Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Elusive VIP

There seems to be a lot of confusion surrounding VIP on board so I want to do my best to clear that up. I noticed on the last cruise that there were several fans who obtained another wristband which allowed them into VIP areas. I should first state that I did not have this wristband nor did I know anyone directly who did get it. So this is all merely out of my observation and few reviews that Ive seen.

So basically the wristband would allow you access to the roped off area in the disco where the Backstreet Boys were and a blocked off section of the lido deck during the theme parties at night. I also understand that the wristband allowed you access to an open bar. There could have been other benefits and VIP areas, but none that I was aware of.

If you had the VIP wristband at the disco, it really allowed you close access to the Backstreet Boys. Well, at least the boys who showed up to the club. AKA- everyone but Brian. There was a small corner of the room blocked off by security, and if you were one of the lucky few to get in, you were maybe one of 50 people in that area and could theoretically go up to any BSB member.

As for the deck parties, the wristband allowed you up to the deck that the Backstreet Boys were performing on. Thus you could get a little closer to the boys than the fans who were on the lower deck. But you couldn’t as freely mingle with them at the deck party as you could at the disco since there was still a rope separating you from the boys. I did notice that the guys would every so often and go talk to the group of people on either side of the VIP deck though. The other key benefit is that it allowed you access to an open bar, but aside from that it didn’t seem to have any other benefits.

So I guess the big question is, how do you get a VIP wristband? You CANT buy these. There are no VIP packages for sale, similar to how they do it on tour. While I personally did not receive one, the only way I believe you could get one is from a member of the BSB entourage, crew, and quite possibly the Backstreet Boys themselves. I’ve heard stories where members of Rose Tour staff was handing them out, including the president and CEO- Hal Roseman. I did notice one girl who was visibly very friendly with one of the BSB crew, if you know what I mean... I personally have a lot more self-respect than that. But it seems as if the majority of the girls did not have to take that approach. My guess is that if you weren’t stalking them every second of the day and they saw that you could behave like a normal human being, you might luck out by getting a VIP wristband.

Personally, I didn’t feel like I missed out on anything by not having that wristband. I’m not a huge drinker, so having an open bar isn’t a huge deal for me. As for the deck parties, being on the lower deck allowed me to have a centered view so I could see everything. And the disco was small enough that you could still see the Backstreet Boys from across the room even though you weren’t in the VIP area with them. I’m not going to lie and say I didn’t want one. But I still had a great time without it, plus I was able to stay with my friends.

Hopefully after the cruise next year I’ll be able to tell you in full detail how to get one *crosses fingers* Though if any of you past cruisers have any more info about this, I'd love to hear from you!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Cruising with Nick

I’m doing another mini-series on my blog and doing a post on Cruising with each Backstreet Boy. Since Nick is my favorite, I’m going to start with him. I’ll cover favorite stories, memories, pictures, quotes, videos, moments, what I’m looking forward to in 2011, etc for each Backstreet Boy as it pertains to the cruise. So here goes!

I love the playful side of Nick. Here he is playing with a water gun.

Favorite Nick Moment #1

Before I set sail for BSB cruise 2010, I had never met Nick. He was the one I was most excited to meet and see up close, but also the one I was most intimidated by. To me, he’s just the epitome of a sexiness. Even if he wasn’t famous and wasn’t a Backstreet Boy, I would be intimidated seeing him walk down the street.  So when I first saw him on the cruise just chilling by the elevator, I was so taken aback. He was actually the first BSB that I saw after I boarded, which was probably about 20 minutes or so after I stepped on the ship. I saw him casually waiting for an elevator with a pair of headphones around his neck. The 15 year old girl inside of me wanted to squeal with delight and run over and ask for a picture or hug. But the 24 year old me just stole a quick glance and tried to whisper to my brother who was with me at the time: “Oh my gosh, its Nick!” I’m pretty sure I didn’t succeed in it being a whisper though. I know you can barely call this an experience, but since it was my first BSB sighting on board, I still have fond memories of those fleeting 10 seconds.

