June 6, 2014 -

John Heald

If I was walking around the Carnival Miracle and saw someone indulging in antisocial behavior, such as sitting on Promenade Deck and putting their feet on one of the chairs or spitting that chewy tobacco stuff into a cup (both of which I have actually seen last cruise), I would simply roll my eyes and keep on walking. If it were something more serious, such as trying to pull a cowboy hat of some poor bugger’s head in the dining room, I would probably even say something. Strangely, however, when I spot someone dropping litter, I am overcome with a sometimes uncontrollable need to perform experiments on that person that involve drills and nipple clamps. I felt like this yesterday. I stood waiting on Deck 8 forward from the elevator to come take me to Deck 2. The doors opened and I watched a man who was around my age, take his plastic cup that he was eating ice cream from and just drop it……yes, drop it — not place it — on the floor of the elevator and walk away. The cup tipped over and a small trickle of ice cream went onto the floor of the elevator. Now, it was 1:30 pm and we were in Skagway, so many guests were off the ship and so he probably didn’t think anyone would see him……..I did, though. Now maybe I should have chased him down and given him the cup and spoon back and asked him to put it on a table or pass to a crew member. Maybe I should have wacked him on the nose with the spoon and poured the remainder of the ice cream down his pants……….but I didn’t. I picked it up and placed it in one of the bar pantries.

Now that is not the most interesting story in the world, is it? Certainly not as gripping as books like Donald Sterling: My Life with Viagra but, for some reason, this silly thing, this little ice cream spill in the elevator, really made me mad. In my role as cruise director and brand ambassador, would it perceived as rude to chase this guy down and return the cup? Yes, it would be and probably very unprofessional, too. He meant no harm I am sure so why did it get to me so much?

As I said, I could have followed him and give it to him but I didn’t, I used self-control. I did not use self-control last cruise. I was talking to the most delightful and wonderful guest who without saying too much was in a wheelchair and despite facing the most extraordinary challenges was the most amazing and exuberant and positive person anyone could wish to meet. As I was speaking to her, a man stood close by and in the middle of me talking to her he whistled at me and, as I looked up, he did the finger wagging thing to say come here. I asked him politely to, “Stand by, sir” and carried on talking to the lady. He did it again, both the whistle and the finger wave and so I looked up, said “Woof woof” and panted like a dog. I then smiled and said, “Sir, just a moment and I will be right with you.” I should not have done that. I really should not have done that and even though I was trying to be funny and use humour, instead of telling him to be bloody patient, I should not have done that. That was quite unprofessional of me for sure. So maybe that has been on my mind and that’s why when I saw that cup of ice cream being casually put on the elevator floor and tipping over spilling out, I didn’t tell him to pick the sodding thing up again.

As Frank once sang………………….regrets, I have a few.

Elaine Carroll asks:
I am a PLATINUM!!  I have been on the Carnival Pride several times. I am on the repositioning cruise in March… please tell me they are changing the decor…The decor is the most depressing I have ever seen.  What are they planning on doing to make it a Fun Ship 2.0 ship?

John says:
Hello Elaine Carroll

Thank you for your loyalty and I am glad to see you have enjoyed the Carnival Pride. She will have a two-week dry dock and will receive many of the popular Fun Ship 2.0 elements like Alchemy Bar, EA Sports Bar, BlueIguana Cantina, Guy’s Burger Joint and more. She will be more brilliant than ever, that’s for sure.  Hope we see you soon. Best wishes.


Rosemary Robinson asks:
I will be on an Alaska cruise in September and I can’t find the shore excursion options from the ship at Tracy Arm. I seem to recall there was a small boat that came alongside the ship and took passengers under the glacier. Is it no longer available and why? It was priced around $190 and I cannot find it on the list.

John says:
Hello Rosemary Robinson

It is indeed available and you will be able to purchase it on board, the price is $183 and it is simply outstanding. It gives you unprecedented looks at the glacier and the marine life that live there. I will tell you more on board. See you soon. Best wishes.


Peggy Atchley asks:
As a platinum VIP passenger with Carnival, I would like that you give people like me priority boarding before the passengers on Faster to the Fun for $50. There should be a 10-minute gap at least so the privilege we have spent thousands of dollars on is not ruined by having to share this privilege with the general population. Does Carnival not value me as a customer? If they do, then this needs to be done.

John says:
Hello Peggy Atchley

We certainly do value your loyalty and I personally hope that it continues for a long time to come. You know, depending on the size of the ship we sell only an average of 15 cabins with Faster to the Fun and yes, Diamond and Platinum guests should embark first – and most of the time they do. But I really do not think a 10-minute pause between the two is needed. What is needed is to make sure that the Diamond and Platinum guests embark first and we work hard to make sure that happens. Please let me know if you have any other questions and I will be here for you. Best wishes.


