I booked our cabin during the presale for previous cruise go’ers way back in April. I made sure to book the cheapest cabin possible. I think there were only 10 or 16 bunk bed cabins available. With my lightening booking skills I booked a bunk bed cabin on deck 4, cabin R62. The price was $938 per person. That was the cheapest pricing to get.
December 1st, 2011 – Pre-Cruise Party at Cameo in Miami, FL
Our journey to Miami, FL began on December 1st. Naomi and I were both fortunate enough to have VIP tickets to the Backstreet Boys Pre-Cruise Party at the Cameo Nightclub. There were roughly over 150 tickets sold and they sold out fast!
What really sold me on getting VIP for the Pre-Cruise Party was the individual picture with Backstreet Boys. I know you’re thinking, “Oh, Jocelyn, you have like a gazillion pictures with Backstreet Boys already why do you need another one?”
There are a couple of reasons why. In most of my pictures with Backstreet Boys there’s a damn barricade in the way! In my VIP picture from San Francisco without a barricade, my favorite Backstreet Boy Nick isn’t even in the picture! I just wanted ONE picture with just ME and BSB and NO barricade and NO other fans. That’s a lot to ask, I know.
We flew to Miami, Fl via American Airlines. We managed to get a great deal on our plane tickets. We paid $300 each for a round trip from San Francisco to Miami. As we boarded the plane, I noticed there were 3 girls nearby. One of them was wearing a Backstreet Boys 2011 tour shirt. I immediately knew they were going on the cruise too. I was too shy to approach them and strike up a conversation.
I was so exhausted when we arrived in Miami. I didn’t get much sleep before getting on the plane. I think I slept about 2 hours on the plane and the flight was around 5 hours.
I walked through the airport like a zombie. Naomi had booked a room at the Marriot Biscayne Bay. I stayed at the same hotel last year before going on the cruise. We dropped off our luggage at the hotel and then walked around to find a place to eat because we were starving. After walking a couple of blocks we noticed there weren’t very many restaurants around.
Next door to the Marriot Biscayne Bay was the Doubletree Grand Hotel. The moment we walked inside the hotel we spotted a bar type of place. We scanned the menu and the prices weren’t outrageously expensive since they were still serving the lunch time menu. We chose to eat there. The restaurant was called Primo’s. I ordered a grilled chicken wrap.
I assumed that since the restaurant was at an expensive type of hotel that I wouldn’t receive a ton of food but I was pleasantly surprised. I got a generous amount of crispy French fries and a HUGE grilled chicken wrap. It was so huge that I was full after eating half of it. I had to put the other half and a couple of French fries into box to eat later. I only paid $13 for the whole thing. I thought it was a good deal since I was so full and I had leftovers.
Once our hunger was satisfied, we went back to our hotel room to take a nap. It was going to be a long night so we needed as much rest as possible. We napped from around 4pm to 7pm. After our naps we got ready for the Backstreet Boys Pre-Cruise Party at the Cameo Night Club.
I decided to wear the Missoni for Target dress I bought in September. I normally don’t wear dresses because it’s hard to find a dress that doesn’t make me look super fat and doesn’t show my gut. The Missoni for Target dress is amazing because it does a great job at hiding my gut. In addition to that, I also wore black tights that had Spanx built in to it. Kim Kardashian makes me feel good about wearing Spanx.
I then completed my outfit by wearing a black cardigan underneath the dress instead of over it to make it look like the dress had sleeves. The shoes I wore were heels I got from Sears for free! I had Sears gift cards I had won from mycokerewards.com so I used them to pay for the heels.
I had been on the hunt for comfortable heels for months. I had tried a gazillion pairs of shoes and they all hurt. I went to multiple Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Last Call by Neiman Marcus, Off Fifth Saks Avenue, and DSW but none of them had heels that were comfortable! I’m more about comfort than looks.
It was Sears’ Friends and Family event in November so I decided to see if they had decent shoes. To my surprise I found a pair of heels that fit comfortably! I didn’t think I could find comfortable shoes at Sears.
The ride from the hotel to the club was so beautiful. I loved getting to see how Miami looked in the night time. I loved seeing the all the lights and tall buildings. I saw a liquor store named M. B. Liquors and I thought it was funny because my dad’s initials are M. B. The taxi drops us off at the front of the club and there’s already a huge line in front of the club.
