In 2015, when Jamaica Carnival had only one band, I called it. There were several reasons why any carnival chaser/virgin should attend Jamaica Carnival but now it is certainly a staple. I even know some folks who skip the mecca carnival, Trinidad Carnival, all together and venture to Jamaica. Jamaica is not only affordable, the carnival have vibes [and some really great fetes].
In 2017, we saw the introduction of two new bands, Xaymaca International and Xodus, and the re-vamp of an old band, Jamaica Carnival.
Unlike years prior, the bands will be launching much earlier in the season, hence why this article is being written, earlier than usual. Xaymaca International plans to launch their 2018 presentation, Luxe on November 11.
Jamaica Carnival 2018 events are on the following dates: March 31 – April 8, 2018. The parade will take place on April 8.
WHERE TO PARTY
Jamaica Carnival offers most of the popular parties we’ve come to love from other carnivals. Scorch, Caesar’s Army, Candy Coated, and Roast are some staple promoters that will be there during carnival week. At a budget of around $1500 – $2000 USD, you can fete to your hearts desire then go home.
Based on our experience, this is a list of the best carnival fetes in Jamaica. This may change from year to year as some new fetes come on the scene and some previous contenders lose their sauce. Please check the 2018 Jamaica Carnival Fete List
- I Love Soca Fete
- Friday Night Blocko
- Caesar’s Army AMBush
- Sunrise Breakfast Party
- Bazodee Frenchmen Fete
WHERE TO GET COSTUMES
With several bands to choose from, masqueraders now have options. Amenities, costume quality, vibes and customer service should all play a major role in the band you select. Backline costumes can cost you about $300-$400usd, while a frontline costume can cost you about $500-$1000usd, depending on the band of your choice. For a veteran like me, it’s more than the costume, amenities are a BIG DEAL! Don’t you want your lunch stop to be in A/C? What about a vanity tent for your makeup? That’s Xaymaca International. Check out my review from 2017 and why I’d play mas with them again in 2018. Your band options are
WHERE TO STAY
Most of the reputable hotels are in a section of Kingston called New Kingston. Some hotels to check out are, Spanish Court, The Jamaica Pegasus and Courtleigh, located about 5 minutes away from the old Bacchanal Jamaica Mas Camp. AirBnB is also an option for apartment rentals if a hotel reservation will not fit your needs.
Be mindful of the neighborhoods you might stay in and walking outside at night – Kingston can be dangerous. I highly recommend using notable taxi services and/or hired drivers for your transportation to and from parties. Some reputable taxi services are Mortec, City Guide, Express, El Shaddai and On Time. Check NetSearch Jamaica for contact information.
It’s time to start planning! Don’t feel like planning on your own? Nomadic Escapes can help. Email them for great carnival packages at email@example.com. Is there anything else you want to know? Ask me in the comments below.
Yours in Mas
30 thoughts on “Planning for Jamaica Carnival 2018”
do any of these mas camps cater to the plus size woman
Yes they do. There will be body wear options for every body type.
If you sign up with a mas band, do they include tickets to the parties as well?
Hi Trish, if you sign up for a mas band, only their events may be included or discounted for Masqueraders. All other events, you will have to purchase separately.
other than a nomadic are there any other carnival planning groups for ja carnival
Do you have any recommendations for names of transportation services?
Some reputable taxi services are Mortec, City Guide, Express, El Shaddai and On Time. Check NetSearch Jamaica for contact information.
Thanks for the info!! I’m interested in transportation services as well!
Thanks for responding!!
Can you tell me when carnival is in 2018?
Carnival day is April 8th
I want to participate, so I am originally from New Orleans, LA and my father lives in Kingston, JA- we celebrate Mardi Gras in New Orleans for 3 weeks and Mardi Gras Day (aka is carnival is always on Fat Tuesday, the last day of mardi gras. Is Carnival the same in Jamaica? Does the event go on for weeks period and it ends on April 8? I need to know when to come and I need advice ordering a custom. I am not sure where to start-any advice is greatly appreciated 🙂
All the carnival events as mentioned above run from April 4th to April 9th. The carnival parade itself will be on April 8th. The four bands where you get to order a costume are listed above as well. Refer to the “where to get costumes” section regarding your costume options and click on the band name links. Best of luck
Thank you so much! You are a beautiful women so glad I found your page !
What location or road will most of the events take place at?
Are all the events for the Jamaican Carnival in Kingston only or throughout the entire island (Negril, Montego Bay, etc.)?
During the week of April 4-9, all carnival related events will be in Kingston only. However, on Easter Monday, there is a carnival in Ocho Rios.
What hotel/s would you recommend staying at in Kingston during Carnival?
Also will there be jouvert on the beach ?
Where can I find individual tickets for the events?
We are coming to carnival April 4-9 we want to know all the events that are going on? Can you help me out.
The fete list will be released in February, 🙂
Do they have carnival Monday and Tuesday
No, Carnival is only one day in Jamaica and it occurs on April 8th, which is a Sunday
What are the options for jouvert in Jamaica?
Please check the Jamaica Carnival Fete list. There are three jouvert options during carnival week
Do you know if it is allowed to purchase a tshirt band and wear a custom-made Monday wear in the band?
Nice nice nice nice… Really loving this promotion respect guys if your planning to extend your stay outside of Kingston get in touch with Paradise Jamaica Villas they’ll help you find the best location and accommodation http://www.paradisejamaicavillas.com
when is Jamacia carnival 2019?
Hahaha. I want to know too.
Allyuh ready already? lol April 28th, 2019.