The People I Met Last Cruise

July 1, 2014 -

John Heald

This past week I have been talking about Mrs. Robinson and her daughter on Facebook and had forgotten to tell you about some other people who were with us this past cruise. Yep, they were at my travel talk, they were in the dining room and apparently according to the shore excursion manager, they were on the Best of Juneau tour. Who am I talking about? The answer is Star Trek officers dressed in full original costumes, gold, blue and “you’re completely ***** red.”  Yes, indeed, last cruise we had four diehard Trekkies on the ship and if you’re reading this I salute you with that Spock thingy salute. I really hope you had fun. They reminded me of a charter cruise I will never forget. No, not that charter where I hid in my cabin for seven days while herds of guests stalked the corridors all wearing “I have lost 50 pounds — ask me how” badges trying to find my fat arse and shove a selection of teas up it.

No, this was a Star Trek convention we had on Carnival Sensation back in the mid 90′s. We had stars from the original series, the Next Generation and Deep Space Nine. Most of them, as I remember, were a bit quiet and couldn’t seem to wait to get out of the public areas and hide in their cabins. The only exceptions to the rule were Michelle Nicholas who played the radio operator, Lieutenant Ahwhorea or something like that, and an actor called John De Lancie who played Q. He was brilliant and we spent the week smoking cigars together.

My favorite memory of the cruise was watching Captain Gavino’s face on the then formal night. We stood at the entrance to the main lounge at the captain’s party and, instead of welcoming elegant ladies in flowing gowns and smartly dressed men in tuxedos…. …..we welcomed Cardasians, Klingons, Romulans and the blue-skinned ones whose name I am not enough of a Trekkie to remember. There were Starship captains who truly believed they were ……… ummm …… Starship captains and Vulcans who instead of shaking Captain Gavino’s hand would approach him and give him the Vulcan salute while saying, “live long and prosper.” I guess Star Trek is not so popular in Italy because poor old Captain Gavino looked like an Amish guy in an Apple store.

Seriously, though, some of the passengers truly thought that the actors were really the characters they played if you know what I mean. At the Q&A sessions, guests would ask one of the actors, “When you were on the planet Cruisecriticborg and were being attacked by the giant lizard……. how did you feel?”  It was obvious to me that the actors just wanted to say………”I just read what was on the script and buggered off to my trailer.” But they couldn’t because these people truly were ……….ummm………….different. Perhaps I am being too cruel. Trekkies are an easy target. Having a go at them is like setting your phaser to “stun” when an alien life form is already down. But such ritual humiliation appears to be part of the fun for them. They know they are nerds. They are in on the joke.

I personally liked Star Trek. I specifically liked the banter between Kirk and Spock…….the stud and the geek. I guess that’s how Calvyn, my previous assistant, must have felt when we worked together on board. Many of us have a mate who is a bit of a nerd and somewhat ugly but smarter than us. That was me and Calvyn…….I was Kirk………he was Spock and Calvyn always wanted to fly his ship to the planet Uranu……..never mind.

Captain Kirk got the big boss’s chair in front of the giant plasma screen while Spock sat quietly behind him, occasionally, grunting the word “acknowledged.” He could also do the famous Vulcan Death Grip which I myself used on Tony Lang once in the playground because he had told me that Sally Pool had said I smelled. The death grip worked when Spock did it but when I tried it on Tony he laughed and punched me in the bollocks. Being a Vulcan, he had a seven-year mating cycle which meant he only got to have rumpy pumpy once every seven years……..many of you…… me……..will now be thinking if you have a bit of Vulcan in you and it might also explain why he had so much strength in his wrist when giving the old death grip.