Favorite Nick Moment #2

As you probably already know, I was too excited to eat pretty much the entire first day on the cruise. Our first dinner in the main dining room was incredible, we had the second best table in the room. I only say second because I would have preferred to be sitting at the table WITH the Backstreet Boys. But the table right next them was almost just as good. I truthfully didn’t have a great view of Nick as his back was to me, but that was still good enough for me. I enjoyed just eating in the presence of Nick and the other Backstreet Boys. The only downside was watching him and Lauren with all their PDA going on. I just don't think its appropriate when you are eating around your fans, your friends, children, and really just any other human being in general. So that part wasn’t my favorite, but that part was soon forgotten when I saw Nick get up from his seat and head towards the middle of the room where he got up on the chairs and started busting a move to ‘Low’, with AJ quick to follow. What was neat about this for me, was that since we were seated so close to the Backstreet Boys, we saw them get up with their security before the majority of the rest of the room had any idea what was going on. Thus we got to experience the brief dance in its entirety.

Nick and AJ dancing during dinner

Favorite Nick Moment #3

Typing out my personal favorite memories made me realize I really didn’t have that many Nick encounters throughout the cruise. But the last one I can fondly recall was when I was on the lido deck strolling through to get to the buffet and I ran into him. I was quite taken off guard upon this “meeting” as well so I didn’t really do much of anything beyond walk past him and smile. The only thing about this that I can still vividly recall was his security guard yelling at me. Again, not much of an experience, but there’s something special about running into a Backstreet Boy when you aren’t expecting it.

Other Nick Highlights

So those were MY favorite moments because they were largely unique to me. Well, the dining room not so much.  But I still loved it! Here are a few Nick highlights that I think the majority of people who might share with me:
  • He previewed 2 songs from his new album, which at the time wasn’t released yet. I thought that was very cool. Though I hate not knowing the words to a BSB song.
  • Nick letting loose at the beach party a bit
  • Bartender Nick during Masquerade night- handing out shots.

Nick handing out shots
  • Nick fixing his fly during the concert
Oh Nick....
Favorite Nick Quotes
  • “I’ve got a high crack, man”
  • “I would dress like Elvira… I would have some big you know what’s right here”
What I’m looking forward to most from Nick on cruise 2011?

I’m also hoping to see him loosen up a bit with the fans this cruise. It was very evident that the guys were very nervous the first time around, but now that they know what to expect, I hope that Nick will warm up to the fans and be more willing to interact, take pictures, etc. Or maybe we just need to get him a new body guard.
I want to see more of Nick interacting with the fans like he did at the beach party

Another thing I’m excited for, even knowing there’s a good chance that it won’t be me who gets lucky, Nick invited maybe 10 girls or so back to his room. Just the thought that there is a remote possibility of this happening again and me being in that room gets me super excited. Here's a review from one of those lucky girls.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Win a Free BSB Cruise

There are actually a couple of different contests going on that you can enter to win a free cabin on BSB cruise 2011. For each contest the grand prize winners will receive the following: ONE (1) Ocean View Cabin on the Backstreet Boys Cruise for 2 people. This does not include transportation, taxes, and other accommodations. As of now there are 2 different contests you can potentially sign up for:

1) You can Like Rose Tours on Facebook and you will be automatically entered to win. Check out the full details of this contest here.


2) If you are a member of the Backstreet Boy fan club, you can sign up here to enter their contest for the same prize.

Good luck to everyone entering!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

AJ Interview about the cruise

I just got super excited reading this new interview with AJ from ARTISTdirect about the upcoming cruise! Quick caveat from the official Backstreet site though "Remember, everything he's talking about are ideas, NOT CONFIRMED EVENTS...but get's going to be a FUN RIDE!"

AJ McLean of Backstreet Boys Talks BSB Cruise, NKOTBSB, His Best Summer Concert, and More
"The Backstreet Boys Cruise is all about the fans", declares AJ McLean of BSB.

