Registration for Carnival Cruise Line brand ambassador John Heald’s “FFS Cruise” was slightly delayed due to a technical glitch that prevented guests from registering for the special event on July 31 as planned. The glitch has been corrected, and registration for the unique events on the special sailing sold out just five minutes after opening.

Brief technical difficulties prevented guests from registering for Carnival Cruise Line brand ambassador John Heald’s 2024 “FFS Cruise” – a special sailing where Heald will host events, meet and greet guests, and arrange for extra special fun throughout the cruise.

The designated sailing is the February 17, 2024 departure of Carnival Horizon, an 8-night roundtrip Southern Caribbean cruise from Miami, visiting Bonaire, Aruba, and both La Romana and Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic. This will be the sixth “For Fun’s Sake” cruise for Heald to host, special sailings that have become wildly popular with the brand ambassador’s large following of Carnival fans.

Passengers booked onboard the sailing have the option to select special registration for Heald’s individual events. Registration was to have opened at midnight on July 31, 2023, but technical difficulties prevented guests from registering appropriately, with some travelers attempting to do so for hours without success.

Photo Copyright: Tony Davis (Flickr)

“My sincere apologies to the many of you who stayed up to reserve a spot on my FFS Cruise,” Heald said when the difficulties were noted. “It appears there is a glitch in the system which is embarrassing to say the least.”

Registration was reset after the glitch was corrected, and opened to guests from 9 a.m. Miami (Eastern) time on Tuesday, August 1, 2023. In just minutes, all 650 available spaces were filled.

“Thank you so much to everybody who signed up to be part of my special cruise next year. We sold out to 650 in the space of literally five minutes,” Heald said.

Because of the popularity, Heald has started a waiting list for interested guests in case additional spaces open up before the cruise sets sail.

“I will do my very best to help you be part of the group,” Heald said. “I also promise to each and everyone of you that signed up that I will do everything I can to make this the best cruise ever as we enjoy private activities in the main lounge, lashings of cocktails, a special gift, and a massive dollop of fun.”

The “For Fun’s Sake” cruises are not charter sailings where all travelers have access to all onboard events, and therefore guests interested in attending Heald’s exclusive activities must register to reserve their space. Once confirmed, registered guests will be able to attend two exclusive parties with complimentary cocktails, as well as a private tea time with Heald.

Photo Copyright: Tony Davis

Special morning breakfasts, private meet-and-greets, a question-and-answer session, and other exclusive events will all be part of the sailing. FFS guests will also receive a welcome aboard lanyard and a special gift to commemorate the unique cruise.

Other onboard activities, including production and comedy shows, games, contests, deck parties, and more will be available to all guests just like on any Carnival cruise.

Carnival Cruise Line and John Heald arrange one FFS Cruise per year, giving guests an opportunity to meet Heald and enjoy his unique wit and insights over decades of service with the cruise line.

FFS Cruises began in 2007 as “Bloggers Cruises” connected to Heald’s very successful blog at the time. With the advent and explosion of social media, the blog has been discontinued, but Heald remains connected to his fans and offering tips, advice, and problem solving through his wildly popular Facebook page, where he has more than 517,000 followers and answers hundreds of questions each day.

John Heald

In 2018, these special cruises became “For Fun’s Sake Cruises” and Heald frequently uses the “FFS” notation in his posts as commentary on sometimes eye-rolling or crazy issues.

The 2024 FFS Cruise is aboard the 133,500-gross ton Vista-class Carnival Horizon. Heald did consider offering the cruise aboard the new Carnival Jubilee, set to debut in December 2023, but the popularity of the ship and success of advance bookings has already meant too few cabins remained to accommodate fans for the FFS Cruise.

Carnival Horizon can welcome 3,960 guests when booked at double occupancy, and up to 4,977 passengers when fully booked with all berths filled.

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