Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Few Cruise Rumors from BSB

Fans have been asking the guys during sound check parties about the upcoming cruise. Brian did reveal an interesting tidbit regarding the concert on board. Supposedly he said they were considering asking the fans for their opinions on what songs they would sing.

I would really enjoy that! Personally I love hearing the songs we don't get to hear all the time so I hope if this does happen, fans pick some of the songs we don't typically hear. Don't get me wrong, I love hearing I Want it That Way. But I hear it all the time. I would love to hear More than That. Haven't heard that live in ages.

AJ supposedly also asked what the fans thought of a 'Pirates of the Caribbean' themed deck party. Not sure how I feel about this one to be honest. I think Backstreet Boys dressed as pirates = major sexiness. But myself dressed up as a pirate, not so much!

Nothing confirmed, just rumors at this time. But still fun to start speculating what they will do for both the concert and the deck parties.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What to Expect: Q&A Session

I loved this event! I didn’t realize it beforehand, but it turned out to be a comedy hour. There were points I was laughing so hard, there were tears rolling down my eyes. I think this event is for the most part self explanatory but for those who didn’t get a chance to go on the cruise last year, I still wanted to provide a quick rundown of the event so there aren’t any major surprises. I’m also assuming they will do this event again, but of course there are no guarantees.

First thing to note, everyone has an equal opportunity to ask them a question. You will be emailed about a month before the cruise and asked to submit your question. For those who want to be exact, last year we got the email a month and a week out. The email stated “Got a Question for the Backstreet Boys? During the Q & A session with the boys, we will be randomly selecting from among the questions you give to us. PLEASE SUBMIT ONLY ONE QUESTION PER PERSON. MULTIPLE ENTRIES WILL RESULT IN ALL QUESTIONS BEING DISREGARDED.”

There is no need to get to this event early because you have assigned seats and all the questions have already been submitted. That always makes any event more relaxing. When it came time, the boys leisurely strolled out and just sat on 4 big chairs facing the audience. The entire event was very informal, which is another reason I really enjoyed it. I feel like they are more themselves in this type of setting. Plus this type of event is something that I’ve never been before. I’ve done concerts, I’ve done after parties, I’ve done meet and greets, but this was a first for me.

BSB During the Q&A

Back on track… The Backstreet Boys were not the ones who picked the questions, it was their manager Jen reading them aloud. Jen had her big stack of all the questions and she would read them to the boys. She would also make a point to state who asked the question and the person would just stand up while it was being asked. Unfortunately you don’t get the mic to ask them in person or get the opportunity to go on stage or anything of a sort. But I found that I enjoyed this model because they were able to get through more questions. Plus I liked that Jen could pick which questions were being asked. Otherwise I feel that people tend to go a little overboard, declare their love for the guys, and ask what I call ‘throwaway questions’. I guess it’s just a pet peeve of mine when fans ask “When are you coming to insert their country name here?” I like the questions that elicit a more creative response.

Which brings me us to the next subject- what sort of questions did fans ask? Well, I’m glad you asked. I can’t take credit for pouring through youtube to compose this list, so thank you Chrissy for doing the work for me! This list is not comprehensive, but close to it. I'’m also paraphrasing on the questions here.

  • Describe your experience of being a Backstreet Boy in one word.
  • What do you do during your days off?
  • What are the best ways to deal with those forgetting the dance steps/lyrics moments?
  • What are your guilty pleasures?
  • What do you do when you hear a BSB song on the radio? Do you sing along or change the channel?
  • If you were drag queens, what would your stage names be?
  • Is there any place in the world that’s on your list to visit that you've never been to?
  • We all have our favorite Backstreet Boy, so who is your favorite BSB?
  • If the members of New Kids on the Block were hanging off the edge of a cliff and you could only save one, who would you save?
  • Do you have any marriage advice? And PS- Nick when is it your turn?
  • What is your favorite song to sing?
  • What do you miss about the early years of BSB?
  • Boxers or Briefs?
  • Which female celebrity would be your hall pass/freebie?
  • What’s the most rockstar thing you’ve done?
  • What is your favorite unreleased song?
  • When are you visiting our cabins?
  • What are the future plans of BSB?
  • Which of the 7 deadly sins are you?
  • What is your favorite home cooked meal?
  • Are there any unreleased songs that you wished would have made it onto an album?
  • If you were to go on a cruise of another artist who would you pick?
  • Who would you want to meet dead or alive and what would you ask them?
  • Do you have any regrets?
  • What could you not live without?
  • What is the weirdest question you’ve ever been asked?
  • What is one song that you sing that no matter how many times you sing it, its like the first time.

