Smoking — the last word.

July 15, 2014 -

John Heald

So I have not had much time to talk about Alaska this week with all that’s been happening. It is, of course, all about the scenery and the things that live in it. I have mentioned many times on my blog since being on the Carnival Miracle how excited my good friend Michelle, our naturalist, gets when she sees, smells or talks about any of God’s creatures great and small. And certainly on an Alaskan cruise there is plenty of opportunity to see them in their natural habitat as the place is teeming with whales, porpoises, sea lions, bald eagles, bears, birds and more.

Yep, if you love wildlife than an Alaskan cruise should be at the very top of your basket list, or is it bucket? Whatever, you know what I mean. We humans have a consuming urge to either feel needed by animals, or to feel sorry for them, or to eat them, or all of the above and now in Skagway you can take your love of animals to a new level by combining looking for wildlife with horseback riding. This past cruise one of our most popular new excursions was the horse back wilderness excursion which sold out quicker than a new batch of hot Krispy Kreme doughnuts. I like dogs, I have one. I don’t like cats and the way they crap in my garden and the way their tails stick up in the air so you can see where that poo comes from. But horses, nope, I just don’t get horses. My sister has two. My daughter wants one and from Jamaica to Aruba and from Skagway to St. Maarten, put the word “horse “in the excursion title and it is a guaranteed sell out.

Horse enthusiasts are forever telling me, that their horse is very intelligent — bollocks! If it were intelligent it wouldn’t let you ride round on it. If you ask anyone of the thousands of people reading this blog right now to give you a piggyback around Alaska because you couldn’t be bothered to walk, they’d tell you to bugger off. Anyway, for those of you who do like horses we now have a brilliant excursion in Skagway.

You won’t be seeing me on a horse, not after last time I was on a horse with my entertainer friend Greg Russell. He told me the horse would be really gentle so I got on it and immediately it started bucking and kicking its legs in the hair. I fell half off and my foot is caught in the stirrup thingy and it was dragging me behind. It was a terrifying ordeal and honestly I thought that this was it, this is how I would die being dragged behind a sodding horse. Luckily, though, the manager at the Wal-Mart came out, unplugged it and saved my life.

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

Adriana Mosca asks:
I am now on the ship. I thought you said Carnival employees never say no!!! They did on the Carnival Victory. I asked the room service person to send me 20 bananas but was told they could not do that. I am on a diet called The Morning Banana Diet but when I told them this I was rudely told no and they would only send me three. Big time mad about this.

John says:
Hello Adriana Mosca

I am sorry that this reply is after the cruise and I want to start by saying that I hope you had a wonderful time. Then let me say that that this is honestly a strange request and I think they may not have been able to do it because sending 20 of anything would have left the stock in room service short and they would have had to say “no” to other guests while they waited for the store room to deliver more. I am sure had you called a few different times that they would have been able to help you and send you more as requested, not just 20 at one time. Again, I am sorry this upset you and I do hope you managed to have fun and that we will see you soon. Best wishes.


Barbara Thompson asks:
Dear John: I have heard that Carnival is starting a pirate night on cruises in September. My question is will it be on our Carnival Dream cruise. We cruise Aug 31, so I am not sure if we would have this event. I just wanted to know so I can plan accordingly. Love Carnival!

John says:
Hello Barbara Thompson

Yes, indeed, we are going to be having a pirate night and details and dates will be released soon. It should be lots of fun and I hope you get to do it on your cruise. I will of course keep you informed. Have a brilliant cruise and please let me know if you need anything. Best wishes.


Karen asks:
Hi John: FYI, I totally love your writings! Thank you for having common sense. This is so lost anymore. I had my first cruise with Carnival on Carnival Dream this past New Year’s Eve. It was at the suggestion of my sister, who is at least platinum. My husband was totally upset with me for booking this cruise without his knowledge or consent. He pouted like a two-year-old for months! I thought I’d never make the cruise because I’d be in jail for killing him! LOL. Long story short, after a couple of days, he finally relaxed and had a fabulous time! (Although he will never admit it to me!) Anyway, we are booked again for this November on the Sunshine. I picked this particular time because he will be celebrating his 60th birthday. I would appreciate any suggestions from you about doing something special for him. We’ve done the steakhouse, so I know that won’t be “special” anymore. Keep up the great work with your comments on FB and your blog. I love reading about it all. Hopefully, someday we will have the privilege of meeting you in person! In the meantime, bon voyage! (P.S. We’re not French…lol)

John says:
Hello Karen

Well, I am glad this story had a happy ending and hopefully we have now made a cruise convert out of your husband. It sounds like he is looking forward to this celebration cruise and you have lots of things planned. Please send me your cabin number on my page the day before you sail and let me see what I can add to the occasion. I wish you both the best of times together. Best wishes.


Beth Walkley asks:
John: This was my fourth cruise as we have just walked off the Carnival Sunshine this morning. I have never written you before but I felt I needed to as to all the bad reviews this ship and staff have received. On our first sea day we were laying by the pool and they just finished water aerobics. This family was very upset that they made the kids move to the front of the pool while they were doing their class. She felt that the class should have been held in the Serenity pool. She ripped into the instructor. Then a few hours later I went to customer service and she was ripping into them. The staff handled her amazingly as I would have thrown her overboard. When we left Cozumel it was a pretty rough ride. My kids were concerned as we were leaning a little. The wait staff kept walking by leaning real hard to the right. I never laughed so hard. The ship is beautiful. No bad smells. No rude staff. Jamie Dee is an awesome cruise director. Never have seen someone with so much energy and she says she doesn’t drink caffeine. I must give a big thank you to our wait staff.  I Nyoman – we called him Wi And Victor. As I said we walked off the ship about an hour ago and I’m waiting on a call back now from my PVP on an eight-day cruise on the Carnival Sunshine.

John says:
Hello Beth Walkley

Thanks so much for this great review and it seems you had a brilliant time despite that bad weather. I have to agree that making people leave the pool is not a great idea and I will chat with the ship to see if we can find a better time to do this. I know that the people you mentioned will be thrilled when they see this and I hope that the fun you had means we will see you again soon. Thanks again for taking the time to write and I am here if you need anything. Best wishes.


Doug Frantz asks:
Dear John: You may remember me my partner Amy and my friends Sean and Hana as we were dressed in our Star Trek Starfleet Officers Uniforms at your Alaska seminar. You certainly had fun at our expense and we loved every minute of it. We had lots of pictures with other passengers which was a great feeling. Special shout out goes to our amazing always smiling cabin steward, Roy, who we gave a Star Fleet Academy pin to. The same kudos goes to Wayan and Izi in the dining room table 262. John, just one comment if I may. You said in your seminar something I feel I need to correct because Captain Kirk never actually said “Beam me up, Scotty” LOL. We had a blast John and next stop on our five-year mission is Carnival Dream in January 2015 LOL.

John says:
Hello Doug Frantz

I do indeed remember you well and in fact I wrote about you in a blog last week and the Star Trek cruise convention we had many years ago. Thanks for putting up with my silliness but it’s not every day you have Star Trek people in the third row. And I have noted that Captain Kirk never said that, I had no idea. Most importantly, I will send your kind words for the people you mentioned and they will be so proud that you took the time to mention them. I wish you a wonderful time on your next cruise and hope that you boldly go on to become platinum and diamond members. Best wishes to all.


William Dubuc asks:
Just off Carnival Liberty – One major complaint was that we had Frozen and the Lego movie as choices for the big screen. The kids have their camp so why are we inflicted with this crap and why are there not more adult theme movies? This ruined my cruise experience John it really did make hundreds of passengers walk off in disgust.

John says:
Hello William Dubuc

Certainly choosing what movies we play on the big screen is difficult because we do proudly cater to a family audience and with kids passing across the deck all the time we have to be careful of the content. So we really do try and mix it up accordingly with movies for all. I see that your cruise had the movies Gravity, Ride Along, Divergent, The Vow and The Hobbit, certainly more for adults than kids. I hope we see you again and let me know when you cruise next and I will let you know what movies you will see.  Best wishes.


Christopher Resnick asks:
Your writing is some of the most ignorant I have ever read. You obviously have a 100% lack of education about global warming and the threat it brings to our planet earth. I suggest you start by watching Al Gore’s campaigning documentary An Inconvenient Truth. The case for global warming is fact. It is typical of “non-believers” like you to adopt a certainty that their view is correct, witness Islamists and fundamental Christians to name just two. This page is supposedly about cruises not a page for you to express your ignorance,

John says:
Hello Christopher Resnick

I do apologise if any of my remarks offended you and your right, sometimes I do drift away from cruising and express a remark or two about other subjects. I respect your opinion as I hope you will mine and as for global warming, well I prefer to keep an open mind……….not an empty one.

Best wishes.


Shawn Clemons asks:
Hi John: First off, I am not a TA. I work for a travel nursing company as the director of operations. However 15 years ago I was a TA and fell in love with cruising then. Last year I took my first cruise with carnival and absolutely loved it except for the kids. Since you are
on the ship I am sailing on in October, I was hoping you could give me some insight to how many children sail in October for a 15-day cruise — and when you’re doing a 15-day cruise that is sold out is it like doing a Caribbean that is sold out. Is the occupancy of the cabin as high – three to four to a cabin? I am the consummate researcher and try to always be prepared. I have looked through your blogs and I have not seen where you have addressed this. I must tell you I greatly have appreciated you honesty on your blog. Thanks for your time in advance — I am excited to experience Hawaii in the fall — by all accounts you are the best CD out there!

