RoSean's Dreams Cancun Wedding
45 replies to this topic
Posted 06 July 2008 - 11:32 PM
This forum (especially Susan and Paula) helped me out while I was planning my Dreams Cancun wedding. I have not been actively posting since I don’t have much free time, but I owe this forum at least a thorough review of Dreams Cancun and the entire wedding experience.
Wedding Date – June 24, 2008
Wedding Location – Dreams Cancun Resort
Number of guests – 54
Warning! Do not bring boxes to pack your decorations. I think you get discriminated on when you are carrying boxes instead of luggages. Anyway, I pressed a green light at the customs, but we were asked to go on the side anyway to screen our 2 boxes filled with wedding decorations. The customs were nice, but I was stressed out from not getting any sleep 2 nights in a row. I was running my mouth off and was pretty rude, but they still let us go. I’m glad I didn’t spend any jail time before my big day.
I would highly recommend Dreams Cancun for their outstanding food and service. The resort could use a little upgrade with their furniture, but they definitely keep the place clean and manicured.
The resort was also perfect in size. You can get from one end to another in less than 5 minutes. It was great for those days when I was running around from the lobby to our room to the spa etc. There are also areas that are not as crowded if you want some privacy. For example, the Tower infinity pool and beach isn’t as crowded as the main pool and main beach. A lot of our older guests hung out in the Tower area.
Food was great!!! I did not get sick of eating their food. They have a World CafÃ© buffet and 3 restaurants (Oceana, Seaside Grill, & Himatsu). I really liked that the buffet had theme nights (seafood, steak, Caribbean, or Mexican nights). Also, the restaurants had different menus for lunch and dinner. I had to visit each restaurant at least twice. I also loved that there is 24 hours room service. This was very handy for the late drinking nights or the lazy breakfast in bed mornings. All of our guests said they enjoyed the food and it was the best All-Inclusive resort that they’ve stayed at.
Having a honeymoon package and suite is cool since you get snacks every night, daily turndown service, champagne and roses upon arrival, spa treatment, and private dinner. We had our private dinner at the dock during sunset right after our couple’s massage. It was our last evening in Cancun and it was a romantic way to end our wedding week. Not to mention, we were serenaded by a saxophonist during dinner. Fun…
Criticisms are none that would prevent me from coming back to Dreams Cancun. I mean our tub had a slow drain. I saw harmless ants in the bathroom. But these are little things was far outweighed by the pros of the resort.
Rehearsal Dinner – World CafÃ© Buffet : A
It was a perfect location for our group. We were lucky since it ended up being a Seafood Night Theme at the buffet. Rehearsal ended at 5:30 PM so we all hung out at the Rendevouz bar before the buffet opened. I went to the buffet to reserve a private section for our group. Everyone enjoyed the seafood. After the dinner, we asked our waiter for tequila shots for everyone, 4 times. Our waiter was great since he was teaching us how to toast Mexican style. Ariba, Debajo, Centro, Salud! Ay yay ay!
The best part about having the dinner in the buffet for a large group such as ours was that we weren’t rushed. We pretty much stayed for as long as we wanted. Had we had our dinner in one of the smaller restaurants, I don’t think we would have gotten the same treatment/accommodation. For example, one night for dinner, 22 of our group went to Seaside Grill for dinner and we were seated separately (across the restaurant). It was hard to interact since we didn’t want to interrupt the other resort guests in between us. World CafÃ© had the space to accommodate a large group, great food, and does not compromise service even for large parties.
Wedding Coordinator (onsite) – Claudia Cantillo: B
I must admit, I did expect more from Claudia as the wedding got closer. After I placed my deposit in August and got the draft contract in October, I did not contact her since. I figured I’d leave her alone since the wedding was still far away. Also, I was still finalizing my guest count which everything depended on. In regards to obtaining info, this site was very helpful and we also did a site visit last August.
I did not worry about details. I left it up to Claudia’s expertise to put together a wonderful wedding. How could she go wrong? She does this almost everyday. Besides, I was too busy with work and business school. I was probably one of the easiest bride that she had to deal with.
I reconnected with Claudia in mid-May and updated the contract with the guests count and asked 7 wedding questions. It took her 3 weeks to answer my first email. It was already the 2nd week of June before I received her response. I was being understanding since I knew May/June are the busiest wedding months. Her responses resulted in additional questions which she responded to the week before the wedding. Again her responses resulted in additional follow up questions which she never responded to. I’m pretty laid back and always have a plan B so not getting a response from Claudia did not worry me. However, as a customer whose wedding was near (and spent lots of money and bringing in lots of business to the resort), Claudia should have prioritized my emails and responded more timely.
My other issue was that they took down the ceremony decoration (Gazebo and chair ribbons) as soon as we processed out. I literally did not have any time to take photos by the Gazebo which I regret. After all, I did choose this venue mainly for the beautiful Gazebo and the view. Other than that, Claudia got almost everything correct.
