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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Girl Power 2012 Review

I had an amazing time at Girl Power in 2011, we partied hard until the sun came up so it was a definite must this year.

Total disappointment from the time I entered the VIP section. I realized there were about twice as many people than last year in VIP and the VIP section was probably twice as big as general. It was crowded and dark, the bright energetic decor from last year was non-existent.

The food lines were ridiculously long and the food was mediocre. The only thing that looked really appetizing was the bake and shark that I would never get to taste because that line was 3 times longer than the others. The food vendors were taking their slow sweet time serving the food which contributed to the long lines.

Finally the show starts and Kes, Bunji, Fayanne, and Destra all gave great performances.... then abruptly at 5am during Destra's performance the show just ended. No one knew what was going on and no announcement was made. We didn't know if the show was over or if we should wait because Machel was performing next. After about 15 minutes it was safe to assume that the show was over and peeople flocked to the food lines. .

What a disrespectful slap in the face from IslandPeople, no explanation or anything??? At this time people from general, stormed over to the VIP section to get food and it was just one big mess.

Never me again... extremely disappointed with IslandPeople.

UP-Uber Pramie Review

So my crew of 8 was hyped for this party. We arrived at 6am to see barely a crowd at the gate. I thought to myself that wow we get lucky and we still early for the party. We walked in, were greeted with our free cups, and then I saw where the crowd was; line after line for food. The bars were nicely laid out along the pathway with liquor galore, kudos for that. The rest was a joke.

The tent with pancakes and waffles (which by the way were not the freshly made ones as promised but frozen Eggos and Aunt Jemimas) had no electricity and closed down since they could not figure out a plan B. They gave out what was “warmed” earlier. There was still ice on my Eggo so I said hell no to that. There was also a man serving seafood soup which my friend got and he showed me and I had to say where is the soup? It looked like cloudy dutty water, told him to throw that away unless he wanted a cleansing. One of my friends joined the line for the tent with the major food and came back about 30 minutes later with a hunk of bake and something yellow. I thought “oh scramble eggs” when she said no its cheese. Hell nah not eating dat crap.

She then told me it was either that or bake and salt fish. Everything else was not ready. I thought this party was to start at 4am? How can you NOT have the "gourmet" food that you promised ready at 6:30?? The next tent which was stupidly placed in the same yard as the one with the main food was set up for doubles. Of course the line was ridiculous as people stood in line to wait for food. We were then told that they will open up at 7. At 7, I see them just start to chop and shred stuff and knead the dough for the doubles. WTH is going on at this party??? I paid 700TT to end up scrambling for food? Finally at around 7:30 my friend starts passing doubles over to us. Of course people cussing and shoving to get the one decent food in the place.

After announcing that Machel is coming to the stage for about 3 hrs, he finally comes on stage after 11. Not bad performance. He performed other artists tunes which I liked because I don’t need to only hear Mr Fete and PYF. I want to scream that I will be single forever! Oh as usual he chatted way too much.

The porta pottys were DISGUSTING!! Where were the bathroom attendants? Why were handles to a lot of the doors broken? Why I have to keep going to the tents and beg for napkins so I could use the bathroom because no one was putting toilet tissue in the porta potty? And don’t tell me crap about they ran out of rolls because I saw the crew packing up with bags of toilet tissue when the party was over. What happened? Did they forget where they had to put the extras? Foolishness if you ask me.

Please let people know in advance if you are going to be putting up someone’s sprinklers on a tree to spray people with water and turn the party into a foam party. My sandals lost grip and the amount of times I almost bust my ass because these people decided to turn the only path you can walk into mud and slush. People need to come prepared for such things.

All in all I don’t care if they suddenly started having more food at 11:30. This was the WORST party I have ever been to and almost ruined my whole Carnival experience.

Review Taxi service – TriniCabby

TriniCabby and TheCarnivalConnection work in conjunction with each other. As any visitor to T&T knows, transportation is a huge deal when you’re there. I had no plans on depending on relatives to take me back and forth, trying to hail a cab, or renting a car, so TriniCabby’s services were invaluable. I had taxi service organized to and from every single fete that I was scheduled to attend. I also had my airport pick-up and return service booked.

