After freezing their meatballs off in the Poconos, the cast of Jersey Shore Family Vacation is happy to head to the warmer Florida Keys for Season 5. Jerzdays on MTV are even sweeter with Nicole “Snooki” Polizzzi fully cemented back in the group.
The returning fave packs her bags along with roomies Paul “Pauly D” DelVecchio, Michael “The Situation” Sorrentino, Jenni “JWoww” Farley, Vinny Guadagnino, Deena Nicole Cortese, and Angelina Pivarnick. We caught up with the gang to get the scoop on their trip and escapades to come.
Nicole, you took a break. Did the time away bring a renewed appreciation for the show?
Nicole: I definitely realized how much I loved and miss my roommates. I was like, “Oh my God, I cannot be away from these people.” Also, it was a much-needed break mentally. I needed to do that. Now I’m back for good. I definitely got a full appreciation and realized how much my roommates mean to me.
Jenni and Pauly, how was it having your significant others Zack and Nikki kind of grow into the group?
Pauly D: For me, it wasn’t easy because I need their approval. They play a huge role in my life. The fact that they welcomed her with open arms — they really mean the world to me. It really is like meeting your family. I bring her to dinner and am like, “These are my sisters and my brothers.” Thank God they got along.
JWoww: Don’t tell Pauly, but we like Nikki more than him now. But same as Pauly said, it’s wonderful. When a show is called Family Vacation, to make true to the name, we’re bringing our family with us. We’re bringing our significant others, children, loved ones. Through it all, we are one big dysfunctional happy family.
We’ve seen you guys in Miami before, but how was the Florida Keys? Did you still feel in your own little bubble similar to past seasons?
JWoww: The biggest difference is a lot of us brought our kids. They were living their best life. I think the Keys was a perfect place with COVID that we were able to have the hotel mainly to ourselves. We’re able to test for COVID every other day to make sure we were safe at all times, but interacting enough to live our best life in Florida. We couldn’t have asked for a better place to be. I enjoyed it.
And meatball days are back!
Nicole: I think with me and Deena being so busy being moms that we never really have time to do meatball days, so we definitely tried to have as many meatball days as we could. Just because we’re moms doesn’t mean we can’t have our meatball days. We’re trying to bring it back.
What are some of the other activities can you tease?
Pauly D: There are pranks. What is awesome about this family is you can literally put us anywhere. We’re going to make it our own. We got ourselves into a little bit of drama always. They have me dying all the time. I prank them. They prank me. It’s an awesome dynamic.
Jenni: The pranks are definitely next level this season.
We’re all going to miss Ronnie [Ortiz-Magro] this season. How important do you think it is for him to have the time away?
Pauly D: Mental health is so important. We support his decision in taking a step back and focusing on himself. It’s really important he gets his mental health right. We wish him the best.
Where is somewhere you haven’t been that you want to go?
Pauly D: Let’s go to Greece. That would be sick.
JWoww: Somewhere warm.
No Poconos again?
Pauly: We tried. We were doing winter exercises. It wasn’t T-shirt time there, it was sweatshirt time.
What have you learned about yourselves over the years on this spinoff?
Mike: We’re just the greatest there ever was. In the morning we just wake up and piss excellence. That’s what it is.
Mike and Deena, how is it having your kids being born chronicled on the show?
Deena: I love it. I think one of my favorite moments so far on the show is CJ being born. It’s nice, I can go back to see him, my little newborn. This season I think my new favorite will be Cameron being born, and CJ meeting Cameron for the first time.
Mike: It has been an amazing series for me with Jersey Shore Family Vacation. It has documented everything from the proposal to my wedding, my sobriety, my comeback, and the birth of my first child. It has really been amazing. It’s really awesome to have these memories with these guys who I call family. I’m very grateful.
Angelina, how is it for you to be able to normalize therapy for viewers as a healthy way of facing issues in a marriage?
Angelina: I think therapy is amazing. I think a lot of people frown upon it where they feel like lesser of a person if they go. I go on my own now. I learn more every day about myself. Couple therapy is awesome too, but it does take two people. That is why I go on my own also. We were trying to figure everything out this season. It’s something a lot of couples go through. Having marital problems is a real thing.
Vinny, what can you tell us about your experience this time around?
Vinny: One cool thing is because other family comes now on these vacations, kids are watched. We can go back a little for partying and being ourselves. You can’t party until 2 a.m. if you have to put your baby to bed. The kids are there, but the babysitters are there. I haven’t seen Deena not pregnant on the show in years. She is drinking, and I’m like I forgot what ‘Meena’ is like! We got to do that all again because everyone was there with their families.
Deena: Usually, when I’m on a vacation, and I knew my kids weren’t there and at home, I had mom guilt. I miss my kids and go through a depression. The fact that I know my kids are there, with my mom, in the hotel having a blast and a vacation of their own — I can let loose with my roommates and my husband. My kids are right up the block, and I can go see them. It’s refreshing. It was nice to get back into old Deena, which you will see. I’ll throw out the Jersey Turnpike here and there and have a good time.
Mike, how would you say fatherhood has affected your perception of the show?
Mike: I’ve always had a rule of being as authentic as I can. That has always worked for me. It’s really showing the audience what I am going through. For many years I have been working on myself to be the best version. I really feel now, being a father, I have so much purpose. I love this new version of me.
Jersey Shore Family Vacation, Season Premiere, Thursday, 8/7c, MTV