Dreams Punta Cana Wedding Review - Andrea & Jason
Posted 26 June 2009 - 12:47 PM
Travel- We flew Delta and arrived to the Punta Cana airport on June 8th. The airport itself was pretty neat but a little hectic. There was music playing and Dominican ladiesâ€™ waiting to take a picture with you. Everyone has to pay a $10 admission fee into the country. Going through customs was very quick and painless. Overall it was a pretty smooth process, all of our baggage arrived which was a huge relief. We then went and found our shuttle service. Since we booked through the resort we had a free shuttle with Apple vacations. There are quite a few shuttle services as well as cabs for those who did not arrange transportation. The trip to the resort took a little less than an hour. I think some people may be startled by the driving in the DR, there are no stop lights or signs, however the drivers seem to know what they are doing and everyone made it in one piece! The roads really werenâ€™t as bad as I thought they were going to be, most were paved pretty well and there was only a few potholes toward the end of the ride. I didn't mind it at all, I felt like it was a good opportunity to see more of the area.
Arrival- When we arrived to Dreams we were greeted with champagne and a cold towel. Check in went pretty smoothly. For anyone who is booked in the preferred club, go ahead and mention that to the people at the front desk. At first they couldn't find our reservation because we were staying in the preferred club. We had to wait for one of the bell boys to escort us to the PC so we could check in there.
Resort - The resort itself is beautiful. I remember walking through for the first time and being incredibly relieved. The main building/lobby area is a huge open space with two bars, the casino, the disco, and the auditorium. The World Caf©, El Patio and Himitsu restaurants are all located in this area as well. When you leave the main building the wedding gazebo is directly ahead. To the right is the Explorerâ€™s Club and around the front of the main building is the Core Zone. The grounds are very nice and well kept. The pool runs throughout the entire resort and everywhere you look there are beautiful flowers, plants and some crazy looking birds! We checked into the Preferred Club lounge which has its own private bar and snacks throughout the day. We stayed in a honeymoon suite in building 6. The room was great. It was very clean and spacious. We had a balcony with a jungle view and a Jacuzzi. At the far end of the resort there is the pool bar, the beach area and three restaurants, Oceana, Seaside Grill and the Bordeaux.
Pool & Beach â€“ The pool is very impressive. Like I said before, it runs throughout the entire resort. We ended up at the pool most days with all of our friends and family. The only issue was finding chairs. You usually have to get out pretty early in the day to make sure you can get a chair by the pool. The beach area is pretty. There is a preferred club section on the beach which we didnâ€™t really use much. The ocean is nice, however you have to go all the way out to the left by the water trampoline to go swimming. The water straight ahead is very rocky which surprised a few of our guests! Everyone just needs to remember that this is the Atlantic Ocean. If you go out there expecting to see the Caribbean water you will be disappointed! Itâ€™s still a very nice beach.
Restaurants â€“ All of the food was delicious. We ate at all of the restaurants while we were there. The Oceana restaurant was probably my favorite although I loved the guacamole at the Mexican restaurant! The Oceana also serves a buffet breakfast in the morning. I have heard guests complain in the past on Tripadvisor that the food was terrible. I really canâ€™t understand how anyone could say that. We had 40 guests staying with us at the resort and not one person said anything negative about the food. Even the World Caf© which is a huge buffet was great. It was probably the best buffet Iâ€™ve ever been to. The grill on the beach is also really good. We ate lunch there most days and everyone loved it.
Meeting with Wedding Coordinator â€“ Our wedding coordinator was Deyanira. The meeting with the coordinator was very simple and quick. We went through all the books and selected our flowers, cake and menu options. We decided to use the complimentary wedding package and add on the extras we wanted. We chose the gold dinner menu and cocktail hour. We booked the Caribbean trio for the cocktail hour. We also added on centerpieces for the reception tables, extra bottles of champagne for all of our guests and bouquets and bouts for our wedding party. The only complaint I had was the fact that we didnâ€™t really have an option with our reception site. At that point we had just gotten to the resort and had never seen any of the sites for the reception. She led us out to the Himitsu terrace and basically said that it was our only option. I ended up being very happy with the site and probably would have chosen it anyway, however I wanted to see what our other choices were. There was also a miscommunication about the rehearsal dinner. We were originally told we could reserve a terrace for our group, however when we got there we were told we could only have our dinner at the World Caf© which is the buffet. We ended up not having a rehearsal dinner. None of these things ended up being a big issue but they were small concerns I had at the time.
