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Destination Wedding Resort Reviews
Azul Sensatori Hotel By Karisma All Inclusive

Ratings Distribution

33%
46%
13%
4%
4%
0%

Detailed Ratings

Accommodation Value
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General Location
Wedding Sites
Wedding Value
(Rated 4.2 stars with 24 reviews)
Rated #16 of 83 Riveria Maya Corridor on BDW
About:
Azul Sensatori Hotel By Karisma All Inclusive > CUN > Carretera Cancun Puerto Morelos km 27.5 > Puerto Morelos > > 77580>Location. This Puerto Morelos property is situated near the beach, close to Crococun Zoo and Arrecife de Puerto Morelos National Park. Features. Azul Sensatori Hotel By Karisma All Inclusive has a tennis court, a health club, an outdoor pool, a spa tub, and a steam room. Azul Sensatori Hotel By Karisma All Inclusive features a full service spa. Business amenities include a business center, wireless Internet access (surcharge), and meeting rooms for small groups. Event facilities include conference rooms. Guest parking is complimentary. The staff can arrange wedding services, event catering, and dry cleaning services. Additional amenities include a nightclub, a fitness facility, and a seasonal outdoor pool. Guestrooms. Amenities featured in guestrooms include DVD players, air conditioning, and coffee/tea makers. Business friendly amenities include direct dial phones, voice mail, and in room safes (accommodate laptop). Complimentary bottled water is provided. All guestrooms provide refrigerators. Bathrooms feature jetted tubs, double sinks, and bathrobes. Guestrooms are accessible via exterior corridors. Sofa beds are provided. All guestrooms at Azul Sensatori Hotel By Karisma All Inclusive are non smoking. Notifications:Additional fees and deposits may be charged by the property at time of service, check in, or check out. >The preferred airport for Azul Sensatori Hotel By Karisma All Inclusive is Cancun, Quintana Roo (CUN Cancun Intl.) 17.5 km / 10.9 mi. Distances are calculated in a straight line from the property’s location to the point of interest or airport and may not reflect actual travel distance. Distances are displayed to the nearest 0. 1 mile and kilometre.

Member Reviews

TandAGetHitched

By TandAGetHitched, · 0 Comments

Pros: Amazing staff, Wonderful wedding staff, great food, a lot of options for everyone,
Cons: planning a wedding via email - responses can be a bit slower, Lomas Shuttle service was unavailble, beach is just OK
Overall, we LOVED our time at Azul Senstatori in Riviera Maya – probably the best vacation we’ve had! We spent 9 wonderful days at the resort and we felt like celebrities the entire week – every staff member knew us and went above and beyond to make sure our stay, and our 58 guests, were having the best experience. We arrived to Azul on Monday, got married on Friday, and left the following Wednesday. We managed to convince 49 adults and 9 children among our friends and family to travel to Mexico for our special day and it did not disappoint! We will very likely visit Azul Fives for our anniversary trip next year - going for more adults only next time. Azul Sensatori is great for weddings and families!  The Resort & Spa Check-in was smooth and easy – we were whisked off to a private area to check-in and given a delicious drink while we went through the motions. We were upgraded to the honeymoon suite, which was a larger room that overlooked the ocean and had an even larger, wrap-around deck. The only downside to this upgrade is that it was in the family building vs. the adults only building we had booked. This turned out to be a non-issue because we were at the end of the building and didn’t even notice any families around us.  Overall, a large resort, which meant lots of options! 5 large pools and 3 swim-up bars meant there was something for everyone. The kids loved the Nickelodeon Universe and the adults lived at the adult’s pool. We appreciated that there were 2 swim-up bars that were family-friendly so we could spend time with everyone. There was pool volleyball, soccer, archery, yoga, dance classes, Spanish lessons all over the resort. The spa was great too. I had my hair, make-up, nails and a massage – all services were wonderful. Several guests had massages and enjoyed the water-therapy before the service – unique and relaxing. The spa prices are bit high ($130 for a 50 min massage), but a good experience overall. Anabel was my hair & makeup artist and she did a great job making me look perfect for the day. My make-up didn’t melt at all and my hair didn’t fall flat.  We watched one of the shows one night – great performers. On Saturday night they do a kids event with all the Nickelodeon characters – we walked into the lobby about 8pm and could hear every screaming kid at the resort - the kids were having fun, but not our style. Others from our group did go to the shows and enjoy the entertainment.  the only hiccup/issue we had - the Lomas Travel guy was NEVER at his desk. So our guests would visit his desk to confirm their airport return transportation departure and he was not there. Many people left notes for him, but no one saw him from Tuesday - Sunday. One of our guests notified our TA and she took care of it immediateily. The concierage called every guest and confirmed departures.   The Food & Staff OMG – so many food options! We ate at Spoon twice, once for lunch buffet and once for a semi-private dinner with family with a set menu – both were lovely and the staff was amazing. We ate at the Mexican restaurant two evenings – great food and fun entertainment. We had Zavas twice as well – very tasty and friendly staff. We did get to Tapas and Italian each one time. I wish we had done Tapas again, but just not enough time! We also had a dinner on the beach our last night, which was super romantic and delicious. We did not try Le Chic – just didn’t want to spend more. We had breakfast in our room or on the beach every morning – the beach breakfast was one of my favorite moments in the mornings. We also did the beach BBQ for lunch almost every day – great food! Zavas has amazing burgers for lunch too – I think we had lunch there three or four times J The swim up bars were great. We spent most of our time at the adult’s only pool with Alejandro and Uriel as our bartenders. Bars open at 10 and close at 5, but then reopen on the deck side at 6pm. They do offer top-shelf liquor if you ask for it. The Mojito bar in the lobby is a fun post-dinner spot, it’s the closest thing to a disco on the property.  The Wedding  On Monday evening we stuffed our giftbags – 1 per adult guest and 1 per child. We called the bellhop Tuesday morning and he showed up to deliver the bags. He charged $4 per room – so we paid $100 plus tip. I had printed a list of the adults & kids, but I didn’t have room numbers. I handed him the bags, the guest list and he did the rest. I heard from every guest that the bags were in their rooms when they checked in and they were lovely. The bellhop returned our empty suitcases to us the night before we left so we didn’t the extra luggage hanging around our room. If you do gift bags – trust the bellhops to deliver! I couldn’t imagine trying to hunt down 60 guests to give them their bags personally.  We started planning our wedding via email and phone with Javier in Feb 2017 – I spent the better part of 14 months planning all the details. When Javier left Azul in April, Claudy took over and wrapped up the details. I sent probably 100+ emails and Javier and I had 3 or 4 calls to discuss our wedding planning. It was quite simple to send Javier a request, a few days later he would confirm and then I could confirm it via the online wedding builder. Biggest piece of advice – don’t expect a response the same day via email – it takes 2-3 days, but if you go into it with that expectation it’s OK.  We packed 2 suitcases of wedding items and arrived at the resort 4 days before the wedding on Monday. We had initially planned a legal wedding, but about 3 months before, we decided to switch to symbolic to save about $1000. (legal is $500 for judge, $250 for blood tests, and $250 for apostle’s seal) and symbolic is FREE with the Always & Forever package. NO ONE knew that our wedding was symbolic, we got hitched at the local courthouse 2 days before we left for Mexico and we will always celebrate our Mexico wedding day as our anniversary.  Our 2 suitcases were gift bag items and decorations - I had receipts for everything in case we got stopped in customs, but we didn't. Best to be prepared.  We met with the wedding team on Tuesday and reviewed all the details we had planned – everything from how to hang the sheers, where to put the lights, how to set the chairs, meals, timing, and every little detail. This meeting took maybe 45 minutes – hard to believe it took 16 months to plan and it took just 45 minutes to confirm. Andy, Mayia, Bernice, Justin and Claudy were amazing! Big shout outs to Andy and Mayia – these girls were running around like crazy on our wedding day and did a great job making our dream come true.  We did use the semi-private dinner as our family dinner on Thursday before the wedding. We invited only family and our bridal party, because the semi-private dinner is limited to 50 (40 free, $25 fee for add’l up to 50 people). The staff was great at accommodating the special meals and the foods was delicious! We then moved to the Zocalo deck for informal cocktails with all our guests. We did not pay for this, it was just ‘meet at the bar for drinks.’ Wedding day!! We started our morning at the wedding office to review the weather and decided to keep everything outside. The staff thought we were crazy – it was supposed to be very humid and had 20%+ chance of rain, but we had a meteorologist in our party and she ran the models and was confident we’d be okay. It was a risk, but we signed the paperwork to keep it all outside. Spoiler: it didn’t rain!!  Ceremony – beach @ 4 pm Cocktail hour – beach @ 5-7pm Reception – plaza zavas @7-11pm We had only 1 MOH and 1 BM – so a pretty small wedding party. My MOH and I went to the spa and Mayia came up to show me our flowers and then delivered them to my room. The boys were in another room getting ready and enjoying lunch. By the time we got back to my room, lunch and champagne had been delivered – we enjoyed a quick bite to eat and then the photographer showed up. We hired Moments That Matter Photographer – Lincoln and his wife were great! We did some getting ready pictures, first look, family photos, and some bridal party photos for a few hours before the ceremony. We did pay the $800 outside vendor fee for our photographer.   At 3:30 Andy showed up and took me back to my room to cool down for about 15 minutes. As the guests sat at the beach and as the groom started the processional by seating his mom and my mom, Andy and I left my room and made our way to the beach. Andy executed the processional perfectly! Our music was perfectly timed and the ceremony space was PERFECT! After the quick ceremony, we did some more photos with our guests and the cocktail hour started right away. We spent about an hour with our guests before Lincoln pulled us away to get some beautiful photos of just us. We spent about an hour taking photos around the resort before taking a few minutes break to bustle my gown and prep for our grand entrance. This is where Jordan came into play and began to take over for Andy.  Our DJ, Diageo, was great - he was part of the DJ Max package. He found a few odd-ball songs that we requested. He kept the party moving all night long. We danced, we laughed, we cheered! We had so much fun, even thought it was so hot. Security showed up about 30 minutes before the end – we thought they were there to prevent us from jumping in the pool, but nope! They were there to tell us it was our own risk if we jumped in. My nephew got tossed in, but no one else took the plunge. We did have a few party crashers, but before anyone from our party could ask them to leave, the staff was escorting them away – they knew they didn’t belong!  We cannot say enough about the staff, at every turn, they were there to help us. Javier and Moreno never let our drinks get warm or go empty. Moreno as by my side all night with cold drinks and a tray to hold my drink while I dance. He asked a few times if I was too warm, given my heavy dress, and he offered me a cool towel while the sun was still out. He even brought me a plate of desserts after I made a comment that I didn’t get any. He was awesome! Our guests danced all night long! After the party on the plaza, we moved to the mojito bar, where we danced more. It was a wonderful wedding!  A few notes on the wedding planning: Weather policy is 20% rain or high humidity they recommend you move all your events inside. If it rains during your event, they move you as fast as you can, but all the décor and the details get left behind. If you agree to move inside before any of your wedding events start, they setup the indoor space with the décor to as best as possible. We opted to sign the waiver and keep our events outside. Weather app showed 20%, Azul showed 50% rain and our friend with us is a trained meteorologist, gave us a personal forecast so we took our chances. It didn’t rain! It was hot and humid, but we all expected it. I’m really glad we stuck to our outside venues – a ballroom reception was the last thing we wanted.  Azul charges $5 per person for décor setup fees – so we paid $280 Azul charges $4 per room to delivery gift bags- we paid $100 plus tip Trust the wedding coordinators!!! They know what they are doing. We gave a few simple directions and everything was executed perfectly!   Wedding Discounts & Credits With our TA, Kate’s Travel, we knew we had quite a few credits coming our way. Check out the Cash for Your Bash estimator – this was VERY close to what we actually received for credits/discounts. The contract with our TA spelled everything out clearly and it is all based on the # of rooms & # of nights booked.  The Always and Forever ($950) and Spa TA gift ($500) credits was applied to our final bill before we paid the balance. The Cocktail ($540) and Dinner ($1080) credits were also applied before our final bill was due. The airfare credit was a special our TA was running – the best part is we used miles to book our flights and still got the $1000 credit! We received the airfare and room comp credits about 7 days after we got home from our trip.  Always and Forever wedding – FREE based on rooms booked – ($950) Cocktail hour - We received $20 off per room ($540 savings) Dinner – we received $40 off per room ($1080) Bridal Hair & Makeup & nails – a gift from our TA ($500) Airfare credit – special with our TA ($1000) Room Comps based on # of rooms & # of nights – ($3,300) Total discounts/credits = $6400
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jennaberger

By jennaberger, · 0 Comments

Pros: Nice Facility, Beautiful Beach
Cons: Everything else...
My now-husband and I were married here on February 27, 2017. This is a review of the resort and the wedding staff, which I'll write separately since they're basically separate entities.

RESORT: The grounds are gorgeous and the rooms are very nice. We booked a swim-up suite. We checked in and were led by a bellhop to our room. We were escorted to a suite with a balcony, but not a "swim-up." When I asked the bellhop if this was a swim-up suite, he told me no; I explained the situation, he called on the room's phone, argued with someone from the front desk for several minutes, and then handed me the phone. I explained to the employee the situation and was instructed to return to the front desk. Upon walking back the lobby with all our baggage, we were informed that the swim-up suites were all booked and our suite was having "a maintenance problem." No one said this when we checked in, and we were told we were being led to the room we booked- hence our confusion.... We had been moved to a honeymoon suite, which the front desk manager called an upgrade (not actually an upgrade, since it's not a swim-up). We asked for a refund for the extra money we paid for swim-up and were told no.

We were told that as consolation, we would receive "premium benefits," which were said to include reservations at the resort's upscale restaurant. Upon arriving at the concierge hut at the specified time to do so, we were told that our reservation only covered the cheaper dining option there which was already booked for the next 4 days of our stay, so we were unable to use this reservation. We also experienced very long waits at all of the restaurants on the property (probably a money-saving tactic to funnel people into their buffet restaurant). The Italian restaurant was not very good at all, but the Tapas restaurant was pretty decent. We are from New Orleans, so we're used to good food.

WEDDING: Before actually arriving at the resort, we coordinated with Azul's wedding staff by email, which was a TOTAL NIGHTMARE, specifically with Javier. I am not exaggerating when I say I have never dealt with such unprofessional staff. It took at least a week for them to respond to all of my emails and the language barrier was a challenge, to say the least. They required all communication be in a chain on a single email, meaning that the exact same email had to be replied to for over a year. Separate emails would have been easily searchable, different subject lines would have been good, but instead it was all one jumbled mess of an email. We had a wedding with 30 guests in attendance, which for an international destination wedding is quite a large group. We spent a LOT on this wedding, and not once did I feel like I received customer service deserving of such a client. 

When we arrived at the resort, we had a meeting with the wedding staff where we reviewed all of the selections I had previously made. This went relatively smoothly.
On the actual wedding day, I was instructed to stop by the office at 10 am and sign a form stating my preference for a weather contingency. We had not previously agreed on a contingency plan for bad weather (I should have known better, but being a first-time bride planning on my own, I didn't; however, Azul does this every single day- it should have been addressed). The morning's weather was nice, and Gaby told me that in case of rain, the wedding would be moved to the Sky Deck adjacent to the lobby. This is a nice location, and I agreed.

Later on, about 3 hours before ceremony start time, two Azul employees entered my room as my bridesmaids, the photographer, and I were doing the "getting-ready" shots, and before even greeting me asked, "What are you going to do about the weather?" Since we had been in our room and focused on getting ready, I hadn't realized it had started to sprinkle outside. When I asked what specifically they wanted me to decide, they told me they would move our reception to Spoon, the large buffet restaurant.... This would be the equivalent of moving a private plated wedding reception to the middle of the buffet on a Carnival cruise.... completely unacceptable. When my mom and I tried to explain that our plated 4-course dinner reception would not be taking place at the buffet, they moved upstairs to try and talk my fiance into agreeing with them. Thankfully, my mother and bridesmaids talked them into doing the reception in a ballroom, and it turned out okay. However, we were not apologized to at all for their unprofessional behavior, and instead they came and interrupted me about writing them a positive review at my farewell brunch with all my guests the next day. 

Overall: If I could do things over, I WOULD NOT GIVE THESE PEOPLE A DIME, much less the 30 grand we spent here to be treated like we were at a Best Western.
https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g240327-d1176806-r468120155-Azul_Beach_Resort_Sensatori_Mexico-Puerto_Morelos_Yucatan_Peninsula.html#
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sarahjayne07

By sarahjayne07, · 1 Comment

Pros: wedding department, organized, clean, extremely friendly, amazing place
Cons: outside vendor fees
We had our wedding on the sky deck January 21, 2017 with over 50 guests with a beach reception by building 3. All our guests were onsite except for 1 and everyone absolutely loved it. We had our honeymoon straight after everyone left so we were there a total of 10 days. It was amazing every step of the way, the wedding team was dynomite, Ashly and Hommer, thank you for everything, I was a trainwreck of nerves but as soon as we met, I knew you would have it under control and you did more than that. You made the entire day more amazing than we could have ever imagined. Seriously a billion thank you's isn't enough for all that you both did. We will cherish our time forever, thank you taking care of every detail so that we didn't have to worry about a thing! And Carlos, what a rockstar! You made every guest feel like royalty at our welcome party, wedding reception, and brunch! Thank you to Carlos! Finally, Irene, your sweet sweet rose petals and towel decorations every day of our honeymoon and the beautiful way you lit up the room and filled our hot tub so we came back to an incredibly romantic set up after the wedding was amazing, we will never forget it! We really hope you enjoy the gold oyster :). You are wonderful! Finally, Nancy, you made our beach bum days that much more fun, laying out on the cabana bed with a book and chatting it up with you was such a joyful part of our honeymoon! You are a blast and amazing at what you do! Thank you! Lastly, ladies, calm down. You can't go wrong here, karisma is extremely good at what they do. Trust them and seriously, less is more. I wish I had known that before. And also remember, you can't please everyone. Just be happy, enjoy the time with your spouse, and be nice to every single person as the resort and they will treat you like royalty! They are seriously pro's at this! I can't say it enough, just an amazing time. The place was impeccably clean and food is wonderful. Do yourself a favor and try Le chique too! <3
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Janjin

By Janjin, · 1 Comment

Pros: Attentive wedding dept staff, great pools, grounds, and food, amazing wedding locations, top-notch staff
Cons: High vendor fees, approved videographers not worth the money.
Wedding Date: 11/20/2015 Dates at resort:  11/17/2015 – 11/24/2015 Ceremony & Cocktail hour location: Sky Deck Reception location: Plaza Zavas Guests: 75 (71 adults, 2 infants and 2 children) Travel Agent:  Danialle at BeachBum Vacations Photographers: FineArt Studio Photography (specifically Diego Pedernera and Jorge Rodriguez) Photobooth: Quiroo Entertainment Décor: Katy (Love & Lace Wedding Décor)   Pre-wedding:  Until you arrive onsite, you communicate with the wedding dept in Miami.  They are slow to respond until you are about 3 months from your wedding.  At that point, emails were responded to quickly and we scheduled weekly calls to catch up on everything.  I recommend all brides to be very organized and review their wedding builder very carefully.  I found mistake often but they were cleared up right away.   Wedding Trip: We arrived on a Tuesday for our symbolic ceremony on Friday.  A handful of guests arrived with us on Tuesday and the rest arrived either on Wednesday or Thursday.  It was a lot of fun watching and being on the lookout for everyone to arrive.  The check in process went pretty smooth.  Hubby and I were in reserved a premium room so after being handed some sparkling wine we were whisked away to our private check in.  We didn’t hear any complaints from our guests about the check in process.  90% of our guests were in the same building which was great!   That Tuesday night I had my hair and make-up trial at the Spa.  My MOH came with me.  This went great and got rid of a lot of my nerves.  They use Mac products.  I brought with me the foundation and concealer I liked and had pictures of how I wanted my hair and make-up done.  The lady at the spa (I don’t remember her name) was able to recreate the look and I was happy.  Once we were done, she changed my hair so that no one would see exactly what I was going to look like.    We had our meeting with the onsite wedding coordinator on Wednesday at 11am.  We brought a lot of stuff from home and rented items from Katy.  Working with Katy was so easy.  Her colleague delivered the rented décor on Wednesday morning and picked up the following Tuesday morning before we left.  It was all very seamless.  I completely recommend using her.  We had about 4 suitcases of wedding items to bring to our meeting, which included maracas, guest book, centerpieces, photobooth frames, framed signs, candles, and a whole bunch of other stuff I’m sure I’m forgetting.  The only décor items I paid for from Lomas were 4 flower arrangements for the ceremony (that were also moved to the reception), 3 bouquets (mine, MOH and 1 bridesmaid), 3 boutonnieres, and table overlays.    We also had our welcome bags delivered by the hotel.  We assembled the bags the night before (Hubby did most of it while I was at my hair/make-up trial) and chose to have the hotel deliver them at $4 a room because it was just 1 less thing to think about that week and I’m so happy we did!  The meeting last about 2 hours.  We went through EVERYTHING here.  They were very thorough and we had the ability to make changes to the decisions/selections we made with Miami very easily.  After going through the timing and details of all our events, we went through all the décor we brought.  They noticed that I didn’t have any sheers for the gazebo and they threw them in for us for free!  I had hand drawn pictures of what I wanted our guest tables, place card and guest tables and the sweetheart tables to look like and they loved it.  They said it made it very easy to follow.  And they executed it perfectly!  The ceremony, cocktail hour and reception looked exactly how I envisioned!   Our first wedding event was on Thursday night – our welcome party.  It was supposed to be a s’mores bonfire on the beach.  But around 1pm, the wedding coordinators came to find us and told us that there was a 55% chance of rain and they recommended we move it inside.  The backup plan was a ballroom and I did not want that.  After some back and forth, they agreed to have it under one of the outdoor gazebos, which was the backup location I really wanted.  They removed the tables and chairs and set up the fondue and fruit, etc in the center but they left the bed swings.  It ended up not raining at all but moving it turned out for the best.  The gazebo was a lot more comfy and we had a great time.  We didn’t bring or use any décor for this event.  We figured the location would be enough.    Wedding day!  Hubby was given his own room to get ready in.  My mom, bridesmaid, MOH, and I all got had our make-up and hair done at the spa.  We all looked great!  My hair and make-up were exactly what I wanted and they served us champagne during – can’t beat that.  I can’t recommend using the spa enough!  We finished getting ready in my room and had room service delivered there.   From day 1 we knew that our wedding pictures were top priority.  We decided to use FineArt Studio as our photographers and pay the vendor fee.  We loved their portfolio and they sure didn’t disappoint!  They were great at getting back to us with any questions we had before AND after the wedding.  On the day, Diego and Jorge were great to work with and really put us at ease.  You can tell that they really enjoy what they do and had tons of great ideas for poses, lighting, etc.  They also captured so many candid moments with us and our guests.  They fit in with our group so well that I don’t even remember them taking pictures during the reception but they got some really great ones.  We received our pictures a week ahead of schedule and received more than double the expected number of pictures.  We LOVE our pictures and would use them again and again if we could.   We also had a photobooth at the reception and it was a huge hit!!!  We used Quiroo Entertainment and Martin and Wendy were amazing to work with.  They were very responsive before the wedding and everything was set up great.  They provided the videos and digital pictures only a few days after wedding – great timing!  They have photobooth that also lets guest record video messages to us.  This feature was AMAZING!!!  It’s so much fun to look back and look at the pictures and the watch the videos.  The photobooth printed 2 copies – 1 for the guests and 1 for them to add with a note to a book and we also got all of the pictures digitally.  There props were great and honestly there were always people at the photobooth – which I loved!  All guests had nothing but great things to say about Martin and Wendy.  If you’re looking for a photobooth, definitely book with Quiroo Entertainment!   We didn’t have much more room in the budget for a video but wanted to capture at least the ceremony and since we got a huge discount with the Lomas videographer, we decided to use them.  The video is fine but I am very very happy I didn’t pay full price for it.  The video quality was just ok – I could have had a guest video tape the ceremony and have gotten a very similar result.  Also, their service wasn’t very good.  We only hired them for an hour.  When his hour was up, he literally came up to me while I was taking pictures and told me that since they needed 3 business days to prep video it would have to be mailed to me (which I knew and was ok with) and that I needed to pay him $30 for that right then.  I looked at him like he was crazy and told him that it was completely inappropriate to ask us for that (come on I’m in my wedding dress!).  And that I would go and see/pay his manager the next day, which I did.  Then not only was my video not mailed out for a month after my wedding once I got it, it had the wrong date at the end.  They did correct it and send me a new video very quickly though.  In the end, I wouldn’t really recommend them.    The sky deck ceremony was amazing!  Everyone should use it.  It was beautiful and private and with the ocean as the backdrop, you can't ask for anything more!  Being a U.S. couple and having a total of 32 rooms booked in our block, we qualified for a number of free events.  But the catch was that we couldn't pick the locations before arrival.  That wasn't acceptable to us because we didn't want any of our events on the beach (I'm not a beach person - hate sand haha and I wanted to wear heels).  So we chose to pay for it all.   We hosted a full cocktail hour on the sky deck and hired a mariachi band.  Guests loved it.  We used DJ All music with a MC for the reception, who did a great job.  Our dance floor was packed the entire time.  We got the 4-tier cake which was very yummy but way too much cake.  It should have fed 50-60 people but there was so much left over and we had 75 people at the reception (and some people had seconds).  The decor of the cake was ok.  They got my vision correct but the fondant was cracking.   Overall the day was great!  Everything went off as we planned.  The weather was great and there were amazing clouds in the sky.  The ceremony was fun and light-hearted – we had so many laughs and loved looking out and seeing everyone crying and laughing at the same time.   Please let me know if you have any questions!  
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Pros: food is better than most all inclusives but only by a tad, pools, family friendly, adults only section, all rooms have jacuzzi
Cons: off site wedding coordinators, communications, timing of events, beach, location of hotel
My name is Beata and my husband is Saeed. Before I beging I will give you my email SaeedandBeata@gmail.com if you have any additional questions I will be happy to help. I have been to Riviera Maya, Cancun and Playa del Carmen quite a few times and know my stuff as far as the country goes, the hotels, all inclusive, etc. We flew in on Wednesday November 11 th I believe and we had a 10 day stay leaving Saturday November 21st.  Our wedding was Saturday November 14, 2015 at Azul Sensatori hotel at 5:00 pm.    Started off with communicating with the OFF-SITE wedding coordinator team in Florida:  if you want a wedding at Azul Sensatori ....with this hotel you start communicating via email or telephone , but mostly e-mail, with an off-site coordinator . I believe they are based in Florida and I mostly e-mailed with Maribel. It took several days for her to get back to me but it wasn't a big deal I am just a worrier... big time! and I wanted her to respond quickly but it really wasn't necessary so if you are having the same issue with this hotel and the off site wedding team let me just tell you to pick what you need and want and then the details will be ironed out once you get there with the coordinatorrs who are on site and your wedding will basically be planned the day before. It is actually quite simple and turns out beautiful.  Do not get too frustrated with the off site people as they basically input what you want and need and how many people you are having plus what type of decor you want etc into a wedding builder you yourself will have access to and once you get there it is all confirmed and basically put together so do NOT STRESS! i did trust me. I guess you cant help it but try not to because they really do a nice job putting things together in the end for you out there.   We arrived at the hotel and thought it was beautiful. The grounds are meticulously maintained and just stunning. there are several pools . the hotel is family friendly and there are children around but there is an adults only section as well as a premium section which has a pool butler, etc.  All of the sections are fabulous and there are several bars and swim bars everywhere! There is elevator access and the hotel seems to be on the eco-friendly side. If you would like to see how I did my wedding website please copy and paste this link into another browser window:  http://www.theknot.com/wedding/view/4677422773177118/44433885   The beach of this hotel isn't so great but during the time we went (November 2015) it wasn't as bad as some of the reviews I was reading. I was in Riviera Maya in 2012 and the water was turquoise blue and clear so there is definitely a little bit of a sea weed problem in Mexico right now. I heard its everywhere not just this hotel. The ocean was fine though and you can still swim in it in certain spots plus the workers were hustling and working tirelessly and endlessly all day to try and scoop up all the misc. sea weed that was accumulating but I had my ceremony on the beach and it was beautiful and just fine with no sea weed... I can send you pics just email me if you want plus I will put some photos on trip advisor along with my review as well. (email is saeedandbeata@gmail.com) PLEASE DO NOT GET HUNG UP ON THE SEA WEED BECAUSE I HEARD ITS EVERYWHERE RIGHT ABOUT NOW... and most of my guests were at swim up bars, at dinner and on the hotel grounds... rarely did they spend time on the beach.. maybe 2 days out of the 5 or 6 they stayed and the hotel has beautiful beach chairs and folding beds plus really nice and big cabana style huts/homes. very chic and nice. I dont get how I read some of the reviews which said there were no chairs available and people would reserve with towels. we did not have this problem at all during november 2015 stay and NANCY one of my favorite waitresses/staff told me the hotel was at 92% capacity with 435 or so rooms at this resort the hotel grounds are big and there is enough to go around for everyone. I always had a beach chair and not just a beach chair but I had options of where to sit too and there were cabanas left but you had to get those quick because there were only so many but if you couldn't get any cabanas at the hotel then you would just go to the beach and you can get some there. the hotel is clean and the rooms are clean as well. I had no problems with anything at all as far as the rooms go. we got upgraded to the HONEYMOON SUITE when we got there. We initially had the luxury jacuzzi swim up suite but the upgrade was WELL WORTH IT. we had the beach view and the wrap around balcony - it was just breath taking and amazing!   Shout out to nancy my favorite waitress who keeps walking around and asking everyone if they need a refill on their beverages while you lay and bake in the sun by the pool. just loved her! Also Mariano who works at the Zavas Lounge / Caribbean restaurant is an awesome bartender- always smiling and wanting to serve you. He was also the bartender at my wedding and he was just great! remembers your face, your name and your drink! but please just be advised these people do not make much money on a daily basis... even though you are staying at an all inclusive just think if you ever waitressed or bartended or anyone in your family has ever worked for tips... you dont have to tip since TECHNICALLY its an all inclusive and what you paid is tip included but its nice to throw them a couple bucks after they have brought you a few drinks... i mean come on! dont be cheap! and then tip your servers at the restaurants like 2-3 bucks.. we gave 5 but that is just us... then the bell boys luggage people, etc (2-3 bucks or 1-2 a bag... depends on you) and the house keeping who cleaned our room daily was amazing and did such a great job we left her a few bucks a day but its really up to you. just remember these workers make like nothing compared to what we make and yes we work hard for our money too but its nice to tip people for exceptional service dont you agree?    so we checked in with no problems, the hotel grounds, pools etc were very nice and clean, the staff is friendly. On to the wedding stuff... so I checked in and right away I got a letter stating i need to meet with the wedding coordinator on site in a few hours. I liked this because I wanted to get it out of the way ... if you dont like that Im sure the meeting could have been rescheduled but I went ahead with it to get it done so I could relax for a couple days before my big day!     I met with Ingrid and some other girls in the wedding coordinators office near the lobby and we went over every detail. they advised they would make a weather call 4 hours before my event and to come to the office at 10 a.m. the day of the wedding so they could give my hubby his grooms room and so we could sign the waiver for the weather. they were great and they didnt rush me at all. they took all my stuff that I brought which was some centerpieces and candles and stuff and they did charge a set up fee (like 5/per person to set it up) but i was fine with that i guess. for the majestic flair package you can google majestic flair karisma wedding azul sensatori and it will show you what is included I believe we paid around 3,000 for that and then we paid like 38 per person for the food per person and an additional 200 something per table set up and stuff . their banquet kit explains all of it and its not cheap but if you want something extra or different vs. the plain white free stuff then you will have to pay. in total we paid like 8,000 or so for all of it and i feel it was worth it. you can email me for pics no problem. the day of the wedding we went to the WC office and the weather looked bad. :( looked like it was going to storm but the first couple days we were there it said it was also going to storm and it didn't so i didn't pay too much attention to the weather and i signed the waiver with some other girl (not ingrid because she wasn't there yet) and went back to my room to start getting ready /relax etc...   after an hour of being in my room Ingrid called me and said she was coming to my room to discuss me signing the weather waiver. I appreciated what she said when she came to my room. she told me she has lived in mexico her whole life and she feels it will rain.. by me signing the waiver that meant if it rains my event will basically be over. they would try to move us to the nearest restaurant to finish the event but the dj would close up his equipment and leave if it started to pour so i didn't want to risk it and told them i still wanted the ceremony outside and i would do the dinner inside in one of their banquet rooms. I also had a cocktail after the ceremony which was supposed to be outside just like the ceremony just a little further ways down from where the ceremony was but that didn't happen due to the rain and i will explain that in a second. I was pretty upset about the cocktail.... will get there in a sec. so i took back my decision to have the reception outside and told her ok lets do it in the ball room . it was a tinier/smaller ballroom since i only had like 36 guests but they decorated it beautifully ! i could not ask for more. it was amazing. my best friend and one of my maids of honor did my hair and makeup as she does hair professionally back home and the photographer (i used playa weddings and paid the outside $800 .00 dollar vendor fee to have them since i didn't want to use the photographers they provided) arrived around 330 - 4 pm to take some photos of my friends and my mom in my room plus the groom in the grooms room with his friends and family. at 5 pm i was instructed by my WC ingrid to wait in my room and have everyone (guests, friends, maids of honors , etc) to meet at zavas lounge/caribbean restaurant at 430 pm. everyone did so and my WC was there and directed everone to the ceremony which was on the beach near the gazebo behind zavas lounge restaurant. at about 5 ish she came to get me and my mom (my mom walked me down the aisle) in my room and walked me to the ceremony site. they played the music i wanted ( i had a playlist in order) and i started walking to my future hubby! everything went smoothly. we did a symbolic ceremony and the wedding officiant was female and she was just great! i had a ceremony script that i made up  and me and my husband said our own vows which i had my mom hold in her purse pre-printed and typed up. everything was perfect. it wasn't too hot but the rain was coming and you could see it brewing in the back ground so it definitely will make a stunning background for some pictures.... as soon as the ceremony was over we hugged our friends and family got some pictures in and the photographer took me and my hubby near the water and the palm trees because i really wanted some pictures on the beach. we took several and then it looked like it was goin to pour rain so the WC ingrid ran up to me and told me we should relocate all my guests to the zavas lounge/caribbean restaurant again and possibly hold off on the cocktail hour which was supposed to be on the beach further down from ceremony or maybe quickly move the cocktail to the mojito lounge inside the hotel.... i said ok lets do it and then we all started heading towards zavas lounge and it started pouring just as i entered the restaurant which was perfect because i didn't get drenched! yay! we all kinda sat around at zavas for a bit and the photographer got some great photos of the hubby and i and the guests just kinda went to the bar at zavas and ordered up some drinks and stuff. the WC ingrid told me we would wait til the rain stopped and m ake our way to the reception or mojito lounge to finish up the cocktail (keep in mind i paid for little bites to be passed around for the cocktail @248 dollars! ) anyway time flew by and next thing you know the WC told me it was time to just start heading to the reception because it was a soft drizzle.... i said ok and we did just that. somepeople ran to their rooms to freshen up and made their way back to the reception wihch was in the small ballroom not far from the mojito lounge and in/near the lobby. i was told to wait and sit in the lobby until me and my husband could be announced and walk into the ballroom. the WC was going or should have been gathering everyone and telling them to get into the ballroom because that was the only way we were going to walk in and be announced to do our first dance and husband/wife but everyone kept getting up and walking around and leaving and or going to get a drink at the mojito lounge so i wish the WC would have been a bit more in control and telling everyonen what to do and stuff (maybe my maids of honors should have done so as well lol ) but what I am upset about is two things. the FIRST is the WC told me i was going to have a personal bridal attendant the day of my wedding for 3 hours and no one came .. no one was my attendant... she said someone was going to be there to fluff my dress and assist me with whatever i needed like delivering the letter to my husband in the grooms room, etc. no one was there for me so my friends had to do it and it took time away from photos and stuff. everything felt rushed maybe not so much rushed as time was flying by for sure! the SECOND AND MOST IMPORTANT REASON I AM VERY UPSET WITH AZUL SENSATORI/KARISIMA/ WEDDING COORDINATORS is i paid for a cocktail hour and i didn't have one due to rain. i asked ingrid if i could get a refund for the cocktail and she told me no and had someone else call me and tell me i wasn't going to get a refund because my guests were told to go to mojito lounge and the appetizers were passed out in the mojito lounge and i was like "well ..... it would have been nice if everyone was informed most importantly me and my husband that the cocktail was for a few minutes before the reception in the mojito lounge because that way we would have directed our guests to go there and get some of those appetizers and bites i paid for which were probably passed out to other hotel guests" the lady i spoke with on the phone told me the appetizer bites for cocktail were passed out to my guests in mojito lounge i told her i dont think so and i asked all my guests and friends and they said nope they never had any type of bites or waiter passed around cocktail bites at all! i was very upset that is 250 bucks basically down the drain. so i guess what i can say in terms of negativity towards the WC and the resort is they need to make sure that there are good back up plans in place and there needs to be someone in addition to the WC that is tellings guests what is going and where they need to go because my guests were all under the assumption that since it was already very close to 7 pm they were to be in the ballroom which is where they were. so i was very upset about not getting a refund and still am!   we ended up finally getting announced and walked in to the ballroom, had our first dance and looking around the ball room i can say they did do a really nice job setting everything up. i really liked the decorations i chose and the way they made it look inside given i initally wanted the reception outside. the dj was alright... i hate that i paid 1500 or so for him and he basically just played songs i wanted and he was supposed to be an MC but didn't really get involved in the crowd or anything so maybe a speaker sound system and your ipod with a playlist may work for you if your thinking about saving money .. if i had to do it again i would not get a dj.   over all the event decor was nice, pricey but very nice and very well put together i must say. the WC was great. her name was ingrid. i know its not her fault i didn't get the refund its probably the hotel or lomas travel....but it was a great day and if i had to do it over again i probably would because the positives outweigh the negatives for sure. i love the hotel. the food is good but not gourmet-  definitely not like back home (united states - Chicago IL) however the wedding food we had was actually very very good. Better than the family style we have here back home at Banquet halls... there was a variety from chicken to lobster to salmon to arrachera steak and so on... so many meats you could not go wrong because everyone could choose something given all the variety. the liquor was flowing and everyone had a blast dancing the night away. definitely pricey wedding for destination wedding ... you could probably do a free wedding and it would be just the same beautiful and on the beach but if you want extra colors, clothes for tables, runners, flowers, different things will be extra. I hope i touched a little bit on everything if you have more questions please do not hesitate to email me at saeedandbeata@gmail.com     
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LaurenR

