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.


  1. DO you know which deck the boys stay on? Sorry if you have that somewhere on the blog and I didn't see it.

    1. The boys typically stay on deck 6, thats where the grand suites are so I anticipate they will do the same this upcoming cruise as well.

  2. Great tips! I love all of them. I hated making times when I'd meet someone because honestly things happen. Because I'm a smoker they'd know to find me on the Lido deck HAHA. We had the idea of bringing Walkie talkies next trip.
    Also I think having common sense to not ask for a million different pics from the guys. Get ONE. You don't need 20. I only got 1 with AJ because people were just being rude when I was trying to get one with Kevin. He was almost to me and people kept pushing me back. He was to me and said just a second and went away. I got tired of being pushed and I don't handle the screaming girl crowd well so I moved. My friend that stayed said he came back and looked for me :(. Oh well!
    Also, I agree with door decorations and themes. Next time I'm making it all easy. Getting clothes I can use for all the time and packing less. HONESTLY, you won't use half of what's in your bag and if it's complicated, forget it. You won't have time to do a ton of stuff. Literally you won't want to be IN your room because you want to be OUT there!
    Save by getting roommates, even if it's through the roommate program. Even if you don't get along, you're only there to sleep.
    Make friends on FB, the fan club, twitter. I LOVED this!! I got to meet SO many fans this way and made lifelong friends because of that.
    Don't worry about being in the crowd. My AJ pic happened after the whole Kevin thing as a FLUKE. He was doing the bunny hop and I happened to catch him on my way back and he gladly took a pic! Do not forget your camera and don't let a moment pass you by. I could've had a pic with Nick on day one when he was on the upper Lido deck but I was too slow as he was passing me by. As soon as you get on the boat, get in that MODE. I didn't get into that mode til day 3. Expect it but don't expect it if that makes sense.
    Hope that helps. Go in it NOT expecting anything. I just wanted to have a good time. There was a while during the beach party I went off by myself and took a nap in a beach chair. I didn't need to watch all the games. I was sick of standing and was tired. I paid for a vacation :) think of it as a vacation with a bunch of screaming, crazy, fun, sometimes obnoxious fans and the boys ... enjoy the electric feeling!

    1. Ooh these are great stories/tips! Thanks for sharing your experiences :)

  3. Do you know where I can find a place to get a group together for our group photo (late dining) ? I'm anxious about it since her and I don't know anyone. My fanclub membership expired and I don't to pay extra just to finda photo group.

    1. Hey! Yeah there are a couple of closed/secret facebook groups that are dedicated to the 2014 cruise and there are people looking for photo groups. If you shoot me an email I'm happy to invite you to the groups.

  4. First cruiser up here! Can I bring a bottle of water this year?

    1. Hey Melanie. Awesome!! I love first time cruisers :)
      Per the official Royal Caribbean website, "Guests are not allowed to bring beer, hard liquor, fortified wines or non-alcoholic beverages onboard for consumption or any other use on boarding day or while in port."

      Sounds like you technically might not be able to, but it seems like most people are able to bring bottled water on board with no problem. You can always buy on board as well.