Thousands of New Kids on the Block fans—and the five New Kids themselves—were meant to be aboard the Carnival Conquest right now, sailing towards Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas. When the band’s eleventh annual cruise was canceled due to COVID-19—part of the industry-wide pause the coronavirus triggered—their travel agency Rose Tours promised to refund fans, although there was no word on when the cruise might be rescheduled.
Disappointed die-hard Blockheads who dream of this cruise vacation every year consoled themselves with a series of live streams the bands broadcast from their respective homes in recent weeks. Then came the news that they were working on something special for their tightknit fan base. This week, the New Kids announced Friday’s launch of #NKOTBVIRTUALCRUISE, a three-day itinerary of at-home activities and live appearances by the band.
“House Party” Release Celebration
The celebration kicked off with Friday’s release of a new single—“House Party,” with guests Boyz II Men, Big Freedia, Jordin Sparks and Naughty by Nature, plus music video cameos from Mark Wahlberg, Jenny McCarthy, Carrie Underwood and other celebs. Free to watch on YouTube and Instagram, the track is available on iTunes, with net proceeds benefitting No Kid Hungry.
The day continues with several media appearances—all via Zoom, naturally—and the party will kick into gear with Friday evening’s Live Stream of a “Lido Deck Party/Town Hall” on YouTube and Facebook. While not quite the same as sailing out of Miami on the actual Lido Deck, this celebration is bound to draw thousands of home-bound fans, who the New Kids are encouraging to dress up and decorate their doors at home as they would their stateroom doors onboard the Conquest. A late-night Karaoke session with Donnie Wahlberg and his wife Jenny McCarthy will keep the fun going on Instagram from 11pm.
The rest of the weekend’s itinerary is as jammed as the real-life cruise might be, with scheduled solo performances by Jordan Knight and Joey McIntyre, and a “Baking with Danny Wood Live Stream.”