There are many things I regret that I have said and done in my life — actions that if I could, I would go back in time and change. Telling Heidi, while she was giving birth to Kye, that having a baby was no more painful than the time I ate a massive order of pork skin (“crackling,” as we call it in the UK) and was constipated for days and then describing the effort I had made to finally get the pork crackling out, was both stupid and painful as the fingernail marks in my hand proved. However, some people do things in their life that are just as dumb and more so yet feel absolutely no remorse. Remember the woman who was angry at me (and others) for appreciating the beauty at an attractive lady?

 Well, today, I discovered that my apology and a few apples were not enough to quench her thirst to because she wrote an email to her travel agent who sent it to the Carnival salesperson, who sent it her boss who sent it to the VP of sales who sent it to the VP of operations who sent it to and so on and so forth. I saw the email today and the anger she feels towards me is extraordinary. It is as if I killed her cat and she wants me gone, out of Carnival and I am sure if she had her way she would have my dangly bits removed and have them made into a bedside lampstand. Obviously, I explained to the 247 different beards that were copied on the email what had happened and as many of them read my blog, they were already aware. But I still feel upset and probably unprofessional not for her, but for me. I feel like I should go on The View and tell my side of the story.

 So if I could go back in time I would go back to that elegant night and when that gorgeous Amazonian lady glided past me and, instead of looking at her, I would have kept my head facing forward and thus not angering this lady who is probably, as we speak, in Miami hanging me in effigy in the lobby of Carnival HQ.

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

 Sam Underwood asks:

 I have to say what a waste of space the Indian place is. Texans do not eat Indian food, so dump it and put something else there like BBQ food. Never saw anyone use it on our cruise. Texans also like more breakfast choices, country music plus more creamy desserts, all of which was sadly lacking on our cruise. Seems like Carnival needs to learn more about their customers if they are going to be doing good business in Texas.

 John says:

 Hello Sam Underwood

I do understand that Indian food is not as popular as, say, burgers or steaks or pasta. Many of our chefs are from India and they have a passion about sharing Indian cooking with our guests. I would like to suggest that next time you cruise you try the butter chicken masala and the tandoori chicken and, of course, some freshly made naan. It is very popular with many of our guests, though. I think that we have a good grip on what our guests want and certainly the success of our relationship with Galveston has resulted in the Carnival Freedom heading there which means Texans, and the many others who sail from Galveston on our ships, will have three ships, to choose from. I hope we see you again very soon and please, try the Indian food just once — you will not be disappointed. Best wishes.


Randy Jackson asks:

 John, we got off of the Carnival Liberty May 3 after doing the eastern Caribbean seven-day.  We had a blast but also a few things that ticked us off. The last say day during dinner a few of our party went to smoke and the entire Lido was closed Lido and the other decks. Considering this was the last sea day I find it very rude to close the decks for cleaning during peak time.  I have NEVER seen this in all my years cruising.  This should have been done in the very early hours yet this was at like 7 pm also my friends who were staying in balcony rooms the windows in the balconies were dirty upon embarkation and stayed that way the entire cruise.  They were not cleaned even once. Unacceptable to pay that kind of money and the windows stayed dirty. The people in two of the rooms have been on numerous cruises and this was a first.  Is Carnival cheapening its standards to cut corners? Rosalie Jackson and Mary Azevedo (both past cruisers and a newbie) were also was disappointed in the cleanliness. David Norton April 6 – May 3 Carnival Liberty and I was in 6233 outraged at these things on this particular cruise.

 John says:

 Hello Randy Jackson

I am very glad to read that you had such a great time. Just want to mention the balconies. I checked with the ship and they are cleaned at least week including the week you were on board but I also wanted to mention this — a few years ago, we could clean and wash in every port of call and many will remember leaving the ship in port to see an army of people washing, painting and scrubbing. Now these days it is all so different with the vast majority of ports not allowing any cleaning or washing at all while docked. This means that we have very few chances to clean and can only do so at sea. A letter is sent to the cabin and guests are told. But again, respectfully, the balconies are cleaned once or twice a week without fail and while at sea. But it’s a constant challenge because they do get dirty again in the salt air and sea spray, so please also bear that in mind and it certainly is not in any way Carnival “cheapening its standards to cut corners.” I just wanted to reassure you of that. I agree tough totally with your first point that we should leave the washing of the deck until much, much later and I will address this now with the hotel director and apologise for the trouble this caused. I hope you will let me know if you have a follow up questions and if I can help you with anything. Best wishes.