Hopefully this helped give you an idea of what people asked. And hopefully this sparked some clever questions for you to come up with. I’ve been brainstorming but still can’t come up with something I’m happy with. I want it to be unique.

If I recall correctly the entire event lasted about an hour and 20 minutes. And I loved every minute of it! I'm really looking forward to the q&a session this year, should they do it again.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

2nd Payment Due Soon

Quick reminder: The second cruise payment is due on June 27, 2011. Don't forget or you may have an unexpected surprise on your credit card. The amount will obviously vary depending on what cabin you got, so I would double check your statement to see what amount is due.

Also, if for some reason they cannot process your payment (i.e- you moved, your credit card expired, etc) they will most likely give you a call and inform you. They won't cancel your reservation or anything. I speak from experience on this and I just don't want anyone freaking out like I did.

The upside of the second payment being due...we are getting that much closer to cruise time. Yay!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

My Unofficial Cruise Reunion

Well I just got back from a trip to Nashville, TN, which served a dual purpose. I got to see NKOTBSB perform in Nashville and I also had the opportunity to meet up with several of my friends from the Backstreet cruise. Thought I would share some pics and stories with you.

I arrived to Nashville the day before the show so I could see some of the city. I went to the Grand Ole Opry and even did the Honky-tonk bars. Nothing horribly exciting since I'm not really into country music, but i wanted to hit all the touristy stuff. My girlfriend and I also managed to eke out some time and get our nails done for the show. And while I was sitting comfortably in the pedicure chair I recognized a few of the girls across the room. Lo and behold there were my cruise neighbors! I couldn't believe it because we were both from out of town. The following morning I also ran into them again over breakfast. I don't think we could have planned it any better if we tried. Now if only I could randomly run into the Backstreet Boys that often!

My cruise neighbors- Beth and Melissa

After breakfast I met up with 2 of my friends from the cruise at the Wylee party. This was my first Wylee party and I had no idea what to expect. I had a great time! Not that many fans showed up, but probably because it wasn't near the venue and it was in the middle of the day. I assume most people living in Nashville actually had to be at work. The 3 hours flew by. Caught up with Chrissy and Tammy. Chatted with Leighanne a bit. Did some credit card damage buying Wylee gear. Contained my excitement when Brian showed up briefly. Met some fans. Overall a fun afternoon.

Myself, Leighanne, and Chrissy at the Wylee Party

Cruise Friends Reunited!

Had a great time at the concert. I dont want to post details about the show in case anyone doesn't want spoilers. But I also got to get a pic with AJ before Shape of My Heart.

I'm still on a high from meeting AJ again!

I also kind of got a picture with Howie. You may ask how I "kind of" got a picture. Well I was posing with him and had someone attempt to take the picture. However my camera started acting up and Howie had to go perform. The nerve of him! ;) As I've said before I never want to be one of those pushy fans who continues to insist that he stay there and take the picture until I got my camera working. So unfortunately I wasn't able to get a picture with Howie, but I still thanked him for his time. One of these days I'll get a picture with Howie!

Friday, June 17, 2011

If I had an Extra $200

Well, If I had an extra $200 I'd probably end up spending it all on the NKOTBSB tour and it wouldn't even make it to December... But for argument's sake let's say I exercise some self control and have an extra $200 by the time December rolls around.

