Song of America

July 8, 2014 -

John Heald

It was an awful start to our day in Seattle for me and far more awful for the person that at 7 am this morning, just like it happens on land-side jobs each and every day, I had to tell was no longer employed by Carnival Cruise Lines. This is really the part of my job that I absolutely detest.  Now, obviously, I cannot go into detail but I can tell you that this person has had plenty of chances, probably more than he deserved, and I was determined to change this person……but I failed. When you relieve a person from a job on land, they pack a box, call a cab and go home. On a ship, it’s very different. You have to pack, not a box, but one or two suitcases and you don’t hop in a cab….. you have to fly home… sometimes and in this case……a flight which will last this person many hours. That’s a sodding long time to reflect on what’s transpired.

We did this this face to face, of course, and when I say “we” I mean I did it with our human resources director. This position started a few years ago and is now fleetwide and has become a tremendous asset to the crew. So in the company of our HR director, I met with this staff member and we took our time to explain why he had to leave and looked back at previous documentation and discussions we had. There were tears, there was anger and there was not a moment that I did not feel like a total bastard, despite his inability to do the job that he was required to do at the standards the company expected. Yep, put a crying, begging, angry 20-something man in front of you and I doubt anyone has a heart cold enough not to feel some kind of empathy. I read recently how one company in the UK fired all 180 of their employees by e-mail.  There has also been “techno-dumping” of partners as well with partners telling their wives, husbands, girlfriends and boyfriends that their relationship is over and that they are having rumpy pumpy with their best friend or changing their name from Randy to Penelope.

OK, you may be too scared to face the wrath of a woman you’ve been having rumpy pumpy with ……..hence the text……but surely ……is it ever OK to fire someone by e-mail? I guess there is the simple but important difference that it is much harder to fire someone than to dump someone. I hate the way in which The Apprentice presents an unrealistic picture of how easy it is to fire someone as Mr. Trump — and that poofy orange hair of his – pointing his finger and saying “You’re fired.” In real life……… it isn’t anything like that and many of you in a managerial position will know what I mean, right?

As easy as it would make it, I could never fire anyone by e-mail and I would hope that when I finally lose the plot completely and walk into Gerry Cahill’s office wearing only a leather thong, smoking a palm tree, singing a reggae version of the song from the movie Frozen, “Let It Go….Mon” ….that he will fire me in person and not by an email. But I don’t want to make light of having to fire someone from their work here on the Carnival Miracle because it is an unpleasant a task there is. And as we roll out the new entertainment director position they will take over this burden and numerous other responsibilities… and I, for one, will not miss it at all.

Time for today’s Q and A………here we go.

Claire asks:
Hi John: I love reading your blog, it’s so entertaining as well as informative! My husband and I will be sailing on Carnival Breeze in January 2015 for our 40th anniversary and have signed up for Faster to the Fun since we aren’t quite Platinum yet. I just read in your most recent blog that there are only 15 cabins per cruise available for Faster to the Fun. Is this true on all ships, including Carnival Breeze? Thanks for having to address this issue twice in such a short time.
Have a great weekend and keep us posted!

John says:
Hello Claire

What a wonderful way to celebrate your anniversary and mark this milestone of 40 years together. We do limit Faster to the Fun to approximately 15 cabins per cruise and also take into consideration the number of Diamond and Patinum cruisers on that voyage. I think you will really enjoy the benefits this brings and, if there is anything else I can do for you, please do let me know. Best wishes to you both.


Ralph Lacey asks:
We just got back from our cruise on Carnival Dream with one big negative. On the Tuesday afternoon my wife and I decided to spend the afternoon on the balcony and then ordered room service that took nearly 30 minutes to bring two sandwiches and coffee!!!! That is not my complaint. We were so relaxed that we decided to stay in the cabin that afternoon and night and skip dinner in the main dining room. We put the Do Not Disturb sign out. The next day was a day with no port, so we slept late but, even though we had the Do Not Disturb sign hanging on the door, our idiotic room steward (name) knocked on the door at 10:30 am.  My wife and I are heavy sleepers sand did not expect and did not hear him knock until he came in and saw us both in bed. This was very much a shock to my wife to see him and a man in white uniform standing our doorway staring at us. I complained to the front desk and asked for the steward not to clean our rooms but to have him replaced. This night not sound like a big deal but why have a Do Not Disturb sign out if your staff ignores it?????????? Very unsatisfactory behaviour and not the way to run a cruise company

John says:
Hello Ralph Lacey

I am very sorry to read that this incident has left you feeling frustrated and, yet, I am glad you have written to me so that I can try and explain. If I am reading this correctly you had the Do Not Disturb sign out from the previous afternoon through the night into the late morning the following day. If that is the case, we do have an internal rule which requires the state room stewards to check on the safety and well-being of the guests inside the cabin. I am sure that you will feel comforted knowing that this was the reason your cabin steward, and what sounds like an assistant housekeeping manager, knocked on your door. It also sounds like, thanks to the wonderful deep sleep you were both in, that you did not hear him knock. And while I really can’t apologise that they checked on your safety and well-being, I do understand, of course, the discomfort you both felt seeing two employees at the entrance to the cabin. I hope this explains why this happened and I do hope that you can look back at the many positives you enjoyed on the cruise and the fun you had and that we will therefore see you soon. If there is anything I can do for you, please let me know. Best wishes.


Jason Wilson asks:
I’m booked on my third cruise in September. I’ve always brought a bottle of wine with me on board and paid the cork fee. I haven’t had the opportunity to enjoy the sea day brunch yet and was wondering… if I buy a bottle of champagne on board, do I still pay a cork fee if I bring it to brunch to make my own mimosas? I see mimosas aren’t on the sea day brunch menu, so I figured I’d make my own… options?

John says:
Hello Jason Wilson

Thanks for writing and if you have purchased a bottle of champagne from on the ship there is no corkage fee at the brunch. If you purchase this off vessel we will charge a corkage fee. Mimosas sound like a great complement to your brunch and I hope you enjoy them. Please let me know if you have any other questions and have a great cruise

Jenny A asks:
Alaska is on the bucket list! I am an experienced cruiser (six cruises just last year) but the elusive Alaskan cruise will be soon. From your opinion, pertaining to Alaska — any specific side of the ship- portside or starboard? A higher balcony versus a balcony on a lower deck? Mid-ship balcony versus forward or aft? Tracy Arm fjord or Glacier Bay? I am sure each is beautiful but if you may only cruise Alaska once- which is better? Is one risky with weather and maybe a miss?
Due to my work schedule, I must cruise Alaska late in the season (September). Aside from cooler weather, what should I expect? More/less rain? Towns starting to close up for the winter? Less excursion options? Less daylight? What is the must-do excursion for the entire trip? I know you won’t have time to answer for each port but what excursion do you hear is the most unforgettable? These questions may seem mundane but I’d like to try and plan well. I promise not to use a fanny pack nor complain about the fog horn. Although is aft easier on the ear with the horn? I look forward to meeting you soon!

John says:
Hello Jenny A

I can tell already how excited you are for your Alaskan cruise. People often ask me what side is better, port or starboard and, really, the absolute truthful answer to that is that it does not matter. When we enter Tracy Arm or Glacier Bay, the captain maneuvers the ship 360 degrees so everyone gets to see the wonders that these places offer and, apart from the first cruise where every single whale was on the starboard side, they have since then been dividing their time equally. As for which is best, Tracy Arm or Glacier Bay, that really is impossible to answer? It would be like being asked to choose between two gorgeous puppies. Whatever cruise you choose you will see amazing sights and incredible views and you will not be disappointed. The best tours are in my opinion the helicopter tours, the trains to the Yukon and any of the whale and wildlife quests. These are unforgettable. The weather is hard to predict so wear layers and, certainly, bring something waterproof and warm. I do hope this starts to get you even more excited and if you have any other questions, please let me know. I hope to see you with us going north to Alaska very soon. Best wishes.

Dianne Hernandez asks:
In follow up to your blog statement about dress code, take notice of what RCI does. They have staff at each entrance to their restaurant on the Independence of the Seas and anyone not in proper attire is sent away to eat at their bistro. This did not happen on the Carnival Magic, our first Carnival experience. Not sure if this was because the ship is full of Texas people but the restaurant was overflowing with baseball caps, jeans and I even saw someone allowed in wearing camouflage hunter pants!!!!!!! This spoiled our experience in the restaurant considerably. Are dress codes different on a ship from Texas or is this typical standard at Carnival?

John says:
Hello Dianne Hernandez

Our dress codes are, indeed, the same through the fleet and not based on where the ship sails from. Certainly, it is difficult to see what every guest is wearing as they enter the dining room. It sounds like we can do better but, I for one, would never want to see any of our guests on their hard-earned and valuable vacation having to pass a dress code inspection before being allowed to come in for dinner. I will, of course, pass on your thoughts to the managers on the Carnival Magic to see what they can do to improve here. I am sure that you enjoyed the service and the food despite what others may be wearing and I truly hope that you had a wonderful time and that we will see you again soon. Best wishes.


LaDonna Kay asks:
Hi John!
Platinum cruiser here! Love Carnival and will be loyal forever!  Question: When, if ever, do you anticipate an expansion of your ports in Charleston or Baltimore? I’m in North Carolina and would really love to see the larger ships a little closer to home. I love those large ships and recently sailed on Carnival Breeze (December 2013) but it can be pricey when you consider airfare to Florida. Would love to know if this is in the works at all? Seeing those bigger ships in the rotation to these areas would be amazing and would enable me to cruise even more frequently than I already do! Love the blog, love Carnival!

John says:
Hello LaDonna Kay

Thank you so very much for your appreciation and for your loyalty to us and long may that continue. I can tell you that we really enjoy sailing from those ports but I am not aware of any immediate plans to bring bigger ships to Charleston or Baltimore but will certainly let you know if that ever comes to fruition. I hope you have more cruises planned and, if there is ever anything I can do for you, please do let me know. Best wishes.

Megan Kates asks:
I agree – we platinum VIPS should get more and should not have to scramble for seats at shows. We deserve reserved seating based on the thousands of dollars we have spent. John, others may not like the fact but we are loyal, so why should we have to use the same gangplank and not have the best seats at shows, a private line for all the buffets and free Internet? Loyalty programs keep passengers loyal and we deserve to be thought of as VIPs and not fenced in with the other non-VIPS as we are now.

John says:
Hello Megan Kates

I agree that the loyalty of our VIFP guests is extremely important to us at Carnival and I thank you for the loyalty you have personally shown. We do not have any plans to reserve seats at shows or have a private gangway but we are looking at what we can do to improve the current program and, when I have news on that, I will share it. Thanks again and hope we see you soon. Best wishes.


Kenneth Pomering asks:
This is being written from the check-in waiting area because I am so angry.  I am waiting to board Carnival Triumph for the start of our cruise this huge obese monster of a woman in a wheelchair and her family of seven were allowed to board first. Why? This woman chose to be that big but she and her non-handicapped family got to board before me and, get this, Heald, she was carrying a 12-pack of Coke on her knees as the staff person tried to push her fat ass in the wheelchair. Being fat is a lifestyle choice, not a proper disability and should not be rewarded with priority boarding.

John says:
Hello Kenneth Pomering

It would be unfair of me to talk about what does and does not constitute a disability as I do not know all the circumstances, I am sure you understand. If a guest requires wheelchair assistance we do, by law, have to provide them with just that. I hope once on board, you had forgotten how frustrated this made you feel and that you started to have immediate fun and that you ended up having the best of times. Best wishes.


Michael Kaplan asks:
John: Since meeting you on Carnival Liberty years ago (2005) and getting to know you better during the past Blogger’s Cruise, I felt the keen desire to pass along this to you. Sometime at the beginning of May I was speaking with a neighbor about how much we enjoy cruising and she mentioned she would love to go sometime. I immediately started to look for a three-day cruise out of Long Beach on May 29. We included another first-time cruiser neighbor and booked a cruise. I can’t explain exactly why, but it rivals as one of the best of the 30+ cruises I’ve been on. There were so many exceptional staff members, I thought I might run out of room on the survey. My friends are ready to go again – soon! I may have captured two new Carnivalites, but, with you leading the way, we all become Carnival ambassadors! John, for all you are and for all you do I thank you. And I thank Carnival for keeping the bar raised for the quality of staff and crew. See you again next January on Carnival Breeze. We’re going to do back-to-back on this one because we just can’t get enough!


John says:
Hello Mike Kaplan

This was a joy to read. Thank you for introducing new people to Carnival and the fun that comes with it. It sounds like you all had the most amazing time and I hope there will be many more amazing times to be had in future days. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you and thanks again for this wonderful post. Best wishes.


Rick Walton asks:
Your call/no-call on tsunami hysteria was just swell.  BTW, our first day home, and my four-year-old is singing, “Is that a booger in the sugar …” Thanks for that. Cheers.

John says:
Hello Rick Walton

Thank you for the positive reinforcement because it really was a tough choice to make. If there had been even the smallest of concerns to the safety of the ship I would, of course, have kept everyone informed but in this case there was none and so it was decided not to worry anyone unnecessarily and, from what you have written, and from what others on board that cruise have told me, it was indeed the right decision. I am sorry about that song…… will have by now I am sure, started to grate on your every nerve. I hope we see you and the family again very soon and thanks so much for sharing in the fun. Best wishes to you all.


