Friday, July 1, 2016

Recap 2016: Day 1 Part 2

BSB Game Night (Group B)
After the deck party it was time to go to the game show. First thing I noticed upon entering the theater is that I liked the setup much better than Carnival's because they don't have those annoying cocktail tables in the way. I was fortunate to have a good seat, but from what I could gather there were far less obstructed views than we've experienced in the past.

In case you missed it – the game show was structured by dividing the boys into 2 groups and having fans join each team. Kevin & Brian were on the Kentucky cousins team while AJ, Brian, and Nick made up the Florida team. Once in teams – both sides were competing in a bunch of mini games similar to what you’d see on Hollywood Game Night. Trivia games.

Highlights of the game show
  • A lot of the boys trying to hit each other in their private areas. What else is new?
  • During the coin flip, as the teams were calling it, Nick makes the joke “Howie wants head.” This would be the start of a string of similarly themed jokes. 
  • Jen explains the rules of charades, a very common party game in my opinion.
    Jen - “Does this make sense?”
    Nick (with a clueless look on his face) “Not at all.”
    Only made funnier by Howie and AJ sitting next to him nodding and clearly understanding the rules.
    Nick’s lucky he’s good looking.
    Clueless Nick
  • Nick had a mini outburst that the other team during charades “Are you freakin’ serious!? Why did you give them elementary school words?”
    (I totally agree though. You can’t really compare words like ‘Bane’ and ‘Two-Face’ to ‘frog’ ‘glasses’ and ‘broom’.)
  • After this round – Nick got serious. He rearranged the furniture, took off his shoes, and was uber-focused on winning this round. I found it endearing.
  • Howie trying to act out the word ‘condom’ followed by the word ‘sex toy’ were the highlights of my night. And in context, he is the only one who got dirty words!
  • The boys try to guess world capitals...I suppose they did better than I thought but there were a few gems:
    Brian thought the capital of Singapore was Malaysia
    Nick, Howie and AJ guess every other city in Canada except Ottawa
  • AJ teaches Brian ‘real dancing’
  • Nick logs an official dispute over whether or not King Kong won an Oscar. Gets very heated over the issue. Later in the show a fan in the audience looks it up and says it won 3 Oscars. He proceeds to victoriously jump around the stage yelling it ‘suck it!’

    Nick getting himself quite worked up
  • Kevin shares a story about how the boys backed out of meeting the pope, which prevented Howie from being able to meet him because the pope would only meet them if all 5 boys were present.
    Geez, pope is greedy! I would gladly take any 1 Backstreet Boy no questions asked.
And the most infamous moment of the game show that would later become an inside joke of this cruise. Just watch....

2 Words. Eddie. Murphy

Game Show in a Nut Shell
Since we never did get a survey, I get to let all my thoughts and critiques out here. So buckle up!

My overall take of the game show. It was good, but a few little nits or suggestions for improvement for next time. During certain games we were watching their backs as they acted out things to the rest of their team. And its funny because at one point they even realized that, said it aloud, but nothing was done to fix it. While generally I don't have a problem starting at a Backstreet Boys' back side, we definitely missed something as a result.

The other problem I realized this time around  is there was definitely a language barrier with some of the fans on stage.  I'm not saying that to put anyone down, but unfortunately the games required knowing English and as a result, it seemed like the majority of fans didn't really participate. As a spectator, I didn't overly mind because it meant more BSB. But I think if they were going to do this again in the future, staff needs to be cognizant of this when designing the games or selecting fans who are fully able to participate.

Aside from those 2 minor things, I really did enjoy it. The game show is always good for a laugh and this was no exception. And with that, here's a random picture of Kevin doing some odd dance during at the game show....

Honestly not sure how to caption what Kev is up to here

In a World Like This Deck Party
For this event I didn't put a whole lot into this outfit. I decided to whip out Nick's 'All American' T-shirt and call it a day. Plus, I figure this would be the only place I'd actually wear this article of clothing, so may as well take advantage.

Well, this event was a little bit wet. And by a little bit, I mean it POURED! I felt so bad for the girls standing in front of the stage without an umbrella. I was standing on the upper deck, huddled with 3 friends under the 2 umbrellas we had to share between us. We were using each other to keep warm that night. I kept looking over to the security guard standing near us, trying to get an inclination as to what was going on. If history has taught me anything, I knew it would be moved inside. But he kept insisting that they still intended to hold it outside. Ugh!! So I continued to wait.

I'd say after 45 minutes of standing in the cold rain I finally had enough and started to make my way inside. Well as timing would have it, just as I was headed to my cabin to dry off, I noticed a bunch of fans were scurrying inside and headed downstairs. So I aborted my mission of going to the cabin and was able to find myself 1st row (though quickly pushed back to the 2nd row) in front of the stage in the atrium.

When the guys came out, I was happy to see that they chose to represent their hometowns, as opposed to the last international night we had, where they each chose to dress from a random country. Nick was a Tampa Bay Bucs football player. Howie look like Disney World threw up on him (and i mean that in the nicest possible way!) Kevin wore an Abe Lincoln get up. And sadly it took me waaay to long to realize that Abe Lincoln was born in Kentucky, hence the outfit. AJ wore an Orlando Magic jersey. Lastly Brian wore a US boxer outfit.

