Weather challenge

June 9, 2016 -

John Heald

Hello everyone, I am glad to see some of you enjoyed the “Live from My Garden” video on my Facebook page yesterday and, with so many views, I guess I will do another one soon, so tune for something called “Live from My Shower” or, to give it a bit of a Disney feel, “Join John Live From His Shower As He Proves That It Is Indeed….A Small World.” Seriously though, I will do another one soon so join me then and I will have live news and take some questions too.

It has been a busy weekend for the beards and the captains and crew as there is obviously some weather around the western Caribbean. And, as I mentioned, we do from time to time change a ship’s course to keep guests safe and sound. I also mentioned that, when possible, we will try and give the guests the itinerary they booked and one way to do that is to do what we call “a reverse itinerary,” which basically means that we operate the same itinerary but the order of the ports are is switched. This is what we have done this week with cruises aboard Carnival Liberty and Carnival Freedom. So, basically guests get the best weather and don’t wake up to an announcement by the wonderful Cruise Director Malcolm Burn with an announcement message saying it’s a sea day followed by a “Woo Hoo.” Nope, they get the same ports albeit with some changed arrival and departure times.

Now 29 years at sea tells me that 99% of the guests will be happy and content that A) they are being kept away from the storm and B) that they get to go to the ports they booked. But 29 years at sea also tells me that 1% will not be singing “If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands.” Nope, they will be foaming at the mouth like a rabid yak demanding compensation. Some will have booked a private tour and, with the change of port sequence, the operator has refused to refund or cannot accommodate them on the new day the ship will call in the port. Now this may seem like I am promoting the idea of booking a shore excursion with the ship. I make no apologies for doing so because, again, it’s experience that tells me that booking a tour with us takes away the stress of having to re-book and arguing with the operator can be a headache you don’t need.

And experience also tells me that there will be one or two people on these ships who will be “outraged” that we have changed the ports of call.  And I can also tell you they won’t care who they tell. Yep, it always amazes me how a few guests will shout at  Ionut the bar waiter who has a  Kiss On The Lips and two pints of ThirstyFrog Red on his tray so that  must clearly mean it’s his decision the ship changed port sequence, so he must be shouted at. Why do a few guests do that? Why shout at a bar waiter. It’s no different than going to the bridge and asking the captain to make a delicious strawberry daiquiri. A few will also say that they intended to be in a specific port on a specific day because they had plans. And, yes, we always feel sorry and, indeed, we allow guests to call from the ship to help reschedule their arrangements but others will expect some kind of free something. No, changing ports doesn’t mean we can set up a private dinner on the balcony with a live serenade by the classical trio.

And, as we go through hurricane season, someone somewhere will have missed a port, reversed an itinerary or had a cruise with different ports to which they booked and will for sure call it the “cruise from hell” and the “worst vacation of our lives.”

“The cruise from hell.” Now, while I have sympathy for anyone who has changes made to their planned cruise, this is not the “cruise from hell?” Or is it “the worst vacation of their lives?” Has this family never had massive arguments because no one remembered to pack the toothbrushes? Have their children not gotten car sick? Did they all remember their passports? Are none of the children so embarrassed by their parents’ summer outfits as their Dad wears the briefest of Speedos on the beach? Has a camera ever been lost? Or an eyephone dropped in a hot tub or maybe Mum and Dad want some rumpy pumpy in the tiny hotel room just for once………you little bastards. Is it too much to ask? Can’t you just go and play on your own for a bit like other children?

Yep, things can change but please accept them, smile, grab a cocktail and remember you’re still having a great vacation. The ship is away from the bad weather and the staff and crew will work extra hard to make sure you have fun on board and fun ashore. Don’t be the one who shouts at a crew member because, if you do, there is a chance you may get seasick and lockjaw at the same time and you wouldn’t want that, now, would you?


Cheers and have a brilliant day.

Comment Policy

Look, friends — there are a few things you should remember before you comment. The space below is for you to post your comments about the post I've just written above. Now, while I may not be able to reply to your comment below, I do sit in my underpants almost every morning and read everything that is here. So feel free to comment on the comments and then if someone wants to comment on the comment to the comment then go ahead as well. Please be courteous, unless the poster is French...........then you can say whatever you want.

40 Responses to Weather challenge

  1. Linda Miller says:

    Hi John
    When will there be faster to fun for the Vista going out of Miami in December

    • Viola Levato says:

      I am also looking for a Faster to the Fun for the Vista on Dec.11th. I can’t seem to find out anything about it. I really do need this pass for my husband. Can anyone help with this?