Dreams Spa: B+
The dÃ©cor and atmosphere was soothing and relaxing. The spa was large compare to other spas I’ve been to in NYC. I treated my mom, his mom and his step-mom to a massage the day before the wedding, which they all enjoyed. My mom really liked the hot tub outdoor and sauna.
The night before we left, we got a couple’s massage in the beach cabana from 6-7 PM. It was his first massage and he enjoyed it. I, on the other hand, did not think my masseuse was very good. I’m pretty picky with massages since I go to spas at least twice a year. Overall, the spa is just another relaxing activity to experience. I do recommend the couples massage in the beach cabana. It was such a romantic setting, but a bit over-priced.
Hair – Dreams Spa (Christian): A
My hairstyle was done by Christian. I loved how he did my hair. My hair was able to wind-stand the wind in the Gazebo area and lasted until the next day (after I fell asleep with it). I even got to wear my veil!!!
Manicure – Dreams Spa: E
My manicurist was horrible. I opted for the French manicure and the lines weren’t even straight. The lady was redoing my nails over and over and still could not get it right. I felt bad for her that I just pretty much said fine just to get it over with. My other guests who got their nails done, also had the same complaint. My suggestions is to just have your nails done at your local nail salon back home.
Flowers (through Dreams): A
Awesome! It was worth the extra $$$ to get the flowers that I wanted. I did noticed that the calla lilies was not the exact color that I had asked for. Oh well, it was pretty anyway. Besides, all flowers are beautiful to me.
Ceremony (4 pm) - Gazebo: A
It was very windy in the Gazebo area, but the view was breathtaking. We brought our own wedding celebrant so we were able to have our culture’s traditional wedding ceremony. The walk is fairly far, but dramatic. People who were in the infinity pool or Tower balcony were all watching and giving their best wishes. It was great since random kids would come up to me and would say their Ooohs and Aahhs.
4PM is still pretty sunny so maybe the ideal time would be 5 or 6 PM. Since we had a long ceremony and reception, this was the most logical time for us to hold our ceremony.
Our bridal party surprised us by having a plane fly over our ceremony with a Congratulations sign. We thought that was cool!
That was arranged via Dreams Concierge.
Cocktails and appetizers (6-7 PM) - Tower Terrace: ?
Totally missed the entire thing since we were out picture-taking. From what I hear, the food was great. I opted for the new cocktail menu under the Gold package. It included shrimp satay which everyone loved. I think the 2008 cocktail menu is better than 2007 cocktail menu.
The mariachi trio sounded fun from afar. I would have loved to take pictures with them, but they were gone when we came back. If I can do it all again, I would have wanted to join the cocktail hour for at least 15 minutes.
Reception (7-11 PM) - Tower Lobby/Terrace: A
Only complaints was that it was hot. Our guests were in and out and after dinner ended up staying outside at the terrace to dance.
Surf and turf was very good, but I didn’t know it was also served at Seaside Grill for dinner. I was disappointed to find out since it made what we are serving during the wedding ordinary since it can be had at one of the restaurant any evening. Since we paid close to $50 per head, the hotel should have served something else that none of the restaurants are offering. Clam chowder was not good at all. It was watered down and barely had any clams. Salad was as usual and tiramisu was more of a moose cake than a tiramisu. Nevertheless, it was yummy!
We chose the strawberry cake and it was pretty good. Package serving came with 20, but we added an additional 12 for $5 pp. It was a 2 tiered cake and they decorated it with the same flowers that was used for my bouquet. Downside was that the cake was not served unless the guest was sitting down on the table. The problem was that most people were dancing so there was so much cake leftover. I suggest telling the waiter to serve to all guests.
Terrace location was great. You get the ocean breeze and the pool to cool off. Most of the guys jumped into the pool. Either they were hot, happy, or drunk or all of the above. Our bartender was pretty cool. He got so many Tequila shots and ended up bringing bottles of Tequila out so he doesn’t have to keep going back and forth into the bar. Also, many of the guys bought Cuban cigars from the Cigar bar at the lobby and enjoyed it at the end of the reception.
DJ – Mannia (Carlos): B+
I was so glad when I found out from Claudia that her preferred DJ is now Mannia. I heard good things about Mannia and at one point wanted to hire them, but just wasn’t sure if Claudia would be ok with me bringing an outside vendor. It turned out, for our wedding, she hired Mannia as our DJ. Carlos and his partner were great! Very nice people and open to suggestions. We gave them a copy of our reception program and CDs of our songs (first dance, garter, cake cutting etc). They MC’ed the reception and followed our reception program timely.
I’m so happy we had one of our b-maid as the contact for the DJ in case there were issues or whatever. It freed us to do other things and to enjoy the party.
Photographer & Videographer –Citlalli & Miguel (Claudia Rodriguez): A
Both were very nice and worked well together. I’m glad I went with a photographer and videographer from the same company. I met with Citlalli the day before the wedding to update her on the wedding agenda etc. Miguel could not make it so she just caught him on.
