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EricaG - Grand Palladium Palace, Punta Cana


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#1 EricaG

EricaG
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    Posted 13 January 2009 - 06:42 PM

    Although we have been back from our wedding for about a month, my computer is up and running again, and so is the internet (finally after 4 months!!!) So here is my wedding review of our Nov 30/08 wedding at the Grand Palladium in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

    Airline – AirTransat – A

    We flew down on Air Transat. Not too long before our trip they cancelled a stop in Puerto Plata on the way down, so it was a direct flight there and back. Last year they took out some seats and gave each row of seats an extra 3inchs of leg room. Although that doesn’t sound like much, we noticed the difference since the last time that we flew with them. Our flights were on time, and even though both flights were at 100% capacity, I was still given an overhead compartment for the dresses and guys outfits. Those of us that didn’t reserve specific seats were all seated together as a group booking. The best part of the trip was that both kids slept the whole way down and back. Justin was asleep before take off both ways, and Hailey after take off, but before the seatbelt sign was off. On the way down Justin woke up about an hour before we landed, and Hailey woke up during the decent both ways. The food wasn’t anything to write home about, but it wasn’t too bad either. Rather than 2 movies, we ended up with 3 both ways.
    In Edmonton we got early boarding with the kids, and we were seated with them and our bags put away before anyone else was boarded. In the Dominican, those who get early boarding just go through the boarding gate first, and then have to wait at the painted line while everyone else gets through as well. Then it is everyone for themselves walking down the tarmac to the plane, climbing the big staircases and getting to your seat. This is normal at the Punta Cana airport, as we have been through this before with our daughter.

    Resort – Grand Palladium, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic – A

    We stayed at this resort previously, so it was no question as to where we wanted to have the wedding. This resort is 3 resorts in one, and we stayed in the Palace section. We were hoping that our rooms would be somewhat together like they were last time, but since the resort was at 100% capacity as well, we weren’t. Our rooms weren’t that far apart, and we always met in the lobby anyways so it really wasn’t that bad. We were upgraded to a loft suite which was nice. The only downfall to the loft suite was that they are all on the second floor of the buildings, and so we had to haul the double stroller up and down the stairs (my workout for the holidays)
    As far as the food, most of the people that stayed 2 weeks ended up with a bit of GI discomfort for a day or two, but nothing that really interrupted the trip.
    The beach was clean, and we always ended up with chairs. Sometimes we didn’t have enough for everyone, but we just watched for chairs to open up and then we would drag them over. My sister is only 17 but she was given an adult bracelet, so she was able to easily have a few alcoholic drinks as well. Actually, one night some of us were playing cards, and our daughter Hailey was with us. We all ordered lemonades and she ordered a fruit punch. There must have been a mix up at the bar, because my 3 year olds drink had rum in it, and she did not care for it at all. After that, whenever she ordered a t fruit punch, she always added the “No Rum” as she waved her finger side to side. It was quite cute.

    WC – Isyuney – B+

    Leading up to our arrival, I had tried to make contact with her several times and would not receive a reply. Eventually after I would write again, someone would respond to my questions, but not usually her. I was not too sure what to expect when we got there because of the poor communication. As we were standing in the lobby checking in, she came and found us to introduce herself. Then she showed us where our room was and carried our little guy the whole way (and he is heavy to carry around!) We met with her the next morning to go through all the plans. We picked our menu, opted out of the resort photographer, picked our flowers out, and then went to see the beach location and the reception locations we could have. The only thing that we didn’t have finalized at the meeting was the flowers. We decided on what we wanted, but when she called to the florists to make sure that they could do those flowers for our wedding, the person she needed to talk to wasn’t there. We met with her the next morning to find out the flowers we wanted would be no problem and we had to drop off our items for the wedding decorations. The day of the wedding we got a call from her in our room telling us that there was no one to drive the guests to the ceremony site, so they would have to walk. I was not impressed by this, as I was trying to finish getting ready and it was almost time for the ceremony. The walk from our lobby where all the guests and Larry were waiting for their ride is at the other side of the resort from the ceremony location. My Mom went down to the lobby to complain about it, and by the time she got there, they found transportation for everyone.
    As our ceremony was a symbolic one, and we hadn’t really thought of having one of our guests do it, we had Isyuney read the ceremony that I typed out. It was much longer than the one that they usually use, so she practiced it the night before the wedding. Even though she was really nervous, she did very well. The only thing that we wanted that we never got was the horse and carriage, that wasn’t her fault. At first when we asked for it, she just said that we couldn’t have it, but after she looked up at us, she told us that the horse died and they haven’t finished training the new horse yet!
    After the wedding day, anytime that we saw Isyuney, she would always stop and come over to say hi and see how everything was going.

