Today we will start with the Q and A if that’s OK with you. ………..let’s crack on.

 

Carol Ingersoll asks:
Your decision to allow jeans in dining room is reason enough for me and thousands of customers like me to cruise elsewhere. You have let standards slip over the years inviting more and more people with no standards to cruise with Carnival.  If you want people with no class on your ships then keep going the way you are and see thousands of people like me disappear into the sunset.

John says:
Hello Carol Ingersoll

We do allow nice jeans in the dining room and I can assure you that we have not seen “thousands of customers” stop sailing with us. I also think to say people who wear jeans have “no class” is just plain wrong, as well. I would hope that what others are wearing at dinner would not affect your dining experience.  Instead I would hope you would focus on the quality of the food and the company and conversation you have at dinner, all of which, of course, is complemented by the wonderful service from our crew. And with that in mind, I do hope we see you again very soon and I remain here to help you in any way I can. Best wishes.

John

David asks:
Hello John we just booked another cruise in December 13, 2014 on Carnival Liberty who will be the cruise director on that cruise?

John says:
Hello David

Congratulations on booking this wonderful cruise. I apologise that as the CD schedule remains fluid and I will not have this for you until the end of July when I will post here on the blog. Have a brilliant time and please let me know if you have any questions. Best wishes.

John

Michael Gomez asks:
My brother Edmund Gomez is cruising on the Carnival Liberty June 20. He spent 14 years serving in the United States Coast Guard, so I want him to be treated to a visit to the bridge on the ship and dinner with the captain. My brother is a quiet man who has served his country so I hope you do the right thing by him and not let me down on this request. I am platinum just so you know and have two cruises booked this year, just saying!!!!!!!!!

John says:
Hello Michael Gomez

You must be so very proud of your brother and, while it will be the captain’s decision if he can invite him to the bridge, I will send your brother something to say welcome aboard and thanks for your superb service in the Coast Guard. I am afraid I cannot help with dinner with the captain but I will write to the captain and let him see your request. I hope your brother has a wonderful cruise and I hope you will let me know if you need anything. Best wishes to all.

John

Barbara Johnson asks:
John, I received a bottle of Prosecco wine from Zanet Zic, manager of guest services on the Carnival Miracle last April. I’m going on the Carnival Imagination June 15, I’ve lost my gift tag, can I take the bottle of wine to the dining room? I’ve saved it for a special event, and this is it! Seven of us are going on this voyage, and I’m (old cheapskate here) trying to avoid the corkage fee. Can you arrange for me to take this bottle to the dining room. I have no proof that it’s a gift from her, she’s wonderful. My booking #1J3NJ3, Cabin E69. Thanks, I love your blog. Barbara Johnson

John says:
Hello Barbara Johnson

I am so glad to see you are sailing and as this wine is a gift from the company we will waive the corkage fee and I will let them know. I hope you have a brilliant time and please do let me know if there is anything else I can do for you. Best wishes to you all.

John

Mike Powell asks:
John: Thanks so much for making our 20th anniversary so special!  We just got back from the 5/24 sailing on the Carnival Breeze and had a great time. Thanks for your note and treats in our cabin!  We will be sure to remember this anniversary for years to come. Everyone made us feel so special (with one exception: Enrique in the Cloud 9 Spa – his bad attitude toward my wife and other guests on two different days caused her not to want to return to the spa).  But I talked her into going back and one Cloud 9 Spa staff member (Lea, from The Netherlands) took a personal interest in my wife’s concerns and took time to exhibit extraordinary customer service which got our vacation back on track.  I definitely understand that anyone can have a bad day or make a mistake, but what they do about it can make all the difference in the world.  My wife is still talking about Lea! I didn’t get a chance to meet Lea or to thank her, so if you could somehow please let her know how much we both appreciated her taking a genuine personal interest in a guest’s concerns, I would be immensely grateful! By the way, it was our first time on the Breeze; we LOVED the ship’s layout and design!  We think it’s the best Carnival ship we’ve sailed on.  Hats off to you guys on this one, we’ll definitely be booking another sailing on the Carnival Breeze! Thanks so much for all you do!

