Friday, May 30, 2014

21 Simple Backstreet Cruise Hacks

Here are 21 (hopefully) helpful cruise hacks for both you first time and repeat cruises!
  1. Bring a water bottle. I found standing on that lido deck all afternoon under the hot sun- a water bottle would've been super helpful. Its a lot of general admission types of events so if you don't want to forgo your spot, be prepared to stand there for a while and stay hydrated.

  2. Comfy shoes. I cannot emphasize this enough. Lots of standing around.

  3. Don't ask the boys for pictures before or after the meet & greet. They JUST took a picture with everyone on board and I don't think its fair to ask them for anymore. I've seen cruisers ask Brian for photos and he'll actually make this same comment. Be considerate.

  4. Bring extra camera batteries and memory if you get snap happy like myself.

  5. Take a moment and appreciate where you are. So simple but many fail to do this.

  6. Don't wait to take pics with your friends. So often I'd run into a friend and say "oh we'll take a picture later" but later never comes.

  7. Try to come down early or stay later in Miami if you can. Lots of fans in the area and its a great way to relax a bit amid all the chaos that is a Backstreet cruise.

    Downtown Miami

  8. You have a better chance of a run-in when there is a solo event or everyone is aggregated at an event waiting for the boys. So for example when everyone is out on the beach waiting for BSB to show up, there's an increased likelihood of seeing them out and about on the ship. Similarly if everyone is up on the lido deck watching Howie's solo concert, there would be lighter crowds elsewhere on board.

  9. Best time to go merch shopping is first night during your dinner when the other group is in their event. Just sneak out in between courses. There's no one there and they still have all of the items available.

  10. Arrive at the cruise terminal early enough and you'll be able to see the boys arrive and board before everyone else.
    Boys arriving at the cruise terminal

  11. Take advantage of the live streams of the lido deck on the TV in your stateroom. Good way to quickly check the weather or crowds without ever having to leave your room.

  12. Nick, Howie and AJ to a lesser extent all seem to like to hang out in the casino if they have some down time. I'm just saying if you have to cross the length of the ship, may as well pass through the casino. 

  13. Take pictures with the cardboard cutouts sooner than later because last year they were stolen (dont even get me started on that) before the cruise was over.

    Cardboard version of Brian, Kevin, Howie, Nick & AJ

  14. Act normal. Such a simple concept but as long as you stay cool, the boys will stay cool. As soon as things get out of hand is when they'll pull back from us.

  15. Get to events a little early if you can. Sometimes if you're lucky there might be a bonus sighting. I'm thinking of Kevin's solo event when he came out before he was supposed to and practiced on the piano a bit.

  16. Keep your eyes peeled in the main dining room during dinner for the boys. I've seen Brian and Howie eat there. Heard about Kevin eating in there as well. Meanwhile I believe AJ has been spotted upstairs in the buffet for dinner. Unsure about Nick but I've never seen him in the main dining room for dinner except that first year.

  17. If you need anything the first 6 hours or so on board, pack it in your carry-on. Otherwise be prepared that you might not see it for a while. (Credit to Cory)

  18. Don't waste time trying to meet people at certain places/times. It rarely works. Its easy for one of you to get caught up because you spotted Brian taking pictures somewhere or whatever the case may be.

  19. Pack layers for the deck party and plan for all types of weather. In the past we've experienced it all from hot sun and rain to cold windy nights. (Credit to Cory)

  20. To dial your friends cabin you need to enter the deck number then room number.

  21. Don't feel pressure to spend a ton on your theme outfits or door decorations. You can do as little or as much as you want in either category and be totally fine.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Who's Who of BSB Cruising

A reader suggested a while back that I do a post on all the important people in the BSB and BSB cruising world. And I know she asked me ages ago, but better late than never, right?

Backstreet Management

Jenn Sousa- BSB's manager. Super sweet. You'll most likely see her hosting the game shows.

Melissa Mondello- Assistant Manager.
Ground Ctrl- They manage the general day to day interactions between the Backstreet Boys, their management, and the fans. You'll see them on board but they are not the ones you go to for most cruise related issues.

Eddie and Justin (Left to Right)
Eddie Meehan- CEO & Co-Founder of Ground Ctrl. You'll probably see him around the boys taking care of loose ends. I believe last year he was interviewing a few girls for some video that I have yet to see.

Justin Segura- Photographer/Event Coordinator of Ground Ctrl. He'll generally be the one with the camera.

Rose Tours- Company that organizes theme cruises, including the BSB cruise of course. You go to them for any questions/concerns related to the cruise.

Complete Rose Tour Staff

Michelle (back row 2nd from left) and Jeannie (far right).
Hal Roseman with the Backstreet Boys

Bill & Suzanne Roseman with Brian
Michelle Moore- Event Coordinator of Rose Tours. As her title suggests, she runs the BSB events on board.

Jeannie Gearhart- Manager of Rose Tours. She's the one you'll most likely email or speak to with any issues/concerns before the cruise.

Hal Roseman- President of Rose Tours

Bill Roseman- CEO of Rose Tours

Suzanne Roseman- CEO of Rose Tours
Lots more important people who work there, obviously, but sadly I don't know everyone so just highlighting a few.

Backstreet Boys' Security
Backstreet Boys Security Team
In order from left to right:
Mike E.- Nick's bodyguard.

Aaron- Sorry, don't know his name. Anyone out there know it? *Update* His name is Aaron per 'Anonymous' below. Thanks!

Keith- Kevin's bodyguard   .

Drew P.- Head of security. Brian's bodyguard.

Josh N.- AJs bodyguard.
Family & Friends- With every subsequent cruise this category has dwindled down, so I'm not going through everyone. I'll just cover the important people I can remember who attended the last cruise, as I assume they'd have the greatest chance of attending in 2014.

Curtis, Leighanne, and Jodi on the 2013 cruise
Howie & his bro, John, on the 2013 cruise. (And AJ enjoying some pizza.)
Leighanne Littrell- Brian's wife and CEO of Wylee. 

Jodi & Curtis Hartley- Friends of Brian & Leighanne. Jodi is also a Wylee sales rep.

John Dorough- Howie's brother.

Backstreet Boys
- Can't forget these 5...

Captain Backstreet Boys
Howie- The "latin one." On the cruise can generally be seen with at least 1 drink in his hand and closing down down the deck parties, winning the honor of last Backstreet Boy to go to bed.

AJ- The "bad boy." On the cruise can generally be seen doing whatever it takes to make sure us fans have a good time.

Kevin- The "mature, responsible one." On the cruise can generally be seen spending hours in the same spot surrounded by mobs of fans taking pictures and signing autographs. Seriously, the man has the patience of a saint and deserves some sort of award.
Nick- The "cute one." On the cruise can generally be seen working the crowd from the stage and seductively hamming it up for the fans.

- The "funny one." On the cruise can generally be seen doing the same silly antics he does on-land, but now on the high seas.
Seasoned cruisers and fans- please comment below if I mis-stated anything or missed anyone. And shout out to my girls- Ashley, Chrissy, and Anne Marie for helping with this one!