Monday, December 30, 2013

Ashley's 2013 Review: Vlog Style

I'm excited to have another wonderful guest blogger. You may remember one of my besties, Ashley, as the reigning door decoration champ and from her previous posts on Door Decoration Tips and Winning Door Decoration Tips. Ashley is a Howie girl from New Jersey and you can check out her blog post about the cruise here.

This year Ashley did her cruise review vlog style. Her cruise review was in a series of her top 13 moments of 2013 countdown, which includes other exciting BSB and boyband adventures as well. I promise there's lots of fun and laughter in her videos ;) So without further ado- Ashley!
Ashley's Cruise Review

Review Part 1

Review Part 2

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

500 Reasons BSB is Larger than Life

I promised a few of you that I would post the digital version of our door decoration. So here it is! We came up with 500 reasons we love the Backstreet Boys. I wish I could take more credit for this door- but big thanks to everyone who helped which includes all of you who came by and wrote in some more reasons! And big thanks to Chrissy for putting it all together.

500 Reasons BSB is Larger than Life
  1. AJ’s jewelry line
  2. Wylee (Wylee parties)
  3. Nick plays a gnome in World of Warcraft
  4. They can actually SING
  5. Barricades…lol j/k
  6. Howie’s wiggling
  7. AJ looks great in a kilt
  8. Dorough Lupus Foundation
  9. Healthy Heart Club which is now Just Ask
  10. Not afraid to get up close and personal with the fans
  11. Together after 20 years
  12. They named themselves after a market
  13. They know (most of) the lyrics to their songs
  14. Tons of contests for fans to win VIPs, etc
  15. They paired up with another infamous boyband to form NKOTBSB
  16. Awesome body guards- Mike, Q, Josh, and Drew
  17. They have an amazing manager- Jenn
  18. They do Gangnam style better than Psy
  19. They spend their New Years Eve with the fans
  20. Kevin’s numerous emotional tears when he returned
  21. They’re releasing a documentary at Sundance and Toronto Film Festival
  22. They have amazing solo records outside of BSB
  23. Collaborated with some of the best in the business like Elton John and Sting
  24. Mediocre softball skills coming in second place versus the New Kids
  25. Brian’s random acts of silliness
  26. Kentucky accents
  27. Brian and Kevin are proud members of the Big Blue Nation
  28. Howie’s infamous wink
  29. They play their own instruments
  30. Write their own songs
  31. The fact that we’ve lost count of how many tattoos AJ has
  32. Passion
  33. Refer to ‘This is Us’ as ‘The Scissors’
  34. Beautiful wives/fiancees/families
  35. Our resident “bad boy” is the sweetest guy we know
  36. Johnny No Name
  37. Songs dedicated to the fans- Larger Than Life
  38. Songs dedicated to family - The Perfect Fan
  39. Inspirational
  40. Performed on a Penis Stage
  41. Everybody choreography
  42. As Long As You Love Me chair dance
  43. All I Have to Give hat dance
  44. The January 2000 Rolling Stone cover
  45. Backstreet time
  46. Spent 3 weeks together in London to put together the new album
  47. Their fans know more about them than they do
  48. Serenade fans on stage
  49. AJ jokes about his own ass, or lack there of
  50. They don’t take themselves too seriously
  51. Brian mimicking fans on stage so we know he sees us
  52. Howie signs his name with a smiley face
  53. Humble
  54. Nick makes a sexy mummy
  55. Catchy Burger King jingles- “Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce, special orders don’t upset us”
  56. They do soundcheck parties and meet and greets for all of their concerts
  57. Wear goofy aprons during the BSBBQ
  58. Howie was a vampire before it was cool
  59. Brave enough to do not 1, not 2, but 3 cruises with their fans
  60. Nick invites fans to play Team Fortress with him, even though most of us aren’t that good
  61. They keep their cool when reminding the media that Backstreet’s not back, they never went anywhere!
  62. AJs raspy voice
  63. They remix their classics like I Want it That Way, to keep it fresh for us
  64. Brian sings to a Christmas tree
  65. Honest
  66. They do karaoke with their fans
  67. Pick on each other
  68. Nick makes a sexy ninja turtle
  69. Brian makes Elmo look good
  70. They strip down to do the Harlem shake
  71. Survived Lou Pearlman
  72. Their album sounds even better when they are under their own record label
  73. Nick’s writing a self-help/autobiography
  74. They’re not afraid to sing a capella
  75. Nick and Lauren help inspire fans to stay healthy with KittFit
  76. They chartered their own freakin plane
  77. They can and do dance, unlike some of the newer generation of boybands
  78. They can answer a question so genuinely and pretend as if they’ve never answered it before
  79.  Broadcasted their 20th anniversary event so everyone around the world could watch
  80. AJ keeps us entertained us with booomb videos
  81. Brian constantly chirping with fans
  82. Brian’s impromptu ustream chats
  83. Howie will call/skype with fans
  84. Nick’s pranks
  85. Nick’s great drumming/guitar skills
  86. The fact that Howie said he’d ask for a refund if he got Nick as his backstage VIP tour guide
  87. Nick’s ‘classy’ wardrobe, especially while on tour
  88. Brian’s brightly spray painted shoes
  89. Nick’s younger brother looks just like him
  90. Mix the classic dance moves with the new stuff
  91. Drowning music video (original version)
  92. Kevin’s piano skills
  93. They have 2 awesome Christmas songs
  94. They’ve recorded a couple of their songs in Spanish for the Spanish-speaking fans
  95. Even they don’t know the meaning of I Want It That Way
  96. AJ will never let Nick forget that he is the reason Don’t Want You Back wasn’t a single
  97. Brian dedicated a song to the shooting victims in Connecticut
  98. Brian has been known to break into tears while singing more emotional songs
  99. They sing If You Want it To be Good Girl for their fans even though they don’t like the song
  100. Brian doesn’t hide the fact that he hates ‘Masquerade’
  101. They performed alongside Seth Rogen in the hilarious movie, This is the End.
  102. AJ is no stranger to humping a stage
  103. Their advice to other boybands is to take pictures, do autographs, and be grateful for the fans
  104. Brian has been to a One Direction concert
  105. They are popular AROUND the world
  106. Aj isn’t stingy with sharing pics of his baby Ava
  107. Appreciative of their success
  108. Brian’s sense of humor
  109. Brian’s faith
  110. Baylee takes after his dad and opens for their concert
  111. They can also act
  112. Brian likes to sing responses to questions
  113. Take pictures with cute panda bears in China
  114. Howie likes to try the local cuisine when he visits each country
  115. They’re great role-models
  116. Frick & Frack
  117. They’re business minded
  118. They view each other as family
  119. They will sing live during their concerts
  120. Integrity
  121. They pray before each show
  122. They are a vocal harmony group
  123. Bring sings with his eyes closed
  124. They bring together fans from all over the world
  125. AJs openly supports the LGBT community
  126. They produce their own music
  127. They did the best Letterman top 10 ever
  128. Brian has a man crush on Mark Wahlberg
  129. Brian’s brightly colored shoes make him hard to miss
  130. Stuff like that…
  131. Inspirational songs dedicated to anti-bullying- Madeleine
  132. Nick’s a Tampa Bay Bucs fan
  133. It took 10 years for AJ to discover the show, Friends
  134. Backstreet Boys 2.0 is in the works as more backstreet babies are being born
  135. Howie almost fainted at the birth of Holden
  136. Kevin used to work at Disney World, combining 2 ultimate loves
  137. They’re so amazing that Orlando officially declared a Backstreet Boys Day.
  138. Best selling boyband of all time
  139. Millennium broke too many records too even name
  140. Brian courageously stood up for the group when he filed a lawsuit against Lou.
  141. They work with some of the best producers in the business
  142. They learn key phrases in the local languages to better communicate with fans
  143. Greatest Hits Album
  144. Performed at the Super Bowl
  145. We’ve seen them play tennis at Arthur Ashe Kids Day
  146. Been on countless top talk shows including Oprah and Letterman
  147. Turned down a reality show to replace Kev. He is irreplaceable!
  148. Have a legacy with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
  149. Musical style has evolved over the years
  150. Variety of musical influences incorporated in their songs such as pop, R&B, hip-hop, etc.
  151. Partnered with Sears
  152. Nick partnered with Stan Lee to make BSB superheroes
  153. Did a commercial for Old Navy
  154. They’ve won too many awards too even list
  155. They all came from humble beginnings and worked for all of their success
  156. Welcome Home is an amazing Christian album
  157. Brian overcame heart surgery at such a young age
  158. Brian started singing in his choir
  159. They make the same jokes all the time but we still love it
  160. Appeal to kids with performances on Sesame Street and Arthur
  161. Brian met his wife on the set of As Long As You Love Me
