The Groove Cruise has had 10 years of experience putting together floating EDM festivals. 10 years. They realize it’s not about long lines, strict doormen, or bottle service. They realize that it’s not about getting the biggest headliners, building the most highly produced stage, or packing 100,000 fans into 20 port-o-potties. They realize that creating the perfect electronic music experience is, quite simply, all about the people. Groove Cruise started with 125 friends. All 125 of those friends had something in common – the love of electronic music and the desire to create great memories.
This post is part of my Groove Cruise Miami 2014 Review series. See the full list at the end of this post.
I’m going to break up my final words into three categories: the music, the party, and the people. The music category covers my feedback on the lineup. The party category includes the venues, production, and accommodations. And the people category recaps my impression of the clientele aboard Groove Cruise.
If you read my Groove Cruise Miami 2014 review series in it’s entirety, you may have noticed that I didn’t mention any artists by name. I did this on purpose. When I first saw the lineup, I was excited for some of the bigger headliners even though I had seen some before, and I felt fairly indifferent about the smaller names, many of which I didn’t recognize. My prior experience with large scale EDM events consists of your traditional multi-stage, stacked lineup music festivals. I knew it would be a good time, regardless. Of course, I approached the event with a wide open mind and it wasn’t long before I had realized that the Groove Cruise has the music situation figured out.
I was impressed by the balance that had been achieved. Groove Cruise Miami 2014 brought some well known big-name headliners, some smaller yet recognizable names, and even smaller names ranging down to an artist who was brought onboard by the votes of the attendees. The music spanned multiple genres ensuring that there is something for everyone and new sounds to try.
Basically, I left the artist names out of my review because after experiencing Groove Cruise first hand, I can safely say it didn’t matter. If you like house music or any EDM in any capacity, you will thoroughly enjoy the artists and sounds the Groove Cruise organizers manage to curate. Groove Cruise X gave me some big names, some new names, and a new appreciation for certain genres. Don’t be one of those people who wait for the lineup to consider going on Groove Cruise. Just book your cabin and trust those who have been doing this for a decade.
Many times, it seems that EDM events are based solely around the artists performing and that all other aspects of the experience are afterthoughts in the minds of the organizers. Especially restroom arrangements. Why are there never enough?! But, I digress. From big to small, I really appreciated all the details present on Groove Cruise X. I already shared my enthusiasm earlier in my review about how eating and sleeping arrangements are included and how awesome that is (including having your own bathroom!). But, even the small details like playing the Groove Cruise Podcast through the ships speaker system really contributed to the experience.
Groove Cruise Miami 2014 featured giveaways, drink specials, contests, poker and blackjack tournaments, SuperBowl squares, and more. The stage production was big when it needed to be and minimal when necessary, removing distraction placing the focus back on the crowd. Groove Cruise decorations lined the ship. Custom Groove Cruise itineraries were delivered daily. I thought that was a great touch.
All of these details were a constant reminder that Groove Cruise is way more than a cruise with some EDM artists performing. Throw in a private, ALL-INCLUSIVE beach party (which featured the super cool custom sand sculpture at the top of this post), and Groove Cruise Miami 2014 has officially become the BEST party I’ve ever attended.
I’m a firm believer that the type of people in attendance can make or break an event. It’s easy to have a good time doing something relatively routine with close friends, and one bad-vibed individual can really hamper your time at a great event. Groove Cruise Miami 2014 had the most happy, positive, and social people of any EDM event I’ve ever been to, and it really helped shape my overall impression of the experience.
I feel Groove Cruise has managed to cultivate such a great group for a few reasons. First, it’s a 21+ event. I don’t have to explain this, and as much as I’m all for people of all ages enjoying the music, the age restriction created a relatively responsible adult environment. Next, I didn’t want to talk about cost since the value Groove Cruise offers is unmatched; however, I feel the price of entry to an event like this very quickly weeds out those who may be attending for the wrong reasons. Also, the price of entry combined with the time commitment ensures that everyone aboard is out to make the best of the experience. Finally, the Groove Cruise allows priority booking to those who have already attended, those who understand what the experience is about. This results in a high percentage of repeat attendees. These guests have a large amount of respect for what the event is and what it’s all about. There’s a loyalty among these guests and a commitment to continuing to make the experience even better, which is why many are willing to put deposits on an upcoming event before any details are announced.
Many of my Groove Cruise stories have to do with the people aboard, the laughs we’ve shared, and their crazy antics. There really is a Groove Cruise family, and it feels great to be a part of that.
Groove Cruise Miami 2014 has single-handedly reshaped my perspective on what makes a good EDM event. GCX has, for better or worse, raised my party standards to a near unmeetable level. It’s value far exceeded the price. I like to essentially collect experiences, so if given the choice to doing something new or repeat something I’ve enjoyed, I almost always choose the former. In the case of the Groove Cruise, I will do what I can to attend as many as possible for the foreseeable future, so that says a lot about the experience and value this event provides. It was that good. I can’t believe what I’ve been missing.
If you are on the fence, do your life a favor and book a cabin!
Also, if you want to save yourself and your roomies $50 each, you can use my Groove Cruise discount code, GrooveCruiseChris, when booking online or by phone (How do I use this code?). It saves you guys money, helps me out a bit, and is the biggest way to say thanks if my site has helped you. It also turns your awesome level up to 12!
Pictures from top to bottom:
Custom Groove Cruise X 10th Anniversary sand sculpture found at the private, all-inclusive Playa Mia beach party.
Shot of the pool stage from the Sun Deck with the Cozumel coast on one side and the sunset on the other.