 Batia asks:

 Hello John: I’m going on Carnival Liberty cruise on July 6 with a family of 11 people with young children wanted to ask if the ship has a washing machine and dryer? If not, what washing solution do you offer for children? Thank you for your reply

Thank Batia

 John says:

 Hello Batia

Yes indeed. There are several guest launderettes that offer washers and dryers for a fee plus a full service laundry which offers wash and fold service with one full bag costing only $15. I hope this helps and please let me know if you have any other questions. Have a brilliant cruise. Best wishes.


 David Goris asks:

 Hey John just two quick questions: I have been sailing with Carnival for 10 years now and can never seem to get a table against the window to watch the sunset while eating dinner at the sit-down restaurant. Every time I book a cruise through Carnival I asked to be sat near a window and am told I must wait and see the maitre d’ once I am on board the boat. Then when I arrive on the day of embarkation the maitre d tells me there are no available tables because the dining room is full. Who is making the designations for the tables? Why is it I can never seem to get priority or ask for a special request prior to leaving for the cruise? Secondly is there a way to allow platinum guests back on board from a port of call through the crew member entrance… I think that would be a nice perk to reward cruisers that have made it to platinum status, to be able to bypass the sometimes very long line of reboarding passengers the ship from a port of call. I see a crew member only line is usually already in place, why not just add crew member and platinum guests? Heck, even add those diamond members!

 John says:

 Hello David Goris

Before I forget let me thank you for your loyalty and I hope we see you on many more cruises. Table assignments are based on many factors and most of our window tables are bigger tables for large family groups. However, should you wish to be seated at a table by the window please drop me a note on Facebook at ( and I should be able to help you from there

I am afraid we can’t allow platinum and diamond guests through the crew gangway. They are usually in what we call the marshalling area and that is full of moving equipment that would make it a dangerous place to have guests pass through. Let’s see what happens in the months ahead as we approach the two-year anniversary of our loyalty program. Thanks again and please let me know if you have any other questions. Best wishes.


 Lance Stuart asks:

 Hey Mr. Wisconsin Skinny – what’s the story about Guy’s Burger Joint not open at dinner time???!!!!!!!!!! Come on, Carnival, it is what your customers want so come on Mr. Fugly get this done would ya? Carnival Liberty cruise on June 7 in cabin 2388 and our 10th anniversary plus it’s our platinum cruise. Yea baby — help us with something, mate!!! ROFLMAO

 John says:

Hello Lance Stuart

Guy’s burgers certainly continue to grow in popularity and that’s because they are great. The chefs are cooking around 1,200 each day and from 11 am – 6 pm. It is because of this, and the careful manning of hours for the crew, that we close after 6 pm but don’t forget the pizza, stateroom service and other Lido choices for dinner. I want to thank you for your loyalty and I am sure this cruise will be the best yet and many congratulations on your anniversary. Have a great time. Best wishes.


 Kenneth Huffman asks:

 John: My wife and I will be on the Carnival Conquest this Dec 7 for our 18th cruise, and would like to know who the CD will be?



 John Says:

 Hello Kenneth Huffman

I am afraid that we won’t have the cruise director schedule posted until the end of July or start of August. This year, unlike any other, it is a very fluid schedule because of the addition of the new position of entertainment director who will oversee all the behind-the-scenes work. I will have the schedule posted here on the blog as soon as it is ready and if there is anything else I can do for you, please let me know. Best wishes.


 Debbie Hamnett asks:

 Just finished my fifth Carnival cruise with two more booked but thinking of canceling unless you change the life jacket drill. It lasted 40 minutes on Carnival Breeze because they did it in Spanish and English and then counted all of us. Standing out in the heat was a terrible experience for me and I saw at least 30 other passengers passing out and collapsing. Why does Carnival not do two separate ones in English and then, if they have to do one in Spanish, let us go inside. That is what happens on Royal anyway. So why doesn’t Carnival do it?

 John says:

 Hello Debbie Hamnett

Thank you for writing and, obviously safety remains the top priority and we take your safety very seriously. The counting of guests at the muster station needs to be done because that is what would happen in a real emergency. We really can’t do separate drills because in an emergency everyone would be together so we need, by law, to inform everyone how to save their lives in an emergency before the ship departs. I know that it can get hot during the spring and summer so I hope that you will try and forget that and concentrate on the fun you had during the cruise. Thanks for your understanding. Best wishes.


