Gran Caribe Real February Wedding
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By Shay12, · 753 Views · 4 Comments
Pros: The Royal next door. Chapel and beach are amazing!
Cons: Service, communication
AWedding took place on 2-24-12 47 guests Chapel @ 4 Trade winds beach reception @ 6 (they made us end at 9) Let me start by giving you this advice.. -do a site visit!! -if your package includes a complimentary upgrade, make sure you dont give up until you get it. -ask for a corner room (in any room category they are the best!) 2318 or 2113 are amazing -tip your housekeeper - Stay at The Royal if you dont have a kid in your room! Or stay at Gran Porto Real Now here it is. Long over due. Simply because I wanted nothing to do with the thought of this place for months after we returned home. Now I'm finally ready to talk about it. We arrived at GCR 4 days before our wedding and the first greeting we got was from 2 of our guests that had been there for 2 days already. They mentioned that they had just spent $560 to upgrade their room because their bed was hard and they were unhappy with the food, the pool, and the spring breakers. This was not the first impression I wanted to get. We took a deep breath and went to the front desk to check in with an open mind because after all we were the leaders of this big group, maybe it was just a fluke that these two were having bad luck.... We stood at the front desk and waited, and waited, and waited, and waited, we were finally to the front of the short line and continued to wait as the staff had conversations with each other. Then we were checked in. We had purchased The Catholic Wedding pkg which includes a complimentary upgrade to the next available room category. Of course they told us that the next room category was not available but for a discounted rate we could upgrade our room. For the next 4 hours we argued and went back and forth with the staff. They eventually told us that we could have our upgrade on Friday.... This was 4 days away, and our Wedding day. My Wedding coordinator Elizabeth came up and tried to help but she was actually talking shit in Spanish, not knowing that we could understand her. They got our TA on the phone and they actually somehow found our upgrade to be available the next day.... Hmmmmm At this point we were starving, and exhausted. And we had our 3 year old son with us who was not happy either. So we stayed the first night in a room on the 6th floor, it wasn't bad at all until we looked out the window and saw our view was the building next-door. This was considered ocean view.... There were rose pedals on the bed and a bottle of champagne. There was also an extra down comforter which I thought was a nice touch. We switched rooms the next day. But we made sure we asked to see the room before we moved. Good thing because the first one they offered us was an ocean front walk out, closer to the Royal.... Sounds nice but the room and bathroom were half the size. (did not feel like an upgrade) The next one was an ocean front walk out closer to the Chapel (room 2114) and it came with our own Beach Cabana. this appeared to be perfect! We moved to this room. I noticed right away that there was no extra down comforter, so I asked housekeeping if we could please have one. They came to the room and asked again and again what I was talking about and looked at me like I was crazy. Then she came back with one that did not have a cover on it and wasn't nearly as fluffy... Oh well. Over the next few crazy days of coordinating wedding details I realized I didn't have a WIFI signal in our room. I spent most of my time in the hall were I could get a signal to refresh my email. The included Beach Cabana did not exist. Housekeeping didn't come until after 3 everyday after i called looking for them. And i would still have to clean after they left. Our bed was turned down twice throughout the 10 days that we were there. They dont always refresh our snack and beverages. They tell you they will do it tomorrow, then it never happens. I do suggest the person worth tipping the most is your housekeeper, this may or may not get you more towels and better service. Its worth a try, especially if you have a good one! If I called the front desk I would get hung up on most of the time. I learned that calling the concierge was much more helpful. I'm assuming they were really busy because there were a ton of college aged Canadians on spring break that were staying there. They were wasted all the time:) this didn't bother me but my guests were complaining. As my guest were arriving from all over the US I became more and more frustrated with the service of the staff. My best friend flew in from NYC by herself. Of course her room was not ready for at least 3 hours after she arrived. When they finally brought her to her room, there were no sheets on the bed... It was just starting to get cleaned. Why would they give her the keys if housekeeping was not finished?? My uncle flew in from Tampa by himself. He waited in the lobby for 4 hours with nothing to eat or drink because he had no wristband and did not know what was included. He also did not know how to get ahold of us. I