Crystal Goettle asks:
Hey! If we want to have no room service from the cleaners for the five days we are on the boat, how can we tell you that we do not want this? Who do I get this done with? We are on the Carnival Fascination in August.

John says:
Hello Crystal Goettle

If you mean do you have to have the cabin steward clean your cabin twice a day? Well, no you don’t have to have it done, although I must say this is a very unusual request. If you insist on this, please write to me on my Facebook.com/johnheald page the day before the cruise and I will arrange this for you. Having the stewards clean your cabin is a wonderful part of the cruise, so please have a think about this and let me know if you have any questions. Best wishes.


Kristi Wilson asks:
Hello: My name is Kristi Wilson. To be honest, I had no idea who you were until I kept seeing your posts pop up in my feed on Facebook that some of my friends have commented on. I kept seeing all of this stuff about cruises and some of the stuff you post is pretty neat. I Googled your name and found out that you work for Carnival. I just wanted to tell you that I enjoy reading the things that pop up in my feed that you write and the questions that you ask of people. You seem to have a way of talking to people and can do it nicely which I would imagine would be beneficial in your line of work. I have never been on a cruise in my life. To be honest, I’m a little

scared. I am ashamed to say that I have watched Titanic (I know you are probably rolling your eyes here…LOL) and I just have a fear that something will happen while we are in the middle of the ocean. I have also been told there are certain rules one must abide by when on a cruise, and I’m afraid I would do something wrong and get in trouble by the workers, and most important, I worry about my daughter’s safety while out on a boat in the middle of the water. Before my husband got laid off and my daughter got sick and had to have surgery, we thought about taking our first family vacation and taking a cruise. Needless to say, those plans got put on permanent

hold. My husband is still trying to talk me into a cruise once we get the money, but like I said, I’m a little scared.  In closing, just wanted to tell you that I think you seem very personable and that it’s great you have such a good attitude when dealing with people from all walks of life, and I can tell that you seem to really love your job. Keep up the good work, sir!


Kristi Wilson

John says:
Hello Kristi Wilson

I am so honoured that despite your worries that you still take the time to read my stuff and I’m even happier that you like it. Carnival has safely carried more than 60 million guests in our 42-year history and cruising has proven to be one of safest vacation options around, in addition to being incredibly fun and affordable.  I hope that your circumstances change and that one day we will see you here and meanwhile keep reading and when and if you have questions I will be here for you. Hope to see you soon. Best wishes to you all.


Gerard asks:
I just want say that last year we cruised on Carnival fort third year in row and this year will be fourth…….although I could have gone on Carnival Liberty for an extra day and about $400 cheaper, I chose the Carnival Sunshine and the reason was last year we sailed on the Carnival Dream and Jaime Dee is just that good…when I found out she was CD on Carnival Sunshine this August, it was a no brainer.  That girl is magnificent, worth triple of whatever she earns…….if ever there is a debate about what ship and she is on one them … it will be that ship no doubt……you have a diamond in that girl …can’t wait – I know that ship will be rocking.

John says:
Hello Gerard

There is no doubt that Jaime is one of our best cruise directors and I am sure she will be thrilled when she sees this. She works so hard and has so much energy so it is no surprise that you enjoyed her so much. Hope we see you soon and please let me know if there is anything I can do for you. Best wishes.


Kreg Hahn asks:
I agree that your staff should not be allowed to eat and play in passenger places. You would never go to Disney World and see that and I should know because I work there. I cruised on Carnival Dream last year and was shocked to see the workers in elevators, bars and taking up places that should have been for customers only, at tables on the top deck where the food is served. Why is this allowed? Not cool at all

John says:
Hello Kreg Hahn

First of all I hope you had a great cruise and what a privilege it must be to work for the brilliant Disney organisation. We allow only a select group of officers and staff to be in guest areas and they have strict rules as to when and what they can do. I think many guests appreciate seeing them there and have a chance to interact and ask questions. But the bottom line is guests come first and that is something our two companies have in common. Thanks, Kreg. Hope we see you soon. Best wishes.


Mandi Crago asks:
John: I have been reading your Facebook suggestions for almost two weeks. I feel that there are a few people who enjoy Carnival…but not the fun. (I am definitely not one of those people).  Can you take one ship, on one itinerary, make it nothing but tables for two for dining (if there are families of four or six, the tables can be moved)…close off the basketball courts and extend the Serenity area. Make vegetarian meals in the steakhouse. Don’t host games on sea days. But keep the nightly entertainment….ya know…….make a fuddy duddy ship…and send all your complaints to that ship for their next port of call and allow those of us who enjoy Carnival’s ideas the way they are.

John says:
Hello Mandi Crago

I think there is a cruise line that caters to that and it’s……….never mind. Thanks for the great post and I hope we see you again soon and if there is anything at all I can do for you, please do let me know. Best wishes.


