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Originally Posted by cheribeth View Post
I know IM a little late to this but here are some things that may help to keep the prices down.

Use the cheapers aiport to fly out of. I live closer to the Manchester airport in NH. But it is much cheaper to fly out of the Boston aiport in Mass, that is a little over 1 1/2 hours from us.

Also be carefull with the days you pick to fly. Our price quote jumped way up when we picked Saturday to Saturday, So we went with Friday to Friday.

Our price including tax, flight, JR suite, transportation to and from resort came to 1250 a person. Thats a great deal!!

we booked at Gran Bahia Principe Punta Cana ... Suppose to be a 5 Star resort and all rooms are Jr Suites.

Wow, that's a great price!! Thanks for the tips, I'm going to look into that and see if I can get a better quote.

Thanks again!!!

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Originally Posted by Excited_Ottawa View Post
I thought it was a bit much, esp. when we're probably taking about 50 people with us!! Which is also why I don't want to take too long to book flights, b/c there are so many of us!!! Still searching though, we've talked to 6 TAs so far, and still the same prices...beinging to lose hope!!!! Thanks for your help though!!
Prices vary a lot by destination, the person who said 1200$ was reasonable (cmmdee) is from Washington, so totally different price than from Ottawa. In the US, people normally book flights and hotels seperately to create packages, in Canada everything is always pre-packaged. Flights are so expensive that buying flights and hotels seperately are not worth it.

1200$ including taxes (that means like 900$ before taxes!) for Dreams and Majestic seems very low to me from Ottawa. That would be the price you could expect to pay at the last minute, if you get a great deal, and even that would be difficult for February when things are getting busy from Canada (university spring breaks taking place in mid & end of February).

When I have researched prices in February before (from Ottawa) I was looking at about 1500$ for 5 star resorts, and this was researching only a month in advance. Booking a year in advance is defintiely more expensive, although you are saving with a group booking so it should be about the same thing. I think aiming for 1500-1600$ would be more reasonable. I understand that almost 2000$ seems high, maybe that means you need to stay away from the Majestic.

One of you mentioned that your group is 60-80 and that since it's so huge that you were expecting a better deal. I don't know if this is true but I've been told the price is the same for a group booking, no matter how many people in your group (i.e. whether 20 or 80). The only difference would be that you might get the bonus of having every 20th person free.

Some people quoted prices from out west but those are very different and cannot really be compared with Ottawa. For my wedding it was 1500$ from Ottawa but 2300$ from Winnipeg !!!! So the winnipeg people just bought their own seperate plane tickets (350$) and left with us from Ottawa. So I'm not surprised the girl from Saskatoon said her price was around 2000$.

As for leaving from Toronto or Montreal, I have generally found that you can save about 100$ per person from Montreal, and 200$ per person from Toronto. This is just an estimate, I have sometimes seen the prices the same (it was the same from Toronto for my wedding trip) or seen them as much as 350$ lower from Toronto, so this is just an average. In general Montreal is a bit cheaper than Ottawa, and Toronto even cheaper than that.

Hope some of this information helps! My wedding was my 4th all-inclusive vacation and each time I spend a lot of time researching prices. In case it helps, here's what I've paid in teh past (keep in mind there are several factors: timing, location, star rating, how long booked in advance). Departures from Ottawa unless otherwise indicated.

Varadero, Cuba (3rd week of February 2003 - UofO reading week) - 4.5 star - - booked 2 weeks before = 1250$

Cancun, Mexico (3rd week of April 2005) - 4.5 star - departing from Toronto - booked 2 weeks before = 1350$ (not a great deal considering we left from toronto, but we were not flexible on our depature date, which was a wednesday)

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (3rd week of November 2007) - 4.5 star - booked 5 weeks before (but price stayed the same until a week before our departure) = 900$ (great deal! November is very very cheap)

Mayan Riviera, Mexico (last week of March 2008 - 4 days after Easter) - 5 star - booked 2.5 months before departure = 1500$ (also a great deal I think)

I always book with selloffvacations or itravel2000 (both sites have the same prices)

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I am in the same boat as you trying to book something for $1200/person.


