Hey..we've been home for a week now and are definitely ready to go back! Its weird not coming on here to check this forum every couple of days! I honestly don't think our wedding would have been the same without this amazing resource!
Anyways, i have been working at my review for the past week and have finally finished it. So here it is!
Our entire group stayed in the royal golden section in the buildings closest to the beach (mostly 65 and 67). We were in building 65 on the 3rd floor with a view of the ocean as well as the wedding site. The rooms were nothing special but were always clean. When in the bathroom you could hear conversations going on in other bathrooms (we constantly heard a couple giving their child a bath). The bed was surprisingly comfortable. The resort is huge, however we managed to randomly run into almost everyone in our group of 30 everyday. We spent most of our time by the pool and on the beach closest to our rooms (MUCH quieter here and there is a bar). We ate at 4 of the a la carte restaurants while we were there. I am a vegetarian so I typically ate the one thing on the menu I could eat. I found the Mediterranean restaurant the best of the ones I went to. Our wedding dinner was at the Frutos Del Mar restaurant which a lot of our group said was the best a la carte restaurant they had been to. My favourite thing I ate all week was the 7 peppers soup at this restaurant (minus the shrimp floating in it). The Tequila restaurant was a huge disappointment. My veggie fajitas looked like a Chinese stir-fry (with carrots, sprouts and zucchini) and had no flavouring. The buffet was okay but nothing special. There was not a huge selection of vegetarian food and by the end of the week I was sick of chips and guacamole. Our entire group was in agreement that the Coba buffet was the biggest and the best. Overall, it is a large, very nice resort.
Wedding coordinator meeting
We met with Eugenia the day after we arrived. She had all of the information we had discussed over email for the past year compiled and everything was accurate. She was very sweet and extremely easy to work with. Her English is very good. We gave her all of the wedding stuff we had brought during the meeting (chair bows, fabric, fans, glow sticks) which were all set up perfectly on the wedding day. She had also arranged a welcome dinner for our group in the buffet for that same night.
Our welcome dinner was at 6 pm in the Akumal buffet. The buffet did not open until 6:30 so it was nice to have 30 minutes without anyone else there. They had set up 3 tables of 10 for us in the back corner so it was semi private. We had brought some customized mugs full of candy for our guests so we showed up early to put one at each place. As our guests arrived they were each given some sort of blue welcome drink which was not really drinkable, but a nice gesture! They also walked around throughout our meal and gave us random drinks. Overall it was really nice to have the chance to get everyone together at the beginning of the week to get to know one another and thank them for coming.
My mom and I went to the spa the day before the wedding to have manicures and pedicures. This experience would have been 100 times better for me if I were not so hung-over! They do not use OPI nail polish,, however whatever they used lasted for about a week. My only complaint was that while I had booked two 10 am appointments weeks before we arrived, they took my mom in and got her started and left me sitting in the waiting room for another 15 minutes. When I went to inquire as to why when I had intended for us to have the appointment together I was still waiting, they whisked me in and the male receptionist asked me to select a colour. I thought I was a bit strange that he would be doing my manicure, however soon realized that the lady I was seeing was late, as she rushed in apologizing a couple minutes later.
The next day I had my hair and makeup done at the spa. I brought my Itouch with about 5 pictures of hairstyles I liked. In the end I was happy with what she had done. I was not as happy with the make up. I had brought some of my own good quality make up from home, however she insisted on using their make-up which was observed to be cheap drug store make up. The only thing of mine she used was my mascara and lipstick. While everyone told me my make up looked good I felt that it was a bit too heavy. Better than I could have done myself though, so I canâ€™t complain!
Our ceremony was at the Akumal beach location at 3 p.m. All of our guests met at the snack bar at 2:30 and were brought down to the ceremony location shortly after. Eugenia delivered me my flowers just after 2 and came back to get me at 3. Even though I was only meters from where I needed to be (I could see the ceremony site from my balcony) they put me in a cart and drove me the 10 or so meters to where my dad was waiting. I posed for a picture with my dad and was off walking already (we did not have a bridal party). I walked down the aisle to Yiurmiâ€™s River Flows in you, which was perfect. The officiant spoke good English and added a bit of humor. Our primary complaint (of the entire day) was that it was an extremely religious ceremony when we had specifically requested as little religious content as possible. He read from the bible and said â€œamenâ€ more times than we could count. We ended up snickering a bit throughout as we found it funny just how religious it was. Our guests commented on this as well. After the ceremony we had champagne with all of our guests then moved on to photos. Our guests moved to the lobby bar to have some drinks before dinner while we took a few more pictures. We only used the resort photographer for the 10 free photos (and later bought another 20) as we had my dad and brother take photos.
Our dinner was at 5:30 pm at the Frutos Del Mar (seafood) restaurant. We had a springtime salad, 7 peppers soup, and the choice of either salmon or chicken. Myself and the other vegetarian had a pasta dish. Everyone said that the meal was good, and for many it was the best a la carte meal they had had all week. We opted to have the tres leche wedding cake for our desert, which was really good!
At 7:30 pm Eugenia came and picked up our group and brought us to our poolside reception that was beside the small pool. Our DJ (we hired DJ Bijan) was there waiting for us and we had our own bartender at the bar beside the pool. We paid for the cheapest bar option and were given most things. I think a few people had to walk ~20 feet to the snack bar to get wine. Eugenia had left the glow in the dark stuff (necklaces and bracelets) I had given her with the DJ, which I took and put on the tables. Our guests LOVED these (and they proved to be beneficial when we went in the ocean later!). Our biggest complaint was how fast the 3 hours went by! Almost all of our guests danced for the entire 3 hours, and many (including us) were sore the next day! At one point about 10 people were standing and dancing on pillars in the pool (only 3 fell in!).
The original plan had been to go to the disco after the reception to continue dancing, however most of us were danced out. Instead about half of us went to the beach and went swimming in the ocean. We all still had our glow in the dark stuff on which looked pretty cool when that was all you could see in the ocean. After about 10 minutes though security came and told us we were not allowed swimming, so we ended up back at the snack bar. I think we all were in bed by midnight!
7 of the girls in our group went to Coco Bongo on Wednesday night. It was 65$ per person which included transportation, expedited line up (however this is basically everyone so it is not expedited) and unlimited drinks inside. The Coco Bongo rep Elsa was with us on the bus, and when we got inside she brought us to some of the best seats in the house. I had heard that it was hard to get drinks unless you tip well, however that was not the case at all. We did not even have to move to get drinks as we had someone waiting on us all night. He came around regularly, tip or no tip. The show was AMAZING! It started at 11pm and went until about 3:30 a.m. We had thought that we might leave early as this was pretty late, however the time went by super fast! We went to got home sometime between 4 and 5 am.
Prior to arriving in Mexico we booked a 4 hour private catamaran tour for our group through Fat Cat Catamaran charters. For up to 30 people it was $1650 plus $7 per person for transportation. We were picked up in 2 vans at 1 p.m. and taken to Puerto Adventuras. The Catamaran left at 2 pm and went until 6 pm. There was an open bar, snacks and music. We stopped at one place to go snorkelling at a reef, and at another place to float around in warm water while the crew threw us beers. The entire crew (of 4 or 5) were awesome, and the main guide was Canadian which was cool. The company is owned by a very sweet couple (from Sweeden I thinkâ€¦) who were very easy to deal with from Canada. For many of our guests this was the highlight of the week and we would definitely recommend this tour!