Saturday, June 1, 2013

So this happened

I know this blog says Cruise 2012. Let's talk about that later.

VIP check in was at 4:30 and by the time we got done with our surprise group photo, I think it was around 6:15. The group photo, by the way, threw me off because I was not prepared for it. And somehow, no one in our group had a preference of who to stand with. Everyone said “we like them all.” When does that happen?

For the group, Karen and I made sure to go in last to give everyone else as much time as possible. Danny was on the end, so that meant we stood with him. We said something to the effect of “we’ll be back in 5 minutes for the ultimates,” and he shouted to the photographer, “Hey, they’re ultimates.” We said, “oh, they told us to come in here.” He said, “I know, but we gotta fix this.” So then I was flustered we had done something wrong.

Poor Jon looked delirious from lack of sleep. Karen asked him if he had slept at all and the answer was, not really. Next was Joe who seemed to be presenting a dissertation to the two girls standing with him, and we didn’t want to interrupt when we were coming right back, so we decided to leave. Donnie started yelling at us because we hadn’t finished the line, and we again explained we were coming back. The whole thing was weird. I don’t respond well to unplanned NK encounters!

After that, we ask what we’re supposed to do and VIP Lars puts us in this little seating area next to the bathrooms with the other ultimates. Everyone was lovely and chatting was a good distraction, but I also kind of just wanted to close my eyes for a minute.

Without warning, Lars comes back to tell us to “think about” lining up. I panic and run into the bathroom to do some emergency lip gloss. This was tricky because the entire 5 stall bathroom was seemingly lit by a single 40-watt bulb. You’d have better lighting at midnight under a street lamp. While I was in there, @SimplyShannon came in and we started chatting about the awkward group pic. I didn’t think I was in there more than about 2 minutes, but when I came out, all the ultimates were gone and there was no sign of Lars.

Panic again! I was immediately convinced I had missed everything and it was over. But I ran back to where we lined up with groups and found everyone. I got at the end of the line. The set up was such that everyone in line was watching you go in, so I was actually pretty happy to be last and not have an audience.

As soon as that had been settled Extremely Drunk Girl #1 lines up behind me and starts asking what’s happening. She was so drunk, she had missed her group photo and was now trying to get an ultimate to make up for it. But in the meantime, she wanted to talk. Talk about her stomach surgery, talk about how short Michael Buble is, talk about how she had to pee a lot. I tried gesturing to the 25 year old security dude for help, but he was worthless. Meanwhile, her friend, Extremely Drunk Girl #2 kept telling #1 to line right up and get a pic.

We inch toward the door. #1 never shut up and was nearly hanging on me. Meanwhile I am thinking there really should be more chairs in the line in case someone’s (like me for example) knees gave out. #1 has 4 children. #1 used to work security. Finally, me: you need to get out of this line. #1: they told me to stand here. Me: no one who works here told you to stand here and you need to get out.

At this point, we were close enough to Earl that he noticed, and he told her to go get another drink. That actually worked. By now girl #9 is up, I’m completely thrown off from encounters with the drunk kind, and I realize I have no plan for how to start. Also, watching the people in line ahead of me was making me more nervous. And why were there so many people in the room? Did 7 other people really need to be there?

I started to have A Moment. I was now the only person left in line, standing next to Earl, who was texting on his phone. After a few seconds, Earl notices that I am having A Moment, and asks me very sweetly if I’m okay. And that’s when I felt my eyes start to tingle. “Uh oh,” says Earl. “Shit, here it goes,” I think. Female security person who is not Earl looks over and asks me what’s wrong. This prompts two girls standing outside the door to notice and act concerned, and all the attention to me starting to cry is making me more panicky, which makes me cry more. “Stop crying,” says female not-Earl helpfully. “Go tell that guy your name.”

I take a couple deep breaths and walk down to the end of the ramp to tell the VIP Nation guy my name. Him: “what are you doing? Go talk to them.” I only realize now she probably said “tell the guyS your name.” Which I did not do.

This is the part where sensory overload completely takes over, and I started to have way too many competing voices in my head to process. So I am only vaguely aware of what happened from this point forward.

Danny, for some reason, comes to escort everyone from the ramp. Immediately upon seeing me he said “Why are you crying? You were just in here.” Me, remembering I am not wearing waterproof mascara and frantically wiping my eyes, “I don’t know.”

