This is a quick review I'm completing on my lunch. I will try and find time to do a more detailed one, but with a 1 year old son, and just being back at work, my free time is limited.
First of all, Jamaica is absolutely beautiful, I fell in love with this country and will definitely be going back. I am so happy we got married in such an incredible place.
- Grand Palldium is a gorgeous resort with many amenities and I felt that we got a lot of value for our money.
- The pool is huge and the entertainmennt staff are so great! They loved our group ( we are big party people and always had out ipod docking station with us and danced all day and night).
- The food is very good, especially for an all inclusive. I am a bit of a "foodie", so it wasn't the BEST food I've had, but it was definitely good. A lot of my guests raved about the Jerk chicken, I don't eat meat, but I know they all loved it.
- Sunset Cove is a beautiful little beach, and the main beach is also pretty good.
- The rooms are very spacious and clean.
- The resort is HUGE, we did a lot of walking, but it was great because we walked off all of the extra calories we consumed.
- The service is definitely not the best I've had. I am someone that expects good customer service wherever I go, and when I don't get it, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. This was my biggest disapointment with the resort and especially the wedding coordinators.
When we first checked in, they told me that we would be in room 2916, I asked if this was ocen view and was told No. So, I asked to be upgraded and they said I would have to speak with a manager. I had actually paid extra to get an ocean view, but they informed me that an ocean view is never guarnteed, so I would have to speak to my travel agent for a refund. I then spoke to the manager and requested an upgrade to a honeymoon suite ( or what they call Bungalow). They informed me that this wasnt possible because they can only upgrade you to the next category, which in my case, would be a junior suite with an ocean view. I was told by my first wedding coordinator - Sherice, that they would put in the request for the honeymoon suite and if it was available they typically give it to the bride and groom, so I mentioned this to them and they said they would have to call the manager of the wedding dept. I was then passed the phone and spoke to Nina, who was completely rude and obnoxious to me and told me that I was never promised anything and I shouldn't have expected to get the bungalow. I was shocked at the tone she had in her voice. I went back and forth with various front desk staff and management for about 20 minutes because they couldn't find me an "ocean view" room on the Lady Hamilton side which is where all of our guests including the groom and I had booked, finally they decided they would put us in a bungalow because nothing else was available close to our guests. The resort only had about 800 people there this week(our bellman informed us), when they are usually at around 3000 during the busy months, so it really irratated me that they had numerous bungalows available, yet I had to fight with them for almost an hour to get an upgrade to this room after bringing 65 guests with me, and paying a substantial amount for a private reception.
I am very glad I didn't give up, because the bungalow was absolutely incredible. We actually go the last one, on the tip of the ocean, 2nd floor and the view was just breathtaking. It was a gorgeous room with an outdoor shower and massive jacuzzi.
The second thing that bothered me and my guests was that they kept running out of alcohol. And this was early in the evening. We spent most of our evenings at the Infinity Bar and most of my guests are vodka drinkers, so it was frustrating when after 30-40 min, they continued to inform us every night that they had no more vodka, and again the same thing with gin. This is totally not acceptable for an all-inclusive resort. It's not like we were requesting some random liqour, Vodka is a staple at any bar. We specifically told them to make sure they had a lot of vodka for our wedding reception and again they ran out after about 30 minutes. When we mentioned this to my wedding coordinator Kadi, she commented that we must all be alcoholics. Alcoholics? No. People that are on vacation, at a celebration, and want to party and enjoy a few drinks of their choice? YES.
And lastly the wedding coordinators. I've never witnessed such an un-organized bunch of people in my life. Their lack of communication is horrible. There were a number of issues, but just to name a few: I had asked for a price on the chivari chairs about 3 months before the wedding ( I needed 62 of them for the ceremony and reception), I was never given an answer after asking numerous times, they kept saying they were waiting on a price. Until the day before the wedding when it was time to sign the contract, and then she said she had gotten a price, $11 per chair. I'm sorry but that is absurd. There was no way I was spending $700 on chairs, so I told her that I'd just go with the regular chairs and she got irratated that she'd have to cancel the chivari's and change the contract. They also overcharged me for the stereo system by $500, and had to remove that from the contract.
I asked for some glasses to hold these fans we had made for the centrepieces and they seemed very reluctant to find some for me and said they'd have to call around. We just need 9 drinking glasses. They couldn't even manage to do that. We got tot the reception and our fans were just scattered on the table. I had asked if we could have our own people set up the reception to ensure it looked the way I envisioned but was told no one would be able to get in there until 4:30, which was in the middle of my ceremony??? They were NOT helpful at all. They do the bare minimum required. I am a very forward person and I ask for what I want, and even still I didn't get it. They like to do things THEIR way, not YOUR way. So be prepared to be very very very persistant and thorough in telling them what you want.
My dress wasn't steamed until about an hour before I needed it and came to my room just in the nick of time, even though it had been in their office for 2 days prior.
Another highlight was when my coordinator came to my room as I was getting my make-up done to inform me I would need to pay $150 an hour for both videographers that had just arrived. I lost my mind at this point, because I was never informed of this prior. She said they have to charge that because it's a guest on site providing services. I told her that Sherice never informed me of that, and the only thing I was told was that I'd have to get them a guest pass for $75. I refused to pay the $1200 to get them on-site and she said she would call Nina/Simone and see what they could do. After a quick conversation, she informed me that I'd only have to pay $75. It seems like they try and make more money off you, any way they can.
Regardless of all of those issues, we had the most incredible wedding and day. I don't look back with regret, as the most important parts were just the way I imagined them to be. We provided our own "Ceremony" format to the minister, and he followed it word for word. He actually loved it so much that he asked to keep it to use for future ceremony's. All of our guests said it was the most touching and beautiful ceremony they had ever been to, and I felt the same. We were surrounded by love, in paradise, and at the end of the day, that's what a wedding is all about.
I just wanted to make sure I included the negatives and the issues we had to ensure future brides can avoid the same hiccups.
Overall the GP was a great place to vacation, Jamaica is my favourite place in the world, I had an incredible and memorable wedding. They just are not organized and experienced enough to host weddings the way some resorts like Sandals and Dreams do. They have a long way to go, but hopefully with more experience, and feedback from previous brides they will get there someday.
If you want to check out more of my pics go to:
All the best to the future brides and thank you to the past brides that provided tons of great info!