  162. Brian made an appearance next to his wife in the movie Olive Juice
  163. AJ isnt afraid to share his personal struggles with alcoholism
  164. AJ started his career with awesome Nickeloden and Disney appearances including Hi Honey Im Home and Welcome Freshman
  165. They have great opening acts like Jesse McCartney and Jordin Sparks
  166. Howie is so wonderful with the fans giving hugs, autographs, and pictures
  167. Howie eagerly embraces his latin roots
  168. Howie manages the group, Neverest
  169. Howie joined Britney Spears on her South American tour
  170. Howie started a real estate company with his brother
  171. Kevin did school plays in high school including Bye Bye Birdie.
  172. Kevin nailed the role of Billy Flynn in Chicago
  173. Nick had his own reality show with House of Carters
  174. Nick’s brief cameo in Edward Scissorshands
  175. Howie’s brief cameo in the movie “Parenthood”
  176. Nick continues to embrace acting with cameos on 90210, American Dream, and 8 Simple Rules
  177. Nick is multi-talented and releasing a horror movie- Evil Blessings
  178. Nick has directing talent as well with his project, The Pendant
  179. Brian is brave enough to get into a photo booth with fans during his Healthy Heart Club events
  180. Brian works as a salesman during Leighanne’s Wylee parties
  181. Brian is willing to step into a dunk tank at his HHC events
  182. The group could make their own dictionary with words and phrases such as “betterly”
  183. They have enough songs to do a whole hour or more of straight Backstreet karaoke.
  184. They fight for what is right, like trying to finish a concert when it gets shut down early.
  185. They have after parties for their concerts to keep the party going
  186. Howie won’t go on stage if hair #72 is out of place
  187. Nick & Howie’s recent bromance
  188. Nick’s not afraid to admit Howie is his favorite Backstreet Boy
  189. AJ has a confessional booth in his house
  190. Nick’s muppet dancing
  191. Kevin’s eyebrows
  192. The fact that Kevin looks like Snoop Dogg
  193. The way Kevin talks so s-l-o-w-l-y but is so genuine at the same time
  194. Howie’s hips just keep going and going!
  195. The way Howie’s nose scrunches up when he's really happy or smiling/laughing
  196. Nick’s arms
  197. Nick’s eyes
  198. How Nick’s not afraid to be himself
  199. Nick’s thrusting in concert, even during the slow songs
  200. ….Maybe its me?
  201. Nick’s laugh
  202. Brian’s arms
  203. Brian’s Donald Duck voice
  204. Brian goes above and beyond on his backstage tours answering all the fans’ questions
  205. Brian’s chiseled jaw line
  206. AJs chicken legs
  207. AJs long beautiful eye lashes
  208. The high level of energy they have on an off the stage
  209. Brian was Nick’s guardian
  210. “Its all in the wrist…”
  211. Howie signs all the checks
  212. They have a board game
  213. Howie’s Jesus hair
  214. Howie’s the high maintenance diva of the group
  215. They have ridiculous contests like who can hold their head in a bucket of ice the longest
  216. They make cheesy jokes about Howie’s “big wood” referring to his bass guitar
  217. Nick gets so emotional on stage when he sings
  218. When they sing "cause you know that" in backstreets back
  219. Nick resigns in Florida
  220. The way AJ belts out the ending to so many songs
  221. They sing the name of the city they’re performing in during I Want it That Way
  222. How Brian actually runs when they sing things like "Doesn't really matter if you're on the run"
  223. “Looks like a field goal to me bob"
  224. Nick & Howie’s stuck in traffic song
  225. Their amazing photographer, Justin
  226. The way the can channel their inner 80s rock star- sphynkter!
  227. Always so classy in their suits
  228. "Howard! Censored!”
  229. The fact that Nick didn’t know what Family Feud is
  230. AJ has no sense of geography even though he tours the world!
  231. Kevin is the big brother of the group
  232. I’m on a boat!
  233. They remind us to “Hide your kids, hide your wives”
  234. Teach us how to practice safe sex with “protect your tings, use a rubber every time”
  235. Nick likes to step on the plane with his right foot got good luck
  236. Nick taped the 2010 cruise interview video from a bathtub
  237. Brian makes the best Prince Charming in Enchanted
  238. They even make sexy old men
  239. AJ knows his way around a stripper pole
  240. Brian likes to mock Nsync’s dances
  241. Nick still had the tag on his jacket for the cruise concert
  242. The fact that Howie threw an ironing board out of a window
  243. 130 million records worldwide
  244. They refer to the song as “Ill be the One”
  245. They’ve been known to all share the same bed on occasion
  246. Kevin flew with the blue angels
  247. Opening the This is Us concert by jumping through the screen
  248. The antenna poles for Don’t Want You Back during the Millennium tour
  249. The poker table and boxing ring in the Unbreakable tour
  250. Incorporating coffins during the Homecoming tour
  251. The hover board entrance for the Millennium tour
  252. Nick wears shirts from the fans
  253. Their fans climb over barbed wire fences for them
  254. AJ has every nerf gun known to man
  255. AJ’s song, London
  256. Confetti “snow” falling during Siberia in the Never Gone tour
  257. Brian likes to act out lyrics to many of their songs
  258. They like to talk to fans about common interests
  259. Kevin likes to remind us constantly that him and Brian are cousins
  260. They have to dress a certain way in LA (All Access Video - ALAYLM)
  261. Howie is a flippy cup master
  262. AJ isn’t afraid to do a little cross dressing
  263. AJ refers to his group as “twatsicles”
  264. AJ has bought a remote control car to play with on tour
  265. AJ bought a skateboard for easy travel underneath the NKOTBSB stage
  266. AJ loves wal-mart
  267. Wet Backstreet Boys in the Quit Playing Games video
  268. Kathy Griffin is a proud BSB fan
  269. Brian is a man that looks good in pink
  270. Brian in tank tops….
  271. AJ isn’t afraid to get a spray tan
  272. Brian barefoot skis in The Outdoor Lights Promo video
  273. They are charitable by supporting the MDA telethon
  274. Howie’s sweet falsetto voice
  275. The way Howie says ‘my wife’
  276. Howie can play the bass
  277. They don’t call Howie Sweet D for nothing
  278. They have cool nicknames like Bone and Kaos
  279. Howie sure knows how to make love to a pillow
  280. Brian can do a great ‘worm’
  281. Traveled around the world in 24 hours
  282. Brian named his fridge Sammy
  283. Hold the record for the largest indoor concert at the Atlanta dome
  284. They’ve been nominated for 7 Grammys and joke they are the Susan Lucci of the Grammys
  285. They’ve even performed at pet stores
  286. AJ did a Doritos commercial
  287. How Brian lifts his leg when he sings
  288. How they brighten our day
  289. They work hard
  290. They’ve matured
  291. Charismatic
  292. They know how to keep the Backstreet Pride Alive
  293. Per Brian, BSB is larger than the summer of their parts
  294. The Night Out video
  295. Backstreet music transcends generations
  296. Kevin was voted Sexiest Male Pop Star by People Magazine
  297. Howie wants bacon, eggs, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, guacamole…
  298. AJ wants to cook us breakfast, lunch and dinner
  299. Nick wants to kiss us, kiss us, kiss us and kiss us
  300. Brian will B-rokin’ our house
  301. AJ wears sunglasses, even indoors
  302. Nick chose BSB over the Mickey Mouse Club
  303. Nick is a 5 time winner of In-Style magazine’s sexiest male musician
  304. AJ has a cooking pig named Herbert
  305. AJ is friends with Lance
  306. They actually read our signs at concerts
  307. They almost called the album "Larger Than Life" but they didn’t want people to think they were full of themselves
  308. Kevin randomly rode a horse through New York City
  309. Even when Brain is being rebellious he does it in a religious way with his tattoo
  310. They constantly thank their fans
  311. AJ is constantly changing his hair style
  312. Nick is a video game fanatic
  313. Millennium sold a record breaking 1.1 million albums in the first week
  314. I Want it that Way is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
  315. They truly love what they do
  316. The next generation of boybands pay homage to them in their videos
  317. Nick used to stand on a tree stump and pretend the grass was his audience
  318. Kevin’s deep sexy opening in I’ll Never Break Your Heart
  319. They have the most dedicated fans
  320. Brian has said that being successful is a marathon not a sprint
  321. They youtube their own dances to relearn the old steps
  322. They’ve grown up with their fans
  323. Kevin very carefully answers every question
  324. They made it big in Canada and Europe prior to hitting it big in America
  325. Good sense of style
  326. Each bring something unique to the group
  327. They have the ability to make us laugh, smile, and cry with their music
  328. They have a great time when they’re on stage
  329. The Boys performed their first big show together at Sea World over 3,000 people
  330. Kevin called Brian in the middle of history class to join the Backstreet Boys
