The title of a blog I wrote last week was “Smoking…..the last word.” Obviously, that title meant nothing because here I am, sitting in my underpants, talking to you about it again. I realise that along with politics, religion, reasons to dislike the French, and if I would look good covered in whipped cream and chocolate, that smoking is a subject that stirs the soul and divides opinions. But I have an inbox with over 200 comments alone on the subject of smoking. I will as you will see in today’s Q and A, be accused of “covering up the issue” and “sweeping it under the carpet” which, of course, is not true because, embarrassingly, I have not swept anything anywhere well….. ever. I also realise that I am in a no-win situation if I continue to discuss this here or on my Facebook page but after the new rules were announced and then another line (the one with graffiti over their bows) announced the same, I am afraid I have bugger all choice. But before I do, let’s go back in time.

A decade ago, smoking in offices was still common. You could light up on a bus or a plane and enjoy a cigarette in our dining rooms on board. In fact, you could smoke pretty much anywhere you wanted. These smokers’ pleasures have all but disappeared and smoking is banned just about anywhere in public. Next, I think anyone caught smoking will be waterboarded and locked in a small room and forced to listen to non-stop Celine Dion songs. Now, regular readers of the blog will know that I despair how far things have gone in certain aspects of society, which wants to ban smoking and force everyone to wear a high-visibility jacket 24 hours a day………just to be safe. Now, I smoke cigars and yet I understand that people ……many people…….hate the smell of them and cigarettes and they hate even more sitting on their balconies and having a cloud of my Monte Cristo smoke waft over them. I understand why people hate that — it’s the same way I would hate to sit on my balcony next to a group of guests who haven’t taken a shower all cruise………..which is why I never go to Paris. But seriously, you can’t smoke anywhere these days. There is a blanket ban and, in the years ahead, who knows how far smoking bans will go. We still allow smoking on board, including the casino. Yes, the casino is mostly nonsmoking, yet, rather than tell smokers to bugger off completely as in Las Vegas, we have a smokers section which covers all the major gaming and slots. However, the remainder of the casino is smoke free allowing, once again, for choice.

But that’s not enough and let me explain why. You see, it’s the non-gambling smokers who are using the casino as their personal smoking room and chasing out the non-smoking gamblers. This is hopefully a good compromise for the casino’s customers. Gaming smokers will have their tables and slots and hopefully nonsmokers will have a bearable environment. What we need to do is make sure that non-gambling smokers have a better place to smoke…….does that make sense? So, how do we do that? As I mentioned previously, I think we really must look for ways to make smokers’ areas inviting for smokers. Let’s face it, with the exception of the superb Lanai area on the Dream-class, which is perfect for smokers, the other smoking areas are adequate at best. We are looking into upgrading our smoking areas, so please be wee bit patient and I will share the results as soon as I am able.

Oh, yes……..last night, I had a cigar on my balcony and enjoyed the Alaskan night air and reflected on how much I will miss it.  I like the way cigars blurs the edges. I may eat my words when I’m pushing my lungs around in a wheelbarrow, but temporary relief from anxiety and the stress of my job can surely sometimes be healthy ………can’t it? Thanks for all your opinions on this subject. It has made for some fascinating reading and let’s see if there are any more as we head into today’s Q and A.

David Bailey asks:
John: Is Carnival no longer cruising to Europe? Any chance for a future cruise? I so, want my 5th Carnival Cruise to be to Europe. If not, which cruise line would you recommend?


John says:
Hello David Bailey

I miss Europe very much and, at the moment, because of high air fares to Europe from North America, we do not have any ships there in 2015. We are all hoping that we return some day as our guests and crew really love sailing European waters.  Meanwhile, I have cruised on Princess Cruises in Europe and they have great ships and wonderful itineraries. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Best wishes.


Lee Nason asks:
I have an important question. Do you use the same humor that you write on this blog as a cruise director in shows? It is uncensored and quite cutting and, as a Christian, I find a lot of what you say to be extremely offensive. My concern comes from the fact that we are on your boat, the Carnival Miracle, for our cruise to Hawaii, so if you answer in the affirmative, then my wife and I shall give serious consideration to not attending your performances. I am sure that other practicing Christians have similar concerns about you, so I think this is a question the masses need answering.

John says:
Hello Lee Nason

Thank you so much for writing; I am really glad you did. The good news is that I will not be the CD for that voyage, it will be Troy Linton who is a marvelous cruise director but definitely not as, ummm, “cheeky” as I am. I think it is important though that I mention that I do try to adapt to each situation I find myself in on stage and, at times, and depending on that situation, this blog is an extension of my onstage personality. But at all times, I am aware that we have a family audience so my experience tells me, most of the time, when I should or should not say what comes into my head. I do apologise for anything that I have said that may have offended you and, most importantly, I wish you a brilliant cruise to Hawaii.

Devin Westhause asks:
Hi John: Not a question, but just a quick word to comment on yet another wonderful Carnival experience. I type from my deck 9 balcony on the Carnival Breeze, surfing for another cruise this December. My wife and I have spent the last few days talking to the many repeat cruisers we’ve encountered this trip, and a common theme has emerged. Carnival is an amazing value for the dollar, and there are some things that just make the trips great.  First, the service.  Everyone claims to care about service, and many do it well, but Carnival excels in this area. Each and every employee we encounter is friendly and seems to care tremendously about us as guests and about their company. The pride that they take in their work is very nice to see. Second, is the food.  I don’t walk past many opportunities to eat, and, on this trip, I’ve been blown away by the included opportunities and several of the a la carte options.  Please pass on kudos to the entire dining department just how good their food is. Like many people, we have lots of options on where to go and what to do with our precious vacation time.  We keep coming back to Carnival because it’s a great value and a guaranteed great experience. Thanks for all the work the entire company puts into delivering such a good product.

John says:
Hello Devin Westhause

Well, I have to say that this was an absolute joy to read and I thank you sincerely for taking the time to write from your beautiful balcony on the Carnival Breeze. We do strive to give the most affordable cruise possible and, once on board, to complement that with the best of service and the most fun. It seems that we are managing to do both. I have sent this to the senior beards and I know they will be as thrilled as I am. I do hope we see you again very soon and if there is anything I can do for you, please do let me know. Best wishes.


Kim Dean asks:
John: I just wanted to tell you that I love reading your blog and your comments on Facebook. My best friend and I are booking a cruise October 4 on the Carnival Fantasy (our second time on this ship). This cruise will be a bit bittersweet as we have always cruised in the past with our spouses. We will be cruising without them this time as I am now divorced and she is a widow. We both love Carnival and can’t wait to cruise! Thank you and Carnival for all the wonderful memories of the past and the ones to come!

John says:
Hello Kim Dean

I am so sorry to read of the passing of your best friend’s husband and of your troubles as well. I do hope that your cruise will rejuvenate you both and that you will have some wonderful times together. Please send me your cabin number the day before you sail to my page so I can see what I can do to make you smile. Best wishes to you both.


Mark Montgomery asks:
I see the non-smoking Nazis have won. You caved in big time, Heald? There are hundreds of your customers on our Carnival smokers Facebook page all saying that we will boycott Carnival and go to other cruise lines and all-inclusive resorts. You will see just how powerful a lobby we can be. You should be ashamed. Carnival and you should be ashamed, Heald, because you say you smoke. You only publish the letters from the anti-smoking Nazis but won’t have the guts to publish this I bet!!!

John says:
Hello mark Montgomery

I, too, am disappointed and, obviously, I am caught between a rock and a hard place here. I will miss being able to smoke a cigar on my balcony but I also totally understand that the well-being of other guests, the majority of whom do not smoke, is important. My job now is to get the smoking areas we do have, improved and made more comfortable and, hopefully, this will get you back home with Carnival. I certainly hope so. Best wishes.


Austin Hawkins asks:
HEY! What about the people who still smoke, what are we supposed to do? You guys realize, don’t you, that there will be hundreds of smokers in the casino now? Those of us that had our morning cigarette and coffee will now be all at the casino and then watch the complaints roll in Jabba.  ROTHLMFAO

John says:
Hello Austin Hawkins

I understand how passionate you are about this and, while respectfully saying “hundreds of smokers” is a large exaggeration, there is no doubt that we will be looking at increasing the ventilation in our indoor smoking areas. This, along with our commitment to making the outdoor smoking areas we already have more comfortable, should elevate any of the concerns you raised. After all, the reason you enjoyed smoking on the balcony was, I think, because of the sea air and sunshine, both of which you will enjoy while smoking in our outdoor areas. Best wishes.


Andy Parrish asks:
Hi John, I wanted to sincerely thank you for the care package you sent to us on the Carnival Elation last week.  It was much appreciated!  I also wanted to write down my thoughts about the Carnival Elation, as recently, I have read some unpleasant reviews of this ship and its crew. Firstly, I do realize that she is one of the older ships in Carnival’s fleet and, therefore, the decor is slightly dated compared to newer ones, and she shows a little more wear.  That being said, nothing I saw while on board that would indicate that this ship is not receiving the best care and attention from her crew.  There was always someone cleaning.  The entire staff was friendly and courteous from Robin, the CD, all the way down to Phakchira (Pat), our room steward.  The comedians were on point and the shows were great.  Bartenders Liliana (Drama Bar) and Rowena (Gatsby’s Great) were personable and attentive.  The person who made the most impression on us during the cruise was our head waiter, Rodney.  He was constantly full of laughter and made sure our every need was seen to.  We ate dinner in the dining room every single night and not once were we disappointed.  I thoroughly enjoyed yet another Carnival cruise and even berthed two more cruisers in the process this time.  I look forward to making Platinum status so I can bitch and moan about the lack of free perks like so many others before me…ha!  Keep writing, my friend!

John says:
Hello Andy Parish

Thank you sir for this wonderful review and one I know that every single person you mentioned on the ship will be thrilled with. It is great to see that so many of the ship’s company exceeded your cruise expectations and I do hope this means we will see you again very soon. I hope also that you make Platinum soon and if you need anything, please let me know.  Best wishes.


Paul Renaud asks:
My partner and I will be on the Carnival Victory for the cruise that starts on 8/14… I am going to ask him to marry me on the cruise. I want to do this in public during a show. We saw this done on our last cruise on a Royal cruise. Can you get this done and hope your passengers can handle a gay proposal and if they are offended- tough cookies LOL. I am not sure if this is the best way to get this done and I am anxiously awaiting your reply.

John says:
Hello Paul Renaud

Thank you for getting in touch with me here so I can help you. I will pass this to the cruise director whose name is Marcelo so he can have a look at what is possible. If there is a chance of a stage proposal, I am sure he will arrange this and, regardless, he will be in touch when you cruise next month. Please leave this with me and I wish you both the very best and hope you have many wonderful years together.  Best wishes.