In fact, the cruise is the best way to get up close and personal with the premier pop group. Ever since they won over the hearts of millions worldwide, BSB have emphasized giving back to their devout, diehard audience, but there's no better way for them to do so than by spending December 2nd through December 5th with a boatful of fans.

This is unlike any other cruise out there though. Attendees enjoy themed deck parties and participate in awesome activities with the group ranging from karaoke to poker. Plus, BSB brings their catalog of classics to life live on the high seas during an unforgettable performance. The quartet—McLean, Howie Dorough, Nick Carter, and Brian Littrell—remain one of the most important and infectious pop presences ever, and the constantly find new ways to deliver their timeless jams to the world. The cruise is another shining example…

While dazzling audiences on NKOTBSB, AJ McLean spoke to editor and Dolor author Rick Florino about the Backstreet Boys Cruise, kicking it with New Kids on the Block, the concert he remembers the most, and so much more in this exclusive interview.

Have you gotten your tickets for the Backstreet Boys Cruise Dec 2-5, 2011 yet? If you haven't what are you waiting for! Get them here!

Where did the idea for the Backstreet Boys cruise come from?

Well, we had actually heard about this whole celebrity cruise idea quite a while ago. I know Rick Springfield did it a couple of times. The New Kids on the Block have done it a few times. We gave it a try last year. We did half the boat, and it was an absolute blast. It's an awesome way for us to get really close and intimate with our fans. We do the typical meet-n-greet as well as an actual performance, but we also do other fun activities whether they're on the beach like volleyball and tug-of-war or on the boat. We did this giant Twister game. We also do these deck parties that are usually themed. We did a Black and Blue party. We were trying to do a bubble party, but unfortunately, the weather did not permit that to happen. We did an international night where everyone came dressed as their different cultures. I stayed up a couple of nights until six in the morning DJ-ing. I taught some girls how to play poker and blackjack. A couple of us would actually go to the fans' doors at two or three AM and take pictures with them. On the first cruise, we held a contest for the best door. Fans had to really go all out and put up decorations, pictures, cool shapes, designs, and whatever they could come up with on the door of their cabin. We'd pick the actual winner, and that winner could meet us and come on stage. We do game show-style activities like Family Feud. However, the best was probably open mic karaoke night. This young lady did "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mix-A-Lot and she didn't even need the teleprompter. She knew it word for word and was popping her booty. It was awesome [Laughs]. We also picked three different winners to come up on stage and perform with us during a song called "She's a Dream". That was the first cruise.

How is the next one different?

Now, we're doing the full boat which means double of everything! Instead of three different game show-type functions, there will be double. We'll still do three different deck parties. We have one idea to do an '80s throwback night, but it'll be hair bands [Laughs]. Years ago, we had a video for "Just Want You to Know" where we're in spandex playing like an old hair band. We're going to wear the wigs and spandex and play all '80s rock music one night. I threw out the idea of doing a Pirates of the Caribbean night. We're not going to be in the Caribbean, we're going to be in The Bahamas. It's pretty darn close [Laughs]. I'm going to dress up like Captain Jack Sparrow. Nick threw out the idea of doing a KY wrestling match with the fans a la Old School with "Old Blue". We want to push the limits on this next cruise, get crazy, and have fun. It's a full boat so it's a lot more work, but it's a ton of fun. We're looking forward to it! It's going to be awesome.

What other ideas did you bring to the table for this next cruise?

We've been trying to think of game show ideas. I thought of doing a Whose Line Is It Anyway game. Each of us will get with three fans. We're going to have a couple of special guests on the boat who could host it. They can give each team a scenario, and we have to do the improv, whether it's a song or something else. So it's just like the show. Whichever team wins will receive some kind of prize. The best thing is nobody loses. There will be no losers on the boat. If we do a game show, everybody wins. We're thinking of doing something like Pictionary. There are so many ideas being stirred up in the pot right now. I'm at @skulleeroz on Twitter, and I'd love to throw it out to the fans to come up with some cool ideas of what they want to see and do. This is all about the fans. If they can come up with some cool ideas, who knows?!

