WHOTB Takes The Backstreet Boys 2018 Cruise: The Video

We know it’s been over a month since we disembarked (that’s a real cruise word) the 2018 Backstreet Boys cruise and while we have written about it here and here, shared photos via Facebook, and posted a few videos to YouTube, we finally have a complete video cruise “diary” or vlog, for lack of better term.

We got on the boat equipped with a GoPro, a camera, two cameras, five Backstreet Boys, and a lot of friends. Our intention was to capture everything we could from a fan POV on the four day cruise and to be honest, we were a little scared — what if things weren’t great?

But, as we’ve posted since we’ve been back, IT WAS SO GREAT! This cruise was my first and Kristie’s third and honestly, for the most part, it couldn’t have been better. That’s also, of course, a matter of opinion.

So, if you want an inside look at our BSB Cruise 2018 experience, watch it below!

Here’s a few things you might want to know about our personal experience:

  • The first few minutes of the video are from Nick’s pre-cruise “Sail Away With Nick Carter” event (The perfect way to start our trip!)
  • The hotel is Loews Miami
  • Our room on the cruise was a basic inside cabin. If you’re hesitant about being in a room with no windows, it’s really not bad!
  • As you can see, being close to the stage was not our priority other than for the Sail Away Party. We figured out what time the Boys usually arrived for deck parties and didn’t head up until around then. Most of the time, we waited until we heard the Boys heading up (We were on the same deck). A lot of people waited 6+ hours just to be at the front of the stage.
  • Our experience was a great one, but it is just that – our experience. You might have had a totally different experience, but we wanted to give a pretty accurate representation of all of the things.
  • If you have questions, ask 🙂
  • Lastly, sorry we’re obnoxious! We know.

 

Watch the video here!

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Thanks For Sailing With Us, Backstreet Boys

“This is the best cruise EVER!”

That’s the phrase we heard over and over again in many places on the Carnival Sensation during the Backstreet Boys 2018 cruise and online in the week since we’ve returned. (It’s already been a week?!)

As the cruise came to a close, we’ve spent a week thinking about how to sum up everything that happened. So. much. HAPPENED! How do you put all of the greatest moments into words when you haven’t even had time to process it yourself? We don’t even have time to be over the cruise before we get a new single (and music video) from the Boys next week!

So, we’re starting where we’ve started before — by thanking each of the Boys for the little things… because it seems like the best place to start and something that we can all agree upon.

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Kevin…

As always, he gets it. From his commitment to theme costumes to his calm nature that permeates to anyone around him, his sincerity, humility, and zest made every encounter a fun one. He really took the time to make every interaction a good one – never rushed and genuinely concerned about the time you were having and thanking everyone in the meet and greet for being there.

There was honestly no one better to preview the songs we may or may not hear on the upcoming Backstreet Boys album (and Group B really appreciated “3 words…” five times). One of our favorite things about Kevin has always been his storytelling and his attention to detail and he did not disappoint on this cruise.

Did we mention that he went down hallways signing door decorations and knocking on some lucky fans’ doors in his free time? Did we also mention that spent time behind the bar on Millennium night making drinks for fans for hours and that everyone who met Kevin on the cruise left with a little extra love?

It’s not just the other Boys who are so grateful for Kevin’s return.

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Howie…

Was there anyone more FUN than Howard Dorough on this year’s BSB Cruise? Not quite.

While selfie lines weren’t really his thing (and that’s okay!), he was more than willing to take a photo if you caught him and 100% down for a good time the WHOLE time. We can’t imagine someone not being entertained by his Cinco De Howie antics or his smooth moves as Howie Z., dressed as Zorro, dancing the night away during We Got It Goin’ Con night. Even Nick admitted that Howie was the star that night!

Entertainment aside, it was clear that Howie wanted everyone in on the party and that he was going to be the one to keep it going, even stopping to do a selfie line on his way out on Saturday night. This cruise wouldn’t have been half as great without Sweet D!

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Brian…

This man went hard.

