Saturday, May 30, 2015

Inside Scoop for First Time BSB Cruisers

I'm anticipating many first time cruisers this year because we're headed across the pond to Europe. So while Rose Tours puts together a lovely FAQ page (which you should probably check out as it has a lot of logistical questions answered) many of you want to know the REAL deal about just exactly what goes down on a BSB cruise. You gotta know if it's worth the money. The short answer is yes. But just in case you're unsure, here's a quick rundown on some frequently asked questions from first timers.

What can I expect on a BSB cruise?
Expect to have the time of your life. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll sing, you'll dance. You'll get to meet the Backstreet Boys. You'll meet some amazing fans from all over the world and hopefully walk away with many new best friends. You'll act like you're 13 the entire time. You'll make some wonderful memories.'s awesome. You just gotta trust me on this one and then thank me later.

Will I get to meet the Backstreet Boys?
You WILL definitely get to meet the Backstreet Boys. I repeat... you will get to meet the Backstreet Boys and make a childhood dream officially come true. You can leave the ship and die happy. No but really, they have a meet & greet session where you are guaranteed to meet all 5 Backstreet Boys and get a group picture with them. And the meet & greet is included in the cost of the cruise, so not to fret!

Proof that you do in fact get to meet them AND get a picture AND they're in sailor outfits
Help! I really want to go but have no one to go with.
As my brother likes to tell me, "Track 3 - In a World Like This." You have a lot of options. Don't let not having a travel buddy stop you. If I let that stop me, I wouldn't have gone on that first cruise 5 glorious years ago and have this lovely blog. You have options. Rose Tours offers a roommate match program and they will pair you up with another cruiser in your situation. Its easy and it works. You can also scour twitter, facebook, the fanclub, or even let me know and I'll try to match you with someone. You're not alone. I guarantee there are others in the exact same situation and would love to room with you.

Also, its super easy to meet people on board. You can literally go up to anyone on that ship and start a conversation with, "So what is your favorite Nick hairstyle?" and proceed to have a 2 hour chat discussing the pros and cons of each of his dos. Any by 'anyone on that ship', I don't mean the Royal Caribbean staff. You might get yourself a few sideways glances.

The hair has come full circle.

Is it worth the money?
Yes, it's expensive. But it's worth every penny. Try not to think about the fact that you could go on a different cruise for half the price and twice as long. Think about how that cruise ship won't have this waiting for you when you board....

How much face time is realistic?
I wish I could tell you we all get to have an intimate lunch with Brian every day. But alas, there's simply not enough BSB to go around. The good news is it is very likely to run into them around the ship. They stay with us all 4 days and are often found roaming around the ship. It's not uncommon to see AJ grabbing lunch at the buffet or Howie shooting craps in the casino. 

Plus there are lots of opportunities to get a selfie, hug, autograph, picture, quick convo, or have Nick sign your body so you can get it tattooed when you get back home (yes this really happens and yes he'll actually do it). The boys really make themselves available during the cruise, especially the deck parties. And if you're patient, you'll hopefully go home with at least 1 or 2 pictures to make all of your friends back home super jealous. I mean, that is the ultimate goal, right?

What's the deal with the photo groups?
"Looking for a Kevin and Brian girl."
"Nick girl looking for a group."
"Need a Howie fan."

When you see these sorts of phrases, or any iteration thereof, it means people are looking to complete their photo group. And I'm sure some go-getters already have theirs figured out.

So as I said above, you'll get to meet the Backstreet Boys and part of that process means finding other fans to take a picture with. For the past 2 cruises they have done photo groups of 4-5 people. So if you're going to leave utterly devastated if you don't stand next to your favorite boy in the photo, you might want to think about getting a group together a month or two before sailing. Otherwise, don't worry about it. There will be other fans who need group members too and the staff will match you up the day of. There is NO need to start worrying about this now.

Is it worth it to get the more expensive cabins?
It's funny. My friends who have gotten the more expensive cabins insist it's absolutely worth it to get the front seats at the shows. Meanwhile my friends who have gotten the cheapo cabins insist it's not worth the extra money to get the better cabins. So what I've concluded - you can't go wrong. (Personally I fall in the latter category and have never felt like I missed out on anything.)

I do feel obliged to point out that this cruise is the first year that the better cabins come with an exclusive BSB event. I emailed Rose Tours trying to pry more info out of them, but sadly they don't have details yet. Color me crazy, but I would like slightly more info before shelling out an extra $1000+.