You've always been so connected to your fans, and this is the ultimate Backstreet Boys experience.

Exactly! It really is. We do sound check parties before every show where we'll take requests and do two or three songs. Then, we'll do a Q&A and photos. We get to interact with the fans but not on a level as grand as the BSB Cruise. You're really interacting with the fans by going to their rooms hanging out and taking pictures. We'll host a club night. I brought a bunch of fans in to play blackjack. We had the idea of doing individual events too. Maybe I'll teach fans how to play poker. Howie might do a wine or tequila tasting. Nick might take them down to the beach and do some aerobics or workout stuff. Brian may take them jet-skiing. We're trying to cater to every fan on the boat individually and as a group. We're really going to go there this time round.

Did you ever go on a cruise you were personally stoked about?

You know what? The BSB Cruise last year was my very first cruise ship. I'd never been on a cruise ship before in my life. I'm not a big "boat guy" [Laughs]. I get seasick really easily, but I actually managed very well on the boat. Except when I got off the boat, I still had the bends thing going on like I couldn't walk straight for a couple days. It's an experience. For my mom's 60th, my parents really want to take a week-long cruise ship to Alaska, and I'm looking forward to that. I think we're going to do that next year.

Wow!!! First of all, I was happy to read they might do their individual events. I actually guessed that correctly in my previous blog entry- I Have an Idea. I feel so proud of myself. I actually semi-correctly guessed AJ and Nick's event. I would totally be down for any of their potential individual events, I just hope they don't make us choose. I've never been jet skiing before, so that would be a ton of fun. I'm not a big drinker so I'd probably be least likely to do Howie's event. After hanging with AJ in the casino last year, I would not want to miss that. But there's no way I'd miss aerobics with Nick on the beach. That would be so incredible!

As for the theme nights, we already heard rumors of the Pirates of the Caribbean night. Throwback to 80s night could be a lot of fun. I was only 4 years old in the 80's so Id have to do some shopping for this one. I seriously have no idea what Nick's theme idea of doing a "KY wrestling match with the fans a la Old School" Does anyone else know what the heck this means? 

I like their ideas for the game shows. I think it would be hysterical to see them do impov for Whose Line it is Anyway. The only problem is Id be too shy to get up on stage for that. I would however be up for Pictionary, I just don't think that would be very fun to watch. My vote is for charades instead. Now that would be fun to watch. 

The last thing I noticed from this interview was his statement, "We're going to have a couple of special guests on the boat who could host it." I wonder what kind of special guest they could have?!

Friday, July 15, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge

I found this 30 Day Song Challenge on Facebook and thought I would condense the 30 Day challenge into just one post for you all. This isn't exactly cruise related, but I though it would still be fun nonetheless. And you can get to know even more about me and my favorite songs.

Day 1 – Your Favorite Backstreet Boys Song from the Old Era ("Backstreet Boys" (1996) – "Black & Blue")
The One

Day 2 – Your Least Favorite Backstreet Boys Song from the Old Era ("Backstreet Boys" (1996) – "Black & Blue")
Its True

Day 3 – Your Favorite Backstreet Boys Video
Drowning- wet version

Day 4 – A Backstreet Boys Song That Reminds You of Somewhere
Masquerade- It reminds me of the masquerade deck party on the cruise and practically diving in the hot tub to catch beads from Brian

Day 5 – Your Favorite Song from "Backstreet Boys" (1996 International Release)
Just to Be Close to You

Day 6 – Your Favorite Song from AJ’s Solo Album ("Have It All")

Day 7 – Your Favorite Song from "Backstreet’s Back" (1997 International Release)
All I Have to Give