What I noticed last year is that there are a lot of extras associated with the cruise that inevitably ended up costing me a lot more than I budgeted for. I know for many of you, this cruise is already causing a strain on your budget and you won’t necessarily have the luxury to splurge on every aspect of the cruise. There are going to be temptations around every corner for extra spending. So if for some lucky reason I find myself with an extra $200 to put towards the cruise here are a few ways I came up with for spending that money:

  • Extend the trip and spend extra time in Miami exploring the city
  • Go to the BSB pre-cruise event (hopefully they will have one)
  • Get BSB merchandise on board including the cruise DVD. Sadly that $200 won’t go far.
  • Upgrade the cabin
  • Do an excursion or 2 in Nassau
  • Get new clothes/accessories for theme nights
  • Get a new camera
  • Have a spa treatment while on board
  • Go shopping on the cruise and/or while in Nassau (Not sure I could spend $200 shopping but I’m sure many of you wouldn’t have any problems)
  • Decorate door properly- And I put this on the list because I know many people who spent a good amount of money on supplies, going to Kinkos, etc

Sitting here and making this list is making me cringe. Knowing I want to do several of these items made me realize I could be spending an additional $1000. Yikes. And I also contemplated adding 'Buy pretty drinks with umbrellas in them'. But I'm hoping for most people that won't be anywhere near a $200 expense in a 3 day period.

So everyone values some of these items differently. For some of you more practical people you may invest in the getting new clothes or a new camera because the lifespan of those purchases will extend beyond the cruise. For others of you who may not be from the United States- you may want to put that money towards spending some extra time in Miami or a neighboring city. Meanwhile some want to ensure their time on board is the best possible experience it can be so they may want to upgrade their cabin.

If you're anything like me though, the first thing I would splurge on is the BSB pre-cruise event assuming they do this and I can get tickets. Even though that option is probably the most expensive for the amount of time you get to enjoy it, to me it’s the whole reason for going on the trip- to see the Backstreet Boys. Now I know the name of the post is if I had an extra $200, but let’s say I stumble upon $400. My next splurge would either be getting a new camera or shopping for BSB merchandise on board. The only reason I’d go for the camera first is because I anticipate they’ll put some of the merchandise online after the cruise, and possibly at a discounted rate. And I really want to get a better camera for the cruise. That way I wouldn’t have to post these blurry pictures all the time :/

Monday, June 13, 2011

New Cruise Website

I just noticed they completely redid

(I apologize if this is completely dated information, but I just noticed it)

Go check it out if you already haven't!

The BSB Entourage

Even though we all signed up for this cruise because of the Backstreet Boys, there are plenty of other faces you might recognize around the ship. Before the last cruise, it definitely occurred to me that the Backstreet Boys would bring their friends and family. But I never realized just to what extent you would see them. For those who missed last year’s cruise- there were a number of friends and relatives who came along for the ride. They had their own special VIP section at the all the events in the main lounge, which was tucked away in the back. Same goes for dinner. I’d have to guess there were probably 30-40 people there, not including Rose Tour staff.

Nick brought his girlfriend, Lauren, and I’m fairly certain both of Lauren’s parents. I did not see any of his other relatives. AJ brought Rochelle and his friend Mark. I was surprised he didn’t bring his mom, Denise. They seem very close so perhaps we will see her this year. Unless she was too terrified of thousands of fans, which I don’t blame her. Howie of course brought his wife and son along with Mama D, his brother John, and John’s immediate family. Brian brought Leighanne, Baylee, and no other direct members of his family that I could recognize. However Leighanne’s mother and sister were there. By the way, they all look exactly alike. From a distance it’s tough to tell them apart because they’re all so gorgeous and have that bright blond hair. But I digress. Brian also had some close family friends on board.

Howie and his wife, Leigh, at the beach party

Other people in the entourage that I recognized was their manager, Jen. She acted as the host for many of the events. And then there was obviously the security team, their photographer Justin, as well as other people from Ground Ctrl. Even their lawyer was there. I guess they didn’t know what to expect with a ship full of some of their biggest fans. I’m sure I’m forgetting a few people but I think I remembered most. I also feel obligated to point out that I did not know many of these people before the cruise. Over the course of the trip I got to recognize the names and faces better. There is obviously no guarantee that any of these people will come again this year, but I would think most of them will.

