Kenya Downs / For WLRN

The island nation of Trinidad and Tobago boasts one of the world's largest carnivals. Dating back to 1783, the pre-Lenten celebration blends French, African and Indian cultures, all leading up to two days of masquerading, also called “playing mas.”

And unlike its South American counterpart in Brazil, anyone can take to the streets in a glitzy, colorful costume, dancing through Port of Spain to the sounds of sweet soca music.

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Lisann Ramos / WLRN

Henry Potter was a 10-year-old in the Virgin Islands when he was first captivated by a noise from a churchyard.

He remembers:

“I’m like, ‘What is that ting-ting-ting?’ so I looked in and I saw kids playing and I watched them. The next day I went back. And probably about the third day, the guy who was in charge of the band, he asked me, ‘Do you wanna play?’ I’m like scared but I said yes. He said, “Well no problem, you can come, you can come and learn to play.’”

Miami Herald

The world’s largest cruise line is the latest entrant to the Cuban travel market. Carnival Corporation announced Tuesday that it had received permission from the U.S. Department of the Treasury and Department of Commerce to launch cruises to Cuba beginning in May 2016.


The walk up of parties for the Miami Broward Carnival weekend has officially begun.

Still, the big parade at Sun Life Stadium with all the bands isn’t until Sunday and that means plenty of people are still hustling on the last minute preps, such as finishing the bright shiny costumes. 

Inside one garage in Miramar the sewing crew hums to soca beats as they glue yet another rhinestone onto another skirt of a Carnival costume. Music plays from the computer.

C.W. Griffin / Miami Herald Staff

Smiling children wave. A happy couple dances by the pool. Family members play miniature golf with a view of the ocean, and a man asks a woman to be his wife. There are sunsets, kisses and giant ships serving as backgrounds for vacation snapshots.

“We never forget the moments that matter,” a woman’s voice says. “We hang them on our walls. We share them with everyone we know and hold on to them forever.”

Miami-based Carnival Corp., the world's largest cruise operator, reported a third quarter profit nearly a third lower than a year ago following a series of embarrassing and deadly mishaps involving its ships.

Carnival turned a $934 million profit for the period June through August, down 30 percent from the same quarter in 2012.

Thursday was a big day for one of the largest publicly traded companies in South Florida.

Miami-based Carnival Corporation sent back to sea one of its more storied vessels: The Carnival Triumph.

In February an engine fire knocked out the Triumph’s power. No one was injured, but passengers complained of food shortages and a lack of working toilets.