Cath Hamrick asks:
Let me start by saying we are frequent cruisers with Carnival. We will be sailing on Carnival Sunshine in May 2015. My question is what happened to the deck cams? They have not worked for several weeks. Love seeing what is going on. Thank you

John says:
Hello Cath Hamrick

My apologies for this. I have checked and they all seem to be working now. Here is the link. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Best wishes.


Jen Qualls asks:
We are sailing on Carnival Victory out of Miami to Grand Turk, Nassau and a Bahamian out island for five days.  Will we be able to purchase a “Cheers” card?

John says:
Hello Jen Qualls

Yes, indeed, you will as the Cheers program is available on the Carnival Victory. Enjoy this and have a wonderful time. Best wishes.


Philip Erwert asks:
I read your new cruise director schedule blog and do not see two of my favorite cruise directors Tex and Willy Lee, mentioned. What gives?!

John says:
Hello Philip Erwert

Both Tex and Willie have left Carnival and are working elsewhere. We wish them both all the best. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Best wishes.


And that’s all for today. So it was a great cruise despite bad weather in Skagway which resulted in a mudslide on the railway line to the Yukon which resulted in lots of excursion changes. The rest of the cruise, the weather was superb and the guests, I think, all had an excellent Alaskan experience. It was certainly a busy one though and I have three enduring memories of it and here they are.

  • Zoe – The very first time I met Zoe, she looked like she was shouldering all the world’s problems and, that after losing her husband at such a young age, who could have blamed her. But here we are, one year later, and seeing her cruising with the ladies who one year ago took her under their wing and seeing Zoe smiling and listening to her tell me about her new job and how she is beginning to live her life again……..well that was the most brilliant feeling.
  • The National Anthem part 1 – As I documented on Facebook, I had received a request from a father for his young daughter to sing the National Anthem at one of the shows for the 4th of July celebrations. After a letter from me and a follow up conversation and even an offer for her to sing a duet with one of the show band singers at one of their sets in the Jeeves Lounge, I am afraid to say that Dad was not happy. I saw them two more times in passing around the ship and, each time, I greeted them with my usual exuberance and each time I was blanked by Dad……who gave me not even a nod of the head. And that makes me very sad.
  • The National Anthem part 2: Again, as mentioned on my Facebook page, two different cabins complained about the waiters singing the National Anthem on July 4th in the dining room. Both said that they found it “disrespectful.” Now what’s interesting here is these are two different cabins and they certainly do not know each other. Yet both used the word “disrespectful” so does that mean they may have a point? Let’s look at the facts shall we? The waiters, under the leadership of our “singing maître d,” the incomparable Mr. Ken Byrne, come from 23 different countries. Now, admittedly, I did not hear it but like every song they sing they would have done it with great gusto yet two sets of guests found this disturbing enough to complain and I wanted to check before speaking with the guests if anything had happened during the performance. So I talked to Ken who confirmed they sang the correct words, no comedy or jovial behaviour was added and the waiters all sang the song with gravitas and with some pride as well. As they did the guests sang along as well and most stood……not all……..but most. So what was it that these guests found disrespectful? Well it turns out that one cabin was not actually upset at the singing of the song which, by the way, was not the Star Spangled Banner but a song called “God Bless America,” something had been lost in translation between them reporting their comment to the head waiter who reported it to the guest services desk. The reason they were upset was that we had not done the same for Canada Day last Tuesday and they found this very disrespectful to the Canadians. And maybe they are right, certainly short of me wishing the Canadians a very happy Canada Day over the PA system we don’t do anything and I will address this with the beards. The second cabin — well that’s a whole different story. They felt the waiters who stood on the stairs at around the upper level singing the song did not do so seriously and that they were laughing and, I quote, “treating the song with disrespect and ridicule.” Those were his words. Now, at this point I would like to have said how this again is worthy of discussion. A song like God Bless America or any national anthem, regardless of where you are from, gives you a sense of great pride and maybe this chap had served in the military or had a personal connection to the words of the God Bless America. But that now does not matter and let me tell you why. First of all, he was so mad that he went straight from dinner and screamed — and I mean screamed — his bloody head off at the guest services associate and this brings me to another point if I can digress just for a moment, please. Carnival’s ships are staffed by humans, who make good decisions and bad ones. If a decision is bad enough and it affects you or those dear to you, it is worth complaining about and we are here to listen, always.  But don’t shout at the poor sod at the guest services desk. Please, stay calm and ask to speak to someone in charge and then if you must shout, so at someone who can actually help. If your complaint is logical and well-argued, and you are persistent, you will be surprised how often you can get a result, we really do care and we really do want you to have the best of times on our ships. As I mentioned, this chap’s complaint about the staff singing this song may have been worthy of discussion but not by me, not here. You see, the second reason for that statement is that he removed the gratuities for his family of four, not just for the waiters but for his cabin steward, as well. That’s his right to do, of course, but this has taken away any thought of me trying to ponder and trying to understanding and his indifference of the waiters singing the anthem of the United States of America. I am sorry that the song upset the guest………….but did it justify him removing all the gratuities? I guess only he knows.

We are now talking about singing this every week and, so as not to upset others, we will have other countries anthems sing as well and will provide little flags for everyone to wave. We will include the American anthem, the Canadian anthem, British anthem, the Australian anthem and the French anthem. I think this will be a wonderful addition to the dining room entertainment even though it will cost us some money to provide national flags for all the guests to wave …….. Although for the French anthem, the guests can, of course, just wave their table cloths in the air.

Let’s see who is sailing with us today, shall we?

Guests                                     2,434
US                                           2,002
Canada                                                89
French Canadians                   12
UK                                          18
Australia                                  9
India                                        52
Guests under 18                      488
Diamond                                 4
Platinum                                  176
Labradors                                1
Most common last name         Patel (27)

So now I could go on and talk about what’s been happening here on the ship but it would be silly to do so because all anyone wants to talk about is my dangly bits…..bugger………I mean smoking. Now for those of you who may have not have heard, here is the news on smoking.

In response to the preferences of a majority of our guests, effective October 9, 2014, Carnival Cruise Lines will no longer allow smoking on stateroom balconies fleetwide.  The company already prohibits smoking within staterooms.  Carnival’s updated smoking policy is consistent with most other major cruise lines.

Smoking will continue to be allowed in designated open deck areas, as well as night clubs and certain areas within the casino and casino bar.

Guests who smoke in their staterooms or on their balconies will be assessed a $250 cleaning and refreshing fee on their Sail & Sign shipboard account.  Information on this fee is included in Carnival’s ticket contract.

We appreciate our guests’ understanding of this modification to our smoking policy based on guest feedback.

In fact, if you could see me now, you would see me in my underpants, wearing a black armband because I, for one, am mourning the loss of smoking on the balconies. I will miss being in Alaska, sitting late at night, on my balcony and enjoying the solitary peace that my cigar brought me after a long day as CD and posting on social media.  However, I am a cigar smoker second and a cruise director and brand ambassador first and so from a guest point of you I have to face the obvious that I have known has been coming for many months. One question will be this, I am sure. Why didn’t we go 100% smoke free? The answer is simple and that’s if a family or a group book a cruise and just one person smokes, Carnival will not be a vacation choice. They will end up going to places where you can smoke like ummmm ……. ummmmmmm…….. ummmmmm …..or…..ummmmm.

This is a non-smoking world we live in. Let’s face it — because it’s true, isn’t it, and our new policies place us in line with most other major cruise lines and the vast, vast majority of our guests are non-smokers and we wanted to have our shipboard experience to meet our guest’s preferences. And our ban on smoking on the balconies is just another rule I have seen come into play. Yep, I have been at sea 27 years this August and I have seen so many changes during my time. I don’t just mean that in the 80′s and 90′s you could smoke everywhere — the dining rooms, all the bars and lounges and even in a lifeboat if you wanted …, I mean that people’s tolerance to smoking was far greater back then. But this is not just a cruise ship thing is it?  Because hotels, bars, restaurants, casinos and even sodding golf courses and beaches now have huge nonsmoking signs on them.

Smoking is, of course, is hazardous to your health and others and the damage caused is self-inflicted and maybe the harder it is to smoke, more of us will stop……………and, yep, that’s a good thing, obviously.  You know, I remember a friend of mine who works as a doctor here with us at Carnival once telling me something I will never forget. She said, “I worked in hospitals watching people some only in their 50’s, gasping for air and unable to walk 20 meters without having to rest. To this day, not one of them has ever said, ‘I’m glad I smoke, it is worth it.’ They never say, ‘The government shouldn’t tell us what to do.’ It is usually, ‘I wish I had listened and stopped’ or ‘Please tell my children not to smoke.’

When it was first suggested that passive smoking was harmful, the idea was at best controversial and the evidence supermodel thin. It is not so now. It is widely accepted that second-hand smoking is dangerous to those who experience it for a sustained period and that’s why we have stopped it on balconies and because it is simply not fair to the many who are on the next door balcony who do not want to be surrounded by smoke…………despite the fact that much of it dissapissatates (spelt correctly) into the air.

I have, of course, read a few “We will never cruise with you again” already today and that, of course, is understandable, even though for some it was a knee-jerk reaction. What can we do to make those guests happy? One thing for sure is we MUST improve the outdoor smoking areas. Provide better seats, more of them, more shelter from the elements, tables and bar service and basically mirror image the brilliant smoking areas on the Dream-class ships that can be found on The Lanai. And that’s my short-term solution for you and for me, Mr. and Mrs. Smoker. These ships have superb outdoor areas and so if you are booking based purely on smoking polices then for now those are your best bet and you won’t be disappointed. It’s a short elevator ride to the Lanai, there is a bar right there open 24 hours a day and the coffee ship is just a few feet away.

Meanwhile, I will make it a personal endeavor to work with the beards to improve the outdoor areas for smoking across the fleet because, well, we have to. Yep, as much as I will miss my “me time” on my Alaskan balcony next year on the Carnival Legend here in Alaska I accept and totally understand why we have done it.

Now hold on, please don’t panic I am not saying anyone should give up smoking — it’s a free world and I still will continue to enjoy my cigars and the time spent with others as we enjoy this pastime. The points I raised are only made to show why smoking has such a bad image.

And I should add that maybe one day as we get “smoking kills” messages on packets of cigarettes and boxes of my beloved Opus X’s cigars, we will also have similar messages on wine bottles, sugary candy and soda, even cell phones once someone with a beard determines they cause cancer.

Thanks for listening and, as always, I will be here and on my Facebook page to listen to you.


Your friend,

Comment Policy

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200 Responses to Song of America

  1. Janice says:

    In my opinion firing someone in an email is the same as firing them in person. However if you are letting someone go due to financial hardship or downsizing then giving them the information should be in person, because it is no fault of the person whose job is being downsized.

    • Nick Palermo says:

      Really? it’s the same thing, glad I don’t work for you. It’s called common courtesy. That’s one of the problems today, text and e-mail have taken all the personal interaction out of everything.

      • Jeff says:

        Spot on Nick..How can letting someone go by e-mail be proper? Common courtesy is likely what people like Janice is lacking.

  2. Jamie says:

    How is the “refreshing fee” going to be applied? I am more than willing to pay $250 more to smoke on my balcony. Is that per week, per day, per cigarette? And how exactly does one “refresh” a balcony? My guess is a water hose & they already do that.

    • JOANN COYLE says:

      My question regards my Oct. 5th 9 day cruise on the Freedom. Will the smoking ban on my balcony take effect mid cruise on the 9th? That hardly seems fair if so. I love Carnival and am very disappointed that at least one side of ship or at least some balconies will still allow smoking. Love cruising and hope the beards listen to the smokers too. Thank you hope you can answer about the cruise on the 5th.

    • Ron Moyer says:

      I hope it is everyday.

      • KenSanDiego says:

        This is typical of the militant non-smoker. They feign their disgust and shout about second hand smoke when all they want to do is punish smokers. These are the people Carnival is listening to. Now that is truly disgusting.

  3. Lisa Dekle says:

    My husband and I are celebrating our 30th anniversary in 2015 and a few weeks ago we were ready to book on the Carnival Valor out of San Juan while the $50 deposit promotion was going on. Our travel agent said our deposit was $250 each because the promotion only extended to 2014 cruises. Any idea when the $50 deposit will be back? We would like to secure our spot as soon as possible but would rather put down $100 instead of $500.

    • Rick Williamson says:

      Frankly if it were me and we were looking at a week like that I would be putting my money down. So I can pick the cabin I want. It’s going to cost you the same. It’s pay me now or pay me later. And what if Carnival doesn’t do the $50.00 down payment anymore this year? You may lose out.

  4. Patricia Alner says:

    Ok can you please address the e-cig challenge with smoking on a balcony? The does not effect anyone around them as it is vapor and just ends out in the ocean air. No one would even know if you were vaping on your balcony unless they witnessed you doing it.

  5. Vicki Price says:

    You say nothing in your blog about e-cigs. Are they included in the ban? If so, why?

  6. Mary Dagostino says:

    awesome post, John, as always.

  7. Tammie says:

    First let me preface by saying that I am not a smoker. However, I think a happy medium could have occurred by allowing smoking on balconies located on only one side of the ship. Why was that not tried first?

