Anyway, I found there not to be a whole lot of doors decorated this year and as a whole it seems people didn't go as extravagant as they have in years past. Here are a couple of my faves...
|Buzzfeed type door with top 10 lists|
|A wall of CD lyrics|
An uneventful breakfast (other than spending some quality time work my girls) was followed by a trip to the casino. I had signed up to participate in the blackjack and poker tournaments but decided to forgo my spot at the poker table. Partly because of how early my assigned time was, and partly because I wasn't super confident in my skills and I didn't want to completely throw my money away.
Howie's Blackjack Tournament
I was going to try my luck at the blackjack tournament. I am by no means a gambler, in fact I really dislike the concept because I feel like these games are designed for you to lose. But when there's a chance to win some quality time with a Backstreet Boy, I'm down. Plus I was feeling a little bit more confident this year, having played last cruise and knowing generally how the tournament works.
I heard that the tournament was running way behind, so I just headed to go to the casino when I had a rare moment of downtime, and they told me to just grab a seat. Well, no one else was there at that time so it was just me and the dealer. And my friends watching over my shoulder for good luck.
Well, I dont remember the exact hands I got dealt, but I do remember asking the dealer for lucky cards because the best prize ever was at stake - Howie D!
Sure enough, after my 7 anxiety-ridden hands, I actually managed to place on the board at spot #5. Holy crap, I was so proud of myself! I knew I still had a couple hours left in the tournament, so the odds of my name still remaining on the board were low. But I was just pleased that I had made it that far. Oh, and the other exciting part is that my roommate, Ana, was #2. So I knew if for some crazy reason I were to play, at least I'd have her by my side and she actually knew what she was doing.
|Me being the blackjack queen at #5!|
So after I played blackjack, it was time for pictures! Yayy! My girls and I decided to do a 'huggy pose' wih us all on the same side of the boy. Meanwhile I was strategically rehearsing everything I wanted to say to each guy, knowing fully well that I wasn't going to remember it all by the time I got up there. It's nerve-racking enough. Am I right?
Next down the line was AJ. I knew this was the only guaranteed face time I'd have with him, so I had to mention our Friends door and told him he's gotta come check it out. I feel like he barely processed what I was saying, but that's okay. I think by this point he must've heard about the door several times over, and I didn't want to be overbearing about it. I was just happy I accomplished what I wanted to say. So many times I approach them and what I intended to say completely flies out my head.
Next down the line, admittedly was a bit of a blur. In a strange turn of events, I didn't have much to say to Nick. I think it was Kevin or Brian who asked me if I was having a good time. Well, duh! Though I certainly appreciate that he tried, especially because we were near the end of the line. I honestly question how these boys do it. And yeah, that's pretty much it! So another amazing meet and greet added to my list :D
|Huggy poses with the boys|
By this point, over an hour had passed since I last checked the blackjack board. Sure enough my roommate and I got bumped down one spot. So now I'm last, at number 6. I definitely had mixed emotions because I was thrilled my name was still up there. But I also knew it was just a matter of one other person bumping me off. I was trying not to get my hopes up, but it's hard not to let myself get excited at the idea of playing with Howie.
I needed a distraction in the form of food. So up the lido buffet for lunch. It was a very anxious meal, as I was just counting down the time until the tournament closed and I'd find out whether or not I won.
I'll just fast forward ahead to the anticipated moment after the tournament finally ended. I was almost too scared to look, but sure enough, the tournament had officially closed and next to spot number 6 it read 'Laura D'. I was soooo excited!!! I couldn't believe how incredibly lucky I was. I actually would be playing blackjack with Howie D. And even better that my roommate, Ana, also won. This is just not real life!
Our moment of excitement was short-lived, as we came to the epiphany that the final tournament with Howie was at the EXACT same time as our scavenger hunt prize with Kevin. Both at 8pm later that day........ I couldn't believe our good and bad luck at the same time. Two once-in-a-lifetime opportunities at the exact same time. How on earth are we supposed to choose? Believe me, I realize how incredibly spoiled and fortunate I was to have this problem. But, it was a problem, nonetheless.