What sort of events do they have on board?
In typical Backstreet fashion, we won't get this information until 2 weeks before the cruise. So buckle up, you're in for a long wait. Though based on what has happened on past cruises, I expect that they will have some mix of the following events:
  • Sailaway party- Basically BSB in sailor outfits
  • Game show- An hour of watching Brian's competitive side come out
  • Deck/Theme Parties (x3)- Evening of trying to get selfies with the boys in fun costumes
  • Q&A- The boys answering actually decent questions that aren't the typical, "What advice do you have for the new generation of boybands?"
    (Its a tossup as to whether or not they'll have this event. But I really like the Q&A so I hope they do it!)
  • Concert- Please, for the love of Nick Carter, they better do a unique cruise concert like they did last year. That was amazing!
  • Meet & Greet-  Getting hugs from AJ, Brian, Kevin, Nick and Howie. Squeee!
  • Solo events (if we're lucky)
  • Beach Party- Shirtless Backstreet Boys. (Though in my personal opinion I'm doubtful we'll get one this year based on our 2 free port days.)

If you're a first timer and have any other questions, feel free to post below!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

BSB Takes the Mediterranean

Very exciting news today....not only do we have a cruise announcement but we're going to the Mediterranean! Check out all the important cruise info here on

Announcement Info
You want a European Cruise? We did it. You want a 4 day cruise?! It's on. You want all the details? Well buckle up, cause here they are:

MAY 10 - 14, 2016




Presale for past guests & fan club members: June 3rd at 12PM ET

General onsale: June 4th at 12PM ET

My Take
My head is spinning right now. Lots of info to process!

I'm excited for a completely new itinerary and new BSB adventure.
I'm excited to return to Barcelona and La Spezia.
I'm excited to explore Cannes for the first time.
I'm excited we're back to a 4 day cruise. That extra day is sooo nice and I think it will be very necessary for this cruise.
I'm excited that Rose Tours will be running it again; I wasn't sure if they were going to use a European group.
I'm excited that we're doing Royal Caribbean. Lets hope they have 2am pizza like Carnival does ;) I'm excited that my bank account will be completely depleted in no time!

Ok....well not so much that last one. But definitely a lot be excited for!!

Meanwhile the prices aren't as outrageous as I thought they would be. So that's encouraging. One thing I did notice is that the reserved seating now comes with an exclusive BSB party. Intriguing!

Any Questions??
First time cruiser? Need a roommate? Please don't hesitate to email me and I'll help answer any question you may have. Seriously any questions at all - I'm happy to help. Keeping in mind this upcoming cruise is a whole new ball game so I'll do my best! I also have had many cruisers email me in the past needing roommates, so I can do my best at a makeshift roommate match service. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

2016 Cruise Teaser

So the boys just posted a little cruise teaser on their facebook page....

I'm hopeful and optimistic that this means we'll have a cruise announcement sooner than anticipated. The rumors floating around are that BSB and New Kids were swapping cruise times, meaning the BSB cruise would be slated for next May/June 2016. Again- nothing certain, just rumors. Based on that I was previously expecting an announcement in the September-ish time frame.

Meanwhile Kev also just posted a picture of the Barcelona cruise port so it looks like we're going to Europe, ladies (and a few gents)!

Barcelona Cruise Port
Of course living in the US, I'm biased and still hope they stick with Caribbean. But here are my thoughts on a Mediterranean cruise
  • Cost- I suspect in and of itself, just with conversion rates and everything, a Mediterranean cruise will be that much more pricy. Let alone the added flight expense (at least for me). I also figure it'll cost the boys a lot more to fly all of their crew and equipment, cutting into their margins too.

    How I feel thinking about the cost of a Mediterranean BSB Cruise
  • Location- While the Mediterranean would likely have much more exotic and fun ports to explore, it seems like a waste to visit those on a BSB cruise because I'd be so focused on BSB that I don't think I'd take advantage of the sites. I'll be the bozo who returns from Europe and doesn't see anything beyond the airport... 'What Colosseum? I have to go find Nick Carter!'
  • Crowd- The crowd will be completely different on a European cruise. I think a lot of Americans who were able to go in the past might not be able to afford the flight over to Europe. Meanwhile Europeans and others in the Eastern hemisphere who haven't had a chance to go in the past will now have the opportunity. Therefore I think we'd see a whole lot of first time cruisers if they do a European cruise. I also think the crowd will be completely different. Historically its been primarily Americans. A European cruise will mean a whole lot of different cultures and nationalities on board, and different fan behavior. Not sure if it'll be better or worse, but I imagine it will be quite different.
Looks like I have to start saving up and making sure my passport is up to date!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Recap 2014: Post Cruise

I know a couple of you are anxious for me to finish off the never-ending AJ door saga, and I'll get to it shortly.

