I know I can be a bit long winded sometimes so this here is the condensed, condensed, condensed version..but it’s still kinda long (sorry)! If you want the full Tobago report which includes the Hertz and Tropikist drama I’ll send it to you lol. This is strictly my recap of the Candy Coated Wine Down cruise.
Let’s get started!
After the hustle and bustle of all things Trinidad I was honestly beyond ready to simply RELAX. Cooling down was what I was most excited about doing upon arriving in Tobago. Sure, I had the Wine Down Cruise to attend but what was a few more hours of feting compared to 1 WHOLE WEEK?!
Before I left the hotel I made sure I put my printed ticket in my bag because check in began at 1:00PM. Candy Coated stayed on top of their game and sent 2 helpful emails days prior regarding check in and boarding. I wanted to get to the check in point at 1:00PM sharp so I could avoid lines and get my lunch. We ended up getting to the shuttle area around 1:35PM. To my surprise there were still a large group of people waiting in line for shuttles. I thought that was odd. I checked in without a problem then sat down with my friends to wait on more shuttles. The time ticked away beyond 2:30PM…then by 3:00PM we couldn’t wait any longer and decided to grab a bite to eat from Miss Trims a few steps away. We devoured our snacks as more time went by; finally, one of my friends got up and inquired with the staff about the delay. She was told that the docking area was ram with people and that the officials were not allowing any more patrons to come via shuttle. That didn’t sound good; but all we could do was wait for instructions. Finally, we hop on a shuttle and head to the location. But not before witnessing a car slam into a basketball hoop right in front of us! Short version: the driver was watching woman on de right and crashed the left side of the car into the pole. His wife was too vex! Poor thing.
Battle of the Cups
Anyway, we get to location number two. We all walk to the counter as directed where the staff members were distributing the signature Candy Coated cups. There two very nice options layed out on the table behind the counter. One cup was purple with a little bling and the other was clear; both were stuffed with clear protective phone pouches. Like most of the ladies around the counter I kindly asked for a purple cup. We were all told “there are no more purple cups”…and about 7 of us in unison said “but they are right there”! One of the women even counted the amount of purple cups out loud to make a point. So the staff member then responded by saying “well, they don’t have any straws”. I said “that’s okay, I’ll take it without the straw” another woman said “so can’t you just take a straw from the clear cup”? The staff member then went back to her original line of “there are no more purple cups”. I laughed and although internally frustrated, I saw where that was headed; I took a clear cup and stepped away from the counter. I wasn’t about to argue over a cup. Rumor had it that the staff was saving the cups for others. That’s all fine and dandy but in my experience, when I’m holding something for others I either leave it out of sight. Or if I don’t want the drama that can come with giving people choices, I only provide them with 1 option. I’m just saying. At any rate, my clear cup was good with me.
The No No Boat
We then proceed to wait (again) on the boats to take us to “Nylon Pool”. While we were standing there, we couldn’t help but hear a plethora of different stories as to why things were not going as planned. One rumor was that a different fete had taken over Nylon Pool. Another rumor was that the officials denied Candy Coated access to the Nylon Pool. A third rumor was that Candy Coated didn’t have the right paperwork for the event. A fourth rumor was that the tide was too high for any boats to go to Nylon Pool. I was just standing there like…”I just want to wine in somebody water fete”!
Finally, we get on a boat….it wasn’t the safest looking boat but it would have to do. The boat smelled like pure gasoline; in fact, you could see the gas stains on the floor. Best part…the captain was smoking a cigarette right next to the tank. Wow…big NO NO! After 3 minutes of being on the no no boat I hear music and I see a bunch of people on this lil piece of island up yonder. I’m like “oh they lime look nice, must be a private family lime”. I’m thinking we are just passing by this lil island to get to Nylon Pool (yes I was still hopeful). Nope…that lil lime I saw WAS the Candy Coated event. Best part about this was that the captain parked the boat away from the shore. This meant we had to get wet earlier than planned. All the ladies and all the guys with sneakers on were looking around like “really”? We huffed and puffed, took off our items and got practically waist deep in the water to walk to the island.