    Photographer – Photo Souvenir – Severine – A++++

    We chose to hire Photo Souvenir to do our wedding photos rather than use the resort photographer. Although the resort photographers pictures looked nice, we are sooooooo glad we went with Severine. She was very sweet, easy to work with and by the TTD shoot, Larry was enjoying getting his pics done as well, even though he is usually trying to hide from the camera. The package that we ordered included up to 5 hours with her, but she stayed for 7 hours. For the TTD shoot the next day, she came back and rather than the 30mins she was supposed to be there, she was there for about an hour, and was asking if we wanted her to do more!
    Although her schedule was pretty busy, she had all the prints from the wedding day and the TTD to us within a few days. Then we had to choose the pics for the album and the painting that were included in the package. I emailed her the pic numbers and the day we left (we were there for 2 weeks) she brought all the rest of the package for us. We had the painting, the album, the CD with all the pics, the DVD slideshow, and the DVD video of the wedding day (see below).
    I would recommend Photo Souvenir to anyone that is going down to the Punta Cana area for their wedding! Not one complaint from us, and everyone that has seen our pics loves them all and are very impressed!

    Videographer - Photo Souvenir – Francois – A+++

    We also used Photo Souvenir for the videographer as it was part of our package we could have. Francois came along with Severine and we had a blast. After checking if it was alright for him to come in as we were getting ready, he filmed little bits and pieces of the process and then filmed the ceremony and parts of the pics afterwards. The video was the one thing that I really didn’t expect to get before leaving, as it usually takes a few weeks for him to get edited and done. The DVD is usually mailed out when it is done, but we had it in had the day we left to come home, even though he was having computer problems for a couple days.
    I love watching the DVD, and my Mom even started tearing up while watching it. It turnout great and if anyone is looking for a videographer, I would strongly recommend doing the package deal with Photo Souvenir for the photos and the video!!

    Wedding Ceremony/Reception – A+

    So really the only thing that I really wanted for the wedding that I never got was the horse & carriage. I was really excited about it, but when we got there we found out that the horse had died and they hadn’t finished training the new horse yet! Bummer, but understandable.
    The musical trio we hired began playing and followed us as we started walking down the coconut lined aisle. The alter was a beautiful archway made of palm fronds and flowers. There was a security guard that kept the beach between us and the ocean cleared of people, and hurrying those that were passing by through so they didn’t end up in our pics. Once we were done our vows, they handed out champagne for the toast, and then brought out the cake for the first cutting. Larry and I shared our first piece of cake (which made for some good photos). The musical trio also began playing after the ceremony and while we did a few group pics. The guests were all served beer or water, as it was hot out that day, and when we went off for pics of just us, everyone went to the bar right next to the ceremony site, and were served the rest of the champagne that was left over.
    Everyone all met in the Punta Cana lobby before going to the reception as supper was not until 6:30pm, and it was a short walk from that lobby. The reception was on the terrace of the La Uva restaurant, and we had it all to ourselves. By the time of the reception it was dark so you couldn’t see the ocean, but you could hear it and it made for a great soothing background. We had the steak, and it was good, but it was huge!!!! The steak was the size of the plate! They were supposed to come and ask us how we wanted our steaks, and didn’t, so a few people had to send theirs back to be cooked a bit more. Overall, all the food was great and everyone enjoyed the day.
    http://i141.photobuc....DSC_0038-1.jpghttp://i141.photobuc....DSC_0463-1.jpg
    My wedding review of the Grand Palladium Palace, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
    http://bestdestinati...om/forum/t35125

    Our Professional Wedding and TTD Pictures by Photo Souvenirhttp:...

    #2 DanielleNDerek

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      Posted 13 January 2009 - 06:52 PM

      Great review Erica. Awww the poor horsey. I'm glad you like Severine too. She was great. Did you post some of your pics on here? I dont remember seeing your ceremony setup with the coconuts, that's sounds really cool.
      ***Married November 6, 2008***Gavin Born February 28th, 2010***
      Paradisus Palma Real Wedding Review
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      #3 seaprincess

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        Posted 13 January 2009 - 07:21 PM

        Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for your review! I have been waiting in anticipation fo over a month! After reading your review, I am sooo excited to get married at the Grand Palladium in two weeks and have Photo Souvenir take care of the photos...which reminds me - you have to post your pics to go with review!
        Lindsay and Jamie - January 28, 2009

        #4 EricaG

        EricaG
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          Posted 14 January 2009 - 05:20 AM

          Here is looking at the beach location from down by the ocean
          Click the image to open in full size.

          Here is me walking down the aisle
          Click the image to open in full size.

          My bouquet (upgrade)
          Click the image to open in full size.

          The bridesmaid bouquets (extra $)
          Click the image to open in full size.

          Here you can sort of see the starfish pin from Morgan and Becks
          Click the image to open in full size.

          Here is a shot of our loft suite
          Click the image to open in full size.
          http://i141.photobuc....DSC_0038-1.jpghttp://i141.photobuc....DSC_0463-1.jpg
          My wedding review of the Grand Palladium Palace, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
          http://bestdestinati...om/forum/t35125

          Our Professional Wedding and TTD Pictures by Photo Souvenirhttp:...

