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Sunday, March 11, 2007

Legacy Review #2

The following is a review by keitrini:

Hi Saucy,

I promised you an account of my mas experience with Legacy, better late thank never.

I will follow the format of the others that proivided theirs.

This went well. Legacy had online registration set-up on their site which made it very convenient for foreigners. Although that was an option I chose to have my friend register for myself, husband and friend. That went very well. I sent her the money Moneygram. (They only charge $10.00US for sending up to $1,000US. In addition, I got a free call to let the person know the information they needed to pick up the money. (I also did this with someone for fete tickets). The Moneygram conversion was $1US to $6.19tt.) She paid down on everything and when we arrived in Trinidad we went to the mas camp and paid the balance.

I must say seeing the costumes online and in the mas camp, I noticed online did them no justice. Some of the costumes I thought looked horrible online looked nice up close. I even second guessed my choice when I was there but stuck with it in the end.

As most mas camps the people who worked there seemed to want to be somewhere else than there dealing with you. They were so slow and quick tempered. I was very upset when I found out that after paying a lot of money for my all-inclusive section I still had to pay $40tt for a band that allowed me to use their restroom on the road. When I was paying the balance of my bill I saw a sign that advertised the bathroom band. They did not even tell me, if I didn't see the sign I would have embarrassed myself Carnival Mon. and Tues. on the road. Including the bathroom band I was given 4 bands to wear! What's the point of my costume coming with a wristband that would be over shadowed by the 4 bands I had to wear. There was a band for Legacy band, bathroom, security and all-inclusive. Although I had an all-inclusive band on my hand I was still given food chits that I had to carry with me on the road Mon. and Tues. I spent about 45min-1hour to get everything which I was told was good time for mas collection.

On De Road
Unfortunately, this is where my frustration set in. Legacy was so disorganized on the road.

My section was the smallest of the band, Cherokee Trail. There were about 15-20 masqueraders. That surprised me because when I wanted to buy an extra costume for my male friend they told me it was sold out. Maybe it was because the section was so small they kept squashing us between the sections in the front and back of us. It was often hard to find the section when we left to get drinks because the flag bearers were carrying the flag so low. This could be because they were young boys. I felt cheated by this experience.

The so-called mobile bathroom on the road consisted of 6 portable toilets on a Hiate truck. They were so close together, if you were over 130 lbs. salts for you there was no room for you to use the bathroom. Although I could use the bathroom if I wanted to, the set-up was so unnappealing I chose to hold it till I found somewhere else to go.

My husband was equally frustrated with the band as he went to ask the drinks truck for a water and was told he had to get one from his section. For a water! When he did find the right truck the one woman giving out the water watched him repeatedly and never gave him a water. After 15 minutes of wating he went to the side of the road and bought one. Maybe one of the three bands and his costume wrist band was blocking the inclusive band. Or perhaps he was still in the wrong section.

To further demonstrate the disorganization of Legacy, remember the male friend who was told the section was sold out? he had to play in another section Soca Warriors. Well, while he was waiting for my section to cross the judging point, he was called by some of the security to join a few of his fellow masqueraders up front. When he joined them, he found himself about to go before the judges as part of the presentation. He was caught off guard when they started to make Indian noises. At this point, he could not go back so he did his best in the presentation up until they made a few flips. As he exited the judges point one of the leaders came up to him and said "Boy why you missed the flip, you had whole week to practice?" Talk about disorganization, didn't they realize they had an extra person there and that no one knew him. He was so embarrassed. To add salt in the wound, it was televised and there he was on TV later that night looking like a fish out of water. LOL, we laugh so much, at least we had a funny memory to go home with.

Well my husband started to get sick (maybe it was the fever, maybe it was Legacy) so about 2:00 we left and went home. That was my worse carnival experience in years.

As we were leaving we decided to wait to see my friends that played with Tribe and say goodbye. Well when my husband saw tribe with their organised security, cooling stations, air conditioned trucks, about 4 food trucks and my friends with smiles on their faces he said next year no matter what, we are playing with Tribe.

So see you in Tribe next year!

