Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Europe Cruise

So I stumbled on this video from a recent sound check party where the fans ask the boys if they would consider doing a European cruise.

Boys discussing a potential European Cruise

I found the answer quite interesting. Typically when they've been asked this question in the past, the simple reply was, "We'd love to do a European cruise." Well this time Kevin chimed in and said they've actually trying to develop a relationship with a cruise line that operates in the Mediterranean. I still don't know how seriously they're entertaining the idea, but it certainly got me thinking.

As an American, of course I'm biased and hope they decide to stick with the US. As much as I've always wanted to do a Mediterranean cruise, I think combining that with a BSB cruise isn't necessarily the way I'd choose to go. For starters the cost scares me immensely, especially factoring in the conversion rate. Now I'm starting to fathom what you international fans must go through! I also don't think I'd be able to enjoy the ports because there would be too much Backstreet activity to focus on. I barely get to see any of the islands we do now. 

There are clearly still so many unknowns, its hard to say if I'd actually go. So many factors to consider- from cost to timing. I do know I'd try my best to be on that ship because at this point I don't think I could miss a BSB cruise. I also imagine I'd extend my trip and make a point to see some of Europe.

Putting aside the fact whether or not I would go, I do think it makes business sense for them, just given how high the demand is in Europe. I suspect one of the reasons the cruise hasn't sold out this year is because there's a European tour. Fans simply just don't have the budget for both. 

One last thought- if they decide to use a European based company aside from Rose Tours, I think the cruise has the potential to be very different. Rose Tours has a strict formula that they stick to. Beach Party + 3 Themed deck parties + Game show + Concert =  BSB Cruise. Not saying thats a bad thing, because it really is a great formula. But I can only imagine that if a different company were running the show we might have a totally different experience.

Found another video at a recent after party where AJ brings up wanting to do a European cruise. Granted we can't always trust AJ, but they're definitely talking about it.

Cruise talk starts 3 minutes in.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Top 5 Merch Items from 2013

It feels like every year the merchandise gets more and more expensive, but they continue to have some neat items that make me want to my rack up insane charges on my sail & sign card. Today I'm counting down my top 5 favorite items from the last cruise.

5. Beach Mat ($30)
I give them credit for coming up with something different. And it makes my list because its practical and could've been used at the beach party. 
Backstreet Boy Cruise 2013 mat

4. Silver Picture Frame ($65)
While I personally think $65 for a 4x6'' picture frame is completely unreasonable, I figure it's a good way to store those great memories.

Backstreet Boy Cruise 2013 picture frame
3.  Yellow T-Shirt ($35-$40) 
This seemed to be the most popular choice of T-shirt this year because of the fun, bright color. Now I'm kind of regretting not getting it.

Backstreet Boy Cruise 2013 yellow tshirt

2. 20th Anniversary Cruise Tote Bag ($55)
Practical and cute tote to bring to the beach party, or carry your goodies around the ship. I also like it because it's subtle.

Backstreet Boy Cruise 2013 tote bag

1. Pink Hoody ($85)
Even though these hoodies get more and more ridiculously priced every year they're always my favorite. I think this one is better quality than years past. And it gets extra bonus points for being a fun, pink color this year.

Backstreet Boy Cruise 2013 pink hoody

AKA other cool things you can buy:

  • Nick's Book- Facing the Music and Living to Talk About it ($25)
  • Howie's CD- Back to Me ($30)
  • AJ's Skullee Rose Baseball Hat- ($30)
  • In a World Like This Tote Bag- In case you missed getting this on tour
  • Kevin's Cup ($20)
  • Beach Ball ($30)
  • Gray Cruise Tank ($40) & White BSB Tank ($65)

Backstreet Boy Cruise 2013 tank top
  • Pink Long Sleeve Shirt ($65) & Gray T-Shirt ($35-$40)

Backstreet Boy Cruise 2013 pink and gray shirt
  • Beach Towel- This doesn't make my list because historically the material has been so cheap and practically disintegrates upon first use.

Backstreet Boy Cruise 2013 beach towel

Hope this helps give you an idea of how much to start saving for next year. Happy shopping :)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Denise's Cruise Review

I'm so excited I have yet another awesome guest blogger for you, one of my good friends, Denise. She is a Nick girl from Chicago and she's been a diehard fan ever since she saw “As Long As You Love Me” on the VH1 countdown. The 2013 cruise was her first and she's excited to share her stories with you. She also has a super fun blog, The Life of a Backstreet Boys Fan, where she shares some of her other encounters. I love being able to share other reviews of the cruise because I obviously can't  be everywhere at once so Denise is going to share her play by play of the cruise. Enjoy!