Of course, Kirk was a stud. He had rumpy pumpy with every kind of woman ……green, black, pink ………if it breathed ……..he would have his way with her (or it).  I am sure that he must have spread some sexually transmitted diseases around the galaxy ………he really did go where no man has gone before when he had rumpy pumpy with the shape shifter thing who started out as a woman called Amanda but finished up as a man called Bob. Of course, since Kirk hung up his communicator we have had many more captains of the Enterprise. I guess many loved Jean Luc Picard but not me and not just because he was French, OK……..yes………I didn’t like him because he was French. But although he was calm and had cool sayings like “make it so number one” he wasn’t Kirk. Picard could outwit the Borg and then have a cup of Earl Grey tea. That’s OK. Kirk, on the other hand, would have had his way with three green alien women by the time the kettle had boiled. Captain Kirk was a hunter, killer and if he met a Ferangie, he wouldn’t want to hold “peace talks” with it he would rip its head off and then run off with his wife. Kirk had a cool Phaser that looked like a gun and not a Gillette electric razor as they use now……….and Kirk had a lazy boy chair on the bridge. There was a lady captain in the last series but her name escapes me and I am too lazy to ask Uncle Google. It as a boring Star Trek series from what I am told because being a woman she made friends with the aliens wives and had an intergalactic peace accord within minutes. This only failed when she discovered that the alien wives were better looking than her …….. in which case she bitched slap them to death with her space stilettos.

Time for today’s Q and A but not before I head to the bathroom to fight my own Klingon.

Laura Woods asks:
Good morning John: I hope that you are having a fabulous day! Just had a couple of questions for you. First and most importantly, we are taking another Carnival cruise on August 1 on Carnival Liberty out of Port Canaveral. We are celebrating a few huge accomplishments. First, my husband and I are celebrating 20 years of marriage. Woop Woop!  Don’t know how when we are only in our early 30’s LOL!!  Then we are also celebrating our son’s graduation from high school and EMT school.  He did dual enrollment his last year of high school and was able to complete EMT school all in the same year.  He is going into the fire academy and wants to be a fireman. We are super proud!  Then we will also celebrate our daughter’s 11th birthday. Even though all of these celebrations do not fall at the same, time we will be cruising.  We are celebrating anyway.  We were on Carnival Dream the last two years and honestly we had the most incredible vacations through Carnival that we just continue to book each year. All of us are excited for this eight-day cruise. By any chance will you be the cruise director for Carnival Liberty on August 1? I looked at the list and could not tell who would be on our cruise.  I guess I really only had the one question.  Seriously, though, a huge thank you to Carnival for always making our vacations fabulous!  We have never been on the Liberty however; we have also never been disappointed.

John says:
Hello Laura Woods

It sounds like you have lots to celebrate on this special cruise and congratulations to your son who I am sure you must be very proud of. The cruise director will be Cory Rogers who I am sure you will enjoy and appreciate very much. I would kindly ask that, if you can, to please contact me on my page the day before the cruise with your cabin number. I hope that is OK and I wish you all the very best of times together. Best wishes.


Randy asks:
The happily ever after goal of love that you are aspiring to is a myth. With your job, it’s not a realistic goal because you seem to value mobility and job satisfaction and self-glorification far more. Tell that to your daughter.

John says:
Hello Randy

I love my daughter more than anything in the whole world. Everything I do is for her and my family. Best wishes.


Ian Strout asks:
How come Carnival does not do fireworks on 4th of July and Disney Cruise Line (the best cruise line in the world) does a full display on their boats? Is Carnival too cheap to mark the most important day in the calendar year with some fireworks as tradition dictates???

John says:
Hello Ian Strout

I cannot comment really on what another cruise line does but, obviously, Disney does some things that we simply don’t do here at Carnival. I’m certainly no expert when it comes to fireworks but I’m sure it has something to do with safety and I am sure there are other restrictions, as well. We will have a wonderful 4th of July party on all our ships which I hope one day you get to enjoy. Best wishes.


Romy Goldstein asks:
Hi. I’ve been on three most awesome cruises with Carnival – Carnival Freedom, Carnival Dream and Carnival Breeze. I’ve now booked my fourth on Carnival Pride March 15. My question is why is there no seaside theatre on the Carnival Pride? I’ve heard that it is going to dry dock for 2.0 but no Seaside Theatre. Just wondering why? I think I’ve been very spoiled with the other boats. LOL.