Mike (and Sandy) Powell

John says:
Hello Mike and Sandy Powell

It is so very important that we get feedback like this and I thank you for writing to me about the spa staff member. I have sent this to the hotel director on the ship and, knowing him as I do, I have no doubt he will take a look at this situation. Please apologise to your good lady and I will make sure that Lea gets the thanks you asked her to receive. I am so glad you had fun and I do hope that we will see you again very soon.  Best wishes to you both.

John

Bob Nielsen asks:
John: Do you have any idea if the Carnival Splendor out of NY next week will televise the NHL Stanley Cup games? I called the cruise line and they just said, “Ask when I get on the ship”. That response really does me no good. My entire family are huge fans of the New York Rangers and the thought of missing the Stanley Cup because we are on a cruise is causing much concern. If I could at least be assured that some of the games will be broadcast on the ship would be very helpful. Any chance you can shed some light on this for us? Thank you.

John says:
Hello Bob Nielsen

I apologise for the late reply and if the games are shown on ABC, ESPN LATIN AMERICA, NBC, FOX or CBS then we will have them in the sports bar and in-cabin TVs. I hope that helps calm any concerns you may have and I wish you all the best of times.  Best wishes.

John

Janis Allison asks:
Hello John: My fiancé and I will be cruising September 27 out of Miami. This will be our honeymoon cruise! YAY! My second and his first cruise. Do you have any tips for things to do on the Carnival Glory? I would like to do something special. We already booked the steak restaurant on the first night but I thought there should be something else that we could do that would make this cruise a little more memorable. Thank you for any help you may be able to give us!

John says:
Hello Janis Allison

Congratulations and I thank you for spending this special time with us. Please send me a reminder via my facebook.com/johnheald page the day before you get on the ship and please include your cabin number. Have a brilliant time. Best wishes to you booth.

John

Nanisa Overman asks:
Mr. Heald: To deny the fact that you are obese is delusional and to fail to do something about it is weak willed of you. Your refusal and denial to accept the help of others to lose weight is pre-judgmental and selfish because it is in the long run or short run possibly that your family will be the ones who suffer when your weight kills you. Take the bag off you,r head Mr. Heald.

John says:
Hello Nanisa Overman

I want to thank you for thinking of me. I am not certain what prompted you to write this but I thank you for doing so. I have lost some weight and I am very much aware I have lots more to lose in the days ahead. Thank you again. Best wishes.

John

Lynn Rubio asks:
On the Cruise Critic boards it has been widely discussed about the lack of suite perks at Carnival in comparison to other cruise lines. Posters Tom and Cheryl, two of Cruise Critic’s most celebrated posters made a comparison list which you NEED TO LOOK AT!! You should be embarrassed at the lack of amenities and perks offered to those who pay extra $$ for a suite on your ships. Tom and Cheryl should be employed by Carnival because their words and advice decides what cruise line hundreds decide to spend their $$ on.

John says:
Hello Lynn Rubio

I must apologise for not posting the link because I honestly do not feel I should have to advertise specifics for other lines on my blog, I am sure you understand. I am not an expert in pricing by any means but what that list did not show was the price that each suite was costing. I may be wrong but I am sure there were substantial differences between us and the other lines mentioned. It is also very rare that our suites are not sold each cruise, each week on each ship as they continue to be great value and appreciated by many. I hope you get to stay in one soon. Best wishes to you and to Tom and Cheryl, too.

John

Linda Farrell asks:
John, I’ll be cruising on the Carnival Freedom from Jan 10-25…..by any chance will you be on that ship and, if not, can you tell me who the cruise director is? Hope he is as fun as you are!

John says:
Hello Linda Farrell

I am so sorry that I won’t be the cruise director and indeed we have not decided who will be just yet. I will post that information as soon as I can and, until then, please let me know if you have any questions and I wish you the very best of times. Best wishes.

