Monday, November 3, 2014

Recap: Pre-cruise 2014

I can't believe I'm writing my 4th cruise review. Even after the fourth time around, it still feels like such a surreal experience and it still hits me like its the first. It still stings to cut off the wristband and post-cruise depression seems to only get worse each subsequent time. But I want to focus on all the highlights of my trip, starting at the beginning...

Wednesday, Oct 22nd - Nick & Knight

As soon as I heard that Nick would be performing with Jordan a couple of days before the cruise, I knew I had to be there. It seemed silly NOT to go if I was going to be in Miami a couple of days later anyway. Right?! So I flew into Fort Lauderdale that morning and had an uneventful flight. Just savoring those last few minutes of peace and quiet before the craziness that I knew would ensue.

Sure enough, I had a mild panic attack in the cab as I realized I left my concert tickets at home. I couldn't believe it. Very unlike me to forget something so important. Of course my head isn't thinking straight, so I'm mentally preparing just to buy another pair of tickets when I get to the venue. Fortunately my level-headed roommate Ana suggested I call Ticketmaster....and luckily they were able to help. Phew! I just had to switch my tickets to print-on-demand. Crisis averted! But I did learn an important lesson in the process. Triple check that packing list before leaving. And when all else fails, call Ticketmaster ;)

With my freshly printed tickets in tow, we headed to the venue to find a line of girls already wrapped around the building. I was so happy to reunite as well as meet so many friends before any Backstreet events had even officially started. I just wish I could pause time and be able to chat with everyone, it was so hectic. But a good kind of hectic.

Lucy and I at Nick & Knight
The gang at Nick & Knight
Rebecca and I at Nick & Knight
Stephanie, me, and Jessica and Nick & Knight
Me and Jocelyn at Nick & Knight
I clearly killed a lot of time in line taking pictures ;) Once inside, the soundcheck party was a bit of a clusterfuck, but what else is new? I should've expected that with such an anticipated large crowd. I still had a lot of fun though.

Before the show I was being a total dork and tried to recreate Nick's selfie....
The show itself was excellent. I won't go into details, but I did get abnormally excited when Nick mentioned that this concert was the best pre-cruise party ever. Totally agree! Whether you're a fan of the newly formed duo or not (and to clarify, I am a huge fan!) I think the 2 have an undeniable chemistry and they're a lot of fun to watch on stage together.

Nick & Knight bromance

Thursday, Oct 23rd - Nick's Acoustic Dinner

I woke up to another rainy morning in Fort Lauderdale, which kind of put a damper on my plans for the day. I was hoping to relax by the pool or beach and maybe get in a little shopping. Instead I decided to tag along with a few of my girlfriends who were doing brunch with Jordan, and just find somewhere to eat nearby. Alas, I couldn't quite justify the $215 price tag for brunch with Jordan. But at least it'd get me out of the hotel.

We all pile into the van and head over to the W. Just as we were pulling in, I notice a suspiciously familiar blond leaving the hotel. Eeeek - a Nick siting! Our timing was almost perfect. I think if we were 30 seconds earlier we could have caught him before he got in the van, but I will gladly still take a glimpse. And I wasn't about to go bother him, as he was clearly headed somewhere. I honestly didn't think he'd be staying where Jordan's brunch was held, I figure he headed to Miami the night before. But certainly no complaints from me!

So while a bunch of my friends head off to their brunch with Jordan, Cory and I decide to do our own brunch next door. Same delicious food at a fraction of the cost. And over brunch we streamed 'I Heart Nick Carter' on our phone since we missed it the night before. We were as happy as clams. Not to mention we did get a few peeks of Jordan as well.

Me watching 'I Heart Nick Carter' over brunch
Nothing eventful happened for the next few hours, we just made our way to Miami. So I'll fast forward to Nick's acoustic dinner.

Nick's Acoustic Dinner

I had sooo much luck this cruise and it actually started with getting picked to ride in the Wylee hummer over to the Wylee party. The initial plan was to head to the Marriott and be among the first to get a ride to the Wylee party, stay there for an hour or so, and then head over to Nick's dinner. I was hopeful that Nick would be running on Backstreet time, which would allow me to do both. However I realized that I was being overly ambitious and I didn't want to be late for Nick's event. So incredibly reluctantly I decided to just go to Nick's event early and plop myself in line so I could get a good spot.

