Moving Back to Jamaica

A blog about my Move Back to Jamaica after 20+ years of living in the US. Most of the articles focus on the period from 2005-2009 when the transition was new, and at it's most challenging.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Trini Carnival Prices

After a month away in South Africa, my wife and I decided not to attend Trini Carnival this year. After 20+ hour flights, 3 different airlines, and 2 weeks of lost luggage we decided that we were just not up to living out of a suitcase for another set of long days.

Part of what helped change our mind is the inflation in Carnival prices.

When I started attending Carnival back in 1996, the prices were as follows, approximately, in $US:

Male costumes: $125
Female costumes: $180
Fetes: $30-60

Nowaways, the cost of Carnival has skyrocketed, so much so that a place in Tribe's all-inclusive band is costing $500 and fete tickets are approaching $300 (for Brian Lara's fete, which I remember gasping at when it hit $100.)

It is getting harder and harder to justify how the increase in prices could be accompanied by that much new value -- is lobster being served at fetes, and massages being given away to masqueraders?

Or have the security costs gone up by that much?

I'm honestly stumped here...

and the price of playing mas for 2 days in Tribe is now seriously competing with :
-- a round trip ticket to New York or London from Jamaica
-- 3-4 days at Sandals
-- a low priced laptop
-- a custom made sofa
-- 4 tickets to Frenchman's New Years' Day fete
-- 12 days at DisneyWorld

At $250 per day, it's hard to jump, eat, drink and lime enough to derive that much value, in my opinion. If I lived in Trinidad (which would make it cheaper, yet) I think that I would find a band that offered the minimum of all the high-priced items, but could possibly offer just as much fun.

Last year, I played with Tribe and it was nowhere as much fun as playing with Poison.

I guess it depends on what you want from the experience, but all of a sudden, visiting another island's carnival is looking like a real possibility.

Surely, there must be room in Trinidad for a band that is willing to cut their prices to gain some market share?


At 1/27/2007 5:18 PM, Blogger Yamfoot said...

brian lara's fete CANNOT be that expensive surely!

Last year it was TT$600. You mean it is TT$1,800 now? you must be mistaken.
Check again.

At 1/30/2007 9:34 AM, Blogger Rhythmwize said...

Heres my estimated cost breakdown in US dollars for a two week trip to Trinidad for the 2007 Carnival for wifey and I:

Airfare from LA: $900x2.... $1800
Marriott Hotel: $285x14... $4000
Mas Costumes: $250x2...$500
Major Fetes(4): $75x2x4.... $600
Taxi......... $300
Daily Expenses $100x14.... $1400
Shopping, misc ..... $400

Grand Total would be about $9000

We've done this carnival trip three times in 1999, 2000 and 2001 and it cost about $7000 at that time. "No Mas" for us anymore in Trinidad, we consider ourselves lucky to have had the experiences, we did our thing and paid dearly, but we have no regrets.

At 1/31/2007 1:50 PM, Blogger fwade said...


You are right -- I heard TT$1200 to TT$1500, which is US200-$250. I'll correct it on the blog.

R-wize -- dem costumes cheap man .. they are averaging US$400 nowadays...

At 1/31/2007 5:06 PM, Blogger Rhythmwize said...

Well, if was to go this year, I would not be paying US$400 per me and wifey.

I would be doing something like Hart's Xanadu Section:

With small head piece: TT$2,045

At 1/03/2011 7:23 PM, Anonymous Weight loss said...

St. Francois All Inclusive... nuff said


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