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Ginalyn's Dreams Puerto Aventuras Wedding Review with link to teasers

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#1 Ginalyn

  • Sr. Member
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    Posted 27 June 2009 - 10:06 AM

    I got married on June 18, 2009 at Dreams Puerto Aventuras. Given there haven't been many of us on this forum who have been married there yet I knew I had to post a review for everyone considering the place! Overall we had a fabulous wedding experience!

    I'll start first with general stuff:


    A little harsh, yes…but I am a frequent traveler for business and this was one of my worst experiences with AA. We showed up at the airport 3 hours before our flight. We waited in lines for 2 hours!!! It was chaos on a very early Sunday morning, a whole boatload of random travelers, and no one knew where the lines ended and which lines were for what. We had to wait in a long line to check in and then an even longer line to check our bags. By the time we got our bags checked and got through security, we only had 10 minutes until our flight started boarding.

    For the most part we were on time even with a layover in Miami. We get off the plane, get our passports checked, turn in our swine flu survey papers, and head to claim our checked bags. We found 1 bag right away but were missing another, so naturally we waited. Other people from our flight were still waiting so we thought there was going to be another batch coming. Wrong. We waited for another 30 minutes and nothing. DH talked to the AA lost bag people and they said they had to put our suitcase (along with other some people's suitcases) on another flight because the plane was too heavy. They stated that the suitcase was on a flight that was arriving that very minute and they would deliver the suitcase or our resort later that afternoon.

    Wrong again. Late afternoon came and no suitcase. DH called the AA lost baggage number and they stated that our suitcase had to be put on an Aero Mexico flight. WTF? Not even the same airline! Our suitcase wasn't even over the weight limit!! The suitcase finally arrived around 10:00pm that night.

    We get the suitcase, unpack it…and the pashminas for OOT bags are missing. And I know I packed them. DH and I double and triple checked everything we packed before we closed up our suitcases. I even checked when we got back from our trip and we did not leave them behind. I was SUPER angry but couldn't let it ruin my wedding week.

    The one good thing I can say about AA was that the flight attendants saw that I was carrying a garment bag with a wedding dress, and allowed me to hang it up in the closet.

    RESORT OVERALL (I'd consider going back): B+
    We picked this resort (a) because we needed a kid-friendly resort for DH's niece/our flowergirl (B) we wanted a resort with lots of activities for young and old © wanted something away from the craziness that is Cancun.

    Here's my breakdown:

    Check-in: A-

    We were greeted with a glass of champagne once we stepped our of our shuttle service. We head to the front desk and get put in a marina view room, even though we were told by our WC that we could would get upgraded to ocean view room in exchange for something we weren't using from the wedding package. I told this to the front desk lady and showed her the email correspondence between me and WC (yeah, I'm anal and I had all our email correspondence printed out). She changed our room to an ocean view room, no problem and no questions asked after she saw the email. The bellhop saw that we were done checking in and led us to the rooms with suitcases (minus the missing one).

    Rooms: B

    The rooms look just like they do on the website. Modern and clean. We had a king room with ocean view on the 6th of 7 floors at the resort. Our first night we came back to the room and they had put a bottle of wine on the table and arranged rose petals in a heart on the bed. The night of our wedding we had love swan towel animals and rose petals everywhere.

    The room didn't have much of the musty-mildewy smell that rooms at other all-inclusives or hotels located in tropical places usually have. Also the maids would spray some sort of citrusy-cinnamony spray in the rooms after they cleaned.

    The shower was huge, but it took forever to drain. We took showers in a 1 inch pool of water. We called the front desk and they fixed it later that day. On some of the most humid days, no matter how cold we set our AC, things in the room were moist including clothes we left outside the closets and the bed sheets! Keep in mind that June is one of the hottest months in Mexico.

    Customer Service: A+

    Their response to every request you make, whether it be a drink, more towels, extra scoop of icecream, etc is "It's my pleasure". The staff go out of their way to do anything for you. We got to know lots of the bartenders and waiters and all of them knew that DH and I were one of the wedding couples. They always had a smile on their face, even though some of them had to wear ridiculous waiter uniforms in the extreme heat.

    Food/Bars: A-

    Some of the best all-inclusive food I'd ever had. Portofino, the Italian restaurant, was delicious. DH and I ate there 3 out of the 9 nights we were there. Everyone must eat the mushroom risotto at Portofino, I could probably eat a whole bucket of it, LOL. The sushi bar was also pretty good. All other restaurants were good too, we didn't really have any bad experiences except one night at the Seaside Grill we ordered steak and it was overcooked.