During last year’s cruise whenever I was walking around the ship, I feel like if you weren’t running into a Backstreet Boy, you would constantly see one of their friends or family members. I had the pleasure to be in the buffet line with Rochelle. She was so sweet and gracious taking pictures with fans. I also had the opportunity to talk to Howie’s mom for a little while we were waiting for our sandwiches to be prepared. During dinner my friends and I also spoke with Leighanne’s sister and the Littrells’ family friends. While I personally didn’t have any Wylee accessories, many of the people at my table did. This proved to be a great ice breaker. Side note- I kind of want to get some Wylee gear before the next cruise.

Me and Rochelle

I obviously didn’t get a chance to meet all of their family and friends, but I heard nothing but great stories. I heard stories of Leighanne opening up to fans and telling them some pretty personal things, which really surprised me when I heard. I know Lauren was chatting with girls in the bathroom and even brought some fans back to Nick’s room (Seriously don’t know what I would do if that was me. The thought alone makes me giddy with excitement) Overall everyone seemed very friendly and willing to interact with fans. As long as you are respectful about it, and try not to bother them while they are eating, I’d say go for it. Disclaimer- I certainly don’t condone using their friends and family just to get to a Backstreet Boy, which I’m sure many fans did. But what I noticed is when you are genuine about it, you’ll be surprised at what might happen and what you might discover having a brief conversation here and there.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

What to Expect- Beach Party

I thought the beach party was so much fun last year and I’m really looking forward to it this year as well. I’m anticipating a much larger crowd because it is included in the cost of the cruise so everyone should theoretically be there, and it will be a full charter. The 2011 beach party will also be taking place at a different beach, thus I’m not sure how similar it will really be to last years. But I will still provide a high level overview of what to expect based on the beach party last year.

Last year if you signed up for the beach party, you were given a ticket upon check in. On the day of the beach party, there were 2 groups and you were assigned a time to congregate in the main lounge at which point you swap your ticket for another wristband. After a little bit of waiting, everyone was escorted out of the main lounge, down through the ship, outside, through the little town, and finally to a batch of buses that was waiting to take us to the beach.

After a 15 minute ride or so to the beach, we arrived and there was a Mexican buffet waiting for us along with an open bar. It took the Backstreet Boys a while to show up, so most people took advantage of the bar, food, and beautiful beaches while they were waiting.

Nice setting to wait for BSB to show up (Especially compared my normal sketchy dark alley after a show or the cold cement while its raining before an open seating concert)

Once the Backstreet Boys showed up, the rest of the afternoon flew by. They had a little stage set up, but no chairs or anything. For the most part you had to stand. It was very informal. It made it slightly difficult to see at points, but the guys seemed to move around quite a bit that even if you didn’t have a great view of the stage, you would've had a great view for other activities.

The guys first got settled and didn't even go to the stage for maybe 20 minutes or so. Once they did get to the stage, they played twister and brought up around 5- 10 fans to play with them. There didn't seem to be any special trick to getting on stage. The only downside to this activity was that it was a little difficult to see because they were all pretty low to the ground playing twister. The most interesting thing about this was that the winner won a platinum VIP. I thought that was just an amazing prize. I don't believe the other events offered anything quite as big.

Brian playing twister

Next Nick and AJ ran off into the ocean, with plenty of screaming girls following. I have to assume that wasn't a planned activity, but that was absolutely enjoyable. While Nick and AJ were in the ocean, Howie and Brian started up a game of limbo on stage. They again brought maybe 10 or so fans up and did a quick limbo game. To be honest this wasn't anything super fun to watch. I'm sure if I was on stage I'd be singing a completely different tune. We were essentially just watching Brian and Howie hold a stick. But you know Brian, he's able to bring life to any event. Plus I'd really be content watching them do just about anything, so I don't know what I'm really complaining about.

Howie and Brian playing limbo. You can also get a sense of the crowd (Though I think the majority of people were chasing a topless Nick and AJ down the beach. Myself included)

After the limbo event, Nick and AJ got back up on stage to pick fans for their tug of war match. I enjoyed watching this more so than the other events because both Nick and AJ got SO into it. They both made pretty funny faces. The limbo event was just about wrapping up when the first group had to leave for the buses. Thus I unfortunately missed the volleyball game that was going on when I left. And fon't even get me started on missing this... I don't think its fair that the second group got to stay longer after we left. I think the Backstreet Boys should have left when the first group did, but nothing I can go back and change. I might somehow try to be in the second group next time or even cab it back.

