This was not your typical family vacation. Sure, from the outside, it was a portrait of the classic getaway. Head out to the middle of nowhere on giant steel ocean vessel, with all-you-can eat food and all-you-can tan sun rays. Lay by the pool with a cocktail and enjoy the peace and serenity of sunshine on the sea, but like I said, this was not your typical family vacation.
Leave the kids at home because Groove Cruise, run by Whet Travel, is a straight up 3 day debaucherous party. Sun up till sunset, and back again, partygoers beat their feet on the wooden planks like they had forgotten that the earth was still running its regular 24 hour shifts. Most of my time was spent fumbling around stage to stage and cabin to cabin to figure out who snuck the most alcohol on board. A handful of our bracelet clad E Fam crew was present and in search of the best music of the moment, and our limited edition Groove Cruise bracelets were in the merch booth.
The almost entirely house oriented lineup was heaven for those dreaming of four on the floor beats. Acts like Thomas Jack, Dash Berlin, Shiba San, and Billy Kenny brought the fire in the booth as the ship rocked back and forth, slowly as if it were as drunk as it’s patrons. Speaking of a rocking boat, here is a excerpt that I wrote while the tossing and turning was at its worst.
It was Sunday night. Tumultuous seas put a tilt on the ocean vessel to which many of our land legs were not accustomed. I squawked an order at one of the many helpful ship hands floating around the cabins, “Get me a bag, now!” A rush comes over his face as he runs to the nearest shop to acquire a make shift barf bag worthy of a full weekends worth of regret. A sweating sailor, turning the most unwelcome shade of green snatches the bag from me just before his elevator door closes. As he fills it, the dismay of his elevator co-inhabitants hastily sets upon their horrified faces. One thing was for sure. I saved that elevator from certain doom.
I left the boat with a newfound respect for the Dancetronauts, and their party in a package. On Saturday night they bought 200 bottles of champagne to treat the main stage to a dirty house set complete with their entourage of 20+ scantily clad dancers grooving through the crowd and on stage. They also played on Sunday night (which felt alarmingly like a Saturday night) in the main theater, which they quickly turned into the place to be.
The Sunday party at an estate In Ensenada, Mexico was well worth the shuttle fee. Artists like Green Velvet, Doc Martin, and 3lau (cmon guys, it’s pronounced Blau) covered the beats, and us tourists saying every Mexican cliché available, figured out that our land legs still worked for dancing.
Overall, the cruise was unlike any other boat party, although I did hear several times, “I was just on this boat with my grandma six months ago!” It’s quite the experience to have a nonstop party at your fingertips. Do yourself a favor and come aboard next year. Better yet, hit up the Miami edition in January. See you at the next festival.
Article and photos by Scott Bernhardt