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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Bliss Review # 5

Hi Saucy,

I would appreciate if you could post my Bliss Review

Costume Collection –
Costume collection was a breeze…I collected my costume two days after the designated day for my section. My hubby and I paid off early so we were entitled to fast track, we were in and out Carlton Savannah within 20 mins. During my costume collection I saw some glue marks on my hat, I asked for it to be swapped, that was done with no problem.

On the road –
I’m an early bird so we met the band on time on both days, they definitely left on scheduled time and I love that fact that we crossed stage early Monday and Tuesday. My only gripe is that I hate that 2-3 hour wait to cross the Savannah stage with no drinks but I understand this is no fault of bliss. Great fenced in park for the lunch stop with tents, blankets and a pampering station to freshen up. For 2012 it would nice to add a few extra tents since there’s not much trees to provide shade from the sun.

The food was decent, didn’t like the international options though, we got to the food tent pretty early and they were already out of fish, so I got rice and peas and chicken on both days, the hubby got bar b que, both options were very tasty. For breakfast on Tuesday there were some dishes listed on the food truck but was not available so I settled for bake and saltfish. For snack on Tuesday we got bake and shark, they had all the fixings in mini containers at the side, nice idea, tasted pretty good as well.

The wee wee trucks were maintained throughout the day, they were kept clean at all times.

Oh gosh…the security worked their behinds off; security was very tight; I saw them put numerous people out the band.

My drink of choice never ran out on both days, and that’s a big plus. Although on Monday at 11 am one truck didn’t have coconut water so I went to another truck that had. Music was on point, DJ private Ryan did a great job, I love the rotation of songs, usually when I play mas with other bands I would hear the road march song over and over again all day. It was a nice mix of power and groovy soca on the road. Last lap in Jenny’s car park was amazing; the DJ’s continued to play well.

My costume held up well, nothing fell off or apart, I usually wear my entire costume all day but I had to toss that hat after I crossed stage, the wire in the hat was uncomfortable and I also broke out from the fringe that was used on my bra.

There were definitely more positives than negatives, I had a blast on both days and I would absolutely play with Bliss again. I love the size of the band and I hope they can keep those numbers for 2012.

Thumbs up to Bliss!!!

Bliss Review # 4

Costume Collection
Had no problems collecting costumes, this includes my wife as well.

Costume Mishaps
Jumped with amazonia, my belt had to do with a little magna tac on carnival sunday and it stayed intact for all of tuesday from stage cross to after party at jennys. My wife on the other hand had jewels falling from her bra right after collection, she used magna tac as well. Tuesday morning on our trek to the band some jewels fell again. She to paid the price for the sharp jewels and stockings issue but she did not blame it on the band it was her fault.

We met the band by the american embassy. Still depressed we missed the stage on monday, but the vibes kicked in immediately. We was lucky to get the last two boxes of BBQ chicken at the lunch park. The meal was on point we must say, played in other bands before and never got a full monday meal. After my meal i felt as tho monday mas was over, due to the lack of music in the park and the long resting period. Come on did we leave home to come picnic in a park. Everything else was good for monday.

Taking note of how we felt after missing the stage on monday we decided to make no sport and meet the band at its requested time. Me being a person who don't leave home without breakfast, i still made room to have the great breakfast served to us when we met the band. My power levels was up once fitted between the ropes and having 3 drinks of grey goose before entering the savannah. The tragarete road route was better than the monday route after leaving the savannah. We decided to go ahead of the band once we approached roxy. This was due to the limited tents and getting our preferred meal. Once again the meals was great, we both had popeyes. After eating i sat for 15mins and decided to go look for some friends who was having lunch in another park nearby, taking note we had no music again on tuesday and the lengthy resting period in the park. I understand why BLISS decided to use the st james route because of the back logs and clusters in other areas, we liked the flow of revelling on the streets with bliss. On the other hand we missed revelling on the ariapita avenue, we thought after the mucuparo road trek, the avenue would be the best bet to end the revelling before getting to jenny's not just a piece of the avenue. The after party was the BOMB, we had loads of fun before and after our mother TRIBE linked up. Saw a guy from tribe getting beat down by a security at the entrance, that was his message to head home.