  2. Brady Steele says:

    Just off the Elation. Something needs to be done regarding bar server attitudes towards Cheers customers. This was my third, and now final, time getting this program. Each time you can see the look of disappointment on the faces of the servers when they find out your Cheers. Service takes twice as long as usual and in some cases we had to flag down other servers to get the drinks we ordered from the first server. Unless we went to the bar ourselves, we would not have been able to meet our 15 drink max each day. This trip, I finally had a server admit to me that because I was not right at poolside, but further back towards the Mongolian grill and also on Cheers, that the servers have no reason to hurry and get me our drinks. Enough is enough John, please address this with the Beards and see if something can be done. I’m feeling like I’m no longer important to the servers but I feel I’ve paid my money like everyone else.

    • Robin says:

      We’ve experienced the same with the Cheers program. Helps a lot to add an extra $1 or $2 tip to each ticket, which we would do even if we were paying as we go.

    • John Lee says:

      Seriously, I have found the exact opposite to be true. However whether I have Cheers or not I tip ontop of what I already paid so that could be the difference. I have never once had an issue with slow drinks or even a bar waiter coming around. In fact they have been nothing but happy to come get a drink order.

  3. Janet Owens says:

    Hi John!!! This Sunday, June 26th, I’ll be on The Breeze ( Cabin 6467 ). I’m so excited!!! My husband told me I should take a girls cruise. So I thought of who wasn’t tied down with a job & kids and who could afford to go with me. The person I chose is a FaceBook friend that I have never met!!! We had become very close online & talk on the phone when we can. We say we must have been sisters in another life. She has never cruised before and she jumped at the chance to go! I’m so thrilled to get to visit a place I’ve never been to before. Belize & Roatan!!! Most ships leaving out of Galveston only go to Cozumel or the Bahamas. I’m bored with them. So this is going to be a fantastic cruise & my friend and I will be making sweet memories of what I have heard, is a beautiful country. The only down side is that you won’t be there, John. I haven’t cruised with you since my first cruise on The Fantasy in 1991. I hope to see u again some day. But if not, I’m so thankful for FB & your blogs. May God bless you & your family and keep you all safe. Love, Janet

  4. Kelly Mead says:

    Hi John, I’m planning a bit of fun in a couple of weeks and I need some help from you. My husband and I will both turn 50 this year and we will also have our 25 wedding anniversay this year….thus we are going on the carnival liberty on July 2nd. Sooo excited! I just found out that a young lady I work with is going on the carnival liberty in aug for her honeymoon. I want to leave something somewhere on the ship for her to find but I can’t think of how to make it work? Do you have any ideas for me?

  5. Craig W says:

    Hi John just first wanna say love watching your videos and they make me want to sail.on the Vista so bad I can wait to book a cruise on her. On another note I have a cruise this weekend (July 3rd) on the Pride and we have a couple people going who have never cruised before. One is 13 the other is older she’s a lady so not going to say her name other then she is her grandmother lol. They are so excited and I know it’s a late notice but is there something in there room you could have them decorate to welcome them on there first cruise even if it’s full of Towel animals and a Welcome to tour first cruise sign or something but it was just a thought. Sorry for the long message thanks for all you do John and keep the FB post coming we love it

  6. Dee says:

    First of all, where is the “Ask John tab”?- unable to find such a thing on this page.

    I have wondered about and asked this question multiple times, and here we go again…Is there any way to prearrange or request a table for 2 in the dining room?We like assigned time dining, so flexible plan not a good option. EVERY cruise that we are alone, I spend part of the first hour on ship standing in line at the restaurant.Any help with this matter would be appreciated.

  7. Angie Tate says:

    Hey John we looking forward to sailing away on Monday from Charleston! Heading to the Bahamas and still not sure what we will get in to this time. One thing is for certain we will locate the Kareoke lol Last year we went to the Grand Caymen and one night on a whim our group stopped in to take a listen. My now 16 yr old daughter, Sydnie, who is a natural born entertainer… self made Comedian (at least she thinks so….must be that extra chromosome she is blessed with lol ) decides she’s going to sing. She chooses The Climb by Miley Cyrus. Needless to say at the end everybody was on their feet, some with tears in their eyes, cheering for that fearless girl that never meets a stranger. She has talked about Kareoke all year (not that it was her first time on stage……she had recently sung it at her high school talent show) and asking if there will be K on this ship. We assured her it most likely would have it this time too. So we are all packed up and Monday can’t come fast enough for this crowd. The Carnival Crew (16 of us) are on their way 🙂 Darin Angie Sydnie (16 w a little extra chromHey John I’m looking forward to sailing away on Monday from Charleston! Heading to the Bahamas and still not sure what we will get in to this time. One thing is for certain we will locate the Kareoke lol Last year we went to the Grand Caymen and one night on a whim our group stopped in to take a listen. My now 16 yr old daughter, Sydnie, who is a natural born entertainer… self made Comedian (at least she thinks so….must be that extra chromosome she is blessed with lol ) decides she’s going to sing. She chooses The Climb by Miley Cyrus. Needless to say at the end everybody was on their feet, some with tears in their eyes, cheering for that fearless girl that never meets a stranger. She has talked about Kareoke all year (not that it was her first time on stage……she had recently sung it at her high school talent show) and asking if there will be K on this ship. We assured her it most likely would have it this time too. So we are all packed up and Monday can’t come fast enough for this crowd. The Carnival Crew (16 of us) are on their way!

