Friday, April 29, 2011

Lose it All Challenge

I know I'm not the only who is trying to watch their weight for this cruise. I lost about 25 pounds for the last cruise, but have since admittedly put a few of those pounds back on. With spring in the air, I'm finding motivation again to get back into my regimen and lose those lost few stubborn pounds.

My friend, Chrissy, and I came up with the idea of doing a friendly weight loss competition leading up to the cruise inspired by the show, the Biggest Loser. We want to make sure we get in shape and shed some weight to look good for our boys (and of course ourselves), all the while having fun doing it. In case you aren't familiar with the show, The Biggest Loser is a reality show where overweight contestants compete for a cash prize by attempting to lose the most weight. We're going to do the same concept but Backstreet style. Hence, the Lose it All Challenge!

We will weigh in once a week with final weigh-in happening right before the cruise. But instead of competing for a cash prize, we are competing for BSB merchandise on the cruise. We're also going to give ourselves BSB related challenges every week to keep it fresh and exciting.

Feel free to join us in the Lose it All Challenge. The cruise is 30 weeks away so here are the first set of challenges:

Week 1: Do the elliptical or a cardio exercise of your choice at least two times this week while listening to the entire This is Us album

Week 2: Time to Honor Nick! Make his favorite home cooked meal. Remember his quote from the last cruise? "My favorite home cooked meal now is dill salmon, in a poached type of salmon with some really cool complex carbohydrate vegetables. Sorry I'm getting scientific with you. With maybe some brown rice on the side instead of 2 high starch type of stuff." Get cooking!

Week 3: Straight Through My Heart Challenge- Do 5 minutes of cardio every morning to STMH before you head to work/school. It’ll get you pumped for the day as well.

Week 4: Get those creative juices flowing and create a healthy dish inspired by the song 'Shining Star'. And don’t forget to tell us what recipes you come up with.

Week 5: Time to Honor Brian! Go grab that basketball out of your basement and shoot some hoops.

Week 6: Go green for Nick. And I don’t mean for the environment. Green is Nick’s favorite color (or at least it used to be) so eat a different green vegetable each day of the week for Mr. Carter.

Week 7: Learn the dance to a BSB song. I cant think of a better way to enjoy exercising. And no, you can’t pick a song/dance like This is Us. That’s cheating. It must have a fast beat with lots of dance moves.

Week 8: Time to Honor AJ! Follow in AJs sober footsteps by refraining from all alcohol this week. Beer has a ton of unnecessary calories and mixed drinks are full of sugar.

Week 9: The Backstreet Boys have been together for 18 years. That means every day you’ve got to do 18 crunches, 18 jumping jacks, 18 lunges, and 18 push ups.

Week 10: Beautiful Woman Week. Time to reward yourself after you’ve been working hard for 10 weeks. Hit the spa and treat yourself to a massage or go get a cute new outfit to celebrate the pounds you’ve lost. Just don't reward yourself with food. That would defeat the purpose.

Week 11: Time to Honor Howie! Make a healthy latin dish for dinner this week. That means no cheese or sour cream. Try substituting greek yogurt for sour cream or use avocados to get the healthy kind of fat.

Week 12: Black and Blue week. Take out some stress by trying a kickboxing class at your local gym.

Week 13: Nick's Grocery Store Challenge. My favorite Q&A question of last year's cruise was when a fan asked the guys if they sing along to their own songs on the radio. Nick responded: “It’s so funny because I don’t ever hear it on the radio. I hear it in the grocery store... so I have to listen to it while I’m buying milk” So before you go to the grocery store this week, make a list of lots of healthy foods to buy. Stick to this list and don't make those impulse purchases strolling through the cookie isle. Just smile and think of Nick to help you resist.

Week 14: Pop your favorite Backstreet Boy video in your DVD player. Maybe its the Disney special or it could be Night out with the Backstreet Boys. Whatever it is, you must lift free weights, do stretches, or keep yourself active while watching.

