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stessa82

HELP! May be starting all over with only 3 months to go!

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I was in the exact same position as you a year ago! We were originally booked at the Grand Lido Negril (which is another superclubs resort) and they kept changing the prices for the rooms. We had a group rate quote and when we went to book it, they gave us a higher rate for a lesser category room. I was PO'ed! I needed a resort that would allow singles and children as my husband's 16 year old cousin was coming. That severely limits your choices in Jamaica. I was in total panic mode! Lucky for me, i found 2 resorts that had availability on our original date. We ended up choosing the Riu in Ocho Rios because they had a free wedding package. Our runner-up choice was the Gran Bahia Principe. You're fortunate that all resort towns are served by the Montego Bay airport so you can change towns without affecting the people who have already booked their flights.

 

GOOD LUCK! You can do it!

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Originally Posted by stessa82 View Post


I did not use a travel agent. I contacted a few initially but found I could get the best rate for my guests if I did all the arrangements myself (you should see the spreadsheet I have with all the information - all 40+ reservations and their details!!) The GOOD news is that there is NO penalty to cancel with 60 days notice. I would have to find a new resort or at least a new reception site with availability on the same date (April 18th) because at least 70 of our guests have already booked their flight travel. But other than that I think I can get all of their money back. I would be out my initial wedding deposit but that seems minimal in the grand scheme of things.

We are finding that some of the resorts are offering slightly lower rates or additional amenities if you book direct and forgo the use of a travel agent-however I am also being contacted by many brides after the fact to help "fix" things as quite often things go terribly wrong! It's nearly impossible to assist when we are not the agent of record. For any future brides out there-be very careful when a resort does this ! Take the info to your TA and have them price match- that way the pricing is the same but you get the professional assistance and clout of a TA! They go to bat and 9/10 times get a much quicker response than you would.

The reason is- we have the potential to send many, many more clients to them over the years- add to that they don't want us going to our suppliers and complain about pretty much anything - the suppliers have and will cut contracts and the properties don't want to risk a relationship with a company that send thousands of clients over the course of a year!

All of this of course does not help you right now- do you have any guests under 18 ? Would you like fo rme to check availability at Sandals Dunns River or Grand Ocho Rios? We could also look at Sandals Montego Bay, Sandals Whitehouse or Sandals Royal caribbean.

I know that you can do a bonfire on the beach at Sandals Whitehouse and they have a beautiful conference room that can easily accomodate your guests.

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I am new to the boards but I am looking into having my "off-site" wedding because my future hubby has lots of family in Jamaica and most hotels charge a fee for guest not staying at the hotel. Our wedding is in June 2010 and we will have around 50-70 guests. Anyways I am also awaiting pricing from venues but I found a few that look good and can handle big amount of guest - The Ruins at the Falls (Ocho Rios), The Coyaba Gardens and Mahoe Falls, and The Shaw Park Beach.

 

Look these places up online. Hope this helps.

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Originally Posted by jhakimi1 View Post
I am new to the boards but I am looking into having my "off-site" wedding because my future hubby has lots of family in Jamaica and most hotels charge a fee for guest not staying at the hotel. Our wedding is in June 2010 and we will have around 50-70 guests. Anyways I am also awaiting pricing from venues but I found a few that look good and can handle big amount of guest - The Ruins at the Falls (Ocho Rios), The Coyaba Gardens and Mahoe Falls, and The Shaw Park Beach.

Look these places up online. Hope this helps.
Thanks so much for these suggestions ... I will absolutely check them out!! Best of luck with YOUR planning!

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Originally Posted by TA Jennifer View Post
We are finding that some of the resorts are offering slightly lower rates or additional amenities if you book direct and forgo the use of a travel agent-however I am also being contacted by many brides after the fact to help "fix" things as quite often things go terribly wrong! It's nearly impossible to assist when we are not the agent of record. For any future brides out there-be very careful when a resort does this ! Take the info to your TA and have them price match- that way the pricing is the same but you get the professional assistance and clout of a TA! They go to bat and 9/10 times get a much quicker response than you would.

The reason is- we have the potential to send many, many more clients to them over the years- add to that they don't want us going to our suppliers and complain about pretty much anything - the suppliers have and will cut contracts and the properties don't want to risk a relationship with a company that send thousands of clients over the course of a year!

All of this of course does not help you right now- do you have any guests under 18 ? Would you like fo rme to check availability at Sandals Dunns River or Grand Ocho Rios? We could also look at Sandals Montego Bay, Sandals Whitehouse or Sandals Royal caribbean.

I know that you can do a bonfire on the beach at Sandals Whitehouse and they have a beautiful conference room that can easily accomodate your guests.

If I could do it all over again - I would have done it with a travel agent!! It would have cut down on a lot of the chaos I'm experiencing now ... but also would have cut down on the amount of work for me! We still have guests changing the details of the reservations - either the dates or type of rooms and every change means another call down to Jamaica and another update to my massive spreadsheet ; ) Costs for the guests was my main priority but in trying to do it myself I absolutely sacrificed a lot of knowledge and expertise of a TA!

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So here's the UPDATE! My mother and I are looking to travel to Jamaica next week. Our first attempt will be to sort things out with Breezes but if that is unsuccessful we've also arranged to visit a number of other resorts and venues while we're down there.

 

Fortunately, my fiance and I realized we had an interesting connection with one of our guests. One of Greg's groomsmen's girlfriend is a family friend of the owners of SuperClubs (I know - kind of a long and twisted connection - but a connection nonetheless). I told her of my challenges and today my phone rang! First was a call from the hotel manager. Second was a call from the VP of Operations at SuperClubs. And lastly was a call from the Wedding Coordinator - today was her first day back from maternity leave! She's been out since September and we've been trying to work with the "stand-in" since then.

 

Needless to say I'm feeling slightly better about the possibilities of this coming together although they haven't completely restored my confidence in them. To cover my bases I will also go see some other venues.

 

Thanks for all the kind words and suggestions!

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That's great news Stessa82!!! It sounds like things may just work out after all - you must be so relieved!! Enjoy visit to Jamaica!! Remember to keep us posted on how things turn out!

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Originally Posted by jhakimi1 View Post
Are all 120 of your guest staying at the Breeze Runaway Bay? If not, how much are day passes?

Approximately 70% of the guests are staying at Breezes. Since we're hoping to have a private reception the "day pass" access price is just built into the menu. For example, if an on property guest is going to cost us $100 than an off property guest would cost $120.

Don't quote me on this but I believe day passes (without private receptions) cost between $75 - $100.

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