The Groove Cruise
It all started about 13 years ago as a weekend getaway to a beautiful destination with the best of underground and popular house, electro, and trance music along the way. Groove Cruise is the perfect getaway for a concert / festival lover. Over the years the company behind Groove Cruise, Whet Travel, has curated tons of memories for thousands of people and continually aims to better the experience and make it the time of your life! With so much history and experience, Groove Cruise gets better and better. Founded by Jason Beukema and his close group of friends, they put together the Groove Cruise with the intention of bringing the most quality party possible on board. Jason and his crew all have a deep appreciation and love for the scene and the music. It clearly showed throughout the ship, staff, artists, attendees… just everyone on board. With this much passion and determination in the scene, when this event came together, it transformed into an incredibly unique and positive party unlike any other! Their most recent venture took place from LA to Ensenada, Mexico where our destination for music was Casa de Los Siete Patios, a clifftop estate near the rocky coast… and it was absolutely phenomenal! This was the first time that I had ever been on a cruise… and let me just start off this review – since my first experience of a cruise ship was the Groove Cruise, I will never be able to take a normal cruise! Multiple stages, the best of vibes, 21+ attendees and music that I love being played all across the ship, this was an experience that you would not get on any other cruise… or festival… and because of that, it was an instant addiction.
Check out the picture of the schedule for the set times below and see the beauty in the scheduling yourself. *Click to enlarge*
Started the Cruise Properly with Shiba San
There are some pretty awesome ways to get the party started at a festival. But Groove Cruise might have taken the cake on opening day of LA to Mexico, October 6, 2017. Every cruise ship has a Muster Drill, which is wherever your cabin is located you get assigned a specific muster zone. The designated zone that you are in, they do a count on all the attendees and staff, to make sure everyone is on board. During the times 4:30-5:30, you had to be at the designated area going over safety and all that goodness. Little hint, arrive earlier and the more quiet you are, the faster they go over safety procedures, faster we get to party and get schwifty. Once that was complete, it was my main priority to head over to the first ever Basement Leak takeover. A record label founded by Shiba San, who took over the main pool deck after the Muster Drill. Before the Muster Drill his stage had kicked off the Groove Cruise with some filthy house music coming from all over the world.
Once everyone officially got on board and the coast guard gave the all clear for successfully completing the drill, the cruise ship and staff started preparations to embark on our adventure. As the boat left the dock, Shiba San threw down some fresh beats and the energy in the crowd and music was continually rose. He performed on the pool deck from sunset into dark hours, giving the crowd one hell of a vibe. People were partying all over the deck; from the bars, to the upper tanning decks, to the pools. The deck instantly became everything I imagined the Groove Cruise would be.
Shiba San had a nice plump two hour set. This is when things started to get gnarly! People noticed the boat moving and this signaled that the party had truly begun. Land was left behind and we sailed into international waters, for many aboard this party ship, it meant specifically: you could get alcohol at any hour of the night, day, morning, whenever. The drinking started to pick up and well, I mean F*ck It we were on a cruise right? Twenty one plus only, so we were partying with people who could handle their shit. When I had finished grabbing a drink from the tequila bar, I saw that Billy Kenny took over the stage. This was my first time getting to see this ‘bassy deep house’ artist, and catching him on the main pool deck was just magnificent! I jammed to his set for a while, met tons of people, introduced myself to one of the masterminds behind the visuals, VJ Voodoo, and of course enjoyed dank music on a cruise ship!
Discovering the Stages Throughout the Cruise
After catching my first Billy Kenny set (there were 3 other sets announced), I left a little early to start discovering the ship. Walking through the main area, the Atrium, I caught my friend from Colorado and talented DJ, Whiskas. This was the perfect set to catch your attention and stop you in your place. Placed on a staircase in the Atrium, he had his music blasting in the general area of the cruise ship for many to hear. Following his performance I headed over to another showcase on a stage. I am a huge fan of Space Yacht and the artists that were performing under that sponsored stage. Although it was my first time being on a cruise ship, it took me a while (almost a day!) to truly figure out the layout of the cruise ship and the levels that the stages were on. I had to go through a casino to get to the Rock n Roll Club where I saw Born Dirty bring the heat followed by Bijou. He played a plethora of his ghetto house tracks mixed with unreleased and upcoming tracks, Bijou definitely kicked the vibes up a notch in the club.