DAY ONE: Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday morning, I woke up around 7 a.m. which was really 6 a.m. for me. I took a shower and got dressed and went downstairs in hunt of food. I think there were 31 floors and I was on the 14th floor, but when I got to the main floor I went to the café. It was all pastry stuff. I needed some heavier food that wasn't all sweets. I ended up eating at the buffet at the restaurant in the hotel. It was really good. I couldn't eat a lot though because I kept feeling like I was going to choke because of my coughing. I got a really nice bacon and cheese omelet and some hashbrowns and chamomile tea. I also tried some yogurt and more bacon lol. After I got done eating, I went back upstairs to gather my things and get ready to leave for the ship! I ended up walking to Ashley's room on a different floor to see if she and her roommate still would want to split a cab ride. We met downstairs and I checked out of my room. Then we found out about a shuttle for $6 to get from the hotel to the port and we took that. It took awhile for us to get going because they wanted to make sure that the whole bus was filled to get their gas worth, but we finally left. The whole bus was filled with BSB fans and some were playing BSB music!!! The cruise and BSB sisterhood was officially starting! It was nice to look at Miami on our way down to the port. I found some of the houses to look run down and when Ashley and I were walking outside by the hotel, it kind of smelled bad. If I ever move to Florida to get away from this crappy Illinois weather, I would probably pick Orlando or Tampa to move to over Miami. Anyway, it was still fun to look around.

When we arrived at the port, we got our luggage and made our way inside to the line to get in and for security. I took a picture of the Welcome to the Port of Miami sign and a security lady told me I had to delete it because it had the security men in the picture. I deleted it, but found it odd. After security, we went inside and were able to see BSB make their way to board the ship! That was so cool and I'm glad we left early to see that. It does pay to leave early just for that. All the fans were cheering and I ran to catch a glimpse and almost went passed the guy who gave me an itinerary, but I still got it. After that, we got in line to check ourselves in and then we had to find another person to give us a number to go in after that. When our number was called, which I think was 31, we proceeded inside to get a picture taken. Us three ended up getting our pictures taken together and I ended up buying this one because the guy took individuals of us, but my arm looked fat in the one of just me and I thought it would be nicer to have one of us three. After this, we boarded the ship!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When I boarded the ship, I looked around and instantly noticed a lot of BSB decorations and the bright, big elevators. I actually teared up a little because I couldn't believe I was actually on the BSB cruise! We tipped to have our luggage sent to our room, so I just had my carryon bag. Us girls parted ways, and I started taking pictures of everything and visited practically every deck. It was fun to explore the ship this way. I was getting pretty tired of lugging my carryon, but I think that was the right way to do it. It took awhile to get the luggage to the room and they just set it outside, but I'm still glad I did it this way because there would have been no way for me to get up close to the guys when they made their first appearance on the ship. I also took this time to find my room. I went into the cabin M124 first before my roommate I had from the match program was in there, but I didn't leave any of my stuff. I took pictures of the room too. My roommate from the match program also had the name of Ashley and she is really nice. We talked via email a few times before the cruise and on the cruise ended up hanging out here and there.

I made my way to the lido deck after getting some more pictures and ate a cheeseburger and fries and pretty soon it was time for BSB to come out! I remember asking some girls if I could sit at their table and they said yes. Then after about 20 minutes, they left and I guess one of their friends came back. This was the first rude encounter I had. She said I was in her seat. LOL I looked at her like she was nuts. There were like four other chairs empty at the same table and she wanted the seat I was in. What a weirdo. Luckily, I was done eating my food so I just gave her a weird look and left.

It was also around this time that I seen Brian and Leighanne checking out the food on the lido deck and got a picture, but the girl's head was in the way. Oh well.

During this time I also got some wine glasses that had the BSB cruise logo on it that girls were just going to throw out. They were selling them for $17, but I didn't want the alcohol and they were selling them without the alcohol but the same price.

Before BSB made their first appearance, AJ was walking by the buffet and I was able to get a picture of him and I, but a rude girl smacked my camera out of the way right when I was snapping the picture so you have half of AJ's face and mine. That was really uncalled for and my second experience with rude fangirls.

When we had to do the emergency drill, I of course ended up being right along the edge of the boat. I'm kind of afraid of heights, so that made me nervous, but that quickly went away and it was time for the BSB to come out!!!!!

For the Hot Hot Hot Sail Away Party, BSB all came out wearing captain uniforms looking VERY handsome. I thought that was such a nice idea. The party begins! I don't remember too much of this except that the guys were interacting and dancing and it seemed to have went by fast.

I also was able to touch Nick's back a couple of times when he got off the balcony during the Hot Hot Hot party.

I thought the music during the whole ship was perfect, especially what Nick played during his Nick at Nite djing. Every song he played I have on my ipod. After the BSB introduction, I ended up going back to my cabin and putting my luggage away. I met two girls along the way that were really nice and we had lunch together. We tried some of that Mongolian food, but it was a bit too spicy for me and I was afraid I might be allergic so I quickly stopped eating it. I actually lost weight on the cruise because there was so much to do, running around, dancing, and the buffet food wasn't that great so I just ate the dinner food. The water was also terrible on the ship. It tasted like rocks were on the bottom of my cup. I couldn't stand it and my roommate was nice enough to let me complain and have some of her bottled water. For the first night's dinner, I got the steak. It was really good and came with a baked potato. I remember getting some strawberry cheese cake that was good too, but nothing compared to the chocolate lava cake. I don't like chocolate at all, but this was so good and was more like a brownie. Also, the wait staff did a dance to Flo Rida's Low which was kind of awkward because one minute everything was so fancy and made me feel like an out-of-place hillbilly (lol) and the next minute they are dancing to a rap song. They also had these weird characters that would come up behind you while you were eating and take a picture of you. I remember a zombie and a pirate. Didn't really care for that.

