Monday, February 27, 2012

Lessons Learned

I always stress that I am by no means an expert on cruises or more specifically- Backstreet Boy cruises. I learned a ton of new things from this past trip. Some of these are regrets and others are things I’m really happy I did. In hopes that you can continue to learn from my mistakes for the future, here goes nothing:

  • I’m so happy with my decision to buy a new camera for the trip. I was able to take some great pictures and videos and thought the camera was well worth the investment. On the flip side, one thing I learned was to pack more memory than you think you need. Or at the very lease know your camera. Because I wasn’t used to my new camera, I didn’t realize just how much memory I needed for all the HD videos I took. I ended up having to borrow memory cards from 2 friends and sadly still had to buy a memory card on board, which was an incredible rip-off. Not again.

  • Twice as many girls on board equals ten times as much drama. Did anyone else feel an exponential increase in drama this year? I suppose this isn’t really a lesson learned, but rather something I wasn’t as well prepared for. Jealousy doesn’t exactly bring out the best side of people.

  • I also realized just how important it is to share the experience with girls who are on the same page as you. What I mean is that you and your friends need to be in agreement on what is acceptable behavior in any given scenario. You don’t want to hold someone back if they want to go camp outside of Nick’s cabin and you find that a little stalkerish; nor do you want to feel guilty camping outside Nick’s cabin while your friends give you weird looks. I’ve been on both sides of the equation before and it’s not fun. I found this cruise I surrounded myself with people who were all largely on the same page as me, which made the experience a lot more enjoyable.

  • Things never happen as they play out in my head. Sometimes it goes better than I ever could’ve dreamed, and other times my crazy imagination led to me feeling disappointed. Don’t allow me to do any fantasizing before the next cruise.

  • Despite my best efforts, I still wasn’t able to meet up with all the girls I had wanted to on the ship. I regret not making a better effort towards meeting some of my friends I had been talking to for months, and sadly now I may not get the opportunity for another year and half. Next time I need to come up with a better system than just ‘winging it’ on the ship.

  • Don’t go away on any sort of strenuous vacation before the cruise in attempts to prolong your trip. Next time I’ll probably still do something before the cruise, but it will just be good ole rest and relaxation. Nothing where I can risk getting myself sick again.

  • I’m really happy I decided to stay up every night and not miss out on any of the excitement. I have no regrets with missing anything this year because I was sleeping instead.

  • I regret not trying harder (or at all) to participate in any of the games with the Backstreet Boys. I knew the drill of what to do to get picked for the events, but I didn’t even bother out of fear. I’m a very shy person and I didn’t want to get myself on stage in a situation that I was uncomfortable with. Even though I probably wouldn’t have gotten picked anyway, I regret not even trying. Next cruise, I vow to at least try!

  • My biggest lesson that I wouldn’t say is newly learned, but rather reinforced is that life isn’t always fair. This cruise is the epitome of that statement. 
 Anyone else going to do things differently next time? I know I can't be alone on this.

    Thursday, February 23, 2012

    Close Your Eyes, Make a Wish

    I was randomly thinking, as I normally do, about the well known theoretical question- 'If a genie could grant you three wishes, what would they be?'

    This is a Backstreet cruise blog, so of course I'm going to twist that question and ask the same thing, but you get 3 wishes that could be granted on a BSB cruise. So just to be clear, you don't have to wish to be on the cruise, lets just assume the genie already gave us all that wish as a bonus freebie. These wishes are for once you're on board.

    So I gave this a lot of thought, and here are my top 3 wishes.
    1. I wish for the perfect concert on the cruise done MY way. The first element of my dream concert would be me front row center, which is something I've never had before. Since its my dream concert, its gonna have to be a private show just for me. Well maybe not completely private because I'd feel too awkward, so I'd probably invite 20 or so of my closest Backstreet friends to join me (aka all of my blog followers). That way its super intimate, but not enough to make me feel weird about it. Also, I'd want it to be outside overlooking the ocean. Even though the ships we've been on haven't been set up this way, I'm envisioning something like this (but on a smaller scale and replace that pool with stage)

      Setting for my dream concert
      The next element of my dream concert on the cruise would be that I pick every song on the set list. It would include all my faves such as Song for the Unloved, Get Another Boyfriend, The One, London, and Shape of My Heart. Then a bunch more unreleased songs and non-singles. The concert would be at least 2 hours long, because all of their shows are just too short for my liking. No opening act, unless its also the Backstreet Boys. And it goes without saying, but Kevin would also be there for this show.

      And of course this dream concert would include me being on stage serenaded by the boys. Im having trouble deciding on which song I'd want to be serenaded to....either INBYH, What Makes You Different, or More than That. Heck, its my dream concert- they'll serenade me for all 3 songs! The last piece of this puzzle would be to include several shirtless Backstreet Boys throughout the concert. I could keep going and going on this wish, but I think the genie would cut me off by this point and I don't think I could handle much more excitement.

    2. For my second wish, I wish to have dinner with the Backstreet Boys. So let me paint the picture here. Me dining with the Backstreet Boys and their families in the main dining room of the cruise. We enjoy a nice leisurely 3-course meal with some of the best food I've ever had in my life. We're just chatting, laughing, discussing current events and just getting to know each other as regular people. This is another dream of mine, just to be able to sit down and talk to them as a normal person, not as Backstreet Boys. So perhaps that wish wasn't as elaborate as I intended, but I think its simplicity is what makes it special, thus its still worthy of one of my prized wishes.

