I would like to ditto your response.
We first inquired about group rates with the wedding office, bc that's what everyone does in the states, and it seemed like such a hassle and headache with the contract.
We also considered using a TA, but had bad experiences with destination wedding agents in the past (for weddings we were invited to), so we just decided to use our own resources and the good ol world wide web.
We booked our package via Expedia and directed our guests to do the same or to use similar travel websites. Guests have totally been fine with it and there has been no stress on our end.
We decided to budget for airport transfers that way the only purchase our guests would have to make is room/airfare. It would have been nice to have a TA for coordinating transfers and guest reservations, but in the end, we are extremely happy that we chose to not use a TA and deal w/the headaches.
Originally Posted by ReidCapote
My FI and I were thinking about doing a group block, but the prices we were quoted were only $20-30 cheaper than the online prices, so we decided that it wasn't worth the trouble. I'm glad we didn't go that route. We've had several people book at the last minute and others who we thought were definites decide not to go. If you can't fill the rooms then you're on the hook for the money. I think that's the problem that Natalie's been having. It's not worth the headache! I found that a lot of people like to make their own arrangements anyway. Also, if you book through expedia you can get a lower room rate than what's listed on the Royal website. Expedia gives a discount for booking flights and hotel together. When we priced it out those prices were actually cheaper than what the hotel was offering us as a group rate.
I think someone already answered this, but if some of your guests are staying at the Gran Porto they are still considered resort guests. They can arrive for the wedding 30 minutes before the ceremony. I'm also having a private welcome cocktail the day before our wedding and my WC told me that Gran Porto guests can arrive for that 20 minutes before.
I'm so sorry that everyone is having such horrible experiences with Sand N Sun! I wonder if that's why they're not a vendor on this website anymore. I have to say that I was quite surprised we've all been having these problems. I decided to use Sand N Sun because I had read good reviews for them on this site.