Thursday, May 27, 2010

Cruise 2010 Day-by-Day Recap: Sunday

I was awakened by two things around 8:30 Sunday morning. The first was a god awful stench. My first thought was "Why does my pillow smell so bad?" But it wasn't the pillow; it was the whole section of the ship. (We found out later that a sewer pipe had burst, or leaked, or something. So it smelled like that.) The second thing was a knock at my door. I thought it was our expected room service, but it turned out to be much better: @yikes77 coming to visit with a bag full of chocolate! When I opened my mouth to greet her, I discovered that I had no voice left. The best I could do was a squeaky whisper.

Shortly after our actual room service showed up. Be warned: when you order toast on Carnival, they mean "toast, singular." Malina and I had a lovely picnic on the queen bed we were sharing, then got up to get ready for the 10:30 photo op.

We lined up right at 10:30. Things seemed to go much more smoothly this year. For one, most people had come prepared in groups of 10. We also started a lot closer to the scheduled start time than last year. The boat cooperated by not lurching in all directions as it did Sunday morning 2009, and I wasn't super hung over as I had been the year before, which helped (mostly me). Some people did not like the set up of the pose, but I liked having half sitting and half standing. I especially liked getting to sort of hide in the back by standing.

For the first time ever, I stood next to Jordan in a photo. My reasoning was this: I have about 8 pictures with Joe and 1-2 pics with every other NK, but zero pics with Jordan. I wanted a shot at a croppable one. Here it is (and here are the rest):
It kind of worked out for me that Jordan decided to grab Linda's head in the middle of the photo. I never said a word to him, just stood there dorkily. I probably should have kept my mouth shut entirely, because that would have prevented the conversation I had with Joe.

Me: Hi, can I hug you?
Joe: Ok.
Me: I'm going to stand with Jordan though.
Joe: Ok, Jordan is over there.

Really? REALLY? Sigh.

After the photo, we had a leisurely brunch upstairs, and then we kind of found ourselves at a loss for what to do. We weren't down for the Back Rub (which already had a crazy line anyway). Normally I would have used the afternoon for pool time, but the last thing we wanted to do after a day at Half Moon Cay was spend time in the sun, so we kind of bummed around. First we walked through the halls of a few decks looking at doors and saw some really awesome ones. My vote would have gone to the cruiser who mounted a video player to her door showing a loop of her performing NKs songs in 1991.
Then we checked out the photo gallery of all the pro shots taken during the cruise. This was my first brush of just missing NKs (so much so that by Sunday afternoon I was being called a curse), as we found out Jon had just been by a few minutes earlier.

Eventually we found ourselves on the shaded area of the pool deck. I had (another) plate of cheese fries and managed to get cheese sauce on my dress. I went downstairs for the Tide stick and to change, and who shows up to have a 10 minute chat while sitting in the seat I was just in 30 seconds earlier? Jon. He had gotten up to leave just as I got back to the Lido deck.

And then, the kicker. Around 4:45, Elizabeth and I decided we were going to go down the water slide. We get up to the Sun deck to find Jon having his own personal meet and greet. I tried to get in line for a photo. Nope, they weren't taking any more people. Ok, so I guess I only had a curse with running into Jon, but I was starting to think the curse was real!

Have you ever failed at a water slide? We have. Elizabeth went first, and we could hear her laughing from inside the slide. She had gotten stuck. A lot. Sorry Biff, but I thought "She must be doing it wrong." The operator must have thought so too, because he kept saying "No, put your head down. Your head down!" I got in thinking, "Watch me put my head down. I got this."

I got about 6 feet. Then I stopped completely. The operator helpfully turned up the water, which did nothing except splash past me as if to say, "You're supposed to be sliding down, like this." I went down the entire slide by sticking my legs out and then pulling myself forward with my heels. It was less of a ride and more of an ab workout.
By the end, we were all laughing like crazy, including the slide operator, who then decided to tell us that the water gets shut off at 5:00 p.m. and that's why we weren't moving. Thanks buddy!

We went back to our table on the Lido deck to listen to Danny's 5:00 fitness talk, which was another of the mystery events. It probably had an official name. I don't know what that was. I had been picturing the Carnival gym staff on stage demonstrating various exercise techniques under Danny's guidance. Not so much. It was just Danny with a mic taking questions from the audience. I could not hear what any of the questions were, but we could hear his answers. Some of the advice was good (although nothing I hadn't heard before from my trainer), and other parts were. . .  odd. Among other things, we learned:
  • All the NKs like to floss
  • Jon gets bloated during concerts because he eats too close to showtime
  • Danny pees several times per day
We had to leave before it was over to pack and get ready for early dinner. Then we changed into our white outfits before our concert started at 9:00 p.m. I'm not going to get into a full review of the concert. It was the same as the Casi-no tour, minus Close To You (anything else missing?). I managed to find enough voice to scream with. Oh, and Joe's solo? No words. I was frozen in place with my hand over my mouth the whole time. This is the only photo I managed to get.