    The bars were pretty neat, our favorite was Barracuda bar that had swings and had a nice breeze from the ocean (this is also where we had our wedding cocktail hour). The liquor drinks tasted weak. I'm not usually a big drinker but I did notice that they tasted a little watered down. You had to specifically ask for them to make it strong. The Desires club was nice for those who like dancing and they played good music.

    Beach/Pools: B

    The stretch of beach at the resort was pretty small, You couldn't really take "walks on the beach" because it was short. There was a lagoon/natural pool area that was really neat (also where we had our wedding reception). DH and I hid out over by the lagoon a few days to get away from the busy beach and pool area. There were some good snorkeling spots in the lagoon and beach. I would recommend brining water shoes because some parts of the beach and lagoon were rocky. There were plenty of chairs and canopy things and no one had to fight over any (possibly also due to lack tourism due to swine flu).

    The pools were nice. The kid-friendly pool was always busy and was where all of the water activities like aerobics, water volleyball, basketball, etc took place. The adult pool was naturally calmer and the place to go if you wanted quiet. Both pools had swim-up bars. I am not sure that they put enough chlorine in the pools. If you had any sort of white in your swimsuit and went into the pool, you'd come out with sort of a green-ish hue where your swimsuit was white. It washed out fine, though.


    We set up all of our excursions through the Olympus Tours Rep, Antonio. Antonio was so friendly and helpful. He even voluntarily showed DH and I around the shops of Playa del Carmen and told us where we could get the best deals on maracas and cigars.

    We did a group excursion with our guests and went to the Tulum Ruins. Our guests loved hearing about the history and the views. Most of the guests went back to the resort after that but a few of the younger guests, DH, and I stuck around to do the Tulum Extreme excursion. In addition to the ruins, we got to zipline, rappel, snorkel in a cenote, and got lunch…all for only $96 USD a person. Well worth the money. We had so much fun.

    I swam with the dolphins with our flowergirl and SIL which was also a lot of fun. The dolphins are so cute and gentle! The Dolphin Discovery place was in the heart of Puerto Aventuras which was only a 5 minute walk from our resort. Even if you don't swim with the dolphins you can watch them.

    DH, his BILs, and my brother did a fishing trip one day and were pretty happy with it. The head chef at the resort offered to cook a special dinner for our group with any big fish they caught. They ended up only catching barracudas that they couldn't bring back, but that’s ok. DH and some of the guys on the trip also did a night out in downtown Playa del Carmen the night before the wedding and had fun.

    More to come....

    #2 Ginalyn

    • Sr. Member
    • 2,754 posts

      Posted 27 June 2009 - 10:12 AM

      ************************************************** ********

      I'll start with my planning thread for those who may not have seen it:


      We started out with WC Jacy, but since there were 2 weddings on our date we got assigned another WC about 2 months before the wedding. No big deal to FI and I. About 3-4 months prior to the wedding it would take a few days to a week to get email responses from Jacy. I think this is typical though, because naturally their priorities would be the weddings that are a month away. When it got to about a month before the wedding it only took Sandra no more than 1 day to respond to emails. Sometimes she even responded within minutes.

      We saw a total of 3 weddings, other than ours during our 10 day stay at the resort. They were always sooo busy but Sandra always managed to find us around the resort or call us in our room to see if we had any questions. We met with her 3 days before the wedding and went over all details and confirmed everything we talked about over email. She kept thinking our wedding was at 2pm even though we agreed that we would be able to do it at 3pm. We had to do it earlier in the day because there was another wedding on our day. All it took was a few reminders, though! Our wedding reception was also away from the other wedding so none of our guests one even noticed there was another wedding that day.

      We told Sandra that we had our own chair bows, table overlays, centerpieces, table numbers, maracas, guestbook (a.k.a. lots of stuff). She told us just to give everything to her and that she would take care of it. And she and the staff did! I gave her a picture of a mock up centerpiece and they didn't exactly set them up the way I had them in the picture, but it worked and none of our guests knew anything was wrong.

      After the wedding Sandra collected all of our stuff and we got everything back from her a couple days after the wedding. She also let us know that she was still there for us for anything even after the wedding happened. Sandra was extremely nice and truly wanted our wedding day to be great.

      FLOWERS: A+

      My flower bouquet and MOH's bouquet turned out beautiful! About a week before the wedding Sandra asked for my color theme and she then in turn sent me examples of bouquets from the florist. I picked a bouquet with roses and gerber daises (my favorite!) and told Sandra I wanted them in pink and orange hues. Sandra brought the bouquets to my room on wedding day and I was extremely pleased. They were fresh and beautiful, I wish I could have preserved and taken them back home with me (stupid customs rules!).