Since I was in group A early dining, We waited until after 9:30 p.m. for the boys to do Are You Smarter Than a BSB? My seat for this and the concert was all the way in the back in a booth but still on the first floor. For this one, I could see really good but for the concert it wouldn't be that great of a seat. Anyway, the guys were goofing around with the shadow on the backdrop they had and it was so funny. They kept making the microphones look like their members lol and Howie took it to a whole new level when he opened a bottle of champagne lol. I remember AJ saying something about how they get dirtier as they get older and that seemed to be true lol, but it was so funny and just great to see them act like themselves and normal down-to-earth guys. I wish I would have gotten picked for anything on the cruise, but I didn't. Luckily, I got pretty close with every event. (I've been looking at pictures online and it seems like girls were so lucky to have gotten individual pictures with all five guys. Unfortunately, I wasn't that lucky.) For this event, Nick was really determined to win and I thought it was funny when each of the guys had to wear the dunce cap. I thought some of the questions were hard, but it was funny to see the guys being goofy. Nick was using some boxing gloves to punch Kevin in the butt and his hand got stuck in between his legs lol. Brian kept playing with a bouncy ball and it was cute how Kevin still had his captain uniform on and AJ said the rule was we had to salute our captain lol. It was also funny how they each came out and Nick came running out like a nerd and AJ knocked over a chair to show how he was a bad boy. Overall, this was a nice event to see the guys be funny but I wish I could have gotten picked for something, especially the coconut game with Nick, but I didn't even know they did that until after I seen pics online when I came home.

At midnight, the Don't Put Out the Glow Neon Party took full effect! I was so excited about all the themes because all the themes I voted for were picked, but I recommended this theme so I was especially excited about this. I would say that this was probably my favorite of the parties, or at least tied with Bachelorette Night, because it was the first party that started the whole cruise, was the theme I suggested, and was just awesome to see Nick play the drums on the balcony!

I ended up wearing the tie-dye Miami shirt I bought the previous day and the glow necklaces I brought with. The glow stuff I bought from Wal-Mart didn't work that great, but oh well. I actually had the same exact glasses Nick wore that glowed green but didn't bring them because I thought my luggage would be too heavy if I kept adding stuff. Turns out my luggage was only 30 lbs.

After BSB made their way onto the main stage in the middle of the lido deck, I had fun partying. BSB was giving away free drinks and I was given a blue one that had Malibu rum in it. I didn't like the taste, but took a couple of sips. I usually don't drink because I can be drunk all on my own lol, but I had to because it was just a special moment. Once I realized that Nick was up on the balcony, I quickly made my way to right below it. I got a really good spot right in front of him. It was the best moment just to see him let loose and play the drums and sing. AJ was up there with him and Kevin ended up joining too.

I think it was at this party where AJ was teasing Howie because he didn't want to stage dive and AJ said to make sure to grab his balls lol. I was able to help Howie stage dive and Brian.

At one point Nick got a TMNT knit hat from a fan and put it on and then threw it to where I was. I ended up catching it along with two other girls. The one girl gave up pretty quickly and it was down to me and this other girl. I really would like to believe Nick remembered me from Chicago and wanted to throw it to me, but who knows. I'm also a big TMNT fan from when I was a kid so I really wanted this. This girl ended up yanking it right out of my hand really nasty, I mean really nasty, and then laughing and smiling to her friend. Honestly, she is lucky she is still alive. I had to do everything in my power from not smacking her upside the head or ripping her hair out. Kind of an ugly side to me I know, but I didn't do it and I wasn't the one that cockily laughed in someone else's face. Also, I think this girl is on facebook saying how sweet she was behaving on the cruise. Pfft. I really was upset when this happened, but I got the last laugh because I ended up being really close on Bachelorette Night and caught a couple of things Nick threw out. This is when I realized that there were some real bitches on the ship.

I found myself wishing I was up on the balcony, so I asked security how I can get up there. They said that I would need a special wrist band. I asked how you get that and the guy said he didn't know. I ended up going all the way around the other side and got up there, but they had it barricaded. A lot of the girls up there looked skanky, but that's usually how it goes with anything like this, not just BSB. I ended up going right up there after the party was over but no BSBs were there. This was after waiting and resting inside the ship.

The best part of Glow Night was just seeing the BSB be themselves and have fun. I really enjoyed seeing all their smiles throughout the whole cruise and am glad they were having fun too! I really did enjoy Nick playing the drums so much and liked how they had the drums lit up. It was also really cool how Nick was singing to some of the songs, like the new Eminem song.

Because Denise's review is so amazingly thorough, I'm going to point you back to her blog to read the rest of it. Plus it has a ton more great pictures! Day 2; Day 3; Day 4.