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About sportsdog2

  1. Well said Marie!!!! I had no problem telling people from the beginning that we were not having a "free" wedding. It may not cost as much as getting married at home, but it is far from free....and I have the receipts to prove it! The brown chairs are fine; however, for pictures they do not look as nice as the white folding chairs or the brown chairs with the covers and sashes. I opted for the white folding chairs at $5 each.
  2. We had our semi-private dinner at the ROR's Mammee Bay Steakhouse. I made the reservations in advance with the wedding coordinator. There was not an extra charge for the dinner, we did the free package. We worked with the assistant wedding coordinator to arrange the tables how we wanted (t-shaped) and to place our favors on the table and to decorate the area. Another wedding dinner was at the same time (I believe they are always 6:30 pm), but it was still private enough for our guests to enjoy themselves. If you search this forum you will find the pictures that you would like to see. Good luck.
  3. I was there last month and the beach party (show with fire dancers and the bar) was on Saturday.
  4. Quote: Originally Posted by Jenna in Jamaica and that is disappointing about Michael. I really want nice pics. you should post yours!! We do not have the final pictures yet, just the low-res pictures with their copyright wording. Our pictures are beautiful, but not very creative. We had to contact Michael about a problem with our order after returning home. The tone of his email was not customer friendly. The bright spot was his staff...they are great.
  5. Quote: Originally Posted by Jenna in Jamaica Thanks for the info! Where you able to pay for the cake/flowers with credit card or cash? I'm nervous about carrying that much cash...since that is how we have to pay for the photog. You're welcome. We had to pay a deposit for the cake and flowers before leaving for Jamaica. We paid both with a credit card and could have paid the balance with cash or credit. We met with Norma the day we arrived to pay the balance for the flowers and cake.
  6. My husband was set on having the traditional cake; therefore, we purchased a traditional (black) rum Jamaican cake from an outside vendor. It was 2-tiers and decorated with flowers in our colors for $250. It was delicious! Norma with Lee's Tours & Taxis coordinated our cake purchase for us.
  7. Quote: Originally Posted by amqueens Great review! Which vendors did you use for your flowers and cake? Thanks for all of the details!! Congrats! I worked with Norma from Lee's Tours & Taxis to find vendors for the flowers and cake. I do not know the name of the bakery she used for the cake, but it was delicious and less expensive than the bakery suggested by the ROR. I used Shangri-La for the flowers. Also less expensive than Tai Floral, but a little more than Jan's Flowers. I've read good reviews about Jan's and contacted her before going with Shangri-La. She is very professional and responsive and seems to have the best prices. If you check the Jamaica section you will find contact information for both flower shops there. If you decide to use outside vendors, ask your wedding coordinator what time your vendors should deliver on the day of your wedding. Also, pass along the coordinator's cell phone number to your vendors.
  8. Quote: Originally Posted by TA Maureen Congratulations! Thanks for the great detailed review. I'm sure it willl help future brides. I wish Riu would go back to their old restaurant reservation system (by phone). The biggest complaint is always the reservation system. I used to work for Liberty. It is their policy to send documents out all at once after final payment is received by everyone. Even now that I don't work for them I typically send all documents out together for a group. It seems to be standard procedure so if any of you future brides don't want this you may want to talk to your TA ahead of time. I email receipts of payments but I know at Liberty they don't usually send any receipts if they take your payment over the phone. I guess your card statement would be your receipt. If using Liberty you can request a receipt be sent. They can just email a confirmed itinerary showing the amount paid to date. I also second Norma and Lee's Tours as your best option for excursions and transporation in Jamaica. Congrats again! Thank you and thanks for clarifying how the paperwork is handled for groups. I wish my TA had informed us of this in the beginning and/or provided an explanation to my guests when they called her. Oh well, lesson learned for my next group trip to Hawaii. I love this forum and all the members who are so willing to share their experiences and knowledge.
  9. Quote: Originally Posted by isaidyes Thank you sooo much for posting this review! We are leaving in 17 days and I'm starting to get nervous and excited all at the same time. Don't worry....you'll have a great time. The most stressful part for me was getting there and getting settled the first day. All of our guests were tired from the trip, but were ready to go the next morning. Just work out as many of the details that you can before you go. We didn't decide on the wording for the ceremony until we were there. We dropped off the wording but Nikki did not receive it until the day before our ceremony. No problem...the officiant received it the day of and read it word for word just like we wanted. The time goes by quickly, so just enjoy. Congratulations.
  10. Snicks - Here is the contact information for Shangri La Flowers: (876) 974-3498. I do not have a web address for Shangri-La. Good luck.
