Jenn's (PhillyBride09) Dreams Cancun Wedding Review (06/24/09)
Posted 28 June 2009 - 10:45 PM
Before I do anything I need to thank the one person who I couldn't have done this without...My TA (TA Jill). She was looking into dates for me when I was just a Noob and had no idea what i was doing. I had already waited 2 weeks for a confirmation on my Wedding date from the TA I originally had and was still waiting...Within 5 days of asking JIll to be my TA, I had a confirmation and the ball started rolling...She dealt with me & my family & she dealt with Claudia for me. Thanks Jill...You really are the BEST TA!!!! P.S. we got the card from you...That was awesome
ok....On with the review....
Both our flights...Up & Back were fine. I made sure we boarded first on the way there, I was holding my Wedding dress (the garment bag ripped so a little bit of my dress was coming out) and when i got on the plane I said to the flight attendant, "Can you hang my dress" she told me that the closets were not long and she said to lay it flat in an overhead compartment & shut the door.....I kind of looked at her and she said don't worry it will be ok. At this point, what could I do? I folded it, & laid it in the overhead. When the people in front of us came on board, I saw the woman putting couple bags where my dress was..I asked her if she could maybe put them in the next compartment and she informed me, that she wasn't putting her bags "on" my dress..but next to it...I was about to get up and go off...Because I was a little stressed out, but DH checked and said my dress was ok.
All in all..it made it there without scratch so I was happy.
I was really nervous about Customs. We had 6 pieces of luggage between us, Plus my dress, a Laptop bag and my oversized handbag. I made fake receipts the night before, but my printer is broke, so I wasnt able to print them.
The airline gives you all of the Customs and immigration forms to fill out on the plane...Word of advice..make sure you have a pen!!! We didnt and the flight attendants didn't have any. Thankfully we were able to borrow one, but it seemed like we were the only ones without a pen..LOL
When we got to the immigration line, we wanted to faint...it was REALLY long. We had only our carry ons at this point, but I was holding on to my dress since it was ripped and DH had everything else...we were in line about 40 mins...Then we went to find our bags....It seemed like we waited forever for our bags to come around.....We got 3 of the four..and we started to get nervous. Our biggest bag was missing.... & I was about to throw up. Joe went to go and look around in case someone took it off of the belt and never put it back on..as he did that, we heard a announcement with his name, saying to come to the front because they had his bag....THANK GOD!!
We had our bags on two seperate carts...DH went through first with no problem..he got a geen light and went right through....By the time i loaded all of my bags on the Xray machine and my dress, he was already waiting on the other end.....I got a green light, but they searched my big bag anyway. This had ALL of my OOT stuff in it. They didn't say why, they didn't ask me any questions(although I kept saying, I am getting married...LOL)...and then they zipped it up and i was on my way. I will say they were pretty gentle with my stuff, which was surprising...We were on our way!!
TIME SHARE NONSENSE
The Time share people are dressed like they are there to help you. I never expected that...and we ALMOST asked them to direct us to our apple guy,when I heard them talking to someone in front of us and I realized who they were. They had white shirts and tan pant. Def keep walking until you get outside...All of the transfers have signs and if you are using Apple Vacations...They all have Flowered shirts. We found our guy really easy and we were at Dreams within a half an hour.....
Posted 28 June 2009 - 11:02 PM
Ok...Here is the thing with the C-....Our check In was fine..we went up to the desk and we were in our room within minutes.
However...almost ALL of our guests had problems checking in....If they were on time or late...they had to wait a couple hours until they finally had to say...give us a room or we're not leaving this desk....and some people got there early, were told they couldn't check in until three and then when three rolled around, they were told "another hour wait" until again, they had to be a little bit demanding and all of a suddent their rooms were ready.
No one really seemed to mind too much...But it was extremely hot & humid down there and I know everyone just wanted to be checked in and start enjoying their time.
No one was upgraded...Not even Joe & I...But we loved our Suite and we loved being in the Pyramid with everyone else, so it was fine....Which brings me to...
