Groove Cruise Cabo 2018 is officially in my unicorn history book, marking my ninth GC voyage and second on the Cali to Cabo route. However much like unicorns are full of surprises, so is Groove Cruise as we ended up in our old stomping grounds of Ensenada Mexico after weather didn’t permit us to make it all the way to Cabo. I got to give credit to NCL and Whet and all the entertainment and production for making so much happen on such short notice, all while adapting to the changes in the wind. Groove Cruise has really been blowing up in these past years and after last year’s overnight stay in Cabo the bar was set extremely high leaving expectations of many guests to what is familiar… but we’re really not there to experience the familiar. We cruise for the unexpected, the weird, and the random and that’s exactly what we got.
The Experience itself can only be described as overstimulation from when you roll up to port and see everybody glowing, happy, and dressed up in costumes already. Being an experienced GC vet is a double-edged sword because I know better than to try to fly in the day of the boat and play The Most Dangerous Game, but that’s what I did. The preparation for Groove Cruise is madness in itself. I get so caught up in planning my costumes for every theme only to ironically run around in some combination of sweatpants and strappy accessories, or belly dance skirts and unicorn tees because I didn’t want to miss any of the action that presented itself in the numerous venues. Tough life, am I right?
This was definitely a wandering journey for me, one where I wanted to stay longer at each place I was at with all my friends, but there was so much to do! I bounced from the theater to the atrium, from the pool deck to the back deck and then to the lounges experiencing such a melting pot of sound that broke boundaries for Groove Cruise. Groove Cruise is typically known for its deeper house beats and trance, and this year did not disappoint. The event has become a one-stop-shop for all your genre needs combining the aforementioned familiar with Dirtybird variety House and amazingly energetic sets that went into harder Electro and Trap. Headliner Laidback Luke had the pool deck popping off such an intense rager that I have never seen in my nine voyages. Green Velvet absolutely rocked both of his sets that were not to be missed, and treated us to live vocals during his closing set! It was awesome to see him running around in costumes and embracing being one of us.
It’s truly a test of your mind and body to avoid the FOMO for anyone, but as someone who is so love drunk on the “GC Kool-Aid” and embraced the family aspect, I found myself outdone by my agenda to get to all of my friend’s sets. These are people that I’ve been not only cruising with but meeting up with all over the country, and seeing them evolve as people and artists. I have so much pride for what they’ve accomplished and become. The great news is that it’s a packed schedule and the even greater news is that there is so much more happening beyond the schedule of sets and activities to be discovered as you walk into it, or hear people excitedly rallying. You can always do as I do and follow along like the school of fish on the hallway carpets.
One of the most magical nights was running around with my crew that included the one and only Groove Trooper, who threw down an amazing set on the schedule, along with an impromptu set after our party found its way to The Haven Suite! His ability to be mobbing with the pack one moment and performing the next completely blew my mind. Everyone else just happened to be in the right place at the right time and even including plates of bacon.
Groove cruise is an event that challenges even the most articulate of us to formulate words that describe our experience. It’s a challenging whirlwind that demands feats of strength only attainable by the most dedicated of partiers. When your feet give out you find a couch and just start kicking a leg up and fist-pumping in solidarity. What I love so much is the nonverbal connection as you walk through the venues and make eye contact with other people that are as amazed and in the moment as you are. Groove Cruise is lost at sea, making connections without technology. The themes and the costumes provide additional icebreaker material that brings people together. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to meet all of the rock stars that I met in the attendees’ groups prior to sailing, but it looks like many have made their decision to book the Miami sailing in the West coast afterglow.
The only difficulty is that there are actually too many stages and things going on at once. It’s of course by design to accommodate the various interests and tastes of over 2,000 people while still making it feel like an exclusive experience where nothing is too packed and there’s always comfortable space to rage or rest your feet as needed. It’s one wild party at sea. Won’t you join me on the next?