So Ana and I were on a new mission to find some staff who could potentially help us out. After 2 failed attempts with Rose Tours staff, we both looked at each other and realized there is likely only 1 person on that ship who could help us and that was Jen. We knew that the boys were still wrapping up pictures, and Jen was in that room with them, so off we went to try and talk to Jen.
Thus we waited outside the room where the boys were taking their pictures, ironically not for the boys. Fortunately we were able to nab her and explain our situation. She also appreciated the fact that we were both incredibly fortunate to have such a "problem," but told us we would ultimately would have to pick one of the events. I'm not gonna lie, of course I was upset. I know I was lucky winning both of these amazing prizes, but the truth is that I earned both of them and I wanted both of my prizes.
Part of me was secretly hoping one of these boys would be on Backstreet time and we could pull off both, but of course we picked Kevin's events. And semi-resolving that situation, we headed to Don't Forget the Lyrics.
Don't Forget the Lyrics
My mind was already highly anticipating the events of that evening, and the fact that I would be getting 1x1 time with Kevin. But we still had a super fun activity that afternoon, which was a new one! I just like that it was something new and different. Similar to karaoke, but at least it had a new twist to make it more enjoyable. I also liked that they incorporated fans into the event.
|The girls and I waiting for the event to start|
The game was pretty self explanatory with the boys competing against fans on who better could complete the lyrics. Here are some of my favorite moments:
- Nick singing along with Bang Bang. It was just cute to see him continually get the wrong answer and then blame Brian for it
Nick being Nick
- AJ singing Justin Bieber's 'Boyfriend'
- Howie making this face when he had to sing Frozen's, 'Let it Go'
Best. Face. Ever.
- AJ's reaction to Howie not knowing 'Frozen'....
"If you have kids, you have to know that song. Or you're the worst parent ever." - AJ
- Brian singing Nsync and proclaiming, "I'm gonna be sea-sick ladies!" Me too, Brian. Me too
- Kevin rapping and being Snoop Dogg
- Howie's rendition of Enrique Iglesias' 'Hero' singing "You can't take my breast away."
- After 'Like a Virgin', Nick excitedly jumps up and asking, "Ok, raise your hand if you're a virgin........why didn't any one raise their hands??"
After the event, once again I happened to catch Jen leaving. So I briefly spoke to her again and told her we chose to do Kevin's event. Thanked her for everything she does. And I also thanked her for tweeting out my blog a couple of times. She paused for a moment, trying to process what I was saying, and then came a look of understanding on her face. So she actually seemed to know what I was talking about. That made me super happy that she actually knows of my blog, and presumably reads it. I honestly never dreamed that this little blog I started as an outlet, mainly for myself, would grow into something so appreciated by the BSB community and even read by their management. That definitely made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. And I get that same feeling when you all approach me and ask 'Are you Laura?' I had a bunch of you gals stop me to say hi. It honestly means the world that you all still read this even though I haven't been as diligent about updating. I just wish I had more time to spend with each of you, there just isn't enough time in 3 days!!
Sorry, got sidetracked there! Back to the cruise...
My roommates and I snuck into early dining because we had the Kevin prize scheduled in the middle of our dinner. This meal was even more anxiety-ridden than lunch. I don't know how I managed to even eat anything. All I remember from this dinner is that our waiter kept trying to talk to us, and I know I was being rude to him but not really responding. I was hoping he'd take the hint, because my mind was only focused on the fact that we had our 1x1 time with Kevin in less than 2 hours! My head just kept spinning at all the possibilities. We had no idea what the event would be or how long it would last. All we knew is that it was Kevin and the 3 of us. That's all we needed to know :)
And before I knew it, dinner was over and we headed off to the piano bar to meet Kevin...