Friday, December 16, 2011

Recap 2011- Day 3

I woke up the third morning of the cruise to an early morning phone call. And by early I mean 9:30. It wasn't that early but it felt like I had only slept for like 10 minutes. I had no idea who might be calling, but I was so excited to get a call from my friend Ashley who had just found out she won the door decoration contest. If I couldn't win, I could think of no better people than her and her sister Cort to win that contest. And if you remember, I had Ashley previously post her door decorating tips. See folks, even if I don't always have a clue what I'm talking about, I won't steer you wrong! Hopefully she'll be willing to do a follow up post for us (not to put her on the spot or anything :P)

And speaking of door decorations, I took that morning to walk around the ship and see what people did this year. I was surprisingly underwhelmed this cruise. There weren't nearly as many doors decorated this year, which was a bummer. Though I'll post a few of my favorites for you:

Door Dec Contest Winner

Sphynkter Stage

Life sized cardboard cutouts of BSB and even little giveaways

Game of Life BSB Style

Meet & Greet
Before the meet and greet I grabbed a quick brunch so that my tummy wouldn't be grumbling in the picture. Then we headed downstairs to wait in line to for our turn to meet the boys. At this point we only had 7 girls in our picture, and most of us didn't really care who we stood next to. But in the end we interestingly had 2 open spots for AJ and 1 for Nick. I was seriously debating who I wanted to stand next to down to the last minute. I figured that I was going to meet Nick in February when I see him for the I'm Taking Off tour, so I was actually leaning towards AJ. However just at that moment Nick decided to walk by thus I decided I want to stand next to Nick!

Waiting for our meet & greet
Rose Tours seemed to be a bit more strict this year in enforcing groups of 8, which I think is only fair. So we had an AJ girl join us at last minute. I seem to be a lot more nervous waiting in line to meet them than actually out and about around the ship. We inched closer and closer to them and I was so excited. I was expecting a quick encounter, which is just what it was. I went down the line and shook all of their hands and said "thanks for another amazing cruise" to all of them. Nothing horribly exciting, but I couldn't come up with anything else intelligent given the time constraint. Then I parked myself next to Nick and stood on my tippy toes just to make sure I wasn't covered.

The goal was for everyone to do the 'huggy pose'. We almost nailed it but not quite.
I'm mostly happy with how the picture turned out. Everyone looks good and no one is blocked. I just wish AJ would've been a little closer.

After the meet and greet, I went back for lunch #2. Yeah, I really did. We also had a few hours to kill until our next event, karaoke so eating seemed like a good way to kill time.

My friends and I got to karaoke a bit early and staked out a good spot. Though I was getting nervous since the skies were getting darker and darker. I wasn't sure what they would do if it started storming. I just remember waiting around quite a while for the event to start. Before the boys came out, Hal Roseman announced the winner and runner ups to the door decoration contest. Congrats again Ash and Cort as well as to the honorable mentions!

Soon after, the Backstreet Boys came out and announced they wouldn't start the karaoke right away. First they were going to shave one fan's head because she was just starting chemotherapy treatment. Just another reason why I love these boys so much. I looked around the deck and noticed not a dry eye in the house. I think this took a little longer than expected, because we started karaoke 40 minutes late, plus I don't think they made it to a good portion of the girls who were picked to sing.

Now I enjoyed karaoke, but it just didn't have the same energy as I was hoping. Could be many factors at play- weather, song choice, boys just not as into it, my personal view blocked by railings, or maybe a combination of everything. But for whatever reason, this just wasn't my favorite event of the cruise. I think my favorite moment of karaoke was when Brian was ribbing on AJs ex:

Brian cracks me up

So after standing in the cold rain during karaoke, there was only one thing to do afterward. Hot chocolate! That totally hit the spot at that moment.

The rest of the afternoon/evening went by in a haze. I'll be the first to admit that I was pretty bummed that night at dinner. I think it was a combination of being physically and emotionally exhausted coupled with the fact that it was our last day and the other group was simultaneously having their concert. It was at this moment when I was hating the full charter. I know I was acting childish because I had seen them perform the night before, but I just hated knowing I was missing them when they were so close that I could even faintly hear the concert. The only shining moment of the afternoon was spotting Nick in the casino for a brief period of time. He can always cheer me up!

In attempts to distract myself, my friends and I went to see the comedian on board. That didn't help much because the comedian didn't exactly share my sense of humor. So I left and figured I should pack and get ready for pajama night. Side note- sorry for being a debbie downer, but its how I was feeling at the time. I promise it gets happier.