The taxi drivers employed by TriniCabby were always friendly and helpful. They arrived mostly on time – I understand negotiating T&T traffic during Carnival can be a nightmare, so if they were late it wasn’t a big deal. TriniCabby was also very flexible when it came to on-the-go changes. A couple of times I wanted to stay later or leave earlier than was scheduled and every attempt was made to accommodate the change. My friend who came with me also needed to use their service once or twice even though it wasn’t planned, and again, every attempt was made to accommodate her.

The price for services were also very good. I had no problem paying what was asked because having an organized ride back and forth meant more to me than anything else. I would use TriniCabby again with no problems. Thank you TriniCabby!

Review Concierge service – TheCarnivalConnection (TCC)

I have never used a concierge service when I’ve booked my trips to T&T, but I figured that I’d try it out for this trip and I’m so glad that I did! Usually I’ve had to send a local relative money and ask them to go and buy fete tickets or help me find somewhere to stay, and that’s not always been the easiest route to take. I actually found TCC on your FaceBook page, Saucy. I sent TCC an email and received a prompt response, and things only got better from there. When my accommodations fell through at the last minute, I asked TCC to help me find something within my price range and she did. It was in the perfect location in Belmont, one block from the Savannah (like I’m going to tell you guys where it was! Lol! I need to make sure I can get in there next time!). TCC also helped me organize fete tickets and purchased mas stockings for me at Micles when the order I had placed online didn’t get to me in time.

TCC communicated with me frequently, answered my questions, and provided suggestions for tours and things to do. Her services are well priced. You have to expect to pay for good service so I had no problem paying the various service charges. My fear that I wouldn’t hear anything from her once I reached T&T were never realized. She met me in person to deliver my pantyhose, my fete tickets were waiting for me in an envelope when the taxi picked me up from the airport, and when I suddenly decided at the last minute that I HAD to take in a breakfast fete, she did her best to find me a ticket. I ended up not going due to lack of transportation. But even at midnight my emails were answered.

I would use TCC again in a heartbeat. She was professional from beginning to end. She saved me so much time and running around and made this trip to T&T a breeze. Thank you TheCarnivalConnection for helping make this trip to T&T a stress free one!

Review T.C.'s Taxi Service

I don’t live in Trinidad but have been coming to Trinidad for carnival and other occasions for many years. Since 2007 I had exclusive use of the same driver but this year I was not able to contact him and appears that he’s no longer in business.

I think I saw TC’s Taxi Service on Facebook and I contacted them by email a few weeks before I arrived. I found them to be very prompt and professional in their responses. We confirmed most of my itinerary prior to my arrival and I contracted to use them for all, and I mean all, of my comings and goings. I had a tough itinerary; I arrived at 5:10 am on Carnival Saturday, went non-stop and left at 10:30 am on Ash Wednesday. The price was quite easy to remember TT$200 per round trip. It seemed reasonable to me, probably with the exception of the trip from Carlton Savannah to Brian Lara’s fete. But it wasn’t worth nickel and diming them and I didn’t want to walk.

The airport pick up went smoothly but while in the car on the way into the city I shocking discovered that the driver didn’t know the city well and was asking me, the tourist, for addresses! When I couldn’t give him much help, he offered to do some research on the internet. How resourceful! It worked because to take me to my band meeting point (Targarete Road and Gray Street) he was guided by a hand drawn map. Very reassuring!
The driver always called me when he left his home to advise that he was on his way. I found this annoying because I was always in the middle of doing my makeup. I just need to know when you’re at my hotel. In spite of this he was late twice, once because he fell asleep (his words, not mine).

On Carnival Sunday night on the way back to the hotel I started discussing J'ouvert and was attempting to agree on the pickup time. He exclaimed, “J'ouvert, but that’s in a few hours! I need to sleep!” I got the message and used a hotel car! Another low point was when he had a family member in the car when we were picked up in the afternoon on Carnival Tuesday! I guess she needed a ride as well! Perhaps I should have met him, as he suggested, at the maxi taxi stop. He was very disappointed and frustrated that I didn’t know where this was.

I don’t know how TC’s Taxi Service select their drivers, but the one I had is not suited to provide service to tourists. I would be willing to use them again because I had such great service with the office, but a more knowledgeable, punctual, service oriented driver with Carnival stamina is a must.

