you’re talkin’ to my heart without makin’ a sound

Prior to waking up on Saturday morning, two things happened: we debated at some length about whether or not we even had a ton of interest in getting off the boat and seeing Nassau (without making a final decision), and we forgot to make decisions on our room service breakfast for the following day. Because I made it back to the room before Michelle & Donna, I hastily scribbled a few choices down on the room service list, stuck it on the door before 5 am, and forgot all about it. (By the time they came back 10-15 minutes later, it was gone, but they were both just happy to have anything in the morning that was ready to go, so yay!)

We got to sleep somewhere around 4:30 or 5 am, so we slept till about 10-10:30, and decided we shouldn’t do anything until finally finishing the door decorations. As I already said, we were pretty sure it was too late to be in the running to win, but we’d already done enough work that we thought we should see it through, and it was turning out cool. Since the theme was “through the decades,” the idea was to use four mini posterboards and make each one a different decade: 80s, 90s, 00s, and 10s. Interestingly, I was sure the 10s would be the hardest to fill, since we’re less than two years in, but it turned out that 80s was harder to come by. My idea wasn’t just to use the New Kids’ pictures and memorabilia, etc, but that which related to us personally, too. I asked the girls to bring pics of themselves (with or without friends/family) throughout the years, and then we picked & chose from among those to take up whatever room we needed to/could. Donna, amazingly, has quite a collection of ticket stubs from across the decades, which was perfect for accentuating the various years. 80s was my favorite because there were really sweet, old pics of the guys, a cracked 45″ of “The Right Stuff,” and pictures of us as little kids. To finish, we put each of our Twitter names on a posterboard and then added NKOTB magnets to the door frame, miscellaneous pictures that hadn’t fit into the posterboards around the surrounding wall area, and “thought bubble” sticky notes with NK-related inside jokes (things only BHs would get like “sweaty ballz,” “o u bad,” “hashtag just sayin,” “and shave, bro, shave!”) all over it. Here are pics of the finished product. I say, better late than never!

This is to the right of the door if you’re facing it. A note on the “JOE is SEX” sign, though I wish she could tell it herself, as she’d be more accurate than I: see the No More Games tourbook with the “JOE is SEX” sign, right next to the new one? That’s Donna at 12 or 13. Every time I’ve seen that pic since we were 12, I wondered why she made a sign that said that…on the cruise, I found out: the night before, a girl took a sign that said “JORDAN is sex” and got onstage. Donna thought, why not? and gave it a shot. It might’ve seemed to her like it didn’t work at the time, but I say, ok – that girl got onstage. My girl is immortalized in the tourbook forever – you both win! Anyway, so she decided to make the same sign again and take it to the party. Joe ended up seeing it and loving it, so she changed her Twitter name to @JOEisSEX almost immediately. 🙂

This is to the left of the door. As we worked, we came up with what we thought was a fantastic idea…we’d heard complaints/feedback that last year’s boat, the Imagination, was “better” than this year’s Destiny. My suggestion? Let’s just have them get on building a “Joe-ah’s Ark” all our own so we can cruise wherever, whenever we want! (And if it happens, our vote for the door decorating theme is “heavy petting zoo!” Just sayin’!)

When we had finished to our satisfaction, the girls went up to the Lido deck to enjoy the whirpool and the sun, and I at first thought I’d sleep a little, but then decided not to waste a cruise sleeping and went wandering around the ship with a list of friends’ room numbers. While I was out meeting friends, I stopped to snap some pictures of other really great doors. This one is Amanda’s (a different Amanda than “my” Amanda, this one is @DonnieForPres‘:

Those are giant marshmallows, and I had to stop laughing long enough to actually get a clear picture!

This one was amazing – not only were the dolls decked out and the door itself looked great, but there was music playing and a note attached that said to come back daily to check out the wardrobe changes! I love creativity!

This one was made for @CoachVolleyball with love by @BlancoDiddy, who couldn’t make the cruise.

This one belongs to @stephiebutton and @Miss_Tattoo, though I think the part to the side of the door was just as cute as the door itself:

See the “memory lane tour bus” at the top”? Love it!

This guy and his pole (I think they called him Merle?) belonged to @DDubsMyFix and @M_Vizzle!

This one is hard to see details of, but a really cool idea: the records are all the various CD releases over the years! (Solo, group, etc.) It belonged to @JKsFoxEyes (who I ran into while I was running around, the Jennifer I mention in this post. We managed to catch up a bit and set a date to have a drink later that evening).

Finally, I went up to the Lido Deck to have a drink with the girls and relax in the sun for a while, where I ran into Marcy (@DDubsMyFix) in the flesh and later met the girl who’d bravely chosen to have this temporarily tattooed on her body:

Several drinks later, the sun was starting to go down and we realized that the last of our free hours were dying, and we were unlikely to make it to Nassau without skipping the evening’s events. Oh well, um…next time? We headed back to our room instead and decided to order room service for dinner, which turned out to be a good choice: the portobello mozzarella sandwich on foccaccia was fantastic!