Joe had started walking toward us and said “that’s a great dress.” Then he very slowly looked me up and down and said “gorgeous!” I’m fairly certain he was still referring to the dress, but is it any wonder I had no recollection of my name anymore? I don’t even think I responded. See? This is why I had to write things down. Otherwise it would have been just crying with a lot of blank stares.

Suddenly I become aware that the photographer is 1 ft away. “I have to get it together or these pictures are going to be a mess,” I say. I think I hugged Danny? By the photos it looks like I hugged Joe? I don’t know.

Joe notices that I am holding a piece of paper and asks me what it is. Or I think he maybe surmised that I was planning to read. So he pulls me over to the group and says “guys, she’s going to read us something.” (By the way, these quotes are all very approximate.) And now I’m standing like a quarterback in a huddle with everyone around me. This is too much. Have there always been this many of them? And why am I still crying?

Donnie asks if I want him to read it for me. No, I say, let me at least try it first and see how it goes. If that doesn’t work, he can take over.

Now, when I decided to write everything down, I did so with the realization that all of my photos would be of me reading. And I did it anyway. It was more important for me to take this opportunity to tell them how much they meant to me than to have cute posed photos. I knew me trying that on my own or going in there to make lighthearted regular conversation was not an option. So this is what I picked.

I open the paper and think “why are there so many words on this paper?! I can’t read all this!” Deep breath. I get exactly one word into reading and choke up.

Voice in my head #1: Stop crying asshole!
Voice in my head #2: Who is standing behind me? There are a lot of New Kids in here.
Voice in my head #3: Who writes a letter? 

Deep breath. Donnie holds my hand and starts rubbing my arm.

Voice #1: Touching! There’s touching!

The Danny part, as you could probably guess, involved both of our mothers dying of cancer, and I meant what I was saying, but that was a terrible subject to bring up. Why did I think I could get through that on a good day? So I completely start to ugly cry. It was bad news. All while the photographer is right in our faces snapping away.

“These photos are going to be a mess!” I say again. “Ok, no more sad. Sad part’s done.”

I look at the paper again. The paper says “Jordan.” “Where’s Jordan?” I say.

Answer: right next to me. Like, not even a foot away. Where did I think he was? I am reading like a second grader giving her first ever class presentation. [Look at paper] “Jordan.” [Look up, locate Jordan, make half second of eye contact, back to paper.] But I can’t look at them. I can’t. 

I have no memory of Jordan saying any words to me or hugging him at all. It may or may not have happened. Honestly no idea.
Looking at my paper, wiping my eyes, and most likely saying "These photos are going to be a mess."
Next is Jon. Ok, Jon’s not scary. But Joe is trying to read over my shoulder, and somehow that makes things worse. He is probably reading ahead. I want to tell him to stop reading ahead, because somehow this becomes a Big Deal in my head, but I can’t tell him that because then he won’t stand next to me. Also, why is he standing next to me? Can they just tell when someone is an X-girl? Is it like a sixth sense?

According to the photos I look like I am shaking Jon’s hand. Why? 

So I read Jon’s part, which ends with “I’m sorry I wrote you off in the 80s for being an old man, because I see how wonderful you are to my friends and I get it now.”

Donnie (or possibly Jordan): your older friends, right?

Voice #1: Well, I guess technically Karen is like 9 months older than me.
Voice #2: Just agree with them you idiot!
Actual voice: uhhh.

[Back to looking at paper.]

Donnie’s turn. This one is surprisingly very emotional and produces even more crying! Got to the last sentence and just gave up and decided to hug him instead.

Now here comes another surge of nerves that I didn’t even know I had because now I have to read the Joe part, and I don’t know if I can get the words out. Plus he is still reading over my shoulder, which, stop that! Really he had probably read it himself while I was back on Danny. But words come out of my mouth and I think they are mostly what I wrote down, even the extra embarrassing last line. Then he hugged me.

As a whole, this 5 minutes or however long it was were the best Joe hugs I have ever received. Maybe he’s been taking lessons from Jon.

Now I feel some sense of relief that I did it. “Done!” I think I said, the same way my child announces he is done eating.

“Photos!” says the photographer, who is probably thinking “bloody finally.”

I throw my paper on the floor and start wiping my eyes again. “These photos are going to be a mess!”

"These photos are going to be a mess!” is pretty much the theme of my ultimate.

We are standing Danny, Jon, Donnie, me, Jordan, Joe.

“No!” says Donnie. “She has to stand next to Joe.”

Great, I think, but Jordan needs to stay right here. Now what do I do? So I wordlessly grab both Jordan and Joe and shove them next to me. Smooth.