    3. My third and final wish would be to paired up with the boys for all of the fun games/events they do on board. I really enjoy playing board games and I think doing something fun WITH the boys would be a blast. Especially after seeing how competitive they are. And to clarify, not the game shows they perform for us, but on a 'normal' cruise they typically do little events like trivia games, scavenger hunts, bingo, name that tune, pictionary, Quest, etc. So I would want to do all these fun little games with BSB as my partner. I like the idea of us being on a team together and working towards a common goal, all the while having a good time and just laughing along the way.

      Plus I think it would get all the laughs I need just watching their dynamics during the games. Nick would probably be clueless and trying to figure out the rules to bingo. Howie would probably be making sexual comments throughout. I'd have Brian helping us cheat, making sure we win. And AJ would not be of much help either considering he didn't even know how to play musical chairs. Looks like I'd have to wish for Kevin to be there yet again to carry the team through. But win or lose, this would be a day to remember.
    I really struggled on narrowing down my wish list because my imagination kept getting the better of me. I had several runner up wishes which I will also share:
    • Snorkeling and/or swimming with the dolphins excursion with the Backstreet Boys in the beautiful crystal blue water of the Caribbean. A few items on my bucket list, so it would be great to cross those off with my four of my favorite men.
    • Going clubbing with the boys in the nightclub, but lets pretend that 1500 other fans weren't trying to dance with them as well.
    • Some cruise ships do movie under the stars. They put out lounge chairs with blankets and popcorn. So Id want to do a movie under the stars with BSB. I'm not sure what movie I'd pick, but i think it would a fun comedy. Nothing too serious.
      Movie Under the Stars with BSB
    • Backstreet photo session extravaganza. I'd want to go around to all those fun photo ops around the ship and take a bunch of fun pictures with the boys. I'd want a good mix of serious pictures and of course fun poses as well. There would be different outfits and different combinations of me and the boys.
      I think about how stressed I am during any meet & greet photo sessions. So if we could just spend an hour or 2 doing all the pictures I could possibly ever want and then some, I'd never have to bother them for a picture again. So its really a win/win, or so I'd like to convince myself. I just like the idea of having a lifetime supply of pictures and never having to worry about which boy i want to stand next to in a picture ever again. But along with this, I'd also have to wish the photos were like 95% off otherwise I'd go broke buying them all. Or perhaps a coupon for buy 1 get 75 free.
    • They generally have dance classes on board so I'd love to take one of those dance classes with them, or if I'm doing the wishing, taught by them.
      What would your wishes be? I'd love to hear what you all can dream up. I just kindly ask that you keep these wishes PG, as this isn't a fanfic, its a family friendly blog (well for the most part).

      Sunday, February 19, 2012

      Prom Night Unabridged

      Prom night Backstreet style was themed as 'A Night to Remember'. And what made this night memorable to me was the guest appearance by Kevin. Very special indeed.

      The boys were running on Backstreet time per usual, but it was definitely worth the wait. Kevin was the only Backstreet Boy who wore a classy classic tux, the other 4 boys all decided to take a more goofy approach. Howie wore a white tux like Tony Montana from Scarface, Brian sported a turquoise tux, and Nick and AJ took inspiration from Dumb and Dumber with an orange and light blue tux respectively.

      So the boys came out and threw out some shirts into the audience. Howie immediately starts dancing like a mad man and the boys went around introducing their outfits. Kevin indicated he "wasn't very creative" with his classic tux. Truthfully, his was my favorite. But since all the boys were trying to be based off a movie character, Nick assigned Kevin's outfit to be based off of Meet Joe Black; Howie assigned him to be from Chicago; AJ deemed him as 007; and Brian appointed him to be from Men in Black. Whatever you call it- he looked good.

      AJ iterated that he and Nick never went to prom so they had to make that the best prom night ever. And that was pretty much the entire intro. Short, sweet and to the point.

      Credit- Justin Segura
      Nick- “We’re adults now I can see things now like shit. Back in the day we would’ve gotten in trouble and I would’ve been spanked”
      The highlight of the evening was the boys singing I Still with Kevin. Absolutely amazing. Definitely sent chills down my spine:

      I Still with Kevin. Simply magical.

      In my opinion, the evening peaked early with this moment. They segue into playing a bunch of music and Nick hops on the drums.

      Next on the agenda was for the boys to "pick" their prom queens, which were in fact pre-selected randomly by plastic crowns placed in goody bags. Had I known these existed, I probably would've stalked those goody bags and sneaked one of those crowns away before they made their way to the cabins. Heck, at one point during the beach party I half-contemplated running around Nassau buying every plastic crown on the island hoping one of them would match. But I just couldn't tear myself away topless Backstreet Boys.

      Anyway, the boys had their prom queens and discussed what song they would be dancing to. Then this conversation happened:
      Nick- “See I think it’s better to do the Perfect Fan versus that song that AJ used to grind to on the stage.”
      AJ- “That’s not a prom song.”
      AJ- “I was 15 when we cut that. What do I know about sex at 15?”
      Howie- “You had no business humping that stage.”
      So Jen goes on and crowns all 5 boys as the prom kings. Then the 5 ladies were crowned as prom queens. They go do their dance to the Perfect Fan and Nick was incredibly goofy with his dance, which was cute to watch.