ONE BEDROOM MASTER SUITE (PYRAMID/DOLPHIN-OCEAN VIEW)..A
Our Suite wasn't huge..But it was pretty big. It had a living room..A Double Balcony, Table & chairs and a little "Bar" area. There was a cute little round skylight over the table (but this also mad the room really hot during the day)It had a seperate Bedroom...A sink & vanity area outside of the bathroom and then a bathroom with a shower and normal tub. There was a tv & mini bar in the living room and the Bedroom...With DVD players.
There was a honeymooners sign on the door, A bottle of Champagne on Ice (with a note to "Mr & Mrs Evans"), Fresh flowers on the table and Apples.
They had Flower petals from the front door to the bed and they had a heart and spelled out the word "LOVE" in rose petals..They also had towels that looked like doves. Here are some pics....
This is the skylight
Every single night we had a different treat waiting for us when we got back to our room, they left us these little tart things one night, we had a cheese plate and crackers...Chocolate covered strawberries and a bunch of other stuff. We loved going back to our room at the end of the night to see what treats that were waiting!! LOL
The hotel staff clean your room all the time...And then they come back to tunr down your bed and leave you chocolates, a card with the next days weather and the itinerary for the next day as well. It was really awesome
STILL CONTINUED...SORRY THIS IS SO LONG!! LOL
Posted 28 June 2009 - 11:20 PM
I thought that almost all of the food and restaurants were great. We never ate at the Himitsu..But my guests that did really enjoyed it.
the first few nights we wound up eating at the World Cafe for Dinner (which is the Buffet)...I gotta say...I really didn't like dinner any of those nights.
The breakfast & lunch there were GREAT!! We ate breakfast there every morning, but we didn't realize how great lunch was there until Thurs :-(
The Seaside grill was always good. It's in a perfect little spot that always has a nice breeze. The only drawback to this is, no Kids are allowed there for Dinner, which is weird, but it's the only restaurant like that there. I liked their Chicken Fajita wrap and Nachos...YUMM
The Oceana was by far the best restaurant (in my opinion) The portions seem small, but they are more then filling and the Filet Minon is Fabulous.
There is a nice breeze in there, and there was a guy playing a Saxaphone during dinner. It was such a nice place to eat.
Room Service was Hit or miss...Sometimes your food is fresh and great (Everyone LOVED the dreams club, it was really good, but a little small) But sometimes your food looked and tasted like it was waiting around for a while.
But they bring your food up and set your table and it's really nice DH loved the fact that he could order room service whenever..LOL
ALL of the bars and ALL of the Bartenders & Waiters were fabulous. They can't do enough for you and you never have a empty glass. If you want a stronger drink...tell them you want a double (or triple) shot and they will be happy to Oblidge! I had Bahama Mama's all week..But almost ALL of my guests LOVED the Mango Tangos....Double Shots of course.
The Swing bar was ok..But still no Coconuts..Which stinks :-( That bar gets really crowded at night. There were so many Weddings the week we were there so that probably had something to do with it too.
We hung out at the Rendevous bar the most at night. They always had this really good "Cover" band in there, Which was a guy & a girl and they sounded great.
We went to Azucar Bar one night and that was Thursday, which is when the Hypnotist is there. We got there really late and only saw like 20 mins of it, but i wished we would have gotten there on time because he was good. It was pretty funny too. We never went there to dance though...Some of my guests went the night of my Wedding because it was 70's & 80's night, but by the time they got there that was over and it was all Mexican Salsa & rap music..LOL They stayed a little but came bak to the Rendevous after. It seemed like a pretty cool little club.
The Swim-up bar (The Manatee Bar) was fun. Miquel is a great bartender and he always took care of us.
THE REHEARSAL & WEDDING REVIEW UP NEXT.........
Posted 28 June 2009 - 11:56 PM
Our Rehearsal and our dinner was going to be on tuesday, the day before the wedding. We already knew that it was Mexican Fiesta night and that the Buffett was going to be on the beach, so that was the plan for dinner.
