do you remember, or should I rewind?

If you’re interested in anything that happened prior to getting on the boat, check out Travels with Toaster for the rest of the travel deets. I’m keeping this fairly NK-specific so that I can have something to post on each site. 🙂


As soon as we boarded the ship, NKOTB was standing there, waiting to greet us!

…sort of. Michelle & I both thought the picture was better of the cardboard cutout alone than of either/both of us with it, but…we were greeted by the guys!

Though it was probably around noon, the first thing you walk into when you board the ship is a lounge/bar area, so drinks were the first order of business for the day! (How do you start a vacation?)

Carnival has a different drink deal every day for a set price and you get to keep the cup (cheap plastic ones, though). I wish I’d have paid attention to the name/ingredients of this one in particular, because it was fantastic! Anyway, we sat sort of people watching and enjoying our drinks as people were boarding, because we couldn’t yet go to our cabins. Just above our heads, I noticed that Carnival had brought out appropriately-colored balloons to help me celebrate last year’s graduation (and my reason for having missed both prior cruises):

Before long, Amanda & Nina made it onto the ship too and we chatted with them and some friends of theirs that we didn’t know, enjoying the palpable excitement in the air. (Interesting observation: what other cruise/vacation do you know of where people introduce themselves/each other by Twitter names? Only BHs! I can’t tell you how many times I said, “I’m livinontheblock!” to someone only to watch recognition dawn on them. It’s a strange & lovely phenomenon we have, my sistas!) As soon as we were told we could go to our cabins, Michelle & I were eager to go check ours out. I’d texted Donna once or twice but hadn’t heard back from her and figured she’d just meet us in the room.

We got to our room before our luggage did, and our steward, Amung, was finishing up cleaning it for us. We had a small triple in the middle of the ship, which I’d heard was good in terms of not getting seasick. Nina had a balcony we were invited to check out, but somehow we never made it. Our luggage showed up one bag at a time, and then Donna surfaced. It didn’t take long for us to realize I’d chosen my roommates well (my original roommates had quickly backed out; I’d promised to help them get their money back if they allowed me time to get to know new girls and pick people I was comfortable with), we all got along well from the start. We decided to get something to eat before the Sail Away party on the Lido Deck, so we joined Allie, Alyse, Amanda & Nina and headed to the buffet for lunch.

I’m not gonna lie: I was underwhelmed with the food. It was fine, but I’ve always heard cruise food is amazing. Turns out, it depends which cruise line you’re on. Carnival is all about fun & the “booze cruise,” which I didn’t know going into this vacation. Now, the bottom line for me is, which cruise line has the New Kids onboard? I’d eat far worse to have such an experience…I’m “just saying.”

After lunch was the Sail Away party, which I had expected to be an open bar, but this year’s itinerary had that slated for midnight-1 am that night instead. Since we were already dressed and ready, we stayed up on the Lido deck and didn’t have long to wait until the guys came out. It was fun to party with them in the daylight, because in retrospect, it’s much easier to get great pictures when you don’t have to worry about flash and camera settings. A few of the best ones I took at the party:

(If you’ve seen video of this, you know I just had my camera ready & got lucky with this shot – Jordan only had his shirt up for a few seconds!)

(Joe in those short shorts was killing me!)

After the party, it was time to head to the Palladium for Double Dare. I’m gonna say right now that after reports of previous game shows (Family Feud) being awesome, I had high hopes for this…as it turned out, it was unorganized and kind of a hot mess, but it certainly wasn’t without laughs, and I would still go again if given the opportunity…I just hope they don’t play it again next year. (I was really hoping when I saw Double Dare that someone was gonna get slimed…if you’re not gonna do that, play Jeopardy or something!) Highlights include Donnie going through the purse of a teammate, toilet paper “mummies,”

trying to pick candy out of whipped cream with chopsticks,

cross-dressing New Kid races,

the guys aiming balls into a basket on a teammate’s head, balloon-popping antics,

the commercials,

and this:

(And no…it’s not me that calls him “fucking hot!” – it’s Donna.)

Though Joe managed to complain enough about the logistics of the game to win his & Jordan’s team an extra 100 points, Donnie, Danny & Jon’s team still won in the end, and we were off to the dining room for our first and only meal there. Unbelievably, there was still more fun to our day: it was time to get ready for 80s Night after dinner! While Michelle’s outfit was cute enough in today’s retro 80s fashion to work then and now, Donna went all hot-pink pantsuit that we kept calling “Angela Bower” (Who’s the Boss?), and I went for the double entendre of 80s & New Kids with my Dirty Dancing off the shoulder tee and way too much eye makeup and accessories…and you can’t even my crimped side ponytail, but…maybe that’s for the best! Here we are:

and here are Allie, Alyse & Amanda:

If you think we look great though…how about this fantastic blast from the past? You can’t imagine the screams when they came out dressed like this unless you were there (on the boat or in the 80s)!

But then…to break out the old school choreography, too? We were eating this up!

Of all the things we brought back that night (rat tails & braids, jellies, neon, oh so much Aqua net, blue eyeliner, and acid washed jeans that should never again see the light of day), there’s something about seeing Joe in this outfit (hat, especially, but jacket too) that never fails to take me back…I’m thirteen again:

While this is a good pic of him, you can’t really see from it that it’s that old hat with no top and the happy face jacket from Hangin’ Tough Live. Aww, memories!

Before long, the guys were gradually changing into more “normal” clothes, but we had hours still to go ondeck for the party. The “open bar” hour came & went, and all I ever saw was the same server carrying trays of beer in plastic cups, and when I went to pick one up he pulled away from me and handed one to Michelle. I never understood what happened, but thankfully though I’d heard I might spend a ton on drinks, I didn’t. And I never went without, either. Anyway, a few more of my fave 80s night pics: (mostly Donnie, what can I say? You stay nearest the ones you love!)

Somewhere around 2 am I left my roommates dancing on the Lido deck to type out a few notes, shower, organize my stuff in solace (I always need a little quiet time to myself!), and get ready for bed. About 3:15 they came in and more than an hour later we had to keep telling ourselves to shut up just so we could get some sleep. It’s like sleepovers when we were kids…but so much better! Stay tuned for day 2’s adventures!

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