 Jennifer Norcross asks:

 This is a thank you to you, John, for arranging the veterans meeting for my husband Arnie Norcross on his cruise last week. He appreciated this so much and met up with other Vietnam veterans and they swapped stories. He is keeping in touch with one he met and they are becoming good friends. Thank you also for the gift and the note you sent and special thanks must go to our hard working and always grinning Chi, our cabin steward, who was fantastic. Keep the faith, John, and thank you for all you do for us

 John says:

 Hello Jennifer Norcross

Thanks so much for this because I know how important it was to him from your previous post. I hope we will see you all cruise again and, if I can help with anything else, please let me know.

Best wishes to you both.


 Wendy Boroski asks:

 Good morning, John. We will be joining you on the May 27 cruise to Alaska and I just wanted to say thank you for your quirky sense of humor. It really sets a great tone for my day. Look forward to finally meeting you. Please don’t scare all the whales away before we get there!!

 John says:

 Hello Wendy Boroski

I will be seeing you here in a week’s time and I think that this may be one of your best cruises ever. I will certainly try and make that so. Please leave me a note at the guest services desk when you board the ship with your cabin number. Have a brilliant time. Best wishes.


 Andrew Mullins asks:

 Why did Carnival cut back and buy cheap imitation of Red Bull? The Rock Star you sell on your boats is awful and nobody drinks it. I am very active in the gym and in life, even when I cruise so my 10 Red Bulls a day have to be replaced with vitamin waters because Rock Star is so sickly and disgusting. Suggest that you check into what the write ups in Men’s Health Magazine say about Rock Star in comparison to Red Bull!!!!

 John says:

 Hello Andrew Mullins

I must admit I am not familiar with Red Bull or indeed another word you used in your post …………”gym.” Seriously, I have never drunk these energy drinks but I realise they are very popular. It seems the Rock Star drinks are too because we sell a lot each week across the fleet. I think I am right in saying that they are owned by Coke which, of course, we have an exclusive contract. Hopefully, one week away from Red Bull will be manageable for you and that you will still have loads of fun on board. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Best wishes.


 And with that, we end today’s Q and A.

 Right, it’s a new cruise today so let’s see who is sailing with us, shall we?

 Total Guests                                       2,106

 United States                                      1,897

UK                                                      40

Canadian                                             26

French Canadian                                 6

Mexico                                                20

Australia                                             14

Germany                                             8

Israel                                                   7

Most represented state                       Texas – 255 guests

 Diamond Guests                                 8

Platinum Guests                                 144

Back to Back Guests                          6


And this cruise we start our regular itinerary which, until September 10, will be like this:


Tuesday                                  Seattle                                     Depart 4 pm

Wednesday                             At Sea                                     Elegant night

Thursday                                 Cruise Tracy Arm Fjord

Friday                                     Skagway                                 7am – 9 pm

Saturday                                  Juneau                                     7am – 6 pm

Sunday                                    Sea Day                                   Elegant night 2

Monday                                   Victoria, BC                           3 pm- 11pm

  So three days in port with some evening time in Juneau and Victoria which unlike the past two cruises, will not be a challenge to call at. So, looks like a great itinerary and I shall attempt to share the journey with you.

 Notice there that I used the word “attempt” because based on the satellite service we had last cruise that may not be possible. Now last Wednesday, we now are using a new satellite which the fleet uses for Internet and email, telephone calls off the ship, ATM machines and credit card authorisation. And last cruise, when we switch to the new satellite, all was good for a few hours, it was actually much quicker than our previous satellite. But then……………….it was crap.

 Now the technical beards who are on board have been trying to explain what happened and why it is has not worked for so long and I know they are trying their best but, for the guests it is frustrating as so many depend on email to stay in touch with family, etc. I made an apology announcement most days but, by yesterday, guests were fed up with me doing so, I think, and just wanted it back on line to print boarding passes and make travel arrangements.

 Today in Seattle we are supposed to receive some kind of spare part that will stop the signal from dropping so much. As I sit here in my underpants writing to you I have no idea if it came or not but hopefully it has. If not……………well, I might as well send you all updates by carrier pigeon. It is very frustrating indeed for everyone, me included.

 And, of course, it is terrible for the crew who absolutely rely on the satellite to communicate with family and friends through the discounted Internet and telephone service Carnival provides them and to be out of touch for so long is a challenge for sure. My goodness how things have changed. Go back 10 years communication was so different. On homeport days, huge bags of mail would be sent to the ship and hundreds of parcels and letters would be distributed amongst the crew. These days it’s one bag or less of mail as most now communicate via the internet……and when that’s not working, it is very much missed by everyone on the ship.

