AJ at the beach party
AJ during the She's a Dream Dating Game
Favorite AJ Moment #1:
Most of the Backstreet Boys were seen in the casino at the tables, but normally you could walk by them without even noticing they were there. After all, they are all just regular people like you and me so they do blend in to the crowd. However the one exception to this was AJ. People 3 decks below him would know where he is. He has such a unmissable presence. That's why on the third night after karaoke, I very quickly spotted AJ in the casino. When the other Backstreet Boys were playing, the most I did was steal a quick look and continue on through. However when AJ was playing that was nearly impossible to do. He was probably only sitting down 10% of the time because he was so animated telling stories, interacting with the fans, and just having a good time. It was almost as if he was inviting you to come join him because his vibe was just so friendly and warm. He is the only Backstreet Boy I really got that feeling from which is why I decided to stick around and just watch him play poker. There were maybe 20 fans around the table, so it was just a really neat experience. I wouldn't classify it as "meeting AJ", it was more like I was hanging out with him as a friend. So even though I didn't work up enough courage to actually say anything to him, I still rank this as one of my top moments of the trip.
Favorite AJ Moment #2:
Another instance where I would really say I was more so hanging out with AJ opposed to just running into a celebrity was in the club that very same evening. After the casino was closed, AJ moved the party into the club. By this time it was 4am, so while there were still a good number of people awake, there were also a lot that had retired for the evening. At first AJ stuck to the VIP area, but it didn’t take too long for him to come join us on the dance floor. That's right- no stage acting as a barrier, no ropes or barricades to keep you back, and even no security to push you away. There was nothing between you and AJ, except for maybe a bunch of other girls trying to dance with him as well. I loved this moment because it truly felt like I was clubbing with AJ.
AJ in the Club
Favorite AJ Moment #3:
One of my favorite AJ memories from the cruise occurred towards the end of International Luv night. The crowd had tapered off slightly as the night progressed, but I was on an adrenaline high and wasn't about to go to bed as long as the Backstreet Boys were still on that deck. At one point AJ decided to come down to the pool deck, but unfortunately he was on the other side from where I was standing. I grabbed my friend Anne Marie and we bolted to the other side of the deck to get a good view of him on the bar. We somehow ended up with a great spot and closed out the evening just listening to him ham it up with his microphone. He just made silly banter with the crowd- asking us questions like "Who went on the New Kids cruise?" and "Who thinks the Backstreet cruise is better?" Even though I didn’t go on the New Kids cruise, I still find myself screaming at an incredibly high decibel.
AJ hamming it up with the mic
Other AJ Highlights
And a few other awesome AJ moments from cruise 2010 that you other cruisers may remember:
- AJ making a valiant effort to knock on cabin doors in the middle of the night.
- AJ and his friend Mark singing Like a Virgin:
Gotta Love AJ Singing Madonna
- AJ wearing a kilt for international luv night
- When he danced with my friend, Jessica, during dinner one evening.
Favorite AJ Quotes
- “I would love to go to Greece….We should go down there and put on a concert by the Colosseum”
- “Sorry, they gave me a mic, what do you expect?”
- “Is anyone else feeling nauseous right now? Im sitting here trying to listen to you talk. Just go straight man! Straight! Who’s driving the boat?”
What I’m looking forward to most from AJ on cruise 2011?
Everything! Most of my favorite moments from cruise 2010 involve AJ in some way. I literally can’t wait to see what he’s going to come up with for cruise 2011 because I don’t think I can even fantasize the amazing moments that are sure to come. I really hope he decides to go around and knock on doors again, but I could see him doing something even more special. Ironically he is the only Backstreet Boy I didn’t really run into in the elevator, at the buffet, or around the hallways. I hope that changes this time around.