John’s Vista Blog-Day 4

May 6, 2016 -

John Heald

Good morning from the Carnival Vista and today is our next to last sea day in what is a very port-intensive program. Yep, we have Athens tomorrow and then Crete and one last sea day before an all-port-day end to the cruise.

Are guests happy? Well, yes, they absolutely are — not everyone, obviously, as that would be a ridiculous statement for me to make but 99.9% of the guests are and they love, love, love the ship and, of course, the crew.  And proof positive of this is, of course, what we call the iCare report. This is the logged report of all guests concerns and comments at the Guest Services desk. This, of course, used to be called the pursers office but because this is 2016 and the world is obsessed with putting an “I” in front of everything, the “iCare” report is, personally, I think is an iBlollocks of a name.

Anyway, I digress. The report, whatever it is called, can, on a new ship delivery, sometimes be as thick as War & Peace but here on Carnival Vista, it is just a regular report, not much different to the rest of the fleet. Now I know Hog Rider, Je Toothache and their other screen names are thinking, “Yeah right, you spin more than record baby right round right round” but they would be wrong, no spin here.  Yes, there are a few TVs that are not as SMART as advertised but as thick as a yak’s inner thigh – something that our engineers continue to address and fixe — and menu sign for Guy’s Burger Joint is in Miami and will arrive in Barcelona.

Oh, there is one more thing, passports. Because we left Italy and go to a (the) non-EU port of Montenegro we were, in compliance with EU rules required to collect everyone’s passports which, tomorrow in Athens, will be stamped by the Greek immigration officers and returned to guests after we sail from there and will be back in their possession for the rest of the cruise. This is the only cruise that we will have to do this and, for the European guests, this is something we are used to but, I am afraid for some of the other guests, it was not something they understood.

In fact, the guest services desk had lots of people very upset by this as did I. I had to listen calmly to one lady who reminded me at least 10 times that she was “American and we had no right to take her passport.” I explained that this was not Carnival’s rules but the European Union but, again, she told me she was American and she got so angry, her voice got higher and higher until she sounded like sounded like a cat being given the good news with a cattle prod. She said that she was going to report us to her Illinois Congressman and, apparently, he is going to “take action.” So watch out Greece, Illinois may be invading soon. But outside of the usual, every day on every ship in every fleet of the cruise industry get complaints, the ship is doing superbly and it has, so far, been a most successful inaugural cruise and, of course, things will get better and better.

I have to say also how wonderful Kotor was yesterday – wow, what a beautiful place and the guests were all purring about how visually stunning it was. Many of you have been asking if we can go there again. Unfortunately, the news is that it is not feasible to add Kotor to the other itineraries based on location and distance.  The May 1 voyage, which is Carnival Vista’s only cruise that departs from Italy, is the only itinerary that will allow for the stop in Kotor.  Shame, but I hope the beards will consider this for future European deployments because it was fantastic.

I hope you have been enjoying the live videos I have been making and, judging by the vast numbers of views in the many thousands, it seems that you have. I will have more this week for you and next cruise will do my morning walks down promenade and much more. Doing all these videos and talking to so many guests so much has left me with a mouth ulcer that sodding well hurts. Yes, I am a big baby but it really does hurt me and I keep biting down on it forcing me to wince as you would wince if you saw me come past you on a skateboard wearing a pink G-string eating a bowl of chitterlings.

I should go down and see the Carnival Vista medical team but I am sure they have better things to do than look into my gob. Oh how I wish Ko was here. “Who is Ko,” I hear you cry?” Let me tell you because I once had a mouth ulcer many years ago and KO cured it. He was from Korea. Ko was the chap back in the early nineties who had a job called purser bellman which no longer exists. He was the printer and the chap that took care of so much and, when I was on the Holiday, as so many of the crew did back then if I was sick, we would go and see Dr. Ko, who, for $10 or a six-pack of Heineken or some Camel cigarettes, would take a look at you. I have no idea if he was trained in alternative medicine or if, in fact, he was actually a doctor … but …… Dr. Ko was a hit with the crew because he could cure all sorts of aches and pains.

Back then, there were no restrictions on what you could bring on board and what you could keep in your cabin. His cabin looked like a cross between a Brazilian rain forest and a pet store. He had herbs and leaves and fish heads and potions made from yak urine. Anyway, Dr. Ko told me that the best way to get rid of mouth ulcers is to eat guava every day for a week. I did and, in five days, it was gone. I always wondered if I had opened his cupboard, would he have had a tiger’s penis hanging next to his overalls.

So, it’s time to crack on and write and show you more about the Carnival Vista and so I will be back with more soon and I truly wish you were here.


Cheers 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.