  331.  BSB dominated the 1999 Billboard Music Awards, winning Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, Album Artist of the Year, and Album Artist Duo/Group of the Year
  332.  Black And Blue sold over 1.6 million copies in the US in its first week
  333. BSB drew the largest crowd in Good Morning America’s history
  334. They're the only group since Sade to release 7 consecutive albums in the top 10 of the Billboard Top 200
  335. 48,000 fans swarmed the outside of a hotel in Rio for a mere glimpse of the 5 boys
  336. Nick is a licensed scuba diver
  337. Nick was voted Sexiest Man Of The World by CosmoGirl Magazine
  338. Kevin founded Just Within Reach in memory of his father
  339. AJ won a silver medal on 'Guts' in 1992
  340. Howie’s sense of humor
  341. The way Brian says “Me Too” when he will be at a concert with the fans
  342. Howie’s Giligan quote from All Access (I can’t remember the exact wording of it right this moment)
  343. Kevin will stare at you straight on for minutes while singing during concerts
  344. Brian likes to jump off of/over parts of the stage
  345. The Boys like to entertain themselves during the M&G portion of VIPs by singing, play fighting, stealing purses, attacking Justin, and much more
  346. They aren’t afraid to get up close and personal during after parties
  347. Brian watches every single performance of Baylee’s from the side of the stage
  348. Nick is the only Boy that seems to want AJ to keep his beard
  349. Brian is awesome at riding a kid’s tricycle.
  350. They feel comfortable enough to bring their children on tour.
  351. All Access video
  352. Brian has written two songs about past love.
  353. Baylee is Brian’s mini-me.
  354. Howie is teaching James how to act for the ladies.
  355. They have awesome friends that are known to the Backstreet world - Mark and Jodi
  356. Brian’s athleticism
  357. Howie did not want to stop partying on the 2011 cruise.
  358. Brian has the best ad libs during songs.
  359. They are the only reason why fans still have VCR’s in their homes.
  360. They make dreams come true.
  361. The paid homage to Denniz Pop in the “Show Me the Meaning” video.
  362. Brian’s smile.
  363. AJ tries to keep himself out of situations to maintain his sobriety.
  364. Their fans get Backstreet tattoos to show their dedication.
  365. Great choreographers - Fatima Robinson
  366. AJ’s “Good God” during “Get Another Boyfriend”
  367. Brian’s bromance with Joey McIntyre
  368. They look sexy playing instruments.
  369. It’s truly a treat when Brian lifts/takes off his shirt.
  370. There is always a BSB song appropriate for your mood.
  371. Nick’s voice has continued to get stronger with age.
  372. They do surveys to get fans’ opinions.
  373. Brian’s sparkely blue eyes.
  374. Nick and Brian recreate scenes from Titanic.
  375. Brian crowd surfs.
  376. Brian’s Movie Music Machine commercial
  377. “Larger Than Life” holds the Guinness World Record for 12th most expensive music video
  378. Brian is so competitive he always cheats.
  379. Nick’s new reality show to document his road to his wedding
  380. Howie’s SNL “Tiger Beat’s Ultra Super Duper Dream Love Show” skit
  381. They give fans a reason to travel the world in order to see them.
  382. The littlest interaction with them makes fans feel so special.
  383. Fans meet their best friends because of BSB.
  384. AJs super cool nail polish
  385. AJ is happily married but eats like he’s single
  386. AJ really doesn’t filter himself at all when it comes to instagram
  387. AJs impression of Nick
  388. …and Nick’s impression of AJ
  389. Kevin keeps his composure doing a show even during a “wardrobe malfunction”
  390. They are referenced in many popular shows and movies including How I Met Your Mother
  391. Brian shares photos of landscapes and landmarks from all over the world
  392. They were featured in an art gallery
  393. Brian’s arms gets tired after flying all over the world.
  394. They always let us know when they have landed safely in distant lands.
  395. Brian loves shoes.
  396. Brian can’t live without ESPN.
  397. The Littrell family dresses alike in Wylee on family vacations.
  398. They can write their own songs.
  399. Fame has not gone to their heads.
  400. Brian did a Christmas tour with Rebecca St. James.
  401. Kevin’s man skirt
  402. Kevin’s eye contact during conversations
  403. Kevin’s “I Want It That Way” return in LA during NKOTBSB
  404. Kevin can ballroom dance.
  405. Kevin played football in high school.
  406. Kevin is great at retweeting and responding to fans on twitter
  407. Kevin always makes it a point to thank the interviewer
  408. Howie has his own ‘100 kisses’ chapstick
  409. Howie refers to his fans as ‘his lovelies’
  410. Nick does skype chats with his fans
  411. Howie made it a point to finish his Associate’s degree even after BSB became successful
  412. Howie has stated the only way he’ll get a tattoo is all the boys got one
  413. Nick’s voice has gone through puberty 3 times
  414. Kevin surprised everyone at the Staples Center in LA during the NKTOBSB tour
  415. They refer to each other as brothers
  416. Howie wrote the intro in Nick’s new book
  417. Brian quotes scripture in this thank-yous on the album
  418. Kevin is a perfectionist
  419. They find it amusing to hit each other in the private parts all the time
  420. Kevin admitted to crying at Toy Story 3
  421. Howie's fist pumping in In a World Like This
  422. Howie's twirling in In a World Like This
  423. Nick thrusting in every song even the slow ones
  424. Kevin's Kentucky drawl in feels like home
  425. Kevin beating the drum during the acoustic set
  426. Brian's high notes in In a World Like This
  427. Howie's high note in Love Somebody
  428. Kevin, Howie and Nick doing after parties every night and dancing with fans
  429. Kevin being so thankful of everything
  430. AJ not caring what anybody thinks of him and doing what he wants
  431. The way AJ sings Try
  432. Kevin came back!
  433. Kevin’s beautiful green eyes
  434. Kevin is a great song writer (Back to Your Heart, Show Em What You're Made Of)
  435. Kevin isn’t afraid to share he doesn’t wear underwear
  436. Kevin is always giving back to the fans by stopping for pictures and autographs
  437. Kevin’s mohawk
  438. Howie has his own theme song! "This is howie do it"
  439. The pics Howie posts with James
  440. Howie’s part in Trust Me
  441. Howie’s handwriting
  442. The beautiful songs Howie has written
  443. Nick and AJ get “Low” during cruise dinners
  444. They shaved a fan’s head before she started chemo
  445. AJ didn’t know how to play Musical Chairs
  446. They play Twister with fans
  447. “Are you STILL talking?” - Nick Carter to Howie D.
  448. They’ve held the Stanley Cup.
  449. Nick has made the New York Times Best Sellers List
  450. super hero action figures
  451. The pranks played during the last show of tours.
  452. Kevin wore a bunny suit when Kristen and he announced baby #2.
  453. Rochelle didn’t know AJ was a Backstreet Boy when they first started dating.
  454. Howie met his wife, Leigh, because she was the BSB webmaster.
  455. Howie makes a sexy Tony Montana
  456. Kevin & Howie have carried the Olympic torch.
  457. They’ve been animated.
  458. You can’t help but think about running your hands through Kevin’s hair.
  459. They always give back to the community.
  460. The Countdown is On commercial series.
  461. The “Got Milk” ad.
  462. Cause they're Larger than Life
  463. Brian in a wet t-shirt
  464. Howie's cute spanish skills
  465. BSB fans are awesome!
  466. Nick might not wash his hands after using the restroom
  467. They are sweet guys, always taking time for the fans
  468. Brian Thomas Littrell makes good hush puppies
  469. Howie is so proud when he hears their songs on the radio in public
  470. Brian is so hot and plays religious music
  471. Their music brings super awesome people from around the world together! 
  472. Nick's tummy when he lifts his arms
  473. Nick loves the ocean
  474. Brian feels like Kevin when he looks in your eyes
  475. Kevin's salute
  476. AJ is proud of his new hair plugs
  477. Howie Do It!
  478. Brian won the obstacle course without cheating
  479. Their faith
  480. AJ is so excited to get a selfie with the president
  481. Kevin spends so much time taking phots with the fans
  482. They have terrible handwriting
  483. They don't know how to spell Millennium
  484. Many of them wanted "Siberia" to be a single
  485. All the boys in sailor suits
  486. It took Brian 20 years to go shirtless for the Show Em What You're Made of video
  487. Nick likes Brian's shiny nipples
  488. They work with amazing photographer, Tyler Shields
  489. They make sexy Village People
  490. Howie loves his rum
  491. Kevin's solo project would be called 'Cover Story'
  492. Nick's DJing skills
  493. Brian will challenge interviewers to name popular Backstreet songs
  494. They (claim to) be good at remembering their fans
  495. Brian has a hibachi grill in his house
  496. Nick understands what its like to be a fanatic with his Bucs
  497. They play each other in fantasy football
  498. Kevin would interrogate the fans if given the chance
  499. AJ loves his Ryans- Reynolds and Gosling
  500. They're doing a 4th cruise!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

