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.

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.