John

And that’s all for today. It was a wonderful cruise and I was sad to see a brilliant group of guests leave today. The ship is charging up the review scores and in the top five, so I hope we can knock Carnival Magic off her top spot by the end of June. Today we start another cruise and, as always, let’s see who is going to be with us.

Total Guests                            2,417
United States                          2,229
Taiwan                                                47
Canada                                                29
French Canadian                     17
UK                                          12
Australia                                  9
Men with 3 nipples                 1
Guests under 18                      414
Diamond Guests                     3
Platinum Guests                      132

I am sure they will have the most wonderful time. It would be nice if every blog I write is full only of cheer and happiness and certainly most are and today’s blog, later down the page will most likely contain some mirth and a dollop of my usual juvenile humor.

But we start today with one of the most terrible, tragic and quite honestly disturbing things I have seen during my 27 years at sea and, indeed, I am troubled even writing about it. But this blog has always had the “my life on board” as its common denominator so let me tell you the story.

Two nights ago, the second elegant night, I did the finale of Ticket to Ride, sent the show off and thanked the audience. As I came out of the stage right door and walked through the lounge to start my wander down Promenade deck, I saw a lady in tears. Now these were not isolated single drops of water. No, this was a cascade of emotion falling from her eyes and the sobbing that accompanied them showed me that something seriously was wrong. And so I walked over and sat next to this lady and her husband and………her son. I asked what was wrong and, even with all my experience, I was not prepared for what I was told. I had seen this family at the shows and around the ship but had not had the opportunity to speak with them until now. Mum and Dad were in their mid-forties and traveling with their son. He was in a large wheelchair and had obvious physical disabilities which I am not going to describe here.

I calmed Mum down and, as she sobbed gently into her husband’s shoulder, Dad told me what happened. It is widely accepted that you should not laugh at amputations and life-threatening conditions. But said Dad, “We are used to the comments and lingering looks and have been used to that for the 15 years of Connor’s life.”  What they had never experienced before was when at the shows end a small group of five or more people came up and, without a word, started taking photos of Connor. Not with Connor…… of Connor. They just stepped in front of his wheelchair and took photos.

As I write this, I am shaking my head still in disbelief. Obviously Connor’s Dad was furious and told them to “go away” in very strong terms and thank goodness he held his temper because I am not sure if Connor were my flesh and blood that I would have been able to. As for Connor, he couldn’t say or do anything as his disabilities prevented him for understanding what these bastards were doing. Usually, when guests are upset, I have the words to calm them and help them but, in this case, I was lost. I apologised and sympathised but it felt hollow, there was nothing I could say that would take away the excruciating despair they were feeling.

I stayed and talked with them and, then for the remainder of the cruise, I checked on them over and over again and by the time. They will leave tomorrow (today) in Seattle and I wonder what their overall memory will be. I hope it will be of some wonderful family time and the beauty that is Alaska. But I fear it won’t be and, despite their praise of the Carnival Miracle crew and especially of Ken and the dining room staff and the care and attention they gave Connor, I have a feeling they will remember most the time when these people decided to take photos of their beloved son.

Why did they do that? Maybe they had never seen someone with Connor’s afflictions before. I asked the parents if they wanted me to pursue this, to inform security even though I was pretty sure there would have been nothing they could have done. But the parents did not want to, they just wanted to “forget and move on.” What troubles me now is………..can they? They will forever be in my thoughts and as they gave me permission to write about this and, knowing they are reading, I want to say to Shawn and Karla how sorry I am for what happened and how humbled I was to meet you and Connor and to see the incomparable amount of love you have for him.

Goodnight.

Your friend,

John

Hi, I’m John, and this is my blog. So please don’t mistake my opinions — or those of my dear friends, fans or commenters — for those of Carnival Cruise Line or Carnival Corporation. My apologies in advance for anything I may say that upsets you, but this disclaimer covers Carnival and puts the blame directly on me………….. bugger.

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