Following his performance was another epic performance followed by yet another epic performance! Dombresky took over the decks after Bijou. He played out heavy house tracks that brought the grime face and the feet a-stomping. This was the perfect lead up to another Billy Kenny performance, where with his goofy and eccentric energy, he got the party hyped and moving! I knew that I had more sets of him to enjoy again, so when I decided to leave to catch the Anjunabeats take over in the Paris Lounge Theater, I took a quick glimpse at the Casino stage, which was on the way, and made sure to mark it on my list to catch when it was lit with people.
When I walked out of the Casino, I looked across the open space (the atrium), and saw the Paris Lounge Exploding with lasers! I hastened to catch the epicness that I had been craving, – insane production and trance. Anjunabeats did their showcase on the Paris Lounge stage and oh my, what a perfect first impression of the stage! VIBES! Finally being able to witness one of the legends in trance, Andrew Bayer, I had posted up next to the crew running visuals and enjoyed some of the best seats in the house. Catch a glimpse of his performance with some of these epic visuals here! Visuals by Electro Visual Revolution, Worldwide, LLC and lasers by Laser Assassins.
Day 2: This Ain’t Bristol Takeover
From start to finish the lineup on the This Ain’t Bristol takeover on the Waterworks stage was just gnarly! With the occasional visits to my cabin, and of course Arty and Bonnie X Clyde, who was about 100 yards away on the main deck. I practically spent from start to finish jamming to some unique beats that I just don’t get to enjoy live that often. (I totally didn’t expect to hear heavy bass and dubstep on the boat, but Bonnie X Clyde brought it, check the video here.) Coming from the filthy underground house scene in Germany / Belgium and surrounding areas, this showcase gave me a stanky bass face for several hours. With a house beat and hard hitting unique samples and melodies, they kept the vibes going strong for the several hour showcase. Dabbling in break beat, DnB, and hard bass, the This Ain’t Bristol Showcase was just outstanding. Placed at the rear of the top deck, behind a water slide, Waterworks was the perfect environment for an intimate get down. The last set for the showcase was labeled as ‘Good Vibes SoundClash’ which it totally was. Going back and forth on a multiple b2b2b between This Ain’t Bristol and Desert Hearts, the techno, deep house, and disco party vibes definitely came out. Nothing but good vibes from this clash of underground beats.
During the underground session at the water works stage, when Josh Brown was on the decks, the founder of Groove Cruise, Jason Beukema was enjoying the fruits of his labor and getting down to some underground beats during sunset. He has an extreme appreciation for underground electronic music and it clearly showed on the Groove Cruise. There are two stages dedicated to that music with extremely minimal lighting or no lighting at all. You could feel nothing but good vibes from him which radiated throughout the ship both through WhetTravel and the attendees. Jason put so much of his time into this that you could just feel his work and passion in the experience. I got the opportunity to get a quick picture with him during the sunset to the thing that is bringing us all together… music. Thank you Jason for this epicness.
Thomas Jack Going DEEP for the Surprise Set followed by Desert Hearts
Following the ridiculous performance at the This Ain’t Bristol Showcase, I went down a tier to the Serenity stage where a surprise set was taking place. I walked in with deep house beats filling the rear of the boat. No lighting, just dank underground beats, being played out by one of the tropical house icons, Thomas Jack. While he is a master at his creation and gets down to tropical house, he also really enjoys deep house and can throw down one hell of a performance! This surprise set on the Serenity stage was just blissful. One hundred people or so getting down a rare Thomas Jack set that you’ll usually only get to see at a private pool party or as a performance where it is specified as deep house. Leading into more of a tech house / acid house vibe, Thomas Jack passed the decks off to CJ Jeff where things started getting weird and extremely groovy. I made a couple trips to the nearby bar at this stage and when coming back from one of the trips, I encountered Shiba San not only getting down to the dank underground beats, but getting whipped by an LED whip. That is when I knew for sure it was a party and that I was not the only one on board getting schwifty.