Ted Caffyn asks:
John, we are on the Carnival Liberty August 30! Question is I want to do the behind the scenes tour. I know it is limited, so why can’t you book it like an excursion rather than when on board? It’s easy to get caught up in the fun and, by the time I get to guest services, it is sold out. Any ideas? Hope you are enjoying Alaska but wish you were sailing with us in August. Stay safe my friend, Ted.

John says:
Hello Ted Caffyn

There must be a good reason why the beards do not allow this but as I sit here answering this, I really have no idea why. Let me ask and see what we can do because I agree, I think it would help. Let me get back to you when I have news and please let me know if there is anything I can do before your next cruise. Have fun Ted. Best wishes.


Bernadett Froysland asks:
We were surprised to see thongs allowed at every pool and not just the adults area. Does Carnival have rules about this? I know you are not allowed topless sunbathing but should thongs not also be banned?

John says:
Hello Bernadett Froysland

We do not have rules on thongs, except the one that says I am forbidden to wear one. We do not allow topless sunbathing and, to be honest, I have never given this much thought………thongs? Well, I can understand your point but how do we police that? And should we? Certainly one for discussion so I will put this on my Facebook page and see what your fellow cruisers have to say. Please do let me know if you have any other questions and hope we see you soon. Best wishes.


Dorothy Goss asks:
I read today that you will be on the Carnival Legend in Alaska next year. Having crossed the Atlantic both ways on the Carnival Legend last year and being disappointed that Carnival has abandoned Europe, Alaska may be the next item we tick on our bucket list. However, a seven- day cruise is just not worth the flight from the UK.I tried to find where the Carnival Legend was going after Alaska thus giving us the possibility of a back to back that doesn’t just go to the same places again, but could not find this information on the website. Is it just that the schedule is not decided or am I thinking too far in advance? Thank you for amusing me on a regular basis and I look forward to travelling with you again.

John says:
Hello Dorothy Gross

I totally understand, it is indeed a long way to come. We have not announced this yet but I would think there will be a Hawaii cruise coming up. Maybe that would be the perfect cruise for you to do and I will let you know as soon as everything is confirmed. Let’s see what happens and, regardless, I really do hope you can cruise with us. Please let me know if I can help further and hope to see you soon. Best wishes.


Kyle O’Neill asks:
On Carnival Elation can you smoke at the back of the ship on the Lido deck? Also before you leave port, can you smoke on the outdoor decks? If not, where can you smoke?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

John says:
Hello Kyle O’Neil

Thanks for writing and here is the exact answer as per the notification in the ship’s Fun Times:


Smoking is prohibited in all guest staterooms. Guests in balcony staterooms are permitted to smoke on the stateroom balcony. Smoking is permitted in the casino while playing at designated slot machines and table games, the Drama Bar (limited to designated area), the Jekyll & Hyde nightclub and Lido Deck main pool starboard side. Cigar smoking is only permitted at Lido Deck main pool starboard side and stateroom balconies only. Smoking is not allowed when the ship is bunkering or refueling in New Orleans and an announcement will be made when it is safe to do so.

Please let me know if you have any other questions. Best wishes.


Wanda Schwieger asks:
John, your ice tea is undrinkable. Love Carnival — HATE your ice tea.

John says:
Hello Wanda Schwieger

I am very sorry to hear that and, again, I will pass this to the beards. I took a poll on this recently on Facebook and I think while many said it had improved and that they really liked — many said they did not. I will pass this along and I am also so glad to see you “love Carnival.” Long may that continue! Best wishes.


Joe Bowers asks:
John: I read today’s blog and am amazed. I’m in my apartment and I actually screamed “OH FFS!!!”  I can’t believe someone wrote to CCL about your political correctness or lack thereof or whatever. If they have such a problem with you, why are they reading your blog?!? The simple thing is to not read it. I love your blog and your Facebook page. I look forward to your posts EVERY day. I look forward to the humor, the stories, the insights, and most importantly…..your unvarnished honesty. I have taken two cruises on Carnival and have three more booked. Part of my loyalty is because of you. For my second cruise, it was supposed to be my friend and me. It ended up being a group of six of us, one of which was my aunt. I had spoken with you here about it and you made the trip extra special for my aunt and me.  Your acts of kindness and generosity do not go un-noticed. I have three cruises planned. My next is in September on the Carnival Dream. Then we are going on the Carnival Fantasy for the third time in April and then next August to Alaska. We are hoping you do choose to do the Alaska season next year. I want to cruise with you, shake your hand, give ya a big hug, and personally thank you for what you’ve done for me and CCL in general. You are a GREAT man. You do GREAT things. You are an ASSET to Carnival. Keep your head held high and be proud of what you do.   Wish I was there


John says:
Hello Joe Bowers

What a wonderful way to end today’s Q&A. May I please say a huge thank you for your kind words which are both uplifting and rejuvenating. I try my best to make sure that everyone has the best of times and I will keep doing just that. It would be great to see you in Alaska with us and, if there is anything I can do for you please let me know. Thanks again for your kindness and hope to see you very soon. Best wishes.


