Hello Everyone! I was just married on June 10th at the Grand (I also got to see the other two brides married on the Friday and Saturday before me). We had just under 90 guests! Maybe 2/3 stayed at the Grand, around 30 were at the Suites (we had a few people with kids), 3 guests stayed at the Beach resort, and the rest were staying off property. All in all everything worked out. But I think it was truly a nightmare dealing with the hotel and the wedding coordinator before arrival and once I got there. Besides the fact that their prices increased a few months before the wedding, and they changed their policies so that I couldn't choose my own outside vendors, Janielle was still difficult to talk to once I was on property.
About 2 weeks before arrival I started receiving several emails from Janielle attempting to finalize details. Which is great, but it was a lot at the last minute considering both me and my travel agent have been emailing her since September. I met with her the day after my arrival. but only because I checked my email from my room and she had sent me a request for a full guest list with entree choices for each guest for my pre-wedding/rehearsal group dinner that had been planned and organized for 4 months (for 80 people split with 1 dinner at the Suites and 1 dinner at the Grand -- this was a perk through my travel agent, normally they don't allow groups of this size unless you pay to rent the restaurant). She said it was a new policy and they need to know what each guest will eat. Considering I was already on the property, there was no way I could track down my 90 guests at home and ask them to pick a menu. I told her "no way" in an email and left my hotel room number. she called my hotel room within 10 minutes and we organized a meeting.
I met with Janielle and Angellie (the PR manager). It was quick. We discussed my detail sheet and filled out a new/different detail sheet and we took a look at Port Maria to discuss how I wanted my tables set up. She insisted on charging us an extra $200 vendor fee because we wanted to use one of our guests as the DJ. The Grand wouldn't allow him to rent or use their DJ equipment, so we had to rent equipment from a private company. Then the day of the wedding they started to set up the wedding ceremony in the wrong location, they used the wrong chairs (I requested wicker chairs for the ceremony and reception, which she told me would be fine), and they didn't put up an arch at first because they said they had no record of my requesting one (even though they had sent me an itemized bill 5 days before the wedding and the arch was on the bill -- by the way, this is when I learned that an arch is NOT included in the free wedding package. all along Janielle had told me that an arch is included in my package). My mom fought with them while I was getting ready, so I didn't know any of this happened until later. My flowers turned out really well (even though I was reluctant to use Tai Floral because I could never get a response from them).
All my guests had fun. The food was great. The hotel is stunning. There is a HUGE difference between the Grand, the Suites, and the Beach. The Grand is just so much better. I never saw the guests staying at the Beach until the wedding. but we wandered over to the Suites a few times to visit those guests (but only because my fiance's brother and baby nephew were there). The Grand is VERY strict about not allowing other guests on the property. We even had guests try to visit us from off property and security wouldn't let them in without a fight. A few times the beach guests came over to the Suites and didn't have any issues (they're not as strict at the Suites). I enjoyed the hotel, but if I could re-do it I would NOT choose to get married at the Grand. I would rent a villa or I would go to Half Moon (which would have actually been cheaper than the Grand). Or I would choose a resort that had better, more organized wedding packages so I wouldn't have to deal with price adjustments and policy changes at the last minute.
I will write a full review this weekend and I'll post some pics when I get them back.
Good luck! I don't want to discourage everyone planning their Iberostar weddings. I just want to share my experience, which was less than ideal.