Prior to this cruise, there were many people who said that Brian is the hardest to nail down and he’s the first to retire for the night. Let us be the first to tell you… that was not the case this year. On the first night deck party, Brian came in in his basketball uniform, removed his jacket, and immediately laid down on the stage to take selfies with fans. Every night after would be a similar story because every night, he was reaching out to fans on every side of the stage, whether it be to sign something, take pics, or just shake a hand. We think many people probably missed the fact that he did a selfie line in the hall near his cabin too.

Can we also talk about his vocals?? He. Sounded. So. Good. Again, tears were brought to our eyes with every note he killed during the Storytellers concert.

Like the other guys, Brian was present and wanting fans involved. His Game Night event with family and friends was definitely the most inclusive for all fans present and as he stated, he wanted to give as many fans as possible a chance to play. That was definitely a theme for him throughout the cruise and for sure something to be admired about him.

Oh, and Sporty Spice never looked so good.

 

 

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AJ…

 

AJ is a constant entertainer and such a kind soul. Much like Kevin, his gift of conversation puts everyone at ease and the cruise was no exception. The minute he came on stage at the Sail Away party, he was in the middle of the crowd, giving fans further back an opportunity to get in on the action and made the announcement that he would be in the same spot on the last night to do a selfie line.

…And take selfies he did. This man stood outside until 5am to take selfies with any fan who wanted one. If that isn’t commitment and follow through, we don’t know what is. It is SO appreciated by so many of us. We also love that he was all over the place! In the pool, in the halls taking photos, at the DJ table, on the stage… AJ is, as always, where the people are. He even had an extra event – playing in a Black Jack tournament with a few lucky fans.

We’re also so excited for more of his solo album, simply based on what we heard at his event. Fingers crossed he’s finally moving toward a solo release!

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Nick…

You know what the most striking thing about Nick was on this cruise? The fact that he was everyone’s biggest cheerleader. While his performances were stellar as usual and his Baby Spice impersonation was on point, the thing we loved most was the fact that he was such a fan of the other Boys. From cheering Brian on for nailing a note to getting sentimental about how much the Boys missed Kevin to encouraging Howie to take on his Zorro dance moves, he seemed genuinely refreshed and happy to be onstage with the other four.

It wasn’t just for the other Boys either though. From the moment he walked on the ship, Nick was ready and willing to hang with fans. While everyone’s wifi was still working, he played a game of hide and seek with everyone via Twitter (in which everyone found him because Backstreet fans can sniff out a BSB from miles away – even if he is wearing a Rose Tours staff shirt with a mustache). Then, in the middle of Saturday evening, Nick stood in the cafeteria for hours taking selfies with any fan that lined up for the opportunity, only taking quick bathroom breaks. What a gem, right?

There was also that pool situation on Into The Millennium night. Fans jumped into the pool after Nick and he just played along with them, relishing in the good times with, truly, not a care in the world. We loved the time spent with him on this cruise as we’re pretty sure everyone else did too.

Thank you, Backstreet Boys (and their team) for making the 2018 cruise a wonderful, unforgettable one. Each of you had such a huge contribution to it’s success and we can’t imagine it without any single one of you. It was absolutely the perfect kick off to what is sure to be an incredible year for you guys and for us! Thank you doesn’t even begin to cover it. See you soon?

(We will be doing a post with specific cruise moments, photos, and videos, but for now, you can find them on our YouTube channel and all photos are uploaded into albums on our Facebook page. You can also check out some sweet professional photos from the cruise here.

We’re also interested in seeing your funny cruise pics and your selfie fails! DM us on Twitter or email us at whothebackstreet@gmail.com)

The Basics: Cruising With The Backstreet Boys

A lot of you have asked us about the basics of events. What can I expect? What do I need to know? How does this work? So, we’re putting these posts together as a “bare bones” reference to get you started. If you can’t find the answers to what you’re looking for in these posts, please don’t hesitate to reach out via email or social media!