While we waited in line, I saw across the street there was a Five Guys! I LOVE Five Guys. I wish I had time to eat a quick dinner. An employee from the club then walks down the line and tells the people with general admission to line up against the fence and the people with VIP to line up near the street.
Then slowly but surely the VIP line moves. Once I stepped inside the club I was hit with a wave of extremely cold air. It felt like it was 32 degrees inside! A Ground Control employee scans our tickets and then gives us orange wristbands. We are then directed to go up stairs to a bar area on the second level. I spotted Jesi, who was the fan I had gone to multiple shows with for the This is Us tour in 2010. She had talked to Justin the photographer earlier who had told her that fans were to wait in the bar area while they set everything up. Then once they were done people would line up to meet and greet with Backstreet Boys.
I would have loved to buy a drink but a few weeks before the Pre-Cruise Party I had a nightmare. What happened in my nightmare was I had went to the bathroom during the Pre-Cruise Party and because of that I had missed seeing Backstreet Boys. That nightmare was enough to discourage me from drinking anything so that I wouldn’t have to pee and miss anything.
I spotted some fans sitting near the stripper pole and there was some space left so Naomi and I sat there and waited for the meet and greet. A long few minutes later, the club’s security began to let fans that had injuries and were in wheelchairs go first. By injuries I mean like they had a broken foot and were using crutches. After they went, the rest of the fans then made their way to the left section of the club to line up.
The spot where the pictures were going to be taken was up against the fence on the second level. I thought that the pictures were going to be taken in a room or with a better backdrop. I thought wouldn’t we be too close to the camera?
I see on the first floor in the bar area is Nick with Lauren. They have their arms around each other and are acting lovey dovey. I thought, ugh, this is the beginning of having to endure their PDA. I remembered in the 2010 cruise they were PDA’ing all over the place.
A few minutes later Backstreet comes up to the second floor and takes their positions and hang out for a while before fans are allowed to meet them. I was so glad to see there wouldn’t be a barricade in the picture!
I kind of wished at that moment that I hadn’t spent so much money on VIP during the NKOTBSB tour since both my VIP pictures had a barricade and I paid $520 each. The Pre-Cruise Party cost $175! I know both prices are expensive but I’d prefer $175 over $520.
It looks like Justin the photographer is giving them a pep talk before the madness would begin.
Before it was my turn to meet Backstreet, the club’s security guard asked me, “Are you ready?!”
I replied, “Yes!”
Then he said, “Remember, no hugs, kisses, or autographs. Understand?!”
I replied, “Yes!”
I stepped up to Q the bodyguard who then let me step toward Backstreet. I held my bag up like a VIP pro and Bodyguard Josh immediately took it from me. I didn’t want to hold my bag in my picture.
Brian was first and I said, “Hi” and I went to shake his hand. He recognized me so then he started to hug me but then I remembered what the security guard said about no hugs and I tend to follow rules, so I was paranoid security would yell at me so I held back a little but Brian went in for the hug. I liked that he broke the rule for me.
After Brian, I realized that my hands were freezing cold from the extremely cold air in the club. I wondered what they thought of my cold hands. Next to Brian was Nick so I shook his hand. He didn’t hug me but I was okay with that.
Nick said to me, “Hi, How are you?” I know that’s the most generic question to ask a person but coming from Nick’s lips, it sounds like the most amazing question in the world. I was just so in awe of him, his tallness, and his long blonde hair. I replied to him, “I’m good.” I then shook hands with Howie and AJ. I didn’t even have time to think because then Josh immediately says, “Turn around for your picture.”
I squeezed in between Nick and Howie. My arm easily slipped behind Howie’s but I had to struggle with Nick a bit to put my arm behind him. It’s like he didn’t want my arm behind him. Well sorrrrrry but it’s going there. I wanted both my arms to be around whoever Backstreet Boy was next to me. (I remembered in my VIP picture from 2010 where I didn’t put my arms around the Backstreet Boy next to me and the picture came out awkward so I wanted to prevent that from happening this time.)
