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Catalonia Riviera Maya


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#31 rodent

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    Posted 26 June 2008 - 12:45 PM

    Inside the Mexican restaurant
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    The creperie aka where you can find Mike after 5pm
    We went here with Kristie & Morgan after taking our post ceremony pictures for some ice cream. It was just what we needed to cool down before our dinner.
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    #32 rodent

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      Posted 26 June 2008 - 12:46 PM

      breakfast at the la brisa
      I loved the yogurt covered bananas.

      when my mom got home, her first thought after waking up was "breakfast buffet." She was sad to realize she wasn't in Mexico anymore.
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      #33 rodent

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        Posted 26 June 2008 - 12:53 PM

        writting our vows thursday at the ceremony location
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        telling stories with my dad & brother at the lobby bar
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        our wedding night decor
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        i love what they did, but they used up all of our tooilet paper. we had to take apart the toilet paper flowers.

        my mom folded a towel duck when she got home :)

        cute masks on the wall
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        view from balcony
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        eating at the el mercado
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        feeding fish from the kayak
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        #34 rodent

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          Posted 26 June 2008 - 12:54 PM

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          private houses around our hotel
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          view from kayak
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          lots of fish in the lagoon (there is right by the ceremony site)
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          feeding fish the next day after more kayaking
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          lagoon
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          painting a piglet
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          #35 rodent

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            Posted 26 June 2008 - 12:54 PM

            catermaran ride
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            same in all languages
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            kid's club
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            cute catalonia sign
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            #36 rodent

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              Posted 26 June 2008 - 12:56 PM

              watching the sun rise from the ceremony site
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              feeding the fish breakfast
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              sunrise yoga
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              #37 rodent

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                Posted 26 June 2008 - 02:33 PM

                I still have information & tips to post. I'll get to it later.

                #38 kerid

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                  Posted 27 June 2008 - 10:17 AM

                  Great pictures Morgan - I'm so happy you had a great time!! I can't wait to hear your info and tips.

                  Congratulations!!

                  #39 rodent

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                    Posted 27 June 2008 - 06:46 PM

                    my tips:

                    bring cash to pay for the wedding. I'm still a little confused, but I think I was billed a little extra using a credit card.

                    there is an ATM by the lobby. the fee is $3.50.

                    most people give you your change in pesos so bring small bills. the hotel broke a $100 for us in US$. we were surprised.

                    the hotel will convert your US$ to pesos for free. We had to get $5 each for the coba enterence fee. You only need to convert for a place like coba that only takes pesos.

                    the marina is a quick 10 minute walk from the hotel. a group went fishing with captain ricks. they said it was good, but crowded on the water. they brought back their catch & had it cooked up in the japanese restaurant. i wasn't there for it, but it sounded like they had a great time.

                    There is a dive shop with snorkeling, scuba, kayaks, sail boats & catermerans. If you want to go out on a catermeran, talk to them early that morning. It was just a 10 minute trip, but it was fun. I did prefer kayaking. we went out twice. we took an apple to feed the fish.

                    the snorkeling in the lagoon by the hotel is pretty good.

                    You can take a taxi to Paamul which is less than 10 minutes away. it's a really cute town with a great beach. there were few people there. we snorkeled & left. there was a cute restaurant & a place to get massages. We talked to the bellhop & he got us a cab. it was $8 per cab there. Once you are ready to leave you go in the restaurant & they call a cab for you. Be careful to not get ripped off. Our lomas rep tried to keep us from getting a cab so we'd book a van from him for twice the price.

                    While in Paamul we left our clothes & towels on the beach & they were safe. Wear swim fins. Mike stepped on a sea urchin.

                    if you lose the hotel towel they charge you $30. We brought our own beach towels for excursions so we didn't have to worry about loosing the hotel's towels.

                    you can cut off your bracelet anytime you want. Then you take it to the front desk & they give you a new one.

                    they have 2 big bottles of water in each room. there are places to refill them in the buffet restaurants.

                    the WC & Lomas guy both offered to buy bottles of water for our guests. The Lomas guy got us 24 huge bottles from Sam's club in PDC for $16.

                    we stayed with the standard room to save money. I'm glad we did. the suite bathtubs are on the balacony with no privacy. it's kind of weird. they only have showers inside. I like to bath so I liked having a bathtub inside. the room was very nice & we didn't need anything larger.

