Tuesday, December 11, 2007

WE CARNIVAL - Party Promises

by Antoinette Ifill

photo by Richard Daniel

As I read about all that I can expect if I attend one particular all-inclusive event over the others from the ridiculously long line up of fetes for the Carnival 2008 season, I wonder to myself if these party planners have any idea of the grandiose statements they make when they advertise their party with absolutely insane promises!

When the promise is that there will be “gourmet” chefs, does that mean Wolfgang Puck himself will be providing foie gras, escargot and smoked salmon for my dining pleasure? Will the cocktails be expertly blended and accessorized and not include the generic drinks such as a screwdriver? When I read about “cocktails” being offered at an event in Trinidad, I am yet to have a mojito or cosmopolitan. The most I have ever gotten at a Carnival fete in the way of a cocktail was a daiquiri and a margarita.

What does an “ultra-inclusive fete” mean by the way, am I to guess that placing ‘ultra’ before ‘inclusive’ means this particular party will be a step above the rest? Maybe that’s why they dare you to “indulge”! Indulge in what really? Will it be ultra-inclusive food, drinks, and music? Now I have visions in my head of some decadent food and drink orgy. I’m expecting to arrive and see the entire venue shrouded with marquee tents, all littered with huge beds so I can lie and indulge while some gorgeous stud feeds me grapes and wine all night!

You know what, I don’t need insane promises to get me to a fete; the one thing that is guaranteed to get me shelling out the big bucks for an all-inclusive party is the performer carded to appear. All I need to see is Machel Montano and Xtatic and I am already sold. Add to that a nice little menu of what to expect in the dining options, a drinks list and a little notice saying, “Secured Parking Provided” and I am there! What would be really nice is having enough room to move as well, as I don’t like small or cramped venues. Other than that, every single all-inclusive fete I have been to has been the same, with varying degrees of variety in food, drink and performers which sets the better ones apart from the rest.

A few fetes have stood out to me as offering a little “extra” such as Amnesia, which offered massages and free photos, V.I.P. Friday with a dedicated cocktail bar and Salybia with makeup artists touching up your makeup if you so desired. However, these fetes cost more than the average all-inclusive with just the basics, so you are paying for those niceties anyway, it’s not like they are “complimentary”. As a patron I really don’t pay much attention to the themes or even names of some of these parties, so I am clueless as to why the over exaggerated marketing trying to sell me a promise that in my estimation they would never be able to deliver.

So here is hoping that the emphasis is placed on what is most important when it comes to an all-inclusive party: a good venue with adequate parking, food that tastes good as well as caters to a mélange of palates, premium liquors used for all drinks (please no cheap Scotch!) and a few live performers that can set the party on fire (Xtatic anyone?). After all is said and done these are the things people remember about a party anyway; do you really think anyone is going to review a party and say “I had a SUPER massage! It made the night for me?” NO! All these fancy adjectives and empty promises are not needed really, the best advertisement for any fete is word of mouth; bet your bottom dollar if people have a great time the world will know about it!

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