By Christina (@SingMyBlu)
So the Backstreet Boys Cruise has officially been announced, and I know there are many questions that I had that were not in the FAQ that I wish I knew when I went on my first cruise. This upcoming cruise is going to be my third and I could not be more excited. I’ve learned a few things from my own experience on the cruise and well as from other cruisers, so I want to take this chance to let potential new cruisers know and remind the veterans of things that you should look out for between now and cruise time.
- Find yourself a roommate. There are a few single occupancy rooms, but past cruises will tell you it’s great to have a buddy. Getting that coveted Backstreet Boy solo shot is going to be much easier if you have someone to hold your camera for you, you can also have someone to get ready.
- This is a once in a lifetime experience, share it with someone. If you don’t have someone to go with from your hometown, Twitter and Facebook are great ways to connect with other BSB fans that want to go as well.
- Create a Rose Tours account and make sure you and anybody you plan on rooming with have a Rose tours account to make booking easier. You can securely upload your bank information for your deposit and future payments. Just make sure that all the information is correct, and if you’re a past cruiser make sure your account information is updated.
- Decide which cabin type you want. Cabins can range from $699 to $4,999 (don’t forget to add the $329 in port taxes). Pick at least 3 different types of cabins your party is willing to pay for because some types sell out fast. Make notes of the payment schedule (3 bulk payments), or the new monthly payment schedule. These cruises are not cheap, so make sure that you pick a payment option that works best for you. Certain cabins grant you seats in the first 6 rows of the concert, the rest assign seats by the time of booking, so that is something important to look at.
- You are going to have to decide at time of booking if you want the Early or Late Dining. Early is a 6 p.m., Late is at 8:15 p.m. This also designates which show day you have, and which day you get your group picture with the Boys once the more detailed cruise itinerary comes out closer to cruise time. Choose wisely. Each has its own benefits. Also another pro-tip: if you have other friends coming who you don’t share a cabin with, you’ll want to coordinate early or late dining with them as well.
- After you book would be a good time to set reminders for yourself about when money is due and how far away the cruise is. Get a countdown timer on your phone, set up reminders in your online calendar, write important dates down on a wall calendar if you have to. Pick a time you want to have your flight and hotel booked. Add the dates of the payments in your calendar so you don’t incur a penalty. As cruise time gets closer, you’re going to be juggling cruise, flight, and hotel information on top of trying to make sure you have everything packed and things in your personal life squared away. Do yourself a favor and set all the reminders you need between now and next May ahead of time.
BEFORE CRUISE TIME:
- US cruises don’t need a passport, just a US birth certificate, and state issued ID. Cruisers around the world will need one. For those in the US, the process takes about 6-8 weeks depending upon the season, and getting it rushed makes the price go up. So if you are going to get a passport, the earlier the better. They are good for 10 years so it is worth the investment.
- If you haven’t already done so, assemble your photo group. Groups can be 4-5 people and Rose Tours says there will be no acceptions. Being prepared early means you’ll get in and out of the line relatively quickly. There will be a space on the boat for those that haven’t found a photo group in time, but being prepared is key.
- Create an account with Carnival Cruise lines. The cruise that we will be traveling on is from the Carnival Cruise line and when it’s time to board the boat, you’ll need luggage tags from their site. You can purchase an alcohol pass ( a certain number of drinks per day) or an unlimited soda pass for one flat rate and it’s cheaper to purchase these in advance. The spa will be open so you can get a manicure or massage. You’ll also be able to check out the island, Grand Turk and book an excursion or a cabana or the beach. You can also get certain amenities delivered to your room, or have your room decorated for a special occasion (Birthdays anyone?) once you board and all of it is purchased through Carnival Cruise Lines website. The boys aren’t going to be available all of the time, so plan do something fun outside of the scheduled itinerary. Besides, you never know if you’re going to run into one of them doing something that is not on the main parts of the boat.
- Save a little for incidentals along the way. There will be an exclusive merchandise room on the boat so you’ll want to make sure you have money for that, but there are certainly many other expenses you may not be aware of. Flight and pre-cruise hotel accommodations are not included and the more you have saved up beforehand means the better deal you can get on these (Try Google flights or Skyscanner to help you find the best price on flights). Most hotels will give you a free shuttle to the boat, but some don’t offer a free shuttle back. It all depends on what your situation is. Tuck a little extra away every month so you can have the best time without worry.
- Check your email on the regular for updates from Rose Tours and the Backstreet Boys. They send updates about cruise events often. Whenever themes, sign-ups for fun events, and the detailed cruise itinerary is released, it’ll come to your email first. If you miss and email, check your spam folder!
As a small final note, remember you are going to be on a boat with the world’s best-selling boy band and 2,000 of their biggest fans. Be nice to each other. Talk to each other. Help each other when you can.
I know I am one of many people who have met lifelong friends on the Backstreet Boys cruise. Also, be nice to the Rose Tours crew. They are the ones who have been working very hard to put this together to make sure we have a great time. If you have any other questions you can ask the Rose Tours crew or as a past cruiser. Be excited but also relax and enjoy this amazing experience.
I hope you have the time of your life on the Backstreet Boys Cruise 2018.
Follow Christina on Twitter @SingMyBlu.