If you’ve been keeping up with us at Soaps.com you already know about the much anticipated Soap Cruise that sets sail from the Port of Miami on November 15th – 19th. As the ultimate vacation for soap lovers, fans will have the opportunity to cruise around Key West and Cancun, all while getting up close and personal with 10 of their favorite soap stars.

I recently had the pleasure of talking with Julie Pinson (Billie, Days) who is one of the many celebrities fans will have the chance to meet. As we discussed the cruise, the future of Days of Our Lives and the state of her character’s love life-or lack there of, I found Julie to be funny, easy going and someone I’d like to go out and have a drink with.

Lori: Are you looking forward to getting away for a few days?

Julie: Oh yeah. I’m looking forward to it. Can’t wait! I’m going with my best friend so we’re going to party it up and have a good time (laughs).

Lori: What are your official duties going to consist of?

Julie: Drinking, dancing, um, I don’t know…topless sunbathing.

Lori: And just that’s your official capacity! I can’t imagine what you’ll be doing in your down time.

Julie: Oh and I guess I’ll sign a few autographs; I don’t know.

Lori: Yes, fit that in somewhere.

Julie: I think we’re going to breakfast. There’s going to be a breakfast with the fans. I think we’re going to be playing games throughout the day. I think they will be doing some kind of scenes. Some of the people will be doing scenes with some of the guys. And then you know, autographing some fan stuff.

Lori: Will you have much down time for yourself or is it all working?

Julie: I don’t know. I’m really not sure what exactly to expect. I’m sure that I’ll have at least a couple of hours during the day…for my topless sunbathing and my drinking (laughs).

Lori: What is it like for you to meet the fans?

Julie: Oh, I love meeting the fans. They’re the reason we have a job. They’re the reason we do what we do. Everybody always says this, but soap fans are really polite; they’re so nice. Even when I played a really bad character nobody ever confused me, Julie Pinson with Billie Reed, my character. I always get a really warm welcome and it’s nice, you know. It’s a nice little ego boost to know that people like you. It’s nice to hear it in person.

Lori: Is there one thing you tend to hear a lot from the fans?

Julie: I guess lately the questions I get are “When are you gonna have a love interest?” “When’s Billie gonna have some sex?” That’s what I get.

Lori: And what is your answer to that question?

Julie: Hopefully soon! (laughs) I mean Billie deserves it. Billie is a smart sexy woman; there’s no reason why she shouldn’t have somebody in her life.

Lori: Absolutely! We certainly hope Billie gets a love interest soon.

Julie: You and me both. I mean for goodness sakes, that’s why I have this job. I like kissing boys.

Lori: And you have quite a few attractive ones to choose from.

Julie: I know. Unfortunately most of them are my brothers.

Lori: That’s very true.

Julie: I got Jay Johnson (Philip); I got Bryan Dattilo (Lucas); I mean why do they have to be Billie’s brothers?

Lori: Well, if Billie’s mother wasn’t sleeping around so much maybe…

Julie: I know! Kate’s like the mom of the whole show.

Lori: Exactly. So, Austin Peck (Brad, ATWT; ex-Austin, Days) and Brandon Beemer (Shawn, Days) are both attending the cruise, are you familiar…

Julie: I know, I can’t wait! Another one of my brothers-Austin! I can’t wait to see Austin. I hear he’s doing really well out there in New York. I’m so happy for him.

Lori: Yeah, he’s quite a hit on As the World Turns right now.

Julie: That’s what I hear and I hear he loves it. He’s really happy out there. So good for him. And Brandon. I love Brandon. Brandon’s really fun, so I’ll have a good time with Brandon too.

Lori: Are you familiar with the other actors going on the cruise?

Julie: I know Winsor Harmon (Thorne, B&B). I know…who else do I know? Well, I am looking forward to meeting Alicia Minshew (Kendall, AMC). She’s good friends with my friend Rebecca Budig (ex-Greenlee, AMC) and I hear about her all the time, but I’ve never met her, so I’m looking forward to meeting Alicia.

Lori: And you are the only two women.

Julie: How did that happen? I’m the luckiest girl on the planet. My husband’s kind of jealous that he’s not going now.

Lori: Can you tell us anything about what’s going to come up for Billie on the show?

Julie: Right now Billie is running the security for the college Chelsea’s in and there’s all kinds of stuff going on in college right now that Billie is involved in. I can’t tell you…I don’t think I can tell you a lot, but let’s see… Jett has started working for Billie now so they’re partnering up and there’s all kinds of things going to be happening there.

Lori: Is Billie going to stay away from Jett romantically so there’s no repeat of [her hooking up with a guy her daughter is interested in]?

Julie: I hope so. I don’t know what the writers have in store, but I personally hope that doesn’t happen. But then again, story is story (laughs)!

Lori: Are we going to be seeing more of Billie, more of you on screen?

Julie: I hope so. I need to pay my mortgage. I need to work.

Lori: With Ed Scott coming on as the producer, has that changed things for you?

Julie: He’s fantastic. I worked with Ed Scott when I was on The Young and the Restless and I like Ed because he’s an actor’s producer. He likes actors. He likes talking to the actors. He’s running a really tight ship over here and everybody here notices it in the work. He’s even changed the lighting; it’s every little detail. He’s really made his own stamp on things around here and I’m really happy about that.

Lori: So across the board things are good with him coming on to the show.

Julie: Absolutely and we all think it’s a really good sign for Days of Our Lives. Nobody’s giving up on us. You know Days is supposedly going to go off the air or whatever, but you know, I really don’t see that happening.

Which of course is what we Days fans like to hear!

While Julie and the droves of excited fans gear up for the Soap Cruise, those of you who aren’t able to go won’t be left out, as Soaps.com will be there to bring you all the scoops via our very own camera crew.

I’d like to thank Julie for taking the time to talk with me and assure her that we won’t catch her sunbathing topless on tape!

Lori Wilson