Day 8 – A Backstreet Boys Song That Makes You Want to Dance

Day 9 – Your Favorite Song from "Millennium"
The One

Day 10 – A Song That You Heard at Your First Backstreet Boys Concert
Larger than Life

Day 11 – Your Favorite Song from "Black & Blue"
Shape of My Heart

Day 12 – Your Favorite Song from Brian’s Solo Album ("Welcome Home")
Welcome Home (You)

Day 13 – Your Favorite Song from "Never Gone"
Climbing the Walls

Day 14 – A Backstreet Boys Song That Reminds You of Someone
What Makes You Different- Reminds me of my boyfriend

Day 15 – Your Favorite Song from "Unbreakable"
Something that I Already Know

Day 16 – A Backstreet Boys Song That Makes You Sad

Day 17 – Your Favorite Song from "This Is Us"
Straight Through My Heart

Day 18 – Your Favorite Song from One of Nick’s Solo Albums ("Now or Never", "I’m Taking Off")
I Got You

Day 19 – Your Favorite Backstreet Boys Remix
The Call

Day 20 – Your Favorite Unreleased Song (Pt. 2)
Song for the Unloved

Day 21 – Your Favorite Backstreet Boys Song from the New Era ("Never Gone" – "This Is Us")
Straight Through My Heart

Day 22 – Your Least Favorite Backstreet Boys Song from the New Era ("Never Gone" – "This Is Us")
Don’t Disturb this Groove

Day 23 – Your Favorite Song from Howie’s Solo Album ("Back to Me")
100 (By default)

Day 24 – A Backstreet Boys Song that Makes You Laugh
If You Want it to Be Good Girl

Day 25 – A Backstreet Boys Song You Used to Love but Now Hate
Shining Star- I really don't hate the song, but I used to like this song a lot more than I do now.

Day 26 – Your Favorite B-Side from a Single
Song for the Unloved

Day 27 – A Song from One of the Special 3-Disc Releases from the 2000 Burger King Promo
That’s What She Said

Day 28 – A Backstreet Boys Song That Makes You Fall Asleep
How Did I Fall in Love with You- Beautiful song but very slow

Day 29 – Your Favorite Solo from a Backstreet Boys Album
Shape of My Heart- AJ's verse: Sadness is Beautiful, Loneliness is Tragical

Day 30 – Your Favorite Song Where Kevin Noticeably Sings

Now its your turn! What are your favorite Backstreet Boys songs? Feel free to post your answers in the comments section below. But just think, if you did this legitimately, by the time you’re done you would be one month closer to the cruise. Gee, I guess I found a way to relate it to the cruise after all!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What to Expect- Downtime

Not every second of the trip will be planned out around a BSB event, though I wish it was ;) Thus there will inevitably be some downtime. I did find that a majority of the time was spent either at a BSB event, or getting ready for a BSB event, which didn’t leave all that much time to relax. But I did have gaps of time that I had to fill with something.

During my downtime I would typically grab some food or a drink and just chat with friends. Another thing you can do if the weather was cooperating was to hit up the pool/hot tubs. Both of these activities had a high likelihood of spotting a BSB, which only made it that much more enjoyable. You could also go to the casino and try your luck at the tables or slots. If you like to shop, the cruise has several little shops onboard. If you enjoy sports, there was a basketball court on board as well, where Brian was seen playing with his son.

If you're feeling particularly healthy, you can hit up the gym or go for a nice walk/run around the promenade deck. Take in some of that lovely ocean air.

As for night life- there will be some sort of lounge or club with music. There will also several bars around the ship. Both of these can be a lot of fun. But just be warned that the ratio of girls to guys will be slightly askew. The Backstreet Boys also made frequent appearances at the club.

Another thing to consider is that we will be docked in Nassau for practically the majority of the trip. Another way to kill some time is to get off the ship and explore Nassau. I'll do a future post on things to do in Nassau.

A less fun, but practical idea- since the Backstreet Boys will be doing every event twice, it also presents a good opportunity to take a quick catnap while the other group has their event. Good way to catch up on some sleep while not missing anything.

