Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Free BSB Giveaway at Cabin M46

Having a fabulous time at Disney!! Wish you were all here with me so we could take over Disney and spread the BSB love to Pluto and the gang. I’m so happy I was able to check in, because I almost forgot to tell you guys something important! Well, really it’s a shameless plug for my door, but nonetheless still important. Yes, you read the title correctly. My roommates and I have a free little BSB-related goodie for you outside our cabin- M46 on deck 5 forward. Unfortunately I can’t give you any hints as to what it is, but hopefully I’ve piqued your interest enough. Muhaha. So come grab a Free BSB Souvenir and say hi while you’re there!

~Laura, Chrissy & Cory

PS- Can you tell I've had too much Disney excitement over the last 5 days?!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

To Infinity and Beyond

Well my loyal readers, today is the day I leave for Orlando. I can’t believe that the bags are packed and I’m finally leaving!

Here’s a quick schedule of my whereabouts over the next week assuming we don’t veer of schedule too much:

Saturday, Nov 26th- In a few hours…Universal Studios drinking some butterbeer in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Followed by delightful Cuban cuisine at Gloria Estefan’s Bongos.

Butterbeer- Have to give this a try
Sunday, Nov 27th- In the morning you can find me eating breakfast with Lilo & Stitch at the Polynesian Resort. Later in the day I will be somewhere on the grounds of Epcot. Odds are that I will be shoving my face with some delightful international food at one of the restaurants in the world pavilion. I also anticipate spending more time than normal at the Norway pavilion because last time I was there it was full of a bunch of Nick clones: gorgeous blond-haired, blue-eyed men.

Can't wait to go inside this!
Monday, Nov 28th- I will be frolicking down main street with Mickey and Minnie at the Magic Kingdom. And maybe swing through Toon Town USA in the off chance for spotting Brian or Howie with their sons. In the evening I hope to be sitting in front of Cinderella’s castle while watching the electrical parade followed by fireworks spectacular.

My goal is to get a picture with one of these princesses

Tuesday Nov 29th- Trying to not lose my lunch on the Tower of Terror in Hollywood Studios. And by night time watching the Osborne family spectacle of dancing lights.

Better to lose my lunch on this than on a Backstreet Boy

Wednesday, Nov 30th
- Exploring the Kilimanjaro safaris at Disney’s Animal Kingdom during the day and then getting my nails done in prep for the cruise and hitting up Downtown Disney for what I hope to be a low key evening. Gotta save some of my energy.

I really hope I see some monkeys on the safari

Thursday, Dec 1st-  Jamming to some BSB on our 4 hour drive from Orlando to Florida.

Friday, Dec 2nd- Boarding SS Backstreet!

SS Backstreet
Saturday, Dec 3rd – Cruising with BSB!

Sunday, Dec 4th- Cruising with BSB!

Monday, Dec 5th- Savoring the last hours of the cruise then rush to catch my 10:35 flight. Go home and sleep for 20 hours straight until I have to go to work on Tuesday.

If you happen to be going to Disney/Universal any of the same days- email me!! Let’s meet up if we can.

If you’re not going to Disney/Universal but want to reach me before the cruise, well, still email me in that scenario too.

If you want to reach me while on the cruise, well, it’s not going to be easy. I plan on turning my cell phone off pretty much the entire time. So I’ll be in cabin M46 (deck 5) if you want to come say hi. Or if you see me roaming around, also feel free to stop me and say hi.

I’ll try to check back in before the cruise, but no promises. I wish everyone safe travels to Miami!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

What's Going to be Different This Year for Me

Ever since we got the itinerary I've been doing a lot of reflecting on how this cruise will be different for me, while trying to focus mostly on the positive differences. And I’m not talking about the obvious things, but I realized on a more personal level this cruise will be very different from the last one.

One big difference for me this year is that I won’t have my brother on board as a Carnival employee. It was nice having him on the ship for so many reasons. Obviously it was nice to have a familiar face on board, especially since I wasn’t going with anyone I knew. He was also able to lead me around the huge ship, since that was his home for 6 months. This time, I will probably be a little more lost. I should also mention that he is a BSB fan, so it was also nice to share the experience as a whole with him. It also had a few random perks that I will miss. For example I had him store my luggage in his room for those first few hours until I could go to my cabin. Nothing major, but a little nicety that I won’t have this year.

Another thing is that I am going into the cruise knowing a lot more people than I did last year. I think it will be tough to balance all of my friends as well as still make the effort to get to know more people. I feel like there won’t be enough time for everyone, but I will certainly do my best.

Speaking of friends, I’ve noticed with past cruisers that there is almost a sense of burnout when it comes to the door decorations. A lot of my friends who poured their heart and soul into last year’s door are a lot more reluctant to spend so much time and energy on something that really didn’t get acknowledged last year. I feel similarly because, while optimistic, I’m also a realist. The odds of actually coming up with the winning door are slim to none. So my roommates and I have come up with a fun and simple idea, that hopefully will not be too horribly time consuming but still creative enough to garner some attention. This is very different from my outlook last year because there was a part of me who truly believed I would win. I’ve become a lot more realistic.

My biggest concern is that my expectations for this cruise are ridiculously high. The boys set the bar almost too high last year, so I’m constantly reminding myself that this is going to be a very different experience. I’m just afraid that the cruise could not possible live up to my unrealistic expectations.

On the flip side, I think I will overall be more relaxed than I was last year. For the last cruise, it was a first for everyone, and no one knew what to expect. The boys included. So there was almost a level of anxiety because of the unknown. This upcoming cruise, I have a better sense of what to expect which I think will remove some of the unnecessary stress. Plus It was also my first time meeting the Backstreet Boys and I was really focused on getting pictures with them. I have since gotten to meet them so I feel in that aspect, I’ll be a lot less worried about wondering if and when I’d run into them.