I was to have the rehearsal at 5:30, but Claudia said there waas a Wedding and first told me 2pm, then called me and asked it it can be at 3...Which was fine..we showed up, we rehearsed, I gave her all of my Wedding stuff and that was that. It was maybe 10 minutes total.
The Buffet on the Beach opened at 7 and I told everyone to be there on time...Joe & I went early to make sure we were first in line, since we had 23 people to get seated. There was actually a table of 18 that was in line before us. They gave me a little trouble when i said I ad 23 people and they wouldn't seat us without everyone there. We lied and said they were there and they gave us two long tables (which they couldn't put together they said) and we had 4 people who were late so they sat at anoter table next to the two we had full. It was actually really cool. The food was ok. I found some things I liked, Some I didn't but all in all, you couldn't help but love the set up. They really go all out for this. They even have a little "marketplace" by the rendevous bar (The outside portion) and the pushy vendors are there trying to get you to buy their overpriced things..LOL Me & Joe bought this painting (it was a finger painting actually) and they wrote our name and date on it. Plus we bought a few other things. I really enjoyed that night.
It didn't really feel like a rehearsal dinner, but I think everyone enjoyed themselves. It was something different. (FYI-Friday nights are "Carribean Night" and they do the same thing...Set up on the beach and a market place..We didn't eat there that night though, so I don't know how the food was)
WEDDING MENU & CLAUDIA A +
Claudia called our room less then an hour after we checked in. She made an appointment with us for Monday morning at 9am to meet with her.
We met her in the Lobby, and we went in the back and sat down with her to go over everything. She is really nice. She has her laptop and she had our contract right there. she went over every single detail.
We picked our menu-Organic salad, Lobster Bisque soup, Duo Dreams & Cheese Cake for dessert. I hated their cheesecake, but Joe made me pick the whole menu, so I let him pick the dessert...Oh well. The salad and soup were just ok to me, but most of my guests really loved it...the Duo Dreams Steak & Shrimp was great...but here is a piece of advice...They give it to you almost rare..LOL it was pink & bleeding, so you may want to specify medium well. I actually didn;t mind and neither did most of my guests, but Joe wasn't crazy about it. We chose the Tres Leches cake for the Wedding and let me tell you, Our Wedding cake (which was not upgaded, this is the cake that came with the wedding) was gorgeous and it was SOOO good. I really loved it. It was perfect. Here are some Wedding cake shots....
The Meeting with Claudia was probably about 15 minutes...We paid her and that was that. We didn't bring any of our stuff down..But we brought it to the rehearsal...I gave her a brief rundown of what was what..I made a seating chart and asked to place the maraccas with their name at everyone's place and that was done perfect. Everything I asked her to do was done perfectly. There was nothing out of place or forgotten
I bought our whole bridal party, including the parents T-Shirts....So the morning of the wedding All the girls got together to take pics in our shirts and the guys too..then we all went to breakfast together. Joe & I scheduled our couples swedish Massage at noon that day, so we ate and hung out in the spa until our Massage (which was really nice and VERY relaxing)...We parted ways after that..Until the wedding
I made appointments for our Bridal party to get their hair done, and also for our moms, between the times of 11-1pm..two people each hour. We went to the spa a couple days early to make sure they had our appointments and they let me pay for them at that time too. I was glad to get that our of the way. Everyone was happy with their hair. Joe's mom changed hers a little...Just her bangs though. All in all they were happy.
I had Juanita. I went at 2pm by myself & gave her the picture. It took her over an hour to do my hair, but she took her time and it was well worth it. I LOVED It...She sprayed the crap out of it and had a million bobby pins so my har didnt move at all.
I was most nervous about the make up. She didn't let me see a mirror until she was done....But wow...What a great job she did. I was MORE then happy and couldn't thank her enough. Ask for Juanita, give her a picture of your hair, tell her you want your make up natural and relax :-) Here are some close up shots....
And a couple of the shirts.....
CONTINUED AGAIN...ALMOST DONE I PROMISE!!!
