Groove Cruise LA 2017 Review

Another World Called Groove Cruise


Photo: Groove Cruise


And we’re back… after experiencing my very first Groove Cruise from Long Beach to Ensenada, what can I say? I’m hooked! Here is how everything went down:

It all started at 6:00 am Friday morning getting ready to board Carnival’s Inspiration ship. A slight tickle of excitement bubbled up as I got ready and slipped on my Trance Family SF tank for the first theme of the day, “Identity”. My mind could only imagine and dream up what was in store for us.

Sitting in the passenger’s seat looking out to see the Queen Mary, which only hours ago was full of Groove Cruisers who were starting the party early in the company of Kristina Sky, Scotty Boy, & more I wondered how many had already lost their sanity the night before?

Walking into the “Check In” area I saw the lines forming, the GC fam’s waving their “hello’s”, smiles, and hugs. Such a strange vibe wrapping around me that I couldn’t help to feel the anticipation and happiness building.

The hours turned to minutes turned to seconds without notice as the DJ by port played some house music. Everyone was vibing, a few were shuffling, and the rest were anxiously waiting to board the ship.

At last, the media teams were called to walk on-board and I did not know what to expect following in awe of how 2200 attendees were about to embark on an amazing journey unlike any other, was beyond me. Every step I took felt like I was walking into another world, a feeling that only the “GC FAM” knew and I would soon find out.

As the whole team sat down for the media lunch, the founder of Groove Cruise and Whet Travel, Jason Beukema, walked in with his team. He did a little Q & A, giving us the background of Groove Cruise, Whet Foundation and his story to success. Jason’s purpose for all this is, “To create memories and relationships that last a lifetime.” He had an idea and brought it to life. Another aspect people don’t hear about as much is the Whet Foundation, which gives back to local orphanages. Every year the Groove Cruise organizes a trip called Destination Donation, where a group of volunteers goes to a local orphanage, brings supplies, and spends time with the kids. He did this because he wanted to make sure he saw firsthand where the money was going.

Main Pool Deck; Photo: Groove Cruise, Veranmiky

Walking out of the dining room and into the Atrium John Beaver, a Bay Area local, was already in full swing, his energy already contagious wrapping the crowd with his set bumping.

Lesson I tried to learn:


NEVER check-in your entire luggage including your themed outfits, makeup, & appliances for the first day.

Total GC virgin move! I know! I learned the hard way you will never see it before sundown. Every hour, on the hour, I returned only to be let down. It wasn’t until past 7PM when I saw a glimmer of shine on not 1 but all three pieces of checked luggage. I could cry as the luggage winked back at me. I quickly refreshed and felt revitalized to take on the rest of the night!  Definitely one of the best parts of Groove Cruise are the day and night themes. Everyone partakes!

I quickly ran off as fast as my little feet could take me to my very first TFSF interview with the very talented, laid back, and tremendously loved GC resident, Kristina Sky. She shared some juicy future plans along with seasoned attendee “do’s & don’ts”.


Theatre stage; Photo: Groove Cruise, Adam Hahn

Later that night on the ship where the party never stops we celebrated one of our own, Kim Tran’s birthday. Chanting the good ol “Happy Birthday” song and sharing time together with 20 of her closest GC friends, I was already bonding with strangers who were turning into friends within a few hours.

Exploring the halls of the deck we met a GC veteran, Michelle. She was a walking party full of smiles and excitement. Learning I was a “virgin” who’s cherry was about to be popped, she replied, “Cherry?… We’re gonna do more than just pop it.”


Camp Crusher Session ; Photo: Groove Cruise

The darkness took over and themes changed to “Pimps and Hos” the creativity of costumes was clear. Santa and his ho ho ho’s were out to play with the gold chains on display among the traditional takes of the themes. Swaying down the hall, feeling the rocking of the ship, to the Atrium. We bumped into Damaged Goods throwing down with a throw back set that made my teenage heart content.

