The highly anticipated and coveted Xaymaca International, came and conquered on April 23, during Jamaica Carnival 2017.
Unlike years prior, Jamaica Carnival saw an influx of two new bands, Xaymaca being on one of them; carnival chasers had their hands filled with choosing the best band that would have brought them the most vibes while providing the best amenities.
I chose Xaymaca for several reasons but I am more than happy with my choice, let’s get into this review.
Registration was a breeze. Xaymaca International launched and within days, registration was open. You went to their website, created an account and signed up for your costume. I will say, I did not like that you had to pay the online fee every time you made a payment but who knows what will happen in the future.
Xaymaca International utilized all forms of media to keep connected with their masqueraders. They emailed, they posted on IG, they even created a WhatsApp support chat where their customers could contact them with any questions or concerns. That was extremely commendable [Whoever thought of that? I like your style] and they did not miss a beat in engagement.
And finally, after weeks of counting down, it was costume pickup time. I LOVE that they were open for more than 4 hours at a time. Pick up times ran from 12pm – 9pm, giving masqueraders ample time to pick up their costumes. We walked into the large hall space, checked in, and waited about 15-20 minutes to pick up our items, received our wrist bands and left.
My goodie bag came with a Xaymaca drink mug, shampoo and conditioner samples, a mug, Milo cookies, Xaymaca temporary tattoos, and other knick-knacks.
I was so torn between frontline vs monday wear but I figured since I went all out in Trinidad, my shoulders needed a little freedom from a backpack. I chose the Revolution Monday Wear option designed by Keisha Als, from Trinidad and Tobago.
My monday wear was sexy and carefree. Very flattering to my body and comfortable. Great piece Keisha! It also looked exactly as it was advertised. Vibrant color, practical cut and my boobs stayed where they were supposed to be all afternoon
THE ROAD – Food/Music/Staff/Vibes:
And for the most important part, the amenities and service is usually where bands sink or swim.
The Road: The road was PURE VIBES!! The excitement of the masqueraders, the gorgeous costumes, the balance of enough sun and shade, the DJs — everything worked in unity. There was a perfect balance of music played, soca from previous years were played and even some reggae and dancehall (we were in Jamaica after all). I misbehaved for sure.
Note: Jamaica’s road ALWAYS seems extra long to me and i don’t know why that is but usually by the time we pass Big Wall, I does be ready to drop off.
The Food was meh. for me anyway, I had the tofu option – rice, tofu and mashed potatoes. no gravy– just seasoning and dry food. This area could use some improvement.
Rest Stop: Xaymaca’s lunch spot was A1! I walked in with no problem (because I have meh wristband) and immediately went into the vanity area. The vanity area is where ladies can get their makeup touched up and recharge in a cool down zone. I saw there was a recharge spot for your phones, which is a very nice touch. The Xaymaca team went above and beyond with their amenities.
The outdoor restrooms were portable potties which I hate but tolerate. I’m happy the portable sink did not run out of water but was surprised to find it was a bit dark in the tent, still usable – nothing to cry about. Note: There were indoor restrooms near the lunch section available for masqueraders as well.
Where Xaymaca won my heart was the eating area IN A/C!! OMG!! Because after chipping in the hot sun, and collecting your food, WHO WANTS TO SIT DOWN IN DUST?? The eating area was set up indoors, with several round tables and comfy seating arrangements so that you could eat, relax, cool down and then leave. The rotation was set up well, masqueraders ate and moved on.
An additional touch to mention was the band re-visiting the rest spot area for a “cool down” after mas. We were served snacks [pizza and JAMAICAN KFC] and refreshments. The DJs kept masqueraders engaged and created a fete environment as we continued to party. Anytime I can continue hearing meh soca with ah drink and two cube ah nice is my kinda lime!
As mentioned above, a good combination of soca and dance hall was played. Here are some of the popular songs on the road.
- Rock and Come In – Linky First
- Fast Wine – Machel Montano
- Big Girl – Patrice Roberts
- Single – Orlando Octave & Alison’s Hinds (her version)
- Workout – Kes The Band
- Dip – Shal Marshall
- Incredible – Kes The Band
- Freaky Girls – Ricky T
- Stockings: Carnivalista
- MUA: @Simplii_Beautifulll
- Hair by me
- Boots from Amazon
I briefly want to touch on some of the parties that I attended. I really just went for the weekend so I won’t be discussing many fetes but Scorch Duck Work, Sunnation Sunrise, Frenchmen Bazodee and Big Wall are some of the spots I hit.
Unfortunately, it rained A LOT in Jamaica.. to the point that the grounds of many events were EXTREMELY muddy and wet and you could barely wine to the side too hard before you got wet again. Despite the rain, the event DJs tried to make the vibes work.
Duck Work was too much, too wet, too much rain, we left early. Voice did surprise party goers and gave us a little performance, which was a nice touch.
Sunrise — OMG! the mudddddddd… Thank God I wear jelly like sandals, otherwise I would not have been amused. The alcohol provided helped me forget that my feet were in a mess but I do believe the event promoters should have put down some board or something to make walking around easier. Mud and wet grass is an accident waiting to happen.
Frenchmen Bazodee was smart enough to put down some board and tents but it still rained a lot. Again, we made the best of the situation and i even partied in the rain a bit but I think the rain did kind of spoil the party going experience for patrons. In previous years, I thought the fetes were the best in Jamaica, I was sad to see they couldn’t deliver the same quality because of rain.
In conclusion, I had a great time on the road. Xaymaca gets a 10/10 from me and excelled with their amenities and customer engagement. I’m looking forward to seeing this band blossom over the years. Xaymaca International to the world!
Yours in Mas