Our next event was the Acoustic Wood and (Broadway) Joe Show, and I’m going to be honest: I’ve never been super crazy about Danny’s solo projects, so I didn’t expect to be interested or even very entertained. I wouldn’t have missed it for anything, but what I wasn’t prepared for was him letting his guard down and absolutely blowing me away. He has a tendency to sort of let his “inner 12-year-old,” if you will, run his mouth (or at least his Twitter) from time to time (think “ballz!” and “douche or no douche,” and you’ll know what I’m referring to), and sometimes it’s a little off-putting. This was a different side of Danny, and one I wasn’t expecting, if I knew it existed at all. It was refreshing and so endearing. My roomies and I were in tears through most of it, and since we’d failed to successfully put a complete photo group together (and therefore were likely to get lumped in with another group with a similar problem), I made a mental note to thank him for his vulnerability with us if I stood with him the next morning at the photo op. There isn’t much else left to say except that it was a beautiful moment, I don’t think I’ll ever forget that side of Danny, and I’m grateful for it:

Here, see for yourself:

Joe came out in a birdcage, which I heard later was for “shock value” because he’s discovered that nothing he does shocks us anymore. (Hey Joe? It’d shock me if you stopped trying & just enjoyed yourself! That’s all I want! But I digress.) A Broadway lover like Joe, I thoroughly enjoyed a full set of his showtunes, even though several of them were ones I didn’t really know. The fact remains, the guy could sing me the phone book and I’d still be swooning. Suffice it to say, by the end of the show, I think every girl in the Palladium was happy!

This was a highlight for me personally, as a huge Wicked fan! Joe’s guest was Sasha Allen, who’s fresh off her own run on Broadway, as well as the fiancee of Rob Lewis, Joe’s accompanist for the evening. He also sang “Soliloquy” from Carousel, about a guy who finds out that he’s going to be a father, and the first half of the song is all about anticipating life with his future son…until it occurs to him that it could be a girl, and he’ll have to be a father to a girl. In addition to foreshadowing a future announcement, it was a really sweet moment (and I won’t try to pretend it didn’t actually make me cry: it did)!

Back in our room after the show, we never did figure out what exactly this animal was supposed to be,

but we got pretty silly discussing it. Talk amongst yourselves…

While the girls were finishing getting ready for Pink Night, I was late for my drink date with Jennifer. In the years since we’ve lived in the same city, the two of us often photo message each other pictures of drinks we’re having when we’re out. Jennifer’s got a thing for a lemon or lime twist, so while I wanted a glass of champagne, I asked the bartender to put a twist in it for us:

We had a good long chat and then headed upstairs to the Lido decks to find our respective groups of friends. Check out my gorgeous Juliana Marguiles-lookalike roomie (Donna) decked out for Pink Night:

Unfortunately, I forgot again not only to have someone take a pic of me with my roomies in our Pink Night gear, but we’d also let another day go by without putting our PJs back on for a pic in them. (And never remembered to do either before splitting up!)

I think of all the theme nights, it was Pink Night that most excited me…there’s something about seeing a hot guy in pink that just really works for me…but five? Yes please!

And props especially to Joe for being so ridiculous and awesome in his pink spandex and eyeshadow! What a dork, and I mean that with all love! Here are some favorite pics from this night (well, before my camera battery died, anyway):

(Danny and Chance with his birthday cake at the close of his birthday)
It was really awesome to see such a sea of pink on the Lido deck. I hope they repeat this theme every year; white night just doesn’t have the same effect or the same cause!

Joe’s face in that one makes me crack up every time!

The guys like to crowdsurf, and that night I was in a prime position to give Donnie a hand…I couldn’t (and wouldn’t!) turn down a chance at a handful of marshmallow as I helped him from one side stage to the other, but we know he doesn’t really mind such a thing!

Eventually, the clothes started coming off (of Donnie, anyway, and when he ripped his shirt open, buttons flew over our heads!)

and the drinks kept flowing…the guys talked Jon into singing “step 5,” but he barely had the voice for it:

There were issues with the DJ that night, too, and he was eventually “fired,” though whether literally or more in the Donald Trump colloquial sense, I’m not sure. Donnie’s the boss, though, and at one point stopped the show to yell at the DJ for playing a song that referred to women as bitches, saying he wasn’t having it. He also wouldn’t let the DJ play another song until he took the videos/logo off the screen and put the fans on it, because it’s what he/we wanted to see, and he said repeatedly that it was our party, not the DJ’s. My guess is, that guy won’t be back.

With one last lingering look at the Mac in his pink tights, I bid my girls, the boys, the Lido deck and the bubble machine good night and headed off for pizza at 4 am with Nina:

(Those are bubbles in the sky, in case you can’t tell!)

I was in bed by 5:30ish and the girls followed around 6. Michelle was drunk and kept telling us about “Jack and Coke.” She passed out before we could get all the lights off in the cabin, and Donna and I quickly discovered that neither of us knew how to turn off one of the lights. We tried to wake her, but she was out. Donna shook her, and she shouted “NO!!” with a violence neither of us expected. We tried again. “Michelle, how do you turn the lights off?” “I don’t know!” Luckily, we figured it out and slept quickly (albeit briefly, of course). Day 4 (stuck at sea!) to follow.

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