Sadly the time had come to leave the ship but a few of my friends, Anne Marie and Chrissy, joined me in Fort Lauderdale for a couple of days to relax and rehash all the excitement before returning to reality. Queue the start of BSB withdrawal. I don't know about you gals, but for me leaving the ship is just such an overwhelming experience. A mix of happiness over everything that just happened, disbelief, sadness that it's time to go, and of course exhaustion.

After we go through customs Chrissy calls up our van service that we hired to take us to Fort Lauderdale and after she gets off the phone with us she informs Anne Marie and I that, "They're not able to send a van at this time..." Ugh, are you kidding me?! I'm so tired and all I want to do at that point (aside from trying to invent time travel to rewind 3 days) was get to this hotel and take a nap.

"...So they're going to send us a limo instead," Chrissy finished her thought. Oops- I clearly got upset a little too soon. I can't believe they're actually sending us a limo. It appears as if my good luck streak is continuing. Sure enough, not 15 minutes had passed and there was a limo pulling up beside us to take us to the hotel. It was just what we needed to help ease the sting entering back into reality.

Limo ladies

Fort Lauderdale
The rest of the day was spent lounging by the pool and napping. Really nothing too exciting so I'll fast forward ahead to the evening.

Pretty beach
One thing that every cruiser does after leaving the cruise is hit social media hard. We've been away from twitter, facebook, instagram, etc for over 3 days and have like a year's worth of pictures and stories that must get posted immediately. Thus our evening was spent in the hotel room doing just that, with the door open to feel the warm ocean breeze flowing through our room...if I closed my eyes I could still picture being back on the ship. *sigh*

Out of no where Anne Marie squeals with excitement.  Now I really thought I was back on the cruise and maybe Howie had just walked by or something (wishful thinking!) But since we were no longer on the cruise, I'm curious what all the excitement was about. Well, she posted a picture of our door on instagram and we got responses from AJ's friend 'Madonna Mark' and then later on, Rochelle commented on it too. 

"This is incredible!!! The quotes are on point! So creative! I Love this! #illbethereforyou" - Rochelle
Ummm what?! Rochelle wasn't even on the cruise how is this possible? I couldn't believe that one of AJs best friends, and now Rochelle actually saw our door. So at this point I HAVE to believe that AJ has seen it. I mean, he had to have, right? And even if I didn't have concrete proof, it meant so much to me that AJ's wife saw the door and appreciated it.

A few more hours pass. We were busy chatting, catching up, and swapping stories. And then all of a sudden I hear yet another squeal from Anne Marie. Sure enough....what we had been waiting for...

AJ himself finally commented on the door. Mission accomplished. It was such an emotional roller coaster for me. Part of me was thrilled we at least got some resolution and AJ saw all the hard work that we put in. Obviously based on his comment I can't tell to what capacity he saw the door. So if I'm being 100% honest, part of me was still disappointed he didn't get to see it in person. But alas, I felt so relieved that he FINALLY saw the damn door. Ha!

Final Thoughts
This entire trip was absolutely unforgettable. I felt so fortunate from the minute I arrived in Miami to the moment I left. I can't explain why I had so much good fortune and luck on this cruise. While on past cruises I've certainly had some unforgettable moments and run-ins, I've never had the types of interactions as I did this time around. From winning the scavenger hunt and getting to take a shot with Kevin. Playing blackjack with Howie. Being partnered up with Nick on the beach for a game. Having a nice conversation with Brian the last night at the ABC party. And of course all the excitement with AJ and our door. These sorts of things just don't happen in real life and can only happen on the cruise.

In all my years of cruising, I never could've fathomed this. Its like I had had been saving up all my Backstreet karma for the past 15 year and cashed it all in on this trip. Well worth it!

And now that it's taken me 7 months to finish my review...hopefully we won't have to wait that much longer for our next cruise announcement. See you all on the next cruise!!

The luckiest gal on the 2014 cruise