BSB Related Activities During your Downtime

If you want to make sure eke out as much Backstreet as possible during your trip, here are a few BSB related activities to do during your down time.
  • If you have a few hours to kill, I would definitely recommend taking a friend and a camera down the halls of the cruise ship and look at door decorations. Even if you don’t have a few hours to kill, I would highly suggest making time for this because I really enjoyed it.
  • Another suggestion if you've got some time to kill- swing by the BSB merchandise store. Even if you don't intend to buy, still fun to look around.
  • If you’re looking for a more relaxed activity, there’s nothing wrong with chilling in your cabin and putting the Backstreet Boy channel on. Normally I don’t like to sit in the cabin during the day if I can help it, but I can’t think of a better reason to stay there.
  • Meet other fans. Lots of fun, cool people to meet around the ship. So why not meet some fellow BSB fans during your down-time?
I doubt anyone could ever be bored on a Backstreet cruise, but hopefully these ideas will make sure of that. Definitely not a shortage of things to do!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Seating Charts

Even though we won't get our seating assignments until we are on the ship, I thought I would post what you can expect the seating chart to look like. This picture was taken from one of the past New Kids cruises.

Seating Chart for the Imagination

You can see that it is quite different from the way the Destiny seating was set up:
Seating Chart for the Destiny: Lower Level

Seating Chart for the Destiny: Upper Level

I've heard mixed reviews on the Imagination's set up in the main lounge. Since there are tables in the lounge, it poses some unique challenges. For one, the floor is more flat, making it more difficult for the people in the back to see. This especially holds true when everyone stands up. I've read several reviews from past New Kids cruisers, most of which were unfortunately not very positive. They mostly said that unless you were in the first few rows, you had trouble seeing. 

That said, I spoke to my brother who has worked on both the Destiny and the sister ship of the Imagination. FYI- the sister ship is a boat that has the exact same set up. He said that the lounge is a lot smaller on the Imagination, but the stage is significantly bigger. His opinion was that unless you were in the last 3 rows of the upper balcony where the floor flattens out, you should be okay.

I also heard some words of wisdom that I will share with you as well. As much as I stress about how good my seats will be, along with these other little details, the reality is that we will all be in the Caribbean on a cruise with the Backstreet Boys. I really shouldn't get myself worked up about things that are beyond my control. And none of us can control where we sit (unless you book a suite of course). Thus take this information and do what you want with it :)

Friday, July 8, 2011


This post is not in any way related to Ghostbusters, that would just be creepy. But rather MythBusters. Okay, you may think I’m a nerd for watching MythBusters. I blame my boyfriend for that. Anyway, if you’re not familiar with the show, they take common myths and test to see if they are true or not. So I’m doing the same thing Backstreet cruise style. I know I did a lot of speculating before the cruise, so here are a few myths that I thought I’d clear up based on last year’s cruise.

