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HELP Grand Palladium Brides!!!!


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#421 mswhatever

mswhatever
  • Jr. Member
  • 475 posts

    Posted 10 November 2009 - 07:24 PM

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tiffandmarv
    Lisa/Julia

    I'm in the same boat as both of you. I've emailed the wedding coordinator directly and I even sent an email request through the Fiesta Group web-page. Haven't heard a thing from anyone. I've decided I am going to have to get a calling card and start calling the resort directly. This is not a good sign though.
    I am in the same situation. I tried to call today. WC did not answer. I left a message with the operator. I hope the WC calls me back. I used a discount online service vopium.com. They give you 30 minutes free for signing up. I was going to buy a calling card but this was easier. I will let all of you know if I hear from her.

    #422 zuzelh

    zuzelh
    • Newbie
    • 25 posts

      Posted 11 November 2009 - 01:54 AM

      Hey guys! I just got married at the GP on November 5th and wanted to post a review... I see a lot of you are worried that they WC hasn't contacted you, but I assure you that everything will work out great! I had barely any contact with the WC before I left and it really didn't matter.

      I also included some pics from the wedding: Grand Palladium - a set on Flickr .... I will post my professional pics whenever I get them!

      We arrived at the hotel a few days before our guests arrived, which was a great idea, since it gave us time to prepare for the wedding. We arrived on a Sunday, and our wedding was scheduled for a Thursday. It was great because Nina, the new wedding coordinator, was able to give us her undivided attention, as she didn’t have any weddings on Monday or Tuesday and seemed to be less crazed. A few days before we arrived in Jamaica, we had received an introductory email from Nina… She was asking us for our guests’ menu choices – which were a little hard to get, especially since it was a few days before we were leaving, and we were so busy with other things! But it worked out fine and wasn’t a huge deal …. I think we could’ve told her our menu choices even when we got there and it wouldn’t have been a problem. We also emailed her a list of our guests and asked that they be put in the same villa.

      Upon arrival to the hotel, we were greeted with drinks and smiles. Everyone was so pleasant and accommodating. When we checked in, we found out we had been upgraded to a one-bedroom suite. The room was amazing. We were in villa 26 and had great oceanviews. The hotel is gorgeous! I kept reading bad reviews on travel websites, but it seems like they did some renovations recently, because I didn’t encounter any of those problems. The rooms were great – and the staff was more than helpful. However, some of my guests on the first floor complained of bugs in their bathrooms – so try not to get rooms on the bottom floor! Also, at check-in, make sure you tell them you are getting married and ask them for the VIP red bracelet instead of the regular bracelet. The service is really great for all guests, but supposedly, you get “faster/better” service with the red bracelets… It was hard to tell if the bracelets really did give us more service …. Since we went in November, the hotel wasn’t that crowded, and everyone got great service. (I definitely recommend having a wedding during this time! I can’t imagine what the hotel is like when it’s April-June and there are 4 weddings a day!)

      At check-in, the front desk manager was able to set up an appointment with Nina for Monday morning at 10am. Monday morning we met with Nina – she is very very nice, and seems to be organized. She apologized for my lack of correspondence with the previous wedding coordinator and mentioned that the entire wedding department was being re-structured from scratch. They even plan on hiring more wedding coordinators. We were able to meet with Nina and Lori (the other WC) a couple more times before the wedding, and she was always pleased to help. Side note: Lori is definitely not as organized as Nina. I gave her my place cards and seating chart, and they were lost. Also, Lori never followed through with some of my other requests.

      Our guests arrived on Wednesday, and were all placed in villa 26 – which is on the Lady Hamilton side (even though they all originally booked on the Jamaica side). We arranged with Nina for them all to receive gift bags full of goodies that we brought with us. Most of the bags were delivered to the right rooms… a couple were delivered to the wrong room and I had to chase down their location. Two of the bags disappeared completely (my mother’s and maid of honor’s bags). All the guests really appreciated the snacks/goodies we got them…. I feel like this was a great idea, but I think that maybe we should have hand delivered the bags ourselves, as it was hectic trying to chase down the bags that were missing. We only had 24 guests, and I can’t imagine how hectic this process would be if we had more people.

      The welcome dinner went very smoothly – We ate at El Mariachi dinner (which Nina set-up for us) and the food was great. However, they weren’t able to seat all our guests together… we had two tables of 12 people each. All the guests loved the Mexican food. I had to choose a set menu for everyone, but the chef was very accommodating to the few people who had allergies or were vegetarians. Just a side note about the a la carte restaurants – the food is very good. However, we found that some of the food was a little “off.” They were good, but had some added ingredients that made them taste a little funny…. (which is understandable, considering we are not in America and can’t expect the same recipes). Of all the restaurants, our favorites were the Italian and Mexican– they were phenomenal. The steak at the steakhouse was good – but, again, the appetizers were a little “off.” I don’t recommend the Asian restaurant.