By LaurenR, · 2 Comments

Pros: Onsite Wedding Team, Pools, Food
Cons: Miami Wedding Team, Slow Service, Beach
Food Food was good, not gourmet but good. You must try the taco bar in the Mexican restaurant for lunch, so good! Room service was sometimes slow but we ordered it most nights very late after we had been out. Shrimp quesadillas were my favorite!  The BBQ on the beach was pretty good as well for lunch.     Rooms We were given a room in the adult’s only section for the first two nights, not sure why people would pay more for that section because the rooms are much smaller. The elevator in our building was not working and we were on the highest floor.  The first room we were given... we walked up to the 4th floor, walked in and there were two people in bed together! Very embarrassing, they gave us someone else room. I was not happy... back down the stairs to the lobby... got another room.. Walked back up the 4 stories to our new room. My Aunt and Uncle were given a room, they walked in... Entire floor was flooded! We were upgraded two nights later to the honeymoon suite which was great - the wrap around deck was beautiful. We were in room 3420.    Towels I love that this is not a wrist band resort, much classier. You can grab towels whenever you need them. A few mornings there were no towels to be found, I would have to wait and come back an hour or so later.   Pools Clean! Three pool bars which was awesome. You must ask for a better type of alcohol or they will give you rail. Beach I would advise NOT to get married on the beach. We did not even sit on the beach once. A TON of seaweed which would smell at certain points of the day. They attempted to clear it but the tracker was small. Not their fault, but it was out of control.     Wedding Laura and Ingrid from the wedding department were amazing. We had a two hour meeting with them and they went over EVERY details which was all executed perfectly. My only option as a backup was inside one of the halls which I was not happy about, but we had no rain so everything was fine. It was HOT though. We all were sweating a lot during the reception but no one complained and we all jumped into the pool at the end of the night. I can’t wait to get those photos back! The only couple things that happened though were the lobster we ordered did not come out, I had to complain and then 20 minutes it arrived (I think they forgot). We received some cards and 1 gift bag, the gift bag was stolen at the end of the night. I later found out the gift was jewelry, so I was very disappointed. I saw it sitting there one minute, gone the next. DJ All Music was great, played our requested songs as well as some other great one we did not think of! Everyone was dancing most of the night! We also choose the BBQ Deluxe menu and people raved about it. I was nervous about a buffet but I was worried the sit down would take too long (service is slow at the resort). So it wound up working out great!   Spa Spa folks were AMAZING!!! They banged out our hair (8 girls in total) within two hours. Pros! I was very impressed by the quality. I used the salon and the bridal suite. We also had a 2 for 1 massage which was out of this world. Best massage I’ve ever had. If you go early they will put you into the whirl pool/sauna/shower to loosen your muscles. Take advantage and arrive 45 minute early.     [sharedmedia=core:attachments:32799] [sharedmedia=core:attachments:32797] [sharedmedia=core:attachments:32796] [sharedmedia=core:attachments:32793] [sharedmedia=core:attachments:32792] [sharedmedia=core:attachments:32791]  
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Ydolem

By Ydolem, · 1 Comment

Pros: Wonderful on site wedding team, fabulous resort staff, excellent food, Brides Dress Rehearsal
Cons: Off site WC, ridiculous outside vendor fees, Karisma excludes Canadians from promos, expensive decor rentals
Overall we are very happy with our experience at the Azul Sensatori. Some photos of our wedding can be found here: http://abweddingrivieramaya.com/2015/03/28/wedding-m-and-r/   We chose the Azul Sensatori because we had a large group coming from all over the world that included a whole bunch of kids. There are direct flights to Cancun from almost everywhere, and the resort is truly and excellent place to vacation for all ages.   The wedding planning was quite frustrating at times. Our coordinator was Brigitte in the Miami office. She was always polite and professional.  She actually had a lot of good ideas and advice throughout the planning process. However, we usually had to wait a week to hear back from her, and sometimes more. She also occasionally mixed up our details. I think the main issue is that they are overloaded with weddings and there aren't enough staff in the office. This irritated us, as they make a TON of money off us wedding couples, Karisma should be able to afford a few more staff.   One of the most frustrating things about the planning process is that Canadian couples are excluded from all wedding promotions. The official reason for this is that Canadian guests generally purchase their rooms through a package and so get a discounted rate. That was not the case for our group, we had guests booking directly through Karisma coming from the US, and just because we were Canadian we were not given the perks an American couple would have received.  Also, our wedding bill was in USD, which was a huge disadvantage for us.    We attended the BDR in November 2014 and I would highly recommend this. It was so helpful, and fun! If possible plan to go before you book your wedding. They were far more likely to accommodate requests from couples who had not yet booked their weddings than those who had already signed on.   The resort is fantastic. The grounds, food, activities and rooms are all wonderful. The best part of the resort is truly the people who work there. They are all very customer-focused.   The resort mixed up the room bookings for quite a few of our guests. We had singles staying in a room with two beds, and groups of platonic friends staying in a room with one bed.  We also had guests who paid extra to stay in the adults only section, and ocean views, who did not get the type of room they paid extra for. We also had guests who requested "guaranteed connecting rooms" and were not even in the same building!   We checked in late on a Sunday night, but still the wedding concierge Laura was there to welcome us and make sure we were taken care of. She confirmed our numbers and menu for our welcome lunch and made sure we were feeling comfortable with our plans.    Our package came with a 40 person lunch or dinner at Spoons, and we used it for a welcome lunch. As always, the food was excellent and the staff was very helpful. We had guests with dietary restrictions and they were all served food they could eat, and enjoyed!  The staff at Spoons was fabulous, as always. Our guests were well taken care of during our lunch, which we appreciated. We could focus on visiting with them instead of taking care of them. The wedding concierge Laura also present for our lunch making sure it all went well.   Janet, the Lomas wedding coordinator facilitated our rehearsal the day before the wedding. She is always professional and can multi-task like I've never seen. If you have Janet taking care of your wedding rest assured every detail will be perfect!   I went to the Vassa Spa for my hair and makeup, as did the two Moms and one of my bridesmaids. Everyone looked gorgeous and were very happy with both the hair and makeup services. The front desk staff at the spa are also really helpful.  Angeles did my hair and makeup and it looked great and lasted all day, even in the heat. I paid extra for the airbrush makeup, and I'm not sure it was worth it. My bridesmaid who had regular makeup done looked great and hers lasted as long as mine did.    We ordered flowers through Lomas. We got two hanging corsages for the ceremony arch, a bridal bouquet, two bridesmaids bouquets, five boutonnières, and two corsages. They were all lovely. The boutonnières wilted quickly. If I had to do it again I would skip them or use an option that is not a real flower. The corsages and bouquets looked great the entire day!   We ordered a few decor items from Lomas but they were so incredibly overpriced we ended up bringing most of our decor ourselves and renting some from Love&Lace Decor. We were charged a set up fee of $250 but that was WAY less than we would have spent ordering our decorations from Lomas.   Our ceremony was on the Rooftop Garden (which is not a garden, nor is it on the rooftop).  Janet did a great job of overseeing the set up, and it looked wonderful. It was hot, they turned on the fans and served our guests drinks which really helped. Luckily the ceremony was quick!   It only took one Google search for us to decide we were not using the "approved" Photographers. Caribe has a terrible reputation, and Matias Cano is so overpriced it was more economical for us to pay the ridiculous outside vendor fee of $800USD!!!! We negotiated that down to $500USD. Our photographer was PhotoStudioAB and we are so happy with our photos.   Our reception was at the Plaza Zavas. Janet, Berenice and Laura did a great job of setting everything up, and they were there throughout the reception to make sure all was well. It looked wonderful and we had a great time. The staff at the reception was so amazing. All of our guests were so well taken care of. This was wonderful for us, as we could focus on enjoying the party! The service staff asked before taking the buffet away, and also made sure our Photographers had enough to eat and drink.   We used DJ AllMusic. Our DJ's name was Vulcan (I think). He did an excellent job. We bought the package that includes MC services and he kept things organized throughout the party. The package also included a bubble machine, glow sticks, and balloons.   We ordered the petite gourmet buffet for our guests, and everyone loved the food. I wish I had ordered plated meals for my guests with dietary restrictions. There wasn't really a good entrée option for my vegetarian guest, and my guest with a seafood allergy was concerned because the tongs used for the fish were also used for other items. The food was labelled clearly, and so most of our guests with dietary restrictions/preferences were fine with the buffet. If I could go back I would just order a few plated meals for those who needed them.   We also ordered a cake, we chose chocolate and vanilla. It was beautiful and delicious!    One final note, we were planning to use the "anniversary voucher" included in our package to return to a Karima resort but we never received it! We emailed Customer Service about that when we got home, but no one has gotten back to us.    We are so grateful to the entire team at the Azul Sensatori for making our wedding wonderful. All of our complaints have to do with Karismas prices and/or policies, not the people who work at the resort.     
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lolita2014

By lolita2014, · 8 Comments

Pros: On-site WC team, resort, food
Cons: Off-site WC dept, Karisma group reservation dept
My wedding at Azul Sensatori exceeded my expectations.  It was more than I could have asked for and all of my guests raved about the wedding and their time at the hotel.  If I could go back in time, knowing what I know now, I would not have worried as much as I did.  This thread was so helpful in planning our wedding.  To the women who answered my questions and gave such great advice (@murmel), I can’t thank you enough. While the planning had plenty of frustrations, my wedding day was absolutely perfect. Please note I will discuss $$$ in my review.  My husband and I set a budget and it was my mission to stick to it.  This website helped me figure out ways to save money and I want to be as candid as possible about how much money our wedding cost to help those brides who are planning their big day. We first worked with a TA from Beach Bum travel agency.  Based on what I desired she helped us choose Azul. However, I had a panic attack when she wanted me to sign a contract guaranteeing 10 rooms. Based on the feedback I was already receiving from friends and family, I did not believe we could fill that many rooms.  My husband researched and found that we could do a group reservation directly with Karisma and only guarantee 5 rooms.  We only had to place a deposit of $100 per room. Once again, hindsight is 20/20. I ended up having 57 guests. Some who said they might not come, came and some who said they would, did not. I wish I had stayed with our TA, because much like the offsite wedding coordinator department, the Group Reservation department is understaffed. While I never had a problem getting a response from my reservation specialist, my guests complained she was difficult to contact.  So, I spent 9 months having guests contact me to contact her to get their reservations finalized.  I also struggled with having some guests not read our website ( which had detailed information), ignore deadlines, or RSVP but ultimately not reserve, or reserve but not RSVP.  I feel a good TA would have handled all of that headache for me. On the plus side, at the time we reserved, they had the promotions of Bride and Groom Stay Free (not quite) and Unlimited Private Events.  We also had 20% off Food and Beverage. Each room in our block also received 2 $50 wine credits, 2 $50 massage credits and a $50 candlelight dinner credit. I didn’t pay attention to these promos at the time I reserved our room block because I did not believe we would reserve enough rooms to qualify.  Ultimately we had 24 rooms reserved in our block. For the first ten rooms reserved we qualified for a free 2 hour cocktail party.  I used this for our post-ceremony cocktail hour. After 20 rooms we qualified for a free private dinner. I requested to have another cocktail hour instead because the resort has so many restaurants, I didn’t want to highjack my guests time. We used this cocktail party for our Farewell Cocktail hour on Saturday night, as most of our guests left Sunday.
Also the Bride and Groom Stay Free Promo is not accurate. We had to book a Premium room for 7 days to qualify for the free wedding. What we got was a discount based on average night stay (3), average room cost, average room occupancy (2). So our room was discounted $2280 and we paid a balance of $1304 for our room.  Planning with the Florida WC was miserable.  I was prepared for the slow response but not prepared for the lack of information.  I initially had Erika.  I found her nice and friendly but a typical email exchange was: I send an email, she would respond one week later with a response that answered my question but provided no additional info. I would email back more questions within five minutes, but still wait another week for a response.  I understood my wedding was a ways away so I was patient.  Ultimately, I sent one email in April and never heard back and when I checked my online detail sheet I saw my WC was now Lucy.  When I called I found out Erika had left the company. ***Note: I do like that Erika had provided me an online link where I could check my detail sheet and be sure it was updated as I requested.  I didn’t have to wait to receive a copy of my detail sheet.
My new WC was Lucy.  New to Karisma, but very willing to help.  At this point I realized I got a better response when I called the main number, asked for Lucy and then sent a follow-up confirmation email.  We finished up the details of the wedding and I didn’t pay my final balance until my detail sheet was to my satisfaction. I brought a lot of my own décor for the wedding in order to save money.  For the ceremony I purchased one large hanging corsage from Lomas for $70.  I brought my own tulle sheers for the gazebo which I purchased online from Amazon for $18.  I brought chair sashes for the ceremony and reception ( my WC told me they would not move them so I needed enough for both sites). Fortunately, I found an online sale and got 120 sashes for 49 cents each.  I ordered a sand ceremony from Amazon, I got plain white fans from Michaels (40% coupon) for my female guests and got white handkerchiefs from Amazon for my male guests.  I’ve been to a few outdoor weddings and know men will incinerate before they use a fan.  Total ceremony décor: $171.50.
For our post-ceremony cocktail hour I bought Fuchsia tulle rolls to have them make bow-ties on the highboy cocktail tables.  I also made 6 small centerpieces which were small glass vases with moss and a fake pink rose (all purchased from the dollar store). This décor probably totaled $20 or less. For the reception I purchased luminaries from Etsy 8 for $41.50 (thanks @Jennypert for the suggestion), LED lights to go inside, small tealights from Hobby Lobby, and the chair sashes. Total reception décor was $87.50.
I also brought a cake topper, gift card box, and guest book. $31.29
For our farewell cocktail party, I had found multi-colored sea shells and brought 2 packs at $2 each.  I had them scatter these on the highboys.
I also made my own bouquets for myself and my bridesmaids (afloral.com). I made corsages for the moms and purchased premade boutonnieres (50% off) from Hobby Lobby for the men. Total cost: $120.
The extra baggage fee to bring down my wedding items was $40.  Wouldn’t you know it this was the bag that didn’t arrive in Cancun when we did! I didn’t freak out and fortunately our airline delivered the bag to the resort that night. We arrived at the resort on Wednesday 6/18/14. I had arranged for private transportation through Lomas. I was disappointed that we had to wait in a long line for over 30 minutes before they put us in a regular shuttle (although no other passengers) . I have traveled many times and never had to wait that long for transportation.  Having paid the extra money, I was very annoyed. We arrived at AS and I was disappointed again that we were left waiting for ten minutes in the lobby before anyone came to greet us. Then our Premium concierge Leslie came and greeted us. She gave us a quick tour of the hotel as she led us to the Premium concierge gazebo. There we chose scents for the room, soap and pillow preferences.  I explained my luggage situation and she told me I could come back and call the airline once we settled in our room.  She led us to our room and then took me back down and she called the airline for me.  She assured me my bag would be there that night.  Leslie was great. My brother and his wife had arrived the previous Saturday. Upon our arrival they surprised us and told us they had upgraded to a Presidential Suite and it was their gift to us. They are timeshare owners and had traded in their timeshare to purchase a timeshare through the resort.  So we swapped rooms for our first 3 nights.  The Presidential suite had one king room, one room with 2 double beds and a living space with a small kitchen, dining room and living area.  We also had a huge patio with plenty outdoor living space and seating. We were in shock, the suite was amazing.  It was also stocked with many bottles of premium alcohol and wine.
On Wednesday night we had our candlelight dinner (include in our wedding package).  I fell asleep soon after but awoke at 2am to assemble my Welcome OOT Bags. 
On Thursday we hungout in the pool near the Zavas swim-up bar until my 1 pm wedding coordinator appointment.  I would advise not drinking before this meeting. I had a buzz and I was afraid the whole meeting that I was forgetting things. Fortunately, I had my wedding binder and I had already printed out detailed info. We brought along my sister-in-law who was also able to be sure they understood what I wanted. I gave them the printed handouts that had all the items I brought along as well as descriptions of how I wanted it all set up.  I WAS NOT CHARGED A SET UP FEE.
My “Bridezilla Moment” was when Antonio (Onsite coordinator) tried to tell me that our Welcome Dinner was moved to Sienna.  We planned to use our Spoons reservation for our Welcome Dinner.  I was adamant that it remain at Spoons because that is where I had informed my guests it would be. They agreed. We also set our locations for the cocktail hours.  Because our cocktail hours were free events, you do not find out the location until this meeting.
I was also determined from the beginning that I wanted our reception in the ballroom because I didn’t want myself or my guests too hot.  When we saw the ballroom I was shocked that it was so plain.  The carpet is a terrible brown color and my sister-in-law pointed out areas where it was ripping.  The resort is so beautiful I don’t understand why the ballroom would look so bad. But, my primary concern was A/C.
I told the WCs that I wanted a rehearsal that day (this was included on my detail sheet). I gave Janet (WC) a sheet that showed how I wanted everyone to walk into the ceremony. It was scheduled for 5pm.
We gave them our bag with our décor and left.  I was surprised the meeting was so short and I worried that I may have missed something.
My worry quickly faded as my guests began arriving. We hung out in the lobby to try to greet everyone as they came in.  We handed out our OOT bags as we saw our guests and handed out the remainder at our welcome dinner.
From the moment our guests arrived the party began. We invited family back to see our Presidential suite and they all loved it. We had the wedding rehearsal at 5pm and Janet made sure everything went smoothly. The Welcome Dinner at Spoons was great.  I was initially bothered that we were seated in the general dining area because they had another party in the private area. Also, our service was really slow. My annoyance turned to joy as my guests began meeting and greeting each other and having a good time. Also when the food did come it was delicious. ***Note: The free Spoons reservation is for a max of 40 guests and then $25 for each additional guest. I believe I had 53 attend and I was not charged.  We had 5 guests stay offsite and the 3 who attended paid $25 each to enter the resort.  I was happy to hear this as they expected to pay the $80 resort fee.
After the dinner the guys went back to the suite and the ladies went to Mojito Lounge.  We didn’t stay more than an hour and a half because I was getting tired.  When I went back to room, I found the guys having a good time enjoying drinks and had ordered room service.
The wedding day I hung out with our guests and tried to spend time with everyone I could find. Janet the WC came by to show us the weather forecast and have us sign to confirm that the reception would be on the beach. The weather was great the entire week (average temps 83-87 degrees) with the exception of a light rain shower that lasted five minutes Saturday morning.  I also gave her the Ipod that had our ceremony music. At this time she informed me that I did not have enough tulle for the gazebo setup I requested. She offered to provide free sheers to add to mine. We checked my FI into his groom’s room around 11am and we parted ways at 1pm.  The suite was ideal because my bridesmaid had one bedroom to get ready and I had my own room.  My bridesmaid did my hair and makeup in the living area while our moms and a couple of friends dropped by. We used Caribe Photo (5 hour package) and he arrived at the groom’s room at 4pm.  He came to my room at 4:35 at started taking photos of me getting ready. At 5pm Janet arrived to walk me down to the ceremony.
The ceremony was beautiful and our minister, Alberto Parra, was great.  His words were beautiful and everyone was emotional.
We took photos while our guests enjoyed their cocktail hour at Zocalo Terrace. We were able to catch the last 15 minutes and they had the highboys decorated as I requested and there was a nice breeze on the terrace.
We then headed to the ballroom for the reception.  My FI’s friend MCed the wedding and did a great job.  They had the tables set up as I requested but they had random blue and white short pillars in the back as well as a blue-lighted Eiffel tower object near the buffet. My wedding color was watermelon (similar to fuchsia) so that with ugly carpet bothered me at first.
I had ordered the Petite Gourmet Buffet menu. It was a hit. ***Tip: we had 4 child guests and if you order the kids menu they eat for free***. After the bridal party entered we had our first dance, followed by mother/son dance. We then sat down to eat. Speeches began soon afterwards and we were surprised by how many guests got up to share heartfelt words. After the tears dried and we cut the cake, the dancing began. Once the lights dimmed and the party started I forgot about the look of the ballroom.  The reception was amazing.
We used Mega DJ and they were AWESOME.  I filled out the sheet for requests like first dance, cake cutting, etc songs. Once again, thank you @Jennypert because she emailed me this form, not Erika, my initial WC.  I gave them specific song requests for Haitian music (my family is Haitian and I wanted to be sure everyone had something to enjoy). After that I requested Hip-hop, R&B, light rap, Soca and some line dances (ex. Cupid Shuffle). Everyone from my 3 year old cousin to my 80 year old aunt were on the dance floor.  My 74 year old mother who uses a cane was dancing too. We danced until they turned the lights on!
The next day everyone raved about the DJ.  We even attended my matron of honor’s birthday dinner last night where about 11 people had been at our wedding and they were still talking about how great the DJ was.
A lot of guests went on to Mojito lounge after the reception while my groom and I went back to our suite. Our suite was decorated with rose petals and a decorated Jacuzzi and champagne.  The next morning we had honeymoon breakfast set up on the outside patio (included in our package).  We spent the day hanging out with our guests were everyone complimented us on the wedding, specifically the food and the DJ. That night we had a Farewell cocktail party at the Roof Garden Lounge.  Everyone left to have dinner and  a few of us enjoyed Hookah at the Waves Swim up bar ($20 per hookah).
All but 3 guests left on Sunday.  I spent the first half of Sunday saying good-byes and the last half we hung out with our last 3 guests. On Monday I enjoyed a massage (they had a $69, 40 minute massage special). It was on the beach and Augustin was phenomenal. Hubby wasn’t interested  in one so he played beach volleyball. We then met up and we lounged around the rest of the day.  We realized we missed our guests. That night we had dinner at LeChic and we enjoyed it. Our group reservation include 2 $50 wine credits per room, so we had 2 $50 bottlles of wine with dinner.
On Tuesday we also lounged and enjoyed the great restaurants.  While there was no pressure, we chose to attend a Prestige Travel Club presentation. The presentation was great until we saw the cost.  The first package shown to us was $50,000 then $20,000 then $5,000.  We considered it because we were having such a great time, but decided we didn’t want to start our marriage with any debt. We met with the photographer from Caribe and he gave us our CD which had over 500 unedited photos, he did not have our photo books and promised those would be mailed to us.  The most I can about Caribe is they were ok. The photographer was nice, but not great. For example, he took a few great shots in the groom’s room, but there are clothes and clutter in the background. Fortunately, I had a few guests with great cameras that caught great photos as well. So, I would not recommend Caribe.
We had dinner at Tapaz and that was great as well. All the restaurants were great and  I am glad we got to try them all.
My regrets: Booking our group reservation through Karisma instead of a TA ,and spending so much time on OOT bags.  My bags included: mending kit, cotton balls, cotton swabs, aspirin, hand sanitizer, razors, antacid, Tide detergent pack, sunscreen, floss and personalized chapstick. Only one person even mentioned the bags and that is because they were hung over and used the aspirin.  If I knew what I know now I would have just made personalized sunscreen labels and got one bottle of sunscreen per room.  The OOT items were money ill-spent and took up too much room in our luggage.
I love AS, I would return in a heartbeat. I only wish the Florida reservation dept and WC dept would hire more staff so brides would not have to suffer the frustration prior to the event.
I plan to place my budget on the AS Budget Planning Thread because I found that information helpful. But for anyone concerned: Our budget was $10,000 for EVERYTHING. This includes our airfare, transportation, room, photography, DJ, dress and alterations, suits, wedding bands, bridal party gifts., stationary (STDs, invites, thank you cards), stamps, websites, decorations, flowers, wedding ceremony and reception, cake, OOT bags and etc. When we add additional expenses during our trip (massage, hookah, wine) we still met our budget.
Overall, I could not have asked for a better wedding week.  The wedding was great, the hotel was great and my guests were so happy.  My joke with my husband has been “Let’s get divorced, so we can get married all over again”. I am most proud that I had the wedding of my dreams and we didn’t go broke in the process.  Our guests consider the money they spent to attend well-spent as they had a great time.  I could not be happier.
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bubblez