 I often talk about some of the guests I meet here on the blog and usually that’s because they are complaining about something or have done something worthy of me sharing with all of you. Occasionally, though, I meet a guest who you know immediately you will never forget. I met someone like this on our past cruise, on the last day at sea actually.

 It was after the Q & A when I had been asked dozens of questions including why people who wanted to be seated together were not, how many hours the crew work and what happens if a crew member gets pregnant? It was a jolly affair and yet, at its conclusion, I stood by the stage taking photos…….why people would want a photo with me continues to confuse me….but it was lovely and I was having a nice chat with assorted guests.

 But then it wasn’t lovely anymore because I spent the next five minutes with multiple fingers wagging in my face. I won’t go into details about what the wagging fingers were about except to say this was not the first comment or person I had dealt with from a church group we had on board. They loved the food, they appreciated the service, they did not appreciate the shows or the bars and casinos and…….well, you get the picture.

 Anyway, I got quite the tongue lashing and, once it had finished and the four ladies had left the lounge I started to walk away when I heard a voice calling my name. It was a lady I had seen at all the shows and she was memorable, I have to be honest because she was in a wheelchair. This young lady, and I say “young” because she was probably only in her 30s, had, I am guessing, a serious spinal injury because she could not move much of her lower body. We spent the next few minutes talking and she was describing the thrill of seeing whales in Juneau and how her waiter had been so much fun and how she loved Ticket To Ride and the comedians. She was so full of life and energy and happiness.

 She asked if I could take a photo with her. I stood by her side sort of crouching down so we were at the same height and, after the lady she was with took the photo, she said something to me, one of those things that you never forget. I do not remember her name I am embarrassed to say, but I will always remember what she said to me and after the finger wagging a few moments earlier, it was a massively poignant moment when she said, “The hardest thing about being in my wheelchair is I can’t get a proper hug.” I was a bit gob smacked by this, so I reached in and tried to give her the biggest hug I could and she laughed with glee.

 You know, I often concentrate too much here and on Facebook about the comments made by guests who may not like what we do or have an interesting and sometimes outrageous suggestions. But it would do me good to remember that there are thousands of guests each week who simply have the time of their lives on our ships and sometimes those guests leave you with everlasting memories.

 “The hardest thing about being in my wheelchair is I can’t get a proper hug.”

 I had never thought of that……had you?


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. Bern Doyle says:


    One day — the wife and I will manage to get out of this Port Canaveral circuit we keep redoing and get on a ship with you — and I will seek you out and shake your hand.

    regardless o the finger waggers and trolls, and the naysayers — you truly do care about the company and it’s customers and if they cannot see it — they are willfully blind.

  2. Risa Schimmel says:

    John, my grandmother (rip) used to say, “the day you stop looking is the day you die!”. Admiring a beautiful person is a compliment to the work that person puts into getting that way! It ain’t easy! So, never apologize for acknowledging beauty when put in front if you!

  3. Dorinne says:

    John, If we should happen to be on the same ship at any time I will be highly offended if you do not look at me all dressed up on elegant night. Thank you. 🙂

  4. Brad Goudie says:

    John, I just had to send a positive word to you. I read your blog and see it is far outweighed by complaints and negative comments. It must get tiring for you. My wife and I have become cruise addicts and have had great experiences with Carnival. The staff has always been a class act. Sure I could always look around and find something to complain about, but I am not about to let that ruin some incredible memories with my beautiful bride. You cannot undertake a massive operation like Carnival does and make everyone happy. We can’t wait til our next crusie, which unfortunately isn’t until December. Anyway keep up the great work and forget about the small things.

  5. kathy says:

    John, my husband and I are eagerly counting the days until our fifth cruise on Carnival. We are booked for a Southern cruise out of San Juan in Sept. It took a few years to convince my husband that cruising would be amazing, but now he loves it as much as I do. The Carnival ships are sooo much FUN! Always something exciting to do. We went to the kareoke bar one night and had a ball.By the time it was over we were all singing “We Are Family”! Anyway I would love to see Alaska with you sometime in the near future, but I do have one request. Could you make sure the whales are always on my side of the ship (lol!). Kathy

  6. John Mattingly says:

    Hello John,
    Sorry you had to put up Lady Vendetta. She clearly leads a pitiful, miserable life. Aside from a “sorry I offended you” comment, you had and have nothing to apologize to her for. Let the beards read the many comments regarding this event and they’ll see for themselves. I suppose it’s useful to have someone like her for comparison purposes when dealing with other jerks. Cheers!

  7. Mike Kane says:

    It’s all a matter of perspective isn’t it John. That is a truly wonderful story. See you again in 3 weeks John!!

