Our Best Carnival in Trinidad
...playing mas with Elements Carnival Band
Carnival in Trinidad was incredible. In the past we played mas with Poison, Harts and Tribe but on this occasion the decision was made to play with Elements. As one reveler said, "Elements has the right mix of people and the perfect vibe", it was like jumping up with family, a fulfillment of Elements motto, "All As One".
What made playing with Elements one of our best Carnival experiences?
We'll tell you why...
Friday Night Lime
The first thing we did upon arriving in Trinidad was head over to Elements' Friday lime. An event, we discovered, that had been a regular Friday night highlight since the Carnival band was launched in August.
With models in Carnival costumes, music, drinks, a club atmosphere, and people flowing out on to the street in front of the mas camp, this was an perfect way to start our vacation. It was time renew acquaintances, meet people in the band, and rediscover the true spirit of Carnival in Trinidad.
On Carnival Monday we were late getting to the band. But guess what? Elements had an air-conditioned shuttle on stand by waiting for stragglers like us.
Finding your band when you arrive late on either Carnival day can be a real hassle. Thankfully the Elements shuttle made it easy, and we were whisked away to meet the band in record time, arriving fresh and ready to party.
Monday mas was so good that I think we all got pleasantly pickled - read drunker than expected - as we succumbed to Carnival fever, and the exuberance of Elements inaugural romp through Port-of-Spain.
I loved my Elements costume.
The headpiece for our section, Cabaret, was delightfully comfortable, a fact that helped make this one of my favorite Trinidad Carnival Costumes, and made me feel so at ease on Carnival Tuesday.
Our section had the option to sign up for drinks cart, which we did because of the personal bond you seem to build with other cart members.
But we had the best of both worlds, I think, because we also enjoyed the all-inclusive pampering Elements had planned for all its masqueraders.
One of the highlights was the on-the-go-grill; a brand new and exclusive feature Elements introduced for Carnival 2009.
All-inclusive bands sometimes have issues delivering food to their masqueraders during Carnival in Trinidad because the streets get so crowded, but not so with Elements...
You could always get something to eat; it was like being on a cruse ship.
At different times during the day you were served Alloo Pie, Palorie, sandwiches made with hops, hot dogs, hamburgers and the like. There was no need go hungry if you played mas with us. Elements had thought of everything...
Rest & Relaxation
And, I mean everything...
Our luncheon rest-stop experience on Carnival Tuesday, at Elements private courtyard, was another highlight.
Our pampering began with padded cushions for the derrière accompanied by a refreshingly cold beverage, and a timely delivered hot meal that everyone said was delicious. But there was so much more to in store...
The Pampering Center
We had running water, washrooms, full-length mirrors to freshen up, and even complementary toothpaste and toothbrushes.
But what made our rest stop so fabulous were the makeup artists and masseurs available at the Pampering Center for any masquerader who wished a little extra luxury.
What a coup-de-grace this was for Elements. Massages to rejuvenate the body and make-up to refresh the spirit. After so much pampering we began playing mas again after lunch with renewed zest and vigor. New life that made playing mas for the full 12 hours on Carnival Tuesday easy for us soft foreigners.
Hand-Made in Trinidad
There was one final thing that made me feel extra special about our choice to play mas with Elements. Their Carnival costumes were all made in Trinidad and Tobago.
You might think this would be the case with most Carnival bands, but it's not. Most Carnival costumes are mass-produced in China and then assembled in Trinidad. Elements costumes were made and assembled locally, which makes Elements one of the only Carnival bands that truly support the local economy at Carnival in Trinidad.
Fun Times Had By All
I now know that playing mas in a small to medium Carnival band offers the best of both worlds during Carnival in Trinidad, great costumes and the full range of all-inclusive features, along with more space to play mas and have the time of your life.
The Elements Crew were expert at keeping the band moving. Let's face it you only get 2 days of Carnival each year, so there is no time to sit around and allow tiredness to creep up on you. Keep moving and drink lots of water, that's the way to have an incredible Carnival. An elemental carnival...
And yes, we recommend Elements to anyone who'd like to enjoy a great Carnival in Trinidad. This definitely was our best Carnival in Trinidad to date...
Now the real question is...
Best Carnival in Trinidad?
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