That’s all for today. Thanks to everyone who takes the time to post here on the blog. In a blog last week, I spoke about dress codes and cowboy hats and elegant night being a choice. Of course, it never used to be but it would be futile to say that times have not changed, because they have.

The event that used to kick-start elegant night or formal night was the captain’s party which is what we now call the Captain’s Celebration. Yep, by 5 pm half the ship would be dressed formally and the other half would be dressed the same by 7pm. In those days, everyone dressed formally, it was the rule and it was tradition. Today, it’s all about choice and the freedom to wear what you want to wear on your cruise vacation. Who are we to tell you otherwise? But there is no doubt that the Captain’s Celebration has suffered a bit, attendance wise. Yes, yes, yes, I know we served free cocktails in thimble-sized glasses but that can’t have been the only reasons people came out of the sun, got dressed in elegant attire and came to the party…………can it?

These events used to be huge. I remember serving the drinks as a bar waiter and watching Captain Sbisa and Cruise Director Gary Hunter shake hands with the passengers and, before too long, I was Gary Hunter. I don’t mean I became a brilliant ventriloquist and spoke with a southern accent and went to work for Crystal Cruises…….I mean, before too long I was standing at the door with the captain shaking hands with the passengers. Back then we had the Carnivale, Mardi Gras, Tropicale, Holiday, Jubilee, Celebration and the Fantasy. All of the captain’s parties were held in the main theatres and a ship’s photographer would stand at the entrance and take photos of guests as they shook hands with the captain.

Now, back then, much like today, our captains were truly welcoming and enjoyed the social aspect of their jobs. However, there were one or two captains back in the day who us cruise directors would dread having to do these parties with. There was one captain, who I am sure was a superb navigator yet he had graduated from the Donald Sterling Charm School. I will call him Captain Fanarovino. Anyway, they did not suffer fools gladly and they would make it pretty clear who they thought were fools. Let me explain.

If there is one question that has been consistently asked over the years it is one addressed to the captain and it goes like this:  “If you are here………who is driving the boat?”  This question is usually followed by a laugh as though they are the first person ever in the entire history of cruising to ask that question. Now, these days our captains usually answer it with a pretend laugh or the answer of “my chauffeur”….or the more serious captains would give guests the professional answer of, “Well, there are two officers on the bridge at all times. Right now, we have Rocco Carbonora and Luigi Cannoli who are on the bridge along with two highly qualified, trained and competent mariners. The ship is on auto pilot, a system developed by the shipyard in Finland where the ship was built in 2004 at a cost of $400 million. The auto pilot system uses a double capacitor warpness cell based on the Jean Luc Picard scale and………” By then, the passenger had probably fallen asleep.

Anyway, regardless of what answer the captains gave, they certainly would never, ever say what Captain Fanarovino used to. It went something like this:

Guest: “Evening Captain. If y’allllllllll are here, who is driving the boat? Ha ha ha ha ha.”

Captain Fanarovino: “Is a stupid question, why you have to say stupid things like that – pah!” And then under his breath “porca Madonna masaria testa da minkya” which by the way is not Italian for “enjoy the party.”

Honestly, I used to cringe and do my best to find the guests in the lounge after the hand shaking bit was finished and apologise to them. Some thought that captain was being funny, some were truly offended. Oh, and God help any man who tried to introduce himself to the captain before his wife. He would then receive both barrels from the master, “You needa to lerna that de man introduce the lady to the capitano firsta” and this time not under his breath, ”Porca Madonna masaria testa da minkya.”

Captains Fanarovino is no longer with us, of course, and one thing that has also disappeared is the photographer taking pictures of you and the captain. This is a real shame and there are two reasons this happened. One is the sheer numbers of people. When we did these parties on the smaller ships we had far less people. Now we have 3,500 or 4,000 guests on the Dream-class and the sheer logistics of getting the guests where they need to be, next to the captain, smile, oh, you blinked, let’s do another, means that it would take forever.

Gone are the days of the ship photographers standing there shouting, “Hold it, hold it hold it” …… “Squeeze together, squeeze together.” These days, if people want to meet the captain and want a photo, they take it with their own cameras or eyephones. But it seems less and less people want to meet the captain or at least make an effort to do so. I wonder why? It is a shame because Captain Luca Lazarino, like many of our captains, is a warm, sincere, genuine person who truly enjoys meeting guests. Maybe we need to work harder to find a platform for him to do that from.

Alaska is amazing and I have now officially run out of words to describe how…….. bugger ………. it is. And I have now confirmed with the beards that starting from the Vancouver to Seattle cruise, I will be on the Carnival Legend for the season in 2015.  I am writing this on Thursday afternoon here in Skagway and, because of Mount Bugger, I have no satellite connection and the guests have no TV reception either. That means in one hour when the NBA finals start we will miss watching the Heat demolish the Spurs.

