John’s week goes from bad to worse

//John’s week goes from bad to worse

I’m feeling a little bit sorry for Carnival’s senior cruise director John Heald this week. For a start he was given the task of telling passengers how his company’s new smoking policy will operate – and as a man who enjoys a Cohiba, it’s not been easy for him to explain why the ships’ cigar bars are to become smoke-free zones.
One irate – but not erudite – passenger called him a “big hypacritt” and threatened physical violence before promising to take his custom to other ships where, incidentally, he will find his smoking opportunities just as restricted.
But if that weren’t enough, John has had complaints from some of the passengers on the current cruise aboard Carnival Magic who are not, how shall we put it, totally familiar with the geography of Italy or even everyday life in its capital.
Rome is built on seven hills, but it was not built on the coast. Romulus and Remus were not thinking about future generations of cruise ship passengers when they first planned its streets and monuments.
The port for Rome is Civitavecchia. It’s a good 50 miles away, and the journey by coach between the two on a busy autostrada takes at least an hour and usually longer.
So John was taken aback one morning this week to receive the following message from the front desk:
“Good Morning.
Guest wanted to speak to you John as she is upset that the ship does not dock in Rome itself. Guest says that she was told by Carnival the ship would dock within walking distance of the Vatican. I have explained that this is not possible but she insists on speaking to you.”

That was not the only complaint. Another read:
“Guest stated CD John in his presentation mentioned to be aware of pick pocketers in Rome and not to carry valuable items, therefore she and her son took no cash ashore when they went on the Rome On Your Own which is transportation only.
In Rome, guest realised she had to pay to get into Coliseum and Vatican and other areas. Guest said they went all the way to Rome and came back seeing nothing and want compensation. John please call the guest asap.”

John will no doubt do his best to pacify both guests, as he always does. Not sure how he’s going to deal with this one though:
” Mrs__________came to the desk and said she was on the wrong cruise and that she thought the Carnival Magic was a Celebrity cruise line ship and that her travel agent had sold her wrong information on the ship. Guest was very unhappy and wants to disembark in Monaco and for a full refund.”
shanks.jpgThe pressure was turned up another notch when Cunard’s president, Peter Shanks, flew to New York for a series of meetings and was pictured (left) wearing a giant Carnival hat in the shape of the line’s distinctive funnels. Was he really trying to take over the role of brand ambassador from Margate’s finest Mr Heald?
Never mind, John; cheer up, things could be worse. Your boss’s netball team might have lost in the NBA Finals, but that’s never going to happen.
Sorry, what was that? The Dallas Mavericks beat Miami Heat? Impossible.
I guess it really isn’t John’s week.

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:05+00:00 17 June 2011|Cruise Gossip|2 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.


  1. Linda (Mom of DJ) 17 June 2011 at 7:11 pm - Reply

    Well written and so true…..
    but what keeps John going is his LOVELY PRECIOUS family who happen to be with him this week. I guess Karma knew that he was going to need them.
    I am sure one smile from that beautiful daughter is his melted any crustations from the grime of the day.
    John also has a host of characters who (while not always agreeing with him) love him enough to overlook differences and ALWAYS has his back.

  2. Laurie Pedrick 18 June 2011 at 5:33 pm - Reply

    Good job on the description of what poor John has had to endure this week. He is indeed fortunate that he has darling wife Heidi with him and the adorable Kye. While I am sure it is not just and affliction of Americans, it is an point of shame to read what some folks demand when the take no responsibility for themselves. I agree with Linda that there is no shortage of interesting individuals that cross John’s path. Once again, thanks for a great read.

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