Week 15: ‘Hold the pickles, Hold the Lettuce, Special Orders Don’t Upset Us…’ Even though the Backstreet Boys endorsed Burger King, we will not. No fast food this week. If you must, go to a healthy fast food place instead like Subway.

I ate there so much during that time to get all the BSB goodies

Even if you don't want to participate, I need everyone's help to help me come up with more challenges!

I've never been so excited to diet in my life. My first weigh-in was tonight and I'll keep you posted on my progress. Wish me luck, I want to win some good merch on the cruise.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The DVD Has Arrived

I FINALLY got my cruise dvd from the 2010 cruise and was able to sit down and watch it tonight. I figured since I’ve been waiting as long as I have, I was going to do it right. I live in an apartment complex with its own private mini movie theater. So I rented it out to watch the DVD with my brother.

Yes, I really did rent out a theater.

So I had the mood all set with the right atmosphere. But when it comes down to the DVD- I’d unfortunately rate it a ‘C’. I hate to say it, but it was just average. What I enjoyed most about it was the commentary from the Backstreet Boys. There were definitely some funny comments, and I learned a bit more the cruise. For example I didn’t realize that Howie was so drunk at International and had to be put to bed. Overall I just enjoyed reliving all those moments, even though I’ve probably seen about 80% of it on youtube already. I did have fun spotting all my friends in the DVD. I was probably only in it for a split second, but not really noticeable. I liked how they took you through pretty much all the events. I also thought it was a nice touch at the end to include all of the fans’ names by their country in the credits.

So I do appreciate the effort, but I was also disappointed with several aspects of the DVD. Mainly, the production value was really poor. I’m certainly no film critic, but I do agree with some of the other fans. They played the music too loudly over all the content, to the point where I couldn’t hear what the Backstreet Boys were saying. I’m just shocked that no one would have caught that. It’s like they didn’t sit down and watch the final product or someone would have noticed that. I really just wanted to see the raw footage, not just a montage of scenes with the BSB CDs playing in the background.

I obviously wished the DVD was longer. While they did manage to cover most events, some events only showed like a minute or two of footage. There were so many great moments that I think should have made the DVD but did not. It just felt very incomplete (pardon the pun)

My last complaint is that the footage was rather repetitive at points. This wouldn’t have been such a problem if the DVD was longer, but considering they omitted so much, I don’t know why they felt the need to repeat so much footage.

I hate to be such a downer on the DVD, as I was really looking forward to it for months. It’s not in my nature to be so pessimistic, but this was my honest review. Will I buy it next year? I know I’ll probably cave and get it even though out of principle I don’t want to. It is a great souvenir to relive those memories. I just hope they take our comments seriously and improve the DVD next time around.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

2010 Cruise Playlist

I dont know about you all, but I find myself jamming along to the radio to many songs that take me right back to the cruise. So many great songs that just make me smile whenever I hear them now. I wanted to put together my 2010 cruise playlist with accompanying videos of why I love them so much. And I know I missed a ton, but here are my top ones:

  1. Shots -Theme song of the cruise!
  2. London -AJ and Brian singing London live. Priceless.
  3. Bust a Move - Hearing Howie rap. Also priceless.
  4. OMG -AJ was right, this was on youtube the next day.
  5. Forget You - Well, AJ made sure to sing the uncensored version.
  6. Low - All of my dinners need to have this performance as the dessert!
  7. Baby Got Back - Karaoke at its best.
  8. Don’t Stop Believing/Billie Jean - The infamous dance-off.
  9. I Like It - Leighanne is really getting into this one. This clip also has Hey Mr DJ in it towards the end.
  10. Mr. A - AJ working the crowd.
  11. Livin’ on a Prayer - How can I not have fond memories of AJ singing this?
  12. Burning Up -Getting a sneak peak at Nick's new song. Since the cruise this has come to be my favorite off his new album.
  13. DJ Got Us Fallin in Love - One of my favorite songs of the cruise.
  14. Please Don’t Stop the Music - Only Nick could pull off that wig
  15. Step by Step - See below :)