By bubblez, · 7 Comments

Pros: Resort staff, service, food
Cons: The beach. Wedding department lost my cake topper. Wished the resort was better organized
Wedding Date: June 25, 2013 Resort: Azul Sensatori Group size: 29 adults, 5 children (ranging from 6 months to 6 years old) Wedding Coordinator: Janet, Antonio Ceremony: Zocalo Beach Reception: Plaza Zavas   My fiancé and I chose Azul Sensatori base on recommendation by our travel agent.  She has been to the resort numerous times and according to her it was one of the best she has visited.  We do not regret our choice at all.  It was, in fact, one of best resort we have stayed in.  All our family and friends cannot wait to go back.   Day 1: Sunday   We traveled from Vancouver on Sunwing to Cancun.  On the plane, Sunwing has an overhead compartment reserved for wedding dresses so my dress was able to lay flat.  There was another bride on the flight and both of our dresses fit in the compartment perfectly.  When we arrived, we had no problems going through customs. Lomas was the company we used for transfer and because we had a large group, our travel agent set a private transfer from the airport to the resort.  So we had the whole bus to ourselves.   When we arrived at the resort, we were given tags for our bags so they know which bags belong to which room.  The staff was quite prompt with that process.  We were then led to the Roof Garden Lounge for a private check-in.  The staff there handed us all cold towels, champagne and passed around trays of bite sized food for us.  For the children, they had chocolate milkshakes.  As we checked in, we were told that we have all been upgraded to the Premium Section of the resort and we all had free access to wifi on the resort.  That was a great perk because our whole group was able to stay in touch for the entire week by whatsapp.  The only problem with the upgrade was not everyone was able to stay in the premium section even though we all up the upgrade because they didn’t have enough rooms in the building.   After we were assigned our rooms, our group scattered to different restaurants to eat.  Our family went to Sienna, the Italian restaurant.  Food was delicious.  I had the mushroom risotto and it was absolutely fabulous.    After dinner we all headed down Zocalo Beach where we had a private s’mores party and handed out welcome bags that our bridesmaid and groomsmen assembled for us.  We did this instead of a dinner because we thought it would be less formal and more fun for everyone.  The bonfire itself wasn’t very big.  It was just a small little fire pit.  The staff had a table set up with an assortment of fruit and marshmallow.  We also had dedicated bar staff for drinks.  Everyone at the bonfire had such a great time.  A great first night. If you have the budget, I would definitely suggest thinking about having this as an ice breaker for everyone to get acquainted.   Day 2: Monday   Today was a chore day for me and my fiancé.  I had a hair trial appointment at noon.  I forgot the lady’s name but she did a fabulous job.  I found a few pictures online and she was able to replicate it.  The only issue I had was they put too much hairspray in my hair.  My whole head was stiff.  After the hair appointment, we met up with the Lomas Representatives (Janet and Antonio) at wedding department.  They printed a copy of the detail sheet and we went over each item one by one.  This meeting is where you would make any last minute changes.  Our colours were white and purple.  They brought several different shades of purple for us to choose to make sure we had the right shade for the wedding.  We also dropped off a bag of decorations for them to set up for us.  We bought lights to wrap around the pillars, a signing book, cake topper and some menu cards.  Since we didn’t have too many requests for the wedding, our meeting took less than an hour.    The rest of the night, we hung out with our friends and family at the premium pool and had dinner at Zavaz the Caribbean Restaurant with just family.   In my opinion, lunch there was better than dinner at that restaurant.   After dinner, my fiancé went to hang out with his friends while I went to bed early because the next day was the big day!   Day 3: Tuesday   Bright and early, all my bridesmaids and I went to the spa to get our hair done at the salon.  After we were done at the salon, we all went back to my room to get our make-up done and get dressed.  The guys were in their grooms room chillin’ with food and drinks.   Forecast for the day was 30% chance of shower.  Janet came asking if we wanted to move our wedding inside.  We said no and signed papers to keep our wedding outdoors. We then did a first look before the ceremony at 3pm.  Ceremony was at 4pm. At 3:45pm Janet came back and led me, my bm’s and my dad to Zocalo beach. She was with us every step of the way.  It was a beautiful location with a slight breeze.  After the ceremony we were all promptly served champagne.  We then dispersed to do our own thing.  The guests went to chill at a bar.  The bridal party continued to take pictures.   Our reception was at Zavas Plaza. We had the BBQ buffet and everything was absolutely delicious. We had a vegetarian guest and she was served cannoli. She said it was delicious as well.   The only complaint I have would be that the food was taken away too fast. My husband and I never had the chance for a second round at the buffet.  But we thought that it was because we were walking around talking to guest that we didn’t have time to eat.  We found out the day after the wedding, that most of our guest did not eat a second round and some did not even have a chance to eat dessert at the dessert table.  If you are having a BBQ buffet, mention to the coordinators at the wedding department to make sure you have ample amount of time for you and your guest to enjoy the food.  After all, you had to pay extra for it.  During the dinner, Janet and Antonio came by to check on how things were.  We told them that everything was great except that they lost our cake topper.  It was gift from one of our guest and now it’s forever lost in Mexico. =(   Our DJ for the evening was DJ All Music and he did an amazing job. Everyone had an absolutely amazing time.  At about 10ish (sorry, that day I did not have much sense of time, everything went by so fast) we finished up.  Some of our guest went to the bar and some of us head back to the room. My husband and I went back to our room and it was beautifully decorated and the hot tub was filled with bubbles all ready for us to jump in.  It was an incredibly amazing day which I would never forget.   Day 4:   We had our breakfast in bed (came with our wedding package) delivered at 9am.  We then went to the wedding department to fill out a review.  Your destination wedding travel agent (if you have one) will receive a copy of this.   Most of our friends went on an excursion so my husband and I went to take more pictures of us in our wedding wardrobe and had our TTD session.    We were there for another 3 day before we needed to fly back for our other wedding at home. Everyone loved the resort so much, we all want to go back.   Hope I didn’t bore any of you brides with my review.  I wanted to make sure that you can all imagine what the resort and the day of the wedding will be like.   Please feel free to PM me if you have any questions.
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Pros: Resort staff is very friendly & the spa is fantastic
Cons: Wedding Department Did not follow the detail sheet and horrible with communication.
Our Wedding was at Azul Sensatori Monday, Sept 16, 2013 Wedding Coordinators: Janet, Antonio, Victoria Ceremony-Zocalo Beach Gazebo Reception- Plaza Zavaz   I will start with a basic review for those of you who might not want to read my novel: My Rating is A the best F the worst Wedding Dept - D Wedding Sites Outdoors- B Wedding Sites Indoors - F Azul Sensatori Property- A Rooms - A Beach - C Overall Resort Staff - A+++ They were exceptional (not including Wedding Dept) Lomas - A Food in Restaurants - A Room Service - C Spa - A++++ Fantastic   We arrived on Thursday night around 8:30pm, Sept 12th and were greeted by a very friendly staff and escorted to the concierge desk for a private check in. The concierge was very enthusiastic and friendly. She went over all the paperwork in short order and gave us letter from the Wedding Dept stating our meeting time on Friday. Immediately, I noticed the meeting time overlapped my Hair/Make Up Rehearsal appt at the spa. I was annoyed because I had made a specific note on the Detail Sheet to avoid conflicting schedule for this appt. My first impression was the wedding dept didn’t care about my pre arranged spa time and states the appt set by the wedding coordinator can not be changed. Due to the time of night I could not do anything about it until the Spa opened at 8:00am the next morning. I was left to worry about it all night.   Once we finished with the concierge, Marcelo, the bellman escorted us to our room. Marcelo was so friendly and enthusiastic. We were really enjoying talking with him. As we were walking to room, I noticed him take a turn into the Adult Only Section. I questioned where we were going and said I told him we are not booked in the Adult Section. Marcelo seemed confused but handled it well. He did what he should and that is talk up room and the section. Which all sounded great except we have 50 guests coming and 8 children that we wanted to be accessible to. Most important, my nephews being able to spend time with us at our swim up or in our room on the day of the wedding as they were part of the Bridal Party. We appreciated the upgrade but expressed it just wouldn’t work for us on this trip. Marcelo really went above and beyond by calling the front desk and trying to work it out. Ultimately it was out of his control so he did a great job showing us the room and helping us with the luggage and went on his way.   We then began working with Eduardo at the Front Desk to get the room figured out. Eduardo was very friendly as well and did try to help us. We were told that there were no rooms available (Swim-Up) in the Azul Section which is where we booked. Our option was to move to the Premium Section and pay $1,000.00 more for the week or they could possibly move us to the Azul Section on Sunday, the day before the wedding. I was not happy about this at all. It is there problem they didn’t have a room in the section we booked and I was not going to be burdened with moving rooms and all our luggage the day before our wedding. Not to mention that I would be busy with all our family and our Welcome Dinner was that night. It is now like 10:00pm and we are tired and hungry and have to get up early to get a hold of the spa to change my appt time to 8:30am. Out of stress and our desire to not be in the Adult section we broke and said move us to the premium section and DID PAY THE UPGRADE. The fact that I gave in really bothered me for the next several days. I decided not to dwell on it and I would bring it up with my TA when I returned home.   Marcelo returned to move our luggage to the new room. Again he went above and beyond showing us the room and all the features. I was up very late unpacking and getting organized for the next day which was going to be busy with appts.   Friday, Sept 13, 2013 we got up early to get some breakfast and go to the Spa right at 8am to try and get my appt moved to 8:30am so I could make our 11:00am with the wedding coordinators. The spa receptionists were very friendly and accommodating. They took me in right at 8:30 for both my rehearsal of hair & makeup. Martha was my stylist,I liked my hair but did not love it and my makeup was too dark which I expressed to her. I left by saying I had to see the make up in the sunlight but I felt it was way too dark. When I left I completed a comment card and indicated “Good” on the questionnaire. I am running a little late now so I rush back to my room to get my fiance for our appt. By the time I arrived back to our room the spa had called the room and were concerned because my questionnaire did not say “Excellent”. The receptionist offered me a lot of options, change the stylist, have another rehearsal, etc. At that moment I was rushed for our appt but was pleasantly surprised by the Spa’s effort. I advised them to give some time that day to look at the make up more and my hair.   Off to the Wedding Coordinator meeting I went and arrived a few minutes late. I was greeted by Janet and Antonio.They were very friendly and inviting. Janet seemed more straight to business and Antonio was more enthusiastic and engaging. Which was good for me, I liked the mix. We began going over the detail sheet and they seemed very willing and able to manage all my wishes. It went very smooth especially since I am extremely detailed and brought pictures of all the details, play-lists, etc. Everything was in writing with pictures attached for the Original plan for the beach wedding and gazebo reception. In hindsight, I should have asked more questions and been more detailed about the backup plan in the event of rain. I did not ask a lot of detailed questions in this area nor did they offer a lot of information. It was basically if it rains the wedding is moved to here and the reception here. I think the only thing I asked was can I see the reception site which they showed me. I was fine with the ballroom and did not think to say explain in detail what you will do for my ceremony if moved in doors. We finished the meeting with the plan that I would return that day with our Welcome Bags to be delivered to our guests and the set up payment. I did not bring a lot of set up items and my fee was still $200.00 cash and $4.00 per Welcome Bag to be delivered. Overall when I left this meeting I felt very good and not stressed about anything because the detail sheet was so detailed.   We had requested a rehearsal late afternoon on Sunday before the Welcome Dinner. Most of our Groomsmen did not arrive until late Sat evening. We were advised in the meeting we could not have a rehearsal on Sunday due to the Mexican Holiday. Which really made no sense to me because the wedding department were working that day just not having any weddings. However, I made it work. We scheduled to have the rehearsal on Sat at 2:00 (which was the latest appt they had) even though most of our wedding party were not there yet. No groomsmen or father of the bride. The rehearsal would be done with Omar from the wedding department, who was not one of our coordinators but he would fill in to do the rehearsal. However, Janet assured me that it would be OK because the day of the wedding she would make sure everyone knew what to do and when and where to stand, etc.     One additional note, the custom maracas we had arranged to be shipped directly to the resort were due to arrive that day, Friday. It was pre arranged that they would arrive after we checked in to avoid any problems. When at our meeting with Janet & Antonio we discussed the arrival of the maracas. Antonio was very aware of their expected arrival and we discussed him calling me to let me know when they arrived so I could come inspect them. I never heard anything from him on their arrival.   I returned around 5:00pm ish with my Welcome Bags and cash for payment of delivery of the bags and for the set up fee. I was greeted by Antonio. I gave him the payments and showed/explained the Welcome bags which were labeled for each guest with first & last names. Some bags were for families with kids and some specific for our bridal party. He assured me no problems and the names helped them. I then questioned if my maracas had arrived. He said yes there over here. When I said I thought you were going to call the response was “Oh yes, I did but there was no answer”. My comment was “You could’t have left me message, I mean that’s what voice mail is for?” In their very friendly way he brushed right past my comment and of course I let it go with the excitement of seeing the maracas.   My next topic with Antonio was regarding some confusion regarding our reservation at LaChique that night. There seems to be a big misunderstanding between us, off site coordinator, and on site staff. It was expected by us (bride & groom) and another couple that we would not have to pay the $25.00 for this because of the premium section & bride & groom status. Antonio was very confused by this and told us we would each have to pay the $25.00. Of course with all the room confusion, I had not yet set up WI-fi so I could not pull up my correspondence showing why I did not expect to pay.  Long story short, Antonio really went above and beyond for us to not have to pay the fee after some debate. He did work it out so all 4 of us used our Candle Light dinner room credit. Especially since we already had the candle light dinner as part of the wedding package.   At this time we went straight to our Premium Section concierge desk to arrange the steaming / pressing of our wedding attire. There we arranged the service and discussed how and when they would return my wedding dresses. It was discussed that the dress would be returned to our room on Sat and placed on the mannequin and covered. At this time I would not say the concierge service in the premium section was worth the price of the section. Basically we went in arranged it and nothing was told to us about all the perks of this section. We left not unhappy as we didn’t know what we were missing.
  The rest of Friday went fine. We had a long dinner at La Chique with one bridesmaid & her husband who arrived on Friday before the bulk of guests arrived. I will say that if I had paid for La Chique I would have been upset. In all four of our opinions it is highly over rated. We actually talked about going to the buffet after. I will note that we are a group that enjoys fine dining and we really didn’t like it. The environment is really nice though.   After wearing my hair & make up all day I had decided by the end of this night that I did not like my hair or makeup that was done earlier that day in the spa. I noticed a lot of gaps in my hair and the make was way too dark.   Sat morning we decided to hit the Spa for the monthly special they were offering prior to the arrival of all our guests that day. We really needed it because Thurs night & Friday were stressful & hectic. Sat for the most part was just a busy day with 90% of our guests arriving all day. There were some slight confusions with rooms etc but again the front desk worked it all out. I would say the big frustration was my mom & sisters (with 3 kids) arrived at the resort around noon and were told their rooms would not be ready until 3pm. Which no one had a problem with as they were busy meeting/greeting other guests as they arrived and we knew check in was at 3. At 3:30 they still did not have rooms and everyone one else did including guests who had just arrived. However, I went to Antonio who went to the front desk and they had rooms within minutes of that. Not sure what the true problem was there but both of them did have connecting rooms.   We had our rehearsal on the beach gazebo site with Omar, another wedding coordinator, at 2:00pm on Sat. It was a nice day and good rehearsal even without all the bridal party. Omar just had to play the part of all the men. I again was very specific on what chairs for the front row and who was to sit there. (might have helped if Janet or Antonio where there)   On Sat evening some of our guests began commenting on seeing other of our guests with our custom bags and lanyards. I explained to them they would be delivered to their room and it’s because they were later arrivals. Etc. No problem.
  When I returned to my room on Sat evening I found my wedding dress covered with a sheet and hanging from the rafter of the wood frame wall by the jacuzzi and the mannequin frame there undressed. I contacted the Premium Section concierge who stated they would get it on the mannequin and the mannequin was not in the room originally when the dress was delivered.   Sunday began well. I called the Spa to arrange getting a new stylist for the wedding day. They accommodated with pleasure. I also added two last minute men’s pedicures for groomsmen the day of the wedding and the staff was very accommodating were great.   Throughout Sunday through late afternoon some guests still had not received their welcome bags. To include, a bridesmaid with her schedule in it. I went to the Wedding Dept and was greeted by Victoria. When I looked I saw several of our bags sitting there (about 5). Victoria explained to me that there was some room confusion and even told me that one of our bags was delivered to someone not even part of our wedding group. Some bags for kids were delivered to adult members of our wedding guests. They assured me they would get it all worked out and delivered to them that evening (Sunday). I was concerned but Victoria assured me she would make sure. I did take one of the bags for my bridesmaid and delivered it to her myself (and did not ask for my $ back for it)   When I went back to my room at 4:00 to start getting ready for our Welcome Dinner at Spoons. I found that my dress was still hanging from the rafter and the mannequin still undressed. I walked to the concierge to explain my dress still is not done and they assured me they would get it done. The dress was so high there would be no way for me to get it down the day of the wedding.   We then got ready for our Welcome Dinner. I will say the Welcome Dinner was great. The staff that served us were Exceptional!!! Friendly, helpful, and so attentive. The food was great and the we loved it. My only comment was that they did not have the curtains pulled and we had a lot of other restaurant guests walking through to go to the buffet. It was not really semi private as they say it is. It could have been if the curtains were pulled. None of our guests noticed it but when I was looking around or at guests I wanted to go talk to I noticed I could see ½ the restaurant too and always noticed people walking through the middle of our tables. It was really minor as we all loved the staff and the meal but felt it was worth mentioning.   Returned to our room to start getting prepared for our wedding day the next day :) My dress was still hanging from the rafter but concierge was already closed so I could’t call again.   MONDAY The Big Day, We awake early to have breakfast and head to the spa. (My dress is still hanging from the rafter)   The spa staff was great. I loved Angelice my new stylist. She did a fantastic job. I absolutely loved my hair and makeup. The groomsmen & Groom all had pedicures and loved it. The bridesmaids & my mom seem to be a little frustrated with their hair but not enough to affect the day. The spa runs very slow. I had made specific request that all members be done by 2:00. At 1:30 when I was leaving the spa none of my girls were done and my MOH had not had her hair or makeup even started. I told the front desk as I was leaving that they must hurry up that they were all due for pictures at 2:30 and some still need to do their own make up. I think we were all ready for pictures about 3:00 for pictures because it was rushed for the girls in the end. (now me as the bride had plenty of time but I also arrived 45 mins early with the men otherwise I would have been rushed too)   During my Spa time Janet came to me to show the forecast. Which was 60% chance of rain during our ceremony & reception. At this time we discussed what to do. It was immediately decided to move our reception in doors to the ballroom. If we chose to risk the reception outdoors and it began to rain the DJ would pack up and go. The DJ will not set up twice to move in doors. That would have been the end of my reception if it began to rain. We discussed what happened if I chose to risk it and keep the ceremony outside. I was told they would keep the ceremony on the beach and if it was raining 30 to 60 mins prior to the ceremony they would move it last minute to the Entertainment Patio partially indoors but with none of my decorations. In the event the rain or storm was really bad they would move it to the Mojito Bar. I decided to move it to the patio at that time and signed all the forms to make the move. This was about 12:30.   By the time I got back to my room I changed my mind and called wedding dept and spoke to Victoria and asked if I could keep the ceremony outside or was it too late (it was 2:00pm at that time). She said she would talk with Janet. Around 2:30 Victoria arrived in my room to explain that they would/could keep the ceremony outside and that if it was moved last minute it would be without my decorations. I agreed. At that time I asked point blank, how do you notify the groom and our guests of the change and when. She told me that they would call each guest and leave Voicemails if they weren’t in their room but it would be in about an hour (3:30) not then. I explained that this was going to really confuse the groom and she assured me over and over again that she was walking to him directly right then to talk with him and let him know. My mom said she would go too so he understood the option. I said no mom I need you here and Victoria said it was no problem she would explain it to him they could call me from his room if he need more info from me. ( I never received any phone calls)   I then showed Victoria that my dress was hanging from the rafters and she said “Oh yes we came to put that on the mannequin and it was too high”.. This whole time I thought it was the concierge staff dropping the ball. So while my bridesmaids and I are trying to get ready Victoria and my photographer were working on getting my dress down and getting it on the mannequin just for picture purposes. Then working on getting it off the mannequin so I could put it on. Annoying but minor. I really was in the clouds with happiness at this point.   At about 4:00 the weather changes and the rain begins and it’s clear my ceremony will be moved indoors. Pretty quickly after that Victoria shows up at my room to explain the change to the Mojito Bar and that they would be back to escort me at 4:45. In hindsight, I should have said “Wait why the Mojito Bar it’s just lightly raining and not storming which would put it on the Patio”. But I didn’t say anything I was really distracted at this point with pictures etc. At this point I start to get a little depressed but my girls really kept me upbeat and smiling. Now this time I do not ask Victoria how she will tell my groom, I just assumed. That was a big mistake. At 4:30 my room phone rings and it’s my groom upset and talking with my sister. My sister immediately handed me the phone. He was agitated and he knew it was time for him to be heading the the ceremony (his report time was 4:30) but had no idea where to go. I asked him if Victoria came to see him and he said no one has been there to see them all day. He never got notified of even the 1st change. You have to know my groom. He is so laid back and does not react to stress. I explained what to do and where to go. He was so stressed about not being at the right spot he and no one communicating with the men all day he said NO I’M NOT LEAVING UNTIL SOMEONE COMES TO GET US AND TELLS ME WHERE TO GO. I knew then we had a problem. If the groom didn’t know where to go, did any of our guests? It was my photographer that escorted the Groom to the correct spot (the Mojito Bar) At this time 4:30, my bridesmaids call their husbands and explain where to go and to look for our guests at the two other locations if they are missing. So it was them who rounded up guests to the lobby. (I asked guests later and only a handful got calls and the others said they didn’t not have a voice mail)   At this time my girls started calling the concierge to get several umbrellas to get me to the lobby. They brought them promptly.   When Janet arrived at my room about 4:50 to escort me to the Mojito Bar she said we were a little delayed due to the change. Which was expected by now with the changes. At this time I was just ready to go. About 5:00 we started on our way. ALL the rain had stopped but everything was very wet so it would have been hard to be outside to marry but we could have definitely done the patio vs the Bar. As I was making my way to the lobby guests were back in the pool and cheering me on as I walked by. My mood was sheer joy at this point. They escorted me up the elevator to the lobby. When the elevator opens my bridesmaids see the Groom standing in the lobby talking with groomsmen. So of course they are rushing to get him into place and I had to hide in the elevator as everyone was trying to block me. I was thinking if he’s standing out there are the guests even seated??? Are we even ready to start the ceremony? Very Annoying. Yet again people in the lobby were cheering me on and making wonderful comments which put me right back into sheer joy.   Then processional starts. I can hear the correct music from outside. When I start my walk in I can’t see the alter/groom just the guest chairs and no one is standing. When I get closer I notice the guests all seem rushed to stand. I even caught the look on one of my close friends face that seemed sad/annoyed that she was stumbling to stand before I entered. It escaped me at that point because I was filled with joy. I would say that the things I noticed from this point were a thought or concern for a split second and then I was pulled right back to my joy. So I will mention them as I noticed them but forgot them just as quick as I noticed them. 1st was guest were not standing which means no one said “Please Stand” as I had indicated. 2nd was the tacky alter-If I was suppose to not have decorations due the last min change why was the alter wrapped in white & PINK when my colors were Purple & Orange. They had moved my hanging flowers (purple & orange) and put them on the pink & white alter. 3rd- I gave specific instructions of how many chairs to have in the front row (4 on bride side & 3 on grooms) and who was to sit in them. This was ignored totally. When I walked in with my dad I noticed guests sitting where he was suppose to be. (not sure what happened about that as I was now gushing over my groom) 4th- the sand ceremony table was set smack in the middle of the alter. The groom was standing at the one side and me on the other. Never were we next to each other or hand in hand during the ceremony. Until we stepped forward to exchange rings & kiss. This drove me nuts the whole ceremony and neither of us knew what to do. That was not how we rehearsed. Then after I kissed my groom I didn’t pay attention to a single thing. I was lost in the moment.   According to guests the staff was excellent in the Mojito Bar for the happy hour prior to the reception. The finger foods no one had any specific comments as they can’t remember what they were or if good or bad.   The reception. First thing I notice is it’s not at the same room they showed me on Friday when I asked to see the back up. (it was much smaller) I do not have all the facts for all the things that went wrong. However, there were definitely things that went wrong. I don’t have all the facts because my bridesmaids did not want to approach me with problems because they wanted us to just enjoy our wedding party. The coordinators Janet & Antonio did come to me with some problems but I never really knew what the whole problem was. They were asking my approval to do something to fix it.   The first real problem right before we entered the reception as Mr & Mrs was outside the doors. I was told by Janet that there was a problem with seating and some guests didn’t have seats but they had the exact chairs I on my detail sheet. Now I am in my dress ready for my first dance I don’t have my detail sheet or anything in hand, seriously?. I basically said if there are enough chairs can’t someone go help people get seated. Yes we didn’t have a seating chart/assignment but maybe 6 ppl are trying to sit together and there are only 4 seats together. Janet says OK we will go take care of it. Few mins later I see my aunt and uncle walking out but they are heavy smokers and assumed they were heading to smoke, so I thought nothing of it. Later once we had started the buffet Janet approaches me to say some guests were leaving do the seating. I said it doesn’t matter what the problem is if it we need more chairs just add them and I will settle up with them later. She said OK. Then my MOH-sister immediately came up to say it was my aunt & uncle who left and just to let it be and it was on them for being selfish & leaving. So I said OK go tell Janet not to do anything. My feeling here is if they do weddings day in and day out and this seems like such a minor problem to start the reception with the coordinators should have just handled it right away vs letting it go so far as guests leaving. It’s a chair or two-what was the problem? Making sure I would pay for the extra chairs? Ridiculous! Again stating I don’t know all the details from every point of view but this could have been avoided and not been something I was even aware of.   We went in and had our first dance and father/daughter dance. That part was so emotional it was a total blur. :) As we were shown to the sweetheart table I notice it was butted up against a wall, which was no problem, but they had our Senor / Senora signs hanging on the back of our chairs (as I had instructed). They really should moved signs to display them since our chairs were against the wall. Charles & I just moved them to table to display.   Then we were sent to start the buffet. I noticed immediately that the shrimp was in the same pan as the fish which meant the Groom couldn't touch it because of this Shellfish allergy. All over our detail sheet references his severe allergy to Shellfish. I would have thought the shrimp would have been completely separate from all other dishes to be safe. But the groom said it’s OK there is plenty other food. Next thing I noticed is we have two potato dishes. I had lots of conversations regarding this. It made no sense to me to have mashed potato and baked potato on the same buffet, do we really need two potato’s? It had been on the detail sheet to substitute the baked potato to Corn On the Cob.  Again, pretty minor but things are starting to add up now. We went on and ate and the food was good and all our guests loved it.  It is worth the note to the lack of paying attention to detail.   I thought they did a good job with decorations and the tables looked great. The one comment I have is that on my detail sheet it specifically says not to use any Roses. My hanging flowers for the ceremony and my centerpieces ALL had Roses in them. That bothered me only because now it’s several things that are being overlooked from my detail sheet.   We were completely loving the staff that worked our reception (which was the exact same safe from the Welcome Dinner the night before). They were so amazing and payed close attention to Charles & I and what we needed. Truly exceptional.   Even with all the details being missed we were so happy and smiling ear to ear. Dancing and playing with our guests. It was whipping out the mistakes. But then the night was not over.   The next MAJOR problem that occurred was between our videographer & the DJ (All Music). This is a topic that I do not have all the facts so I will give you the information as it was presented to me in bits & pieces. Let me explain that our videographer was doing something a little unique. Part of his specialty is to do a same day edit of the video and view it at the reception for our guests to see the events of our day as the bride & groom. Our videographer was instructed by me to touch base with the wedding dept when he arrived at the resort to make sure he had what he needed to do the viewing. Which he failed to do, his fault. At the same time, on my detail sheet I had noted it for the DJ. From my understanding the DJ was unwilling to work with my videographer and stated he did not know about it in advance which was not true, it was on my detail sheet. My videographer has his laptop & projector to view the video but in all his experience doing wedding he has always just plugged in to the DJ speaker with one cord. The DJ said absolutely not. The viewing is 3-4 mins long total. For some reason the DJ was not flexible in working with any other vendors which bothered me but I wanted to focus on my wedding reception as I was having a blast. When Antonio was telling me about the problem I remember saying “Seriously, that is ridiculous. At this point I don’t care if the viewing happens” Which was true. I was happy and having fun. But then a few minutes later my videographer told me I don’t know what your coordinator told you but not for me to worry just have fun and he would work it out. (which is truly what all vendors and coordinators should have been doing and not bothering us with things unless major) Some time went by and the next thing I know the DJ approached me when I walked to the table to get a drink. The DJ comes to me face to face and says your videographer just punched me. I instantly get upset and confused. I said what? Really? as I am looking at his face there is no sign of him being hit on his face. But he insists yes. I say hang on let me get Charles (Groom). He says no no it’s fine just have fun. I am just standing there in shock when he walks back to the DJ booth. I look around the room to find my videographer and I don’t see him but I still his equipment. I find Charles & tell him what they just told me and Charles is upset that they keep coming to me with problems and only when he is not present. Granted I am the planner and their point of contact. Charles steps out of the reception and talks to someone outside not sure who and says not to worry about it. Even now he says just leave it alone. What I do know is our videographer did do the viewing (which was totally romantic, touching, and amazing to see) by going to his room and getting the clock radio, IPOD dock from his room and that was our sound system. No one approached me about the DJ problem after that.  What I would like to point out if the DJ was truly punched by my videographer how was that not a MAJOR PROBLEM and how do you say oh don’t worry just enjoy your wedding when I say I need to get Charles. That seemed so odd to me. If I really believed the DJ was punched I would have ejected/fired my videographer on the spot. Completely ridiculous situation that they are all vague on the details which really angers me. If they involved me they should tell me the truth.   Then the cake. All of our guests liked the cake. We did pay more and were very specific that they could not use any fondant. It was a buttercream frosting. I absolutely hate fondant. The cake was beautiful.  After we cut the cake we walked away and the staff took care of the cake cutting and serving. Thank goodness. But I did note to Janet and Antonio at our meeting the top tier was special for the groom (Nutella filling). And that we wanted it cut we wouldn’t be saving it to take with us. Because I was so distracted I remember taking one bite of the cake with ice cream one of the bottom tiers which was vanilla cake with strawberry filling, very good and moist. My only comment/regret is that I didn’t pay attention that Charles nor anyone ever received a piece of the Nutella filled cake. According to guests I have asked they remember seeing the top tier (smaller) layer set aside on the sweetheart table. Which means no one had any of that tier that was the SPECIAL tier. It was never even brought to my attention at the reception about the tier or where it was.   The reception ended and we went on to the Mojito Bar.   This review is based on the the Wedding side of things. So the next few days I am not going to include. Although we had a few guests have repeated problems with their rooms.   The night before we left (Friday night) I opened up the suitcase to make sure I received everything back from the wedding decoration. I notice late Friday night that we never received our Sand Ceremony Picture frame. We are due to checkout at 12:00 the next day and the shuttle to pick us up at 12:30. At 8:00 am Sat am I leave a VoiceMail for the Wedding Dept about the frame and to call us back we had to pick it up by noon. We spent the morning tipping people around the resort we felt deserved it. From 11:00 to noon we were in our room getting ready to go. Still nothing from the Wedding Dept. I would like to point out my wedding was 4 days prior and no one had ever let me know they had it and it wasn’t in my bags. At noon the bellman came for our luggage and we headed to the lobby. We went to the wedding office and it was locked. We had to have the Front Desk call them on the property to come up. About 5 mins before our shuttle arrived out walked a woman named Denise, whom we had not met prior, with our frame. At that point I handed her a partially completed review.   In addition, I know that two guests never received our Welcome Bag. When we said goodbye to those guests prior to their departure I asked again and they still had never received a bag. This upset me greatly. Not only did two of my guests not get all the touches of love we had put in those bags, but that’s money that we spent that was lost, and the delivery fee we paid to the wedding dept for that delivery. Delivery that never happened or at least to the correct people.   We were there a total of 9 days and it rained the first 7 days. The last two days we were there were finally full sun and no rain. We know that several weddings got moved. I can only imagine their experiences.   The way that we feel about the overall process is that the Wedding Dept is not equipped to handle the rain out changes efficiently or effectively. I have yet to see our professional pictures yet but the ones I have seen from family & friends from the ceremony make me CRINGE. I look at the bar environment and feel that I wasted a lot of money getting married in a BAR. Which had a tacky background and mix match colors. There is nothing unique, elegant, tropical or worth the money about the ceremony. They really need to have a better backup space for rained out events. I am really nervous to see my professional photos as I feel like I also wasted a lot of money on a great photographer to get cheesy pictures in a bar. Am I aware that things go wrong in a wedding, yes. However, I had one off site coordinator and THREE on site coordinators that do this every day. We spent $9,900.00 including the spa for our wedding and it was so not worth it. Things went wrong with the reception but I really feel like the ceremony was the worst. The $9,900 does not include the total amount of money as the Bride & Groom we spent at Azul Sensatori and our ceremony was a mess. When the Groom who cares less about decor and details than the bride kept saying the entire week after the wedding “Can we have a do over?” That’s bad. Even now, two weeks later, we keeping joking that we paid all that money and traveled all that way to get married in a Bar.
My next question is the credit that we are suppose to receive for our Anniversary Trip, can it be used at another Karisma Resort? I am not sure we want to return to Azul Sensatori in Riviera Maya. Not because the resort or it’s staff are not great, they are. The wedding department and my wedding has spoiled my opinion of them and I can never get that day back.
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luvsmexico

