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About bigpapaq

  1. While I guess I turned into a Azul Sensatori groom, I'm still here and staying in contact with them as we still have some unfinished business. From what I am being told, Feb 24th is the new Fives opening date. Having spent a week at Sensatori, 3 months after it opened, I would suggest not being a guinea pig for Fives if you are planning a Feb, March or even April wedding. Everyone has different prices (if airfare is included) but that seemed kind of high to me. My suggestion if you have a Fives wedding soon would be to ask to have it moved to Sensatori. It's not as intimate as Fives, but it's already open, almost at 5 star status (should be up to speed soon), and it will take stress off your plate. I know Fabio and the Miami crew are working to fix the guests and 4 or 5 weddings that got bumped from late Jan to Feb 24th, so stick with it. Presending my case to Karisma got me, my wedding and all 49 of my guests a lot. They are doing whatever they can to make people happy, so make sure to get your piece of that pie.
  2. Hello all, new to the Sensatori board. I was a Azul Fives groom who got bumped 36hrs before my trip. As it’s all fresh in my head, I might be able to answer a few questions: As for a rehearsal, unnecessary; well at least for our setup. The day we arrived (typically the day after you arrive, but we had an excursion) you will meet with the wedding coordinators (Carolina and Gilberto are the main two, essentially the Wedding Planner (Fabio in my case)’s on-site arm). They will go through a very detailed 2hr run down of every possible detail. I’m pretty dumb and I was able to figure out how the boys and I would line up and how the girls would come down the ramp and down the aisle. Then as you setup the day before, they let you know what you need to know. You won't need a practice walkthrough. Getting people together for a rehearsal dinner will be tough if you don’t do it either very early or late. We got a bunch of people together at the 8p at the Mojito Lounge and then moved onto the patio once everyone (50 guests) arrived. We had drinks and I was able to make announcements and such at that time. It worked out very well. If you wanted to try and get everyone together for a meal, your best bet is Zocalo since they seem to be the most flexible with letting you sit where ever you want. If you want something locked up 100%, you are going to have to pay and set up a private event. We had our wedding at 5, a 5:30-6:30 cocktail hour on the beach where my best man and the maid of honor did their speeches (just after we finished with pics) and then headed to the Zocalo patio for dinner. It was a little chilly, but the area was nice to keep the group together. We had 2 rectangle tables together for the head table and everyone else was at 8-person round tables. (slip a few bucks to the Mariachi band, it’ll be worth it). As for the prices of the wedding, I can only guess as Karisma took care of a lot of our wedding for pulling the rug from under our feet with only a day and a half notice. 2K for the basic package, we spend about $500 on flowers (she and 2 bridesmaids, me and 2 groomsmen, parents), $100 on an extra sheet (it’s worth it looking at our pictures), $300-500 on pictures (don’t remember that one), and then some money on extra chairs and meals (since we went way over the 12 chairs provided). It’s really too bad they took out the free wedding package. I can’t understand why Karisma (who is at least 50% unoccupied, closer to 75% on Tue, Wed, Th) would not want to incent you for bringing a group of people to their resort. I have about a trillion details in my head, from honeymoon suites, to spa services (my wife is a massage therapist and was extremely impressed by the spa and therapists), so PM me if anyone has questions.
  3. Just a quick update. I spend almost the entire day on the phone with Fabio. He's been absolutely wonderful. I've seen glimers of this, then he fell off in early december and seemed back on his game this month. However he worked his butt off for us today. We got nailed by horrible planning and communication by Karisma reps, but they are continuing to do quite a bit to fix the mistakes. Luckily we were totally ready to go on Monday, so this big snag didn't destroy us, just stopped out hearts for about 24 hours. I think they said about 8 weddings will be effected by this delay (Feb 24th is the new opening date, but I think they are moving the weddings on the 27th as well). Best of luck to everyone with those dates. Based on my experience over the last day, i feel Karisma will do everything they can to make it right. I might ask for a tour of Fives, if so I'll shoot an update when I return.
  4. Yo, bad news to anyone who has an event coming up before Feb 24th, the doors are closed. I just got a call this afternoon (about 36 hrs before I leave) telling me that while fives is up and running, they don't feel like they can handle the weddings and all the guests. For completely putting us in a bind, they did a decent job (so far, still negotiating) of taking care of us. We are all at Sensatori, all with room upgrades, plus comps and other stuff. Karisma is doing a lot to fix it, but I'm pretty put off by the 36 hr notice. My poor bride is heartbroken, not that there is any more planning, just that the image she had in her head is totally changed and she doesn't know what Sensatori will bring. If Karisma follows though on all of thier promises to us and our guests (plus the other pieces we are negotiating) I think I can confidently say they went out of thier way to fix it. And that will be comforting to us both. Sorry for the premature celebration everyone, I was duped by the Karisma guys.
  5. The spa services will take place in another builing within Azul Fives. They said the massages can be moved anywhere (on the beach, in the guests room, etc) the rest of the services (hair, nails, etc) will be done in another Azul Fives building they are turning into a makeshift spa. Not the best, but if that truly is the only thing that's not 100% complete, I'll be fine with that.
  6. Awesome news everyone. I just got off the phone with my TA and Omar from Karisma and am being told that the resort will indeed open on Jan 27th. All of the resturants, the beach, all of the bars and the room will be 100% ready. The spa building is not complete, but spa services (massage, hair, nails, etc) will be available in another onsite location. There is still some construction, but the major stuff is done, it sounds like the construction is cosmetic to the rooms. The info wasn't in front of him, but Omar said he believes there will be a wedding on Friday the 28th to kick things off. It was a big scary ride, but is sounds like Fives will be ready to go in less than a week.
  7. bigpapaq