Step by Step

Thursday, April 21, 2011

It's Not too Early to Book Your Flights

So initially I was not too worried about booking my flight. After all, the trip isn’t for another 8 months. Heck, Southwest doesn’t even have their December flights posted. But I realized something. Since I’m planning a trip to Disney World before the cruise, I would be traveling during THE busiest travel day of the year. November 27th, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, is the most traveled day of the year because everyone is returning home. This means that flights will fill up that much quicker, they will be more expensive, and not to mention all the craziness that I’m sure will take place the airports. Ugh, I’m already dreading the lines.

So if you’re anything like me and plan on extending your trip, just keep this in mind as you make your travel arrangements. I’m still trying to decide the best day to travel. My goal is to make sure I have enough time to see Mickey.

If you're planning on going straight to the cruise, when booking your flight, you have 2 options of airports to fly into- Miami (MIA) or Fort Lauderdale (FLL). Flying into Fort Lauderdale tends to be cheaper than flying into Miami. But FLL is also 14 miles further from the port than Miami. So you need to factor in that added cost of getting to the port. Here’s a quick breakdown:

Getting from Fort Lauderdale Airport to the Port

Travel Options
  • Taxi cab- $67 though this is an estimate. Generally available immediately. Could work out to be cheaper if you travel in a group.
  • Shared Ride- $21 per person. The van will hold a maximum of 10 people. Maximum waiting time of 30 minutes but most shared vans leave within 10 minutes. This method could save you quite a bit of money, especially if traveling on your own.
  • Luxury Sedan- $70. Generally available immediately.
  • Rental Cars- FLL offers 12 rental car companies in one building next to Terminal 1. If you are traveling with a group and plan on doing some additional site seeing, you may want to consider this option to allow for more flexibility.
Travel Time
On average it should take about 45 minutes but during traffic, you should allot up to 90 minutes for travel.

Getting from Miami Airport to the Port

Travel Options
  • SuperShuttle- $14 This is basically a shared taxi service. Reservation not required. Good option if you're traveling by yourself.
  • Taxi- $24 flat fee
  • Car Rental- There is a shuttle at the airport that will take you one mile away to the Miami Rental Car Center which has over 16 rental companies to choose from. This may be a good option if you're in a group and want to have extra flexibility.
  • Hotel shuttle- You may want to double check to see if the hotel you are staying at has a shuttle to the airport. I assume that would be free but you’ll have to double check.
Travel Time
On average it should take anywhere from 15-20 minutes depending on traffic.

As for me- I’ll be doing none of the above haha. Since I’ll be going to Disney, I'll fly into Orlando airport but I anticipate flying out of Miami.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I Bet You Didn't Know...

...Most ships in the Carnival fleet have a distinct theme. For example the Carnival Fascination has a Hollywood theme and the Victory has a sea-theme. The Glory’s theme is color. Last year we were on the Destiny and it had a theme of Fantasyland.

This year we will be on the Carnival Imagination and the theme is, you guessed it, imagination. More specifically the focus is on mythical places and illusion. So what’s the point of the theme? Well the idea is that the public areas will all be named after the theme. Additionally the d├ęcor, photos, statues, etc will all tie into this theme. On the Imagination we’ll see places such as the Mirage Piano Bar, the Curiosity Lounge, Shangri La Disco, and Illusion’s Dance Club. These pictures look really cool! I’m excited to see it in person.

Shangri La Lounge

Main Atrium

Friday, April 15, 2011

Pre-Cruise Show and Cruise DVD

2 Recent tweets from the Backstreet Boys have made this particular Friday a very happen one!

We are thinking of doing a lil something the night before RT @@skulleez_69: @backstreetboys will there be a pre-cruise show this year???

