Getting in the boat
I decided to wake up and take a walk on Miami Beach before heading out to the Port of Miami to board Carnival Destiny, the Backstreet Boys cruise. The weather was bad for the beach, cold, cloudy, windy and raining a little bit but I still took a short walk. After checking out at the hotel I headed to the Port of Miami, on my way there I was able to see the boat I was boarding. I arrived early so the lines for boarding weren’t too bad although the process was a little slow, I got early on the boat to explore around while everyone was still boarding, I even saw Justin and other BSB staff going to the level 7, so I knew where to look for the BSB rooms right away.
I also went to do the check-in for the Backstreet Boys stuff and receive my tickets and the wristband for access to most events of the BSBCruise. Supposedly the seat assignments were given based on the time of reservation although I heard some comments doubting it based on fans who reserved late but still got floor tickets. I got first row and center on the first floor, it wasn’t bad because I could see the stage pretty well since the theater wasn’t too big but it wasn’t floor area. I also got my beach party ticket and a copy of the itinerary.
The cabins were not available until a little later so I couldn’t go immediately to check it out and start decorating my door and instead took some time to explore all the floors and check out the places where the BSB events were going to happen. As soon as the cabins were available I checked mine and started decorating the door with the stuff I carried on with me, but then had to wait until they delivered my baggage to finish it up. I spent time around the boat and checking some normal cruise events while it was time for the emergency drill. A little after the emergency drill, it was time to sail and for the BSB events to begin, goodbye Miami, hello Backstreet fun!
Everybody feud and She’s a Dream dating game
It was great that they did have the stage for the games like it was real with board, buttons and everything. Jen was the host and, after welcoming everyone, the Everybody feud game started. It was the boys against the girls (fans). Four lucky fans were called out to get up in the stage and compete against the boys trying to come up with the most popular answers the fans gave to the questions to gain points. Unfortunately I wasn’t selected to pass and they didn’t make it clear how they selected the girls, apparently some got there because they asked Jen and others where selected by the staff, which is a little bit unfair because not everyone gets the same chance of being selected, they should have selected seat numbers out of a bowl of something to make it completely random and give everyone the same opportunity.
The boys were awesome but the game was a little bit of order because they never explained the rules to everyone (or applied them). The boys were winning after the second round but Nick decided to tie things up at some point, so at the end the fans ”won” and each one of them got (I believe) a tote bag with an autographed towel, but most importantly a hug from the boys and pictures with them.
They only did 4 questions on the game which brought interesting and very funny answers: Name something that Howie is embarrassed to admit he has worn, name something Brian might bring on tour with him, name something that Nick does to pass the time at the venue or on the tour bus, and if not a musician, what other career path would AJ have chosen.
After a little break to change stages and to find AJ (who went to smoke) it was time for the dating game, again very close to the real show. Three girls were “randomly” selected for a Backstreet Boy, then the boy asked 3 questions to all of them and got to choose their dream girl based on the answers. All the boys passed and the lucky winners won a serenade of their BSB during the concert while the others received a rose and took a photo with their boy.
The game went very long because some of the girls weren’t giving answers right away and stuff but in the end it was really funny see the boys playing and Brian getting embarrassed to ask one of his questions and conducting part of the show with Howie.
The first one to participate was AJ asking: what is the last movie that made you cry, get up and show the audience your best Backstreet choreography, wand hat is your best feature. Then came Brian asking: if you have to give yourself a nickname what nickname would you give yourself and why, what is your favorite position, and if you won the lottery what would you do with the money. Afterwards came Howie to ask: what is your best pick up line, what backstreet song best describes your life and why, and what is your treasured possession and why. Finally it was Nick’s turn to ask: if you were an alien and you could abduct anyone on Earth except me or the other backstreet boys who would it be and why, if you would describe yourself as an animal what animal would you be and why, and where is the weirdest place you’ve ever kissed someone.
Welcome aboard party and dinner
After the games it was time for the welcome aboard party in the deck with drinks paid by the Backstreet Boys. All of them were there saying hi and animating the party from above along with their families and friends, even Baylee was there running around with his captain hat. And AJ removed his shirt to be the first shirtless BSB on the cruise!
When we got to our rooms some gift bags were waiting for us with some stuff for the parties, gifts and a rubber ducky. Whoever got the golden rubber ducky was the lucky winner to be front row on the show in the boat. I didn’t win but the bag included a BSBCruise poster, a NKOTBSB poster, two BSB heart temporary tattoos, the rubber ducky, black and blue bubble bottles, beads, and glow sticks. At this time I got finally the oportunity to finish decorating my door.
After some time in the party it was dinner time so the party was interrupted and everyone went to dinner. Fans were divided in two different dinning rooms. I didn’t knew that I was on the same one where the BSB were because I was sited on the second floor and never noticed. The good thing about being alone on the cruise is that I got a chance to meet a lot of different fans throughout the cruise, specially during dinner. This night I met a girl and his mom, turns out the mom was the big fan and the daughter was the companion and not the other way as I thought. Of course there are all types of fans and in the cruise you could find how I’m not the craziest BSB fan and how everyone is a crazy fan in their own way. For example, this mom (sorry I’m so bad with names) was known as the backstreet girl at work because she wears a different BSB t-shirt to work every day of the year! Yes, she has hundreds of different backstreet boys t-shirts she has collected over the years and she wears them everyday, even her daughter was amazed when she saw her in something hat wasn’t a BSB t-shirt because she even had big t-shirts converted into dresses for some occasions! When we finished dinner we went because we were tired, so bad I left early because later on I discovered that I missed the waiters and the BSB dancing during dinner on pedestals that day
International Luv night
A little later was time for the first theme party: the international luv night with all the fans dressing their country colors and flags. Since it was on the deck fans already knew where the boys would come out so it was crazy. I was ready on the one of the sides of the deck on the same floor where the guys were, I could only see them from the side in there but I was closer, specially if they came by to stretch hands or something.