John says:
Hello Shawn Clemons

Thanks for writing and I see you are on the cruise to Hawaii which I have no doubts will be superb. The current count for guests under 18 is 78 which are actually quite high for a longer cruise like this. The cruise will I am sure sell out because longer cruises like this are very popular and do not come around too often. I have no doubts you will have a brilliant time and I will be here if you or your family need anything at all. Thanks for writing and for the very kind words.

Best wishes.


Brenda Carty asks:
When will Carnival get back to Europe? Every other cruise line seems to me to be cruising there so why not you guys

John says:
Hello Brenda Carty

I miss Europe too very much and we are hoping that air fares from North America become more affordable so we can return one day. I will, of course, keep you informed. Best wishes.


Sarah Kozel asks:
John, dress code, your favorite subject to defend and try to abolish. I am a platinum VIP and close to diamond status!!! Just off the Carnival Glory and saw two ladies come for dinner some nights with a summer dress over a bikini. They had come no doubt straight from sun bathing and just put a plain beach style white dress over their bikinis. This is disgusting that the maitre d let them come in the main dining hall dressed like that.

John says:
Hello Sarah Kozel

It will always be an opinion that divides our guests. To me a summer dress is fine but if it’s wet or straight from the pool then I would agree it should be allowed in. However from what you describe that was not the case. Regardless the most important part of my reply is that I hope that all the fun you have had that has kept you coming back to Carnival and so close to being Diamond status would not stop because of what someone else wore for dinner. Thanks so much and I remain here at your service. Hope to see you soon. Best wishes.


Sabrina asks:
We has a question regarding the comedy lineup for the August 30 Carnival Fascination cruise. Our Carnival planner/booking agent Michelle Hill said you are the one to ask. We were wondering who the comedy entertainer is on that five-day cruise out of the Jacksonville. Also, we have seen the same show for the last three years. Do you have any information on the shows? We have seen Motown and the Diva’s. Thanks John

John says:
Hello Sabrina

Thank you for writing and you will be laughing out loud to Hank McGauley and John Wesley Austin. The shows are currently the new Playlist shows of Divas and Motor City. Enjoy the shows and have a brilliant cruise and let me know if you have any other questions. Best wishes.


And that’s all we have time for today. Thanks you though for all your comments and for getting this blog voted as the winner of USA Today’s best cruise blog. I am honoured beyond words.

Just before we move on let’s have a quick look at who is sailing with us this cruise, shall we?

These cruises are really going quickly so let’s have a look at who is sailing as we start another Alaska adventure.

Total Guests                            2,591
USA                                        2,323
Canada                                                61
French Canadian                     11
UK                                          11
Australia                                  18
China                                       38
Guests Under 18                     424
Service Dogs                           1 poodle – for sleep apnea (name unknown)
Diamond                                 7
Platinum                                  155

Yep, here we go again and I am sure both man and beast will have the best of times. It has been a hectic few days on Facebook and I don’t think I have answered so many comments since we told you the shrimp cocktail was off the menu. Look, there is no point me answering another hundred or so questions on the new smoking polices here as well so I picked two, here they are:

Paul Lowes
URGENT! The beards need to see this poll and so do you John Heald. It was conducted after that disgusting announcement about smoking being BANNED on the balconies. You have pandered to the whiners and will now surely lose 50 percent of your business. Take a look at this poll conducted on the world’s most read cruise site and you will see just how many people HATE this idea and read the comments from your customers who will go to other cruise lines who do not treat their customers like workers in cotton fields forced to smoke in uncomfortable conditions.  We all want this to be changed and have more rights for smokers or Carnival will see a big hole in their earnings!! Carnival need to wake up and realize that anti-smoking is more religion than science!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And then this one

Hello John. I have spent all day reading the comments on your blog and other cruise opinion web pages about Carnival, my cruise line of choice banning smoking on the balcony.  John, I have smoked since I was 17. I belong to the generation whose parents both smoked 40 Camel cigarettes a day and whose childhood was spent enveloped in clouds of smoke. Everyone smoked in Chicago where I grew up. You could smoke on the bus, bars and clubs, everywhere. Nobody wanted to stop and once I’d started because my friends smoked, neither did I. I loved smoking and I had no regrets. It drives people mad when you say smoking is cool, but disliking something doesn’t stop others from doing it. Smoking used to be cool. People who smoked were by and large more fun than the people who coughed ostentatiously and waved their hands around saying, “Ugh” were boring and not cool.  I remember when I was 30 and still smoking and the anti-smoking folks started coming out of their caves telling me that they had given up and that I should as well. And, John, I remember thinking” I’ll take my chances.” Then my father died of lung cancer. He was diagnosed in April and by September he was dead. He had smoked since he was 18 and he died at just 59. My mom and me were grief-stricken but both of us kept smoking despite the fact that the same cigarettes we were putting in our mouths had been the reason we had buried our father. My mom now has lung cancer and I am embarrassed to say that this was not the reason I decided to give up, John. Even with Mom in a care home, I will admit that this was only part of the reason I no longer smoke. It is because smoking has recently become no fun, a word I know you use a lot, John, so I am sure you will understand. I was fed up with leaving restaurants mid-dinner to have a lonely cigarette outside, or of walking around the port of San Juan our cruise last year getting breathless going up a small hill to the old town.

What to do? I had smoked for 25 years. I had big nicotine addiction. I wasn’t going to be able to stop just like that. It is not just smoking that I enjoy but the ritual. And, I didn’t really want to stop smoking. I wanted a magic cigarette that did me no harm — or, at least, considerably less harm. It turns out that such a thing exists. I haven’t had tobacco for nearly six months. It is incredible and the joy of it has made me giddy. I am vaping — inhaling the vapor from a cigarette. This vapor contains nicotine but none of the 50 carcinogens found in Marlboro Lights. And yes, I am still addicted to (a decreasing amount of) nicotine. Being addicted to nicotine can lead to stroke, or cancer, or make your skin wrinkly and grey, or make your fingers yellow, or give you gum disease and brown teeth — all things that I want to avoid.

And, just like that, your life changes and you are free of nicotine. It was too late for my dad and too late it seems for my dear mom but it is not too late for me. I think banning cigarettes from balconies is a good thing and I know I will get flamed for saying that. Let may say to those who will flame me though is that cigarettes killed my Dad and will be the cause of Mom’s death as well. That is something I have to live with every day but I have more days now since stopping smoking and using my life saving vapor cigarette. So please John, please do not make me smoke this only where people are using real cigarettes. I hope this post shows you why. Thank you for listening

So, two very different stories there and both have strong arguments. There is one fact that is never going to change and that is smoking is never going to get easier. You can debate the rights and wrongs of that but with laws and regulations on land and sea getting even stricter as to where and when people can smoke it is a juggernaut that can’t be stopped. There is no going back. I will answer your questions always of course but I shan’t be commenting in the heart of the blog anymore. Time to move on and concentrate on making the smoking areas we do have more comfortable.

I am in discussion with the beards about improving the smoking areas we have and our current polices on eCigarettes and I will let you know as and when I have news on this. Opinions will be divided and if I can say it’s been difficult for me to stay objective and juggle the brand ambassador role in one hand and my Monte Cristo cigar in the other. But banning smoking from the balconies gives fresh air to those above, below and next to smokers like me and elevates the risk of fire, as well. Those are facts, love them, hate them, doesn’t matter, the fact is they are here to stay because such is the way of the world we now live in.

Let’s move on, shall we? About three years ago I was approached by another cruise line suggesting that I should come and work for them. They offered me a very big salary jump and all the Latvian women I would possibly want. OK, maybe not the Latvians but the money offer was flattering for sure. But honestly and I mean honestly as nice as that was I didn’t give it a second thought. I politely said no and that was that.

Why? Two reason. First, is that it has taken luck and a huge dollop of hard work to get me where I am today and I don’t mean sitting at my desk on the Carnival Miracle writing to you. No, I mean senior cruise director and brand ambassador to Carnival Cruise Lines. Then there is the fact that I really truly doubt any other cruise line would let me be…..well……….me. And maybe it is safe to say that deep down no other cruise lines passengers would want me to be ………… well …………me.

But there is a another reason — a bloody big one at that. And it’s one simple word, loyalty. This company has been brilliant to me and to my family in more ways that I can ever give them gratitude for. And so they have my loyalty. I am loyalty to Micky Arison and to Gerry Cahill and to the thousands of people who work on land and sea alongside me to make sure that everyone reading this has the very best of times on your vacation. Loyalty in the work place is not always evident and loyalty in sports teams these days is as rare as a Smoking Allowed Here sign…….. well………anywhere.

Where is that loyalty? It is a familiar saying from fans who take such huge pride in their faithfulness to a team. These last few days my two favourite sports stars left my two favourite teams — Louis Suarez from Liverpool to Barcelona (that’s saccccceerrrr) and, of course, LeBron James from my Miami Heat to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Miami will miss Mr. James, of course. We will always accept that sports stars can earn wealth beyond our wildest dreams, but it’s when they put the money at the forefront of their decisions and start acting like commodities rather than sporting stars, that make my hemorrhoids itch.