Next week! RT @amycishere @backstreetboys when will the #bsbcruise2010 dvd be coming for the love of God? will see you on #bsbcruise2012!

I can't wait for the BSB Cruise 2010 DVD and relive all the great moments! Lets hope its longer than the 50 minutes that it is rumored to be.

And I would be absolutely thrilled if they end up doing a show the night before! I hope they make the crowd a little bigger than last time or there may be a lot of disappointed fans. I also kind of hope its assigned seats this year so we don't have to camp out for a good spot lol. But I think this is such a great idea because it now turns our 3 day cruise into a 4 day Backstreetfest! I'm also really happy they told us this early so we can start to make hotel arrangements and plan our flights accordingly. Hopefully we'll get more details soon.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


I talk a lot about meeting new friends on the cruise. This year especially, I think the cruise will be more about the friends you make than just the Backstreet Boys. Here are a few BSB related icebreakers you can try. I also thought it would be fitting to provide my answers so you can get to know more about me and my Backstreet related antics.

Who’s your Favorite BSB and why?
So my answer varies depending on when you ask me. To be honest I like them all for different reasons. But Nick has always been my favorite, maybe because he's the closest in age. But I like his sense of humor, that he’s young spirited and seems to be very fun-loving. But ironically in real life, I'd usually go for more the Kevin type- mature and responsible. AJ isnt too far behind Nick either, especially after the last cruise. I like that he’s really sensitive under all those tattoos and he’s just so sweet and great with the fans. I feel I could relate to him even if he wasn’t a Backstreet Boy and just ran into him on the street.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve done for the Backstreet Boys?
Does spending over $2,000 on a 4 day cruise count? I would say so. Aside from that the craziest thing though would be camping out for concert tickets to their Black and Blue tour in the middle of winter. I got so sick from that, and ironically we didnt end up using those tickets since we found better seats. But I was probably only 15 at the time so my dad had to sit in the car and watch us. I still owe him big time for putting up with all that. Side note- Thank goodness for the internet. Camping out for tickets is no fun.
Favorite album?
Millennium. This is when I really became a fan and I have such fond memories of that whole era. Plus the album is just amazing.
Favorite BSB song?
Depends on my mood but I would have to say ‘The One’. I also really enjoy AJ’s song ‘London'
Least favorite BSB song?
They’ve had a few tracks that I usually tend to skip over. ‘Don’t Disturb this Groove’- I just can’t take this song seriously. ‘Its True’- Don’t know why I don’t like it, but I cant remember the last time I actually made it to the end of that song.
Most memorable BSB moment?
I would say two moments stand out for me. I think its cheating to say the entire 2010 cruise (though its true) but more specifically it was during the Miami acoustic show meet and greet. That was really the first time I had ever met the Backstreet Boys. I had been dreaming of that moment for over a decade and it was everything I hoped for, no matter how chaotic and rushed.

I really find just about any excuse I can to post this picture, don't I?

My second favorite BSB moment is quite random, but you remember on the Black & Blue tour how the guys went out to a little mini stage in the middle of the crowd, and then a bridge came down from the ceiling where they would walk from the mini stage back to their main stage? So my friend and I had 12th row tickets to that show and when that bridge came down we were sooo close to them. That was the first time I really saw them so close in person, which is a night and day difference from the nosebleed seats. But what really made this memorable was that AJ sat down on the bridge right in front of us and he was so close that I could reach out and touch him. He sat there for a minute or two, I believe they were singing 'Time', and it just felt like all the other fans in the room disappeared and it was just him singing to me. I'll never forget that.

Which BSB has your favorite voice?
I know this is a weird question but I LOVE AJ’s raspy voice. *sigh* I can never get enough.

What made you become a fan?
I listened to their first album, when they were first becoming popular in the US. But what really converted me from just enjoying their music to becoming a true fan was during the millennium album release. I remember TRL played that same 2 hr special over and over and I was just hooked. Nick especially just drew me in. And then when my friend had an extra ticket to their show…I was done for.