Overall I’m really excited to see how this cruise will compare to last year’s. Even if it turns out to be a fraction of the fun I had last year, I would still consider it a huge success.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wylee Party in Miami

Brian tweeted today that there will be a Wylee party in Miami the night before the cruise.

RT @WyleebyLL: Ok no Wylee party on the ship so how about in Miami the night before? Who's in? I'm in! chirp

So far I haven't seen any other details and I don't suspect we'll get any until the day of. So in the meantime, make your way to and start your shopping.

I definitely want to go and will try my best to get there but it depends on timing, location, and how I'm feeling.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Over Prepare Then Go With The Flow

I heard these words of wisdom a few months ago and found it very fitting for me and this cruise. I am such a Type A planner and need to make sure I relax during the cruise.

Exhibit A

Yes, I have folder for my entire trip including every reservation, google map directions, dining confirmations, etc. And they're even sorted by the order that I will need them. 

I also have four distinct piles of clothes on my floor- one for each day of the cruise so I know exactly what I will be wearing at each point during the day and they will go in my suitcase in that order. I don't plan on wasting a second on that cruise.

So am I the only this crazy organized or are there other cruisers out there just as bad as I am? Please reassure me and tell me I'm not the only one!

Monday, November 21, 2011

What Would you Dooo for a Klondike Bar?

This jingle randomly popped in my head today. I have to say I wouldn’t do a whole lot for a Klondike bar, but it got me thinking, what would I do to go on a Backstreet Boy cruise (this assuming I wasn’t already booked). So my question to all you cruisers or hopeful cruisers, what would you do for a chance to cruise with BSB? Would you…
  1. Wear a dress made out of duct tape for a week?
  2. Shave your head? (can be after the cruise)
  3. Get a tattoo that says ‘Nsync’?
  4. Streak while on the cruise (assuming no legal ramifications)?
  5. Give up TV and Internet for 1 year?
  6. Swim in a tank with a shark?
  7. Eat a monkey’s brain?
  8. Go skydiving? (I suppose for some of you this would be fun, not for me though! Lol)
  9. Go to work/school wearing your pajamas for 1 day?
  10. Not purchase or listen to the next Backstreet album?
  11. Wear your underwear on the outside of your pants traveling to and from the cruise?
  12. Have a Harry met Sally fake orgasm moment at dinner during the cruise?
  13. Not bathe/shower for a month?
  14. Spend the night in a ‘haunted house’?

So would you do any of the above to go on a BSB cruise? Honestly, I'd probably do about 6 of the things on this list to be able to cruise with BSB. So what other things would you do?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Laura's Favorite Things

Any Oprah watchers out there should hopefully know what this is about. Instead of Oprah’s favorite things, I’m going to share a list of my favorite items as it relates to the Backstreet cruise. I should also preface by saying I unfortunately can’t give you, my faithful readers, these items like Oprah. I wish I could though.

CO Bigelow Lip Gloss- I’m a pretty low maintenance girl, but this is one makeup product I will actually use. It’s quick and easy to use on the go which is perfect for me when I’m on the move on the cruise. It also manages to be both a lip gloss and breath freshener in one.  Don’t know how they manage to do both, but somehow it works.

Wet/Dry Hair Straightener – I’ve found to really enjoy a hair straightener that works on both wet and dry hair. This works really well for the cruise because it saves me from also having to bring a hair dryer, and suitcase space is at a premium. It’s also a time saver and time is another thing that is at a premium on a BSB cruise.

Howie D Chapstick- I’d bring chapstick anyway, but how appropriate to wear Howie’s 100 chapstick.

BSB Tunes- This goes without saying, but my iPod full of all my fave BSB songs is a must! I never leave home without it.

Of course I don't actually bring the CD, but the MP3 version

Elastic Hair Ties- Cheap, versatile, and easy to use. But anything to keep the hair off my face on a windy deck will work
Band-Aids- Whether I get a cut or a blister from my new pair of shoes, I can’t seem to go a cruise without needing at least one Band-Aid.

Watch- For some reason there aren’t a lot of clocks on board, and since I’m not carrying my phone, it becomes even more important to wear a watch.

Crossword Puzzle Book- Yes, I admit I’m a word nerd. I like to do crosswords and sudokus by the pool. Please don’t tease me. Actually, if any of you play Words with Friends, feel free to challenge me: ChaosRoks128

Clutch- Perfect size for my camera, room key, and that’s about it. I don’t want a bag much bigger because it becomes burdensome.

Pair of Comfy/Fancy Flip Flops- Doesn’t matter what they look like, but I like packing as few shoes as I can. Bringing one pair of fancier flip flops gives me so much flexibility because I can wear them on the beach or when I’m dressed up for dinner.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS10- My new camera that I plan on using to take all sorts of fabulous pictures of me, my friends, and the Backstreet Boys of course. I’m so excited to have a decent camera this year.

This is Us Hoody- I like to bring just one piece of versatile warm clothing that I can wear outside on the deck or inside in the lounge, otherwise I just can't afford the suitcase space. Okay, I may pack a light sweater, but I will primarily use my This is Us hoody to keep me warm.

So cruisers, what are some of YOUR favorite things that are must haves on the cruise?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Yay for Itineraries!

My brain is now on overload as I'm trying to process all the information! Here's the email in case you missed it:

Dear Cruise Guest,

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for participating in the 2nd Annual BACKSTREET BOYS CRUISE aboard CARNIVAL'S IMAGINATION.

Please review below information necessary to ensure a trouble free, relaxing vacation for all.

To View and print out your cruise documents please click on the link below.

You can also find this information on under the "Manage My Cruises" tab.

*Please note - you might need to use Internet Explorer as other browsers may not work properly.

