May 4, 2016 -

John Heald

Good morning from beautiful Montenegro and Carnival’s first-ever visit here. Guests are being tendered ashore and enjoying lagoon-type conditions and stunning — I mean properly stunning — scenery. Mr. Radu is out photographing and Peter the Hair is out videotaping and they will both share their talents with you on our Facebook page. Me………well, I have been sitting in the Ocean Plaza since 8:30 am answering a huge bucket load of questions. I will stop now but will do the same on Friday (Thursday night leaving a marker from where I will start) and, hopefully, this will help with my schedule and the time difference.

I spoke with the ship’s agent this morning and he told me that Montenegro is trying to be the new Monte Carlo and building deluxe hotels, marinas and apartments to attract the rich and those who own mega-yachts to come here. I can see why — it really is WOW!

Anyway, before I head off to help Matt — the green-eyed fabulously talented and brilliantly funny and loved cruise director (lucky sod) — with his Rome travel talk for tomorrow, I will write you today’s Carnival Vista bits and pieces and, as always, tell you what is happening, including the challenges we have.

The mood of the guests is very good and I am speaking with so many who are raving about the ship. It is important to know that because, as always, the positive far, far outweighs the negative. However, we still have some TVs that are giving us a little trouble and the techs here are working diligently to repair them.

Last night, we had an issue in the galley which slowed food service at dinner. Again, this is a new ship, it must be remembered, and there will always be things that cannot be foreseen or arise until the ship has 4,000 guests on her and is in full operation. The concern has now been addressed and corrected.

The smoking section on the Deck 5 outside forward area is very popular and appreciated by those I have spoken to. What I need to do now is work on getting regular bar service there and that is now in the works.

The roving musicians, an accordion player, a brass trio and a string quartet are so very popular and so many guests have told me how much they enjoy them playing in unexpected areas and at unexpected times.

A guest complained to me last night about slow service in the dining room and asked for complimentary meals at our specialty restaurants for the remainder of the cruise. Myself and Ken the maitre d’ respectfully declined her wish and instead will work on getting her meals served in the one hour she feels is the maximum time she should be in and out of the dining room which, in my opinion, is too quick to really enjoy a good meal and conversation. Plus, of course, if we had given her a free meal in the steakhouse (which everyone knows is a delicious, yet leisurely paced meal), it would have taken at least two hours to serve her ……. so…………well, you get the picture of what’s really happening here, right?

Yesterday a lady aged 78 peddled her way on around the Skyride. Andrea M. from San Antonio is so far our oldest SkyRider. Will she keep that record? I will let you know.

Some of you are asking about the CD schedule for the rest of the year. I was about to post it but have been asked to hold on a few more days as we have two CDs who have left us and so more changes need to be made. I will post it though ASAP.

Yesterday we had four naked Russian men in the sauna and they seemed astonished when they were told they could not have their Danglybitsov on display. As always, the Russian guests are providing us with some jovial moments, although their lack of understanding that you have to go to the back of any line is frustrating to other guests, for sure.

Maybe the ones who remember the cold days of communism where they would have to stand in line for hours to collect a slice of bread think, “Buggerov this, I am not standing in line for a Guy’s burger,” and they head to the front and, obviously, this does upset a few.

We are happy to have them here on Carnival Vista, however, rules don’t have the same meaning to them and it is a challenge for us to try to pleasantly have them understand how we do things on board. It’s difficult as well for the staff to tell an ex-Spetnaz commando, complete with a tattoo of a tiger eating a snake on his massive forehead, not to push in line. Honestly, some of the Russian men are huge and you get the impression when they look at you that they’re imagining what you would look like with no head. Peter the Hair and I were filming live yesterday on Lido Deck when we saw two men with no shirts on standing at the ice cream machine.  So being brave, I went over to ask them to put a shirt on. They ignored me while I am sure thinking, “Fatov bastardov, I niet putov shirtski on Britishov Pigov.”

I should have insisted or called for Russian-speaking backup but as I didn’t want to be stabbed in the arse with the poisonous tip of an umbrella, I did what any self-respecting brand ambassador would do and sent Jacinta to deal with them. And I haven’t seen her since!


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




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.