    • Debbie says:

      I agree with you, for years when commenting post cruise that’s been something I’ve commented about. That way we satisfy both smokers and non smokers

      • Beth says:

        I think they don’t allow it on one side because they’re responding to non-smokers’ complaints that they can’t enjoy their balconies with smokers all around them. Since there are many more non-smokers than smokers now, they probably can’t fill all of the balconies on one side with smokers, so there would still be non-smokers on that side.

        • Randy Starner says:

          Just a question. If everyone is surrounded by smokers, how is it that there is an overwhelming majority of non-smokers?

  8. Mona says:

    I have to tell you that I love your blog and the way you handle all types of situations. You are truly amazing in the way you answer people’s questions and deal with unhappy people. It takes a special person to work with the public and you sir, do an outstanding job. Love your sense of humor too!! Hoping to have you as our cruise director soon, we cruise every six months and have had caring, wonderful directors, but you are our favorite!!

  9. Rich says:

    John I don’t think you gave Kenneth Pomering an adequate response. I understand “if a guest requires wheelchair assistance we do, by law, have to provide them with just that.” He asked why this extends to her family of 7. I have seen this for myself. At most, a single family member should be allowed to join them. This bring the whole family policy should go!

    • Margot Wright says:

      What if the family consists of 2 adults (one in a wheelchair) and five children? They can’t be left alone to find their way onto the ship. When we embark from Baltimore, the entrance to the ship is up a long, steep gangway, and due to back surgery I cannot manage that. We cruise with three grandkids and I wouldn’t leave them behind for a minute.

    • Snoozeman says:


      • Karen Leibach says:

        It obviously didn’t occur to Kenneth Pomering that perhaps the woman isn’t in a wheelchair because she if fat. Perhaps she is fat because she is confined to a wheelchair due to a medical condition, and exercise is difficult/painful/impossible.

  10. Rita Thomason says:

    First thanks for all you do. In re to the smoking, yes I am a smoker, and I do think Carnival could of handled the situation differently. With that being said are those who partake of to much alcohol going to be told to drink in the bar only, or in a special little area. I think not. I don’t drink and think that maybe that is a bigger issue. Contrary to the comments I have been reading today smoking is a addiction just as alcohol is, but the drinkers are not being banned to the little area in the corner. JMHO

    • Nick Palermo says:

      What I am drinking doesn’t affect your health, you may not like how I act, but you’re not breathing in second hand alcohol.

    • Debbie says:

      Rita, when someone drinks alcohol near me their alcohol consumption isn’t being absorbed into my body. But when you’re smoking or having an e cig by me your nicotine and all the other carcinogens is being absorbed into my body. It’s as simple as that.

      • Jenn says:

        Well said Debbie. I believe, even with vaping, that toxins are released in the vapor. It hasn’t been deemed safe, just safer than lighting a cigarette and inhaling.

      • Jeff Sexton says:

        Point of order: The only thing released from an ecig is water vapor. The ONLY harm it can POSSIBLY cause you is… drowning.

      • Joe says:

        Everyone complaining about the small amount of second hand smoke the get should stop going on cruises at once! Do you realize how many more cancer causing agents you are breathing in from the smokestack? Diesel fuel? Stay home Debbe! It will give you cancer!

      • Phil V says:

        Really Debbie, give us a break, carcinogens in an e-cig! And second-hand no less!!! Where did you read that?

  11. Brad Graves says:

    As usual John – well done and well said! It is almost like I am cruising with you! 🙂

  12. Jeff Sexton says:


    The “sustained periods” required to cause harm from second hand smoking are measured in YEARS… not the *minutes* one would be exposed to it on a balcony…

    • Nick Palermo says:

      So when my wife has an asthma attack from the smoke coming from your balcony it’s too bad. Glad they did this, the whole ship will smwll better, and my wife will be able to use the balcony again.

      • Dana T says:

        Non-smoker here…and I disagree that prohibiting smoking on the balconies will make the whole ship smell better. Time will tell, but it seems to me that if folks who formerly smoked on their balcony now have to go to a smoking area (i.e. the casino), those places will smell even worse.

      • Jeff Sexton says:

        I’m ok with the half ship compromise being proposed by others, why can’t you be?

    • Kristene says:

      It shouldn’t be about the amount of time, but only the fact that it is harmful at all. If every establishment figured it that way, smoking wouldn’t be banned, because people are only in most places except their homes and work for minutes at a time. And frequent visitors’ minutes add up to years quickly.

      • Jeff Sexton says:

        I am Autistic. Bright lights physically hurt me to the point that I wear sunglasses indoors much of the time. Lots of noises (even such as those in the dining room) can send me into full on meltdown in minutes.

        Yet I don’t demand that Carnival dim their lights or even turn the music down. I simply wear my sunglasses and find a quieter area of the ship.

        By your standards, however, maybe I should begin making such demands?

        • Gail Gerard says:

          I’d hug you..but I know y’all can sometimes be weird about that.

          I have a 10 yr old who is a high functioning Autistic. We’ve always taught him that he has to learn to adapt to the world around him and not expect everybody to bow to his wishes, needs, etc. Because sometimes the world is going to be too loud, too bright, too WHATEVER and it is part of his job to make sure HE is comfortable enough to not go into full on meltdown mode without affecting others too much.

    • Cynthia Ravenscraft says:

      Yes that is true for cancer. However, that is not true for someone like me that can have an Asthma attack triggered by smoking. When on cruises I stay out of the smokers zones, I walk through the smoking areas as fast as I can if I have to pass them to get to another location (like the dining room) and I don’t go in the casinos or night clubs that allow smoking. So yes, even a few minutes of smoke can be harmful to some. If I were in the balcony cabin next to you and you were smoking and that smoke kept coming into my balcony I would not be able to stay out there and enjoy the view so you would in a sense be robbing me of my time on the balcony not to mention the extra cost I paid to be there.

  13. Jennifer Ward says:

    I don’t think it is a knee jerk reaction to find out that something I have already booked has been changed from what I thought I was getting. I am not a happy camper. I don’t blame someone that doesn’t want to smoke for not wanting to be around it but what about my rights? Carnival couldn’t have reserved a section a balcony cabins and made them smoking and the rest non smoking??? I am going to cancel the Carnival cruise and book NCL for next year. If they change the policy as well I will cancel that and book an all inclusive resort. I am an adult and pay for my own vacations so no one has the right to tell me what, within the law of course, I can and can’t do on my vacation!!!

  14. Debbie Dean says:

    The new non-smoking on balconies policy is as ridiculous as the outdoor smoking areas that are currently on board. Having ashtrays bolted to the tiny tables means that the waitstaff has to clear the table of glasses and then PICK UP THE ENTIRE TABLE to empty the ashtray. Of course the waitstaff LOVES to do this so the ashtrays are ALWAYS overflowing. Smokers have been pushed into smaller and smaller spaces which just concentrates the smoke even more. I can just hear the fake coughing and whining from anti smokers that have to pass those areas already. Anyone that claims they can smell cig smoke on their balcony when the ship is moving is clearly a nutcase. Why are you bowing to pressure from nut jobs like these?

    • Debbie says:

      I can smell the smoke and I assure you I’m not a nutcase as you state. I think you’re so use to the smoke smell that you probably don’t remember what fresh air smells like as the smoke smell is on your clothes, hair and skin. That’s why I’ve only gotten a balcony three times and I’ve been on many cruises since 1990’s. My first balcony cruise I had chain smokers on both sides of me I never was able to get a break from the smell even at 1 AM. My second cruise I went with my Mom and she wanted a balcony this time there was only one smoker a few cabins down which was much better but I still could smell it. My last cruise I had the beautiful large wrap around balcony AFT which was a nice upgrade Carnival gave me but it was hard to enjoy it as I was surrounded by smokers above and to the side. That was the worst experience. With that being said, I do feel smokers should be able to smoke responsibly on their balcony on one side of the ship and the other side reserved for non smokers. Smokers have started fires on ships by throwing their butts overboard. A Princess cruise ship in 2006 a fire was started by a smoker where someone died and 200+ cabins had fire damage while on a cruise someone I know was on that cruise. That is not an isolated case.

      • Jim says:

        I seriously think you must be a nutcase cause you state we have as smokers forgot what fresh air is. Where do you find fresh air? With all the diesel engines and manufacturing plants around and all the other chemicals in the air you must live under ground and not in the real world because their are chemicals in everything you eat and drink on a daily basis that is far worst for you then the so called second hand smoke. I have smoked for close to 40 years and have a check up every 6 months and have no health issues related to smoking(clean lungs and no heart issues)..So quit the whinning and if it bothers you then get a inside room or lower level room without the balcony. We as smokers pay for the same treatment as everyone else so what would you do if they did away with the loyalty program and you was treated like everyone else on the ship even though you have sailed more then the rest?

        • Debbie says:

          Jim, I live in a small country town where we have clean fresh air. I do get inside cabins on all my cruises except for the 3 times I stated due to smokers. Furthermore for a medical provider to tell you have clear, good lungs is BS. How many CT scans, MRI’s or lung biopsies have you had? A plain chest xray doesn’t tell all about your lungs. There is no way your lungs are healthy!!!

      • Stacy says:

        Make sure you and all other non smokers do not go to Disney world and smell the fireworks. The smoke chokes the daylights out of me and I’m 38 years of smoking grandma that has to stand way back in the trees (smoking area). Do not look up for the trash flings from the air from all the fireworks! Can’t believe it hasn’t started a fire or burned a child. Maybe they’re using the new paper like they have on cigarettes now that goes out quickly to prevent fires??

    • Jm crager says:

      Nutcase? Nutjob? Way to win non-smokers to side with your argument. Obviously scientific data to the contrary will be lost on you. Regardless, this nutcase can–be prepared–actually smell the smoke coming from your balcony. Just because you can’t doesn’t mean others can’t as well. Oh, nut jobs are not good enough actors to fake coughing. Whining? We’ll it takes a good whiner to recognize one, so kudos to you for being so astute.

    • Terri says:

      I agree with the others, Debbie. I absolutely can smell smoke while underway from our balcony. Just two weeks ago in my aft cabin on the Splendor, I couldn’t go outside without smelling smoke. for the record, some people can smell smoke very easily. I quit 14 years ago and I noticed almost immediately that my sense of smell was heightened to everything. It’s my experience that maybe you don’t smell smoke from other balconies because you are a smoker and don’t have that heightened sense? Either way, calling people names is not the way to gain sympathy on your end. And, I for one, am excited that balconies will be non-smoking later this year. We might reconsider booking with our young children for the holidays, this year! Thanks, Carnival!

      • Julie Tyler says:

        My husband lost his mother to lung cancer and I almost lost my dad to a heart attack at age 59 from smoking. Growing up I was plagued by bronchitis in the winter months staying in a house that smelled of stale cigarette smoke. Even though my dad only smoked in the living room, outside, and in the car on his way to and from work, the house and he reeked of cigarette smoke. When he quit cold turkey his sense of smell came back and he became an avid campaigner against smoking. My husband is no less a campaigner. We’ve been on several cruises, a couple of times we’ve had balcony cabins and both times we were driven back indoors by cigarette and cigar smoke. The smoke gets in your clothes and hair and is very unpleasant. We spent the extra money one cruise to get a spa cabin and it was WORTH it! I am very excited at Carnival going almost smokeless.

  15. Robin says:

    Thank you for writing your blog. I love the Q&A and I really enjoy reading your views on different situations. I have never smoked so I don’t know what it is like to be incredibly dependent on one specific thing to the point that I would allow that or the lack thereof to ruin anything for me. But I have family members who smoke so I’m expecting that they will be disappointed with the new policy. I don’t, however, think they will stop cruising as they enjoy it tremendously and will just adjust accordingly. I have been expecting this policy change for quite some time as other lines have already adopted the limited smoking policy. My husband and I are VIPs with Carnival and have cruised in all different classes of cabins. I have never been bothered by smoke on a balcony – maybe I’m just not that sensitive. At any rate, it is what it is and people should just accept the new policy and make whatever adjustments they need to make – as they would at a sporting event, a shopping mall, a restaurant, etc. Thanks, again, for your blog and all of the valuable information you provide.

    • Debbie says:

      There is NO proof that a cig caused that fire. NONE. And with the millions of pax on thousands of ships that’s all you got?? One fire that no one can say 100% was caused by a cig? How are the anti-smokers going to like all the extra smoking on deck and in the casino now? You didn’t want to be exposed to smoke so now we all have to share the deck space when instead, a smoker could have a private smoke without bothering anyone. So you smelled some smoke, big damn deal. We all smell things all day, many are not healthy. How about that great big smoke stack spewing deisal fumes?? You think that’s healthy.

      • Debbie says:

        Debbie, Why don’t you Google about that fire on the Princess ship 2006 it was started by a cig left on a balcony still burning. It was investigated well and that was the final conclusion of what started that fire @ 3 AM. My friend was on that cruise and told me the horror it was to go through that experience all caused by a careless smoker! There have been many fires on cruise ships over the years started by smokers I just highlighted that one as I remember well what she went through. Also, your private smoke on your balcony does bother me to state you’re not bothering anyone is BS. The smell is terrible and full of carcinogens. If you want your Cancer Sticks stay home and do what ever you want in your own home. Hopefully you’re not around or holding any innocent children who don’t have a say as your clothing, hands, face all have residue full of carcinogens that they’re exposed to. Maybe you should Google third hand smoke while your at it. By the way, there are no “big smoke stacks” by my home just lots of clean fresh air. When you start struggling to breathe and it will happen it’s just a matter of time, I hope you remember all the hogwash you posted. Smokers live a Russian Roulette life eventually your luck runs out.