Enter in your Booking Number as indicated above, your Last Name, Date of Birth, and Name of the Ship (Carnival Imagination) and the sailing date 12/02/2011 then click the Submit Box. From here you can access your cruise documents and complete your "Fun Pass" which serves as your Carnival boarding-pass.  Alternatively, you can access your "Fun Pass/Boarding Pass" directly from the link provided below. You should complete your Fun Pass/Boarding Pass prior to printing out your document information.

All guests in cabin must complete the Fun Pass/Boarding Pass in order to print it:

Here is what you will need for everyone in your party:

Personal Information
(full name, home address, phone number, etc.)

Citizenship Information
(passport data, permanent resident card number, etc.)

Travel Plans
Guests with independent travel arrangements will need to provide details regarding pre and post transportation arrangements (arrival and departure flight information, hotel arrangements, etc.)

Onboard Expense Account Information (Sail & Sign)

Method of Payment to set up account

*Remember, all guests in your cabin must provide the required information in order to obtain a Fun Pass. Online registration is available until the day before sailing. Taking a few minutes now will let you start enjoying your long-awaited cruise that much sooner.

Enter in your Booking Number, your Last Name, Date of Birth, Name of the Ship, Carnival Imagination and the sailing date, 12/02/2011 then, click the Continue Box. Complete Guest Information then click Continue. Complete Citizenship Information and click Continue. If you are flying home on Monday, Dec. 5th, leave the Ground Transportation Box empty and check the flight box in Air Travel. Be prepared to provide your flight details then click continue (leave the fare basis box blank).

Make sure you click on Setup Onboard Expense Account. Click on I accept the terms and conditions (Step 2 of 4). If you are part of the match program or traveling with friends, you will be able to enter your individual credit card numbers. However, if you are the first passenger listed in the cabin, you will need to select "set up account at a later time" for the 2nd passenger. When the 2nd passenger logs in, they will have the opportunity to add their own credit card information please enter just the last 4 digits of your credit. You will need to present the same credit card that you registered with at the pier. If you are using cash, you will open your cash deposit onboard at the Pursers desk. You can now click View/Add Booking on the Cruise Ticket Contract Acceptance Information (Step 3 of 4). After reviewing the Cruise Ticket Contract, you will need to click on I accept and click on Continue. Then Click - Continue again. After you have reviewed the information and everything is correct, click Continue. All information for all passengers in your cabin must be completed. Under each name it must state Complete in order to print fun pass. If incomplete, click on incomplete to see what needs to be done.

After everyone is completed, click - Print Fun Pass. Make sure you Print out your Fun Pass and bring with you.

Everyone must check in at the pier. (IMPORTANT - Please remember to fill out your Fun Pass/Boarding Pass and Bring with you to the pier for Check In)

It is suggested that you put all medication in your carryon bag. Your luggage will not be delivered to your stateroom until a later time.

Once you arrive at the Pier, go to the Reception Area to check in.

**Please have your proper identification with your Fun Pass (valid Passport or Birth Certificate with seal and official photo ID) for cruise check-in.

You will receive your Sail & Sign /Cabin Key/ Wristband and Final Itinerary from Carnival at the pier.

You must wear the wristbands for the entire cruise. Each passenger will receive one wristband, which is non-transferable and will not be replaced.


Effective December 1, 2011- Carnival has announced that smoking will be prohibited in all staterooms. Guests in Balcony staterooms may smoke on their balcony with the  exception of the Spa deck balcony cabins. Guests who smoke in their stateroom will be assessed a $250 fee.


Please note that due to the number of people attending the cruise, we are not able to provide an official autograph session for everyone. No autographs will be given at the photo sessions.


We will have groups of 8 passengers pose for each picture with the Backstreet Boys. This way we will be able to see everyone, and no one will be left without a photo. We ask that you please respect this group policy. Photo session Group A will begin at 11:00AM on Sunday, December 4th. Group B will begin at 1:00 PM on Sunday, December 4th. These sessions will be in the Xanadu Lounge on Promenade Deck 9. While in line, you will be given a ticket with a number. You must be present to receive your ticket. We will go in numerical order for photos. If your number is called and you are not present, you will miss your photo opportunity. Please arrive at the Photo Session with your group of 8 passengers!


Please feel free to bring your personal camera to all events except for the official photo sessions. We are providing an official photographer for your convenience. They will be circulating at all official events and taking photos. All photos, including those taken
at the official photo sessions will be posted after the cruise. Photos will be available on a website and a link will be provided at a later time. If personal cameras are brought to the photo sessions, you will be asked to return the camera to your cabin.

Video cameras are allowed only for your own personal events. They are not allowed at official Backstreet Boys Cruise events. Please note no cameras are allowed in the Casino.


You will receive your wristband when you check-in. There are 6 wristband colors Red, Blue, Yellow, Purple, Green and Orange. These colors represent the zones in the Dynasty Lounge. Your wristband will have your exact seat assignment. Wristband color and seat assignment number was determined by time of booking. Please note that these wristbands are required for all events. DO NOT REMOVE these wristbands until the end of the cruise


Gifts will NOT be permitted at any Backstreet Boys scheduled events.

Gifts can be left at the hospitality desk during designated hours.

Your gifts will be delivered to The Backstreet Boys.


All seating in the Dynasty Lounge will be reserved. Your wristband determines which zone you are in and your Seat Number. Please look at the seating charts you received at check in to see where you will be seated. Please respect the seating policy and do not switch seats during the events. Please be respectful of others when entering the Dynasty Lounge and do not wait in the line prior to the show.


Dress during the day is casual (shorts, shirts, skirts, jeans, etc.)

Theme nights are as follows:

Friday, December 2nd - Sphynkter 80’s Night - Rock that big hair, neon colors, leg warmers, lace gloves, etc and look out because there may be a special appearance by none other than everyone's favorite band, Sphynkter!