John says:
Hello Romy Goldstein

I thank you so much for your kind post. Unfortunately on the Spirit class ships there is no place to put the giant screen as we have a split Lido Deck with two pools and no higher upper Lido decks. However, when you cruise on the Carnival Pride you will be on a ship that will have had her dry dock and receive a number of exciting Fun Ship 2.0 upgrades that I’m sure will make you very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very happy. Please let me know if you have any other questions and have a wonderful cruise. Best wishes.


Safeen Madina asks:
I am platinum VIFP with Carnival and ELITE Class with Celebrity. Here are some of the perks we get with them that Carnival MUST offer if they expect to keep guests loyal. Free internet, free coffee from their specialty coffee shops and 50% discount at their restaurants where fees apply – 50% discount! On our next cruise, we will reach Zenith level, that will mean a private lounge for cocktails before dinner. I have 11 cruises now with Carnival but perks are why loyal cruisers keep cruising and I think Carnival falls miles behind here. There must be more that differentiates us from other non-loyal passengers who are not on the same level as me.

John says:
Hello Safeen Madina

I would like to say two important things here and the first is to thank you for cruising with us 11 time, that really is wonderful and I hope there will be many more cruises with us in the years to come. Secondly, I would hope that the reason people cruise is not the perks but the experience of the cruise itself with all the fun and brilliant service that comes with it. Perks are nice and deserved but again, respectfully I would say that perks should not be the reason to keep coming back. Maybe I am wrong, that’s just what I hope. While we will not be adding any of the perks you mentioned, I can say the beards are looking at what we do and I will let you know of any changes to our loyalty program as soon as I can. Best wishes.


Paul asks:
Hello Mr. Heald: Can you let me know when they will have a Serenity deck on Carnival Conquest?

John says:
Hello Paul

There is no Serenity deck on this ship but the Deck 9 aft pool is designated for adults only. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Best wishes.


Robin Maciel asks:
John: A reminder to you that you only know if you have lost the correct amount of weight if your body mass index is what it is supposed to be. Just do not want you to get lazy because you are defiantly still very much morbidly obese, so keep going. We will see you in three weeks and we can talk more then.

Robin Maciel

John says:
Hello Robin Maciel

Yes, indeed, I have a long way to go and will keep working hard. Thanks so much for your concern and I will see you soon for a brilliant Alaskan cruise. Best wishes.


Sue Clarkson asks:
I just want to say that I have never had a bad cruise, even when we couldn’t sail to one of the ports because of bad weather. I would even be happy if I just get on the ship and it goes around in circles in the ocean….LOL. I’m not at work; I’m on a cruise having a great time, good food, and sunshine. My husband and I sailed on Carnival before we got married, and then we got married on a Carnival ship back in 2008 and we celebrate every anniversary on a Carnival ship…sailing again this year out of Galveston on the day of our anniversary 8/31/14 to celebrate our sixth wedding anniversary. Thank you Carnival for the fun and the smiles.  See you soon, and again next year.

John says:
Hello Sue Clarkson

I love posts like this, full of positive thought and excitement for the cruise to come. Thanks so much for taking the time to write and I hope you will be able to write to me the day before your cruise on and let me know your cabin number. Have a brilliant time and thanks for taking the time to write. Best wishes.


David Billock asks:
Hi John. My wife and I are sailing on Carnival Paradise in January, will be the second time on this ship. Anyway, I had a thought; don’t tell my wife, not allowed to think without asking permission. It would be nice to connect with others on the same cruise beforehand that would like to do so. Is there some page set up for that or something that could be added to the Carnival website for those that have booked already? Maybe there is not a demand for it, but I think that connecting with others on the same cruise would be awesome. Then when you get to meet in person on the ship you already have sort of a friendship established. Thanks David

John says:
Hello David Billick

I think your wife and mine must be very similar! Thanks for writing and, meeting new friends on a cruise is indeed something that is still one of the best aspects of sailing with us. There is our Funville site which I think is a wonderful place to see who is sailing and make new friends. Plus you can contact me via my page a few days before and I will ask the maître d to help with putting you at a big table with other guests. Hope you have the best of times and if there is anything else I can help with, please do let me know.  Best wishes.