11 Steps to an Easy Breezy Booking

Hello cruisers- I've been getting a TON of questions related to booking, and understandably so, its stressful! So I thought I'd put together a quick 11 step guide to help with the process. But first I want to answer the most commonly asked booking related question.

How does booking work with a roommate, specifically in terms of payment?

Good question! So here's how it works. You each need to create an account with Rose Tours. You do that before booking. Once you create an account you can put your credit card info in there. So when it comes time to book- only one of you will book the cabin but it'll have a screen where it asks for your roommates name and email address. So for example if you book it, you'll need your friends email address and full name he/she signed up with. Make sure you get the exact spelling. Then there will be a screen where you have the option for 1 person to pay the deposit or for everyone to pay their own portion. Its a nice system such that you don't need to hand over your credit card info to other people.
Ok back on track....

Step 1- Pick your Cabin Mates
You can't go any further until you decide on this step because it dictates which cabins are available.

Step 2- No roommate? No Problem!
Don't let the fact that you have no one to go with stop you. Trust me! I didn't let it stop me the first year and I'm so glad I went. If you don't have a roommate, and still want to cruise you have a couple of options. You can do the roommate match program, where Rose Tours will pair you with someone. You just won't know who it is until about a month out.
You can also try to find a roommate on the fanclub forums, twitter, or on facebook. I especially see a lot of folks looking for roommate in the facebook groups. If you cant find the groups, shoot me an email and I'll invite you to the group.

Step 3- Pick your Cabin
Now that you have an idea of how many people you'll be rooming with, you need to decide what type of cabin you want. Interior, oceanview, balcony, or suite. You need to pick what works best for you, your budget, and needs. Once you decide on what type of room, you also have the choice to pick what deck and what specific room you want. I recommend taking a peek at the Ecstasy deck plans so you have a sense of where everything is.

Step 4- Have a Plan B
Make sure you discuss with your roommates what your backup plan is in case your first choice room isn't available. Id suggest having a Plan B, C, and D just to be super safe. There's no time to waste on booking day going back & forth, so be make sure you're in agreement.

Step 5- Devil is in the Details
Once you have the cabin decided- you also want to decide with your roommates which dining you prefer. Early or late. It doesn't really matter, its a matter of personal preference. You may want to check and see what your friends are doing so you can all be in the same group. But just make sure you and your roommates are in agreement.
Another thing you'll need to decide before you book is if you want insurance. I'd suggest reading over the policy on the website to see if it makes sense for you and your situation.

Step 6- Block off the Calendar
Only 1 person is needed to book the room. If you're in charge of booking, make sure you are available when the tickets will go in sale. Past passengers & fan club presale will be January 7, 2014 at 12PM EST. The general cruise will go onsale January 8, 2014 at 12PM EST. So start faking that cough now so you can call in sick the day of.  Do whatever you need to do. I already have a meeting I'll be blowing off.

Step 7- Register Now
Everyone in your party needs to create an account with Rose Tours. This is super important. Create an account here. Make sure you enter all the necessary info including your credit card. If you're in charge of booking, make sure you have your roommates' full name (spelled correctly) and the email address they signed up with. This will tie to the accounts together.

Step 8- Presale Info
If you are participating in the pre-sale, you should receive an email from Ground Ctrl or Rose Tours with the password a few days before booking. Keep that password handy!

Step 9- Have some Wine
Come booking day, seriously, whatever you need to do take the edge off and relax will be helpful. I promise it's not as bad as you think. So try as best as you can not to stress.

Step 10- Book your Cabin
Ok I know this it the big step. You will book the cruise here. It's done through Rose Tours and NOT the official BSB website. You will be taken through a series of prompts, its quite painless. I did a previous post with a step by step if you want to check it out to make sure you're super comfortable with the process.

Step 11- Celebrate
Time to excitedly blast all over social media that you are officially cruising with AJ, Brian, Nick, Howie, and Kevin! And don't forget to start that countdown timer along with the diet regimen.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Evolving Backstreet Cruise

I'm proud to say I've been on all 3 cruises and will hopefully be going on the next cruise as well. Every cruise seems to keep me on my toes and have a completely different vibe from the previous. So I'm going to take a quick look down cruise memory lane and make some predictions for the 2014 cruise.