    Newbie Groom-to-be (hope that's allowed)

    Thanks everyone for the greetings and good wishes. Just as an update, we are being told Azul Fives will be ready for us when we arrive on the 29th of this month. It might be a ghost town, but that might work out just fine. I always wanted to have an entire resort to myself. Dean, I'll warm the place up for you guys and make sure we get all the I's dotted and T's crossed.
  8. Rock on! My TA came back from vacation this week and must have done a good job shaking the Fabio tree, because we got a call today. We were able to take care of most of our details (flowers, questions about gown pressing (doesn't exist at Fives), chairs, dinner, rehersal (or setup I should say), spa service, etc) and we also found received an updated on Fives. According to Fabio, it will open up the day we arrive (Jan 29th) and be fully operational (hopefully without workers running around and powertools making noise). Fabio also promised to send us a guaranteed backup for our full party together (in writting) at either Beaches or Sensitori. While I'm not 100% confident in Fives being ready in time, it's nice to at least be told it will be (and have a solid backup just in case). I guess I will be a guinea pig for Fives. I'll be sure to take lots of pictures.
  9. bigpapaq

    Newbie Groom-to-be (hope that's allowed)

    Quote: Originally Posted by CourtneyV ...and I just noticed your wedding date is almost here!! What do you guys have left to do? We have most everything done for the wedding/trip the only hangup now is that our resort was supposed to open Dec 1 and as of now, it's not going to open until after our wedding. So that's a pretty big snag. My TA is on vacation this week, but she's a real champ, so once she get's back we are hoping to get a guaranteed backup resort for all 50 of us at another one of the Azul resorts. Keep your fingers crossed. Thanks to everyone for all of the greetings.
  10. Hello all, I'm an Azul Fives Groom (taking a little load of my bride) who is-maybe- having a wedding the same day as natalie ann, on Jan 31st. Has anyone heard from Fabio lately? He was pretty good at getting back to us until 2 or 3 weeks ago and then he fell off the planet. I'm guessing the late opening of Fives is adding a ton of work for him, but to be brutaly honest, with a worried bride and 50 confused guests I am not worried about his workload and need some answers. eebruce, thanks for the advice on getting the backup plan in writing. I have asked Fives and our TA to get us a guarantee on a secondary location and am waiting to hear back. We have a handful of kids coming, so I'm guessing Sensitori will be the default. I have read some reviews on this site and Trip Advisor of Sensitori, but does anyone have a good sense of what the pro's and cons of Fives vs. Sensitori are? I want to compile that info so I can make a good case for comps if we get moved over. Thanks to everyone for all of the great info on this thread. With limited info on a resort that doesn't 100% exist, it has helped quite a bit. -Dave
  11. Hello all, This seems to be a mostly brides forum, I hope it's OK if a groom hangs out as I'm trying to take a little bit of the load off of my fiance. 1. name: Dave 2. wedding date: Jan 31, 2009 3. wedding location: Azul Fives (if it is open by then)