So you’re going on the Backstreet Boys Cruise…

Must-Know Information

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Online Check-in:

Check into Carnival online using the confirmation number that will be provided to you when your itinerary is emailed (about 2 weeks before). We recommend you check in as early as possible to ensure things run smoothly. The absolute latest you can do so is midnight prior to the cruise.

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Arrival:

The boat doesn’t leave until 4:00PM, but we recommend you get onto the boat AT LEAST 2 hours before that, especially if you want to eat lunch on board. All guests must be on board the ship no later than 60 minutes prior to the published sailing time (printed in the cruise documents). There are multiple ways of getting to the terminal (Drive, Uber/Lyft, taxi, shuttle, Carnival airport transportation). More information about transportation here .

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Luggage:

When you arrive at the terminal, you can check your bags with a porter (up until 2:00PM) and carry on what you will need until your stateroom is ready (around 1:00PM or later. PS you may or may not be able to get into your stateroom before the sail away party at 4:00). Guests arriving after 2:00PM will be responsible for taking all of their bags on board.  Each checked suit case and carry-on suit case should not weigh more than 50 pounds, and when lying flat, bags must not exceed 16 inches high by 24 inches wide (the length of the bag is not a factor). For security screening purposes, all luggage should be unlocked. Personalized luggage tags are included in the guest’s Electronic Documents, through Carnival’s web portal, www.carnival.com/mydocuments. It is not necessary to print the tags in color. Carnival luggage tags must be affixed to your baggage prior to arriving at the terminal.  Additional tags can be obtained at curbside from the porter. Porters will re-tag any luggage tag with a TBA cabin assignment. Curbside porters are customarily provided a $1 tip per bag.

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Check-in:

At check-in, you must personally carry on and present your all of your travel documents, including your boarding pass, picture ID, citizenship documents (including any necessary visas) and completed Health Questionnaire. You also must carry-on any valuables or medications and items which require special handling. After you board the ship, you can eat lunch in the buffet or wander around the ship enjoying all it has to offer. There will be a muster drill around 3:45PM which all passengers must attend, and then head straight to the Lido Deck for the Sail Away party at 4:00PM!

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Money / Budget:

Shore Excursions/Tours: $40-$300 per person. You will be able to view these on the Carnival website once you check in. If you want to get an idea of which shore excursions *may* be offered, you can search on the Carnival website under shore excursions for “Grand Turk”. Please keep in mind, these may be different or limited on our cruise since it is a charter cruise.

Spa services: $30+. Sometimes there are spa specials, especially on the day we’re in port.

Merch/Souveniers: There will be a store off the lobby with cruise-specific merch. It has been known in the past to sell out relatively quickly, so if you see something you like, don’t wait!

Soda/Alcoholic Beverages/Specialty coffee/Drink package: https://help.carnival.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2633

Gambling: There is a casino onboard, which you pay for using your Sign & Sail Card.

Personal Items: There is a gift shop with Carnival merch, over the counter medicine, snacks, alcohol, etc.

Sail & Sign is Carnival’s cashless on board credit program, which allows guests to charge onboard purchases. The Sail & Sign Card must be utilized for all money transactions on board as cash will not be an accepted form of payment. More information can be found here.

You can also purchase Cruise Cash (similar to a gift card) on Carnival’s website prior to boarding. Guest Services can provide guests with a balance update at any time throughout the cruise. In addition, guests can view their balance update at a Sail & Sign Kiosk .   This can be set up beforehand or upon check-in.

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Days at Sea

Be on the lookout for your cruise itinerary, which will include all of the events on board. All of the events are optional, but of course we think you should go to all of them, since they are guaranteed to be amazing. When there are no events, there will be downtime for you to do things on board (e.g. pool, spa, activities).

At Port

When we dock at the port of Grand Turk, you can get off the boat as early as you want (don’t forget your Sail & Sign card, which is the only thing you will 100% need). You shouldn’t need your passport, but feel free to bring it if you feel more comfortable. You will need cash or credit card if you would like to purchase anything on the island of Grand Turk. If you are not going on an excursion, there is plenty to do in the port of Grand Turk, such as a beach, large pool, Margaritaville, and shopping. Once the itinerary comes out, we will know if BSB have any events planned for us while at port or if we are free to explore.

