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Sloan's RIU Palace Tropical Bay Wedding/Honeymoon

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#1 Sloan

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    Posted 27 April 2009 - 07:27 PM

    Hey everyone, we made it back to Canada safe and sound after 2 amazing weeks in Jamaica. It's taken me a long time because I'm lazy and my wedding reflects my apathy regarding the entire process. Im more interested about the 60 years to follow, than the minor details of one day. Let me say however, its been awesome seeing/reading all the effort that others put into their wedding in the last 11 months since we got engaged. You girls are amazingly creative!! Congrats to everyone on the forum past, present and future. Thanks for putting up with my attitude -- and trust me -- its been toned down, so I dont get banned. LOL
    Without further adieu...

    We took a limobus with our 9 guests to the airport in the middle of the night. Our flight left Pearson International in TO @ 0610 April 6. Lemme tell you -- what a long friggin' day that was. I think we were all up for going on 40 hours by the time we arrived in Jamaica, partied and went to bed. We flew out of Canada on a Skyservice flight. DH and I havent flown since we were little kids, so the whole flight was a bit nerve racking. Skyservice is economy all the way and they pack you in there like sardines. The weight allowance is 44lbs/person. Your carry-on can be 10lbs, but no one actually weighs it. Kind of lame, since we were staying for 2 weeks. None of us were overweight coming or going. My dress got shoved into a very tiny overhead compartment with everyone elses crap. No matter -- it looked the same after and didnt require any steaming. We were fed some "food" and I had a few drinks. Flying time was 4 hrs. Zero problems getting through customs at Sangster Int. in MoBay. Our bus transfer to Negril took 1.5hrs and the driver was crazy. We stopped off at some tiny bar, just outside of Lucea and had a RedStripe (which is now our favourite beer)

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    Limobus from Ingersoll to Toronto

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    Pearson Int.

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    Started early -- 0700!

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    The Golden Apple Tavern with my petite wedding group

    CHECK-IN: We got to the resort around noon. Super easy check-in. Wow. Amazing lobby area. All open air. Greeted with ice cold cloths and rum punch. Bellhops brought our luggage up to our room. The whole process took less than 30 mins for the 11 of us.

    ROOM: Our room was a Oceanview Junior Suite. We could have upgraded to a Suite, but seriously the amount of time we actually spent in our room - we didn't care and stayed put. Our A/C worked awesome, but others did not. I also had brought a Glade plug-in -- best advice ever. The rooms do smell musty without. We tipped our cleaning lady almost everyday.

    The rest of the resort is AMAZING. Forget TripAdvisor -- I got a good laugh out of most people's reviews anyway. People will complain about anything and everything and expect everything for nothing. Most people's complaints are so petty. RPTB is awesome. DH and I would go back in a heartbeat. The beach is KILLER. Ive never seen water so clear and blue. We took some of the sand from our beach and a couple of shells -- now we have a shrine to Jamaica in our living room. Hehe. We spent the vast majority of our time on the beach. We didnt step foot in the pool -- why the Hell would we anyway? I paid good money to sit on the beach for 2 weeks! I can sit in a pool any old time at home. Everything is super clean and the staff all over the resort are awesome. I cant say enough about the staff and the service. Awesome.

    FOOD: We ate at the buffet for almost the entire 2 weeks. We both loved it. Tons of variety, even for picky eaters such as myself. A few themed nights/week. I was pissed my wedding fell on Mexican night, but we caught it the following week anyway! The reservation process for the al a cartes is dumb. We got up at 0700 for the days we booked to get in line early enough. We ate at the Italian, the Fusion and Steakhouse. The Italian and Fusion places were awesome and apparently the Steakhouse was really good as well, but it was our wedding night and I drank too much and don't really remember the food -- hahaha! I am all class, all the time!

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    Our room

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    View of the garden gazebo from my in-laws balcony. There are 2 on property.

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    Craig and I -- our last night at the buffet

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    The lobby

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    The beach -- none of my pictures do it any justice. Just amazing.

    ... to be continued ...

