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#1541 adales

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    Posted 06 December 2010 - 04:23 PM

    Awesome news!!!



    #1542 sgray

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      Posted 07 December 2010 - 07:41 AM

      Hi Everyone! We're back. We had an amazing time. I will put together a full review over the next few days. I just wanted to make a quick post to let you know you have definitely made the right decision in choosing Aventura Cove/Spa Palace. It was a wonderful experience from beginning to end with very few problems. And for those asking about multiple weddings on your day.... DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT!!!! There were 4 weddings the day I got married at 1, 2, 3, and 4....all in the Coba Gazebo. It was no issue at all. Wilma is fabulous! I am posting just a few pics and a link to my an album on Facebook. (http://www.facebook....40&l=e5d3f0105c)

       

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      #1543 angelov321

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        Posted 07 December 2010 - 09:02 AM

        Welcome back!!!!

         

        Shalanda you are a beautiful bride!!!! Looks like you guys had a blast this past week! What night did they take out the mechanical bull? I would have loved to have done that :(

         

        So funny: we were on the same shuttle as 2 of your guests. I loved the shirts you made!! :)

         

        Glad to see and hear that everything went well. Cant wait to read your review to see how everything else went.



        #1544 sgray

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          Posted 07 December 2010 - 09:39 AM


          Thank you! The bull was in the Cove lobby on Friday night. It was the perfect coincidence that we had our bachelor/bachelorette outings that night. It was HILARIOUS! My brother split his pants on riding the bull, hahaha.

          Originally Posted by angelov321 

          Welcome back!!!!

           

          Shalanda you are a beautiful bride!!!! Looks like you guys had a blast this past week! What night did they take out the mechanical bull? I would have loved to have done that :(

           

          So funny: we were on the same shuttle as 2 of your guests. I loved the shirts you made!! :)

           

          Glad to see and hear that everything went well. Cant wait to read your review to see how everything else went.





          #1545 sxcT

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            Posted 07 December 2010 - 09:47 AM

            Shalanda you were a gorgeous bride!!  Your photos look like you all had a great time at ASP.  Can't wait to read your review.



            #1546 mochamakes3

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              Posted 08 December 2010 - 11:04 AM

              Finally got a response from Miami in regards to the changes to Palace promotion. She told me no increase because we booked before November 30. I responded that she should cancel that reservation and create a new one so we get the $2000.  Once again Palace Resorts is not impressing me.



              #1547 jszy10

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                Posted 08 December 2010 - 11:15 AM

                Bummer!!!  I still haven't heard anything from my TA.  It's not that big of a deal to me, but it's definitely a bummer!

                 

                Originally Posted by mochamakes3 

                Finally got a response from Miami in regards to the changes to Palace promotion. She told me no increase because we booked before November 30. I responded that she should cancel that reservation and create a new one so we get the $2000.  Once again Palace Resorts is not impressing me.





                #1548 sgray

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                  Posted 09 December 2010 - 01:40 PM

                  Ok...so here is my review. I know its a little long. But I wanted to make sure I covered as much as possible. Please let me know if you have any questions. 

                   

                   

                   

                  December 1st

                  Our flight was supposed to leave at 9am but didn't depart until 4pm due to horrible weather in Newark, NJ.  We didn’t arrive to the resort until 10pm. At that time in the evening, there were a few other people headed to our resort from our flight so we didn’t have to make any stops. I was a little nervous because it was very chilly outside. I was tired from the day of travel so I didn’t let it bother me much. When we arrived to the resort our room was ready. There were no issues with the 3days by 12pm rule. We had a symbolic ceremony scheduled. I am not sure if there would have been problem had we scheduled a civil ceremony. I thought we missed our appointment that day with Wilma but my mom, brother, and stepfather arrived early in the day and spoke with her to let her know what happened. Our appointment was rescheduled for the following day at 10am.  At the resort, the restaurants close for dinner at 11 so were able to grab a quick bite to eat at Mundaca. I don’t know if it was because we hadn’t eaten in hours, but the food was very out of this world.  We ate, went to the lobby bar, then back to the rooms to see the other guests who already arrived.

