Monthly Archives: October 2016

NKOTB Cruise 2016: An Attempted Recap (Day 2.5/3 – No Sleep ’til Cozumel)

(Confused? Read parts 1, 2, 3 and 4 here before it gets worse!)

You may be able to tell by this installment’s title, but the days had started blurring together a bit by the 3rd morning. This was mostly due to the complete lack of sleep to distinguish one day from the next. We were taking hour-long naps whenever we could, but with no clear pattern.

As I mentioned in the last installment, Rachael and I were the proud owners of VIP After Party wristbands. We didn’t really know what that meant, only that very few are given out and we definitely wanted to be in that club. I pushed aside any feelings of fatigue and we marched right down to the on-board nightclub, straight past the line of girls waiting to see if they might get in (I think that’s a thing if not a lot of people got wristbands, maybe?) and bopped our way right to the dance floor. But the dance floor was sweaty and I had already been sweating in my synthetic fabric and control-top tights for about 19 hours at that point (delicious), so we grabbed drinks and opted for a more sparsely populated, elevated spot with couches and junk. You know, to survey the land.

You'll have to use your imagination, I guess...

You’ll have to use your imagination, I guess…

What we didn’t realize was that we were in the VIP of the VIP. Meaning, it was heavily guarded by one giant Donnie bodyguard (I believe his name is Cory, but he also probably answers to “Giant Hunk of Man-Meat”). There was nobody of note up there, so we just sort of shrugged and figured we’d leave if Cory made us. I thought he was just standing up there to keep an eye on the place from a high-up vantage point, like a lifeguard, but for drowning in overzealous fans instead of water. I was still feeling pretty dancey, even at the ridiculous hour of (probably) 4am, so that’s what I did. I danced. Probably badly. But at least there’s no documentation of it since phones/cameras are not allowed into the after-party. At least there’s that.

I had no expectations for the after-party except of course that it would be an intimate gathering of cruise elite, hob-nobbing with New Kids until dawn, and then we’d all be best friends forever. I’m mostly kidding. My logical side knew it would probably just be an extension of the Lido Deck parties, but the part of me that still thinks I might win the lottery one day was holding out hope for some New Kids face time. But there were no faces. There was barely a Donnie face. Or maybe I just didn’t notice a Donnie face because I was preoccupied with trying to seem like I didn’t notice that Jenny McCarthy and her entourage had alighted DIRECTLY behind me on the couches, so they had the unfortunate view of my giant ass pretending it knows how to dance. And of course, where there’s a Jenny, there’s a Donnie.

Behold the perfection that is Dennie.

Behold the perfection that is Dennie.

I can only speak for myself, and not Rachael. She’s probably VERY cool. But I was doing that thing where I just dance oddly hard (I don’t know) and every few seconds steal glances over my shoulder to make sure Jenny is still there and that she’s still a celebrity. You know, like what totally normal, not starstruck people would do. I absolutely did not make eye contact, or at least, I don’t think I did. Which is either better or worse, I’m not sure. For a lot of the time, Donnie and Jenny were sitting three feet from me, making out and canoodling and being the Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris this world needs. (RIP). And we barely even acknowledged them. I’m not sure what my strategy was, other than hoping they’d mistake me for a cool person and invite me into their world. So there I was, just manically dancing and pretending to not be aware that Dennie (Donnie + Jenny = Dennie, get off me) was so close to me I could practically feel the heat from their constant friction, even when Donnie was speaking into the microphone he carries with him always. I must have seemed SO cool and above it all.

Taking a quick break from being too cool for drool (see what I did there?), I seized an opportunity with Cory when it arose. He scared me by telling me not to move and I thought for sure the jig was up. They had found out we didn’t belong and we were going to be removed. But, we were fine. Cory just wanted to use my arm as a flat surface to sign his receipt for the bar. The joke’s on him, though, since there’s not a flat surface on my entire body. Squish-Squish, Cory! Since Cory and I were obviously such close friends at that point, I leaned in and asked him how a girl like me would get into the next night’s after party. Then he reached into his pocket, pulled out two “Saturday” wristbands and handed them to me with a smile. The pressure was off. We were already in for the next night. I showed Rachael with a raise of the eyebrows (since it was her idea for me to ask, anyway) and we silently squealed. Then we noticed that Donnie and Jenny were sneaking off, so we took the cue to leave as well. It was closing in on 7am and we had to find it in ourselves to leave the ship for Mexico in mere hours.