called the front desk looking for him and they didn't know what to say. We had a couple with a 8 month old baby that complained that there air didn't work very well in their room, the fridge didn't keep the drinks cold, they didn't have a liquor cabinet, no snacks, and they had a old school boob tube for a TV. They had a upgraded room also..... They were too nice to say anything to anyone but us. Most of the restaurants are closed for an hour at 5 and 6. You can only order room service once a day. The kids club says it's opened from 9-5 but I only saw it opened twice during its hours. The food was the same just mixed differently and served differently. I really didnt find anything I could eat that was good. I can live on chips, guacamole and salsa if i have to.... But Usually the chips would be really greasy, or stale, or both..... How does that get screwed up in MX?? Maria's was good but still the same for the most part. The entertainment around the pool area was the worst. So cheesy and annoying.... My guests that stayed at the Royal had a great time. We never saw them, but they had a great time over there. "It's like the Bellagio and the golden nugget" they said I was pretty embarrassed with the fact that I chose this resort for my friends and family to vacation at and it was a disappointment for most. We did take a half day trip to the property in Playa Del Carmen (Gran Porto Real) it was a lot nicer. Staff was friendlier and the facility was beautiful! Everything was better, from the spa to the food. The beach is much nicer in Cancun but everything else blows GCR away. Wedding: we met with our wedding coordinator (Elizabeth) the day after we arrived. She was very sweet but there must have been a mistake because everything we had decided was not what she had as our final details. We had to change almost everything. She had our reception time from 5:30-8:30..... This was way off! We wanted from 6-10. She told us that there would have to be a $400 charge for event separation fee....WHAT??? I asked if this was a new policy because it was the first time I had heard of it. She said no. So I had to pull up my old email from 8 months prior to prove to her that this was not what I was told. Have all you important decision making emails printed. My package included a champagne toast, as a matter of fact.... I had to pay the resort for all the additional guests I had beyond the 15 that were included. So I requested that the champagne toast be brought to use immediately after the ceremony. She then snapped back, telling me that there are to be no more last minute changes. I'm confused as to why she didn't suggest this before I had to request it... Well it's clear to me that would have been much too convenient for us and we would be more comfortable skipping out on the cocktail hour. This is what we did and it worked great! We didnt need the cocktail hour, and having the champagne served at the reception would have been silly because there is already an open bar.... So they served us champagne as we exited the chapel at 5, then we went down to the beach for pictures and started our reception at 6 where they greeted us with a pretty blue drink in champagne glasses. It was perfect and it saved us $440 They really try as hard as they can to get you to spend as much money as possible. You do what you want and they have to accommodate you! We had everyone gather at the sushi place by the pool the night before the wedding. Tipped the waiter $20 and viola!!! He lined all the tables up and we had the whole area to our selves! Instant $20 private grooms dinner. Wedding day went smooth. Ceremony was beautiful! And everything went together perfectly! Immediately after the reception(while I was still standing on the dance floor) she handed me a survey to fill out! This is really convenient for them to have the survey filled out while I've had a few drinks. NO THANK YOU! Get it to me in the morning and I'll have plenty to say. So the next day I spent a good 2-3 hours filling out a long review. I had enough at that point, and so did my body.... Fever, aches, headache. And it was not a hangover. It was a virus that had me out for the rest of the trip. Stress induced for sure. Due to bad weather back home we had to stay an additional night. My mom and dad, and my husband and son, all shared a standard room. $550 for one night, the beds were on cement slabs and hard as a rock. The view was nonexistent. It was so expensive and uncomfortable and I was still sick... I wanted nothing more than to lock myself in the bathroom and cry leading up to the wedding day (which I did several times) But once I walked down the isle I was in heaven! It turned out amazing for the few hours it lasted! The video was through the resort and they did a great job!! I recommend them!! We hired a photographer from home to travel with us, that was the best decision throughout the whole thing! I have tons of pictures I will upload soon when I get a chance. I feel like such a complainer... I just want you all to be as prepared as possible. I would do this all again (at the royal) and knowing what I know now I wish I had one more shot to be more mentally prepared.