                   

                  December 2nd

                  We started the day by making some excursion reservations.  I also confirmed some spa/salon appointments and went to the honeymoon desk.  It was still a bit cool outside, but I was determined to make the best of it. We wanted to ZipLine but it is an hour away from the resort. Instead, a group of 9 in my party arranged to swim with the dolphins.  Then I was off to my appointment with Wilma. We had to go to the convention center for the meeting. At that time, Wilma covered everything from the music to the bridal party entrance, cocktail hour, reception, you name it! She answered any question we had. My husband had some concerns about the bridal party entrance so Wilma arranged for a short rehearsal at 5pm that evening. My mom and I walked over to the honeymoon desk where they gave us t-shirts and set us up with a romantic dinner at La Hacienda. Additional guests arrived in the afternoon. We enjoyed the rest of the day relaxing, on the beach, and at the pool.  At 5pm we had the walk through (even though the entire bridal party hadn’t arrived). We met our guests for dinner then went to the Mexican show, hung out for a bit and called it a night. We had 30 additional guests coming the next day.

                  December 3rd

                  We woke up early rushed thru breakfast to go swimming with the Dolphins. Dolphinus is about 7 minutes away by taxi. We could have walked but the traffic and the police presence on the roads made our decision to pay the $7 for the taxi each way. Still a little cool outside, we ventured over to swim with the dolphins. We had a great time. We had 4 children and 5 adults with us. The swim took about an hour and a half. Afterwards, they took us inside for the pictures. One on my friends bartered with them and bought some printed pics, the cd of photos and a dvd (not sure what the final cost was). The posted prices are OUTRAGEOUS! But she wanted them so she got them. There is also an option to charge your purchase of the pics to your room…not sure if room dollars can be used. We arrived back to the resort in time for lunch. It was perfect timing because our other guests were just arriving. Most were wearing the personalized shirts we purchased for them (we handed out bags prior to Thanksgiving). My husband and I were both a bit choked up to see it all come together. All of our guests arrived and we felt so honored and humbled that they all had come such a long way to take part in our special day. This day marked the TRUE start of the party. My family loves to party. So once we were all there, the madness began (in a good way)! Some guests went to their rooms to rest and freshen up…others stayed with us by the pool. We all met for dinner at Mundaca that evening at 7. There was a wedding reception taking place on the terrace below the patio where my 53 guests were seated. The DJ was really good so we started dancing amongst ourselves in our dining area. The bridal party saw us having our own little party, walked up to the balcony and invited us down to their reception. We danced and danced until it was time for them to do toasts and our food arrived back on the balcony.  Seated next to us was another bride and groom getting married an hour after we were scheduled the next day.  We made plans to party after our weddings the next day. After dinner, it was time for bachelor/bachelorette party night. We went our separate ways. The men were all over the place. They had cigars, I heard there was an attempt to hotwire a golf cart, and who knows what else happened, LOL.  The ladies and I went to the lobby bar where we saw the mechanical bull. We rode the bull just before they were finishing up. Somehow, the men found out about the bull and wanted to ride too. The operators turned it back on and let them all ride. I don’t think I have laughed so hard in my life! From there we went to the club and danced for hours. I don’t know what time it closed but I went back to our room and my husband stayed with my brother and stepfather.

