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Barcelo Colonial; February 12 2009

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Well, our wedding trip to Barceló was amazing. Through the whole trip there were a lot of ups and downs, a bit of drama, a heck of a lot of drinking and a ton of tears. There was a lot of laughter, sunburns, almost drowning(s), people throwing up over sides of boat, others passing out from too much tequila in the afternoon [me], an accident resulting in surgeries in Cancun, losing wedding bands and sunglasses in the ocean, breaking cameras and being attacked by bats; basically needing a holiday from the holiday.


Overall though, I could not ask for a better wedding/honeymoon/trip. Well, sort of. We are going to be taking another honeymoon by ourselves for reasons that I will get to later on.


Barcelo Colonial- I would totally recommend getting married at this resort. We got the Ocean Scents package and we are so happy that we got the more expensive package. The meal was absolutely amazing and the location was stunning. Unfortunately, it rained during set-up so we had to have it in Captain Morgan's Grill, but even so, it was better than a second option, it was great. We weren't disappointed. The WC's are absolutely great and answered all the questions that I had. Initially, when we first arrived, we didn't get the VIP braclets that granted us the better drinks and access to the different longues. However, once we met Claudia, she walked with us to the front desk and got us our bracelets. The better drinks were great and made us feel special. I brought a lot of decorations and stuff with us for the reception and ceremony and I wanted it to be a certain way. Our wedding was a bigger one, and because we brought so much and wanted everything to be a certain way, I made certain to write out directions for everything. I even made a point of telling them where I wanted the the menues to go, the programs, and how to place the fans and tears of joy packages on the chairs. I thought that I was being very anal, but in fact, I am so happy that I did. Our WC Claudia had an assistant, and that assistant had assistants, so they were going over the instructions without having to bother Claudia with questions. In fact, Victoria, Claudia's assistant, thanked me afterwards for having the instructions because it helped her out so much. Writing things out also kept them from asking me a lot of questions, so everyone knew exactly what was going on.


The few cons of Colonial-


The Spa- I sat in the spa for almost 2 hours getting my hair done for wedding, which didn't work at all. She couldn't get it right even though she had pictures and I had my pocket Spanish book. When we got back to the room to get ready, the bobby pins fell out so I had to re-do it very quickly. I didn't know what my hair actually looked like at the back until I saw wedding pictures the next day. Then, it rained right after my ceremony, so we had photos in the rain. Then, instead of relaxing between the ceremony and the reception, Francis, myself, and our photographer went back to our room and re-curled my hair. On that note, I would probably get my hair done agian though, but earlier in the day so that I could re-do it at the room.


Our bar fridge was only stocked about 4 times in 2 weeks. We complained a lot to the front desk, then they would send up a maid with two bottles of water, which is a far cry from the snacks, beer, and water that should be in there. Plus, we only got coffee cups on the first day, the maid took them away to be washed, and they never returned. We had to drink our coffee out of drinking glasses. Our room also wasn't cleaned on a regular bases and the maid had a tendency to arrive at around 9:30 p.m. to clean the room, once walking in on me sleeping and the other time when we were sitting on the patio. However, with that being said, these are only minor issues that didn't really cause much concern other than being something to complain about. In fact, my parents, who were down the hall, always had their room clean with little towel creatures left on their bed every morning and their fridge was always stocked. So, I think it's just who's on shift for your area.


The resturuants were not that good at all. They were very hit and miss. We very much enjoyed the Japenesse resturuant, but all the rest weren't anything special. At the Italian one my Calzone came raw, then came back burnt. At the Mexican we were forgotten about, taking nearly 2 hours to get served. Over all, the resturants seem very disorganized. Plus, you need to book them as soon as possible. We ate way too many suppers at 9:30 p.m. which is way too late for me. Plus, it really cuts into evening plans. In all reality, the buffet was amazing, so I would have been more than happy to eat there for supper for the majority of the nights.


We never went to any of the shows, but our guests did and loved them all.


The disco is a place that you need to experience. Oh my goodness, they have dancers that jump up on the tables; it looks like a strip bar. The music was about 10 years old and there are a lot of Europeans in there. It was a fun experience, we went 3 times in total, I think.


The beach is stunning, but very rocky. In front of the Colonial/ Tropical is very rough waves and lots of drop-offs. I lost my sunglasses in there, which sucked because they were clip-ons. The beach infront of Cribe/Beach is much better, still rocky but easier on the feet while swimming. We are snorkellers, so we enjoyed the rocks because there were so many fish there. The pier is suppose to be very good for snorkelling and we tried it there. Yes, there were a ton of fish, but there was also a ton of people. Plus, with the crazy waves, I started to get too overwhelmed. We personally liked the coral off the beach because the fish were more relaxed, not a lot of people, and there was a better assortment of fish.