Saturday, December 3rd - The Perfect Fan Prom Night - Was your prom BLAH? Well that's sure going to change! Join us for our first ever BSB Prom Night! Get ready to relive that magical night together aboard the Imagination. Each King, that's us, will be crowning our PERFECT FAN or Prom Queen. Come ready for some FUN and lots of memories!

Sunday, December 4th - PDA Pajama Jam (PDAPJJ) - Intimate scenes fresh from my dreams…us all running around a boat in our PJs! Let's get cozy and party it up sleepover style. Who wants to pillow fight with us?


Passengers will be eating in the Pride or Spirit Dining Room. You will receive dining room assignment at check in.  Please arrive at your assigned dining room with your party, the Maitre D’ will seat you.  Other options include 24 hour Room Service, Buffet on Lido Deck or the 24-hour Pizzeria.

Beach & Swim Wear, Tank Tops, Tennis Shoes, Flip-Flops, etc are Not Allowed in the Dining Room.


Please click here to view the Full Itinerary.

Thanks and See you on board!

Hal Roseman, President
Rose Tours & Travel
9 Huntingdon Pike, Rockledge, PA 19046

My Thoughts

Overall really excited to finally get the itinerary. Lets start with the new information. This year I'm excited to see they included a sail away party, which I'm really looking forward to. New Kids cruisers raved about this event so it should be fun. They also have a new game show called 'In it To Win It'. I can't say I've ever seen it, so I had to look it up on Wikipedia. Not sure what to think but it appears pretty confusing. And since poor Nick didn't know how to play Family Feud last time, I don't think he stands a chance in hell with this one. Should be interesting to watch him navigate through this game.

On the flip side, I hate to be a debbie downer but I'm noting a few things lacking from the itinerary and email update. First thing that was a glaring omission to me is there is not a Q&A session this year, which I'm pretty bummed about. I've been brainstorming a lot of potential questions for that plus it was just a great event last year with a lot of laughs. I also noticed that there are no individual events that AJ had previously alluded to. I'm pretty upset about that as well because it got my hopes up a bit. Especially since the cruise is one day shorter, I was hoping to see more solo events to compensate for the shortness. I guess this should teach me to never believe AJ. I probably should've already known to not trust anything that comes out of AJs mouth so I blame myself for that one ;)

There is still no announcement of any official door decoration contest, which has me slightly concerned. Girls have called Rose Tours asking about this and the staff continue to assure us there will be one, so hopefully its on its way. I also noticed that the concert will only be an hour, which is another let down. Let's hope they make it count with a quality set. There is also a cocktail party with an open bar on the first night, which should be fun. But this year it seems like it will be folded into the theme night as opposed to a separate event as it was last year. Also no captain's dinner, unless its jut not noted on this itinerary.

There are other minor things that I see when looking at the itinerary. For example depending on which group your in, the schedule doesn't allow Group B much time at all to get ready for prom night and the same could be said of Group A for 80s night. They also say "other activities will be added, please check Carnival's Fun Times for times and locations." While a small part of me hopes for additional BSB events, I think its safe to assume they will be independent events run by Carnival.

Overall I think I just need to force myself to not compare this cruise to last year. No there aren't as many events, but I knew that was the case when i signed up for the cruise. It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. I just think we have to focus on the events that they ARE doing. I know we'll have a great time no matter what and its just 2 more weeks away!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Return of Karaoke

Fresh off the presses...

Karaoke with the Backstreet Boys!
The Backstreet Boys will be singing Karaoke on Lido Deck with a few lucky guests.

If you would like a chance to possibly sing with the Boys, please give us your name and top three song choices (does not have to be a Backstreet Boys song).

We will be randomly selecting participants among the entries received.

Please submit your information below by Thursday, Nov. 24th.  Submitting your request is not a guarantee of participation.

We have an exciting cruise planned for you all and we can't wait to see you in December!

Now I'm torn on:

1- If i should sign up at all. I'm waaay to shy to sing in front of that many people, let alone with the Backstreet Boys. I need to rally a group of people to go up with should I get lucky enough to be picked.
2- If I do sign up, which songs should I pick? Such decisions!

Right now I'm just most excited we're actually getting some information and a taste of what to expect on the cruise! So who's going to sign up?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Packing Light

Last year I gave a complete run down of everything you could possible ever need under the sun and the explanations to go along with them.  Feel free to refer to the incredibly thorough packing list if you’d like. However this year I wanted to provide a more condensed/efficient version of the packing list- just the basics. I keep having to tell myself that we're only cruising for 3 days!

  • Casual wear for 3 days
  • Nicer outfits for dinner- Refer to Carnival's website for complete dress code info
  • Photo shoot outfit
  • Themed outfits with any accessories you’ll need
    • 80s night
    • Prom night
    • PJ night
  • Dressy shoes
  • Sneakers/socks- Only if you think you’ll wear them
  • Workout clothes- If you’re feeling up for it
  • Pajamas- to actually sleep in
  • Sweater, shawl, warp, sweatshirt- Just something to keep warm
  • Flip flops
  • Bathing suit/coverup
  • Bras and underwear

  • Accessories/jewelry
  • Sunglasses
  • Hair ties and hair accessories
  • Clutch/Little purse/bag to carry around ship and to dinner
  • Beach Bag
  • Watch – very few clocks on board.