      The rest of the nigh was largely uneventful, except of course to the 5 gals who were chosen as prom queen. The boys did some classic line dances like the Cha cha slide, Electric Slide, and YMCA.

      Nick- “I wouldn’t recommend this to anybody. I’m sorry. They’re still doing it. You look like cattle…May as well call that the sheep dance.”
      Nick's enthusiasm for the line dancing was just bursting out of him. I tended to agree with him though. So they finish up their brief line dancing and then Brian allows all the prom queens to do their shout outs. Nothing horribly noteworthy happened after that.

      Well that's all folks. I wish there was more to write, but that was pretty much how the night ended. My personal experiences with prom night was not as magical as I had hoped, which is largely evident just in the length of this post as compared to some of the other events. I think the night was super special to 5 fans, but the majority of the rest of us had nothing much to do but stand by and awkwardly watch them have their moment. Or maybe that was just how I felt. Now I do place a lot of the blame on myself for having such high expectations for the night, but I still think the deck party was lacking overall. The only saving grace was seeing Kevin sing I still.

      One last thing, in case you're curious, here were a few songs they played throughout the evening:
      I Know You Want Me, I Gotta Feeling, I Still, Gold Digger, Crazy In Love, Be Faithful, Up in Here, Party Up, This is How We Do It, Bring Em Out, Turn Me On, Get Busy, One More Time, Don't Stop Believing, Party Rock, Baby Got Back, The Perfect Fan, Crank That Solider Boy, Black & Yellow, Electric Slide, YMCA, What's My Name.

      What did you think of prom night?

      Wednesday, February 15, 2012

      I'm Taking Off - My Weekend with Nick

      I'm taking a brief break from post-cruise wrap up to share my stories from Nick's I'm Taking Off tour. I'm so fortunate to have had the pleasure to go to 3 of Nick's concerts. Here's how they went down...

      February 3, 2012 - Baltimore
      I was incredibly nervous/excited/anxious for this show given that Nick's sister had passed away only three days prior. Especially since I had VIP for this show, I didn't have a clue as to what I would say to him or what kind of spirits he'd be in. I'm already incredibly nervous when I meet a Backstreet Boy, let alone under these set of circumstances.However I tried not to think too much about it and had a great time meeting up with all my friends.

      Me and Amber anxiously awaiting to see Nick
      We got to the venue super early, so we played the 'Hurry up and Wait' game for the next 7 hours. Don't you just love that game? I love that game just about as much as Justin Timberlake's voice. I find the whole general admission process just very stressful. But as soon as we were let into the sound check party all that anxiety melted away when Nick walked out on stage. During sound check Nick was reluctant to take off his hood. Here's why...

      Nick's crazy hair during sound check
      He informed us that his bus broke down, which apparently meant that he didn't have access to a brush either. The sound check went along smoothly with some fun questions and interactions from the crowd. He seemed to be doing well. Next up was the meet & greet portion of the VIP. No matter how many times I've met him before, I still get those butterflies in my tummy.

      I inched my way closer and closer to my main squeeze, and some fans were trying to talk to me in line, but I couldn't really concentrate because I had to switch into 'meeting Backstreet mode'. Do all those last minute checks- hair, makeup, teeth, boobs, etc. You know, making sure everything was where it needed to be.

      Then my precious 10 seconds came. I got my hug from Nick and we posed for our picture. Now I did get a chance to talk to him for a few seconds, but the topic is pretty embarrassing, so I'm reluctant to post it. So as long as you promise not to make fun of me, I suppose I can share.

      Me and Nick
      First you should know that I do play World of Warcraft. My boyfriend got me into it, not Nick. I swear. I don't play nearly as often as most, but when I found out Nick played, I wanted to join his guild. Which I did. Now that you have some background, our "conversation" was about just that. And I use the quotation marks because I still don't think those 10 seconds count as a full blown conversation. But its a start. I feel like I get better and better each time I meet them. Anyway, I told him that his guild misses him and he went on for a little bit about how he's been busy and wants to get back into it.

      After the meet and greet, time for the show to begin. I was able to accomplish one of my life long Backstreet goals at this concert. Front row! Yes- the coveted front row. I was in total disbelief the whole time

      Pic of Nick from the front row

      I won't get into too many specifics of the show. I loved the set list and it was really nostalgic to hear some songs from his first record. My fave being- I Got You. That was such a treat to hear. Another favorite was Burning Up.

      I Got You

      I remember thinking at one point during the show that I miss him. He was standing like 3 feet in front of me and I still missed him. Is that possible? It's this insatiable desire and I just can't seem to get enough of him!

      The Great Divide

      Overall I think I was really nervous watching him because I wasn't sure how his performance would be impacted by Leslie's passing. I didn't let myself enjoy the show as much as I could've. But Nick's performance was great. He got a little choked up during Falling Down, but he did very well.

      Another thing that completely shocked me about this concert is that even though I was front row, I wasn't pushed once. I was expecting to be black & blue (backstreet reference not intended) by the end from being pushed into the barrier. But the crowd was surprisingly calm and well-behaved. I wish it could always be like that.