At the theater, I was stuck the majority of the 1st night with Anjunabeats’ Leiel, Grum, Andrew Bayer, & ALPHA 9. Jason Ross was absolute, pure, unclean FILTH. When I thought he couldn’t get any better …ugh. I definitely did not get enough and will be sure to catch him again when he’s nearby!


Bristol Stage ; Photo: Groove Cruise

At the end of the night, as the sun rose Anthony Attalla welcomed the first sunrise and day two with us. Oh boy, was my shuffle heart content at the back of the ship watching the endless sea with like minds enjoying this very moment. It was indescribable, inexplicable…

If you do not know whether or not you have motion sickness GET A PATCH. If you know you don’t have motion sickness GET A PATCH. Point is GET A PATCH. Believe me when I say migraines have nothing on these kinds of headaches. I experienced the worst motion sickness and I was so upset with myself, I missed watching the Bonnie x Clyde set but hopefully they will post it for us to hear!!  My heart cried.

By about 9PM I had to be ready to go … Kim and I had won a spot in the fashion show in the theater. With the motion sickness behind me,  I excitedly walked into the theater with Kim in our outfits glammed out and ready to perform. We needed to add a touch of our own and so we did when it was our group’s turn to “model” we expressed ourself with some unpredicted shuffles and the audience went wild! We killed it and the shouting of approval and excitement proved it. Ahhhh! What a rush!!!

Backstage at the fashion show ; Photo: Groove Cruise

No Requests, RYBO, Lee Reynolds B2B Desert Hearts were all out of this world.The atmosphere they created was surreal I could not believe the state of happiness that I was in.

Photo: Monarch Creative Studios

The most emotional part of this journey was on Sunday morning. We volunteered with Whet Foundation and attendees along with artists Lavelle, Arty, Mahalo, and Convex to spend time with the “Niños de Baja” in Ensenada. There were about 20 kids from elementary to middle school grades who do not have permanent homes. They were not able to go on ship this time but were brought to casa de los Siete Patios to spend time with us. Time was too short with them. They were curious in awe of cameras, playing hula hoop, and exchanging kandi. Being bilingual myself, a few conversated with me expressing how happy they were to be there with us. Putting smiles on their faces made my heart feel full and happy. They all said their thank you’s and blessed us in Spanish before leaving back to the ministry. Along with supplies,  Whet Foundation purchased a freezer for the local orphanage in Ensenada.

Green Velvet; Photo: Groove Cruise

Later, at casa de los Siete Palos, I was able to catch 3LAU play a set like he did back when he started and that hit home for me. Who  really caught my eye was Green Velvet & Doc Martin!  Ohh my gosh if anyone knows how to put on an amazing set it’s them! My body would not stop moving and the people moving just like me proved it. Green Velvet had some sweet dance moves that I might just steal.


Photo: Groove Cruise

I got back to the ship on the last shuttle back and caught Dash Berlin. His happiness and energy stand out the most. He had me chanting the lyrics with everyone when he dropped “Seven Nation Army”.

That final night, walking up DSK CHK’s classics vinyl set the wind was chilly but we could not miss out. With the last beat, we saw the sunrise peeking through… reality set in hard. Our amazing weekend had come to an end, landing back on planet earth.

I still can’t believe the amount of people I met over three days on a ship. These people have become family. I would say Jason’s goal of creating relationships and memories has been reached. He has created the perfect environment where both attendees and artists create life lasting bonds.

All the little things that maybe didn’t go my way, it was all worth it! I will be prepared and am looking forward to the next Groove Cruise, which sales Cabo October 10-14, 2018. Cabins go on sale November 16, 2017. Contact us for DISCOUNTS!!


If you just can’t wait that long then check out Groove Cruise Miami Jan 26-29, 2018!


See you all soon, my new family!

– Diana Borja, Writer, TranceFamily SF

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