By luvsmexico, · 2 Comments

Pros: family friendly, wonderful staff, great location, fabulous food, tons of activities
Cons: OUTRAGEOUS VENDOR FEES!!!!
Week we visited Azul Sensatori: June 24 – July 1, 2012   Wedding day: Tuesday, June 26
For us, picking a day close to arrival was perfect because we didn’t spend all week long on “the wedding.” We had a wedding and then a vacation!   Number of guests: 15 (including 3 teens, 1 tween, 1 infant)
NOTE: This is my second wedding so we wanted to keep it small (only invited immediate family), had no wedding party, and had my 2 children participate in a sand ceremony with us. I in no way felt like our wedding was less of a priority at the resort though. The wedding coordinators were wonderful!   WEDDING DAY: Overall, it was perfect. The wedding day itself couldn't have gone any better. We were VERY nervous about rain. The 2 days before the wedding it had started raining torrential rain about 4pm and kept going on and off until midnight. I am used to the afternoon rains in this area during the summer but this was horrible, flooding rains. We just needed 2 hours outside but it was right in the middle of the worst of it the previous 2 days. The wedding coordinators kept trying to convince us to move inside but we went all the way to Mexico for the beach wedding and just didn’t love the option of using the plain ballroom. As it turns out, there was another wedding that day that decided to move their reception inside so the ballrooms were no longer available. We were told we could use the rooftop lounge area but we “had to make it fast” because they use that area for general resort gatherings at that time of night (6pm) and needed us to be done quickly. That didn’t make me happy AT ALL!!! My husband spent an hour looking at the weather patterns, radar, and predictions that morning and felt we should roll the dice and go for it on the beach. The wedding coordinator still came to tell me while I was getting my hair done that it was raining at the airport and tried to convince me one last time to move it inside but fortunately we stuck to our decision and the rain never got to AS. We had gorgeous blue skies and a slight breeze. Couldn’t have been more picture perfect!      
Pic by Claudia Rodriguez     We had a cocktail hour before the wedding at the yoga palapa for our guests. I brought pictures and descriptions of how I wanted the yoga palapa and gazebo setup (we had the small gazebo by the yoga palapa). They did an excellent job of setting it up exactly as I asked. They even added fish bowls with sand and shells on the cocktail tables which I didn't ask or pay for. Nice touch. The only thing that really surprised me was that Lomas told me at the initial planning meeting it was going to be a $250 setup fee! Since I had heard alot of feedback from other brides at AS on this forum I knew that was way too much. Most have said it's around $5/person for the setup fee and the last bride before us had 97 people and paid $60. Now, I realize that some of these people are renting decorations from Lomas and we didn't so they were trying to make money where they could but that's still outrageous. We also didn’t have a private reception where they could make more money but I just said "no way" and we got it down to $75. Other than that I had no problems with Lomas or the AS WC, Cristina. There were 12 other weddings there during our week so they were busy!! For entertainment at the cocktail hour, I had them play mariachi music from my iPod (downloaded a 25 song album for $.99!) and left MadLibs Wedding Edition for our guests to complete. They had a blast doing it. I REALLY wanted a real mariachi band but just could not justify the cost AND we wouldn’t have even heard them play as we were getting pics taken.    
Pics by High Five for Love     I knew the beach location wasn't super private but I didn't anticipate how many people would approach us all week long and say "hey we were at your wedding!" Weird!! The staff did stand at the edges by the water and made sure no one walked by in front of us during the ceremony. I happened to catch them turning away a woman at one point and that was really nice. Who wants people in their bathing suits in your wedding pictures?!  
This gazebo looked cruddy when we first saw it but my vision came to life and I LOVE how the decorations turned out.  The capiz shells made a beautiful sound waving in the breeze!
      PIC: Sand ceremony - we used a Mason jar etched with our names & date from Etsy vendor Etched Expressions, the kids each had a different color sand and the wedding coordinators filled 2 other vases with beach sand for me & hubby (Pics by Claudia Rodriguez)
Our wedding dinner was held in the private area of Spoon. They did a wonderful job setting up the table as we requested and the service was outstanding. Each course was served at the same exact time for every person so they had a large staff just for our small party. The food was excellent and the kids enjoyed being able to go to the buffet if they didn’t like a particular course. The only thing that I really hated was the lack of air conditioning in the restaurants. It always seemed very warm in all the restaurants but the night of our wedding was absolutely the worst! One of the main reasons we didn’t have the wedding reception outside is because we wanted an air conditioned, comfortable location and this just didn’t meet our expectations. I’m ALWAYS cold but this night I was literally dripping with sweat and repeated requests to the head waitress to adjust the temperature were met with comments like “you have too many candles on the table, that’s why it’s hot” and “I will call the engineer but there is probably nothing we can do.” My nephew finally went over when the wait staff left the room and lowered the temperature on the thermostat but they came back in a few minutes later and turned it back up.         PICS: We used black & white photos of us for luminaries as our centerpieces. They were a huge hit! We rented a couple of beach lanterns and the votive candles from Lomas. I brought burlap for a runner, green/blue beach glass, and small shells that they scattered around the table. Each place setting got a menu (provided by the resort – didn’t match our decorations but I didn’t care) and a fortune teller. I told everyone my husband makes me feel like a kid so that’s why we had MadLibs and fortune tellers – two of my favorite childhood things! (pics by High Five for Love)   SPA: I had a 2 hour facial in the spa the morning of the wedding and it was pure heaven! The spa facilities are phenomenal and it was a treat I'm really glad I gave myself. Then I went for hair and makeup and they did an equally great job at the salon. I saw 4 different hair dressers while I was in there and every one of them was fantastic. Every girl brought in pictures of how they wanted their hair to look and each stylist matched them perfectly. That's not easy to do! My 13 year old daughter got her hair done there too and they did a fantastic job.   PIC by High Five for Love
RESORT: The resort was fantastic. I felt like it was the perfect size for our group - plenty to do but not so huge that we couldn't find each other or walk forever to get places. We actually didn't get to do at least half of the things we wanted to and ended up not even going on an excursion because we felt the whole week was so rushed. The restaurants were fantastic. I seriously don't know how anyone could complain about the food or drinks at this place! The only thing we didn't love was the dinner buffet at Spoon. We went there the first night because we all wanted to be together and none of the restaurants could fit us. What I found very strange is that we could never push tables together so we could all sit together. They told us we could make a reservation for 6pm at Sienna for a group table so we did that for my daughter's birthday dinner and when we were seated we had 2 tables! The restaurant was nearly empty at this time!! It was frustrating but I gave up trying to figure it out. They initially told me we couldn't have one big table for the wedding either and I said that would just not be acceptable. We only had 14 people. Sienna was our favorite, I really enjoyed Tapaz, Zocalo for breakfast and lunch, and the Carribean place for burgers at lunch. Disappointed we didn't get there for seafood dinner but we babysat alot for my brother and ordered room service. My MIL has never traveled outside of the US and at 77 years old I knew we were asking a lot of her. She watches way too much news and was very nervous about going to Mexico despite all the things we had told her. She said she wasn't eating or drinking anything the entire time in Mexico but as soon as she got there she realized what a great place it is and definitely didn't go hungry! That was my biggest concern. Every one of our guests raved about the entire place repeatedly so I know they all really enjoyed themselves. All the adults but my sister and BIL (because they were only there a few days) got to enjoy the Le Chique experience and loved it, even my MIL!

The front desk told us the resort was completely full but I just really don't believe that. The restaurants were NEVER full no matter what time we went to them and there were always plenty of deck and beach chairs, etc. We loved the beach grill - good food and convenient and not something we've had at previous resorts. The pools were fantastic. The kids loved playing in them and swimming up to the bars. I never saw a speck of dirt in them the entire week. The beach was fantastic, kept as clean as possible, and much less rocky/coraly than I expected! My 10 year old loved the kids' club for the first few days, then stopped going. He made friends with a group of boys and all they wanted to do was play in the pool but the kids club had planned activities so they couldn't spend all day at the pool! My daughter and 13 year old niece had high hopes for the teen's club but they fizzled. There was never anything going on there. They did play some sports on the beach, went kayaking, painted 4 or 5 pieces of pottery!!, and swam alot. The entertainment staff was fantastic especially the night of karaoke. My daughter really wanted to sing a Selena Gomez song but they didn't have it so the guy said "hey, we have internet, I'll get it for you." Then she stood up in front of 100+ people and sang her heart out! I was shocked that she did that and she was fantastic so I'm very thankful to the staff for going out of their way. My brother and sister-in-law were traveling with their 8 month old daughter and LOVED this resort. They go out of their way for families and it made it very easy to travel with a baby. The resort provides a pack-n-play, strollers, bottle warmer, and toys in the room (plus the cutest little robe you’ve ever seen!!!). All the restaurants have baby food and will go out of their way to accommodate for food allergies. We played in the splash pad area with the baby and went in the kids club but they didn’t leave her with a sitter (too many family members willing to babysit!) so I can’t comment on those aspect.

The cleaning staff was fantastic! We had a beautiful towel animal(s) every day and they decorated our room beautifully on the night of the wedding. They really went above and beyond. Really all the staff was fantastic!!! Everyone we passed said "hola" and went out of their way to help and answer questions. The least friendly of the staff were those at the front desk and the hosts/hostesses at the restaurants. I found that odd...
    I would say my biggest disappointment is that we didn't get our room upgraded. Now, I realize this isn't a given AT ALL and I'm not complaining but, if I'm being honest, I was pretty disappointed. We were told we could have the honeymoon suite for a discounted rate of $180/night extra but we'd have to move Saturday (we didn't depart until Sunday). After spending over $7,000 just for rooms for our guests, that wasn't something we wanted to pay for. I know others spend more than that and bring more guests into the place but it was a disappointment. We liked having the 1st floor room to walk directly out to the pool but we were right next to the supplies closet and activity started there by 7am every day. I'm not complaining about that either because those poor people must work 12-14 hour days but there was never a chance to sleep in. The only other disappointment was that I just didn't get any time to relax. Not anyone's fault but my own but it left me feeling pretty depressed by the time we departed. I was always running around checking on the kids or on the other guests, getting wedding details worked out, or planning everyone's days. I really wish we'd planned to stay a couple more days after everyone left. It will be a long time before there's another vacation for us! I seriously don’t know how people who bring 40 or 50 people down to their wedding manage it! It was hard for me to keep track of 14 of us!!

Biggest problem of the week was my daughter got violently ill one night. I really freaked out because she has type 1 diabetes and if she throws up more than a couple times, she ends up in the hospital. Not at all what I was planning for the vacation! Thank goodness my SIL is a physician's assistant and brought Zofran with her. She said it would stop the vomiting immediately and knew how much to give her and that it was ok to give to a diabetic. I was trying to figure out what she could have eaten that caused it and after a bunch of questions and her saying it started with her abs (not her stomach) cramping, then her arms hurting, I realized she was completely dehydrated! I'd let the kids swim in the pool all day long and, being so cool, they never realized how hot it was and only drank a few sugar-filled drinks at the bar. Once we got water in her she started feeling better. Really put a damper on the week for both of us and we got into several arguments over it because after she felt better she didn't see any reason to keep drinking water! UGH! I’m putting this in the review though because, even though the non-diabetic kids weren’t affected by not drinking enough water, they definitely could have been. Kids are small and dehydrate easily so if you have any in your group, just make sure they drink lots of water!   PHOTOGRAPHERS: We were very lucky to have the benefit of 2 different photographers for our wedding. My sister and her husband recently started a photography business and end up taking mainly engagement photos, weddings, and family pics. They were there to take all the getting ready shots, pics of decorations, capture the guests at the cocktail party, and then get pictures of the reception dinner. Originally, they were concerned about bringing their equipment to Mexico so we hired Claudia Rodriguez to photograph the wedding. Unfortunately, we just could not afford more than 2 hours with Claudia because of the ridiculous $800 vendor fee the resort charges. We planned to have Claudia take pictures of the two of us before the wedding while our guests were at the cocktail party, pictures of the ceremony, family pics on the beach afterwards, and then a few more of just us on the beach. This worked out perfectly and then we got the bonus of my sister and brother-in-law’s photos as well. They have different styles so I love that we got the benefit of both!! I highly recommend both Claudia Photo and High Five for Love as wedding photographers! Our detailed review of Claudia is on this site but I just need to say again how easy it was to work with her and how much we loved her work! We really hate pictures of ourselves but she made us look and feel beautiful and we're thrilled to have almost 200 photos. And despite High Five for Love being a new company, their work speaks for itself. Check them out on Facebook for more examples of wedding photography. More of our wedding photos from High Five for Love on Facebook
More Claudia Rodriquez photos:   First look!                
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Caligirl

By Caligirl, · 5 Comments

Pros: Great for wedding with kids, close to airport
Cons: The Beach, geographically beach is nicer in other areas. Le Chique we were not that impressed and it is too hard to get into
Wedding Resort: Azul Sensatori Ceremony: Sky Terrace 5:00PM Cocktail: Plaza Sabas 6:00 PM Reception: Ocean Room 7:00 PM Wedding Date: 7/10/2011 Couple Age: 37 Occupation: Groom Sales Medical devices / Bride Fashion dept. Store buyer Number of guest: 55 Adult and 4 children Karisma Miami office: Elizabeth Riff / Nahiomy Paulino Azul Resort Planner: Ivan Alcazar / Denise Cano Lomas Event Planner: Israel (very good with attention to detail & always had a smile) Cost of Rooms + Transfers: $30,000 +/- Cost of total Wedding day: $10,000 +/- Wedding dress: $1,000 ( it was convertable dress that I made valued at $8,000 all Silk_Bead Work_Swaroski Crystals) Ring: Tiffany Lucida Solitaire & Eternity band Shoes: Stuart Weitzman Groom: Hugo Boss Linen suit, special made shirt / tie / pocket hankie and Bally shoes Elizabeth Medina Photographer: $7,500 +/- Tony Escalante Video: $1700 +/- Honeymoon: 2 weeks Hawaii Maui Four Seasons and Kauai Grand Hyatt Aug 20th, 2011     We live in Hoboken NJ and I started off looking to have a wedding in New York City, where I work and spend most of my personal time.  I am originally from Orange County California and my fiancé is from Manalapan NJ. Yes we could have had a wedding in NJ, but having my family come from California to NJ did not make sense to me as I did not have a real connection to NJ. Then having a wedding in California also did not make sense as the number of people from East Coast out numbered West Coast guest and a Southern California wedding would be just as expensive as NYC wedding.   So we looked at places in Manhattan and discovered that all the places we like required a guaranteed deposit for 100-150 guests (just for food and venue).  Then we considered what our guest would spend on airfare, hotel and food for a weekend in NYC. Not only would the wedding cost us, but it would also be an expensive weekend for most of our guest. Throw in the picture that we were getting married in 2011, one of the hardest economic years for many. We had friends who lost jobs, family loosing homes.  Had it been just 5 years earlier that we were getting married it would have been a different picture!   We decided to look into destination wedding. Thank G_d for Internet & my IPAD I was able to do a lot of research and we decided to put the money we would be spending on a 5 hour event in NYC and take care of accommodations for our guest for 4 day / 3 night + transfers at an all inclusive resort.   We had vacationed at Excellence Riviera Maya and loved it. However, we now needed to find a place that was a family resort. I do not get to see my nephews and nieces often, so I loved the idea of children at my wedding. I also wanted people to travel with family and make it a vacation.     If I had a bigger budget, I would have chosen GRAN VELAS  or  ROSEWOOD MAYAKOBA but, since I was paying for this wedding all on my own, I had a set amount that again could not pass the amount I would have spent at a 5 hour NYC event.  On a realistic budget, I narrowed down my choices to 2 resort chains KARISMA and PALACE, this was based on online research ONLY. So we made a trip during Christmas (we are Jewish and we found cheap flights leaving on Christmas). We chose Moon Palace as the resort to stay during our site inspections so that we could have free wifi, free calls to USA, free shuttle buses to take us to Cancun (research) and because of Golf course.   As far as a site inspection at Azul Sensatory this could have it’s advantages also, as you can easily walk (on beach) to Azul beach, Excellence and Dreams ( the furthest) and many other resorts. Note: before our site inspections we had to secured a date and had to make a deposit with PALACE.   After our resort site inspections. it was a hard call between the PALACE and KARISMA locations because there are SO DIFFERENT!   With Palace family resort you get so many activities, the resort Palace Moon and Aventura are HUGE (Las Vegas huge). This is great if you have a wide age range of guest. They have a Miami office that is great (worked with Janina Menendez) and they have a great production company Deco Cancun  / Zuniga (Katie@decocancun.com).  At Palace family resorts Moon _ Aventura I would only have Cocktail and reception wedding Ballroom or restaurant area Caribbean terrace (as seen on Vicky’s review). The Gazebos were not private enough for me and the cocktail reception areas by them I liked only if I was having a ceremony on beach.    If I would have had a wedding Palace company:   No Children #1 Le Blanc  we returned to Mexico 4 months later (November 2011) and stayed at Le Blanc and we LOVED IT, the food was on par 100% with NY food, the Martini lounge was on par with any drink at bar in Meat Packing district in NYC (with out the $20 price tag). The 1500 Credits are amazing for the Spa.  Le Blanc has a “Chill- Lounge” feel, and actually during our stay we had a group of under 30 visit with a day pass and as soon as they started to get loud they were approached and we really appreciated that. Ok one last thing we stayed at Four Seasons Maui and hands down for the money Le Blanc does a great job giving that level of service in Mexico.   Children #1 Moon Palace Golf (10 min from airport)  #2 Aventura Spa (Adult only section)   I chose Karisma for 3 reasons:   1-Children: this resort is amazing with kids, even infants. So many of guest were so impressed with how prepared this resort is for children infant_toddler_teens. At Palace I asked to see a room with a crib and they could not arrange that. At Azul the rooms were set up with cribs, bottle warmers and they have the best kids club ( they had a super cute Santa house during our site inspection).   2-Food & Beverages: Since most of our guests are from NYC and Chicago, the expectations were higher for food. Palace food was not bad, I compare it to Cheesecake Factory.  Kharisma was more Gourmet and for our wedding we met the chef, who was French. We went over menu for our guest. Prior to trip we chose the menu 1 fish and 1 Meat dish and had everyone chose ahead and we had menus made up with entre choices, so that guest new what they had chosen. Note: We did still had issues with our Vegan guest, as they kept thinking it was the same as Vegetarian. There was also a big difference in the drinks, I like to drink and at Palace I was not happy with the quality of drinks. At Azul they has a cool mojito bar.  Food Tip: Italian was the  favorite, but at all restaurants order at the same time per person 2 app 2 entree 2 deserts. The service is slow, they say it I because everything is made “fresh to order" and not "pre made”.  The tappas restaurent is good for appetizers and drinks (it is next to Mojito bar) and then go to dinner.  Le Chique was hard to get a reservation, we had to speak to manager. They were attentive and did the right thing and made sure we got a reservation. In my opinion they should just make sure that all guest have an opportunity to eat there at least once.     3- Resort grounds:  Azul Sensatorie had better gardens and that meant a lot to me for the wedding pictures.  Neither of the resorts had a great beach, I find that the best beaches are in Cancun (too busy) and further down the Rivera Maya (Playa de Carmen). However, many of my guest were from Chicago and NY so this beach was just fine (since we spend most of our year in the cold and we are not know for our beaches). For the California guest who had a lay over in Texas, I did not want them on a bus too long getting to resort. Note: make sure guest get to resort 2 days min before wedding, in case of flight issues.   Both resort had great rooms and experience in doing weddings.   As far as deposited made to Palace we got a credit to use that on our visit to Le Blanc 4 months after our wedding.   Tips:   We used our work corporate shipping account, it cost 30-40% less to ship a “few items” to resort. You have to make sure you fill out custom forms carefully and declare “wedding decoration- No commercial value”.  You have to make sure the resort approves this prior to sending. We flew first class, so luggage is priority (relief)  and they have a closet for suit and dress, they also allow 2 check in luggage each person- NO FEE. I had a BCBG short dress for Katuba signing on Balcony, this was great so that I did not get sweaty walking across resort. I change in a relatives room that was in the Sky terrace Building. I charged the whole wedding on American Express. Amex can give you and advancement of points and we used those for free airline tickets for relatives.   Most of my wedding decorations I took myself and it was not a big deal, as was so worth it. I did not have reciepts, I just said under $300 when they asked.   ETSY.COM I cannot say enough about this ( all programs, name –table cards, passport invitations, bouquet lockets,banner, decorations, Chuppah decorations). WWW.STYLEMEPREETY.COM save on buying magazines are get all your wedding inspiration here.  WWW.BEEANDLEAF.COM (Guest sign in print)   LUNABAZAAR. COM ( fans – Parasols) MISHKA DESIGNS ( hand painted Maracas made in Mexico) ZAPPOS.COM (shoes… I must have tried 20 pairs)     I encourage negotiations with resort and vendors….does not hurt to try to save a few bucks. As a retail buyer it is in my blood...just make sure you do your research and you have valid reasons why you should pay less.  For example, there could be a resort promotions “Kids stay free book by x date”, so you can possibly get them to make an exception even if your wedding is not within their window.     Photographer, after choosing the resort this should be the #2 on your list. This was the one thing I delegated to my now husband, being a girl I was more concerned about my dress, venue, decorations. I cannot express how right he was when he said you cannot skim on a photographer.  A really good photographer can even make a rainy day look like a piece of art work. Elizabeth Medina is every knowledgeable and knows all the resort she guided us, with out trying to influence us in any way. The resort love her because she is very respectful.    Our wedding is on Elizabeth Medina blog it has 2 parts (Icons).   http://www.elizabethmedinaphotography.com/blog/2011/09/matt-and-monica-sky-deck-wedding-azul-sensatori-mayan-riviera-mexico-part-1/   http://www.elizabethmedinaphotography.com/blog/2011/09/matt-and-monicas-destination-wedding-photography-part-ii-la-fiesta/   Slide show:   http://www.elizabethmedinaphotography.com/11MM/   Video: Let's just say this was another battle I lost and boy I am glad I did. The QUALITY versus price for what you get in Mexico was a chance of a lifetime. Elizabeth Medina suggested we use Tony Escalante. This is important so that they were in sync through out the day.   To resume...   If you are looking to have a small romantic wedding on the beach, you are in luck as Mexico has tons of options. If you want something that is semi formal or formal, I want to assure you that it can happen. For destination you have to be organized and detailed oriented (if you want to save on wedding planner). Planning this type of wedding is like a “chain” and all links have to be organized. You are the bride and you are the main link. You need to be pro-active and remember that for the 6-9 months before you wedding are crucial, everything else can wait…you only get married once.   Also, an issue that came up a lot was security. I cannot speak for resort on Pacific of Mexico as I have not been there. In the Riviera Maya all inclusive are so safe, mainly because guest are not traveling with $$$, it is all inclusive. If you have concerns, then just limit excursions outside the resort.   One more thing...   When you get to resort you have to “let go”! You have to remember that people took vacation days, left kids at home, spent time traveling and incurred travel cost… all to be there to support you and share this special day with you.   Never be disrespectful to anyone, always remain a lady and keep your cool.      I only mention this because it rained poring thunder the 3 days before my wedding but, the night before my wedding I was the happiest person (Welcome dinner was great).  I was going to bed next to the man of my dreams, my best friend. I was not going to let rain get in the way of that.   The next morning I woke up to clear skies & sunshine. I had the most beautiful wedding, which even included Sun Moon over my Chuppa at 5pm ( a bride the week before had rain and then she had a huge rainbow… mother nature, you have to love it).   I HAD MY DREAM WEDDING   Good luck!   PS. By the way all resort should have a good indoor plan, make sure you ask about that.                                  
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Mwise17