After getting down in the dark environment to some acid house I decided to step it up a little bit and go to one of my favorite record label’s showcase, Desert Hearts. Playing on the same page of psychedelic, trippy house music, but at the Paris Lounge where the visual production was next level, I knew this was where I was going to spend the rest of my night… and I did. From start to finish caught the Desert Hearts Takeover! Set up in the theater where chairs and tables are everywhere, I posted up in the middle and just enjoyed the view and dank music!
Desert Hearts was founded with nothing but love and the need to have a safe and gnarly party. Based in the Navajo desert of California, they had built small parties from scratch just to have an outlet for their music and from that start they grew. They express so much love through their music, Desert Hearts Crew always offer a vibe unlike any other artist. Their energy radiates through the music and you’ll feel nothing but positive and happy vibes during it. This on top of the already euphoric Groove Cruise, the Desert Hearts showcase was what I would imagine my heaven to be. Absolutely blissful!
Day 3: Casa De FUCKING MEXICO
What can I say, as soon as my eyes opened and I looked out the window of my cabin and saw the unique landscape and city of Ensenada and the typical Mexican ladies at the port including a lady holding a parrot. I was fucking lit. So much hyped up energy just for being in Mexico. I got ready as fast as possible in anticipation for the party at Casa de Los Siete Patios. Thankfully it was a quick 15 minute drive so all I had to do was get to the shuttle and go. Arriving during Shmitty b2b No Requests, I started the day off right and got hooked up on that dank package that they offered. For $60 (online purchase before event started). I was offered unlimited tacos and drinks (while supplies last.) So I hammered down a couple of tacos and went straight to the tequila. Jose Cuervo… not always my drink of choice – but – for unlimited $60 and for being in Mexico.. FUCK IT! Started it off with a shot and a double margarita. The perfect way to start the venture on land to deep house.
Enjoyed the music, a full belly, and a margarita, I explored the beautiful venue of Casa de Los Siete Patios. A private cliff-top estate next to the rocky shore, with a pool for many to enjoy. It was a gnarly location for an ultimate party. Surrounded by healthy green trees and art and decor throughout the landscape, the vibe was set high and relaxation was prime! The main stage allowed for people to enjoy a pool or walk on a path and enjoy the scenic views of the ocean, or get down and dirty in-front of the intimate stage. Also in the listening area of the main stage, the tacos were posted up so you could enjoy your food while you listened to dank music! Winding around the house on the property, it lured you into a shaded area with trees and several chill areas, which is where the underground stage was located…and what a perfect spot for this type of vibe. Keeping it real with the techno and house vibes, the artists on this stage brought some of the best music that I heard all weekend. By having fresh mixing skills with layering different songs over each-other and clean transitions, the underground stage stole me for several hours as I enjoyed house music and an ocean view.
After Billy Kenny, one of the most anticipated artists I was looking forward to, Green Velvet. He took the stage and instantly the vibe leveled up. His infamy runs deep in the scene as he has been DJing and producing since 1991. This dude isn’t just an amazing producer and DJ, he includes his unique voice into his music which just takes the sound for a completely different turn and makes his music one of a kind! Aboslutely beautiful vocal range that just gets weird with the music. Its an eccentric performance that you wont see from anyone else. You can check out a snippet of his performance here.
I had enjoyed this set for as long as possible until I just had to see 3lau. Changing up the vibe completely, 3lau has a since of musical freedom as he grazed between, Future Bass, House, Drum and Bass, dubstep, Trap, and electro all throughout the half of his set that I caught. His performance was on the main stage and it was a perfect area for this set. It was able to hold tons of people, made the vibes of a positive party flourish throughout everyone! Nothing but smiles for miles as I danced through the crowd back and forth capturing nothing but beautiful moments. Check out a snippet of 3lau’s performance in Mexico with 2 new songs! Also check out my photo gallery here if you haven’t yet.