        • Lisa says:

          Actually if you read the 72 page report, it is speculated only that a cigarette may have landed on a balcony and smoldered in a towel that we left out on the balcony, which we are NOT supposed to do. Found fault with the ship for not having fire retardant walls between balconies and 7 fire heads that did not work and were faulty, but thanks anyway!

        • Lisa says:

          I guess you did not read the entire 72 page report. If you did, you would find that they think it may have been a cigarette that blew back onto another balcony and perhaps landed on a towel that was left out there-probably a NS that could not follow the rule of do not leave things on your balcony. Also found the ship at fault for not having fire retardant walls between balconies and 7 fire heads that did not work…Try reading before speaking…

      • Tammy says:

        Its almost as bad at Disney world should see all the smoke from the fireworks and trash it drops on the non smokers glaring in the air..smokers, we’re stuck in the back by the trees with the fresh air..weird. Also when in Mexico, I asked the native Mexican woman where was the appropriate smoking areas..she said Oh Anywhere ! This not America!
        Hummm ..So non smokers just a FYI

  16. Tom Pecena says:

    You have one Labrador on the next cruise? As in dog or Canadian? And as far as Kenneth Pomering . I’d hare to be at his table for dinner. Complaining already before boarding the ship! And because somebody got on board the ship before him. He’ll be trouble the entire voyage. What a whiner. I feel sorry for the staff on board that have to deal with him. He’s the type that will let this ruin his entire cruise and ruin the cruise for everyone within earshot. I feel sorry for people like that….those that have no joy in their lives what so ever.

  17. Pamela Street says:

    I love both the Star Spangled Banner and God Bless America but for some reason younger ppl think the later is our national anthem. I am a religious person so this does not offend me. But everyone needs to realize the only national anthem we have in America is The Star Spangled Banner. Just an opinion.

  18. Marie Wolff says:

    Dear John and Carnival too:
    I for one am most happy about the no smoking on the balconies decision. As an ex-smoker I can attest to the damage smoking does. I am one of those who can not walk 20 feet without stopping to breathe. As we love our balconies I can also state that I have had to withdraw into my cabin on several occasions as the smoke was bad. Especially when the ship is docked in port. Also, I think it is most dangerous for a fire if someone who has had too much to drink throws a cigarette overboard and it should land in a balcony. For all that do not suffer from smoking, you are preventing future problems. I would wish everyone would listen to the reports and quit smoking, or, please do not start.
    Thank you for letting me grand-stand. One who is paying the price.

    • Debbie says:

      The odds of someone starting a fire on their balcony are now increased. There will be those that sneak a smoke and will now toss butts overboard instead of putting it out safely in an ashtray. This is NOT a good idea.

  19. Cindy says:

    Why can’t Carnival do a trial period with port side balcony & suite staterooms smoking to see how it works out instead of taking that option out completely? I have cruised with carnival 7 times & have booked a B2B for Febuary in a suite for the privacy of the balcony to have my morning coffee & cigarette,so now if I can’t sleep I have to get dressed and head to the deck where I can smoke?

    There are all kinds of different people on board, and how is a young women or older lady suppose to feel safe leaving there room ALONE to go have a cigarette, when it would be much safer for them to just step outside to the balcony ? Have the beards considered that? I think not! You always say Carnival is concerned with it’s passengers safety! With this change in the smoking policy Carnival Cruise Lines is putting peoples lives at stake, and setting themselves up for law suites if passengers
    Get raped or assaulted! So their is some seriouse food for thought for the beards to consider. I think they need to go back and revisit this decision!

    Thanh you John for hearing me out

    • Nick Palermo says:

      REALLY? Raped and assaulted when going to smoke, you smokers are hilarious. Guess you never leave your cabin to go eat or go to the casino, overreact a little more why don’t you.

    • Julie says:

      Please tell me this was a joke ?! If you truly feel like you are in mortal danger by leaving your cabin alone, maybe you should reconsider crusing and opt for something safer.

    • Laurie says:

      If someone is SO afraid of being raped or assualted on a ship while going outside their stateroom to smoke a cigarette, perhaps they should consider quitting smoking? Unbelieveable.

    • Linda says:

      Crime on a cruise ship is very very low and with good reason, there is no where for a criminal to go after their crime. I have never felt unsafe walking anywhere at anytime alone on a Carnival ship. Even at 2 am to go do a load of clothes while my family slept. Now I will not take a cruise or walk around some ports due to they threat of crime but not while on board. This is just not realistic and a poor excuse at best. I understand it is an inconvenience but your smoking and me having to leave my balcony because of your smoking is an inconvenience to me.

    • Maureen says:

      If you are truly fear for you safety you should reconsider smoking. You are more likely to suffer serious consequences from the smoking than from any assault on a cruise ship.

    • Rose Clare says:

      “Why can’t Carnival do a trial period with port side balcony & suite staterooms smoking to see how it works out instead of taking that option out completely?” This part makes sense.

      “I have cruised with carnival 7 times & have booked a B2B for Febuary”……”There are all kinds of different people on board, and how is a young women or older lady suppose to feel safe leaving there room ALONE to go have a cigarette, when it would be much safer for them to just step outside to the balcony?” ……. “With this change in the smoking policy Carnival Cruise Lines is putting peoples lives at stake, and setting themselves up for law suites if passengers
      Get raped or assaulted!”

      I can’t decide… on one hand, I’m disgusted at you for using what appears to be the horrific physical violation of rape as hyperbole to back up your argument that you should be able to smoke on your balcony. I was the victim of an attempted rape and sexual assault and there’s nothing cute about casually tossing “rape” out there to make your point. The actual crime statistics aboard cruise ships do not support your point if you’re just throwing out possible scenarios.

      On the other hand, maybe this is a genuine fear that you live with. In that case, I should be very concerned for you if you truly think you’re in danger of being raped/assaulted if you leave your room, yet you continue to put yourself in such dangerous situations with your 7 past cruises and your 8th and 9th coming up.

      Perhaps you should speak to a professional to sort out your fears before you embark on your next cruise. I know mine has done wonders for me since my attack. Best of luck to you.

  20. John Nagle says:

    I knew the no smoking policy would eventually be a reality. This December I booked a back to back in a premium aft balcony on the Freedom, specifically to have room to hang out and smoke cigars. Looks like if its no more smoking than no more balconies for me. I like you love the peace and solitude of a good cigar in the evening on my balcony. No more. Bummer.

  21. Christina Smith says:

    John, as always, I love reading your blog and FB posts. Just wanted to say that I am a smoker, and I really feel for you today! I’m sure you must feel that you have been put through the wringer as one of the most public faces of Carnival. I’ll be sailing on Fantasy on October 4th, so I’ll get to enjoy the last few days of smoking on the balcony. It’s my first time in a balcony room. Someday I hope to be able to sail on a ship you are on. Keep on entertaining us. Cheers!

  22. Annalee Yard says:

    Will I miss sitting on my balcony looking at the stars and listening to the ocean waves while smoking, yes. However, though disappointed, I do understand the changes regarding smoking. My hope is that our children and grandchildren will never pick up the habit. I do appreciate the fact you will encourage the “beards” to make the continuing smoking areas nicer. I have always attempted to be a considerate smoker and I hope the other smokers and non-smokers alike can be considerate of each other during this transitional times.

    • Debbie says:

      I am a considerate smoker and have always been very careful about it but all bets are off now. If antismokers come near me in a designated smoking area they better keep their opinions and fake coughing to themselves.

  23. Roger Tollerud says:

    My wife smokes–I don’t but I think the change to the smoking rules is a mistake. She always talks with our neighbors and if her smoking on the balcony bothers them she doesn’t do it when they are out. Never has been a problem for either party in our 40+ cruises.
    Having said that you could see the change coming and it will not stop us from enjoying Carnival cruising!
    Roger Tollerud

  24. Rosie Guidry says:

    Mr H awesome job on this blog. One suggestion for the staff working at Guest Services. When someone gets that verbally abusive tell them to say, “excuse me”, walk away and get a supervisor to try and.defuse the situation.Just a thought.

  25. Bill says:

    I get your British but God Bless America is not our Anthem, and please don’t add more silly singing in the Dinning room. We have to listen to the silly complaints about jeans ruining a “Fine Dining” meal, well no 5 star place has the staff break into song. I am also offended by the Donkey (feel free to translate) that was upset a heavy women was pushed on board before him. When did he take the time to find her condition, I am sure he is a board Certified MD that has done research that being fat is a choice. Funny I know of any number of mediations for left threatening illness’s that cause you to gain weight. One can only hope he gets the same level of compassion and understanding when he needs it that he so quickly showes others.

    • Torbelinoblanco says:

      Then do you like the American song “My Country Tis of Thee”? You might recognize the melody.

  26. samantha brower says:


    I have only one comment towards a customers post above. It is the one about the lady in the wheelchair. I have seen this happen many times and in many places, people who are over weight by their own choices and get handicapped treatment. While you can not deny your service to the handicapp, and I used it myself for a friends mother last cruise…is there a way to at least ask for a doctors note or some written proof that this person needs to be in a wheelchair for true medical reasons, overweight IMO is not a good reason as you did it to yourself. Any, that is my two cents and opinions, like arseholes, everyone has one lol…… reading your posts and blogs and miss them when Mt. Bugger blocks the way. Bright blessings.

    • Beth says:

      Samantha, there are many illnesses that cause obesity – my father-in-law had severe MS and couldn’t move the last 15 years of his life, and he put on weight. Other diseases and injuries limit activity, tumors secrete hormones that cause obesity – it is unfair to assume that someone is obese “by choice” or that an obese person in a wheelchair does not have another underlying condition. I can’t imagine how insulted I’d feel if I was in a wheelchair and was therefore required to get a “doctor’s note” in order to prove the ADA laws applied to me. It’s really not worth ruining your cruise because someone gets on a little earlier than you do for whatever reason – just be glad you’re not the one in the wheelchair.

    • Janie Murphy says:

      All these comments about a family getting on board first due to the overweight person in the wheelchair makes you want to scream. If there were only 7 seats left on a lifeboat, I could see where you might be put out. But really, it only held up the line approximately 5 minutes. Probably not even that long. Come on people, it’s a vacation. Slow down and enjoy.

  27. Terry says:


    With the change in Carnival’s smoking sadly we will be taking our last cruise on Carnival this September. I don’t smoke, but my wife does. She loved going out on the balcony to relax and stargaze. She was always respectful to others. We have been on 15 cruises with Carnival. We will miss cruising now.

  28. Jim Ferrell says:

    Hi John,
    I have been cruising with Carnival for many years and next year I am returning to the Valor. I see on Carnival’s deck plans that there is still “Winston’s Cigar Bar”, will I still be able to enjoy and nice whisky and a cigar there?
    Thank you in advance for your reply,

    • Randy Starner says:

      Jim. We just went on Valor in March. Sadly, Winston’s is no longer a cigar bar. Several years ago we sailed on Liberty which had the same configuration. I considered Winston’s to be my favorite cigar venue on land and sea. Winston must turn in his grave. Its like airbrushing the cigar out of his picture. I consoled myself that I still had my aft balcony. Carnival should build one of those little cages like they have in ATL. Never seen a cigar in any of those.

  29. Ron Gabucci says:

    Smoking policy change…
    I feel Carnival missed an opportunity to be an innovator here, instead of doing it because everybody else is. Why not dedicate 20-25% of balcony cabins to smoking allowed. They could be on the starboard upper decks, midship to aft, and both smokers and non smokers could enjoy their balconys. This may not be a cure all, but it would go a long way toward pleasing more passengers. I also foresee much more outrage when us evil smokers are forced into the public areas where smoking is allowed.

  30. Barb says:

    John love the blog and the entries on FB. I have a wee giggle each time I read the stats. Canadian and French Canadian are listed as two separate units. We are both Canadians. French Canadians come from all over the country. There must be a reason why they are broken out like that. As I am in awe at some of the petty thing people complain about. That in itself is an education. Now in closing, we are very excited to read that there will no longer be smoking on the balconies. Please pass on a HUGE thank you to the company.

  31. Wow, really bummed about the no smoking on the balcony. I always was considerate of my neighbors, and if they were on their balconies, and I saw they did not smoke, I would wait until they were not out. I do wish you would make changes so smokers have alternative places to go. There needs to be a selection for the smokers as we now no longer have the privacy of our balconies. October? Well, good thing I am sailing in August. Still will be able to enjoy one last cruise, on my balcony, relaxing. Not to say I wont continue to sail Carnival, just disappointed.

