. Sam Olivier says:

    I noted that you said there was one service dog for a passenger with sleep apnea. I have been a Respiratory Therapist for almost 15 years. I have taken care of hundreds of people with sleep apnea, and I have never heard of anything about service dogs dealing with this disorder. I am sorry, but I have to come to the conclusion that this passenger is just manipulating the system to be able to bring their family pet with them on vacation.

    • Bertha says:

      Sam, I’ve been in the field for 35 years and have never heard of this. Unless there is more to the story that we are unaware of, I’m inclined to agree with you.

  36. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


    Welcome home ( back to the big chair)!

    When thinking about your future, perhaps for 2015 you could reconfigure the Blogger’s cruise.

    Since just one cruise is getting to large to manage properly, perhaps you could do 4 speciality cruises from various ports during the year???

    Just a suggestion….

    Linda (Mom of your friend. DJ)

  37. Bob says:

    I notice on the ships you direct, that the great production shows with the live orchestra remain, not subjecting yourself to the garbage light shows that have replaced them on ships I am able to travel to. Why is that? You really don’t like them either, do you? Ticket to Ride is absolutely the best show I have ever seen followed by the one dedicated to Mardi Gras, though I have seen that enough times. Need to go back to real entertainment and new shows.

  38. Staci CooperHoffmann says:

    Do the ships offer a telescope during cigars n stars?

  39. Carrie Sells says:

    Hello John. We just got off of the Carnival Miracle that sailed from Vancouver April 28, 2014.
    First off we had an absolutely fabulous time. The crew were amazing, the food was delicious and the weather was to die for. We want to say a big thank you for mentioning the service dog issue. We saw that dog many many times and they were beside us for a meal in the dining room. It was the best trained dog we had ever seen. Shame on the person or persons who thought it should leave.
    Good job on you!!
    Carrie Sells and Kent Lessing

  40. Glenn Dixon says:

    John, I believe you have been misinformed. We too are sailing on the Carnival Victory May 8-12 and it is not going to Grand Turk. The ship will be porting in Key West and Cozumel and the elegant night is scheduled for Friday night after we leave Key West. Unless something has changed and in that case, won’t we be surprised!!

  41. Melody Moon says:

    Hello John! 🙂
    I love reading your blogs! I have to chuckle to myself from time to with the posts that you place on your blog pages. If you read this, send me a postcard from Alaska! (Send me a personal message John and I will send you my mailing address). My hubby doesn’t think that celebrities (to which I think you definitely are) read all of their posts. Thanks and have a wonderful week!
    Melody Moon
    El Paso, TX

  42. melinda says:

    My family went on the glory on April 6 out of Miami when on board my daughter which has a child 4 years old was told the water slide was closed and would be closed 3 days out of 7 due to problems with slide but we didn’t get any emails before cruise the main problem she had was that workers said the glory isn’t really for children and that made her feel like Yes this is just s party ship not family. We have took our granddaughter on the fansty and pride and never felt that way. Not all children go to camp carnival but love to go on cruise. Workers were rude but when it came to the party people they weren’t. I called and complained and was only told sorry for unhappy cruise.

  43. Eric Roper says:

    Nice to have you back

  44. Alicia says:

    Good evening john
    My hubby and I are set to sail on the valor from Barbados on the 21st may, it will be our first cruise ever and we are so excited as we plan for it to be one of many to come. Just a small query, can you tell me the scheduled cocktail party evenings while we are onboard? I find your blogs very interesting and hope we will get to meet you on one of our future sails
    Thank you in advance

  45. Rachel says:

    I’m so glad I stumbled upon your blog. I’m going on my third Carnival cruise later this year, and reading through has me super excited for our trip. I was glad to read about contacting you before our cruise to have the mini-bar emptied. We always bring our own water and soda and in the past have had to wait a day or two to have it emptied. I’ll put that on my to-do list for the week before!

    P.S. Good job not replying in all caps to Curlene. I can never resit the temptation to “yell” back.

  46. Raq03 says:

    I was just reading your comment about eleventh night and the beautiful woman. I am a woman and a married one too. But I understand what you meant. In this world there are people who are just extraordinary looking. I am sure I would also have looked and pointed out to my husband. Why not its not often that happens. Too bad that passenger didn’t admire beauty and was busy watching others reactions. You have to be secure in your own skin. Also when someone apologizes it should be accepted. I feel she was rude for calling u out and rude again for not accepting your apology. Don’t stress over it.

  47. Marjorie ("BONNIE") Jones says:

    You have not changed your list of cruise directors yet. Risa Barnes was a favorite cruise director and as you know she has left Carnival. She emailed me the notice her boss sent to all the ships. But She is still listed as cruise director. She left in March and it is now May. Who will replace her permanently? Sexy Craig Johnson? He was her ACD for a long time, knows the ship an would be perfect. He has covered for the CD on the Pride so he has been a CD.
    We got off the Sunshine yesterday and Jaime was fantastic, so much energy and saw her everywhere.
    PS, We are Diamonds with 332 days!

  48. Hansel Sneed says:

    Hi, Nice blog. I know cruising is an good option for you. Your time schedule is quite busy but i hope you will enjoy a lot in these days.

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