  8. Who DOES that? says:

    Do people really drink 10 (!!!!!) Red Bulls a day? That’s crazy. You’d think one or maybe two a day max, but TEN? Srsly? What the funk?

  9. Nancy Boatright says:

    John-Thanks for sharing the sweet story about the girl in the wheelchair wanting a good hugs. Hugs are great! Maybe that’s what the angry lady at the beginning of your post needed! My family and I will be sailing with you on the June 10th cruise and can’t wait to meet you! This will be our 5th cruise and our 2nd one to Alaska. See you in 3 weeks!

  10. Jenni O'Tey says:

    Hi John!
    We love Carnival and can’t wait until our next cruise. In fact, that’s what my question is about. We want to go on the Hawaiian cruise leaving from Los Angeles. What months does that cruise run?

    Thank you!!!!!
    Jenni O’Tey

  11. William Gilsdorf says:

    Most esteemed CD:

    1. Re the lady that complained to the beards for your gaze upon the nice looking lady, did she mention she offered to be assuaged by a Dinner? Pretty cheap umbrage.

    2. Hugs are so very often in order for you, your crews, and even your beards! How sad that some folk never seem to get enough of a “deal” to be happy. So I propose- Henceforth that for every “gripe” you post you post 10 or even 100 positives. (I’d say use the actual percentage but how self serving you would seem, posting reality)

    Best wishes to you and your family (and Carnival Family)and cheers

    Bill (Platinum plus a few, stockholder, and Happy with CCL)

  12. Paul Salata says:

    The church lady’s who set upon you, the lady who didn’t like you looking at a beautiful lady. I guess the fact that you worry yourself to death over people like that is what makes you a great cruise director. There will always be people whose sole goal in life seems to be making other people feel bad. I will never understand why Carnival, and you jump through hoops for idiots like this, when 99.9% of the people who are on board are having so much fun, and enjoyment.

  13. Teresa Cooper says:

    Lance Stuart you are not funny. Calling John “Mr. Fugly” is rude beyond belief. You don’t deserve anything special from John.

  14. emily says:

    I was just in thinking the other day that I haven’t been able to properly hug my daddy in almost 4 months. At the end of January we found out that he had lung cancer that had spread to his spine and made him unable to walk or even stand. He’s able to walk with a walker now after months of physical therapy radiation and chemotherapy. But he still isn’t steady enough for me to wrap my arms around and rest my head on him and like the lady said, it’s impossible to hug properly in a wheelchair.

  15. Flo Hill says:

    John, despite those folks who criticize you and the constant negative comments you receive, I find you refreshingly funny and honest. I believe you have a wonderful heart and only want the best for your guests. I just want you to remember that there will always be people who are disagreeable – it certainly goes with the territory when you are “famous”, but there are multitudes more who find you charming, funny, and a breath of fresh air. Keep us laughing out loud at your posts and blogs and don’t sweat the harpies. They are in every walk of life. And those of us who love you would be happy to also write to the beards and tell them how much we appreciate you! With best regards, Flo

  16. Becky Parkinson says:

    I just wanted to say I follow both your blog and FB and I just love them. You make me laugh everyday 🙂

    You should definitely remember that far more people are having a wonderful time and not complaining. If I am on a cruise and have a problem I NEVER would carry on like the lady who didnt like you looking at the other woman. I had a problem on another cruise line once with really bad service at dinner and my husband mentioned it to the host as we were walking out and they stopped up and brought the main guy over who said he was sorry to hear it, and to come back the next night and ask for him. We really didnt expect much but he gave us a bottle of wine and the best service ever. Remind you we didnt expect anything except for the waiter to be talked to and maybe retrained to give service you expect.

    I hope that the beards take into account all of us who love you when the read the letter from someone who has nothing better to do with her life than to try to ruin anothers.

    10 red bulls can not possibly be good for you !!

    Aloha from Hawaii

  17. Menard Robert says:

    Bonjour John my wife and my two daugthers we where on he Cruise last year in méditerranéen in may ,you where à good Cruise director this year i am back whit my wife she’s gone to be 57 years old tommorrow 2 years a go àt the same time she wase suppose to be in à Cruise whit carnival in Alaska she had cancer but She fight that cancer i am proud of here.sorry for the spelling my ipad is french

  18. Kathy Preis says:

    John, thank you so very much for sharing your experience with the young lady in the wheelchair. It brought tears to my eyes and made me think about how lucky my family is and motivates me to reset my life’s priorities.

