Water in a Bottle, Hilary on a T-shirt

June 11, 2015 -

John Heald

I bet right now most of you reading this are wearing a T-shirt. Yep, T-shirts, we all have them, we all wear them and we all wear them on our cruises. Most are plain or have a fun pattern or logo on them. The T-shirt is the most popular daytime thing to wear and I, of course, love it when I see people wearing Carnival logo wear. It does make me smile when people wear T-shirts with a place they have visited on it, particularly if it’s the exotic-sounding name of somewhere far, far away from where you are at the time. There are some people who do think it’s alright to wear another cruise line’s T-shirt on a Carnival ship and this always makes me giggle.

Some T-shirts, as indicated in the letter below, are to some guests………..very offensive.

Josie Kane

I will preface my comments by saying that I usually cruise on NCL. I have heard positive comments about Carnival so opted to try them this time and cruise on Carnival Liberty. On the positive side the ship’s staff is definitely superior, courteous, friendly and efficient. The veranda stateroom was clean, the bed comfortable and the food of good quality. The experience in the steakhouse was very good, first class, actually. My number one, chief complaint was a situation on which following on from my numerous complaints nothing was done about. Each morning we would play the trivia competitions. This is something mom and I always do together. Each morning the same group of 50 or so would play. Among the passengers was an elderly man who each time would be wearing the most offensive, sickening T-shirts I have ever seen. I took photos of him and sent them to my travel agent. I cannot seem to be able to send photos on this page. Is there a place I can do this? You must see what the passengers are wearing. His shirts said things like:

“Stay away from me people! I am running out of places to hide the bodies”

“Anyone but Hillary 2016”

“Come for my gun and you had better bring yours as*****.”

This shirt he was wearing at 10 in the morning in public had a very offensive photo of our awesome president on it.

How could Carnival allow this????? I complained to the staff people running the trivia and the front desk and wrote a letter to the captain but still this man was seen all over the ship wearing these sickening messages on his shirts. My travel agent ______ ______ from _______ suggested I bring this to you. Are there rules against this because it is disgusting and terribly wrong that Carnival did nothing to stop it? Is this acceptable and legal to Carnival??

I will be replying to Josie personally but I also wanted to address this here as I think it is a very interesting subject.

I can understand why this has upset Josie and her mother. But, obviously, there is no way that the staff on board can control what other guests on the ship wear. If this guest had been staying at a hotel in Las Vegas and seen this chap sitting at a poker table at Caesar’s Palace would she have gone to the front desk and complained or told the dealer not to let him play. I think the answer is probably no. It’s a cruise industry type of complaint – something our industry has opened the door to many years ago

However, Josie has asked an interesting question. Should we have allowed these guests to wear those T-shirts on board? I guess the answer is yes. I mean, in all the years I have been at sea I do not remember asking a guest to remove a T-shirt because it offended some of our guests.

Is it appropriate? Well, I guess it all depends on what offends you. I mean if there is obscene language or nudity, I think you and I both agree that’s a no-no but someone’s opinion of a presidential candidate or a somewhat off-color attempt at humour, I don’t think there’s much we can do. I think it also depends on the setting. If someone who wears an offensive T-shirt to tour the Vatican or to a wedding or funeral he should be asked to leave. But on a cruise ship trivia quiz or on Lido deck, then who are we to stop him?

It will be interesting to read your thoughts. By the way, I am wearing a T-shirt that says:

“Oh FFS – It’s Cabin Steward – Not Stewart “

And next week maybe I will go on NCROYALEBRITY Cruise Lines wearing a T-shirt in Carnival colours that says

“Go Fun Yourself”

Time for today’s Q and A, here we go.

Frank asks:
So gold members will now only get a free drink, on the last sea day? That’s the thanks we get for being loyal with over 25 days? I have 35 days at sea with y’all. Five seven-day cruises. All that’s worth is a free drink and it’s only on the last sea day? Sorry John, we’ve been loyal since 2006, when we stopped cruising on Royal Caribbean. Even thought about going back a few times. However, Carnival always was loyal to us and loved the parties and the new FTTF. Now Carnival says, “Gold means nothing to us, but a free $9 drink, which cost us way less than that.” So, now since y’all are no longer loyal to guests that have between 25-75 cruise days, there’s no reason to be loyal to Carnival. Sad day when you’re told that your 35 paid sea days mean nothing to the cruise line. There’s a reason y’all have so many good members. Y’all were loyal to them. Now you’re not. Bye

John says:
Hello Frank.