    #2 Sloan

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      Posted 27 April 2009 - 07:39 PM

      FLOWERS: Opted to buy fakies from AA's. Hot pink amaryllis and blue gerbera daisies. My hair flower was the same hot pink amaryllis and the guys' bouts were pink roses with some little blue flowers (dont know the name of them) I had a great experience with AA. As for packing them -- I didnt. I shoved them in my dress bag for the trip there and back. They held up just fine!

      WC - KENEIKA: Awesome. Cant say enough about her. Attention to detail, even though I didnt have any details. All my emails were answered quickly and efficiently. I had bought a very expensive bottle of icewine from Niagara to give her as a gift, but forgot it at home in Canada. Ooops. We tipped her and gave her a thank-you card instead.

      RENOVA SPA: My BM and I had our hair and make-up done by Renova. I had booked both our appointments online about a month prior to the wedding. We brought pictures of what we wanted done. Just be very specific. My hair turned out just fine. I have never liked when other people do my make-up, so afterwards I did some minor adjustments IE. more eyeliner, less coverup, WAY more mascara, more pink blush and less bronzer.

      CEREMONY: Craig and I wanted a DW from the get go based on the fact that it could be no-frills and we wouldnt have to worry about all the "stuff" that goes into putting together a traditional wedding. That being said our wedding decor is not extravagant. We went with the Free Package from RIU and didnt do any upgrades. I have no idea what any of the other packages decor looks like, sorry other RPTB brides. We opted to get married on the beach, because we figured that we could have gotten married in a garden gazebo back home, why do it in Jamaica? The sea and the beach were our decoration. Agreed the palm arch and fresh hibiscus are not ideal and not very elegant -- but neither of us really care about that. We brought our own music and I walked down the aisle to "Island in the Sun" by Weezer. We had Pastor Bob as our officiant and thought we had a civil ceremony, however there was FAR too much talk about God for a civil ceremony. Oh well... No problem, mon. Everything was "irie" at this point anyway. After the ceremony we walked through the resort, past the pool and up to the lobby bar for some (too many) cocktails before dinner. People were clapping and some actually came right up to us to congratulate and shake hands.

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      Our ceremony site. Hehehe its so small!

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      My BM and I doing the aisle thing.

      PHOTOGRAPHER: Part of me wanted to bring my own photographer and part of me really didnt care. We used the resort's photog. The pictures are average. We bought the DVD -- but neither of us have watched it yet, for fear that it will be too cheezy. I should watch that soon.... I felt that for the quality and quantity of the pictures, we overpaid. Oh well... No problem, mon. All in all we have lots of wedding pictures from the photog and our family.

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      RECEPTION: We did the champagne toast on the beach and had pictures done then as well. We had the Steakhouse booked for 1830. There was another bridal party there as well. We had 11 guests and I think they had something like 30 guests. There were some other people in the restaurant as well, but I was so focused on what was going on with me, my new husband and my guests that I dont really remember anyone else being in the restaurant. As stated above, apparently the food was good. Our guests said so, so Im taking their word for it. The wine is not great, but it was unlimited, so I drank it..... too much of it. Hehe. We brought our Bose sound dock and I made up a playlist of tunes I wanted to hear. We forgot to ask our WC about plug-in's for it, but ours just ran on battery power for a couple hours. We didnt have a dance or do any garter or bouquet toss. Just dinner. It was great.

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      At dinner, well on my way to having too much wine. Hah.

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      Impromtu first dance

      CAKE: Whatever. We got chocolate cake with some white frosting. We only had 11 people, so our cake was only 1 tier -- LOL. They put my "real" name on it.. bleh. So the cake said "Kathleen and Craig" hahah. It tasted good from what I remember. Cake was probably the lowest thing on my priority list.

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      Our tiny wedding cake!

      DUNN'S RIVER FALLS: My BM and I did the 3 hour bus ride from Negril to Ochi to climb Dunn's River Falls. Fun, but not worth the money or the 3 hour bus ride. It cost us $90 US and lunch wasnt included. You do not get to choose where to go for lunch either. The Chinese-Jamaican buffet (whose food was not nearly as good as the resort's) cost us an extra $15 US. If you want a DVD of your climb of Dunn's, that'll cost ya an extra $40 US. Rip-off. Plus everyone on the planet wants you to tip them.