      I went home that night and don't think I got but maybe an hour of sleep, if that. I was too excited replaying all the events over the evening, and getting excited for my show the next day as well.

      February 4, 2012 - Philly
      Another fun-filled day of Nick antics was in store for this overcast Saturday. My partner in crime for the day was Kim, and we made the 2 hour trek up to Philly, listening to BSB  the whole way up. I love BSB road trips!

      Kim and I at the Philly show
      So before the show, we knew Nick was making an appearance at the local radio station. Even though we didn't have tickets, we figured it couldn't hurt to go check it out and stand-by in the event of any no-shows. That plan didn't pan out as we hoped, but we did get to see him come and go from the station. He did take a few pics with fans on the way out, but it was clear he was in a rush and reluctant to do any in the first place. So we didn't push him to do a pic. Just enjoyed being in his presence.

      So at this point I experienced my most embarrassing Backstreet moment ever. Oh it was a doozy, thus I'm not going publish it. Maybe if you catch me drunk on the next cruise, I'll spill the beans. But until then, I'm going to fast forward ahead to the sound check party.

      I had VIP again for the Philly show. Nick actually brushed his hair today, which was nice.I thought the fans asked some fun questions that day. They asked 'If you could create any iPhone app, what would it be?' His response was a very 'Nick' response...

      "Man, it would be so cool if they had like a fart detector. And they had one. They had like several. They had like 10. And they're so funny."

      Next on the agenda was the meet & greet. When I got up to the front, Nick's body guard, Mike recognized me. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. It could mean I'm one step closer to Nick recognizing me, or it could mean that Mike thinks I'm a crazy fan they need to keep an eye out for. Hopefully its the former. But Mike and I chatted for a bit before I met Nick again.

      Today I didn't have anything planned to say to him. Just got my picture and I'm really happy with how it turned out.

      I look drunk in this picture. Drunk off Nick!
      After the meet & greet, time for the concert. I had probably 4th row or so. I felt a little less inhibited today because I knew Nick couldn't see me as well. So I let loose a bit more and belted out the songs.

      I'd say my favorite part of the show was when he dedicated 'Falling Down' to Leslie. He told us to really pay attention to the words, and I did. I put away the camera, and just took in the moment. It was every special.

      My other favorite part of the show was when he joked around that all we want to hear him talk about is sex.

      I love how passionate he gets!
      He looks so much like Aaron
      Nick mid-Burning Up dance
      After the show I finally was able to catch up with all my cruise girls. I wish we could've had more time to catch up but I think we were all tired, cold, and ready to go home.

      Me and my girls

      February 6, 2012 - Boston
      This was a last minute-unexpected concert. I found out I had to be in Boston for work on the 7th, which in turn meant I had a free flight and hotel to see Nick. Couldn't get much better than that.

      This concert almost didn’t happen though. After several hours of flight delays, I barely made it to the show. Luckily I got to the venue with 25 minutes to spare until Nick appeared on stage. Thus unfortunately meant I ended up standing in the back. Concerts simply aren’t as much fun when you’re further away and struggling to see. However Nick put on a spectacular show.

      The neat thing about this concert was that Jonathan Knight was in the audience. He tweeted he was at the concert with his sister and word quickly spread throughout the venue. I know a few girls were able to go get a picture with him. I just didn’t want to miss any bit of Nick to do so. Jonathan did brush past me on the way out, but as he was doing so, he uttered to his sister, “Keep moving or we’ll never get out of here.” That told me he probably wasn’t going to stop for pictures.

      Jonathan Knight watching Nick
      I think this was my least favorite show of the 3 I attended. A couple reasons for that. First off, I didn’t have VIP.  I unfortunately think I’ve spoiled myself and the experience just isn’t the same when I can’t get a hug from Nick before the show. I also think the VIP pumps you up, and obviously extends the excitement to make it last a few hours longer.

      Another reason why I didn’t enjoy this concert as much was because I was there by myself. Not sure if any of you readers are in the Boston area, but I travel up there a lot for business and need some Backstreet friends! Its definitely more fun when you can share the experience with someone. Otherwise I find that I feel self conscious about jumping up and down and screaming. Not sure why that is.

      Lastly, I just feel that Nick put on a better show in Philly. Vocally, I think he was stronger.

      I don’t want it to seem all negative- I had a blast. It’s really fun to see Nick in a city that I’ve never seen him in. My favorite performance of the night was The Great Divide. Love that song.

      Nick singing his heart out

      Overall I had a fantastic weekend. Got to see Nick perform three times and saw a ton of my friends. Plus I got a Backstreet fix that will have to hold me over for a while.

      Saturday, February 11, 2012

      Howie D's Backstreet Tour of Israel

      A few days ago Howie announced that he would be doing a 10 day trip to Israel. This totally took me by surprise. The thought of spending 10 days with Howie anywhere, doing anything, sounds absolutely incredible. In case you missed it, be sure to check out Howie D's Backstreet Tour of Israel.

      When I first saw this announcement, I clearly had a lot of thoughts running through my head. I truthfully couldn’t believe it. The Backstreet Boys have been doing quite a few trips recently with their fans. First they had 2 cruises, then Nick did his birthday weekend in Vegas, now Howie is doing a full blown 10 day trip in Israel. 13-year old Laura never would've imagined this in her wildest dreams.