Which BSB are you most like and why?
I’d say a mix of Howie and Kevin. I find I’m like Kevin in that I’m the responsible type who likes to plan everything out (as if that wasn’t already apparent from the amount of detail I’ve been going into with this cruise) Im also a business major and I guess they always joke that Howie is the business man.

Ok- that felt a little bit like I was interviewing myself haha. But, its my blog so I can do what I want :)

I’d love to hear your answers to these questions as well! Feel free to post under the comments section and share your stories. Plus then I’d feel less weird answering my own questions....

PS- Thank you Chrissy for giving me the idea for this post!

Monday, April 11, 2011

I'm Officially Booked!

Yay!! I'm so relieved that I'm officially booked. I've been stressing these past few weeks on who I'm rooming with, which room to get, and even whether or not I should go.

So in the end I decided to room with 2 of my friends from last year- Chrissy and Cory. We got an interior cabin for 3 people on Deck 5. More specifically we'll be in cabin M46, so come say! We were hoping for Deck 6 but did not see any available.

I felt the booking today went pretty smoothly. The site went live a few minutes before noon and luckily we had no problems getting through and even selecting which cabin we want. There seemed to be a little concern around the reservation numbers as some girls had the same one. I speculated that it could be a different set of reservation numbers for the different dining seatings (early vs late) or perhaps the suites were on a different system than the rest. However Jeannie from Rose Tours clarified that the reservation numbers are time stamped and supposedly the first four digits are meaningless, which would then explain why some people got the same reservation number. Not sure the validity of this.

But just in case you're reservation number is 1136. It also appears that the numbers start at 1100 this year. So in the event that these numbers do matter, we made out pretty well. Just FYI for new cruisers, the reservation number dictates your position in the lounge, which is why everyone is stressing over it (myself included)

So now that the cruise is taken care of, I have to start thinking about making arrangements for the rest of the trip. This includes booking flights, get a hotel room for the night before, await the announcement of an acoustic show (at least I sure hope so) and make plans to extend the trip with some sort of pre-cruise adventure. 3 days is just too short of a trip for me. If I'm going to fly down to Florida anyway, I figure why not? I'm strongly considering going to Disney World for a few days before the cruise. It's only a 4 hour drive from Miami and seeing Disney World around Christmas time is so magical. Plus there's the added bonus of possibly seeing Brian. He took his family last year after the cruise, so there's always a slim chance of running into him.

Aside from all the logistics, I also can start thinking about more of the fun stuff. I plan on buying a new camera, some new outfits, thinking about my door decoration, figure out plans for Nassau, etc.

Lots of fun to be had in the months to come so keep checking back for more updates, tips, and my lovely opinions. If there's anything you'd like to hear about, feel free to post a comment below or send me an email. I'd love to hear from you.

How did you past cruisers make out today? Meanwhile good luck to Fan Club members for their pre-sale on Wednesday and everyone else trying on Friday for tickets! Let us know how it goes.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Cruise on Sale Next Week!

I just wanted to wish good luck to everyone trying for tickets next week! I’ll feel so much better once I get that confirmation email. As a reminder the past cruiser pre-sale is Monday April 11th at 12pm EST. The fan club pre-sale is Wednesday April 13th at 12pm EST. And finally the general public sale is Friday April 15th at 12pm EST.

If you cruised last year, you should have received an email from Ground Control called “BSB Cruise Past Passenger Booking Info’ that contains information about the pre-sale including a username and password. Thank you so much Cory for letting me know about this! I did not receive the email so I had to call Rose Tours so they could resend me the information. They did have me in their system, which is good, but I still have no clue why I didn’t get the initial email. So if you also did not get the email, I’d recommend calling Rose Tours and have them resend it to you. They open at 9am EST so there is still a 3 hour window before tickets go on sale.

