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ikupoo

Ikupoo’s EDR and vendor review! With some info that weren’t covered by other reviews!

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Thanks so much for helping me plan my wedding people! Let me return the favor to the future brides with my trilogy-length review...

 

 

7/5 Sun

Check into Casita at EDR. July is a low season, and the resort was very quiet due to the bad economy and the swine flu! There were 25 of us, and we never had to wait for anything. Nice!! It was just wonderful.

We stayed in Casita room 2615 on the second floor. We were supposed to be upgraded to individual or swim-up casita because of the promotion through TA Jenniferâ€s webinar back in November last year, but that never happened. We decided not to complain, because we liked the location of the room, and we decided it wasnâ€t worth it.

The only difference between the regular and the swim-up is the lazy river anyway. Infinity pool casita I thought wasnâ€t worth the money, because theyâ€re right by main walking pathway and donâ€t offer much privacy, I think. (See photo)

 

Click the image to open in full size.

 

The Rooms:

Room 2615 was fantastic! Very quiet and pleasant. Relatively close to everything like restaurants and spa. I really believe that it would have been very far and difficult if we decided to stay in the newer section (Section 30). My parents stayed in an ocean front room 401, and their room was nice and convenient too. Anyway…

 

The Good

Weâ€re really glad that we stayed at the casita section for these amenities and services:

Free wedding package: (with booking of 3 other rooms in any class)

Rooms are charming: Outdoor bed and shower were really nice touch.

Wi-fi: Only available at the casita section for $15/day

Beach beds: Only available to casita guests. Other rooms have beach chairs

Restaurant reservation (although we never used it)

Concierge service

 

The bad

I wasnâ€t bothered by them, but may bother some people

Toilet door is a shutter door = You can hear EVERYTHING that goes in there

Tiny little ants (which were super fast!) were crawling on our stuff. As long as they werenâ€t roaches, I didnâ€t care.

 

7/6 Monday

Meeting with the Coordinators

I corresponded with Valeria from Lomas Travel through email before my departure. She was very responsive and awesome.

This day, my husband and I met up with 2wedding coordinators in their office. I sent a very detailed PDF guideline to Valeria beforehand, and they had a copy with them. We went over the details using the guideline, and they were very through and understanding. One of the wedding coordinator Dani told us to bring in decoration and wedding items to the office on the next day.

 

Kampai

We had lunch there. Food was so-so. I had fish with mango sweet/sour sauce. I thought it was Americanized Asian food (Iâ€m Japanese)

 

The Spa

Casita spa was built recently, and it was super-awesome! It features a large pool with super-jets, cold pool, outside pool, hot tub, gym, hair salon, and massage rooms. Everything is included, except the massage and other services. There was a discount on hot-stone massage on Monday and Tuesday, so we got a hot-stone massage. My husband was weirded out by receiving a massage from a guy. We tipped normal 15% to the masseuse.

 

Click the image to open in full size.

 

Click the image to open in full size.

 

Dinner on the Beach

This came with the free honeymoon package. We were full from lunch, but we went to our reservation at 7PM anyway. We both had spinach salad, lobster cappuccino, filet mignon and chocolate dessert. The food and service was fantastic! There was a beautiful full moon that night. A saxophone player played elevator music as he went around each table and he played the theme song to “Titanic†at our table. He added to the cheese factor, and we made fun of it. We had a good time and got to enjoy some quiet time before our guests arrived.

 

Click the image to open in full size.

To be continued...

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7/7 Tuesday

This day, our guests arrived. We were really glad that we had a day of alone time before everyone arrived. This also gave us time to do last minute preparation for the wedding, so I highly recommend arriving a couple of days before the big day. My husband stayed in the lobby and greeted guests. His mom and aunt have difficulty walking, so the concierge rented us 2 electric scooters from the outside vendor. Total for 5 days was about $360 which we had to pay in cash. Good thing I had my laptop and Skype! I called my mom immediately and had them bring extra cash. There was no ATM service in the property. Outside, I saw few HSBC branches.