    Darin & Angie (celebrating 25 yrs in Sept), Sydnie (16, with a little extra chromosome) and Saylor (12, with a little extra attitude)
    We are Blessed!

  8. Carl Rice says:

    DONOT Print. Please email me at

    2 questions.

    1. when will the Hawaii schedule be in for 2017?

    2. Why john do you need to say Hi to everyone on the live cast you do. We love you but please don’t due the shoot outs. Give info and stuff like that. Thank You..

  9. judy says:

    Can you think k about a winter vacation cruise going out of n y not on a Friday oy Saturday and not coming back on a Friday or saturday

  10. Norman McGarry says:

    Where is this mysterious “Ask John” tab? I see “Meet John”, “Sail with John”, “John talk”, etc., but nowhere can I find “Ask John”. Not that I have anything to ask at this time, but it would be comforting to know where it is just in case.

    • Laura says:

      Norman McGarry commented on where is the ‘Ask John tab’ — I would also like to know where that is as I have something to ask. Please advise

  11. JoVeda Wallar says:


    I booked 2 cruises (back to back) on my last cruise and paid a deposit.. The cruises are not until December.. They told I could make any changes without penalty.. My daughter is having surgery so I need to make some changes but when I called they told me I would loose my deposit.. And they would charge me a $200 change fee and I would lose the on board credit I got for booking while I was on a cruise.. Can you please help??


  12. Janet Bertram says:

    Hi John…Just thought I would share a positive note about the Fascination. We sailed on her June 26, 2016. To show you that a cruise is what you make it I have a little story. After months of planning for my daughter, 15 yr old grandson and myself the day had finally arrived. We flew to PR from Texas and had a few days to enjoy the city. We were dropped off at the cruise terminal and I walked 5 steps into the building and fell…HARD. First the knee, then the hip then the arm which was straight over my head and then the old head. Can we say goose egg!! I cruised with a black eye. The Carnival people were helping me in an instant. I laid in the doorway for some time before I felt I could be sat in a chair. All the while being very cared for. The police came, ambulance came and EMT. I was examined right there by the EMT and he said my shoulder was out of socket. Thru an interpreter the EMT said if I go to the hospital I will miss the ship. He said he could fix it there. OK I knew if I did not get on that ship my daughter and grandson were not going without me. So they took me around the corner from the door and popped it back in place. I was loud!! Then when I was able to get going again we were taken up stairs by a wonderful carnival employee. I wish I knew her name. She took our 3 passports, got our sea and sail cards and then she took us thru the screening. She then found a young Carnival employee to take us directly to our suite. My daughter tried to tip them both but they would not take the money. They then got me comfy on the balcony and they went to get a sling and meds for the cruise. Once on the ship we were called each day to see if I was ok and if I needed to go to the doctor. They even left notes under the door to let me know about 24 hr dr care. Our room steward Pat was over the top helpful the whole trip. We were in V17. At the muster I was taken care of by the assist cruise director and explained where I should meet. In the MDR each night Gusti and his crew cut my meat for me and anything else I needed. At breakfast I was never allowed to carry my own tray. Some one was always there to help. We had to cancel 2 excursions I had planned and was helped with full refunds. Wendy and Luke went on them and I just relaxed. We all enjoyed the cruise and loved the Fascination. It is a beautiful ship and can not understand why people complain. I never ran into any unfriendly staff and the service was wonderful. Sorry this is so long but I feel like you never hear a lot of good things. I would do this trip again in a heart beat. Except for the fall. lol When we got back into port and coming off the ship we were greeted by 3 of the wonderful people that had helped me. They all had to wish me well and get a hug.

    Now when back in Texas my husband took me to the emergency room for treatment. I had ex rays… opps the arm is broke!!! Six to eight weeks in a sling. But you know what I would do it again. Just with drugs this time. To see my grandsons face at all the wonderful things to do and see made it worth while.