The Miami Heat is Carnival’s team and the connection between the two organisations is obvious. From Micky Arison, the team’s owner and our chairman, to hundreds of crew members around the fleet, Carnival employees love and cherish the Miami Heat. There is one chap I know who is a senior beard at Carnival who is a massive fan. He lives, breathes and loves the Heat more than anything in the whole wide world which is why he is single and has the love life of a Benedictine monk. That and the fact that this single, 30-something Carnival employee admitted to me that in his Miami Beach luxury apartment he has a comforter on his bed with the Miami Heat logo on it and a full size picture of LeBron James. He has in previous conversations with me mentioned that he gets no rumpy pumpy and now I think we know why……..don’t we? One can imagine the scene as he finally meets a girl and brings her back to his apartment. They tonsil hockey their way to the bedroom, ready to unleash their passion when, suddenly, she sees that he has a Miami Heat comforter with LeBron’s grinning face on it which is only a little less dismaying to her than spotting on his bedside table, a jar of Preparation H and some penicillin.

Let’s Go Heat!


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. Gene L. says:

    You didn’t actually answer the question about the decor on the Pride. Won’t affect my enjoyment when I am abord her next April, but I was curious. The classical masters theme is a bit tired.

  2. Glenn Rutledge says:


    In reference to your question about not stopping to meet the Captian, I leave him alone out of respect!

    Often, you can see the expression on the face of a canned smile, and almost see the thoughts of; how much longer do we have to be here…

    My employment is with the public, and I get tired of dealing with them at times also. The Captian has ALL ultimate responsibility of the ship, and the entire time he is meeting people, he is probably thinking about business matters.

    So that is one reason. Due respect!!!

  3. Richard Williams says:

    Hello John,
    After reading your latest Blog entry, I’m afraid I will no longer be able to cruise with Carnival again. (9 previous cruises) You see, I’m from San Antonio…the home of the San Antonio Spurs Basketball team. So unless Carnival changes their loyalty with Miami Heat over to the San Antonio Spurs….I will never cruise with your company again. And I’m going to tell all my friends not to cruise with Carnival as well….
    Thanks for listening.

    PS: Of course I’m joking….I will always cruise with you guys!!! Always have the best times with Carnival…so do my friends. I just had to be the first one to write this because I know you will probably get others….and they will be serious unfortunately. Cruise On!!!!!

  4. Ralph says:

    Elaine Carroll,
    Thanks for yelling that you are PLATINUM! I promise that if I ever cruise with you..I’ll give you a salute and thank you for the privilege of sailing with you.

    I’m sure that you would expect no less from John..or Gerry Cahill!!

    And ..yes Carnival DID what you suggested. They are putting the Pride in drydock…just because you are PLATINUM!!

  5. bill says:

    About the Captains’ Celebration. Sometimes change doesn’t make things better. We did enjoy being served little munchies and free drinks. We enjoyed sittng there all dressed up, showing off the wife who was dressed to the nines. We enjoyed meeting the captain face to face.

    Now? we get $1 off an overpriced drink. Where are the munchies? Gotta go find ’em. Where is the captain? Somewhere on Promenade Deck. Gee, now I have to go search through hundreds of guests to find him. Good luck trying to say hello to him. There is very limited seating.

    I think the other way, it was more of an “event” and we felt more appreciated.

  6. Charles Forshee says:

    John I have seen this done on ships (dropping used food containers) and asked about it to the person and was told to bugger off (as you would say). Some people have no manors and then complain if they fall over the item that they dropped. I don’t know what the answer is except to keep after these people (by the guess being proactive in it. Lin and I also have picked up items or told a crew member about an item to help keep the ship clean.
    Keep up the good work and we will see you again soon.

  7. Greg says:

    Dear Kreg Hahn,

    You pompous A-hole. I hold two master degrees, am working on my doctorate, a D.Mgt and I personally would much rather be with the crew of a Carnival ship than with an arrogant, snob like you. What makes you so much better than the crew that they should not even breath the same air as you? Most of the crew that I have spoken too in my cruises on Carnival have all been very humble and polite. They are glad to share just a bit of their story with you if you let them. Find out how other people around the world live and think. I will give you a hint Kreg, you are not the center of any universe and definitely not the center of Carnivals or the Carnival Crews universe. I have met a lot of people in my works and my travels over the past 30 years and the ones I like the most are the ones who are without prejudice. It is not about education, money or status, but it is about acceptance of others. Acceptance is how people like me, put up with people like you.