Loretta Jollymore asks:
John, I am very excited about my dream cruise to Hawaii on Jan 17, 2015. We are trying to plan excursions but there are none listed yet. We are getting a little concerned about the possibility of another itinerary change. Can you let me know what the scoop is? Thank you and I really enjoy your blog.

John says:
Hello Loretta Jollymore

Please do not be concerned, all is in hand. The shore excursion team are putting the tours together and we will have them all posted no later than the end of September for you. Please let me know if you have any questions and I wish you a brilliant cruise. Best wishes.


Kristen Peterson asks:
Dear John:  My family and I just got off of the Carnival Freedom on Sunday. We loved every minute of it! I was nervous because many comments on my Facebook page were negative and we did an eight-day pack and go. We had to get 2 rooms because our daughter’s bf came and we were on two different levels but it was fine  🙂 We are gold level and working our way to platinum. We usually go on the smaller ships, so this was also a concern. We do like the smaller ones better– just a personal preference– but we enjoyed this one also. We had misplaced an iphone with important and confidential emails. We went to guest services, no one had turned it in so they filled out a report and immediately contacted NCL which was the other ship in port with us. By the grace of God, a passenger had found it on the ground in the cruise area in port and had guest services contact us immediately to verify it was his J  My daughter’s boyfriend had wanted to win a ship on a stick so bad that we went to every contest/trivia that was offered, by the seventh day no ship but my husband and son heard about the ship building contest and ran and built one and won!  (Of course, they were the only ones that entered.) Skip Lyons and Ashley were so gracious, they gave us two ships, a medal, a bottle of champagne, and a wonderful thank you letter  :):) For the first time in 21 years, my husband and I will be leaving on the Carnival Fascination in November with no children, NEVER have I ever left them. I would plan and then cancel. Our daughter will be 20 and our son is 15, I am very nervous. This is our honeymoon as after we were married my husband had to finish a few courses to get his degree. I want to surprise him with a behind the scenes tour but want to make sure I understand it. He was in line to be a harbor pilot/captain in NYC but lawsuits changed it and he had to find another career. His grandfather and uncle were both captains and expected him to be one, so I wanted to know if this tour will take us on the bridge? Thank you for all you do!

John says:
Hello Kristen Peterson

What a wonderful post and bravo to the person who handed your phone and bravo to both sets of ships’ guest services people for arranging to get it back for you. It seems like you all had a brilliant time and that is wonderful to know. I am sure this next cruise will be very special, being just the two of you and if you would like me to try and arrange a table for two, please do contact me four days before on my heald page. Yes, the Behind the Fun Tour does go to the bridge and you will meet with the captain, so I think your husband will really enjoy that. Thanks again, then, for writing to me and if you need anything else, I will be here. Best wishes.


Tom Fauland asks:
HI JOHN, my wife and I and my best friend & his wife will be sailing December 7 on the Carnival Dream. This will be our fourth cruise together. Back in January, my mom passed and in June, my best friend lost his mom too.  The plan is to have a nice little toast to our mom’s on the Dream with maybe an ice cold drink. I enjoy reading your blog. Thanks. Ttom

John says:
Hello Tom Fauland

I send my sympathies to you at the loss of your Mum. Please send me this message again to my page the day before the cruise and include your cabin number.

I wish you all a great time.  Best wishes.


Michael Kaiser asks:
My son has been out of work for eight months. He finally got a job after months of hard work and lots of rejection. We had booked for him to cruise with me and my wife and our daughter but now that he has a job, he cannot go. I called Carnival to get a refund and was told it was past the date for this and there was nothing to do. Carnival has no heart. This 19 year old has been in a terrible state since losing his job and now that he has one, Carnival will not help. This will not be a cruise now we will enjoy.

John says:
Hello Michael Kaiser.

Firstly, many congratulations to your son on getting this job. I am sure he will do very well and be happy once again. I will make no promises but please do let me speak to a few people about this and see if anything can be done. I wonder also if your son has actually asked his new employer to see if they can give him the time off.  Anyway, leave this with me and, regardless, I do hope you all have a great time.  Best wishes.


That’s all for today. Thanks everyone for your contributions.

I just made an announcement from my cabin and was thinking how simple the PA system is here compared to the ones I had on our newest ships, Carnival Breeze and Carnival Magic. Here on the Carnival Miracle, the PA system looks like this.


Now have a look at the one on the Breeze:


Yep, the PA system there is so much more complicated than the one I have here. The one on the Carnival Breeze has more buttons than there are on the bridge, including one ominous red button that has a label on it that shouts STOP MSG EMERGENCY and I still have bugger all idea what that means.

I often think how pleasant it must have been to live in the Stone Age….…in a cave……….in your underpants ……waiting for your wife to cook you a Megasorearse steak over an open fire..…ahhh…..those were the days.

The smoking topic was, for the most part, discussed calmly and rationally and, even when passionate responses were called for, most of the many hundreds who wrote, did so without getting personal or using abuse. But there are a few exceptions as this subject brought out a few who spend their days and nights going online to insult a bunch of people they’ve never met. Most of the time, I ignore these comments but, occasionally, I get upset. There was one just yesterday that I will not honour by posting it but who suggested for the second time that I was “the worst kind of father” and that I should “put my daughter up for adoption because she will have a better life.”

God, I was fuming when I read what this Randy chap had written. Honestly, I had clear and present thoughts about doing something to his dangly bits with a pair of bolt cutters. But, of course, I couldn’t because, firstly, I don’t own a pair of bolt cutters and, secondly, because Randy is, of course, not using his last name and a first name that is most likely false, make him, basically…….anonymous. He could live in New York or New Hampshire, New Brunswick or New Mexico, who knows. But because of this being the second comment he has written about my daughter (the first in the Q and A section of the blog last week or so) I have asked the techy beards to block him/her/it using the IP address to recognise his/her/its computer. I have no idea if that works or not, we shall see.

So Randy, mate, if you are reading this, please don’t bother posting anymore because even if your post gets through the anti-Randy fire wall, I shall ignore you completely because your comments are as pointless as a snooze button on a fire alarm. I wonder, though, Randy, would you come up to me in person and say, “Your daughter should be put up for adoption?”  No, of course, you wouldn’t. And yet you see nothing at all wrong with doing so on the my blog and on my Facebook page where I know you lurk as well. If I say something that offends someone on stage or here on the blog or on Facebook, you know where I am. You can find me. You can demand an apology and you will get one or you can write to Gerry Cahill and demand I be fired. But the person who writes outrageous and absolutely disgusting things about my family and posts them on a public page…………well, that is sad and there is nothing I can do about it.

But there should be, I really do think there should be. When people write stuff that is so cruel or so hateful, then I should be able to get their details from Uncle Google.

Obviously, that is never going to happen, is it? But why is it fair that Randy No-mates can say what he/she/it dislikes about me knowing that he/she/it will get away with it. I cannot imagine what it must be like to be famous and have thousands of people Twitter how much they hate you. I know someone who has a huge following on Twitter and is very much in the public eye and very much a household name. He gets constant hate posts. Why? Because that person is rich and has worked hard to get where they are, yet social media has opened a whole new door for jealous bastards to pour their jealousy on them.

Look, I’m not suggesting for a moment that people with multiple screen names, like Lucinda Lace has, should not be allowed to tell me the new smoking ban sucks or that Carnival is the worst cruise line in the world and they would rather cruise on a bit of driftwood down the Amazon with their gentleman’s sausage dangling in the water waiting for a school of piranha to swim by. Go ahead, that’s free speech.

I don’t care if someone makes fun of my use of the word “brilliant” or that I am an idiot. Who am I to say that person doesn’t have the right to post that in his opinion? But the interweb should have a worldwide rule that people have to use their real names and we should ban web anonymity. That way, I can visit the person who said the most repulsive things about my daughter and use a ship on a stick and a fruit basket as a suppository.

And to the rest of the many thousands of people who each week read this blog and my Facebook page, I remind you to please keep your opinions and comments coming. We may not always agree but I am here always to listen.


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.

130 Responses to Smoking, the final word………promise this time

  1. Patricia Joshlin-Capito says:

    Hi John,
    I just wanted to let you know how much I love reading your blog. First of all, I am a smoker, at least a pack a day. I think what Carnival is doing for the health of everyone is good. I do respect others and try very hard not to smoke around no smokers. Kinda hard in the Casino though, which is my little getaway. As a gambler, and smoker, I want to tank Carnival for my next 2 cruises.I am able to celebrate a 73 lb weight loss (since December 2013).I am so happy and thankful that Carnival has afforded me this luxury.Again, love your page, read it everyday 🙂

  2. Wendell Openshaw says:

    John, you said, “…rather than tell smokers to bugger off completely as in Las Vegas…” Although this might be desirable, it hasn’t happened yet. Most Vegas casinos are full of smokers.

    Wendell from Las Vegas

    • Jaye Southworth says:

      Carnival isn’t Las Vegas – not even close. People go to Las Vegas to gamble, eat, drink, go to shows and spend thousands of dollars for a good time. We stay out of Las Vegas because we are nonsmokers. We hate it. there are two casinos in my town and we don’t go any where near them because smoking is allowed. Why should I spend a couple thousand dollars for a balcony only to be ran off of it because the two cabins next to me chain smoke? It’s a nasty habit and an expensive habit.

      When my sister’s kids had a birthday and she asked them what they wanted, they all replied “please stop smoking.” She didn’t give them that gift, she continued on and died as a result.

      Carnival made the right decision, I am very happy with it.

  3. Dominic Lacy says:

    Another great blog john

  4. Jill Seat says:

    I love your blog, sense of humor & wit & your personality! There are some incredibly hateful people in this world that deserve to be given a taste of their own medicine! I love how you take the high road each & every time! As for the smoking ban, I’m overjoyed that it happened & I know when we book our cruise for next spring that I will be able to enjoy my balcony & room without the stench of smoke. In this day of ecigs, it really shouldn’t be that big of a deal to all the whiners out there. Carnival is a fantastic company & I can’t wait to experience more cruises in the near future!

  5. Harrison Yeakey says:

    I once heard a statistic that only 5% of cruisers are smokers….is that still true? If so why give them so much attention? Seems more and more that the minority rules instead of the majority.

    • MrPete says:

      You may be looking at it wrong. If only 5% smoke, where are all these non smokers cabins that are all next to all the smokers.

      But the avg in the US is still around 20%.

      In any case, although I would like to see my wife quit, I can still sit on the same balcony as her and not have as issue. I have more of an issue when the smoke from the funnel whips around the side of the ship.

  6. Joan says:

    John,you wrote: “The casino is mostly nonsmoking, yet, rather than tell smokers to bugger off completely as in Las Vegas, we have a smokers section which covers all the major gaming and slots. However, the remainder of the casino is smoke free allowing, once again, for choice.”

    Having a “smoking” and “non-smoking” section in the casino is like having a peeing and non-peeing section in a pool. It just doesn’t work.

