Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Recap 2014: Day 3 (Beach Party)

I was so thrown off by the beach day being switched around with the sea day. I woke up feeling like I still had an extra day, but alas, I didn't. It was the last day on the cruise so I had to make the best of it.

Due to the shift in schedule, the day got bumped up nice and early. How fun! (Note sarcasm) I am not a morning person. Though it certainly is easier to get out of bed knowing I'll be spending the day on the beach with the Backstreet Boys! So I got ready to go to the beach, and I try to pack pretty minimal.

Not to beat a dead horse, but this was my last day and last chance for AJ to see our FRIENDS door. Given that he was headed our way the day before, my hopes were high. I also knew that right before the beach party is an ideal time for the boys to be roaming the halls, because they've done that in the years past when the ship is nice and quiet with everyone waiting for them at the beach.

Thus I decided to not rush over to the beach to try to grab a good spot, but instead I lingered on board for as long as I possibly could without missing the beach party. As the ship grew quieter and the beach party loomed closer, there was still no sign of AJ. I felt so torn! Part of me wanted to stay put and wait for AJ. And the other part of me didn't want to miss their grand entry onto the island. I finally gave up and took a tender to the beautiful Half Moon Cay.

Beach Party

By the time I got to the beach it was pretty packed, so I headed down to the water in hopes to find some friendly faces. Well, as good luck would have it, on my way to find some friends to set up camp with, I ran into two women from the Rose Tour staff walking in my direction with a clip board. From my experience, I know Rose Tour staff with a clip board could only mean one thing. They were looking for people to play in the beach games.

Well, I couldn't pass up that possibility so I approached the women and asked if they were in fact looking for people to play in the games. They confirmed my suspicions and asked if I would like to play. Ummm, let me stop and think about that for a minute....OF COURSE!!!! They asked me my name and where I'm from. At that moment I realized that I should probably ask what I would be playing. Not that anything they could've come back with would've stopped me. If they said I'd be up there eating bugs, I'd still gladly sign up. Fortunately they said I'd be playing water balloons. Perfect! I could handle that. I thanked them both profusely and then continued on to find my friends. Now, wanting to share my good news!

Once I found my friends, I was honestly almost embarrassed to tell them about getting to play in one of the games. I already felt so blessed for all my good fortune the night prior, but I still couldn't pass up the opportunity!

The good thing about arriving late is that I didn't have a long wait until the boys showed up. They arrived with the typical fanfare via a boat. Then played around with water guns, per usual.

Brian playing with his water gun
And Nick playing with his water gun

Beach Games

Egg game
This game felt a little disorganized to me but it boiled down (see what I did there?) to the Backstreet Boys getting egged by fans. The game seemed to evolve as they quickly realized that it wasn't really working as they initially planned...

"We know what's going to happen with you guys. You guys want to see egg all over the Backstreet Boys' faces."- Howie
Yes, Howie. That's exactly right. So their solution was to hold a hard boiled egg in one hand and a raw egg in the other. We would cheer for which hand/egg we want to be smashed against the forehead of either the fan or BSB.

Nick concentrating on holding those eggs
The long and short of it is that we saw Brian and Kevin get egged. The rest of the game felt a little drawn out to me, but I still commend them for trying something new.

Brian clearly not as amused as we are that he's covered in egg

They realize this game is a fan favorite, so they brought this back for the third time. I'm still not sick of watching it either! ha This is one of those where I'll let the video speak for itself...

Water Balloons

I heard them announce that the next game on the agenda was the water balloon toss so I started making my way through the crowd to the side of the stage. And I HATE being up on stage in front of so many people, let alone being up on stage with my 5 idols. I thought I would be more nervous than I was, but funny enough, when I was up there the crowd pretty much disappeared. I was really focused on trying not to look like an idiot.

When I got on stage I put my stuff down and said hello to the guys. I went to give Kevin a hug and he did in fact remember me from the night before, which was nice. I never expect them to remember my face from one moment to the next with the sheer amount of fans that they meet, particularly on the cruise.

Jen announced that each fan needed to pair up with a Backstreet Boy. I honestly did not care who I was with, though I was slightly hesitant to be paired up with Howie, only because I ditched him the previous night. I hoped he wouldn't remember, but I still felt awful about it. I did a quick scan of the stage and of course Howie happened to be the closest boy to me. I looked over at him to see if he wanted to partner up with me, but he was very much spaced out. Meanwhile I see Nick make his way towards me out of the peripheral of my other eye. He then throws his arm around me and asks if I want to be his partner. On the inside I was squealing, "Hell yes!" but on the outside I tried to remain semi-calm and play it cool.

Nick swooping in to be my partner (Please pardon this awful picture of me)

So there I was, up on stage partnered with my favorite Backstreet Boy, about to play a game with him. It was really too much to process in the moment. I think I was more focused on the task at hand than anything, which is probably good or I would've started freaking out. So I took my spot across from Nick and the game began. Basically just tossing the water balloon back and forth, trying not to drop it. I think I dropped it a couple times, but all things considering, I feel I did alright. We ended up coming in second place, which is respectable.

Me on stage ready to play water balloons
After Jen announced that we came in second, Nick got distracted and starting throwing water balloons into the audience. Then I realized that was my queue to go. It felt very quick, especially because the previous group of girls were up on stage for probably 15 minutes, and I was up there for closer to 5 minutes. Though before I left, we took our group picture. But I also wanted to get some solo shots with the boys. Heck, I couldn't pass up that opportunity.

Group shot from the water balloon game

First I approached Brian, and he graciously took the picture with me. I just snapped and didn't even bother looking at it. He even asked me if it came out okay and I just said ,"Oh I'm sure its fine." When I finally got a chance to look at the pic, it ended up being on the dark side, but we're both in the frame and smiling. So I can't complain. If I wasn't so lazy Im sure I could brighten this up in photoshop or something ;)

Me and Brian at the beach party
Next up was AJ. No story behind the picture other than I managed to get a picture with AJ. There wasn't much time for interaction. Though I'm happy with how it turned out.

