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Originally Posted by Camie78 View Post
Hi Ladies,

My name is Camie and I'm actually a Moon Palace bride but I just returned yesterday from a wedding at RIU Cancun held on January 10th, 2009. I wanted to give you a little review of what I thought of the resort and amenities and hopefully provide you with any pointers that I learned. Some of this you may already know but I know how much I appreciate all the information on the Moon Palace forum, so the more information, the better.

We arrived at RIU Cancun on Thursday, 01/08/09 after a short shuttle ride. The tour company that we booked through is Olympus Tours/Gogo Worldwide and they were fantastic, I highly recommend them. We landed at 1230pm and got to the resort at about 2pm. It took us about 30 minutes to check in and talk with the Olympus representative at the resort to schedule our transfer back. We got out to the pool around 315pm and the first thing that I noticed was that the pool was completely shaded and 50% of the beach was also in the shade. One idea I have for you here is that the keys to the rooms are actual keys, not key cards. Some of these keys were on lanyard (sp?) and others were just on a normal key chain. If you are thinking of wedding guest gifts, I'd recommend doing lanyards because I know the people who had the key chain were annoyed because they rarely had pockets to carry the keys.

Reserving Pool Chairs:
Over the course of our stay we learned that the pool is completely shaded by 230pm and the beach is completely shaded by 4pm. Since there is limited sunshine throughout the day, people get up VERY early to reserve their chairs at the pools/beach. I'd recommend getting a chair on the beach rather than the pool because you'll get about an hour of extra sun on the beach. Now, when I say VERY early I mean that people are out reserving their chairs at 630am. I'm not kidding - I didn't sleep past 630 the whole trip because of this. By 7am there are no chairs left at the pool and by 9am you've got limited selection of chairs on the beach. In short, the resort does not have enough chairs to suffice 100% occupancy as it was during our stay.

The beach itself had very little seaweed and was soft. You have your typical problems with any beach of cigarette butts and straws every now and again but overall I thought the beach was pretty good. The one thing that I noticed about the sand was that it was strange and it stuck to you. It wouldn't was off under the facet or in the ocean and you have to actually brush it off under water.

Another reason why I recommend getting up early is essential is because there are only 4 restaurants on the property. 1 is the buffet, 1 is the pool restaurant (which opens as a "steakhouse" at night) and then two restaurants which require reservations (Japanese restaurant and Brazilian steakhouse). I got a tip from the bride's mother on the day that we arrived that the resort only takes reservations for the two restaurants on the day of and they begin taking reservations at 7am. She advised us to get down to the lobby to make these reservations no later than 645am. I took this advice and when I arrived at the lobby there were already over a dozen people waiting. At 7am the woman pulls out the podium and the chaos begins. People were yelling at one another about budding in line and everyone was pushing each other. It was CRAZY and very much unexpected. All other all inclusive resorts that I have been to allow you to make your reservations days in advance. I'm not sure why this resort handles things differently, perhaps it is because they only have two restaurants.

This wedding was pretty big, about 80 guests and was held on the beach. The WC requested that all of the guests meet in the lobby 30 minutes before the ceremony and then she walked us down to the wedding area. This area is pretty cool. Its a little alcove in the sand by the "adults only" pool. To get to this alcove you must walk down a long ramp (also where the bridesmaid and bride walk down) and then traverse back along side the ramp through the sand. So the bride's walk is super long and half of it is in the sand. The thing that I was not a fan of is that the bride comes in from the front, walks to the back, and then back up in the middle aisle. The ceremony was done in English and there was a lot of signing of paperwork (took about 5 minutes). The groomsmen stood at the 'altar' and then the bridesmaids walked down individually followed by the bride. There were a few onlookers but not too many. Overall, pretty cool.

Wedding Dinner:
We ended eating at both restaurants, Japanese the first night and then the Brazilian steakhouse the night of the wedding. What was cool about the steakhouse is that the bride and groom were able to rent out the entire space so we had a private dinner. I'm not sure how they swung this given the high demand to eat at this restaurant. None-the-less it was cool.

