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Carina's Paradisus Riviera Cancun Review- Part 1

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#1 cendcar

  • Jr. Member
  • 163 posts

    Posted 03 November 2008 - 05:13 PM

    So here we go…..

    When we got to the resort I was feeling uneasy because it was raining and had been raining for the last couple of days. It was pretty humid out too so it was a very tropical feeling. Checked in around 11:00 am and our room was not ready. No prob, we went and had lunch, had a look around and came back at 3:00 pm when the room was ready. We had reserved a regular room and were upgraded to the Ocean Front Jr. Suite in Building 5, room 527. I thought it was great, soft blue walls, Jacuzzi on the balcony, cute bathroom. The only thing is that this particular room faces the mini playground on the beach, but we never saw any kids on it so it was fine. The walls are pretty thin and we definitely heard the kids/babies crying next door. That was kind of annoying at times.
    Some of our guests had experienced a mildew-y smell in their rooms, especially those located on the 1st floor; I think it was because of all the rain. They asked for another room and it worked out fine (later in the week someone asked to change rooms, but the resort had a huge convention and everything was booked).

    The Resort itself is beautiful! Some of the surrounding resorts had that mod, contemporary look, but the Paradisus had that old Mexican charm. Hanging plants everywhere, bright orange and reds everywhere…I loved it. There are some parrots by the lobby that were so cool to watch. We heard them say “hello”. The whole main area of the hotel has the outside feel, open walls, ponds everywhere and Mayan d©cor. I tried to take pictures so you can see.

    The Pool
    was probably my favorite place. Just wait and see. Gorgeous water, fountains and submerged lounge chairs, the pool swim-up bar. The bar was usually busy so we would get our drinks from the Main Bar. Sometimes they did activities. One day they had a movie trivia contest right there at the pool bar (they have a stereo out there) and another time there was a meringue lesson.
    The Main Bar/Lobby was the place to be. There is the main bar, and big tables and couches everywhere. When we got there the first day it was a rainy day and everyone was inside. There were people playing board games, a guacamole making lesson was going on, and everyone was still having a good time. On sunny days obviously it is empty because everyone is out by the pool or beach. At night, everyone hangs out, girls wear their cute dresses (or just shorts) and people just lounge, smokes cigars, or dance (live music every night at 10:00 pm ). They serve these peanuts with a hint of lime…yummy, perfect with a cold delicious Corona. A word of advice, it seemed a lot of my guests and myself kept getting bit at night when sitting on the couches. It started off at our ankles and I got some right on the side of my knees. I think the mosquitos or sand fleas (my SIL told me about them) that may be around the couches because of the sand bite you. However, I am always the one that gets eaten up when I go camping so I may be extra sensitive to the critters. Some people never got more than 1 or 2 bites.

    The Food and Restaurants were super good! A bit of each….

    The Buffet - I stuffed my face every morning! Chilaquiles, refried beans, fresh baked pastries (we all agreed those were the best). Sure, if you get some pancakes, they might be a bit hard because they sit for a bit but I urge everyone to try the more authentic food…so good! The Mexican hot chocolate is way better than any Swiss Miss I ever had. Great Salsa Roja (spicy!) , the chef gave me the recipe, we’ll see how it turns out. We also had some lunches and dinners there…all good! But the breakfast was my fav! No reservations needed, and they will only put together tables for up to 10 people. For the wedding rehearsal dinners, they will accommodate the whole party in the back room. We chose not to do this, since people were all over the place.

    The way the restaurants work is that you order from the 3 different sections on the menu. One choice from appetizers, one choice from soups (or whatever that section is) and one choice from the entr©e’s. The apps are small so don’t think you will have a ton of food. You’ll get the hang of it after a couple of times. Another very important thing about the restaurantsis that they only take reservations and they usually fill up quickly. Make reservations as soon as you can for as many days as you can. You have to make a reservation in person and the Reservation Desk. When I got there (Thursday), most of my guests were not arriving until Saturday. So, I made a reservation for 8 at the Teppenyaki place for that Saturday. This way the arriving guests would not worry about making a dinner reservation for that night. You can always call and cancel later.

    Tequila Grill, This was my least favorite restaurant. I had the Chile Relleno the first time I went there and it was good, the second time I had the Flank Steak….not good! It is not a bad place to eat by any means, just not our favorite.

    The Japanese place has 2 different sections….Teppenyaki , which is like Benihana, and the regular Japanese restaurant. The Teppenyaki place is great for groups because everyone sits together while the chef cooks in front of you. I tasted the scallops, chicken, rib-eye, and their fish of the day---all excellent. The other Japanese restaurant (forgot the name) was just okay….to be honest, I did not like the food.

    The Le’ Hermitage, French Restaurant was cool. Men must wear long pants and collared shirts. Quieter, “fancier” feel. The food was good. Special wines cost extra, house red wine is not good. I had the Shrimp and Lobster Ravioli (did not like it). Tasted the filet, stuffed chicken and most of the appetizers, all were very good.