I recently discovered more information about the cancellation policy that I thought I’d share. Rose Tours makes it very clear what happens with the individual who cancels, but not how it affects the other cruisers who are rooming with them. I never thought about this last year because I was in the roommate match program so I was covered. This year I am not. So… should your roommate cancel, you both are responsible for finding a replacement roommate. If you find a replacement roommate, great. All you have to pay is a $100 name change fee. If you are unable to find a replacement roommate, that’s when it could potentially get messy. There is one less person in that cabin, so Rose Tours will alter the cost of that room to reflect the new number of people in there. So say I book a 2 person cabin and my roommate cancels. Now there is only me in the cabin, so I’d be responsible for paying the price of an individual cabin. That’s a HUGE difference in price. Obviously going from a 4 person cabin to a 3 person cabin would not be as significant of a price difference.

The reason I bring this up is that I’d recommend you discuss beforehand with your roommate(s) what your cancellation policy is. I discussed with my future roommates how we want to handle that situation should it arise. While none of us anticipate canceling, you never know what might happen. We all agreed that whoever has to cancel will be responsible for any additional charges the other girls have to incur, if that person would not have canceled. We thought this was the fair approach.

Again- good luck next week! I hope everyone gets their first choice room, unless it happens to be the same room I have my eye on ;)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

We Can Pick Our Cabins This Year

Just announced on the official BSB cruise site:

New this year, you will be able to select your exact cabin when making your reservation.
Once you pick your category, you will be able to choose your cabin. Please take a minute to look over Carnival's Imagination deck plan so you are familiar with your cabin options. Click Here to View Deck Plan.
Please keep in mind cabins will go quickly.

Just when I thought I had everything figured out they throw me a curve ball! Even though I’m incredibly indecisive, I think this is a nice addition so you have more control over where you will be staying. It allows you to coordinate with your friends so you can get rooms near each other. The other benefit is that you will know where your room is right from the beginning, rather than having to wait until a few weeks before we cruise. So ideally you can get to know your neighbors that much sooner.

Since we have more control over where to stay, just wanted to point out a few things when selecting your cabin. I would recommend midship as being the ideal location for obvious reasons. You are halfway between both ends of the ship. If you debating between forward and aft, there are a few things to note. Typically if the waves are rough you might feel slightly more motion towards the front of the ship because if you think about it, that’s where the waves meet the boat. However in the aft, you will be right above the engine and the anchor so it could be noisy. When we are coming and going from port, the anchor can get quite loud. Considering we will be arriving in Nassau at 8:30am and leaving at 7:00am, that will not be a pleasant wake-up call (If you’re even sleeping that is).

Since midship tends to be more expensive than forward or aft, I’m personally leaning towards aft myself. I figure I will be awake most of the trip and even if I will be sleeping I’ll be too darn tired to let the noise even bother me. I wish it was Monday already so I could be booked and be done with all the decision making.

***EDIT*** Some people are having are having trouble with the link to the deck plan. If the Carnival site is giving you trouble, you can view the deck plan here as well.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Can you afford a Backstreet Cruise?

Since they just announced the full pricing today, I thought it would be fitting to do a post on how much it REALLY costs to do a Backstreet Boy cruise. Let’s start with the 2011 pricing. You can view the full pricing here but here is a quick glimpse:

Interior rooms range from $699-$1499
Ocean view rooms range from $899-$2099
Suites range from $1949-$4000

Now don’t be fooled at these. That is just the start. When I decided to go on BSB cruise 2010, I saw the cost of the cabin I wanted was $849. Then I thought to myself “Yeah, I could totally swing that” But by the time I got home, unpacked, and calculated what I really spent on the trip, it was significantly more than what was posted on the website and I went waaaay beyond my budget.