Brian Lara Fete - The Review

Fete : Brian Lara
Price: $1400.00
Date: February 19, 2012; 3pm - midnight

I felt fortunate to get tickets to the most expensive fete through a family member. The tickets listed the start time at 3:00 pm and we got their around 5:00 pm. I understand that there was parking available at QRC but we didn’t use it; we were dropped off right at the bottom of the hill. There were security checking tickets at the bottom of the hill and there was another checkpoint a few feet away. Once you got passed the second checkpoint, you board a shuttle bus to take you part way up the hill. It seemed like you blink and you’re already getting off the shuttle. We were immediately greeted with ladies serving sushi and three bars on your right as you walk up the last stretch of the hill.

Once you get to the top, one can’t help but marvel how wonderful Brian’s property is. The fete was about half filled and we took the opportunity to walk around and check out the Port-of-Spain vistas. Simply beautiful! There were a few areas with lawn furniture and couches arranged for small groups to mingle. There were several well-staffed bars around the property, including Nuvo and Tequila. I can’t tell you much about the bars because I already had way too much from Sunny Side Up.

The food tents were to the right of the property. From what I remembered, there was Richard’s Bake and Shark, Chinese food, roti, wild meat and even an oyster vendor. There was a narrow aisle separating the food tents and a hill and there wasn’t a lot of room for patrons in the lineup for food and other guests walking through the area. This was compounded by the fact that the lineup for food was quite long. Up two flights of stairs from the food tents was a crowded area with large round tables if you wanted to sit and eat. There was also a bar in this area as well. Sadly, we went back to the food tents around 8:00 pm and discovered that there was only some Chinese, Richard’s Bake and Shark and a few pieces of wild meat left. Imagine running out of food with about four hours left to go!

Earlier in fete the crowd, who were more mature, seemed interested in eating, drinking and posing rather than partying. It felt like the place to be seen and network. Perhaps if I lived in Trinidad I would have recognized some of the VIPs in attendance. There was practically no dancing! It didn't help that although there was music, there was no DJ and it sounded like someone just loaded the mix tape. This changed around 8:30 pm when someone came on the stage and was pumping up the crowd. This is probably when you can say the party started and hopefully the live performances were coming on later. However, for me this was about the time I had enough (still exhausted from Sunny Side Up and needed to get a couple hours sleep before J'ouvert) and we left around 9:00 pm.

Overall, this was not my kind of crowd, not my kind of fete and won’t be going next year.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

100 Sexiest Shots From Trinidad Carnival 2012

Check out the link below and see if you spot your self! 100 Sexiest shots from Trinidad Carnival 2012 by Complex Magazine:

Kes the Band set for major Manhattan performance

New York, NY(Sonique Solutions) – Still riding high on the momentum of an ultra-successful 2012 T&T Carnival season, Caribbean music act Kes The Band, will electrify the Big Apple with its signature ‘Island Pop’ sound. The celebrated Trinidadian ensemble will display its versatility, vibrancy and global appeal in its first post-festival North American appearance which takes place on Friday 9th March 2012 at the renowned Best Buy Theater in glitzy Manhattan, NYC on the door step of the world’s most visited tourist attraction Times Square.

The highly anticipated event entitled ‘Kes All In’ is being produced by international promoters ShorBlu Events and Big and Strong Promotions and is sure to appease the music tastes of many in addition to those who recently returned from Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival.

After a thunderous 2011 which saw Kes achieving many musical milestones which include headlining several shows across the US, Canada, Europe and Asia as well exciting audiences with its feature performance on FOX 5’s ‘Good Day New York’ the band members are thrilled to be heading back to the empire state.

Boasting a unique fusion of Calypso, Rock, Pop, Techno, Soul and Soca sounds, Kes the Band has been dedicated to bridging the gap between Caribbean and International music. The band has not only shared stages with global chart-toppers the likes of Maroon 5, John Legend, Sugar Ray and Rihanna but has also released several crossover Caribbean Pop songs such as “Stalker”, “Let Me Know”, “Red Light” and “Take Me Away”. Most recently lead vocalist and 2011 Groovy Soca Monarch Kees Dieffenthaller unleashed a jaw dropping collaboration with acclaimed US rapper Snoop Dogg on the monster track “Stress Away”.

At ‘Kes All In’ patrons will be able to soak in the Soca vibes as the band delivers its fan favourites such as “Coming Over”, “Right Dey”, “Thunder”, “Where Yuh From” and “Wotless” performing to the back drop of the world famous Time Square. Joining Kes at the Best Buy Theatre will be the ever swanky Benjai and Calypso icon David Rudder.