      Re: a la carte restaurants. We were also given a hard time about seating when we had a group of 13 go out for dinner … We were told that we needed to make reservations before 2pm and we all had to have the same entrees. We were able to get around this by offering to tip them …. as soon as we mentioned a tip, they were more willing to seat us together. We ended up giving them about $30-40 each time.

      Re: the spa. I made my reservations online at Renovaspa - Beauty, Health and Spirit because you get a 5% online discount, as well as a 10% wedding discount. Once I arrived, I went to the spa to change some of the services I wanted done on my wedding day. They actually had no record of me in their system and did not have my appointments booked. Advice: definitely confirm your appointments upon arrival and make sure to print out your vouchers before you go! It was a bit of a hassle to try and change the services I wanted, so try not to make changes unless you have to…. They seemed very confused by everything.

      Re: internet. There is free wi-fi available in the lobbies, but it was VERY slow. You can also get wi-fi for $20/day, or go use the computer labs. I found it was great for me to have my laptop so I could email my guests before they left for Jamaica – it was good to give them last minute information. Also, walkie talkies were so useful! They were awesome to have.

      On the wedding day, I made many last minute changes because one of my guests missed her flight and had a later arrival than anticipated. Nina just kept saying it was “no problem” and was really understanding. Even the spa was understanding that my hair appointment had to be pushed back. I ended up just getting my hair style done at the spa and did my own makeup (the week before, I went to a makeup counter at Bloomingdales and asked them to show me how I could apply my makeup for a beachy wedding. I only had to buy $50 worth of products for the demonstration). My mom got her makeup done at the spa and I don’t think it was worth the $60 she spent. My hair came out exactly as I wanted and it only took her 30 minutes to finish….

      My wedding was held at the gazebo. Half hour before the wedding, the guests were supposed to be picked up at their villa, but the shuttle was late. I guess it’s understandable considering I changed the times earlier that day (originally the ceremony was at 4pm and it was changed to 5pm). Nina was no where to be found on the day of the wedding, and I mostly had to deal with Lori, the other WC.

      The ceremony was perfect. They played every song I wanted, and it was set up exactly as we had discussed (Nina had asked that I pick out four songs for the ceremony: Procesional, bride’s processional, first kiss, and recessional – definitely come prepared with the songs you want in mind! I feel like I wasted too much time trying to make decisions that I could’ve made at home if I had been notified earlier). We created fan programs and they were all placed on the chairs, along with bubbles we had brought. We also brought our own minister (he was also the best man) to perform the ceremony, so that was a nice touch. Also, we brought our own photographer from NJ and paid for all his expenses. He was great… I saw the hotel’s photographer taking pictures around the hotel, and they were really posed and traditional shots. We wanted something more artistic, so we brought our own photographer (we paid for his hotel and airfare – which we were told we could do).

      The reception was held at the Blue Lagoon and we had food catered from the Italian restaurant. We went with the “Silver Love” package (which is a renewal of vows package), and only paid $20 per person (above the 8 people that are included in the package). I definitely recommend getting married by your town before coming to Jamaica, and then getting the renewal of vows package, as it is considerably cheaper! You don’t even have to tell your guests that you are technically already married! Plus, I saw in the forum that some people who get married at GP don’t get their marriage certificates until a few months later.

      Like I mentioned earlier, the place cards were not on the tables and the set up was not as I had discussed with Lori – I wish I had talked to Nina about those arrangements as I’m sure she would not have forgotten. I was a little annoyed because it made me seem disorganized and that I didn’t know what I wanted…. But, the waiters/waitresses all assisted in moving chairs around to get the set-up I had asked for, and it all worked out in the end. The food was awesome… we went with the calamari, minestrone soup, lasagna and chicken stuffed with cheese as the entrees. Everyone was raving about how good the food was. Also, the cake was phenomenal. I’ve never had cake that good before! We picked vanilla for the bottom tier and chocolate for the top tier. Both were good – but vanilla was everyone’s favorite.

      We also used their sound system with my ipod. It was great – I created playlists for “eating” music, as well as “dance” music and just kept switching between the two during the night. However, if you have really good speakers, it’s worth it to bring them. Just remember that the Blue Lagoon is outside and the speakers really need to be powerful. We also hired the steel drum band to play for an hour - also a huge hit. Throughout the forum, I read that some brides had the band play at the ceremony and then complained that they weren’t able to enjoy them…. At the reception, we definitely enjoyed them! And they can really play anything you request of them. They were a lot of fun and even let my husband play bass with them.

      After we had cake, everyone must have been a little sloshed, because most of the guys (and some of the girls) jumped into the pool that is below the Blue Lagoon with their wedding outfits on!! Those drinks were strong! So, the night ended up with most of the guests in the pool and hanging out poolside for the rest of the night… SUCH A GOOD TIME! WISH I WAS STILL THERE!!!! Definitely recommend it!