      The centerpiece on the wedding ceremony table (which later doubled as the centerpiece on our reception table) was made of bright orange lilies and birds of paradise. Also beautiful.

      SPA: A

      The lady who did my hair and makeup at the resort did a fabulous job. I showed them my inspiration pictures and they followed. I brought my own MAC powder, waterproof mascara, and lipstick/lipgloss and the lady used them. My makeup lasted through the hot day and the tears I had during the ceremony and my dad's toast. My hair also stayed put with all the wind. Another lady did my mom's and MOH's hair and makeup and they were also very pleased.

      DH and I also got a free couples massage with our wedding package. We chose to get Swedish massages. DH was pretty sunburnt when we got the massages but said his masseuse was gentle. It was so relaxing. The spa atmosphere and environment was really nice.

      CEREMONY: A-

      Sandra came and got me out of our room about 10 minutes before the ceremony. We stopped in the lobby to take some pictures and then proceeded down the stairs and started towards the wedding gazebo. The videographer and even resort photog (even though we hired our own photog) was there at the stairs and they started snapping and filming away. Guests at the resort started clapping and cheering…I felt like a celebrity, LOL.

      I stayed away from the further away from the gazebo with my dad while DH and parents, MOH, and flowergirl lined up. They played 2 songs during the prelude, Cannon in D and a song I can't remember right now (it was pretty, but everything was such a blur!). They accidentally played the songs in the wrong order and they played Cannon in D when DH and his parents, my mom and bro, MOH, and flower girl walked. They played the other song when dad and I walked down the aisle, but at that point I didn't care because I was walking down the aisle with dad and that's when it hit me that this was it and I was getting married.

      The gazebo was nicely decorated with tulle and flowers wrapped around the poles. The officiant did a great job although most of what he said was a blur to me because I was caught up in the moment. I'm a crybaby so I cried when it was time to say vows. We got to do a champagne toast after the ceremony and the mariachi band marched up to the gazebo right after the officiant pronounced us husband and wife. The wedding package we got said we'd only get a Mexican trio but somehow it turned out to be an 8 person mariachi band, which was awesome.

      We had some spectators at the resort (which is unavoidable at an all-inclusive resort) but everyone was very respective and watched politely from the beach.


      I'm guessing on this one because DH and I were off taking pictures most of the time. We had cocktail hour at Barracuda bar. The mariachi played the rest of their set. I didn't get to taste any of the hors devours but DH did and he said they were ok. Wait staff passed around champagne. Our guests used cocktail hour time to fill out our guestbook pages, which they too had a lot of fun doing.


      Everyone had a great time at our wedding reception. It was hot, because it was still light out but eventually it cooled off as the sun was setting. We had our wedding reception by the lagoon, which was away from the rest of the business of the resort. It felt very private.

      The wait staff was amazing and attentive. Food at the reception was delicious and I liked it just as much as I loved the Portofino restaurant. We had the shrimp in puff pastry, mixed green salad, tortilla soup, and surf and turf. Everyone raved the food. The wait staff made sure that your wine glass was never empty.

      We used maracas as wedding favors. During dinner guests shook the maracas when they wanted us to kiss. After dinner everyone shook them while they were dancing.

      We had vanilla cake. It was covered in buttercream frosting (not fondant), and in my opinion didn't look bad. Cake wasn't really all that important to us so we didn't really care what it looked like. It actually tasted pretty good…it was moist and not too sweet.

      Overall everyone had a wonderful time at the reception and everyone was sad when it had to end. We all ended up migrating back to Barracuda bar after the reception and kept the party going.


      We used the videographer from the resort which was included with the wedding package. The DVD was available 3 days after our wedding. They captured moments from the time I walked down the lobby stairs, the ceremony, post-ceremony pictures, and cocktail hour. Some of the music they play in the DVD was a bit corny, but overall quality of the DVD was good for a 15-minute video.

      SASCHA GLUCK PHOTOGRAPHY: A+ (even though we only have the teasers at this point)

      At first DH and I were just going to go with the resort photographer, but then I started looking through all the other pro-pics on this forum and realized how important pictures are to me. So leave it to me in my last minute scramble to find a photographer. It was literally a last minute scramble because we made the decision to hire a professional photographer less than 2 weeks before our wedding! I wanted an artistic photographer and stumbled upon Sascha Gluck, and he was available!! I had seen some of his other work and loved it and just knew he would do an amazing job. He was so accommodating on such short notice.