Rudder, a former Calypso Monarch, and Road March champion known for his catalogue of classics which include “High Mas”, “The Hammer” and “Bahia Girl” will bring a high level of entertainment value and West Indian energy to the chic, trendy Manhattan establishment which has housed several popular contemporary music acts.
Much like Kes, promoters ShorBlu Events and Big and Strong Promotions are and continue to place all efforts into bringing Caribbean entertainment in particular Soca music and performers to their rightful place in the global mainstream market.

Both entities are responsible for the production of several superior events in the US/West Indian Diaspora and are devoted to the worldwide upliftment and development of Caribbean culture.

Experience the high voltage performance by the dynamic Kes the Band at ‘Kes All In’ on Friday 9th March 2012 at the famous Best Buy Theater NYC (1515 Broadway &West 44th Street, Manhattan, New York) from 7pm.

For additional information, requests for interviews and press accreditation, please visit, email or call 347-225-5539, 646-338-8016, 718-541-1073 or 917-570-8654

Monday, February 27, 2012

They Call me Mrs Fete :Beach House All Inclusive - The Review

Fete : Beach House Carnival, Seville Golf Course, Couva
Price: $1000.00
Date: February 16, 2012

Beach House is held on the sprawling grounds at Seville Golf Course in Couva. Even though it is a central point you still have about a half an hour’s drive from Port of Spain if there is no traffic. Then once you navigate the turn off into Couva there is traffic leading to the event, thankfully it was not a painfully slow crawl and we got to the location at around 4PM.
Being on a golf course you do have a nice expanse of green dotted with tents for food and drinks. On entering there were Beach House girls all dressed in white to give you your wristband and the walk uphill to the venue was lined with mini bars offering a welcome drink. I liked the layout especially at the food court as there were all the tents plus an eating area in a spaced area.

As I mentioned before on entry you had the choice of Johnnie Walker Blue or Gold and Nuvo. There was a main bar serving Johnnie Walker Green, a champagne bar serving Moet, Nuvo Bar and other sponsored bars for premium drinks. I was between the Moet and Nuvo so to tell the truth I did not investigate everything there was on offer.

Wide variety of food with no long lines and there was something available to eat even when I went back for a second serving later at night. I sampled the Asian tent because they were serving shrimp, and thought to myself because I was skipping the rice and ONLY having shrimp that I would get a serving akin to what I had at Hyatt’s lime the night before. Well the server informed me that a serving was ONLY THREE very small shrimp! Needless to say I was most annoyed by this but made up for it with the dumpling stuffed with crab in a curry sauce later on. I am ashamed to say how many of those I ate, they were SO good!

There were none and it was not missed. This is what sets Beach House apart, the fact that it is an uninterrupted fete. If you prefer performances then this is not the fete for you.

Crowd Vibe:
LOVED the crowd at this fete, even though most dressed like they were on a runway the behavior and conduct was anything but stush and all in good fun. Leave your inhibitions at home and prepare to wine down low and even hang off scaffolding. A good mix of overseas and locals in the crowd this was one fete where I saw just about all the foreigners I knew who were here for Carnival.

Eye Candy
LOTS of pretty people and recognizable faces at Beach House, I am going to give the eye candy rating an 8.

What happened to the fancy air conditioned toilets with AC and flushing? This was the only fete that I went to for the season where I had to use a porta potty… in hot sun! At least there was a huge mirror for the ladies.

Overall Rating:
I would give Beach House 9.5 out of 10. This was the BEST Fete I went to for the entire season and also the most anticipated. That had as much to do with the friends I was with as well as the event itself. There was nothing that went wrong for me; I had my drink of choice, food when I was hungry and a nonstop party from the time I arrived to the time I left. What more can I ask for? Well perfection would have meant not mincing on the shrimp serving and having the fancy washrooms but hey, room to improve for 2013! 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Silent Morning Review

Hi Saucy! First let me say that I'm so happy to be here in lovely T&;T! Not my first time here, but it's always good to be back for a visit.

So - Silent Morning - this was my first time on this ride. I was told about it by someone who lives in TT and who has attended it for the past couple of yrs. I was assured that this was THE boat ride of boat rides...epic.