Myth: The Backstreet Boys would not show up to the deck parties. Or if they did, it would only be for a few minutes to make an appearance.
Denied- Not only did all BSB members attend the deck parties, but they were there for hours! I had this misconception before I cruised because I was comparing it to after parties. I don't think its fair to compare an after party to a deck party because they are really different. What surprised me most was that even Brian stayed for a long time. No offense to Brian, but he’s usually the Backstreet Boy first to bed and rarely seen at the clubs. Thus I was very pleasantly surprised to see him being the life of those deck parties.
Myth: BSB would not eat with us.
Denied- They ate at the buffet with us during the day AND in the main dining room at night. I truthfully thought they would have their own private reserved room with catered food, or they would eat room service in their cabin to avoid the craziness. Not the case at all. It was not uncommon to see a BSB grabbing a snack and sitting down at the lido restaurant. That said, I still have my doubts they will be eating dinner with us in the main dining room again.
Myth: You will not sleep.
Confirmed- I don’t think I went to bed before 5am on any given night. Plus I was super excited the few nights leading up to the cruise, so I couldn’t sleep then either. So if you don't want to miss anything, don't plan on getting much sleep.
Myth: I would suffer from post-BSB cruise depression.
Denied- You know the feeling you get after something you’ve been looking forward to for so long ends? I get that all the time after a BSB concert. But for some reason I didn’t experience that at all after the cruise. I had such great memories from the trip, that afterward I felt perfectly content. There was no way I could possibly leave sad or disappointed. Plus, I was busy swapping pictures with friends, sharing stories, and telling everyone I know about the great time I had. On top of it there were already rumors of BSB cruise 2011 in the works, which definitely put my mind at ease.
Myth: You will meet the Backstreet Boys
Plausible- Yes, there is the group photo where you will “meet” them. It’s incredibly rushed, but nonetheless you do get your few seconds with the guys. Aside from that, it is certainly possible you will meet the guys around the ship, but you should absolutely not expect it. Many fans did get the opportunity to meet them, but many did not. Thus you don’t want to set yourself up for disappointment.
Myth: The Backstreet Boys would sleep in the crew cabin away from the passengers.
Denied- They had cabins like the rest of us. Well not quite like the rest of us, they had the grand suites. But nonetheless, they were not hidden away with the crew.
Myth: You can buy a VIP pass similar to how its set up on tour?
Denied- You can’t buy any sort of VIP access during the cruise. Though their family/crew would occasionally hand out VIP bracelets to a few select girls. More on VIPs in a future post.
Do you have any other myths you’d like me to clear up for you? Feel free to post a comment below :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Referral Program Announced

This is mostly for you cruisers who are already booked, but in case you missed this email from Rose Tours they just announced a new referral program. Here is the copy of the email below:

Hey BSBcruisers- Are you getting excited for the Cruise? Need a few extra cruise dollars? Know any BSB fans who haven't made their cruise reservation yet? Have we got a deal for you.

We know that times are tough and we really appreciate your booking the BSB cruise. As part of our gratitude, we want to offer you a chance for a special discount.

We are pleased to announce the launch of the new BSB Cruise Referral Program to all of our current BSB 2011 Cruisers.

If you are currently booked on the cruise and your refer a friend, you will receive a $50 per person discount for everyone your refer. When making the reservation, have your friend put your name in the comments section. Your $50 per new person booked, will be deducted from your final payment.

For any current 2011 BSB Cruise passenger who refers a new passenger, the current passenger will receive the following:
$50 discount per new confirmed passenger. This discount will be deducted from your final balance.
When a new passenger makes a reservation, they need to put the referring passenger's name in the Comments Section.

We have an exciting cruise planned for you all and we can't wait to see you again in December!

Rose Tours

**Discount will be applied at the time of final payment on October 3rd, 2011. Discount only applies if the referred completes the booking and makes all payments for their cruise. This discount is non-transferable to any other cruise passenger and is null and void should the referring passenger cancel their reservation. This discount is not redeemable for cash and does not apply to any taxes, fees or onboard expenses. Referral Discount only applies to new bookings made after July 5th, 2011 and is not retroactive to any current bookings.

This email tells me there are still plenty of cabins available, which I guess is a good thing. Less people on the ship = more potential time with BSB. But I still have a looming fear that if they can't sell out the ship they may be less inclined to do more cruises in the future.

I know this is a shameless plug here, but for you cruisers who haven't booked yet, if you've found my blog to be particularly helpful and it has legitimately helped you in your decision to book the cruise, I would be extremely grateful if you wanted to put my name down. Just shoot me an email :) Heck, I'd also be willing to split the money with you. Win, win!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Ashley’s Door Decorating Tips

As I previously mentioned, my first guest blogger is my friend Ashley- a Howie fan from NJ. She’s been competing with me in the Lose It all Challenge and has been totally kicking my butt. She also has her own awesome blog, Confessions of a Giggler, that I recommend you check out. Her blog covers everything from stories about friends and dancing to her favorite movies and of course the Backstreet Boys! She has a great BSB cruise review as well that is a must read:
Day One
Day Two
Day Three
Day Four

And without further ado, Ashley!