Danny sees the line is now uneven and sprints across to the other side of Jordan.

Snap. Snap. That’s it.

“Okay, bye.” I say. “Thank you.” And I pick up my paper and walk out. I am maybe 10 ft down the hall when I hear Donnie yell “Hey! Hey!” in the same way you would yell “Hey! That guy stole my wallet!” I keep walking.

One of the 7 other people in the room pulls me back to let me know that the “Hey!” was directed at me. Donnie runs over to the railing where I’m standing.

“That was good,” he says, and hugs me again.

“Okay,” I say, and leave.

20 ft down the hall I realize I forgot to tell them my name. I'm still a bit upset about this. For no good reason, because I'm sure they would have forgotten 3 minutes later. But it seems like an important detail, you know?

So that's that. As a postscript, I can't say thank you enough for all the kind words and messages yesterday and today. I felt completely supported and loved. I'm a lucky girl.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

2012 Cruise Price List

Because I am crazy when it comes to organization, I made this spreadsheet last year when I was planning to book. What I've deleted from this version is the section where my roommate and I both listed our top 12 choices for cabin categories side-by-side, then created a combined master list of what order we were going to try for categories in. It was color coded. I will spare you.

This spreadsheet lists only doubles because that's what I was trying for. As I recall, the triple and quad rates were about $50 less per person (so quads were $100 less per person than doubles). I also have a vague memory of these prices being around $50 higher in each category than they had been in 2011.

Since the ship next year is different (and newer), the categories are probably slightly off, but it's better than nothing, right?


Oh, and I just found this! Helpful to see how the prices differ based on occupancy:

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Greenwich Town Hall Recap

You don't realize how much you miss those fools until you're in the same room with them, amirite? First of all, there's nothing like that anticipation before a special event like this. I compare it to second date nerves. Not first date, because you've already established you like the guy. Now you're just trying not to sound like an idiot.

Anyway, we got to the teen center around 10:45 for scheduled 11:30 check in. Why, after four years, we all actually believed it would start at 11:30 I don't know. The line didn't start moving until around 12:30. While we waited in line, several local Greenwich reporters took photos and asked if anyone was local that they could talk to. I did not say a word because I did not especially want my coworkers saying they saw me in the paper. A little before we went in, a man went down the line and told us all to go put our phones in our cars. I did, but no one searched our bags, which was surprising.

When I handed my ID to the guy at check in, he said "Oh, we've been waiting for you." Note to event staff: do not kid around with me like that. My brain cannot handle it! We also saw signs that said the event would be recorded for the purposes of promoting town hall events.

Upstairs, we sat in folding chairs. There was a NK backdrop set up in the back you could have your photo taken in front of for the website and poster-making materials in case you did not do your homework. Most signs were of the "I love New Kids" variety. (The best sign I saw was "Short shorts AND mini skirt? WTF #bhproblems")

Eventually, everyone got loaded into the room. Joe was then introduced as campaign manager and gave a rousing speech that promised, among other things, lower ticket prices. Donnie was introduced as president and spoke for several minutes without revealing anything -- a true politician! It was sweet though, and he promised to remove his sunglasses more in the future. Finally, Danny was introduced as vice president and gave a very short speech that said 2012 and 2013 would bring "more sweaty balls."

Next, we went on to questions. For future attendees, if you want to ask a question, you'll do better to be in the back or along the aisles. At least three people asked stupid questions like "I'm cold; can I come sit on the couch next to you?" or "Donnie, if you're Clinton, I'll be your Monica." People booed. I covered my face in embarrassment.

Because 2 out of 3 New Kids tend to ramble, we did not get through many questions. Case in point: girl asked about having an annual holiday show and Joe started telling a story about a jukebox he got 20 years ago that broke, so he had to have a guy from Thailand named Boone come to fix it. This story lasted over 4 minutes. At no point during it did he discuss an annual holiday show.