 

Welcome dinner at Cocotal

We used our free dinner from the package as our welcome dinner. Our dinner was scheduled at 6:30 (I had choice of either 6:30 or 9) for a party of 23. However, Billâ€s parents were 3 hours late due to customs. I talked to the host to push the time 1 hour later, and they first refused. I explained to them that the groomâ€s parents were late, and the restaurant manager accommodated us. That was very, very nice of them! We were seated at 2 large tables. We had grilled vegetable tower, cantaloupe soup (my sister repeatedly ordered this afterwards) and grilled berry dessert. I chose between 2 different entrees- cappelini and duck leg. The portions were small, but this is one of the best restaurants on the property. All of my guests went there repeatedly for breakfast buffet. They had so much food!

 

Click the image to open in full size.

Baked berry dessert....mmm...

 

Guacayamas

Some of our guests and I went to Guacayamas afterwards. There was hardly anybody there. There was a band playing metal rock, followed by “Celebration†by Kool and the Gang. Weird. The band was vrammed to the side of the stage, while sthe inger was standing by himself in the middle. It was awkward and uncomfortable. EDR is not really for the people who want active night-life. Itâ€s too far to casually visit Playa and Cancun too.

 

7/8 Wed

Ruins tour with Sauce vacations: Coba, Cho-ha cenote, Tulum

I reserved tour of 21 people beforehand with Isamel from Sauce Vacations (Thanks to Mariesam for recommendation). However, details about payment and pick up location/time were not discussed. I only knew that he charges $30/person. I called Ismael the day before, and he told me that he takes cash only----CRAP!!!! Mom came to the rescue.

The guests met up in the lobby at 8:30 AM-ish. We had the drivers Gabriel and Rodolfo. They had 2 vans ready, and they provided us with water and sodas. We stopped at a gas station to get ice, and for pee break. The gas station charged us a few pesos to use the bathroom- LESSON LEARNED: BRING LOTS OF CASH AND SMALL CHANGE.We arrived at Coba after a while. We had to pay parking fee and also entrance fee of 51 pesos/person. Cash only. Again, LESSON LEARNED: BRING LOTS OF CASH AND SMALL CHANGE.

We took “Mayan Limousine†and hired a guide. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. The place is too big to walk, and the guide told us many fascinating stories. The guide told us that the Toltec people took over the Mayan people and sacrificed the slaves as offerings. Jerks.

We werenâ€t planning to visit a cenote at first, but we did anyway. It was one of the best decisions ever. The drivers took us to Cho-Ha, the same place that Sol Tamargo went. We all enjoyed swimming and diving off high dive boards. The cenote also took cash only.

The drivers took us to a lunch buffet near the cenote. They had really good tortilla soup. I had the guests cover for their own lunches. There were few kids luring a crocodile with a chicken leg at a nearby lake, and after the crocodile ate it, they went around the spectators and asked for money. Then another bully-kid came and took their money! One kid started crying, and we felt rally bad. My dad gave him a dollar.

We went to Tulum afterwards. It was 51 pesos/person. Cash only. We didnâ€t have any pesos left, so we used US dollars. Their exchange rate was worse than the resort, which was $1=10 pesos. LESSON LEARNED: BRING LOTS OF CASH AND SMALL CHANGE…AND PESOS. We didnâ€t stay long. We didnâ€t hire a guide either. We just took some pictures and left. By the time we arrived at the hotel, it was past 6PM.

 

Dâ€Italia Restaurant:

This night, we had Italian. Dâ€Italia is another one of my favorites. My mom is a foodie, and she once went to France to eat a special omelet at Mont-San Michele. She was RAVING about the food at Dâ€Italia/ Cocotal and Jojos (she pronounces it “Ho-Hosâ€!) Itâ€s a classy and quiet place, and there were 2 large groups (related) that were really loud. They were screaming at each other across the restaurant! This is not a sports-bar, morons!! One girl kept making a weird Pterodactyl noise, and I gave her a really dirty look.

