As a point of references, here's what my comments for Rose Tours are. Let me know if you agree/disagree or maybe I missed something big.
What I Liked
- Loved the banners and cardboard cutouts around the ship. Would love to see more of this.
- BSB channel on TV. Always a nice touch.
- Great selection of merchandise
- I liked having new and different games. In it to Win it was a lot of fun!
- Loved that there were lots of little goodies thrown into the audience- beads, shirts, pillows, candy, etc. Even something super cheap, if thrown by a backstreet boy, is priceless to us fans. So a little bit of money can go a long way. Would like to see even more of this next cruise.
- You really did a good job of giving plenty of opportunities for a lot of fans to have their special moment with a backstreet boy- whether it was playing games on the beach or selected to be prom queen.
- Loved pajama night. Not sure if it was just the event itself or the location in the atrium that made it better. On a related note I think adding games to the deck parties was a great idea. I also loved having that ‘goodbye’ moment which we didn’t have last year. I think its important to end the cruise on a high note.
- Cable Beach was set up much nicer for our event than the beach last year. Lots of room with a big stage. Everyone had a great view. Also loved the addition of lots more games.
- Ability to choose your own seats in dining room
- Sail Away party was a lot of fun and a nice new addition this year. Great way to kick off the cruise.
- Rose Tour staff was great, friendly, and accommodating with 1 exception (see below)
- LOVED the concert. I like the fact that we could vote on the songs and it was an unplugged set. Would love to see this again!!
- I liked how you picked contestants for karaoke. Gave everyone a fair shot and brought a sense of calmness to the process because it was pre-decided.
What I Think Could've Been Improved
- Minor complaint but I didn’t care for the naked mermaid logo that was used throughout the cruise. It makes it harder to wear the merchandise later on.
- Need to clearly announce the door decoration contest and dimensions of door, if there was going to be a contest
- When planning events, consider what it is like for the other fans watching more so than the ones playing. Overall you did a great job with this, but personally I didn’t enjoy watching them play beer pong. It was fun for the girls on stage but not for everyone else. I'd argue the same for prom night.
- DJ was very repetitive. May want to try a new DJ next year
- It seemed bringing back karaoke wasn't nearly as successful as it was last year. It seemed forced to me. I think for next time either scrap the event all together or bring a new refreshing twist to it. Maybe its a karaoke contest. For example Nick and Brian with fans vs AJ and Howie with fans. It seems like the Backstreet Boys have a competitive side so that might be more entertaining all around.
- I also plan on telling them as nicely as possible that I think Hal Roseman’s behavior was wildly inappropriate. Quite frankly his behavior was disgusting, unprofessional, and I think he poorly represents Rose Tours as the face of their company.
Suggestions for Next Time
- Event suggestions
- Have the boys do a roast. They seemed to start on that during karaoke a bit and I think it would be a great event if they are willing.
- Battle of the Sexes- I think this would be extremely entertaining
- Some sort of audience participation game. Royal Caribbean does a game called Quest and its basically an interactive adult scavenger hunt which might be fun if adapted properly. But what's nice is that even if you aren't on stage you're still involved
- You should broadcast the alternate groups event on the TV so the rest of the ship can simultaneously watch and not feel left out. And continue to air all that footage the remainder of the cruise, similar to how they do it on a ‘regular’ cruise.
- It was apparent that the cruise had trouble selling this year. Meanwhile I also noticed that subsequently, many contests for cruise giveaways started popping up giving away free accommodations, exclusive meet and greets, and even access to sound check. You may want to consider offering similar rewards/incentives for people signing up early. It doesn’t have to be money off, but perhaps something like “if you sign up by X date you get exclusive access to the sound check party” or “the first 200 people who sign up get a bonus meet and greet”
- I’d love to see the boys do solo events. You could possibly have 4 events at the same time allowing for a more intimate event. Or do them at separate times, allowing the other boys a break.
- Clarify that if a deck party starts at 11:30, it doesn’t mean the backstreet boys get there at 11:30. Same goes for beach party. I personally understood the concept, but many did not and were complaining.
- I think there needs to be a monitor or screen at the deck parties with a live feed of the event in order to make it easier for people to see. Also would’ve been nice at the beach party or during the main events in the lounge. It’s tough for shorter people to see over the crowd and I think a screen is crucial to fully enjoy those events.
- Minor suggestion, but Hal was the one who announced the door decoration contest winner. I think it would be a nice touch to have the backstreet boys announce it next time. The fans work really hard on those doors so any way to give the winners extra credit would be nice. Also announce more runners up.
- Create an ultimate fan trivia event. BSB doesn’t even have to be there, but it would be fun to do during down time or while the other group has their event.
- I really missed the Q&A this year. I think its important to have at least 1 event where its just BSB on stage with no fans (aside from the concert) just to see them. After all, that’s why we’re there.
- I liked the selection process for karaoke and think it should be more widely adopted next time around. It gave everyone a fair equal shot at getting picked; it didn’t allow any bias in terms of race, ethnicity, physical appearance, etc. It also brought a much calmer atmosphere to the event because girls knew that the contestants had already been decided. I don’t suggest this for everything, as I also think it’s nice for the Backstreet Boys themselves to pick fans in some scenarios. But I think this is more fair approach than having Rose Tour staff hand pick girls on the spot because it appeared to many of us that there was some prejudice in that process. Whether that’s a true statement or not, that is the widespread perception.
- I liked how on the cruise in 2010 you would upgrade girls to front row for each event via a random drawing. I'd like to see that brought back.