New Kids on the Block are rocking the boat
Consider this an official invitation, Rob Gronkowski. The New Kids on the Block would love to have you on their cruise.
When it comes to partying on cruise ships, the New Kids are seasoned sailors. They’ve been hosting fan cruises for seven years now.
It’s become an annual thing, and their revelry on the high seas has become perfect fodder for reality TV. On Monday evening, three members of the Boston-bred pop supergroup — Jordan Knight, Joey McIntyre, and Danny Wood — boarded a yacht and sailed around Boston Harbor to promote the second season of their TV show, “Rock This Boat: New Kids on the Block,” which premieres June 1 at 8:30 p.m. on Pop.
The reality show chronicles NKOTB’s most recent excursion on a Carnival cruise with thousands of hardcore fans last fall. The trip took place over four days in October, on a ship that traveled from Miami to Grand Turk Island in the Bahamas.
Season 2 of “Rock the Boat” opens with Jordan Knight working out to get ready for the cruise; Donnie Wahlberg talks about bringing his wife, Jenny McCarthy, along for the first time; Jon Knight-Rodriguez chats with his husband about preparing for the trip; Wood brings his kids along, and pulls off the balancing act of being a performer and dad. There’s plenty of humor, too. Knight confesses to using spray-on skin tanner, and McIntyre half-jokingly tells the camera that he’s not camera ready. Wahlberg searches a refrigerator for sugar-free Red Bull to help him through the sleep-deprived nights aboard ship.
The behind-the-scenes look shows how much work goes into throwing a raging party on a cruise ship accompanied by 3,000 adoring fans.
“We always went into it taking it seriously, but not taking ourselves too seriously,” said McIntyre. “We’re out there to give people the time of their lives.”
And all you Blockhead fans can be assured: There are several shirtless scenes in “Rock This Boat,” and plenty of screaming and shrieking. At one point, the Knight brothers go crowdsurfing, and end up being groped in the process.
Of course, that was the Carnival cruise on the television show. The yacht ride around Boston Harbor on Monday was much more reserved. Most of the people aboard were clients of Pop, and executives attending INTX: The Internet & Television Expo at the convention center. McIntyre, Wood, and Knight didn’t perform any songs, but they did mingle and graciously take photos, shake hands, and sign autographs for fans. Hits from NKOTB’s “Hangin’ Tough” album played over the sound system, and a capella groups performed.
Among those who attended the yacht party was Stefanie Zuroff, a Brookline native who lives in Los Angeles. Zuroff went to the New Kids on the Block concert at the Meadowlands in 1990, when she was 10 years old.
“They were my first concert,” said Zuroff, who called the cruise around Boston Harbor with three of her teen idols “very cool.”
The New Kids do have a concert coming up: They’ll be performing at the Mixtape Festival in Hershey, Pa., on Aug. 6.
And before you know it, they’ll be getting ready to hit the high seas again. Thousands of fans are already counting down for the next NKOTB cruise in October, and not surprisingly, it has already sold out.