It has been a little over a week since the Backstreet Boys cruise and it still feels surreal. BSB have been doing cruises over the years, but I never got the chance to go. So when they announced the cruise in April of last year I knew this was my chance to finally go. Cabins were being sold like hot cakes so I had to put myself on the waitlist and I heard back from Rose Tours (cruise company working with BSB) and booked my cabin in July.
Since it was my first cruise with the Boys I had no idea what to expect. Theme nights were announced sometime in February and I was so elated. Once it was cruise week I was ready! I had my theme outfits ready and I was ready to set sail from Miami to Grand Turk.
There were about 2000+ people on board and there were groups A&B (aka early Dining & late dining). Groups help divide the event times such as formal dining and events that the Boys throw throughout the cruise. Each group gets a concert and each boy throws a solo event in the theater. I had late dining so I was in Group B. I think it was the most perfect scheduling. Keep reading and find out why.
DAY 1; May 3, Thursday
My first glimpse of the Boys was at the Carnival terminal when cruisers were waiting to board the ship and all of the Boys and their entourage entered the terminal at about noon. Everyone was loving it and everyone was waving to them and watching them get onto the boat. It was getting real.
The next time I saw the Boys was on the ship for the sail away party. The Boys were dressed as pirates and looked so exceptionally debonair. I was able to snag pictures with Nick and Brian; both whom I have never met in person nor taken a picture with.
Night one: “Fast Times at Backstreet High”
I dressed up as a basketball player. Nothing too crazy. As, I remember or faintly remember the night was a blur. I think I was trying to take everything in. All I know is I took a picture with Kevin.
DAY 2: May 4, Friday
I was in Group B and our first group event was taking photos with the Boys. This is what I was looking forward to the most! The Boys were in their pirate outfits from the sail away party and of course I stood next to Kevin. It was my first time next to him with no barrier between us. After the photo was taken I looked up at him (yes, he is that tall) and I said, “Kevin, this is my first cruise.” Kevin: “Good. I hope it’s not your last.” Me: “I hope so too.” 🤦🏻♀️ WTH?!! Did I just say? I walked away and was beating myself up for what I just said to him. It was my first time ever saying anything to him at all and that is what comes out of my mouth? I have been practicing what to say to him for years and that is what I say.. I cannot believe it. Good thing this wasn’t my only encounter with him on the cruise. If you think I redeemed myself I did no such thing. I couldn’t bare to think that I could say something stupid again so I just didn’t say anything at all.
Prior to the cruise I have taken pictures with Kevin and Howie so coming to the cruise was my first time I’d get to see Brian, AJ, and Nick up close and in person and I must say I still love Kevin.
Shortly after taking my photo with the group the Captain announces that we will have to reroute our destination from Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos to Nassau, Bahamas because of the weather. A few people I spoke to, including myself, were bummed. Some people went to Half Moon Cay two cruises back and are going to back to Bahamas. For myself, I think it is more likely that I would visit Nassau than Grand Turk. Oh, well. Not Carnival’s fault. You can’t predict the weather.
Group B’s event was where AJ previewed AJ gave the audience a sneak peak of his pop/country music. He sang along to a few songs as well. Very different, but very catchy. His album releases next month in June.
Kevin gave a sneak peak of new Backstreet Boys music from their up and coming album. However, he did not play the new single “Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart” (which will be released tomorrow, May 17). He played a third of the album for us. Side note…#threewords. Only Group B and he will understand this inside joke. 😊
Night two: “We’ve Got It Goin’ Con”
I used an old Halloween costume as Riddler. By this time I knew where the Boys path up to the deck so I was able to walk up the stairs next to Kevin while he was wearing platforms. As we were walking up he said, “I have to be careful on going up.” I said, “Don’t worry Kevin. I’ll catch you.” Another dumb thing that came out of my mouth, but I don’t think he saw it was me talking to him. I was also snagged a not-so-good picture with him once we were at the top of the stairs. This night was somewhat a faint memory from me. I think because people were getting frustrated the Boys weren’t coming out as much as they did in past cruises, from what I heard.
DAY 3; May 5, Saturday
Day in Nassau, 🇧🇸
The excursion I initially chose was the stingray encounter in Grand Turk and I am so happy they had that option for Bahamas as well.