Good questions that I remember:

  • Q: When are we getting cruise themes? A: Next 2-3 weeks (Danny is a proponent of releasing themes as early as possible so everyone can shop.)
  • Q: Is the Manila concert official? A: When it's official we'll say it's official.
  • Q: Can we have an annual holiday show? A: Donnie - sure/probably/maybe/ok Joe - maybe biannual (I don't think he was on board.)
  • Q (essence): The backrub on the cruise is a cluster****. A: We're working on that. Everyone will get to see the backrub this year.
  • Q: Can you make another DVD? A: You'll see the footage! (Soon it would turn out.)
  • Q: Something about merch. I forget, but Amanda held up the "No kiddie merch" sign, which Joe read and clearly did not understand. We think maybe he assumed it meant merchandise intended for children when it meant merchandise intended for adults but better suited for children.
  • Q: Will Danny make a workout DVD? A: Maybe. 
  • Q: Are you going to continue to tour with BSB? A: We will have other, different balls with us in the future. These balls may in fact be ovaries.
  • I don't think there was a question, but they did say they are back in the studio and they can only sing Full Service so many times. We need new music. (Lots of cheering!)
  • Q: What's the most exciting thing they're working on for 2012? A: A very special event. The best of the cruise, but on land. Something that's everything we love about the last four years in one event. There may be Christmas trees. It's in the summer. Sparkly lights. (Things started to go off the rails during the answer.)
  • Q: Why don't you come to Rhode Island? A: Isn't that like 20 minutes from Boston? Q: It's 45, so are you coming? A: No but this special event this summer will be easily accessible from RI.
  • Q: Are you going to do Fenway again? A: We've decided to bring Fenway to you.
At that point, the lights went out and we started watching Fenway footage. I think everyone assumed we'd be seeing a trailer or short teaser clip. Somewhere during the second song, I turned to Amanda and said "Are we watching this whole thing?" And, yes, we were. We watched it for an hour. The entire Fenway concert minus the BSB songs. Meanwhile it was 3:00 and I was starving. Luckily I had a Clif bar in my purse. Clevelanders, take note. Bring snacks.

The DVD was fantastic! I am not clear on whether or not the BSB parts will be included in the actual DVD. I assume so but rather hope not. We got no information on when the DVD will be released. 

The lights went up, and that was pretty much the end. Donnie gave another speech to the effect of "four more years!" and then they said goodbye.

As the guys tried to leave, they got swarmed from all directions. At first, I thought I would go give Donnie a hug since he was closest to us, but after a few seconds, it got to be a crush and I hightailed it out of there. Future attendees: do not expect any hugs unless you are okay with smashing into people.

Several people asked me if they were letting in non-invitees. It's hard to tell. There was one woman sitting on a bench outside with her two small children who we assumed had not gotten an invite (mostly because she had two children and the invite wasn't good for three people). They did end up inside. I wouldn't have really minded except for one or both of the girls kept talking during the Q&A so that over Donnie's answers you could hear her (them?) whining, "Mooooooooooooom." Very distracting.

Overall I had a great time. It had been way too long! I loved being in a BH group again. However, I think we would have preferred to know up front that we were about to watch a full DVD. Not that we didn't want to watch it, but we kept thinking "Is that going to be it?" and looking around expecting everyone to come back on stage. If we had known from the beginning that we were going to watch it for an hour, I think we would have relaxed. Obviously that is only a problem the first group has. Also, maybe they should screen the questions because we wasted a lot of time on that Monica crap, and there was also a very long interlude about whether or not this couple in the front should get back together. (Answer: no one cares.)

Looking forward to getting more details from the future events! Please let me know if I forgot anything!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Ten ideas for the Town Hall

I've been thinking about the ideas I would propose at next weekend's Town Hall, and even without knowing the format of the event, I can guarantee I will lose any articulateness if I get to attend. So I wanted to get my thoughts down not just so I can possibly hand over a piece of paper instead of standing at a microphone, but also so I can get input from everyone who doesn't have a chance to go and try to represent more than just myself. So here's what I've come up with. Please let me know what you think and what you would add.


