Trinidad Carnival, better known as the greatest show on Earth, came and left with the quickness and as we begin plotting for 2019, as usual, I wanted to provide you with a carnival review, this time, from other people’s perspective. I have not been able to purchase a clone for myself yet so I was unable to be in Trinidad this year but these reviews are just as great.
*Trinidad Carnival 2018 pictures included are not pictures of the masqueraders and the stories enclosed*
Carnival Rouge was AWESOME and 🔥🔥LIT🔥🔥1000000%. The costume itself was of VERY High Quality. I always first check the arm and leg straps to see if they are sewn in, glued in, stabled in etc. Happily I saw that Rouge had taken their time and SEWN IN the Straps. They had male sizes for all men and the costume fit perfectly and was mostly in tact on the road. The Food and Drinks were also of high quality. For Both Monday and Tuesday Mas you had a choice and being that I seeing a salad included on the menu was a real plus. DJs were awesome and the vibes were Great. If present the opportunity, I will definitely Play Mas with Rouge again in the Future.
This was my first carnival and honestly the experience on the road was pure flames. The late start was perfect for me and I enjoyed the non-stop pump. People in the band were friendly and there to have FUN! Nonstop dancing and the security personnel were so kind. There were some issues with food distribution on Monday (one truck said they ran out of lunch but then during snack time they were giving out lunches again and the snack?) But Tuesday was fine. The options were good for both days. Drink trucks kept moving and the mobile bathrooms stayed orderly. The people working bar and bathroom areas were so nice. My costume held up through the day and there was a good mix of men and women. Men were fine AF. Lawd.
I played with Yuma and wanted to cry from costume collection to the road. Usually, I do backline because I love to get on wild on the road but decided to play frontline for the first time. I made sure that my costume was paid off (even with excessive fees) before I arrived in Trinidad so that i could get fast track service, because last year was a disaster. After waiting outside for two hours, I was finally let in and they still had to verify my payment even though I printed two receipts as instructed. Also, let me say that distribution time was very inconvenient. 5-8PM on carnival Friday? No day fetes for me and I really wanted to go to Duck Work 🙄
anyway, so when I’m next in line they tell me that my costume isn’t ready and i need to have a seat. I see multiple other ladies in my section getting their costumes and walking out. So i go back up to the counter and they say they are having issues because my receipt didn’t state if i was backline or frontline. I played in the section Sin…a female only, FRONTLINE ONLY section. I was ready to snap and I had tears in my eyes and the other girls in my section are like whatttt?! It’s frontline only!!! I’m like exactly. So then they rush and get it together, and they are basically putting the package together on the spot. 🤦🏾♀️
The guy who was helping me was very nice though and seemed to be the only person who actually cared. So after 4 hours of what was supposed to be fast track service I left. Now my cousin who I convinced to play with Yuma also paid of her frontline costume in full, had a terrible pickup service. First of all, on the day of distribution they sent her an email saying her section was stuck in customs 🤦🏾♀️ she was supposed to pick up the day before me and ended up going the same day as me. So she gets there and her package isn’t together. Wrong bra size and wrong body chain set. They took a bra from someone else’s package (so someone else is screwed too). So we get home and do more inspections for our try-ons. Multiple stones were already falling off before she even put them on. My tiara had chains falling off, chains on the panty we’re tangled, and stones from the breast piece was falling off. It was literally being held together by safety pins.
I felt so insecure and just ugly. I paid upwards of $1400 USD or more for my frontline costume and payment fees for my costume to never even make it to the road? I have way more to complain about but this right here is already enough. I feel so guilty because i had my team play with Yuma with this bad experience, but they saw i had the shittiest experience and felt sorry for me. NEVER AGAIN WITH ME & YUMA! EVER! NEVER! Bad service, quality & vibes.
I played in a backline section and had an allergic reaction to the materials that they used to create the costume. This costume was clearly not created for sensitive skin. Over $950usd spent just to have a rash after feting. SMDH. Just as a warning for people, not all materials used to create costumes are hypoallergenic.
I played with TRIBE. The costumes were beautiful but not practical for the road. The wings of some of the costumes almost dug out people’s eyes as they went by. I suffered injuries from my own costume. The vibes were great though. Drinks were flowing and music was pumping. Also I have an observation. I have heard about colorism in trinidad in general and especially around carnival time. During this year’s carnival, I personally witnessed several TJJ photographers hand pick mostly red skin women for pictures. Some of them looked amazing and some didn’t. I watched them pass over beautiful melanin goddesses, that had AWESOME bodies for redskin or white women that were shaped like potatoes or ironing boards (no body shaming, just making a point). I was disappointed. 4th time playing and I never paid attention to TJJ and their ways before smh.
