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. This voyage, it seems to be about the same with 1,189 guests still on board at 11 am. This, then, it seems is a port then that many will love and enjoy and some will prefer to stay on the ship so I will be recommending to the entertainment team here that we up the number of morning and afternoon activities. However, I do hope everyone coming here on their cruise will purchase an excursion to see Ephesus as it will be something they will never forget.

Once again, I have met, shaken hands with and hugged lots of guests who have either cruised with me or know me from this here page and all truly love the ship. Yep, there have been a few not-so-positive comments but these are always complemented by comments of praise for the ship and those who work on her.

Well, obviously last night was dominated by what happened in the Reflections Dining Room and the galling behavior of Chantelle, a lovely lady who decided to wear a baseball-style cap to dinner because her once beautiful brown shining hair had been devastated by three months of chemotherapy treatment.  Before I continue, I want to thank you all for the kind words of compassion you showed through your posts on this subject and yet I cannot help but also mention that a few said “rules are rules” and that baseball caps are not allowed regardless of the circumstances. So, I will ignore my desire to feed them an extra-large chocolate melting cake made entirely from Ex-Lax and remove all the toilet paper from their cabin, I will instead talk about everyone’s favourite subject, dress code.

Yep, here I go again on my high horse about dress code even though I know that like someone who walks into a barber and says I want my hair to look like Donald Trump’s……I am in the minority. Men, if you wear a suit to work, I bet you are in the minority. It’s just that dress code has changed and, over the years, formal elegant clothing has changed and, the way things are going, the suit will soon be a thing of the past. Look, at Carnival, men are not required to wear a suit and on Friday’s, it’s dress down day, which means many come naked. So if you have a suit, I am not sure in a few years’ time when you are ever going to wear it. When I was a cruise director, I used to wear one on stage because it is illegal for fat people to wear a polo shirt that’s tucked in.  So is it time to say goodbye to the suit? Think about it…..…we don’t put a dress code in the Fun Times that says that the pants must be made from the same fabric as the jacket. Look at the tuxedo …….compared to 10 years ago, sporting a tuxedo on elegant night on board is as rare as spotting a Hog Rider actually on a Carnival cruise.

Right now (and, yes, depending on the cruise length), it’s 50% who do dress up and 50% who say bugger and wear nice jeans, slacks and casual but smart clothing. I know that many will not agree and please don’t worry..….we are not changing our current dress codes. Of course, I also know that some people like getting dressed up. And some people enjoy the feel of working in a good suit. I have no problem with this. And if you want to dress up and, people who ask this question are very right to do so, why don’t we? I think, if nothing else, we need to make our minds up and truly think about what rules we need to apply to dress codes as we move forward and either strictly enforce these rules or realise that, on vacation, people surely have the right to choose what they wear.

Whatever we choose to do, I will never change my personal view which, after last night, is as strong as ever. Why did this lady feel that she needed to stand up and go over to tell another lady she had to remove her hat? Why, FFS, why? Unless this lady’s hat was going to be cut into tiny little pieces, drizzled with olive oil and cooked with the pasta she had ordered, how was it going to affect her meal? If anyone can tell me that her means justified the end result of a lady battling cancer being reduced to tears, then please do.

Tonight, Chantelle and her husband will dine in the steakhouse and I will be speaking with Ken and Chris. the maitre d’s, later today to ensure we look after them and make sure they are happy. I offered Chantelle a massage as well (not by me, obviously, she has been through enough) and she will let me know. Her doctors advised she not come on this cruise. They told her that her body was weak and she should not travel but, as she said in her own words, “This may be my last chance to have a vacation with my husband, so I was determined to go.”

Chantelle is 35 years old.

Think of her today and wish her health and happiness, would you please?


Cheers, have a brilliant day and 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.