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)


  1. Hi ! I'm Hanta, also a first timer :)
    The third winner of the door decoration contest was on deck M. It was very well thought out in my opinion : they took major art pieces and replaced most faces with the boys' ! impressive

  2. thanks sarah for your account of the cruise! it was great to read and watch your experience! hopefully they'll have a 2014 cruise, it'll be my 1st!

  3. Hey there, Great recap. We took a picture together on the cruise. I was also dressed up like Kevin from the Everybody video! I was totally jealous you got pulled on stage haha Glad to hear you had a great time :)