By Mwise17, · 5 Comments

Pros: Food/Service/Staff
Cons: Beach/Entertainment
I chose the Azul Sensatori for our beach wedding because I had heard amazing things about the resort. Our first time visiting the resort was our wedding week.   Miami Wedding Coordinator I had Grace, and she was fine. Nothing amazing, and nothing terrible. I knew that it was going to be slow responces to my emails initially, and that near the end she would answer them quicker, just as the other ladies on BDW described. I didn't use her much to be honest, as I trusted the ladies on BDW more than her, so I only really used her at the end to make sure my detail sheet was accurate (which it wasn't, and I had to get her to change it numerous times....I saved myself $250 by checking it over and number crunching myself). In the end, I had to email her about 5 times asking for the up to date sheet only 2 days before the wedding...she kept saying she was waiting for the accountants to tell her my final payment went through, and I was getting really annoyed because I just wanted to cross it off my list. In the end, I said as much to her, and she quickly sent it to me. TA I used my weddings away and they were amazing. Karen Lantigua really knows her stuff!!! I initially was with weddings by oceans, and felt like another number, and they were not up to par on getting back to me in a timely fashion! I didn't think it would get any better once I signed on with them and my guests had to start dealing with them, so I changed TA's. I am very thankful I did, and would recommend Karen over and over. Cancun arrival We had no issues arriving in Cancun. Karen had setup a private transfer for our group, so we passed the timeshare/other transportation area and people, and went directly outside looking for the "Sousa Wedding" sign...they were easy to find, they counted numbers so we didn't have to, and off we went in about 5 min. after getting outside, heading to the resort. Resort arrival We arrived at the resort at 11am, so we knew that most of the rooms would not be ready as of yet, and had made sure to email our guests before departure, with info. on what to pack on carry-on etc. We were quickly greeted with a cold cloth and a glass of champagne, it was a very nice welcome. They had a room just for our crew, with food all set-up and our sunwing rep to do a little spiel about the resort, its ammenities and excursions available throughout the week. They had everyone in the room checking in, and the wedding coordinator Lorena met with us alone just outside the room to setup our meeting with them the following day. I also had her book us into Le Chique at this time. I was planning on giving out my welcome bags at 3pm back in this room, as Grace said that everyone would have to come back to this room to check in at 3pm, but there were some rooms ready at 11am, so not everyone was returning to check in. I decided to wait until the welcome party on the second night to hand them out. They gave us all a beeper to hang on to, and when our room was ready, the beeper would go off. We had two large carry-ons, and other guests did too, so we situated ourselves at the skydeck to have a few cocktails while we waited. By the time 3:30pm rolled around and my parents and Chris and I were one of the last people left without a room, I was getting upset....so I went to the front desk and asked if my room was ready. They called the on-site wedding coordinator and she came out and 2 min. later our rooms were ready. :) The rooms They upgraded us to a swimup suite (I am not sure if the resort did this, or my TA). We really like that the room was close to the adult pool, and generally in the middle of the resort, so we were close to the main building and central to all guests. The swimup was smaller than most rooms (most had a couch, ours didn't). The decor in the rooms are beautiful, very crisp and modern looking. All my guests were very impressed with the decor, and kept saying "when you pick a resort, you pick a resort". They all loved having a jacuzzi tub in their rooms as well. We had no issues with our rooms, but some guests experienced having two doubles instead of a king, or vice versa....so they had to do some room changing. A few had some issues with air conditioning as well, but called it in and had someone fix it quickly. We were also spread all over the resort, and I thought we were going to be in the same section, but it wasn't a big deal. One of my bridesmaids is from Germany, and she booked with a TA there, and she was in the premium section. We decided to all get ready in her room as mine was too small for us. Her room was much larger then mine. They had a bottle of sparkling wine and roses waiting in our room for us upon our arrival as well. Entertainment The mojito lounge was where the party was at each night.  We always danced it up there, but never bothered with the nightly "shows"...they were pretty terrible.  I have been to many resorts that put on a great show...singing/dancing etc.  These shows were terribly cheesy.    
WC Meeting Now, I have to be honest here. I expected them to bend over backwards for me, and really work hard to make us feel special, and while they were super nice, I felt more like it was routine, and we were all going through the motions. I also felt ripped off! :( We walked into their office with our bag of goodies, and all my notes etc. There were 2 coordinators (ivan and another girl, can't remember her name, but they were great) then there was the manager...who I was not fond of. Lorena was in the room, but sat behind the desk as we all met at the round table. Other people floated in and out of this meeting (spa manager mitzi, and an event staff person dealing with food). The spa rep gave me a confirmation on all our appts. and the food rep ran over all menu selections/numbers at this time. The coordinators were great keeping track of kids (who eat for free at private events) it was great, as I felt very scattered and like I had too many paper notes/lists etc. and found it hard to stay organized throughout the meeting. There was a time when the manager (I think her name was raquelle?) was running through decor, and I had the white sheers, and she said I only paid for one, but I was told the price I paid was for two....she was fighting pretty hard about me paying another $100, and the other coordinators were arguing with her in spanish telling her she was wrong...she caved, but it left a bad taste in my mouth. Raquelle also tried to convince me the lighting at Zavaz Plaza wasn't enough between our lanterns and their spot lighting, and I should have the candycane wrapping of xmas lights on the posts (I asked how much, she said $450)....I know of other brides paying much less than this. We went through all my items I brought and I handed them a list with pics of what to set up/how. They were very appreciative of this,a nd I am glad I did as one of the coordinators english wasn't the greatest and she was the one taking the notes (she was also the best out of them all). Raquelle had me pay $250 for set up. I have to say, I was quite upset and this is where I felt ripped off. I am not the type of person to say anything, and I wish I did, after being on BDW, I know that was a lot for setup, especially when some don't pay anything.   Welcome party/Smors bonfire Our second night, we had a semi-private dinner at spoons (free up to 40 guests for getting married there). The dinner was held at Spoon restaurant. They offered guests a choice (you decide at the dinner) between the steak or chicken, and they served us a beautiful ceaser salad, a leek and potato soup, our entree, and then a cheesecake. The food was delicious, and the girls all were fine with the portion sizes. The guys, however, were still hungry, so the amazing wait staff would ask them what they wanted and would go and get it from the buffet. The guys were super happy with this, and all left happy. I announced to get comfy and meet us on the beach for the smors bonfire. It was an amazing night, weather was perfect, and they did an amazing job of having everything set up for us. I had pashmina's and glowsticks and they were setup on the table with my sounddock. I can't say how the smors were as I didn't have a chance to try any, but its not your typical smors. They have a table with dips in margarita glasses, and bowls of melted chocolate. You don't really make smors over thefire. They had chairs all around a bonfire, but most of my guests gathered around the private beach bar :) We danced until about 10 after 10pm (was to end at 10pm) and the wedding coordinators were there all night. THey all stood together and I really felt like they were making sure all was good. They did come over to me a number of times though, and say they needed me to get everyone moving somewhere else, so I had to go around telling everyone to head to the mojito bar. I wish they would have handled that part, I didn't want to be the one "working", just felt like it was something they could have done.   Food-Restaurants I found the food to be awesome. We went to spoon almost every day for breakfast and lunches as they were fast. The food was always good, athough the lunch time selection was very similar day to day ( as was breakfast). I went to Zavaz for breakfast with the girls on the wedding day, and it was excellent. I never got to go for their caribbean dinner, which I was upset I missed, but we were there for a hurricane, so they borded up a ton of the resort, including the two water-front restaurants (mexican/caribbean). I never got to eat the mexican, but I heard that they had a great tex-mex lunch. We went to the italian more than we wanted to (because of thehurricane....we had 2.5 days with only spoon and Sienna (italian) open. The food there was unreal, and a favorite among my guests. (they loved the lasagna). The guys liked that you could order as much as you wanted off the menus (all restaurants).Chris and I were the ony ones that got into Le Chique, as we asked Lorena to book us upon our arrival. Other guests went later in the afternoon to book on the day we arrived adn there was no space. We felt bad that no one else got to get in. We decided to do the wine paring, and it was amazing!!!!!! The food is like nothing you have ever had, and is all based on molecular dining, and we could appreciate it, being foodies, so we were happy. I would suggest booking this asap if you wish to enjoy this type of dining experience. The room service was awesome too. Some of my guests said they ordered and it never came, but we never had an issue, and enjoyed it on many of our nights. WE also had the room service breakfast the day after we were married. WE appreciated being able to have a table setup in our room with all sorts of awesome breakfast foods/drinks. We had the dinner on the beach the night before our wedding, and I am glad we did. The food was great, and it was so nice to hear the water lapping up on the beach while we enjoyed a rare private moment just us two. Chris ordered a bottle of prosecco, and they just let us settle up before we checked out. Finally, our wedding day dinner. This one is hard to judge, as I was too busy paying attention to speeches etc. and so I thought this meal could have been tastier. We had the pick and choose menu, and first was a chile pablano soup (super spicy...but tasty), then risotto....it was under done, so the rice was hard, then the chicken and salmon or steak ....all said the steak (filet mignon) was great...but didn't care for the salmon). The dessert was not good (creme brulee with passion fruit coulis...it was a creamy jello with mousse on top), so I was a little disappointed that the only time I was let down by the food was on my wedding day(for a meal we paid extra for). I asked to have a glass of sparkling wine at each place setting, adn they were slow to get these out, but didn't charge me extra for this, not sure if it was extra, but know some other brides were quoted extra for sparkling wine.The wedding cake was fine...I knew not to expect much here, so only ordered a small one for us to cut, we ordered the hazelnut flavor, it was fine.   Wedding Day Us girls went to the spa for 10am, where the girls got hair done, as I got my mani/pedi done. My nails looked awesome, but the manicurist was very very slow, and put me behind by an hour. I had Edgar doing my hair, and I took inspiration pics with me, along with clip in extensions, and he went to work . I found that the spa staff don't speak english as well as the front desk or WC's, so it was hard to explain things, and we had to have Mitzi come and translate, whch wasn't a big deal. We used the bridal suite to do our makeup, but I wish we would have moved to my bridesmiads room, as we couldn't have food in there, and I had a "get ready" play list ready to go...it would have been much more fun with our music etc. All the girls loved their hair, as did I. The spa was great. We got back to the room with an hour to get dressed etc. About 30 min. before the ceremony was to begin, I was getting calls from the guys wondering where the bouts were, so I had to make a few calls, adn they were brought shortly after. I had a bad feeling, and called the guys room15min. before the ceremony, and the WC's had not picked up the IPOD yet with our seating music etc. so I know they didn 't use our music for anything but the girls walk and mine. It was fine, one of those things I figured may happen. They came for what I thought was to pick me up to head down to the ceremony, but it was to let me know there was a 30% chance of rain, and I was so frazzled at this point, that I called Chris and he said that means 70% chance it won't. I signed away, thinking it was just to go ahead with the ceremony on the beach, but it was for the dinner as well, and unfortunately we ended up eating in the rain :( The wedding coordinators/photographer/dj kept coming up behind me and trying to get me to make decisions through the diner/speeches adn I truly didn't appreciate it. I just wanted to enjoy the speeches, but the WC's were hovering over me, and I didn't like it. I told them we wanted to move the dancing/cake cutting inside, and tey were great, moving all me decor inside, and it only took them about 15min. I wish we could have continued outside, but I didn't want to chance anymore rain. We went inside, and danced until 11pm. WE then moved the party to the mojito lounge where a live band was playing. I don't know what time they finished, but my brothers paid them to continue the party...adn when they just couldn't play anymore, they let us use their equpment, adn we plugged in our IPOD and continued the party. (until the wee hours of the morn) :) The resort was awesome and I would recommend them to any bride getting married. I am glad I brought down most of my own decor, as the costs of lomas weddings decor was outrageous, and I don't think they support us brides using ourside vendors but they do know how to put on a good wedding. I used DJ Doremixx and Ivan Luckie for photography. If you want a review on either, please PM me. :)    
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justiner57

By justiner57, · 6 Comments

Pros: Entire Staff was amazing, such a great experience
Cons: Flowers & Humidity were no good
We just got back from our destination at Azul Sensatori resort and we have almost NO negative things to say. But want to give a full and accurate review for other brides & potential brides. So here it goes....   We booked with Destinationweddings.com and thought they did a great job for the small fee you pay to join the site. We had Brittany Schiffler as our TA and she was so friendly and amazing. She really helped me through a lot of drama and stress planning the wedding, I couldn't have done it with out her. All my friends and family had no problem emailing and communicating with her back and forth, they all agree she was great.   I started communicating with the Miami based wedding coordinator, Elizabeth Riff. She was also fantastic, very quick response and very friendly. She was there every step of the way, even up to 3 days before the wedding when I decided to change a few things. She offered advice when I asked and she was very professional and helpful!   Upon arrival at Cancun airport we found the LOMAS travel desk and was created by Eddie. He was awesome, throughout the whole stay helping us with excursions and everything. We were brought to the resort in a nice Lincoln Navigator and greeted by friendly staff with champagne and cool wash cloths. I would give Lomas travel an A   We booked the swim-up suite which was nice, in a good location. Word of advice, DON'T leave the door open while the AC is on. This make's the floors VERY SLIPPERY and we almost fell a couple of times.  We had our on site meeting the next day with pretty much every staff member from the resort. Our wedding coordinators were Yazmin, Israel & Denise. We can not say enough FABULOUS things about YAZMIN!!!!! Seriously she is fantastic and just so sweet. Israel was great as well but we barely saw Denise. Overall the wedding coordinators get an A   We had a welcome bonfire on the beach friday night from 8pm-10pm. This was fun, a good way for all of our guests to see each other and relax before the wedding festivities began. After this we all went to the Mojito bar and danced the night away!!   Saturday we had BEACH OLYMPICS!!!! Miguel, the event coordinator did a fantastic job. All of our guests had so much fun. We did about 4-5 different events, one including drinking and spinning, and everyone was getting very competitive! Overall this was a great idea, we only paid about $110 to have them plan it for us and 2 people to work the Olympics so we could play the whole time. A- for this   Saturday night was our rehearsal dinner at the Spoons restaurant. They did a great job to section off our guests from the rest of the restaurant and we had a good time with all of our family and friends. We decided to do a walk through of the ceremony after the rehearsal dinner in one of the ballrooms. THANK GOD we did this as most of us had no idea what they were doing. Israel & Yazmin were there the whole time to help us figure out what we wanted and to answer any questions.   Sunday, WEDDING DAY! Started off slow and relaxing with all of us girls in a suite getting ready. Then Israel came in at about 12pm and said there was a 60% chance of rain so we had to sign a waiver to say we still wanted our events outside. (There was not a cloud in the sky). We decided to keep our ceremony & cocktail hour outside but we moved our reception inside. It was just WAYYYYY too humid to have our guests dancing & eating outside. We thought it would be much more comfortable for everyone to move this into the Ocean Ballroom. Back to the wedding.... one thing that I was not impressed with were the flowers! They were not anything special and actually started wilting in the room 2 hours before the wedding ceremony was even to begin. My advice would be to bring real touch flowers with you, in hind sight I totally would have done this. But I wasn't going to stress about the bouquets. The flowers for the ceremony & reception were fine, it was just the bouquets we had a problem with.    We were running a little behind schedule and I informed them we were going to be at least 15 minutes late for our ceremony because hair & make-up was taking too long. I didn't like that they started to rush me through my pre-wedding pictures because they had another ceremony lined up after mine. But didn't fuss about it and we started about 20 minutes late, which I don't think is that bad at all. The ceremony was beautiful, but VERY WINDY up on the SKY deck. My veil was blowing all over the place, but I didn't care. The ceremony lasted about 20-25 minutes, we brought our own officiant and he did a fabulous job! We released dove's at the end of the ceremony which was a very sweet touch.   We then went to take pics on the beach, we again brought our own photographer and she too did a great job. We didn't run into any problems with anyone from the resort not being nice to her or causing any problems.    From what I hear, the cocktail hour on the beach wasn't anything special. Obviously we weren't there for it because we were taking pics, but our family & friends said it was ok. Not much food and too much time in between all the events. Another negative thing here, the coordinators didn't tell anyone where to go for the reception. We had people running around trying to find people and let them know where it was. I wish they would have had a sign or had a person down at the cocktail hour telling people where to go.    The reception in the Ocean ballroom was great! We had so much fun and it was nice that it was just our group, no one else trying to walk around and crash it. The food was great, but things felt a little rushed from the DJ's part. We walked in and went right into the first dance, not sure if this is usually how things go. We then followed it by the father/daughter & mother/son dance. The food was brought out quickly after that, but it does take them awhile for everyone to get their food. One negative, if you leave your plate even for a minute, they will take it away from you. So make sure when you get up from your table you are done with your food or by the time you come back it will be gone. We had the filet & mahi-mahi plates. The filet was AMAZING but the mahi-mahi wasn't anything special. We had them do churros with ice cream for dessert, which everyone said was AMAZING as well!!! I didn't really get to try the cake, I was too busy dancing and mingling but people said its as good but too much fondant and no icing. They decorated the room very nicely for changing it to be inside last minute! The waiters at the reception was great and they would bring us shots without even having to ask for them! All in all it was fabulous but went by wayyy to fast! I wish we could have extended the party by like at least an hour, we were all having so much fun!   We found out that night that they had upgraded us to a suite, so we had an after party in our room after the wedding! Ladies, this place is great! The staff is so friendly and everyone treats you exceptionally!    None of the ladies got our hair or make-up done at the spa, but I did get a massage there and it was great! Mitzi was awesome.    Swim up bar ask for Raymundo! He was so fun and kept the shots and drinks coming!! My mind is going blank and I can't think of anything else but how much fun it was. If you have any other questions please ask me and I'll make sure to answer them :) But most importantly have fun and enjoy the day 
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bryteyedbride

