Many of us have the same question on our mind. Will you be able to meet a Backstreet Boy around the ship? I get asked this a lot so let me clear up any confusion, to the best of my ability anyway. By the way, I’m referring to outside of the designated time during the photo shoot because we are guaranteed to meet them there. So I think the real question is will you get to meet them around the ship? The answer- there’s definitely a good chance but nothing is for certain. In my experiences, I felt like I had several opportunities to approach a Backstreet Boy while on board. For the most part I think they made themselves pretty accessible, which beyond surprised me. I assumed they’d be cooped up in their cabins and use crew passageways to get around the ship. This was far from the case. I don’t know if that will change for our upcoming cruise, because it will be a full charter. But I hope we still find them roaming the ship. So unless you lock yourself in the cabin for 3 days, you’re almost guaranteed to at the very least spot them around the ship.
I felt the Backstreet Boys did a good job of interacting with the fans both during their down time and at the official events, which presented a few golden opportunities to potentially meet one of them. I’d say the best chances to be up close and personal to a Backstreet Boy at one of their official events were karaoke night and the beach party. Then followed by the deck parties and lastly the game shows. This is only my opinion, but I’m basing this off the number of fans who would get to participate in any given event. The beach party offered many games where fans got involved and karaoke night also allowed many fans the chance to be on stage and sing with the Backstreet Boys. The Deck parties I think were a little too crazy and loud to facilitate that much interaction with any of the fans. That said Nick and AJ did come downstairs and play bartender for a while. But I didn’t really see them chatting with fans or taking pictures. The exception to this would be if you were in the VIP area. I personally wasn’t up there so I cant say for certain, but it seemed like you may have had better luck at a quick pic in this area. The game shows were also fun, but only 16 girls in all were lucky enough to go on stage. So from a sheer numbers game, the odds aren’t with you.
There were also many chances during down time to run into a Backstreet Boy and potentially get some precious one on one time. Whether it was AJ knocking on cabin doors in the middle of the night, Brian posing for pictures after lunch, Howie signing autographs after breakfast, or Nick inviting a few lucky girls back to his room- the opportunities were there. I heard all different ranges of experiences. Some girls seemed to really luck out the whole time and met them numerous times, to the point where the Backstreet Boys would recognize them by the end. Other girls didn’t have any chance for some brief 1 on 1 time outside the photo shoot. A lot of it is purely luck- being at the right place at the right time. I think a lot of it also has to do with your personality. For me personally, I’m not super aggressive so I don’t have the ability to create an opportunity out of nothing. I tend to shy back and wait for one of them to do something like an impromptu photo session as opposed to me approaching Brian while he’s at the pool with his family. The other piece of the puzzle you have to consider is what are you hoping to gain from the cruise? I don’t mean to get all deep and philosophical, but are you content just seeing them around the ship or do you have to have as many hugs, pictures, and autographs as humanly possible? I leave decision that up to you.
Overall, it’s really a numbers game though. Last year there were about 1,350 people present as part of the BSB cruise and there were 4 Backstreet Boys. This year the Imagination holds around 2,050 people and there will still be 4 Backstreet Boys. It doesn’t take a mathematician to figure out that not everyone will get a chance, but hopefully the odds are with you (and me of course!)
Past cruisers- Feel free to chime in on your experiences of meeting the guys around the ship. I love hearing those stories!
To be Continued...