Personal Care
  • Makeup
  • Aspirin
  • Bandaids
  • Any necessary medication
  • Hair straightener/dryer
  • Dental Care - toothbrush, toothpaste
  • Shampoo/Conditioner/Soap/Lotion- Bring at your discretion as they should have it available on board.
  • Perfume
  • Deodorant
  • Sunscreen
  • Razor
  • Manicure set
  • Tampons/Pads- If you’re unlucky

  • Camera and camera supplies (batteries, battery charger, extra memory cards)
  • iPod with charger and earphones
  • Cell phone and charger

Documents/Don’t Leave Home Without
  • ID- Passport or certified birth certificate and license 
  • Money including small bills ($1) for extra tipping not included in the cruise price
  • Credit card/Checks/Travelers checks or whatever else you use to purchase items
  • Flight confirmation
  • Hotel conformation
  • Pre-Cruise event confirmation
  • Cruise/Rose Tours conformation
  • Fun Pass
  • Car rental conformation
  • Contact info and cabin numbers of your friends

BSB Related
  • Door decoration materials- scissors, tape, glue, or whatever else you need to prettify your door
  • Sharpie and anything you might want signed

  • Gum/mints
  • Paper/Pen
  • Corkscrew/Wine- If you want to bring your own on, you can.
Yikes, even the condensed version of the packing list seems insanely long and daunting. Don't worry, it's not as bad as it looks though.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Backstreet Cruise Living

Ever wonder what a Backstreet Cruise magazine would look like? Wonder no more! Here's what I envision it looking like:

Backstreet Cruise Living

I realize the font is a little difficult to read so here are all the headlines:
  • Selling BSB Memorabilia to Fund the Cruise: Learning How to Part With Your Howie Action Figure
  • Brian's SHOCKING Reveal of his Favorite Towel Animal!
  • Slutty or Cute PJs? Take this quiz and find out which approach you should take!
  • Bodyguards, Schmodyguards: How to Successfully Follow Nick to the Bathroom
  • "I was on the top bunk and didn't hear a thing.": One fan reveals her traumatic experience of how she slept through AJ knocking on her cabin door.
  • Top Ramen Recipes: Eating on a Budget Until December
  • Bonus! 34 tips on How to Deal with Post Cruise Depression
  • 1,037 ways to convince your husband to let you cruise!

And a few other headlines that didn't quite fit on the magazine cover:
  • AJ to hold Private Concert in Lido Buffet: Myth of Fiction?
  • Real Life Story: One Fan Copes with her Door Decoration Idea Being Leaked to the Public
  • 40 Strangest Places to Wake Up After an Amazing Night Out With the Boys
  • Best Body Part to Have Autographed: We Surveyed 100 Cruisers
  • Top 10 Secrets to Ensure you Stand Next to your Fave Boy for the Picture
  • Are Fans on Deck 5 Crazier than Fans on Deck 4?
  • The Painful Truth about Being on a Ship 99% Full of Females
  • What to Do if you Run into a Backstreet Boy While Wearing a Life Jacket

It would be cool if such magazine actually existed. I'd certainly buy it!

Actually, as I was coming up with these headlines, I was laughing to myself that I could probably come up with articles to correspond to each of these. Perhaps you'll see some of these "fake" headlines become an actual post in the future.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

All Dolled Up

I’ve noticed that one of the most talked about things before the cruise is what to wear. Theme nights, beach parties, dinners, meet and greets, etc. It’s a lot of outfits to coordinate, and of course we all want to look our best for our boys. I'm no expert in fashion, not even close. So I'll give you guys a high level overview on what people did for the last cruise and throw in a few tips based on my past cruising experience as well.

Meet and Greet
Fans really dressed in a wide range of clothing for the meet and greet. Everything from T-shirts to cocktail dresses. Overall it's whatever you feel comfortable in. Just consider that your full body will be in the picture so make sure to think about the whole look. You may also want to think about the fact that the boys themselves typically don't get very dressed up. My most recent picture with Nick was a lovely shot of me in my cocktail dress and Nick in a T-shirt. I love the picture but we definitely look mismatched. Last thing you might want to mull over is if you know your group ahead of time, perhaps you can coordinate your look with your friends. I've included a few samples below to help give you a better sense of what other girls do: 

Mostly dresses for my group pic
A lot of fans represented their home country with their clothing
Some girls donned their BSB shirts

Some even went in costumes

Theme Nights
As we are all well aware, there are three theme nights to prepare for. I've seen so many 80's outfits and prom dresses over the past few months. I swear I've been putting more thought into these outfits than I did my actual prom dress. As I mentioned, I am no fashionista, so I'm not giving specific fashion tips here. My two biggest pieces of advice are to dress comfortably and plan for it to be potentially cold. Oh, and be sure to wear something that you won't be upset if it gets ruined. So make that three pieces of advice.

Lets start with pajama night. There seems to be two very distinct schools of thought on this- slutty or not slutty PJs. I don't want to get in the middle of this debate. I'll just say that I have opted for the classic, comfy PJ look and I'm doing so for several reasons. One, I don't feel comfortable wearing lingerie in public. Two, I'm afraid it's going to be too cold to wear practically nothing. Three, I don't think its practical. I want to be able to dance and run around without worrying I'm going to fall out of my outfit. Thus I plan on hitting the lido deck with my comfy pjs and cute pair of slippers. That said, I have nothing against those who want to take the other approach. I learned my lesson last year that you should also plan for a cold night, just in case. If you have the suitcase space, you may want to consider packing a bathrobe so that it is theme appropriate. I'm going to call dibs on the free bathrobe in our cabin just in case.

Moving onto 80s night. This theme is pretty self explanatory. Leg warmers, neon, jellies, oversized shirts, acid wash jeans, etc. I've never dressed for this theme before, and I was only 4 years old during the 80s. Thus you're all on your own for this one!

