I thought it would be an interesting addition to include reviews by YOU! My opinions on fetes are definitely not the end all, be all so let’s add some extra voices to the conversation. Here are some anonymous reviews about Jamaica Carnival 2019.
Jamaica is ABSOLUTELY beautiful. Being a fellow islander, I immediately felt like I was home. The airport was well organized, and I made it through customs relatively quickly (THANK YOU VIP ATTRACTIONS – CLUB KINGSTON). Airport staff was polite and quite helpful. The drive from the airport to my lodging was scenic, lush, and green.
• I love Soca - This was the first party I attended while in Jamaica and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The set up was cute and creative, the gifts were fun, and the music was on point. The venue was paaaacked -- but there was more than enough room for everyone.
• Black 2 Blue - The location for this fete was lovely. Hope Botanical Gardens was absolutely beautiful – I mean it was hoooooot -- but beautiful nonetheless. I was thankful for the fans they provided. Food was delicious -- I just wish it was drink inclusive. The music was a great mix of soca, a little reggae, and dancehall
• Soca Brainwash - A party that never disappoints. Drinks were flowing, the food was YUMMY and the DJs were great. The set up was fun with numerous photo ops.
• Sunrise - This party was the CREAM OF THE CROP! From the gifts, to the drinks and the food -- I would ABSOLUTELY attend this party again. (I’m guessing you can tell I really liked this party). The organizer(s) of this event put a lot of work into it and it did not go unnoticed. Great, great, great fete. Don’t change a thing.
• Tribe Ignite –Eh….I could have done without this party. I feel like I was hearing the same songs over and over throughout the night. It was missing a 'vibe'.
• Silent Morning - I was disappointed in SM Jamaica. I have been to a few SM parties and this was the first time I did not fully enjoy the experience. They appeared disorganized when scanning in tickets and took a while to get the fete started. I will say that when DJ Young Chow came on, the party did get better (Heeeeeeey, DJ Young Chow *wink*)
• Mas with Xaymaca - It was hard to dance and 'get on bad' when it felt like we were literally RUNNING behind the truck. There were a lot of stormers, and the staff didn't control the situation. Drinks were okay and the food during lunch was limited --- okay, to be honest it was sparse. Xaymaca's new lunch location did not have a lot shade, so people bunched up under the little shade they could find (IT WAS HOT, LAWD!).
Xaymaca was between good and meh. They did provide customer service but there were issues with their costumes. Some costumes were not delivered the way they were displayed during band launch --which was unfair to the people who paid for one product and received something completely different. I thought their gifts were nice and costume pick-up was organized. I can not 100% say I would play mas with them again.
• Jamaica KFC –*Kanye Shrug*
The "Hell Nah"
• AMBush – Highly, highly, highly disappointing. Lack of organization at the entrance (think stampede), one music truck for the first half of the event, rude drink truck staff ---Ceasar's Army dropped the ball on this one. And that sucks because I was totally looking forward to the vibes. This was my first time ever attending Ambush and I don't plan on going back anytime soon. I DID appreciate the heartfelt apology they sent out owning up to the situation and taking responsibility. I hope they continue to improve their brand.
• The Fete Staff - Let's talk about it! I understand Caribbean people tend to lack the customer service we are used to in the States, but the attitude of most of the fete staff was simply rude and unacceptable. My friend received eyerolls when requesting drinks, there were steups/tchips/kissing teeth when asking for information or clarification, and an overall feeling of unfriendliness -- which normally would not bother me had I not paid for the events I attended. Fete organizers should consider training their staff.
My girls and I got in Thursday night. We landed and went straight to the Mas Camp for Xodus. My cousin and I were in Asella section and pick up was VERY SMOOTH. We had no issues. Maybe everyone was home getting ready for another fete. We got to our Airbnb and started to get ready for Tribe Ignite
Tribe Ignite: I give it a 6/10. The vibes were nice. We missed Kes’ performance. But Machel was great.
Black to Blue: 8/10. We got there a bit early but the food was great. Nice, small fete, not an overload of people.
Soca Brainwash: 7 or 8/10. Vibes were great. I feel he downplayed the decor for Jamaica but it was still a vibe out there. The food line were crazy long!!
AMBush: 8/10. We got there early to get our cups and iced coffee. As the trucks stopped to turn around, we made our way down to the shuttles because we had to get to Sunrise breakfast fete. We made it down early to the food station, and trust me, we ate everything we could before the crowd came.
Sunrise Breakfast Party: 9.5/10. It is only getting a 9.5 because we missed the beginning. But this is by far the BEST fete for Jamaica Carnival. The food. The decor. The cup. The performers. Everything was A1. If I return to carnival, that will be my only Saturday fete I’ll return to.
Xodus Parade Day: I loved JA’s road by far over Trinidad. With the dancehall being played and all the dances, it got me more and more hype to enjoy the road. We made it to Xodus right before lunch started. Perfect timing again. There was no line for food or the bar. The road was great. The drink truck was a bit confusing. The only thing I would have done differently was added more sunscreen.
The Xaymaca beach lyme was my second favorite event for carnival season. We arrived a bit early, but we made up some time by eating at Hellshire beach.
If you’re planning to go Jamaica Carnival 2020 try to book accommodations, flights and buy fete tickets early.
Silent Norning: So the beginning was annoying as they were late, but once the boat left it was vibes. They need a boat with better AC though.
SBW: I really enjoyed SBW, great vibes.
AMBush: It was very disorganized and I will never go to another AMBush event. We got there and there was no structure. People litterally bum rushed themselves in. Then the truck had a blown speaker apparently, so the music was low. I honestly could have done without this fete.
Sunrise: I arrived late but still enjoyed myself. I wished i had not wasted time going to AMBush. They did run out of cups though which I’m confused about because they know how many people bought tickets.
Xaymaca costume pickup: This was a little frustrating. The line to actually get the costume was fine but when it was time to get assistance with the costume, it took long. I was over it and frustrated as we were there for about 2-3 hours. But on the bright side my friend was able to get a bigger bra as the one she had before did not fit.
Xaymaca on the road: I enjoyed the road; it was vibes BUT the lunch stop was so disorganized and they ran out of food. Unbelievable! Stomers were minimal.
My costume (Psychedelic) was nice, but did start falling apart before I even got on the road.
It’s not too late to include your own opinion of your time in Jamaica in 2019! If you would like to have your anonymous review included, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until the next carnival!