Despite hearing all the rumors, my optimistic self thought we were just going to be on the island until the boats came for us. NOPE…it REALLY was THEE Candy Coated Wine Down fete. Now, I’m sour; I really wanted to experience this Nylon Pool that everyone spoke of. The list of rumors got even longer as I chatted with friends who arrived earlier and got updates from others who spoke with Candy Coated staff. I couldn’t’ help but wonder which of those 7+ rumors were true? At any rate, I wasn’t happy. This was not the Nylon Pool. This was not what I saw pictures of last year. This was not what I struggled to get tickets for.
I pouted for a while and stood by the speakers to try and get motivated to dance. I looked around and everyone that arrived earlier was already lit and having a great time. I was envious of their fun; it was clearly time to mix a drink. I needed my mind to be free of frustration and I wanted nothing more than to enjoy my last lap fete. I took out my clear cup and went to the bar to get some ice. I sashayed over to my spot on the beach and poured a strong mix of Absolut vodka with a splash of pineapple juice.
Machel in Concert!
I went in the water to lime with my friends and take some pics then somebody said Machel was on the beach. I smiled and said “awwww really, that’s nice of him”…they said “go take a picture with him nuh, he likes your type”. I laughed then followed instructions lol (by now I was on cup #3). I walked over to him and calmy said “come Machel leh we take a selfie”. He didn’t make a big deal about it even after I touched his back and told him to shift his position so the sun wouldn’t interfere with our shot. The pic turned out really nice! I figured “well…at least another soca star selfie came out of this. Moments later the DJ’s instructed everyone to get in the water. I went back to my water spot and to my surprise the man was actually about to perform. Oh ho! Eh heh! I see what y’all did there! Nice one Candy Coated! I wondered if this was a part of the original Nylon Pool plan; the world will never know. Machel performed two songs and everyone was going mad; by then I was on cup 4. The Vibes continued after he performed (cups 5 & 6) and I danced until the boats came. I never drank the last of cup #6.
Fairwell No Man’s Land
It was pitch black when the first boat came and someone had made an announcement that threw everyone for a loop. They made it seem like it was the ONLY boat leaving the island so a lot of people went into a panic and started bum rushing the boat. By that time “de liquor conquered meh” and even under the influence I knew they would never leave a bunch of people behind on a pitch-black island so I stayed right where I was. Eventually, (I have no idea how long we waited but) we made it on a boat and headed home.
Cheers to Candy!
I will tell you straight up that I have absolutely NO clue what the truth is. I’m sure there are a lot of things that were out of Candy Coated’s control but I will say this, they had some real sour lemons given to them but guess what? They definitely made some SWEET tasting lemonade! It took me a while to get into the groove (and a small bottle of vodka) but I had an absolute (truly no pun intended) blast in the end. Here’s what I loved:
The cups! Great quality and nice size. The lids were a must for this splashing event.
The clear phone protectors were perfect and of really good quality. They definitely came in handy for snapping shots during the surprise mini concert.
The DJ’s had my heart! Whoever they were, they did THEIR THANG! The tunes were on point the entire time.
Vibes were great…people were enjoying themselves from the time I arrived until the very end.
The communication prior to the event was excellent. There were clear instructions about what to do upon arrival.
Although there were some bumps along the road they definitely made it work. I’m pretty sure the Candy Coated crew wouldn’t intentionally make such a drastic change to their event without just cause. After all, this was their reputation on the line and no entrepreneur wants that to be diminished. Although their follow up email to patrons couldn’t make up for the disappointment I appreciated the effort to explain what they were going through behind the scenes. Shoot, I’m still waiting on people from certain NYC events to tell me what happened to the fetes I invested in from 8 months ago. Thank you for taking the time out Candy Coated… wishing you the best for future events. Don’t let ‘em get you down! I’ll be attending another Candy Coated event when I get the chance just so I can get the full experience that other loyal fans get.
P.s. One day I will make it to Nylon Pool lol.