Last but not least prom night. I'm a practical person, so for me the biggest point of consideration was whether or not my dress would fit in my suitcase and travel well. I was going for sensible over aesthetics, so I'm opting for the shorter cocktail dress. Plus I was afraid with a bigger dress, I wouldn't be able to fit in the bathroom stalls. Those things are small enough as is without a huge gown to squeeze in. But it seems like girls are doing a wide range of dresses from big ball gowns to shorter cocktail dresses so I think you'll be fine with whatever you choose. As you are selecting your dress, I would also recommend you consider the fact that it may get ruined so I wouldn't advise taking anything incredibly valuable. And by ruined, I mean girls might spill drinks on it. Also make sure to pack comfy shoes with it. No shame in wearing flats!

Day Time
During the day you may find yourself changing several times. A casual outfit of your choosing should suffice during the majority of the time. Whether it be shorts, skirt and a tank or T-shirt, or a sun dress, you'll fit in just fine. You'll also want to pack at least 1-2 bathing suits. If you plan on getting in the pool/ocean every day, you'll definitely want more than one in order to have a dry one every day.

You'll want to wear something nicer for dinner if you opt to eat in the main dining room. Carnival goes by the 'cruise casual' attire which is casual dresses, casual skirts or pants and blouses, summer dresses, capri pants, dress shorts and jeans (no cut-offs). I would say most girls abide by these guide lines, though a few will opt for a more elegant dress. Basically as long as you don't show up in your bikini or gym-wear, you should be okay. One dinner is also designated as the formal night, so this is the night to dress to impress. I would recommend a nicer dress for this night.

After dinner we will have the deck parties, which I've already covered above. But after the deck parties, a lot of fans were still up either going to the casino, clubs, or just hanging out. Depending what you wore to the deck parties, you may want to run back to the ship and change into a more night club look. However I'd say that most people didn't go as glam as they would typically. After all, you are on a Caribbean cruise, so it tended to be a little more casual. Maybe a cute skirt or jeans and a nice summer top should do the trick. 

Feel free to share any additional tips below in the comments section. This is most definitely not my area of expertise.

Friday, November 11, 2011

VIP Tables at Cameo

First I want to give you all an update. I am going to the pre-cruise party at Cameo and I have to thank my lovely roommate, Chrissy, for scoring VIP tickets for me as well. I’m very excited and an now scrambling to find another outfit for that.

Over the past few days there has also been a lot of buzz about getting a VIP table at the club with bottle service. Here’s some high level info for you to help you decide:

  • There are two 15-person tables ON the stage which cost $5,000 each. There is a 3 bottle minimum. Admission, tax and gratuities are separate. 
  • There are other tables near the stage that hold 15 people as well. These also have a 3 bottle minimum thus you can expect to pay at least $825.
  • There are smaller tables further from the stage that hold 4 people and its only a 1 bottle minimum thus you can expect to pay at least $275.
There is a long list of types of drinks they have. Just know the bottles range in price from $275-$700; and champagnes range from $40-$5,000.

From what I understand tables are booking up. If you are interested you can email them or give them a call at (786) 235-5800 to make a reservation.

Cameo Nightclub
I've never done a VIP table before so I have limited information on this topic. I also am not a big club person, nor a big drinker so I personally have no desire to partake in this. If you do decide to reserve a table, just know that this VIP is completely separate from the Backstreet Boys. It only has to do with the club. Thus the only thing you can be guaranteed of is that you will most likely be closer to the Backstreet Boys.

Since I wouldn’t drink my monies worth, I would expect to get that value from being closer to the Backstreet Boys. However there is absolutely no guarantee of any interaction with them. None. So they could sit and hang out with me all night or not even come over. It’s completely a gamble and a gamble that I really don’t want to take. If I wont the lottery tomorrow, I might sing a different tune, but until them I’ll stick with general admission.

Though even if I did have the extra money I would probably put it towards a different BSB activity. I would rather go to additional concerts,  get a platinum VIP, even travel to Europe for NKOTBSB shows, or upgrade my cabin on the cruise. I just get more enjoyment out of that than drinking at a club.

Meanwhile I also want to try my best to get to bad early that night because I know I have to save energy for the cruise, which is where the real party will be happening!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

What to Expect- Debarkation

Sadly all good things must come to an end. I don’t even like to think about leaving the cruise, but we all know it’s inevitable. Let’s start with the basics. In case you’re new to cruising, debarkation is basically leaving the ship. The process actually starts the night before we arrive back in Miami. Sometimes the cabin steward will deliver special luggage tags to your cabin along with customs forms. Staying organized the night before will help make the process go much smoother in the morning so make sure you take a look at all that stuff.

The morning we arrive back in Miami, expect a very early wakeup call, probably around 7 or so. The captain or cruise director will come on the loudspeaker to start making the announcement that we’ve arrived in Miami and that essentially it’s time for us to leave. Room service is generally not available but breakfast will be served in the main restaurant as well as the buffet. After you eat, there really isn’t much to do but sit around and wait in one of the lounges for your number to be called. Once you’re called to leave the ship, have your custom forms ready. If you’ve chosen the general debarkation, you can pick up your bags which will be organized by color or number. If you’ve chosen self-assist debarkation, just continue on through and make your way home. Which brings me to my next point. It's important to know there are 2 options for debarkation: Self-assist or general debarkation.

Self-Assist Debarkation- You take your own bags off and leave whenever you want.

You should choose this option if you don’t have a lot of bags and you are able to carry them off the ship yourself. Also choose this if you are in a rush to get off the ship to catch a flight.
Pros- You keep all your stuff with you until you leave. Don’t have to worry about packing your luggage before you head off to dinner on that last night.
Cons- Can be burdensome carrying all your own luggage off the ship.

General Debarkation- You put your luggage outside your door the night before you arrive back to your home port, and the cruise line will carry the luggage off for you. You will have an assigned time of when you can leave the ship.