2012 Changes
Music at the lunch park or cut the rest time.
More sun screen at the male washroom on tuesday.
More of the current soca music, somehow on the road for 2011 not much artiste was played.
The mario pizza could be fresher.

Bar was great for me, my wife is not big on alcohol but she did have a couple drinks of baileys which was a plus to bliss for looking out to the ladies. Security was all heads up. People was not stush. Size of the band is great. Experience was intimate. All the goods and service monday and tuesday was A+++++++. The only thing that worry us is that everything will be good in the start but will it stay like this or even be better for 2012. We hope to get into bliss again next year and live the Bliss Intimate Carnival Experience 2012.

Island People 2011 Review #5

My first time playing mas. I am an overseas masquerader. I played with Island People in the M51 section.

Overall Grade: A++++++++++++++

Registration: B+

I registered on line. Pretty straight forward. However, after I registered I was informed that the tankini that I registered for was not available for the section I registered. And the size belt that I registered for was also not available. So I said no big deal I will take the bra and the smaller size belt. But those options should not have been there in the first place if it was not available. Any questions or concerns that I had I emailed the mas camp and got very timely responses to my inquires.

Collection: A

I went to collect my costume on Friday morning. I thought the process flowed pretty nicely, I didn’t feel as if I waited too long, even though I was there for over an hour. I did not do fast track. The attendant went thru a checklist, gave me my goody bag and Monday wear, which I exchanged for a different size.

Monday Wear: C

Up until my flight to go to Trinidad I was constantly checking FB to find out what IP’s Monday wear was going to be. They told us it was going to be silver gray all in one, which we would be able to accessorize with our sections color. When I collected my costume only to my disappointment to find out that it’s a black dress with green writing. I had purchased pink accessories that no longer would look right. But I made things work with what I had because I was unable to go shopping or have anyone alter the dress for me.

Costume: A-

With only the pictures to look at from online for my costume, I must say my costumed looked just like the pictures. It was a beautiful bright pink, one of the brightest in IP. My costume turned out to be too big for me but with some tweaking it worked. I ordered according to my measurements and the charts they provided online. But overall my costume was beautiful, just as advertised and perhaps I was a little too conservative when ordering my size. I just remembered that sizes in Trinidad tend to run small. The diamond detailing on the belt shredded mines and everyone else’s tights. Some girls chose to pull off the diamond strands and just leave the bead strands. But, from my understanding that is typical with that type of detailing, so no biggie. Also, I received bracelets and earrings with my costume which I wasnt expecting because it was not in the picture, so it was a nice surprise even though they turned my hands green.

Monday: A-

My only complaint about Monday was lunch, it was completely unorganized and chaotic, but I did get lunch. I was impressed in how nice and uniformed the trucks looked. How organized the staff looked. Drinks were plentiful and easy to get. Snack truck had plenty of tasty snacks all day. The bathrooms wowed me. I was expecting port potties lined up on a truck to find a mobile RV of bathrooms with running water, mirror and bathroom attendant. The cool down truck looked fab, even though I didn’t use it. There was too much vibes on the road to want to sit. The band started lining up and pulling off at 10 like they said. Machel and two of his dancers was playing mas with us. Monday was great.

Tuesday: A+

Tuesday was just full of fun and vibes. The waits at various points and the wait to go on the stage didn’t bother me at all. Everyone was just partying and having a good time. Lunch was better organized; I had no problem getting lunch. Towards the end of the day the drink trucks in the back was running out of stuff but it wasn’t a big deal I just walked up to the trucks in the front and they had what I wanted. Again, Machel and two of his dancers was on the road with us. Machel surprised us and perfomed on the last truck that was crossing the stage which happened to be the truck I was crossing with. He just hyped everyone up so crossing the stage was so much fun.

Overall, I had a great time playing mas with Island People, the truly impressed me. Any mishaps turned out to minimal compared to the vibes and road experience. Fellow masqueraders where beautiful and friendly which made a nice environment to be in. I had a great time with them and I’m looking forward to playing with them again next year, god willing.