It was about 10:30 when the concert finished, and the deck parties never really got going till after 11, so we went back to our rooms for a bit. I was headed up to the Lido deck around 11:15 in the glass elevators in the atrium when someone said "Is that Joe?" My immediate response was to hit every button in the elevator trying to get it to stop. That didn't work, so I ran down two flights of stairs and then strolled casually over to where the crowd was assembled.

Much like Jon had done earlier, Joe was having his own photo session with a bunch of fans. Yay! I waited my turn, and then made up for my conversation that morning with this genius statement: "Hi, I have 100 extra moxie points because I'm mac pack number 3100-something." Joe: "Ok." SMH. I really should not talk. I'd be much better off just smiling and nodding. Anyway:

I said thank you, walked slowly away for about 10 ft, and then took off at a dead sprint back to my room where Malina, Jaime, and Melissa were still getting ready. Like some kind of sitcom, I burst in the door, screamed that Joe was upstairs taking pics right now, and go go go! Malina ran out with her shoes in her hand.

With those girls taken care of, I finally got up to the Lido deck to meet everyone else. It was pretty empty so we decided to walk around and see if we could find any more NK photo ops. We strolled around for about 20 minutes and ended up at the Atrium bar for a drink. I told the bartender she had gotten a cute pic with Joe earlier.

Bartender: I wish he was performing down here. There would be a big crowd.
Me: Um, yeah, that would be good.
Bartender: But he's in the piano bar.
Me: Hmm (not paying attention)
Bartender: Didn't you want to watch him perform?
Me: I'm sorry, what?
Bartender: Right now, up in the piano bar
Me: (Already running away)

We raced back upstairs to find that Joe had been singing in the piano bar since just after I had gotten my photo. They weren't letting anyone else in, so we had to stand outside, with me pressing my ear to an opening in the partition to try to hear better. Thankfully they let more people in and we were able to get a spot in the very back and saw at least 30 minutes of the performance. This was the highlight of the cruise for me. I was in absolute heaven. My pics didn't come out and I didn't even try to get video, but Malina got some:

He finished around 12:30 or 12:45. I really didn't know how the night was going to get any better, but up we went to the party. The deck seemed extra crowded that night and people were paying more attention to the balcony than other nights. There was barely room to dance. Drank enough Sunday to be level 2 drunk: tipsy but not in danger of falling in the pool.

(You'll notice I haven't said anything about VIP. I never went up there so I don't really have anything TO say. They seem to have changed the set up this year. There was some kind of bracelet system, and the whole VIP area was much bigger. It looked like there were as many people upstairs as downstairs, and that was in a much smaller area. The biggest benefit I can see would be open bar, and lord knows I had had enough of that Friday. However, I have seen a lot of people who have solo pics with NKs in tuxes, and I can't pretend I wouldn't have liked that.)

Highlights of Sunday night included the world's longest (and worst) conga line around the pool, Jon leading a chant of "the roof is on fire," Joe doing Here We Go Again with the other 4 NKs as back up dancers, and Donnie and Jon dancing to La Bamba.

I called 4 a.m. my bedtime again and had my last sleep of the cruise.


Monday morning I awoke at 8 a.m. to the entirely-too-chipper PA announcer and looked out the window to see we were in port. We had a lovely long breakfast next to the pool and then said our goodbyes.

Andrea and I shared a cab to the airport and just happened to leave at the same time as NKOTB. When our cab driver saw them get escorted to their town cars, he said "Who are those men? Did they get arrested?"

My flight to Boston (for work) was packed with BHs but sadly no NKs. Meeting everyone on the plane was a perfect ending to a perfect weekend.

I'll miss you all terribly in 2011, but I already have my fingers crossed for a 2012 cruise. If it is within your means to be on the boat in 2011, I cannot recommend it enough.


  1. From what I could tell...Who got into VIP was totally controlled by the NK's. I ran into Donnie up at the slides and since he sort of knows me, he gave me VIP bracelets for myself and my friends. Have heard the same from others who got in, that the bracelets came directly from the guys.

