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The Beginning, Narrowing Down Travel Agents And Resorts

Lilgabri03

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Hi Everyone!

 

So I decided to create a blog chronicling my journey to my destination wedding because I figured why not? So, in no specific order, this blog may be a rambling of my thoughts going in a circle and my inability to make a decision!

I got engaged at the end of July 2014 and we are planning an April 2015 wedding in Riviera Maya. At this point, I have spent months looking at resorts and can pretty much tell you anything about any resort in Riviera Maya however I haven't visited them so my thoughts are comprised solely of the research I do online.

My major issues actually concern price more than they concern the resort. I don't want my guests to spend more than $1600 a person with flight and airfare for 7 nights, and that's where the problem arises. Some travel agents want to do room blocks and some don't. The issue I have with a room block is that no matter how many quotes I am getting, its hotel only. All my research tells me that flight and hotel will be cheaper together when push comes to shove. Obviously, 2015 air prices aren't out, however I am using the same corresponding week in 2014 and adding about $100 a person for inflation. And again there we go, all the research shows me it will be cheaper. Ugh, so to do a room block or to not? I could care less about all the "extra" amenities that come with a room block. I don't care that the bride and groom get free rooms or the "free" wedding that I might get, I would rather my guests be able to afford to go and not complain the whole way there.

Then, I could go the other way, use a Travel Agent but don't do a room block and just have guests book through him/her. The price is the price at the time and that's that. I wonder how many hotel's actually sell out??

So there's my dilemma for the time being. I can't help all the research I do, I wish I was one of those people that just pointed to a resort and said yep that's the one and I don't care how much it costs, but yea I'm not like that at all and need a ton of reassurance and must do research. And when I say research, I mean like crazy research with spreadsheets and ratings and pro's and con's of each resort.

 

Meanwhile, as much as I love the Dreams riviera Cancun, I am coming to terms that its not going to fit neatly into my $1600 a person price range, so now I am thinking Barcelo Maya Palace deluxe. Some people are suggesting the Now Jade, but I am not liking the fact that the beach is rocky and the reviews are meh. Reviews play a huge part in my decision and I know, I know some are fake on trip adviser. However, that's why its important to read more than 5 reviews. If there are 30 reviews saying the beach is rocky, well chances are that beach is rocky.

 

On top of this, we are in the process of buying our first home, so as if I am not stressed enough.

 

That's enough of my ramblings for today, feel free to leave comments and positive thoughts!

 

Lillia B)



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Well, with Dreams Riviera Cancun it might not just be that the bride and groom get a free room.  You can earn up to 3 free rooms depending on how many rooms you book through the block.  This is given to you as a refund so some brides and grooms have divided up the $$ and given it back to the guests.

 

Another thing to consider is that a group block is not just for the freebie or amenities.  It is so your rooms are blocked so that they are available to your guests.  I am sure you have read about brides freaking out 6 months before their wedding because the resort sold out (6 months BEFORE!) and there were no rooms left for their guests.

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Hi Tammy! Thanks for the comment, so I get what you are saying, but I dont care about the free rooms. I would rather my guests save money on their flight and hotel. I dont want to have to give it back to them, they wouldn't book in the firs tplace if it costs too much.

 

I have read about brides with resorts sold out, however it seems that that is few and far between, usually only during peak season and at small resorts.....

 

I know they can track a resort to see how its full its getting and all I would have to do is email my guests to let them know how many rooms are left and oh well they dont make it, it's their fault. Im only having about 50 people there and need about 25-30 rooms not 100 rooms. :-)

 

It's just that I have yet to find a room block that is cheaper than air and hotel combined on orbitz or expedia. If I can find one that guarantees no one will find an online price cheaper, I would be all for it, but I have yet to find one.

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Hi Lilgabri03 - I'm the same way re research, constantly thinking about my guests, creating spreadsheets that map out the pros, cons, and price differences etc...so much so i think DF was going to consider taking back the ring (j/lk)! LOL  So that I would stop obsessing and bugging him, he suggested we  price our top pick hotel/air against the top all-inclusive/air.  The hotel/air price/person was only cheaper by <$100 so the all-inclusives we liked won once factoring back in the cost for meals etc... for the guests during their stay. 

 

A friend got married in PR in November and had the sell-out situation happen.  She didn't realize a large conference was rolling in the weekend of her wedding so guests who didn't book early had to scramble to find rooms. if you are worried about this, I would check to see if anything conferences are happening around that time and pick a different date. 

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Hi Lilgabri03 - I'm the same way re research, constantly thinking about my guests, creating spreadsheets that map out the pros, cons, and price differences etc...so much so i think DF was going to consider taking back the ring (j/lk)! LOL  So that I would stop obsessing and bugging him, he suggested we price our top pick hotel/air against the top all-inclusive/air.  The hotel/air price/person was only cheaper by <$100 so the all-inclusives won, especially once factoring back in the cost for meals, drinks etc... for the guests during their stay if we stuck with a hotel option. 

 

A friend got married in PR in November and had the sell-out situation happen.  She didn't realize a large conference was rolling in the weekend of her wedding so guests who didn't book early had to scramble to find rooms. if you are worried about this, I would check to see if any conferences are happening around that time and pick a different date. 

 

hope this helps!

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Hi Girlin the city, thanks for the message! November, I think is busy season we are planning on April right after Easter. So what did you end up doing? did you do the room block or just had guests book as they went?

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we are heading down next week to see the resorts, taste the food etc.. and will move forward with our contract then. our TA suggested doing the room block but making sure there are no penalty fees etc. if we fall under the number we guestimate booking. It just seems to make the most practical sense since I'd like for everyone to stay where we are getting married. This will make it easier to chat and visit with people outside of the actual wedding day.  

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We were in the same boat and loved some of the hotels, but we were putting our guests first.  DR was amazing, but we ended up deciding on Beach Palace because we liked that it was located in the Hotel Zone so our guests have options.  Flight and hotel for 4 nights is about $1500 per person.  Plus they earn $750 resort credit to use as they would like once they arrive.  

 

We are in the midst of getting our contracts signed and all now. 

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