So serious, Mr. Lincoln
A few highlights of the evening:

Boys arriving during In a World Like This Night

Brian fighting himself

I got a shot from Nick!
Me and Brian
This night brought mixed emotions for me. It was exciting to be in the front and get a chance to be up close and personal with the guys. Grab a few decent snapshots and videos.


I can't even begin to tell you how uncomfortable I was in the crowd. There was SO much pushing and shoving :( I was repeatedly slammed into the stage and surrounded by a couple drunk girls. One by one my friends had to have the bodyguards remove them from the crowd. Yeah, it was that bad. Given how much time I had already put in....I really wanted to get a picture with Howie and get the heck out of there.

A few bruises later, I was finally able to get my picture with Howie, which I was so excited about! But then I went to look at it, and this happened....

Me, Howie, and a Selfie Stick.....

My motto has always been 'any picture with BSB is a good picture'. But how disappointing that I put myself through so much discomfort to have another fan ruin my picture. Bla! After I got my picture, I had the bodyguards remove me from the mob. I just couldn't handle it anymore and I vowed that from this point on, I' wasn't going to bother trying to get up front. Just not worth it on this cruise. Fortunately this was the first and last time I experienced the crazy pushing this cruise.

At this point I was beat and wanted to go back to my cabin and recuperate a bit. I must've tried 4 different exit strategies but the mobs of crowds and security made it nearly impossible to get back to my room. I kept getting blocked by a Backstreet Boy. (Hmm, well there's something I never thought i would ever complain about! ha!)

I finally made it to my deck but was on the opposite end of my hall. I was struggling to get my bearings because the hall was blocked off because of the boys security. Well as I was standing there talking to the security guard explaining my dilemma, lo and behold Nick walks right up. There were only 5 of us fans there so he stopped and took pics with all of us!! I was so grateful because he is notorious for being tough to get a picture with. Major score!! I just hope he didn't think I was sitting there waiting all night for him. That was pure dumb luck.

Nick and I during 'In a World Like This' Night

I was on a crazy roller coaster of emotions towards the end of the night. Had some great highs getting pics with the boys. But a few lows with all the pushing. Alas I finally reunited with the rest of my roommates and was so disheartened to hear that their night was not going well. Apparently the staff told a bunch of fans that half of the Backstreet Boys would go up to the club and the other half would stay in the atrium. Great in theory, but that never happened. All they got was a 2 minute appearance from Nick. It put things into perspective for me....yes I was pushed all over the place, but at least I got to see the boys.

In efforts to make the best of this night, we all went back out to assess the situation and see what was going on. And by assess the situation, get a GPS coordinate on each boy:
  • Howie in the club
  • Kevin downstairs taking pictures side stage but with a mob
  • Nick - who the hell knows
  • Brian - Probably asleep
  • AJ - Taking pictures with a nice orderly line.
    Ding Ding Ding. We have a winner folks! 
Sidebar - I feel like every hour on the hour my friends and I are constantly surveying where each boy is at any given time..... "Nick was last seen heading to his cabin." "Howie's currently in the casino." "I heard Brian's taking a few pictures in the atrium. Move, move, move!"I know that can't just be us. We need trackers on these boys and just make it easier on everyone!

Anyway, even though I already received a picture with AJ earlier in the day, it really seemed like the best option at time. There really wasn't anything else going on so I hopped in line. I had probably been waiting 20 minutes or so when Robbie (AJ's bodyguard) said that AJ was going to leave in 10 minutes. Noooo! There was no question I was still more than 10 minutes away.

Yet another sidebar - I thought Robbie was super awesome!! He did his primary job to keep AJ safe. But he also made sure to keep the fans in order, which I SUPER appreciated. He made sure that no one was cutting in line and really did a good job of enforcing that. I wish we could have more of this!

Back to AJ!

So when Robbie made his announcement, a good number of girls left the line but I figured I'll stay put. Knowing AJ, he's so good about doing pics with fans. And I definitely made the right decision. I finally made my way up front and got a hug from AJ and got my pic. My roommate, Cory,  went before me and told him about our door again. Another seed planted! So when it was my turn, I thought it would be fun to switch up the poses and I asked him to do a 'Friends' pose. So we did the 'F-U fist bump' or whatever you want to call it.

AJ and I doing a 'FRIENDS' pose

Didn't turn out to be my favorite picture but it's something different :)

In a World Like This in a Nut Shell
So, as much as I hate to say it, logistically - this whole night was a mess. They kept us out in the pouring rain for, what felt like forever. They clearly weren't well prepared to move us inside because the atrium space couldn't accommodate everyone, forcing them to shepherd a bunch of fans to the club. A good number of fans never got to see the boys as a result. Meanwhile those who did stay in the atrium - the space (including the stage) was way too small to do much of anything with.

Personally - I clearly had a lot of luck that night getting pictures and brief interactions with the boys. And for that I'm very thankful!! The boys themselves did a good job of mingling with the fans, but as a result there was no entertainment or anything beyond getting selfies and I think that's partially why I was able to have so much luck. I've mentioned it time and time again but my favorite deck parties are actually the ones where the guys do a mix of entertaining the crowds AND mingling. This party was very heavy on the mingling and not so much with the entertaining. It worked out for me, but still not my favorite deck party.

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