    There truly is no “smoke-free” section in the casino. There may just be sections where smoking isn’t allowed.

    • Hal Hoffman says:

      Sir! You stole my thunder! Now most smokers think, and will tell you otherwise, no ventilation system or smoke scrubber exists that is capable of cleaning the toxins out of the air, Period! I have no objection with smoking on open decks, except for fear of a cigar or cigarette being carelessly thrown overboard, and getting sucked back into the ship and starting a fire, which has happened. I smoked for 31 years and worked my tail off to quit, but I seldom go to the Casino (23 Carnival cruises) because I can’t breath, and can’t stand the smell of my clothing. And the less places you allow it in doors, the worse it gets because you get all the smokers congregating in the Casino. Now are you trying to tell me that because an area is roped off, everything is hunky dory?

  7. Del says:

    rhetorical question John. Do you seriously call the casino smoking and non smoking?? Is there a wall separating the two?? Of course not. That’s ridiculous. The casino IS SMOKING. Everyday, all day. If you can stop the smoke from travelling, you can make a fortune. The only way is like several other lines and have smoke FREE nights or ALL together. So stop saying smoking and non smoking, its impossible. Us non smokers would love to play in a smoke free casino at least a day or two. That’s not too much to ask is it??

    • Ken Wilson says:

      That is entirely fair and reasonable. completely non-smoking for half the cruise and completely smoking for the other half. Same with balconies. Alternate days.

  8. Steven says:

    Hey John, Kudos to you for your restraint with Randy the coward bully. Ok, more smoking talk. I have to say the reason that all the cigarette smokers who don’t gamble come into the casino to smoke is a couple reasons. One is, Carnival does not advertise the Cigar bar enough. I hate to say this to you as I smoke cigars and enjoy sitting quietly in the cigar bar during the day with the few daytime cigar smokers. But if everyone knew about the bar there would be droves of cigarette smokers in their as well. From fore to aft on Promenade deck there is only two places to smoke. One is all the way aft; the cigar bar and then the casino. So, again I hate to say it but the Cigar Bar should be called the Smoking Lounge or something like that. Perhaps on Promenade forward or deck 4 forward depending on the ship, there could be a section outside on the covered deck done up for smoking. Maybe some comfortable chairs and tables etc. Then there would be a forward, amidships and aft place for the smokers. After all some cigarette smokers can’t make it all the way down the promenade without need a nicotine fix. I hope this helps.

    • Mark Feola says:

      Correct me if im wrong….But Arent the cigar bars gone? Last i saw they have been gone for a few years now…Bring them back and some of the problem is solved.

    • Jacki says:

      Steven ~
      The “true” cigar bars have long been history. The bar you are talking about is the Jazz Club – which as of Oct. 9 becomes smoke free just like the balconies.
      The Casino and the night club (on most ship) will be the only inside smoking areas.

  9. Sarah Nelson says:

    I have smoked for most if my adult life and am really trying to quit. That after dinner cigarette is just so delicious it’s hard to give up. Yes, sitting in the balcony enjoying the sound of the waves hitting the hull and having that cigarette is a joy and I’ll miss it
    What Mark isn’t considering is that Carnival and Norwegian are the only cruise lines that allow smoking on balconies. Norwegian will ban smoking effective November 1st. The ship elevators actually go all the way to the top so you can with little effort get to an area that allows smoking
    Get a life Mark. It’s the trend not a personal attack

    • A. Freedman says:

      Yes, sitting in the balcony enjoying the sound of the waves hitting the hull … and Boom, we get to inhale your nasty cigarette smoke. So now, we cannot enjoy the ocean breeze because of selfish smokers like you. Either we can stay on our balcony and have our mouth, nose hair, and clothing smell like nasty cigarette or cigar smoke, or just go inside the cabin and close the door. Never mind that we paid extra to have a balcony.
      The smoking section should be on the back of deck 4 (muster station), it’s covered and it would be out of nonsmokers way.

  10. Randy Eddinger says:

    John don’t lump all of us Randy’s into the same catagory, I always use my last name and would hate to have you ignore my posts or commments……

  11. Amy Fisher says:

    Just a few brief – and positive!:) – comments:
    1.)I enjoy your blog, your FB page and your sense of humor. I admire the work you do for Carnival and respect the number of years you have been doing it!
    2.) I am ECSTATIC — ECSTATIC, I tell you! — about the ban on smoking on balconies!! We haven’t had a balcony in sveral years because the last time we did, there were maniacal smokers on either side of us and the smoke was more than my asthma could bear. But now, I have upgraded our October 11 Liberty booking to a balcony since I am confident we will be able to enjoy it this time! THANK YOU CARNIVAL!!

    • Hal Hoffman says:

      AMEN!! 23 CRUISE PLATINUM MEMBERS! OH! And I have had one of Carnivals big blue towel, which I had left on our balcony, get a big burn hole in it on a sea day!!

  12. Susan Parlo says:

    How does someone know if you receive their questions? I have written both here, and the ask button to no avail?
    Just want to comment on people using this platform to be, quite simply jerks!
    I am a smoker. Angry, yes..will be platinum next cruise, and enjoy my morning coffee, cigarette, on my balcony.
    I have always been considerate of the people on either side of me. Do I complain of slamming, of your children screaming and banging on my, do I complain of the racket at 2am in the I still cruise on Carnival..well..I’m going to give it a try. If the areas are made more comfortable, somewhere I can sit and relax, have a drink, my cigarette, and not have to defend myself..maybe. At least we enjoy the casino! Take that away, I go elsewhere..seems a bit ridiculous to attack, you, or’s happening everywhere..and to defend smoking..well that’s not something that I try to do. I have a habit. I am trying to change it. But I would like a sign in the elevator..warning many that their shit stinks as much as their offensive farts! I swear it’s gross! There’s always one person, usually elderly..and you can’t friggin breath! So we try to take the stairs a lot. Just saying..there are many who have complaints..not all do you see here, but it do believe there will still be complaints from the same ones about the new smoking areas. And the casino.

    • Hal Hoffman says:

      Susan, I smoked for 31 years. I can empathize with you. But I promise you one thing! If you give them up, your coffee and food ( and breath) will taste much better! And you will probably save enough money each year to upgrade to a suit!! (:-)

  13. John Allen says:

    John, Remember there are some people that just spout s… They cannot handle speaking One on One but must hide. As to His posts he not attacked You and the Family because those of us that follow You feel as Family also. Therefore it is an attack on all of Your Extended Family. There are ways to trace the lifeless individual and I am sure that a lot of Your Extended Family can trace where the Emails come from. Then take Legal action. Yes I know that is not the way resolve problems, BUT when it comes to Family, it’s another matter. Remember You have been CD in the Med. Uncle Guido can find the individual. Last part was to lighten up my fury. Keep well and remember there are many of up that consider You and Yours Family even though We have not.

  14. Shirley Godbold says:


    I know and understand that you are through talking about the smoking issue. I am
    a non-smoker and my husband a reformed smoker. We were on the Carnival Freedom when the new policy was announced so we did not know about it until we returned to Fort Lauderdale.

    We had had a discussion about the smoking as people on both sides of our balcony as well as above and below us were smoking.

    We had decided, as stock holders in Carnival Corporation we would write to the company and suggest that the ships be made 1/2 smoking (Starboard side smoking and Port side non-smoking or the other way around – does not really matter). If you booked early enough you would be assured of a non-smoking cabin, if that was your choice. Once the non-smoking cabins were gone you could still book on the smoking side, but you would be made aware that was the situation.

    Just a suggestion to keep everyone happy!

    Thanks for all you do.

    S Godbold

    • Hal Hoffman says:

      Shirley, 90% are none smokers, so a ship with 3,000 passengers only has 300 smokers on average. So you are probably only talking about 165 or 170 cabins. Smokers, have been ruling the roost for a long time over the fear of losing the gamblers. My feeling is, ban smoking completely in doors. You will get just as many gamblers because the none smokers like myself will gamble more, and the ship will be a whole lot cleaner and require less maintenance!

    • sharon hewitt says:

      Thank you for a thoughtful comment!

    • Mark Feola says:

      Great suggestion! Great Idea Lts hope someone in Miami is reading this and does something about it

    • Mike DePhillip says:

      Compromise? Are you kidding me? Cater to all fair and equal? I guarantee that you are of the baby boomer generation where we were taught to respect others, compromise and get along…not whine until you get your way regardless of how it affects another’s life. This is an excellent suggestion and I hope Carnival takes a good hard look at it. Also, no one has mentioned the safety issue here either…is Carnival putting extra security officers on all decks for their passengers that have to go strolling outside in the middle of the night to have a smoke?

    • Debbie Petrosky says:

      I think that is the perfect solution and I don’t understand why that wasn’t done in the first place. First of all I don’t think the 10% is accurate when it is closer to %20 percent of us population. Also keep in mind in that percentage is a lot of non smoking travelers that are cruising with a smoking spouse, friend, or family member that book a balcony for that very reason. Rather than alienate so many costumers it seems the right move.

    • Roryod says:

      I think they should do like hotels and have a % of rooms smoking they say 20% of people smoke they sounds like a good starting number put those rooms towards the back of the ship so the smoke want bother anybody

  15. Mike Davis says:

    Yes this truly is a dear john letter. We have been on Carnival cruises and have always enjoyed ourselves, met new friends wich we still keep in contact with. We were booked on the Sunshine for 2014 to have our cruise cancelled for repositioning to a new home port. Ok so we than re booked for April 2015 for the Breeze out of Miami to recieve notification of cruise cancelled for a charter. It appears as though Carnival was excepting bookings for this date knowing that the Tom Joiner group already has the dates for their cruise set. 50.00 OBC for our troubles. This cruise has been in the planning stages for over 2 years with people we have cruised with and people we invited to try a cruise. Air, lodging before and after all paid for. If this is how Carnival as a corporation thinks business ethics rewards customer loyalty your upper management especially Mr. Arnold Donald who is a big supporter of Tom Joiners group should be replaced. Have always enjoyed your facebook and blog and the nice gift you gave us on our 25th anniversary cruise. Sorry to say but we will not be sailing with Carnival again. I do not believe this will be posted on your site and my point is more just to vent with someone who may pass along to the heads that they have lost passengers who always enjoyed our time on Carnival ships. Only 5 cabins in our group, not much to a large corporation like Carnival.