The coolest thing about Citlalli was that she had things handy such as scissor or lipstick. I needed to touch up my lipstick but did not have one with me so she lend hers to me. Awesome!
They also stayed a little later than what we had paid. The one thing to note is that they require meals if you hire them for over 5 hours. It made sense, but just want to clarify that for those who have no idea. Something to factor into your budget.
My husband suggested that he would have liked a photographer who choreographs the pictures more and provides more guidance with the poses. It’s just his preference and being the groom and all, he is entitled to critic them.
Our contract states they would deliver all photos and videos within 3-4 weeks. I received an email that they are running a little behind schedule and will take 4-5 weeks instead (due to the volume of weddings in June). Good thing I’m a patient person.
Overall, I was very pleased and happy with the two. I was comfortable with them taking my pictures. I can’t wait to see my photos and videos!
There is a tour agency inside the hotel (near the ballroom) and also outside. You can book any tour a day or so before.
Jungle Tour (Punta Este) - $68 pp
Exhilarating and worth the money. My husband enjoyed driving the speedboat. 2 per boat and you go out in groups starting on the lagoon side and out to the ocean. The waves are pretty choppy in the ocean so beware. Max speed at 40 mph. 2.5 hours in total with 45 minutes of snorkeling at Punta Nizuc.
Cozumel (Aqua World) - $95 pp
There was 18 of us that did this activity and it was so much fun. The trip includes a bus to Playa del Carmen, RT ferry tickets to Cozumel, snorkeling trip aboard a boat which made 2 stops, and lunch at Mr. Chili. We also had at least an hour to go around downtown Cozumel to shop. Pick up was at 7:45AM and we got back in the hotel at 7:30PM. It was a long and tiring day.
Other activities we also recommend which we did not get to do in this trip, but had in our prior visits to Cancun are Isla Mujeres, Tulum/Xel-Ha, and Xcaret.
A lot of our guests also went shopping at Market 28 and La Isla. Clubs that our friends visited are Senor Frogs, Dady O and Dady Rock.
Do not over-plan with activities. You will find that most people will want to stay at the resort and take advantage of the All-Inclusive. I had to cancel a few activities because there wasn’t enough interest or my hubby and I were just too tired to participate.
Airport Shuttle (Best Day) - $17 RT pp double occupancy
We provided shuttle to/from Dreams for all our guests. I guess they were ok since no one really complained to us. The downside was that they had to meet with a rep. in the hotel to schedule their departure time. I don’t see why this was necessary since I already provided them with departure flight info.
Car Rental (Thrifty) - $286 (incl. taxes and fees) for 6 days for a Dodge Stratus
We rented a car just in case we need to run any errands. We actually only used it once to go to Walmart. The other times, we lend it to our families so they can go shopping. It came in handy, but was unnecessary.
Each time we go to Cancun, we always rented from Thrifty. They are located off the airport (2 minutes away ) which is why they are cheaper than Budget or Avis. A shuttle is provided from the airport arrival to the rental office.
That’s all folks. I’m so glad it’s over and I can finally have some peace and quietness with my hubby. No regrets on having a destination wedding at Dreams Cancun. If I can do it all over again, I’ll do it the same way. I wish more of my friends will have a destination wedding so I can relive my wedding.
Now off to planning my Australia honeymoon in August…
Here they are…
Pictures of the wedding decorations we made as well as other stuff. It was lots of fun making them, but too time consuming.
I made corsages for the primary sponsors (wedding god parents) using silk orchids.
We used the fans to assign seats to our wedding party during the ceremony.
OOT bags are the usual stuff. The ladies loved the sandals.
My hubby put a collage of the cities we’ve visited together as our table numbers and the ceremony program. He also designed our newsletter (which I don’t have a picture of). Thank goodness, he is very good in Photoshop.
Posted 07 July 2008 - 12:08 AM
Surprise gift from the Bridal Entourage.
The most painful, but most rewarding project of them all, our message in a bottle invitation with boarding pass RSVP and info. It took us a month to make 100 of them. It was worth it since we received so many compliments.
Wedding rice that we placed on everyone's seat.
During the rehearsal.
As a gift, I had custom shirts made for my bridesmaids.
Placecards for all the guests. Custom printed with $1 each starfish. The shells was bought
from the Walmart and Claudia laid out everything nicely.
MORE PHOTOS ON PAGE 3
MORE PHOTOS ON PAGE 3
MORE PHOTOS ON PAGE 3
Posted 07 July 2008 - 12:22 AM
Everything looks great! I am so glad to hear this review. I am sooo freakin' excited for my wedding.
Posted 07 July 2008 - 01:04 AM
| Originally Posted by ashrose |
No way! You got an airplane to fly over you with a banner?
The plane circled around 4 times so we were able to take photos with different sets of people (family, entourage, other guests). It was quite a mess shuffling everyone around while people were shouting, "Hurry up, it's coming around again!" It was a lot of fun.
I will be posting more photos soon. Stay tuned....
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