The Photographer- Nathalie [once I get her consent to talk about her I will post her information]. We flew her down with us for the first week from Saskatoon. The poor thing was fighting the stomach flu and still managed to do tons of shots. We don't have her pictures yet, but can't wait to see them. She went above and beyond what any photographer would do. Not only does she take amazing photos, but she is an amazing person, a great personality, and a wonderful friend. I could not imagine anyone else sharing our special moments with us other than Nathalie. She was there for me when I needed her and she even did my hair for me when my curls fell out after the rain!!!!


Our detailed trip


Firstly, I ran out of time before leaving Regina because of a series of unfortunate incidents in the beauty department. My hair stylist and I had a miscommunication moment resulting in my hair becoming purple and a loss of half an eyebrow two days before we left. I ended up having to spend an additional half a day in the salon getting my hair re-dyed to the colour that I wanted and an eyebrow pencil to fix the problem. Needless to say, I lost a lot of time for the “last minute†things, resulting that I did not sleep at all the night before we left.


When we arrived at Barceló Colonial, we were greeted by amazing welcome cocktails and a fabulous lobby. The Colonial is an absolutely stunning resort, far greater than any of the other Barcelós. By far, the Colonial exceeded all of my expectations for appearances.


The first week was very busy, we spent a lot of it getting ready for the wedding and socializing with our guests. It seemed like we were never alone during the first week, which was fine, but it was very busy.


Welcome Cocktail


We had our Welcome Cocktail in the Puebla Bar, the bar that is located in the Colonial lobby; on the Monday [Francis and I arrived on the Sunday]. This was one of the best things that we could have planned. Most of our guests arrived at different times and from different departure places, so it only made since considering that no one knew where anyone was. I ended up sending down the welcome bags, contents, decorations, etc. with family so on the Sunday after arriving, I had to attempt to gather everything up from everyone. We needed to meet with our WC at 11:00 a.m. on Monday; our cocktail was for 3:00 p.m. My two sister-in-laws, my Mother-in-law, and my eldest sister came to the rescue and put together our welcome bags, which was amazing. However, I had like 20 minutes to unpack everything, show them what goes in which bags, and to gather the things I needed to meet the WC. Talk about multi-tasking.


After meeting the WC, Claudia, we knew that we were in great, experienced hands. Claudia asked a ton of questions, allowed us to ask questions, and knew what I was talking about in my ramblings when even I started to confuse myself.


We got back to the room and phoned for a bellboy to take down our bags to the bar because we had over 25 bags and each bag was about 7 pounds, depending on what was in it. Well, the bellboy never showed up. We called 4 times, and they just kept telling us someone was going to come. We were already 10 minutes late by this point, so we carried them down ourselves, all at once. I got about halfway, my arms were about to fall off, so Fran went ahead and brought back some cousins to carry them the rest of the way.

Once we got there, we all sat in a big circle and we had everyone introduce themselves: who they are, where they are from, what they do, and how they know us. It was a lot, but it worked very well and there was a lot of humour in it. We also told them were to go for the ceremony and reception and about our online photo sharing site.


The Accident


Within 24 hours of being at the Barceló, one of our guests slipped on a wet spot outside of an elevator. She ended up fracturing her wrist and shattering her hip, needed two surgeries. However, after arriving in Cancun, the hospital wouldnâ€t operate on her because they did not have her blood type, O negative. In fact, for some reason, Cancun couldnâ€t get any of that blood and Canada would not fly any down. Our guest spent 5 days without her surgeries and could not travel back to Canada because they thought that she had a blood clot. Finally, we were granted permission to put up signs at the Transat desk asking for O negative blood from other guests. We managed to find someone who went to Cancun to give her a transfusion. She arrived back in Canada the following Tuesday and is doing great.


Our Planned Group Excursion


The majority of us are avid fishermen, so it was a given that the planned excursion would be deep-sea fishing. We planned it for the Wednesday, the day before our wedding. Things started out great; everyone was having fun, except for Franâ€s two cousins who were suffering from the tail-end of food poisoning. We were about 45 minutes into it when three people: my Dad, Francis, and the photographer, Nathalie, started to not feel very good. All of a sudden, my Dad started dry heaving and bolted for the side of the boat, feeding the fishes. I have absolutely no stomach for puke, so I turned green and tried to keep down my own cookies. Then, Francis looked at me, sweat pouring out of him, and said that he was going to be sick too. Nathalie and I looked at each other and decided that we needed to turn the boat around and let off the sick people, including me. So, the captain, full speed, drove back to dock and we got off, while the rest went on to fish. Needless to say, we wonâ€t be doing that again.