    The Capri was the hardest to get reservations to, but was the best. REMEMBER….in addition to the regular menu, there is a salad/aperitif bar close to the kitchen that is easy to miss. Look at that before ordering. I had the seafood risotto that I still dream about. The artichoke app was delish! Everything was delish! Also long pants and stuff for men.
    There was also a Snack Bar thing that I did not try and a Grill Restaurant that I did not try. Oh, and room service is good too! Basic, hamburgers, salads, BLT’s….also some of our guests packed a room service meal and took it with them on their day to Coba.

    Dollars vs. Pesos- When we were there the exchange rate was 13.5, which means you get more pesos for your dollar. I highly encourage you to use pesos instead of dollars. In the long run, you will save money. For example, we had to take a taxi to Playa and the driver told me it would cost $30. We told him we only had pesos with us. The driver said then that it would be 300 pesos which is about $22, saving $8. Imagine doing this at every transaction, you can save quite a bit of money! Remember to exchange at home before your trip with your bank if you can. I exchanged my dollars at my Wells Fargo at no charge.

    Activities and Entertainment, Ceremony and Reception- coming soon!

    Okay, I am really bad at posting....I can't seem to get the pictures in....can someone please help?

    #2 amy706

    • Member
    • 506 posts

      Posted 03 November 2008 - 05:42 PM

      Sounds incredible, carina!!! Cant wait to hear/see more!

      Sorry- I still haven't actually posted pics in my post (except as an attachment) so i'm no help!
      Washington, DC
      Dreams Tulum
      December 5, 2008
      Pro Pics- Citlalli from Claudia Rodriguez:http://claudiaphoto...../december/a_m/Planning Thread: http://bestdestinati...om/forum/t31997Dreams Tulum Wedding Review: http://bestdestinati...om/forum/t33518http://ticker...

      #3 rachelannmartin

      • Jr. Member
      • 192 posts

        Posted 03 November 2008 - 05:46 PM

        Congrats Carina!!!!!! So happy to hear that things went well!

        #4 bumbles

        • Member
        • 574 posts

          Posted 03 November 2008 - 05:46 PM

          Thanks for the great details Carina!

          #5 Jen_S

          • Sr. Member
          • 3,737 posts

            Posted 03 November 2008 - 05:49 PM

            Congrats Carina!!!! Glad the resort worked out for you!!!!!
            Our Honeymoon In Ireland!!

            #6 cendcar

            • Jr. Member
            • 163 posts

              Posted 03 November 2008 - 06:01 PM

              Okay, I tried to do the Shutterfly thing, but even that was a challenge.....

              I hope you can see this......


              #7 cendcar

              • Jr. Member
              • 163 posts

                Posted 03 November 2008 - 07:00 PM

                I met with Landy and Perla the day after we arrived. I had brought all my emails, a copy of the DT Wedding Guide and pictures of flowers that I wanted. We chose the food all over again. PRC does not usually offer Surf and Turf but they did it for us anyway. They really tried to make everything the same as I had already planned (Ultimate Package). The one thing they could not accommodate is the complimentary room for the groom the night before the wedding. Landy said that the PRC would not do that. I did not pursue it because Josh wanted to stay with his BFF the night before the wedding anyway. Also, please note that although they will still honor such things as steam ironing of the wedding clothes, or giving you a couple’s massage, they will still give you an invoice of charges. You do not have to pay anything; these charges are paid by DT. They just keep track of the charges for their own records.

                Steam Ironing- Remember to call and have your wedding dress and suit taken to be ironed as soon as possible. It take about 48 hours to be delivered back. By the 3rd day, we still had not received our clothes back so I had to call and inquire about it. They had a note saying to be delivered on the day of the wedding….not good, too many things can go wrong if it is not delivered at least the day before….make sure you make that clear!

                Oh, also, I asked for tropical flowers to be used in general for the wedding gazebo, table centerpieces and everything else. I specifically asked for Stargazer Lilies (you know the pink ones?) and did not get them. Or to be clear, did not get the pink ones. By the time I noticed it was the day of the ceremony so I just let it go. Make sure to tell them if you want a specific flower. That being said, I thought my bouquet was beautiful. All the flowers looked great, very wild and tropical, just like I wanted.

                I wish I would not have ordered the centerpieces. They were $50 each and they really only get used for a couple of hours. The guests cannot take them home so it is a waste. I wish I would have asked them to just put a generic centerpiece like candles or something. It was like throwing $200 down the drain….oh well.

                The bouquets came in plenty of time for the ceremony, delivered to my room. The Boutonniere’s and the flower petals were delivered at the ceremony site. This freaked me out because I thought they were forgotten since they did not get delivered to the room.

                Special Requests:
                I think the only request was the Breaking of the Glass. They just set up a concrete block by the ceremony table (could not even tell it was there), and next to it a wine glass wrapped in a cloth. It was fun and everyone loved it. We played Hava Nagila right after, when we walked back down the aisle.
                Ceremony/Music: We did not do a wedding rehearsal since there were so few of us in the wedding party and it worked out fine. Landy just told everyone where to stand before the ceremony started. We also had an ipod going throught the ceremony, dinner and reception. I had someone time out each song, when to fade it, and when to start the next one. Thankfully, it all worked out perfectly.