Wedding Dance:
After the dinner we went to the disco, "Pacha" which they also were able to reserve for two hours and we had a private wedding dance there. This was very cool because they were able to bring their own music and it ended up being just like a normal wedding dance without any strangers peering in and watching. Pacha has a bar within it and we had two or three bartenders helping out the wedding crew with their cocktails. One warning is that the bride and groom had rented this space from 830-1030 and then Pacha opened up to the general public at 1030. At 1030 SHARP the DJ stopped playing the song that was playing (yes, right in the middle of the song) and started in with the club's playlist. Needless to say this did not go over well with the groom and security was called in. Everything ended up ok but I want to warn you of this in case it should happen to you. Pacha is a pretty big space with plenty of bar stools but its dark (walls are black) and there are no windows.

Pool Descriptions:
There are 4 pools on the property, all of which are pretty small. One of them is and infinity pool and "adult only", one is used for sports like volleyball and belly flop contests, one is the pool bar (personal fav), and one is an infinity pool where kids hang out as it has a shallow end. All pools are shaded early as stated above.

Downtown Cancun:
Downtown Cancun and all of the clubs are within walking distance (about 3 blocks). We went out one night and had a pretty good time. Placing within 3 blocks of the resort are: McDonalds, KFC, Pizza Hut, Rainforest Cafe, Carlos n' Charlies, Coco Bongo, Dady O's, and tons of little restaurants and places to drink. We ate at Carlos n' Charlies and the food was fantastic (maybe I just thought this because I was tired of the same ol, same ol at the resort) and the staff was so engaging. We ended up being there for almost 3 hours dancing, etc. If you plan on going into a club, do not pay the price that they ask you to - barter for a price and they will end up dropping it and if not, walk away, or better yet put one club promoter against another.

Internet Access:
Available in the sports bar for a fee (not sure how much).

Pool bar - open until 6
Pool restaurant bar - not sure how late it was open but late enough for dinner
Sports bar - open 24 hours
Inside lobby bar - not sure how late it is open
Outside lobby bar - this bar plays 80's music so we just started calling it the 80's bar.
"Pacha" - opens at 1030pm, night club
Entertainment area - have shows nightly, was entertaining and something different.

Mini Bar/Fridge:
Mini bar contains 4 liquors and we never touched them. I think they were rum, vodka, tequila, and brandy. The fridge contained Corona (only beer they have), waters (two different sizes), and soda/"pop".

That's about all I have. I'm sure I have more but I can't think of anything else at the moment. I'll subscribe to this thread for the next week or so and look at postings or you can email me directly at scherfcamie@hotmail.com. I may not have all the specifics for you but I have no issues calling up the bride and asking her. I can tell you that she said that they never rehearsed and she was uneasy about how things would go - of course it all turned out fine.

Below is a link to the photos that I took of the resort.
Kodakgallery.com: Slideshow

Best of luck to all of you,
Thanks fro the great review Camie. I have one question right now, the capacity for a wedding at Riu Cancun is 60, you mentioned that there were 80 there. Is that an exageration or did she have over 60? If she did, how did she get away with that?

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In response to the question about the maximum number of guests, yes, she really did have close to 80 people there. I know there were 72 chairs (a couple were empty) for the guests + there was her, the groom, 3 bridesmaids and 3 groomsmen, so about 80 people total.


I can tell you that she chose RIU Cancun because they could easily accomodate a group of 50 which is what they were originally expecting. This number grew to 50 quickly and the next thing they knew, they were at close to 80. She kept in touch with the resort as her guest list grew and grew and at one point they came back and told her that they would not be able to accommodate her group. They told her that she may have to split the group up into two different restaurants, requiring the bride/groom to run from one to another. You can imagine how well this went over as they were about a month from the wedding.


Then, after a little persistance and discussions with the resort, they suddenly were able to handle our group. Everything worked out so I know that they can accommodate a group of that size. I think that I mentioned earlier that we had the entire restuarant to ourselves the night of the wedding and half of the restuarant was empty. Originally RIU Cancun told them that our group would be in the restuarant along with other guests but that they would seat us together. We were shocked when we got there and it was just us in the restuarant. I do not think that they paid extra to rent out the restaurant because they seemed as surprised by us being the only guests in the restuarant as we were. I'll send her an email asking about it though and report back.

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OK, I just got a reply from my friend, below are the details. When she mentioned the restaurant called "La Mision", that is the restuarant by the pool turned "steakhouse" at night.


She also stated that any of you are welcome to contact her if you like. Just let me know and I'll forward on her email address.


