May 31, 2016 -

John Heald

Good morning from Civitavecchia and our call to Rome which, thanks to busy port traffic this morning, was delayed by 30 minutes. That meant that instead of docking at 7am, it was 7:30am before the ship was alongside and another 15 minutes before the gangways were out. And because of the delay, Captain Lubrano gave permission to extend the call by 30 minutes, meaning guests have to be back on board at 8pm rather than 7:30pm as advertised. (more…)


May 30, 2016 -

John Heald

Good morning everyone from the Sicilian town of Messina, your Carnival Vista’s first call here. Today many of the guests are walking to the Piazza for a coffee and a cannoli – “leave the gun bring the cannoli” – and our bestselling excursion is of course a trip to Taormina and its winding street, shops, Greek theatre and views of the typical Sicilian houses cascading down the hillside into the Mediterranean Sea…….it really is a place not to be missed. (more…)

Museum Piece

May 28, 2016 -

John Heald

Thank goodness, a sea day. I am sure those are the sentiments of many of our guests this morning because after two days in Athens and then Rhodes and with six consecutive port days still to come, including Rome and Naples, the chance to put their feet up or, in many cases, put the “snoozing” sign out, has been gratefully welcomed. (more…)

Steak stories

May 27, 2016 -

John Heald

Good morning from Rhodes, Greece, where Carnival Vista sits in glorious sunshine and at 11am only 303 of our 4,000-plus guests remain on board. The old walled town is just a 15-minute walk away and the traditional must-see village of Lindos is the top-selling excursion. (more…)


May 26, 2016 -

John Heald

Good morning from a glorious day here in Kusadasi, Turkey, where the sun is shining and 1,500 guests are walking through one of the wonders of the world that is Ephesus. This is our second cruise to this exciting port of call and we did notice that on our first call we always had around 1,000 guests on board which is very high for a European port. (more…)


May 24, 2016 -

John Heald

Good morning from Athens and the start of a new cruise. Guests started to leave this morning at 5:00am and by 9:10am all guests were ashore and it was  a very smooth operation in deed. Embarkation today will need a dollop more patience from the guests as we have to do so from deck 0 as there is no pier from the terminal to the ship’s deck 3 as we have in Barcelona. (more…)


May 23, 2016 -

John Heald

Good morning from the Carnival Vista and her first ever call in Kusadasi, Turkey. As I look out of my cabin window I can see the old town, a huge mosque and a beauty…………what, hold on, what the heck, why is a condominium being dragged in front of my stunning view ……..and why would someone paint a huge sodding “ X” on the top of it? (more…)

Table for one

May 22, 2016 -

John Heald

Good morning everyone from the beautiful old town of Rhodes, Greece. I was here multiple times on the Carnival Splendor or was it Carnival Freedom, buggered if I can remember but regardless I have been here many times and it is a beautiful, wondrous port and I am sure it will be a huge hot with the guests here. (more…)

Con Crete

May 21, 2016 -

John Heald

Good morning from Crete and a glorious day for the guests to tour this beautiful Greek island. How are you?  Right, let me crack on with the news starting with last night.  So there I was, about to watch the show FLICK (have to be careful how I write that) when I saw a guest charging towards me  like a Yak in heat , holding her eye phone in her hand. (more…)

Laid Bare

May 19, 2016 -

John Heald

Good morning from the Carnival Vista and our only day at sea on this Mediterranean voyage. This morning when I woke at 7:30am and left my cabin ( bugger, my state room) I saw a sea of red “ snoozing “ cards hanging on the doors as guests recuperate after long but oh so rewarding days exploring Rome, Pisa, Florence, Naples, Sorrento, The Amalfi Coast and Pompeii. Personally I would like to have seen another sea day on this run but this is destination cruising and today the guests can truly experience this brilliant ship and all she has to offer.

It’s now 10:20am and I am sitting here in the Reflections dining room looking at a steady flow of guests walking in for Brunch and who I know will enjoy wonderful service and great food served by the superb waiters on to a table with no table cloth. Yep, like the true village idiot that I am the subject of these sodding things up again. That’s because I posted an innocent view of where the Captain eats last night and was pounced upon bu some who felt it so very wrong that we give the Captain a table cloth, who how very dare we? .

I also want to mention two other facts if I may. One, I discussed this subject with our President Christine Duffy and while we are not returning to tablecloths she will sit with her beards and look at the possibilities of place mats to see if these are practical and appealing. The other fact is that most modern restaurants do as we do and have done away with the cloth. Yep, spare a thought for laundry businesses all over the western world. For decades they have been able to rely on the restaurant trade for income as posh dining rooms laid with table cloths so thick they could double as sails on yachts send them to be laundered.

Do we need status symbols like table cloths to make eating in our dining rooms worthwhile? Should we not look to the food and the service and the conversation rather than the table cloth be the focus of it? And I think many of our guests want to wear what they choose while doing it, not comply with someone else’s dress code. We want you, only you, to define what “special occasion” means and give you the choice on your cruise vacation that you worked so hard to pay for.

Here on your Carnival Vista things are going very well on this second cruise. One chap brought a table cloth to the ship and we kindly informed him that he could not unless he wanted to move ot a table for 2, he declined and was understanding as to why. The number of guests who have complained to the staff on the ship or on icare at the guests services desk about not having table cloths is………zero.

We had two guests who missed the ship in Rome and were refused compensation despite the fact they felt that they felt it was our fault they had missed the last train back to the ship. We had a comment (posted here on Facebook too) about someone smoking on a Havana patio which despite our teams looking for evidence of smoking and indeed a cigarette in a glass was notice on 5234 balcony. And as I write the guests are being spoken to and action is being taken

That aside and apart from the usual industry comments each ship gets every cruise everything here is going superbly and guests keep stopping me and telling me just how much they love the design of this brilliant ship. We still have work to do though and the team here are dedicated and hard working and I have no doubts that soon your Carnival Vista will be the number one ship in the fleet…………….yep, I really do think that.

I also think that in Matt Mitchum they have a brilliant Cruise Director whose energy is it seems everlasting.

I watch him early in the morning and late at night hugging people and hihg fiving them and yep, I am embarrassed to admit to you that I am …….well…………jealous. I want to be him. I want to have his thrity something energy and I miss the days when that microphone was mine, only mine and when my life was on stage making people laugh. Oh how I miss that exuberant feeling of making 1000 people laugh all at the same time

But as I have watched Matt here , sadly, I have realised that I am really not one Matt, not a Cruise Director any longer. My job has moved on, I am “something else” and, in some ways, I wonder if I even should carry the title of senior cruise director anymore. Yes, I can and I do offer guidance but I am more and more detached from the daily life of the CD and am wondering if the title of Senior CD should not be given to someone else, leaving me with my brand ambassador title only. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t care about titles but seeing Matt in action here has brought this to my mind.

Anyway, regardless of my title I will continue to bring you the news, help as many people as I can and pass on all your thoughts to the beards and hope along the way you will forgive my transgressions and my stand against complete anodyne, grey and boring, political correctness.

As I walk around this ship I have found myself being reminded just how fantastic our product is. You see, I spend my time here talking about table cloths and dress codes and my dangly bits and……well…….sometimes I forget to write about the basic, simple fact that a Carnival cruise a brilliant vacation, affordable, incomparable value for money and loads of bloody marvelous fun……. the smiles and the laughter that I have seen here on Carnival Vista is absolute testament to that.

Cheers, have a brilliant day and I wish you were here


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.