  16. Marianne Gilmore says:

    Whatever happened to “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything?” Randy certainly deserves a ship on a stick, but perhaps it should be dipped in hot sauce before using it;
    We are non smokers but we believe that everyone should be able to have a corner to indulge in their smoking pleasure, so enjoy your cigars while you may. (My husband finally quit smoking but sadly it is too late to undo the damage he has done to heart and lungs. His life expectancy is short but we will cruise until he is no longer able to withstand the exertion. Making memories is what it is all about)
    Sad to know that we will not see you on the Miracle in October but Troy is a great CD.
    Marianne and Dirk

  17. Cris Connelly says:

    Hi John, When I was growing up, my dad was at sea too, in the US NAVY. He was a pilot who flew off of aircraft carriers. He would be gone for months at a time all through my childhood and not only did we not have email, facebook, Skype, etc….we weren’t even allowed to know where he was! This was during the cold war and we could only mail him letters to a PO Box in New York and they would eventually get to him. We had no contact at all for about 4 months at a time. Nevertheless, we 3 girls have grown up to be happy, independent and never harbored a bit of anger or disappointment regarding our dad’s absence. He fit right back in when he arrived home and it was always so exciting the day the ship came in. He was the best dad I know of and we miss him terribly (he died almost a year ago at 87). My mom was a independent woman who of course had to wear many hats, but if we were all given a choice to relive those years another way…we wouldn’t even consider it. I think it made us closer as a family. Hang in there John. Your career unfortunately puts you in a position to receive the hate of unhappy people with lives that must not be fulfilling. I bet trying to make others unhappy is “Randy’s” hobby. Tearing down others to try and lift himself up….Sad. SO looking forward to our next cruise on the Valor on 9/4 for our 25th anniversary! We never took a honeymoon. I feel close to my dad whenever I am in the deep sea. I guess that’s why I like sea days. I wonder how many Dad had. C

  18. Susan Rosen says:

    I am deeply offended by the term, nonsmoking nazi. I am a no smoker, and I am Jewish. I am not a nazi in any sense of the word.That awful word should not be used so freely. It brings up painful memories to many.
    I have metastatic breast cancer to my liver and bones, by no fault of my own. I do not want to add lung cancer due to second hand smoke to my repertoire. If those who smoke want to spend their money on cancer sticks, so be it.
    I applaud Carnival for taking these steps to protect the innocent. John, I have been a follower of yours for quite some time. We have conversed many times on Facebook. I am saddened that you would say you were disappointed by this new policy. I honestly think more people are thrilled with it then upset.
    My extended family and I will be sailing on the Pride in December, and look forward to sitting on our balconies without having the smell of cigarette smoke blowing in our faces….which happened on one of our cruises. Okay, enough on that subject.
    Keep doing what you do, John. We appreciate your information, kindness and humor.

    • PAUL says:

      NO you are no a Nazi but the ideal that smoking on the Balconies should be band is wrong. I am a non smoker and I want it band on the decks which is much worse to have to walk through. Laws of physic will tell you that a moving ship with the smoking on the balconies the smoke goes away from the ship due to the air flow.

      • A. Freedman says:

        Paul, I don’t know where you learned the “laws of physics” but, the smoke did not go away from the ship. We had a smokers a few cabin front and above of our cabin and we had to go inside to our cabin and close the door. We paid extra to enjoy the ocean from our balcony. If you must smoke, then do it on the back of the ship where it won’t blow in anybody’s face, or cabin and nonsmokers have to stink of nicotine.

        • Cheryl Schilt says:

          We also have paid extra to be able to enjoy OUR balconies (not “extra thousands” as some non-smokers report… are they charging non-smokers more than smokers..(although perhaps they should, you should pay more in order to think you have the right to tell others what to do on their vacation!!) for the most part, most smokers try to be considerate, even on the balconies that we have paid extra for..this is not fair and it should be as simple as making one side of the ship smoking and one side non-smoking…we should also have one side of the ship kid free and one side for kids…cause as a kid free person I think I shoudl be as entitled as a non smoker!!

  19. gail m says:

    Not a smoker, but has there been a thought to open up the doors near the casino to air it out some? Yes, I realize the AC system would blast out onto the deck with the doors open but isn’t there a chance that some fresh air might blast in and swirl out some of the smoke? Just a simple thought which I’m sure someone will say is stupid. Even an hour in the middle of the night when it’s cooler on those humid, hot cruises might help.

  20. Valerie Lafontaine says:

    Dear Mr. Heald,

    You were the CD on three ships my husband and I have been on (The Med 2011, Northern Europe 2013, Alaska 2014) and I just want to tell you how much we appreciated your work.

    Last June, we had a little chat with you when we were invited at the senior staff private reception and I told you that I could never be as calm and polite as your are! I read your blog every week (it’s a way for me to improve my English – I’m a French Canadian!). I have to say that each time I learn rude expressions and words from some of your readers/writers…
    They adress you as « Heald » or even use worst names… and then they write that YOU are a rude person!!!
    Well, I suppose that is the kind of people complaining because there are not so many vegetarian options at the steakhouse…

    Keep on the good work! You are a class act person and I hope we will meet again soon!


  21. Tammy says:

    New smoking rules = no Carnival for us…….

  22. Bill says:

    Another great post, but enough with the smoking. I do hope you run the smokers out of the casino, they lurk and don’t play and the rest of us have to breath it. That said you don’t have a non smoking section of the casino, true people cant light up there, but the smoke is so think who needs to, you cant breath. I hope the boycott group from CC follow up and go some place else. Vegas is wonderful with no smoking, and sorry smokers its as busy as ever. I have no doubt when you go smoke free on the ship you will see business go up

    • Mike B says:

      Hey Bill,

      Maybe you’re talking about another Vegas and not Las Vegas, but the majority of the casino floors allow smoking. I understand that you are trying to make a point with the comment “Sorry smokers, it’s as busy as ever”, but you should have done a little research or actually visited LAS Vegas before posting that. The fact is: Casino revenue has dropped from 12-20% almost everywhere that has instituted a smoking ban. That is the reason that Las Vegas and Carnival will not have smoke-free casinos at this point in time. Most likely, it will happen down the road, but that will be after all of the bean counters determine that the drop in revenue is acceptable.

      P.S. I am a reformed smoker who works in one of those smoke-filled casinos. I accept these working conditions because when companies start losing money, people start losing their jobs and unemployment is already way too high here.

  23. sharon hewitt says:

    Dear John,
    I chuckle as I address you as if it will be the last time I write. NO, I will continue to rite and hope that you will know how much I appreciate the way in which you address topics and handle guest comments. Whomever Randy is, he is just a rude person abusing the anonymity of FB. As a smoker I can only say that I do hope that the improvements that you have been referring to again and again to calm the very unhappy feelings expressed by both sides of the issue are taken seriously by your higher-ups. I want to enjoy every cruise that I’ve already booked with CCL …seven upcoming … and not experience any of the vitriol expressed here and on many other FB pages while on board in the casino and the designated smoking areas. Another suggestion would be to label deck plans found on the CCL site with smoking areas. Helpful in planning for all those seeking asylum for their smoking or non-smoking. Keep up the empathetic,compassionate help you extend to your guests and working shipmates. It is very much appreciated!

  24. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

    Dear John:

    So sorry that you have to deal with such adolescent cretins.

    This is beyond them being simply jealous.

    This goes to the core of their lack of human dignity and respect for themselves or anyone else.

    As normal as it is to get angry….to be perfectly honest, you have to pity someone that has to live the life that they do.

    They “think” they are anonymous. They “think” others are with them.

    But I assure you that there are people know who they are. People who are smiling at these cretins to their face, spread ridicule about them daily behind their back.

    Sadly the FALSE comments these cretins say about you, is the reality that they have to live with everyday. They are simply voicing the reality of their own inadequacies.

    When others have attacked DJ (either directly or indirectly by reference)… I remind myself that the reason is because they will never experience the fabulously blessed life that we have.

    The bottom line is that John…you won.

    Just like us….

    John…your family and our family won the life lottery and every time these cowards open their mouths…they announce publicly to the entire world what true losers they are.

    They announce publicly to the entire world what their real inadequacies are.

    Again, you should pity them.

    Linda (Mom of your friend ~ life’s number one WINNER~ DJ)

  25. paul saches says:

    John as far as smoking i smoked 4 packs a day had and quit due to health reasons
    . People should think i have done 33 cruises on carnival and some on other lines and i always see people fliping there buts off the balcony and they blow back on the ship . I am sorry they cant smoke on there balcony but i thonk its a safety issue.

  26. Mary Merlino says:

    John, I personally LOVE when you use the word BRILLIANT because it reminds me of my cousin Trish who lives in Edinburgh and uses that word all the time. One of the many reasons you make me smile!

  27. Darrell Pierce says:

    Love the blog John, and love how you let the strange comments and complaints roll off your back. I am always amazed at what people will complain about. If you are offended by Vegas style shows, don’t book cruises that advertise Vegas style shows. You don’t like a little bawdy repartee? Don’t go to performances onboard such as the marriage game or match game. You will be offended. Listen, I am a non smoker, and I sympathize with you. But honestly, as a smoker you cannot even begin to imagine just how disgusting the smell of burning cigarettes or cigars is to a nonsmoker. I for one am grateful for the change. I also am grateful I am not slave to a vice that I cannot do without for seven days

  28. Cynthia Ravenscraft says:

    John, no anonymity for me. I challenge you…. Look up my name on and you will find I am for real.

    My son is a writer for and we frequently talk about things that people will say on the internet that they would never in a million years say to someone’s face.

    He gets random complaints and will have people engage in arguments using comments on his articles and it is laughable.

    I for the life of me could not understand what this chap is saying about your parenting skills or even suggest your daughter would be better off adopted. Your dedication to your family is quite apparent.

    Keep up the good work John.

  29. Tracy Winans says:

    As much as I do not like to say it, smoking bans are here to stay and I truely believe that most smokers will abide by them. You do not see anyone lighting up in a restaurant or on an airplane anymore. That being said, what is WRONG with people???? Really, because you smoke you are an unfit parent or do people really believe that I smoke just to try to kill them with my secondhand smoke? I smoke because I enjoy it. I smoke because it slightly calms me. It has been my choice to smoke for about 30 years and I don’t have plans to quit. I am glad you didn’t start (less people for the smoking sections LOL) but I am disgusted by the petty, ignorant name calling and personal attacks.

  30. Mike Pacek says:

    John, why can’t there be a block of balcony rooms designated for smokers? I actually find it hard to believe that someone smoking on the balcony above or next to me will make it over to my balcony. For one, there are partitions. And secondly, there’s enough wind blowing that any potential smoke that is out there would be swallowed up and dissipated instantly. Finally, since when does someone else’s rights trump mine? Carnival needs to abandon the no-smoking policy or implement better accommodations for smokers. Have more than one bar that is smoking-optional, make more lounges smoking-optional, and, as suggested above, make 1/4 of the balconies ‘smoke-allowed’ and put them together. If the whiners don’t like it, too bad. Smoking is a legal activity and these aren’t even American ships. Non-smokers can move if they don’t like the smoke. I know that Carnival would never close the casinos or get rid of the booze if the majority of cruisers didn’t gamble or drink. So why punish the smokers. The new policy is B-S- and you will lose loyal customers if it carries through with the new policy. Even if other cruise lines have the same policy I won’t go on Carnival on principle because used to have a reputation for being the Fun Ship and a little risque. It stopped being that a few years ago and keeps going downhill to being the least Fun cruise line. Especially by catering to the prudes and politically correct yahoos.