1. Did you have to pay to reserve the restuarant for just our group?


No, we didn't have to pay to reserve, but we needed to purchase the most expensive package, due to the group size, which was base price of $2700 or so, I believe. Well then you know how it adds up from there...


2. Why did they say at one point that they could not accommodate your group and then suddenly they could? Did they provide you with any reason as to why they had changed their minds?


As far as the restaurant goes, they were supposed to have a semi-private dinner for us. With 70, it was suppsoed to be at "La Mision" restaurant, then once we hit 80, they said it had to be at the Brazilian restaurant. I didn't know until we were sitting down at the restaurant for dinner that it was going to be a private dinner and we had the entire restaurant. Needless to say, I was VERY happy at that point. I didn't have a choice at any point to have a private dinner.

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Thanks for the info Camie. I really wanted to have it at the Riu Cancun but I didn't want to play it that close with the number allowed so I settled with Riu Caribe. Now you are making me want to take the risk and see what happens with Riu Cancun. Ask your friend does she think I should risk it or not please. I expect there to be about 75 (have to look at list again)


Another thing that you kinda answered but I just want to clarify, I heard the beach was really rocky and their isn't much beach there, is that true? Did you happen to go to Riu Caribe at all?

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Originally Posted by cdc0427 View Post
Thanks for the info Camie. I really wanted to have it at the Riu Cancun but I didn't want to play it that close with the number allowed so I settled with Riu Caribe. Now you are making me want to take the risk and see what happens with Riu Cancun. Ask your friend does she think I should risk it or not please. I expect there to be about 75 (have to look at list again)

Another thing that you kinda answered but I just want to clarify, I heard the beach was really rocky and their isn't much beach there, is that true? Did you happen to go to Riu Caribe at all?
Here's my best attempt to describe the beach:
Yes, the beach is super rocky but only on about half of it and on that half of the beach the beach is much, much wider than the part of the beach that does not have rocks. By rocky, try to imagine the shore line of Hawaii where volcanoes are active, its that type of flat rock that people walk on and take pictures on, they aren't sharp pointy rocks by any means. From the resort to ocean it goes from really super soft sand to flat rocks (like uneven cement) then to the water but the water is down a couple feet from the rocks. The rocky part of the beach is closest to RIU Las Americanas, near the pool restaurant. This is also the part of the beach that the sun sets latest at. In the part of the beach that does not have rocks, its about 20 feet wide from the retaining wall to the shore line (very little seaweed) . There's plenty of room for chairs and people, the sun sets here about 330ish.

I sent an email to Katie for her opinion on if you should risk it with your expected number of guests. I'll also ask her if she's got any contacts at the resort you could use as well.

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I received a couple responses back from Katie on the questions below. In response to the star ratings, I found different ratings tripadvisor.com.


1. Do you recommend that this bride-to-be switch go with RIU Cancun and risk not being able to have dinner for everyone in one spot, etc?


I think they will "encourage" the Riu Caribe as they did this to me once I hit 80. I am not sure if the Caribe offers private dinners. She could ask if they could do a private dinner at the Riu Cancun. I would probably prefer Riu Cancun, it's a 4 star and Caribe is a 3 star, I believe. Now, if she's worried about how much people would spend, Caribe would be cheaper.


2. Do you have an email address for anyone at the resort that you'd be willing to share?


weddings.cancun at riu dot com - Pamela Zerecro (not sure about the last name). She is the wedding coordinator both at RIU Caribe and RIU Cancun.

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cdc0427- Here is Pamela's info:


Pamela Zerecero

Wedding Planner


Riu Hotels & Resorts

Ph: (52-99cool.gif 848-7850

Fax: (52-99cool.gif 848-7851

Email: weddings.cancun@riu.com Wedding Packages by Destination. Honeymoon Holidays. Weddings by Riu


I would suggest, however, contacting the main RIU wedding department (which the email can be found in the website) if Pamela can't help you. I wasn't able to show up the 2 business days prior to the wedding rule RIU has and the head of the wedding department there helped me. I will try to find the email with the contact info.

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Hello.. I am new to this site....I am trying to plan a 2010 wedding in MEXICO.. My fiance and I have been doing some research.. I have a few questions, if you don't mind....How did you decide on Riu? Is it All inclusive?? Did you have any complaints? ...Any helpful information would be great! We are looking into Moon Palace as well...... thanks

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