Photo gallery and Media on my website link
Photo Galley on Facebook
Overall… Groove Cruise was an Instant Addiction That Left Me Craving More
As soon as I stepped on the ship I knew that it was an instant addiction. The vibes from the music, ship, staff, attendees, and honestly just everything and everyone was next level! Looking back on my weekend and reflecting back on it. It is an instant addiction. The opportunity to see some of your favorite artists multiple times in an intimate location is unlike any other event and is something that should be cherished if you can experience it. Sometimes you even run into artists just chilling at other artist’s sets because.. well two reasons. One. They love music too so they are going to enjoy good music. Two. They are on a boat, with no way off until arriving at a port. So the chances of you running into the same person is actually pretty high. This factor was unlike any other event that I have ever experienced. The boat had 7 different stages on board and then the two at the clifftop estate in Mexico. This many diverse stages allowed for a total festival feel and allowed me to go discover new music. Yes all of it was electronic (except for that one night there was a hip hop stage,) but even though it was all house, techno, electro, and music of that vibe, it was all different. I am pretty sure I only heard a repeat song only once or twice throughout the weekend. That is something that you don’t get at every festival… especially one with headliners like this. The underground vibes were strong on board and off the whole time and that is what made this experience extremely gnarly!
I highly recommend this experience of a lifetime to anyone who truly loves electronic music, the scene, and everything about a music festival.. because this is that, but on a boat where you are rocking back and forth with hundreds of fellow people who are schwifty. After a couple of days of rocking out on a boat, you hit the beautiful destination (which will vary obviously,) and when at the destination… it is a no holds bars music extravaganza. Being in a different country for an experience that everyone is sharing is unlike anything else. Vibes like no other! The party on the cruise ship is next level but when you finally hit that destination and people are at an ultimate relaxation or party mode… it becomes absolutely crazy. Everything about the experience from Groove Cruise was absolutely insanely awesome and just a hell of a time! Because of that and the amazing people that come from both attendees and staff, Groove Cruise became an instant addiction for me and will be why you will never want to be on a normal cruise ship again!
Next Stop Miami – 90% SOLD OUT (as of 10/16/17)
Happening January 26-29th, leaving from Miami to arrive at Nassau and Cococay in the Bahamas. On this trip Groove Cruise will be making history as they take over Fort Charlotte for a music venue as the first time ever in the Bahamas history. This fort is from the 1600’s with underground tunnels and several cannons, it will be the perfect environment to get schwifty at and listen to some music that makes you feel like you should be racing through a game. IT IS 90% sold out! So if you want to join this first time experience for everyone… I would recommend hoping on it asap! You can find out more info about it below!
You can find more info about Groove Cruise: https://www.groovecruise.com/en/miami
Book your suites / Buy tickets here: Ticket / Suite Link – Groove Cruise Miami 2018
Can’t make it to Miami? San Diego to Cabo will take place October 10-14th 2018
There will always be another Groove Cruise opportunity. Thankfully they are hitting both East and West Coast so if you can’t travel to one, hopefully you can travel to the other! Not much info has been released about this event yet except… Cabo. Lets be serious here. You are traveling to Cabo for music… that is freaking amazing! Tickets go on sale November 16th and 11am Pacific Standard Time! You can follow Groove Cruise on Facebook and other socials below!
Thank you for reading my review of Groove Cruise LA to MEX 2017. Means everything to me.
Hope to see y’all in Miami!
Here is a picture of me and Lee Reynolds of Desert Hearts <3
Again you can view my full gallery on my website here: Groove Cruise Gallery and Media
Or on The Chronic Electronic’s Facebook
Again – Thank you Jason and WhetTravel and Carnival for putting together an amazing event. You guys absolutely killed it.