    Thank you Carnival and your whole staff for making it the Fun Ship…broke arm and all.

  13. Beth Ann S says:

    On your side,John!

  14. Beth Ann S says:


  15. Mark Wisner says:

    A bad day at sea is still better than a good day at work.

  16. Steven Hal says:

    Hi John, any chance Carnival will merge the loyalty programs of all the companies brands the Carnival banner. I live in the Pacific Northwest and I’m getting ready to do another Alaska Cruise but the Carnival Brand does not have a very good offering for Alaska. Holland America does a great job on Alaska and I would like to cruise with them providing my sea days could count. It seems like a no-brainer if you want to keep Carniival Cruisers from trying competitors.

  17. Sheila Simicich says:

    Hi John. My friends and I will be sailing on the Pride in February 14, 2017. It’s my birthday cruise. I was wondering if the Pride will be staying in Tampa or going back to Baltimore in March. The Tampa cruisers are hoping that the repositioning will be permanent. Have a great day.

  18. Mary says:

    Hi John, I wasn’t sure where to contact you, this was the only place I could find. I wanted to tell you about our experience on board the Triumph this week. I’m sure you get a lot of petty complaints, so I wanted to share something positive. We got on the ship last Thursday and got to our room at about 1:30. There was a blower fan running in the room, and the carpet was slightly damp. We didn’t think anything of it, figured they were just cleaning the carpets. Our steward (Gede) quickly introduced himself and explained that the water in the toilet had leaked and that they were trying to dry it. We didn’t really care, we weren’t planning to be in the room much anyway, and everything looked and smelled clean. We went on about our business, and later when we were in the room, Gede’s supervisor came to check the floors and let us know that they would continue to run the fan while we were at dinner. Again, we didn’t care, not a big deal. When we came back from dinner, the floor was dry and the fan was gone. The next day, there was a knock at the door. It was room service with a gift for us. I was confused, but accepted it when i saw our names on the card. It was chocolate covered strawberries, and a note apologizing for our room not being ready on time. The note also mentioned that we should enjoy steakhouse selections at dinner on elegant night free of charge for the inconvenience of the room. We got to dinner that night and our wait staff had been informed of the issue and encouraged us to choose our steakhouse selections. Carnival really went out of their way to fix something that wasn’t even remotely a problem. We appreciated how much they cared about making our vacation a completely positive experience. The cruise was great and our steward, Gede was exceptional. The bar staff was also great. We are not big drinkers and had about 10 drinks the entire cruise between the two of us, but the staff still learned our names, and would greet us by name before seeing our s&s cards, and they remembered what we liked to drink. Thanks for a great cruise, and we hope you can pass along what an excellent job Gede and the bar staff in the show lounge did. Mary, Triumph, cabin 2299

  19. janis beal says:

    I miss the old carnival page for booking. The new page with all the graphics is just not as good and too much work to compare cruises from different ports, dates, etc.

  20. Robert Drews says:

    We are going a cruise for my wife’s Birthday
    November 12 out of new Orleans.
    This is our first Cruise.

  21. ReGina Robinson says:

    John could you please notify me per e-mail , I have a ? for our upcoming cruise Thanks

  22. Kevin Bokduc says:

    Instead of the useless gifts being given to platinum/diamond members…how about ccl giving a photo credit? Something of value versus another cup or ugly plastic visor

  23. ReGina Robinson says:

    John Can I get your e-mail please I have some ? about our upcoming cruise ! Thanks!

  24. Kenneth Spahn says:

    When will we be seeing the trans-canal cruise for the splendor on its way to China? My in-laws really want to do that cruise, but the are getting along in years and I not sure how much longer they will be able to cruise. If it’s been cancelled or changed we could plan something else for their last cruise. We live on the west coast so the east coast cruises are very limited for them because of flight times.
    Looking forward to meeting you finally on vista.

  25. Thomas says:

    Hi John, I love reading your posts on Facebook and your blogs. I am taking a Carnival cruise in September. The 24th to be exact out of Miami. This is my sixth cruise. Me and 2 friends are going. We upgraded from a balcony room to the Grand Suite. I received an email this past week about upgrading to the Captains sweet. After thinking it I did the upgrade. My first ever suite on Carnival. I am super excited. My 2 other friends don’t know I did this and they will be just as excited when they find out which I am trying to hide from them until we check in on the ship. I am doing their check in online for them. Would there be any way possible John you can send a treat to our room on the ship. This is a birthday cruise for one of my friends going on the cruise. Thank you so much in advance.

