The Bizarre World of Cruising's Johns

Truth is almost always stranger than fiction. John Heald, who can be so outrageously funny that some may accuse him of thriving on fiction, has had a big-time dose of reality-cum-fiction this month.

Now this information comes from another John (Honeywell), aka Captain Greybeard. Since there have to be some privileges in being a greybeard, even if I’m neither a Captain nor a John, using the popular cruisaholic from The Mirror in London as a source is surely acceptable.

Captain Greybeard was feeling sorry for Carnival’s chief cruise director, who’s also a regular cruise blogger. Here are some of the reasons John Heald was deserving of a little sympathy…

Case No. 1:
A passenger was upset with Carnival because the ship she was on did not dock in Rome, and she was told it would be within walking distance of the Vatican. Rome’s cruise-ship terminal is in Civitavecchia, about 50 miles away. It’s a long walk. She wanted to know what Mr. Heald was going to do about it. Really?

Case No. 2:
An irate guest blamed John Heald because he said to be aware of pick pockets in Rome. As a result, she and her son took no cash ashore and were surprised to find they had to pay to get into the Colosseum and the Vatican. Having taken a Rome On Your Own tour, they saw nothing and demanded compensation from Carnival. Or Heald. Really?

Case No. 3:
A female passenger complained when she found herself on the Carnival Magic after her travel agent sold her the wrong information by telling her she would be on a Celebrity ship. She wanted to disembark from the Magic in Monaco and receive a full refund from the Cruise Director. Really?

Yes, really.

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