The hype surrounding it seemed to attest to its reputation. People were on the group's FaceBook page begging for tickets. Even my contact was promised a certain number of tickets but only given half the number of what was promised.

Anyway, my friends and I got our tickets and we were excited to attend. Mind you, I go on numerous boat rides back home so I'm not new to this. And our boat rides are very good.

My friends and I got to the cruise ship complex at 8am which was supposed to be the boarding time according to the ticket. Departure time was listed as 9am.

When 9:30 came and went with no word as to what was going on, we realized that there might be a problem. My friends and I were starving (we were told that breakfast would be served before boarding but saw nothing but a capuccino/latte machine), so we went and got something to eat

We finally boarded at 10:45am...but didn't set off until after 11:30!! They were serving sandwiches below deck, but my friends and I were no longer hungry.

I heard that this boat was bigger than last year's but it was either still not big enough to handle everyone, too many tickets were sold, or people just wanted to be on the top deck. Regardless of the reason, the top deck was crammed with people like sardines in a can. There was nowhere to move and enjoy yourself. You kept stepping on people and getting "the eye"

Oh - did I mention that when we were pulling out of the dock, that it was discovered that we were either still moored to the dock or the anchor wouldn't go up? So the boat started listing to one side. One of the boat's crew had to jump in the water and do something so that we could finally get out. Not a good continuation of an already poor start...

At the beginning, the vibes on the boat weren't very good despite the great music that was played. Both Bandit and DJ Private Ryan were excellent. The problem was that there was an issue with the sound system...can we say sound check BEFORE you leave the dock? As one guy put it, "I feel like I'm listening to a transistor radio while I'm in my kitchen cooking, not on a boat ride!" Very bad sound issues...didn't allow the music to really pump so that people could get into the mood.

Then Back to Basics (I believe that's who it was) started playing House music and rock...really? I didn't fly to TT during Carnival to listen to House music or rock. Sorry but we're not in New York. Silent Morning New York can do the House, R&B and rock that was played...but Silent Morning Trinidad should be a different vibe.
The boat did stay out an extra 2 hrs to make up for the delay, but to be honest, the vibes didn't get good until the last hour when the sound issue was fixed properly, but by then the boat was heading back in.

With respect to the crowd, there was a mix of people - those who came to party and have a good time. Those who came to pose in their heels and mini dresses and didn't dance once. And those who have been planning their "I'm from New York check me out" outfit for months now (rolling eyes) - and no I have nothing against New Yorkers...

Where I'm from, boat rides are fun, the vibes are high, and people come to have a good time not hold up a wall or walk around in heels that they eventually have to take off because their feet hurt :-)

I'm glad that I only paid $50 for this ride because if I had paid more I would have asked for a refund.

I know that when it comes to events, unexpected things happen, and I'm glad that we were given the extra couple of hours to stay out, and the Bandit and Ryan did their best to get the crowd going. But to be honest, if I never do this ride again I won't shed a tear.


Friday, February 24, 2012

Déjà Vu 2012 - Last Lap All Inclusive

Skaircrew Promotions say "we doing it again!" Déjà Vu 2012 - Last Lap All Inclusive. Private residence, Top of the line security, Premium Drinks and Food with Sophisticated Swagg! Entertainment by Roy Cape featuring Blaxx, Benjai, Iwer George and other surprise guest artists. DJs D'Bandit, Foreign Base, Platinum Sounds and GB Productions. DON'T MISS IT!!! Limited advance tickets $500tt and $600tt @the door.

Date: Saturday February 25th, 2012
Time: 6PM - 1AM
Place:1 Grove Road,Valsayn North, Trinidad
Visit our FB page (Skaircrew Promotions) or email for ticketing information.
Skaircrew Promotions

They Call me Mrs Fete :LIME All Inclusive - The Review

Fete : Hyatt Lime, Hyatt Regency Hotel Port of Spain
Price: $1200.00 General, $1900.00 VIP
Date: February 15,2012

Held at the waterfront of the Hyatt Regency hotel in Port of Spain, the entire fete is spread out along the hotel’s boardwalk. Parking is designated at the hotel car park if you arrive early enough there are no lines to get into the car park but there is a bit of a wait if you arrive later. Parking attendants were on hand to direct you to parking and you took the elevator to ground floor if you were parked on the top level.