                  December 4th THE WEDDING DAY

                  I woke up and the weather outside was perfect. It was sunny, but not too hot and a bit breezy. I gathered my things and went to the suite Wilma arranged for me to use (at no extra charge). The suite was gorgeous. I relaxed for a bit, took some pictures, and put my things out. One of my best friends brought breakfast to me and my cousin did my hair. By then it was time for me to venture over to the spa side for my make-up. I was a bit anxious because they took me back 15 minutes late. But it worked out fine. My makeup looked great. I went back to the suite where my close friends, bridal party and mothers were getting dressed. When I arrived they were ready and I slipped into my dress. Wilma called the room and summonsed all of the bridal party and friends to report to the gazebo. I had suite 1301 so I could actually see the gazebo from the window. It was great because I got to peek out the window to look at my groom waiting for me. My stepfather arrived to the suite and we waited for a few minutes before Wilma arrived. She told me she wasn’t able to keep my custom aisle runner in place because of the wind. I was so happy about how everything else was going…I really didn’t care about the runner!  Wilma walked us to the horse and carriage. The carriage operator made a nice long u-turn so we could face the correct way so we really got a good carriage ride. Wilma communicated with the operator via handheld radio to let him know when the bridal party was in the gazebo. My 5 year old nephew was the last to walk in shouting “The bride is coming! The bride is coming!” The carriage then circled to reach the stairs. My stepfather helped me out and we walked to the last set of stairs. He then walked ahead of me to take his seat and I walked to the entrance of the gazebo. My groom met me at the entrance and we proceeded to the alter together. The minister said a blessing, we signed the papers (symbolic), and we said the vows we had written. Then we exchanged rings and had the sand ceremony. Our mothers and my husband’s grandmother poured sand as one of my friends read the sand ceremony script I put together. Next was a short necklace presentation to my 8-year old daughter. One of my cousins read the short script for that. The minister closed with a blessing. My junior bridesmaids brought the wedding broom to the front of the alter and we jumped the broom (an African American tradition).  We then recessed. Champagne was waiting for us as we exited. There wasn’t ever a champagne toast…just glasses handed to everyone. We walked a few steps to the lagoon for a group photo and the photographer then took some family shots. We sent everyone inside to the lobby bar for cocktails as we went with the photographer for pics. We used the resort photographer for pictures and video. We split the 4 hours between the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception. The cocktail reception was fun. We all mingled, took pictures and relaxed before the private event. Once the private event started, everyone went outside. It started to cool down outside at about 5:30 so many of my guests who didn’t have shawls or jackets went to get towels to cover their shoulders. I brought my own iPod dock and iPod for music and it worked very well. We had a mellow playlist during dinner and a dance playlist to play after dinner. We danced, ate, drank, and had a great time. We chose the Cajun menu and it was really tasty. All of the food we had the entire time was really good.  The cake was pretty good too…kind of like Tres Leches. After the reception we headed over to the disco. It wasn’t a good as the night of the bachelorette/bachelor parties but it was still fun. Two of the other brides were there also so we partied together a bit. I changed my clothes because I am planning to wear my dress again at my AHR. I didn’t want to get it dirty or ripped. The other brides wore their dresses bustled.

                   

                  Overall we had a fabulous time! I wouldn’t change anything at all regarding the wedding day. There were a couple of hiccups prior to and after the wedding that were quickly resolved. First, my group booking was not handled properly so I almost missed my complimentary private event by two nights. Luckily, one of my friends was a member (timeshare) and they were able add their 6 night stay to my booking to qualify me for the private event. I am not sure if this was the fault of my TA or the fault of the office in Miami. But I definitely had over 60 nights. I may have even had 75 nights but at that point I didn’t feel like the fight. 

                  Second, we booked roundtrip transfers through the resort prior to arrival. When my guests attempted to check out, they tried to charge an additional $10 per person to get back to the airport. I had my documents, emails, and confirmations to show payment, yet they insisted we hadn’t paid. I spoke with the resort manager and he wasn’t willing to budge. So, I paid for all of my guests transfers with my AMEX and planned to dispute the charge once I returned home. Luckily for them, by the time I arrived home, I had an email apology from the resort manager and the travel company representative stating that they found the problem and my account would be credited. So I think that’s it! I hope I provided with you with a good synopsis of our trip and wedding. I definitely think we all made the right decision by choosing Aventura Cove/Spa Palace!



                  #1549 sxcT

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                    Posted 09 December 2010 - 02:19 PM

                    Wow what a great review!!  Thank you so much for sharing.  Sounds like you and your guests had a great time.

                     

                    Questions:

                    I brought my own iPod dock and iPod for music and it worked very well.

                     

                    How many guests did you have? Where was your private event held? 

                    I would love to bring my own iPod and dock to save about $400 but I am concerned it wouldn't be loud enough for my private function outside. 

                    Thoughts??

                     

                     

                    We sent everyone inside to the lobby bar for cocktails as we went with the photographer for pics.

                    So this was not a private cocktail hour, correct?  Did all your guests stay together?  We are considering this instead of paying for a cocktail hour so I just want to hear if there were any issues.  Was it far for them to walk to?  Did they all go to the reception at the right time?

                     

                     

                    Thanks!!



                    #1550 sxcT

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                      Posted 09 December 2010 - 02:20 PM

                      Just saw you had 53 guests so you don't need to answer that one haha.






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