  26. Julia Washington says:

    Hi John! We leave in 2 weeks on the Liberty with my fantastic husband! We are celebrating our 8th wedding anniversary and I’d love to do something special for him. See, this man went from a bachelor who’d never been married or had kids to being married and raising 2 boys. He has coached almost every sport and always been there for them. Any ideas?

  27. Jennifer Hale says:

    Hello John,
    Not sure how to contact you with this question so I will try here and see how that goes?!? We will be sailing on the Pride at the end of October and our twin daughters have to do a photo journal for school while they are gone. My question is what is a must do/see on the boat or at the ports (Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay and Freeport) for them to get the most for the project and overall first cruising experience?

  28. Wayne Wallace says:

    My wife and I are on the Splender 10/8 sailing. We are celebrating her 3rd anniversary of cancer free for her. Can you do something nice for het? This will be our 36 th Carnival cruise. Thanks and cheers!!
    Wayne Wallace

  29. Rusti Clemens says:

    Hi John, We are going on the Journeys cruise to Hawaii on October 15 and have early dining. Can you please help us get a table for two? Thanks so much for anything you. An do!

  30. Andy Hooke says:

    I have just finished my first ever cruise. It was on the Carnival Vista.; 10 night around the Med. It was so good that the wife is looking to book a couple more! That really is a compliment to your staff. To add to my surprise at loving a cruise:I had serious reservations and all were allayed: I saw you on a number of videos. I was deeply surprised although I do remember your dad telling me you were working in entertainment in the Cruise industry. Best wishes Andy Hooke

  31. Trae Flesher says:

    Hello John – I hope this finds you fully recouperated from your flight with stinky feet!

    I am writing to ask your assistance once again with my meals. I am gluten free and peanut free due to allergies. I will go and talk with the dining consultant when we board the ship on Saturday, but I hope that you will be able to put in a good word as well.

    Hubby and I will be sailing out of Galveston on the Freedom on 10/8/16. We are booked in stateroom 7345 and scheduled for Your Time Dining. We also like to attend the Tea Time on Sea Days – could you let them know I will be attending? We also like to partake of the Chocolate Extravaganza…if they could prepare the gluten free chocolate cheesecake, that would be plenty for me!

    Unfortunately, there was nothing I could enjoy for tea time and my dining room fare was severely limited on the Breeze in April, so your help is greatly appreciated!

    Also, could you put me in touch with someone concerning The Chef’s table. Hubby and I would love to do this sometime, but I can’t find out anything about what would be available for me to eat. When I ask to speak with someone while onboard – they have already filled up. Thanks again, John!

  32. Alexandra Corder says:

    Good morning John,
    I seem to have the opposite problem them most this week! Our cruise is going and we can not get there. We finally booked a cruise from the west coast, we are booked to travel on the Miracle Oct 8. We live in Charleston S.C. as it stands now we are under a mandatory evacuation from our house and our flights to Los Angeles have been cancelled. There is no way for us to get there. We want to cruise and we need the vacation. I need to cancel my cruise and would like Carnival to be able to resell my room. We would love if it all possible to get a credit for future travel once this storm passes. We would go on any cruise that has a spot available for us. My travel agent called Carnival and they would not help her. We cruise this week every year and we do know the risks but as we were leaving from the west coast we let our guard down. We would appreciate any assistance that you could offer. Our booking number is 1VN9T9 Paul and Alexandra Corder.

  33. Georgiag says:

    Hi John,
    My family traveled to LA to go on a carnival cruise and it’s been a long time coming. My dads in the navy and this is probably their last chance for a holiday for a long time so I’m really hoping it’s a special time. Is there any way I could pay for there to be something special in their room when they board? Or am I able to purchase a ticket to the behind the fun tour? My mum really wants to do it so I would love to pay for it for her as she loved it last time. Thanks in advance, and I understand if it’s not possible 😊

  34. TinaMarie Duarte says:

    ROFLMAO!! Oh John, you never fail to crack me up. Can’t wait to see you on the TA. Hang in there it will get better.

    TinaMarie Duarte,

  35. Tonya Schroyer says:

    Hi John, my husband and I are going on carnival pride Oct.23 and this is very special for us, first it will be 30 years married, but the biggest thing is he goes for a very risky surgery second week of November, he has renal carcinomia, the surgery is very risky due to health factors and the doctor said he may not make it through surgery, so we got approval from doctor to go on this cruise out of Baltimore, we are very excited, could you give me some ideas on showing him a good time and treating him? I want this to be an awesome experience for him. Thank you so much!!! This means the world to me

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