No.

No. (Sorry for the glimpse of my natural brows. I know it’s terrifying.)

Up with the sun after only maybe an hour, Rachael left for her shore excursion to swim with dolphins while I glared at the idea of sun, fun and anything other than sweet, sweet death. I was hungover. In a very real way. And we had JUST crawled into bed after pretending we didn’t care about Donnie and Jenny all morning. It was exhausting.

Ok, maybe.

Ok, maybe.

Somehow I found the will to get up and put on fresh makeup. That will was Jennifer. We had made a pact to get off the ship and at least experience a bit of Cozumel while we were docked, and that’s just what we did. We stumbled out sometime around 11:30am and I immediately burst into flames under the hot Mexican sun. I was wearing my newly purchased bathing suit, but only out of obligation. I had bought it for the cruise, after all, and this seemed to be my only chance to rock it. We grabbed a cab to “el centro” and asked the cabbie to take us somewhere “local” with good food. He did not. I’m pretty sure he took us to the Mexican version of Applebees, actually. Fuck that guy. We did manage to find a small bar to waste the rest of our time in, however. This bar had swings instead of barstools and it was delightful. We pounded some tequila shots and ordered margaritas the size of our heads while we bonded and became drunk best friends. The bartender, Estefano, was a 24-year-old hottie, and all too happy to pour more tequila into my margarita as I drank it (without me asking). We asked the lovely Marbella if she knew who NKOTB was (she did not), and then the bar was filled with the sounds of any and all New Kids songs these people-pleasers could find. It was, honestly, the most fun part of my trip.

Tequila and swings is the best combination.

Tequila and swings is the best combination.

Jennifer and I swung, drank tequila, laughed, sang, made silly videos, argued over who would marry Estefano before agreeing to be sister-wives, and then sadly, had to get back to port to hop back on the ship. We made a quick stop at the duty-free shop so Jennifer could grab cigs, and I for some reason traded phone numbers with a hot guy who was on a different cruise ship. We texted briefly and then I forgot all about him until just now. What a whirlwind 30-second romance. Ah, Mexico.

NKOTB Cruise 2016: An Attempted Recap (Day 2 Again)

(Hold up! Waaaaiiit. Read parts 1, 2 and 3 here first!)

Still a little disillusioned from my failure to be flawless in the face of five of my favorite men (accidental alliteration, I swear), I realized I should probably put some food in my face while I had the spare time. Jennifer and I made our way to the buffet, which I hadn’t yet experienced, where she pulled an IDGAF move that I’ll remember always. I loaded up a plate with goodies from the buffet, as did she, and then she set it down at our table and went to the burger line to get ANOTHER plate of just a burger and fries. Then she calmly ate her burger and fries, slid her untouched plate of buffet goodness to the end of the table and said, “It’s the only way I feel like I’m getting my money’s worth”. And then I died. Savage. Take THAT, Carnival fat cats!

While I investigated a strange form of potato salad, I got a message from Rachael on my Carnival Hub app. It said, and I’m paraphrasing, “he told me I was perfection and now we have wristbands for the VIP After Party tonight”. I should go back and put that in all caps because that’s how I reacted. I’m withholding who the “he” is because, well, I think it’s important to maintain a little mystery in our relationship, readers. Don’t you? If I tell you, it’ll only be a matter of time before we’re peeing with the door open. I told her to come find me immediately so I could get details and then we squealed like it was 2:59 and TRL was about to start. Before this gets out of hand, I want to mention that my cruise-roomie IS really pretty, but we are both logical adult humans and realize that a nice compliment is just that. A nice compliment. No delusions of grandeur were happening. So you can relax. Keep the hounds at bay. We only had a few minutes to start planning our New Kids weddings (kidding) because that day’s theater show was about to start. I was almost more excited for The Jenny McCarthy show than I was for the actual New Kids events. I love her so hard. I’m a sucker for a funny girl, what can I say? (That was a thinly veiled allusion to my comedy group, Funny Girls.)