Legacy Review #1

Surprisingly I got two reviews of Legacy yesterday; this first review can also be read at JJ's Myspace Page and check the links at the end of the review for photos:

I suppose after Big Mike and Ian McKenzie split up Legends, Mr. Big obviously beat Ian to the race in coining his band with the eerily similar and familiar name. Obviously, this helped court loyal Legends masqueraders to Legacy. Fortunately or unfortunately, the beautiful carnival Divas or (F.H.O as you call them) were not convinced or fooled as they all flocked to Genesis, a smaller, intimate band with much personality and grandness despite their smaller size. Much to my chagrin, I found fabulous Divas few and far between in Legacy and discovered them 36 hours into the mas experience by the tail end of Tuesday night walking back to our car. There they were all dolled up, fabulous, shimmering and still Fabu looking being flanked by beautiful strong men in Genesis Troy (see pic) ;

It was by happenstance and undeliberateness that I ended up in Legacy anyway. I suppose I could blame it on being too slow, too lazy and too complacent to get in early and use my inside connections or broadband online speed to get in a section of the other premium and much sought after bands. When choice wasn't really an option any longer, me and my girl Natasha, searched various band sites for what we thought we'd look good in and there the all-Indian showcase offered in Legacy piqued our interest and hence our Carnival 2K7 romp was set. We just had to tell our husbands and friends to register and surely they could with no problem our section was a 1/4 full and by carnival day, we learned was one of the smallest sections.

I must say despite the fact my husband and I overpaid a total of $750 for both our costumes (premium Tribe and IP prices indeed), the costumes did in fact look much as presented in online pictures. Surprisingly, the shoddy substandard materials held up, though I lost a few beads and buttons climbing in and out my car Tuesday morning. Overall, the mas looked quite beautiful on the road, en masse and all together. I suppose it helped that there very very few stormers in the band and everyone stuck to their sections, perhaps having been scared from previous Legends experiences of being scorned into submission about staying with your section. I guess, in hindsight, I miss those stormers as my husband explained the obvious reality that no one wanted to really storm our old stodgy band populated with maturer and more conservative revelers. I imagine my first guess this would have been the case should have come when I went to pick up my costume at the store-front mas camp at the corner of Carlos and Rober Streets in Woodbrook.

Despite that most of us customers had to wait in extremely 2+hour long lines, with nary a complimentary drink in sight, the patrons picking up their costumes on the Friday afternoon I was there were relatively mature, respectful, pleasant and unpretentious folks. No High Maintenance, demanding, posh and stosh diva in sight. They did not fuss too much about the mix of pleasant and unpleasant workers some who were frustrated and short-tempered people who should obviously switch professions to one where they don't have to interact with other human beings. Neither did many customers raise too much a stink over the fact that Big Mike and Juliet de la Bastinde seemed to have only trusted one woman to note BY HAND in a registration book the wristband identifications for all 5,000 + band members! I mean, I don't have an inside knowledge on what might have gone on in previous years, but if trust was such a big issue, they really should have enlisted their mothers, fathers and cousins to work the last few days leading up to Carnival Monday. Even though I was second in line on that particular Friday afternoon I was there, the registration process still took over 2 hours long.

Given the fact that it is 2007, it would make sense for them to invest in a sophisticated database system. When you'd go to pay the balance, theyd pull out a hand-written card with your particulars that followed you through the pick up process. Huh It is utterly RIDICULOUS that they would have the extremely efficient process of online registration, only to have to force some poor minimum wage workers to transcribe by hand what we abroad had digitally filled out and sent over to them in an organized and searchable electronic format. How INEFFICIENT IS THAT?

Finally, I'd be remiss if I didn't comment on the unfortunate fire that left many of the costume materials destroyed days before carnival. I was heartbroken to hear of the devastation, but my not enough that I wouldn't want to be told that my frontline costume would exist no longer. Not only was I not foretold that I would be due a refund for the bustle and extra large headpiece I ordered, but my registrant assistant took my full money and then charged me $40 TT extra for the wee wee truck even though it was advertised to be included in the all inclusive section. I had to come back days later to get my refund only after my girlfriend told me she got a refund and did NOT pay anything for the wee wee truck. That left a bad taste in my mouth that they'd want the money so bad that they were willing to skim off the top that way.

This brings me to final point, that under the pressure of recent bands to offer all-inclusive section, it seems now the term all inclusive can mean a mediocre but edible meal, a wee wee truck and a drink truck stocked with half-premium drinks, with our without a sufficient allocation of ice and chasers. Notwithstanding all of this, I would have at least had to have gotten my to goody bag without my husband having to return after we had left and nearly threaten our sour-faced costumer handler for it. My word, it's not if there was a free digicell phone in there. Didn't their sponsors offer give them for free the sample products and coupons to promote and market their products? It's not like they assembled them in some descent satchel, back pack or fanny pack as I've had in other bands, they were merely scattered at the bottom of plastic bag!

The jump up was decent, but not nearly as raucous, get on wassy, and down right NASTY as I am used to in other bands brimming with flames, friends, old classmates, Divas, B-boys, celebrities, primadonnas, stormers and all the rest of the madness that make for a Fabulous Monday and Tuesday. For that, I will not be returning to Legacy and will get my tail in order next time around. I do hope my remarks may help them work out the kinks for those fine complacent people who are loyal to Legends er um I mean Legacy.

JJ. Ghatt

hi ave a few legacy photos on my myspace page and more easily seen here
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