      #423 debbmach

      debbmach
      • Sr. Member
      • 1,457 posts

        Posted 11 November 2009 - 02:15 AM

        Zuzelh...thanks so much for your review. It's so reassuring to here that things go as planned when you're down there! Did you tell anyone that you got married back home before leaving? You have me thinking of doing that now, especially since it's a lot cheaper!

        I've also tried contacting the WC a couple of times in the last few weeks, and I got an initial email back from Nina. She sent me the information about the different wedding packages. Now I'm trying to confirm an actual date and I haven't heard anything. I know a couple of you guys are having the same issue. If you do finally hear from Nina, can you please post what worked...email or phone?
        http://dwdf.daisypath.com/v0lqm5.png

        58 people booked...and counting!!!

        #424 zuzelh

        zuzelh
        • Newbie
        • 25 posts

          Posted 11 November 2009 - 02:21 AM

          Quote:
          Originally Posted by debbmach
          Zuzelh...thanks so much for your review. It's so reassuring to here that things go as planned when you're down there! Did you tell anyone that you got married back home before leaving? You have me thinking of doing that now, especially since it's a lot cheaper!

          I've also tried contacting the WC a couple of times in the last few weeks, and I got an initial email back from Nina. She sent me the information about the different wedding packages. Now I'm trying to confirm an actual date and I haven't heard anything. I know a couple of you guys are having the same issue. If you do finally hear from Nina, can you please post what worked...email or phone?
          debbmach: No one knew that we had been married already.... Only the minister! lol. it saved us a lot of money.

          I always reached Nina via email and it usually took her a few days to get back to me... however, when i was in jamaica, I noticed that she was always in her office in the mornings - so maybe try giving her a call on Monday or Tuesday mornings! I'm sure she doesn't have many weddings on those days and probably won't be tied up.

          #425 tiffandmarv

          tiffandmarv
          • Jr. Member
          • 361 posts

            Posted 11 November 2009 - 11:10 AM

            Congrats to the new Mrs. Zuzelh!!

            Thanks so much for your review. As you saw most of us were out here in no man's land as to what was going on at the resort when it came to weddings these days.

            Your wedding sounds awesome. I really like your ideas about the vow renewal and the steel band playing at the reception as opposed to the ceremony. I hadn't thought of that before.
            http://tickers.Ticke....95d6/event.png


            Bride & Groom + 56 Booked for Jamaica!!!

            #426 lisarussell66

            lisarussell66
            • Newbie
            • 19 posts

              Posted 11 November 2009 - 11:13 AM

              Quote:
              Originally Posted by mswhatever
              I am in the same situation. I tried to call today. WC did not answer. I left a message with the operator. I hope the WC calls me back. I used a discount online service vopium.com. They give you 30 minutes free for signing up. I was going to buy a calling card but this was easier. I will let all of you know if I hear from her.
              Thanks for letting me know your going through the same thing. Its not like we are trying to book a date and time were just trying to confirm our dates. Thats why this is scary!
              I have gotten my travel agent involved she will be contacting her Palladium Rep. I will let you know if I hear anything. We should be having to go through this at all!
              Let me know if you hear anything as well.

              Lisa

              #427 lisarussell66

              lisarussell66
              • Newbie
              • 19 posts

                Posted 11 November 2009 - 11:31 AM

                Quote:
                Originally Posted by mswhatever
                I am in the same situation. I tried to call today. WC did not answer. I left a message with the operator. I hope the WC calls me back. I used a discount online service vopium.com. They give you 30 minutes free for signing up. I was going to buy a calling card but this was easier. I will let all of you know if I hear from her.
                Thanks for letting me know your going through the same thing. Its not like we are trying to book a date and time were just trying to confirm our dates. Thats why this is scary!
                I have gotten my travel agent involved she will be contacting her Palladium Rep. I will let you know if I hear anything. We should be having to go through this at all!
                Let me know if you hear anything as well.

                Lisa

                #428 lisarussell66

                lisarussell66
                • Newbie
                • 19 posts

                  Posted 11 November 2009 - 11:31 AM

                  Congrats!! Thank you so much for your review its sounds like you had an amazing time it does help with the issues were having communicating with the resort! Thanks Again!
                  Lisa

                  #429 JuliaGoolia03

                  JuliaGoolia03
                  • Newbie
                  • 14 posts

                    Posted 11 November 2009 - 12:17 PM

                    YAY!!! Congrats! It sounds like you guys had a great time! I can't wait! Thanks for the info on Nina...we were all going a little nuts wondering if she dropped off the face of the earth.
                    Also - that is AWESOME that you were able to give them a list of the guests and they put them in the same villa. What a great idea! I thought that since we decided not to reserve a block that we would all be scattered to the wind!

                    #430 zuzelh

                    zuzelh
                    • Newbie
                    • 25 posts

                      Posted 11 November 2009 - 01:25 PM

                      I know how frustrating it must be to not get any answers! especially when all you want is a confirmation...

                      Nina definitely knows that communication is an issue - and is trying her hardest to make things better... hopefully they hire the additional WCs soon!




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