But as far as my loyalty is concerned it is unquestioning……….unless, of course, Disney Cruise Line offer me a job as brand ambassador, I might change my loyalty then. Yep, my Facebook page as their brand ambassador could have a video of me in the shower washing my dangly bits singing “It’s a Small World”……..that aside……..there is only one Micky I am loyal to.


Your friend,

Comment Policy

Look, friends — there are a few things you should remember before you comment. The space below is for you to post your comments about the post I've just written above. Now, while I may not be able to reply to your comment below, I do sit in my underpants almost every morning and read everything that is here. So feel free to comment on the comments and then if someone wants to comment on the comment to the comment then go ahead as well. Please be courteous, unless the poster is French...........then you can say whatever you want.

121 Responses to Smoking — the last word.

  1. paul says:

    I had a wonderful cruise with u only thing was stateroom ac wasn’t as cold as dream class and o2 director Greg wasn’t a good one

  2. Dee says:

    I know there’s been a lot of arguing made for allowing the “e cigs” or “vapes” everywhere because they’re “not harmful” but please, please encourage Carnival to make it a policy that they should only be allowed where cigarettes are allowed. I, too, am a former smoker. Since regaining my senses (literally—I can smell and taste much better than I could when I smoked!) I can smell *everything*! If I’m driving down the road and someone in the car in front of mine is smoking a cigarette, I can smell it. If I am near someone who is using one of those “e cigs” I can smell the vapor and it bothers me. Sure, the people using it can’t smell it. But some of us can and find it bothersome. I don’t care if they say it’s “not smoking”. Then stop doing it. It IS smoking and it belongs in a designated smoking area, not waved about in people’s faces wherever they please.

    • Jim says:

      TO Dee
      You must be one of the whiners about the cigerettes. I wish you would think before you talk because if you did you would realize that vaping comes in different flavors and some have no nicotine in them. They harm nobody and quite pleasant smelling. So it is only in your head about the smoke bothering you cause as you said” if the car in front of you has smokers in it you smell it’.. So it is only what you see that affects you and not the product so quit the whinning and quit trying to control others that don’t have an contact with you. The chemicals you whine about are found in food and household cleaners but I guess you don’t know that. These are the same chemicals found in cigerretts

      • Emily says:

        First off, it’s “cigarette” and “whiner.”
        And, while the smells of fake strawberry kiwi and other vapor mixes may be pleasant to you, I think some of them stink to high heaven.
        But, most importantly, while you are saying they are totally safe, there have been absolutely NO double blind studies done on vaping. It’s not been around long enough to know what it does long-term. Remember, they once thought that tobacco was safe. You used to be able to smoke IN the hospitals! But, we all know how that worked out.

        • Jim Wirth says:

          First off they have tested the juices out of China and have decided that those juices are not approved for U.S. use but they do have juices made here in the USA and do monitor them. If you are so health concerned about smoking then what about some of you women who cake their perfume on so bad that it takes your breath away and you can taste it should we ban the use of perfume on the ships. My wife has had so where we had to get off the elevator and wake up several flights of stairs because of you women who pour on the perfume and think it smells great. Why don’t you taste your perfume that’s what everyone else does when you pour it on and get in a elevator.

        • LMW says:

          Do you want Carnival to ban perfumes? Sun lotions?

          I’m sure you can smell all of those as well.

          What about the smell of any food you find unappealing? Shall that be banned as well?

    • J.R. says:

      E cigs don’t smell it’s in your head

  3. del says:

    two things John:
    I think you mean elevIates fire threat

    And Lebron is returning here to Cleveland because of LOYALTY. Where he was born and raised and wants to bring a championship or 2 year contract…

    • Diane says:

      If he is so loyal, why did he leave in the first place. It’s not called loyalty it’s called MONEY.

  4. Laura Berry says:

    Hi John, A friend and I are cruising in February, 22 2015 on the Pride from Tampa. I chose this date because my birthday comes that week. I have been sailing with Carnival since 1983 starting with the Festivale. I am not sure if I have cruised with you or not. I am praying that you might be on the Pride at that time. Thank you for your blog it is interesting and never fails to make me laugh. Thanks again for your blog. I do appreciate it.

    • Linda says:

      Laura, we recently sailed on the Paradise out of Tampa and the CD on the route, has been for years, is the longest run of a CD Carnival has of Steve Cassell. You will love him. Tall and skinny and loads of fun plus a great fiddle player that even has a part in the stage shows. Enjoy your cruise.

  5. Please, please, please to not take public health and safety advice from random online potential customers. Do some research into the facts. Nicotine is NOT harmless. Please do restrict it like you restrict cigarettes.
    The American Lung Association has issued a warning stating they are unsafe:
    And, of course, you can find research studies that substantiate the harmful effects of nicotine all over the internet. Don’t listen to me, ask the experts.

    • Jim says:

      You must not have researched as you have stated because if you did you would know that Vaping does not cause health issues and therefore the American Cancer has not given any bad reports on the Vaping issue

    • Jim Wirth says:

      Sorry for your oversight but they are talking about e-cigs and not the Vapors. There is a difference between the two and some folks don’t know it. With e-cigs they are prepackaged by a vendor i.e. cigarette companies but with the Vapors it is a juice and when heated produces a steam vapor with different smells. So as of right now the e-cig is a different item and should be looked at. I have Vaped for 6 years now and have been told that by a doctor it is a good option as to smoking

    • LMW says:

      I followed your link. Thank you for providing it. But I didn’t find what was implied in your statement.

      In fact, the website was clearly incorrect in stating that an ingredient found in “anti-freeze” was in the liquids used in e-cigs. You’ll notice that they do not name that ingredient. So for some clarification, let’s find out what is in anti-freeze and what is in the e-liquids….

      “ethylene glycol” is found in anti-freeze

      “Diethylene glyco” was found in 1 type of e-liquid out of the 15 the FDA tested and NONE was found in the vapor.

      And your linked article failed to mention that Diethylene glycol is found in mouthwash, toothpaste, and deodorants. Should Carnival ban those items as well? All of them have a scent that can be detected by those around them right? Surely, the Diethylene glycol then must be a danger to all those who come in contact with a mouthwash user, a toothpaste user and a deodorant user, right? I mean it just make sense.

      And guess what? Diethylene glycol is NOT an ingredient used in e-liquids..They are made of propylene glycol, an ingredient recognized as safe for human consumption by the FDA and sometimes used as an ENVIRONMENTALLY SAFE INGREDIENT in Anti-freeze.

      Nowhere in your linked article is nicotine even mentioned. Can I assume though that you would support Carnival banning nicotine patches, inhalers, lozenges, and gum because they are so dangerous? I mean, one could smell all of those except the patch, so surely, one must be getting nicotine second hand from those products, right?

      So, I assume we can expect you to call for the banning of nicotine patches, gum, lozenges, inhalers, and toothpaste, deodorant, and mouthwashes….right?

  6. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:


    We do not have a lot of balcony experience.

    We “grew up” with Carnival during a time when the only balcony was with a Suite.

    We have done Interiors or Ocean Views on every ship except the Spirit.

    The few times I did book balconies (for Alaska and Hawaii)…I have to say I was really surprised that even at 22 knots, every time I opened the balcony door there was a haze of cigarette smoke sucked into our cabin.

    Based on that experience, we simply elected not to book balconies.

    DJ loves balconies…so we are looking forward to being able to again.

    Since Carnival is very proud to be a family cruise line, it is wonderful to see Carnival putting so much importance in protecting the health and welfare of the children that cruise with you.

    I am not a smoker, but I do hope that Carnival will revisit the restriction of the Electronic Cigarettes.

    No device is 100% safe, but this is a reasonable compromise that Carnival should allow everywhere (except perhaps in the Main Theater…all those lights twinkling might be a bit distracting.)

    Please thank the “beards” for listening…

    Linda (Mom of your friend DJ)

    • sharon hewitt says:

      I agree with your sentiments. I do hope that there is some kind of compromising or I am afraid that the 6 future cruises I have booked with CCL will not be clouded with either side of the issue. The Electonic devices are supposed to be helping with all that the non-smokers have seemed to champion.

    • sharon hewitt says:

      Linda well stated!

  7. I about fell out of my chair at the “Wal-Mart employee” line. Hilarious!!!!

  8. Phil Hale says:

    How fitting that the link to CC is the same as the troll who sent it…broken and goes nowhere! All I can say is bye bye blue cloud. Can’t the cigar area on the Dream Class ships be moved farther back on the ship? That way the wafting aromas can dissipate more effectively.

  9. charlie kelson says:

    if paul lowes is so concerned about the so called ” cruise critic poll”, why doesnt he address it to the beards, they control the rules. there is nothing you can do to change the rules, only tell us about them, keep us updated. i hardly think that carnival will ” lose 50%” of the faithful customers. may lose some but might gain others who dont smoke

  10. As a former smoker, I have to echo what Mia said… I’m so GLAD that smoking is no longer allowed on balconies, but vaporizers/e-cigs should be allowed on balconies, as they do not pose the same health risks to others (as they are just water vapor) nor are they unpleasant to others. I don’t use one, but many of my friends and family do, and all of them are slowly weaning off of the nicotine. It’s a lot of temptation for someone who used to smoke to have to be lumped in with smokers, and the smell is often bothersome. I hope that the beards might change their stance on this.