Thank you so much for writing and I am disappointed to see how upset you are by the change to the party. The complimentary drink and the complimentary bottle of water is our way of saying thank you for sailing with us. I know that not allowing Gold card holders to the VIFP party is something that some have disliked but, honestly, service was a massive challenge with so many, over 1,000 often, eligible to attend. I hope that the reasons you cruised so often — great service, brilliant fun and all at affordable price will be the reasons you come back and not the fact that you get one, maybe two more free drinks you would have at the party. I am here to help in any way I can and I hope to see you soon. Best wishes.


Tom Anthony asks:
John. I am so sick of hearing about your diet and how much weight you have lost. Stop ramming this down our throats because it is VERY CRUEL!!!!!! I am 370 pounds. Yeah I am big but comfortable in who I am. Your health is becoming your new religion to bash us over the head and make us larger people feel guilty. I cruised with you on Carnival Liberty in 2006 when you were very big. I was on a diet at the time but never tried to force it on you! You may have changed every single aspect of your life all at once: when, what and how you eat, drink, exercise. That is a lot to ask of anybody who is already seriously unfit, overweight. Think about what you say before you say it!!!

John says:
Hello Tom

I am so very sorry to have upset you and I totally understand where you are coming from. In my defence, I have always said that this is my diet, not anyone else’s and I have never purposely meant to force it on anyone. I wish you all the very best and I wish you health and happiness. Apologies once again. Best wishes.


Mandi asks:
John, I saw a YouTube video of a cruise ship playing “Seven Nation Army” with its horn ……. consequently, I watched more videos of cruise ships having horn battles. Are you familiar with this? Does Carnival ever battle?

John says:
Hello Mandi

I have seen this video, too, and it is quite spectacular. Yes, Carnival ships will do this when other Carnival ships or ships from the Carnival Corporation family are in port together. There are some ports of call where this is not allowed though but when it does happen, it is simply brilliant.

Best wishes.


Gregory McCallum asks:
Just got off an amazing cruise on Carnival Sunshine (4/25 sailing). We have to thank Ana (guest services) and Jaime Dee for helping us with a difficult situation finding a way for our 17 and 18 year old to have fun when not being allowed in the same club. I have written a glowing letter about all they did for us and would like to know who I send it to get them recognized and is it possible to get a copy to Ana or Jamie since my wife and I put personal messages to them in it?

John says:
Hello Gregory McCallum

Thanks so very much for taking the time to write this to me. I will ask that you send the letter to: John Heald, Brand Ambassador, Carnival Cruise Lines, 3655 NW 87th Ave, Miami, Florida, 33178. Someone opens my mail there and will scan it immediately to the ship. Alternatively, you can attach it to an e-mail and send to cclsupport@carnival.com. Thanks again, I hope you did have fun and that we see you soon. Best wishes.


Caitlin Weber asks:
Hi John! Your posts on Facebook make my day! I am a frequent Carnival cruiser and love that you care about our opinions and make sure that we are involved! I have a question for you regarding an experience on my last cruise… What is the protocol with children being in the piano bar? Although our singer Natalie was BEYOND amazing, and one of the best piano bar singers I have ever encountered in all of my time cruising, I felt as though I couldn’t fully enjoy the experience because every night there was a little girl sitting up at the bar into the wee hours of the night. Some nights she didn’t leave until almost 1 am……. I’m wondering what the protocol is, as the Piano Bar is an actual bar where children shouldn’t be – in my opinion.

John says:
Hello Caitlin Weber

Thanks for the kind words and I am so glad you had fun. Some years ago, we had a rule that after 10 pm children under 18 were not allowed there but over the years, I guess this has slipped away. Let me address this with the beards and see what they want to do moving forward, so please leave this with me. Thanks so much, sending you my best wishes and hope we see you soon. Best wishes.