  32. Pat Wallis says:

    John, My husband and I are very disappointed with Carnival’s new smoking policy. For months (here and on Cruise Critic) passengers have been making many suggestions about smoking on the balconies. One very good suggestion, I think is to make one side of the ship smoking and the other side non smoking. Or as with many hotels, make the top 2 or 3 decks smoking as smoke does go up. We are cruising Alaska with you in August and have a trip booked in January to Hawaii which with today’s news we are seriously considering cancelling (it would have been our Plantium cruise). Four and a half sea days to Hawaii and then the same back is a long haul. With the totally refundable deposits we will most likely cancel. We enjoyed our morning coffee and happy hour glass of wine on our balcony. This was truly vacationing. Don’t tell us to go to the Lanaii, as we can’t stand the ambient noise. Makes it hard to enjoy a good book. Prior to 2007, we used to vacation in Mazatlan. Now that Mexico has become safer we will probably go back to land vacations even though we loved cruising. And although we love the casino, Carnival has restricted the number of slot machines available to smokers. About 1/3 smokers and 2/3 non smokers. We do go to Las Vegas twice a year and the area for non smokers in the casino is very small. Most smokers are gamblers and many gamblers are smokers so you would increase your revenues if you increased the number of machines where smoking is allowed. Vegas has figured this out.

  33. Sherry Brown says:

    I just cancelled my Jan. 25th cruise on the Magic…maybe smokers will all stop cruising with Carnival, that is my hope. I for one am through. I have been sailing with Carnival since 2000….a very sad day for me and others I’m for the non smokers who have caused this may you all enjoy your smoke free EXPENSIVE cruise…you should all be so proud of yourselves.

  34. Cindy says:

    I understand that there are many non smokers. I am one of them. I understand that smoking is dangerous to your health, but yet, many continue to smoke – my husband included.
    It is too bad that Carnival couldn’t have come up with some “smoking balconies” say at the back of the ship, that would not have affected the other non-smoking passengers.
    We are booked for a 14 day repo cruise next March. This new policy will mean i will be spending more time alone while my DH has to run upstairs to light up.

  35. Ulli Nordby says:

    Hi John,
    How about the German Anthem ???? Probably more Germans on Carnival ships than French citizens.
    We enjoy your blog and Facebook updates very much, you always find a way to make us smile,

  36. Roger Hitchcock says:

    A group of 15 cruisers set sail with you on the Miracle on the July 28 sailing. I am writing to you to ask if you could set up a Cigars under the stars during the cruise. I know of at least 3 of us guys would love to attend, sharing a time with you under the stars while enjoying a fine cigar as well as great conversation with you. This will be a third cruise with you, we were with you on the Splendor in the Northern Baltic and on the Magic in the Mediterranean. Looking forward to seeing you again and hearing those classic John Heald jokes.

    Thank you
    Roger Hitchcock

  37. Brent D. says:


    I am disheartened to hear that you had to relieve someone of duty aboard the Miracle. I would like to put my 2 cents in on the subject. My first ever cruise was two weeks ago (June 23 sailing) on board the Miracle to Alaska. Needless to say, I was blown away not just by the majesty (no not that one you Brit – God’s majesty) but also by the greatness of the Carnival family. I use the word family because that is how the staff aboard the Miracle seemed to act – not like a big dysfunctional family, but like the Cosby family lip syncing and dancing to Ray Charles. Just like a first love, I will always compare subsequent cruises to this one, which is a a very high water mark. The reason for this high standard for which all others will be compared is not only the fact that the cruise was in the most beautiful place I have ever experienced, but because of the wonderful staff. I have never been treated by employees of a company the way I was treated by Carnival staff – you included! (I’m sure Mr. “Richard” Little can say the same).

    So, while I am sure it is difficult to let someone go from employment, you must remember that Carnival, aboard the Miracle alone, makes nearly 2,500 impressions on one 7 day sailing, and while my wife and I were only 2 people on board that week, we were certainly not the only ones being impressed upon by the wonderful staff. the one person that you had to let go could impact the reputation of the Carnival company and ultimately affect the jobs of tens of thousands of others and their families. Furthermore, as someone who has had his fair share of being let go, I can attest that sometimes we all need to be fired so that we can reevaluate our lives and move on. Hopefully, this person too will take this opportunity to reexamine what it is they want from life and set a new course to achieve it.

    Sorry, there was no question there, just a really long comment….

  38. Nanci Hess says:

    Hi John keep up the Great work, FYI, the Sunshine webcams are not working…and a couple of others either fore or aft Don’t line up with the time of day…one night one day etc…Check all the ship’s….thanks

  39. Pat Davidson says:

    Hopefully you will be able to continue your “cigars under the stars” as that was a great way to bring people together – thanks John for everything, as usual

  40. Lorna says:

    Hi John
    I love reading your blog, and I am booked on BC8, really looking forward to it.
    I also love your out look on life, and the affection in your words when you discuss your family.
    Some people are never happy, you should not waste time trying to please the ones you can’t and focus on the ones you can please.
    It is only a matter of time, and smoking will not ever be an issue, it may be a generation or two away…..but it will happen. My question is, why did Carnival not prohibit smoking on balcony’s only on one side of the
    I would also like to say that I do believe that Carnival could do a better job of policing the dress code for the dining room. The BC8 will be my 12th cruise with Carnival, and I would not cruise with any other line again. Thanx for all you do!

  41. Brett says:

    I get the smoking policy but as John stated in the blog, they have to improve the smoking areas. I don’t smoke but I sometimes travel with people that do. So in the name of sparing people from second hand smoke I’m going to be exposed to even more. Instead of dealing with 1 smoker on the balcony I’m going to have to deal with dozens all crammed into a small space if I care to socialize with people I travel with. Now it seems hypocritical for Carnival to sell cigarettes if they’re concerned about second hand smoke…Do they care enough to stop selling cigarettes mega cases of cigarettes? Doubt it.

  42. Jennifer Nikitenko says:

    Mr.Kenneth Pompousass is so wrapped up in himself he has lost any compassion he may have once had. This world is really turning UGLY. Everyday ugly things happen and you Mr Pompousass are not GOD and have NO right to assume anyone is ONLY IN A WHEELCHAIR because he/she is overweight. You assume and I am sure you know what happens to people who assume right??

  43. Robert Charest says:

    While I may not necessarily agree with the smoking policy on balconies, I fully understand why it is being done (and can sympathize with non smokers). I myself am a former smoker, and have been able to do so with the help of electronic cigarettes. I feel it is unfair to group traditional smokers with those who want to use electronic kind. These devices produce a water vapor (not smoke, as nothing is burning) and have very little if any odor. I use them inside cars and homes of my non smoker friends (who would never allow me to light up a traditional cigarette) and have yet to find a single person who was bothered in any way by my use of them. Please reconsider your policies on electronic cigarettes.

  44. Joanne Serpa says:

    Are e-cigs/vapor pens included in the smoking ban on the balconies?

  45. Hi John,
    Today’s blog contained a letter that really burned my buns from a “platinum VIP” making demands for further special treatment. I am also platinum level but know the difference between LOYAL and ROYAL. F(seriously)FS! She wanted (A)reserved seats at shows, (B)Not to use the same gangplank? (C)Private line for all buffets and free internet? (D)Loyalty programs keep passengers loyal? (E)Not fenced in with the other non-VIPS as we are now? This is embarrassing to read! I am platinum because I have had the good fortune to have enjoyed the right number of fabulous vacations that were a very great value. The crews already treat us all so well that I can’t think of anything that could be changed to make it more special. No way would I expect special seats. We know the deal for good seats, just go a little early and they’re yours! The same goes for the buffet lines. We already get to walk onboard first, so what possible point would there be to a separate gangplank? Should Carnival bronze the one we have used and save it somewhere? No, loyalty programs do not keep passengers loyal, getting the best vacation for our money every time does. I’m not touching the “fenced in with other non-VIPS” excrement. My husband’s response to that one was hilarious, but not physically possible. Besides, who would want to scan that card afterwards?

    Thanks for all you do, John.

  46. Kenneth May says:

    As a smoker the only reason I get a balcony is to smoke one before bed. and one while I wait for us to get in port but since you all want to inflict other people disregard for others rights to have a relax and have one i have no choice but to find a different cruise line one that has enough respect for all passengers and enough balls to tell them to get a life and be glad there not in there face with a cigarette let them smoke i I won’t let them throw you overboard

    • Debbie says:

      Kenneth, it’s just a matter of time before all the major lines including NCL don’t allow smoking on the balcony. Carnival will now be able to fill their balconies with non smokers. I mostly get an inside cabin as I hated to pay the balcony price and not being able to enjoy it due to smokers on their balconies. Now I get to book a balcony cabin. If someone is smoking on their balcony I will report it to guest services so I can finally enjoy the balcony for the first time! I know people who left Carnival for RC cruise line as they don’t allow smoking on the balcony. I let them know about the new policy so they’re coming back to Carnival. I have a feeling that’s not a isolated incident. Smokers are replaceable its no threat to Carnival.

  47. Janiece Collins says:

    I would think at the very least you would alow e-cigarettes on balconies as meet in the middle. I am not asking to allow them in the dining room or other non smoking areas but e-cigs hane no odor, no toxins and are not intrusive in any way. Its a dissapating vapor like steam and should be allowed. If this is a ‘rule’ that will be enforced than I respectfully request the enforcement of all rules such as the dress codes in the dining room and the hogging of chairs on the lido. Right is right. All rules or none.

    • Laura Brown says:

      You really need to do some research about e-cigs. The vapor they give off is full of cancer causing fumes. I for one do not want to be exposed to them. I just came from staying is a very nice 5 star hotel and they did NOT allow smoking on the balcony or in the rooms.

      • LMW says:

        You really need to do some research on the e-cigs.

        There have been NO STUDIES that have proven that what you are claiming is true. There has only been speculation. The only horror stories are those in which the e-liquid is sold in gallon jugs with high levels of nicotine added or when a battery exploded.

        Cell phone batteries explode too. Are you pushing for the banning of cell phones?

    • Debbie says:

      Janiece E-Cigs are loaded with carcinogens in the so called water vapor. Read the unbiased studies not the ones put out by the E-cig companies. Remember when they told us second hand smoke was safe put out by the cig companies? We now know second hand smoke is dangerous to non smokers. Most E-cigs come from China and we know their substances aren’t well regulated over there. Didn’t you ever wonder how easier it was to trade one habit for another VS cutting it out all together? That’s because there is nicotine and other addictive substances in the E-cigs and it’s expelled in the so called water vapor. The studies show the safest way to stop addiction to cigs is to quit and if unable to do that the nicotine patches are safer than the E-cig.

      • LMW says:

        Are you talking about diethylene glycol?

        The same thing that is used in toothpaste, mouthwash, cough syrups, and some wines?

        Shall we ban all of those too?

        Health Central states that most researchers do NOT consider Nicotine in and of itself a carcinogen.

        Maybe YOU should read some unbiased reports?

  48. Debra Maldonado says:

    Well John…This morning I read about the new smoking policy. I am a non-smoker (former – the worst kind). However my best friend is a smoker!! I have a cruise booked for my 25th anniversary in Nov. It is also my husband’s birthday. We my fried called me this morning the first thing she said is, well I am canceling the cruise. She is leaving on a cruise this Thursday. I told her no it will not be effective until Oct. She said, no the November cruise. She was going to surprise me and my husband by going!!! NOW she will not go. Thanks for nothing!!! She is a Platinum member. We are also going on the cruise compliments of the Casino (both couples). Sooooo the money you will lose is considerable. I think a policy of half the ship is much more reasonable!!

  49. Lynne Brown says:

    The deciding factor for us booking our next cruise with Carnival was because we could smoke on the balcony. Since they have changed the game, can I assume I can get my ES deposit back. I have decided to jump ship (no pun intended). Thanks

  50. Joyce says:

    John –

    Your response to the person who complained about the obese woman in the wheelchair was so professional, Bravo. I on the other hand will not be. And to all you who post about obesity being a life choice – well then, I will ask you smokers: HOW HARD IS IT TO QUIT SMOKING? Overeating to the point of obesity, when you cannot walk is just as much as an addiction as smoking and drinking. IT IS SODDING MENTAL ILLNESS!

    As a person who has been obese, and struggles to this day – I ate because I felt worthless? Why did I feel worthless? Because I was emotionally abused as a child, well into my teen years – I was locked in a house, not allowed out of a house, when we left the house I was forced to duck down in a car. HOW DARE YOU JUDGE where a person is or has been in their life….how many of you go to church each week and then complain about a woman in a wheelchair boarding early with her family?? Wouldn’t you want to board with your loved ones? Wouldn’t you????

    I am so sorry you were so inconvenienced by this woman and her family that you had to wait an extra oh I don’t know 10 minutes to board. There but by the grace of God go I. Why don’t you thank God that it isn’t you in a wheelchair? I’m sorry…but wow. I bet some of you made fun of the fat kids in school huh? Bet that made you feel good. To quote Mr. Heald: BUGGER OFF.

  51. Tammy says:

    John. I’m happy to hear of the progress that Carnival is making around the smoking issues. I am a non smoker and I love to spend time in the casino however both my husband and I can’t go on the ship casino due to the smoking as we are also asthmatic. We also can’t enjoy the club. I can’t wait until this is implemented across all “public” areas on the ships so we can all enjoy the entertainment areas. The diffrence is that Smokers can step away to a smoking area and return to enjoy the entertainment whereas many non smokers don’t have an option.

