Monday, June 13, 2011

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.

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