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These are NOT my personal opinions but of carnival revelers that have sent their personal reviews via email.  Should you like to send a review, that email is
Okay I will try to make this short and sweet.

I've played mas in many domestic carnivals, but never experienced the greatest show on earth in the land of oil and music. I know people personally that have played with Island People Mas that have shared their pleasant experiences with me about the band with the most vibes on the road. Since I didn't have to sell my first born or donate a kidney to get in the band I thought I would give it a try. I hate the elitist bands that I have to beg to give my money to. I think that is utterly ridiculous. So upon my arrival back home from Miami carnival, I logged into IP's website, created an account, chose a costume and paid in full. I played with the Guardian of Fertility section of the band. So by mid October I'm done and patiently waiting for my vacation.

Fast forward to February, I receive an email from IP with the distribution schedule on Wednesday, February 3rd. My distribution day was Saturday before carnival beginning at 11am. I thought ok cool, I can swing by the mas camp grab my costume and then head to Soca problem. Well I get the warning Friday when I was in Phuket. A young lady playing with IP told us that she spent over 2 hours in the camp and her costume was not ready and they told her to come back the following day. At that point I felt I was going to have trouble. So we woke up early to get to the place as soon as it opened at 1 Woodbrook Place. They had a tent up and chairs for their clients and there was a man standing outside taking your name and section and inquiring if you have a balance or not. That list was eventually passed to someone else and that was SUPPOSED to be the order that you were served. After sitting for an hour we inquired about the order because it seemed as people that had a balance were entering to pay but not leaving out and joining us who were paid in full to get called. Until this point I probably heard one name called. There were 2 security officers standing at the door who were not friendly at all and seemed to try to intimidate the restless masqueraders. After 2 hours I was vexed and demanded answers. We notice again more people with balances going in but not coming out. I didn't hear any other name called, so in true Trini fashion many of us who had been there for hours in that heat lined up at the door to push our way in. 

The man taking the names had no idea what was going on and the ladies in the IP shirts representing the brand also had no idea what was going on. Ever so often, gentlemen representing IP mas came in droves with pieces of costume in their hands. At that point it appeared to me that the costumes weren't only not boxed, but they were not at the location. Anyway, the security officers pushed many of us from in the front of the door, fussed and cussed at us. I've never paid so much money to be treated worse than a dog. After about 3 and half hours I finally made my way in the doors where we had to wait yet again. Mind you at this point all of those people that were supposed to be paying off the balance and coming back out to wait their turn, were now at the front requesting their costume. What was the benefit of me giving IP $800+ in October again? By hour 4 we finally found an IP rep, gave her our paper with our costume information and the lady vanished. 1 whole hour went by and we never saw that lady again. So another young lady walks by and we grab her to help us. Mariah was her name. She was the ONLY IP representative with manners. She was attentive and empathetic for our situation. She found the lady that was helping us before and let us know that she put our papers down and started working on something else. The entire time I was in the camp I could smell the hot gun glue burning up. There were drapes hung so we couldn't see what was going on back there...but we already knew. I forgot to mention that there were so many disgruntled customers demanding their money back, cussing the security guards, and arguing with the IP reps. I just knew a fight would break out at any moment. The theme seemed to be items missing from boxes, messy glue all over the gems because they were sticking them in the back as they went along, and special orders not available. 

Finally, one hour later Mariah came out with my costume. It was missing the necklace but at that point to hell with a necklace. Now to begin on putting my sister's order together. She paid extra for a tankini only to be told that her item wasn't there so they gave her a regular bra and told her to come back the next day for a refund. REALLY IP?? Good think she walked with a back up bathing suit. She ended up decorating her own tankini in our hotel. Her review is coming soon...

Mind you, the Soca Brainwash tickets that I sat in front of a computer for 4 hours hitting refresh every minute for had to be sold because we had no idea what time we were leaving the camp. In the end, we got mediocre costumes and left the camp shortly after 5pm. I was there from 11-5 that is pure madness!!! Needless to say, I will not be returning to IP in the future. I don't care how much vibes they claim to have, no one should be treated that way when they are paying their hard earn money. Every excuse I heard was it was a short carnival season. Don't you have a calendar in advance and know when carnival is for the next year?? Plan accordingly. As much as I hate the elitist bands, I may have to turn to one for my next Trinidad carnival experience. Please note that this experience was not just my own. We spoke to many masqueraders that had the exact same experience as us.



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