  31. Bob & Nimia says:

    Hi John,

    My wife and I have the pleasure of sailing on the Legend on Aug 30 from Long Beach to Australia. So wish that you would have been our CD once again.

    Is there any way you can find out what the schedule is for the “Elegant” nights, so we can plan accordingly?

    Also hope you plan to bring out the new Vista in 2016. Have a box of Opius X just for you.

  32. Ron Hinkle says:

    Dear John, First I would like to say I enjoy reading your blog. I think your sense of humor is ” brilliant”. But I would like to comment on one of your recent letters, m daughter is handicapped and has trouble walking so she has to use a scooter on board. The Platinum member who thinks the handicapped should not be able to get on board the same time as them. We boarded the same time as everybody else our last cruise and it was very hard on her. Just thought she should think before she types. We are Gold but will be Platinum one day, and I don”t think I will think I am better then anyone else. Just saying. I would also like to comment on the situation you ran into about the handicapped person you had on one of your recent cruises. There are ignorant people everywhere. I think you handled the situation well. Your a stand up guy.

  33. Berta says:

    Hi John,
    To the family with the 19 year old that can’t sail because he got a new job, they should’ve bought the Vacation Protection Plan that CCL offers and if he couldn’t get a refund he would’ve at least gotten a 75% future cruise credit that he could use within 2 years.
    As far as the smoking goes, I still smoke and always booked a bl. I will now be taking longer cruises because I’ll be booking either inside or ov. I do have a suggestion though, at the casino bar they only allot maybe 6 seats for smokers, maybe they can extend the seating section to accommodate more of us. Best ship for smokers would be the Breeze, I loved the fact that one side of the panorama deck from forward to aft was smoking and comfortable, as well as the promenade with all kinds of seating areas for smokers. That was “brilliant”!!
    I just retired from Carnival and will be going on a cruise with my best friend of 42 years in September and yes, we have a balcony for that one!!
    Love your blogs and ignore the ignorant slobs that think the world revolves around them!
    Cheerio and TA TA
    Hope to meet you some day

  34. Mike says:


    I am glad for the smoking changes, but did want to correct you in that Las Vegas is one of the few places where smokers do still get rights to co-exist, at least on the casino floor. I almost never even see a non-smoking table, and if I do they’re alongside smoking ones.

  35. Betty Norman says:

    Hi John, we just got off the Miracle, had a good time.
    There is quite a fuss about the ban on smoking and people claiming everyone is against those who smoke.
    I was a smoker , but ended up with allergies to any strong scents, this includes, smoke, perfume, gas, oil, etc. In fact my husband and I just got off the Miracle and we could not go to the casino, because of the cigarette smoke,I had to cover my mouth and nose when walking in the corridors after staff finished cleaning. I could not stand in line behind someone who was wearing perfume. I did not complain, because other people have to live and can’t all change their life for me, therefore I had to change my ways and stay away from the things that bother me. I am not asking people to change their ways, but would you begrudge me from breathing?

  36. Sreve Owen says:

    Waitng anxiously for our upcoming cruise aboard the Carival Breeze, just 58 days away, but who is counting.
    I am somewhat tired of hearing about the smoking issue, but since I have never been a smoker I perhaps don’t understand the passion of the smoking populace. Just looking at statisical data I would safely say that the loss of some of the smokers will have limited or no impact on your company. Approximately 1 in 6 adults in the U.S. professes to be a smoker, so I would stand with the 5 of 6 non smokers as Carnival is doing with their new regulations. In my home state, restaurants are now non smoking, I have seen few restaurants in my area close because the smokers refuse to eat out, just a thought.
    Perhaps another cruise line will choose to host smokers only cruisers, but based on the fact that 16% of the population are smokers, I doubt if that would be a financial success.

    • Debbie Petrosky says:

      Keep in mind when you are spouting statistics that many cruisers who are non smokers book a cabin with a smoker. Also there is no comparison with a restaurant where u spend and hour or two with a cruise lasting a week.

  37. Suzanne says:

    I am a Carnival cruiser and just want to send a brief note to say I love your blog, I love your sense of humor, I love your kind heart. I am so lucky to be able to cruise and I am happy that after 17 cruises there is nothing that has happened that would cause me to lodge a complaint with you or Guest Services. Keep soaring like an eagle (well, an eagle in his underpants) and don’t let the turkeys get you down.

  38. debbie says:

    I am so enjoying your Alaskan voyages, John. I do wonder about the stupid, rude and unquestionably just unucciptalbe! Plee…

  39. Jeff says:

    John, first off I want to say, that I and many others think you do a great job and always try to be honest with your answers. It must be difficult to not want to reach through the keyboard and not choke some of these people. That Randy person, way overstepped his bounds and must be one of those people that hide behind his keyboard. Cheers to you, John! Wishing you continued luck in your profession and warmest regards to your lovely family!

  40. Rick Drake says:

    I am also a practicing Christian and I am looking forward to sitting in the audience for John’s Welcome Aboard show on our September 10th Miracle cruise. I am able to understand the actor on the stage is just playing a role, and brilliantly at that.

  41. Chris Yust says:

    John, I do believe you are truly ticked off and that is good and healthy! Bravo! I understand your thoughts. Mess with me, but leave my children alone! Yes, the Internet allows lowlifes to hide behind a screen name. People type anything that they would never say outloud. It is a shame that you oftentimes must read and respond to these people. Please remember that the vast majority of your followers love CCL and love you, dangly bits and all! Keep doing what you are doing! You always bring sunshine and laughter into our lives as does cruising with Carnival.
    Thank you for all you do!

  42. melody moser says:

    I have been reading your blog since memorial day when my best friend and I booked our first real vacation in 10 years! I used to love cruising and am so looking forward to our cruise in just 28 short days from today on the fasination. My question John is not only is this the first vacation in 10 years but also the first without our husbands ( widow and divorce)so what can two 50 plus year olds do on board in the evenings that we wont feel uncomfortable without having our mates with us? Not much of a gambler, im sure we’ll love the shows but what else can you suggest?
    Love love your blog and Ccl!

    • kruiserkanuck says:

      Melody- you won’t feel uncomfortable anywhere- promise! Check the Funtimes every day to see what’s happening. Make sure you take in the nightly Vegas style shows, go to the comedy clubs, sit anywhere there’s live music (atrium, piano bar, etc.), check out movies on the deck, or just grab a seat on the Promenade and people watch. You’ll feel quite comfortable anywhere. Have a blast!

  43. Carroll Cox says:

    John, When did the beards poll guests about smoking? The smoking areas are always full, usually standing room only. I am very disappointed in this decision.

  44. sherry says:

    John; I have been reading your blog and am amazed at the people that hold you personally responsible for the new smoking policy. We sail in September with my electronic cigarette and in April only in smoking areas. I am not holding you responsible nor is it going to ruin either trip. Thanks for all you do and say!

  45. Mike Schmidt says:

    Final smoking questions: I haven’t seen you comment about making balconies on one side smoking and the other side non-smoking? Has it been tried? How many years did the first non-smoking Carnival ship remain non-smoking?

    • Doreen says:

      best thing since sliced bread no smoking on balcony,s. If people flock to the casino,s as some have posted that’s okay it will save my money

    • Mike says:

      Well the times are changing I guess? I don’t know how I will react to these new rules? I am a gambler, and I do smoke. I do okay, enough to get a drink and/or card and the such. Even with that I never drink and gamble at the same time. So after a nice bender on a table its part of my routine to head over to the bar and join my fellow smokers and enjoy a few drinks. Sometimes too many, but who is counting on vacation? As a premier invited gambler its a shame that one half of the bar I use to hang my hat on will be gone. Much to the dislike of my girlfriend, I enjoy the casino and the atmosphere and will miss a place where I stay on sea-days and bother no one.

  46. Kathy says:

    John, as a smoker I have no argument to defend the habit and I do respect the opposing side when they speak rationally. The balcony ban had me convinced for a few days that I had sailed on my last cruise. I was not just upset because I would have to walk a distance in my unflattering morning look to enjoy a cup of coffee, although that’s a huge bummer. I was mainly devastated because I had lost my safe haven from the very vocal subset of non smokers who seem to make it their mission to publicly embarrass and criticize smokers. Despite being exceptionally polite, never lighting in close proximity to non smokers who might be bothered, and always attempting to bury myself in a group of fellow smokers so as not to be a lone target, I have been verbally attacked on several cruises by very vocal over zealous non smokers.
    I will never understand how people can pass this kind of judgment on complete strangers. These people didn’t know me or what struggles I may have had to deal with in my life, just as that horrible excuse for a human being Randy doesn’t know you or what kind of father you might be.
    I hope you can come to a reasonable compromise that will please those of us who are rational, smokers and non smokers alike. Many of us don’t want to disturb others, we just want a comfortable place to relax and socialize without criticism and judgment and without feeling like we are missing all the action. In the meantime I will continue to try and make the switch to e-cigarettes in the hopes that Carnival policy and the general non smoking public might become more accepting of them.

  47. j.b. says:

    As a former smoker, I understand the outrage the smokers feel…but as a non-smoker now, THANK YOU CARNIVAL! I truly do feel sorry for the smokers. I understand their discomfort at not being able to feed their addiction. This was exactly my greatest motivation to quit – I simply got tired of being a slave. The smokes dictated where I could go, how long I could stay, forced me to constantly freshen up (not to smell like a cig). They sent me out in heat and freezing weather to restock, sometimes even in the middle of the night!

    So I really do sympathize with these people but I waged the war against this dictator and won (Freedom really is wonderful!) And although they may not realize it, the smokes DOES come over the balconies. I’ve been victim to it (and not too happy about it). So, I’m sorry for them, but their right to smoke should not infringe upon the rights of others to clean air.

  48. Hi John,

    Did anyone consider smoking on balconies for 1 side of the ship and non smoking for the other side? I have been on 3 carnival cruises and my 4th is coming up on Sept 15th. Sorry to say it will also be my last. I just do not understand people. Yes, Smoking is bad for you. So is eating chocolate melting cake and laying in the sun,eating meat, drinking more then 1 or 2 at the most glasses of wine a day… I could go on and on but I think my point is made. Those spoons of ice cream that we shove down on throats.. not good for you.. those cigs or cigars we smoke, not good either… But the is not a soul.. not a single one that does not do something that is bad for their health.( And yes if you do any of the above mentioned you are effecting my life because my medical cost go up from people putting all that stuff in there gut. I get there should be areas
    for people who do not want to deal with second hand smoke but there should be equal areas for people who do smoke. But when we are talking about being outside, give me a break, non smokers do not fight for their rights because we all know its no good for you. What Id like to see is every non healthy
    food, drink removed from everyone.. just for a week… and see how all these health freaks
    enjoy it. being told they have to walk the length of a football field in the AM just to enjoy a cup of coffee for instance. It is not fair. Its not your fault and I am not complaining about you, I love your post. But really if the powers that be that run carnival cant be fair to ALL the paying passengers, Sept will be my last voyage with them. BTW I am booked for an inside room and will shortly be upgrading to a balcony and why… so I do not have to walk a county mile every time I want to light up.

