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SoontobeMrsE's Review of RIU Vallarta;...long

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#1 Celina

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    Posted 24 November 2008 - 01:02 PM

    I am apologizing in advance but I am having problems posting pics but I thought I'd do the review anyway....

    RIU Vallarta - A
    Due to our flight being cancelled we arrived later than expected (9pm) We arrived late and got checked into our upgraded master suite! Very nice – had wrap around patio that overlooked the pool and the ocean, Jacuzzi, huge shower, sitting area, walk in closet, double sinks and bidet.

    We ate at the buffet the nights we were there and for the wedding we ate at the Flamingo restaurant. There were plenty of choices there daily. If you tip your bartenders, housekeeping, valets and wait staff, you will be treated like royalty. We were there for 10 days and DH budgeted $200 for tips and we were treated like stars. At breakfast we had our drinks waiting for us at our table, they were carrying our plates to the table for us, pulling out our chairs for us, our room was spotless, and we never had any problems with towels or anything. This was at breakfast, lunch and dinner. We ate in the same areas every day and the wait staff works hard and we tipped at every meal. Even the lady who brought drinks to the family pool came by us first and brought us our drinks first. The people there don’t make a lot of money and are very grateful. A little tipping goes a long way. In our case – absolutely NO complaints with the workers there. Except at the spa (I’ll get to that later)

    Wedding Coordinators – Erika and Jessica – B

    The only reason they got a B was because they lost some of my stuff. Otherwise they would have gotten an A. We met with Jessie the morning after we arrived. We gave her all of our choices and I explained to her that I had some items that had to go with our stuff (vases, place cards, sign in book, candles, luminarias, cake boxes, knife and server, kid bags for dinner..etc.) I took all my stuff down to her on Saturday morning by 9am with detailed instructions on where everything went. I must say that every single thing was perfect!

    My flowers were incredible. I was 110% satisfied with how they came out. The only thing is that they lost the box my knife and cake server were in, they lost the pewter palm trees I used for table number holders and they lost the votive candles that went on the cake table. After the wedding was over, we didn’t really hear from them. No follow up as to how things went. I also had to remind her about having our dresses pressed. Our guests got in with their day passes with no problem. We recieved a fruit tray and had our breakfast in bed on Monday after the wedding. The night of the wedding they decorated our bed with a heart shape with red rose petals and had petals in the jacuzzi. It was all very sweet.

    Flamingo Restaurant – C

    The service was SO FREAKIN SLOW! We had three tables of 11. By the time we were done with our food at table 1 – they were barely bringing out the food for table 3. The appetizers were kind of weird. We got fried mushrooms, chicken wings and some other stuff. DH was irritated by this. We had an asparagus, tomato soup that was good. They also did the calling of the food when it came out which irritated me. The main meal was good as was the Caesar salad. We were supposed to get Baked Alaska for dessert, but we never did. We cut our cake at the bar. We did get bit by mosquitoes. I had OFF wipes, but forgot them!

    Bar Mezcal - A
    We rented out the bar from 8:30 to 11pm and the time went SO fast! I could have danced till at least 2am but when it was time to go – they let us know! They had a cake table set up for us and the table looked like it was going to fall apart! They set it up beautifully, but it looked a little rickety! We used an Ipod and played our own music. We had a really good time. The WC’s even strung up some papel picado for me which made the space look more festive.

    Renova Spa – A+

    The spa manager was like a Marine Sergeant. She was no nonsense, never smiled and was kind of rude. If you make your deposit through PayPal, they want the card it was made on to pay your balance or you can pay cash. Cecilia did my hair and it came out perfect! I gave her a couple of pics of the way I wanted my hair and she did it to a T. I had about 40 pins in my hair, but it came out great. Unfortunately my BM wasn’t there with me when my hair was done and when Cecilia put the veil on my head, I started crying uncontrollably. My hair stood up all night against the humidity! DH and I also went to the spa for our complimentary body scrub and for massages which were great.

    Aldo Tovar Photography – F+
    Okay – this was the worst of all because when the moment is gone…it’s gone and there is no turning back. I didn’t hear from or see the photographer until we got down to the Flamingo and were getting ready to walk down the aisle. Aldo did not come, he sent his side kick to come down. He was an older guy who took pictures. So he took a lot of pics of me and the bridal party and me and my parents before the wedding. He took a lot of pics of the wedding and he took three pictures of us and the bridal party after the wedding at sunset and the group photo.