    That being said, love your Facebook and the blog. I’m impressed of how deeply you care about people enjoying their cruise and want to do everything possible, bend over backwards, even, to satisfy them.

    Anyhow, I am very much looking forward to our cruise in September aboard Breeze, which I am told by many she is the classiest girl in the fleet. I sort of wish that the smoking rule kicked in only one month sooner, but I have no doubt that she and her crew will meet all of our expectations and then some. Cruising is our favorite and we forego all other vacations to do it. It’s been seven years since our last but we only cruise with Carnival.

  11. Ralph says:

    Christopher Resnick.
    You are correct. This page should be about cruises…..not a page for express YOUR ignorance!

  12. Fred says:

    A poll at cruisecritic is hardly representative. In fact, all it is is confirmation bias as smokers rush there to complain while the silent majority go on with their life. I, for one, am far more likely to book a balcony now that I know I will get to use it rather than be stuck inside anyway. I sincerely hope you next ban smoking from the casino, or, figure out somewhere else to put the promenade so we don’t have to walk by smokers just to get from one end of the ship to another.

    • Jim Wirth says:

      Really how ignorant are you, you stated how smokers are complaining and you don’t. Well let me tell you something it is only because of you non-smokers that complain at the drop of the hat if you see smoke and then think you smell it 100 yards away from you so get off your horse and smell what you are pushing

    • LMW says:

      Really? The smokers complained so much that CCL banned smoking both analog and e-cigs?

      • Jim Wirth says:

        Are you to afraid to put your name up for the blog so you hide behind initials. Real professional, Besides think about what you wrote just for a second ( the smokers complaining cause the ban of e-cigs) you must really be bright. The reason for the ban is only because of the whiners that don’t smoke so get the facts and engage your brain before you open your mouth. Hopefully the uppity non-smokers will get theirs on these cruises when the charter over to the smoking side of the ship thinking they will take our seats.

  13. James Eager says:

    Christopher Resnick asks:
    Your writing is some of the most ignorant I have ever read. You obviously have a 100% lack of education about global warming and the threat it brings to our planet earth. I suggest you start by watching Al Gore’s campaigning documentary An Inconvenient Truth. The case for global warming is fact. It is typical of “non-believers” like you to adopt a certainty that their view is correct, witness Islamists and fundamental Christians to name just two. This page is supposedly about cruises not a page for you to express your ignorance,

    Hm, this guy certain does take plenty of room to express his ignorance. For example, the courts have found that Al Gore’s campaign documentary contained at least 12 errors in fact. NOAA records have now shown that there has been no rise in global temperature for the last 15 years, and the UN’s own report says that if there is no rise after 12 years, then there is no global warming. Fact, NASA has measured the temperature changes on Mars and Ganymeade, and they match the changes that occurred on Earth, so the changes on Mars must therefore be caused by Martians driving their SUVs around the planet, instead of by changes to the sun’s output? Hm, John, why not go ahead and make fun of this fool?

  14. Linda says:

    I cruised with my 6 year old grandson this year and we plan toile this a yearly trip. He spent very little time in camp carnival. I appreciate having movies(& other activities) that are family oriented. Although my grandson had a good time at camp carnival he only went 2 times.

  15. Marianne Gilmore says:

    You have made my day…..visions of you singing that Disney tune in the shower will be on my mind all day.
    On a recent cruise we were so bored that we went to a napkin folding class and the young girl giving instructions referred to the corners of the napkins as dangly bits which caused a giggle at our table….the rest of the class thought we were a bit nutty for laughing….I guess they haven’t read your blog!

  16. Elizabeth Carnegie says:

    Hi John:
    Perhaps you could pass this message onto to the Beards in relation to e-cigarettes.
    BBC has enforced blanket ban on use of electronic cigarettes in its offices
    Corporation said ban comes after advice from British Medical Association

    Guests smoking e-cigarettes on Carnival should only be allowed to smoke in designated smoking area.

    • Vicki says:

      The state of Florida just passed a law that forbid selling e-cigs to minors, but it does not put e-cigs in the same category as cigarettes in the clean air act. If Florida legally you can use e-cigs anywhere.

    • Jim Wirth says:

      You must live in a fantasy world because for one we are in the USA and not Britain and besides nobody has done enough research on the e-cigs or the Vape pipes to make any type of decision about them so go back to your fantasy world and live in Britain and go by their rules. Last time I checked we are in the USA>>>>

  17. Adam Miller says:

    Hi John,

    Honeymooner here flying back home from a wonderful Alaska cruise on the Miracle. My wife and I had a lovely time and you are a great CD! We especially appreciate you calling ahead and reserving excellent weather for our cruise;) In Skagway we took the River Adventure and saw 16 bald eagles, a mother moose grazing with her two babies, and an otter. From the ship we saw at least 20 humpback whales. The view from our balcony in Tracy Arm took our breath away. I could write pages on how much we enjoyed this cruise. John, you made our trip a memorable one that we will never forget. And of course, the staff was great just like always. I will send you a few pictures once we get home.

    Kind regards,

  18. Gwen Virag says:

    Hi John,

    Love, love, LOVE you and Carnival… BUT, I wanted to point out an error in your judgment of LeBron James – you posted “Miami will miss Mr. James, of course. We will always accept that sports stars can earn wealth beyond our wildest dreams, but it’s when they put the money at the forefront of their decisions and start acting like commodities rather than sporting stars, that make my hemorrhoids itch.” Please remember he CAME from the Cleveland Cavaliers to Miami BECAUSE of $$$, but he is coming HOME because he has grown-up and is wanting to show his loyalty not only to the Cleveland Cavaliers, but his hometown of Akron (30 mins South of Cleveland). So, I hope LeBron’s decision is not why your hemorrhoids itch. Cheers 🙂

    • Diane says:

      Why not come home. He got everything he wanted. A ring, money. Now he can just coast his way to retirement.

  19. Mike says:

    Hi John
    My last word on smoking, we now have a big credit for our next cruise cause we changed rooms, as far as smoking in certain spots be ready cause if I can smoke in casino when only playing slots and non smoker are there I will raise hell, same with getting a table outside in smoking side non smokers better get out or I will just sit down with them and light up by the way alot of smokers are ready to do this too, just want our fair share of the space

    • sharon hewitt says:

      Love those OBC!!! Just not the initial ignition switch..oh wait those are used on those electronic devices that John Heald and the beards truly need to consider in improving the experience for all…smokers and non- smokers alike!

    • Jim Wirth says:

      Well said Mike Carnival has put a strip right down the middle of the ship so if the non-smokers don’t like the smell then they need to stay over in their half and let us enjoy our trip also

  20. Richard Hayes says:

    My wife and I would like out first cruise in 2015, we are going on the Breeze starting Aug 30 and have another vacation to my wife’s homeland of Korea scheduled for Oct so our next cruise will be , as I said, in 2015. We would like to go to either Europe or the Panama Canal, neither of which are scheduled in 2015. You have addressed Europe but what about Panama? Is there a chance Carnival will be going there next year? We want to stay with Carnival but if you don’t go where we want what can we do?

    • Richard Hayes says:

      Reading my post the first sentence makes no sense. It should read, My wife and I would like our first cruise in 2015 to be on Carnival.

  21. John Steiner says:

    I really enjoyed the last six paragraphs. Well done & well said John.

    See you soon.

    The Other John

  22. WHStoneman says:

    Who do you get up and slap when you read some of these “roll your eyes” questions? I don’t know how you do it.

    • sharon hewitt says:

      Could not agree more!I would have to attend anger management classes or a private padded room to deal with what John does in such a way. People complain that he is offensive and not PC…ffs the man is a saint!

  23. Cynthia Ravenscraft says:

    John, you have our loyalty. My husband has indicated that he has not intention of cruising on any other line any time soon. We love Carnival and he would love more than anything to move up in the ranks on the VIFP club. Although we have Platinum and maybe even Diamond level in our sights, we will not be those uppity, stuffy complainers you have been dealing with. I love reading the blog and FB posts. It just never ceases to amaze me how stupid and ignorant some people can be. We are your loyal fans.

    • sharon hewitt says:

      Well said!

    • Jim Wirth says:

      Well stated Cynthia the Platinum and Diamond members feel as if they are better and should have extra privliges then what others get. I noticed one Platinum stating NCL offers free drinks to the upper guest and wants Carnival to do the same. So just how loyal are they to Carnival if they are loyal to NCL and others and know their perks?