  19. Ernie Ortenburg says:

    John, I forgot to mention on my other note, the wonderful job Jamie & Weezie did with the Veterans Meeting, there must have been about 40 of us there. The only problem I saw, is it wasn’t advertized very much. This was on the Sunshine sailing 2 May. Maybe the Fun Times isn’t good enough, or there is so much other venues offered, it gets lost in the fine print. Someone mentioned it to me as I was wearing my Coast Guard Veteran hat or else I may not have been there either.

  20. Sharon Hartzell says:

    I am sailing on the 6/5 Imagination 3 day to Ensenada with my son, sister and nephew. This will be my 13th Carnival cruise and the first without my husband. He passed away in March after a battle with cancer. I wanted to know if the Imagination will have the walk for the cure or is that only done on longer voyages?
    PS: Are there any plans to add more West Coast iteneraries? My sister won’t fly since 9/11 due to severe anxiety and I don’t know if I could manage a cruise alone, at least not in the near future.

  21. Wayne says:

    God works in mystical ways. Four ladies who put God into a very small, tightly sealed box and then He sends you an angel. I wish that I could give your angel a great big hug too.

  22. John,
    What a great lesson you learned today. All of the finger-wagging, letter-writing prurient nonsense is body-slammed by the wheelchair-bound girl, her comment and your response. Always remember to focus on the latter, not the former. As my mom used to say, “you done good”.

  23. Teresa Werth says:


    I read your posts daily and as a retired communications/PR professional, I am continually amazed at whatbyou have to contend with on a daily basis. Your poignant experience with the young lady in your last post reminded me of something that used to get me through many tough situations in my work. I used to remind myself that the people you encounter in any given situation will come like a bell-shaped curve: on one end will be the really difficult, whack jobs. On the other end will be the very special, kind, appreciative folks like the lady who got your best hug. The center of that bell-shaped curve will be filled with hundreds, maybe thousands of people who enjoyed their experience, didn’t complain and went basically unnoticed. That really is how most of life works in my experience. So (wait for it….take home message right here) when the difficult, whack jobs show up I try not to be surprised but to say to myself, “Here they are, right on schedule! OK, now I can take care of them as best I can (most are no win situations, don’t you agree?), move on and wait for the unusually delightful people to show up.” And they do. I used to tell my students in Customer service training classes, whenever you interact with a customer, the customer will go away changed in some way…they will either have a more positive impression of the company you represent or a more negative one…they cannot leave that interaction unchanged. It seems to me that you do everything possible to ensure the cruisers you encounter in person or on line, go away feeling they have been heard and their concerns are understood even of you can’t do everything they want. I think you are much too hard on yourself when dealing with the whack jobs. Don’t waste the emotional energy on them. Don’t be surprised when they show up. And savor the moments like your very special hug as a sign of all you do that is good and right!

    • steff says:

      Teresa so well said and its so true. I too worked customer service and totally agree

  24. Pat Davidson says:

    Just want to thank you, Dee and everyone behind the scenes for the cruise we got of today from Alaska. Frankly, Charlie and I do not know how we can outdo this trip – it was AWESOME – I was looking for a comment card in my room, but didn’t see one – so, here are my comments. Everything was the best, the ship was perfect, food excellent, shows top notch, cruise director and his wonderful assistant – great – loved your debarkation speech, especially the song for the children – it was wonderful – and again, please pass on the positive comments to the beards – and thank you for helping Charlie and I celebrate our 30th anniversary in style – oh, and a shout out to Arnel on the Lido deck, Anthony and his staff at the Your Time Dining, and of course Rich and his staff as our cabin stewards. Thanks – in fact, my luggage had such a great time it is still in Seattle, but will arrive tomorrow. Good night, and again, thank you.
    Pat & Charlie Davidson

  25. spencer s says:

    Sam Underwood-The reason I will never sail from a Texas port. Heaven forbid a multinational corporation try to have something for everybody. BBQ really dude? let me guess you drink Budweiser while listening to Toby Keith eating a brisket sandwich in Roatan? seriously man expand you horizons or stay home

    • Julie Tyler says:

      Do not lump all of Texas in with Mr. Underwood’s narrow view of cuisine–in that, you become what you despise. I am as Texan as they come; born and raised here and my ancestors fought and died at the Alamo. I love a good plate of barbeque, but I also love a good tandoori and some pad Thai. Sail out of Galveston and before you do, you might try some of Houston’s outstanding restaurants. We have some James Beard award winners and finalists cooking here…and our barbeque can’t be beat!

  26. Steven Johnson says:

    See John, like I said, there’s your angel! Good sailing mate!