You should choose this option if have bags that you are unable to carry yourself off the ship. Think of this process as checking your luggage on a plane. The cruise line will handle getting your bag off the ship for you and you will pick it up later at the terminal.
Pros- Don’t have to worry about your bags in the morning.
Cons- You are restricted on when you can leave the ship and you are without your luggage the morning that you leave. If you choose this, make sure you think about everything you will need the next morning and don’t pack it! This includes a change of clothes, medicines, toiletries, etc.

Which Method I Prefer

Personally, I ALWAYS choose the self-assist debarkation option. In my mind it’s just so much easier. I just take my bags with me when I leave and can do so at my pace. My concern with the general debarkation is that I always fear that they will lose my luggage. While rare, I’m just paranoid about that. Also, I don’t like waiting around for my number to be called when most everyone else just leaves at their leisure.

Another thing you want to think about when leaving the ship, make sure to say your goodbyes to your friends the night before you leave. I unfortunately made the mistake last year of not doing this, and missed on saying goodbye to a lot of my friends. Trust me, that last morning there is just too much else going on. First you will may to settle your bill from the trip. Though if you setup your account in the beginning with a credit card, it will automatically be charged so you don’t have to do anything. The only reason you might have to go to the purser’s office is if there is a mistake with your bill, or you paid cash and need to reconcile the differences.

I also found myself running around that last morning trying to grab a quick breakfast, attempting to find friends but failing, and of course packing.  You will inevitably be shoving last minute items into your suitcase, and of course they won’t fit as well as they did on the way in. So that becomes stressful in itself. You’re also aware that you have a flight to catch and depending on how early you booked it, you may be rushing to the airport. And most importantly, you’re probably trying to find one of the backstreet boys to steal one last precious glimpse before you leave. Keep in mind, this is all happening around 7 in the morning after you were probably up until 5am the night before (if you were lucky enough to get any sleep). Definitely not my favorite part of the cruise.

So this post is just about as much fun to write as I’m sure it is to read, but when the time comes you’ll be glad you have the info.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Early vs Late Dining

Odds are most of you have already figured out what time you want to have your dinner. But in the event you haven’t, here are a few ways to figure out which may be better suited for you. If you select early dining, you will be eating around 6:30, and if you select late dining you can expect to eat around 8:15.

You should choose early dining if:

  • You are traveling with children who are used to eating earlier
  • You are used to eating earlier
  • You plan on going to bed early
  • You don’t want to go to bed feeling full
  • You would rather spend more time after dinner enjoying the casino, lounges, or other areas on board

You should choose late dining if:

  • You’re a night owl
  • You don’t mind finishing dinner at 10pm
  • You do not want to be rushed during our time at Nassau, giving you more time to spend in port
  • You like to indulge in a late afternoon nap
  • You are used to eating later
  • You like to enjoy a leisurely dinner and coffee at the end of your meal

The Backstreet Boy cruise will be a lot different than your normal cruise. But in general you will find families and elderly people opt for the earlier seating. Additionally you could expect to see more Americans choose the early seating while Europeans and South Americans who are accustomed to eating later, will go with late seating. The last thing to note is that the late seating is considered to be a little bit more romantic because it is less rushed than the early seating.

As an FYI for you new cruisers, last year the Backstreet Boys ate with the fans during the late seating. As I've mentioned before, I doubt they will be eating with us again just due to their hectic schedule. But you never know. This is merely my speculation.

I also want to point out that you do not have to choose either dining option if you'd rather skip it. It is your vacation and no one is forcing you to eat against your will. You can always order room service or do a quick dinner at the buffet. But you'll find most people do eat dinner in the main dining room.

I'm sure you are at the edge of your seat wanting to know what I have selected. Personally I have opted for late seating, mostly for the reasons listed above. But also because I feel like I'm so full from eating a larger breakfast, lunch, and extra snacks that I'm not ready to eat dinner at 6:30. I've always been one to choose late seating, regardless of whether or not its a Backstreet Boys cruise.

Happy eating!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

9 Common Pitfalls to Avoid

There are a few things you should look out for in order to fully enjoy your vacation. Here are a few common pitfalls you should watch out for based on my own experiences and other horror stories I’ve heard.
  1. Travel with someone who is incompatible. Even though this person may be your best friend, if you have different ideas about what you want to take away from this cruise, it will make a miserable vacation for the both of you.

  2. Stay in your cabin the whole time. My parents would always tease me for staying in the cabin and watching TV. But you can do that at home. Go out and make every second count! This especially holds true on our Backstreet cruise.

  3. Not putting on sunscreen. You’re in the Caribbean and the sun will be powerful. You don’t want to be a nice lobster color for your picture with the boys.

  4. Go unprepared. Make sure you pack everything you need while you will be away. You can always buy new toiletries or get a new shirt, but if you forgot your passport or medication, you’re toast.

  5. Exceed your budget. You can do just fine on board without spending any extra money, but there are opportunities and temptations around every corner for extra spending. Casino, shopping, specialty restaurants, excursions and more. Plan out your budget and stick to it.

  6. Overpack. While this is a tough thing to balance with Pitfall #4, its all about being efficient. Don’t overestimate the size of these cabins. They are cozy. Pack just what you need and you will be fine. And this pitfall is in honor of one of my lovely cabin mates. You know who you are ;)

  7. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Not everything will be perfect. You’re not going to love every morsel of food you put in your mouth and you may run into issues where your toilet will temporarily not flush (yes this does happen) But if you focus on these unimportant details, you are going to make yourself and people around you miserable.

  8. Don’t travel the day of the cruise if you can avoid it. There’s just too much that can go wrong and its not worth it. Trust me.

  9. Remember that this is your vacation, not a BSB stalkfest. I promise you that you will enjoy the cruise significantly more if you enjoy the beautiful scenery, food, swimming, music, activities, drinks, etc rather than camping outside of Nick’s room for hours just to catch a glimpse of him.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Backstreet Cruise Dictionary

I’m taking a little bit of a different approach on this one, hope you enjoy it.