2010 Cruise

The first time the boys are brave enough to face the sea. This cruise was probably the most unlike the others because it was a half charter, a day longer, and they had a kick-ass pre cruise acoustic concert. So the trip translated into 5 days of Backstreet goodness. And with a half charter, that meant only 1 of each event- none of the group A/group B nonsense. We were all in the same dining and all got to see everything. This also meant that there was a lot more opportunity to see the boys during the downtime. They actually got to sit down and have dinner with us, knock on cabin doors, and hang out in the club with us after the events.

The other neat thing about this cruise was that everyone and their mother came, including Howie's mom! Most of their family was able to join and a lot of their friends were able to come as well. With that came pros and cons- I think it was neat to see all of their loved ones. But it arguably took time away from fans.

The boys were still quite scared and unsure on what to expect for this trip. That was really evident in their interactions with the fans. Moreover, the fans didn't know what to expect. There was no practically no camping out because we were all still learning the ropes. That and there were half the number of people on board.

Overall this trip felt more like you were on vacation and backstreet boys & their families happened to be there too. There were less events and a lot more downtime. You actually had time to sit by the pool and relax, go figure!

2011 Cruise

In 2011 they went to their first full charter and cut back on the number of days. Now we're down to a 3 day cruise, but the good news is they still kept a pre-cruise event so 4 days of solid BSB fun! There were twice the number of fans, and people started catching on to how things work. It became tougher to get closer to the stage at events. Fans came to reunite with old friends they had met from the first cruise.

The boys definitely felt a lot more comfortable on this cruise, knowing what to expect. I think they let loose a bit more, as evidenced during some of the theme nights.

This was the first year that we had to deal with early/late dining groups, which was certainly an adjustment.

Looking back I'd say this cruise had the most ideal Backstreet Events: Vacation Time ratio of the three cruises. Lots to do, but still had some time to relax and eat.

2013 Cruise

I'll cut to the chase, the 2013 cruise was nuts. They kept up a 3 day cruise, but got rid of the pre-cruise event so know we're down to 3 days of BSB excitement. That said- they sure filled those 3 days!

I think the fans were the most crazy this year. Felt like a lot of first time cruisers were on board due to the excitement of the 20th anniversary and Kevin's return. Meanwhile repeat cruisers now know all the ins & outs and tricks of the cruise. Fans were camping out by the stage for hours, even forgoing other events to do so. It just felt so much more chaotic to me.

The itinerary was also the most busy its ever been, primarily because of the addition of solo events.  Not complaining, but it didn't feel like a vacation- it felt like a BSB marathon. I was forced to skip meals because there was just no time to eat. It left me feeling exhausted, and from what I could tell, the boys exhausted as well. There was a lot less of those random run-ins because there was no downtime.

I believe Leighanne and Howie's brother, John, were the only family members still brave enough to still board the ship with all of us. Its becoming clear that this is "work" for the boys, not time to vacation with their family in the Caribbean.

Rose Tours keeps honing the trip and making the events better. Boys are also getting really comfortable at the events and giving us what we want including more chances for interaction, more pictures, etc.

2014 Cruise

I have a few predictions for 2014. I think the fans are going to continue to get worse, in terms of camping out by the stage and mobbing the guys. Repeat cruisers are just getting more and more experienced on how to work the system and get their moments. This past cruise I was roaming the halls looking at door decorations and I see a bunch of girls camped out by the crew entrance where the boys would theoretically come out of the crew corridors to get back to their cabin. Oye! Every year seems to get progressively worse.

That said, it seems like a lot of repeat cruisers are not all eagerly signing up as they were in the past. Mainly for 2 reasons. First is cost- some can't afford yet another cruise so close to the last one and so close to the holidays. Second- I think a lot of fans have had their fill, so to speak. After a couple of cruises, some people got a taste of it and that was all they needed. Lucky for me, I don't fit in either of those categories.

Once again I think there's going to be very little to no downtime. At this point I dont think they'd take away the solo events, so I think we're going to have another very busy schedule. I also see the quality of the events just getting better as they need to continuously need to outdo themselves.

These are just a few of my predictions. Do you guys have any?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Anchors Deep...Cuz the Backstreet Party Don't Stop. Cruise 2014 Announced!

Here we go again!!

Presale Info
Past Passengers & Fan Club presale -  January 7, 2014 at 12PM EST
General Onsale January 8, 2014 at 12PM EST

The Backstreet Boys Cruise 2014 Sails on the Carnival Ecstasy!

The Ecstacy is a sister ship of the Imagination. That means it has all the same features of the Imagination and the same capacity. The biggest difference is MORE BALCONY CABINS!


Friday, Oct. 24, 2014 Miami, Florida 12:00PM(boarding begins)- 4:00PM
Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014Half Moon Cay 9:30AM- 6:30PM
Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014 Fun Day at Sea           
Monday, Oct. 27, 2014 Miami, Florida 8:00AM   

Couldn't figure out how to do a chart in my lovely blog so you get this screencap instead :)

Thursday, November 28, 2013

A First Timer… Just like Kev ;)

Hi all, its been a while since I had a guest blogger but I'm SUPER excited to have Sarah do a post for you all. She was a first time cruiser so I thought it would be cool to have her share her experiences. Plus I cant be everywhere at once- so here's her take on the cruise!

Where to even begin.... I know you have all the juicy deets about every event from Laura, so this is more cliff notes from a first timer about the stuff that stood out. I can ramble, so here’s to trying!

How about years ago, when I first heard about the first cruise….And when I was crushed when I found out the dates completely overlapped with my first year business school finals.
And then the second year…same thing happened. Just my luck =(
And then the third year…it wasn’t happening…but wait…they were selling tickets a year in advance for the next year? SIGN ME UP!!

To be honest, was a bit surreal to purchase a cabin a year in advance without really knowing what was going to happen. At that point I had just graduated, moved to a new city, had a new job, and really didn’t know what life was going to hold year from then! Little did I know that within that next year being in NYC would lend it self to meeting the Boys more times than I had in my lifetime up till that point, that they’d go on tour, that I’d remake the Everybody video (and Kevin would see it/retweet it!)... and that basically BSB as a part of my life as I knew it would explode.

Day 1:

My roommate Nina and I took a 7am flight from New York on Friday. I know, I know, cutting it way close. Sadly neither of us had many vacation days and that’s all we could manage. We were definitely paranoid about missing the boat, but luck would have it things went smoothly and we ended up checking in RIGHT WHEN the Boys were at the port! What a great way to start the day:

Credit: @ninnybaninny

The boat was DECKED OUT in BSB, though not sure why I expected anything less haha! I tried to capture all them moments on a quick vine before I put my phone on airplane mode for a few days (no international charges for me!)

What we didn’t know is how long it would take to get our luggage. We kept waiting, and waiting, seeing all our neighbors get bags, but didn’t see ours. We were still in somewhat cozy NYC/plane clothing, definitely not ready for Miami heat!! We meandered around the Lido deck buffet sine we couldn’t wait any longer, hunted down Laura (yay!) and other folks while our cells still worked. I had actually pulled an all nighter to finishing packing (they said sleep before the cruise…oops) so I tried to nap before the deck party. By the time I scrambled up and found Nina the deck was crazy packed… Little did I know this would be foreshadowing for most of the cruise: the game of try-to-find-your-friends-without-texting-on-a-cellphone…wow. Luckily I found her and we found spot up top area to see the guys in time…and I will say the Boys looked GREAT in their captains outfits, wooh!

After the deck party, we had planned ahead of time to get in line for the merch since we heard that that’s it for the whole trip and didn’t want stuff to sell out; we almost missed our dinner seating due to the lines! I really really wanted to buy a sweatshirt (sort of packed planning that would be my warmth) but couldnt bring myself to buy something a magenta color (really!?) but did splurge on a shirt and towel…. We also thought we missed our chance at the special drink mugs which were rumored to have been sold out (before the boat even left port?!), but a server we asked at dinner happened to have stashed away a box supposedly and he magically appeared with one of each of us. We were ecstatic. It NEVER hurts to ask!!

