Saturday, April 20, 2024

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All Aboard The 20th Anniversary Groove Cruise: An Inside Look At 96 Hours Of Nonstop House And Techno Madness

Uproxx doesn’t really do cruises. Full respect to those who do, but the thought of being stuck in the middle of the ocean with thousands of strangers while playing bingo and watching corporate entertainment doesn’t sound that cool. (Then there’s the matter of the cruise industry’s reluctance to meaningfully address sustainability.)
The exception? When there’s world-class music involved.
96 hours of nonstop house and techno music to be exact. Sound insane? Groove Cruise celebrated its 20th anniversary on the high seas two weeks ago with its largest edition to date in a sold-out sailing from Miami to Great Stirrup Cay. Set upon the award-winning Norwegian Encore, 5,000 attendees – or what the brand calls “captains” – saw themselves dancing across 11 stages across 18 floors to a global electronic lineup consisting of Tiësto, John Summit, Diplo, Markus Schulz, LP Giobbi, HALIENE, Joel Corry, Trivecta, Mija, GG Magree, VNSSA, Lilly Palmer, Gene Farris, Max Styler, Biscits, Disco Lines, Speaker Honey, and more.
Despite the sprawling amenities of the cruise ship, it’s the intimate nature of the festival and the very spirit of partying in the middle of the ocean that continues to keep fans coming back to Groove Cruise each year. It was quite the hedonistic bacchanal and Uproxx was right in the thick of it all. Here’s what we loved…
Part I – The Ship
The ship truly set the backdrop for the ultimate party playground, equipped with spacious balcony rooms overlooking the ocean, 40 bars and restaurants, two multi-story waterslides, a casino, and more. Anyone looking to switch out some dancing with playtime got to experience the largest go-kart racetrack at sea, a 10,000-square-foot open-air laser tag arena, a VR gaming site, and more. There was never a dull moment on the ship; even choosing to appoint yourself in a deck 17 sun chair or in a hot tub was plenty amusing.
Those who wanted extra luxury were roomed at The Haven, located on decks 17 and 18. Hidden at the top of the ship, The Haven offered 24-hour butler service, private sundecks and restaurants, a private sun and pool room, as well as luxurious ensuites and penthouses equipped with walk-in closets and exclusive 270-degree oceanfront views.
If you were curious enough, you could find secret rooms inside of rooms, like the Social Lounge on deck six that hosted some of the most coveted techno and trance sets of the weekend or Texas Roadhouse serving up juicy club-style and red light sets that made room for some crunchy bass and dubstep throwdowns. Deepfake probably takes the cake for being the most coveted host with his secret “razzle dazzle” room that housed some of the most exclusive b2b and renegade performances for a select few.

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