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Debarkation

Unfortunately all good things must come to an end. You can find information here regarding how to go about getting off the ship. How to battle PCD (Post-Cruise Depression not included).

If you have other questions, feel free to contact us, visit our Cruise page, or visit the official BSB Cruise page!

Celebrate #BSB25 With Us On The Cruise!

There are a few things we know for sure about 2018:

  • We’re stoked about all the Backstreet adventures ahead.
  • We’re excited to celebrate the Boys’ 25th anniversary together in ANY possible way all year long.
  • We’re still waiting for AJ’s solo album and a BSB single.
  • This cruise is going to be the best one yet!
  • We’re going to do everything we can to give back to Kevin, Howie, Brian, AJ and Nick this year. Let’s bring it in together, you guys!

Where are we going with this? We’re glad you asked.

Since this cruise is so close to the Backstreet Boys’ anniversary, we were racking our brains thinking WHAT CAN WE DO to mark the special occasion that wouldn’t require an extra suitcase, a load of money and special permission? Thousands of us popping out of a cake didn’t seem feasible.

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THEN… we thought of it!

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It’s simple.

During the Sail Away party (the first time we’re all together on the cruise), we want you to bring the shape of your heart.

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NO. WAIT. Not the shape of your ACTUAL heart.

More like this…

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Here’s what we’re thinking:

  • Make a heart shaped paper (preferably one you can hold with one hand that won’t block anyone’s view too terribly – think legal size paper)
  • Put 25 on the heart is BOLD LETTERS
  • Decorate the heart to represent where you’re from – be creative and snazzy (or don’t)
  • Our thought is to hold them up as soon as they’re on stage for the Sail Away party, but this might change — we’ll keep you posted. That’s the plan for now.
  • SHARE WITH ANYONE YOU KNOW GOING ON THE CRUISE!! It’d be wonderful to have the most participation possible. Imagine Kevin, Howie, Brian, AJ and Nick coming out to a sea of colored ’25’ themed hearts ❤ ❤ ❤ This is another chance for us to come together to do something great for the Boys who have given us the best parts of their lives and made up some of the best parts of ours.

We can’t wait to see everyone and your hearts!

—UPDATE—

We’re so excited about your overwhelming response about wanting to do this! As someone said, “a sea of hearts” – I love that visual. Again, the more people doing it, the better so keep spreading the word.

We have a few updates since we first posted.

  • There have been some people that have been volunteering to bring extra hearts for fans that don’t know about it to pass out beforehand to increase participants. We LOVE this idea! There is absolutely no obligation, but we wanted to post about it just in case others wanted to as well — whether they been plain hearts or decorated.
  • So many non-cruisers were hoping to get involved as well so… here’s what we’ll do. In addition to tweeting #BSB25 on April 20th and #BSB25Project on April 21st when the Billboard ad is published, fans who are not cruising will be tweeting #BSB25Hearts on sail away day (May 3) with photos of their own decorated hearts with a 25 on it, so whether you’re on the cruise or not – we’re coming together to flood with love. After we return from the cruise, if the movement is successful (we have high hopes), we’ll do a post about it. Sound good?

We’re still taking suggestions, ideas, and anything else you think we’re missing or could add to the fun. Just tweet, message, email or comment!

 

PAST CRUISERS! What Do You Wish You Would Have Known About The Backstreet Boys Cruise?

We’re three months away from setting sail on the 7th Backstreet Boys cruise from Miami to Grand Turk. It’s getting real!

As it gets more real, there are obviously more and more questions, especially from those fans who haven’t cruised before. As always, we want to help everyone out and that’s the reason we’re writing this.

If you have been on a Backstreet Boys cruise and there is something you wish you would have known before you got on the boat or you have some really good advice, find the category it fits in below and let us know for an upcoming post!

+++KEEP IT POSITIVE +++

Packing and Traveling To The Cruise Advice

Room Advice (What You Should Bring, What You Should Have, Etc.)

