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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.
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