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?

Anyway, I did have a wonderful view of the town and while I stare at a reflection of a brand x celebrity many of the guests here will be walking in the footsteps of the Romans as they marvel at the breathtaking wonder of the world that is Ephesus. It will be interesting to see how many guests stay on board today because this remember was a very late addition to the itinerary and some may still be thinking of using the ship as a sea day …….in port, if you know what I mean. I will let you know what the counts are through the morning so we can see but at 10:00am ( now) we have 1597 guests out of 3900 on the ship which is more than normal. Lets see if that decreases later in the day.

As for the guests, well, they are having a brilliant time. Last night we watched the America Rocks show and it does exactly what it says in the title, it rocks. Previously I had walked the ship with someone who needs no introduction but I will give him one anyway. Yep, our Chairman Micky Arison is here having come from the grand naming ceremony of Holland America’s new stunning new ship Konnigsdam to sail a few days on your Carnival Vista.

I am always so awestruck by the presence this man brings everything he does and his love, his passion his intense desire to produce the best cruise vessels in the industry never waivers. Now those that read this and use a false name when they post here will probably think that “ Heald is saying that so that the Chairman buys him a new Aston Martin.” That obviously is bollocks ( but if he is , a black Vanquish with cream leather interior please ) because you will never meet anyone who has a better eye, more insight and knowledge and more desire for all the guests who sail on the ships within the corporation to have the best of times. As it is on many people’s bucket list to sail on the Carnival Vista or the Queen Mary 2 or the Royal Princess so should it be on any true lover of the cruise world to meet and shake his hand.

Now there is a man or indeed a woman or indeed a bit of both who has discovered my e mail address and constantly bombards me with e mails containing links to Cruise Critic boards. And these links all have the same theme. Yep, anytime anyone there says anything negative about me someone with an e mail address mentioning they had fun in 2010 sends me the link.

I don’t know the person who sends me these emails constantly, although I have, for some reason started calling him Dick.

Most of the time I ignore Dick but occasionally when I am so bored and when I go to the bathroom and having nothing better to do while I sit there , I do open them and I do laugh, yep, I really do laugh. Yesterday I had one about tablecloths………….hold on, please come out from under the bed, I am not getting into that discussion again, they are not coming back, the end. No, this comment that Dick had highlighted suggested that getting rid of the tablecloths ( except one elegant night) was a cutback which is ridiculous. No , the comment that made me laugh was where someone said that they wished the next cutback Carnival would make would to be fire me.

I understand why this person  would like to see me fired as brand ambassador and replaced with a Yak or why someone would vote for a certain politician or not eat anything that moos, baaas, or clucks, I do not understand why, if people despise me or Carnival Cruise Line so much that they continue to read my stuff.

Finding myself at the receiving end of these kind of comments can be distressing, sometimes intensely so. But I take it as given that being “well known” after 29 years at sea and a few years on social media means that I am expected to have such a thick skin that this kind of comment bounces off me.

And, for the most part, they do but it is puzzling that just because someone is well known means that this should be so. Take anyone truly famous. They may have money in the bank and a high profile life that makes them a “star” and household name but does that automatically come with skin as thick as an elephant’s scrotum and should these people not have feelings about some of the spiteful and hateful comments they get? This is the same for most famous people, trolls attack and yet they are supposed to take it all up the jacksie (urban dictionary.com) without question. And there is someone on the ship that I mentioned earlier who knows far better than me how that feels.

OK, finally today, remember the ladies who were upset that Matt the CD here accidentally gave the weather information for Naples, Florida rather than the one in Italy? They had asked for dinner for 2 at the Steakhouse or monetary compensation because they had “carried heavy rain gear around Pompeii “ because of the chance of thunderstorms Matt had mentioned?

Well, I saw them this morning and they are still very upset and told me that “they would leave the ship with a very bad impression of Carnival” if something was not done for them. And so I will send them a bottle of house champagne tonight and a trophy each to wish them well. Yes, I know they deserve nothing and yet costs us so little to do this and if makes them smile……….well, that’s a good thing.

I also promised to personally leave them a note tonight with the weather for Athens tomorrow as they have a long day of excursions. So tonight, I will put in their cabin, the champagne, 2 trophies and the weather forecast for Athens……………the one in Georgia.



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.