Tuesday, November 14, 2017

NKOTB Cruise 2017 Part 2 (Day 2- Friday)

Before you read on, please make sure you've read Part 1 on my blog first!

Ok, are you all caught up?  Good.  Here we go with Part 2- Meet and Greet, Sneaking Past NK Security (sort of), Joe Time, and Superhero Night

Friday morning started early, like 2 1/2 hours after I went to bed the night before early.  As a special ed teacher, I'm used to getting up around the same time I had gone to bed so I was tired... but also incredibly excited (and a little bit nervous) to FINALLY meet the New Kids in person for the first time!  Our photo group had all agreed to meet at 8:30am to get in line for our Meet and Greet, which was supposed to start at 11:00.  As we sat on the floor near the front of the line, we laughed and chatted and rested and made occasional trips to the bathroom for a pit stop and hair/makeup check.  It was here that I met Mandy who, along with her two roomies (Angie and Traci) would quickly become my newest Blockhead soul sisters!    

Photo Cred: Melissa McElroy

Since the cruise runs on 'New Kid time', we ended up waiting for about 3 hours total before moving into Club Rio where the photo stage was set up.  Our wristbands were punched with little hearts as we moved into the room and lined up (again) to await the guys' arrival.  And then it finally happened.  Donnie, Joey, Jordan, Jon, and Danny, my loves of almost 30 years, entered the room and walked toward the stage mere yards away from me.  My heart skipped several beats as Joey tapped his watch with a look that said "It's too f**in' early" and Donnie started doing pushups and modified yoga poses (I say modified because I don't remember gyrating hips in Down Dog or grinding in Cobra) on the stage.  Thank you Donnie!  It was around that time we noticed Joe's snug fitting, knee length, leave-nothing-to-the-imagination sweatpants and couldn't help but wonder if he had accidentally packed Griffin's instead of his own.  Either way... hot.

We watched as the first few groups posed for their photos and then it was our turn.  After a brief debate over whether we should shimmy up to the stage while pretending to smack each other's butts, followed by a quick decision to abort due to the fact that we would be coming from behind the stage and they wouldn't see us anyway, we walked calmly up the steps.  Here's the play-by-play:

Danny- Quick hug and hello.  Internal me: "Good God he has SO many muscles... and a really nice smile!"
Donnie- Holds me by the shoulders and says “How you doing Sweetie?” before hugging me tightly.  Internal me: "Eeeek!  He called me Sweetie and he is the best hugger EVER!"
Jordan- Two armed hug with a little squeeze, a smile, and a hello.  Then pose for the picture and say thank you.  Internal me: "........".  (My brain stopped working completely at this point because I turned back into my preteen fangirl self for a moment and forgot how to adult).
Joe- Hug and hello.  Then I stumble in front of him because the boat rocked and I have vertigo and no special moment in my life would be complete without embarrassing myself somehow.  Internal me: "Well sh**."  
But then Joe, in all his sweetness and comedic glory, saves the moment by announcing that the good news is, I can use the ship's rocking as an excuse for any drunken swaying on the Lido Deck that night!  I don't drink, but thanks for making me feel better Joe!
Jon- Huge bear hug and hello.  Internal me: "OMG Jon is so cute and he and Donnie are the best huggers EVER!"

So I survived my first Meet and Greet and the photo actually turned out pretty cute.  I love how Jordan has his arm around me like I'm his kid sister or something.  And the look on his face?  Well as Angie put it later on... #rawr.

After a quick lunch on the Lido Deck (Guy's Burgers again... seriously, how are they SO good!?), Kathi and I headed to Deck 7 so I could put a post-it on Abbie's door about my upcoming run on the boat for my Remember Betty fundraiser.  As we made our way down the hall toward her room, I gradually noticed that none of the doors we were passing had decorations on them.  Odd.  Then I noticed two security guys a few yards ahead of us.  Uh oh.  As we approached the two men in their matching yellow Rose Tours Security shirts, it occurred to me that we may have accidentally wandered into New Kid territory that we were not supposed to be in.  Oops.  Sure enough, they told us that we were not supposed to be there but since they were supposed to be at the other end of the hall to stop us (and weren't), it was their fault.  They kindly let us continue on "this one time" and now I can say that I snuck past security and walked right by the New Kid's cabins.  I'm such a rebel.

Next up was Joe Time in the auditorium.  I didn't really know what to expect going into this, but I never in a million years could have anticipated what came first... Joe meditating for a full 5 minutes onstage.  That's right folks.  He literally sat in a chair, eyes closed, hands on his lap, timer set on his phone, and meditated for 5 whole minutes.  At first it was funny and a little uncomfortable, but I actually started to relax into my seat as the minutes ticked on and since I had been going on full speed for the past 2 days, it felt good.  The rest of the show was a combination of some ridiculously gorgeous live singing and interviewing Andrea Barber (i.e. Kimmy Gibbler from Full House!) for his new Podcast.  All in all, it was entertaining and it felt good to sit for a little while.  

The theme for Friday night's Lido Dek party was Superheroes and I was really looking forward to this one.  I camped out with Mandy, Traci, and Angie directly in front of the main stage (the Lido Deck version of the front row!) for a few hours before party time.  Our camp-out was relatively uneventful with the exception of a suicidal seagull who nearly took out a whole group of Blockheads and ended up crash-landing behind the bar!  While the seagull eventually flew off unharmed, I'm fairly certain the girls he dive-bombed needed at least a few therapy sessions.  They lost their damn minds when that bird came near them... while we laughed so hard we couldn't breath! 

Finally, the New Kids made their entrances for Superhero Night... and they did NOT disappoint!  Danny was Wolverine, Jordan was Batman (just like me... see, we're totally meant to be!!),  Joe was Robin at first and then Captain America later, and Donnie and Jon came out (get it... haha!) as The Ambiguously Gay Duo!  Donnie laughed so hard he literally cried as he saw himself on the big screen and Jordan pointed out that you could see his di** from behind!  

Superhero Night was epic on so many levels.  We got selfies with both Danny and Donnie and loads of smiles from the guys as we danced and sang and had a whole lot of good, clean fun.  We even danced with Joe and nearly had to catch poor Jordan when he fell back right in front of us to do his crowd surf and almost got dropped!  Don't worry Jordan, Mandy and I wouldn't have let you fall!!  At the end of the party, Donnie came back to the front of the stage and gave the 4 of us bear hugs and another selfie before he left for the night.  I've always been a Jordan girl but I have to admit, my Donnie tendencies were really flaring up on this cruise!

Don't worry Jordan, we'll catch you!! 

Superhero Night was epic in its own right, but ended with one final moment of awesomeness.  As Donnie was leaving to head to his after-party, a few over-eager fans behind me started pushing forward to get closer.  Since I was standing in front of one of the poles holding the ropes and because you know, physics... I had nowhere to go.  I started to fall over the ropes and was beginning to envision what my face plant might look like in the morning when Cory the cute security guy came to my rescue!  He grabbed my elbow to steady me and asked if I was all right.  After confirming that I was in one piece, he continued his DDUB guard duty and I was left to wander back to my cabin and slip into a record 3 hours of blissful sleep.  Thank you my knight in tattooed armor!  If I ever see you again, I owe you one.

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