  24. Leah Carlson says:

    Hi, John..
    Just disembarked from Splendor this morning..and I have some few things to point out about the cruise…which I will post tomorrow..but as I am reading this blog now.. I can’t help to comment …since it is about smoking. My husband and I are so overjoyed that CCL has taken steps to keep a number of us alive and free from cancer of the lungs..due to inhaling secondhand smoke.On this trip, we unluckily got the balcony stateroom next to a family of smokers…we could barely use our balcony because one of them would be on their balcony smoking !..and BELIEVE ME when I tell you that one of them smoked Marijuana wa s potent !..I asked my husband if I should call security..or the GSD..but he said no. At first, I thought it might be a medical prescription..??? I am hesitant.Then… we saw the four of them in the hallway.. and they were healthy looking adults ..2 women and 2 men.. in their 50’s. After the first two days of keeping quiet and covering our noses so not to inhale the smoke, I decided to let them know that we are downwind .. and I started to just keep coughing and clearing my throat..which made them understand we did not want to be inhaling the disgusting smell..and smoke. One time , we were eating our our balcony..and we had to go in.For heaven’s sakes !! Kudos to this next step that CCL will be doing. I hope then that they will also address the casino smoking problem.

    • sharon hewitt says:

      For goodness sakes…don’t cough and huff while they puff…grow a pair and speak with them privately next time. Cowardly actions do not not deserve kudos.

    • Are you going to leave ANY space in the world for smokers, Leah? Think I will start a new movement: Smokers Are People Too

    • Jim Wirth says:

      Really are you that blind as to wanting the casino smoke free to. Statistics show the smokers spend more on gambling and drinking then you can afford to spend. If not for smokers cruise lines would have issues worst then they already are. So if you are so affended by smoke then maybe you are one of the uppity people who pour on your perfume and others have to smell you and causes people to gag and lose their breath so watch what you say

  25. Maxie Sexton says:

    John, I am scheduled to do Carnival’s 23 day cruise(Legend)to Australia on August 28. My question…..will this be a FULL ship or does Carnival limit the number of passengers due to the fact they will need to take more food, supplies, crème burlee, ice cream etc? I am VERY excited. We were on the Miracle cruise June 24 and loved every minute of it. I honestly thought I was going to pee my pants at times during your shows. You are great. Later this fall we will be doing another cruise, is there any way I can find out which cruise you will be on? Your Alabama ROLL TIDE friends, Maxie

  26. sharon hewitt says:

    Please don’t…such an annoying song!

  27. I’m in total agreement with you John. Loyalty is important yet people today just keeping changing their jobs such as LeBron James. How pathetic a person is just for money. How much does LeBron James really need? He has to much already. If more people would show some loyalty this world would be so much better. People ask me why do I only go on Carnival? My answer, Carnival has always treated me with respect and caring but most of all, it’s because of you John. You have shown my wife & I respect and caring whenever we’ve met. That’s important to me. To me you are Carnival & Carnival is you.

    Paul F. Pietrangelo

    • CavsFan says:

      LeBron James is really just coming home. He has always had a home in Akron and wanted to come home to raise his children in Ohio. He went to Miami to win championships which he did. I enjoyed watching him play for Miami and win championships but now it is his time to come home. Please read his Sports Illustrated article re: his return to Cleveland. He has grown up a lot and now it is not just about the money, although he will still make plenty of money. Peter, you may not know as much as you think you do about the situation, just sayin’

  28. Marie says:

    John: It’s not that we are as upset about the no smoking policy as we are in how it was communicated to the cruisers such as ourselves, platinum level, loyal customers and stockholders of CCL. Three of the six regular cruisers are smokers. We have several cruises booked up through 3/15/2015. We purposely booked balconies with the assumption that the guys could smoke on the balconies, primarily late in the evening when so many are tucked away, fast asleep in their cabins. Whether folks like it or not, it is their decision to smoke, much like it is CCL’s decision to disallow. We just wish consideration could have been given to implimenting the ban say, eff 1/1/2015. Yes, that would still impact our 2015 cruise, but still seems like a clean cut date. As for changing our rooms, we tried and accommodations could not be made. We asked about the “surveys” that were taken and again, CCL did not respond. We never saw any surveys EXCEPT for those on FB – and the smoking issue is as hostile of a subject as politics in the USA. People get ugly!!! Our own PVP provided inaccurate information, as well as told us that only 10% of CCL cruisers are smokers. If that were the case, then why does CCL continue to sell cigarettes contributing to the “nasty and disgusting” habit as many describe it. I don’t mind a change in policy. But, when even CCL employees can’t communicate the issue appropriately, frustration occurs.

    • Vicky says:

      Marie I agree with you 100 percent! 6 of us are going on Victory October 13, 2014. 3 balconies booked, so the 5 out of 6 of us could smoke. I first learned of this through a FB cruise group and thought it was false. I have since come to terms with it, no choice really. The policy changes 5 days before our cruise, bummer guess we should have went with Oct 4th cruise. We booked this back in January, so we never saw this coming! This subject is as touchy as politics or religion.

      • sherri prendergast says:

        If that were me, I would have cancelled the cruise and demanded all my money back. If they are changing a policy after you have booked, you should have the right to back out of the cruise.

  29. Jerry K says:


    I just want to say that I love that Carnival allows you to be you. You never cease to entertain, while still getting the the points across.

    However, there is one thing I will take issue with… When talking of loyalty, you need a better example than LeBron James. He was a Cavalier BEFORE deciding to go to Miami in the first place. LOL

    Keep smiling!

  30. janis says:

    No more smoking on balconies?? YEA!!! My spouse and I smoked for over 30 years and have been non-smokers now for 12 great years. Other’s smoke bothers me only a little but my husband can’t stand it at all and we’ve been run back into our cabin from smoke coming from other balconies. While I empathize with the smokers discomfort, this is the very reason I quit. The addiction makes every smoker a slave, restricting their activities. I am so glad to be FREE! (And thank you, Carnival, for giving us clean air on our balconies!)

  31. 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.

  32. Steven Dileonardo says:

    John, I understand your loyalty to a company that has allowed you to get as far as you have in your career. I too am loyal to Carnival but for different reasons. I have been cruising since I was a kid and have been on almost every ship from the very beginning. I have tons of wonderful memories on Carnival ships for about 40 years now. I have cruised most every other cruise line but Carnival is like coming home to Mom and Dads house. As for smoking, the idea of improving the current smoking venues is a great idea. The ships with no cigar bar should have one added and the outside smoking area on lido is comparable to being forced to smoke in the alley of a New York Chinese restaurant. Not that the lido deck is that bad but it is not the place I would go to, to enjoy a smoke. Keep up the good work, don’t change for anyone you are a jewel.

  33. Janie Owens says:

    Dear John, My hubby and I are celebrating our wedding anniversary with a cruise on the Paradise. We have forgotten how many cruises we have been on, somewhere between 15-20. The highlight of our cruise has been reading all your blogs. I read them all to hubby. He laughs hysterically and can even predict what your next word will be. Anything to do with potty humor and the Latvian women thing you talk about makes tears roll down the mans cheeks. Thank you so much for brightening our day from afar. Your devoted fans, Larry and Janie

  34. Lynne says:

    John, Enjoy your blog and FB page, it never fails to both enlighten and entertain. My voice is only one of many in the din regarding smoking but I do have one request.

    Drop the “for your health” pretense. It’s laughable at best, dishonest at worse. If the health of passengers was first and foremost, there wouldn’t be the focus on liquor that is on cruises. “Drink of the Day” wouldn’t exist and there would be no discounted drink programs. No handsome young men would be walking the Lido hawking a drink in a special glass, either. There would be no Soda Cards as soda is problematic with regard to weight issues not to mention that caffeine is a drug.

    If health was a concern, food wouldn’t be on focus 24/7 and there certainly wouldn’t be all-you-can-consume ice cream machines hanging about. I think I’ll change my mind regarding your question about shutting down ice cream machines at a certain time. YES, for the health of your cruisers, shut them off 3 hours before dinner to make sure everyone eats their broccoli! The chocolate event would be eliminated, as well.

    If health was an issue, there wouldn’t be a casino. For some, gambling is a horrible disease.

    Oh, wait, you’re going to say that second-hand smoke impacts the health of others. Don’t think for a second that alcoholism doesn’t impact other people, especially family members. Not to mention those who may be in the path of the alcoholic and become injured.

    Obesity contributes to most of the major killers out there. Maybe a sign above the ice cream machine as a warning??

    This is not about health and you know it. It’s about persons complaining. It’s about odor. It’s about money and the concern that money will be lost if smoking continues. Except in the casino. That’s the inconsistent fly in the ointment. If it WAS about health, there would be no smoking in the casino. Ahhh . . . money raises its ugly green head again.

    This could have been resolved by allowing smokers to book in a specific section of the ship. Might have to modify that section from cruise-to-cruise but it could have been done.

    I know you’ve been caught in a horrific cross-fire and appreciate your efforts to keep everyone happy. Just drop the “for your health” mantra, please. We all know that health is low on the list of reason for this action.

    Best Regards;

    • And a big “Amen!” The hiprosy is staggering, indeed! But we have to keep in mind that this is a business and they have the right to run it any way they see fit. If they choose to go this route and lose money because they don’t make sufficent compromises, such as ecig for us addicts, well, tough. They will change some of these policys to bring back the smokers. Everything is an experiment right now. Just why did it have to mess up MY cruise? If I had known before I booked it and paid for it, I wouldn’t have been half as mad!