  27. Angela Swiffen says:

    John, the society we live in these days is very quick to complain and very slow to compliment. Hold on to that lovely image of the young girl in the wheelchair. You made her day by giving her the hug she wanted so much. I hope one day I shall be on one of your cruises so I can thank you personally for all the laughs you give me when reading your fabulous blogs. They make my day!

  28. Here’s a big HUG John from me, Paul & Mary Lou Pietrangelo. The very first thing that you and I did when I met you for the very first time on the Valor was hug and I will never forget it. I was knew to cruising butI was reading your blog each day and was dreaming that I would meet you some day. Meeting you on the Valor was a dream come true and later seeing you on the Dream and the Breeze always excited me meeting you each time was a joy. Thank you John for giving me that hug.


    • Leslie Henry-Mellor says:

      I guess I just don’t understand why people would spend thousands of dollars on a vacation that has so many things they wouldn’t enjoy. Surely if you planned on spending that kind of money you would do research to see what was included. So if offended by night clubs, casino’s and scantily clad bodies, (for heavens sake I am sure the worst were on the Lido deck by passengers, not dancing crew members)why would you even choose a cruise for vacation? And why is it the cruise line’s fault that you are offended? I would think you made a informed choice to take the cruise. Maybe complaining about it puts their conscience at ease for making a choice that went against what they try to appear to represent? Sadly that is what keeps many away from church, the judgment by others. That’s their baggage John, not yours.

      All they had to do was not participate in any activities that offended them. Judging and complaining does nothing to Glorify God, in fact, just the opposite.

      • Sharon says:

        I honestly can’t get over all the people who totally find fault with everything. Most ships hold around 2000 passengers and not everyone is going to act the way one or two people expect or want things to be done. So tired of hearing complaints. Carnival employees work hard to keep us in a clean, safe, and fun environment.
        Folks if you are unhappy stay home and leave room for the rest of us.

  29. Stacie says:

    “The hardest thing about being in my wheelchair is I can’t get a proper hug.”

    And now I’m all teary eyed… :'(

  30. Stephen H Worden says:

    First I want to address the Texas vs Mexican food thing. Just a comparison. Went to a party last Saturday. I brought a bottle of scotch which was an off brand. I was condemned by one person for, well the statement was. “I would never drink that shit. It tastes terribly. So give me something good. No Problem … I poured half the bottle I bought and poured in a Johnny Walker Bottle. Served him a drink from it… “AH that’s better than the crap you brought!’ Just change the name of the items served. Will they Know?

    Next, About that woman. Two things … Many people in this world make themselves feel worthy and important by making sure that, in their mind, and helps them to forget their own troubles and problems. Fruedian psychology calls that defense is called “PROJECTION”..all my problems are because of other people and other events.

    What I have noticed over the weeks is that you seem to be over concerned about this event.

    Which brings to #2:You can please the people some of the time but you can’t please all the people all thetime! MOVE ON JOHN.

    Oh by the way, the unsolicited Psychological consultation will cost you a bottle of champagne and a plastic ship on my next cruise.

    Your Submariner Friend…

  31. Ducky says:

    It may be just me, but I don’t think it is a good idea to use the laundry facilities on children.

  32. Mike Kane says:

    I don’t know what kind of cruises Debbie Hamnett is taking, but I’ve been on 12 cruised with Carnival and have yet to see anyone “passing out and collapsing” at any of the muster drills, and surely not “at least 30”. Drama Queen much Debbie????

  33. David says:

    Congratulations. I’m sure that hug was worth the price of gold. Our family are Platinum members because we love the Carnival product. Sure, if you go looking for things to complain about you can find them. However, why would you go looking for problems on a vacation???? If you don’t like the shows, don’t go. If the casino offends you, walk on a different deck. If you don’t drink, find a secluded spot on deck on or your cabin’s balcony.

    • Julie Tyler says:

      I have found that if you expect to be miserable, you will be miserable. If you expect to have a good time, you will have a good time. It all depends on your outlook. I’ll never forget my college band director who was taking a large group of alumni and students on a trip to Europe come by my sister’s and my seats on the plane and comment that he was looking forward to the trip with us because we were such good travelers; we knew how to have a good time. We were practically doing the happy dance in anticipation of the trip. Was it because we partied? No, we’re tea-totalers. It was because we were naturally good-natured, savvy travelers, and knew how to go with the flow. These complainers just sound miserable to me; sure enough they found SOMETHING to complain about!