  52. Cruiser Dave says:

    I would discourage you from starting to have national anthems sung by waiters on a regular basis. No good can come of it, as you will only alienate the dozens of nationalities who do not get their song sung. I can see having a song for your top 5 or 6 passenger nations once a year on their national holiday, but that’s it. And you have to be very sensitive about getting the songs right. You can’t announce the American anthem and then do “America the Beautiful”. You can’t do the French anthem and think this appeals to French Canadians – they would have nothing to do with it. You can’t do “The Maple Leaf Forever” as a national song of Canada (and certainly not as the anthem) without having the Quebecois attack your dangly bits because it is very British-centric. Who knows what other landmines are hidden in a nation’s songbook, so you should be aware.

  53. Ed Bell says:

    Hello John, couple of comments. First from what I saw/heard on 2 cruises this year, the problem with room stewards and walking into rooms is they don’t knock loud enough. They just lightly tap on door with their key card. If you are walking by in the hall it’s hard to hear let alone hear in the cabin. The comment on the handicapped passenger boarding was quite rude, but the laws in this country were passed to give handicapped people access not special privileges. Somehow they’ve evolved into a special privileged class for a lot of people. The problem with that is then people abuse the system. My own opinion is save the anthems for special occasions. Also the US national anthem is “The Star-Spangled Banner” not “Good Bless America” so I sure the dad was even angrier when the waiters didn’t sing The Star-Spangled Banner. Don’t smoke, never have, but a question, are they going to let smokers cancel cruises without penalty? I know recent promotions for sailings after Oct 9 14 deposits were non refundable. Thanks Also earlier this week I mentioned the deposits being higher for military rates, but forgot to mention that on single rates without the supplement they still want double the deposit. So on a $500 solo cruise for Dec ’14 they wanted $300 deposit on a upper/lower. A booking for 2 in a balcony for $1600 a $100 deposit. Again thanks for everything you do a for the laughs many days.

  54. Sandra Dunlop says:

    Hi John. I do enjoy reading your blog and facebook page. This is the first time that I feel preached to. I don’t think anyone needs to be told the risks of smoking. It’s interesting to read all the comments both pro and con. I know that you have to tow the party line, but I felt you over did it this time. Everyone feels they have rights – and they do. I really think you would have been further ahead to compromise, as some people have suggested. I would really love to hear the justification for not allowing e-cigarettes. There is no smoke, no odor, no fire hazard and no mess. Also, you say that there will be a $250 refresh fee if you smoke in the room or on the balcony. Is that the only consequence? Already people are saying they are ready to pay the $250 to smoke. You really don’t need to refresh a balcony, but now you are actually saying people can smoke in their room bacause that’s what would have to be refreshed. I think you shot yourself in the foot this time. Just my opinion.

  55. Tracey says:

    They will end up going to places where you can smoke like ummmm ……. ummmmmmm…….. ummmmmm …..or…..ummmm NCL.

  56. Azniv Lopez says:

    I am a platinum member been crusing with carnival since 1988. I don’t smoke but don’t agree with the no smoking policy on the balconies. Balconies are outdoor and a customers private area which they paid for. You should consider banning smoking in all community indoor areas of the ship including the casino. Also you say smoking is bad; so is gambling and drinking but yet I don’t see casinos closing down or bars stop serving alcohol. Thank you

    • Debbie says:

      Azniv, I’m also Platinum and a non smoker but I don’t get a balcony most cruises due to the smoking guests on their balcony. I’ve smelled the smoke quite frequently when relaxing on the balcony only to have to retrieve to my cabin as it bothers me so. I would order room service to eat on my balcony and have to leave the balcony to eat inside as the smell is nauseating to me and the food just doesn’t taste the same when it’s around smoke. But I do feel one side of the ship should be reserved for smokers so the non smokers who don’t want to be by smoke can have the other side.

  57. Charles Mitchell says:

    Hmm. It continues to gall me to no end at such elitist comments such as ‘Im a platinum or diamond’ and I deserve….. realistically what they deserve is their own bloody hell where they have to wait for steerage to board before they do. As far as smoking goes so does the tide go. John your humour and mastery of the kings english, of which you should soodingly have mastered, is patently awesome. Please fill in on the Dream on Sept.14!
    My best always kind sir.
    Charles Mitchell

  58. Matt says:

    I respectfully disagree with hitting a smoker age 18 and up, who paid more $ for a room with a balcony, with a fine for smoking on the balcony. I can understand restaurants, and other places where it can be a smelly distraction. It’s, for the most part, legal to smoke tobacco around the world on someone’s own balcony whether he/she owns or rents the domicile. Semantics aside, isn’t that what your guests do when they reserve a room with a balcony? I believe that’s a form of discrimination ESPECIALLY when the electronic nicotine devices, which give off water vapor but NO SMOKE, are thrown in with a regular cigg. I do not smoke btw I just hate to see our legal, adult choices, whether they are sound or poor choices, being stripped from us one by one…. Ok, I’m off my soapbox about that but I have a suggestion. Instead of charging 150.00 for 8hrs of Wi-Fi, increase your price $75-$100 per person and just give us the Wi-Fi while on board? I believe if you crunch those numbers you will come out ahead. I have been told many times that I spend money like water but even I believe the Wi-Fi prices are ludicrous. If I wouldn’t pay it I don’t believe (and I could be wrong) many others would either. Just a thought not a complaint but it is 2014. Lol and the only reason you have to read my rambling little response is I am on Liberty as I am writing this because it is one of 5 free Carnival websites offered 🙂

  59. Ron Moyer says:

    I am SO Sick and Tired of people like Megan Kates and the self entitlement issues. Who gives a damn about how many cruises you’ve already been on? I bet with certainty that when you were on your first 4 or 5 cruises, you didn’t like the Platinum’s peoples’ attitudes of thinking they are so much better than you are. But now that you are “Platinum”, you are so much better than we are? That you shouldn’t have to be in the same gangway or row in the theatre as us Non-Platinum people? When did your Sh%t stop stinking? When did you become such royalty that you don’t deserve the trials and tribulations of having to be around the very people you were a part of just a few cruises ago? Take your Spoiled arses to Crystal cruiselines. Your type disgust us “Common Folks”.

    • Karen Leibach says:

      I find it interesting how many “Platinum VIP” folks write demanding better perks and more special treatment. If they think that Platinum guests should get more, what do they think Carnival should do for those of us who are Diamond? I wonder why Diamonds don’t seem as grumpy and demanding as Platinums.

  60. Debra says:

    I am a smoker, I am Diamond, most of my family are platinum. Several of us are smokers. Several of us use electronic cigarettes, some solely, some in conjunction with actual smoking. I personally will pay the ridiculous refresh charge for smoking on my balcony during the cruise – but will continue to smoke there. We are Diamond and Platinum and several of my family will be gone after October if you do not allow smoking on designated decks/balconies!

    • Debbie says:

      Debra, if you continue to smoke maybe the cabins near you will ask the desk for someone to have a talk with you. Who will win? It won’t be you, being you broke the rules your Diamond status doesn’t stand a chance against my Platinum status. Us non smokers also have rights and rules are rules. I’m so pleased, I’ll now be able to sit out on the balcony and not have to retrieve to my cabin when the cancer sticks/E-cigs are out! YEAH, it’s about time!!! I say goodbye to you and good riddens, waving just like when you leave the port to start the cruise.

      • Annette says:

        Wow. Yr being very ugly.

      • Lori Leighton says:

        If she smokes on the balcony – she will be fined $250 for refreshing – the fresh air – Carnival says nothing about anything else happening if she does not adhere to the policy. If she wants to pay the additional $250 to smoke – guess her neighbors are going to have to deal with her smoke.

        • Debbie says:

          Lori, you should read the cruise contract policy as far as smoking goes. Carnival has the right to disembark a guest at any port who smokes in non smoking areas. The passenger has to pay their own way back home. You forfeit your rights to remain on board. This is stated all in your cruise contract

        • Debbie says:

          You can find the smoking policy information online @ search ticket contract and it’s under section 8C or you can read Kevin Ridder’s blog on July 10 @1242. I forgot to put that in my last posting.

      • LMW says:

        How sweet you are Debbie. Just a little ray of sunshine and compassion, not to mention I’m just amazed at your empathy.

        You sound like a perfect little liberal…free choice as long as it YOUR choice.

        Have a great little life. Let’s hope you get the same compassion and empathy from those you meet as you have shown here.

    • Ron Moyer says:

      If you are in cabin next to me, you can bet I will report you also. And I hope that the $250 “Cleaning fee” applies multiple times and not just once. I would make it my vendetta to have you charged at least once a day since you want to keep me from enjoying my balcony.

  61. Bill Eller says:

    I oh so seriously hope the proposal that the wait staff sing national anthems of other countries was a joke. I do enjoy your sense of humor most of the time, I’m not laughing at this one.

  62. Diana says:

    Good Morning John,

    I was upset that Carnival has stopped the smoking on the balconies. A group of 25 people were planning on a cruise which half smoke and half doesn’t which was the selling point for Carnival. Our family love to cruise on Carnival and were loyal to them. However with this new rule it has given us a reason to try other lines. I know which will cost more and have different perks but with nothing holding us back to stay loyal I’m just hoping the family doesn’t find another line that the perks might be worth staying for. I’m not saying that I will never cruise carnival again but with us living in Florida we have many ports and many different lines to choose from.

    • Kevin Way says:

      I know the smoking policy was not changed by you, and unfortunatley you have to take the brunt of it. Having said that, If they are stopping smoking on the balconys then they should have at least waited till the actual smoking areas were much improved. My next cruise is again on the Pride and I know the smoking areas on her are nothing to write home about. I will seriously be considering land based vacations after this cruise due to this new policy.

    • Marie Howell says:

      I for one am extremely thankful that smoking on the balconies has been stopped. I just wish that the Casinos would strictly enforce the smoking policy in the Casinos. I am not a smoker and I should not be subjected to Second Hand smoke the Casino areas that are for non-smokers. If a guest comes into the Casino to smoke then they should be made to play in a smoking slot area.

      Thanks Carnival for enforcing the Non-moking policy.

    • Jim Parry says:

      I applaud carnival for this decision! I could not enjoy my balcony on last cruise due to a heavy smoker in the next cabin. Good luck on finding another cruise line that allows smoking on the balconies – only 2 holdouts left I think.

  63. Steven Dileonardo says:

    John, it’s prophetic that you talked about relationships and sacking in the same blog. They are very similar in many ways. You most likely know many couples who have broken up but who have met others that they where better suited for and they both are now very happy. It sure was a good thing they broke up and got on to a happy better relationship. Well, it is the same thing with firing someone. If they can’t do the job, if their relationship with their employer is not good; well then shouldn’t they move to something better? On to something more rewarding for them? The employee you let go will find something much better suited to their talents and they will be a happier person. They really couldn’t have done it without you helping them move along with their life. You did them a favor. Like the song says, Always look on the bright side of life! Crap, now I have that ditty stuck in my head!

  64. Melvin Burnside says:

    John, my wife a avid reader of your blog informed me of the change in policy regarding smoking on balconies starting October 9th as I am a smoker. We just returned from a fabulous cruise aboard the Breeze on a Western Caribbean cruise that ened with a fabulous concert by Jennifer Hudson on board in Cozumel.

    But this change really does give me pause as I and number of posters feel that smokers are being pushed into a corner with little or no options. As suggested Carnival could have considered some options besides a ban. In as much as I work hard for my money I cannot see myself putting myself through the running around the ship all the time to find a place to smoke in some confined area of the ship. Bottom line I think this is good bye for me.

  65. Adam says:

    My family and I recently sailed on the Elation. I felt the family friendly entertainment was slipping more to family unfriendly. This was our 4th cruise.

    Thank you

  66. Mocha Joe says:

    I commend Carnival for their new smoking policy. Smokers are extremely inconsiderate even when you try to accommodate their “needs”. They have smoking sections, but it’s not enough. They still smoke in the non-smoking sections, and they dispose of their butts in dishes, etc… making more work for others.

    Great job, Carnival. Love the new non-smoking policy and will enjoy my balcony room even more in January.

  67. Laura Brown says:

    Dianne Hernandez,
    It really strikes me as funny when someone lumps everyone from a state as the same. I am a TEXAN and I would NEVER wear my jeans to the elegant night. However, I see nothing wrong with wearing a nice pair of pressed jeans and a nice shirt or blouse to the dining room on other nights. If it offends you just don’t look. Maybe they should have little rooms for the people who need to dine in all their splender each and every night. That way I won’t have to look at them. I am on a VACATION so I don’t feel the need to dress to the nines every night. GET A LIFE!!!

    • Tammy says:

      Amen Sister. Some of us work day in and day out and clean pressed clothes are fine. Some cruisers may need to go vacation in California or Las Vegas then see how well your dressed

  68. Scott Silver says:

    Dear John,

    As an asthmatic non smoker, I am ecstatic to hear that Carnival, like Royal and Celebrity, will ban smoking on balconies in October this year. As a diamond cruiser on Carnival and currently cruising on the beautiful Dream, you have made my day. Hopefully someday in the near future, you will ban smoking in the Casino like Celebrity does.
    Thank you and Thank the Beards at Carnival!