Posted 29 June 2009 - 12:24 AM
After my hair & make up it was time to go up to my room and get dressed. My bridesmaids and my mom were waiting for me and we all got ourselves together, took some pics and waited for Claudia to call my room so I could go down.
She finally did about 5 minutes after 5:30, but it felt like forever..LOL
From that point on, everything went beautifully. The sound guy had my CD and Claudia had a littel headset thing, she told him when to change songs and he did so...Seemlessly...The Officiant was really nice..Although our Wedding certificate had a wrong name, instead of Joseph it said Justin. Joe talked to him about it before I even came down and he crossed it off and added Joe;s name. When it came time to sign, he explained it to me and said he would send a new one to our room, which he did the next day.
Side note...The Officiant was REALLY religious. It felt like a catholic ceremony, which was fine by me but ince case you don't want that, be sure to tell Claudia ahead of time. I really liked him. He was nice and full of smiles. Even when My 2 year old flower girl was a holy terror up there with us and I literrally cracked up laughing while he was talking because she was running circles around me & Joe..LOL He never missed a beat.
When the ceremony was over and as we walked back down the isle (to the Palm tree is what Claudia told us at Rehearsal) The servers ame out with Champangne glasses for everyone & they gave Joe & I our engraved toasting flutes that we brought with us. I thought that was a really nice touch and so did everyone else. We greated all of our guest by the palm tree and then it was picture time. I am going to do a seperate section for the Photographer and Videographer.
When we got back to Cocktail hour it was well over an hour, and we had missed the Mariachi Trio. I figured we would, but I was still bummed. Everyone Loved them and said how great they were. That made me happy. I grabbed a few appetizers and then ran up to the terrace to see the set up. I met with Raul who was our "Head" Waiter and he basically told me, anything i want, He will see to it that it happens. We had three other waiters working our wedding that night. I told him that I wanted more Champagne for another toast before dinner, and he said no problem. I figured we would have to pay at check out..but nothing even came of it and I was glad!! I told him when to serve Dinner (After our Best man toast) and they did. Dinner was served quickly and no one ever had an empty glass.
I brought my own iPod docking station & I thought they would set it up off to the side, which is what Claudia told me. When I got up there it was set up on the other side and they had the four round tables set out in a circle, so the dance floor was in the middle...I actually really liked that set up for our first dance ad the mother son dance..But it was hard to do line dances there :-( We managed to do the cupid shuffle ok..LOL
I was glad I didn't get a DJ. None of my guests really danced too much, except for line dances..LOL
All of my centerpieces were set up great...But they were candles and would not stay lit. I was really bummed, but it was no one's fault and the waiters got burnt more then once trying to light them and make me happy. It just wasn't happening. I should have gotten Submersable Floralights like I originally planned Oh Well..it still looked great!
I asked for a knife so we could cut the cake and then we did our cake smashing which was fun. Joe was actually going to not do it until I got him good..LOL
Joe bought all of the guys who were at the wedding Cigars, so they were all drunk and lit them up at the end of the night.
It went by fast, but I still can't get over how perfect it was. Our waiters always made sure Joe & I were ok and that we didn't need anything.
Before I knew it, it was 10:30 and it was time to go :-( I stayed and made sure we grabbed our iPod and Docking stations, and a few other things.
I left my shoe there that night and I went back on Saturday before we left to see if they had them. They called the lost & found and sure enough they were there. They brought them up & I was really glad to get them back
All in All..My Wedding day was perfect. Claudia and all of the servers did a geat job and I couldn't have had it any more perfect. My guests were really impressed and had a fabulous time!!
ONE MORE..I PROMISE!!!....REVIEWS OF PHOTO & VIDEO GUY :-)
Posted 29 June 2009 - 12:54 AM
Well as many of you know, the Ultimate Wedding package comes with a Videographer, and you get a 30 minute edited DVD and you get a Photographer for 60 minutes. You get a book with 50 pictures and a CD of those 50 pictures. I originally booked Cecilia Dumas because I wasn't hearing that many great things about the Photographer with my package, Juan Navarro. However, I wound up not being able to afford the extra expense, and I had to cancel Cecilia and deal with having Juan Navarro. I was really upset. Honestly.