  2. I love reading your blogs!! Thank you so much! I am a Joe girl too and have to say I'm jealous you made your way into the piano bar. I had heard it was earlier in the day and had spent time there around 5ish-but obviously it didn't happen then. I was so sad that I was at the poker tourni when it was happening (I didn't find out until Monday that it happened). But It was an amazing time!! I loved it!!

  3. Katie - my friend & I were sitting at the bar when the bartender told you about Joe being up in the piano bar...I don't think I've ever seen anyone move that fast in my life! You were almost up the stairs before she finished her sentence! LOL

  4. Awesome recap Katie. I'm still bummed that I missed the Joe Meet N Greet and piano bar performance. Obviously my Joe stalking senses are broken. Next time I've got to hang with more Joe girls so I can have better luck. I heard someone say that Joe joined the conga line. Was that true? I was in the conga line so I couldn't see.

    Chris - did you ask for a VIP bracelet or did he just give you one? Just curious what the protocol is. I ran into Donnie on Sunday but didn't get to say much to him because he was talking to his security but I got a hug.

  5. @Christina - yes, he was in the conga line! On the shoulders of security:

  6. Christina,

    I did not ask for VIP. He invited me. We both suffered the loss of a mutual friend, and we know each other because of it.

  7. Thanks for doing all that you do to keep us informed! I loved reading your blog. I will absolutely be on that boat in 2011!!!

  8. Thanks again for all the great information before and after the cruise. I did get into VIP but only because I won the poker tournament. All the poker players and their guests got wristbands which did seem to grant them access to vip, but I also got a vip braclet. it was super crowded, but the free drinks were nice and I did get a chance to hug all 5 guys which I had not been able to do before going into VIP. And again Thank you so much for all the info!!

  9. We got our VIP bracelets from Danny.

  10. You seem to have the same afflicatio I do when I get around Donnie (Joe for you)...we go stupid. I keep wanting to tell him what my name is but I go stupid lol. Next time I have a chance to meet them I'm gonna sharpie my name on my hands and hold it up. It will be, at least, a good conversation starter lol.

  11. Oh Katie, I have so much to say to this. First I still do not understand how I shot down the waterslide no less than 5 times as if someone had gone up there and buttered it up for me and yet you girls literally had to move yourself down with your feet! Is it really cuz I am bigger than you girls? If it's cuz the water pressure was low by then, you really need to try it again next year earlier cuz that slide was FUN! What a great laugh that ended up being though.
    Second, my favorite part of the concert was seeing you enjoy Joe's performance for the first time up close. She isn't kidding guys when she says she stood there with her hand over her mouth. Exactly the same reaction I had the first time. It's seriously almost too much to handle!

    Third, I can't thank you enough for rushing to the room to get me so I could see Joe. Little did we know that he was going into the Piano Bar, but I feel extremely lucky that I was there, and it is thanks to you! You really are the best roommate ever and I miss you so much already!

  12. KT: thanks so much for this entire blog it was fantastic and so funny! I too am a Joe girl and I can only seem to say "I love You" at the M&G..although this year I did tell him my name. So maybe next time I can move on to step 2 of a conversation! My friend and I got VIP on white night, Jon actually picked us out of the crowd! I have no idea why..we were just dancing and drinking and next thing I know Jason was tapping me on the shoulder. VIP was an experience, but very crowded. But we were so thankful for Jon giving us those memeories, but. When we were there we could not take pics so no evidence we made it up there except our tattered vip bracelets! Well, thanks for all your time and effort!

  13. I love your blogs I enjoyed reading them these past months. My friend and I were very lucky to run into Jon walking back to his room during the Casino night and we each got a picture of him in his tux. I was so happy I started to cry but really it was the 5 drinks a had and all the excited emotion coming out. Someone even ask my friend "is she going to be ok"? Than that's when I relized I was looking stupid so I stopped.
    I never tried or wanted to get into VIP I was having a great time on the Lido deck. Some of my friends got into VIP but didnt really have any NK stories to tell. Just alot of pushing and she even got burned by a cigarette by another girl who jump into the spot she was standing in when my friend moved because she was in pain.

    Our group had a blast and we will definitely be back in 2011! Im just curious how RT is going to handle the reservations this time around.

    Why arent you going to be on the boat 2011?


  14. you are witty and entertaining! I love your blogs, and your retelling of your experiences. I'm sad you wont' be cruising next year, as your blogs definitely got me through the long months leading up to the cruise. All the best to you! xo

  15. Katie,
    Once again thanks a million for this great blog!! I loved reading it soooo much over the past months!!!