  11. Sorry....I was interrupted and did not get to post as planned. I just posted it in the wedding review section.
  12. We stayed at the ROR from 30 November until 7 December. Our 24 guests stayed from 1 December until 5 December. The stay was incredible and we have zero regrets about our choice of resorts or our decision to have a DW. Our guests loved the resort and could not stop thanking us for having our wedding in Jamaica. Three of our guests had cruised to Ocho Rios in the past and stated they would never return. They left with a different opinion of Jamaica after attending our wedding! Travel Arrangements – Liberty Travel This was the most frustrating part of our DW. Our TA was really nice and personable, but really bad with handling the administrative tasks of our travel arrangements. She did not send any information to our guests or contact them unless they contacted her. We did not receive receipts unless the payments were made in person. I had to ask her to send our guests their travel contracts with balance due! No mention of trip insurance unless you inquired about it. Also, many of our guests called and wanted to know when they could expect their trip documents. She held the documents until she received final payment from everyone….some of our guests were not happy about this. Some of our guests asked us not to use our TA for future trips – OUCH!!! The only bright spot (which is a biggie) was a room upgrade for all. All of our guests were upgraded to junior suites and we were upgraded to a Jacuzzi suite for the entire stay at no additional cost! I guess that makes up for the administrative headaches. Lesson Learned: Make sure your TA has the resources to handle your group, is knowledgeable about your destination, and continue to check prices until your trip is paid in full. Air Jamaica No problem, mon; great customer service at the airports and on the flights. Smooth and easy flights to and from Jamaica. The flight attendant offered to hang my wedding dress before I had a chance to ask. Despite the recent luggage change, we could check two bags each flying first class. We did, however, have family members take our bag with our OOT items and favors. Jamaica Tours We waited at the airport for an hour or so before leaving for the resort. Our driver was friendly and we enjoyed talking with him. It took about 1 hour and 45 minutes to get to the resort. We both fell asleep during the ride. Our return trip seemed shorter and the driver handled the traffic well in order to get us to the airport with plenty of time to spare. ROR Location: The ROR is located just outside Ocho Rios on Mammee Bay. It’s the perfect spot to get away from the hustle and bustle of Montego Bay and downtown Ocho Rios, but close to major attractions like Dunn’s River Falls and Mystic Mountain. The resort is huge, but beautiful and well maintained. The grounds, pool, and beach are great. We had no problems with waiting in lines or getting chairs at the beach or pool. We did have to wait for towels once or twice, but no big deal. Service: The front desk staff and the men who handled the luggage were friendly and helpful. Overall, we found the male staff to be friendlier and less likely to have a forced smile. Most of the bar staff was friendly as was several of the restaurant staff. The entertainment and spa staff were the best! Food and Drinks: We only ate at three of the restaurants: Plantation, St. Ann’s, and the Italian place. My guests enjoyed the food and the bars. Our guests enjoyed the Plantation and St. Ann’s the best. We all liked the variety and the selection of Jamaican dishes. Skip the Italian place for lunch and take the walk to the Plantation or the jerk hut. The reservation system for the specialty restaurants sucks. We were able to get reservations for the Japanese restaurant one night, but did not go because we could not get reservations for 7, only 2. The only place to get food early in the morning or after 12 midnight is from the refrigerator in the Sports Bar. You will find pre-made sandwiches and cake in there. We ate and drank enough during the day that it was not a problem. We ate away from the resort twice: Scotches not too far from the ROR and a place called Tastee and Juici Patties on the main street near the center of town in Ocho Rios. The jerk at Scotches is to die for and the patties at Tastee/Juici’s in town are the best. The bakeries in town sell coconut drops made of fresh coconut, brown sugar and ginger….yummy!!!! Rooms: 24 out of the 26 in our group were in Building 1. Two guests had a suite in Building 3. Our guests said their rooms were excellent with great views. We stayed in room 1364 and had a perfect view of the ocean and beach gazebo. Housekeeping did a fantastic job with our room. We did not experience any problems with not having enough towels or wash cloths. I do not remember any of our guests mentioning any problems with their rooms; also, no complaints about the beds or pillows. One or two had to ask to have their bar/fridge stocked after checking-in. It was taken care of promptly and was not a problem for the rest of the stay. We left $5.00 each day for the housekeeper and a bottle of champagne and some Burt’s Bees products on the last day. My mother gave her housekeeper products from Bath & Body Works. She asked her to write a note stating that she gave her the products, otherwise she would be fired. Our room was cleaned late every day, so we did not meet our housekeeper. We hope she was able to accept the gifts that we left. My husband gave some clothing to a bellman. He had to go to security with the man to let them know that he freely gave the clothing so that the man could leave the property with the items and not get fired. Entertainment: Our guests loved the beach aerobics, night club, and the nightly shows. They especially loved the tribute to Michael Jackson. The entertainment staff works hard and does a great job. We were there for the beach party and assisted one of the dancers/entertainers who injured himself jumping through the ring of fire. The poor guy landed on his lower back and was in great pain. One of our guests was a nurse and comforted him while the show continued. She would not let anyone move him, so my husband and some of the other dancers carried him in a beach chair to the nurse’s office. We found out that he was taken to the hospital for examination. Some of the other dancers stayed with him until after 1:00 am. He was released and given pain medication and muscle relaxers. No broken bones, etc. according to the X-Ray. He was scheduled to be out of work for a week due