After dinner, we saw are you Smarter than a Backstreet Boy, which of course was hilarious. All you have to do is get them to do any kind of trivia about themselves and it will be funny, guaranteed. I still love when they did trivia against fans Rosie ODonnell yeeaarrrss ago. Gets me every time! As for the glow party, Nina and I frantically tried to slap on as many glow sticks and bright colors as our suitcases let us bring. I had grabbed a black light and black light makeup…here’s the best I could do face wise —

 … we stayed up until about 4 or 5am following the Boys around the deck as they danced around the deck. No luck with pictures, but we figured as long as a Boy was awake, we should stay awake… I have a ton of video of Kevin being awesome and dancing around with Nick and Howie. At the bottom of this post I’ll give Laura the link to a full playlist on my youtube channel — when I clean up that video (the base is kind of much right now =) I’ll post is there!!

Day 2:

As much as we wanted to sleep, we dragged ourselves out of bed to inhale food and rushed and hurried to be the first boat (since we were splitting a cabana they had said to be on the first departure)… and then were told to wait. We tried to get back to sleep, but we were already awake. The Backstreet TV that ran in the cabin was pretty cool; I noticed it included the original headers of each video, which had the original release dates. Other footage was nice to pass the time too…
Eventually, we were on the island yay!
The other girls in our cabana had been on the NKTOB cruise and convinced us to rent paddle boats so we’d be in the water when the Boys came in since during that experience those guys had jumped into the water and jumped in with fans on paddle boats. We tried and totally got tired paddling around and going against the current waiting and waiting on Backstreet time!! With the delay we ended up going back in to grab food… then we hopped back in when we saw them coming… little did we know how hard those were to manage & steer!! We stayed out of the way when they came in, but when the boat tried to get back out, we totally got yelled at by security to get out of the way.  (I think Nina has video of me saying “we’re trying we’re trying!!!” haha) and one of the extra security guys came and pulled out boat over so they could back out. At least we got an awesome view of AJ diving into the water and Nick throwing a fan over his shoulders into the water!

As a first timer, I think I had an expectation that everything was a bit more random/fair when it came to fans being picked for stuff. One of the girls on the deck of the cabana next to me got picked for the games by a set of women who were walking by us, but not me…made me wonder why, you know?? And someone that was in Are You Smarter also go in the obstacle course!! ::deep sigh:: …. Anyway, the events were totally fun to watch, and as much as I wished my camera was water proof, being in the water to see some of the paddleboat races and just experience it is just as amazing without having pictures for those memories. There was a funny moment where Kevin’s boat basically failed, so I will always have a mental image of his team “giving up” and “riding off into the sunset” and Brian jumping in the water trying to say “come back!!!”…not something you can easy get on camera anyway, right!?…. regardless, Kevin was super sweet and took time to do pictures and signings after.I tried to ask him to do a kissy face like he did with others…ended up being…um, a... duck face?? ;o)

Sadly due to some rain AJ’s event was cancelled. The concert was awesome as usual...
but went over, and had no time for my costume. How I wished I was in group B with a concert on Sunday instead!! I was already paranoid because hadn’t practiced at all and had no idea how this was going to be pulled off in a cruise cabin by myself, so Nina definitely had to help me as I made it up in about 30 minutes or less (last year’s original was done by someone who knew what she was doing and took probably 2 hours on it!!!

and after telling everyone I could alllll day to look out for me (seriously everyone  — Jen, Keith, Drew, Mike, Q, Aaron, Eddie, Justin, and even Kevin when we took our picture!) I was dead set on getting a picture with Kevin, if not at least being seen by the rest of them! I mean, the theme was “Backstreet’s Back!!” ….. given the lack of cell phones, I quickly lost folks on the deck.  I gave up trying to find people and made a beeline for where I could get closest to the stage. It was pretty much a mosh pit. While being shoved around I started flailing my rat prop (yep, had a fake rat!!) and yelling at Mike, Q, whomever was near my side of the stage…Mike finally saw me and went and got Kevin! Kevin hopped over the stage and started doing signatures and taking pictures. Then he pointed at me and mounted “you” and gave me a thumbs ups, an “ok” symbol and said “great job” !!

I breathed a sigh of relief. He’d seen me. He took more pictures and did more signatures, but kept coming back and pointing at me, letting me know he hadn’t forgotten about me. At some point I motioning asking to be pulled up for a picture, given the crowd. And like I’ve learned, it never hurts to ask, because he had Keith pull me up!!!!! I was over the moon. I just meant for a quick picture… but then I waited. While I waited, I sat with Jen. I showed her the laminated sign on my shirt with the youtube channel of the video for her to check out. Before they ran away to other parts of the deck, I got a pic with AJ, Howie and Q.

Leighanne was around since Brian was taking pictures off stage in the back, made fun of my boobs (kind of low cut costume =) and also offered a picture (She’s so sweet!) 

Brian never came back on stage, and Nick was long gone, but I was so out of it….Was I dreaming? I hung out with 2 other marketing people by the smoke machine… I hung out with Keith as Kevin did more signing

 … it was a good 45 min or so actually; Keith joked that maybe Kevin had forgotten about me!!! Finally, Kevin  came back to the stage and said, with this southern drawl: “I think I owe you a picture!!”…it was definitely worth the wait.

Oh, Nick at Night sort of just happened. Things were still going on, so didn’t even know it had started… I got one snippet of my fav songs:

I wish he’d release his mixes o sound cloud so we could hear more!

Day 3:

I don’t know how to play black jack, so I didn’t even sign up. The group pictures process was interesting. We had bonded with some girls the day before over having worn the same Old Navy dress and planned on a picture together; we spent a good half an hour at least trying to find 4 other people to make a group of 8…and then got the great news that the guys reduced the number of people! Good news for us, bad news of folks who already had a group picture and for the rest of the day if things got delayed!… which they did. I regret missing the fashion show and should have assumed Brian was going to be there. And I missed Howie’s event.

What I made sure not to miss was Q&A — just like trivia, I LOVE when they did Q&A. And this was finally legit Q&A. not the usual “what’s your favorite color” groaner-wasted-question type. But legit gold q&a. I wish it had gone for another hour!!!

And of course… Cover Story with Kevin. All I will say is that Kevin was making us cry. Seriously.

Bachelorette party … well, besides Halloween, I think the part I like about deck parties is seeing the guys dance & be dressed up. 'Nuff said ;o)


You can see all my vids here — I transcribed as much as I could and will eventually add more I promise.

And after all that, I’m hoping the jabbering/sign that I had on me that resulted in this a few days later!!

While a lot of the cruise was coulda/woulda/shoulda (should stayed in that spot and gotten a pic…could gone to the fashion show etc… woulda gone down that hallway had we known a Boy was gonna be there etc etc)…would I do it again? HELLZ TO THE YES!

 —  Sarah
(sv02 — twitter / instagram / vine / youtube)
(sarie02- fanclub)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Recap 2013- Day 3 and a Half where was I? Ah yes, just wrapping up Howie's event. Standing in that same spot on the pool deck for a couple hours, waiting patiently for the Q&A!


I always love the Q&A- one of my favorites. I'm thrilled they brought it back. It's so simple but so hilarious. And I always learn something new. The boys trickled onto the stage and Nick came strolling out with a pack of peanut butter M&Ms, which I was surprised he was eating. But he was munching on those throughout the session and starting throwing them into the audience.  I thought most of the questions were good, original questions I hadn't heard before. A few exceptions, but for the most part a great Q&A.