Rogue was bess! This was my first time playing mas and they surpassed my expectations. They did a really good job with the guys costume (simple but very well done), food and drinks were easy to get and overflowing and it was just a scene on the road (they had to pause because one girl started wining and flinging it up on a pole connected to electrical wires). And it was good that they started later, especially Monday after jouvert. Only thing that was shit was costume distribution. They had distribution on 2 days at very inconvenient times since fetes were going on. I had to go back twice – Thursday I didn’t get there till 1 (even though it was supposed to have started at 12) and they still weren’t ready – I had to leave since I had to trek to beachhouse in chagaramas. Friday I went back and had to wait for an hour. But overall positives outweigh that painpoint. Also Monday night mas and the fete on the socadrome stage was bess!
Band: Yuma Vibe
Yuma = Stormer International. And the extraction team just stared as the people boldly grabbed drinks. It upset me. Costume pickup was slow as expected but pretty efficient for the most part. Lunch on Tuesday was good, decent choices. And it was at a good hour unlike Monday which was a messsss. Monday we didn’t get “lunch” until around 5
This was my first time playing with Tribe, last year I played with Bliss. Costume pickup was great. Quick and easy. My costume fit perfectly and there were no jewels missing, compared to my intricate costume last year this was a dream come true lol. Monday mas had good vibes and endless drinks. I liked that it wasn’t too hard to get a drink, bartenders were quick to serve and the drinks were strong. Since I played with Bliss last year I thought some of the same amenities would carry over. I was surprised when lunch came and there were less food options and porta potties instead of trailers. A big band like Tribe, you can imagine how stink they got within minutes. Also there was no cool down area and only one makeup lady doing touch ups. Tuesday mas was not as exciting as I expected it to be. Felt like all the DJ trucks had the same songs on repeat and this year had such good soca too! A few stormers around the avenue but security was on point with them. I noticed the comment about colorism and photographers. Do I think it exists, yes. Is it exclusive to Tribe, no. Last year I saw it more with Bliss photographers but I’ll digress and save my in-depth comments for a different day lol.
Band: Yuma Vibe
Road was bess vibes but damn no food truck!!? I’m probably spoiled from
Miami Carnival with a food truck and snack runners. But there was none of that on the road!! Lunch wasn’t until after we crossed the stage about 330-4pm and we had to chip to the rest stop which was ways away!! Vibes and drinks were amazing. Just wish someone fed me in between the 7am breakfast and 4oclock “lunch” 😭😭😭😭
Band: Yuma Vibe
*its a little long eh* My okish carnival review… So initially I wanted to play with Bliss because well Tribe = Vibes! But the costume I loved was sold out so I decided to play with Yuma instead because I also liked their costumes! Anywho, so I ordered both mine & my sister’s costumes from quite October. Thinking everything in place & we good I didn’t follow up because I mean they took their money out of my account so, I good. A few days before I actually arrived to Trinidad & my mind finally settle down I realize “oh shit! I never received a confirmation for my order or pickup information. Nothing” I immediately start to panic!
Tried to log into my Yuma account, no order information. Emailed them, no response. However, my sister had order information in her account. So at least one of us would be able to play mas. Double checked my account to verify they did in fact take the money, which they did (had to print bank statements & all to carry with me). Reach Trinidad. Luckily a family member of mine is real good friends with a lot of Yuma’s committee members. Told him the situation & he made a few calls. Went to the mas camp, come to find out.: The payment registered in their system but not the actual order so they had to rush to put together a package for me. Thankfully I was able to get the actual costume I ordered & all the necessary pieces !
My sister & I ordered the same costume but they gave her the wrong size & I got the size I ordered. I’m a little smaller than her so we were able to switch & it worked out, small ting. We good! *Ordered Monday wear from Marie Collette, her costumer service was phenomenal, her presentation, everything was great! We on d road now! Monday was a struggle. Vibes was okish. We played jouvert that morning so as tired as we were, we’re still expecting high vibes on the road. Definitely not what we expected! I don’t know if everyone was more tired than us but it was a drag. Stormers GALORE which was quite annoying!!! The drink situation was manageable once you didn’t try to get your drink right before or after they turned a corner, which is normal. Food was good at the rest stop. Went to get a massage and had to proper cuss the female masseuse because she let a friend walk up and go ahead of the line which she even admitted to. Tuesday we met the band at the socadrome about an hour prior to crossing the stage. Crossing the stage was everything it should have been. Nuff vibes! Had a blast! The highlight of both Monday & Tuesday! However, after we cross, we had to chip on our own to make it to the rest stop which was quite a ways away when you don’t even have music to carry you through! Food was good again.