          #5 MarieSam

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            Posted 14 January 2009 - 06:43 AM

            Congrats on being a Mrs!! You looked beautiful, and I LOVE your bouquet and aisle decor Looks like you had a picture perfect day

            #6 Mrs D To Be!

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              Posted 14 January 2009 - 07:23 AM

              omg i love so much about your review! i love your signature picture - it is absolutely hilarious! total tongue and cheek!

              but i love your pictures - the aisle you had was soo unique - so lovely lady - congrats!

              #7 ErinB

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                Posted 14 January 2009 - 11:39 AM

                Great to see you again Erica!

                I'm so happy you had such a good trip! I want to see more pictures!

                #8 Jen_S

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                  Posted 14 January 2009 - 11:45 AM

                  Congrats what a great review. Your ceremony setup looks awesome. Sorry about the horse what a bummer.
                  Our Honeymoon In Ireland!!

                  #9 jammies1234

                  jammies1234
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                    Posted 14 January 2009 - 12:19 PM

                    Hi Erica, Congrats on your lovely wedding. I am so glad to read the new reviews on here. I had put wedding plans on hold for awhile as my first grandchild was born in May and had some complications. All is good now and the plans are just about to start again. We have already "reserved" our Symbolic ceremony at Grand Palladium Punta Cana for Dec. 5 2009. I have had minimal contact with Isyuney but she has eventually answered most of all the questions I have had. It's reassuring to hear this appears to be a common theme but that that everything turns out well once at the resort.
                    As this a second time around wedding for Rob and I, we are trying to go low key. We don't expect many guests at all so hopefully we won't look silly with 4 or 6 chairs for our guests. I'm sure we could hook a few vacationers to sit in as guests lol....
                    We have also been to the resort before so feel comfortable knowing what is available and the general surroundings. The one thing tho that I didn't get a chance to see while we were there was the gazebo. Is it near the beach at all? I want to go for a beach ceremony like yours, but didn't want the photo's to include any stray vacationers so it was nice to hear that they made efforts to alleviate this.
                    Was the price quoted to you by Isyuney, apart from the extras you chose, accurate and did you pay it upon your arrival?
                    Anyway, I'm sure if I have any more questions, I will be writing you, but again thanx for the review and post more pics please ;-))))

                    #10 EricaG

                    EricaG
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                    • 1,915 posts

                      Posted 14 January 2009 - 03:50 PM

                      Quote:
                      Originally Posted by jammies1234
                      Hi Erica, Congrats on your lovely wedding. I am so glad to read the new reviews on here. I had put wedding plans on hold for awhile as my first grandchild was born in May and had some complications. All is good now and the plans are just about to start again. We have already "reserved" our Symbolic ceremony at Grand Palladium Punta Cana for Dec. 5 2009. I have had minimal contact with Isyuney but she has eventually answered most of all the questions I have had. It's reassuring to hear this appears to be a common theme but that that everything turns out well once at the resort.
                      As this a second time around wedding for Rob and I, we are trying to go low key. We don't expect many guests at all so hopefully we won't look silly with 4 or 6 chairs for our guests. I'm sure we could hook a few vacationers to sit in as guests lol....
                      We have also been to the resort before so feel comfortable knowing what is available and the general surroundings. The one thing tho that I didn't get a chance to see while we were there was the gazebo. Is it near the beach at all? I want to go for a beach ceremony like yours, but didn't want the photo's to include any stray vacationers so it was nice to hear that they made efforts to alleviate this.
                      Was the price quoted to you by Isyuney, apart from the extras you chose, accurate and did you pay it upon your arrival?
                      Anyway, I'm sure if I have any more questions, I will be writing you, but again thanx for the review and post more pics please ;-))))
                      The gazebo is near the beach. Actually, it is in the garden area just in behind where the beach ceremony occurs, at the north side of the resort. I believe the quoted price we got was the same we were charged with the extra cost of the musical trio and the floral upgrades, but my Mom paid that bill, so I'm not positive. She didn't say anything about it being more $. If you do floral upgrades, you have to pay for those in cash, and the rest can be paid by credit card, and Mom paid for everything the day before the wedding. If you need anymore info, feel free to contact me.

                      Here is a pic of the gazebo in the back ground
                      Click the image to open in full size.

                      I am just waiting for the pics to be opened up on the one website through the photographer, but she has been having some computer problems and got behind on getting the pics up on the site.
                      http://i141.photobuc....DSC_0038-1.jpghttp://i141.photobuc....DSC_0463-1.jpg
                      My wedding review of the Grand Palladium Palace, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
                      http://bestdestinati...om/forum/t35125

                      Our Professional Wedding and TTD Pictures by Photo Souvenirhttp:...




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