On Friday afternoon, nearly 3,000 raver chicks, dude guys, scenesters, club kids and DJs assembled at a port in Fort Lauderdale and boarded the MSC Poesia, a.k.a. Holy Ship!! (There are two exclamation points because this is the second edition of the EDM party cruise put on by L.A.'s Hard Events.) The lineup includes Justice, A-Trak, Knife Party, Major Lazer, Boys Noise, Skream and other people.
And not to brag or anything guys, but this is officially one of the most fun things that anyone on this boat has ever done. So far it's gone like this:
12 p.m.: Arrive at Port Everglades to a long line of folks waiting to board the ship, most of them wearing sailor caps. "Is this the rowdiest cruise crowd you've seen in a while?" I ask the man checking me in. "Oh no," he says with a wink, "we do nude cruises that are a lot crazier." Moving on.
2 p.m.: Wander through the ship and find a casino, the pool, each of the five clubs where music will do down, the cafeteria and an arcade. I don't know it now, but twelve hours from now I'll be back in this room playing Cruis'n USA.
3 p.m.: At the bar on the pool deck, the guy standing next to me buys $500 worth of drink tickets. "It," he announces to no one in particular, "is fucking on."
4 p.m.: The guys from Justice walk through, both eating ice cream cones.
4:30 p.m.: There are seven dudes in a hot tub, and another guy is standing above them taking turns pouring Coors Light into each of their mouths. His aim isn't great. Note to self: Hot Tub is full of Coors Light. Stay out of hot tub.
5 p.m.: Everyone on board assembles for the required fire drill, during which we are all required to put on our life preservers. A group of women next to me contemplate if they can wear theirs out tonight. "We wouldn't even have to wear shirts underneath!"
6 p.m.: Down in the cafeteria, a 24-hour buffet serves salads, pasta, pizza, a token vegan dish, Jell-O salad and other various munchies. A girl in a neon-pink bikini sits at a table with three hotdogs on her plate, which seems risky.
7 p.m.: Major Lazer plays the first set of the trip as the ship leaves the port. "Are you guys ready to take off?" asks Major Lazer's Jillionaire. "I think some of these people have already taken off" Diplo replies, as most of the crowd has been drinking for six hours.
The lineup's "surprise guest" artist is due on-stage after Justice. "I bet it's gong to be some no-name dude that is totally going to tear it up" conjectures a young man from Winnipeg. What he can't see is that Skrillex is on-stage crouched behind a table, rocking out to the "Bang the Gong" sample that Justice is dropping.
11:05 p.m.: Skrillex pops up from behind the table.
11:06 p.m.: The crowd loses its shit.
11:45 p.m. In the ladies restroom, two neon clad raver chicks adjust each others' pink wigs. One offers me a sip of her cocktail. "What's in it?" I ask. "Rum," she says, "AND vodka!" I pass.
12:30 a.m.: Down in the disco, J. Phlip is dropping what is easily the best set of the night. The dance floor is hella slippery as people have been spilling cocktails on it all evening, which is sort of dangerous. (A tutu-wearing raver girl goes down hard.) But it also enables some amazingly fancy footwork by me, a man dressed as a mouse and others. We dance until we're sweaty and have to go outside for fresh air.
1 a.m.: That's where we end up stargazing with 12th Planet, who points out Orion.
2 a.m.: The disco keeps going with killer sets by Justin Martin and Claude Von Stroke.
2:30 a.m.: Break for games in the arcade. "Don't put that $20 in the quarter machine," yells a girl to her friend. "You'll definitely regret it in the morning."
4:30 a.m.: In the Zebra Lounge (which looks and feels like the club in Scarface), Skream is wearing a tux and playing a set comprised exclusively of "'80s Prom Night Anthems." I end up dancing next to Skrillex and we sing "How Will I Know" by Whitney Houston at each other at the top of our lungs.
5 a.m.: Back in the disco, Eats Everything plays "It's Time For the Peculator." It's also time to go to bed.
5:15 a.m.: ...But not before swinging through the cafeteria to pick up a ham and cheese omelet, a piece of pizza and an orange Fanta. Because that's the meal that makes the most sense right now.
8 a.m.?: At some point in the morning, an announcement comes on that we've reached the Bahamas. I assume everyone else on the ship responds in the same way that I do, which is by rolling over and going back to sleep.
11 a.m.: I am woken up again by the sounds of the people in the cabin below me having sex. A new day has begun!
12 p.m.: "Dude it was crazy easy to find drugs in town," exclaims an excited guy in the cafeteria.
2 p.m.: On the upper deck, Gina Turner leads a remarkably well-attended yoga class. It's hard to tell if people are doing shavasana or if they've just fallen asleep.
3 p.m.: Get off the boat. Walking into Nassau feels like entering Disney World, as you literally have to enter through the gift shop. "Do you need any party supplies?" asks a local guy in a way that implies he's not talking about balloons and streamers. Turns out it is ridiculously easy to find drugs in Nassau. (I do not buy any drugs).
We embark from Nassau into the Caribbean sunset. L-Vis 1990 is playing to a party crowd going strong on the main deck and the cafeteria is packed with people eating dinner in their bathing suits. Here we go again.