The entire décor is in harmony with the dress code for the fete, white with a touch of lime. Tents were decorated with the Lime logo banner and lighted with green lighting. Bars were draped in white and lime fabric with the lime logo most prominent. Lots of green lighted areas and lighted trees which added a glow to the entire venue. The champagne bar was an entire separate area with white chairs and couches to lounge on and shrouded in a fog cloud; very cool effect. I also liked that everything was in harmony with theme down to the plates we were served on were green.

This year they added a bar at the dining area which was never crowded and gave very prompt service. In addition there were three more bars including the huge circular bar. Nuvo Bar, Champagne Bar, Angostura Bar as well as other drink stations for tequila shots were set up throughout the venue. You were never far from a bar or drink station even though the layout is very spread out.

Wow, LOTS to eat. On entry you were greeted with canapés, always great as I am a fan of finger food. As for the main menu, from the top of my head there was a wild meat station, soup station, Indian station, Chinese station, Richards Bake and Shark, Tandoori, gourmet doubles, regular doubles, Arabian Station and also a desert area. I am sure there were other menu items that were available that I missed out on. This was one fete I ate at, my choice was “Far East” the Chinese station and I also sampled the Tandoori later on because they had naan.

I must say the lines for food by the time we got there were LONG, especially at the more popular food stations. Far East was popular as they were serving both shrimp and pink salmon. The shrimp was delicious, succulent and a good size. The servers did not skimp on a serving either, you got as many as you wanted! They also had those pot stickers that I love so I really enjoyed the food at the Far East tent. The Tandoori was good as well, though the naan did not live up to my expectations. Chicken was tasty.

The only caveat for the food as I mentioned before were the lines. Maybe the organizers can look into setting up food stations on both sides of the venue serving the same thing to avoid a crowd at one tent.

The only band I went stage side for was Kes though we did take in Kerwin Dubois’ performance. Kes was great as usual; glad to see he kept in theme for the fete (pet peeve of mine) and dressed accordingly.

Crowd Vibe:
I don’t know if the layout has a part to play with the general feel of this fete but depending on where you were you were either liming or feteing. Stage side during performances there was a whole lot of dancing and feteing taking place. But if you walked throughout the venue there were people liming in little areas; along the waterfront sitting and chatting, at the Champagne bar, by the food court. And ever so often you would find some people dancing in their area as well. This is a more mature crowd as well which has it positives and negatives; you definitely get the feel that you are at a more upscale fete than any of the others I have been to. You would not see anyone dropping to the floor and rolling, ever!

Eye Candy:
I always like to see how the women and men interpret the dress code at this fete, white with a touch of lime. In fact I put a lot of planning into what I am going to wear as well; dressing up for this fete is part of the fun. For the most part everyone looks very nice and then there are those who flout the rules and dress in some colour like red! I would put eye candy rating around a 7; there were some head turners of both sexes for sure.

I used the hotel’s bathroom, which was pretty easy to get to. Full length mirrors, proper CLEAN toilets, and air conditioning. One could not ask for more.

Makeup and massage station were available again this year and I saw many people taking advantage of it. The VIP area also got goody bags I heard, but since I was not in VIP cannot confirm if this is indeed true.

Overall Rating:
I would give Lime a 9 out of 10. It is a premium event priced accordingly but you do feel the difference compared to other events once you have attended Lime. Everything is done on a scale that goes just one step beyond what is normally expected. The only thing that faulted the event was the line up for food, too long a wait especially at the prices you are paying. This took away from time that could have been spent enjoying the fete as well as the ability to sample the variety that was on offer. Overall I had a good time and my little crew brought our own vibes. I hope the food situation is sorted out for 2013 as I have already heard many people saying they are returning to Lime next year.

They Call me Mrs Fete : Fall Out - The Review

Fete : Fall Out, La Soledad Maracas St Joseph
Price: $550.00
Date: February, 14 2012

La Soledad in Maracas St Joseph was the venue for Fall Out. I first heard of this venue when Caesars’ Army held Lush and Mai Tai at this location. Maps provided by Fall Out made finding the venue easy however they should have indicated that shuttle service was available from car park 1 but that there was also additional parking at the venue. In this case the shuttle service was very prompt and efficient, no long waits to get to and from the event. I am always a fan of having more events in the East, cuts down on driving time for me.

