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About s2thap

  1. s2thap

    Hair and Makeup in Negril

    Thank you!
  2. s2thap

    Fabulous wedding

    Hi Soon2BMrsCanty, the party was a beautiful set up. They charged a flat rate per person for beach clean up, setting up tiki torches, a private bartender and lighting. Then there's an additional fee if you get a special set up. But we just did the basic set up and our rate was around $30/pp. It seemed a little silly to pay for open bar inside of an all-inclusive, but I think we were really paying for set up and the bartender, not the liquor.
  3. s2thap

    Hair and Makeup in Negril

    Hi Cherina, Here are a couple of pictures.
  4. Thanks, Erin. So, there was one hidden cost, but it wasn't forced on me. They have a professional decorator come onto the property to set up outdoor parties and dinners. I chose not to use their decorations and saved hundreds of dollars. I did the outdoor beach party and it came with a bartender, our own bar, tiki torches and beach clean up for about $30/person. We brought in our own DJ (jaweddingdj.com), which was still cheaper than the hotel's preferred vendor with the vendor fee. Since we were prepared to to the beach party and DJ it worked out well. That additional vendor fee would have blown the budget and was initially presented like it was required. I thought the beach party was beautiful and we released wish lanterns on the beach. They do have restrictions about how much noise the DJ can make and what time he has to shut down, but that wasn't a problem for us. Dinner takes longer than you think for large groups, ours took two hours. So the party started at 9 and went until 11, that was plenty of time for us with the private DJ. Then we kept the party going in the resort's club with their DJ. I'm in the process of posting my full review of RIU in the Resort Review forum. I think it's under moderation right now. MikesBride, I don't think you'll be disappointed with Riu Negril. Congrats! My advice is to keep asking questions and keep talking to the wedding coordinator if something doesn't sound right. Try to think of her as someone who's on your team, although she represents the hotel's money-grubbing policies. I think Dionne really wants you to leave feeling good about your wedding experience. It's more than a wedding day when you're doing a destination wedding.
  5. s2thap

    Hair and Makeup in Negril

    I went to Queen Bee for hair styling in Negril and I had a fabulous experience. We did a trial run a couple of days before the wedding so that I could be sure that the style would stay. Debra did not do my hair, a stylist working in her shop did, but Debra was there the entire time. Debra picked me up from my hotel on the day of my wedding and returned me with ample time to get dressed and relax. I have natural curly Black hair and frizzing in the humidity was a major concern of mine. I didn't want to wear braids or a weave, so they did a soft pin-up style for me (my hair was straightened then curled with an iron) and it lasted! Of course, I had a little frizzing but that's no one's fault - it was crazy hot outside and I had to sweat to stay alive. I felt beautiful all day and my hair was secure until I pulled it down.
  6. I ordered a suit for my dad from Studio Suits after reading so many positive posts on this site. Thanks, everyone! We had him measured at a suit store and sent those measurements to studio suits. I ordered a "quick order pre-set" linen suit for $114! Shipping was $20 and it arrived a week after I ordered. My dad tried it on and says it fits with no alterations needed. Aside from the price and fast shipping, I think this site is great because they have so many colors, while stores like Men's Warehouse sell linen in about two colors. I was having a hard time finding a distinctive color for my dad.
  7. Just checking to see if there are any current or recent RIU Negril brides on this board. I'm trying to figure out what alternatives there are to renting out the disco or having an expensive "beach party" after our semi-private reception. I'm open to any recommendations or advice. Ideally, there's a common area that we can take over for a while. Our group is about 45 people, so we can't easily huddle together.
  8. When it comes to choosing between RIU Club Negril and Tropical Bay, the numbers did all of the talking for me. If you have several guests joining you then you'll probably want to go with the cheaper option. I have only been to RIU Club and if I didn't have guests and it was a smaller group and hotel expenses weren't a big deal, I'd probably go with RIU Tropical Bay. I think of Tropical Bay as more of a honeymoon hotel or something you pick for yourself and partner. For our group, we would have lost guests by going with Tropical Bay because of the expense.
  9. Great ideas. We want to do the cruise thing on Saturday as a group activity where people can wear whatever and have fun without watching the clock. But the scavenger hunt isn't a bad idea. Thanks!
  10. I'm just starting my research on this so I don't know how competitive the rates are, but I did find this vendor called Floral Fantasy that will make gift bags or sell just rum and coffee as a set. When I visit I buy my coffee at grocery stores, so that's probably where I'll go for my gifts, just like JA2012 suggests. It just depends on how comfy you are with getting around and shopping and how much time you have before guests arrive.
  11. Thanks for sharing, Sunshinybride. I think we will end up doing something similar since taking pictures with everyone can take a while. Leaving the resort could become a logistical problem. I wonder if there is a list of things to do that are similar to the Chinese lantern activity that you're doing? Something that is fun for a group would be great.
  12. Hi. We booked a 2 p.m. ceremony at RIU Negril and didn't understand that the reception time was already set for 6:30 PM. Now we're looking for ideas of activities that will keep the group together. A cocktail hour is fine, but it can't last for 4 hours. What have other couples done with this time, or what are you planning to do? One idea we've thrown around is a catamaran cruise/cocktail hour. Of course there's wind and the potential of getting wet in nice clothes, so I'm on the fence about that. Any suggestions?
  13. Hi everyone, I'm Sabrina. I'm getting married at RIU Negril in Feb. 16, 2013 and I'm very excited. I think these boards are the most helpful that I've seen. So, thanks to everyone for sharing. I'll try to return the favor.
  14. This is a review of:

    RIU Negril All Inclusive

    Fabulous wedding

    Pros: small property, affordable, customizeable free package, wedding coordinator
    Cons: no room service, high vendor fees, small bed in triple rooms
    AI doubted my decision of Riu Negril for months before our wedding, but in the end this was the perfect hotel for our wedding for all of the reasons I initially thought it would be. The room rates were affordable for guests, the hotel's size was ideal for our group and the distance from the Montego Bay airport was manageable. I used Liberty Travel to organize my group package. My travel agent gave me group rates for four Riu properties near Montego Bay because I had stayed at two Riu hotels before and felt best going with a brand I knew. My only gripe with our travel package is that it included transportation and some guests waited 30 minutes to an hour for their shuttle to have enough guests to leave the airport. I would ask your travel agent about the details of ground transportation and see if the option of a private transfer could be added to the package. This is not a 5-star hotel, if you're looking for that type of experience this is not the right hotel for you and your guests. We didn't pay to upgrade our room and I'm so glad we saved the money because I don't think that there was a room in the property worth the price we were quoted for an upgrade. However, it was clean and the staff knew us by name by the end of our stay. I found the staff to be pleasant to me and my guests. The only issue my guests had was with triple rooms. Some felt that the third bed was too small for an adult to sleep on, and if three adults split the rate they should have equal accommodations. The hotel had no solution to this. It's something to be aware of. Also, if you leave food in or near your room I'm told that bugs and ants show up quickly. I didn't see any bugs in my room and didn't bring food in. We made sure to request rooms near the lobby for our older guests, please know that elderly people won't enjoy the walk to rooms that start with 20, 30 or 40. One room in our block was put too far out and the hotel moved them as soon as they could and provided wheel chair service until they got moved. We however chose to be placed in building four, away from our guests. I went with the "free" wedding package, which actually costs $500 in 2013. For that money the hotel got my officiant, who was charming and professional, a bouquet, a boutonnière, floral decoration for the arch we were married in front of, and filed our paperwork. That also covered dinner and champagne for 10 of my guests. The per person price for dinner for my guests was more than fair. All in all, I was impressed with everything the hotel provided from the wedding cake to the bouquet. In fact, the hotel provided small things I didn't expect such as a sound system at the ceremony and a person to control the music. We went with a semi-private dinner for 43 guests, and it felt private to us. We ended up being seated upstairs at the steakhouse with another wedding that was about the same size as ours. We couldn't hear each other unless there was screaming or loud applause. We each had our own servers dedicated to our group and they were very professional and even provided direction when it was time to cut the cake. We did a beach party after dinner and the set up was beautiful, they provided a bar and allowed our DJ (kevan from jaweddingdj.com) to set up on the beach. Our DJ was excellent and did a good job of reading the crowd. He also took deposits online, which is great. My only regret is that he didn't have rain protection for his equipment, so when the rain came we had to transfer to the disco. Luckily the hotel allowed it with no issue. The rain stopped after a while and we could have continued outside, but we had fun nonetheless. My only advice to people considering a beach party or renting the disco (disco is not worth the expense in my opinion), is to make sure your guests save energy for the after party. Ours started at 9 and some people were too pooped to hang out, making it a bit of a waste of money because you pay by the person for these setups. I found Dionne, the wedding coordinator, to be wonderful to work with. She always responded to my email in a timely fashion, called me to discuss our questions ahead of the wedding and always had a good attitude no matter what else may have been going on. We chartered a catamaran cruise for our guests and it was our best idea. Everyone loved it, even those who don't swim. We booked the cruise through a U.S. travel agent (Claire Skies Travel LLC based in Maryland) and her assistance took the pain out of dealing with people in Jamaica via email. She had all of the connections needed to quickly get me quotes from various vendors. The operator (Island Charter Ltd) was professional and fun, they used a smaller boat to transport us to Rick's Cafe for diving. We also had time to snorkel. Then we watched the sunset on the way back to the hotel. They picked us up on the beach behind Riu, which was great. Other vendors I used in Negril were Queen Bee for hair and Star Shutter (via True Colors, the hotel's preferred vendor) for video. They were both fabulous. I love our video and he delivered it before we went home. If anyone wants more info feel free to ask here or message me. This forum has been beyond helpful to me and I'm happy to give back.