TRIBE Way Of The Warrior Review #7

Hi Saucy,

Firstly, I would like to say that I enjoy reading your blog and have been doing so since its inception.
I have played with Tribe every year with the exception of 2010. The last year I played mas with Tribe, I too found the band a bit large in size but I like their customer service and other amenities so I choose to stay with them.

My husband picked up my costume for me and he reported that doing so was effortless. However, for the first time since I have been with Tribe I needed to return to the mas camp for alterations. The most prominent adornment on my headpiece fell off and my waist band was missing the rings that the Velcro tabs were to be looped through.

The folks in alterations were great (Shout out to Martin). I did not wear any part of my costume on Monday but before I left for the road on Tuesday, 2 of the hanging jewels on the belt cracked/detached and was hanging by a thread. I simply removed them and went on my way.

The music on both days was great! I had no issues with food on either days and wasn't aware that there was a shortage until reading the blog. This I find very disturbing because I saw masqueraders from another bands eating the BBQ lunch that is pictured in your blog.

I found the lunch stop on both days to be entirely too LONG! I did not appreciate that we did not cross the downtown stage on either days, and the trucks were moving entirely too fast especially on Tuesday. At times in St. James I had to walk on the sidewalk because I was afraid of being run over. I thoroughly enjoyed myself though in spite of the minor blunders.

Overall, I had a blast and I will play with Tribe again in the future.


Island People 2011 Review #4

Another year with Island People and I have no regrets.

Carnival Monday

I met with the band at Cornelio and Ariapita so it's safe to say they left on time more or less. The Monday wear black dress got morphed into all sorts of creations like I expect it would. Simple things like tanks, to one-shoulder tees, to jumpers and bikinis. The security was super tight. I swear there were more security jerseys than masqueraders. White jerseys were the "IP Mas Spotter / Extraction Team" and orange jerseys were the rope security. And boy did they extract folks; I saw a couple folks 'escorted' out of the band. Nice. And that rope stayed up well after dark. Even at the Savannah stage these guys lined off the band in batches to cross the stage, and made sure we got off in a timely fashion.
Points for the security ---- BESSS
Drinks flowed until the end of the day -- yes even Johnny Walker stuck around. And amenities fuh so: two cool-down maxis, air-conditioned D'Johns bathrooms, a cool-down truck with benches designed like beds (ok then), the snacks truck, and the multiple drinks trucks. Well yes IP pulled out the stops on Monday and the vibes was sweeeeeeeeeet.
Points for amenities and vibes----- BESSS

Lunch was seamless for me. I got to the Oval, gave chit, picked up lunch, and went on my merry way. Now I can't help but address the so-called lunch fracas because I knew of none until the end of the night on my way home. I still want to know what REALLY happened because lunch was there waiting. Everything was smooth when I got there, so for chaos to ensue makes no sense to me. Can't we just take a lunch and say thank you/you're welcome? Just saying.
Points for lunch ---- NICE, not really bess but nice.
Back on the road and t'ings nice. On to Tuesday ......

Carnival Tuesday

So I got to the Stadium at 7:15am and the band hadn't left yet. I got my breakfast of bake and shark (other options were tuna sandwich, some other fish sandwich, and roti) and a fruit salad. The band left at 7:30 and the rope went up. Again that rope stayed up until last chip on the Avenue in the nighttime. Awesome.
The amenities were the same, with an Executive washroom for IP staff and company, so I was told. Steups (I don't know why a FHO like me couldn't get a bligh in that, just saying IP). I spent about the first couple hours on the road and that heat and humidity got to me. I must really be getting old because that cool-down maxi was so sweet, I just chilled in there. I left only to get a little wine, some drinks and a snack box, and back into the maxi. Repeat pattern. And why not, that wait in town was LONG. Lord fadda, it was hot. And LONG. And it was challenging until we got to the Stage.
Points for that maxi ----- BESSS

