On past cruises, I spent entirely too much time getting ready for theme parties and not enough time finding somewhere good to stand for theme parties, and I vowed to change that this year. This was my year, after all. Of course, I had to allow for last second outfit changes when costume ideas inevitably didn’t work out, or only looked good in theory. So we were a little late to the party on Valentine Girl night. We struggled to dress ourselves because my plan A was basically just to wear a red bathrobe and use liquid latex and synthetic blood to make it look like I had actually been impaled with an arrow. But then I realized I didn’t bring an arrow, and Megan didn’t want to wear her barely-there cupid costume, anyway. So I put on a black dress and tied the sash from my robe around my neck. And Megan put on an all-black waiters’ uniform and some red, heart-shaped sunglasses she stole from Kala. And of course I beat both of our faces with some fancy red eyeshadow accents and it all smacked of the exact thing that happened on “Purple Night” in 2016. Except, you know, with purple.
I was nervous and excited for Megan to experience her first NKOTB deck party. Because, it’s like nothing I had ever seen before (way back in 2016 when I was but a noob.) And I can imagine it would be a WHOLE thing for someone who isn’t even a fan of the dudes. Also, I just don’t know what young people think is fun these days, what with Tide Pods and fidget spinners and like…watching other people play video games on YouTube.
We were coming into this theme party without having had any face time with any of the guys yet, and without even making eye contact with our lord and savior, Donnie Wahlberg. When you walk onto Lido without having an established plan or group or last will and testament, you end up just sort of seeking out whatever semi-empty pocket you can see in the crowd. And that’s usually near one of the bars. So that’s exactly what we did. We high-tailed it to the red bar to grab a spot and take in the spectacle around us. That spectacle happened to include the firemen, who I swear were haunting me already at this point, causing me to side eye so often that I may have pulled a facial muscle. I saw them everywhere. Already. We are not each other’s favorite people. I don’t like misogyny and ickyness and I guess they don’t like when I write about them being misogynist and icky. Go figure. Lucky for us, I also ran into Sara and Starr, in almost the exact same spot I had met them for the first time in 2016. And they were having capital F Fun.
Even our little out-of-the-way oasis was getting crowded by the time the guys graced us with their dapper selves, so when Misty and Amanda appeared out of nowhere and whisked us to the other side of the deck to find our unofficial crew in all their be-bowed glory, we were grateful. Christina, Kala and co. were situated just outside the blue bar, in a group big enough that it didn’t matter when we added our bodies to it. We continued to drink, take selfies and bop our way over there and over there is where we stayed for the duration of the night. And I’m glad we did, because in that very spot is where Captain Donnie first laid eyes on us, and where my knees melted into goo for the first time that cruise. But not the last. I really enjoy the new thing they’re doing, riding their security guards through the crowd. It’s slightly homoerotic and I’m here for it.
I usually maintain my composure when faced with one of the New Kids. To a fault, sometimes, actually. Because I try so hard to maintain my cool that I end up coming off as aloof and indifferent. Which of course I am not. I am internally losing my shit and mentally double checking everything I said and did for the next seven years. But my face says, “Oh, hey.” It’s a problem. Especially this year when every single one of the guys inexplicably looks a zillion times hotter than usual. Like. What happened? Did they all start eating keto or something? Six packs are back. Face scruff is on point. And as you can see if you watch the video all the way through, I uttered the word “zaddy” in reference to my dear fake Uncle Donnie. Because LOOK AT HIM. Zaddy until the day I die. Or until the day he dies. Which I suspect is never, since I’m subscribing to the theory that he steals his energy from fans and that’s why we all get sick when we get home from the cruise, but he seems to have boundless exuberance at nearly 50 years old. We’re on to you, D! But tbh, you can have it. Take all my energy, zaddy. Agh! Jesus. I can’t stop. Someone get me a glass of water because apparently I’m thirsty.
This blog is coming across rambly and strange, but I’m on so much cold medicine right now that I can’t fix it. So just take this ride with me. I was fueled by vodka and adrenaline and the awkwardness of how I probably held on to Donnie’s hand for way too long, and I was DANCING. I was dancing with a ferocity that would continue throughout the cruise, for some ungodly reason. I’m guessing the reason is that I was trying not to be upstaged by my 24-year-old partner in crime. Unsuccessfully. Megan likes to say, “We love to dance. We were both captains of our high school dance teams.” But like. I was on the dance team 16 years ago. (And it was JV. But shhh. Don’t tell her.) I barely even remember being able to do the splits. Megan can still do it.
I had awkwardly danced my way into an adrenaline bubble and I was absolutely psyched to be going to that night’s after party. I had never gotten into the Thursday night after party before. This was uncharted territory. When the deck party died, I reminded Megan that we had only just begun as I guided her to the elevators to hit the 5th floor and the entrance to the ever-coveted after party. As usual, there was already a line of hopeful BHs, waiting to get in if not enough people with wristbands were there. And honestly, I commend them for their patience. I do not possess that kind of smiling hopefulness. And it makes me feel a little bad about waltzing right past it with my shiny green wristband. But like, not bad enough to not do it. When we stepped into the club, however, it was like being hit by a wall of darkness and silence. There was a power issue. Only in the club.
We stood around for a bit, hoping they might fix it and shine the party on, but no. It was cancelled. Except, the thing is, we were all jacked up in preparation for this first big night. All of us. So we turned the casino into an impromptu after-party. Missing the main ingredient, of course. Because Donnie would have to be crazy to venture out into that mess. I’m sure he used the power issue as an opportunity to get some sleep, or to get weird with his hella hot wife. And who can blame him?
The fun isn’t over! That’s just the first night. Keep an eye on me for the rest of the recaps, coming soon!