La Soledad is a nice albeit somewhat smaller outdoor venue with a paved courtyard area surrounded by trees. A gravel path leading to the main venue and there were some grassy areas so ladies in heels had to be particular in navigating the venue. Stairs led to an area up above where the restrooms were located.

There was one main bar which I did not visit for the entire night since there was also a dedicated Nuvo Bar, Johnny Walker Green Bar, Hennessy Bar and Baileys Bar; of course Nuvo was my drink of choice. I thought for the price paid the drink selection was more than adequate, I went to All Inclusive fetes that were priced more with less selection.

Two main food tents were set up on entry along with a doubles stall. One tent served Indian/curry/roti including curry crab and dumpling and the other served lasagna, pastelle, salad, chicken etc. I did not have any of the food as I did not want a full meal but reports were the food tasted very good and second helpings were had by my guest. My only bit of advice would be to offer more finger food items for the women like me who were not going to be eating a full meal at a fete the week of Carnival.

Also it would have been nice to have an area to sit down and eat, there were only a few chairs so most people had to stand with their plates.

There were no performances (up until the time I left) and we enjoyed the D.J. music very much. I am not sure if those foreigners who came in that week were interested in seeing a live band but having seen live bands practically every weekend I appreciated a chance to just dance to nonstop music.

Crowd Vibe:
This is a fete that is top of the list for many overseas patrons so there was a very high foreigner turn out which is a good thing since they were ready and roaring to fete! I also saw some local faces in the mix but generally an overseas crowd.

Eye Candy:
Off the charts for the women and men! There were some very well dressed and good looking guys and gals at this fete.

Bathroom facilities were more than adequate they were located on the hillside for ladies with actual bathroom stalls not the portable ones.

Overall Rating:
I would give Fall Out and solid 8 out of 10. It was a very good fete with no major mishaps or incidents in a nice venue. Shuttle service worked, drinks flowed and the people were nice to be around. The only thing was the availability of light “snacking” food and the lack of a sit down dining area. For the price, a fete I would definitely attend again.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Triniscene Coca Cola Carnival Galleries

Check out photos from Carnival Monday

and Carnival Tuesday

Carnival Tuesday The Saucy Review – YUMA

My costume was PERFECT in every way. Detailed as the prototype and the gems were reinforced with stitching so nothing fell off before or after playing mas all day. I have my costume boxed up post Carnival with no missing parts. Collecting my costume was also hassle free but I was in the group of masqueraders that collected early and as soon as collection opened I was there! Personally I thought my section looked the BEST in the entire band, of course I may be biased but we were stunning under the sunlight.

Compared to TRIBE YUMA is smaller than but not as small as Bliss. The size was comfortable as I was able to find friends throughout the day and made my way easily from the back of the band to the front with little hassle. I had room to maneuver my costume on the road and never felt as if I was being crushed by a mob even on Aripiata Avenue.
Food and Drinks
Drink selection was impressive at YUMA, they did not have a listing of the drinks on the truck but you could see all the bottles of various alcohol lined up. My two drinks on the road Johnnie and Nuvo were available until around 5:30PM or thereabouts. Johnnie finished first then Nuvo right after.

Personally I did not have any food issues as I decided to stick with the snack plates from Monday as they were ideal light fare for the road. Started my day with a fruit cup, had a snack when I exited the Savannah after crossing the stage and I snacked instead of having a boxed lunch.

However, after arriving at the rest stop early, secured a blanket and space under a shaded tree, I was able to observe the break down in orderly line up for food to chaos. Of course those who arrived early had no problems getting lunch though there was not much variety; jerk, Creole and Hakka. The Creole menu was rice, macaroni pie and stewed chicken which everyone in my group had. It didn’t look that appetizing to be honest and it was missing some vegetables and/or salad to balance out all those carbs. Those who had it said it was fine as they were hungry.

The problems started when the Creole food tent ran out of boxed lunch and were boxing on site! They also ran out of chicken. I also saw people being served from the side of the tent as opposed to lining up and there was a shortage of servers as YUMA staff in costume was serving lunch as well. I think that YUMA needs to utilize the space properly if they are going to continue to use CIC grounds. 