    It total he took 69 pictures. I have two pics of me and DH after the wedding. I can not express how sad I am about this. What happened was, the sunsets in PV are beautiful. The photographer is paid $10 per person in the photo for sun set pictures. SO – while he was taking pictures of our wedding, he was also taking his sunset pictures of others on the beach.

    I had this one lady who I thought was going to jump in our wedding pictures she was practically stalking the photographer. Then he was getting upset with our family members who were taking pictures the same time he was and the flashes were going off at the same time. So between the lookey loos who wanted their picture taken and our family members and their flashes, DH got mad, the kids in the photos lost interest and the photographer got mad and just checked out with us. After he did the big group photo he disappeared.

    After seeing the original photographers work, I expected more. Unfortunately I didn’t get the pics I wanted of me and DH. I am so sad, yet happy to have the few I do have. We ended up buying the disk from the photographer, but I am still upset about it. Keep in mind, the guy we paid was not the guy who took the pictures.

    Overall, I would definitely go to RIU Vallarta again. If we had to, we would have had our dinner at one of the indoor restaurants. The ambiance at the Flamingo was great, but the mosquitoes and slow service were the bad points. We would have demanded more from the photographer and we would have had someone take our kids for a few days. (but that’s another story).

    I hope this helps any future RIU Vallarta brides. Please PM me if you have any questions
    "Love is not who you live with...it's who you can't live without"

    #2 Jen_S

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      Posted 24 November 2008 - 02:18 PM

      Congrats and welcome back sorry to hear you had problems with your photographer that really stinks!
      Our Honeymoon In Ireland!!

      #3 syl1115

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        Posted 24 November 2008 - 02:42 PM

        Oh Celina, I am so sorry to hear about the photographer. I know how pictures say a thousand words and those are memories that cannot be captured. Just keep them alive inside. I am so glad everything else was good. Congrats and post pics soon!

        Our wedding slideshowhttp://www.facebook.....=1047086342460

        #4 Celina

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          Posted 24 November 2008 - 03:29 PM

          Originally Posted by syl1115
          Oh Celina, I am so sorry to hear about the photographer. I know how pictures say a thousand words and those are memories that cannot be captured. Just keep them alive inside. I am so glad everything else was good. Congrats and post pics soon!
          Thanks Sylvia!
          I hope to be able to post some pics soon! We did get a few good ones! Plus I haven't been able to see everyone's pics, so hopefully they got some too.
          "Love is not who you live with...it's who you can't live without"

          #5 Helen_S81

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            Posted 24 November 2008 - 03:41 PM

            I'm so sorry about the photographer Celina! But I'm glad things worked out with getting your hair done at the spa. It sounds like your room was similar to the one Katie & Chris had. I can't wait to see the pictures you do have! Congratulations!

            #6 Chiquita

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              Posted 24 November 2008 - 04:09 PM

              Ugh.. sorry about your problems with the photographer. But I can't wait to see the ones you do have! :)

              #7 Yari

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                Posted 24 November 2008 - 04:14 PM

                Great review!

                I am so sorry you had issues with your photographer...that blows!

                #8 tvt

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                  Posted 24 November 2008 - 04:23 PM

                  That sucks about your photographer! I bet your guests will have some good ones. Seems that guests take a ton of pictures at weddings.

                  But glad that everything else went well!

                  #9 Tiffiney01

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                    Posted 24 November 2008 - 11:53 PM

                    congratulations Celina and welcome back! I'm sorry about the photographer. I'm sure between your family and friends they will have some great ones...I cant wait to see the ones that you do have.
                    Mr & Mrs Newby

                    #10 ~Melissa~


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                    • Wedding Date:October 7, 2010
                    • Wedding Location:Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico
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                    Posted 25 November 2008 - 12:04 PM

                    aw that sucks they lost your stuff Celina. And I'm so sorry in regards toyour photos I totally know the oilder dude you're talking about. When we were there he was always wondering around and snapping photos. He told me he was the one who taught Aldo everything LOL Riiiiight Did you bring up the situation with Erika? I would request a refund because Aldo is much more talented than the other guy IMHO (I've seen both mens work). Plus that's what you paid for. Grr I'm so upset for you Celina.

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