Everything was a blur after I was in between Backstreet Boys for a few seconds. I didn’t even know where I was looking. I just smiled and hoped for the best. While Justin took the picture I saw Manager Jenn standing next to him. She had her iPhone with a leopard cover pointed at us. It was obvious she was taking a picture of us too. It’s a picture I’ll probably never ever see but I’m flattered she took one. I then wondered if she knew the dress I was wearing was a Missoni for Target since I remembered her tweeting in September that she wanted to check out the line but she was working that day.
After the picture, I was pointed in the direction to go downstairs to the first level. I then grew worried about where I exactly I looked while the picture was taken since Manager Jenn was taking a picture too. I thought, oh, no what if I was looking in her camera instead of Justin’s camera.
Thankfully I looked at the right camera. When I saw how the picture came out I was so happy! It came out perfect! I loved how we all were smiling and that my gut wasn’t hanging out.
It was a long wait for the meet and greet pictures to be taken. Music was playing so in between taking pictures, Backstreet would be dancing and bopping their heads to the music. Brian was more into dancing and singing along. I remember he really got into “I Wish” by Skee-Lo.
There was a point when Bad Touch by Bloodhound Gang played. Nick started to simulate he was doing it like they do on the Discover Channel.
Nick being his usual gorgeous self.
Once Backstreet was done meeting and greeting with fans they got on the mic and hyped the crowd up.
Naomi and I inside the club.
Then they made their way to the first level by the bar area. Throughout the night they hung out either by the bar or the DJ booth. AJ got on the mic and had the DJ play one of his songs from his solo record. He said that he was going to re-release his solo record. The funny thing is he’s never even released it in the US. How can he re-release something that’s never even been released?
After the song he then starts talking and sings “Get Another Boyfriend” acapella. Nick then talks about “If You Want It To Be Good Girl (Get Yourself a Bad Boy).”
I loved it when Nick said, “If You Want It To Be Good Girl (Get Yourself a Bad Boy), first off, the title, way too FUCKING long.”
Then he babbles about how he’s always wanted to sing the song but the 4 other Backstreet Boys out-voted him in the matter. Then he sings it with AJ. Howie then joins the 2 of them and watches them. AJ and Nick try to get Howie to join in but he refuses. He says that he doesn’t even remember the words.
Earlier in the night Backstreet was encouraging AJ to pole dance. I thought yeah, right, he’s not going to pole dance… and of course I was wrong! AJ got on the pole and pole danced like a $2 stripper. Damn. If I was closer I would’ve been waving my $1 dollar bills around.
A long while after AJ pole danced Nick came down from the stage area and went into the table area in front of it. The fans who had tables there were all over him but once he made it near the pole I thought, oh my god is Nick going to pole dance too?
He danced as fans surrounded him. I clearly remember Beyonce’s “Run the World” was playing as he danced. After he was done dancing for a minute, he stood on the place where the pole was.
The fans then followed him on to the platform and I thought, eek, I hope he doesn’t fall off. There were fans all around him. I thought it was so funny one fan kept shoving a drink in his face and he clearly didn’t want it. I’m glad he didn’t take it because who knows if the fan slipped something in the drink.
I really think if the fans didn’t follow him onto the platform he would’ve pole danced like AJ. He really had no room to move at all. He just stood there for like 15 seconds and absorbed all the attention he was getting. There was one point I swear Nick and I locked eyes and I was just laughing and grinning because all I was thinking was it looked like he was in the middle of an orgy/gangbang. I wondered if he could read my mind and see the dirtiness in it.
As the night winded down, Nick stayed in the DJ booth and spinned the night away. It was just so fucking sexy to watch him DJ. He was so into it and concentrating on mixing the playlist. If a song a he really liked started to play then he would just look like uhhh this my shit.
All I wanted was to take a picture of the screen that said CAMEO and Nick literally makes a cameo into the picture. See if you can find it him.
It was nearing 3am and Nick made his way out of the DJ booth and Howie sort of took his place hyping up the crowd. I then noticed that it looked like Nick was leaving the club so a few minutes after he left, Naomi and I left to go back to the hotel since we had to wake up early and get ready to board the boat. When we got back to the hotel, Naomi and I ate our left over food from Primo’s, pack some of stuff, and then sleep until around 9am.