Well my energy come back at the sight of that Stage!!!!! Mr.Carnival sang his tail off but I was too busy liking mihself to realize he was singing live! And lord fadda that Stage was hot --- I was sweating buckets. That never used to happen with the old Stage. All that sweating was not good for this FHO. But whatever yes. Things nice. Afterward lunch again. Bess vibes. Back on the road, party vibes REALLY jumped off. Ah yes: the joys of food, rest, and liquor (which flowed until the end: BESSS)

It was another good year with Island People. My only complaint is the swimsuit sizing; it was HORRENDOUS this year. And from what I understand this happened to all the bands. That swimwear supplier needs licks and a sacking. I already addressed this with IP via email, Facebook, and I even told Marlon Grant when I saw him carnival Tuesday night. I showed him that this J-Lo bubble was not properly outfitted. I lost precious time and energy over this shit.
Thank you Derrick Lewis and co for another great year. And thank you for getting a Monday wear substitute for that lost shipment of our grey sexy all-in-ones (so meh maccos tell meh is what happened). Points for working it out ---- BESSS

- Carnivalcocoa

TRIBE Way of the Warrior Review #6

Hi Saucy,

Well based on everything that you and other people post here on TCD I decided to play with TRIBE; I mean I only wanted the best.. I was willing to pay whatever I had to (my costume limit was $1,000 so I was well within my range since my costume was USD960 for a Frontline costume). This was my first time playing with TRIBE and playing mas in about 13 years.. I played in Xi'an Warriors; Frontline like I said. I heard all the reports of inferior quality costume in my section but had to wait till I arrived on Carnival Thursday to find out for myself. I had someone pick up my costume and from what they said there were no hiccups with pickup. They went in; picked up my costume and left.

So I get in Carnival Thursday and the first thing I do is try on my costume; everything fit (except my monday wear - we were given Monday wear by our section leader and it was a bit tight which was fine with me because I had brought something with me for monday wear anyway that was nicer, LOL). My costume was fine; nothing was falling off so I was like why were people complaining about this section?? My costume was flawless! The goodie bag... What goodie bag??? Only good thing was the cup!

I didn't play with the band on Carnival Monday because I had a friend with me who didn't get in TRIBE so I stayed with her in Pulse 8 on Monday with the intention of playing with TRIBE on Tuesday. Pulse 8 was awesome by the way! I did stop in TRIBE around 5:30 pm on Tragarete Rd but they started shutting down around 6:00 so I really can't give an opinion on Monday.

So Carnival Tuesday comes and I put on my costume (for the first time) and beads fell off my panty. And a leg piece broke off... I mean just CLEAN off!! I was like okay, when I get to the band they'll have someone there to do repairs and it will be fine.. I was a little annoyed because I wanted to be together when I stepped out. So my brother comes to the rescue and glues the leg piece back together and the beads on the panty. So I'm feeling good now. Get to the Savannah about 8:15 am to drop off my friend in Pulse 8 since they were about to get on the stage. BTW, those Digicel texts to find the band is AWESOME!!! I got texts for MOST of the two days letting me know where the band was. A friend in Pulse 8 was texting me letting me know where they were so in that aspect TRIBE was better organized. I get the texts that TRIBE is on Frederick & Park Sts. So this is like 8:30 and I start walking down from the Savannah on Frederick St to meet the band. Walking down BOTH leg pieces BROKE CLEAN OFF.. I'm pissed now... This is the FIRST day wearing my costume and it's falling apart.

People keep bumping into my costume and breaking parts and bits of it. So I meet the top of the band at Frederick & Duke Sts and I'm asking security where is the REPAIR Truck? Everyone I asked is like "Huh??????" I'm getting totally pissed now... I can't find my section or section leader, people are stopping me asking me to take pics and I can't because I'm holding parts of my leg pieces in my HANDS!!! So I walk to the back of the band and there is NO REPAIR TRUCK or anyone doing repairs! I open the Medic Van door and ask them; they're like "Huh????" So NOBODY seems to know anything about anyone doing repairs! Finally the medic people see how pissed I am and they call for a band manager to come to the van. One comes; they ask about a REPAIR truck and he's like "Huh??? We don't have one..." So I'm like "Well I need someone to repair this NOW! I paid $1,000, this is the first time wearing it and it's falling apart!" He was nice enough tho, went and got glue and dropped it off; asking the medic people to glue it back together since he had stuff to do. 