  34. Dale B. Carr says:

    John: I’m really sorry that you’ve caught such grief for watching a beautiful woman. I know I would be guilty of the same offense if placed in the same position. The next cruise we are on together (BC8 I think), I’ll do the looking for you and tell you about it. ha-ha,

  35. Thanks so much for your blog today. Can’t wait to see you on July 15 cruise to Alaska and THEN I want a hug too. So excited you are our cruise director.

  36. Jane Demaree says:

    I have been on 11 Carnival Cruises and have loved everyone of them. Always been a real cheerleader for Carnival. BUT, yes, there is a BUT. On my last cruise May 4th on the Breeze, I was VERY disappointed with the show in the main theater . The lightning hurt my eyes and it was way to loud. The singers sounded like they were screaming. It was the worst show I have ever seen Carnival put on. I went to two of them, and then pasted on the next two. I HAVE NEVER MISSED A SHOW BEFORE. I hope this isn’t a new trend for future show, it is terrible.

  37. Lorna Rivard says:

    Hi John, I love reading your blog, and am looking forward to meeting you on Bloggers Cruise 8. I booked before your announcement, so I was pleasantly pleased. Can I register if I don’t have Face Book, and how would I sign up?

    I just wanted to say as a straight woman, I can appreciate a fine looking woman as well as a fine looking man. I think this is healthy and natural. It is unfortunate that you have been made to feel less human because of an appreciation for the finer things in life. I believe the woman who complained has insecurities with in her self that you have know control over. Good luck and keep up the good work.
    Will we be able to have a good old fashioned “Tail Gate” party for Super Bowl Sunday, our first sea day on BC8!
    Talk Soon

  38. Randy Good says:


    Me and my wife cruised with you last week. We had a brilliant time (minus all the old folks asleep throughout lido deck). Can’t wait to sail again with your terrific crew!

    The Goats 🙂

  39. Gary Waits says:

    Really enjoyed your shows on our Alaskan Curise with Dick Little and Santa. You are a wonderful speaker and fun to listen to.

  40. Diane says:

    I have been on the Breeze multiple times (7) and not once have we had to stand outside in the heat. We are always mustered at a muster station inside. In fact I am currently looking at the back of my door and nothing says anything about going outside.

    Maybe you are thinking of another ship?

    And wouldn’t it make sense to spend the 40 minutes to make sure everybody is on the same page so in case of an emergency? To make sure everybody knows what’s going on and nobody is left behind? It’s Miami, it’s hot, deal with it. If you want cold go to Alaska.

    Shame on you.

  41. Annette Hartnoll says:

    Hi John,
    I just wanted to let you know that I was on the May 13th cruise to Alaska with you and I have to say that I have really never spent much time at the cruise director live shows in my past Carnival cruises, but with my husband along this time, we made an exception. We had a fabulous time at each one and you really made our cruise something special.

    I look forward to seeing you again at some time in the near future. Have a great summer and please keep in mind there are many more people out there that enjoy the Carnival fun than those that don’t.

    Cheers from Canada!!

  42. Jim says:

    I find it amazing the complaining I read on this blog. My family and I flew all the way from Australia in 2011 to the US for a vacation, including a cruise on Carnival Valor. We had such a fun and amazing time that we have booked again for January coming. When you travel, things are always going to be a bit different to home, this is how it’s supposed to be! When on my last Carnival cruise I explored an old Spanish Fort, ate snails and was coaxed onto waterslides by my (then) 6 year old son. What a blast! Compared to vacationing at home Carnival was different, new, fun and cheap, and I can’t wait for January. My advice to other people is to relax, enjoy yourself and be prepared to be just a little flexible. You Americans are generally wonderful, warm and great fun and I can’t wait to see you all again in 6 months time.

  43. Norm Cole says:

    Dear John,

    First of all, a huge shout out to you for this brilliant blog and your equally brilliant Facebook! I eagerly await your newest posts and thoroughly enjoy your keen wit and creative way with words! Please, don’t stop!

    As to the situation with the disgruntled individual who objected to your gazing upon beauty, let me share what my first Cruise Director, Ray Rouse, told me after a rather rough drubbing I took in the comment cards after a cruise. (I was Cruise Staff/Social Host from 93-96 with RCCL & Cunard)

    But, Ray looked at me and said, “Norm, if you’re not appearing in the comment cards, you’re not being visible.” In other words, he would rather see us out interacting daily with passengers, than hiding. So, while a negative comment could be off target or an opportunity for growth, he would rather see that than no comments.

    So, clearly, you are a great CD and very visible! And, as we know, in the fascinating world that is a cruise ship, we can not win them all, but we can certainly try. 🙂



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