Excuse the Kardashian-hairy arm and focus on the coveted After Party bracelets.

Excuse the Kardashian-hairy arm and focus on the coveted After Party bracelets.

Jenny blessed the stage with her presence shortly after we sat down, and she looked flawless. Yes, sure, she’s had some surgical help, she’s not an actual immortal. I get that. But I was taken aback at how pretty she is in person. Honestly, and please don’t boycott me or tar and feather me or whatever it is that happens in mob mentality, but I think Donnie married up. And yes, this paragraph has been a blatant bid for the #3 spot in that BFF group of hers. I’m right here, ladies. I volunteer to be the fat one! And the one with brown hair, I guess. Plus, I’m only 31 so it’s only a little offputting when I use millennial slang. And I’ll maybe count toward your diversity quota. I’m like…at least 12% Cherokee. Oops. I got off track with my own agenda again. Jenny’s show brought out Jon and more intimate sexual details that I’ll get embroidered on more home furnishings and also brought back “The Backrub” from Donnie. I’m sure one giant shiver (like the kind that happens when you accidentally do a kegel) waved through the crowd as he humped the champagne right out of a bottle and rubbed sexual PTSD right into that poor, unconsenting woman. It’s an image I’ll keep in the back of my mind (and the bottom of my spank bank) for years to come.

A lot of talk about anal between the two of them. A lot.

A lot of talk about anal between the two of them. A lot.

I have no idea what we did between Jenny’s show and the Neon Glow deck party that night, but I do know that I had to scramble for a plan B outfit (again) since my plan A was an utter disaster. The plan was to rock a black unitard that I had painted a “sexy body” onto with glow-in-the-dark paint. It was going to be hilarious. Except. I realized I had painted the boobs and bush on the BACK of the unitard, and the butt on the front. So. I tried to put it on anyway, thinking maybe that would add to the joke, but I definitely should have made note of where my actual boobs, bush and butt landed in that unitard once I stretched it out with my size 16 self. Because. Everything was lower and more to the side than it should have been. Like. It was a wonky lost cause. I ended up having to keep my plus size hoochie outfit from that morning’s photo op and add a ton of neon face paint and blinking/glowing hair accessories. In the end I looked like a 90s club kid who was also in a goth phase. Or like…an ABC Family witch who sells Molly on the side.

See? Goth yet enjoys a good dance party?

See? Goth yet enjoys a good dance party?

Neon night was a pure delight. We had gotten up to the Lido Deck a little earlier than usual, so we were able to stake some claim near(ish) the front of the stage. Since we were behind it all night the previous night, I was excited to see the New Kids’ antics up close. And, since we were “camping” on Lido for an hour or so, we had some time to chat with surrounding Blockheads. I had somehow found myself in a pocket of other Michigan BHs and was even standing directly behind someone who went to GVSU. It’s a small, small world when you’re glowing and sweating near other glowing and sweaty women on a ship in the Gulf of Mexico.

Michigan Blockheads Unite! (I'm 80% sure these were the Michigan girls)

Michigan Blockheads Unite! (I’m 80% sure these were the Michigan girls)

Neon Night was also the only interaction I had with any New Kids aside from the guaranteed photo-op where I spilled my awkward all over the place, so it was my favorite theme night. Maybe it was my witchy ways, or maybe I was standing directly in the middle of the floor, but when Donnie decided to crowd surf to the back of the deck, he ended up right on top of me. And I ended up accidentally (I swear) grabbing a big ol’ handful of his tush. It’s squishy. In the best way. I’m half expecting to see myself in Babs’ photo of the incident, looking guilty yet satisfied. I’ll frame it. As if a handful of D-Dub backside weren’t enough, I also ended up in the path of dancin’ Joe Mac when he decided he needed to dance his way through the crowd. I had about 30 seconds of eye contact and bopping to “Brown Eyed Girl” with the blue-eyed babe before being unceremoniously hip-checked by security as he followed Joe further into the crowd.

