So it would be silly for me not to start today’s blog and mention what happened on the Carnival Liberty. First of all, I would like to thank each and every guest for their patience and understanding and thank those who were on the ship at the time of the fire for listening to the ship’s commands to calmly make their way onto the pier in St. Thomas. A big thank you also must go to the crew for their outstanding efforts over the past few days. I am sure you will have read on my Facebook page the comments from guests on the ship who saluted Carnival for the full refund, the 50 percent future cruise discount and the $150 onboard credit we gave each and every guest. This praise was echoed by hundreds of people on Facebook as well. (more…)


May 1, 2014 -

John Heald

Carnival Miracle was built in Finland and, let me tell you something about the Finnish, they really were brilliant ship builders and, although once quitting time came around, they might like to hoist a pint or two (or three) but when they worked, they were as dedicated as anyone I’ve ever seen to become superb builders of sea going vessels — and indeed still are.

 But as I walk around Carnival Miracle and admire their work, which has stood the test of time here for sure, I can’t help but remember the difference between how the ship builders were during the week vs. how they were on the weekend (which you could probably say the same for a lot of European nations not to mention the U.S.). Their motto seemed to be that it was no use drinking the odd glass of beer now and then, it was too expensive and (more…)


April 29, 2014 -

John Heald

I am staying in a guest cabin this cruise here on the Carnival Miracle, so I want to start today’s blog with an observation, if I may. In the bathroom the stateroom stewards (or “stewarts” as they are sometimes called – FFS!) place three sizes of towels for us to use. There are the big ones used after a shower and there are the medium-sized ones that we use to dry our hands and faces after a wash or a shave and can also be used to wipe away that stubborn toothpaste mark from around the sink. (more…)


November 12, 2013 -

John Heald

This is not going to be my best blog ever, just letting you know. That’s because I have just come out of one meeting and in between organizing the last details of the Carnival Sunshine naming ceremony I have just had a two-hour meeting with someone who can only be described as ……………ummmm……………boring. The person who was leading the meeting is excellent at his or her job but bloody hell……he or she really is boring. Even if they had just been abducted by a naked space alien with three eyes and a 22 foot long thing who had said “take me to your leader” in a French accent..…he or she would still tell that storing in such a boring way. The meeting this morning was indeed so boring that I wished I was a horse so I could fall asleep standing up. I wish I could have found an excuse not to attend this meeting but when certain beards find out I am in Miami they like to schedule a meeting with. In the old days I would have found an excuse, I used to be really good at that but as I got older I got more responsible ………bugger. I have been thinking about my early life at Carnival recently and you will see why later in the blog and I remember one excuse I used. (more…)


July 17, 2013 -

John Heald

I was talking with a fellow cruise director a few days ago and as we chatted on the satellite phone — me in Dover, UK, and my colleague just waking up in the western Caribbean — he told me about the difficulties he had recently gone through, thanks to Tropical Storm Chantal. It wasn’t the storm that had caused him difficulties — no, it was a couple of guests who went beyond the usual disappointment that every guest feels when a change of itinerary occurs and became abusive and angry. This is, as the great Welsh, hip-gyrating Tom Jones says, “not unusual.” Not only on Carnival but on every other cruise line in the world………maybe with the exception of P&O because Brits never complain about anything in public. But seriously, on every ship that is affected by Mother Nature, there are people who do not and will not understand that the cruise lines make these changes to avoid ……..ummmmm………….how do I put it ………. ummmmm……ummmmm……oh, yes, I know…………..DEATH! (more…)

The past two weeks I have flown from the UK to Italy (one hour forward) and back again (one hour back). Then it was off to Russia (four hours forward) and then back from Russia (four hours back.) Then this week I flew from the UK to the U.S. (five hours back) plus my time at U.S. Immigration (two days back — or so it felt like). Then this previous week during my handover week on Carnival Legend, I was living out of a suitcase in a guest cabin unable to unpack properly and with no office to Facebook and blog from plus organise (YES, YOU SODDING BASTARD OF A COMPUTER, ORGANISE IS SPELT WITH AN “S”) a 15-day trans-Atlantic where I had to use my cabin as an office. Yep, it’s been a hectic month for sure. (more…)


May 18, 2012 -

John Heald

Here is the schedule for June, July and August and I will have the rest of the year as soon as I can. May I take this opportunity to thank all my Cruise Director colleagues for their continuing hard work and their dedication in making sure you have the most fun possible.

CD Schedule Summer 2012

Sent: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 10:22 AM
Subject: Thanks

Good morning John

I want to thank you for your help promoting our bamboo massage yesterday. Your announcement helped lots of people discover this excellent treatment and they all left feeling fantastic. I would like to offer you a complimentary massage to say thank you so please give me a call when you would like to have it so you can experience this for yourself. Thanks John.

Best Regards
Mia – Spa Manager


Here is my reply: (more…)


February 17, 2012 -

John Heald

It’s Friday February 17 and its time to pay tribute to something that has slowly disappeared from the Promenade Decks and dining rooms of the Carnival fleet. No, not the sodding shrimp cocktail ……….the gentleman’s tuxedo. My first remembrance of the tuxedo or dinner jacket as it’s known in the land of spotted dick and Simon Cowell was when I hired one from a store called Moss Bros. It was for a posh party and my mate Alan and I thought it would be “cool” to wear a tuxedo. Turns out it wasn’t and we were the only two people wearing such attire and to the other party goers we didn’t look cool at all. We looked like total and utter plonkers and we might as well have stood there wearing baggy underpants…… because the girls ignored us. We ended up drowning our sorrows with cheap wine and the next day I returned my hired tuxedo to the store explaining to the man on the returns desk that it was covered in vomit when I rented it.

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.