I have always wondered how some girls get lucky enough to be in the VIP area of the parties and closer to the boys. I always guessed that it was a matter of knowing the right people or moving influences or a lot of luck. I still can’t believe it but that night the right person and luck found me! I was just standing in the crowd trying to get shots of the party host AJ when someone came to me, set me aside and told me he had a wristband for me to get into the VIP area, he gave it to me and told me where to go. Turns out he was Hall, “the” guy from Rose tours, which was the company organizing the cruise.
I was one of the first fans to get into the VIP area and I couldn’t believe it! I was closer to the boys with some selected fans and a free bar. For the first time ever I was the one passing all the fans just by showing my VIP wristband and having the bodyguard let me in!, it was incredible and it was just the beginning of an even more incredible night to come. After being mad for not being selected for the games or winning the golden ducky the night was getting better.
The party was packed and the view was amazing, seeing all the crowd below and the boys so close, specially when they came by the bar to order drinks or chat with the fans. All of them were there with their couples and some friends. AJ was using a Scottish skirt, Brian and Leighanne had USA sparkly costumes and Nick and Howie dressed more normal. The other girls (Leigh, Rochelle and Lauren) weren’t that visible to the crowd because decided to stay more in the lounge area than on the balcony cheering the party like Leighanne.
At one point Nick decided he wanted to go down to party with everyone, so Howie and Nick (and their bodyguards of course) passed right by the VIP fans to go downstairs to the crowd and they stayed a little bit in one of the bars before coming back up to the safety and calmness of their private section where no fans were allowed besides the VIP fans in the contiguous area. Oh and they returned with red wigs on them haha.
Later on AJ did the same with Nick on the other side of the crowd and also went down for a little bit. Oh, and he removed his t-shirt again. It seems like they enjoy making fans go totally crazy . Brian and Leighanne also took the adventure of passing by the crowd downstairs, which was great because they went down on the opposite side of the VIP area and went back up on our side and stayed for a bit chatting and taking pictures.
At some point Brian accepted taking photos with fans, including me. What more could I ask than having such an awesome picture with Brian? Well, more battery! My camera battery was dying and I left the other ones at my cabin and turns out that my dream night didn’t ended there because the party was still on and just to get even better. Nick started passing drinks to the fans on the VIP area and then his beautiful girlfriend, Lauren came to tell us that she wanted to take 10 lucky fans to the after party with Nick and her, she took a marker and told us Nick was going to pick the girls by putting a mark on the hands.
Not much time passed by before Nick and Lauren were back with the marker and they did what she promised, Nick started marking fans hands, I couldn’t believe I was right there and he picked me among the 10 super lucky fans! We were allowed to enter with them, we we’re now the VIP’s of the VIP’s and couldn’t believe it. And I was so mad with myself for not bringing extra batteries thinking I wouldn’t have much to take pictures of. Now I had to save it for special ones! The good side of it is that I forgot about taking pictures and just enjoyed that moment to the maximum. Plus there were hundreds of other cameras there including the official one so hopefully there would be pictures or videos of me with the boys somewhere.
It was almost 1 am and Howie was already gone but the others were still partying and enjoying the night. When we first entered the area where the boys were, we couldn’t believe it, we (the lucky fans) looked into each other with eyes full of emotion and happiness screaming “I can’t believe it!”. AJ was just steps far from us with nothing (not even bodyguards) between him and us, and he was shirtless animating the party and dancing. Then Lauren told us to go and dance with AJ, we didn’t think it twice before doing so. Suddenly I was there, dancing with AJ on the stage in front of hundreds of fans and cameras. Who would have thought of that? Me dancing? I usually don’t dance at all! but that night the emotion was enough and even more effective than alcohol to make me dance.
When AJ noticed he suddenly had dancers behind him he joined us and soon enough Brian and Leighanne came to dance too! I was dancing with Brian and following each other steps! It was amazing and I took the chance for another picture with him, this time I took his hat off to put it on me and I gave him my green scarf for the picture. He told me the hat was for his kid and I told him not to worry because it was just for the photo. And after the photo I returned his hat and he gave me my scarf back.
AJ was went downstairs with the fans again and Nick came to dance a little bit. I never had a chance to take a picture with Nick so I grabbed him and asked him to take a picture with me. He said he had to go downstairs and I insisted telling him it would only take 3 seconds but he refused , he spoke to my ear saying we’re going to spend the night together. And when the other fan took the picture he was already giving his back to the camera and I was still missing my picture with him, angry that he refused to take it but crazy of what he told me and with hope that later on I would have the chance to finally have my picture with him.
The party was almost over, Brian and Leighanne said goodbye and left. Nick and AJ were downstairs with the fans and the 10 lucky fans, including me, were dancing happily on the stage and once in a while looking to each other to say “I can’t believe it! this is awesome!”. Then Lauren told us they were about to go before everyone left so we should keep an eye to follow them when the time came.
The night was so far unbelievable and we were about to go to the after party with Nick and his girlfriend! But the party was over, many fans already left and most of the boys too. The first day of the cruise was amazing and surpassed my expectations by far. What would happen in the after party and how would it be? I‘ll leave that for another post
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[Review & photos by analy3.wordpress.com]