Way more tents are needed for masqueraders to sit under or get umbrellas. And there should be more than ONE food tent serving the same menu; for example you can have two Hakka tents, two Creole tents and two jerk tents. Also the menu needs some tweaking and a light option for lunch should be introduced for people like me who do not want a belly filled with rice to hit the road post rest stop.

The good thing is that we rested for an hour and a half, I checked the time, and once the music started up masqueraders were rearing to go! I did not use the fix up tent at the rest stop but some more amenities could be added like a cool down zone. We actually passed Bliss still resting even though they were ahead of us and crossed the stage before YUMA.

I was between truck #1 and truck # 5 and I preferred truck #5 even though truck #1 gave us all three road march contenders to cross the stage with. At some point in time going through St James we got a techno mix; odd choice for Carnival Tuesday but the bands are doing this more and more these days. I had no complaints with the music, if I didn’t like what one truck was playing I simply moved to another.
YUMA followed a very similar route to Bliss last year so we got to the stage early on Tuesday which is always excellent! By 11:30AM masqueraders were already having lunch. I was impressed that we kept moving even though I saw road management working extra hard to get the trucks to move faster and fill the gaps between masqueraders and music especially when turning corners.

We went through St James, down Mucurapo Road and hit the Avenue. Crossed two more judging points and hit Tragerete Road where I left the band. For me Ariapita was not as congested as in years gone by, I fell in behind a truck and had more than enough room to actually jump up. Without feeling as if I was being crushed.

I had no complaints of service from costume collection to on the road. YUMA staff were very helpful the only thing I could make an issue about was the secrecy surrounding the meeting point for the band but I did get an email and Facebook message giving the starting point. Service from the bar staff was quick , never had to wait for a drink and the girls on the snack trucks stocked me up with a variety of snacks when I wanted.

Saw for myself security doing sweeps throughout the band to check for I.D. Anyone without one, even in costume was escorted out of the band. This continued all day as my friend was booted as she came to say hi to me. When the President joined the band there was even more security since I was close to his mobile VIP truck. Police with machine guns and grenades…..really?!

Ok I am going to be brutally honest here; YUMA was way LESS Brooklyn than I had heard they would be. Now I do not know what “Brooklyn” means to be honest, maybe it is a code for the behavior of the masqueraders but I kept hearing that YUMA is so BROOKLYN from other people before I decided to play. 

Well the masqueraders I met and saw on the road were all a friendly bunch out to have a good time. Yes the band may not be as diverse ethnically as others bands, let’s be real here YUMA has less of the red/curly haired/Indian/Chinese/mixed masqueraders than other popular bands BUT that is and should never be an issue even though I know for some people it is, not for me however since I fit into none of the aforementioned stereotypes. 
The friendliness was evident on how many random men greeted me with a wine…. let’s pause here to acknowledge the fine specimen of YUMA men… and kept moving. If that is “vibes”, this thing I have been trying to quantify for so long I can vouch for the fact that YUMA has vibes overflowing! I also saw many people that I know who made the switch from other bands and people who I know socially as well. Granted not as many people as if I played with TRIBE or Bliss but I did not feel I was playing in a  band without seeing a familiar face.

Overall I was very glad I decided to try something new for Carnival 2012. What I have come to realize is that as a masquerader you need to come out of a comfort zone and see what else is out there and stop being afraid that the experience would not be the same especially if your current band is not satisfying you on some level. That was me, band loyalists until I decided to leave TRIBE but didn't stray too far as I went to Bliss. Everyone I spoke to who played in different bands this year all seemed to have an equally great time; Island People, Fantasy, Spice, TRIBE, Bliss... so what is it that makes one band seem to be offering something vastly different from the other if you have not experienced another?

In all this the lessoned learned is that we masqueraders have choices and that bands are now becoming very competitive. Each band is narrowing the gap between what they claim to be the best experience until it is going to be that experience is standard and something else differentiates one band from the other. For me this year I went with costume and I am extremely happy that I did as I managed to have the combination of a fantastic road experience with a fabulous costume; what else could I ask for?

2013 is going to bring even more choices, more options as people have been asking me if I am going to stay with YUMA or return to Bliss. Honestly it depends on what the latter brings in terms of costuming as I was grossly disappointed in Bliss costumes for 2012. Seamless perfection on the road is what Bliss is excellent at, however, but sometimes you need unpredictable imperfection to spice things up; perfection can sometimes be boring.

Counting down the days until band launch!
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