Food and Drink (Suggestions, Drink Packages, etc.)

Event Advice (What To Do, What Not To Do, etc.)

General Advice

 

#BSBKindnessCruise Campaign: Let’s Do This

25 years together as a band is cause for celebration.

On a huge ship [for the 6th time].

Headed to Turks and Caicos from Miami in May.

The Backstreet Boys are in and if you are too, continue reading… because 2018 is going to be the BEST. CRUISE. EVER.

Why, you ask? Because this time, we have a dream… and it seems to be shared by most other fans that are cruise regulars (and even those who aren’t). Are we naive to think that our words can change the entire mood of a cruise? Maybe, but as far as we know, no one has ever tried in a well organized way.

No one has said “hey, we’re all on the same page here”. Instead, many of us have spent excessive time recalling stories from past cruises that involve all the things that went wrong, all the fans that acted insane, and everything the Backstreet Boys didn’t do.

Let’s change this.

The name calling, the blaming, the literal pushing and the shoving on the cruise itself – it has to stop.

We are 21+ years old (most of us at least) and we have to, as a group, start putting our best foot forward and acting like it. So, before you step foot on the 2018 BSB Cruise, we’re asking you to…

….Please leave your negative outlooks behind. This is a new year, new cruise.

….Focus on the good time to be had by ALL, including the fans you don’t know. How awesome is it that this is a boat FILLED with people that also love the Backstreet Boys? No judgement, no guilt – fun only!

…. Expect the unexpected. Leave the been there, done that attitude at home. Treat this cruise like it’s your first. Remember the excitement. Remember why you’re there. Breathe in the sea air and smell of Backstreet sweat and remind yourself that 14 year old you would have NEVER dreamed this.

….Don’t cheat yourself — YOU owe this to yourself! You worked hard for the money that you used to pay for this cruise. You waited a year (or a lifetime) to be stepping onto this boat. If absolutely nothing else, this is your time — choose wisely how you spend it. By that, we mean do what makes YOU happy. You control your actions and decisions. Come back with some epic stories, friends.

….Don’t let anyone ruin it for you! Not everyone is going to be chill – this is everyday life. People are people. Our mission is to get enough of us on this side of chill that it spreads (and we ARE asking you to spread this). That being said, there are always going to be people who value selfies above all and hurling themselves over people to reach Nick Carter in a crowd. Don’t let it ruin your time! Be grateful that you aren’t the one making a fool of yourself and please, don’t join them. No one wins that way. You get a blurred selfie and a crappy memory. THESE ARE YOUR MEMORIES!! Treat ’em like cash.

….Don’t go in acting like the Boys owe you something. Kevin, Howie, AJ, Brian and Nick did not force you to come on this cruise nor did they pay for you to come on the cruise. While they are obviously the main perk of being on the cruise, they are also only human and they are working. While they did not make you come on this ship, we are 1000% positive that it is their hope that we have a good time. It is, however, a give and take situation. Only by us having a good time, can they have and show us a good time. Attacking them gets you nowhere. Acting irrational gets you nowhere. History has proven that it gets them somewhere — back to their cabins.

Let’s Do This.

We truly believe in the Backstreet Army, as much as we do the Backstreet Boys themselves. We are celebrating 25 years as much as they are. We have worked hard from the moments we became fans to show up for them, to get radio airplay, to vote for them on TRL, to watch every moment they are on TV.

WE DESERVE THIS FOR OURSELVES. The only answer is to work together. To listen to each other. To calm down (but be SUPER excited, as well). It starts with us being kind to each other. Moving out of the way once you’ve gotten what you wanted, being aware of people around you, and having a BIG ASS PARTY together!

This won’t be our last post on our BSB Kindness Cruise Campaign, but first, as always, we want to hear from you. Please fill out the form below for a future post. We’re going to dig into all the things, fan-mily.

And we’re going to make 2018 one to remember. We have all the faith.

 

 

What Is Your Favorite Video From A Past Backstreet Boys Cruise? Send It To Us!