So close, yet so far away.

So close, yet so far away.

The party wore on until the early morning hours and so did we. We would wear on for several more hours, in fact, since we had passes to the after party that evening. But more on that later…

NKOTB Cruise 2016: An Attempted Recap (Day 2 – The Photo Op)

(Read parts 1 and 2 here if you haven’t already!)

For those not in the know, the cruise package comes with a guaranteed photo op with all five members of The New Kids and 9 women you’ve maybe just met. Two girls per guy is, in this instance, more disturbing than two girls, one cup. At any rate, it’s a memory you’ll cherish for all time and definitely not crop just yourself and half a New Kid out of. The problem, of course, is that most girls will fight dirty to stand next to their favorite (usually being Joe, Jordan or Donnie) leaving poor Jon and Danny spots endlessly open as new groups form in hopes of locking in that coveted Donnie spot. My forever favorite is Joe, thank you for asking, but I saw an opportunity for a Donnie spot and I grabbed it. Those are unheard of. Especially a week before the cruise, which is when I got mine, thanks to the lovely Jennifer. Everyone has their own reasons, but if you were to ask me why I’d prefer not to stand next to Danny, I’d say it’s because he’s the one I have the most photos with, as the most accessible (but really it’s because I’m a lot taller than him and I’m not tryna look like a giant). Most girls will tell you they don’t want to stand by Jon because they “don’t have what he likes”, but I’m a bit more self aware and realize that I don’t have what ANY of the guys like. Unless they just indiscriminately like body parts that surround a focal vagina. In that case, I very much do have radial body parts, boys, so come and get me.

My only other NKOTB group photo from 2011 was a bit more personal...

My only other NKOTB group photo from 2011 was a bit more personal…but I was making questionable hair choices. 

Friday morning began with an expected hangover and my first experience in a cruise-ship shower. Despite the concerning sign warning to “not scald” myself, that’s exactly what I did. On the nipple. (I’ve since recovered). I had to be up by 7:30 after partying all night because I had to get fresh, clean and snatched for the photo-op, of course. As I was struggling to focus my eyes enough to draw my eyebrows on straight, I got a phone call on the cabin phone (the only reliable method of communication on the ship). The voice didn’t introduce itself, just said, “I’m fucking dying”, and I knew it was Jennifer. We had plans to meet at 9am to get toward the front of the photo line and be done with the whole thing earlier rather than later. Thankfully, everyone seemed to be on “Donnie time” (a coined term meaning whenever you happen to be ready, regardless of appointed time)  and we arrived to the already massive line by around 10am.

My lipstick says yes, but my eyes say a big fat NOPE.

My lipstick says yes, but my eyes say a big fat NOPE.

I was tarted up in my special “plus size hoochie” outfit, Michael Kors high top kicks and some bright blue lipstick (as had become my signature color on the ship) and I was feeling VERY sassy for the early hour. Once our group made our way into the photo room, the line flew by. I had never done a cattle-line photo op before, so I was studying the interactions of the groups before ours. Each group of ten people (women…it’s…it’s women) has approximately 2 seconds to scramble to their spot, look like a human person for the photo and then get the hell out of sight of the band. That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but not much of one. As far as I could tell, we would be allowed to say a quick hello and even more quickly embrace each New Kid as we moved past him on our way to our designated man. As I was a Donnie Girl for the day, I only had to say hello to Danny before I got to Donnie and got situated. As you may have read in my novella about the time I met Nick Carter, or the time I asked Aaron Carter if I could hold him on my hip like a toddler, I’m extremely awkward under M&G pressure. I stared at Danny for a good 3 seconds before saying “Um, hi!” and he sort of smiled and nodded before urging me with his eyes to move the hell on.

Next in line was Donnie. I sidled up next to him, smiled and gave him a quick hug before he looked down and said, “Oh, hey! I really like your shoes!” so I panicked and blurted, “Yeah, so do I!” instead of thanking him for the compliment. Because I guess I’m an asshole when I panic. I think I stood up straight and looked in the direction of the camera, but I honestly have no idea. It’s all so fast. I might be a hunchback with one squinty eye for all I know. And I won’t know for another couple of weeks when they post these dastardly pictures. Fingers crossed, everyone. Can’t be worse than my photo with Nick Carter:

I strongly encourage you to read the blog I wrote about this Nick Carter debacle.