We back on d road & having to maneuver through stormers to find proper wining space! The extraction team was horrible! They were too busy trying to wine up too. listen, I have no problem with that inno, but if you have a job to do make sure you doing your job as well as enjoying yourself so masqueraders can enjoy themselves too because that’s what you getting paid for!! A friend I made on the road had some complications & needed to take a break so she tried to get on the rest truck, the attendant claim it was too full but soon after let 2 girls she apparently knew on the truck. I got her some water, my girl found her crew, sucked it up & continued to play her mas! Thank God she ain’t fall down because that would’ve been a scene!!! All in all my Yuma experience was decent..
Talk about how at Tribe Ignite and Tribe were putting Elite Reserve shit scotch in your cup instead of Johnnie and telling you it’s Johnnie. But other than that, I got real lucky with costume Pickup, and everything else was on point.I got my costume in literally in 10 minutes. The music on the road was good. Although I always ended up by the Scorch truck which had Kevin Crown and Young Chow always yelling on the mic, which I can’t stand. Also, King Taj from Jamaica played a set at Scorch duck work… killed it and came with Pace while everyone else was playing R&B soca. The People’s Road March was Top Striker, and everyone felt like Hulk!
It was AMAZING. My first carnival ever and it was everything and more. Costume pick up was quite annoying because there were two separate rooms which caused people to get skipped on the line. Also, there was supposed to be a committee member giving out tickets at the door and at one point he/she must’ve stepped away and people didn’t have a number. The second day I was a little upset because all of the full meals ran out (chicken and rice). That was the only negative thing I have to say. Rogue is lit. Rogue is lit. Rogue is lit. Rogue had pure vibes and I will certainly jump with rogue next year. This was my first carnival and I had the time of my life. The committee and staff were so accommodating. The masqueraders were FUN! I never felt like people were boring. We danced and laughed for two days straight. I am happy I went with Rogue. Crossing the stage was madness!!!! We completely showed out and I loved every single second of it! See ya on the rogue next year!!!!
Best mas experience of my life. Collection was seamless for us. We were in and out in 10 minutes. Given all info we needed, the rogue bag was gorgeous. The late start was clutch for us, made it so much easier to get on the road Tuesday, too. Monday we crossed Savannah stage and then went to Socadrome for Monday night mas and crossed there too. Snacks were delicious (we missed lunch on Monday because we enjoyed j’ouvert a little too much). I literally never waited once to get a drink, someone was always waiting to serve you. Lunch was around 4pm on Tuesday after we crossed the stage. We stopped for a bit to eat then got back on the road. It was vibes the ENTIRE TIME. Security was amazing and costumes looked so good. My top three points personally: the perfect amount of people (not too big, not too small), perfect mix of men and women, and the MUSIC WAS ON POINT. Played with tribe last year, too many people and heard the same 10 songs all day from every truck. Rogue was perfect.
Distribution needs work. But the road experience was amazing. The meals on wheels was a great idea. On carnival Tuesday, we did stop for about 45 minutes for people to eat. Food was delicious and snacks were available through out the day. The costumes looked beautiful on the road. The DJs were on point. Played Fantasy last year. Rogue’s road experience was 100% better.
Band: Fantasy Carnival
This was my first Trinidad Carnival Experience and it was with Fantasy! They could engage masqueraders better on social media leading up to the road. Collection was seamless, costumes well made and beautiful and drinks were flowing both days. The rest stop at QPO was great and the food was okay. However, I wish band promotions would reflect the majority of chocolate beauties that support these bands. Side note, thanks for recommending Shades party. That was the best event of the week
My second time playing with Tribe. I stuck with them for guaranteed vibes and good service but this year they had me waiting FIVE HOURS for paid in full costume on my designated day. Collection was a mess this year and the staff had the nerve to be rude/impatient after people waited so long to get inside. The road was pure vibes, every truck had good music especially the Scorch truck and truck 6. Food was good on both days, plenty snacks etc. Security is tight also. The band can definitely feel crowded at times, so newbies may feel overwhelmed and the quality of private sections may be different to the ones produced by Tribe so keep that in mind.
Band: Yuma Vibe
It took four hours to pick up costumes with Yuma and for that reason, I won’t be doing that ever again. Also, I had to make them switch out my costume and accessories FOUR times before signing off and realized once I tried it on, it was still wrong. Very cheaply made. Never again. Also Yuma doesn’t cross the Savannah, had I known that, I would not have went with them lol.
The songs that were played the most:
- Machel Montano and Super Blue – Soca Kingdom [2018 Road March Title Winner]
- Iwer George – Savannah
- Lil Natty and Thunda – Top Striker [The People’s Road March]
- Voice – Year of Love
- Kes – Hello
- Blaxx – Hulk
- Shal Marshall – Splinters
Feel free to leave your own reviews in the comments below or send them to me so that we can post them anonymously
Yours In Mas,