Surprises That Can Make Or Break Your Carnival Experience || 2BKaribbean Top 5
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Every year, thousands of visitors flock to the Caribbean islands to experience Carnival. The Carnival tales are legendary. They have been refined and exaggerated over the years to include stories of non- stop partying, an unlimited flow of alcohol and the uninhibited abandon that takes over even the most conservative as they dance on the streets in their ‘bikini like’ costumes. Caribbean carnivals have made the bucket list of many throughout the years. However, their are a few things that can mar even the best of Carnival experiences if you are not prepared. . Here are a few things we recommend you keep in mind as you plan your trip to the Caribbean for the Carnival season.
- ‘It’s a small island they said’. ‘You can get anywhere in less than 10 minutes they said’. ‘They’ obviously have never tried to go to a party around Carnival time on the island of Trinidad. On an average day, traffic is horrible. Many days it seems that everyone on the small island of approximately 1.5 million people are all driving on the roads at the same time. Around Carnival time, the traffic can rival that of some of the biggest metropolis in the world. It is a horrible feeling getting all dressed up for a party only to sit in traffic for hours upon hours trying to get to the venue. Plan ahead. Leave early. Plan for traffic. It will ease a lot of unnecessary frustration.
- This is an experience where many first time visitors experience a baptism by fire. There are numerous ‘Whats App’ groups of newly crowned ‘Carnival chasers.’ Numerous Excel spreadsheets are exchanged via email with Carnival and fete itineraries. The anticipation is ripe for those excited to experience the legendary Carnival. The well versed know that those itineraries are meaningless if you have not craved out at least 8 hours of a day dedicated to collecting your Carnival costume. I know, I know -It should be an easy process. You pay money (most pay online), you carry your receipt and you pick up a costume. Simple enough. Not really. Unfortunately, only a select few bands have mastered the logistics of distributing Carnival costumes efficiently. Most have not. Plan accordingly. You will save yourself a lot of frustration by doing so.
LINES AT BARS
- The premium fetes on the island come with premium price tags. And for the most part, it is definitely worth it. You can count on some of the best entertainment and for the all-inclusive fetes; you can count on some of the best local finger foods. However, if you have not paid for the ‘Very Very Important person tickets’ (Yes ‘VVIP’ is actually a thing believe it or now), then one thing you cannot count on is the greatest bar experience. It is true, most times the bar may be overflowing with some of the best alcoholic brands that money can buy. However, many times you spend an unnecessarily long time in lines trying to get to the bar. When you finally get to the front, there is a high likelihood that the proportions of alcohol to chaser may not exactly meet your expectations. Be aware. Plan ahead. A few shots before the fete and in the car on your way there may tide you over .
- Visitors who are accustomed to going to very tourist friendly Caribbean islands tend to expect a certain level of friendly accommodating customer service. This is not the case on every island, and definitely not so around Carnival time when most staff is overworked or simply salty because they are not out feteing like the rest of the country. Do not take it personally. It has nothing to do with you. Our best advice is leave behind any expectations of getting recourse for underwhelming customer service. Although poor customer service is definitely not ideal, or condoned, it becomes a matter of using precious party time effectively. The customer service experience on the islands can really be a test on how to let things go. Enjoy it for the learning experience that it is ;]
BLISTERS & BUNIONS
- Bet you did not see this coming. How can something so small be so painful. You will be surprised by how many firs t time ‘Carnivalists’ have had their experience ruined because they were not quite ready for the hours spent on the road dancing behind a truck. It’s not just about looking good in a costume. Its also about being practical and having the right footwear to support that experience. This becomes even more relevant for those who are a little above couch potato on the physical activity scale. Our best advice is to get comfortable shoes that are at least half a size bigger than what you would normally wear. If wearing hosiery cut off the toes, as those make tender feet more prone to bunions. Soak your feet in Epsom salts every night that you are on the road. These are a few of our favorite things to protect those precious gems for the Carnival season.
Sometimes the little things can make or break a bucket list experience. We will do our part to arm you with the tools to be prepared. We are counting on you to do your part to have the time of your life! The Carnival countdown is on!!
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