Wedding day â€“ In the morning we went to breakfast and spent some time hanging out at the pool. Then around 1 pm my bridesmaids and I headed to the salon to get our hair done. The girls in the salon were very nice. We had some books to look through to get ideas. Both of my bridesmaidâ€™s hair turned out beautiful. I had a little stress over mine because I am not used to having my hair up and away from my face. However with the heat and humidity I felt like it was my only option. The girl doing my hair was extremely patient with me and kept playing around with it and trying different things until I saw something I liked. She wanted me to be happy and I really appreciated her working with me. I ended up being pretty happy with it. My MIL and aunt also had their hair done in the salon and they both looked great. I had brought my own hair flower but they put little flowers in everyone elseâ€™s hair which I thought was really pretty. We went back to the room after that and did our makeup and got dressed. The flowers were delivered to the room and the WC came and got our iPod since we had specific music we wanted to play for the walk down the aisle and at the end of the ceremony. We had our ceremony in the gazebo which was really beautiful. It is such a perfect setting for a wedding. We had a Catholic ceremony so it was a little longer than the legal or symbolic ceremony. At the end they handed out champagne to everyone in our group. After the ceremony the bridal party went to the beach to take pictures and the rest of our group went up to the Himitsu terrace for the cocktail hour with the Caribbean trio. At that point the WC came up to me and told me that because a storm was coming we were going to have to move the reception into the conference room. I was so disappointed. Maybe it was wishful thinking but I was not convinced it was going to rain and I just couldnâ€™t stop thinking about how much I DID NOT want the reception in the conference room. I sent my sister back to talk to the WC and ask her to keep it outside. I said we could all just run inside if it rained. After taking some pictures on the beach we headed back to the Himitsu terrace and I was so relieved to see that they had set everything up outside like I asked. I am so glad I made that decision because we did not get a drop of rain the whole evening. The setup for the reception looked great. The Himitsu terrace is a very beautiful spot that overlooks the entire resort. Our centerpieces had bright tropical looking flowers and really added a special touch. We had our dinner and all of the food was delicious. We choose the hearts of palm salad, the Dominican soup, the steak and shrimp entr©e and the tiramisu for dessert. Then after dinner we did the cake cutting (the cake was very yummy!) and had our first dance. Then everyone got up and started dancing. It was a ton of fun. After the reception ended we decided to go back to our room and change and head to the disco. Hereâ€™s where our luck ran outâ€¦ We went back to our room and found that our key didnâ€™t work. Usually when that happened (it did happen a few times) we would go down to the preferred club lounge and they would reprogram the key for us. Unfortunately the lounge was closed. So Jason had to run all the way back to the front desk to get it fixed. He came back and it still didnâ€™t work! At that point we went to a friendâ€™s room in the same building and called the front desk. We had to wait for a long time until someone finally came and let us into our room. At that point we just decided to go to bed because we had lost about an hour and started to get tired. That was really the only problem we encountered and luckily by the morning we were able to laugh about it. When we did finally get into our room the maids had decorated our room with flower petals and had made a wedding dress with towels on the bed. It was really cute. We also had a honeymooners sign on our door.