  8. Debbie Harrison says:

    Hello John, (I hate when people are so rude and call you Heald). First of all go Spurs. I hate when people think just because they are platinum they are better and more deserving than anyone else. My husband and I are platinum and appreciate all we get for being platinum. Thank you so much for all you do and all you put up with. Love the Facebook posts and the blog. Bless your wife and daughter. I know it can’t be easy when you are away for so long. Best wishes and thank you, Debbie

  9. Gail Gerard says:

    Congrats for showing such restraint. I would’ve been tempted to whap that rude young man with his sticky dropped spoon too.

    I have to admit, I chuckled at the woman who said that Platinum/Diamond should not only board first (which I thought they did ANYWAY) but there should be at least a 10 min gap between when the last Platinum/Diamond guest boards and when the Faster to the Fun guests board. Heaven forbid she should have to be face to face with the unwashed, cowboy hat wearing, WalMart shopping masses a minute sooner than she has to.

    We’re doing the single digit dance..only nine more days until our cruise on the Triumph with the delightful Jen Baxter. 🙂 It’s been a rough year for us and we desperately need the time off to hang loose and have fun for a bit.

  10. Fern says:

    Hi John, we love your blog post’s! I wish you were going on the Legend with us in late August. I don’t know who the CD is, but if it were you I know we’d have MORE fun!

    Hoping that Heidi and Kai are doing well,


  11. Roberta says:

    this is to Rosemary Robinson the tour you want for Tracy arm is listed under the tours for Skagway Excursions. You have to pre order the tour by email. When you look at the excursion it will have the link for the email then you get an email confirmation. They will bill your S&S card when you board.

  12. Barb says:

    To Dorothy goss: Many people from the UK combine an Alaskan cruise with a train trip from Vancouver through the Rocky Mountains to Calgary. (Or reverse)
    You could also do a pre or post stay in Vancouver. These two options would certainly make your trip worthwhile.

  13. michelle kempinski says:

    Last cruise I asked all officers what title they held. I met many staff and learned about their positions including the captain. All were very friendly and took time to explain their position.

  14. Wayne Williams says:

    My wife and I have been on 7 cruise lines and 16 cruises. For a lot of different reasons, we have decided that we like Carnival the best.

    We are on the Miracle with you in a couple of weeks and also on the Legend through the Panama Canal in August. On the Legend, which is 13 days, we booked a suite. But on the Miracle, we only took a balcony (but, we also got the room across the hall for two of our kids, ages 12 and 15, to join us for their first-ever cruise!) Since the suite gave us priority boarding, we didn’t do anything there. But on the Miracle, we were lucky to secure one of the few “Faster to the Fun” slots.

    Although we are only “Red” (even though we will get to the lofty “Gold” status after these two cruises) I hope you can make sure that we are more than 10 minutes behind Ms. Atchley (if we are lucky enough to be on her cruise). You see, she is Platinum and we are only Red. We are very grateful that she will allow us to even board her ship.

    If you speak with her, please let her know how grateful we are for her generosity. If we ever get an audience with Ms. Atchley, you can be sure that we will let her know ourselves!

    Looking forward to meeting you and hoping (oh, so hoping) to meet Ms. Atchley.

  15. David R says:

    Just read your comments about the man whistling and wagging his finger at you and I’m still amazed at your self control.

    Barking at him was a fairly mild response, telling him to go forth and multiply (the English version) would be perfectly acceptable IMHO.

    Chucking him overboard might help him improve his manners, assuming you bothered to fish him out afterwards!

  16. Janey Winford says:

    Great blog today John, I have a couple of comments…….I’m guilty of sitting on the Promenade or aft Lido with my feet (sans shoes) up in a chair or across the sofa while reading. I had no idea that this was considered impolite or anti-social…..My feet and ankles become horribly swollen when I cruise and I try to elevate them any time I’m seated…..I will try to refrain from doing this in the future……..

    My other comment is about greeting the Captain and Senior Officers during the Celebration…..sometimes we choose not to dress up on elegant evening and in those situations we don’t feel comfortable being part of the festivities wearing such casual attire…..but when I do introduce myself to the Captain it would be nice to know a little about him before hand. Maybe where he is from, how long he has been with Carnival, what ships he has served on…..

  17. Bill says:

    So, we spent an outstanding week on the Carnival Miracle to Alaska. From start to finish, we will remember it always, especially now that we are going on day 10 and i cannot get “Is that a booger in the sugar, not is’s snot” which was on John’s disembarkation video out of my head…

  18. Robert Huckleberry says:

    EVERYONE who attends a Captains Celebration gets his/her photo taken with a cardboard cutout of the Captain AND a cowboy hat to wear in the MDR….

  19. Pam Wagner says:

    I love Carnival, I think it’s great they have a loyalty program, but PLEASE, people — get over your attitude! (First questions above starts “I am PLATINUM. . .” Really?? So I’ve only been on 4 Carnival cruises — does that mean you’re better than me? Stop the feeling of entitlement!

  20. Norm Cole says:

    Cheers, John!

    Brilliant post once again! Can’t wait till I get a chance to see you in action on a ship someday soon!