The 2018 Backstreet Boys cruise is still 10.5ish months away, but that doesn’t mean we can’t relive cruises past!

For cruisers and non-cruisers alike, YouTube has become a hub to upload, share, and relish in our own memories and allow others to see what really happens on a BSB cruise. We thought it would be a fun idea for everyone to share their favorite cruise videos from YouTube and why they’re your favorite. **It does NOT have to be your own video**

So whether you’re a cruiser or a stay-at-homer, we want to hear from you! Fill out the form below and let’s sail away ….in our minds, anyway.

 

10 (More) Suggestions For Backstreet Boys Cruise Themes

Before the 2016 Backstreet Boys Euro Cruise, we presented new potential cruise themes that we’d love to see in the future. Unfortunately, none of our suggestions were actual chosen themes, but we can always dream!

With the cruise next year already being sold out (WHAT?!) and being the 25th anniversary, there’s no option but for it to be the best yet. We’ve come up with 10 more ideas for themes in hopes that if the Boys are lacking ideas, they’ll stumble upon this little post. Cross your fingers!

1. 90s Night

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This really doesn’t need an explanation as 95% of us were there for the 90s. We know the style, we know the music, we know the 90s was the best decade ever and we want the excuse to relive it any chance we get. Grab your scrunchies. your daisy dresses, your Friends dvds and let’s do this!

2. Make Believe Night 

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A play on the BSB song of the same name, here’s your chance to play make believe like you did as a child. Princes and princesses, aliens and unicorns – let your imagination run!

We really just wanted an excuse to infuse some aliens into the cruise, honestly.

3. FantaSea Night

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Get your minds out of the gutter unless you find pirates sexy – we won’t judge! We propose that FantaSea Night consist of all things sea-related – pirates, wenches, and mermaids, oh my. We’re dying to see the BSB Pirates Of The Carribean style and a mermaids-allowed theme is the perfect excuse to buy the rainbow highlighter we’ve been eyeing!

4. Heroes and Villains

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Not all heroes wear capes – but they probably will on the cruise! For those who aren’t into the superhero lifestyle, pick the villain of your choice and play it up. It’ll be even more fun if one of the Boys just happens to be your arch nemesis for the night – we smell an awesome photo op!

This is also a good one for planning with a group of your friends and being creative by making your own superhero!

5. Royal Ball

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If a formal night is what you’re looking for, this theme is for you! “We could be kings and queens” ring a bell? Grab your crowns, tiaras, and glass slippers (except don’t) and get on board for this theme. What’s better than Prince Charming? Five of them in the form of Nick, Brian, AJ, Kevin and Howie. No one can resist a suave looking Backstreet Boy (or finding another use for that formal dress you purchased years ago).

Think you can’t get drunk in a ball gown? Whatever. Cinderella was obvious drunk to leave that shoe behind.

6. Hoedown Showdown

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C’mon y’all! Everyone loves a good Southern night (or at least love Kevin and Brian) and it’s a pretty simple theme. Grab your jeans, your plaid, your boots, cowboy hats and git it!

Are you REALLY going to turn down a cowboy-themed-Backstreet Boy? Really?

Disclaimer: This is NOT because I’m from Nashville (or I’d call it honky tonk night).

7. Backstreet Festival

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Couldn’t make it to a summer music festival and wear all those trendy festival clothes? Into the Woodstock look? Literally just want to wear a bikini top (uhh..with bottoms) and be in theme? This one is for you. Imagine a Coachella vibe where it’s strictly Backstreet. We haven’t decided how the Boys would dress for this one, but we promise it’ll be better than Fyre Fest! (Look it up.)

8. Fiesta En Fuego

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It’s not lost on anyone that we will be on the boat on May 5th AKA Cinco De Mayo. To avoid the risk of potentially being offensive yada, yada, yada…we present Fiesta En Fuego! Literally, a party on fire. We’re thinking fiery colors (red, orange, etc.), a little “Hot, Hot, Hot”, and a whole lot of margaritas. Also, can someone come around passing out tacos or…?