  69. Ernie Toub says:

    I am a smoker and sorry to hear about the no smoking policy. However I am allergic to perfume and cologne, hopefully, carnival will also make cologne and perfume illegal on the ship. I’ve had to leave the captain’s dinner, night clubs, and casino because of all those smells.the balcony was my only safe haven. my husband and I leave in 1 1 days on a 8 day cruise, because of the policy, that will probably be our last cruise, on Carnival.

    • Debbie says:

      Ernie, if you’re that allergic maybe you should just stay home with your Cancer Sticks. How can you even smell perfume when you have that carcinogen smell all over your body? I so enjoy reading smokers picking on other people, “an eye for an eye” there is just no comparison. P.S I don’t wear perfume as the smell bothers me but it won’t kill me like second hand smoke can.

      • LMW says:

        Wow. Its the smokers that are picking on people here?

        Maybe you should take a step back and re-read your own posts. From my perspective, it is you who is picking on the smokers.

        You won, Debbie. Smokers will be treated like second class citizens and/or guilty of a “crime” on future cruises. Why don’t you just gloat in silence?

  70. Cary says:

    We have been on both Carnival and RCL, but my last 2 cruises were with RCL and my next is booked on RCL because they quit allowing smoking on balconies. Now I can book Carnival again without having my balcony time messed with by having to smell smoke. How many other non-smokers moved to RCL when they prohibited smoking on balconies? And once all the smokers move to NCL, how long will it be before the non-smokers complain enough that NCL prohibits smoking on balconies? And diamond members are just “blowing smoke” when they claim they are never going to cruise Carnival again. Become a first time cruiser on NCL, and stand in line with the common people and have the NCL diamond members look down their noses at them? I don’t think so!

  71. Jim Hopkins says:

    Hey John, just to point out that the Star Spangled Banner is actually the USA’s National Anthem, not God Bless America. And, God Bless America just happens to have the same tune at the National Anthem for Great Britain, so if anything, that should be the rub if Americans want to get upset over that choice of a song on July 4th, America’s Declaration of Independence from England.

    • Jeanie says:

      Sorry to correct you, but “God Bless America” is NOT the same tune as the national anthem of the UK, “God Save the Queen” ( as I am sure John Heald knows quite well!). The song that shares that tune is “my Country Tis Of Thee”.

    • Pam Wagner says:

      My Country Tis of Thee has the same tune as the British National Anthem, not God Bless America.

  72. Richard Hayes says:

    I have a comment and a question, When my wife and I started cruising we went 2 times to the Caribbean on Carnival, then one time each To Alaska and The British Isles on Princess but stopped cruising with them when they changed their smoking policy and came back to Carnival for a cruise to Hawaii and are booked on the Breeze for 30 Aug. and even though I have quit smoking so the new policy does not affect me I am still disappointed in Carnival for the way they handled it, Now my question is; my wife and I were looking to see where we want to go in 2015, we thought about Panama but no cruises listed. The same for Europe, my question is are cruises to either place being, as far as you know, considered or do I have to go to another line, which I would hate to do.

    Thank you

  73. Marianne says:

    John I just wanted to address the couple with the Do not disturb sign on their door. I’ve experienced twice where someone thought it would be funny to turn the “Please make up our room” sign over to “Do not disturb” We returned to our cabin to find it and had to find the cabin steward to make up our room….You would think with all the activities on board kids would have something better to do!

  74. Karen Leibach says:

    Hi John. We met on the Breeze 2 years ago and on the Legend last summer. I’m a Diamond cruiser with 48 Carnival cruises taken and 6 more currently booked. I’m delighted with the new smoking policy. Carnival’s sister cruise line, Princess, no longer allows smoking on balconies. And Celebrity doesn’t allow smoking anywhere indoors, including the casino. (I wish Carnival would do more to separate smokers from non-smokers in the casino.)

  75. Charles White says:

    Thank you, John and Carnival for your new smoking policy.

  76. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


    Not only should Carnival provide adequate and comfortable exterior smoking areas, they should provide an interior smoking room.

    One with comfortable chairs and piped in music that is only used for this purpose.

    Since the Libraries are underused….perhaps you could turn it into a smoking room with the automatic wine bar.

    Again this should be a room that is not used for anything else to prevent children from being exposed to smoking.

    Secondly, Electronic Cigarettes should be allowed everywhere (except that Theater because all the twinkly lights would be distracting).

    I understand that Carnival currently restricts the use of Electronic Cigarettes because of the crew energy that would be needed to chase down every puff of smoke to see if it is real or E Cigs.

    But once folks are fully aware of the rules, Carnival should relax the restrictions on Electronic Cigarettes.

    This is a serious matter that Carnival has the responsibility to monitor as long as they want the privilege of being a Family Cruise Line.

    Linda (Mom of your friend DJ)

    • Debbie says:

      Linda, I think the big reason Carnival doesn’t allow E-cigs is because the water vapor is full of carcinogens. The E-cig companies mostly from China say they’re safe but read all the scientific research and it tells a different story. This is the reason people are able to switch from cigs to E-cigs usually without much difficulty. All you do is trade one unhealthy habit for another. Remember years ago when the cig companies told us second hand smoke is safe this is just another ploy to let smokers feel those around them won’t be affected by their actions. Just another big lie and the E-cig users believe it all. They always let non-smokers know “it’s only water vapor” that’s all a bunch of BS. Like I say if you want to cause medical problems or death to yourself that’s your choice but don’t take me with you on your unhealthy journey with your second hand smoking/vaping.

      • LMW says:

        wow. I just keep having to post after you Debbie.

        Please cite the FDA study which states that e-cig vapor is “full of carcinogens”. Oh that is right. You can’t do that because there has not been a full study.

        The “carcinogen” in vapor is the same as in toothpaste, wine, cough syrup and mouth washes.

    • Ron Moyer says:

      Now THAT is a good idea! Just how much is the Library used anyway? Very Viable alternative!

  77. The Cruzin2some says:

    Dear John,
    I just hope they don’t charge me a refreshing fee for farting on the balcony as someone being down wind as I crop dust the balcony after eating some Indian food would complain about that even more that some smoke drifting their way. People just need to learn to be more tolerant of each other.

  78. Buffy52 says:

    My husband lost his job by e mail. His partner (majority owner) of over 15 years sent him an e mail on Saturday, effective Monday April 1st, saying he and half the company (including my son) was also fired. Yep, some people not only let people go but they do it in the absolutely worst way. Sounds like you did it as gently as you could.

  79. Jim Parry says:

    Hi John,
    My wife and I are platinum VIFP members with 134 days of great cruising on Carnival funships (we defected to RCC for 7 days in 2000, sorry!). We really appreciate the minimal perks and gifts we receive at this level but have noticed the quality of the gifts continue to decrease. Our last cruise on Pride on June 1 we received insulated coffee cups. I asked for one replacement while on board because it had a crack down the side. Last week while drinking my morning coffee the inside stainless steel liner slid out of the cup. I know these are not dishwasher safe so we hand wash them. Any chance of getting a replacement?
    Also, and I’m not the complaining type, but…we were traveling with our best friends, who we convinced to go on cruises and now they are hooked and on their way to gold status, and asked the boarding agents if they could board with us. We were rudely told NO that they had to wait for their number. Come to find that there were at least 15 first time cruisers and several assorted red and gold level members seated in the platinum/diamond boarding area and were allowed to board early. I know these shore folks are part time employees but they are the first contact cruisers have and should be model employees and operate with the same set of rules at each port.

    Sorry for my long winded message and can’t wait for our next cruise on Carnival Liberty on Thanksgiving.

  80. Tonia says:

    My family has cruised Carnival since the 90’s as well as other lines. We’re Platinum on Carnival only because the price is the most reasonable and the amenities suit our lifestyle. If you cruise Carnival for the “perks” and not for the value then it’s probably time for you to move on to cruise lines that charge more and give you what you feel you deserve. Carnival provides a quality vacation experience for all and is the cruise line of choice for families who save their change for a special experience as well as many of us retirees on limited budgets. As far as smoking goes, We have suffered through the years where we couldn’t enjoy most entertainment in piano bars and smaller lounges because of asthmatic reactions to just two or three smokers spending the evening chain smoking their way through having fun. We applaud your decision and predict for all those threatening to never board your line again, they will be replaced by reasonable family groups ready to take their place and fully enjoy all the entertainment offered.

  81. Lisa McLennan says:

    The Labrador…was it a dog? So on that note, I have been on carnival and RCI ships with dogs – some with a blind human in tow some with someone who was just lonely and needed that companion thing. What would Carnival do if I called in and said, me and my 15closest travel friends want to come on our cruise and we ALL HAVE DOG COMPANIONS. Do you have a limit? I really am curious. I am allergic as all get out to animal hair and I would have to have a cabin completely scrubbed if it had contained a dog. A regular vacuum doesn’t do it.

  82. Melvin says:

    Hi John,
    A word of advice to you; my friend. Smokers do not complain until you have taken away their place to smoke. I believe Carnival may have shot themselves in the foot on this. You will start hearing from the smokers in regards to this new non smoking policy. Why do you think they allow smoking in the casino? Because most gamblers smoke. So a lot of cruisers.
    Moaners & Groaner complain about everything; but a real person seldom complains; that is until you take away another right; just like our government and Carnival is doing.

    • Tammy says:

      So True. Some of us Grandma’s reserve more than one balcony so grandkids can be next door to Grambo’s balcony also so they don’t see grambo with a “smokerette” . I don’t like to smoke in public or be in the smoke. Also there are some non polite smokers out there and some chatty ones when I really need some alone time. I run my small business and need a break.

  83. Barbara says:

    As a smoker I am very sad about the changes. Just booked our cruise for Feb last month along with many family members who also smoke. I encouraged all of them to get a balcony room so they could smoke and now this bombshell what a waste of money
    . Being on a ship it is a little hard to step out for a smoke as it is when you are at a land restaurant. Now here we are stuck for 7 days what a shame.

    • Mark Feola says:

      You can always cancel your trip…..or better yet change it to before the deadline

    • Lori Leighton says:

      You are not stuck – Carnival will reimburse you the deposit if the reservations were made prior to them notifying you of the new smoking policy.

  84. Kendra says:

    I just returned from my fabulous vacation to Alaska via the Miracle. I was in the dining room for early dining and I was touched by the singing of God
    Bless America. Hearing the men and women from around the world sing an American song was extremely touching. It isn’t their song and it probably doesn’t mean much to them but they sang it “for” us. Everyone in my area was on their feet singing and there was a thunderous applause. Thank you to the wait staff on the Carnival Miracle for helping my celebration be even more special.

  85. Barb Grinder says:

    My husband and I took our first cruise to Alaska with extended family June 24-July1. We absolutely loved the entire experience on the Miracle. We had a great time on the ship. The crew was super friendly, Carnival Camp was enjoyed by the little ones, your shows were great. And, through some stroke of good luck, it didn’t rain once the entire seven days. We returned to Florida sunburned!

  86. Scott says:

    Hello John,
    I was reading your blog for the first time and I saw the topic of discussion on smoking. We just booked our 3rd cruise with carnival for this coming year in Feb 2015. I always read the rules on smoking before we cruise in case something changes, i did notice on discrepancy. You stated in your blog that there is no smoking in the rooms or on the balconies, that if you do you will be accessed the $250 cleaning and refreshing fee. On the website it clearly stated that you can in fact smoke on the balconies. I do smoke and I most of my adult life now, i have never had an issues going to the designated areas and never will…i just thought that this might need to be corrected ….thanks again, Scott

  87. Kevin Ridder says:


    Thanks for your blog! You are truly an inspiration! I have a question about smoking. I do not smoke, but, my wife does. We got a balcony because she could smoke there. My ticket contract states that she can smoke on the balcony:

    Section 8:
    (c) Smoking is prohibited in all public areas except in designated exterior open deck areas, certain dance and jazz clubs, and designated areas in the casino. The Spa suite and stateroom accommodations are an entirely smoke free environment, including the outside balcony. Effective December 1, 2011 smoking is prohibited in all staterooms. Beginning December 1, 2011, Guests with a balcony stateroom may only smoke outside on their balcony. Guest agrees to strictly comply with Carnival’s non-smoking policy. Guest further acknowledges and agrees that any violation of this policy shall, in the sole discretion of Carnival, constitute a material breach of this cruise contract. In the event of such breach, Guest forfeits all rights hereunder, including the right to remain on board. Carnival reserves the right to disembark the Guest(s), at any port, as determined by Carnival. Carnival shall not be liable for any refund or other compensation or damages whatsoever to any Guest disembarked pursuant to this provision, or who disembarks because another Guest is so disembarked, and all such Guests forfeit all rights under Carnival’s “Vacation Guarantee.” Guest and Carnival further agree that any violation of the non-smoking policy would also cause Carnival to incur damages, including but not limited to, loss of Guest goodwill, revenue, cleaning, maintenance and/or other costs. Guest and Carnival expressly acknowledge the difficulty of ascertaining the amount of such damages, and therefore agree that a reasonable estimate of the damages for any violation of the non-smoking policy is $250 USD. Guest authorizes a charge in this amount as liquidated damages, as well as repatriation expenses (including airfare) against Guest’s on board charge account, without further notice, for any violation of the non-smoking policy.

    If we have agreed to this contract, before the policy change, how can Carnival change the policy and expect our adherence to something to which we did not agree? I am not saying that I will cancel my ticket, I am curious about the legality of altering the contract without recourse.