  49. john says:

    as a smoker john all I ask is that a COVERED outdoor area be created. we really enjoy the smoking area above the lido as it is close to the bars and buffet guysburgers ect. however during rainy days there is virtually no covered area (ok a small covered area next to the elevator that maybe 5 or 6 people can get out of the rain under)

    if I were in charge I would be building a glass enclosed smoking room on the upper aft deck. all these non smokers say we are a small percentage but I have always at anny given time seen more people in the smoking area than I have at the jogging track!!!

  50. Martha Fields says:

    John, I am sorry the rude, crude and socially unacceptable people cannot use their real names and speak to you face to face. However, no matter what I find it mean (I can’t think of an appropriate word to use unfortunately.) to attack a person and/or their family. I am so glad you firmly respond to these comments. In other words, don’t attack someone’s family. We become very protective.

  51. Betty Norman – – I too am allergic to cigarette smoke, so I am happy about the new Carnival rule on non-smoking. I agree with the smokers that it IS their right to smoke – -but there should be designated areas for them to partake of this. And John, like I’ve said before . . IGNORE the comments about your family – -They are UNCALLED for!!

  52. Tyler says:

    People don’t get it. If we as a society do not learn to be more tolerant of others we will soon turn into a totalitarian dictatorship. I don’t smoke and never have. I Respect the right of others to smoke if they want to. Our freedoms are going out the window because we want to rule and dominate others. If there is not compromise on issues like this where BOTH sides are willing to accomodate…then we are most definitely headed down a slippery slope that doesn’t include freedom as a fundamental right…

    • Rubylightening says:

      This is the most intelligent response to the effort to supress smoking everywhere that I have read. And it is spot on. As Americans, compromise to accomodate all citizens should come naturally to us. Kudos to Carnival for trying to do just that and a big boo to non-smokers who want it all their way.

    • Debbie Petrosky says:

      I love your post and I agree. A few atheist complain and now prayer is out of our schools and any mention of religion is wrong. People have had to take down their American flags because of a few that were offended. It seems all the non smokers can just complain and get their way. We did not complain but were never considered as well. I did not quit crusing carnival after the pool band went to a dj. The entertainment has went downhill in all aspects. The food used to be a choice of seafood and beef in the dining room. Now its a choice of chicken and fish. Still kept with carnival. Service has went down as well as tips go up. Still cruising with carnival. But now this is the last thing I can take. Im forced to keep a booked cruise with them in December then I am done. As well as the many family members I cruise with. The smokers buy more drinks and spend more in the casino. And they are much more polite in discussing this than the non smokers who have been extremely rude at times. If that is the kind of people carnival wants to cater to then it is no longer “the fun ship” to me.

  53. Christine Wheeler says:

    Hi There !! Just found this blog, only by internet did I hear about the new no smoking rule. That is after I upgraded to a balcony to enjoy those 2 cigarettes I am trying so hard to defeat. I’m almost there. I am booked on Carnival Victory on Oct. 13th and I will be respective of the rules and other peoples space. It was more than likely that an ignorant smoker who tossed that butt overboard only to have the wind whip it back and set a fire on board. I want a safe fun cruise. It will be my 2nd with Carnival and trust me the service and friendly staff are top notch. So if you see that senior on the Lido Deck at 6 a.m. with Bunny slippers on and a cup of coffee in hand… that would be me. 🙂

  54. Donna Catania says:

    John, I am a reformed smoker I quit 7 years ago at the request of my two boys. I understand and agree with the smoking ban on balconies. But I do think there should not be such restrictions on e-cigs. There is no smell from it and no chance of fire if dropped. I think this would satisfy a lot of smokers. I allow my brother in law smoke an e-cig in my car and home because there is no lingering odor. Well that’s just my 2 cents!

  55. RandyRiggle says:

    Hi John,
    I have recently discovered your blog and find myself anxiously waiting the next installment. My family and I have will have 3 cruises booked for this year. The Conquest for Thanksgiving and The Breeze for Christmas and New Years. We love Carnival and will finally be enjoying Platinum Status after our November trip. Keep up the good work (also the video of your future Carnival dancer is precious)
    All the best to you and happy sailing
    Randy Riggle

  56. harleyrider1778 says:

    Press Release
    July 1997


    Defining the choice to smoke as “a chronic disease” and declaring “no value” to the use of cigarettes, a panel commissioned by the President and congress has proposed an Orwellian “blueprint” for “control”– on an international basis– that exceeds all boundaries of democratic tradition says Wanda Hamilton, Vice President of the Florida Smokers Rights Association.

    The Commission, headed by ex-FDA czar David Kessler and ex-Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, has seriously proposed the immediate implementation of what clearly must be seen as totalitarian means– backed fully by the power of police-state enforcement– to achieve an almost classically totalitarian goal, a kind of mandated behaviorism. Or to use their own words, “the goal is to change the behavior of smokers.” Not only in America but all around the world.

    Their prescriptions include (but aren’t– unfortunately– limited to) the following:

    ¶ Smoking bans in all public places in America, indoors and out. And eventually in all public places in the world. (Indoors and out.)

    ¶ Smoking bans in all homes “where children… live,“ such fiats to be legitimized by “legal protections” designed “to protect children from parental tobacco smoke.”

    ¶ “Sustained” anti-smoking “educational programs,” not only for children but also for adults, not only in “the schools,” but also “in homes.” (“All aspects of society need re-education.”) Yep. Their word (and Mao’s): “re-education.”

    ¶ Research to be done on “the effect of subliminal messages in early childhood.”

    ¶ For current smokers: “a mix of intensive services… provided in hospital settings, psychiatric and drug treatment facilities and in-patient nicotine dependence centers.”

    ¶ Political surveillance “at all levels of government” to “expose tobacco campaign contributions, tobacco lobbyists, and ethically compromised government officials and lawmakers.”

    ¶ An executive order from the President to all cabinet departments and trade representatives instructing them essentially to blackmail foreign governments into accepting, embracing, enacting and enforcing these “tobacco control standards” within their own countries. Implementation to be paid for with U.S government funds.

    ¶ Also to be paid for with U.S. government funds, the “surveillance, prevention of”– and punishment for– illicit international trade in tobacco including, of course, “smuggling.”

    • harleyrider1778 says:

      Manufacturing the science to meet the agenda, in black on white. Does anyone still have doubts?

      ”Bal laughs when asked about the role of scientific evidence in guiding policy decisions. “There was no science on how to do a community intervention on something of this global dimension,” he says. “Where there is no science, you have to go and be venturesome—you can’t use the paucity of science as an excuse to do nothing. We created the science, we did the interventions and then all the scientists came in behind us and analyzed what we did.”

      Read under the title :
      Tobacco Control: The Long War—When the Evidence Has to Be Created

      This pretty well destroys the Myth of second hand smoke:

      Lungs from pack-a-day smokers safe for transplant, study finds.

      By JoNel Aleccia, Staff Writer, NBC News.

      Using lung transplants from heavy smokers may sound like a cruel joke, but a new study finds that organs taken from people who puffed a pack a day for more than 20 years are likely safe.

      What’s more, the analysis of lung transplant data from the U.S. between 2005 and 2011 confirms what transplant experts say they already know: For some patients on a crowded organ waiting list, lungs from smokers are better than none.

      “I think people are grateful just to have a shot at getting lungs,” said Dr. Sharven Taghavi, a cardiovascular surgical resident at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, who led the new study………………………

      Ive done the math here and this is how it works out with second ahnd smoke and people inhaling it!

      The 16 cities study conducted by the U.S. DEPT OF ENERGY and later by Oakridge National laboratories discovered:

      Cigarette smoke, bartenders annual exposure to smoke rises, at most, to the equivalent of 6 cigarettes/year.


      A bartender would have to work in second hand smoke for 2433 years to get an equivalent dose.

      Then the average non-smoker in a ventilated restaurant for an hour would have to go back and forth each day for 119,000 years to get an equivalent 20 years of smoking a pack a day! Pretty well impossible ehh!

  57. Richard Taylor says:

    John, the world is not populated with Americans! 😉 Properly marketed European cruises would be very popular with ……..Europeans!
    If your beards do their marketing analysis properly they’d know Viking have mainly sold out their brand new ocean going Europe cruise liner, due to launch in 2015. And there are 2 more on the books! Viking tend to aim more for the excursion and drinks (with meals) inclusive cruiser, so are more expensive. I’ll never resist the opportunity to point out that extensively marketed in Europe these cruises will sell. And having done it once on Breeze with you as CD I’d love to do another Carnival European cruise.

  58. James says:

    Good morning John,
    I hope I didn’t wake you while you were in the middle of a dream with Megan Fox and the Alpha Team. I Just wanted to say thank you for another wonderful cruise to Alaska on July 8th and for the gifts you sent to our 3 staterooms. Alaska was a different cruise for us as we usually are in tropical weather. That being said it was by far the most beautiful of all our cruises and we look forward to another. Thanks again for being our cruise director again and especially for not waking me up at 6:00 A.M. to tell me about your dream with Megan Fox.

  59. John Lavelle says:

    Another bright spot in my day, your blog. I doubt there will ever be a “final” word on smoking. Just a side note – Your recommendation of Princess for European cruises was excellent, but you have two other sister companies whom you neglected. Any of the 3 would be a wonderful choice. My wife and I tend to prefer Holland America but that is more a personal bias than a strong recommendation. We had a small problem on Emerald Princess’s trans-Atlantic last fall which was an inconvenience of significant proportion which resulted in an otherwise wonderful cruise into something of a disappointment. It will not deter us from sailing with them again. We also had a wonderful time on board a Costa cruise in the Caribbean some years ago. Well worth the price, but Carnival is the best VALUE in the Caribbean so we’ll probably pass on Costa for ourselves. I look forward to your blog every day even though it isn’t always “daily”. I don’t know how you find the time to be so entertaining and informative with all your other responsibilities.

  60. Hal Hoffman says:

    John, I know, you being a good Englishman, you love French jokes. I recently got the low down on why British Soldiers wear red jackets, And French soldier wear “BROWN TROUSERS!!!:) Anyway, I just have to throw my 2 cents worth on the smoking (just what you need) Allowing smoking in one part of the Casino (or ship) is just like putting a “Wee Wee” section in a swimming pool, no French intended! (:-) from a 31 year ex smoker since 1993!!!

