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Reality Cruise For Fans Of The New Kids

The show is called Blue Bloods, in case you haven't heard, and it tops the Friday night TV ratings. Nowhere is that more true than in our house. Thankfully, there are PVRs to make sure we don't miss an episode; otherwise we'd be house-bound on Friday nights.

Part of the reason is Donnie Wahlberg. It should be mentioned that before Blue Bloods, we didn't know who he was or where he came from and now he's, well, in our TV blood. That also means we didn't connect Donnie Wahlberg and New Kids On The Block.

But the cruise community does.

Fans have been going on NKOTB cruises for five years and the 2014 edition comes with a twist. They're going to "Rock This Boat" (the Carnival Splendor) because that's the name of the eight-week reality TV series being filmed on the cruise. It will be shown New Kids On The Blockon the TV Guide Network during the 2014-15 season.

Wahlberg is the executive producer. 

For this year's cruise on the Splendor all the New Kids, who are really Old Kids by now, will be on board and doing all the things these celebrities do on theme cruises, starting with performing.

The cruise is June 5-9. This year, there's a new embarkation port (New York) and a new destination (Bermuda). The sales pitch is that you'll spend "two full days trapped at sea with NKOTB," and that there's "nowhere to hide" which — because of Bermuda — makes for a clever video (click here).

Because of NKOTB, there will be plenty of parties, surprise cabin visits and the concert in the Splendor's theater. All the "kids" will be there — Jonathan, Jordan, Joey, Danny and Donnie — and they're also promising this NKOTB Cruise will be "bigger, better, faster" than the last one. And some passengers, at least, will be part of the reality show.

What's more, you don't have to worry about missing Blue Bloods on the Friday night (June 6), even if you don't have a PVR.

It's on re-runs then.

Today at Phil Reimer's portsandbows.com: After 46 years, a return to Prague

Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas
7 nights
June 21, 2014
San Juan (return): St. ThomasSt. KittsCuracaoAruba
Inside: $749
Cost per day: $107
www.royalcaribbean.com

Notes on the Boats

THE RIGHT PRICE…………….$539
November 27, 2010:
Barcelona, Spain to Sao Paulo, Brazil, 15 nights
Ship: Royal Caribbean’s Splendour of the Seas
Contact: VacationsToGo (FastDeal #10090)
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What’s the hottest ticket in cruising right now? The Epic? American Idol? The first coming of the Allure of the Seas? None of the above. How about “New Kids On The Block?”

The boy band that used to sell out concerts more than 20 years ago now sells out theme cruises. Like, there’s a countdown (9 months, 6 days…etc.) until the next cruise on the NKOTB website. The tickets go on sale next Saturday (August 13) and if the rush is anything like previous such cruises, the booking servers will have trouble handling it.

The maiden New Kids cruise was in 2009…sold out. The next one was this year…sold out. This one is for May 12, 2011, a four-night cruise on the Carnival Destiny from Miami to the Bahamas, with a stop at Carnival’s private island, Half Moon Cay. Fares start at $699, which is a premium, but then you do get to see the band in concert, at photo sessions, beach and deck parties and Q&A sessions.

For those of us who missed them 20 years ago.
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It may seem like small potatoes, as they say, but the folks in the Dominican Republic no longer want to bite the hand that helps feed them — cruises. Last week, the government dropped the $15 “airport” fee that cruise-ship passengers were being charged, while in transit despite never passing through the airport. This amounts to more than $7 million a year, but the 400 ships that currently dock in the Dominican ports generate $80 million in revenue, and there’s a five per cent increase in arrivals projected this year.

Yes, what did take them so long?
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This cute story from the Orlando Sentinel‘s Greg Dawson, who received the following letter and responded appropriately and cleverly…

“Dear Greg:

Last October, I purchased a cruise on Princess Cruise Lines as gift for my (then) lady friend at Christmastime. I bought “platinum cruise protection” which the agent stated guaranteed a refund in the event of cancellation. So when the cruise was cancelled, I didn’t panic. I filed the paperwork and instead of receiving a refund I was issued a credit for a future cruise. But here is the problem: a non-transferrable credit was issued in my lady friend’s name. We are no longer a couple and I have no way to use a credit in her name. I have worn myself thin trying to get Princess to issue me a credit I can use. The value is $1,000 and I had to swallow $500 in cancellation fees plus the cost of the “platinum” insurance. Robert Oakes”

“Dear Robert:
You’ve certainly had bad luck with Princesses! I can’t help you with your ex-princess, but I did contact the cruise line and explained your predicament: barring a reconciliation ( and that ship has sailed) the other credit is worthless. I guess a romantic in management felt your pain. “We reviewed this again and agree that it’s certainly a reasonable request,” said spokeswoman Susanne Ferrull. “Mr. Oakes will be able to use his credit to have another passenger sail with him in his stateroom.” Bon voyage! And next time maybe you should take out platinum blonde protection.”
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That’s it, we’re done.

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