To read the cruise blog I posted after the last cruise, go here: http://www.jessicajewettonline.com/nkotb-cruise-2011
Here is the promo video for the 2012 cruise with footage from the 2011 cruise.
Don’t get obsessive about booking on the day it goes on sale. The website will crash. It is inevitable and can’t be stopped. Complaining, freaking out, going into hysterics, etc., is not going to resolve the problem, so it’s just best to keep rational about the whole thing. There is a possibility that you won’t get your cabin on the first day everything goes on sale. Get on the wait list as soon as you can with Rose Tours. Of all of the people who book the day everything goes on sale, I would say about a third to half of them are going to pull out before everything is said and done. There is a great chance you’re going to get on the boat whether it’s through the wait list or a direct arrangement with someone selling their spot. Where there is a will, there’s a way, and if you’re meant to be on the boat, you’ll be there.
If you are disabled, contact Rose Tours immediately after booking. There are a limited number of wheelchair accessible cabins in most price ranges. More disabled fans cruise with NKOTB than an average cruise, so there won’t be enough cabins to go around. You have to request disability forms from Rose Tours, fill them out, and fax them back right away. Accessible cabins are handed out on a first come first serve basis. They won’t assign your cabin right away but they will keep the paperwork for when they do assignments.
Don’t book your flight or hotel until after the holidays. This one may not work for you but I find that it’s best to wait until after the November payment to make travel arrangements. Usually people who have to cancel will do so by January from what I’ve seen. You never know what can happen between now and then, so just concentrate on making your payments for now. Also, flights tend to be rather expensive depending on the season and the day of the week. Prices typically drop after the holidays and are lower on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Start monitoring airfare and watch how it goes up and down. Last year I watched carefully and my flight dropped from $350 to $150. That’s a big savings right there.
Pack light, comfortable clothes and flat shoes. I see it happen every day on the cruises when people think they’re going to dress in perfect, cute little outfits, but when they get there, they end up in shorts, tank tops and flip flops. That part of the world can be very hot, humid and windy. Frilly little dresses look cute in the mall but they’re not very practical. It’s especially true for shoes. Most people pack a bunch of high heels not anticipating how much standing and walking they’re actually going to do. I wasn’t even walking and my feet were swollen for three days after I got home. Limit your dressing up to nighttime when there are themes. Just be aware that your feet are going to be screaming at you the higher your heels go. Let’s be real here – your clothes are not going to get you into bed with a New Kid. Be practical.
Don’t fly in the day of the cruise. I made this mistake the first time and got to the port with only 20 minutes to spare. It’s better to fly in the day before to leave room for delays. You really need a good night’s sleep beforehand too. Don’t rush yourself. There will be plenty of rushing on the boat.
Remember this is YOUR VACATION, not stalk NKOTB 24/7! People who typically don’t enjoy themselves are the ones who are solely focused on tracking down the guys for personal time all day, all night, without rest. They expect to pal around with the guys all the time and get pushy and mean when other people get time with them instead. People who don’t enjoy themselves are the ones who forget they’re in the middle of paradise with drinks, food, swimming, music, beautiful scenery, and so on and so forth. How much fun you have on the cruise is relative and proportional to your expectations going into it. Expect a great time with your friends and maybe seeing the guys a little bit and that’s exactly what you will get. Expect a tough time of fighting people, being pushy, gossipy, catty, rude, etc., to get a few seconds of facetime surrounded by 2,000 other people and that’s exactly what you will get.
Do not scream and chase the guys. Yes, it happens. A girl screamed when she saw Jon and he took off running. The people clogging the guys’ cabin level for a glimpse is pushing it too far too. If the guys are clearly off duty, just smile, wave or say hi, and keep moving. Why? Because if they feel like they’re being chased, they won’t hang around. If you are cool, they are cool. Remember that if you are feeling exhausted from being up so late drinking and dancing every night, then the guys are just as tired – probably more because they have to be “on” and performing almost the entire four days. Cut them a little slack. I have found that if they don’t feel pursued, they will mingle around more. They do their best to get around to everyone, so there is no need to push or shove or act crazy. Be patient and your time will come. Most of my best moments happened totally by accident, not because I was hunting down a New Kid.
Don’t ditch your friends for a New Kid or VIP. I’ve seen this happen so much. People get an opportunity to go up to VIP and boom, it’s like their friends don’t exist anymore. Be aware of your friends’ feelings. Last year, VIP was not great. In fact, Donnie told me I was better off down on the deck with the pool because it was more fun there. They overcrowd VIP and you’re not even mingling with the guys. They have their own inner VIP within the general VIP. So many people pushed and shoved at the bottom of both staircases that it was ridiculous but when I saw where they were going, it looked pretty pointless to me. They were packed like sardines up there and the guys didn’t really visit them any more than non-VIP people down below. If my choice was to drink and dance with my friends or get picked to go up to VIP and get crammed up there by myself for a minute or two of facetime, I would choose my friends.
Listen to your body regarding the heat, dehydration and sleep. I had a good vantage on the pirate ship of what everybody was doing on Half Moon Cay. Several people were down with the heat because they were drinking too much alcohol and not enough water. The beach is hot as hell. If you don’t keep hydrated, you are going to succumb to the heat. Several girls passed out and refused to go back to the ship for medical care because they wanted to see the guys. Ladies, New Kids are not worth your health! Seriously! Also, please pace yourselves. Four days is a bit long to stay up all night every night. You are going to run yourselves into the ground if you don’t make time to go to sleep. Catch a nap by the pool during the day and try to get to bed by 3 am at least one or two nights. Trust me. Your body will thank you for the sleep.
Use the stairs if you are not disabled. The elevators are notoriously slow on these cruise ships, especially when hordes of people are trying to use them at the same time. If you see people with disabilities waiting for the elevator on the ship, please consider the stairs. I am always a bit frustrated when people who can use stairs shove ahead of those with mobility limitations to get on the elevator. Another option if you don’t want to use the stairs is to be kind and allow those who actually need the elevator to go first and wait for the next one. Remember that disabled passengers don’t have an alternate route. We have to take elevators and many times, half the elevators are locked for security or because staff are moving equipment.
Be kind to the staff, security, and NKOTB too. They are all working very hard for us and they need a kind word every now and then. Think of a job you’ve had where it’s nothing but people yelling and complaining at you. It wasn’t very fun, was it? Being nice always wins out over being rude. Security in particular are more likely to help you and look after you if you are nicer to them. It’s very simple – treat others as you want to be treated.
Stop, look around, and soak in the moment. These cruises are so fast-paced and full of activity. You really need to remind yourself sometimes to stop and soak in the moment, especially when things are getting crazy and you find yourself being drawn into drama. Remember that thousands of people would give anything to be on that boat who are not, so relax and soak in the moment. Getting sucked into drama is just going to take away from your experience. You’re paying a lot of money to be on that boat, so just walk away and go dance with your friends. It’s not that serious!