I strongly encourage you to read the blog I wrote about this Nick Carter debacle.

The girl in front of me, the other Donnie Girl, must have been in a bit of shock as well because she did not move after that camera click. We’re supposed to march forward and briefly greet/hug the other guys as we make our way out of there, but she didn’t. She just stood there. The security guard tried to gently prod her while making sure she didn’t trip and she just looked at him and stood there. Which made me have to stand there. By the time she started moving her feet, the vibe was SUPER awkward. Jordan was staring at us, or maybe through us, and I panicked yet again and just sort of went in for a hug while he wasn’t ready. I basically assumed the Heimlich stance on him, from the front (I know) without exerting any force (thankfully), then I calmly moved on and said a very cordial hello to Joe, my forever favorite. Bless his heart, he smiled and said he loved my lipstick (which might have been my motivation for keeping that same shade on for most of the next few days, but I’ll never admit to that in court). I gave him a quick hug, then shuffled down to step on Jon’s foot while he flinched slightly and said, “Hey sweetheart” or something more Jon-like that I definitely blacked out.

Before the madness and awkwardness took over, we looked pretty cute.

Before the madness and awkwardness took over, we looked pretty cute.

Then I robotically shuffled my way off the platform and back into the sea of waiting ladies so I could hurry up and think about my awkwardness for the rest of my life.

NKOTB Cruise 2016: An Attempted Recap (Day 1)

(Read Part 1 Here)

One thing we virgins learn via Facebook pages is that we’ll need to spend every waking moment in the months between cruise purchase and cruise departure, finding and securing a photo group. I didn’t do that. It seemed like a whole thing. So I just figured I’d skip it if I didn’t feel like waiting in line all day (more on that later) until the lovely Jennifer messaged me on Facebook because she heard I’d be interested in a Donnie Spot (again, I’ll explain later). I jumped at the chance and I’m glad I did because Jennifer would become the 3rd piece of our “Trouble Trifecta” and will pop up a lot more as this blog series progresses. But where was I?

Oh, I left off somewhere in the evening on the first day of the cruise. Rachael and I were fed, freshly made up and with a renewed enthusiasm and hopefulness for things to come. We were heading to the Game Show, if we could ever find it. Color-coded maps do nothing for an overly-stimulated Blockhead brain. I had no idea what to expect from a New Kids “Game Show”. I sort of assumed it’d be some cheesy banter interspersed with light crowd interaction and perhaps a nip slip or two (from the guys, that is). What we got was The Upgrade, in the role he was born to play, introducing a game they made up for the purposes of the cruise, and apparently for the purposes of gratuitous middle school humor. Which I ate right up. As someone who had never cruised before, this candid side of the New Kids was something I’d only seen glimpses of in concert banter or during the Block Vegas stint a few years ago. And I couldn’t get enough. In fact, I’d love to write a book on the seedier side of the band. Especially the early days. Because I’m a perv like that. A curious perv.

Let the games begin

Let the games begin

The game show began with ten lucky gals plucked from the audience (at random, I’m told) and sat at each of the five tables to play on the guys’ teams. As I scanned the stage to make mental notes of who to hate for later, I noticed my girl Jennifer, happily sitting at Jordan’s table. My first instinct was to scream out the word, “BITCH!” but I let that settle for a moment and got really happy for Jennifer. Like, you go, girl. That’s your favorite and you’re centimeters from his upper thigh. Probably other body parts, too, but I’m not a doctor. (Also, I didn’t ask you this in person because I like to seem cool, but please describe the way he smelled using no less than 45 adjectives and 12 similes and/or metaphors. No, no…similes. Similes are better. Clearer.) Oops. Off track again. That’ll happen because my brain is still swaying with the ship and trying to make me dance to an imaginary beat that keeps repeating the word “shots” at me.