By bryteyedbride, · 3 Comments

Pros: They really pull everything together once you meet with the onsite coordinators.
Cons: There are going to be some bumps in the road...it's a destination wedding. Don't sweat the small stuff.
Review on my wedding experience   Welcome Party on 05.27.11 and Wedding on 05.28.11   Planning:  We booked our wedding through bestdestinationweddings.com.  Our first representative was not so great.  We were reassigned to Debbie Ryan.  If you get her, rest assured she will take good care of you.  She also answers emails and telephone calls in a very timely fashion.  Our first LOMAS representative left some room to be desired as well.  We were reassigned to Elizabeth Riffin and she was great too!  For the most part I would draft a list of issues, concerns, desires, etc. and then we would arrange a teleconference (the 3 of us) and cover everything.  I think we had about 3 total.  Very efficient.  Again, great ladies to work with!   Arrival at airport:   We  arrived at  the airport in Cancun and proceeded outside where we saw the LOMAS representative immediately holding our name tag.  We talked for a couple of minutes and were whisked away in a Lincoln Navigator.  We chose private transport over the group shuttle.  This was a good choice for us.  All but one set of our guests said LOMAS was there waiting when they arrived.  We talked to Carlos at the LOMAS desk at AS and made sure that everyone was squared away for departure because we were not happy that one set of our guests had waited around 20 minutes before LOMAS showed up to get them from the airport.   Arrival at AS:  We were greeted by cool aromatherapy washclothsand champagne.  We were upgraded to a premium room on the 2nd   floor.   We loved  all  the extra amenities that came with this, and there were always Bali beds available either on the beach or at the pool.  We   loved the pool butler service, and the aromatherapy pillows in the room.  Our room was decorated nicely each day with rose petals, towel art, twice our bathwater was ran with rose petals too.  The room was clean, the bed was comfortable...we had NO complaints.  Thanks Debbie because I think you had something to do with making this happen for us!  We were supposed to get a 1 category upgrade due to when we booked, but this was better than our upgrade.  We also booked at a time when all private events were 20% off.   Candlelight dinner on the beach:  We had this our first night.  It was romantic and the waiter was very nice.  I know we were tired from all of the hustle leading up to our arrival in Mexico, but even minus that, I still believe the time between the courses was too long.  Main course was great.  This was included in our gold package.   Sunset cruise to Maroma:  This was also include in our package.  We went here our second night.  We had a group dinner for our guests (also included in our package) this night.  It was a time for them to get together,  as they came from many states.   Sunset cruise was really  nice and bar service was included.  When we got back to Maroma, we had dinner on the beach again.  This was very nice, and they even had a saxophone player come and play at each table.  My then FI and I danced for an entire song that was played for us.  The food was very good, but like at AS, the time in between courses was too long.  We took some nice photos on this trip.   3rd night:  We had the BBQ Deluxe for our White Attire Welcome Party on Pool Deck 4 from 5p-9p.  Hindsight on this, starting at 6p would have been better because it is still very hot at 5p.  This was a very nice event and everyone looked nice.  The food was excellent and the bartenders were the bomb.   Carlos was THE BEST and he became my now-husband's "new best friend" in Mexico.    I brought our BOSE IPOD docking station for this event and it provided the right amount of volume for dinner and dancing .  We had Caribe Photo for one hour at this event.  (One hour of photography was included in our wedding package.  As we hired an outside vendor for the wedding, we used the one hour of photography at this event and it was a great choice.)  The photographer brought the book of photos, along with 2 additional CDs of photos taken in that time frame to my husband and I at our honeymoon resort.  How awesome was that?   4th night:  Wedding Day!   Our wedding was on the beach and scheduled for 3:30p.m.  Our on-site wedding coordinators were Israel and Denise.  They were both very good!  Word of advice to brides-to-be, and I know you won't listen, but it is so true... Try not to stress so much about the planning process prior to getting to Mexico.  They really do a great job once you get there.  REALLY!  Will there be some bumps in the road?  Yes, it's a destination wedding, but they really will help make your dreams come true.  Another tip:  You will likely have too much stuff when you get to the airport.   We flew on airtran, as did many of our guests.  Perks about airtran, if you fly business class each person gets first 2 bags checked for no additional charge, you have nicer seats, and you get to start drinking and snacking from the moment you get on the plane.  This was so worth it for us.  ALSO, we have a lot of military in our circle of family and friends.  Each active duty service member can bring 3 pieces of luggage (even overweight for free.)  This is how we got our wedding stuff to Mexico.  If you have this option, take advantage of it!   OK, back to the wedding.   Our wedding started approximately 1 hour late.  My girls and I were on time.  The flowers were late getting to our room and it appears that my IPOD was misplaced somewhere between the bridal attendant (provided by resort) and the wedding coordinator getting it.  I hate that my friends and family were waiting, as we are always on time.  You also have to walk quite a distance if you are in the premium section around the resort to the wedding gazebo.  For some reason, the coordinator did not guide my bridesmaids down the aisle (wooden plank) and all of them except for my MOH and my two nephews, the bridal criers, walked around the outside of guests.  ????  Oh well, like I said, it's a destination wedding, and in the grand scheme of things although it looked crazy, it was something small.  The only music that they played from my IPOD was the music for us to come down the aisle, The One He Kept For Me, and then After the Rain for the processional.  I know this is because my IPOD was misplaced, as mentioned earlier.  I am so glad I had talked to my MOH's husband and told him, "If they don't get anything right, make sure they are playing The One He Kept For Me" when all of us come down the aisle.  That was my FI queue that I was coming.  That was most important, and he knew I was on my way.    Everything was set up just as I asked, from the way I wanted my sheers hung (only 3), to the placement of the flowers on the gazebo, to the placement of a memory candle on the table where we had the sand ceremony and signed the legal documents.  THEY ALSO GAVE US AN ENGLISH-SPEAKING JUDGE!!! We had the legal ceremony.  (The technician that drew our blood bruised me up very badly, and she only stuck me once.  The bruise really shows in my wedding pics.  :(   Everything about the ceremony was beautiful, despite the heat.  I have no regrets, even with the bumps in the roads that we experienced.  I also had a moment of anxiety when I was waiting to walk down the aisle, and Israel was right there for me with a shot of tequila that I requested at the last minute!    I know I am prejudice, but I tell you, I feel like I had the most beautiful wedding that ever was, and you will feel that way too.   We hired Ivan Luckie of Luckie Photography ( outside vendor)  and Mike Cantarell of Cancun Wedding Video (preferred vendor) for 6 and 5 hours respectively.  They work VERY WELL together.  Despite Ivan the fact that Ivan has worked this resort before, he had some difficulty gaining access.  I'm not sure why, as he was approved, but Mike talked to the powers that be, and he was finally granted access.  Both men were true professionals.  Ivan had an assistant with him, I can't recall her name, but I think she got a lot of candid shots.  Because our wedding was late, we did not have as much time as we wanted for photography under the gazebo and on the beach, but I am sure they got some good shots.  We sent our guests to a 2 hour cocktail hour, which really ended up being about an hour because they wanted to watch us taking pictures on the beach.   They said the food was great.  It was at Zocalo al Fresco.  We also had the wedding reception here.  Cocktails with appetizers were until 6p and then the reception started at 6:10p.  We were taking pictures the entire cocktail time, so we had none of the food.  We had wanted Zavas Plaza for our reception site, but my bridal twin, the most awesome lady married on the same day, had already booked it.   We corresponded through this site and have similar personal and professional backgrounds.  It turned out that Zocalo al Fresco ended up being the better choice for us because it was cooler, covered, and had nice trade winds.  I would pick it all over again if given the choice.  We kept our decor at Zocalo just white table cloths, silver table runners that I got from Kohls at the After-Christmas-Sale, and our ivory hanging corsages from the wedding.  As Zocalo is a burnt rust and gold, introducing orchid (the color of my bridesmaid's gowns would have been too much.)  I loved the way they set the reception up, and we chose to keep the brown chairs that come with Zocalo instead of the white covered ones.  My Dad is 6'6" and was having some medical issues.  They even brought a high bar table and two bar chairs for him and my mother for the reception.   We had the filet mignon and lobster dinner served.  It was good and the alcohol was flowing.  We hired DJDoremixx (outside vendor) and they were great!  I liked them a lot.  I also advised them that they could take requests from our guests.  Anyone that has them can feel good that the outcome will be pleasant.    OK, problem area again.  I think our head waiter was Eduardo.  He was great, but we had one problem.  I kept asking for the cake and cupcakes to come out.  My Spanish is pretty good, as I have had to use it at work, and I frequent Spanish-speaking countries quite a bit on vacation, but the whole cupcake thing was not working.  After getting frustrated, I got my best friend, Spanish is her first language, to translate that I wanted the sweetheart cake (that came with our package) and the cupcakes to be brought out.  I just don't think he understood cupcakes in English or Spanish.   We went ahead and cut our cake.  It was very good.  I recommend the strawberry! About 10 minutes before the reception was over, he said the cupcakes were baking.  Too late...our reception was over.  We had older people that had already left, and approx 10 of our guests were heading out because they were booked at other resorts.  Despite this, we still had a great time and most of my guests said that our wedding weekend was the best they had ever attended.  I can't tell you how many tears were shed.  It was so beautiful.    My wedding twin invited us to her reception after ours.  About 10 of us went and celebrated with her and her new husband after our reception.  What a nice group of people!  She and I even had a celebratory shot together and some pics, both professional and amateur.  I am so pleased that I have met a new friend.  Awesome lady.  Truly first class!   After we left her reception, we went to the nightclub and partied some more.  I had the best wedding day ever!   I am sure that you will too!   Day after wedding:  I went to the WC office because I wanted reimbursement for our cupcakes.  They were $8 a piece x 38 guests.  Too significant to blow off, especially since I had lost our room safe key the night of the Welcome Party ($150).  I was told that because we paid through the Miami office that we would have to be reimbursed through the Miami office (LOMAS).  They said they would send a note to them immediately, but noted we could have the cupcakes at our brunch (part of our wedding package) that morning.  I advised we did not want them at the brunch, as they should have been served when we cut our wedding cake for our guests to enjoy at our wedding.  Additionally, in our welcome letter, I told our guests that the brunch was another optional event as I knew some would be tired, some would want to be at the pool beach or on an excursion, and that approx 10 of our guests were not at the resort and would not be there.  Bottom line,  you want your cupcakes on your wedding day when you have your wedding cake.  I am still waiting to hear back from Elizabeth Riffin on my refund for this.   After the Wedding Day Brunch:  This was at Zavas, and it was very nice.  I think there were only 8 of us, as many were recuperating from the night before or just doing their own thing.    The bad:  I did not know until my return, that one of my sisters had a horrible experience with her room.  I wish she would have told me.  You can see her review on tripadvisor.com at the end of May.  She is rockie128.  I wish she would have told me, because I truly believe that as the bride, if I would have gone to the resort her room issues would have been resolved.  This was a major bummer for me to find out upon my return to the States.  I wanted this to be a great experience for everyone.  She went through a lot more than the average person has to go through to get herself and my nephews to our wedding.  I am very disappointed about her experience.   It is my understanding that one other set of guests had serious room problems too, but were moved the next day.    Honeymoon:  We went to Secrets Capri Riviera by private transport after the brunch.  We upgraded to the top of the line suite on the top floor.  We were oceanfront and in front of the wedding gazebo.  We had a powder room, kitchenette, dining room, living room with balcony, bedroom with two more balconies, to include jacuzzi on balcony looking at the ocean, master bath with 2 showers, commode, bidet, full size toiletries (to include sunblock).  We only did this because we knew we would never do it again.  I always get the bottom of the line room because I prefer to spend most of my time at the beach.  The beach was much nicer than AS, the water was murky in areas, and very blue in others.  We enjoyed it.  The resort is small and the drinks were bad...watered down and just bad.  We found that if we ordered Corona or soda we were good, but that was it.  The food was ok in some places, and not so good in others.  The staff here was not as friendly as AS and that was a big let down.  We figured for the amount of money we spent here, we would have been treated just as well.  The only people that stood out were Lou Ann and the ladies in the spa.  We booked our hydrotherapy circuit and massages.  The ladies in the spa were also awesome.   Lou Ann made sure we got $40 off of our spa treatments, as the concierge basically stopped talking and did not give us any pertinent information that he was supposed to because we were not interested in some program he wanted us to buy into.  Sad.  Would we go back.  Yes, but only because it is our honeymoon spot and a perfect place to just concentrate on each other.  It would have nothing to do with the staff as they paled in comparison to the staff at AS. We should have stuck with a Karisma adult resort for our honeymoon...maybe next year for our first anniversary!   We have a lot of pics from our white party by Caribe.  The photographer was very nice, and I'm glad that we used him for our welcome party. He turned the photos around quickly.    I still think we made the right decision by hiring an outside vendor, Ivan Luckie, of Luckie Photography for our wedding day.  I'm not sure when Ivan is going to have any of our pics from the wedding, as he did not say, and we got caught up in our wedding day. I'm glad I gave in to my husband's request for a videographer.  We hired Mike Cantarell from Cancun Wedding Video, and he was awesome. Outside of having a great time, so much of our daywas a blur, and thanks to him we can relive it over and over again. I watch our highlights video and our actual 2 DVDs of our wedding day every chance I get, and I love when I hear my husband in the basement on his computer watching our highlights video.   I recommend Mike 100% and I love how quickly he turns around the finished product.  He is also a preferred vendor at Karisma, so you don't have to pay that enormous vendor fee for him.   If you go to www.vimeo.com and then type in "Sherylle and Larry" you can veiw our highlights video.  It's a good 7-8 minutes long, and it will show you many places around the resort.    Best wishes to all of the brides to be.  My husband and AS made all of my wedding dreams come true!
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Pros: Nice Resort, Great Food Options, Modern Decor
Cons: Poor Beach Quality, Poor Outside Vendor Support
My Azul Sensatori Wedding Experience Review   I want to begin by saying that we had an amazing wedding and we, as well as all of our guests, had a PHENOMENAL time!  In hindsight, I spent too much time during the weeks prior to our wedding in planning mode and not enough time “living in the moment” of our potential union celebration.  Second, I want to thank all of the past AS brides who shared advice, guidance, and their experiences with me and the rest of this amazing forum thread.  I really don’t know what I would have done had I not found this thread and all of the wonderful past AS brides.  While there were some occasional snafus, for the most part it was such an amazing experience; we just chopped it all up as life.  If you are realistic with yourself and remind yourself that life happens and not everything will be perfect (even your wedding day), you will be prepared to cope with whatever issue might arise with grace and dignity.   And lastly, before you read my review please be prepared for candid honesty.  It’s just in my nature and I don’t know how else to write a review (even a wedding venue review), so forgive me.  Writing this review was bittersweet for me because I didn’t want to offend or worry any of you; however I felt it would be a disservice (as well as lack integrity), if I wasn’t thorough and honest, hence my lengthy review.  So here it is the good and the bad, although the good heavily outweighs the bad!  Be prepared, it is a novel…..but if it helps just one bride, it was worth my time.  Happy reading and wedding planning!   Destinationweddings.com:  We booked our wedding through Destinationweddings.com (DW.com).  We did not care for our first DW.com Travel Agent (TA) because we felt heavily and unreasonably pressured by her to book with Karisma.  When we were first contacted by her, she asked us what we were seeking in a resort.  We stated that our most important desires were 1) A beautiful beach and gorgeous ceremony location on the beach (Myself and my father lived in San Diego for many years and we love the water and know the attributes of a beautiful beach.)  2) A newer model resort with modern and clean designs  3) Less than 500 rooms  4) Family friendly  5) All-inclusive dining and 6) Minimal communication stress or complications with the wedding planners.  She responded by stating that she had a perfect resort line for us and presented us with the Azul Sensatori and Azul Beach as our best options.  We truly liked both resorts after reviewing their websites, but did not want to make any hasty decisions and we requested that she provide us with all additional available options prior to booking.  She presented us with about two to three resort chains that were of poor quality and in comparison, made Karisma look like a 10-star chain.  I work long and erratic hours and we didn’t have time to do the resort search ourselves, hence our purchase of their services.  We assumed they / she would present us with a formal or professional list of resort options, but instead she would just email us a name here or there of a resort.  As a quick example, we had no clue of the Secrets, Iberostar, Palace, RUI, or several of the other large resort chains existed until I found this forum and we had already booked.  In hindsight, maybe a quick Google search conducted by us would have proved more productive and objective than her; but it is what it is.  She contacted us daily to inquire about whether we had made a decision and kept pressuring us because she said, “Karisma Resorts are highly sought after and book quickly and I would hate to see you lose out on the weekend dates.”  We kept asking her if she was positive that there were no other viable resorts within our specifications to review and she was curt, impatient, and aloof.  We booked AS and figured we’d forfeit the deposit if we found another option.  After sharing our plans with my parents, my Dad requested that we marry in Jamaica.  He offered to reimburse us for any planning and deposit costs to date in exchange for relocating our wedding to Jamaica.  We had no issues with this and contacted our TA.  She was irritated and rude to us and told us that all of the resorts in Jamaica are “plantation style” and we would not find what we were looking for in Jamaica.  While she may have possibly been right, we were disappointed that she didn’t even provide us with one name of one resort in Jamaica and I find it hard to believe that not one Jamaica resort met our desires.  I felt that she should have honored my Dad’s request, especially since she was getting paid to do so.   After approximately three weeks of working with her, we did not feel comfortable with her level of service (moreso me) and by that time I had found the forum and read about other members DW.com TA recommendations.    We requested to be reassigned and provided a list of three TA’s we preferred to work with.  We were reassigned to DW.com Karilyn Barnett, whom former AS bride Wendy recommended.  On a scale of 1 – 10, I would give Karilyn a 6.  She was very kind initially and took the time to explain why Karisma was a wonderful chain that would exceed our expectations.  I don’t know if our later disconnect with Karilyn was our fault or hers, but essentially, as we got rolling and the majority of our guests booked, we heard from her less and less and a few of our guests complained about her lack of responsiveness.  One of my friends purchased the insurance package and had to cancel at the last minute due to job related requirements and while my friend was reticent to share this information with me, she said Karilyn was downright rude to her as she processed her refund.  I still don’t know what occurred between the two of them, but my friend is a consummate professional that I’ve known for years and while I’m partial to her, I find it difficult to believe that she was the source of their negative interaction.  Lastly, on occasions Karilyn appeared to be very busy or heavily involved with family obligations during normal business hours.  We often felt insignificant and somewhat “out in the cold” as we navigated our out of country wedding.  Often times we felt that mere communication regarding her availability or lack thereof, would have alleviated some of the disconnect between us and Karilyn.  In being fair, Karilyn threw in a few unexpected extras, which you will see below.  We booked our Honeymoon at El Dorado Maroma through Jennifer of VIP Vacations and she was a class act in comparison to our DW.com experience.  In being completely honest and fair, Jennifer didn’t have to handle accommodations over several months for our entire wedding party as Karilyn did, but Jennifer’s communication was always prompt, detailed, professional, thorough, and friendly.  She came recommended by former AS bride Meredith, and I highly recommend Jennifer.  If I had it all to do over again, I wouldn’t give DW.com a second glance and would work directly with Jennifer or another GI Consultant.  DW.com hires TA’s as sub-contractors (several of whom are preoccupied running the daily operations of their own Travel Agencies) with disregard for professionalism and proficient customer service, in my humble opinion.  While their BBB rating boasts a grade of an “A” on their website, take the time to go to the BBB website and review the ample complaints submitted by others.  The responses submitted by the DW.com President are very defensive and disheartening.  I only read these reviews after we were too far along in the process; however it is clear that they are in business to generate revenue rather than to fulfill their sales pitch of “dream weddings”.  Enough about that; hindsight is priceless.     Planning with Miami Karisma Coordinators:  Our first Karisma Planner was Cecile.  We had minimal interactions with her and because our wedding was still ten months out, she responded to the very few emails I sent her in less than a week.  I assumed it was because we were still months out and couples with pending dates were higher priority, which didn’t bother me at all.  In July I sent her an email, to which she never responded.  I obtained Fabio’s email from this forum and sent him an email and three additional emails later, he never responded.  It took my DW.com TA getting involved to finally learn that Cecile had left the company.  We were eventually transferred to Maria Faye, who was good and I only had one complaint regarding her.  She was VERY friendly, upbeat, and excited each time I spoke with her.  Whenever I asked for a telephone conversation, versus a lengthy email game of ping pong, she made it happen.  The only issue I ever had is that we requested the names of the DJ’s Lomas uses and she went ‘round and ‘round with me and would never give me a name or company name or just directly tell me, “I don’t know” or “We are not allowed to provide DJ company names.”  We only asked because DJ Mannia and DJ Doremixx had/have YouTube clips online and for $1,500, we wanted to see a sample of what we were paying for.  She seemed to avoid this question by pacifying me and giving me the run around by responding with, “All of our couples have loved our DJ’s” or “All of our DJ’s are wonderful.”  However she never provided a direct response.  When I outright emailed her the names of the two above DJ’s and asked if they were options for us to select from, she responded, “Our company is familiar with and has used both of them.”  That was unacceptable for us, so we made our own selection, negotiated our rate with the DJ, and paid the outside vendor fee; which was in sum still cheaper than Lomas requested $1,500 rate.  Aside from that debacle, Maria Faye was wonderful.  When we got down to the last two weeks, she would respond to my emails within the hour.  We also spoke telephonically a few times and she even assisted me in purchasing the cigar roller as a surprise for my Husband and KEEPING IT A SURPRISE until the moment of the reception, which was very important to me.  J  Needless to say, he loved it!    Cancun Airport Arrival: We arrived at the airport in Cancun at 1pm and proceeded outside where we saw several representatives and eventually found the LOMAS representative holding our name tag.  There were NUMEROUS transportation representatives outside the airport holding signs and we assumed it was because we picked a busy holiday weekend.  We also later learned that the weekend of our wedding there was a college function in Cancun called, “The Jump Off.”  I’ll let you Google it, just suffice to say that it included half dressed collegiates looking for a good time and tons of liquor.  We believe it is a slight downgrade from Spring Break.  J  Luckily, we witnessed no “Jump Off” participants at AS.  J  Back to LOMAS transportation….. We found our representative dressed in turquoise and white and he talked to us about visiting the LOMAS Rep at AS as soon as we arrived at AS for excursions, transportation, etc and stressed the importance of this.  We nodded and smiled and never bothered until we needed information.  He stated that we had a private transfer to AS, which came a surprise to us (Thank You Karilyn!) and off we went to AS in an air conditioned, new  Lincoln Navigator.  When we were transported back to the airport, our luck had run out and we found ourselves in shared transportation.  J  All in all, none of our guests had any LOMAS transportation issues and all appeared pleased.  Each guest of ours said LOMAS was outside the Cancun airport waiting when they arrived.    AS Arrival (Wednesday): We were greeted by a bellman that provided us with cold face towels and Brut champagne.  He told us that the Wedding Coordinators (WC) were waiting for us and seated us on a couch in a quieter part of the lobby.  We were greeted moments later by Lorena who provided a WC letter stating that our meeting was the following day at 1pm.  She said our room was not quite ready yet, offered us lunch at a restaurant, and gave us a tour of the resort.  She escorted us to Spoons and said she would return shortly when our room was ready.  She didn’t return after an hour, so we returned to the lobby to find her and after being unable to, I took a 30 – 45 minute nap on the couch of the lobby until my Husband found her.  She then escorted us to our room and we were upgraded to a Honeymoon Suite on the 3rd floor of Building 3.  We assume we have Karilyn or DW.com to thank for this upgraded perk as well!  After hearing from other DW.com brides, this appears to be a silent perk of utilizing DW.com.    Our Room (Honeymoon Suite): As I mentioned, we received an upgraded room.  We loved the view, the balcony, and frequently ordered room service breakfast each morning and dined on our balcony in our robes.  J  Our room was decorated when we arrived with rose petals, towel art, and champagne; but we did not receive any additional “turn down” service while there for six days.  The room was clean, the bed was comfortable, the IPod dock was an added bonus, and we loved the balcony.  Our shower leaked from the shower window/plexi-glass onto the little seating area, but we learned to re-position the showerhead away from the window / plexi-glass, place towels outside prior to showering, or just wipe up the leaked water and we just got over it and never called it in.  We enjoyed each other’s company so much that a service call wasn’t worth the trouble for a shower that we assumed had leaked all along and well before our arrival.  (Although the night after our wedding we developed a bad ant problem near the patio sliding glass door, which we had to call in.  There were also major ants in the hallway outside our room leading up to our room, which my cousin happily sprayed with Off and hair spray the day of our wedding so that my wedding dress train wouldn’t wipe them up.  J )  We were supposed to get a one category upgrade due to booking a few days after attending the Karisma webinar, but the Honeymoon Suite superseded our upgrade.  We believe the upgrade was probably a courtesy of Karilyn or DW.com’s relationship with Karisma, so we are thoroughly appreciative!   A quick negative…. When we called in the ant problem we were having in our room the day after our wedding, maintenance came while we were out swimming.  When we returned, we had a voicemail informing us that they accidentally broke one of our engraved toasting flutes while spraying the ants.  Our flutes were on the table, but accidents happen and I wish I had just placed them back in their box.  They were very apologetic and reimbursed us in cash because the balance of our room was paid, however my Husband had to complete an incident report.  I just wanted you to be mindful of keeping your items of sentimental value in a safe place.    Meeting with Onsite Wedding Coordinator’s (WC):  Our on-site wedding coordinators were Claudia, Lorena, and some other woman who I think was named Denise (But I have forgotten now).  Our wedding was held on the beach near the pier and was scheduled for 5pm and our reception was held at the Plaza Zavas from 7pm – 11pm.  Our initial meeting with the WC’s was lead by Claudia with “Denise” taking notes on a laptop.  Lorena was in the room as well, but did not provide any input.  Claudia came off as the friendly and warm one of the duo and “Denise” appeared very stern and serious.  We made a few additions regarding vendors and they were very flexible and accepting.  Additionally, I did not have all of my wedding stuff together yet because my mother was bringing a portion of our ceremony and reception items and her flight was delayed.  They were very understanding and accommodating and allowed me to bring our complete trunk of wedding items down the morning of our wedding.  We brought inspiration photos and they quoted and charged us $150 for set up prior to seeing all of our items and they also did not charge us a fee for not wanting the “candy cane wrapping” around the gazebo poles.  I handwrote out each of our items under “Ceremony” or “Reception” along with the quantity.  I provided the WC’s with a copy of our list and they repacked all of our items and returned them to their office following our ceremony and my Husband picked them up the afternoon after our ceremony.  Lorena was GREAT!  She never took notes, but was the one who received our items the morning of our wedding and she has a memory beyond belief.  I have to concur with all the past brides who said in some form or another, not to stress too much prior to arriving in Mexico because most of the planning is completed in Mexico generally 12 – 24 hours before your actual wedding.  I know it sounds crazy, but it is true.  And lastly, it is a destination wedding, not your local country club wedding down the road from your house, so be prepared for a few hiccups.  Just remain focused on WHY you’re actually marrying not HOW.     Friday Night (Our 3rd night at AS):  We utilized our free Welcome Cocktail Party at the Zavas Terrace for our guests from 4:30pm – 6:30pm.  This was a perk of booking with DW.com.  My Husband gave them a signature drink in our wedding color, which they happily prepared and served to our guests.  The bartender initially gave my Husband a little grief because I guess the menu calls solely for beer and wine, but my Husband tipped him and all was well.  This was a nice welcome ice breaker event for our guest, which allowed them to meet and greet.  We brought our own Bose Soundock and IPod and created the atmosphere that we wanted and it worked out great.  At 6:30pm, we headed over to Spoons and used our free Spoons reservation for 40 people, had our “Quasi- Rehearsal Dinner,” and listened to toasts and watched our friends and family bond, eat, and be merry.  J  It was wonderful and I honestly can’t complain about a thing that evening.  (Partly due to shots of tequila and partly due to the loving atmosphere created that left little to no room for analysis.)  The food was excellent and the servers were very attentive at Spoons and from looking at our non-pro photos, a good time was had by all.    Our Wedding (Saturday/ Our 4th night at AS):
We were scheduled to marry on the beach near the pier at 5pm.  Our wedding didn’t start until 5:30pm or shortly thereafter for a few reasons.  I initially booked my hair and make-up appointment four months in advance through Maria Faye of Miami for 11am.  (See more details on the Spa below)  When we met with the onsite WC’s, they suggested that I change the time to 2pm because they said my hair and makeup would not maintain for that long with the heat.  I took their recommendation and needless to say, I was rushed and pressed for time and did not make it back to my room until shortly after 4pm.  By the time I made it back to my room, it felt very frantic and was just an overall blur.  No attendant ever came, called, or inquired about my needs per our package.  Claudia arrived to pick me up from our room at around 4:50pm.  Once I was dressed, I was waiting for my Dad so that I could give him his boutonniere.  I expressed my desire to have my Dad pick me up from my room for a private moment and to pin his boutonniere during our onsite WC meeting and they nodded and smiled.   Neither Claudia, nor whomever she was calling over her radio could find my Dad and I later learned that he was in the Groom’s room with my Husband.  My Dad finally was located by my Mom and it was about 5:20 by then, he came to my room, and I quickly pinned him up.  At one point, I overheard Claudia telling my Mom that we had to go now or else the officiant was going to cancel our wedding.  This stressed me out and made us all rush out of the room in a panic.  My Husband later told me that the officiant was kind and calm and was just hanging out talking to him, his Father, and our guests.  He said she made no mention of cancelling our ceremony and her demeanor did not display discontent.  When we got near the Family building, Claudia told us to stop and began calling someone on her radio.  Our photographer began taking photos of me and Claudia raised her voice at her while stating, “Elizabeth, we don’t have time for that!”  I did not care for this and Claudia put me in a momentary really pissy mood.  I gave her the look of death and frankly, had it not been one of the biggest days of our lives, I would have given Claudia a piece of my mind.  I also didn’t want to start any negative confrontations with her considering we still had our ceremony and reception to follow and I didn’t want any issues to impede our festivities.  We paid BIG money for our photographer and I did not appreciate Claudia’s treatment of her.  I also didn’t like the chaotic and anxious mood Claudia created in those few 15 to 20 minutes and my Mom felt my mood shift and calmly talked me out of letting any negatively settle in due to Claudia.  With bridal nerves already heightened, I didn’t understand Claudia’s demeanor.   About 10 months prior to our wedding, we requested Alina Monroy as our officiant and her name was listed on our detail sheet.  We aren’t sure of the name of our actual officiant; I’ve seen her in a few of the other AS forum girl’s photos.  I personally thought she was nice; however she was a little too melodramatic for my taste.  We are big jokesters and there were times when I couldn’t even look her in the face because her words and expressions were so elongated, exaggerated, and passionate.  At times, she was almost corny to me and I knew I’d begin to giggle at her which would make my Hubby giggle too, so I behaved.  J  All in all, it was a beautiful ceremony.  Most of our guests said the ceremony was touching and gorgeous, but I honestly don’t recall much of it because he and I were so into each other that at times we were having our own private whispering conversation at the altar.  J  This was one of those moments where neither one of us can recall anything that occurred around us because we were stuck in the moment that we both had tunnel vision and only saw each other.  So again, I say….. everything will be fine!   The only minor issue here was that we brought a basket full of flip flops for our guests to use as “dancing shoes” during the reception and for whatever reason; the WC’s placed them on a table at the ceremony site on the beach?  I do recall seeing several of our guests in orange Old Navy flip flops and I still don’t get what confused them about this request, but we paid it little attention and just asked a friend to relocate the basket to our reception site.  Aside from this, everything else was set up just as we requested to include our sheers, gazebo flowers, chair sashes, and sand ceremony.   Reception
Our reception was held at the Zavas Plaza from 7pm – 11pm.  It was the best option for us, the weather was perfect, and it was gorgeous once decorated!  The breeze was plentiful and we felt pleased with this location.  We loved every minute of it and we felt that it couldn’t have gone better.  From a sentimental standpoint, it was PERFECT.  I surprised my Husband with the cigar roller and he and his fellas were in heaven.  I loved seeing him happy!!! It was all worth it!   The not so great…. They did not light the votive candles of our centerpieces and when I asked them to, they said they were waiting “for dark.”  They were intended to be lit from the time they placed the decoration over the votive, but I digress. They took WAY too long to serve our guests.  My Dad grabbed the mic and went for his heartfelt speech after our dance and that lead others to follow.  I had to ask the waiters to please serve our guests while others were on the mic because I could visibly see the hungry faces.  At one point, they had not fed our table of photographers and videographers (after everyone else had eaten) and when I inquired as to why, the wait staff responded by saying they were checking to see how many dinners we purchased.  I was displeased by this and found it incredibly rude considering we had a last minute family cancellation and had overpaid for plates since we prepaid 45 days prior to our wedding.  In my only Bridezilla moment of the entire planning/wedding period, I instructed them to serve them IMMEDIATELY and we’d talk finances at 11pm.  I do not believe in mistreating people that you hire to perform services and I refused to allow them to withhold dinner from our photographers and videographer.  They brought out their meals and I did not hear another word about that issue.  Because our guests kept coming up to us to hug, kiss, and chat; when I got up to hug someone, I returned to our sweetheart table and they had removed my partially eaten meal.  My best friend talked to someone about this and they whipped up another and I stayed seated long enough to scarf it down.  The cake was okay and nothing to write home about.  They never served the dessert that came with our meal package and we didn’t realize this until the following morning.  They merely served the cake we ordered.  We didn’t care enough to make an issue about it; we just felt that they got over on us.  These are all minor issues in comparison to what could have gone wrong, but I felt it was best to be completely honest so you may avoid these issues if they are important to you.   DJ Mannia We negotiated a rate with DJ Mannia, hired them, and paid Karisma the outside vendor fee.  I give them a C+ because they didn’t seem to “get us” and our type of music.  We specified no Lady Gaga, Brittney Spears, Akon, or bubble gum pop, etc in preference of Seal, Melanie Fiona, Anthony Hamilton, Jill Scott, Sade, Amy Winehouse, Jay-Z, Prince, Tribe Called Quest, Tony Toni Tone, Common, The Roots, etc.   My husband and I danced to “The Point of It All” as our first song and my Dad and I danced to “Unforgettable.”  These were songs that my Husband downloaded onto our IPod Touch, which my Husband gave the DJ prior to our reception.  While they played our specified two dance songs, the DJ didn’t seem to recognize what kept our guests on the dance floor and what made them take their seats.  I thought with him having our IPod in his possession, he could get an idea of what made us all want to dance. No such luck there.  Of large importance was the fact that the DJ was also late.  We actually had to wait around the corner from Plaza Zavas for about 15 minutes because the DJ had not arrived and we couldn’t be announced yet.  I was baffled by this but Claudia told us to go up to our room and enjoy the AC and she would call us.  We went up to my Husband’s grooms suite since we didn’t sleep together the night before, and took shots of tequila together, and he bustled my dress for me.  J      Photographer Elizabeth Medina LOVE HER, LOVE HER, AND LOVE HER!  Hire her if you can!!! She is so sweet, warm, personable, and professional.  We have yet to see our pro photos yet, but we know they will be phenomenal.  She is everywhere during your ceremony, but yet barely there.  She seems to move about the crowd and be there at all the right times, but yet she never is a glaring presence.  We hired her for 8 hours on our wedding day and we also had a TTD the next morning at 6am after I regained my composure from too many Patron shots.  J  We brought our own bottle and my best friend went up to our room and grabbed the bottle so that we could take shots with my Bridal Twin.  Back to Elizabeth…. She is first rate, worth every penny, and did I say that I love her and her daughter Lindsey??? J   The only bad issue here was that the resort photographer was rude to Elizabeth and made an abrasive an unnecessary comment to her.  I still cannot understand why Karisma is so tense regarding outside vendors, especially those that have successfully performed services on their properties in the past.  Karisma also knew for the past 11 months that she was coming as our photographer, so there were no surprises.  Our package only came with one free 5x7, which Elizabeth could not have been impeding the resort photographer from taking during our entire ceremony.  Elizabeth took the high road and was very professional about the resort photographer’s demeanor.  The resort photographer emailed us our jpg. last week (so much for a  5x7 photo on photo paper) and it was a comical joke of a photo.  We had a hearty laugh at the poor quality and he should be ashamed to call himself a pro.  Our facial expressions are priceless, yet so jokester us.  Caribe Photo leaves a lot to be desired in my opinion and judging from his behavior, he must have been jealous that Elizabeth dipped into his cookie jar that evening.  J   Our videographer was Efren Gutierrez.  He was so quiet that I cannot say much about him at this point other than his booking communication is great and he was professional.  He barely said 10 words, so I truly can’t say much at this point.  I know my Husband spoke with him, but even their interaction was minimal.  As long as he captured our pertinent moments, he is good in my book.  I’ll let you know when our video arrives, as it should be here this week.  I can say that he and Elizabeth worked well together and he seemed to follow her lead.    Shuttle Transportation to Cancun and Playa Del Carmen When we first booked with AS we were told that AS offered complimentary or low cost ($15 per person) shuttles with daily schedules to and from Cancun and Playa Del Carmen.  This was a great selling point for us and we intended to take full advantage of this service to wrap up some last minute reception and favor purchases.  Unfortunately this service is no longer available and LOMAS charged us $70 as a couple for round trip taxi transportation to Playa Del Carmen and $80 to Cancun.  We were displeased with this and as you can imagine, the costs add up.  We’re not really sure when the resort discontinued their shuttle service, but we were equally as displeased with the fact that we had included this service information in our guest brochure that we mailed out a few weeks prior to the wedding.  Several of our guests inquired with us regarding this service and we had to apologize for the inconvenience.  We considered trying to rent a bus and coordinate trips for our guests to each city, but figured we already had a full plate.  I just wanted to give you a heads up that if you intend to travel into the surrounding popular cities, be prepared for the expense and driver tips.   Housekeeping Was wonderful and we had no complaints.  My Husband tipped her on our last day because we felt her service was excellent.    Room Service We utilized room service almost daily, if not every other day.  The children in our group loved calling room service each night and ordering french fries.  It made them feel like royalty.  J  We enjoyed their breakfast menu thoroughly while dining on our balcony.  It gave us some quiet time with each other before all of the excitement with our guests took over each day.  On a few occasions, they forgot ordered items such as a side of bacon here or a glass of orange juice there, but it was never a huge deal.  Our only advice is just to be aware that their 24 hour menu is not gourmet inclusive.  I believe it is limited to hot dogs, hamburgers, nachos, and french fries?  This wasn’t an issue for us, but there were a few health nut whiners in our group that commented on the limited late night room service menu.  But hey, you can’t please them all. J   Restaurants
We ate at every restaurant but LeChique.  We thoroughly enjoyed all of the restaurants, especially Sienna and Zocolo.  My Husband had dessert at each restaurant and said Sienna and Zavaz were tied in the sweets department.  Make sure you try the fish quesadilla on Zocolo’s dinner menu, it was very flavorful and I loved it!   LeChique
If you want reservations at LeChique, they only take reservations between 3-5pm and their closed on Sunday.  We didn’t dine here, but my parents did.  My Dad was somewhat displeased with the fact that they called to make reservations on the day of their arrival to AS and were told that nothing was available until 5 days later, which was the date of their scheduled departure.  On Thursday, he requested that they be placed on a waiting list for a table of four.  On Monday afternoon, we were swimming and hanging out by the pool when my kid sister yelled out from their room that LeChique just called and said my parents and my Aunt and Uncle had 30 minutes to get over to LeChique if they wanted to dine there.  This worked out perfectly for them and three weeks later, he is still raving about how wonderful their dining experience was.  He continuously states that he wishes they had brought their camera to the restaurant because the presentation of food courses were so unique and impressive.  They all stated that the service was excellent and they were flattered by the Chef’s presence and explanation of courses.  Their only complaint was that the restaurant was barely full, which bothered and intrigued a few of our other guests as well.  This gave them the impression that the resort is not servicing as many customers as possible each evening, which caused our guests to question their integrity and reservation practices; especially the guests of ours that were unable to secure a reservation yet were told by other diners that the restaurant was partially full during their experience.  Nonetheless, the guests of ours who had the opportunity to dine at LeChique thoroughly enjoyed their dining experience.   My Parent’s Room: My Dad didn’t like their room (overlooking Plaza Zavas) and upgraded to a swim up.  It was adorable to watch him “swim home” at night.  J  He was pleased that they allowed him to switch his room and they even gave him keys to a few rooms to check out the view prior to finalizing and purchasing his upgrade.  This was cool, but it baffled me because everyone kept saying how booked up the resort was.  How could he look at four different room options, when the resort was allegedly booked?  Anyway, he was pleased with his final choice.  And honestly, although they said the resort was booked, it never felt like it at the restaurants, bars, or swimming pools.  We always found a cabana bed to enjoy and were always served promptly.   Drinks: We ordered drinks at every bar and restaurant on the resort grounds, to include partying at the Mojito lounge.  The service was excellent, the bartenders were friendly, but the drinks were SEVERLY watered down.  We heard this complaint from many of our guests who were seeking “premium” liquor.  At one point we went into Cancun and bought Patron to appease our guests.  It was kinda embarrassing to keep hearing people say, “Make it a double,” just to taste the liquor.  But such is life and all was well.  I just wanted to give you a heads up in case you decided to buy premium liquor at the airport and bring it with you to AS, which I would suggest if you and your guests are “Top Shelfers.”   Salon Services: Edgar did my hair and make up the day of the wedding at the salon and I did not have a trial.  I / Edgar didn’t need a trial, because he did a great job.  I just told him that I wanted natural make up and showed him an inspiration picture of my hair (which was just a messy bun / chignon).  He went to work and it was beautiful.  He was very meticulous and paid attention to detail.  Many of our guests complimented me and my Husband loved my look.  I didn’t see Edgar’s full selection of makeup, but I know he used all MAC products.  I brought my own MAC make up and he just ended up using theirs.  I also brought my own false eyelashes, which he applied with no issue.  His assistant was so awesome!  She actually helped me sew clips onto my bun extensions because I had forgotten to do that prior to arriving.  I tipped them generously for their willingness to help me.  When my nerves finally caught up with me and I started crying in the Spa out of nowhere, he called Elena and she stopped by with a glass of champagne.  J  Anyway, he spoke very little English, but did an AMAZING job considering my hair texture and need to clip in bun extensions for fullness.  Everyone complimented me on how beautiful my hair and makeup were.  My only suggestion is that you book early and not take the WC advice regarding the heat, especially if you are going directly back to your room where there is AC.  J  My only complaint was that it took a lot longer than I thought it would and I should have maintained my 11am appointment.    This Forum and my Bridal Twin: I can’t say enough about the women on this thread!  My bridal twin and I began communicating thanks to this forum.  We emailed one another and had quite a bit in common.  My Husband and I were coming back from Cancun one day and walking through the lobby to our room and I saw a woman staring at me from across the lobby.  I am in Law Enforcement and have a tendency to be overly aware of my surroundings.  J  We had never exchanged photos, but when I noticed the big grin, I knew she had to be my bridal twin.  We hugged, embraced, and chatted for a few.  We also had the chance to party it up the night before our weddings in the Mojito lounge.  (My God Mom took a picture of us both two sheets to the wind yet hugging on the dance floor.  J)  The night before our wedding, I invited her and her wedding guests to our reception to party with us following her reception and my Husband said, “This is one of the reasons I asked you to marry me;  you are selfless.”  I started crying of course.  J   We also got to see one another as I was walking to the gazebo to get married and she was taking pictures on the big stairs following her ceremony.  I felt as if I was congratulating an old friend and it was so great to see her in her moment and celebrating with her new Husband.  I was SO glad that she and her guest came and celebrated with us.  It was such a warm and celebratory environment and I could not have felt more blessed!  We also took shots together and it made the celebration all the more festive and memorable.  I consider myself to have made a friend for life and at the least, this forum made that possible.  Our Father’s chatted and they were both SO proud.  Thank you, Sherylle for being such a wonderful person!!!      Honeymoon:  We went to El Dorado Maroma (EDM) for seven days.  My Husband organized and booked our Honeymoon with Jennifer of VIP travel.  She upgraded us to the Infinity Pool Suite, sent us  a travel document holder, and several quality luggage tags beforehand.  LOVE HER!  Our room and the resort were INCREDIBLE!!!!  All I can say is that Maroma beach is 100 times better than AS’s beach and I almost wanted to get married again at EDM!!!! It is clear blue water and white sand and at knee level I was able to watch schools of fish swim by.  I saw Claudia there on Saturday organizing a gazebo wedding, in fact.  But if you ever have a chance to go back to a Karisma resort, the EDM is a MUST SEE and DO!!! We felt like royalty and we LOVED their food!!! It is truly GI and one night the power went out and the chefs still prepared a five course meal by candle light!  The resort is secluded from all the other resorts and while it is near the Marina Maroma, it is not on the stretch of 20 + resorts as Secrets Maroma is.  We walked to Secrets Maroma one day and it was more than a mile walk and took us more than 45 minutes.  When we saw all of those resorts clustered on top of one another and heard the loud music, we knew we made the right choice.  EDM is serene, peaceful, sophisticated, quiet, romantic, and relaxing!  The room even included an outdoor shower! (Along with your normal indoor shower)  We had a beach bed, bar, and infinity pool on our balcony and we actually slept under the stars a few nights.  Their liquor was of a higher grade than AS and they had a larger selection of premium liquors.  My Husband is a Crown Royal man and they had Crown Royal Black which is new and hard to come by even in some stateside stores.  Oh and ask for the Coco Loco drink, it’s served in a coconut. J  WE LOVE that resort and we plan to return very soon!   Overall: I would highly recommend AS to any bride and groom.  The AS is an excellent choice to have a wedding and they are well versed at facilitating weddings, for the most part.  I have BDW to thank for preparing me for the unexpected, informing me of the little secrets and loopholes, and keeping me sane.  I truly obtained majority of my wedding ideas and information from this forum, and really only used the WCs to finalize details and make payments.  The planning process can be very tedious and frustrating at times, especially when you begin to feel that your wedding is more about Karisma making money and less about ensuring your day is as you would like it.  I realize that you must pay for quality, which I have no problem with, but I took issue with Karisma telling us who we could and could not have as a photographer, DJ, etc, solely because they were financially in bed and obligated to a few mid-grade vendors. I felt that if we wanted to pay for quality, let us….but don’t charge us exorbitant fees just because we are at your mercy and you can.  There was no rhyme or reason to some of their practices and with me being a practical and reasoning person, I sometimes had to just bite the bullet and ignore some of their unfair practices.  With my rant over, everything was wonderful!  We were rarely told no and our guests were pleased.  Please do not let the reviews on Trip Advisor distract you or your guests from looking forward to your special day.  Overall, the wedding week and day were AMAZING!  Although my type A personality was apprehensive going down there, looking back on the day it was BEAUTIFUL and MEMORABLE.  Yes, a few things went wrong but we just pushed past it and enjoyed ourselves.  We had the time of our lives and would do it all over again if given the option!  I hate giving any negative feedback at all; I just wanted to be as honest as possible so future brides can be fully prepared if they are borderline type A, such as myself. Best of luck to you all and feel free to PM me if you have any questions!  Happy Planning!!!!    
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jazz04