Merch- Short for merchandise store/booth and it’s a place where your credit card will hate you because will easily spend $100+ on some cheaply made items plastered with the Backstreet Boys faces. Also a place where you seem to throw all sense of logic out the window and you think that $40 for a t-shirt seems perfectly reasonable.

Deck party- A better version of an after party except there isn’t much dancing but rather masses of girls are just standing around awkwardly gawking at the Backstreet Boys. A deck party also has an assigned theme which gives women yet another excuse to dress in brazenly slutty clothing to try and desperately capture the attention of their favorite BSB or crew member who could allow them access to their favorite BSB.

Full Charter- A cruise containing 93% females (primarily between the ages of 18-45); 2% gay men; and 5% reluctant obliging boyfriends/husbands/significant others.

Half Charter- A ship where half of the people are emphatic Backstreet Boy fans and the other half are poor unsuspecting souls who didn't have a clue what they were getting them self into.

Meet and Greet- The place where your dream of meeting the Backstreet Boys finally becomes a reality. Though it seems go down a little differently than you envisioned because your entire 20 seconds with all of the boys is clouded by the sounds of the photographer yelling at you to speed it up and security cutting off your almost hug with Brian because “only handshakes are allowed!” You can also expect that the years of rehearing what you would say if you met the boys seems to all go out the window causing you to sputter off some nonsense. Thus you leave feeling dejected as you miserably trudge to the buffet and drown your sorrow with some cheesecake as you sadly replay how your 15 year long dream of meeting the Backstreet Boys actually played out.

Goody Bag- Found in your cabin on the first night, a bag which you almost throw away. Then you open it and wonder to yourself why you the cabin steward put a bag of random knick-knacks in your room. Then you realize this is actually meant for you. The entire contents of the bag could not be worth more than $1.23, which seems about right considering the average cost of this cruise is $1,300.

Door Decorations- A display of elaborately decorated doors where the vast majority of them look like an issue of Teen Beat threw up all over it.

BSB Game Show- An event where you spend the bulk of your time thinking how much more you deserve to be up on the stage than the girls who they selected because it is clear that you are a much bigger fan and ten times wittier and nicer than the girls who got picked.

Wristband- A colored paper bracelet you keep on your wrist the entire cruise which is basically a way for people to either smugly show off how good their seat is; or it’s the source of why you are crying yourself to sleep in your cabin every night.

VIP  Wristband-  Another wristband that allows you entrance into designated VIP areas. Side effects of this wristband include a surge of people suddenly wanting to be your best friend because they think you can get them into VIP as well. And when they find out you can’t, they will call you a myriad of degrading names.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

1 More Month

I don't have anything particularly interesting to say, but I feel obligated to celebrate the fact that we are 1 month away from cruising with our Backstreet Boys!

That means we're one month from sipping mai tais with Howie, watching the sunset with Nick, savoring a delicious meal with Brian, and relaxing on the pristine sandy beaches of Nassau with AJ.

I for one just can't wait any longer. This cruise can't get here soon enough!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pre-Cruise Event at Cameo

Well it's finally been announced that we will be having our pre-cruise event at Cameo Club in Miami Beach.

Join us for the official Backstreet Boys Pre Cruise party taking place at Cameo in Miami Beach. Tickets start at just $25.00 meet and greet packages at $175. Tickets go on sale this coming Thursday at 10AM PST time right here on

After hearing the news I'm excited that we finally have some concrete details to plan around. It's hard not to be excited with any announcement involving me getting to see the Backstreet Boys. Though I have to admit I'm definitely not as thrilled as I was last year with the acoustic show. Plus $175 for a meet and greet is a lot of money. I'll probably cave and end up buying it because I usually do, but at this point I'm still debating. Seeing as how its an after party, I was worried that not all four boys would be there but Marquis Group tweeted that they would all be there. Otherwise I would be really upset if I paid $175 and it wasn't a picture with all four Backstreet Boys. Another way to look at this is it's significantly cheaper than a gold VIP package on tour, which also guarantees a solo picture with all four boys.

One other thing I want to point out is I have no idea how early girls are going to get there because it seems to be a general admission event. If last year's event was any indication of what to expect this year, I imagine girls will get there early. Personally I don't want to stand around hours in Miami this year, I'd rather go explore the city or rest up for the cruise. Just something else you might want to think about.

My biggest hesitation is that I've never had great experiences at after parties. I always seem to get stepped on, beer spilled all over me, yelled at, pushed, etc. The ratio of uncomfortableness to BSB activity is lower than I would typically like to go. See exhibit A. Generally I prefer events that fall above that red line.

Exhibit A

Sorry, I'm at work and at least had to make it look like I'm working somewhat- thus a pretty graph. But basically I'm willing to put up with all a lot more unpleasantries such as being squished like a sardine at a concert knowing I'll get lots of BSB at the end. But as I'm becoming more of an adult, sometimes I have to step back and really think if its worth 5 hours in the rain to hear them sing one song.

But back to the after party in Miami, overall I know I'd regret not going more than I would regret going and not having a good time. So more likely than not, you'll see me there.

Cruise now on Groupon

I think they have officially gotten desperate. The cruise is now on Groupon (Thanks Cory for letting me know!) They are offering an ocean view cabin originally priced at $1,388 is now 40% off at $829. Only 5 available:

As someone who booked early on and paid more money for an interior cabin, this really irks me. I think they are also shooting themselves in the foot for any potential future cruises because it's going to encourage people to wait to buy the cruise in hopes for a last minute deal. The only bright side is that there are less fans to compete with on the ship to get some one on one time.

But definitely pass along to any backstreet friends who may have been on the fence due to price. Hopefully some deserving fans can at least take advantage of the deal.