      We did TTD the morning of our wedding (it was the only time that worked best for DH and I)…plus by doing it the same day as the wedding, Sascha and his assistant Lars didn't have to make an additional long 1 hr trek from Cancun. I knew during the TTD session that the pictures were going to turn out great. You could just tell that he knew what he was doing with the way he was directing us and just the way he moved and snapped pictures. He and Lars were both very friendly. I could barely tell he was there during the ceremony and he and Lars were quietly taking pictures during the beginning of the reception. Our family and friends told DH and I that they were very impressed with him even though they hadn't seen the pictures yet!!

      So for all the picture lovers that we are, Sascha posted our teasers on his blog CancunPhotos by Sascha Gluck We're under "Ginalyn and Jeff, Dreams Puerto Aventuras". I'll post again when I get the rest of the pictures!

      #3 weddinggirl72

      • Newbie
      • 139 posts

        Posted 27 June 2009 - 03:22 PM

        Thank you for the detailed review. Your pics are amazing...GREAT PHOTOGRAPHER!
        So far 68 RSVP's and 56 people are booked to stay at the resort!

        #4 badrianne

        • Jr. Member
        • 252 posts

          Posted 27 June 2009 - 07:19 PM

          Great Review.
          That sucks about your luggage and American Airlines.

          For the photographer did you pay for the day pass or 1 nights stay. Did you get pictures from the resort photographer too?

          Your bouquet was beautiful? Do you have any pictures of the bird of paradise centerpiece? Our theme is bird of paradise.

          How was the wind? Where you able to keep your veil on the whole time?

          Did you make most of your decisions the month right before your wedding or when you were actually at the resort?

          61 guest booked+ bride and groom

          Click for planning tread:http://bestdestinati....c-heavy-58636/
          Click for my wedding review of Dreams Puerto Aventuras http://bestdestinati....9/#post1311321
          check out my photos http://www.photograp.../JOSH-ADRIANNE/

          #5 Jenn3878

          • Sr. Member
          • 5,681 posts

            Posted 27 June 2009 - 07:33 PM

            Great review!! congrats!!!

            #6 RCBlondie

            • Jr. Member
            • 199 posts

              Posted 28 June 2009 - 04:44 AM

              Congratulations! Your review is great. Sorry to hear about the luggage but you seemed to take it all in stride and your day was wonderful despite that hiccup.

              Going to look at the photos now. Based on the one you have on your review I am sure they are beautiful.

              Thanks for the review.
              Rachelle & Randal
              June 2010

              #7 Ginalyn

              • Sr. Member
              • 2,754 posts

                Posted 28 June 2009 - 11:34 AM

                Originally Posted by badrianne
                Great Review.
                That sucks about your luggage and American Airlines.

                For the photographer did you pay for the day pass or 1 nights stay. Did you get pictures from the resort photographer too?

                Your bouquet was beautiful? Do you have any pictures of the bird of paradise centerpiece? Our theme is bird of paradise.

                How was the wind? Where you able to keep your veil on the whole time?

                Did you make most of your decisions the month right before your wedding or when you were actually at the resort?

                For the photographer and his assistant I ended up just paying for day passes. Technically they are supposed to be a guest at the resort (stay at least one night), but since our WC seemed new she said it would be ok just to get day passes...prior to researching what the policy was. DH and I got lucky on that one because she told us later that they were supposed to stay a night. Day passes were $55 USD for each person.

                I don't have any pictures of the centerpiece yet...but I'm sure the photog captured it. It was mainly orange lillies with birds of paradise sticking out the side.

                It was windy (but on a hot day it felt good)! But the veil stayed on the whole time. At one point during the ceremony my veil was flying out of control so I felt my MOH tuck some of it into the back of my dress. IMO from the pictures I've seen so far you can't even tell it was tucked into the back of my dress.

                I'd say most of the decisions were made a month before the wedding because our communications with Sandra became frequent. She started emailing me questions to confirm the wedding, where we wanted the reception, a list of guests, etc. She also started responding to questions we had so that by the time we sat down with her when we actually got to Mexico alot of it was confirmation of what we had already discussed.

                Hope that helps badrianne! Let me know if you have any other questions!

                #8 ahollo02

                • Jr. Member
                • 296 posts

                  Posted 28 June 2009 - 08:11 PM

                  Very nice review!!! congrats!

                  #9 lakerbride

                  • Jr. Member
                  • 153 posts

                    Posted 28 June 2009 - 08:15 PM

                    Good review- thanks and nice to hear you had such a great wedding

                    #10 stefnicole

                    • Member
                    • 544 posts

                      Posted 28 June 2009 - 08:32 PM

                      Great review! Your teasers are so good! Congrats!

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