By jazz04, · 0 Comments

Pros: Pools, Wedding, Rooms, Service
Cons: Probably none
We had the best wedding ever and the staff are amazing. All of our guest said it was the best wedding they had ever experienced. We have absoulutely no complaints! The rooms are clean, the food is great, the pools are emaculate. I have never been treated like such royalty and want to thank all of the sensatori staff for making me feel like a princess on my wedding day. We had a blast!
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bride19

By bride19, · 1 Comment

Pros: Perfect wedding, beautiful scenery, great service
Cons: Not a nice beach
I figured I would do my part and post about my wedding since I really appreciated reading others' reviews. I found it extremely helpful and I think it was part of the reason that my wedding was PERFECT. I posted my review of the hotel on tripadvisor, so I will stick solely to wedding-related info here.   Erika Torres was my coordinator in Miami who did all the pre-planning with me. She did an amazing job, and everything we talked about was arranged exactly as planned. On site, Claudia and her team took very good care of me. My fiance and I met with them in their office and we went through the details sheet. They convinced me to buy another flower arrangement and a small wedding cake (supposed to serve ten but it was more than enough for the 28 of us!!). For the free cocktail reception, she convinced us to rent their iPod dock, which was extremely overpriced at $150. I think I could've bought one at that price... Anyway, they put out all the extra stuff we brought just as planned (fans, fabric petals, bubbles, guest book), at no charge. You can only use the fabric petals on the SkyDeck as it would litter the beach.   I cannot stress enough that my wedding was perfect. We did not want to splurge on everything, but honestly we didn't have to. Dinner at Le Spoon was beautiful, they put up a sheer fabric partition and took the flowers from the gazebo as centrepieces. The manager at Le Spoon brought the mariachi band over to play for us near the end of our dinner. The food was great, no complaints at all. I saw many other weddings all over the resort, and knowing how much extra they had to pay, I was really happy with what I got. In total I spent approximately $2k on our wedding. The SkyDeck option is $1700 alone, so I think it was an extremely good deal for everything I got. The WebCam on the SkyDeck allowed friends & family who couldn't attend to watch at home (without sound, for some reason).   We did not do our own vows, we used what the minister brought. She was AMAZING too, you could tell she did a ceremony every day. She took off right after the ceremony so we were unable to give her a tip. Oh, and because we didn't want a religious ceremony she did a completely secular ceremony without a problem. Everyone loved our ceremony because it was not very long and it was extremely touching. Guests get bored fast at weddings that drag on for hours, and I know it's all about *you*, but enough cannot be said for people actually enjoying themselves.   Our only problems were: 1) The nice silver pen that went with our guestbook was never returned to us. 2) We tried to pay for the extra items were ordered and had to come back FIVE times to finally pay. It was to the point where I was just going to make them find me, because I was told, "Be at the office at 11." And no one would be there to take my payment. Other times the machine was down. Not the biggest problem, but it's annoying when you want to enjoy your time and you have to keep running to the main building. 3) As much as other Canadians who were getting married this week tried to convey to the wedding coordinators, they seemed to not care at all that we had terrible experiences with The Wedding Holiday. I assume this is because they get SO much business from this agency, but I warned them that all the negative feedback about that agency would eventually hurt them, as people wouldn't book at Azul Sensatori if they had to put up with the worst travel agency that ever was. Seriously, they overcharged people, they owed me money for months, they said they'd upgraded us when they didn't, they said they booked people in elite seats on the plane (took their money for it too) but never did, didn't return calls, lied non-stop, ugh, it was an awful experience. A bride I met said she almost cancelled her wedding because they were terrible. Claudia seemed more concerned with us telling her how bad they were, rather than saying she'd try and pass the word on to the higher ups. She just kept saying that everything would be fine now at Azul, which we all knew.   Anyway, it was AMAZING and PERFECT. Everyone did a great job. I got my hair & makeup done at the Spa by Edgar and everyone thought it was beautiful. He was really fast, so I was done earlier than I imagined to have plenty of time for photos.   Use lots of hair spray ladies, it's windy out there! :)   I hope you all have wonderful weddings, and relax!      
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Pros: Beautiful Resort and Excellent Service
Cons: Inconsistancy in information between coordinators
My review may be slightly different than others.  We joined Karisma’s Exotic Travellers Club during our first site visit (March 2010).  We paid a pretty penny for our membership, so my expectations were pretty high, which might make some comments snooty.  But this review might be helpful if any other future brides decide to join Exotic. Which I definitely recommend!   Booking Rooms:  I booked all of my guests’ rooms directly through Exotic.  Due to our membership, we have a larger discount than available anywhere else.  It was A LOT more work playing TA for everyone, but worth it for the discount.  There was the option to have all of my guests contact Exotic directly, but I was much more comfortable playing the middleman.  Their concierge service is in Miami, and they were absolutely amazing to deal with!  I had one main contact for the entire year and he always responded to my emails within an hour!  During crunch time we would easily transfer 10+ emails a day.    Airport Transfers:  We used Lomas for all of our shuttles.  We got ourselves a limo…which was fabulous!!  Then we got private shuttle transfers for the rest of our guests.  Everyone arrived, and I didn’t hear any complaints, so I guess everyone’s transfer was good.  Though I don’t think anyone would’ve complained since they didn’t have to pay for it :)   Greeting:  One of the perks of being an Exotic member is the private check in to the left of the lobby.   This part was an awesome surprise for all of our guests!  They sit you on couches and bring you champagne and all of your paperwork to you.   Also, most of our guests were able to get into their rooms before the standard 3pm check-in.   Rooms:  We put all of our guests into the premium section, which was fabulous!  For exotic members, they are called “royal suites” and are about the same price as regular Jacuzzi Suites.  All rooms had champagne, aromatherapy, pillow menu, butler service, Wi-Fi, and 2 bottles of liquor.  We all used the premium pool and beach during the day, which was awesome!  Since nobody really ventured outside the premium section, I dont think our guests truly realized how good they had it, so I still heard a few unnecessary complaints.  For our room, we had originally booked the Honeymoon Swimup, and they upgraded us to the 2 Bedroom Presidential!  At first I was a little upset because its on the 4th floor, and I had been envisioning for the past year our room being the Honeymoon Swimup, then our family and bridal party being the next 8 premium swimups next to us.  But we ended up getting A LOT of use out of the presidential.  It came with a private butler, tons of liquor, premium beer, and lots more…so we ended up throwing a Welcome Party in our suite one night.  Obviously the presidential was awesome…I just wished they would’ve told me in advance they don’t actual put anyone in the premium honeymoon swimup (model only).    Resort and Restaurants: This was our 3rd trip to Azul, and every trip I have been extremely impressed with everything!  They are always working to improve, even when it already looks gorgeous.  Every staff member is friendly and willing to help.  All of the restaurants are great!  I really couldn’t say which is my favorite because its all depending on the kind of food I’m in the mood for.  A few people have commented on the temperature of the food, and I have to agree.  I do not recall ever getting a hot plate of anything.  Its all still amazing (especially for an all-inclusive resort), but it would be nice to get a hot plate every once in a while. We didn’t make it to LeChique on this trip, but we went in the past and it truly is an experience!  If you have 3 hours to spare for dinner one night, I highly recommend it.    Onsite Meeting:  This meeting went pretty good. I'm pretty sure my WC was new because there were a few details he hadnt heard of and we had to explain (i.e. He had never heard of a signature drink!) We went through the detail sheet first. It felt like they were trying to rush through the meeting a bit, but I tried to take some control and slow it down a bit and make sure they understood every detail of what I was asking for.  There is no question too big or too small, so I really stress the importance of getting clarification on every detail that is important to you.  Next we went through the decorations we brought.  We packed everything into one big suitcase with an inventory list and description of where/how we want everything.  We brought sashes, table runners, xmas lights, lanterns, menus, placecards & holders, table numbers & monogrammed beverage napkins.  I fought for an “organization discount”, so we paid about $180 for setup J.   They were super impressed with my neatness and organization, but I have to say I was disappointed in the way they returned my suitcase.  Everything was completely crammed back in with no attempt to make it neat.  I’m sure nobody else would care…just one of my things.    Wedding:  When it came to setting up the ceremony and reception, the onsite team truly nailed it!  Everything was setup beautifully.   I couldn’t have imagined it looking more perfect.  The minister was fabulous.  She spoke perfectly clear and was very passionate with her words.  We only made a few minor changes to their standard script.  The print out I gave the onsite team had their standard writing in black and all of my changes in bright blue.   To get the best out of your minister, Id really recommend staying as close to their standard as possible.    Reception:  Again, the onsite team did a beautiful job with the set up.  For music, we brought an iPod and had different playlists (cocktails, dinner, first dances, dance music).  We had a friend run the iPod, so this part went smooth.  I gave both the WC and a friend a copy of my schedule of events, and our friend ended up taking charge and made sure everything happen when it was supposed to.  I’m sure the WCs were making sure everything was perfect on the backside or something, but we really didn’t see them much.    Overall the wedding weekend was absolutely fabulous!  I have BDW to thank more than anything.  I truly got all of the ideas and information I needed from this forum, and really only used the WCs to finalize details and make payments.  Azul Sensatori is gorgeous, and perfect for a big group vacation/wedding weekend!  I hate giving any negative feedback at all; I just wanted to be as honest as possible so future brides can fully prepare if they are crazy organized planners like me :)   I’m trying to keep this as summarized as possible, so please PM me if you want more details.  I could go on and on!   This is the presidential, and there is a full size bedroom and bathroom on each side. Table Setting before centerpieces were added (flowers from ceremony) Me and my dad.  This ramp in 3" heels was scary! The reception setup was beautiful at night...unfortunately, this is the only pic i have of it so far. Bridal Party on Pier   Once the pro pics are available, I will post them on the Azul Sensatori forum. 
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MaggieandJay

By MaggieandJay, · 2 Comments

Pros: Resort is very nice and they take care of everything
Cons: Windy on the beach and better $$ communication
My review of the Azul Sensatori resort. We were married on May 15, 2011. Overall, the wedding week, and day were AMAZING! I was very nervous going down but as I look back on that day it was so effortless and yes there were a couple things that went wrong but I didn’t really notice! I had the time of my life and it was exactly the way I pictured it!     Our Greeting: We were offered champagne and a cold towel upon arrival at the resort.  A staff member checked us in and walked us around.  She gave us a note that gave us information on our wedding meeting. I was allowed to change it due to we were on a snorkeling trip that day.   We met with the concierge to pick our scents for the aromatherapy and ask about the WIFI in our room. EVERYONE was amazingly wonderful and nice. They treated us like royalty.   Lomas Travel, Felipe and EDDIE. They were AWESOME! They took care of OUR whole group and really were there ALL THE time and answered every question. The drivers were great. Everything was easy and effortless. They even took care of a couple of our guests whose flights were delayed. They totally seemed on top of everything. Also when my brother’s flight was cancelled they brought him back to the resort from the airport (for a $40 cash) then re booked another van for him to get back to the airport the next day. (Extra Charge for this as well but it was the fact they really helped us out in what could have been a bad situation)    The Rooms: We booked a PREM swim up Jacuzzi suite for ourselves and it was Amazing! The Premium Area was really nice! The rooms are very spacious and beautiful.  Our room had champagne, roses on the floor and towel art to welcome us.  In hindsight we could have spent a tad less since we did hang out at the other pools with our guests more but we booked Prem to get a discount on our wedding so it was worth it $$ wise in the end. Our Guest were all in love with their rooms and 8 of them got free upgrades.     The Resort and Restaurants: The resort is Wonderful! The views are AWESOME and totally worth it. Every employee was very nice and went above and beyond. The private event dinners were really good and all my guests were impressed with the food. With that said I will say everything was neither hot nor cold. Be prepared that everything always seems a slight room temp. I avoided thing I know I like cold like milk and yogurt. Everything else was great. I also like that this resort gave you a house wine option in white red and rose. We had quite a few people say it was good wine.     Wedding: Set up fees are apparently based solely on # of people and how much you have to set up. I had next to nothing so mine was $80 total and I tipped the WC $50. I had 65 people. I really think they are making it up as they go along. I had next to no frills since I didn’t want to pay for them but all my guests said you really didn’t notice. The resort is so pretty I am glad I didn’t get all the extras. Ceremony script ~ We used the resorts and our minister was great. I will say that we didn’t specialize ours that much and when my FI got up there she said do you want the long or short. Of course he said short and it was PERFECT for the moment but if you are really specific about your vows then I would make sure you are VERY CLEAR about it. We just rolled with it and the ceremony was great! The beach was extremely windy   Salon services: I had my hair and make up trial and wedding day done at the salon. They ALL DO a GREAT JOB and their make-up selection is great. I brought my own make-up and ended up using VERY little of it  My husband got a massage and it was one of the best! He also got a haircut and said it was very well done.    Reception: The set up was plain but perfect at the reception.  That is the way I wanted it. The things I did bring were set up PERFECTLY. They did a great job with hanging the paper lanterns and String lights I brought.  They even put the lights in there for me. They put the Menu Cards out and out table numbers. One above and beyond extra was, I gave them place cards and in order for them not to blow away they came up with this little makeshift sand “box” to put them in. I didn’t notice it till half way thru dinner and it was perfect. They didn’t ask my opinion; they just did it which was great the wait staff at the wedding were great.    Notes: Be sure you bring cash in the form of $1 and $5 We took about $400 and used most of it between the people involved in the wedding, bartenders, bellhops,etc etc   I guess the big piece of advice I can give is all the things you worry about in the weeks leading up you will forget about when you get there and I started with a lot of décor and items and after toning everything down due to the budget I realized for me all that stuff would have been a complete waste of money since I had a very bare wedding but the resort location and natural beauty totally made up for it.   Below are some pictures:
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TLGnhci