  61. john brunnelle says:

    how about taking away the jogging track and giving us that deck ive always seen a lot more people in the one smoking area next to it than I have ever seen using the track. the non smokers say since they are a higher percentage carnival should listen to them. well the smokers sure outnumber the joggers so give us that deck put a big bar up there and an outdoor sunning area. since when in life do you get everything you want without having to give something up?

  62. peg brunelle says:

    how about taking away the jogging track and giving us that deck ive always seen a lot more people in the one smoking area next to it than I have ever seen using the track. the non smokers say since they are a higher percentage carnival should listen to them. well the smokers sure outnumber the joggers so give us that deck put a big bar up there and an outdoor sunning area. since when in life do you get everything you want without having to give something up?

  63. Jacqueline says:

    Hi John:
    We have been on two of your cruises, but many many years ago. Time for another one!
    Now for my comment about smoking. When smokers first began smoking, we did not realize the dangers of it. My husband was a smoker and I hated the smell of it but he was kind and considerate enough to take it outside. He smoked, the dog pooped. One and the same thing as far as I am concerned.
    So based on the fact that smoking is dangerous and offensive to others, I love the fact that there is so much limitation given to smokers. They smoke because they are addicted. We pass gas because we are human and it is part of our digestive system. So now, if I can hold off passing gas in front of people, because it is offensive, why can’t a smoker hold off smoking in public because, not only is it offensive, it is dangerous to non-smokers. So for those who are addicted, this should not be a non-smoker’s issue. Your addiction, your problem. I find private places to pass bass – you need to find a private place to smoke. I am proud to say that after suffering a heart attack and having triple by-pass surgery at age 51, my husband now understand why I found smoking offensive. He quite cold turkey to save his life, and hopefully, I will have him a few years longer. God Bless the non-smoker! God Bless also the considerate and caring smoker. Amen.

  64. Terri Hunley says:

    Dear Mr. Heald, I thought after all the downright RUDE, childish remarks about smoking, I would take a different tact! Yes,I have the filthy habit! However after seeing for myself the idiots that throw their butts off balconies, I totally agree with the new rule! I would much rather have to go out to smoke, than be on a burning ship! As always, Carnival is only trying to keep us safe! I could be a whiner because my last cruise I had a horrible breakout of sores all over from an allergic reaction to an e-cigg. It caused me to have to cover up and miss my beach days I had looked so forward to! Now I’m due to cruise in Nov. and have injured my sciatic nerve so that I have to walk with a crutch! I have also lost my dad a few mos. ago and being a “daddy’s” girl, I am still morning that loss! But instead of dwelling on all that I choose to be grateful to be able to still cruise! Why people have to complain over such silly stuff is beyond me! Just be grateful for what you still have people! Cruising is a gift not everyone gets! I will continue to be faithful to carnival because they do their best to give us as much as they can at a reasonable price!

  65. Richard Watts says:

    I applaud Carnival for eliminating as much smoking as possible. My family just returned from a 5 day Caribbean cruise on Paradise and unfortunately the previous inhabitant of our cabin violated his contract and did smoke in our room. No worries though – the Paradise staff quickly moved in to clean the room and eliminate the smell. They also checked back with me 3 times to make sure I was happy. I can’t say enough about how hard the Paradise crew works to make its guests happy. I will say though that the casino area smoke smell is not limited to just the casio. My daughter who participated in Club O2 remarked that the teen club reeked of smoke from the adjacent casino. If you walk into the stairwell next to the pool area down to the casino area, the smell hits you like a wall. Times have changed and more of us come from areas of the country where smoking isn’t allowed in any public areas. I understand the addiction of nicotine but have had 2 relatives die of lung cancer. No harm would come from eliminating smoking completely.

  66. Eileene says:

    I also wish there was a rule limiting generalizations, like Lee Nason claiming that Christians find your humor offensive & M. Montgomery presuming to speak for hundreds of smokers. I’m a Christian who thoroughly enjoys your humor, as does my husband. My husband smokes cigars like you do, but as an EMT he recognizes that smoking bans are health-related. As for the trolls, John, those who like you FAR outnumber those who have nothing better to do than insult you… democracy wins! 🙂

  67. Lisa says:

    “I understand how passionate you are about this and, while respectfully saying “hundreds of smokers” is a large exaggeration,”…actually there is a FB page that does indeed have hundreds of smokers on it, that is the mistake that you have made, you underestimated a soon to be very vocal group…Tired of being disposable. And these hundreds are only the ones that have found their way to the FB page….imagine how many more there are out there…Time to rethink yet???

    • Kelly Utsinger says:

      I believe he was referring to hundreds of smokers on a particular ship at one time rather than hundreds overall. That’s how I read it, anyway.

  68. dave j says:

    Hi John, Ex-smoker, Quit 7 years ago, my choice after a very scary incident. Had a tooth pulled, was informed before procedure that being a smoker the diseased tooth might be attributed to Osteomylytis, a bone infection that is as scary as cancer. Bingo! had the disease. 3 surgeries later and 6 weeks of daily chemotherapy, I was cured. Reason for writing, I still don’t find other people smoking offensive to me. I don’t appreciate a smoke filled room, but the occasional waft of a cigarette or cigar doesn’t bother or offend me. To all the smokers who are upset, “lighten” up. Go to where it is allowed or don’t go at all! To the nonsmokers, ever think about how much crap you breath in everyday? A small amount of second hand smoke is really no more dangerous. People just like to complain. Complainers, bugger off!

  69. Chris Steele says:

    Why are you not fighting harder for us smokers for a better compromise? I’d be willing to bet even after the ban is in place you will still be allowed to smoke on your balcony while you throw the rest of us under the bus!!!!!! Why can’t 1 side of the boat balconies be for smokers or the back? I’m so tired of being treated like a 2nd class citizen because I have a addiction! For me I am a OTR truck driver and I need my alone time and with this new ban that has been taken away from me I am used to being alone and I like being alone so how will you accommodate people like me? The group I will be with is a big group and it’s a truckers group so do you really want to see us getting stressed because we need our smokes but are forced to be around people to have them? these are questions that need to be addressed! And no PAT ANSWERS!!!!!! I’m so sick of seeing them!!!!!! Plus you need to address the non smoking Nazi’s who wish death on us and all the cruel and uncalled for replies to our questions that is just wrong on so many levels this bashing needs to be stopped!!!!!! What are you going to do about it?

  70. Linda Corbett says:

    Hey John: I am presently on Victory and I must say the staff and crew are awesome! I already knew Marcelo our fantastic cruise director, but I attended the Meet the Captain event and met many of the others in the management department. They were all very friendly and approachable. Marcelo is not the only comedian on the team! He is fabulous on-stage and on the PA system .

    I know that I mentioned how wonderful Jaime was/is on Sunshine and that has not changed. I have come to realize, however, that each cruise director has his or her own personality or methodology, so it is unfair for us to compare them.

    Marcelo is excellent and I hope that one day he can be on a ship closer to me and my family. (New Orleans or Galveston).

    Among the staff, I met hotel manager, Niksa. Awesome man! He could be the poster for Carnival. I appreciated talking with him and his attention, he is indeed a busy man!

    I am in the middle of this cruise and am staying on for two more itineraries. I do believe I made a great choice of ships to celebrate my birthday!

    I have been on a noncarnival cruise, and they were very nice, but as always, Carnival is tops with me.

    I promise to write morte when I return home. Thanks for giving me an avenue to express my excitement right now! I love it!!!

    PS – Victory has not been upgraded yet – but she is beautiful!!!! I would recommend her to anyone – and you know I love Breeze~



  71. Pat Luquis says:

    I just wanted to say how much we love your blog and Facebook page. Your humor diffuses so many angry situations, we are in awe of your self control! But this Randy person is another story: Children of public figures are off limits. Unfortunately, he knows that children are our one unconditional vulnerability so he attempts to hurt you by attacking a little girl. What a pathetic wuss…..

  72. Alicia Valdes says:

    Has ccl forgotten what a flop, the 1st non-smoking ship was? CCL was almost giving the cruises away. My husband and I have been sailing since 1987 we are platinum and enjoyed our balony so we could have that moring coffee,smoke and enjoy the early sunrise of the ports. I guess we will be think about this for our next cruise in 2015 to alaska??? This would of been our 2nd cruise to alaska.

  73. Mike says:

    No smoking outdoors on your balconies? Me and my wife are avid cruisers. 100% Carnival for 9 years. Why cruise? You can’t beat the relaxation of sitting on your balcony having a smoke and a coffee watching the ocean go by. Oh, by the way…has any non-smoker realized that there is occasionally a bellowing of black diesel smoke flowing down the side of the ship? And y’all are worried about a little cigarette. Cancelling the 2 cruises I have scheduled with Carnival and moving onto another cruise line or all inclusive that cater to “ALL” paying customers and not just the whiners. Gonna miss ya…we loved and bragged to everyone about how great Carnival WAS!

    • Kathleen Henderson says:

      I agree wholeheartedly!!! I wonder if the Carnival exec’s ever read these comments?? If they don’t, shame on them. Good leaders listen to all opinions and try to compromise..Our money is just as good as a non-smoker’s!!

  74. john i have very much enjoyed cruising with carnival over the years in fact now that i am retired we will have been on three cruises in the last 12 monthss. one of the things i have always enjoyed is getting up in the mornings ordering a pot of coffee and sitting on my balocony with my coffee and cgaretts by the same token late in the evenings with a mixed drink and my cigaretts on the balcony. that is why i have always gotten a balcony. this is part of my fun ship 2.0. i do remember years ago when they tried to do a smoke free night in the casino. instead of walking thru a room with the slots dinging and the tabels with guest whooping and hollering it more seemed like walking thru a grave yard.carnival aas a buisness has the right to set whatever policy they deem is best for them and i as acustomer have the right to spend my money on what ever cruise line or resort i so desire. one thing is for sure carnival can not be a 2.0 fun for me anymore not that i will totally quit carnival but the use of them will be greatly reduced

  75. Nicole says:

    I applaud you sir! Your comments in regards to the haters and the smokers are just terrific! I am an ex smoker so I see both sides and I agree with both. My suggestion to Carnival is to do what they did at the Manchester Airport in New Hampshire. Make a smoking room. Maybe turn one lounge on each ship into one. It’s just basically a glass box with major air cleaners and filters to keep it from getting real bad. Those who want to smoke can and the nearby non-smokers are not affected at all. I agree with keeping it out of the casino, not good for smoking gamblers because it will be full of smoking non-gamblers. As far as the haters, I don’t care who you are or what you do personally. I do not know you and you do not know me and anyone who tries to judge you based on a blog or posts is a moron. But your responses prove what a professional you are and I just have to say keep up the good work and don’t let the haters like Randy get you down. They obviously have nothing better to do. I really wish you were going to be my CD on the Fascination in September. I would love to see you. Just based on this one thread that I have read of yours, I think you would make it the best cruise ever!