I shouldn't have been :-) Not only was Juan great..He had another guys with him..He had two cameras...And we had him for like 90 minutes. After we took the group pics and then the pics with the parents he asked if we wanted beach shots or lighthouse shots. I knew JOe wanted lighthouse shots, but we only had this guys for an hour and it was already 30min into it, so I said beach. We did the shots with the bridal party on the beach....Which I thought were really funn. And then he said to me & joe, Come on,, lets go to the light house. So we did.
I had to walk BAREFOOT up all of the rocks to get to the damn light house, but I had a feeling it would be worth it, so I tried not to complain. My dress was complete torn apart when it was over, it kept getting caught on rocks, but I didn't care. I knew Joe was happy to be at the light house and I was happy that Juan was really taking his time with us.
The Videographer followed us the whole time, and he was taking his shots as well.
When he was done, we went back to cocktail hour and he wrote our room number down and said Friday night, someone would be by with our pics and the video.
Sure enough, he called and said his associate was going to meet us in the lobby at 8. And he was there right on time.
He gave us our book, which we love...Juan had printed out more then 50 pics for us..it was about 60 +..
Then he pulls out his laptop and said that Juan took over 600 pictures and we sat there and watched them all...LOL I really did love them though :-)
I heard that if you buy the whole CD he charges you $200, which I was more then prepared to pay. However..after we were done looking at the CD, the guy said that he usually charges $300 for 300 pictures...And since I got 600 he was only charging us $350. ouch. I knew I was getting that CD no matter how much, but it was a little bit more then I wanted to pay. I probably could have talked him down to 250 now that I think about it, but it didnt matter...It was worth it to me. I love the pictures and he worked really hard that day...So we paid it and were satisfied :-)
The Video is more then fabulous. He used all of our ceremony songs plus added a couple of his own. I wish i would have asked him to put our first dance song on there ("Then" by Brad Paisley) but I forgot. It didn;t matter though...He not got our whole ceremony, but he has us posing for all of the pictures, and it's all set to music. It's really special. I love it.
I posted my pictures not long ago, so look for the post. He did a great job (in my opinion :-)
Overall Dreams is really great. Everyone had a great time...Everyone loved the service and their rooms & the Wedding.
We did have a few injuries. Joe's nephew fell twice and bumped both the front & back of his head...My mom missed a step and twisted her ankle really bad...However after a day at the spa...it looked 100 times better..& joe's mom hurt her thumb getting out of the Hot tub. Nothing wa the hotels fault :-)
On Thursday they shut the pool down about 4pm due to a swarm of bees that formed in the matter of minutes. We had just went up to our room and Joe 's mom called to tell us. Apparently the queen bee must have moved and they all followed her. They had the fire department there and all. The net day it was fine, but there were a few dead bees in the pool that kept popping up.
Alot of my guests swam with the Dolphins and loved it. They were so cute.eI loved watching them everyday. I loved when they hoped up on the blue mat to scratch their backs :0)
My brother in low took a deep sea fishing trip one morning and he loved it. Although the Apple Vacation guy he booked through told him that if he caught a tuna he can take it back and they will cook it for him, but when he got on the boat, they told him he couldn't take it back.He was bummed. We ate at the Oceana that night and he had tuna and he joked that it was the one he caught..LOL
Joe & I walked down to the mall to get our soveniers...The gifts shops were soo much more money and we go lots of good T-shirts and stuff.
I think that;s it..My hand is swollen from all this writing..LOL if you have any questions, just ask :-) and if you want to see my pics from Juan, they are in the Wedding pictures section of the Forum
Thanks for reading this long ass review and I hope it has helped some of you!!
I'm sure I have lots of typos, so I am apologizing for that :-)
Posted 29 June 2009 - 06:49 AM
Posted 29 June 2009 - 08:45 AM
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