Renee Lombness asks:
Your comedian_________used the “F bomb” at the 11:30 pm show on Carnival Valor four times in 35 minutes of comedy. Why? Uncensored comedy has no place on a family cruise which you always say Carnival is. The funniest comedians like Seinfeld and Jeff Dunham don’t use bad language!! Most passengers left the show saying that they were disgusted at the content of the show. More family comedy, scrap these degrading shows that feature nothing but degrading comments about women.

John says:
Hello Renee Lombness

I am very sorry that you did not appreciate the adults-only uncensored shows. I realise that they are not for everyone. However, I do know from vast experience that these shows remain massively popular with our guests and in our defence we make sure over and over again that before the show start, all in attendance realise that we do not keep a leash on our comedians and that their shows are adults only. I hope you enjoyed the family shows though and indeed enjoyed the cruise. Please do contact me if you have any other questions and comments and I hope to see you soon. Best wishes.


John Conklin asks:
What are your thought on Carnival stock? I am just about to book another two cruises B2B on Carnival Liberty and thought it may be time to buy stock in my favourite cruise line. What do you think John please? DW and I will be with you on September 8 in Alaska and are so excited

John says:
Hello John Conklin.

Thank you for being so excited and so you should be as Alaska is incomparable and the crew where are outstanding. I am not really allowed to say too much when it comes to stock purchase except that I am a stockholder and that all of us here at Carnival continue to work bloody hard to make sure we are the best in the industry. Hope that helps and, meanwhile, I will see you soon and please let me know if there is anything I can do for you. Best wishes.


Sarah asks:
Hi John,

Last January my siblings and I purchased an Alaskan cruise for our parents’ 25th wedding anniversary. My father is a UK citizen. He’s lost his passport and has applied for a new passport. As it turns out, it seems that Her Majesty’s Passport Office has all but shut down with a backlog of 50,000+ applications. We don’t believe he will get his new passport in time for their trip. We are trying to find out if he can still sail using his US green card but can’t find any more information on it. I’m hoping you can help me out and let me know if he can even board without his passport. They are booking number 85VFQ4 in case you need this information. Thank you for any help you can give. Have a wonderful day!


John says:
Hello Sarah

Oh, that’s terrible news. I had heard that there was a backlog thanks to the additional applications but that’s ridiculous it would take so long. Let me pass this on ASAP and get you an answer. I think it’s OK from our side but let me get you some expert help. I truly hope that this will be OK; I am pretty certain he will be able to but let me check. I hope to see you all soon. Best wishes.


That’s all for today, thanks to you all for your comments and questions.

Another wonderful Alaskan cruise starts today and let’s see who is sailing with us……….why are you not here?

Total Guests                                        2,405
US Citizens                                         1,991
Canadians                                           41
French Canadians                               18
UK                                                      23
Australia                                              15
India                                                    34
Guests under 18                                  361
Klingons                                              0
Diamond Guests                                 4
Platinum Guests                                  171

This week, there will be July 4th celebrations across the fleet, except on Carnival Spirit where for some reason, it’s not such a big celebration Down Under. Most ships will have a deck party and all the trimmings plus those ships with the big screens on Lido Deck will show true-blooded American Hero movies in Pretty Woman and Sex and the City 3 – The Syphilis Strikes Back. Kidding. The movies will be Captain America – Winter Soldier and Independence Day …….. naturally.

Here on the Carnival Miracle, we are limited as to what we can do. The 4th falls on a day we are in Skagway until 8:30pm and after sailing we are not allowed to play any music on the open decks as it may cause a Mr. Bear to have ED during a night of passion with Mrs. Bear. So we will have a party in one of the lounges but the good thing is that in Skagway there will be a big 4th of July street party so that will, for sure, please the guests. And I as a Brit will be honoured to wish all Americans a happy 4th July……..even though you still insist on drinking that sodding awful cold tea.