Pajama Night
As I was laying in my cabin and watching the Backstreet channel, we were interrupted by an announcement that the deck party was moved inside to the atrium. I don't think Ive ever bolted out of bed so fast. My immediate thought was that we need to get there quickly and get a good spot. Even though my roommate and I were probably in that atrium within 30 seconds of that announcement, it didn't do us a whole lot of good because I guess they announced the change of venue at the concert so all the good spots were already taken. Though we found ourselves a decent spot on the next floor up.

Pajama night was by far my favorite theme night of the cruise. We had Howie dressed up as Hugh Hefner, Nick dressed as a Ninja turtle, Brian with his sesame street look, and AJ with big feet? The boys were really engaged and entertaining this evening. I have no idea how Nick kept that costume on all night because I was roasting in my PJs. Sadly my planning for colder outdoor weather backfired this night, so I had to go back to my cabin to change at one point.

The boys in their PJs
One of the best ideas of the cruise was to do Truth or Dare during the deck party. It was fun for the girls participating as well as for everyone watching, which is key. So many surprising moments! I was shocked when Brian willingly went crowd-surfing. I seriously wondered what that man did with Brian because the Brian I know would never go crowd-surfing. I was just dying to be on the floor during that moment, but still had a ton of fun watching from above.

I couldn't believe how open the boys were to let the fans touch them this last night between massages and tickling dares. It almost made me embarrassed to watch knowing that these are married, engaged, and taken men. But nonetheless, the guys seemed in good spirits. One of the highlights of the evening was Howie molesting a pillow. I'm actually laughing out loud just thinking about it.

 Howie's Dare with a Pillow

The crowd didn't seem to thin out like it had the prior 2 nights, the place was still packed around 3 in the morning. The boys took a brief break after the truth or dare game, but came back out for some pillow fighting.

At this point the party seemed to be winding down (minus Howie of course) so I decide I needed some pizza. I was finishing off my last slice when I spotted a smallish crowd in the corner of my eye outside behind the pizzeria. Figuring we didn't have much to lose, we wandered out and found 50 or so fans just gathered there. I didn't really know what was happening at first, but I quickly realized I had stumbled onto a really special moment. Nick and AJ were outside chatting candidly about a variety of different topics. No microphones, no cameras, no hugs, no autographs- just the boys speaking what was on their mind. I couldn't even see Nick or AJ. I just had my eyes closed and listened to every word they said. This was probably my favorite moment of the cruise even though I only caught about half of their talk. I was kicking myself for not getting their earlier, but also so fortunate that I was able to catch a part of it.

I'm also choosing not to publish anything that was discussed that last night, because it was clear they didn't want it recorded and spread on youtube. I just left that talk full of emotion. It was the perfect way to end the cruise. I think that night can also teach us all a valuable lesson for future cruises and Backstreet experiences in general. If we behave well and don't bombard them, we will be rewarded. Easier said than done, I know.

I had another night of about 2 hours of sleep and had to rush off the ship to catch my flight. I did catch one last glimpse of Brian and Nick leaving that morning, which was a bittersweet moment.

I'm not ashamed to admit that I shed a tear or two on my plane ride home. Just months and months of anticipation and excitement finally coming to an end.  The whole experience was a whirlwind and it was everything I had hoped for and more. I want to thank the Backstreet Boys for yet another amazing cruise as well as my friends and you, my readers, who helped make my experience what it was.
And so winds down Backstreet Cruise 2011.


  1. Hello Laura,

    after reading your recaps on the BSB Cruise 2011, I was just wondering: the fact that you had so many moments close to (all of) them, was that due to your own efforts or due to a VIP ticket?
    In case of your own efforts, I imagine anyone out there can get equally lucky on meeting them, but in case of the VIP ticket, it's probably a matter of being real quick (as I'm thinking there's probably not so many of those?).

    After being away from the BSB for quite some time - for personal reasons - I'm slowly finding my way back to them. When I came across YouTube clips of the two former cruises, I found myself really wanting to be there on the next one - if there is going to be a next one.

    My apologies, because I will probably bombarding this blog with comments, questions, ... as there is so much to discover (after - sadly enough - years of absence from my side).

    Belgian BSB greetings,

  2. Hey again Fé!
    I didn't have any sort of VIP, nor can you buy a VIP ticket. The staff does have VIP wristbands they hand out to people, but you cant buy them. Just being in the right place at the right time. But again, I had all of my encounters without the VIP wristband. You don't need it :)

    I understand having been away from BSB for a while and "rediscovering" them. Its a lot of fun! They're anticipating the next cruise to take place the summer of 2013 so you'll have a little bit more time to catch up.

    Feel free to email me directly if you want to talk more in depth!!