Don’t get me wrong, it was totally worth every penny, and I clearly am getting ready to do it all over again. But I think it’s good to know what you’re getting into from the beginning before deciding to book the cruise. All in, the whole trip cost me just over $2,000 and I did it about as cheaply as you could do it. This was my trip a la frugal style:

  • $849- Interior Room (4C) for roommate match program. I couldn’t justify an exterior room or suite for the extra cost.
  • $239- Tax, Additional Rose Tour fees
  • $214- New outfits and accessories for theme parties and the cruise in general.
  • $210- Acoustic Show with meet & greet option
  • $135- Merchandise on board
  • $119- Beach Party Excursion
  • $62- Manicure, Pedicure, Hair cut, Eyebrows before the trip.
  • $50- Cruise DVD
  • $40- Taxis to and from airport (Split 2 ways)
  • $33- All food costs in Miami
  • $32- Hotel room (After split 4 ways)
  • $30- Airfare (I was able to use points so this saved major moola)
  • $16- New memory card for camera
  • $16- Rental car to get around Miami (had a free voucher and split remaining costs 4 ways)

Grand total: $2045

There are definitely areas that I could have scaled back on, but there are many areas that I didn’t splurge at all on. No alcohol, no excursions, no spa treatments, no fancy restaurants, no fancy cabin, no trip insurance. I also did not spend any money on my door decoration, but I realize many people did. I’m lucky that I was able to use my miles for the flight and that I was flying domestically in the US.

All in all, I don’t think I did too bad coming in around $2000 because I know some cabins STARTED at that price.

And just to make sure I don’t give anyone a misconception about the pricing, I averaged what people indicated they spent last year in the fan club. The average fan spent $3042. Costs ranged from $1800 on the low end, all the way up to $6868 on the high end. All things considering, I guess $2000 isn’t so bad.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Before you Book

I’ve been anxiously counting down the days until it’s time to book the cruise so it can be official that I’m actually going. And it’s finally a week away! I wanted to throw out a few last minute reminders that you may want to consider before you book:

Work/School- Make sure you will be able to take the time off from work/school. I know it can be difficult to plan that far in advance but if it’s in your power, I’d recommend taking care of it now. Nothing worse than being months or even weeks away from day we set sail to find out you have a huge exam you can’t get out of or your boss won’t let you off. I did hear several stories from the last cruise where this was an issue. Ideally if you give your boss/teacher enough notice, they might be more willing to work with your schedule.
So I’m all set with this :) I told my boss approximately 20 minutes after the official announcement that I will be needing those days off in December. I also showed her the teaser video which she enjoyed seeing. Side note- I think I’ve already seen that video like 100 times.

Childcare- If you have children, pets, or other dependents make sure you have some sort of plan to take care of them while you are away. I’m not saying you need to make an appointment for your dog to be boarded now… But particularly if you are the sole caretaker for someone, you may want to start making sure your babysitter or whomever is available. I don’t have anything to worry about here as I live by myself.

Insurance- Decide if you want to get travel insurance. December is still 9 months away and any number of things could happen between now and then. Personally I’ve never opted for insurance but depending on your personal situation, it may make sense. For example if you have health issues, maybe traveling from overseas, have a family to support, etc. Here is a reminder of Rose Tour’s cancellation policy:

Should you have to cancel for any of the following reasons: (Illness, Injury, Death, Unannounced Strike, Hijacking, Jury Duty, Court Ordered Appearance or Traffic Accident)
Time of Booking - October 31, 2010. It will cost you the $300 Non-Refundable Deposit
November 1, 2010 - March 30, 2011. It will be 50% of Total Price
March 31, 2011 - May 12, 2011. No Refund

Set a Budget- This trip will NOT be cheap. There’s no getting around it. Even though they don’t have the full prices posted yet, I’d recommend before you book to make sure you can in fact afford this trip. Come up with a budget and stick to it. And be sure to factor in all the pre-cruise expenses as well. This may include a new camera, theme outfits, travel expenses etc. It all adds up!