      To Go or Not to Go?

      I can’t tell you how much I wish I could do this trip; but at this point in time, it’s just not feasible. Cost is clearly the #1 inhibitor of me going. I swear that the ultimate goal of these boys is to completely wipe out my savings account. Plus I need slightly more than a week to come up with the $4,000 needed for this trip.

      But another factor for me personally is that I’ve already been to Israel...twice. I've climbed up Masada, shopped on Ben Yehuda Street, floated in the Dead Sea, and took a jeep through the Golan Heights. I've even seen where Jesus is buried.  Thus as I look over the itinerary, it wouldn’t be my first choice of a location, simply because I’ve already done about 80% of the things on here before. And on that note, if anyone out there is considering this trip and has questions about what to expect with the Israel portion of it, feel free to contact me and I'll do my best to answer any questions.

      The last reason why I'd be hesitant to do this trip is that it seems very Christian-focused and I’m not Christian. I’m afraid I wouldn’t really be able to get nearly as much out of it.

      At least these are a few of the excuses I’m trying to tell myself so I don’t feel as bad about not being able to go. Deep down I know how absolutely amazing it would be to have that kind of experience with Howie and 100 other Backstreet fans. You’d get to spend 10 days with a Backstreet Boy. That’s unheard of! There's no doubt this trip be absolutely amazing.

      Israel or Cruise?

      I don't know about you all, but I can really only afford one of these big trips a year. At least until I decide to sell one of my kidneys. This year, it doesn’t seem like we’ll get a BSB cruise, thus I’m planning a 2 week trip to Europe. Just so conveniently happens to be when NKOTBSB will be there. Funny how that worked out, huh? But seeing as how I can only afford one of these trips a year, it made me think if I'd rather do an experience like this as opposed to the cruise. I honestly can't decide.

      Why I'd Prefer to go to Israel with Howie over a cruise?
      • I assume something like this will be a lot more relaxing because you have so much more time with him. Unless Howie was anything like he was on the last cruise and that inner party animal comes out... in which case I couldn't last that long.
      • 10 days allows you a lot of time to develop some great friendships with the girls going on the trip. 
      • This is an experience you do WITH Howie as opposed to the cruise which I feel is more BSB doing it FOR the fans.
      • More intimate. 100 people vs 1000+ fans on the cruise
      • Get to see Howie in a totally different element. The cruise you're still seeing them do concerts and "performing" for us. This trip I bet you'll see more of Howie's non-BSB side, which I think would be really neat.
      • A more meaningful trip where I could see a ton of historically significant sites
      Why I'd Prefer to go a cruise than Israel?
      • Get all 4 Backstreet Boys (well technically 5)
      • Its cheaper
      • A ton more convenient since I live on the east coast of the US
      • BSB 24/7. No where for them to go! Based on the itinerary outlined on the Israel trip, it doesnt seem like Howie will be with you every step of the way. Of course I could be wrong.
      • The activities on the cruise seem more fun. For example I think its more fun to watch the boys compete in a game show than stand in some ancient ruins with Howie. 
      • I'd have more friends going 
      There's a tons of pros and cons to each, but I'm keeping it relatively simple. So I'm curious, anybody out there who reads this blog considering signing up for this? And if not, is there anything that could sway your mind?
      • Would you consider going if it were a different Backstreet Boy hosting the event? 
      • Or perhaps if all the Backstreet Boys were there? 
      • Maybe if it were a different destination?
      • Would you go if the group size was less? 
      • What about if it was maybe 25% cheaper?
      • If the timing was different?
      • The experience wasn't so religious focused?
      I can honestly say with maybe one or more of these factors changing, I'd much more heavily consider it. 

      Seeing Howie do something like this almost gets me thinking- what’s next? These trips just keep getting bigger and better. Before you know it, I'd be turning this blog into ‘Vacationing with the Backstreet Boys.’ That really has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?

      I also can't help but wonder if other boys might jump on the bandwagon and do a trip of their own. If Nick ever did anything like this in Europe, I probably would actually sell one of my kidneys to go. I better start savings just in case.

      Tuesday, February 7, 2012

      Your Favorite Memories

      You may have noticed that I asked everyone for their favorite memory in my Backstreet Cruisie survey but didn't give any awards for that category. I know I'm being cheesy here, but everyone is a winner! I had so much fun reading everyone's response so I felt it deserved its own separate post.

      Here are all of YOUR favorite moments from the cruise. If you didn't get a chance to take the survey or you may have skipped that question, feel free to post your favorite memory in the comments section below or email me and I'll update this post. You can also email me if you want me to link your memory to your blog/twitter/etc. Enjoy!