AJ playing tug of war

Nick playing volleyball

So there you have it. Beach party in a nut shell. Each group had about 4 hours on the beach. Overall just a fun afternoon in the sun with friends and the Backstreet Boys. I'm interested to see if they'll do something similar next time or perhaps switch up the dynamic. But how can you go wrong with the Backstreet Boys on the beach?

Monday, June 6, 2011

What You’re Going to Love about a BSB Cruise

So much to enjoy on the ship, and just not enough time to do it in. Here is a list of 11 things I think you’ll really enjoy about the upcoming cruise:
  1. Nonstop BSB music around the ship. First of all it’s a rare to hear All I Have to Give in a public place nowadays, but even so I’m usually the only one singing along. Not the case on a Backstreet cruise!
  2. Admiring the door decorations. So much fun stuff to see all the pictures on the doors and all the creativity. I find it very nostalgic and it takes me down memory lane.
  3. 24/7 free pizza. Yum!
  4. Eating breakfast next to a Backstreet Boy as if that’s a normal occurrence. By day 3 I was used to having my morning coffee next to Howie :)
  5. Meeting fans from all around the world.
  6. BSB TV- An entire channel dedicated to the Backstreet boys.
  7. Getting dressed up for theme nights. Maybe its just me, but I never get the opportunity to really get dressed up for theme parties so this is a nice treat.
  8. Experiencing BSB in a whole new way. I feel like they were a lot more uncensored on the ship than most any place else you’d see them. Normally Nick wouldn’t announce that he has to pee in the middle of a show and just get up and leave.
  9. See Howie interact with his son. His son is so cute and I enjoyed watching them together.
    Howie and James at the beach party
  10. Unexpected moments of Backstreet antics such as Nick and AJ dancing on the tables at dinner.
  11. Brian’s themed outfits. He went ALL out last year and I’m excited to see what he comes up with for this year.
Brian and Leighanne during international night

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

6 Month Lull

I don’t know about you all, but I’m definitely feeling a lull of cruise activity recently. The initial excitement of the cruise announcement has worn off and so has the excitement of booking the cruise. But on the bright side, we’re getting closer. We’re only 6 months away! Here are a few ideas that have been helping me get back in the BSB cruising mood:
  • Start shopping! In fact, it’s a great time to do some shopping for those who live where its summer. It will be tougher to buy new cruising clothes when winter rolls around, so why not start getting some new things now and catch those summer sales. Even though they haven’t announced the themes yet, you can start thinking about what you want to wear during the rest of the time like your photo shoot outfit or what to wear for the dinners.
  • Re-watch the 2010 cruise DVD. Or if you don’t have that, go on youtube and watch some videos of the last cruise. Truthfully, we may all be better off watching the youtube clips…. But regardless of which clips I decide to watch, I know this definitely gets me pumped for the trip and reminds me of all the fun and unexpected surprises from the first cruise.
  • Don’t forget about that door decoration. A lot of people are already starting on their door so now’s a good time to start brainstorming some ideas and getting your door started. My roommates and I made a list of about 15-20 different ideas and we picked our top choice. Hopefully we can pull it off.
  • Also a good time to start making travel arrangements if you already haven’t done so. This includes your pre-night hotel and flights as well as any trips/activities you may want to do before or after the cruise. I’ve booked a trip to Disney World before the cruise, so I’ve also been spending time planning that leg of my trip and getting abnormally excited to see Mickey.
  • Go see an NKOTBSB show...or several in my case. And by several I mean 5. Nothing better to get you excited for the cruise than going to see BSB perform live in person. I went the other day to the Baltimore show and will be going again to see them in DC, Philly, Nashville, and Atlantic City. I had an amazing time and it reminded me that I get to see them up close for 3 entire days this December!
Lots of Hotness on one Stage