As game shows tend to have, there were questions. The first of which was described as “not a straight question” when what he could have said was “multiple choice”, but if he did, we wouldn’t have been led into the intimate details of Jon Knight’s sex life. And boy, are we all so glad we’ve heard the phrase, “shit-dick is never pretty”. I’m having it embroidered on a couch cover. When the subject of a New Kids orgy came up, someone (I can’t remember who at this point) said, “Does a New Kids circle jerk count?” And I just learned that a New Kids circle jerk is something that ACTUALLY happened in their early years. And, I suspect, a niche porn category somewhere in internet-land. As if that weren’t enough, poor Jon had to endure the whitest lap dance known to man when Danny mounted him, and mounted him good. Not to be outdone by his brother, Jordan also sat in the not-so-hot seat for a spell, and wrapped his androgynous arms around Danny’s beefy torso, inspiring fan fiction for years to come. As you may have guessed, the questions and the awarded points were totally arbitrary and used as a vehicle for riotous debauchery. And I wasn’t mad at it.

It's grainy, but you'll probably thank me for that.

It’s grainy, but you’ll probably thank me for that.

More stuff happened, I’m sure. Joe put on a full cape of feathers that appeared out of nowhere, and sang Queen songs for what seemed like a really long time in between questions. Donnie talked a lot about how we were on the “Poop-ship” and The Upgrade did a dance to prove how much white guy he is (the answer is 100% white guy). When everything was tied off at the end like a gently used condom, we made our way back to our cabins to haul ass and get ready for that night’s Lido Deck Party: Purple Night.

Nice.

Nice.

Rachael and I got ready for Purple Night by wearing absolutely no purple whatsoever. Not because we’re rebels or we’re too cool to participate, but because both of our plan As failed miserably and we had no choice. I did throw on some purple makeup and a white tuxedo jacket for some reason. We didn’t really know what to expect for these theme nights, so we casually wandered in, saw Jennifer and the aforementioned twins standing near the pool and figured that was a fine place to land for the night. This party was also the one-hour open bar party, and since we were on the outskirts of the crowd, we were able to take full advantage of that privilege by double-fisting margaritas and Sex on the Beaches like unsupervised 17-year-olds. I’m positive I had more of a sugar buzz than anything else, but I had a blast dancing the night away and watching the guys bop around in their formal wear.

Bootlegged professional photo. Don't tell.

Bootlegged professional photo. Don’t tell.

I had even more of a blast when a masked man in a purple spandex suit came out to dance to a song he had pre-arranged. I was a little drunk, so my logic was probably flawed, but I assumed it was a tiny gay with Broadway dreams and Blue-ray copies of both Magic Mike movies. It was the smoothness of dance moves and the willingness to stroke Jon’s undercarriage that made my brain think lucky, lucky gay. And it was Donnie’s disbelief that it could be Joe because of the lack of “treat” in his pants that led to my actual shock when Joe unmasked himself as the purple dancer. But, in retrospect, that makes perfect sense.

Photo Courtesy of Jen Hill Merritt (because hers was WAY better than mine)

The party ended somewhat early (meaning before 3am), with Donnie assuring us that we need to ease ourselves in, so Rachael and I headed out of the party and toward our cabin one floor down. We ran into a lovely couple at the elevators who asked us if people were being nice to us, as first timers. I said they were, and then complimented her flawless cleavage. This couple, I would learn, was Christina and her husband Dan (aka Faux Joe). Hey girl, hey! This paragraph is used only for this specific shout-out, so…I’m gonna leave you with that for now.

NKOTB Cruise 2016: An Attempted Recap (Prologue)

Where do I even begin? Certainly not at the beginning, which was in about 1989 (for me) as a precocious 5-year old who practically slid out of the womb with an “I <3 Joe” pin attached to my umbilical cord. So I’ll skip ahead a few decades and begin the moment the cruise became real for me. Which, incidentally, wasn’t until last week Thursday as the unamused Carnival employee rolled her eyes and confiscated my smuggled vodka while I boarded the ship. I never thought I’d be on the SS NKOTB, not in a million years. But there I was, winding through security and whining about not having any liquor for the trip. It had happened. I was on the boat. I was there for the 8th annual New Kids on the Block Cruise.