  35. Jayme says:

    Please allow e cigs inside. I have been using one since for 9 months and for 7 months I am using nicotine free vaping. At my annual physical my doctor said I get the same effect from inhaling steam in a shower as I do inhaling a nicotine free vaping stick. The only ingrediens are water and candy liquid hard candy flavoring. The FDA and CDC both REFUSE to restrict their use along with the federal government. These uneducated non smokers that feel as if the e cigs.are.just lime traditional cigarettes are obviously uneducated and easily annoyed by steam being in the air.

  36. Bruce Warnock says:

    John we are all booked for our 20th cruise this November on Valor, and all but 2 have been on Carnival. That is our loyalty for sure. And, we have enjoyed talking with you many times on board and shared our love of cruising.

    Smoking is always a problem for us but it has improved a great deal on the ships. Only the casino is still a problem but that keeps our money in our pockets, not the slots. We are a medical family and I have lost both my father and mother to smoking. That’s enough grief for us and nobody smokes from that generation down in our family.

    Best wishes!

  37. Max Ponce says:

    Hi John,
    My family and I had a wonderful cruise with you in Alaska this past week. We had a blast!!! Our waiter Dennis was awesome, the Punchliner Comedians had to be one of my favorites on the ship, Benjamin from the Grove to St. Jude was a very funny person and DJ. Most of all, we felt pampered. Thank you and hopefully see you again in another cruise. -Max

  38. Linda says:

    To Adriana Mosca. People like you are the reason I can’t find a banana at all by the end of a cruise. If you have a dietary need (which 20 bananas a day falls into that category for sure) then all you had to do was contact Carnival ahead of time so they could purchase said above their normal amount of bananas and have your name put on them. Now if you meant you needed 20 bananas for the entire cruise and just wanted the ease of having them in your cabin like a hoarder, do what the rest of us do and fill out a breakfast room service card each night and indicate the number you need for that morning, I usually put down 2 but they might be able to do 3. Room service is the last place that have bananas even after they are gone from the Lido, MDR and food bars. I found this out on my second cruise when I asked for a banana and was told if I really wanted one, to call room service. Plus they can be rather green at the start and almost over ripe at the end since they must last the entire 5-7 days at sea.

  39. Ed (Mouse) says:

    John, NCL just announced they too will be banning smoking on balconies.

  40. Linda Sauls says:

    Just published by NCL, appears all the cruise lines are changing smoking policy.

    “What about smoking on the ship?
    As the health and well-being of our guests and crew is of the utmost importance, Norwegian Cruise Line will institute changes to its smoking policy for all sailings on or after November 1, 2014. The specific changes prohibit smoking on stateroom balconies and limit smoking in the casino to players. On Norwegian Getaway and Norwegian Breakaway, smoking on The Waterfront will be permitted on the starboard side, except by the outdoor dining areas.
    Public areas throughout all our ships are smoke-free. If you smoke regular or electronic cigarettes, you can do so in designated areas only. If you prefer pipes or cigars, you can smoke in the Cigar Bar or designated smoking lounge. Smoking cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, cigars and pipes is permitted in outdoor public guest spaces and open decks where designated by the ship’s management based on the ship’s specific characteristics and arrangement. Smoking, including electronic cigarettes, is prohibited in or near venues serving food, the jogging track, outdoor sporting venues, The Haven outdoor areas and children’s pool areas. On ships with The Waterfront, smoking is permitted on the starboard side excluding any food service areas. Active Casino players may smoke cigarettes in the Casino during gaming hours. Cigarette smoking is not permitted in any other indoor venue or location.
    Guests are not permitted to smoke cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars or pipes in their staterooms or on their balconies. Cigar and pipe smoking in staterooms and on balconies is prohibited. Smoking inside your stateroom or on your balcony will result in a $250 cleaning charge added to your onboard account. If cigarette burns on furniture, linens, towels or carpeting are detected; guests will be advised and charged for the damages.
    Electronic cigarettes cannot be used in public areas where there is a No Smoking policy in force; simply because these cigarettes look so realistic and therefore other guests’ perception is that we are not enforcing the No Smoking rule.

  41. Mike says:

    Guess what Folks … Beginning November 2014, smokers won’t be able to light up on their cruise ship balconies when sailing Norwegian Cruise Line. Norwegian is the second major cruise line in eight days to extinguish cigarette smoking on cruise ship balconies.
    So all the people looking to go somewhere else ….. there is no place else.

    • Madge Cousins says:

      Holland America still allows smoking on their balconies. But for how long? Hope no one books with them only to discover this policy will go into effect before their cruise, as has happened to me.

    • Jim Wirth says:

      Sorry to inform you but Holland cruise lines has seen fit to continue to allow cigs on the balconies knowing that they will get a lot of business from all the lines that think smokers are second class people. So don’t puff up your chest thinking the non-smokers got their way because once Carnival and others start sailing without full ships and see they are losing business they will change their mind and revert back to allowing it. Besides if so worried about fire safety then maybe they should have looked into ashtrays like the Breeze had on them which when the discarded cig butt was put in it then the wind could not flip it out and cause any issue. I used it last time on the Breeze and enjoyed how it worked

  42. sherri prendergast says:

    I just heard about the smoking ban on the balconies. What a shame, I have been cruising with Carnival for over ten years and will not do so anymore. It is funny how nothing is doing about people who drink to excess and get into a car and kill someone, or people who are obese. Should we ban alcohol and junk food on cruises too or is Carnival only picking on smokers. Glad I found this out now as I was just getting ready to book a cruise for my son’s graduation. We will be going to an all inclusive in Jamaica instead. I think you are a great guy but I do hope Carnival loses a lot of business over this decision.

    • Rychard says:

      The heavy drinker and obese person won’t cause my balcony to stink unless they have an accident.

      • Jim Wirth says:

        Maybe cause you are both of them things and don’t want your booze or food to be limited.

  43. Stephanie says:

    Hi John, thanks for your comments about the smoking ban. I am not a smoking, but one that it bothers a lot. I’m new to cruising having done two in the last couple of years. However I am hooked. The last cruise we did was February and we were hardly able to use our balcony due to smokers around us. I am veery happy with the smoking ban!! We have already booked our next two cruises…March 2015 & Oct. 2015. Looking forward to more great times with Carnival! Keep up the great work.

    • Rychard says:

      I agree. Many times you can’t even enjoy eating on a restaurant’s patio where smoking is allowed because the air is still filled with smoke. And yes perfume can sometimes be just as offending but at least it isn’t as bad for people’s health. I have seen a cigar smoker clear an area when he lit up. There is a reason that in days gone by there were smoking rooms and men wore smoking jackets. The smell was contained.

      • Jim Wirth says:

        You say that the perfume it’s bad for your health but that has not been tested yet. Some of these women pour on the perfume because its not noticeable to them but it leaves a bad taste in others mouths and causes you to lose the taste of your food it also when in elevators makes it hard to breath cause it is so strong. If they want to wear that much perfume then maybe they should walk up all the flights of steps and stay out of the elevators where it is a small congested area so others can breath fresh air instead of their perfume

    • Debbie says:

      Stephanie, well said. I’ve written many times on the blog just prior to this one. This is my “last word”! Some smokers have threatened they will continue to smoke on their balcony and pay the refreshing fee. Just so all of us non smokers are aware we have the right not to smell their second hand smoke or vapor, please read the ticket contract on section 8C. If someone smokes in a non smoking area they forfeit their right to remain on board. Carnival has the right to disembark the smoker at any port and the guest has to make and pay their own arrangements to get back home. Those who don’t follow the rules can get more punishment than just a refreshing fee charge. I will start getting a balcony cabin now and I will have no problem going to guest services if someone is smoking/vaping by my balcony. It will be so nice to have a balcony and not have to retrieve inside Amen!

      • Jim Wirth says:

        If you decide you must be a teachers pet or a snitch then so be it. But you are problably one of the females who pour their perfume on by the bottle just to make yourself more appealing. So maybe we as smokers should complain about your overbearing perfume as that it ruins the taste of our food and leaves a bad taste in our mouths. So you must be a uppity high and mighty individual. Smokers are people to and have rights. We are not second class people to you. We work for a living which maybe you live off the system and think you are better cause you know the system and look for loopholes in things so you can milk the system

        • Debbie says:

          Jim, I don’t own nor use any perfume as the smell bothers me a lot. As far as work goes I’ve had the same job for 34 years post college and have paid taxes since the age of 16 with my first job in High School. I’ve never taken any government/state aid as you suggested. I won’t comment on the smoking as I said “my last word” already. You are wrong on so many fronts with your predictions.

          • Jim Wirth says:

            I guess you are wrong once again because Holland Cruise Lines is still allowing smoking on their balconies because of this they forecast a increase of cruisers sailing with them and increase their bottom line. Once this happens people will not go back to Carnival and others because of the way Carnival has treated them as second class people. And then it will be to late for them to get the business back. Already I have been watching through the web site of Carnival that cruisers are cancelling their cruises and leaving empty rooms that need filled but have yet to see all you non-smokers fill these rooms. Carnival could have compromised and made upper level balconies on one side of ship smoking and other side of ship non-smoking. Hotels still allow smoking and non-smoking rooms and you have a better chance of fire in a hotel then a ship. Plus with proper ashtrays in the balcony areas like the Breeze has it makes it safer and when I did smoke I would look to each side of my room before I would have a cigarette and be polite to others sailing

      • Lynn S says:

        Debbie, it will be almost impossible to prove someone has been smoking on their balcony, unless there are cigarette butts laying around.