                    Our guests had plumbing & electrical issues. Our electricty went off everyday for atleast a few minutes. My parents toilet overflowed. It wasn't really a big deal. there were just the occasional room issues. I was told the people in suites were having a harder time keeping their place cool. Our AC was great.

                    the standard rooms do not have clocks. they do wake up calls, but i like having a clock so we brought our own. it has a CD player which was nice to have in the room. I should have stuck in a backup battery because it was blinking 12 every afternoon when the electricity must have shut off briefly.

                    they will share people's room numbers with you at the front desk. this made it so much easier to locate our guests. i thought we'd just have to find them in the hotel. we all exchanged room numbers so we were able to call each other to make plans.

                    there were not a lot of power outlets. having a powerstrip would have been useful. there are dehumidifiers in the room which were great, but we couldnt have the clock, tv & dehumidifyer at once. I think there were only 4 outlets. 2 in the room & 2 in the bathroom. the ones in the room were 3 prong & the ones in the bathroom were only 2.

                    there is a terrace between the itallian & mexican restaurant that was nice & private. One night we took our food to go from the buffet & ate us there. they have plastic plates for this. There is a bar there that isn't busy & they served us drinks while we had a private dinner on the terrace overlooking the ocean.

                    the creperie is great! it is open 5-11pm. we went everyday. i always had the banana split. it's upstairs by the mexican & itallian place. i don't think most people know it's there. it took us a while to find.

                    Itallian restaurant:
                    it's very pretty with a great view. the food was good, but the portions were small. it didn't matter because we went to the creperie right after.

                    Mexican restaurant
                    we had our reception in this one. the food was good & I really liked the decor.

                    japanese steakhouse
                    thise was the most fun restaurant. it opened only a month ago. it took a while to get seated, but we just had drinks as we waited. allow plenty of time. it's a show & meal so you will be there a long time.

                    They will explain how to make reservations when you check in. You can reserve for one day in advance. The wedding dinner did not take a reservation from our guests.

                    we didn't eat at the steakhouse. I was told it wasn't great. it's in the same place as the snackbar which isn't as nice as the other restaurants.

                    Nightlife
                    lobby bar
                    loud & hot & the service is slow

                    sports bar
                    brightly lit
                    not at all crowded
                    you have to pay to play pool
                    this was a nice place to hang out because it wasn't loud or crowded

                    disco
                    the disco is only fun if you make it fun. they play bad music so everyone just sits around wanting to dance. i wasn't there, but i heard stories that some of our guests started requesting good songs & had a great time in the disco.

                    looky bar
                    i thought their drinks were the best. it's an open air deck right on the beach. it was really nice, but sometimes smokey

                    the shows
                    i popped in to one of the shows on "spooky night." it was pretty good. they did thriller, rocky horror picture show & more.

                    There were different themes each night. they decorate the buffet & serve food to match the theme. Then the shows & activities match too. For example, on mexican night there was mexican food at the buffet and paper flags, pinata, sombreros etc all over. They had a market set up. I bought a necklace. There were mariachis.

                    One night was a beach theme. the buffet had sea food. there were pirates running around. they had a beach dance party.

                    there are lots of activities. They have tennis courts, a soccer filed, bikes to borrow, archery, rock climbing & probably more.

                    karaoke night was dissapointing. it was too crowded. on other nights there was a couple singing in the lobby bar.



                    ceremony stuff

                    i told them i was getting married when i checked in & they introduced me to elena. we set up a time for our meeting for that first evening. I met with Corallia who works in guest services. She was very sweet.

                    They showed me a book of flowers & I picked what I liked. I asked if they could add birds of paradise & she said it would be $10 extra. I wasn't too picky about my flowers. I just wanted them bright. I love how they turned out.

