This has been the greatest website. I got so many wonderful ideas from you lovely ladies and I don't know what I would've done without you all. So here is my review and hopefully it will help out all the future brides out there like the past brides have helped me.
Air Jamaica - B
We left out of Ft Lauderdale and once we go on the plane the plane had the hot AC going. It made it a little uncomfortable. My poor fiance's palms were sweating. They came on the announcement and told us that the air would not get cooler until we were well in the air. Other than that, everthing else was good. They had a closet for my dress so I didn't have to put it in the overhead bin. We were able to check 2 bags a piece free of charge and we both had a carry on bag and I had a purse and he had a back pack. The return flight was great. We had cool air the entire time and didn't have to worry about sweaty palms.
Transportation To & From The Hotel - A
We were booked through Jamaica Tours, we got to the bus and our bus driver to the hotel was awesome. He gave us a lot of Jamaican information on the culture and how Jamaicans do things. It was very interesting. He stopped at a place so we could get Red Stripe and chicken. He also gave us opportunities to take pictures. On the way back it was 7am, so we just rode straight there.
The Riu Check In - A+
Once we arrived we loved the open lobby. It was gorgeous. The offered us Rum Punch as soon as we got there. It was great. The process of checking in and out took a matter of minutes. The guy to our bags immediately to our room. I had asked for the upgraded room, but much to my surprise, I didn't know it was a Jamaican holiday and they were booked the 2 times that I asked.
Our Room - A
We had a Jr Suite and it was really nice. It had an odor, but I think it was the wood in the room. It wasn't a musty smell. I did bring candles just in case but didn't end up using them. The room was great. We had a great view over the quiet pool facing the beach. We did had an issue with our key card. The first night our door didn't lock and when we realized it the next morning it took them until the afternoon to get it fixed. Once they fixed it, we would still have occasional issues with it and had to put it in a couple of times, but overall the key card was fine. We used our Jamaica key card holder and they came in handy.
Chandlyn and Nikki - A+
We went to the front desk the day after we arrived and asked to speak with Chandlyn and they set up a time for us to meet up. Since my now husband was dealing with our door that wouldn't lock, I went solo. I only had a couple questions for them and they had some for me. They were perfect. Everything is like all the brides say, "No Problem." I went with the free package and the Mammee Bay dinner. The Beach Party fell on the night we had the wedding so we planned on hitting that after dinner. I brought my own bouquet so Nikki substituted the free bouquet for pink and green rose petals. That was nice. The day before the wedding I brought them our centerpieces, cake topper, and other wedding stuff. I literally told them in under 5 minutes how I wanted everything set up, and I had a lot of stuff and it was "No Problem." I didn't worry about it, and all the future brides out there shouldn't either. They are great and will handle everything!!! I only spoke with them twice in email prior and I wasn't stressed at all. The had everything under control for me.
The Entertainment - A+++
We really enjoyed the entertainment. They have amazing talent. We couldn't wait to find out what the next night was going to be. We got to know a couple of them and they are great people and hard workers. You really will enjoy it!!!
The Spa - A
The spa was really nice. When I walked in I had to get used to the smell, it was strong, but I got over it. I was going to wear my hair half up and half down, but it is so hot there, that i decided it would be better to have my hair off my neck. The lady did a wonderful job for myself and my bridesmaid. My hair didn't move all night.
Excursions - B
We loved Dunn's River. That was really good, we had a group of 10 people. We didn't do the Catamaran we just took the bus over. If you have never been the craft fair is really scary, they try to put things in your hand to make you buy things. They are very aggressive. We didn't know if you stay to the right you can exit that way and bypass the craft market. We booked our excursion through Jamaica Tours and be careful with them. We waited for 45 minutes for them to pick us up after the guy told us 6 timees to be out at a certain time her was now where to be found. We were not happy. They were also supposed to take my guests back to the airport for a 7am flight and they were told to be in the lobby at 3am and I got a call at 4:40am that they still hadn't shown up. I found out later that they made their flight, but just barely. I do plan on talking to my travel agent about not using them in the future.
Our Wedding Day - A+++++
We woke up and had breakfast. They guys went off and played beach volleyball while the girls layed out and got some sun at the pool. Pretty soon it was time for our hair appointments, so we made our way to the spa after we got cleaned up. They did our hair, and then me and my girls went to my room to finish getting ready. At 3:30pm my photographer, Brian Nejedly showed up and took some ready shots and then Nikki came to get us at 4:00pm. We made our way to the garden gazebo where we had a beautiful ceremony. The officiant was great. I laughed and cried. We used our own vows and it turned out great. After it looked like it was going to rain over us, so we hit the beach to get those shots in and the sky was perfect. Then we headed back to the gazebo to finish the rest of our pics. After toms of pics we hung out and had drinks until dinner. The bartenders even made a drink that matched our wedding colors.
We had dinner at the Mammee Bay it worked out great. While we waited for our food, we asked the waiter to get the cake out so we could take pictures with the photographer. It worked out great. We did the cake, the toast, and our first dance while we waited for the food to come and we got the pictures that we wanted.
The food was good. I think that night was the first night I actually ate a meal that wasn't french fries. The cake was really good too and I am a big cake person. We had the cake that came with the package, vanilla and buttercream icing.
After dinne the Beach Party was starting up at the Sea Grape and I couldn't wait to get down there and dance. I went straight there and they lead singer brought my husbad up in front of everyone to sing to me. It was cute. We danced and drank and had a great time. Then the entertainment came out and danced with fire, and started a bonfire. We had all this great entertainment and dancing for free. It couldn't have worked out better. Once the Beach Party died down we just sat out on the lounge chars on the beach. It was the most perfect day ever!!!
Food - C (but I'm picky)
St Ann's was the best for breakfast. Get prepared, when you go there, everything is buffett. I'm really picky and the food is very different from american food. I was looking for a regular hot dog or hamburger and they looked weird. The french fries were the best, so for the most part that is what I ate. Everyone else didn't have a problem eatting except my pregnant matron of honor and her daughter.
We had to go to the giftshop a few times and buy $2.00 bags of M&Ms and Reese Cups.
We ate at Mammee Bay twice which was really good and Sir Richard's once. Sir Richard's was the best food in the resort. You have to make reservations early.
Photographer - A++++++
Brain Nejedly was our photographer. We paid $75 for a wedding pass and he had no problems coming on the property, plus everyone knows him. He took amazing photos. You can see them at Jamaica Wedding Photographer - Brian Nejedly
our password for the wedding pics is gergle
our password for the trash the dress is gerglettd
He is very flexible. He works and lives right across the street from the Riu so he came over the day before the wedding and showed us his albums and then we saw him the day of the wedding.
The trash the dress was the next day. He came to the Riu at 4pm to pick us up. He took us to this local spot where there were locals hanging out on the falls. It was awesome. Then he took us to a private beach. We had a blast. The trash the dress was our best excursion. We can't stop talking about it. One thing my husband didn't know was that we would have to make out in the sand. He thought the pictures I showed im were posed. It was too funny.
I hope this helps future brides out there. I'm sorry it's so long, but everyone has been so helpful to me that I just wanted to return the favor. If anyone has any questions, please feel free to ask.