    Wanted to address the one respondents concern about thongs…although in some circles thongs also mean sandals…and, I support footwear being worn on deck for safety and good traction when at sea. But, I digress…

    But, one of the joys of a cruise is freedom from one’s daily life. In the US, we have this hideous, puritanical history which has demonized the body as somehow evil. I recently heard someone say in reference to the World Naked Bike Ride that somehow children witnessing 800 naked people on bikes would scar them for life. Personally, I think anyone riding naked on a bike seat would be dealing with their own potential scars…but, anyway.

    We all have rear ends, and chests, etc. And, seeing the majority of rear ends or chests in a non sexual, chill environment of a pool deck will certainly not scar anyone no matter their age. Where I live in Florida, they have a law regarding the amount of inches a woman’s bikini bottom must cover. Police actually walk around with rulers; I have seen them used…not for spanking but measuring. But, it is a slippery slope.

    So, I encourage the other respondent to relax and to embrace the freedom she sees others enjoying and break out her own thong. The rump is something we all have…seriously, it will be okay if a few are out in the open on deck.

    One ship I was on even had a designated topless deck. Personally, I think all decks should be as well. It is unjustly ironic, that I as a bigger guy with a cup size larger than many women can proudly display my man “udders” but women cannot. It screams of sexism, double standards, and is quite frankly Neanderthal.

    So, I would encourage the beards to not only continue embracing the thong, but also consider permitting all passengers to get some much needed vitamin D on their sun starved chests.

    Cheers and may the oceans ever be calm on your travels!

  21. Jacki says:

    Peggy ~ Do you know that before FTTF the lowly regular, 1st time cruiser boarded RIGHT behind you. No break in the line, no waiting, they just joined the end of the VIP line.

    Now these lowly people have paid $50 for the privilege of boarding right behind you.

    Of course what YOU should be worried about is one day they will be in the same line as you.

  22. Devin Haber says:

    “Peggy Atchley asks:
    As a platinum VIP passenger with Carnival, I would like that you give people like me priority boarding before the passengers on Faster to the Fun for $50. There should be a 10-minute gap at least so the privilege we have spent thousands of dollars on is not ruined by having to share this privilege with the general population. Does Carnival not value me as a customer? If they do, then this needs to be done.”

    I thought Rose Dawson’s mom would have long since passed by now. She’s still cruising after 150 years

  23. Terrie Reuvers says:

    Just to let you know on both of our cruises, we went to the Captain’s thing and we tried and tried to find the Captain but were not successful. Not sure if we would try again on our next cruise. It just seems that we wasted a lot of time hunting for him with no luck.

  24. Ken says:

    So the vegans were offended that raw meat was displayed for the steakhouse.
    Now here is the tail trying to wag the dog.
    While they have the right to make their own choices, they do not have the right to force their views on the rest (majority) of the cruisers.

  25. Linda says:

    Crystal Goettle. Maybe you think if you refuse daily cleaning during the cruise you can remove without guilt the daily tip to the steward? But what about the extra time it will then take the steward to clean that cabin for the next occupant or tip them for the time they cleaned it to be ready for you to start with? If so that is a lame reason. If for safety or theft of your belongings is a reason, you need to fear your fellow passengers more than any Carnival staff member. Leave the valuables at home or use the safe or if too large for that take your valuables to Guest Services for safe keeping unless you do not trust them either.

    and to Ted Caffyn the behind the fun tours where first allowed to be pre purchased but too many either forgot about the tour or cancelled once on board when they found something else to do so they changed it. At least that is what we were told on our first Behind the scenes tour years ago. If you go to book when you first come aboard you will have a great chance of getting it. Quit doing others things first and missing out. If it is that important you can delay the rest of the fun a few minutes to enjoy this tour later.

  26. Richard Perry says:

    John, you were being much too kind to the ignorant guest who dumped his ice cream in the elevator. You should have let him have it with both barrels!

    Peggy – Platinum and Diamond always board prior to FTF. But a 10 minute gap after you board so you can enjoy the loft atmosphere with other “people like you” before the unwashed masses board? Seriously? It’s great that you have reached Platinum level … I am looking forward to the day that I get there, because it will mean I have experienced many great holidays with Carnival. It also means I won’t have to pay $50 to enjoy the ship as early as possible, like I do now. Remember though, the rewards program is a loyalty program, not a royalty program.

  27. Charles White says:

    I do hope that Ted gets to experience the “Behind the Scenes” tour on his cruise. I had a great time on the Miracle’s New Year’s cruise. Part of that was the “Behind the Scenes” tour. Fascinating!
    Say, “Hi,” to I-95 when you see it!

  28. Jenn says:

    In regards to the Behind the Fun tour (which we’ve done twice now, YAY!), it’s because of some US regulations about selling this privileged and in open waters, like the casino, it’s allowed. When we get on board, we go from gangway to the excursions desk and put our name down. Haven’t been told no yet!

