I got my groove on last week with the Groove Cruise fam on a cruise ship heading to Cabo San Lucas. The five day excursion, presented by Whet Travel, included 120+ hours of nonstop music that culminated with a beachside party. There were artist activities, panels, and of course 24/7 food options. Have extra money to spend? The art gallery, gift shops and spa were the places to go.
Months before this trip I had to mentally prepare myself, since this was my first cruise. I have always been socially shy and the past two years haven’t exactly been easy for me to be able to make friends. As with any show I attend I have one simple rule that I go by to have an enjoyable experience… Have ZERO expectations! The GC fam made me feel right at home, and everyone I met on the ship treated me in a way that I didn’t even experience at EDCLV. PLUR is still alive within the GC fam! Even the ship’s crew couldn’t help dancing their butts off, which made me feel even more comfortable!
Sooo Many Onboard Activities!
There were more than 40 artist activities and panels scheduled for the 34th sailing of Groove Cruise. I wasn’t able to attend even a quarter of the activities I wanted to, but here’s some highlights from some of the ones I did attend:
- When the Music Stops – Removing the Shame and Guilt from Mental Struggles and Suicidal Thoughts
I attended this panel to have more insight into mental health within the music community. It is important to note, as Joshua Donaldson said “sometimes we need to stop talking and start listening to others.” I resonated with Joshua Donaldson’s testimony and left there feeling understood knowing I was not alone.
- Groove Cruise X Neon Owl Open Door Industry/Touring Panel & Demo Listening Party
This panel consisted of several artists giving constructive criticism to up and coming artists who submitted demos. Panel was made up of Sam Wolfe, N3wport, Blanke.
- Cruise Queens Drag Show I have been to my fair share of drag shows, but never attended a drag show that involved any EDM. I was blown away by these queens who put on one of the best drag shows I have ever seen.
- Carl Michael (Magician That Was a Runner-Up on America’s Got Talent) Humor and magic combined, what more could you ask for? This was definitely a unique magic show unlike any other show at a festival. The sarcastic humor and volunteers from the crowd truly made it magical.
There were so many more activities that I wanted to be a part of, but unfortunately it clashed with the artists scheduled times. Onboard activities are definitely an ice breaker to make connections with beautiful strangers.
The music never stops on Groove Cruise!
120+ hours of music in 5 days was unimaginable to me before this trip! How am I going to see every artist I want to see? How am I going to keep up? When am I ever going to get some sleep, because these ravers are tenacious?!?! Thankfully all of the artists on the lineup played at least 2 sets, if not more! Some artists like Casmalia, Green Velvet & Kaheal played EVERY day, up some sets lasting SEVEN HOURS!
Because they all played multiple sets,I got to see many of my favorite artists for the first time all in one place! The first night was supposed to be Claude VonStroke THEN Green Velvet, but they ended coming out together for a 4 hour Get Real set that blew my mind! I swore I wasn’t going to go hard on the first night, but when will I ever see this again? Gareth Emery left me with no words, only feelings! HALIENE (Alien with an H sound) has the vocals of a goddess, and her partner Matt kills it on the decks! “Taking Back Emo” was the theme of an amazing N3wport set where he incorporated melodic dubstep with emo classics. It definitely took me back to my emo/metal days and had me headbanging! I had never heard of Gene Farris before his GC set, but I instantly fell in love after! He has his own unique sound, and was definitely a VIBE!!
9 Stages on 1 Cruise Ship?!?
First let me say that the VJs (Visual Jockey) at each stage deserves a round of applause for their spectacular performances! The stages were spread all throughout the ship with three stages outside and six stages inside. You would think with 9 stages on a small ship there would be some sort of noise bleed between stages, but there wasn’t any at all! Nothing like my first EDCLV experience. Each day was a different theme for each stage, with the exception of The Great Outdoors stage that was set up and designed by Kaheal the artist playing there all 5 nights.
The Main Pool Stage featuring a swimming pool and 3 hot tubs to relax in while you watch your favorite artists. Feel like gambling a bit? Head on over to the Casino Stage located in the onboard casino! If you’re feeling late night techno vibes, head over to the net enclosed Sports Court Stage. O’Sheehan’s Irish Bar & Grill overlooks the Atrium Stage where you can enjoy your Irish favorites 24 hrs a day while watching your favorite artists. The Stardust Theater was a theater built into 2 decks toward the front (or bow) of the ship, and had both cushioned theater seats AND a dance floor in front of the stage!
My Favorite Things About Groove Cruise
I loved everything about Groove Cruise, and the way it was set up! Some of the things that I absolutely loved about the cruise were:
- Each stage had a water station equipped with cups, and not far from the cleanest restrooms of ANY festival.
- There was never a long line for anything, anytime, anywhere.
- AMAZING FOOD! 24/7 food options at the buffet and many FREE restaurants as well.
- Party in the elevators with several DJs bringing their own turntables, speakers, and lights.
- Staff was very informative and friendly.
- The destination was BEAUTIFUL! The beaches and surrounding nature were gorgeous, and I look forward to partaking in one of the offshore excursions on my next Groove Cruise.
- The Whet Foundation, and nearly 100 GC volunteers, visited Casa Hogar children’s home in Cabo, and served them breakfast! Then the GC Fam gave them money and items they had collected for them! LOVE that they practice PLUR in other communities like that!
Things That Would’ve Been Helpful
Unlike many festivals that we review at TFV, there aren’t too many things they can do to improve… The only constructive criticism we have to offer is:
- Improving the sound quality of certain stages to better suit the lower ceilings and the acoustics (Bliss Stage).
- Merch shop adding some raver essential items not sold in the gift shop (such as candy, gum, ear plugs, etc.)
- A map or layout with all the stages, activities, shops, restaurants would have been very helpful on the first day for the virgins.
- The announcements at the crack of dawn were informative but could’ve waited until at least noon. Being woken up early by a very loud PA system in your room was not a vibe. Sorry Jason, love you, but a lot of us were trying to sleep since you kept us up all night lol.
Groove Cruise is definitely something that your have to experience once in your life! (You’ll most likely get hooked just like I did!) I know it was something that I needed to experience, and I can’t wait to go back! I had an amazing time meeting wonderful people, making connections, and learning from each other. I can’t wait to see all my GC Fam again soon! Stay tuned for more Groove Cruise news, including our after video of Cabo coming out soon! Check out our full photo gallery HERE!