  44. Richard Hayes says:

    Regarding the E-Cig. I am an ex-smoker and no it would not bother me if someone had an E-Cig on the balcony next to me, for that matter it wouldn’t bother me if smoking was still allowed but that is dead and my opinion not asked before hand.

  45. Bill says:

    Speaking of odors. The lilac perfume some of the women wear/bath in smells worse than the cigarette smoke.

  46. Richard Hayes says:

    As you say, last word on smoking. Would I consider changing lines if I was still a smoker? Yes I would and while the wife and I are considering sailing with someone else next year, it has more to do with where Carnival is scheduled (at this time) to go and where we would like to go. If Carnival does add at least one of the places we want to go, we will be more than happy to sail with them. If not then we will have to look at someone else.

  47. Dee Moss says:

    John, my husband and I are cruising from Ft. Lauderdale on August 24 for 8 days, and will finally reach diamond status during this cruise, after 9 years with Carnival. I’ve never blogged, replied, or posted anything for any reason. I’ve worked for the same company since 1975, but since it has no retirement, I continue to work so we have money to cruise 3 times a year.

    Thanks for the retirement. I’m a smoker so will not be on another Carnival cruise.

    Be bold and post this, allowing me to have the “last word” on the no smoking balcony on Carnival. You’ll be sorely missed.

    • Randy Bartshe says:

      I will be going on by last with Carnival I have always gotten a suite because it was bigger and thought maybe I wont bother my fellow cruiser has much when I was smoking. Thank you Carnival for the good times and will now start going to those beaches on our own.

  48. Conor says:

    I hate the smell of smoke and I do not think be realize that second-hand smoke is very toxic around people on the ship. I don’t care about the people saying you’re losing business. Cruise Lines are doing the same thing right now. Smokers ruin people’s time on balconies. Vapor is totally fine with me.

  49. rustin says:

    Carnival needs to be a little considerate of the good and loyal customers that enjoy smoking and in some cases are addicted and have to do it.

    I accept that time are changing …. but can’t Carnival at least treat it’s loyal smoking customers with a little more
    consideration. Were not criminals … yet.

    Smoking a cigar up on deck is for me a defining pleasure. After hearing about the new smoking policy my cruise and cigar smoking buddy and I see the hand writing on the wall and have decided to skip our spring cruise on Carnival and try renting a bungalow on the beach in Costa Rica. It’s cheaper than a cruise, offers more things to do, I’m not paying for things I don’t use and you can light up a smoke with out being made to feel like a criminal.

    Thanks for letting me rant.

  50. kruiserkanuck says:

    Really,William Dubuc? Two MOVIES ruined your cruise?? *head desk*

    And Paul Lowes: anti-smoking ia ALL science, and pro-smoking is pure denial. At least have the courage to admit to the truth : the science is real, but you just don’t care. Period. That’s fine- your choice- but don’t dispute the facts.

    As far as people not cruising because of this, that’s very possible. But more nonsmokers will cruise, so the ships will still sail full. We instituted very strict anti-smoking legislation here in Nova Scotia years ago (no indoor public places at all, and many public outdoor places), and the venues are not sitting empty. Nor will the ships.

    • Jim Wirth says:

      Really you are talking about Nova Scotia not really part of the USA so for you to add your 2 cents don’t waste our time with it. Non-smokers do not spend as much money in the casino nor do they spend as much on drinking. So not only do you lose the rooms you lose money spent that all cruise lines look forward to as part of keeping their head above water. Do you not make money off the taxes created to expand your area of the country?

  51. Rychard says:

    Smokers said restaurants would go out of business in the county where I live when they were required to go smokeless. It had the opposite effect. People came from the adjoining counties to eat in a smoke-free environment. It also meant that restaurants no longer had to keep a portion of their business as a smoker area which was often less than 1/2 full. My biggest beef with smokers is that they somehow don’t consider their butts to be litter. They will throw them out of their car windows, in the lakes and ocean when they are fishing and I’ve even seen them do this while swimming at the beach. I just don’t get why they don’t consider a butt as trash. The next time you stop at a red light, look at the ground next to the curbs. I bet you won’t be able to count all the butts before the light changes.

    • Rychard says:

      P.S. To the smokers out there who read this. Be honest – where do you normally throw your butt when you are finished?

      • Jane Lewis says:

        I’m a dedicated smoker !!

        I never leave my “butts” on the ground / in the gutter/ or any other places BUT an ashtray/can or my pants pocket !!!

      • Jim Wirth says:

        Maybe when you live a one horse town like you do maybe you are right and have a tavern that gets these customers but if you live in a large city or suburn like Minneapolis Minn. Then it would not last besides have you ever seen the smoke that comes out of the diesel engines from semi-trucks? Then chemicals from that is far worst then cigs and what about the fumes from the meat packing industry are you going to stop them from causing the air to smell? Perfume wore by some of the women on these cruises would take your breath away and leave you gasping for air and it lingers in your taste buds which makes your food taste bad. Do you propose we ban perfume on the ships?

      • Lynn S says:

        My husband and I are probably in the minority, and are very considerate smokers. We always brought a self-extinguisher ashtray to use on our balcony, and empty baggies to empty the butts, which we carried to a trash can on the open decks, so there would be no odor in our cabin.

  52. Jim Wirth says:

    Since you are banning smoking on the balconies then maybe you should ban perfume on the ships also. Some of the women pour on the perfume so bad that it takes your breath away it is so bad that my wife has made us get off the elevator and walk up the stairs no matter how many flights we walk. So what do you plan on doing to remedy this issues. This issue is far worst then the smoke because women don’t realize how bad their perfume really is. Plus as far as your refreshing fee what about if you are not a smoker and you walk by a smoker and you get smoke on your cloths and you change clothes in your room and somebody decides you smoked in your room do you end up paying the fee. Maybe what Carnival should have done is allowed smoking on one side of the ship in the balconies and the other side for the non-smokers and see which side of the ship fills up first. I have noticed that already some of the smokers have cancelled their trip with you and can you really afford to lose those rooms. Non-smokers are not going to make up for what you lose. You will lose money in the casino and the beverage area and also rooms due to your decision. Plus sells in your gift shops for the cigarette sells and bottles of alcohol. Like it was said if you was doing this for health reasons the what about your endless buffets, unlimited beverages and casino. All of these have additions which is unhealthy (obsecity, alcolholism, gambling abdiction.)

  53. Mike says:

    This comment is on the new smoking policy on Balconies. I believe Carnival needs to take a look at this. I’ve never smoked in the room. I’ve went on 7 cruises with 6 on Carnival. I’m sad to see this. On my last cruise I went out to smoke (I always look before I smoke anymore) and no one was out on the balcony. So, I smoked. Many cruises are like this – no one is even close to us. I watch this very closely as my wife does not smoke. I really believe that Carnival can do smoking balconies on a certain side to allow us to smoke and not bother anyone. OK carnival corp listen up! This is the $. With all of the new smocking restrictions, I would even pay a premium to have a balcony I could smoke. Or next option, I would stay in an interior room and not spend as much $ or not even go on a cruise and go to on an all inclusive resort. HMMMM… PS. all the comments I’m see is against smoking. Hmmm.

  54. Michael Kelly says:

    Hi John. I almost hate to say this but I am a Diamond VIPP with Carnival. I have read your blog and when I read that people want special treatment in cruising because they think they are so special and deserve it, I kind of understand it but when it comes out in print, they really do sound like the up tight people of class distinction we saw when I watched the Titanic. I have seen this when cruising before. I am retired and worked hard as a butcher/meatcutter in a stores for years. It paid my bills and gave me a pretty good life. I remember when cruising years ago, I ran into some guys what seemed like nice people at our table and they were all professional business men bragging about their lives. I was never ashamed of my work and I listened to their boring conversations of money and uppity ways. When they asked me what I did for a living I told them I was a butcher for 35 years. The looks on their faces were priceless. One even commented that, I think I knew a butcher one time. I returned with, I think I met a banker one time too but he didn’t impress me at that time either. Class is something people think they have but if you have to talk about it, you really don’t have any class at all. Carnival is a cruise line for the regular person that want to enjoy life without having to put on a top hat and cane to impress the next guy. I am sorry I haven’t been cruising with Carnival for about 3 years now. My wife passed away and I won’t travel alone, so I started taking my wheelchair bound handicap daughter along with me. Living in Northern Ca. it is difficult to fly with her to get to one of Carnival’s piers in L.A, so we have been traveling out of San Francisco on the Princess Cruise lines which is also owned by Carnival. Princess is nice but the class distinction is even worse on Princess. The have people that almost live on ships and have done over 100 cruises which makes my 28 seem like nothing. I am running out of destinations to go leaving and returning out of San Francisco with Princess and I really do miss cruising with Carnival. Do you think Carnival will ever start cruising out of SF? A quick note to the smokers. Carnival was one of the last cruise lines to allow smoking on balconies staterooms. I too am a cigar smoker and life is always changing so either stay home and enjoy smoking or change with the times and smoke in the areas allowed. The world isn’t going to put up with second hand smoke anymore and we all have to live with that or die with it your way. Thanks John.