    At least, that was the explanation we were given.

  29. Suzanne says:

    OMG!!! I HATE when people litter!!! Why would this man do that..?? There is NO excuse for what he did..NONE. I have a pet peeve about driving behind someone and they throw there garbage out if the car window..this makes me crazy!! WHO do they think is picking that up and WHY can you NOT find a pail when you get out of your car. LAZY May be the only explanation for this behavior. I would LOVE to stop my car, pick up THEIR garbage and give it back to them!! Like you should have with the cup

  30. linda says:

    maybe you should also consider making the platinum members wait for 10 minutes after all the diamond members have boarded. after all they have paid for a lot more cruise than the platinum cruisers have!:-) a lowly gold member

  31. Matthew Lynch says:

    I saw a similar event on the Carnival Breeze the week of June 7th 2014. A young women dropped her pizza on a tiled floor in a busy walkway and left it there and simply went and got another piece. I watched in disbelief saying to myself that surely she will pick it up after she gets gets her new piece only a few feet away. Well, she got her fresh piece (after budding in the a long line to get it), and then stepped over the piece on the floor and walked away. I regret not saying something as I am NOT a Carnival employee. I picked up the piece and handed it to staff who were already rushing over to get it. I am still on this cruise, and am committed to ask her why she did not pick it up the next time I see her. Not to be confrontational as that is not my style, but to simply understand why. Why would anyone do this?

    I think this type of blog post is wonderful as it draws attention to unnecessary behaviour that perhaps some are oblivious too.

    Keep up the good work John!

    Matthew Lynch
    Vancouver, BC Canada

  32. Peggy Sandstoe says:

    John, will you be on the Miracle through the cruise to Hawaii? We are thinking of booking the last Alaska cruise or the Hawaii cruise. Would love to go if you will still be there?

  33. Steves542 says:

    Why must every blog have some question from an egotistical “I’m a platinum”, uppity, snooty clod whining about having to deal with the commoners. What ? Does it rub off on you ? And the “I’m the hootenanny of 58 people from Cruise Critic” and we want, we want…And of course the “I hate your tea/coffee/ice cream/soap/blah blah”.

    Here’s a thought, if you hate the experience so much, stay home. Reach down and pull your undies out of the bunch they are in or even better – go without panties for a day, be free.

  34. Wallace Rowe says:

    John, I have only been on three cruises, two of them on Carnival. I enjoyed the cruises immensely but am really turned off from cruising by comments like that of Peggy Atchley. I find “so the privilege we have spent thousands of dollars on is not ruined by having to share this privilege with the general population. Does Carnival not value me as a customer? If they do, then this needs to be done” very offensive, as I am one of the “general population.” Sure, she’s spent a lot of money with Carnival, but this sense of entitlement just rubs me the wrong way. If she wants to be first on board, let her buy her own ship!

    • Daniel Carver says:

      I play a lot in the casino and I always get the Drinks on us card, I do not drink strong drinks and the drink servers in the casino will not bring me regular coffee. My drink card is worthless. Of coarse unless this could be changed. I drink a lot of coffee.

  35. Durward Blanks says:

    John, would Mr. Radu mind if I used one of his photos for a card.
    He is an excellent photographer. I hesitate to ask, but thought this would be better than fb.
    You may delete this asap if needed.
    Thank you and Cheers my friend.

  36. Kim r says:

    Hi this is our first time on a cruise my kids dint want it to be here because of titanic lol but once we got in to the boat has been the most beautiful experience I ever had iam very please with the service and food my kids had a great time at the kids camp ,They wish they could be there more time I was talking with some women on the ship and like me many of them want it to explore the ship ,dance, drink etc, but the problem was our men, by the end of the night they where too tired to go out with us and I talk to many women that said they beg them to do it including me lol so I was wondering if you guys could came up with something for us that make us have a friend to explore he ship or to have fun , like women’s club or I don’t know you came up with something I believe you are a very creative man.many blessing to you guys and thank you for everything

  37. Lori miner says:

    Recently on miracle: I want to re book on miracle for April 2015: will purpulsion issue be resolved and are any updates to ship being done? Loved u and the ship

  38. Darlene says:

    Will the Victory be updated with Guy burger

  39. Letha King says:

    My husband and I have been on several cruises with Carnival and are booked again in July. We have attended most of the Celebration with the Captain events. Our favorite tho was when on the Fantasy ( I believe) they had a Cigars under the stars. All of the officers were in attendance and the atmosphere was very lively. We felt that we could walk up and speak with any of them.

  40. Andy Smithers says:


    Peggy is a Platinums and disturbed about boarding with the general public. Cruising is a communal experience. An elitist attitude like that is a very hard to respond situation. The fact that you read this in your underwear is the ultimate non-elitist answer without ever saying a word.

  41. Eileen O'Rourke says:


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