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This is the day everyone has been waiting for – NKOTB time. As my roommate and I take the shuttle to port with our fellow blockheads who stayed at the same hotel, the excitement is beaming – of course many are also hung-over due to parting in the French Quarter. One 1st timer talks about sleeping on the bathroom floor because she had too much to drink. Others ask how many cruises everyone has been on while giving pointers to those who are cruise virgins. Being this is my 3rd cruise, I just want to get on that boat.
Two years ago, the Port of Miami was insane. We waited outside in a line for what felt like 2 hours in the 90-degree heat. It was awful.
Last year, the Port of New Orleans was very fast. There were no lines and check in was similar to checking into a hotel when there is no line. Hopefully, it will be the same this year considering we are in the same port, same boat, and destination. I was not happy when this cruise was announced because I didn’t like the destination last year….but I couldn’t resist Hangin Tough with my 5 brothers and a million sisters again…it is addicting.
Port was insane inside. Lines, no seating, it was like being at a sold out concert in the cruise terminal—but we got through it! When you check into the cruise, that is when you get a cruise itinerary and a wristband that alerts you to what group you are in, where your seats are for the events held in the ‘theater’ and what dining room you show up to for dinner. It is getting real now!
Cruise Itineraries – what is happening
What group are you in? A
- Jeopardy Game show
- Blockhead Ball Deck Party
- NKOTB Concert
- Blue Bloods Screening
- Superhero Deck Party
- Joe Time Show
- Neon Glow Deck Party
- Donnie Wahlberg-Jacquelyn Hutchinson Annual Poker Tournament
- Photo Group
- NKOTB Acoustic Concert
- GPS Love Fest Deck Party
This is exciting stuff to review when there is nothing to do until rooms are available after 1:30 pm. There is only so much you can do prior to the rooms being ready. We went to the buffet for lunch and met up with 2 ladies in our photo group and had lunch with them. More on the photo group craziness on Day 4.
Sail Away Party
After lunch, dropping stuff off in the room, and then going through the painful, crowded muster station drill, it’s time for the sail away party. Everyone goes on the lido deck and waits for NKOTB to arrive on stage to kick off the party. I tried to Facebook live this event but the Wi-Fi was very spotty and it was difficult to navigate with all of the music, screaming fans, and fun.
Donnie gives his usual spiel and we recite the ‘Oath’. With all of the negativity in the world, Donnie changed this up to a ‘love’ themed oath…still powerful but a little different from past years. In fact, as my third cruise, I feel this one so far is different but can’t put my finger on why – it’s just a feeling I have so far.
After the speech, it’s music time…blare the music, new kids crowd surfing and selfies all around! This is the least amount of time we will spend with the new kids. There is still a whole night ahead….lots of stuff to do!
Jeopardy Game Show
Every cruise, or at least the three I have been on, has a New Kids game show. This year was Jeopardy. Not my favorite game show but it is what it is. Most of the time the game show features fans competing against the guys and this year was no exception. If I have to be honest, it was boring for my taste. The questions were beyond silly and weren’t questions at all. Most of the time, the game show is silly but this wasn’t even entertaining for me.
What was different is when the game turned to story time. Something this blockhead was not aware of is when Jon busted up his face prior to a concert a couple of years ago. I may not get the whole story straight so I won’t even try. I know it had to do with edibles, having too many, and falling over. That was a strange story as many of us view NKOTB as prim and proper but it was interesting, to say the least. The game show really never had an end. The poor fan contestants…they just stood at their podiums looking lost during story time. I just wasn’t into the game show this year – it was off and uninteresting.
Why is the NKOTB cruise so fun and un-relaxing? All you do is hurry and wait! That is something we all say often…hurry and wait. We have to hurry to the lido deck to wait for the party to start and for the new kids to arrive. However, surprisingly this year was different. They weren’t as late as usual. If the deck party started at 11:30 pm, they arrived no later than 12:15 am. That is early for them! Sometimes you have to wait an hour plus!
The New Kids never disappoint. The theme nights are somewhat of a rave party. This was night number 1 and honestly, they are all pretty much the same. We can’t wait to see their outfits and how they make their grand entrance. A DJ takes cues from the guys on music choices and the blockheads, all dressed up in theme, dance, drink, and party until the wee hours of the morning. This year my goal was to stay up and on the lido deck until all of the new kids go in for the night and the party is over. On this Blockhead Ball night, I did just that. My feet were on fire…it was the first time I ‘dressed up’ in a very long time and of course I wore heels that I had never worn before. So smart…NOT!
The night was fabulous as the men crowd surfed, danced, sang, and partied with all the fans.
It has taken me a very long time to write this blog post. As I write this…I realize just how busy this cruise is for all! Day 1 is a crazy day go-go-go! In fact, most days are go-go-go so stay tuned for my Day 2 blog post.
Check out The Pre-Party fun that happens the night before the *real* cruise!