Let’s talk about some more of the guests I met last cruise. I met a guest this past cruise who I have not seen in a long time, maybe five or more years. He is a regular cruise, a Diamond guest who we shall call Neil because that is his name. I last saw Neil in Europe on the Carnival Splendor and it was great to see him here on Carnival Miracle. Neil has never married. He’s not hideously ugly, he doesn’t have hemorrhoids, halitosis, a facial mole that sprouts a dozen hairs or three nipples. He doesn’t live with his mother and he isn’t French. He is independently wealthy, attractive, funny, amusing, and popular. He always used to have a girlfriend and each of these relationships trundled along, as relationships will, to that point where commitments had to be undertaken, questions asked that involve diamonds, placement cards and singing hymns in church. And at that point, they gently parted ways.

I sat with Neil at the Diamond Party this week and asked him why he could never sign up to the Marriage Club. His says it’s because he fears that all women are only really after his wealth. He always thought that the evolutionary purpose of every woman is to find a male, fleece him, skin him and throw him back, a broken and shivering poor person. Yet, I see him now after a long time and now I see a man who has suddenly gotten old overnight. He no longer has a girlfriend and …….well…….he looks sort of lonely. Now don’t worry, I have Neil’s full permission to write this and indeed he reads this blog often. I know he played the field for many years and I am sure all that rumpy pumpy and stuff must have given him many evenings of ecstasy……but now ………well, he’s older and alone ………….and I fell so very sorry for him. Maybe it’s me I feel sorry for because the last couple of weeks I have been feeling ultra-lonely. I had hoped that Heidi and Kye would be here now with me on the ship but that’s not possible. Both our Mums have concerns that need Heidi’s full attention and, obviously, that alone riddles me with a massive portion of guilt.

Yep, I met many fantastic people this cruise but one person remains in my mind now and probably for a long time to come. Why did Mum make her wear her graduation cap and gown all cruise long both at the shows and at dinner? Or am I reading this the wrong way? Was it the daughter’s choice to do so? I have no idea but I would bet all my underpants that there was more to this story than I will ever know. Yep, only one thing is for certain and Mrs. Robinson as I called her in my mind, left the ship angry and massively disappointed that I would not do more for her daughter. I can only wish that the daughter has a wonderful stay at Brown University where she is studying law and that she has a bright and prosperous future.

And finally, last cruise, I had a wonderful honeymoon couple on stage with me at the Welcome Aboard show. They got married on the ship and, of course, I had some fun with them asking why they were at the show and why they were not having some honeymoon night fun. The answer was, according to the husband, “We are both too tired.”  That made me think. It was the same the night Heidi and I got married. As a “man” I knew that the wedding night is supposed to be a rejoicing of two people coming together and in many ways it’s the law. The priest knows it, both sets of parents know it and you know it……..rumpy pumpy must be part of the wedding night. You’ve planted your kisses and fingered your rings. and off to the bedroom you go.

But like this couple at the show, I was “knackered” which is Brit speak for very, very tired.
Had the napkins been folded into swans? Was the car on time, where’s Alan my best man? What do you mean he’s at the bar telling jokes about the midget and the Nun to my future mother-in-law who speaks sod all English? I was stressed, Heidi was stressed, the parents were stressed, the band was stressed, the vicar was stressed and my best man was pissed as wet fart and then after all that, the moment Heidi said, “I DO,” run to the bridal suite like some Benny Hill skit.

Anyway, I digress, as usual, and this couple was wonderful and what made them stand out was the fact that both were US Coast Guard officers and had met at Coast Guard school and we were very proud to have Kacie and Thomas sailing with us and I wish them many wonderful years together. And may I suggest, Thomas, that you have as much rumpy pumpy as you can before Kacie gets pregnant. Take it from me, women don’t really feel like having rampant rumpy pumpy after giving birth — or even non-rampant rumpy pumpy. Or even, you know, groping. Their minds will be on sanitary pads, baby poo and sleep deprivation with absolutely – and I mean absolutely – no thought of rumpy pumpy that’s for sure.  Get as much as you can now mate because once you have seen the Sigourney Weaver Alien episode –or birth as it’s sometimes called — you may not fancy any for a few years anyway.


Your friend,


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.