                So, the ceremony started at 4:00pm (or 4:10 pm, really). I originally had the ceremony for 4:30pm but the time had changed the day before. Because of how cloudy the day was, I wanted it earlier to catch any sunlight we could.
                I got a manicure from Leticia at 1:30 pm, it was okay but nothing I would write home about. She also did my hair and make-up, we started that at 2:00pm. I had brought pictures of a couple of hairstyles and I speak Spanish so we were able to communicate the entire time. We just went for half up/half down with curls at the ends. I gave her plenty of warning that I barely wear make-up and wanted everything to look as natural as possible. When she tried to put some eye liner on the bottom of my eyelids, I told her no….it never looks good on me. I thought the make-up was good, could have asked her to go easy on the eyebrow powder. Josh loved the make-up and said I looked natural and sexy! (what a cutie-pie).

                Got back to the room at about 3pm….should have gotten back earlier. I came back the room to find that my dad had forgotten his pants in his hotel room (at Playa del Carmen). I found this hilarious and told him that even in shorts, we will be walking down the aisle anyway ! He ended up running to the gift shop and buying some drawstring pants….it was too much, when I met him later at the ceremony site, I was just cracking up with laughter! No one noticed his pants.

                Also going on in my room, my MOH and sister were not even done getting ready, which annoyed me off because this meant that I had to wait for them to be ready so they can help me. Everyone was supposed to be at the ceremony site at 3:45. At 3:50pm, my MOH, sister, niece and nephew were still in my room….I was boiling with anger!

                When we finally started, everything was good, I had to walk carefully down the steps because I was barefoot and the dress was long. My brother did our ceremony so that was very special. I was sure I was going to cry but was laughing instead. The wind was so hard that my veil kept getting in my face, hair in my face….and towards the “I do’s”, some dogs were barking angrily at each other in the resort next to us…..What was I going to do? We all just laughed.

                After the ceremony, we had the cocktail hour and that was sooooo yummy! PRC gives you a lot more choices than DT for appetizers. I thought everyone might be getting too full for dinner. Oh, and then the Mariachi came out (three pieces), they were great. They played all my favorite songs and my brother sang a couple of songs with them (he is so awesome!).
                Dinner was good, once again, the Surf and Turf was just okay, but everything else was tasty. We had flan for dessert and then cake afterwards. The cake was tres leches and it was delish!

                Photographer/Videographer- You know how some girls say they have No Regrets about their wedding? I am NOT one of those girls. I wish I would have hired a Professional Photographer. I used the ones at from the resort. It was not that they were necessarily bad, it is just that they were not anything special. The pictures they took were just like the ones my friends took. And they did not stay for dinner or the reception. The Video was funny, that was not a big deal but I really wish I would have hired someone. I did not want to hassle with that and I wanted to save the money…..GIRLS, for those who kept the resort photographer….please reconsider!

                Reception- We had our iPod since we had no DJ and it turned out excellent. I had songs picked out for the ceremony, dinner and reception. We had charged our iPod the night before so the battery lasted ll night! I was hesitant about having a reception at all since there were only 30 of us. Most weddings just end up going to the bar to hang out after dinner. But…..we picked some great music, old school, 80’s, disco and funk….it was so awesome, we danced and partied all night! We started doing the limbo, taking shots, making up moves (you all know the bus driver, but how about the canoe?). It was such a blast! At 10:00 pm they kicked us out and we move the the Main Bar. They had Kareoke that night and you better believe we were rockin it out. I did Crazy Little Thing Called Love with my friend. After that was over, we moved to the Fun Pub and danced a little longer and then we ended the night.

                Okay, I am tired…..activities and entertainment tomorrow!

                Thanks for reading!

                #8 latinalocany

                • Jr. Member
                • 215 posts

                  Posted 03 November 2008 - 09:43 PM

                  you look soooo beautiful!!! your dress, hair, and make-up looks absolutly amazing!! im so happy everything turn out great for you! thanks for the review and i will definatly hire a photographer!!

                  #9 SunBride

                  • Sr. Member
                  • 1,499 posts

                    Posted 03 November 2008 - 11:14 PM

                    wonderful review! Happy to hear everything that well well but sorry to hear you are disappointed about photo and video.

                    to post pictures in the thread, upload them to an account on Photobucket.com. Then under each picture you upload, there will be 4 different links. Copy and paste the 4th (bottom) link into your post here and voila, the photo will be right in the thread. It's SOOO easy

                    #10 KLC77

                    • Sr. Member
                    • 2,207 posts

                      Posted 04 November 2008 - 01:43 AM

                      Carina, thanks for the review and your pics are awesome! I can't wait for more...

                      Our Awesome Wedding Pics: http://www.delsolpho...ings/kelly&ron/

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