I don’t have any real life friends who would spend a few thousand dollars to get trapped on a boat with an adult boyband and three thousand of their biggest fans, so I got really AOL with it and met someone on an online message board. It was roommates at first sight, for us. Rachael had great eyebrows so I trusted her decision making skills implicitly. People say eyes are the windows to the soul, but eyebrows are the windows to Sephora. And we shared at least that and a love of NKOTB, which to me seems more important than the abstract idea of soul. (Call me North Korea, because I’m Seoul-less.) We chatted here and there on Facebook to make plans and whatnot, but didn’t actually meet until we landed in New Orleans. She came from Memphis and I from Michigan. We bonded immediately over making the Uber driver feel uncomfortable, and ended up sharing a bed at our hotel that evening. I mean, because we had to. Not because we fell in love or anything.

We dubbed ourselves the "#PerfectStrangers"

We dubbed ourselves the “#PerfectStrangers”

Once we got past the disapproving looks of the Carnival employee who absconded with our liquor, and got on the boat, it all began to sink in. We hadn’t had any NKOTB sightings yet, since we boarded late and skipped the pre-party the night before, so we felt like we were behind in the ever-present contest to see who can get the most face time. But we were amped up to get to our cabin and get our door decor up. Except, the luggage hadn’t been delivered to our rooms yet, and the mandatory safety drill was starting, and my face was melting off but I didn’t have my makeup and what is a safety drill and what are we mustering and did we remember to bring tape and what are you wearing? From that moment on, everything was a blur of costumes, itineraries and vodka (which I purchased begrudgingly through room service for $78).

Late to board because I tried about 467 times to get this "I don't care" selfie right.

Late to board because I tried about 467 times to get this “I don’t care” selfie right.

Having had the emergency safety procedures sort of explained to us, we all headed to the Sail Away Party and our first time on the Lido Deck. Now, all the veteran cruisers on all the Facebook pages will tell you to go in without expectations, but, I mean…I had seen both seasons of Rock This Boat. So obviously I was expecting to wake up in the middle of the night to Joe Mac sitting cross-legged at the end of my bed, asking to french braid my hair. Or for Jon to gently spoon me down the water slide at my every request. Or at the very least, for Donnie to see my funky fresh dance moves from afar and insist that we be best friends forever. But alas, none of those things happened in the first few hours. What did happen, were a few fruity drinks, a couple people recognizing me from my ridiculous “training video” and a lot of excited dancing before dinner in the dining room with some New York twins we met in the hallway 5 minutes prior (Shoutout Sonia and Claudia). Do people eat in the dining room more than once? Who has the time? I’m not sure I ate more than three times the entire trip. I’m probably so skinny now. (Edit: I am not.)

The exciting happenings of the Sail Away Party.

The exciting happenings of the Sail Away Party, and my only selfie to speak of.

Rather than leisurely end dinner and relax the calories into our butts, we tried to rush back to the room to finish getting our door decorated, because if virgins know anything, it’s that your door MUST be decorated. We didn’t do anything flashy, just a bar theme complete with signature cocktails with descriptions that matched each of the guys. As well as a note that detailed each night’s specials (hypothetically, of course). We had more, but it turns out we did not, in fact, bring tape. And nobody around us was willing to share theirs, in case they needed it later. Ah, the camaraderie. My strength lies more in snarky asides and witty one-liners than in flashing lights and feathers or whatever, so we were simplistic and streamlined. And snarky. The door must have been at least a little amusing, because we got a gift or two left outside our cabin with notes about our decor. There was even a moment when we had just crawled into bed and heard two women outside the door reading each thing out loud and laughing hysterically. It really fed my ego. Thanks, ladies!

Since our luggage had finally arrived and we were able to touch up our makeup a bit before the events of the evening started, that’s just what we did. There would be a lot of makeup touching up in the next few days. Because there are a lot of photographs being taken and Rachael and I did not want to be caught looking snatched in a bad way. Only snatched in a good way. Like drag queens. And that super glam lady who I think is part of the “bridesmaids” from RTB season 1. Girl, you’re snatched!

Read Part 2 Here