As I boarded the Celebrity Infinity ship in my sweatpants and sweatshirt, I knew I was out of place amongst the sea of people in furry onesies and glitter mini skirts. A woman dressed as a ‘gay deer’ turned to me in line and asked, “this your first time?” I nodded as I dragged my suitcase a few more inches, knowing my frumpy outfit was a dead giveaway. “Hell yeah! Welcome, Virgin!” she said and then proclaimed, “this is about to be the greatest four days of your life!” With that, she yanked her boyfriend’s rhinestone collar and got lost in that crowd of furry onesies and glitter mini skirts.
Let me explain: I was about to embark on Whet Travel’s 16th annual Groove Cruise, a party-fueled journey from Miami to Costa Maya, Mexico. It’s an oceanic rave. It’s a lovefest. It’s a nonstop party for people who express themselves in 120 decibels. Calling the four-day experience a blur is underserving of the experience. Even as I made it back home after the mayhem, I was still vibrating from a cruise that included themed parties, 24-hour-a-day dance music, and a lot of dilated pupils.
How did I get to this dazed state of vibrations? Well, for one, “days” are a relative term on the ship. You party until you can’t stand. Then you party sitting down. Sleep? That’s a cute idea. I tried that once, but as my new friend Dave, a tatted ex-Marine who was on his eighth Groove Cruise informed me, “you can sleep when you’re back at the office.” Then, of course, he asked me, “Do you need any drugs?”
My journey to Mexico was like living inside of a spiked mimosa. I learned how to twerk from a stripper. I danced for hours to Markus Schulz, holding hands with a man in a rat costume while we marveled at the insane laser light show coming from the elevated DJ booth in the Celebrity Theatre. I got too drunk on a Costa Mayan beach while Above & Beyond played an epic set. I napped in a cuddle puddle of pillows and couches at the Whet Oasis while a hot 20-year-old girl with a butterfly chest tattoo massaged me with a vibrating machine as deep house music pulsated in the background and aromatherapy wafted in the air.
If you’re still unsure what kind of experience a Groove Cruise is, let me break it down. It’s the kind of experience where it’s not uncommon for some shirtless stranger in a hot tub to offer to bring you bottles of water and mushrooms, because “we’re all a family.” Maybe that family mentality is because you’re literally stuck on a boat together with nowhere to escape to? But, that forced closeness does mean easy proximity to your favorite world-famous DJs.
KSHMR and I, for example, spent almost a full day together after attending a Q&A that he held. It was the sort of event where he literally invited a girl to come up on stage and sing a song “so she could face her fears.” We went back to his room where he showed me a thing or two about producing, and I showed him a thing or two about nodding and smiling. He then joined me and a group of revelers for dinner where we talked all things comedy, dating, and travel. You just don’t get that kind of access at Coachella.
If you’re curious about what this four-day bump fest is all about, Groove Cruise Miami 2021 will sail from Miami to Taino Bay in the Bahamas from January 7th to 11th. Though, these parties sell out fast. Consider yourself warned.
Uproxx was hosted for this story by the Groove Cruise. However, they did not review or approve this story. You can learn more about the Uproxx Press Trip policy here.