                    They also had a birds of paradise arrangement on the table during the ceremony. it was so pretty. that one didn't cost extra to add the birds of paradise to.

                    we picked an iris for mike's boutineer. then we bought 2 more for $4 each for our moms. my mom loved it. she was wearing it the next morning on her tank top.

                    The bouquets were delivered to my room before the ceremony. they set up the table decoration for me. there were 4 random birds of paradise on a stalk. i didn't know what they were for. i gave them to a friend & told her to "do somethign pretty with them."

                    When we went to have dinner at the mexican restaurant they had our flowers set up there too. it was really nice. I enjoyed having the flowers in my room the rest of the stay.

                    I asked for rose petals so I could put them in little bags for the guests to throw at us. They didn't arrive. Turns out the staff did the toss. it works out better this way. your guests will be under the tent. Instead 2 staff members tossed them after we were out from under the tent. there was no extra charge for this.

                    2 bottles of champagne were included. we returned the bottle they had in our room when we arrived & they served all 3 to our guests right after the ceremony. they no longer do the cake on the beach.

                    they decorate the site with white tulle. they gave me the option for pink so I took it. i love color :)

                    i gave the WC my music on a CD. They had to put it on a usb drive to get it on the sound system. so maybe it's best to take it on a usb. i'd do both. it's always safest to have a backup.

                    my hair was done by Finita because Annalisa was out of town. i was very happy with her. it was $75 for an updo with medium hair. she came to the room & it was so stress free.

                    you do have to walk through the pool area on the way out to the wedding, but I didn't mind. People cheered & it was kind of fun.

                    we brought lots of $1s for tipping. you don't have to tip, but the hotel staff were so great that we tipped a lot. I also packed some thank you cards. We tipped both Corallia & Elena $30 each. We were planning to tip Elena $50, but then we wanted to tip both ladies after we got there & met with Corallia.

                    Elena reads there ceremony. She did a great job. I emailed her my script in advance & she didn't miss a word. There was a deley from the mic to the speakers so we heard her double. The guests didn't hear it though. just us because we were so close. it sort of threw me off for saying my vows. I always find talking into a mic to be a little weird.

                    the ceremony spot is wonderful. it's at the lagoon so you can hear fine. the waves are not crashing in that spot. the music sounded great over the speakers. I made a 4 track disc. the first track was about 10 songs merged together. then there was my walking down the aisle song. we had our recessional & then they played another long track of merged songs. I used the program audacity to merge the songs.

                    the spot felt very private. people were watching from the beach, but they were not close. because of the way the land juts out into the lagoon, no one gets that close. i talked to hotel guests who said they watched our entire wedding, but I didn't notice other people around.

                    they let me have dinner in the mexican restaurant with 25 guests. the cut off is 20. the manager had to approve it. we had 2 big tables & one smaller. it wasn't private, but we didn't care. after dinner they brought out a huge cake for us to cut. I had wanted them just to serve it. I didn't care to do the cutting. but, it was fine. i don't really care for cake so it was really cute that mike fed me a strawberry when i fed him a piece of cake.

                    after dinner we went out to the beach for our steamy night time pics. guests did a variety of things. some went to the looky bar. some went to bed. we had a really busy day the day before & everyone was out in the sun before the wedding. another group closed down the disco & really had a blast. they said they considered coming to get us because they were having so much fun dancing. I enjoyed not having a formal reception. we were tired & wanted alone time. A nice thing about a DW is that we had so many opportunities to spend with our guests that we didn't have to do something the night of the wedding.

                    Overall I am incredibly happy with all of it. The staff were great. the hotel was great. i loved the food, the room, the beach, the activities... i could go on & on. It really was the best week we have ever had. many guests said the same thing to us.

                    #40 BillysBride

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                      Posted 28 June 2008 - 10:48 AM

                      Oh, how I KNEW you would come through for us! This is SO helpful...I'm copying, saving and editing to actually ad most of your tips to the guest newsletter so that people have a heads up before they travel. Thanks a million times, Morgan.
                      Savannah

                      http://i17.photobuck....inecollage.jpgThe Fab Four (my quads) Meryn, Kellen, Nico & Layla
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