By TLGnhci, · 4 Comments

Hey everyone, so here is my review of the Azul Sensatori resort where we were married 5/2/11.  I am going to write a very full and thorough review, noting the good and the bad.  Overall, the wedding week, and day were AMAZING!  But, there were some things with the wedding planning that were very disappointing since I have always read that when you get there, it all flows seamlessly.  So, let’s get on with it.    Our Greeting: We were offered champagne and a cold towel upon arrival at the resort.  A wedding coordinator Olympia checked us in and walked us around.  She gave us a note that gave us information on our wedding meeting.  (we didn’t get to choose the time – no biggie but would have been preferred).  We met with the concierge to pick our scents for the aromatherapy which was very nice.    I also have to give props to the reps from Lomas Travel, Felipe and Edy.  These guys were amazing.  They went through the excursion options with us without pushing, and they made sure all our guests arrivals and departure times were accurate.    The Rooms: We booked a swim up Jacuzzi suite for ourselves and it was great!  The rooms are very spacious and beautiful.  Our room had champagne, roses on the floor and towel art to welcome us.  Our guests were also very happy with their rooms.    The Resort and Restaurants: The resort is gorgeous!  The view from the lobby terrace is stunning.  The grounds are meticulously kept and the workers are very kind.  Spoons is the buffet style dinner place and I found the food there to be good and okay, nothing spectacular.  They keep the restaurant too warm though in my opinion.  Other restaurants were better.  The food was generally good, but not exactly what I consider gourmet.  I got sick quite a few times, probably just because things were made different and didn’t settle well with my stomach.  L  We missed the Italian restaurant but my guests said it was delicious.  The Mexican place was probably my favorite, aside from Le Chique which was out of this world.  Very unique dining experience, and very yummy!!  I definitely recommend it if you can fit it in.  We ended up doing two excursion days, a rehearsal dinner, the reception dinner, and a romantic beach dinner, so our restaurant visits were limited.  The private event dinners were very good!    Wedding: Okay, let me start by saying that I was very happy on my wedding day, and although some things happened that were frustrating, it didn’t take away from my happiness and the beauty of the day!   Not so good parts: 1) So, on the forum I was told that another bride had purchased the exotic gazebo which offers only a “candy cane” style draping for the shears, which I do not like, but when she arrived they said they would drape it for no extra fee.  I was very happy by this!  BUT, when I got there, my wedding coordinator who was Claudia said I would have to pay $200 for it.  I tried my darndest to get them to do it draped and they wouldn’t budge L  So I was unhappy about that.  I did have them take off the candy cane though since I really don’t like that look.  2)  Set up fees are apparently $5.00 per guest although other brides before have never had a fee over $200 (that I’ve seen at least, and I believe they had more guests than me and an equal amount of stuff).  Therefore; for 50 people, our fee was $250.00.  Booo! 3)  They need to give better information on how the ceremony will happen.  I had planned on the guys being at the alter and the girls would walk down on their own with the junior bridesmaid first.  It ended up being that the groomsman walked down with the older girls first.  No biggie, but it would have been nice to explain this to everyone beforehand.  And when we walked back down the aisle we didn’t know where to go so we went up the ramp, and all our guests stayed down bottom with the champagne.  Oops.  4)  Ceremony script ~ on the forum is a great thread where you can read others scripts.  I spent HOURS working on the perfect script for my hubby and I.  It included a part where both sets of parents stood up and kind of gave us away, or agreed to always be there for us.  Then, it had the symbolism of the engagement ring and our perfect vows.  The sand ceremony, I had added a spot for my daughter to add shells, and my mom was going to read a scripture.  I sent the Florida WC the script before hand.  I also brought a hard copy to Mexico with me.  But, when the minister started speaking, it was not our ceremony at all.  I suppose it was just their standard.  All she does is read it anyhow, from a black binder no less, so it was a little frustrating that I spent so much time on perfecting a script with vows that meant something to me.  I had to mouth to my mom that she wouldn’t be reading.   5)  The minister was about ten minutes late. 6)  The beach was extremely windy (obviously not the resorts fault, but made things tricky) 7)  Good and Bad, but they don’t put the rose petals down until the last minute.  So, I think most of our set up pics don’t have them, which makes it look bland.  They also forgot to put a table runner on the front table which would have added a little pop of color.    Salon services: I had my hair and make up trial and wedding day done at the salon with Veronica.  She did absolutely amazing!!  I loved the final product and couldn’t have asked for more.  My husband and I also splurged on the beach couples massage and it was out of this world.  Not just the ambiance of it all, the massage itself was perfect!!   Okay, with all that being said, I was still a very happy girl at the end of all of this.  The minister spoke good English.  And obviously the guests didn’t notice all the little things I did, and they all thought it was beautiful.  I just wanted to share with the future brides to be.    The set up was beautiful at the reception.  They did a great job with hanging the paper lanterns.  They even put the lights in there for me.  They also tied our ceremony programs for us, which we were planning on doing.  The wait staff at the wedding were great.  The only thing wrong at the reception was that there was someone to manage the Ipod and it ended up getting all off course.  I heard the same slow song 3 times!!  I again had spent a lot of time organizing this just perfectly so it could just play through.  They added in music too.  So, I would have been happier if they just left it be.    A few funny tidbits!! The sand ceremony is quite tricky.  We spilled it all over the place.  Ha ha, and the shells I brought my daughter to add in wouldn’t fit.  It made for some fun with the ceremony though.  Then, for our reception, we left after the cake cutting to get some night pics with our professional protographer (Maria Angela from Florida) and as we are walking away, I tell my husband that it’s not the playlist playing.  We ignore but then he hears the start of a very bad song!!  NWA is all I’m gonna say so he had to run back.  Oh, the memories!!  :O)   Oh sorry, just one more negative.  I hate to be a negative Nancy but I want everyone to be prepared.  Be sure you verify everything.  We had a romantic dinner on the beach planned and we also purchased an additional one for my hubby’s parents.  They got confused and gave his parents our reservation and we almost didn’t get to have our dinner.  They did fit us in, but my hubby tipped the guy an extra $20.    Misc Notes: *Be sure you bring plenty of cash!!  I don’t know if it’s because my hubby seems to tip extremely well but we ran out of $.  ATM’s charge an arm and a leg there! *I also think the coordinators should give some general idea for tipping.  As mentioned above we tend to tip very well, and at the reception, they were telling us there were like ten guys including cooks and all.  I don’t know if they were trying to get more money or what. ???  I still don’t know what is a good tip for that part.  *OOT bags –Ours included a door hanger, a photoshare card, a welcome note, a sudoku book, a wine topper, a card/tip lanyard, stadium cups, meds, hand sanitizer and lip balm.   Some people used the bags, meds, and card/tip lanyard, but I didn’t see the rest at all.  So, I wonder if it was worth the hassle.  If I get any further feedback, I’ll be sure to let you know, but for our bunch, I don’t think it was as useful.  *Excursions – We did a catamaran tour to Isla Mujeres with 24 of our guests and it was amazing!!!!   In retrospect, if I had to do it again.  I would ask “what do I have to plan?”  and that would be all I do.    I don't have many pics right now but here are a few:
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Pros: Food and service outstanding. Wedding coordinators really know what they are doing!
Cons: The beach :(
So I am finally sitting down to do my review. We got married January 24, 2011. We were absolutely thrilled that we decided to do the wedding down south, and everything worked out great! I also really tried to remember that we were in Mexico, and that not everything was going to be perfect. And if you can remember that, everything will indeed work out in the end!   Arrival: Arriving in Cancun is simple. Just have to avoid the timeshare sales people and porters. If you have never travelled to Cancun… you must EXIT the terminal completely (ie. Be standing outside in the sunshine) to find your transfer shuttles. We had 2 different types of transfers. Many of our guests had package deals through Signature Vacations/Sunwing. The others flew with Westjet, American airlines and Continental airlines.   So, our Sunwing passengers, exited the terminal and were quickly taken to their pre-arranged shuttle bus. They had to wait for 20 minutes (to load more passengers), and then the drive was 20 minutes to the resort. Best part they were the first stop!   Our other passengers had transfers from Lomas tours. FI and I paid and arranged for these in advance. Our guests exited the airport, found the Lomas representative and were quickly escorted to their shuttles. Lomas tours get A+++! They were fantasic. We dealt with Valeria through email and phone from Canada to arrange things. And then locally at the resort, Adrian, was great for arranging transfer for day trips for our guests. We used a number of the vehicles, ranging from the Eurovan to the Lincoln Navigator SUVs. They were super polite, and always on time!   Arrival at the hotel: Who doesn’t love a fresh cold towel and champagne to start a vacation? Check in was easy. Our room was not quite ready, so they suggested having a quick lunch and checking back with them. Sure enough the room was ready, and the bell hops led us and our luggage to our room.   Hotel room: The rooms are beautiful! No matter what category you chose, all the rooms are almost identical! Décor is very clean and modern. Dark woods, white linens. The room will have one king bed, or 2 double beds; a couch; a small table and 2 chairs; lots of cabinets for storage; a Jacuzzi tub in the corner; a patio; stand up shower with a rainfall head (love this!). Also in the room, a flat screen TV(with lots of English channels); mini fridge (restocked daily with soda, water, and beer); safe (which you get the lock and key when you check in); hair dryer; iron; ironing board; coffee machine (restocked daily); ice bucket. In the bathroom- the usual: Shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, bars of soap, body lotion. They clean the room once daily, but also offer turn down service, where they will replace towels, etc. if needed.   Resort: The resort and grounds are beautiful! The pools are a little chilly (they don’t heat them), but it usually a welcome feeling after lying in the sun. It is very easy to find people since it’s not to large, but also allows you to find a quiet space if you need it. Every building has a private concierge who will help you with almost anything. Tours, problems, program sheets of what the resort offers, books, newspapers, etc.   Only downfall to the resort is they are currently really pushing their timeshare program. I really dislike this and ignored all the cards/letters they sent to our room. They do offer you incentives to sit through their sales pitch (usually dinner on the beach, spa credit, etc); but I’m just not into it.   Beach: The beach is really the only negative to this resort. The beach is narrow, so there is not a lot of room, and to go into the water is difficult. This is due to a coral reef lying directly in front. So there is a lot of rock, coral, uneven ground. Use caution if you want to swim there. My advice: grab your towel and head north on the beach (left if you face the ocean). Walk about 500 yards, just past the pink house, where there are a few dead tress standing and you will find the beach you’ve been dreaming of. Nothing but sand and with 10 steps you are chest deep in the beautiful ocean water!   Restaurants: Spoon. We only ate breakfast here, and one lunch. Overall they had the largest selection for breakfast and lunch, and for the kids they loved it since it was a buffet- no waiting!   Zocolo. Decent Mexican food. We loved the pizzas for lunch.   Zavas. We ate breakfast here almost everyday. I think mostly because we loved the view. The breakfast menu is actually the same at all the restaurants. The lunch and dinner is mostly seafood. And we loved it here.   Tapaz. Great fun! They change the menu every 3 (?) days. You don’t get to choose off a menu here, they just start serving. (at the start of the meal, they ask if there are any allergies) If I remember correctly it was about 6-8 courses. A number of our guests had no idea what Tapaz was…which made it quite amusing especially when DH’s aunt came up to us and asked “So when do they serve the real meal?” (for those of you also unaware Tapaz is the Spanish word for small portion. The idea is to give you lots of small things to try)   Sienna. Absolutely stunning Italian food! We loved everything here J   Beach BBQ. Great quick spot to grab food. The ribs are great if you get there early enough (usually they are the first thing to go and they only make the one batch!) The Mexican sausage was spicy (which I loved!)   Le Chique. I might be a little biased here. DH and I have become personal friends of the chef and his sous chefs. (it was actually the main reason why we choose the Azul to get married at. We met in April on our site inspection trip) This is a restaurant that does not belong at an all inclusive! Take advantage of this. They have recently been awarded a “Food and Wine magazine” award, and have also been voted one of the top 20 restaurants in all of Mexico! Please, Please, Please have some understanding of what you are eating…it is not a steak and potato meal. It is termed molecular gastronomy. The chefs playfully use their knowledge of the science of food to make things you may not expect. The normal meal is an 8 course menu. Wine paring is $35/p or $45/p for premium wines. (House wine does not cost you anything) If you select the 12-14 course meal, it is $95/p and includes wine parings.  To make reservations, I would recommend the sooner the better when you arrive at the resort. Many of our guests were disappointed because they waited too long. Currently, you make reservations directly at the restaurant between 3-6pm. They were usually doing bookings for up to 2-3 days in advance. Keep an open mind and enjoy the experience! Trust me it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity!   Room service. A bit hit or miss. On occasion it was super and quick. Other times it was slow and cold. But sometimes late at night, it’s just the best thing ever! (plus if you don’t see what you want on the menu, just ask. Hot dogs, and quesadillas were quickly delivered to us…and were not on the menu)   Wedding coordinators We had our appointment with them the day after we arrived at 9am. We were super impressed with the overall experience. Remember to bring a copy of your own ‘detail sheet’ (their copy was not up to date), as well as any pictures of specific things you might want done. We went through the details from the start to finish. Our coordinators were Arturo (Lomas) and Denise (Azul). You will be assigned one coordinator from Lomas and one from the hotel, so that they can deal with tasks from both sides. We also were bringing a number of things with us to decorate, and we got charged a set up fee. (It was $120 US for us, but the prices range depending on the amount of décor you have) We had menu cards, centerpieces, name tags, napkin paper wraps, table markers, kids treats, and laterns. (63 guests) They set up everything perfectly! They also called during the day of the wedding to see if we needed an extra personal assistant to help with anything (get food, run errands, etc) We didn’t need them, but it was nice to know. They set up a huge bar in the grooms room and I know the boys enjoyed it!   Wedding I wouldn’t change a thing! It went so well. We did our ceremony at 3pm.(I think I finally walked down the aisle about 3:15pm….Mexican time LOL) The judge/minister who did our service (symbolic) was fantastic. All of our guests loved that there was a bar right next door, and that the service was short and sweet (about 15 min). The person who was working the Ipod did a great job, cued the music when needed, and faded it off. Our guests also loved the custom cocktail to end it off. We did traditional Mojoitos, that  were cold and refreshing! (in the picture you can see the cocktail area set up)   We had a cocktail reception directly following the ceremony (4pm), on the beach. Our guests loved that they didn’t have to leave, and they could watch while we did some photos on the beach. The food was great, and the staff (bartender and waiters) were fantastic.   The dinner reception was 6-10pm at Zavas Plaza. We did one of the set menus with an additional item. Overall, we were pleased with the food. Service was amazing and again the guy working the Ipod did an amazing job. We had background dinner music, and whenever our MC or guests went up to use the mic, the guy just faded the music. (we rented the amp system , so that we would have a mic! I am really glad we did that, since everyone could hear the speeches)   We did order a small cake, and were happy with it. Both DH and I were not huge into the cake idea, so it didn’t matter to much. But the cake looked pretty and our guests ate it all!   Flowers: I do have to laugh a little about this. I had requested a tropical bouquet in white, purple and pink. What I got was a very traditional bunch of roses, gerber daisies, etc. in white, pink and different pink LOL! But it’s Mexico…I wasn’t going to be too picky. They were beautiful flowers! The groomsmen’s boutonnières were great, as was the corsage we got for my MIL. The bridesmaids bouquets were as I had asked…one in white, one in purple, one in pink. However they matched my bouquet, so really, one in white, one in pink and one in different pink! Again….I just have to laugh, it was to me a really minor detail! The large bouquets funny enough did have purple in them!(used as table decoration at the ceremony and dinner) Arturo delivered them to me in our room about 2 hours before the ceremony, and the men their’s in their room.(If you are wonderiny why there are some purple flowers-2 of my bridesmaids pulled some off a bush and we inserted them LOL)   Brunch: We had been offered a free private dinner at Spoon (for up to 40), and we choose instead to do a brunch for our bridal party. They arranged this to be at Zavas, at 11am. We were pleasantly surprised to find it was a served menu. They started with yogurt and fruit, bagel with smoked salmon, omelette, quesadillas, and then much to our surprise, stuffed chicken breast, steak, potatoes and desserts! LOL. It was a lot of food. But we had a very nice time.   Welcome cocktail party: We held the party on Sunday afternoon (most of the guests had arrived Saturday) to introduce all our guests to each other. After a mix up, or lack of confirmation, we had to move it to Zavas Terrace (originally it was booked at Zavas Plaza). They had a bar set up there, and again the service staff was amazing! This only thing I should tell you is this is not the normal cocktail party you get through the resort.  We had this one specially catered by Chef Jonaton Gomez for us! The food was outstanding and our guests loved it!   Kids club: Since we had a number of guests with children, choosing a resort with a good kids program was important! Our parents could not have been more happy. They would drop the kids off in the morning, and then pick them up for dinner. They had the kids from 5-7pm, and then would drop them off for the evening programs. This allowed all the parents to enjoy dinner with friends and family. And the kids could not wait to go to the kids club. They had so many fun programs and neat things to do.   Spa: Used the spa only for manicure/pedicure for myself and the bridesmaids. Was happy enough with their service. But they don't have many nail polish colors (maybe bring your own, in case you want a specific color) And after our guests left, DH and I, got massages. The spa is very pretty and the people helpful.   Overall: I would highly recommend this resort to any bride and groom. If you have any specific questions, or I didn’t cover something, just message me please.
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mzgillis316

By mzgillis316, · 4 Comments

Originally Posted by mzgillis316 
  My wedding at Azul Sensatori was absolutely AMAZING!!!!! I have very little complaints and no regrets!!!! The on-site coordinators and all the staff was wonderful and my family and friends are raving about the wonderful time they had.   Transportation We used American Express Travel and although my husband really handled all the logistics for this, they were fabulous and very easy to work with. I will say that when telling your guest about transportation be sure to let them know upon arrival into Cancun they will be bombarded with so many taxis and other services, to just say that they are looking for AMEX travel and to give them your names (the bride and groom). AMEX travel desk was outside past all the other vendors...make sure they have the correct spelling of the names too lolol he had my first and last name swapped lolol...They also have a AMEX desk at the resort all day (for the most part) your guest will have to confirm their departure times and should do that when they get there.   THE ROOMS and the resort was amazing!!!!  Everyone was so impressed with the gorgeous rooms and the balcony that had great views especially from building 4 (which is where most of my guest were) I will say that all the rooms for the most part were EXACTLY the same!!! The only room I didn't get to check out was the swim up suites ...I did have a few guest that stayed there but never got around to seeing them. So I'll find out if they took any pics. Upon arrival to the hotel we were handed champagne and wet towels to wipe our hands:)   Ok so my first negative thing to say lol ...I wasn't too impressed with the food at sensatori but I will say that I only got a chance to eat at Spoon, Zocolo and Zavaz....we weren't there that long before going to our honeymoon resort. But I felt that the food was just ok...I did appreciate the breakfast buffet at Spoon in the morning that was pretty good.   THE WEDDING We had Elena as our wedding coordinator and she was very nice and very helpful.On the day before the wedding (which I would not recommend) we went through our detail sheet and the entire wedding and reception for over two hours. It took time away from us being with family and friends the day before our wedding and they never gave us a tour of where everything was going to be which I think they could have been done if it was completed the previous day (before everyone got there). I felt bad for Elena because we had such a large party for a destination wedding I think she could have used an additional coordinator to help. This is my 2nd recommendation....I would suggest (esp for larger parties) to have an additional WC (it could be a friend or family member etc.) that can assist so that you wont have to do anything or relay any extra information to them. I would suggest maybe using a friend that knows everything about what you want on the day of including songs and the flow of the reception also making sure the set ups are correct (which was wrong at our ceremony) ...I just felt a bit disconnected trying to go through Elena and the person who was there to help us really didn't know everything until the day we got there. So we ended up trying to find Elena who disappeared after the ceremony and was not there to direct everyone to the reception and me and my husband instead of taking pics were trying to direct ppl to the cocktail hour. We had our own personal concierge at the resort who was also with me on the day of the wedding at every moment to assist me with anything. Her name was Olympia and she was GREAT!!!!   I actually opted for one of the bridal packages the resort offered. It was the glowing bride package for 295...It including a 80 minute diamond massage that was AMAZING...my skin was glistening all day into the next =) they also did my hair and makeup and it was excellent. I'll have more pics of this soon:) I would highly recommend this as it took off so much of the stress of having to do my own hair and makeup... Although I bought my own products they had really high end products AND THEY DID MY EYELASHES which just made everything look even better :)   I absolutely LOOOOOOOOOOVVED MY BOUQUET and I love it even better b/c it came with the wedding package for free LOL. I ordered natural touch bouquets from Wedideas which were ok but just not what I wanted. If anyone is going to use them in the future I would suggest being very clear about what you are looking for. The natural touch bouquet I gave to my MOH to use. We bought our own tall glass vases and most of them broke by the time we made it there. So Elena gave us additional vases at $4 a piece which was nice...but I was annoyed b/c the vases were something i didn't want lolol it was all my husbands idea and he made all the bouquets for the centerpieces himself (which we will be selling by the way lol)  We also got the rose petal aisle but it was so windy the flowers were all over the place ...I would prob suggest a aisle runner...we paid an extra 100 buxs for rose petal aisle runner...Here's a sneak peek at our set up For the reception everything went pretty smoothly ..the food wasn't bad (just a little cold in my opinion)...The cake came out better than expected and I will have to say I like the strawberry better than the hazelnut cake =) We had the chicken w/shrimp (although no one could taste the shrimp) and the mahi mahi which was pretty good. I have no complaints for the reception, Elena was on the job for the most part with this although she kept disappearing lol but it was fine. We used the maracas for our favors/table place cards and it was a hit (thanks to one of the ladies here who gave me the name tag template) everyone was shaking them all night...our dinner kept being interrupted by kissing LOL. We also had a cool idea for the Table numbers...We had 8 tables and at each number there were pics of us at that age (sorry I don't have a pic of it)     This is all I can think of right now... all in all it was a fantastic day and was perfect in every way!!! =) Hopefully soon I'll have our highlight video from Mexican Wedding Videos and our photos from our FABULOUS photographer Vida Carson =)   My advice to all you brides is to just relax and not worry too much about the minor details...I will say this has been a very EASY process for me with very minimal stress and work =)
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daniepps

By daniepps, · 0 Comments

Our wedding took place on the beach at the Azul Sensatori resort on July 31, 2010.  I hope this review will help everyone in the planning phase and anyone who is considering the Azul Sensatori (AS) for their wedding.    There were a few things that were necessary when looking for a resort.  First it had to be an all inclusive resort.  Second it had to allow children because my husband and I have 3 teenagers between us and two other children were coming.  The resort had to allow weddings to take place on the beach and the ceremony had to be performed in English.   Our first choice was St. Thomas however there weren’t many all-inclusive options there.  I signed up with destinationweddings.com and my travel agent recommended the Azul Sensatori.  Once I saw the pictures of the resort I was sold.    I was not very impressed with the communication with the US based Wedding Coordinators.  I was first assigned to Tiffany.  I worked with her from September until she left the company about three weeks before my wedding.  Communication with Tiffany was very slow.  It always took her at least 24 hours to respond to an email.  So I could send her an email on Monday.  She would respond on Tuesday and I could respond instantly to the email she sent and she still wouldn’t respond until Wednesday.  I can say she listed everything I wanted on my detail sheet so as long as you make sure everything you want is listed accurately on your detail sheet, the on-site coordinators will make sure everything happens.  Everything on my sheet was finalized and paid for 45 days before the wedding.  When Tiffany left I was assigned to Fabio.  I spoke with him once and he sent me an email confirming that everything on my detail sheet was accurate.  I sent him an email asking a question about a week before my wedding and he never responded.  Like I said my details were finalized a month and a half before the wedding but it still would’ve been nice for him to respond to my question.    Getting through Customs in Cancun was a breeze.  Our package included round-trip transfers through American Express Transfers.  When we walked outside the airport they had signs up with our names directing us to the van.  The ride from the airport to the resort is about 20 minutes.   When we arrived at the resort we were greeted in the lobby with cold cloths and glasses of champagne.  We arrived at the resort early (1pm) and check-in is not until 3pm so most of the rooms weren’t ready. We were booked in a Premium Swim-up suite so we were taken to the Premium Concierge and checked in there.  (Our room was ready.)    We stayed in a premium swim-up.  I really don't think it's worth paying for a premium room unless you're going to have the swim up because in addition to the swim up you have an outside hot tub.  They only have those in the premium swim ups.  Our room was clean.  I think the maid came in at least twice a day and sometimes more.  She decorated the bed with animal shaped towels and rose petals everyday.  She also filled up the Jacuzzi with bubbles and rose petals everyday.  We never used it but it was a nice thought.  Each building has its own concierge so there really is no need to contact the front desk for anything.  The concierge can handle any issues or questions that arise.   While I wouldn't necessarily say the food is gourmet, it is great.  I didn't have a meal that I didn't like.  I was a little disappointed in the Italian restaurant because my food wasn't seasoned very well but it was ok and my husband loved his meal there (I can't remember what he had though.)  We never ate in Tapaz.  There was never anything on the menu that appealed to me but we did eat in every other restaurant.  Le Chique is the 8-course reservation only restaurant.  I would suggest that you make reservations there as soon as you get there because they fill up fast.  None of our guests were able to eat there because they were booked and we couldn't get in until our last night there.  You get 8 courses of very small servings but the food was great. The food in the Mexican restaurant, Zocalo, was typical Tex-Mex.  The service was kind of slow when we went with the whole group but when we went by ourselves we didn't have any problem.  Spoon was typical buffet food and Zavaz, the Caribbean/Seafood restaurant was great! Room service is also good and is available 24 hours a day.  They're a little slow sometimes but the food is decent for room service food.  I would like to note that none of the restaurants (including the food served at the reception) offer very large portions of food.  Since it’s all-inclusive that really isn’t a problem but if someone likes lots of food on their plate they’re going to have to order two dishes.   We mainly used the swim-up bar in the adult pool.  The service was excellent. The bartenders were wonderful.  They never seemed to get flustered by the amount of drinks our group would order, like there would be about 20 of us in the pool at any given time and we'd order 20 shots like every half hour and they were ok with it.   The Mojito lounge was nice but stayed pretty crowded.  I particularly liked the cranberry mojito.  There is entertainment in the Mojito Lounge and the Rooftop Terrace until about 2am but it’s pretty campy.    Nobody used the salon services for hair or make-up.  I did get my nails and toenails painted in the spa.  If you're going to do this on the day of your wedding I'd suggest you go early because the manicurist was kind of slow.  They looked nice but she was very meticulous.  We had a couples’ massage included in our package which was very nice.  The two massage therapists worked like synchronized swimmers.  We had it done inside the spa but they do have the option of having them done outside.  I think that would've been nice too but the one we had was great.     There is absolutely nothing impressive about the beach at all. There is lots of seaweed and rocks that make the water look brownish.  The whole time we were there the red flag was up saying conditions were too dangerous for people to swim in the beach at all.  (This wasn't just at AS though.  We walked the beach to another resort and they had it up as well.)  The nice part of the beach is the beach beds.  Even though you couldn't swim in the beach the area for lying out on the beach was nice.  The beach bbq was nice as well.  They also have beach butlers who will bring you drinks while you're out there.  Fortunately for us we're not really beach people so the pools were fine for us.  Our guests primarily used the adult pool and the pool outside of our room.  Some of our guests had swim up suites so they used that as well but for the most part we all gathered at the swim up bar in the adult pool everyday.   The pools were very nice and clean and the water temperature was perfect.   We had 5 kids in our group (3 are ours and 2 others brought their children.)  There were 3 13 year olds, an 11 year old and a 17 year old.  They were able to entertain themselves.  They went to the family pool and went to the arcade and teen club and ate whenever and wherever they wanted.  We basically only saw them like twice a day and I wasn't worried about them at all.    Our ceremony took place on the beach.  I would classify it as semi-private.  They will restrict access to the actual wedding area but the beach bbq is near the gazebo and there were people looking at the wedding from over the railing.  And on the DVD and in a couple of other pictures we actually saw people walking behind the gazebo in the beach.  The WCs said they can't close the beach to guests they just imply that people shouldn't be around during the wedding but honestly I never saw the people walking behind the gazebo.  I did see the people at the bbq and looking over the railing but it really wasn't a distraction at all.  I do think it's tacky to walk behind a gazebo when you see a wedding taking place but it wasn't a distraction.  I just wish it wasn't on the DVD.   My reception was at Zavaz Plaza and I think that is an EXCELLENT choice.  It was perfect.  We had 50 people and everyone just fit right in that space.  I'm not sure how good it would be if there are many more people than that.  The center of the plaza, under the gazebo, serves as the dance floor and the tables are in a circle around it.  We had a sweetheart table for the two of us and then there were 6 round tables of 8 people.     If you're going to do Cancun as a group you need to reserve a van to take everyone because a taxi to Cancun is $80 round trip.  I heard somewhere that you can reserve a van for like $300.  The resort has a shuttle that goes to Cancun on Tues, Thurs and Saturday.  It's $15 per person.  They have one that leaves at 1pm and returns at 5:30 and another that leaves at 4 and returns at 8:30.  On Mon, Wed and Fri the shuttle goes to Playa del Carmen.  The prices and times are the same.      The resort was sold out on the first day we got there so at least half of our guests were upgraded to the premium side and on top of that two of our guests were upgraded to the presidential suite.   I felt that since we were the wedding couple and were responsible for bringing 50 people to the resort and had paid more for our room than any of our guests did we should have been offered an upgrade to the presidential suite before our guests!  (We didn't want the upgrade because we liked the swim up suite and the presidential suites were on the 4th floor but it was the principle.)  So I complained to the front desk and the person I spoke to, Christian, who happened to be the only rude person at the resort I spoke to the entire time I was there, told me that he didn't understand what the problem was since I was in the room that I paid for.  So I got the manager as well as the wedding/event coordinator involved and they offered to upgrade us to the honeymoon suite which was on the 2nd floor but like I said we wanted to keep the swim up suite so we negotiated a free upgrade if we decide to come back.     All in all I would say the AS is an excellent choice to have a wedding.  I don’t regret one dollar I spent having it there.  I know the planning process is very tedious because it seems as though the US based wedding coordinators nickel and dime everything but the on-site wedding coordinators are wonderful.  They really do know what they're doing.  When we met with the WCs there I don't think I ever heard the word no.  They basically bend over backwards to make sure you have what you want.  We brought our own centerpieces, place cards and favors to give away at the reception and they charged us $20 to set everything up at the reception and it turned out beautifully.  The most important thing is to make sure you have everything you want logged on your detail sheet and the on-site WC’s will make it happen.    Please do not let the reviews on Trip Advisor deter anyone from having a wedding at this resort.  
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