DISCLAIMER: The review following review was sent in independently by patrons of a service or fete . Trinidad Carnival Diary does not endorse the opinions of, or warrant the accuracy of facts or other Content contributed by,any third party.
I would like to share my very disappointing experience with you as it’s fresh in my brain- though I doubt I’ll ever forget Carnival 2013.
Firstly, I found that the collection venue and time was a poor choice. We masqueraders were forced to travel during rush hours, down Chaguaramus and I personally sat in traffic to and fro accumulatively for 2.5 hours. I would have turned a blind eye to this if Fantasy was organized when I got there and if I left with my entire costume. This was not the case. I then had to wait an additional two (2) hours while they looked for my head piece, bra, and waist band. Only to be informed, after my wait, that I had to return on the Saturday because they did not have my costume ready. Ironically, the Fantasy Customer Care Rep had the nerve to remind me that “I should be grateful that I’m being attended to.” I’ve interview several people to hear their account and there was a huge disparity in service and even items in their ‘Goodie Bag’ from costumes distributed on the earlier days to the ones past Wednesday straight up to Carnival Saturday.
This should have been a big red flag of what to expect on the road Carnival Monday and Tuesday.
Things seemed to turn around for the better. The shuttle service was top notch on both days. I didn’t have to wait long, the driver knew the quickest route to the band, and we were dropped off very close in no time at all. We even got to the stage quickly.
I did, however, find that the rest area on Mucurapo Rd. was ridiculously far and very (VERY) uncomfortable. To me, in considering your masqueraders, your customers; Fantasy should have been a bit more thoughtful on where we rested these two (2) days. Why after walking all morning would we want to walk another long distance to our rest area? On top of being totally exhausted from the pilgrimage, the food was located quite to the back of the grounds. By the time I got there, I was informed that all the options but one remained- of course: rice, stew chicken and some sort of bland pasta.
I have been playing mas for many years; since Poison was a band. I’ve also played with Island People, Yuma & Tribe & I’ve never experienced anything like what I had with Fantasy. I waited close to 3.5 hours on Charlotte Street in anticipation of crossing the stage. Last year a similar situation happened in Tribe on Carnival Tuesday and I was so upset that I boycotted playing with them for 2013 and switched to Fantasy, self-assured that my experience would be different. Unfortunately, I was wrong. Fantasy, why would you not think to at least offer your masqueraders some sort of horderves while they waited for hours? Breakfast finished at 7 a.m. and I had no choice (along with many other people) but to purchase KFC as Fantasy didn’t offer ANYTHING to their masqueraders between breakfast and the long stagnant wait in the blazing sun on Charlotte Street. Is this what I spent just shy of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) on- to have to go and spend more money on food…?!
If it’s any consolation, your security had a BLAST! From what I observed, they were less concerned with securing the band of masqueraders; and more focused on dancing and drinking. One female security officer made a mock costume with her ‘Fantasy Security’ T-shirt and happily danced inside the band. Another had the audacity to dance on me until I gave him a withering stare of disapproval. I don’t know which incompetent employee was in charge of hiring/screening the security for the band- but management should have surely given this job to someone else.
Overall, my experience with Fantasy 2013 was very disappointing. I felt as though Fantasy took on more than they could handle and maybe they should try crawling before they attempt running into something they clearly cannot manage. When I sign up to play mas with a band, I’m taking my hard earned money for not only a well-constructed costume; not one that is two sizes too big and falls apart when trying on; but also a rich cultural experience. Once your Fantasy Team got their final payments at collection, catering to your customers became their last priority.
By no stretch did I get my money’s worth and I felt like your poor attempt at an apology on Facebook was conveyed more like a Public Relation Release Statement.
This was far from a Fantasy & more like a nightmare!