My First Experience with SOCA ISLANDS
If you are like me then experiencing Trinidad Carnival has to be on the top of your bucket list. This year 2018 was going to be the year to finally cross this off my list. Trinidad Carnival is one of, if not the most popular Carnival in the world. It has been known for epic vibes, nonstop fetes, madness on the road and breathtaking costumes. People from all over the world come together for a celebration of life and love and two days of pure “wotlessness”. As a Jamaican Soca junkie with a deep passion for Carnival culture and Soca music it was not about to miss me another year.
Planning for Trinidad Carnival usually starts months in advance from arranging accommodations for you and your crew, to sorting out transportation, flights, fete tickets and costumes. It can be quite the hassle especially for a first timer like me. During my planning process I stumbled upon a sponsored add in my instagram feed from Soca Islands for a competition to win a Trinidad Carnival package. I decided to enter on a whim with absolutely no hopes of winning out of the many persons that would enter. Lucky enough my name was pulled out of a hat as one of three winners of a Party Animal Package. You can imagine my awe and utter disbelief when I found out this amazing news. It was a Godsend because winning the package really did relieve so much planning stress off my shoulders. The package included accommodations for 9 days 8 nights, fete tickets, ash Wednesday cool down, airport pick up and drop off and transportation to and from the events. Whaaaaat!? Was this even real? I was so grateful and this made me even more excited to get there and start the pumpin!
Leading up to the time to leave for Trinidad, the Soca Islands team informed me of all I needed to know to be ready for my trip. They gave me a list of all the events with dates and times, tips on how to dress for each event, a list of popular 2018 Soca music to get familiar with and assured me that all would be taken care of and necessary preparations were made for my arrival. Firstly let’s talk about how the team picked me up on time and how incredibly welcoming they all were. I also received a Soca Islands goodie bag with some essentials for the road, which did come in handy. The accommodations that were provided for me was at this quaint guest house Le Ron’s Place in San Juan. It was very cozy, clean and I was treated to breakfast most mornings and given access to the kitchen area to prepare whatever I needed. The house was located in an area central to everything which made it very easy to get to and from the fetes.
Speaking of fetes, let’s get into the fetes I got the chance to attend thanks to Soca Islands. Kicking things off was the breakfast party Caesar’s Army AM BEACH. Let me tell you, this had to be without a doubt my favourite fete for the whole experience. From the delectable food options to the gorgeous pool side venue with a view of the beach to the performances from Kes the band, Bunji Garlin, Allison Hinds. I mean what more could you ask for in a fete? The vibes was just epic. This fete really started my Carnival week with a bang! The Soca Islands team made sure I had safe, on time, comfortable transportation to and from the event and I was taken care of the entire time. Next up was IP Represent which was also full of vibes, high energy performances from Shall Marshall, Nailah Blackman and Shenseea and many more.
The whole Soca Islands team rolled out with me and it instantly felt like a group of longtime friends having a grand time. We left straight from IP Represent to Caesar’s Army AM BUSH which started off pretty rough with problems on the part of the party organizers but ended up being another amazing event. YUMA VIBE, Bacchanal Blocko and Topical Luau were also fetes included in the package along with an Ash Wednesday cool down option, a separate Jouvert package option and Monday and Tuesday Mas option available for purchase. Here is a little snippet of the madness that went on at the events.
Overall my experience with Soca Islands was nothing short of amazing. The whole team made me feel extremely comfortable and safe which was a very important factor for my first time in a new country. Being able to work with a company that was so professional and organized was a breath of fresh air. Be sure to check out the other packages they are offering for Jamaica Carnival, St Lucia Carnival, Cropover in Barbados and Spice Mas in Grenada. You won’t regret it! I know that I will definitely be booking with them again for Trinidad 2019!
Let the countdown begin!