Photographers â€“ We decided to have TammyB and ~Melissa~ from the forum come photograph our wedding. Aside from my choice of husband, I think that was one of the best decisions I made regarding our wedding. Tammy and Melissa were such a pleasure to work with. They were such nice, friendly people who genuinely cared about our wedding. I kept telling them throughout the day that they were like my wedding coordinators and photographers all wrapped in one! They really went above and beyond for me. When I was in the salon having my hair done (freaking out) they helped keep me calm and figure out how I should wear my hair. They were in the room with us while were getting ready, shooting pictures of us. It was very comfortable having them there, it felt like they were part of our group of friends. As we were walking down to the gazebo I remember Melissa saying that she was actually getting nervous. It was just so funny, I felt like they were truly invested in our wedding. Later that night at the reception they helped us figure out our music and first dance. I was busy talking to guests and hadnâ€™t really thought about the first dance and dancing in general. They went and spoke to the wedding coordinator, told her what song to play for us, etc. They really helped make the whole night special. The following morning we got up and did some additional pictures throughout the resort and then did the TTD. We ended up having our whole bridal party in our TTD session! It was so much fun!! So far we have seen some teasers shots that they took and they look beautiful. I can not wait to see the rest. All of our guests said how wonderful the photographers were and I really couldnâ€™t agree more. I would highly recommend both of these ladies to any bride! They are fantastic!
Excursions â€“ We did two excursions during our trip. The first we did with our entire group. We went out on La Barcaza which is basically a big restaurant/boat. We did an afternoon tour and had some sandwiches and an open bar. The boat stopped in the natural swimming pool and we all got out swam for awhile. That was a lot of fun and I really think the whole group enjoyed it. Flori, the woman who runs the boat was very easy to work with and the crew made sure we had a good time. The second trip Jason and I took on our own. We went on the Saona Island tour. This was a full day trip which consisted of a speed boat ride, lunch on Saona Island and a catamaran in the afternoon. It was definitely a fun trip and I would recommend it. The bus ride was a little long but Iâ€™m glad that we did it because we got to see parts of the DR we never would have seen.
Overall we had an amazing wedding and an unforgettable experience. I was very happy with the Dreams resort and the hard working staff. They made it a great trip. All of our guests complimented our choice of resort and said they would go back. My best advice to any bride is try not to stress too much. Donâ€™t pay attention to bad reviews or worry that you donâ€™t have every detail figured out months beforehand. Before the wedding I was freaked out because I hadnâ€™t been in touch with the WC enough and hadnâ€™t been to the resort, etc. I can honestly tell you that once we got there and all of our friends and family started arriving the stress was gone. The resort is beautiful; the wedding coordinators are capable and experienced and will handle everything. It will all work out, just relax and enjoy it. Having the people we loved together to celebrate our wedding in this beautiful place really made it one of the happiest days of my life. I have no regrets and would do it all again in a heartbeat.
I hope this helps the rest of you who are planning your weddings at Dreams. If you have any questions donâ€™t hesitate to ask!
Posted 26 June 2009 - 01:14 PM
i am so glad that you guys had such a great experience.. your review is so detailed and i am so thankful you did that for us!! just a warning.. i may be PMing you at some point with some more detailed questions, but in the mean time, thank you AGAIN for doing this!! can't wait till it's my turn because your wedding sounded (and looked!) beautiful!
Posted 26 June 2009 - 01:45 PM
I just had to chime in about the dinner you chose, that steak was delicious! And any bride that chooses the terrace at Dreams for their reception is in for a treat. It's such a gorgeous spot and it over looks the gazebo. SO I felt that it really tied in all your wedding events. Everything came together perfectly!
Thank you for bringing me along to Punta Cana to photograph your wedding with TammyB :0) It was such a pleasure. You, your husband, family and friends were so much fun to hang out with. I will NEVER forget your beautiful wedding. Thanks again for all the wonderful memories.
Posted 26 June 2009 - 04:25 PM
I am so excited that it went well and that some fellow Dreams PC brides are finally getting married so we can see pics and hear how it went!
You have made me feel so much more at ease about our wedding... =)
Congrats and I can't wait to see all the pics when they are done! The teasers were SO amazing!
Posted 28 June 2009 - 06:40 PM
Posted 28 June 2009 - 08:34 PM
Posted 29 June 2009 - 10:22 PM
| Originally Posted by ACH2009 |
Annidas - Since the ultimate package only covered 20 people we would have ended up spending much more since we had 42 people. There were parts of the ultimate package that we didn't care about having so we ended up saving a lot of money by using the complimentary package. We were able to keep our cost equal to the ultimate package but for twice as many people.
Posted 30 June 2009 - 06:25 AM
Great review!!! Thank you!
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