  76. wanda epps says:

    I am a smoker and wanted to make a suggestion on smoking on the balcony it would make would make everything better if you could put all smokers at the back of the ships or on one side. I think that carnival is going to lose a lot of people due to this discussion. I have always cruised on vacation but now I don’t know I am looking at flying to different location instead of cruising any more. This is what a lot of people are thinking and could be fixed easily just move us to the back of the ships or to one side. If I had known this in February we would have made a different discussion on what to do, I would not have paid the extra money for the balcony so we would be able to smoke and enjoy it.

  77. Dee says:

    John, we love, love, love Carnival. However, when I get up in the morning, I drink coffee and smoke a cigarette. I’m not willing to “make myself presentable” before coffee and a cigarette, therefore, we get a balcony. Can Carnival reconsider? As a smoker I’d be willing to be at the back of the ship, and pay a premium to continue to cruise…and have a cigarette on my balcony.

  78. Karen Merzendorf says:

    Dear John, I will be a first time cruiser leaving out of Tampa on 8/14 on the Paradise. We are taking a family cruise and am so looking forward to it. My daughter divorced a few years ago and she and my grandson are finally coming to Tampa. This entire trip is a big surprise. My little guy thinks our special adventure includes Chuckee Cheese. lol I love reading your blog. And by the way, I too, am a Christian; however, I do not take offense to the you sometimes tell it like it is. Hoping this cruise meets all of our expectations. Unlike others, I am really ease to please!! Everybody needs to take some time at look at the positive instead of nitpicking at everything. I am a smoker too, and we will just have to learn to limit our smoking to special areas.

  79. Aaron says:


    Because Carnival changed the balcony smoking policy my family can now book balcony rooms! I hated it when we could not use our balcony because of the tribe next door signaling another cancer attack. So kudos to Carnival.

    • Kelly says:

      Ooooohhhh name calling how adult! Sounds like your signaling a stupid attack. What exactly is a cancer attack?

  80. Kelly says:

    I cancelled a two week cruise last year on RC when they announced their new smoking policy. Loss to RC approximately $20,000 between suite accommodations, drinks, casino, etc. This would have been one of two cruises that we would have booked through them. So we went for one week on NCL and 2 separate weeks on Carnival. Had decided that I LOVED Carnival and it would be my new cruise line. I am a very loyal customer. 10 years of cruising on RC and was never on another line. Now with the smoking ban on Carnival I will be finding another venue to spend my $ in that allows me to enjoy my experience as much as a non smoker. Any smoker will tell you that tracking up to a deck at 700 am to drink coffee and smoke a cigarette with your fellow smoking cruisers is not a relaxing experience. Smoking on your private balcony is more about PRIVACY and quiet time during a vacation that you have paid for. As w non smokers I have paid for an experience. Why should mine be less than theirs? I certainly didn’t pay less money than they did. The decisions that are being made by exec’s at the lines is not based on customer satisfaction, but on money. They ban because it is easier on the cruise line and quite frankly because they can. So with that I will take my money elsewhere because it is easier on me and quite frankly because I can. Fellow smokers should hit the cruise lines in their pocketbooks. It is truly the only thing they understand. With 20% of the population that still smokes that would be 400 unhappy people on a 2000 capacity ship. If smokers stop booking they won’t fill ships and will need to raise the price for the non smokers. Do the math John! What the cruise lines are doing is only throwing up smoke screens that not smoking on your balcony is the same as smoking allowed (pun intended). I am off to find a place that allows smoking to spend my 2015 vacation $!

  81. Cheryl says:

    Hi. I have been on 2 cruises with Carnival on The Triumph. Looking at doing a 3rd probably in January or February 2015 with my daughter. She smokes and was upset cause she wouldnt be able to smoke on a balcony. Maybe there could be specific balconys on the aft section for smokers only rather than banning them completely. Getting up and having your 1st cup of coffee and a smoke sitting on your balcony is a real perk for almost all smokers. Now they have to get dressed and go out to another area to have that 1st smoke. I quit smoking 6 years ago but I remember the morning smokes being the best and what I wanted as soon as I woke up. Please find some common ground for the smokers.

    • Jacqueline Pelchy says:

      Your suggestion sounds great and fair Cheryl.
      Let’s hope the decision makers for Carnival reads your post.

  82. Charlotte says:

    I wonder why it is that they cannot just make certain decks or certain areas of balcony rooms smoking. Like maybe the top 4 decks on the port are smoking. We get a balcony cuz we like sitting out there in the am with coffee and a smoke. Or after going a shore with a drink and smoke. Kinda of a bummer that we can’t do that. I understand some people not wanting to be around smoke. But if it were the upper decks what is the harm?

    • A. Freedman says:

      What about the back of the boat only. That way no smoke gets in anyone’s face, and won’t have to put up with smokers on the balcony front of you.

      • Kelly says:

        They won’t do it because it would “be a booking nightmare” and because they can. Don’t cruise w them until they change the policy. Smokers don’t pay less for a less enjoyable experience. Go somewhere where you can enjoy your entire vacation! I am.

  83. William Seyler says:

    I am a Gold member of Carnival. I like to smoke a good cigar at least once a day, while on a cruise. I see that you do to. I will be cruising on the conquest over the new years celibration. Where will the places be that I can still enjoyed smoking one?
    William Seyler

  84. Loretta says:

    Hi John, I have just come off my 4th cruise on th Pride for 2014 , I dont smoke but my husband does ,its time to stop the madness , there is no I say no reason why he cant smoke on the balcony , there is rarely anyone on there balcony during the day they are in port or at the pool and late at night also no one on the balcony.I think the ship is big enough to have the back half of the ship balcony smoking and then maybe the rest non smoking, your going to charge a fee $225.00 if some one smoke wth oh well less for the casnio,we spent $$$$ in the casnio I guess not any more oh and have you seen the sports bar on the Pride maybe 10 customer a day my husband use to love that place its off the casnio so why cant they smoke there. If ther is a problem if the families that think the ship is a day care let there kids run all night up and down the halls , there should be a time for these kids to be in the rooms its gets really bad. just got ogg the ship had to get up twice with kids hanging in the halls at 1 am running up and down. and the drunks on the balconies so loud and drunk. lets ban drinking also I dont drink and I dont like drunks at least smokers arent nasty drunks. Well have a good next cruise any how.

    • Shan says:

      So I could smoke on my balcony and just have to pay the cleaning fee of $225.00 at the end of the cuise……my be tempting!

  85. J says:

    Hi John,

    It may have been answered already, but I do not have the time to read through the 100+ comments so her it goes…

    With Carnival prohibiting smoking on balconies will they do so with smoking in the night club? No clubs on land (or at least very few) allow smoking in the clubs. These clubs are very small and one level so the smoke is a huge deterrent for me when I cruise. I love to dance but can’t handle the smoke… Will this ever stop?

  86. Nora Perkins says:

    Hi John. You were the first cruise director we ever had on our first Carnival cruise, the Triumph in 2000 right after 9/11. We were on the Carnival Breeze in July and It was probably the best cruise we have been on other than the one with you. The service was exceptional and so was the food. We have been on The breeze twice before but this time was fantastic. Where is Butch the cruise director now? We just booked The Conquest for September 21st. Love Carnival. One day we hope to see you on one of our cruises. Thanks for all you do to entertain us.

  87. Hey John, I used to smoke 2 packs a day, so I know how the smokers are feeling, but, on the other side of the fence, I now have such a hard time walking by the casino or even getting close to the casino (to get from back to front or front to back of ship) for the smell as I watch others walk by with something over their face, it really is a STRONG smell, now, in their balcony rooms, well that’s another story, there’s got to be a way that you can let those people enjoy their pleasure. still NO CIGARS. Just saying…Have a great day.

  88. Brad says:

    Not truly understanding??

  89. Jan says:

    Hey John, we are travelling across Pacific to Sydney AUS and thought we would see you again, Eli is doing a great job in your absence. As a non smoker I was elated to hear about the change to the smoking policy however, I do still have some thoughts. We don’t get a balcony room mainly for price and we don’t spend a lot of time in the room. But we are usually across from balcony smoker rooms and when they smoke out there and leave their cabin door open – they might as well be smoking in the room or the hall. My other complaint is smoking on deck 9 on starboard side – the wind ALWAYS seems to blow he smoke across to the other side or swirls it around that area so it doesn’t stay where the smokers are. My last spot is the casino where people are again allowed to smoke – I have to stay clear of that area . . . however the doors are open allowing the smoke to escape to other parts of the ship that I am trying to enjoy. Both my parents smoked and I now have an allergy to cigarette smoke which causes me problems. Yes it would be great if cigarettes weren’t a problem but just because smokers are outside doesn’t mean they enjoyment should be a problem for others. Enjoy Alsaka and hope to catch up with you another time – maybe on another UK trip with better weather.

  90. glenn says:

    hello,john. I understand your comment of smokers v/s non smokers. it should be a separation between the fighting forces. I love carnival, but I will agree with the smokers, until I go non smoking I will have no choice to be with the non smokers. leave them alone all of us has choices. choose with side you are on and leave it too be.

  91. glenn says:

    dear john, if there is another ship in development. I will like to name the next ship. Carnival Illumination. please contact me.10 cruises going strong!

  92. Kathleen Henderson says:

    Hi John,
    We are smokers!! In June of this year we took our first cruise on Miracle to Alaska, we so enjoyed it. It was so relaxing to enjoy our coffee and a smoke on our balcony. In fact we liked it so much we taking the same cruise on Aug. 2015. After booking and paying for the second cruise we found out about the new smoking policy. What a disappointment!!!!
    I understand everyone has rights, and we make every effort to be polite to non-smokers, but how is the smoke such a discomfort to other balconies when we are traveling at 20 knots?
    I know others have made these policy decisions, but we have rights also and pay the higher price to enjoy the balcony.

  93. Jerry Clay says:

    Why does’t Carnival enforceit own rules in the dining room. They San no flip flops yet people come to dinner wearing flip flops same with cut offs and short shorts. The Carnival lines (Paradise) has really relaxed it standards. People are allowed to wear hats I say that again people are allowed to wear hats at dinner while dining. You can tell that most of the male population have not been in the military or they would not wear hats. Don’t we have standards any more?

  94. Dave F says:


    I am an expert in air conditioning. When it comes to smoking I am a non-smoker, however I can understand how smokers would like to enjoy their smoking. 2 things: One I would encourage any smoker to seriously consider e-cigarettes. I have co-workers that smoke who have happily switched over to them. Two I would encourage any vessel or building with air conditioning that is planning on inside spaces for smoking to design the air so that the supply air is on or towards the floor and the return is on the ceiling. Smoke rises and cigarette smoke can easily be controlled if it is pulled out of the room from the ceiling and removed from the air via a smoke eater in the air conditioning. It’s more complicated and expensive, but very plesant for non-smokers.

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