    Again, thanks for your blog, and I hope you have all the “rumpy pumpy” you can tolerate!


  88. Dale Charnes says:

    John – Have had the pleasure of sailing with you and Heidi on one of the inaugural sailings of the Splendor. We are going on #23 in a month or so. I am a smoker. My husband is not. As much as he dislikes the habit, he defends my rights to indulge. We have a balcony for our relaxation and a place for me to have a smoke. We will seriously consider cancelling our April cruise. This would be a shame as we were both looking forward to trying a cove balcony. We still would like to know how you would refresh a balcony? The other question would be why the beards couldn’t strike a compromise and select ONE side of the ship? We both really love Carnival but I think we may be done.

  89. kate frederick says:

    While I’m disappointed in Carnival’s decision in regard to the balcony and smoking, it will certainly not push me to cancel our 2015 cruise. I’ll just use the designated areas as I always did anyway. I never smoked in any cabin, and if neighbors were on their balconies, I didn’t bother to light up. I must say though, for all the cruises we have been on, I can’t remember ever noticing smoke blowing our way when I stepped out onto our balcony. How these folks are being overcome by smoke from a balcony is a mystery to me.

    I’m certain Carnival’s decision was based less on health issues and more on profits, and just following what every other cruise line is doing.

    If I smoke 3 cigarettes a day, that’s a lot, so as long as I still have a designated place to light up if I feel like it, be it the casino, or out on an open deck, the new rule is a small inconvenience. There are too many other things in this world, much more important than this little inconvenience.

  90. Joe Kelly says:

    The biggest reason I booked those expensive aft corner cabins was to keep my smoke to myself. I hope all you non-smokers have as great a time as we have had. I must call it quits after 19 Carnival cruises, beginning with the Mardi-Gras in October of 1986, Cabin 12.

  91. Darrell Pierce says:

    Very interesting blog John. We just got home two days ago from enjoying the trip with you to Alaska and had a great time. I don’t understand anyone being upset with the diner staff for the singing. It was great and it appeared everyone in the dining room, we had late service, enjoyed themselves and the staff, as usual, were wonderful. As for the other complaints I read above, how someone was dressed in a dining room or how someone on a wheelchair was boarded first, some of these folks simply need to grow up and ask themselves “what difference does it make?” Focus on enjoying your time on the ship and don’t worry about things that don’t affect you in any way. I am sure the woman in the wheelchair would be delighted to walk on her own after you if she was able. Anyway, great cruise. Loved the ship and everything about it.

  92. Chantal says:

    Hi John!

    We are sailing the Miracle in September, to Hawaii. We are so excited as this is our second cruise and our first was fantastic on the liberty. I know the miracle was having issues that caused a small itinerary change. Just wondering how this ship is doing? We were so worried it would be dry docked early and would miss out on hawaii.. Hoping that doesn’t happen!

  93. Dan says:

    As a former smoker, I am not happy about the new smoking rules. I hate to see more restrictions put on smokers unnecessarily. Secondhand smoke is obviously not good for people, but it’s no worse than many other things we breathe in each day. I think a revised smoking plan (such as those mentioned in other posts) would be a great middle of the road compromise.

    As far as us, I wouldn’t bail on CCL over the policy, but I’ve already told my kid that he can vape on the balcony and in the stateroom all he wants.

    Am I being a little smug? Sure. But it’s better than being a militant a-hole like someone on here that’s rubbing everyone’s noses in it about the new policy; huh Debbie?

    • Debbie says:

      Dan, I’m proud to be a militant a-hole. For years nonsmokers didn’t get protected, now the shift is changing. All I can say is it’s about time and if that makes me an a-hole so be it! I’d rather be a healthy a-hole then a unhealthy, due to second hand smoke, sweetheart.

      • LMW says:

        We can tell Debbie. But it would be nice if you were telling us all real facts about e-cigs instead of making up your own.

        Sending e cig users who are trying to quit smoking to an area filled with smokers is like sending an alcoholic into a bar to have a glass of apple juice. But, don’t worry your empathetic and compassionate head about it. You’ve got your militant a-hole pride to carry you through.

  94. Ron Coleman says:

    Good Afternoon John

    I do like the policy change for Carnival in regards to smoking. Good Policy and yes I have cruised with and will cruise with Carnival Dec 14 out of Miami on the Conquest is the next one

    Ron Coleman

  95. Su-Ella Mckinzie says:

    John.. Just a quick note to follow up on your blog.. First a couple of comments.. We just got home a couple of days ago from cursing with you on the wonderful miracle and we had an awesome time as always. It was so awesome to meet you and my Dad really enjoyed it as well. He actually attended a couple of shows for the first time ever on a cruise! I have to say think you to 4 people that really made this cruise special for my dad and I! First we really enjoyed Joann in the Atrium bar, she always had a smile on her face and made awesome Nut and Berry Martini’s and even got me hooked on a new Martini. Its amazing her 20 plus years with Carnival and the fact that her and her husband both work on the ship and have 3 kids at home and she still comes to work with a smile on her face. She really helped make our trip special. When you hear people complain about their kids not being recognized or allowed to sing, and you hear the staff stories you really know how lucky we have it. Also our wait staff in the dining room Juan and Edwin at Table 250 made Dad feel like a rock star and took such good care of him! This was our 4th trip together and its all about making his trip special and those 3 really did. And then meeting you was a highlight for both of us and the rest of us in our traveling crew! Thanks for all you do to take care of your guest every day! Now to weigh in the Smoking issue from a different perspective.. Everyone has equal rights and smoking is a touch subject.. But here if food for thought. I am a severe asthmatic and I purchase a balcony on every cruise. When i have smokers on each side of me there are times I can’t use my balcony because i can’t breathe when they are smoking, not that i judge anyone its just reality. I cant visit the casino either its to enclosed. In fact once I got home this week I had a bad attack I went to the dr.’s office and just the smell of tobacco on someone’s clothes just sent me over the edge and they had to take me to a separate room because i was full fledge in a severe attack. Everyone has rights to effect their own health but smoke effects others well being. I have never complained, because you just deal with it. But I for one will respect the new rules and wherever the smokers go I just won’t. That’s the way it works. But really just wanted to thank you for hosting us last week on the miracle and thank the special people that helped make my Dad’s and i 4th trip to Alaska Special. I hope I don’t wait 13 Cruises to cruise with you again! I don’t think I will soon be forgetting our special week including Dick little aka Captain America! Thanks for all you Do. Sincerely Su-Ella from Kansas!

  96. Penny Janson says:

    this is regarding the New 2.0 Freedom… We are sailing on the Freedom on Jan 18th. I have been excited to see all your details about the renovation. I see that the Glory is or will be upgraded too. We sailed on both ships in 2009 and 2010 respectively. When we were on the Freedom last (2011) you were sailing the last time while giving it over officially to wee jimmy. Is here still the CD and will the Freedom only dock in Galveston or will it reposition each year for a period in Ft. Lauderdale also? Lastly, since Carnival owns Half Mood Cay, will we see it being added to more ships itineraries?

  97. Bob says:

    In March of 2000 my wife and I took our first cruise on the Carnival Paradise. The last night of the cruise the waiters sang God Bless America. It was the perfect ending to a perfect cruise.

  98. j geraci says:

    Hi there,
    I’m truly sorry that some people find the singing of “God Bless America” by the dining room staff is disrespectful. Many of these young people have expressed a fondness for our country & it’s people during the numerous cruises I’ve taken with Carnival. Have we become so taken with our own self importance, that we need to look down on the rest of the world? Shame on us, & hooray for them!

  99. Cynthia Ravenscraft says:

    John, I must say you do an excellent job. I was floored by the email to you from Kenneth P.

    Kenneth Pomering asks:
    This is being written from the check-in waiting area because I am so angry. I am waiting to board Carnival Triumph for the start of our cruise this huge obese monster of a woman in a wheelchair and her family of seven were allowed to board first. Why? This woman chose to be that big but she and her non-handicapped family got to board before me and, get this, Heald, she was carrying a 12-pack of Coke on her knees as the staff person tried to push her fat ass in the wheelchair. Being fat is a lifestyle choice, not a proper disability and should not be rewarded with priority boarding.

    This man is a complete moron and idiot. He is so quick to judge and his anger is such that I do not see him having a great cruise even if you showered him with gifts and kissed his rump. How condescending can he be. He does not know this woman, perhaps she is overweight because she has been in a wheel chair all her life or she has a medical condition that makes it hard to lose weight. Of course his reference to the cokes she was holding are ridiculous as well. How does he even know she is the one drinking them. I am not a thin person and yes I could make better eating habits but some of my difficulties to losing weight can be linked to a hormonal imbalance as I had a hysterectomy early in life due to cervical cancer. How this guy has the nerve to send you this message from the line is horrible. I don’t think I could have been as nice as you. I would have been inclined to say something like…….. “Well, Sir your concerns may have some merit but she can always lose weight (with help of doctors) but no doctor can fix your stupidity.

  100. Mariely Rosario says:

    My family and I (group of 9) just returned home after an amazing 8 day cruise aboard the Carnival Breeze( our a second time on this vessel) . I wanted to let you know how wonderful our waiter Rogelio in the Blush dining room was. This was our 6th cruise with Carnival and have always had great and attentive service. However Rogelio stands out because of his attention to detail. In our party of 9 we had two vegetarians and one food allergy prone guest (myself). Rogelio always made sure all of our needs were met, often suggesting safe foods we would not have tried otherwise. Every time we ran into him during the day he made sure to check on us, to make sure all was well. His assistant Daniella was also fantastic. We love cruising Carnival and are counting the days until our next cruise.

  101. KenSanDiego says:

    Regarding ecigs. No need to get in an uproar about restrictions on those. You can use them on planes, trains, ships, stateroom or pretty much wherever you like…if you do it covertly. There is no odor, no ‘smoke’ to set off detectors and completely undetectable unless they either see you using it or the vapor mist, which you can just release into your hand, or into a can of soda. It is completely gone and undetectable in seconds.
    Go ahead, blow your vapor directly onto the smoke detector at your house. Nothing.

  102. Sharon says:

    Hi John

    It has been a long time since I have been in touch with you; just have a quick question; we have sailed all over Europe with you and Carnival and it has been many years since we have sailed Carnival to the Caribbean, just wondering if the excursions book up as quickly as do the excursions in Europe?


  103. Hi John it is Cathy Doggett we met on the Carnival Sunshine in Feb with my Grand Daughter Kamarea she is the one that Pat gave the landyard to. I have since became a travel agent and get to attend a Seminar at Sea on the Breeze August 24th I am so excited to learn even more about Carnival even though I am already a Platinum Guest. Norm and I will also be celebrating our one year anniversary on the Freedom Oct 5th, 2014

  104. Roger says:

    Although I am no longer a smoker, others in our group are and for this reason it was necessary to cancel our next three cruises we had booked with Carnival and book another line. One of these would have been our 25th Carnival cruise. We have enjoyed our past 23 cruises with Carnival, but are by no means happy with the way the new policy was implemented. I also strongly disagree with the policy regarding “vaping” (E-cigs) and putting those people in with those that smoke. Most of these people that have made the switch, did so to get AWAY from smoking and that is how I quit. Poor choice in policy!

  105. Susan Gerhard says:

    We just got back from the Carnival Miracle on an Alaskan Cruise. We had a splendid time and created so many great memories. The crew was more than helpful and made sure we were having a great time. It really impressed me that our maid knew every one of our names and knew what room we were in. We loved our waiter as he created some of our best memories on the cruise. His name is Deepak and he was great. He knew what drinks my kids ordered and brought them to them every night and even gave us a magic trick at the end of every meal. He really connected with us and was a great server. He was so funny and put a smile on our face every night. I want to thank you for making our cruise the best it could possibly be and we look forward to seeing you on our next Carnival Cruise.

  106. ROBIN SMITH says:


    After 365 days “at sea” with Carnival…I finally had the pleasure of sailing with you – Miracle July 1st…yep rotten weather in Skagway and 2 Coast Guard Medical evacs….Just wanted you to know our ‘UKRAINIAN CANADIAN DANCE TROUPE fully enjoyed the cruise …and I for one loved your “switch on standard events” like Welcome Aboard show…”Marriage Game” etc…please share with other CD’s. And as Mr Tuttlewiler said…hopefully no other passengers get “bound up”…but simply enjoy the Miracle…what a a HAPPY ship! Hope to see and sail with you again with another Dance troupe!

  107. Margaret Madore says:

    Hi John,
    We finished our cruise on Tuesday (7/15/14) morning, and I just wanted to send out a great big thank you. You, were hilarious (Dick Little….) and your staff were magnificent.
    I was a little leary of going on a cruise as my husband of 20 years (celebrated 7/9/14 on board) had not been on a cruise and was not particularly thrilled. However, he had a fantastic time and was impressed with pretty much everything. My son(15) and I had been on the Ecstasy Feb/2012 and had been looking forward to this cruise. It was everything we expected and more.
    I am glad to say that we will be cruising again, prior to our son turning 18 as he absolutely loves your “clubs”. We never saw him while cruising, only while on shore and while sleeping!
    Thanks again to you and all of your crew.
    Margaret Madore (Potsdam, NY – northern NY near the Adirondacks……)

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