Yadira asks:
I have sailed four times with Carnival and each time there seems to be less and less entertainment for black Americans!! Our cruise we are just back from was on Carnival Freedom. There were four comedians and not one of them was black. There were many black passengers but they were not catered for. Have you seen BET??

John says:
Hello Yadira

I want to thank you for cruising with us once again and I do hope you had another brilliant time. Please, may I point out that our comedians are hired based on talent, nothing else, just their ability to make guests laugh. As for their scheduling, again, these ladies and gentlemen move from ship to ship and so on their ability, again, nothing else. We have many very funny African American comedians who work on our ships each week making hundreds of our guests laugh. Once again, I hope you had a brilliant cruise and that we see you soon. Best wishes.


Carrie Farrar asks:
In May we went to on Carnival Conquest. My daughter and I were in the pool. A guest took a photo of his children also in the pool. I could tell that, as my child was right next to his, she would be in the photo too. I asked the man who took the photo to show me but he refused. I was furious. I went to the bartender and told him what had happened but he laughed it off! The front desk did the same. I spoke with _________ there to speak to the man and to make him delete it. There is a law about this in America. I am a child-minder, so it’s drummed into to me all the time about not ever posting pictures of other people’s child!!! Why was nothing done? It has totally freaked me out!

John says:
Hello Carrie Farrar

Let me start by saying I hope you had a wonderful cruise despite this situation. I am sure that the chap who took the photo meant no harm and was, as you mentioned, taking photos of his children in what I am sure was a busy time in the swimming pool. I know that some of the pools I have taken my daughter to have a no photo rule but, really, I don’t think we need to adopt this rule. I really don’t. I will, though, send this to the beards for their thoughts and, meanwhile, I thank you for taking the time to write. Best wishes.


Steve Janzen asks:
Good evening John. I feel I know you, as do so many others, as I have had the honour of sailing with you a few times, and, more importantly, I get to experience my wife giving me a daily update of your life. Yes, I have the daily pleasure of my wife updating me most evenings as to your whereabouts, your lovely British way of speaking, and, of course, the rumblings of Cruise Nation. I needed to say something today as I feel saddened that there are some many ungrateful individuals out there that have made it their duty to take their anger out on you. There seems to be the thought out there that every time Carnival decides to change their policies or directives, that you somehow were personally and solely the person that brought about that change. I am grateful for what I am given, and I am also very grateful when I am able to enjoy my vacation time with my wife. Having said that, we should all be thankful for what we have today. Stand tall, be thankful, and never take any of the attacks personally, as those who complain are not worth the energy. We look forward to sailing with Carnival again in November, January and November 2016 again. We will connect soon. Proud to be Platinum on Carnival, proud to be Canadian, and loving life.



John says:
Hello Steve Janzen

Thank you for this rejuvenating post, I truly appreciate it. I have realised never to take what is written personally. Most of the time I succeed but occasionally, I don’t and I have to try harder there. I love Carnival, this company has stood by me for almost 30 years and I have done my very best to help the company succeed and I hope that we have a continuing relationship for many more years to come. Please make sure you send me your cabin number before the cruise via my facebook.com/johnheald page and I wish you another glorious cruise. Best wishes


Riclop asks:
More John Heald BS. You say your page has the “latest news” and, today, the latest news was Obama drinking a beer before noon. Waste of time and space is what you are

Cruise Critic 5000 + club

John says:
Hello Riclop

I am sorry that you don’t enjoy my page. I will continue to work hard to improve and please let me know if I can help you at any time. Best wishes.


Mike asks:
Just wanted to drop you a line regarding the reception for Gold members. We rarely ever went to that and it really is not a deciding factor in choosing a cruise. What I would like is an answer to when we will get a seven day option out of Tampa again? We are lucky we still have Carnival Paradise here but we really miss the seven-day option on a larger ship. Enjoy your time on Carnival Legend. I just missed you when you left her in New York. She was a lot of fun to cruise on and someday I hope she returns home here again in Tampa. Mike

John says:
Hello Mike

Thanks so much for being so positive. The dancing of the ships is far from over and I hope to share news that will make you smile very soon. Thanks for your patience and I hope we see you on another cruise in the weeks ahead. Best wishes.


