This is from John’s nomination for Seatrade Insider Sea-going Employee of the Year. Now I’m positive this also should earn him the selection of GODFATHER FOR THE CARNIVAL SPLENDOR.
John Heald – already the most popular cruise director in the industry with a loyal following and even a few fan clubs took his popularity to an entirely new level with the launch of his widely read blog which, as of late July, has logged more than 500,000 hits.
Although originally intended as a complement to the Web site created for the launch of the new 110,000-ton Carnival Freedom, Heald’s blog has taken on a life of its own and is now an important part of the company’s marketing efforts.
Heald’s blog has increased the visibility of the “Fun Ship” product, particularly for the company’s European cruises with colorful descriptions of the region’s array of stunning ports with accompanying photos and even travel tips and shore excursion recommendations. The blog has even generated its own cruise – the ‘John Heald Bloggers Cruise’ – while resulting in its share of bookings, both for this voyage and other Carnival sailings.
Heald’s blog is unlike anything else in the cruise industry, offering candid commentary about shipboard life, as well as his own personal musings on life in general. A popular feature is a Q&A section where Heald answers readers’ questions on various topics, both cruise and non-cruise related. The frank, open discussions have resulted in a loyal following among readers.
The blog – while certainly successful due to Heald’s energetic and outgoing personality – is just one aspect of his role as the sole senior cruise director aboard the Carnival fleet.
As senior cruise director, Heald has the most prominent position aboard ship, serving as entertainer, emcee, spokesperson, cheerleader and tour guide all in one. He also hosts a larger-than-life version of Carnival Freedom’s popular Morning Show on the ship’s giant LED screen on Lido Deck, infusing his unique personality and humor while going over the day’s events.
His popularity has even translated into new business for Carnival, as many of the line’s guests will frequently book those cruises where he is serving as cruise director.
Above all, Heald serves as an excellent ambassador for Carnival and the cruise industry as a whole. Through his wit, humor and charm, he does an outstanding job of not only highlighting the many benefits of cruising but also helping to alleviate misconceptions regarding the experience.
It is for these reasons that John Heald should be considered as Seatrade Insider’s Seagoing Employee of the Year 2007.