Jamaica Carnival 2018

Jamaica Carnival year 6 and my my my how things have changed, a serious influx of partyz. Long gone are the days were there was only one fete and you would run into everyone who was in town for carnival (actually it was kinda nice that there were so many partyz that I did not run into ppl that I DIDNT want to see).  Instead of Wed – Mon, I switched up my days and flew in Thur – Tues.  Used the same travel saving methods discussed in my Trinidad on a Budget blog.  Booked the Marriott Courtyard by purchasing points instead of paying cash.  At the time the Courtyard was a Tier 1 hotel (10K points per night), so I literally saved HALF the cost by buying & booking with points, it has recently updated to a Tier 2 hotel (15K points per night). Flew down on my AA points and flew back on Delta using the skiplagged / hidden-city method.  Delta’s hub is in ATL so almost always, regardless of where you are going on the east coast, you have to layover in ATL. So I booked a flight from Kingston to Orlando that had a layover in Atlanta and that flight was $200 cheaper than me just booking KIN-ATL.  Makes no sense right???  At this point the trip is practically free! 

Arrived Thursday morning and linked up with my Carnival Ace Charmaine (we actually met on the road Trinidad Carnival Monday 2011 and been hitting international carnivals together ever since) . For the most part we switched up the fete schedule, but we had so much fun at AFLOAT boat party last year that we decided to go again.  AFLOAT is hosted aboard the Treasure Queen, a 3 floor, 500 person capacity ship… it grew so much in size that they had to add a 2nd boat.  Even with half the patrons being on a 2nd boat, we still ran into a lot of familiar faces and had the time of our lives.  Can’t go wrong at a drinks inclusive fete.  “Keep di Wray & Ting coming bar-man” (said in my In Living Color, Hey Mon accent) Ran into “the fellas” that we met our first year at JA carnival and have been fete’n with worldwide ever since.  Perfect way to start of the 6 day fete a thon.  
Boat 1
Boat 2

The Fellas!!!
We had bought tix to a midnight – 6am Silent Party, but the bed held us hostage and we just slept right thru it.  We both actually woke up, but said, “F*ck dat sh*t” and went right back to sleep.  When we did finally wake up we headed to Hookie breakfast party, we caught the early portion of the fete because we had another fete in the afternoon. If you know anything about Caribbean fetes, people always arrive towards the end.  But we merrily drank champagne and ate a yummy Caribbean breakfast while overlooking the beautiful Constant Spring Golf Course. 
Went back to the hotel, changed clothes and then headed to DJ Private Ryan’s Soca Brainwash.   Brainwash never disappoints, Private Ryan knows how to throw a good fete! Just like in Trinidad, Brainwash is the fete that I saw the most familiar faces.  Plenty plenty bars, the drinks never ran out and there several food options cause you know drunk people turn in to Hungry Hostages.

Saturday morning we usually head to AMBush around 2am, but this year we skipped it, had a liquid breakfast at the hotel then went to pick our costumes from the Xaymaca mas camp. Oh I forgot to mention that we switched from Bacchanal JA to Xaymaca this year.   Costume pick up is usually a painful 4 hour process, but we were in/out in about 30min.  Had so much time to kill, we went back and had a patio lyme at the hotel *whoop whoop* 

Saturday afternoon we headed to Sunkissed beach fete.  Sunkissed was a splendiferous catamaran cruise to a magical island called Maiden Cay that I haven’t been on since JA carnival 2014.
Maiden Cay is a small uninhabited island located off the coast of Port Royal, Kingston, Jamaica. It is little more than an elevated sandbar with sparse vegetation. It's a popular destination and rest spot for sunbathers, snorkelers and boaters / yachters, and it is also frequently used for day time beach parties. (www.maidencay.com)
Maiden Cay reminds me so much of one of my favorite childhood stories, “The Little Prince” about a boy who lived alone on a tiny asteroid.  Being on the tiny island was everything I ever needed in my life!  The girls and I went straight to work on a photoshoot cause as you know, girls love a photoshoot!!!  We then drank & lyme’d with friends for who knows how many hours.  Ended the day feeling very satisfied! In past years we would go to the Frechmen Bazodee fete on Saturday night, but this year we went to bed and rested up for the road. 

Road March Sunday, we normally touch di road around noon still feeling slightly sluggish from the night before, but this year we hit the road around 10am feeling fully charged up!  Jamaica carnival doesn’t have a 2 hour lunch like Trinidad, that can be a good and a bad thing.  It’s great when you arrived around noon and just wanna eat & keep it moving, but when you been drinking all morning & early afternoon in the sun, you could use a liKKle time to recharge.  Anyway, we ate and caught a quick powernap and kept on fete’n until 8pm. I really don’t remember much from the road, but my photos tell me that I has a BLAST… THANK GOODNESS for photos. I was quite shocked to still have energy when the road march ended.   At the time I kinda missed the years of Bacchanal JA’s after party, but then I ate and got the ITIS and Carnival Sunday was wrap!!!
You know you are in the Carib when you mas band has White Henn, but ppl aren't even drinking it cause
Rum & Whiskey are the drinks of choice.

Xaymaca International

Monday was the Xaymaca beach cool down lyme.  This was a cooler fete that was free to Xaymaca masqueraders (this is the reason I stayed till Tuesday).  You know things go downhill quick when you are your own bartender, I think everyone got extra extra extra LITTY cause they knew the marvelous trip was coming to an end.  I probably shoulda packed some snacks cause drunk me ended up begging Cheetos from the guy next to us!  *thanks stranger* No complaints here, free fetes are A-ok with me! 

Tuesday was farewell drinks and sadly making our way home!!!  As always JA carnival was amazing, two thumbs up.  During Trinidad carnival we didn't do any boat rides or have time to hit the beach so this trip had me on Cloud 9. JA carnival is as much fun as Trinidad carnival, but half the price. After 6 marvelous years, we are contemplating trying a different carnival instead next year.  Stay Tuned!  I leave you with a few stolen moments of me in my “Happy Place”