      Brian remembered me during the photo session from the Wylee Party and the Pre-cruise event and called me "Kentucky Girl" as we had been discussing the University of Kentucky at the Wylee party.  I was taken aback when he remembered me.
      Anne Marie
      Getting a picture with Kevin on prom night.
      I got to swim with Nick in Nassau & got a group hug from him, that was the best.
      Every second was so amazing to me! I have so many memories and friendships that I have made that I know will last forever!
      Melissa Duncan aka @melissa8313
      Nick: running into him in the hallway deck 6 at 330am.  Having a moment with him during 80's night.  "look at that hair,  omg nick,  that's hot,  touches hair,  he grabs my hand...
      Brian: talking to him during sail away about nicks pants,  getting him to sign my flag of him,  yelling at fans to get out of the way at the beach party so he could pass.  Watching him be free on pj night,  brian taking my camera and taking a pic of us on 80's night. 
      Aj: getting a picture with him o.  80's night when i went in for group photos he says nice to meet u... Im like wtf nice to meet me then i grab his ass.  Lol.  Seeing him in the hallway deck 6 at 6am acting a fool with others.  Grabbing his butt multiple times on pj night and getting a pic.  Lol. 
      Kevin : getting a pic with him,  saying ty so many times. 
      Howie: pic on 80's night and at the beach.  Enjoying his other side... The machine who parties all the time.  And with nick and aj,  the private conversation on the lido deck that was funny and memorable.

      Silvia Machielsen
      Meeting Howie at the Bahama's on my Birthday
      Walked up the stairs and saw Nick. I said Hey Nick and he motioned to go give him a hug.
      Desiree (SingleMomDes)
      At lunch the first day Howie walked past me just as I was starting to eat, I asked for a photo and he said sure and waited patiently with his arm around me as we got my camera turned back on...waited 14yrs for the best photo I took all weekend, I'll always be thankful for that
      NY best friend Danielle rocking out pinks raise your glass at karoake & being with my BSB fam
      Getting picked to play truth or dare.
      Partying with HOWIE alllllll night!!!
      Winning door dec!!!!
      Chelsea Smith
      Being with nick and AJ up on the deck after the pj party. Hearing AJ talk about his wedding, nick (drunkenly lol) talk about his life and about the fans, was just a really special thing to be a part of. It was a smaller group of ppl, everyone put their cameras away, it was just really nice.
      I have to pick just one? Impossible!
      Jennifer Blackwell
      I just met brian littrell at the same hotel that i was stay for the night... i met aj mclean at the beach for the first time and they are the best people that i really want to meet for a long time since i was 14 years old... I really want to said thank them to be nice to me to take a pic with me because i was their awesome fan in the world....
      We randomly ran into Brian twice in the hall...just me, my friend, him and his bodyguard...the night of prom night. It was awesome because he just talked to us for a few minutes without any other fans being around.
      Meeting new and other BSB friends.
      "I just said ""Hi AJ"", and he said ""How you doing sweet"", and my brother recorded!"
      Has to be Brian crowd surfing! Right before he started I thought to myself JOKINGLY, "I should touch his butt!" I decided to be good & not grabby though. But lo & behold, that is the part of him that was passed to me! I also ended up holding his legs because NO ONE else around me was. When I couldn't move any further, I had to let go of him & that's when he fell on that girl! I am super glad though that no one around me knew what to do, though! It was so awesome & it made the trip for me!
      Cynthia Irani
      Being Nick's prom queen.  He made me laugh and it was an amazing experience :-D
      Kevin on prom night turning around to take a pic with me specifically! Awesome.
      My best memory is Brian crying while singing Mary did you know. I cried too, it was very emotional and a very special moment that I'll remember the rest of my life. Also getting a pic with Nick at the beach party.
      Hanging out on the back of the boat with Nick while he was in his ninja turtle pj's having "deep thoughts" :)
      Mascia Cantoni
      When i took the pic with him!!! i know, it could look stupid but... it was very important to me!
      Tati Brayner from Brazil
      Nick  giving me his bottle of water at sail away event. an than coming back just to give me the cap.
      Having Howie sing Helpless when she smiles to me at group A's concert.
      Meeting Kevin, it made the experience of meeting the guys this year complete
      Gosh getting a photo with Kevin <3
      DJ Yo-C
      Seeing Kevin!!!
      Sammi Goff
      I got to talk to Brian about how much I wanted his pink shoes, talked to Howie before In It To Win It, talked to Kevin about how awesome I thought it was that he was there, Nick liked my tattoo and remembered it the next day, and got to hug AJ 3 times even though I wad too nervous to have a decent conversation with him. Lol. Oh.. and Brian tried to tackle my friend because we were wearing Colts jerseys hahaha. It was awesome.
      I don't think I can pick just one memory, and there isn't enough space or time to even begin on my favorite parts of the cruise.  :)
      Nick and AJ said they liked my t-shirt during the meet & greet/photo session
      Bethany Drader
      Concert, the boys came up to the second level and each of them held my hand while singing As Long As You Love Me to me!
      Seeing the concert first row!!
      Gaby Zamudio
      I have a lot of memories,HOWIE i signed my t-shirt, Nick and Kevin i was greeted, the last day ran into Nick on the boat and we could talk with him and AJ, Howito took my hand when we ran and good of all i got very good moments, the day of the meet & greet brian approached to greet me was in shock and nervous ... everything was awesome
      The best memory certainly when we arrive in the boat ...we were at the bar drinking our first drink of the cruise and Howie just appear behind us ! Alot of girls jump on him ...we just stay there and smile to him ...he smile back and say thank you ....Or at the cameo club AJ kinda remember we were from Montreal and on our way down Leighanna spot us and was so happy to see us ! She wave to us like a crazy loll

      My best time was just when I met Nick in the elevator .. I did too much fun when I made ​​a funny face for me that I was photographing!