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      SUNSET CRUISE TO RICK'S CAFE: On the WildThing catamaran. Rick's is the super touristy thing to do in Jamaica... so naturally we had to do it. The Wild Thing was a good time. Open bar and pizza for dinner. Rick's is fun, but the cliff divers are annoying because they want tips to jump and they wont leave you alone. Sunset in the Carribbean Sea just of off 7 Mile Beach is crazy amazing. Best sunset Ill ever see.

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      Rick's Cafe from The Wild Thing

      HORSEBACK RIDING: Another good time. Half the time was spent touring through some back country and the other half was spent on the horse out in the sea. I just wish I the first half we could have gone a bit faster. Im no stranger to riding and the slow walk for an hour was a bit boring. I would have much preferred to gallop!

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      SNORKELING CRUISE/PICNIC AT ROSEHALL: Yet another good time, but a foggy memory due to my abuse of RedStripe and Vodka and Ting. We were out on the Wild Thing catamaran for a second time. The guides on the boat are awesome, very friendly and very willing to chat about anything and everything. The snorkeling part wasn't nearly long enough. Saw some fish, and octopus, the reef, some old Spanish anchor and cannon from the 1600's. Pretty cool. After snorkelling, we docked at Rose Hall and had lunch. Jerk chicken, rice and peas, steamed greens and open bar. All very yum.

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      I love RedStripe and RedStripe loves me!

      I learned 2 things.
      1. I am not allowed to drink white wine or red for that matter, again. Ever. Period. I turn into an asshole.
      2. I am not allowed to drink vodka and Ting, again. Ever. Period. I have no memory of why though.

      Seriously though, Craig and I would go back to Jamaica and RPTB at the drop of a hat. I believe your vacation is really what you make it and we had an amazing trip. Sucks being back to reality and sub-par weather.

      Here's a link to the rest of our "Pro" pics and tons of non-pro pics. PM me if you have any questions!

      Picasa Web Albums - k8watmough

      #3 ~Angela~

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      • 4,172 posts

        Posted 27 April 2009 - 07:42 PM

        Congrats! Sounds/look wonderful so far!!!!

        #4 Helen_S81

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        • 985 posts

          Posted 27 April 2009 - 08:09 PM

          Ha! A timmies in the limo! I'm glad that you had a great time on your wedding trip. Love the "Overall" points at the end, very funny. Thanks for doing a review. Congratulations on your marriage!

          #5 DTHSLove

          • Jr. Member
          • 347 posts

            Posted 27 April 2009 - 09:21 PM

            great review. COngrats top both of you..

            #6 Sloan

            • Sr. Member
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              Posted 27 April 2009 - 09:32 PM

              Originally Posted by Helen_S81
              Ha! A timmies in the limo! I'm glad that you had a great time on your wedding trip. Love the "Overall" points at the end, very funny. Thanks for doing a review. Congratulations on your marriage!
              My in-laws brought their own Tim's and a french press so they could have a little piece of Canada while we were in JA. They're all addicts!

              #7 ~*Kathy*~

              • Sr. Member
              • 5,649 posts

                Posted 27 April 2009 - 10:08 PM

                Yay Sloan! Loved your review and I'm so glad that I'm not the only bride who sorta "winged" (sp? lol) it. I had a no frills wedding and was totally fine with that. I had a few nights of too many drinks, so I hear ya on that too haha. Sorry to see/hear they put your "real" name on the cake...I hate my full name so I sympathize. Congrats on the wedding and everything...you looked gorgeous!!! I think your pics look great!

                #8 ~*petals*~

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                  Posted 27 April 2009 - 10:27 PM

                  I love it! Congratulations on a beautiful wedding!
                  Thanks for also including reviews of the tours!

                  #9 sarafish81

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                  • 353 posts

                    Posted 28 April 2009 - 10:53 AM

                    Thanks for the review and the link to your pics!! Congratulations!

                    #10 Jen_S

                    • Sr. Member
                    • 3,737 posts

                      Posted 28 April 2009 - 10:58 AM

                      Congrats and welcome back! Looks like a great time!!!
                      Our Honeymoon In Ireland!!

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