Nick and his M&Ms
The highlight of the Q&A for me was when not 1, but 2 of my questions got answered! I was so excited!! Though I feel I should clarify, I personally did not submit both questions; I had my roommate, Cory, submit one of them on my behalf. Thanks girlie! So the question that Cory submitted for me was, "How well do you recognize your fans. Who's the best and who's the worst at it?" Their response was maybe not quite was I was expecting. They all claimed to be good at it, and I'm not sure I buy that. Nick stated, "If I meet you like 10 times I'll get your name." Umm, no, Nick.  One of the big reasons I wanted to ask this is because after every event I got to, someone will inevitably ask me, "They must recognize you by now" and then I have to explain to them that they see hundreds of thousands of girls every day. So even though it wasn't the answer I was expecting, I was still happy to hear my question get asked and get some form of an answer.

Boys answering my first question- how well do you recognize the fans?

And just a couple minutes later I hear Jen reading "Laura from Rockville....If we went to your computer now, what would be the last 3 websites we'd see in your browser history." Oh I was so excited to hear my name get called!! This question seemed a lot more successful- both the fans and the boys seemed to enjoy it. Jen even tried to cut Nick off and he enthusiastically was still answering. I also feel like I got some info out of it and some good laughs.

 Boys answering my second question- what are the last 3 websites in your browser history?

So those were the two highlights of the Q&A for me. But there were still so many other great moments. Here are a few of my other fave parts:

What's the most embarassing thing in your house?
Nick- "Me....I'm telling you, when I walk around and look in the mirror I'm like 'Damn, that's embarrassing."
After 20 years together, what is the one thing about each of the guys that irritates you the most?
AJ- "Well there is one thing I think that overall that bothers all of us and bothers you guys as well, this thing called Backstreet Time. That irritates the shit out of me."
If you had to marry one of the other boys, who would you marry?
Brian- "I would die an old maid"
Howie- "My hand would be my best friend."
Which song are you most sick of performing after all the years singing it over and over?
Kevin-  "I would say The One. Sorry- I just don't like that song very much. So tonight when you see me singing it, you'll know"
Kevin's thinking face
If you could redo a music video, which one would it be and why?
Kevin- Are you guys tired of us singing in fields? Are you tired of us standing on the mountain tops singing? Are you tired of us staring into the camera going like this *makes funny seductive face*

If you were stranded on a desert island, which BSB album would you want to have and why?
Nick (said very emphatically)- "First of all, I wouldn't want to have a BSB album. Sorry I mean, you're on an island by yourself.
What were some favorite memorable moments on this leg of the IAWLT tour? What were some of the worst?
Kevin- I ripped my ass out twice on tour. In Irvine and Vegas I ripped my pants out. That was embarrassing.
I only had to put this one because I was there for that moment. It was so funny watching Kev's reaction as well as the other guys just laughing away in the background.
Also, Kevin confirmed a second US leg in this question, so that's super exciting!

If you had the chance to ask the fans anything you want?
Howie- "And where do you get your money to come and see us so much. What do you guys DO? Drug dealers or something? What are you guys?"
Howie, I ask myself this very question

Overall- loved the Q&A! As I said before, always one of my faves. The only other interesting thing to point out is that Brian seemed oddly quiet and subdued. Definitely not the Brian we're used to. Meanwhile I thought Howie had some great lines. I may have missed some of them the first time around, but he had some good moments.

Cover Story with Kevin

As soon as the Q&A ended I ran over to the atrium to get a good spot for Kev's solo event. I was expecting to sit and chat with my friends for the next hour or so to kill time, but in a pleasant turn of events Kevin showed up early for a little mini soundcheck. Bonus Kevin time- score! During his soundcheck he hopped on the piano and played a few notes. Then he played all of Incomplete while the entire atrium sang along. It was actually one of the highlights of the cruise for me. Such a beautiful moment in its simplicity.

Kevin playing Incomplete
He continued with his soundcheck and sang a few lines from a couple different songs, one of which 'Shes Got a Way,' which holds a personal special place in my heart and made my tear up. Oh geez, I honestly thought Kevin would cry before I did! I'm partly happy he didn't sing it his actual set or I would've lost it, but partly upset I didn't get to hear his full rendition.

Really cool vibe for Cover Story with Kevin in the atrium
After he finished soundcheck he left to go change and the atrium continued to fill up. He didn't keep us waiting too long, he came back cleaned up, now wearing a sports jacket and introduced us to Cover Story. The concept of his event was to sing cover versions of songs that were meaningful to him. He even said that he's was playing around with the idea of releasing those songs that meant a lot to him, and if he did it would be in an album called 'Cover Story'. So basically a one-man type of show. Now he warned us in the beginning of his set that he would get emotional, and he did. So lets play a game....guess how many times Kevin got choked up and/or teary eyed. I'll give you a hint, he played for 32 minutes. Answer- 6 times. Oh Kev.

Kev singing his heart out
During his set he sang Watching the Wheels by John Lennon, Can't Make You Love Me by Bonnie Raitt, Back to Your Heart by BSB, Forever in My Life by Prince, and Danny's Song by Kenny Loggins. In between each song he gave some background on why he chose this song and why it holds so much meaning to him. It was quite lovely. Here are clips of my favorite moments:

 Favorite moment #1- Back To Your Heart. Self-explanatory why its a fave.

Favorite moment #2- Kevin trying like 4 times to get through Danny's Song. Such a touching performance. "I love this verse. I gotta get it out."

This was another one of my favorite events. The event suited him very well and I loved the vibe of him performing in the main atrium with the piano and the lighting. It all just worked! I think I particularly enjoyed this because on a regular cruise I could see myself sitting in a lounge listening to the piano; and I was doing just that here but it also happened to have Kevin singing along. It was a nice chill event amid the craziness of everything else going on. I would love to see him do this again.

After Cover Story was finished we had missed the beginning of dinner. So my friends and I went up to the lido buffet for a quick bite before the concert. During dinner they actually came over the PA system and announced the winners of the door decoration contest. I always know it's a long shot for a win, but I always hold out a tiny bit of hope. Alas, our door did not get called. There were 3 winners this year; here are 2 of them. If anyone knows what the third winner was, please let me know!

Door decoration winner
Door decoration winner
In a World Like This Concert

Next on the action-packed agenda was the In a World Like This concert. Now I had already seen the show on tour, but I was excited to see if and how they would change it up. The main difference to the setlist was the addition of Shape of My Heart. That was a nice surprise! Apparently I'm really easy to please.

I loved the concert, even though I had seen the show before, it was so different! Overall it had a much more laid-back, fun vibe. I think it helped we were on the cruise and that it was the last night. They seemed really not to care.

A few of my fave moments:

AJ doing an reprise of  Lay Down Beside Me during his intro.

The boys singing a beautiful impromptu version of Free Falling....followed by a less beautiful and more dirty version of Free Falling.

Intros to the acoustic set. Nick makes fun of Hanson. Howie went through puberty with his voice cracking. And Howie making a new joke about his guitar. 

Nick, Howie & AJ being inappropriate during the Shape of My Heart intro

Overall a really fun concert- no complaints at all! Plus I'd call it a borderline comedy show at points.

Bachelorette Night

Ohh- the final event of the cruise, always bittersweet. I went into this night, really unsure on what to expect.  I guess I should start with my ensemble. I'm not the type to be into getting all dressed up and donning penis paraphernalia- so my girlfriends and I made another t-shirt instead. Tagline 'Girls will be Girls.'

Girls will be Girls
By this time in the cruise my feet felt like they were going to fall off. I remember looking around at other girls in their heels and my feet were hurting just looking at them. But props to those of you who can pull it off! We were waiting a while for the boys to show up and when they did- they made quite the spectacular entrance...