The Wedding Day


Francis and I plus his Mom and two sisters spent the night before getting our Pashminas ready, gluing starfish to fans, and [cough cough] writing our vows to each other. I had dropped off my wedding dress, undergarments, and hair piece at my parents room and my Mom told me that she would met up with me at my hair appointment, and we would go back together to her room to get ready and to get photos done.


That morning, after a restless sleep, we went to get our massages done. They were okay, but I was too stressed to really enjoy it. I know Francis really liked it. Once we were done, it was 12:00 p.m. and Francis got his first manicure done. My hair appointment was at 1:00 p.m. so I went back to the hotel room to shower and shave before my hair appointment. Little did I know that my Mom forgot my hair flower in her room so I had to go back to get. Not a big deal since their room was down the hall from us, but she didnâ€t have a key, my Dad had it. My Dad, however, was no where to be found. He was supposed to be outside the spa, but he wasnâ€t. I was running out of time so I went back to my room to shower and hoped that he would be back in his room when I was done. Well, he wasnâ€t. It was already 1:15 p.m. and I didnâ€t have my hair flower, which I needed for my hair appointment. Luckily, the maid was cleaning their room and I managed to tell her that I was the bride and I needed in there to get my stuff. I donâ€t think she understood but she let me in anyway.

I sent Nathalie over to get pictures of Francis opening up his gift from me, which was a sliver chain. By this time, my sisters had shown up, but no Mom or Dad, so I had no access to the room where my wedding dress was.


So, it was 3:00 p.m. and I needed to go. My hair was a mess and Mom and I got a lift back to our room by Claudia. So, we got there about 3:10 p.m., five minutes before the wedding is suppose to start.


It was 3:15 p.m. Wedding time. I was putting on my make-up in the room. It literally took me 5 minutes, I was so fast!!!! I gave my parents their gift, vice versa. Victoria, another WC came to the room to take me away, because we were late, then, my bobby pins, almost all at once, popped out of my hair and the my style fell out. Victoria, Nathalie and me started pulling bobby pins out of everywhere, pinning my hair back, and hair spraying everything in place. Then, my Mom came at me with a veil, which was quickly pushed away because I didnâ€t want to wear it in the first place.


So, now itâ€s about 3:30 p.m. and Iâ€m late for my own wedding. Finally, we arrive, I see my groom standing there and itâ€s heaven. The best moment of my life.


After the ceremony, it started to rain so we had to move the ceremony in Captain Morganâ€s Grill. We ran over time, so we ended up having to pay for an additional hour, but it was well worth it.


The Reasoning for Another Honeymoon


Francis and I decided to go for two weeks, primarily because we wanted the second week to be just us, with a few excursions and suppers with the remaining family members and friends that were there for the second week. Well, I left the bookings for the excursions and suppers with him, while I went and took 10 minutes to myself. It was Sunday. Well, he booked us from Monday to Friday for excursions and supper every night but Saturday with them. I was very upset. I assumed from that [even though we had discussed for a year the purpose of the second week] as a personal attack to us and that he didnâ€t want to have “romantic alone time†with me. Plus, he left me absolutely no time to do homework, which has placed a major strain on me for stress. I was very hurt by this, and felt like he didnâ€t really care. When we did have an hour to by ourselves, we ended up bickering and me bawling. In addition to having no alone time, we never did anything around the resort, I only spent probably four hours total on the beach, the only time that I sat at the swim up bar was to get someone else a drink when I was practicing snorkelling, and I was only in the pool twice, once for the trash the dress, the other time was when we were snorkelling [which I did get to swim around for a bit after snorkelling]. We only took one evening stroll on the beach alone. We even had a bottle of champagne in our room that never got drank. I was very upset by this, and I still am, but Iâ€m attempting to not let it get to me anymore. We managed to switch two meals to be by ourselves, so that was a plus.


We have decided that we are going to go somewhere else for a honeymoon, but we have to pay off the wedding first. We are just going to wait a little bit before fully deciding where to go and when.


Even with that though, I had an excellent time and am so happy right now. Well, except for the snow and the cold and the homework and the cold and the snow.



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Wow, sounds like you guys had quite a trip! I can't believe about the accident and blood type and all that - that is awesome that you found someone to give her a transfusion. And I'm happy you're going to go on another honeymoon...I think that's a good idea.


Oh and if it helps, your hair looks great in the pictures!!

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Great review Heather!! Lots of info....I'm getting married at the Barcelo Colonial in May 2010! We were hoping to rent a boat for some fishing as well, did you do that through the resort? I hope no one in our group gets sick though! lol

How did you find Claudia? I've heard some mixed reviews...

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