A Groove Cruise Veteran and a GC first timer set sail on Groove Cruise Miami 2023. One of them didn’t know what to expect, the other thought they knew what to expect, but was blown away by how much higher the bar had been raised. This is their story:
From the Veteran:
I created thatDROP in 2014 out of a pure love for dance music and dance music festivals. I fell in love at first bass drop and never looked back. Ever since, I’ve grasped at nearly every opportunity to experience a new dance floor in all corners of the United States and beyond.
With over 120 festivals under my belt, I’m more selective about which I choose to attend but remain pleasantly surprised that (most of them) keep getting better.
In this particular instance, it was my third Groove Cruise; and the expectation was high to say the least. The first two cruises I took on GC had me floored and craving more. However, it had been a few years since my last voyage and of course there was a global shutdown in between, so even though I felt I’d earned my stripes in this experience, I knew Groove Cruise wouldn’t let me down.
I feel like a festival yoda these days, always sharing my favorite festivals with eager new fans. I often mention Groove Cruise simply because of the experience in it’s totality. There is something special about the floating music festival experience that no land-festival can ever replicate. The comradery, the cleanliness, the access to fresh food and water and a bed at all times. It really is a veteran-type experience that is unmatched.
When it comes to really capturing this experience and elevating it to the next level, Groove Cruise is simply a step above.
The people, the smiles, the vibe and everything in between is something hard to capture. A man even found it the most opportune moment to propose to his girlfriend during Autograf’s set.
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This voyage reminded me that Groove Cruise is an essential notch in every dance music lover’s belt; and to not experience it would be an injustice to your love of the culture. It’s a veterans paradise and a newcomers delight. It knows no bound of age or sex, gender, sexual orientation, judgement or language barrier. It is just a pure, full-of-life, floating party barge.
What really took this particular trip to the stratosphere was the destination. The beach day in Labadee, Haiti was beyond just scenic. A life moment, truly. Absolutely stunning weather, an incredible backdrop of beautiful mountains, nature and jaw-dropping visuals.
Listening to Nora en Pure and other world-class talents with your feet in the pristine, soft sand by the crystal clear water is the essence of life.
After 120+ festivals what more can you really say? You almost run out of adjectives for the top tier experiences that stick in your mind.
The music, the people, the scenery, the crew, the schedule, the experience, the rooms, the food; top shelf. I do not even have the slightest negative comment to make about a single thing. They excelled in absolutely every aspect. Pure perfection.
I will leave you with this simple directive:
When you purchase your ticket to Groove Cruise, you are purchasing an indelible life experience. You are surrounded by your favorite people, in the most beautiful scenery, with your favorite beats playing a 24/7 soundtrack. It can’t be beat.
Buy the ticket.
From the First-Timer:
Departing from Miami at sunset listening to a set by Claptone was an epic beginning to what was the most high energy fun-filled weekend at sea I could have imagine. Being new to music festivals in general, Groove Cruise expanded my mind to how much work and creativity goes into creating an experience for everyone to enjoy.
There is something special about listening to high vibration music while everyone around you is dancing and smiling quite literally, the entire time. I walked around the boat to different sets to get a taste of different music and along the way everyone you pass is friendly.
This is unique.
Although I’m still still new to music festivals, this is the only one I’ve attended where you can have a quick and friendly conversation with a complete stranger, go your separate ways, then see them the next day on the dance floor and say “hi” like you’ve known them forever.
Once the sun goes down, you’re only a short elevator ride to your room where you can relax, shower and reset for the rest of the evening. There were different themes for daytime and nighttime so being close to your room is key for changing outfits.
The main buffet room is filled with plenty of options for dinner, and if you want to try a different restaurant, you just have to make a reservation. After fueling up, you enter right back into the party. There’s multiple sets going on throughout the boat, you just have to find your vibe.
I found myself sticking by stages of DJs I’ve never heard of, but being sucked in by the beat and forgetting the time passing by. For me, every night wrapped up when my feet began telling my brain to take a break. Dancing for hours on end is exhausting but luckily you’re only a couple minutes from your bed. Get some rest, and wake up the next day to a beautiful ocean view.
Breakfast buffet was awesome. Fresh fruit, endless options for breakfast foods, then you walk outside to eat overlooking the back of the ship and endless sea, listening to the bass from above.
After breakfast, I would lounge and listening to the set on the main deck, sipping a few pina coladas and enjoying the view. The view didn’t just include the gorgeous blue sea, but the sea of happy faces and vibing bodies across the top deck. It really does feel like everyone is in their happy place.
To highlight a few of my favorite parts of Groove Cruise 2023, I would have to give Nora En Pure’s beach side performance 1st place.
We departed the ship in Labadee, Haiti to walk down a beautiful sandy path that led to the cove that she’d be performing at. I dropped my bag and headed into the crystal clear ocean where I floated endlessly listening to her amazing set. I will never forget that.
Another highlight was Markus Schultz set in the theatre. Everyone around you is uplifted by the beat of the music, add in the light show and bubbles and you’ve truly got a vibe.
Lastly, two DJ’s I hadn’t heard of were Jauz and Habstrakt. They both played in the theatre the last night and it blew my mind. Light show, endless bubbles, there was even a person dressed like a shark swimming through the crowd, that totally added to the party.
They took their set to the back of the boat meeting Matroda, another DJ I didn’t know. His set really kept the party from the theatre going. He was then joined by Habstrakt and Jaws, and the three of them joined in a set together which wrapped up this amazing cruise in epic fashion.
Not only will you see me on board again, you might just see me every single time… forever.
Discover what the Groove Cruise Miami team has in store for Groove Cruise Miami 2024.
To cement the impressive milestone, Groove Cruise Miami 2024 will be hosted on the award-winning Norwegian Encore – the largest and most luxurious Groove Cruise ship to date.
Setting sail from Miami, Florida on Wednesday, January 24, Groove Cruise invites veterans and newcomers alike to indulge in a once-in-a-lifetime experience aboard the Norwegian Encore. The sailing will feature 96 hours of nonstop music, as well as Groove Cruise’s signature immersive programming which will include 9 stages with world-class production, over 80 renowned artists, daily themes with dedicated parties, artist-hosted activities, beachside destination parties, Whet Foundation volunteer experience, mental health panels, and so much more.
Selected by Porthole Cruise Magazine as the 2020 Editors’ Pick for Best New Ship, the Norwegian Encore will be the newest and largest ship to join the ranks of Groove Cruise’s 20-year history.
Spanning an impressive 20 decks above the ocean, the list of onboard amenities feels endless with the largest race track at sea for over 1100 feet of pedal-to-the-metal action, 10,000 square foot open-air laser tag arena, and virtual reality interactive gaming including a ride simulator at the Galaxy Pavilion.
If that wasn’t enough the ship also hosts an aqua park with 2 multi-story waterslides that extend over the edges of the ship, 8 hot tubs and pools, high-tech Pulse fitness center with workout classes, Encore casino, and more.
The Groove Cruise Captains will have everything they could possibly want aboard the Encore.
Marking another new offering for 2024, the Norwegian Encore will offer 80 studios rooms with a private lounge for singles that might prefer their own room. Additionally, the Encore features the Haven luxury suite complex with its own pool, dining room and butler service for Haven guests.
Groove Cruise Miami will sail to the breathtaking location of Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas, an exclusive private island only accessible to Norwegian Cruise Line guests.
The tropical climate and white sand beaches will deliver the perfect party getaway for Groove Cruise attendees, who can revel in the Groove Cruise-curated island party and partake in various expedition offerings.