9. Gatsby Night

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A little party never killed nobody, says a song from the Great Gatsby remake. Anyone that has read or watched Gatsby knows that Jay Gatsby was known for his lavish parties and we can perfectly envision such a party on the cruise. Grab your 1920s garb (flapper dresses, beads, feathers, etc.) and look for the green light across the water!

10. Wonderland

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Falling down the rabbit hole will never be as fun as it will be when your friends AND the Backstreet Boys are involved. We love the idea of replicating a wacky Wonderland on the cruise and painting the roses red! There’s plenty of wild characters and costuming to choose from.

Oh, and we’d like to petition to see Kevin as the Queen of Hearts and Nick as Alice, of course.

Or maybe Kevin should be the caterpillar? OK. We really need this theme.

Which theme suggestion is your favorite? Have one of your own? We want to hear it all!

3 Reasons Why The #BSBCruise2016 Acoustic Set Hit Us In The Feels

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Many Backstreet Boys fans have always wanted the Boys to do an acoustic album, an acoustic tour, or perhaps a few acoustic shows between albums. No one really expected it on a cruise. Weren’t things supposed to be hype all the time? Wouldn’t an acoustic set mellow everyone out? These things were on the minds of a few fans as they set sail on the first European cruise this past week.

Then it happened.

Fans at home were a little shocked and lot thrilled when, within hours of the Boys boarding the cruise, they periscoped the group rehearsing “Darlin'” acapella. When was the last time we had even heard that song?! Bonus: they sounded even more flawless than usual.

Then came the actual acoustic concert.

And we remembered why we’re Backstreet Boys fans.

It wasn’t just because they were singing live in front of us (or online) for the first time in months. It was so many reasons and so many feelings beyond that.

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1. They Brought Back The Classics.

Did we ever think in a million years that we’d be SO ecstatic to hear “Just To Be Close” after hearing it acapella every time the Backstreet Boys turned around in the beginning? Hearing it now took us back. It took us back to basics, stripped our Boys down of everything that happened in 23 years, and reminded us what made us fans in the first place.

Then there’s “Let’s Have A Party” and “Lay Down Beside Me”, a song that instantly reminds us of the Orlando Coming Home concert and A Night Out With The Backstreet Boys, both of which most of us were only lucky to watch repeatedly when we were tweens.

There’s also the fact that Kevin, Brian, Howie, AJ and Nick also got emotional – like they were going back with us. We were all in the same head space, all back in the beginning, to 98, 99, and 2000s. It was like hearing our journey as fans and their journey as a group come to life. We weren’t ready for those emotions.

And we want to do it again!

2. They Listened To Us!

Months before the cruise set sail, an email was sent out to cruisers to ask for their opinions on what they wanted to hear during the acoustic set on board. We’ve been through this before – we get emails, we respond, and nothing ever happens with them or we’re left wondering if this is what people ACTUALLY replied with, because it didn’t seem like it.

But this setlist… well… it was straight from the fans. These are the songs we’ve wanted to hear again since they’ve disappeared from tour and live performances. These are the songs that are fan-loved, not world-loved. In short, the best.

An “I Want It That Way”-free set list with “Don’t Wanna Lose You Now”? Yep. That’s ours.

3. That Sound.

Of course, every good BSB fan always argues that they sound amazing all the time, best vocals, blah blah blah.

But there isn’t one fan that wasn’t taken aback by how incredible they sounded during the acoustic set. Honestly, most of us, there or simply watching online, shed a few tears, as did the Boys themselves. As if bringing back the songs we originally fell in love with wasn’t enough, they stripped it down to the vocals we’d forgotten we needed.

No flash. No choreography. Just five guys with talent and big dreams who seemed to be really taking in how far they’ve come.

We can’t write this point without talking about the vocals of Brian Littrell. Wow. We couldn’t be more proud of the progression he’s made and the strength he has shown. Hearing him sing “Darlin'” with such a purity, a vocal clarity, a confidence… well, moved doesn’t even seem to cover it. It’s pretty safe to say, by the looks of the faces of the other four guys, that we aren’t the only ones. As the crowd chanted Brian’s name, our hearts were never more full.