I talked to sears travel and they quoted me $1900/person + $339 in taxes for the Riu Palace Punta Cana in may 2009. I then called Sunquest vacations directly and they quoted me for the exact same thing $1380/person + $339 in taxes...so my advice is to call the travel company directly to get your price and then go to the travel agent with the quote and they will normally price match. If you would like to contact Sunquest directly their number is 1-877-485-6060.


Also, if you can leave from the US you can get a much better deal...the taxes in the states are quite a lot less...about $120 is the US vs $339 in Canada.


Some of the resorts will also give free trips if you have a certain number of people booking...all you pay is the taxes. For us, if we went to the Riu Palace every 17th person only pays $339 (taxes).

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Originally Posted by Excited_Ottawa View Post
Hi Everyone,

We just received our estimated rates per person for a Punta Cana wedding. There are numerous resort options and prices to choose from but we are honestly extremely surprised at the prices we were quoted. We estimate that we'll have at least 60-80 people that will want to attend and our original estimate is that we could get a quote for about $1200/each after taxes. Unfortunately many of the quotes are close to $1800-$2300!! Are we being unrealistic thinking that we could get a rate of $1200 for each person? What is the average price the other people are paying for the DW? Any insight would be appreciated.

(The quotes we received are for Majestic Colonial, Gran Bahia Principe, Ocean Blue, and Dreams)

Thanks :)
I say keep looking, we got a rate of $1400.00 with taxes included and we stayed at the Ocean Blue, for our group. The other perk was every 15th adult was free, so we were able to help out some of our family with kids with the costs. Ohh sorry I am not sure for what month you were looking at. We did off season to keep our rates down for our guests, we also had more people say yes because of the time of year we chose, easy to get vacation time, kids off school, most people take a summer vacation anyway, and the bonus was we were all tanned and the weather was great, oh except for the little hurricane(dean) we had (blew in and out in a couple of hours):)

Oh yeah and from my experience Red tag seems to have the best prices, use that as a guideline when talking with your ta, or better yet phone the red tag on-line group rep, she was willing to drive to meet with us and her prices were great, our ta ended up matching her price.

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Yikes... you guys are kinda making me nervous!!

I've only ever booked last minute trips from itravel before & have always scored amazing deals!!! (ie/Riu Palace Cabo in January for 849+taxes... paid less than 2500 for the both of us!!) Even though I don't even have a ring yet, I'm thinking I'll be hitting up the TA's very VERY soon to start getting some prices.... YIKES!

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Originally Posted by xandrafaye View Post
Yikes... you guys are kinda making me nervous!!
I've only ever booked last minute trips from itravel before & have always scored amazing deals!!! (ie/Riu Palace Cabo in January for 849+taxes... paid less than 2500 for the both of us!!) Even though I don't even have a ring yet, I'm thinking I'll be hitting up the TA's very VERY soon to start getting some prices.... YIKES!
The problem is you can't get last minute deals when your dealing with a wedding and large number of people, boy did I have that conversation one too many times with my guests. The more planned it is, the harder it is to secure a good rate. Also you can't get your rates too early, I think 3 months is what is standard, without the deposit down, and getting people to put down deposits too soon is like pulling teeth. Then people will forever be telling you what a great deal they saw in the paper, and then once again you will be haviing the dreaded rate conversation:) We had one family do lastminute and bo did we hear from others about how did they get such a great rate, and we didn't. Well I think they got the 4 of the last 6 seats on the plane, not that anyone really tries to understand. I would say to my guests if you want to risk waiting and maybe not get a seat, then feel free:)

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Oh, I didn't mean I wanted to book my wedding last minute.. that's just the only way I've booked trips before :)

Thanks for the info though.

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Oh I didn't think you were. I was just talking about the headaches that you will have to deal with because I think most people are so use to booking trips last minute. The prices that we quote to them are not last minute quotes and people can't understand. It is really the most difficult part of the whole wedding planning process, imho:)

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