      Jennifer Hall
      When nick held my hand & was looking right at me while singing. I wanted to melt. Lol
      As I sat down to think about my favorite moment of the Backstreet Boys cruise, I realized two things. First, it’s hard to choose only one. Second, it’s hard to express in words the excitement you feel every single minute on that boat! If I had to choose one thing though, the highlight would have to be the entire concert. Even though I have seen BSB live multiple times, this was by far the best performance I’ve ever seen from them! And the thing is… they didn’t need fancy choreography, new music, or an expensive set to put on a good show. It was so special to see the boys be themselves onstage, getting emotional, joking around with each other, and forgetting a few lyrics here and there because they were too busy partying with us the night before to rehearse.  Like many fans, I grew up listening to them and seeing them sing “Don’t Want You Back” for the first time in over a decade was a dream come true. AJ and Nick seemed just as excited!  “If You Want It To Be Good Girl”… who would have ever thought we’d get them to perform that one?! Kevin coming onstage to perform “Drowning” at the very end of the show was the icing on the cake! Although there were hundreds to choose from, the shared connection I felt with the boys and my fellow fans in that moment tops everything.

      Thank you everyone for sharing your favorite memories!

      Friday, February 3, 2012

      BSB Cruisies 2011: The Winners are In

      Well folks, the votes have been tallied and we have our official winners of the coveted BSB Cruisie. As previously noted, all winners will receive one of these bad boys:

      BSB Cruisie Award
      And one other thing before the winners are announced, thank you all for casting your votes and all the great comments!! I was so pleased with the overwhelming response and how many of you voted. Thanks again!

      And without further ado, the winners are:

      Best Theme Party
      • 80's Night
      • Prom Night
      • PJ Night
      By an overwhelming margin, PJ night was voted best theme party and here's why:

      "Easily the most entertaining night! The boys were having fun, we were having fun. And there was no wind! Haha"- Kristen
      "It was the most relaxed dress wise, and the one the guys seemed to have the most fun at."- Desiree
      "The crazy stuff that happened during truth or dare"- Anonymous
      "It was insane, Nick and the marshmallows, Howie and the wiggle, OMG the pillow... the massage, Brian's jumping"- Gaby Z.
      Best Backstreet Boy in a Leading Role (aka your fave BSB in the context of the cruise. Not your fave BSB in general)
      • Brian 
      • Howie
      • Nick
      • AJ
      • Kevin
      It was Howie by a landslide and here's why:

      "Howie was a fucking rock star! I am a Nick Carter girl always will be but Howie partied every night with us until 6am and was up the next day kicking it! He is fucking awesome!"- Anonymous

      "He stayed out and partied all night."- Venus

      "He was a party animal! I had no idea :)"- Babybsbgrl
      "He was out partying all night and was the life of the whole cruise :D"- Salena 

      "He was up latest every night... & he humped a freaking pillow :P"- Jay
      Best Costume Design (aka your fave outfit worn by the boys)
      • Nick in his teenage mutant ninja turtle look on PJ night
      • Howie in his Hugh Hefner look on PJ night
      • Kev in his tux on prom night
      • Boys collectively as Sphynkter
      This was a close race, but in the end, Nick with his TMNT outfit beat out Kevin in his tux. Here's why he won:
      "I love TMNT and I loveee Nick! So what's better than them together?!?! He looked beyond cute!"- Chelsea S.
      "He looked so cute and cuddly"- Cynthia I.
        Best Original Score (aka favorite song from the cruise overall)
        • Sexy and I Know It
        • If You Want it to be Good Girl
        • Party Rock
        This one came down to the wire, but in the end, Sexy and I Know It pulled ahead for the win.

        "Ever since AJ did his pole dance right in front of me at Cameo(pre cruise event) i'm totally obsessed with this song.Love Howie Wiggle to it."- Anonymous

        "Girl, look at that Kevin!"- Janine

        "WIGGLE, WIGGLE, WIGGLE, WIGGLE, WIGGLE...YEAH....(do i really need to say more?!)"- Brandy
          Best Solo Performance (from the concert)
          • Nick Carter with Burning Up
          • Brian Littrell with Mary Did you Know
          • Howie D with Lie to Me
          • AJ McLean with London
          This category was the closest one, but Nick beat out Brian by just 1 vote!
          "I love that song....."- Jennifer B.

          "AMAZING!!!!!!!! and the final "shower"..... wow!!!"- Mascia C.

          "He owned this song.  Water bottle and all"- Melissa D.
            Best Group Performance (from the concert)
            • If You Want it to be Good Girl/Get Down Medley
            • Don't Want You Back
            • Drowning
            • Incomplete Remix
            The entire concert was so great that it clearly was a difficult category. But the cruisie goes to IYWITBBG!
            "I never thought I would ever hear this song live.  It made my LIFE.  :)"- Janine
            "IYWITBGG... enough said!!!"- Jay
            "It's such a treat hearing the boys sing something we never get to hear"- Laura 
              Best Mini Game during In it to Win It (Group A)
              • Hula Hoop Challenge
              • How's it Hanging 
              • Coconut Smoochie
              • Hanky Panky
              No contest here- coconut smoochie for the win.
              "Loved watching it but would've loved a lotttt more if I had been the one playing it with them!!"- Chelsea S.
                Best Mini Game during In it to Win It (Group B)
                • Coconut Smoochie
                • Flip Cup
                • Mini Bikes
                • Nervous Nelly
                No contest here either- coconut smoochie once again.
                "I could not believe some of the possessions the boys got themselves into! (Yes, I said possession on purpose lol)"- Anne Marie

                "OMG DID YOU SEE BRIAN ?? I remember screaming... OMG HE HUMP HER !!"- Anonymous
                  Best Game During Beach Party
                  • Musical Chairs
                  • Wet T-shirt Contest
                  • Volleyball
                  • Twister
                  • Limbo
                  • 3-Legged Race
                  This wasn't even a close one. Musical chairs takes the cruisie.
                  "AJ playing it for the first time in his life..."- Silvia M.