Michael Jordan is back.

 If you haven’t seen the acoustic performance, the French Backstreet Team was kind enough to put one of the performances (Group B) into one video. Check it out (and have your tissues ready)!

5 Positives (And Suggestions) About BSB Cruise 2016

So, Kristie’s Korner has been on a slight hiatus, due to me, Kristie, cruising with BSB. I can’t believe it’s been a week since we boarded the boat with BSB, but I’m back, and ready to share with everyone about the cruise! I’m sure you’ve heard the good, the bad, and the ugly. However, I am here to focus on the positives, and to bring you the main pros and suggestions that I’ve come to realize. I mean, we were on VACATION with the Backstreet Boys; how bad could it be?!

 

1. The concert.

Holy smokes. For those of you who have seen the concert either live or in videos, I bet you cried at least seven times. AT LEAST. For those of you who have not seen it, do yourselves a favor, and search it on YouTube immediately. I really don’t think there was a dry eye in the room; and Brian, just wow. So. Many. Emotions. This concert was probably one of my favorites, ever; and definitely, surprisingly upbeat for an acoustic concert.

Hey BSB: Keep bringing back the “oldies” and classics that do not usually get performed. There is a reason why so many of us voted for them! They definitely brought us back in time, and we thank you for that. It was a special moment felt by all as to why we became fans many moons ago.

 

2. Free time.

Points for free time to get to explore in the ports (and/or sleep, eat, spa, etc). However, call me old fashioned, but I still missed the beach party. So if that could be brought back next year, I know I would be extremely happy (as I’m sure others will, as well). The 4 nights worked out really well, too. I feel like it was plenty of time to fit everything in, while also getting our Backstreet fill. Whether it is a cruise, or a land event, I am sure we will be there, and ready to party!

 

3. The preferred event.

This year, the boys wanted to do a little something extra special for those fans who got the higher end cabins. The event was complete with free champagne, and was supposed to be a chill event for these fans to get to hang out with the boys, and for some of the time, it was. Note to boys: this was an amazing idea, and we appreciate the thought SO much. However, this event would be GREAT to do in the future if it was handled slightly differently (e.g. maybe everyone would have to be sitting down at a table in order to get a picture with the boys).

 

4. Solo events.

YES, yes and more yes. The more personal and intimate they can be while incorporating fans; the better. Kevin’s was my personal favorite; how AMAZING were those duets?! BSB has a lot of talented fans, that’s for sure! And Kevin wasn’t so bad, himself. Again, for those of you who have not seen videos, I strongly urge you to do so.

 

5. Deck parties.

Well, let’s start with the positives. The way these boys dressed up for theme nights still makes me laugh. Nick was once again the woman of the group– Anyone else starting to get a little concerned…? LOL. The costumes were so creative, and they really went all out this year. The boys really tried to have fun with their time to make it worthwhile for the fans; and we are SO appreciative of that.

 

To the fans: You have GOT to stop pushing, chasing, “stalking”, etc. In the wise words of BSB, “I don’t care who you are, where you’re from, what you did, as long as you…” just stop being aggressive. I know there were a lot of first timers on this cruise, but let me tell you, on past cruises, the guys hung out around the ship ALL the time. This cruise, they were forced to hide and take back hallways to get back to their room just to avoid getting followed by mass amounts of people. If they see that you are calm, they WILL hang out with you, and you WILL get the attention you want from them; because that’s what they are on the boat for. They are on the cruise for YOU. They WANT to hang out with you, as a calm and civil adult fan; not someone they have to risk their personal safety to be around.

I will leave it at that as to not dwell on the past, because we cannot change it. We can only make positive change for the future. So, as a collective fandom– “I don’t care where you’re from”, but let’s vow to make this change for the better… so that next cruise can be better… because WE, as a whole, made it that way. #BackstreetArmy