  55. Debrah Richardson says:

    Dear John, as a Platinum guest who prefers a balcony, I would like to thank Carnival for the brave step in removing the smoking from the balconies. I have read the comments saying that their smoking couldn’t possibly bother anyone else, but they couldn’t be more wrong. I have had to leave the balcony that I PAID FOR because of the smoke too many times to count since the policy about smoking in the rooms changed.
    Also, I LOVE the last song. I always get a little weepy when they start “All your bags are packed…” I NEVER get tired of it and I am scheduled for my 17th and 18th cruises (b2b) in January! If people don’t like the songs, they can finish their dinner and leave. We have left before the songs many nights–except the last–so we could get to karaoke on time. On our last cruise in June (the Valor), there were mostly blue cards, which means these people had never had a chance to hear these songs and to watch our wonderful wait staff perform for us. I just wish these people would RELAX. You are not losing us, John. We have never been on any other cruise line and have no plans to go, so you’ll still see us at least twice a year. I’d go more often, but I am a professor and must follow the school schedule. Wait until we retire!!

    • Jim Wirth says:

      Since you are a professor at a college which one is it cause it would have to be the only one that bans smoking because if smoke on a ship traveling out at sea but yet the smoke only finds your balcony then I would hate to see how it is at your college. The ship is moving and the wind is blowing so how would it sit outside your room and not dissipate at sea?

  56. Hi John,
    First time reading your blog and loved it! Had just made the final payment on a cruise with a balcony where I could chain smoke to my hearts content when I heard about the new policy. I was totally outraged because I wasn’t prepared to hear this, the smoking areas on the starboard side are practicaly nonexistent and no employee seems to know where they might be found or is willing to supply an ashtray, Plus, I have heard that the designated smoking area on the Panarama that I might could have found by the theater screen on the Conquest was so windy that you couldn’t even light a cigarette! Anyway, in a fit of pique, I cancelled my cabin for the two smokers, switched the non-smoker to an inside cabin for less money. Carnival gave us a full refund. After nursing a grudge for awhile, I re-booked a balcony cabin in the hopes that e-cig would be allowed by Dec. or that smoking areas would be more clearly defined with tables, chairs and ashtrays. Fingers crossed. Somehow, after cancelling the inside cabin and putting us all back together, we managed to save some money from the first booking. Thanks, ya’ll and I’ll smile and make up if ya’ll will try to be just a little compromising.

    • P.S. Know what you mean about loyalty. You would think that a waitress at Shoney’s would have a low paying, at times, aggravating job, and you would be right. But they helped me rear my children and provided the time I needed off for emergencies, inspired the same loyalty that you feel. I hated to get old and leave them. Now I just want to use my Social Security to cruise, even tho it takes me 2 years to save for one! This is your one tug on my loyalty, Carnival, don’t make any more, I love you just like you are.

  57. k.laing says:

    Dear John,
    I am thankful that Carnival has restricted smoking on the balconies. I have friends that smoke and I am not anti-smoking. I also respect everyone right to choose to smoke or not.
    My last cruise would have been more enjoyable if there was no smoking on the balconies. The balcony is my favorite place to be. I am an artist and I often do artwork or photography from my balcony.
    Unfortunately on my last cruise I had problems with my allergies. Each time I went on my balcony (it was a spa suite that was nonsmoking) someone was smoking from their balcony. I tried to stay as long as I could but the smoking really bothered me within a short period of time.
    So although many people might be upset by the decision, I am happy that my next cruise I will be able to enjoy my balcony.

  58. Cheryl says:

    Just wanted to chime in on the new smoking policy for balconies. We love it!! Have had too many balcony experiences spoiled by having smoking neighbors, and the spa balconies (no smoking at all) were just too expensive. Once we even had a smelly cigar smoker in the adjacent balcony. Thank you, Carnival. Non-smokers should not have their experience tainted by smokers – period. They have other places to smoke on the ship, and that should be sufficient.

    • Jim Wirth says:

      Then don’t complain when you walk through the casino area because that is one of the smoking areas of the ship. And also it is a enclosed area so the smoke will be heavier then if it would have been left alone on the balconies. If the smoke really bothered you did you every try to talk to the cabins next to you and see if they would refrain from smoking while you was outside in your area? Just food for thought.

  59. stella denvir says:

    Hi. I am thinking of booking on The Sunshine. Sept 5th 2014. Before I book balcony can u tell me when the ‘N o Smoking’ on balconys come into effect. ta

  60. Jeff Hobbs says:


    I have known your name for over 15 years, your very strong and good reputation precedes you. However, I have never cruised with you nor read your blog before today. It is very informative and entertaining.

    What struck me and caused me to write is your words on loyalty. I am very impressed with your attitude toward your company. I read the anecdote that got you moved from the bar to cruise staff and can understand how that would create deep feelings about Carnival and how they have supported you in your career.

    Bravo to you and Kudos to Carnival. It must be an amazing company to work for. If only all corporate employers understood how to create and foster loyalty, we’d have a much happier work force.

  61. Kathryn Kelly says:

    We are Platinum card members and take an average of 5 cruises each year. I was preparing to book a cruise today with Carnival which is my preferred line when I saw the new policy on smoking. To say that I am upset would be an understatement. Could one side of the ship not have been designated as smoking?? We always book a balcony cabin but will no longer do so. What is the advantage of paying that extra money? I am certainly willing to compromise but I can assure you that I am as bothered by perfume as people by cigarette smoke on an open deck. Can we get perfume banned on cruises? Where will this end? I am not sure that we will be back on Carnival. I urge Carnival to rethink their policies.

  62. John Lavelle says:

    I suspect that the person who wanted 20 bananas was stocking up for the week. The Banana for Breakfast diet calls for a banana every morning but allows eating more than one (3 is supposedly ok). If that is the case I am sure her cabin steward would have been more than happy to accommodate her wishes if she had understood that was possible. Communication in this case wasn’t quite up to snuff.

  63. Jane Lewis says:

    I’ve just finished reading the latest VIP blog.

    Is Carnival as a company banning smoking on all rooms with balconies ?

    The “political correct” anti-smoking policies are going to be the death my attraction to cruising.

    First smoking was banned in all enclosed dining areas (o.K., that’s just politeness); then in the Open Deck tables; then in the passenger rooms; then the casino, except for 5 tables (non-reserved for smokers): then the whole back of the ship’s outside area! NOW, even the cabins with outside balconies !!

    Where is smoking allowed ??

  64. Geraldine Donnelly says:

    I read your article on smoking, I feel extremely sad that you say it is the way of the world.
    It is only because people cave to the people who complain the most.
    I am a smoker I am considerate to non smokers, and I enjoy waking, having a cup of coffee and a cigarette before dressing
    Why it matters to anyone I don’t understand
    , if people choose to smoke or not it is only there
    Choice. Non smokers didn’t mind AT ALL when they smoked and most complaining have been smokers. All fires are blamed on smokers, not drug abuse smokers, really,
    Smoking does not impair your mind but liquor and drug abuse does.. So for the good of the people below, above and on the sides, will you be banning liquor from staterooms?
    Thanks for listening

  65. Jeff says:

    Why is this argument taken so personally, on both sides.

    It is basic business that is being conducted by every cruise line. Where will one take their business as a protest?

    This decision was reached not to appease non- smokers. It was made to appease the bottom line against ever rising liability rates. Just as non smokers save money on home owners and auto insurance a Cruise company will save Big Bucks on disallowing or greatly limiting smoking on board.

    This is primarily a dollars and cents decision in order to keep your cruise cost lower and their corporate profits higher.

    • Jim Wirth says:

      If you would just sit back and see where this is all going you would realize that the smokers and non-smokers pay the same price as each other so if it was all about the bottom line don’t kid yourself. They could have continued the smoking on the balconies on one side of ship and non on the other side. Hotels still offer smoking and non-smoking rooms and you have more chance of fires in the rooms. Holland cruise lines has seen the opportunity to continue to allow smoking on the balconies and therefore they will take cruisers away from Carnival and others. Carnival will then realize that they could have compromised and made other arrangements about the smoking. Plus if you watched you will notice that non-smokers are starting to complain about smoke in the casino in hope of getting it banned in there also. But as a smoker I spend more in the casino on gambling and buying drinks then a non-smoker and studies show that smokers spend more in these areas then non-smokers. So where is the bottom line.

  66. Jim & Sherri Brown says:

    Just returned from Alaska on the Mirical , on the 22nd of July . This was our third carnival cruise and not our last !!!! We loved the cruise and the ship so much !!! So we booked ourself on the Mirical again , for a fun cruise to the Mexican reviera on Feb. 7th. We were wondering if you will will be aboard then and your good pal Ken? We so enjoyed you both ! You for your wit and Ken for his voice ! Again great ship great staff and a great cruise!!!!

  67. David McGregor says:

    John, Hoping you can get us a decent place on Sunshine to smoke a really good cigar, like on the Lido near the RedFrog Rum Bar or other bar as you come out on Lido………… I just located some Arturo Fuentes Opus X’s.

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