The excirsion included a boat ride to Balmoral Island. Once in the island I hung out at the beach for a short time before my excursion started. The waters were cold, but clear. It is paradise. During the stingray encounter we were able to pet them and we feed them with fish. You may have pet stingrays before at an aquarium and they are so soft. I was standing and a stingray attempted to go between my feet and it started me. To feed them the instructor said to hold the fish with the thumb tucked in and the hand underneath the stingray and a sucking feeling will happen and let the fish go. I couldn’t bare to do this in fear of getting my fingers sucked into their mouths. We took photos holding the stingray, giving and getting a kiss from them. During this portion of the encounter I was fearless. This was so fun. The water is my element and I love being up close and personal with animals.
Food on the island was so expensive, but I had to try something conch because that is what I was looking forward too at Grand Turk. I was so happy they had it here too. It wasn’t bad at all. I would have to try it again cooked in a different way to know if I like it or not. After Balmoral Island we took a boat back onto land and saw Nassau a little and did some souvenir shopping.
By this time I was tired from having to wake up so early and being out in the sun. I headed back to the ship and got ready for Howie’s event, ‘Cinco de Howie’ in lieu of Cinco de Mayo. Cruisers were chosen to be fed salsa by Howie and other fun activities. He also invited people to join him on stage and those few he took pictures with.
Night three: “Millennium night”
Everyone wore white and I felt this was when most people went all out in their outfits. I wore jean shorts, bikini top and a mid-length shawl.
The most fun deck party was definitely Millennium night. They played the entire Millennium album and they crowd was into it and the Boys knew they killed it that night. I think everyone went all out on this night. After the album they played a few songs from Black & Blue amongst older songs from their very first album.
During the concert Nick and AJ got wild with the crowd and somehow managed to get in the pool with everyone and ended up with their shirts off. Everyone was loving it. At some point in the evening, Kevin went out to the bar and served drinks to anyone there. Howie then went off to the opposite end where Kevin was and was taking pictures with everyone. Nick was somewhere on the boat taking pictures as well, but I didn’t look for him.
I waited in line to take my photo with Howie and later waited in the mish mosh of people at the bar where Kevin was bartending. He may be a slow bartender, but that’s okay it gives me more time to look at him and just admire him. He said, “I usually likes tequila with lime and soda.” I said, “Sure, I’ll take that.” It was a great night. The party didn’t end until 🕟.
DAY 4; May 6, Sunday
There was a Blackjack Tournament to play against AJ that I signed up for, but I was not getting up this morning. I needed my rest from the night before.
However, I told myself to wake up for Nick’s event; ‘HQ with Nick’ where contestants were chosen to answer BSB trivia in a rounds. I was on the upper deck getting a tan so I was no where near being a possible contestant.
Later in the day, Brian and Leighanne has a game show where audience members played games and the winning group (Team B or Team Leigh) won $25 casino chips. Team Leigh kicked ass in the games. Brian was Brian and goofing off making the crowd laugh. I was too far to even try to be a contestant for this.
Night four: “Party Like It’s 1993”
I was going for early 90’s using Kelly Kapowski as inspiration with floral shorts, long sleeved midriff, bright pink jacket and bright pink scrunchie.
No one on the cruise will understand Millennium night. The one that the world will know of is 90’s night when Backstreet Boys became #SpiceBoys for the evening. The photos are hilarious and it was a great homage to 90’s pop music.
Nick as Baby Spice
AJ as Scary Spice
Brian as Sporty Spice
Kevin as Posh Spice
Howie as Ginger Spice
All of them were in character and the crowd (and world) loved it. They played 90’s music and it was a special ode to women empowerment. Since it was the last night no one wanted to go to bed…not even the Boys, err AJ & Kevin. AJ promised selfies with everyone and he chose the last night to do it. He was there for 4 hours taking photos so my pictures with him, you can tell he is tired. Come to think of it, I took pictures with Kevin everyday of the cruise. Without a doubt not a bad thing.
Since it was the last night I was okay with having to stay up very late despite the early wake up call of 8:30am. Literally 2.5 hours of sleep. I was going to wait until they were knocking on my door ready to kick me out that I would leave my cabin. And that is exactly what happened.
DAY 5; May 7, Monday
While I was having my last breakfast on the ship and seeing everyone zombified I was reflecting on the entire trip. It was absolutely fun and so worth the cost, the experience, memories, and the friendships made. I have never been to Coachella or any sort of music festivals, but I thought, “I guess this is how people who go to Coachella feel like. No matter the cost they are willing to spend their rent money or entire check or whatever because the experience is worth it.” Is absolutely is. I went on the cruise saying, “This would be my only cruise” but of course I don’t know if I was trying to convince myself or whoever I would be talking to at the time. It utterly so much fun and would love to do it again.