Conor Hanlon asks:
Hey – when will you tell us the movies for the giant screen for our cruise on Carnival Breeze for July 4th? Why have you not told us yet so we can plan what we are doing? If you are supposed to be the voice of Carnival, then you are a big disappointment. What is going on here!!!!!!!!!

John says:
Hello Conor Hanlon

I will release the movie titles on my Facebook/johnheald page around June 25, which is when I receive them from our Miami office. I hope you enjoy the movies and have a brilliant cruise. Best wishes.


Peter Kenwood asks:
G’day from Australia John. Quick question about Carnival Spirit. Is she having her dry dock in Sydney or Melbourne? I want to come down and take photos of the ship for my collection. Is this possible? We love Carnival.

John says:
Hello Peter Kenwood

And a very G’day to you mate. The ship will have her August dry dock in Singapore so I am guessing that is a little too far for you to go and take photos, no? I do hope you get to see her though after dry dock. She is going to look simply brilliant. Best wishes.


That’s all for today and as always a big thank you to you all for your comments and questions.

Just a quick addition to my July sailings because on July 11, the day I disembark Carnival Glory I will jump on a plane and fly to Tampa to get on Carnival Paradise. A certain Calvyn Martens is the cruise director there and I am going to help him as much as I can and write about a Fantasy- class ship here and on Facebook. Here, then, are the two cruises I will be doing:

Carnival Glory

July 4 – Miami

July 5 – At sea

July 6 – Cozumel

July 7 – Belize

July 8 – Isla Roatan

July 9 – Grand Cayman

July 10 – at Sea

July 11 – Miami


Carnival Paradise

July 11 – Tampa

July 12 – at sea

July 13 – Grand Cayman

July 14 – Cozumel

July 15 – at sea

July 16 – Tampa

I will be hosting some shows and, as always, writing about the experience. I hope some of you reading this will let me know you are coming too and maybe some of you reading this will decide to join me – that would be brilliant.

So let’s talk water and, for those who may have missed the announcement, here it is — the letter that was distributed to our guests and travel agent partners:

While your bags may not be packed just yet, we wanted to let you know about some changes to our Liquor & Beverage policy which is being modified effective with sailings departing July 9, 2015.

Often times, we find guests transporting alcohol onboard through unauthorized means resulting in unmonitored consumption of alcohol. Unfortunately, this has led to behavioral and safety related concerns. We have also found that bottled beverages are frequently used to transport alcohol and the screening measures needed to validate the contents delay the embarkation process for all guests. For these reasons, we find it necessary to modify our Liquor and Beverage policy, including restricting guests from bringing bottled beverages aboard our ships.

To avoid any potential disappointment at the start of your cruise, please familiarize yourselves with our new Liquor and Beverage Policy below, which will be strictly enforced.


  • Guests are prohibited from bringing water, sodas and other non-alcoholic beverages onboard that are packaged in bottles.
  • A small quantity of non-alcoholic beverages (i.e., sparkling water, sodas, juice, and milk) packaged in cans or cartons may be brought onboard on embarkation day only in guests’ carry-on luggage.  A small quantity is considered a maximum of 12 sealed, unopened cans/cartons of 12 ounces each or less per person.
  • Guests are prohibited from bringing alcoholic beverages on board with the following exception:


o    At the beginning of the cruise during embarkation day only, guests (21 years of age and older) may bring one 750 ml bottle of sealed/unopened wine or champagne per person in their carry-on luggage.


o    A $15 corkage fee (a charge exacted at a restaurant for every bottle of wine served that was not bought on the premises), per 750 ml bottle, will be charged should guests wish to consume their wine or champagne in the main dining room, steakhouse or bar. 


  • All liquor, beer, other forms of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages outside of the exceptions referenced above are strictly prohibited in both carry-on and checked luggage and such items will be confiscated and discarded and no compensation will be provided.