to his injury. We were told that he would receive a paycheck whilst he was home recuperating. Another of the entertainers had her knee wrapped the day after the beach party. She said she strained it, but not during the beach party. She said she couldn’t miss the show, so she continued to dance even with her strained knee. Lessons Learned: Ask for upgrades. Tip the staff – they do appreciate it. If possible, stay in Building 1 on the 3rd floor or higher. If you leave items for or give items to the staff make sure you speak with security or leave a note. You certainly don’t want to show your appreciation and get someone fired as a result. The French Kiss, rum punch, and Miami Vice are excellent drinks! The bartender at the Sports Bar made us a special drink (I cannot remember the name, but it begins with the letter “M†and has grenadine) on our last day; it was delicious! Check out some of the nightly shows and support the entertainment staff…they work hard and are great at what they do! Wedding Coordinator & Ceremony It took us a day to meet up with Chandlyn to schedule an appointment. We found her to be cordial, but not welcoming or friendly. My husband and another guest described her as “stuck up.†She was very responsive and helpful in her e-mails, so I was surprised by her demeanor when we met in person. We were glad to work with Nikki and not her. Our meeting with Nikki took about 45 minutes and she was very helpful and pleasant. Nikki made sure that everything went according to plan and even got us sand from the beach and a container at the last minute for our sand ceremony. We used outside vendors for the flowers and cake and Nikki took care of getting everything arranged for our ceremony. Our extra services included the runner ($45.00), rose petals (free since we didn’t use the free flowers), h’ordervous ($13 per person), the white folder chairs ($5.00 each), and the steel band ($350). Our ceremony was at 4:00 pm but we started a little late because Nikki ran back to her office to get the extra sand and vase. It was windy which helped because it was hot and humid the entire time we were there. The ceremony was about 45 minutes; we took pictures, and enjoyed the h’ordervous on the beach before heading to Mammee Bay for dinner. We were very happy with the ceremony. The minister did an excellent job reading our long ceremony which included a hand ceremony and a sand ceremony. Thanks to all of you on this site who posted the wording! Photographer/Videographer We used the photo shop at the resort. We were not impressed with Michael during our pre-ceremony meeting. He answered our questions and processed the paperwork, but didn’t smile or make much eye contact. We met with him after the wedding to add to our package and he was the same way. We were not impressed by our brief interactions with Michael. On the other hand, the videographer Gary and the photographer were great to work with. Our ceremonies ran long; so we did not get pictures around the property, but are happy with the results. My husband did not want the video until he saw the finished product. He loves it and is very happy that we spent the extra money on it. We do not have our edited pictures yet, but have the low-res copies. We ordered 115 out of 300+ pictures. Lessons Learned: Plan the pictures you want the photographer to take in advance and be mindful of how much daylight you will have to take your pictures. If cost is not a factor, hire an outside photographer. Dinner Our waiter, Delmar was wonderful. He even brought us drinks from the bar. He and his assistants were efficient so no one had to wait for their meals. The table was setup as requested with the flowers from the ceremony and our favors. There was one other wedding dinner happening at the same time, but it seemed very private. We made short speeches and a toast without any problems. We did not have the free cake, but opted for the traditional black Jamaican cake from an outside vendor. It was beautiful and delicious. Our guests also had a choice of deserts from the bar if they did not like our cake. Our guests went to the Michael Jackson tribute show and the night club after dinner. Lessons Learned: Use an outside vendor if you want to upgrade your cake. Our person was $100 less than Ms. Mowery (person recommended by the resort). Renova Spa The ladies at the spa are fantastic. I bought a wedding package which included a mani, pedi, and hairstyle. I added makeup after arriving at the resort. I did not know in advance that they do not wash your hair unless you pay more money. They prefer to style your hair a day or two after washing because it holds the curls better. No problem. My hair looked great in a simple updo. I took my own makeup and brushes because I have sensitive skin. I was a little concerned about the person applying too much makeup, but she did a great job and it was very natural looking. The space is small, so book your appointment with plenty of time to spare. Lee’s Tours & Taxis Norma and her staff are simply the best! We use Lee’s for several excursions and our group loved the trips and the drivers. Norma also helped us with some of the details for our ceremony including the flowers and the traditional Jamaican black (rum) cake for the diner. Norma provided us with a free cell phone to use during our visit and some native fruits and vegetables. Norma’s customer service is outstanding and her prices are less than what the resort charges for the same excursion. We will certainly use Norma’s services when we return to Ocho Rios. Lessons Learned: Book your transfers and excursions/tours through Lee’s Tours & Taxis. Contact Norma for assistance with finding vendors in Ocho Rios. Don’t book too many excursions….we needed a vacation from our vacation!!!!!! Overall we had a great trip and a wonderful ceremony. It’s been about a month and we and our guests are still talking about our trip. We’re so happy we had our wedding in Jamaica.
  13. Thanks for all of the well wishes. Please see the wedding review section for my detailed review. Thanks again and happy holidays!
  14. I did not use Jan's Bridal & Flowers, but others on this site have and seemed very pleased with her work. I contacted Jan's and was given an excellent price and the customer service was great. I decided to use Shangra-La and was pleased with the service (although the price was slightly higher than Jan's, but much less than Tai Floral). I do not think you will have any problems with Jan's. Good luck.
  15. Sorry.....the number for Shangri-La Flowers is (876) 974-3498.
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