 So they glued it back together; then asked me to leave the van since they needed room for people that got sick, LOL! *smh* I'm like "Where am I going to sit to put all this stuff back together? I'm not sitting on the side of the road it's too early for this $&*#!!!" So I sit there awhile longer getting my stuff together (I forgot my damn TRIBE cup in the van thru all this crap! Didn't even get to take a drink in it!!) then I left. Stood outside by a food cart; had an Aloo pie while I waited for the leg piece to dry. This all took about 30 mins.. then the band started moving so I had to walk!. I was TOTALLY ANNOYED at this point! So finally I asked some guys to help me put the leg pieces on and I was like "Okay, let me go play my mas!"

People kept coming asking to take my pic and I remembered the commandments of the Frontline HO's, LOL, so I acceeded and gave them pics.. LOL! I'm trying to make my way to the front of the band because I knew we'd be getting ready to cross the stage soon... Trying to get through was a MESSSSSSSSSSS!!!! The band was too BIG!!!! You couldn't walk thru, people were bumping into my costume, breaking what was left, my bra and headpiece started falling apart!!! I wanted to CRY!!!! This was not what I had paid for!! And all along the way people were taking my pics; so I'm smiling thru the pain but I really wasn't feeling it... Of course my costume was poking and scratching people too; but at this point I really didn't care!!! Amazingly, I did not get ONE rip, tear, or run in my stockings all day!!!! LOL! But trying to get thru the band made me sweat like crazy and my beautiful makeup started running (I bought all the stuff Berns mentioned but my makeup still didn't last) and gems kept falling off!!

Gosh, we won't even talk about the bottleneck at Memorial Square right up to the Savannah!!!! About the people (non masqueraders) walking thru the band and pushing and jostling the PAYING masqueraders out of the way!!!!!! I was ready to leave the band but was like I paid sooooo much money, let me at least try to get to the stage... Oh, I had a total of 2 drinks by then.. I don't think it was a problem to get drinks but you had to squeeze thru soooooo many people to get there and doing that in my costume made no sense at all! I ended up buying a beer at the entrance to the Savannah.

So after squeezing and jostling my way to the top in my broken, falling apart costume I finally get to where my section is supposed to be; behind Persian Gold. However, there was no banner for Xi'An Warriors! They kept announcing for the person with the banner to come forward; and nothing! I mean we're right there at the stage and there's no banner!!!! I paid for a Frontline costume and was expecting to be in front my section.. with a little room to move around. Front what??? Nobody cared, nobody made sure you got in front, there was no banner.. it was like whatever!!! I never saw the section leader or even most of my section... From the time I first saw the band to getting to the stage was about 4 hours... I'm hungry, tired, thirsty, my costume is a disappointment, TRIBE is a disappointment. I haven't danced or enjoyed myself to this point... So I told myself "Look just make it to the stage and then just get out this band!" So I said eff it, psyched myself up and put my game face on... I (and some other Xi'an Warriors) crossed the stage with Persian Gold... I didn't care at this point! My time on stage was the ONLY time I enjoyed myself on Tuesday!

So I basically paid $1,000 for 10-15 mins of fun... *smh* I walked off that stage, stopping for pics of course and walked RIGHT OUT of the band!!! I will NEVER play with TRIBE again... That was too horrible an experience! Oh I did meet the band at Adam Smith Square and collected my lunch and some drinks (hell I paid for that!!); but that was it. And I went and met my friend in Pulse 8. That was my Carnival Tuesday and TRIBE experience.. this disaster culminated what was otherwise an AWESOME carnival season. TRIBE can't get my money or time again.. I don't understand how anyone can say they enjoyed themselves in TRIBE on Tuesday! What a LETDOWN!!!!!
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