  1. New album. Period. Before any new tour, we need a new, full-length album.
  2. I have a whole host of issues with the usability of the website (e.g., what is the point of adding friends when you can't search them and everyone can send PMs to everyone?), but those would be better addressed to Ground CTRL.
  3. As I have said before, the points system needs an overhaul. A normal person would take about 9 years to earn enough points for anything, and the only other option is to be a lunatic who blogs every time she sneezes. I posted a list of items that could be used to earn points on the forum a while back.
  4. Although I haven't been to one, I love the brunches Jordan has been doing and would like to see those and events like that continue.
  5. More inclusion of non-U.S. fans. This could be done in several ways: live chats (video would be nice!) held at overseas friendly times to start. Maybe restrict them by geography so it's special for Asian fans or European fans, etc. Second, remember when a BN member would randomly get a phone call from a NK? Do more of these, and announce it like the day before so everyone jumps out of their skin each time the phone rings. Spring for the international phone calls. 
  6. Random Twitter contests. VIPNation does these. Out of nowhere: who wants to win a poster? I seem to remember one or two of these, but doing one a month or so would keep more people engaged.
  7. More subtle, grown-up looking merch. I'm 32. I can't get away with wearing screen printed t-shirts very often. But a simple black tee (or coffee mug) with a subtle logo would be nice. The umbrella was a step in the right direction.
  8. Annual holiday show. Who doesn't want the chance to hear a live version of Funky Funky Xmas? A charity tie-in would be even better. 
  9. Blockstock. Needs to happen. It could be like a shorter, land-based cruise. I'm thinking starts on a Saturday around 1 and ends after Sunday brunch. Fun and games during the day, evening event, all-night party, and then breakfast. This event should take place in Darien, CT. (Kidding! It should be in Boston.)
  10. I know I will get lambasted for even suggesting this, but maybe take a year off from the cruise. I think people need a break to get out-of-their-minds excited about it again. There are so many cancellations, marketing-wise I think it would be a smart move to take it away for a year. Or maybe not even a year; maybe do December 2013 instead of June.  (Update: I have heard you loud and clear in the comments and I will not be suggesting this!)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Pre-cruise Hotel Specials

Rose Tours just posted their annual pre-cruise hotel special for Marriott Biscayne Bay. Their rate is $119/night with the code "rosrosa." But an enterprising BH got an even better rate for the same night at the same hotel. You can get a room for $109/night if you call the hotel directly at 305-374-3900 and ask for the "Crystal Foshee Cruise Group" rate!

The Marriott, previous Rose Tours' favorite Intercontinental, and Holiday Inn are very close to the port, so if you don't plan on doing much Wednesday or the days before we set sail, that's the best location to choose. Lots of cruisers have already booked Holiday Inn and are planning a Wednesday night get-together.

If you plan on going out on the town Wednesday night or if you are going to stay in Miami for a few days, I'd recommend staying in South Beach. Otherwise you'll end up spending $50 in cab fare each time you go back and forth to the shops, clubs, and restaurants.

Many of my friends go back every year to the Casa Grande Suite Hotel in South Beach. Don't let the name throw you off; it's no luxury resort. But it is in a prime location, and all the rooms have full kitchens and free wi-fi.

There are dozens of hotels in South Beach, many of which are boutique and independent hotels, so do a little homework before you book by checking reviews on TripAdvisor or another site. No one wants to start a vacation by staying in a place with a broken shower or no air conditioning.

Cruisers, where are you staying? What rates have you booked? Share in the comments!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

My 2012 Cruise Resolutions

After taking a hiatus this year, 2012 will be my third -- and final -- cruise. (I say final because the third cruise is likely to break five-digits spent on this one activity, and I have to draw the line somewhere.)

This year, I vow to do a few things differently, partly because I've learned my lesson on some things, and partly because lots has changed since I last cruised. Back then, I went to the gym 6 days a week, spent my weekends reading, and stayed up past 10 p.m. Nowadays, I spend most of my time covered in drool, spit up, poop, or all three.

In 2012, I vow to:

Not even pack high heels. Yes, they look nice for the 20 minutes I keep them on during formal night, but then I end up barefoot while the shoes get kicked around and slopped with pool water. Why waste the space in my suitcase?

Shop less. Between 2009 and 2010, I think I bought something like 7 swimsuits for the cruise. And that's just swimsuits! Nevermind the sundresses, theme outfits, jewelry, purses, shoes, and PJs. What was I thinking? This year, I'm doing a lot more shopping from my own closet. I'd be forced into this resolution anyway, since I can't afford the luxury of leisurely trips to the mall anymore.

Sleep more. I realize this is blasphemy on a New Kids cruise, but I can't pass up the rare chance to nap in the middle of the afternoon or sleep in past 7. In 2010, I slept around 10 hours total the entire trip. 2012 is going to be the year I learn to nap onboard.

Stand with anyone, including a pole if necessary, for the photo op. At this point, I have a photo with each New Kid. I'm more interested now in getting a chance to say hi while avoiding hour after hour in line. Photo ops this year are said to be much improved though.

Leave my phone on. Yup, I'm going to be the doof who comes home to an $800 phone bill. I just don't want to be unreachable. Unfortunately that won't help me on Half Moon Cay, where there are no cell towers, or most of the time at sea, where I never could get a signal.

Fly in the morning of. I'm breaking one of my own rules here, but this year I'm flying in to Miami the morning we depart. I don't recommend this. But with the added day, I just can't be away any longer. Again, don't do this. This is crazy.