Door Decorating Tips

Hi everyone! I’m Ashley and I am so excited to be a guest blogger here on Laura’s awesome BSB Cruise blog. This is def the best blog out there for all things related to the hottest party on the seven seas!!!

We are approaching the 5 month mark and December will be here before we know it! Something to start thinking about is door decorations. We may not know the themes for the parties or what the events will be but we do know that there will be a door decorating contest. So why not start brainstorming? Last year the prize was front row seats for the concert! That is something definitely worth playing for if you ask me!!

Last year I went all out. I started working on my door in October and didn’t finish until the weekend before the cruise. I obsessed over every teeny tiny detail and even had a few freak outs along the way when something didn’t come out perfect. It was a very stressful time for me… haha! I approached this contest just like I did when I participated in Hall Decorating in high school. There were lots of rules and if you didn’t follow those rules you got points off. It was something that came natural to me to worry about all the little things (like neatness and none of the door could be showing and other things like that). That was my first mistake. Sure my door was AMAZING and I was super proud of it but it didn’t get me the win.

My Movie-Themed Door

What I learned from last year is that door dec is completely opposite from “the perfect fan”. The lyrics say “it’s not the big things but the little things”. When in comes to this competition it is definitely not the little things but the BIG things that will get you noticed. Unfortunately the boys don’t have time to go to every deck and look at every door to find a winner. I’m pretty sure they rely on pictures. So it is very important to have a door that photographs well. Every door that they mentioned had some sort of big piece on it. That’s what grabbed their attention. A lot of really cool small piece isn’t going to do anything to help your cause. The winning door had a home made locker in the middle and the rest of the door was covered in old magazine covers.

Tough to tell from this picture, but its all 3D

So now that you know to go BIG you may be wondering what supplies would be good to use. I suggest using anything that’s sturdy. Regular paper isn’t going to cut it. So if you have the urge to pick up some computer paper and start crafting, DON’T!!! Instead take a ride down to your local craft store (Michael’s is my favorite) and pick up some card stock. It is much thicker than regular paper and comes in lots of colors. While at the craft store don’t be afraid to look around and get whatever else you may need to create an awesome door. Last year I used everything from acrylic paint to curling ribbon to glitter to sharpie markers to tacky glue to special edge scissors to rhinestones to packaging peanuts to everything else in between. Cardboard is also really great to work with. It is pretty sturdy so it will travel better and the natural light color of it makes it easy to paint any color you want. Sometimes it’s a little difficult to cut. So I recommend using an exacto knife. You will be able to get the shape you need with this easier than with scissors.

My final piece of advice for you is to HAVE FUN with it!!! Last year I took it way too seriously and was devastated when I didn’t win. That’s not going to happen again this year. What ever happens, happens. I’m just going to have fun!

If anyone one has any questions don’t be afraid to ask!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Your Official Invitation to be a Guest Blogger

I obviously couldn’t be everywhere at once on the cruise last year so in order to provide the best possible information to everyone out there, I decided that I should not be the only one posting entries in this blog. There were 1,300 other cruisers last year besides myself who all have incredible stories, tips, pictures, memories, and a unique perspective about the cruise. So any of you past cruisers want to share your stories and be a guest blogger, send me an email with what you’d like to post. Future-cruisers, don’t feel left out! You can be a guest blogger as well. Tell us what you’re excited for. What tips have you heard? What made you decide to cruise this year? Anything you want!

Plus I figure you guys are probably getting sick of my same old stories over and over again.

My fist official guest blogger is my good friend, Ashley. She is a Howie fan from New Jersey. She had one of my favorite door decorations from last year and I think she totally should have at least gotten an honorable mention. But anyway, she is going to share some of her door decorating tips with you all. So look forward to that in the next day or two.