                  "This was really hard...but I enjoyed Kevin giving AJ a hard time about never having played this game before"- Brandy

                  "Was so cute watching the boys play and then Kevin and AJ be the final 2 standing"- Cynthia I.
                    Funniest Moment
                    • Howie having his way with a pillow
                    • Boys posing as Nsync during the sail away party
                    • The boys 'roasting' each other during karaoke
                    • Coconut Smoochie game
                    The funniest moment goes to Howie having his way with a pillow. Classic.
                    "He was so embarrassed and I could not believe he actually did it."- Chrissy
                     "I can honestly say I never thought I would see a Backstreet Boy hump a pillow....ever.  :)"- Janine
                    "I was in such shock I couldn't stop laughing."- Anne Marie
                      Sexiest Moment
                      • AJ participating in the wet t-shirt contest
                      • AJ on the stripper pole in cameo
                      • Howie molesting a pillow
                      • Nick coming out of the ocean shirtless and wet
                      This was a close one, but in the end AJ on the stripper pole pulled into the lead, just barely beating out Nick.
                      "I was front row center. He was staring in my eyes for a bit during it.. I almost melted. And got to touch his bare chest.. amazing."- Sammi G.
                      "Best moment ever. and I was write next to him"- Tati B.
                      "So incredibly sexy. Rochelle is a damn lucky woman!"- Laura
                      Best Howie Moment
                      • Howie + Pillow
                      • Singing Lie to Me
                      • Any time he wiggled
                      • Shirtless on the beach
                      Best Howie moment of the cruise, voted by you cruisers, was any time he wiggled. 
                      "Need to say more...the WIGGLE master"- Silvia M.

                      "Wiggle is awesome"- Tati B.
                        Best Nick Moment
                        • Singing Burning Up
                        • Shirtless on the beach
                        • Getting massaged during his dare on PJ night
                        • Anytime he said "ladieees"
                        And the cruisie goes to...whenever Nick said his infamous "ladies."
                        "Such a classic quote now from the cruise!"- Chelsea S.

                        "I laughed every time! i loved this!!!"- Ashley
                        Best Brian Moment
                        • Singing Mary Did You Know
                        • Crowd Surfing during PJ Night
                        • Doing the Worm during PJ Night
                        • Having the rest of the boys imitate Nsync during the sail away party
                         The best Brian moment of the cruise, hands down, was him singing Mary Did You Know.
                        "I had a hard time choosing this one because I love all of them!  Mary Did You Know was the most emotional moment."- Chrissy

                        "We see silly brian all the was great seeing emotional brian"- Ashley
                          Best AJ Moment
                          • Stripper pole at Cameo (even though its technically pre-cruise, Im still counting it)
                          • Shirtless on the beach
                          • Participating in the wet t-shirt contest
                          • Getting tickled during his dare on PJ night
                          The coveted Cruisie goes to AJ's stripper pole performance at Cameo.
                            "Because I saw a pole and hoped he would pole dance and he did!"- Anne Marie

                            "Holly molly that was hot!"- Anonymous
                            "All I can say is- WOW!"- Anonymous
                            Best Overall Moment
                            • The boys WITH Kev singing 'Safest Place to Hide' at the beach party
                            • Boys shaving a fans head before karaoke
                            • Truth or Dare during PJ night
                            • Boys singing IYWITBGGGYABB during the concert
                            The clear winner was all 5 Backstreet Boys on the beach
                            singing Safest Place to Hide.
                            "I was surprised by how much i loved seeing/hearing kev back with the rest of them...and its great that they sang a more rare song!"- Ashley
                             "I love all five Boys together.  :)"- Sammi G.
                              Best Overall Event
                              • Sail Away Party
                              • Game Show - In it to Win It
                              • 80's Night
                              • Beach Party
                              • Concert
                              • Prom Night
                              • Meet & Greet/Photo Session
                              • Karaoke
                              • PJ Night
                              This was a tough category and the votes were widely cast. However the concert was the fan favorite of the cruise.

                              "I've never cried at a BSB concert before, but I did at this one! 1st when AJ was singing to "his" girl during HWSS, then I cried during Siberia. And when Brian cried during his solo, I lost it! Very moving, indeed."- Kathryn

                              "Group a's concert was the best.  It was high energy because they did round 1 the day before. And not knowing the set list was even better.  Each new song was no way no way..."- Melissa D.

                              "Lots of fan interaction, best remixes, Kevin was there, best concert ever."-  Melissa

                              "Kevin and Drowning + The boys singing to me"-  Bethany D.

                              Thanks everyone for casting your votes for the first annual BSB Cruisie Awards!