  • All alcohol purchased in ports of call or in the Fun Shops will be returned on the morning of debarkation.


  • Guests are prohibited from bringing large coolers onboard since screening and movement of large coolers through embarkation is an impediment to the boarding and security process. However small, personal-sized coolers, no larger than 12”H x 12”L x 12”W for the purpose of housing small quantities of non-alcoholic beverages and/or medications are permitted as carry-on luggage.


We know some of our guests are accustomed to bringing on their own supply of bottled water so as part of this new policy we have significantly reduced the pricing for spring bottled water which will be conveniently delivered directly to your stateroom. Pricing is as follows:  


  • $2.99 (plus tax) for a 12-pack of 500 ML of bottled water for pre-cruise purchase. Please visit carnival.com/funshops to place your order before your cruise to ensure we have an ample supply onboard.  


  • $4.99 (plus gratuities) for a 12-pack of 500 ML of bottled water for purchase onboard.

We sincerely apologize for any disappointment these changes may cause however, we firmly believe this will result in a safer environment while also improving the embarkation process and the overall guest experience. 

This has been coming for some time and while Riclop on the Cruise Critic boards spend their time jumping up and down in their mother’s attic saying Carnival is doing this to make money let me say here and now, we are not, it’s that simple but let me say that again, this is not based on revenue at all. In fact, we do not anticipate any increase in revenue as a result of this policy change, particularly given the big reduction in price we have instituted for 12 packs of bottled water. This is all about safety and, although I cannot mention any specifics, it does not take Sherlock Holmes to realise that in life on land and sea, serious incidents can occur as the result of unmonitored alcohol consumption. So while Riclop looks for the voodoo doll that looks like a cross between me and Gomer Pyle so they can insert pins in my buttocks…….. let’s talk some more about water and soda, shall we?

Everyone has a bottle of water or a soda at their desk or at home or where they work or in the gym or in the car or by the side of the bed. Why and when did this happen? I am very much aware that people with perfect teeth who work for marketing companies have convinced us all into believing that we must drink water from exotic places like, Switzerland, Iceland, Fiji or Cleveland.

Yes, we must all have bottled water in our lives and when we don’t……we get moody. I am sure not everyone will read the various forms of communication Carnival has used to get this message out. That means if you are in embarkation at any home port in the coming weeks as you approach the port security you will see the forlorn look of those guests who have their bottles taken away from them. Some will be upset because they have to dispose of their water. Others will be upset because their bottle cost $10 to fill up because it is full of Grey sodding Goose.

Ten years ago, less even, the only people who carried a water bottle hooked to their belt were explorers or someone who was heading to a forward operating base in Iraq. Now…….we all do it, including myself. Water is made even more enticing if it’s not been filtered by volcanic rock or from a hidden spring high in the Alps next to a Toblerone factory or bottled at source from an ancient and natural spring.

People want a quick easy fix to whatever they believe is ailing them. What could be quicker and easier than drinking water? People come in to work carrying a two-liter bottle of water. “I really overdid it at the weekend. I went to the gym for three hours, had a marathon rumpy pumpy session with the wife, in a hammock and then ran a marathon before bedtime……….. I’m going to drink this whole bottle today!”

Sometimes you just have to congratulate bottled water companies, they extract water which originally fell over five thousand years ago and that during the thousands of years under the soil has gone through some of the greatest filtering processes known to man, passing between limestone and rocks full of minerals and goodness. And even though the water is from a 5,000-year-old spring, there’s an expiration date on it! But for those who do not want to drink our water provided at every meal, we are now selling water on board for close to the same price you pay at Walkaygreenmart and not have to carry a case of it off the plane, onto the bus or taxi, through the lines at embarkation and onto the ship to your cabin sweating like a yak in a microwave. So we have your bottled water waiting for you or you can order online. We will now be very strict in homeports and all ports of call in stopping anyone with plastic bottles, regardless of what is in them.

Next up, we will be coming down hard on herbal tea drinkers for the damage they do to the ship’s plumbing system.


Your friend,


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