Take Tuesday off. I'm finally learning my lesson with this one and taking an extra day off after the trip to recover. The day after the cruise, you'll be hoarse, exhausted, bloated, and seasick tipsy. Best to feel this way at home on the couch.

Repeat cruisers, what are you planning to do differently in 2012?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Your No-Stress (Okay, Low-Stress) Guide to Booking a Cabin

It's official.

Even for a repeat cruiser, booking week can be rough. You're thrown from a state of anticipation to one of uncertainty and anxiety. Nothing can make it possible for 4,000 people to book 1,000 cabins, but I will do my best to prepare you for booking day.

What I can't do is tell you how much this year's cabins will cost. That info won't be released until Thursday. What we do know, from, is that inside cabins start at $699, ocean view cabins start at $1099, balcony from $1299, and suites from $2399. This is consistent with 2011 pricing.

Via Rose Tours Terms and Conditions, a $300 per person deposit is payable with your reservation.  A second payment of $500 per person will be charged on November 29, 2011. The remaining balance will be charged the week of April 24, 2012. Payments must be made in the form of a credit card. Last year, there was also a $5 booking fee per passenger payable at time of booking.

If you cancel: the $300 deposit is non-refundable. Between November 29 and April 23, you will be charged a cancellation fee of 50% of the total cruise fare. After April 24, you won't get any refund and you'll be responsible for 100% of the fare and taxes.

Before On-Sale
  1. Choose your roommates. Keep in mind that two- and four-person rooms are easier to come by than three-person rooms.
  2. Decide on a budget. Don't forget port fees, taxes, and all the extras.
  3. Using last year's pricing and the Destiny deck plan, create a wish list of cabin types in the order you will try to book. For example, you will first try for an 8D, then 8E, 8M, 8N, 9B, and so forth. I recommend planning at least 10. The deck plan will help you figure out how many of each room type are available. Include cabin category (e.g., "ocean view") in your list.
  4. Decide who will try to book the cabin. BN members will book first, at noon Thursday, followed by past cruisers at 1 p.m. and general sale on Friday.
  5. Choose early or late dining.
  6. Decide if you will purchase travel insurance from Rose Tours. All passengers in the cabin must choose yes or no on travel insurance; you can't choose individually. (My advice is to shop around.) Remember, insurance will not help you if you decide later that you can't afford the trip.
  7. Make sure the person booking has full names, DOB, email addresses, billing addresses, and credit card information for each person in your cabin. If you put in only one credit card, that card will be charged the deposit for everyone in the cabin. Each street address has to match the billing address on the credit card or the system will not process the card or the reservation. (Be smart. Don't email or tweet this information.)
  8. Read the Rose Tours booking procedures and FAQs carefully.
  9. Block off time in your calendar to be near a computer come sale time!
On Sale Day
  1. Make sure the person(s) booking has all of your information plus the wish list of cabin categories and types. It helps to have these in a text file so you can copy and paste during booking. (If possible, have each roommate on the phone together during booking so you can have more than one person trying.)
  2. When you log on to the ComcastTix site, you will see four options. Click the red "Tix" button next to the category of the room you want to book.
  3. Past this screen will be a link to every possible room type and combination available in that category. That means there will be a separate link for 8D Double, 8D Triple, 8D Quad and so forth. The list can get very long. Be careful to click on both the cabin type AND the number of passengers you want to book.
  4. If your first choice is not available, go back to the list and find your second, third, or fourth choice until you find an available room.
  5. Using your text file of passenger info, copy and paste all the fields into the reservation form.
  6. At this point, if more than one of your roommates has made it to the reservation form, make sure only one of you clicks submit! Multiple reservations will cause all of your bookings to get thrown out.
  7. Cheer, dance, do a shot, whatever! You're on cruise 2012! Print your booking confirmation for safe keeping.
If You Don't Make It
First, don't stop trying to book until @NKOTB officially says all cabins are gone. Lots of people "play" with the system and "practice" booking without taking the cabin. They'll open up throughout the day.

Once all cabins are sold out, Rose Tours will open a wait list. Put your name down ASAP. Last year, the entire wait list was called and offered cabins before the cruise. If you are on the wait list, save your pennies! When Rose Tours calls, they'll want whatever payments have been received within a few days. That means if you get the call on December 5, you'll pay $800 at once, or if you get the call in May, you'll pay the full amount.

Do you feel prepared? What did I forget? Add your questions or tips to the comments!