Me and AJ at the beach party
At this point I felt them trying to rush us off the stage and get ready for the next group. I consciously made the decision not to ask Kevin for a picture because of the time I spent with him previous night. He clearly remembered me and I just thought it would come across the wrong way if I asked him for another picture. I didn't want to taint that experience. I also didn't want to bother Howie for a picture because I was afraid he might remember me from the night before as the girl who wanted nothing more than to leave his blackjack game. Sorry Howie!! That definitely wasn't the case! *hangs head in shame*

Last, but not least, was Nick. I was going to give up on him, just because I know of how he is. In my 4 years of cruising, I've never been able to get a spontaneous picture with Nick around the ship. Ever. I just don't really bother trying. I think it was almost engrained in my DNA that you just don't get a picture with Nick on the cruise. But, I decided that he was my partner and there wasn't a massive herd of girls surrounding him - so I had to go for it. Even if they were trying to kick me off the stage at that very moment. Alas, I approached him and he agreed! My inner fangirl was jumping up and down!! He grabbed my camera and took the picture for us. So now I can tout that I was finally able to get a picture with Nick on the cruise.

Water balloon partners
ANOTHER SHAMELESS PLUG- If anyone was able to get any pics/vids of me on stage, I'd really appreciate if you could email them to me. I don't care how bad or blurry you think they are, I want them! Many thanks in advance! :D

More Beach Games
The boys continued to play more beach games including the caterpillar game and slip & slide among others.

Both the caterpillar game and the slip & slide seemed like a lot of fun, but the issue is that they were played laying on the sand so not a whole lot of fans could actually see what was happening, unless you were up front. I sadly fit into that category and wasn't able to see much of anything, though they sounded like a lot of fun from what I'd hear after the fact. The caterpillar game seemed to be quite intimate with the fans and boys lying adjacent to each other and passing a ball down the line. I liked the idea of these games, but I think Rose Tours needs to make sure as many people can see the games as possible. Otherwise I think it defeats the purpose.

Anyway, once the boys finished the caterpillar game the crowds seemed to disperse a bit, as did the boys. Howie & Kevin were out in the ocean taking pictures. Believe me, I was tempted to get a picture, but for the same reasons I didn't approach either of them earlier, I didn't want to approach them now either. At one point Brian tried to set up a nice photo op for us with the ship and ocean in the background, setting up chairs for himself and a fan. Brian- this was SUCH a good idea. But of course the fans ruin it by crowding him, rather than waiting patiently for their turn. This is why we can't have nice things, people!

Kev in the ocean before the fans got to him

I stood back and watched a lot of happenings from afar- chatting with friends, grabbing some lunch, enjoying the beach. I met a super sweet fan, Hayley, and we were chatting for a bit. I love how after 4 cruises, I'm still meeting new friends and first time cruisers. It's just wonderful and I wish I had more time to get to know everyone better.

Meanwhile AJ was taking pictures by the stage, and I easily could've gotten another picture with him. But I already had one, so I wanted to let others have their chance. It was then that I realized I really got everything out of the beach party that I could - pictures with Nick, AJ, and Brian. Playing beach games with Nick. Beautiful weather and beautiful beach. Seriously, I couldn't ask for anything else.


Anyway, on my way out, we were just about at the tender, and I notice a small mass of people off to my left. I inch closer to the crowd and I see that Brian is playing volleyball. And as I get even closer, I see that he's playing against Nick. Jackpot! When I arrived there were maybe 20 fans there. I got a spot right up front with my friends and settled in to enjoy the show.

Frick vs Frack volleyball
Well, I didn't get very settled because their security guards were announcing where the line was forming for people who wanted to play. The thought crossed my mind for a second, but I didn't bother trying to play for numerous reasons:
  1. I'm not very good at volleyball.
  2. In fact, I think playing volleyball hurts. Maybe I'm just not doing it right. But my poor wrists are dying whenever I play.
  3. I already had my moment with the boys at the beach, I wanted someone else to have their turn.
  4. Last and most importantly I was with my friend, Chrissy. Her goal from day 1 on cruise 1 was to play volleyball with Brian. I know how much this meant to her so I wanted to make sure I did everything in my power to make sure she could play. Just as I know she'd do the same for me if Nick ever held a video game contest or something. That was her man and her activity.
I was sooo happy that she ended up playing. Even though it was on Nick's team, I know she still had fun. Thus I sat by and played photographer/videographer. I must've looked crazy because I was double fisting it- with a camera in each hand. I wanted to make sure I captured the moment for her as best as I could. When Chrissy's turn was done, I was getting ready to leave, but then I saw my roommate Ana and another friend take the court. So I resumed my spot and my photography skills. I make a point to take as many pictures/videos as I can for my friends, knowing that that's what I'd want when the roles are reversed.

Brian finding something very funny during volleyball
Nick sharing in on the laugh
With that, we left while the boys were still playing. Which was previously unheard of. I don't like to leave anything while the boys are still there. That's my number 1 rule! Though I made an exception as I was anxious to get back to the ship because I wanted to beat AJ back in case he stopped by my door (I know, I know. I promise I'll shut up about it soon!) Meanwhile my friends, Chrissy & Cory, had to be back for their 1x1 time with AJ. 

Me and the gals leaving Half Moon Cay
Overall it was an amazing day at the beach. We had nice weather. The boys were out and about, mingling with fans. Lots of fun games. Of course I'm biased, but I'd venture to say it was probably the best beach party yet.
Chrissy & I heading back to the ship