Turns out, I think I made the right decision as Brian's event was running on Backstreet time. I really didn't think he'd be in the hummer, but he did drive the first batch of girls over to the event. From what I hear from those who went to Brian's event- it was very crowded and the venue really wasn't set up for this type of event. Brian did do pictures with everyone, which I was upset to miss. But unfortunately I just wasn't able to be in two places at once. Hopefully if and when they do this again, they'll coordinate so we're not forced to choose.

Back at the Hard Rock, I was one of the first few in the venue and was able to get a front row spot up front. My hours of waiting paid off. The event was not quite as "intimate" as Nick described. There were easily over 200 fans there. They really didn't keep us waiting too long at all. Shortly after everyone was seated, the food was out and Nick arrived. Nick essentially made his way around the entire room, chatted with fans, and took pictures with everyone. I was too nervous to eat as I watched him slowly make his way around the room. You'd think I'd never met the man before with how nervous I was.

Nick managing to surprise me
Finally he inched his way closer to my table, but somehow he still managed to catch me off guard as he popped up around a giant pillar. He was very sweet, and surprisingly didn't rush us at all. My friend, Anne Marie, and I chatted with him for a couple of minutes. We mentioned that at Jordan's brunch that morning they discussed the idea of doing Nick & Knight on the cruise. Jordan seemed actually really into the idea, but his take was that Nick didn't think the boys would go for it. We told Nick we would've loved to see a Nick & Knight show at the brunch. We also spoke to him about what he was recording earlier that morning, and he told us it was hopefully going to be new Backstreet music that he would pitch to the other guys. I joked with him that he really doesn't waste any time. I would think he'd want to rest up before the cruise, but no, instead he goes into the studio with his free morning. Again, not that I'm complaining. After a little more banter, we snap our pictures.

Nick and I (with Eddie photobombing)
I had to laugh because he made his way around another table or two and then came back to us. He approached me again putting his arms out for a hug, and I had to gently remind him that we already met. I probably should've kept my mouth shut to get another picture....but I wanted to be fair about it. I did take a second hug though. If Nick Carter comes up to you with his arms out, can't turn that down! I'm only human after all.

After I got to chat with Nick, I actually ate some of my dinner and went to the bathroom before the show started. I came back to find that about 20 girls had shoved their way in front of my friends and I. I can't even begin to tell you how upset I was. I felt like everyone was behaving so well and we were all being so calm and respectful, up until that moment. I watched girls literally try to crawl over fans in wheelchairs. I was so appalled. And the fact that security was doing nothing and just watching it all happen. I tried so hard to stay in the moment and not let it get to me...but its hard not to. Okay, sorry for the rant, but sadly I think many of you can relate to that feeling.

My friends and I at Nick's dinner
Back on track to the happy stuff. Nick finally took stage and his set was incredible. He joked that this was the longest meet & greet he ever did, which I believe. He sang 7 songs- I Got You, QPG, Falling Down, IWITW, Help Me, Incomplete, and Halfway There. He sounded phenomenal, it was just him and his guitar. My personal favorite was Help Me, just because I haven't heard that song in the longest time. He shared that his favorite place to play is in dive bars. He also apologized for the rainy Florida weather. And he teased that fans gave him a hard time for chewing gum as he was walking around, but said he needed it because he had bad breath.

Nick performing Help Me

It felt like I blinked and the show was over. I could've sat there for another 5 hours listening to him sing, but it was probably for the best that the evening come to an end so I could get back to the hotel and get some sleep before the cruise. I knew we had a busy few days ahead of us! 

1 comment:

  1. The Nick Carter event seemed worth it! I ended up going to the Wylee party solely on the fact that it was free, lol. It was hard to shop but at least we got pictures with Brian and he was gracious through it all. At least you guys got food included. I got suckered into the special event dinner at the restaurant and it was pretty pricey as it was and not even all that great. At least with Hard Rock you know what to expect!