I really don't even know how to really describe this night in words. Lets just say Brian certainly didn't pick this theme! It was your average deck party times 10. Okay, maybe times 20. I think the guys were a lot more interactive, for the most part they really embraced the theme. Howie and Kev were both doing a lot of pictures and autographs throughout the evening while Nick & AJ seemed to be primarily working the crowd. Not sure where Brian was. Granted- I feel like he was kinda MIA for a lot of the cruise. He didn't seem like his normal outgoing self. But back on track...the night consisted of a lot of dancing, throwing beads out into the audience, having fun with random props, pouring shots in fans' mouths, which by the way would not have been a pretty picture if that were me. I dont do shots.

Kevin really seemed to like that sailor outfit
Howie guessed it, alcohol. And apparently money of himself??
Brian having a good laugh
Nick at bachelorette night
Nick wearing 2 bras
One of my fave parts was when they sang Get Down and did the 'Get Down' dance.

Get Down

Nick seemed to have the most fun with all the props that girls brought- from oversized bras to penis-shaped water guns. In fact- he was having a bit too much fun with that water fun, putting liquor in there at one point. Here he is trying to show Brian how much fun he was having....

 Nick and Brian goofing around

At one point in the evening AJ attempted to start the longest conga line in history. He even admitted it would either be the best or worst idea he had. Honestly I'm not sure how that ever turned out, but I give them props for trying.

AJ with his inappropriate shirt, that also has a ton of holes in it

Bachelorette night was definitely an awesome way to end the cruise with a bang. It was one of those nights that I'm honestly not sure how they'll top. After that I begrudgingly went back to my cabin, took down the door decoration and packed. I think taking down the door decoration is when it really sucks the most, not sure why. I guess to me it symbolizes it all being over. All the anticipation, the buildup, the hardwork, all gone in a just a few minutes.

Really nothing else much worth mentioning after bachelorette night. Just an early wake-up and debarkation the next morning. No other BSB sightings. I heard a few fans were lucky and ran into the guys at the airport. Now I will say that my friends and I went to Fort Lauderdale for a couple days afterward and literally did nothing but sit by the pool and eat. It was spectacular and I'm definitely doing this again. We stayed at a nicer hotel and just had a chance to relax and retell all of our stories. It just really helped with the "backstreet hangover" and ease me back into real-life.

And so the 20th Anniversary BSB cruise comes to an end. Another amazing time at sea with my Backstreet Boys and my backstreet girls!

Until Next Time!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Recap 2013- Day 3

Last day already?! Gosh it really flies by. Though day 3 would prove to be the most action packed and the hardest on my poor feet. So much standing!

AJ's Blackjack Tournament

I decided to sign up for the blackjack tournament to see what it was all about. Even though I'm no expert, I know enough to play. I know its awful, but I was guessing that a lot of fans who signed up probably didn't know a lot either and just wanted the chance to play with AJ.

Fortunately my scheduled time wasn't super early, so I scoped out the tables to see how it all worked. Turns out you're not playing against the table, you're playing against everyone. Everyone gets 7 hands and whoever comes out with the most money at the end wins. Knowing this, my strategy was 'go big or go home'. So by the time I sat down, I was pumped. First hand- black jack! Sweet, off to a great start. But my luck ran out there...the next 6 hands didn't go quite as well. As quickly as won, I was just as quick to give all my money right back to the dealer. Which reminds me why I don't gamble in real life. Even though I didn't win, I'm glad I tried. If he were to do it again next year, at least I'll have a better understanding of how the tournament is set up so I can prep a bit better.

BSB-skinned poker table

Meet & Greet

No time to waste after the blackjack tournament, I had to find my group for the picture! As I was looking for my photo group, I heard a lot of mutterings about the group sizes changing. Ugh- I knew it! But in another history-making Backstreet moment, they were actually cutting the group sizes down to 4-5 fans. I seriously couldn't believe it! After all that preparation & drama, I just had to laugh. Certainly not complaining though!

The gang waiting to take our picture with the boys
So I inched my way up to the front of the line and honestly didn't have anything prepared to say. I went down the line and thanked them all for everything and for a good cruise. Last minute I decided I wanted to say something to Nick about his book, but before I could get the words out of my mouth he already moved on to the next person in line. And I felt too awkward going backwards. I really do need to start taking my own advice- I should've been more assertive! But no biggie- I'm happy with how the picture turned out. The only other thing I remember was that Mr Brightside by the Killers was playing, and Nick was like scream-singing along with the song in my ear. I guess he has to keep meeting 2,000 girls exciting somehow, right?

Meet & Greet in the Sailor Costumes!
After the meet & greet I had time for a super quick lunch but then we had a packed afternoon. Seriously, no time to relax on this cruise.

Wylee Fashion Show

The Wylee fashion show was running late, making me awfully suspicious that perhaps Brian is the real culprit behind backstreet time? Hmmm. Though I know the pictures took a while so I suppose I should give him the benefit of the doubt.

I was a little skeptical going into this event, but honestly I think it turned out well. Brian and Leighanne hosted a fashion show of the Wylee product line, as worn by fans. I thought it was good that Brian opened up the event stating it was his idea to do the event and that he had to convince Leighanne to do it. Whether that's true or not, it needed to be said since the event was met with a lot of criticism. Essentially the event was a bunch of fans modeling her clothes/accessories and Brian making funny commentary throughout.

Brian & Leighanne hosting the Wylee Fashion Show
One of my favorite Brian commentaries was when he was talking about a tshirt that's shaped so you cant see your bra. I started to type out the quote and realized that it loses all of its pizzazz unless you hear it in Brian's voice. The clip I'm referring to starts around 6 minutes in...

6 minutes in Brian goes on about one shirt and how its designed not to show a bra. Quite comical

All in all, a good time. I think I most enjoyed the fashion show because I knew a couple of the girls on stage, modeling. I loved that he incorporated fans in his event. I thought he did a great job of hosting and bringing life to the outfits and models. I also thought it was really nice of them to throw out some of the items into the audience. So it really did have all the pieces to make a successful event. But would I want him to do it again next year, no, probably not. I think it was something unique and fun as a one-time thing but I'd love to see him try something else next year.

Rum DMC with Howie
After Brian's event was Rum DMC with Howie. This is one that I had no idea what to expect going into it but was soooo happy when I realized he'd be singing some of his solo songs. Such a nice surprise! I personally love his solo album and was bummed he never went on tour with it in the US. So for anyone who may have missed it, his concept was to mix his 2 favorite activities- drinking and singing. So he'd sing a song and then do a round of rum-based drinks with some fans. For those who want the visual....

Howie Singing
Howie Drinking
= Rum DMC

During the event he sang 100 Kisses, Back to Me, Going Going Gone, This is Just What I Needed, and Lie to Me. So it was like a little mini concert. I also had to laugh when he emerged wearing a long sleeve black shirt in the middle of the Caribbean, had 5 drinks, and then commented on how hot he was. Well, gee, Howie, not really sure what you were expecting there? haha  Here are some clips of a few of my favorite moments. Though I honestly think the whole thing is worth youtubing.

Howie drinking with his reaction afterward

Howie mixing up his own song, Back to Me...guess it was all the rum
Overall I loved Rum DMC! I really liked how he incorporated fans into the event, but they also weren't the focus. It was the perfect mix. I also really liked it because I thought it suited him well. I loved that we got another little concert and corny Howie jokes mixed in throughout. I would be 100% content if the did the same thing next year, maybe just pick different songs or something. My one and only complaint about this event was that he didn't sing my favorite song- Dominoes!

OK, Im going to take a pause here since day 3 was so action-packed with events. The rest of day 3 coming soon in another post soon!