 

To be continued...

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7/9 Thu Wedding Day!

I didnâ€t sleep at all. (This review is sounding more like a diary now) I woke up after having a nightmare that my photographer couldnâ€t get into the resort, so he left me a note and left!!! There was a storm in the early morning, but it ended after a couple of hours.

 

Wedding Rehearsal

I originally had an officiant, but he cancelled due to the swine flu scare. The ceremony was now conducted by my family and his, so we decided to have the rehearsal at the chapel. One of the coordinators was there to assist us.

After the rehearsal, I called the coordinator to have an impromptu meeting at Tucanes. There, we went over the last minute details, such as Ipod connection, decoration, and piñata placement. We also agreed to have the coordinators drive me and my hsuband back to the room after the first dance to change into more comfortable clothes.

 

Hair

My hair appointment was at 2. I used the Spa pool to relax and calm my nerves. The hair stylist took me and my sister to the bridal suite. She sprayed the heck out of my hair, and explained that the humidity flattens the hair quickly. She was right. My sister had her hair done by her assistant who didnâ€t speak English too well. The stylist didnâ€t understand what my sister wanted, so my stylist took over and finished her hair. I tipped her 15%.

 

Click the image to open in full size.

 

PhotograFER: Fer Juaristi

Fer Juaristi Blog. Rockstar Destination Wedding Photographer, Mexico, Riviera Maya, Monterrey, Worldwide.

I went back to the room, and the photographer was taking pictures of my husband. It was nice to see him after corresponding over email and Facebook for close to a year! I have a separate review for him, because heâ€s just awesome. I wish heâ€d be my new best friend! Hire him. You wonâ€t regret it.

http://bestdestinationwedding.com/forum/t45775

 

Click the image to open in full size.

 

Ceremony

I chose the ceremony to take place at 5PM, which turned out to be great. It gave me extra time for rehearsal, last minute preparation, and photo shoot before the ceremony. The coordinator showed up at my room at 4:45 to pick us up. They also set up the chapel exactly like what I wanted. I also arranged one of the guests to hand out programs and fans to each guests before the ceremony. The audio person also did everything correctly. The ceremony was conducted by both families. Everything was very heartfelt and beautiful.

 

Click the image to open in full size.

 

Family Photo shoot

We walked to the beach by the beach dinner place and did family/friends photo shoot. There was still enough light to take pictures. It was a lot of fun! Maybe too much fun, because I fell and ripped my dress!!

 

Reception: Tucanes

Again, the coordinators arranged everything perfectly. I made my own table cloth, and supposedly, the width was too short. But they fixed it by adding a skirt around the table, and it looked perfect. I originally intended to have 3 long tables to fit 26 people, but I learned at the meeting that the tables had to be arranged into an “L†shape. Due to this last minute change, I had to now order 2 centerpieces for the same price for 1. Thus, the flowers didnâ€t follow my specification but who cares I had a party to enjoy!!!

Tucanes received no breeze, so it was super hot. I was really glad that I provided sandalwood fans for everybody.

The night went great. The food and service was fantastic, and the guests had fun wearing luchador masks that I gave as gifts.

Since I canâ€t eat wheat, Bill and I did “beating of the cake pinata†instead of cake cutting. We put some candies in the piñata that had stickers, and whoever picked up those candies won prizes!

I changed into a casual dress that I wore at my civil ceremony after the first dance and dove into the pool. The coordinator wasnâ€t happy about that but they let it go.

 

To be continued...

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Wait, wasn't this supposed to be a trilogy?

 

Anyway, the rest…

 

Scuba Cancun

Scuba Cancun offers Cancun Diving, Snorkeling, Cavern Diving, Cozumel Dives & Fishing Charters

On the last day, my friend and I made an appointment for scuba diving through a tour operator at the resort. The van drove us to a port in Cancun. The sky was clear, but we were warned that the waves will be high.

We got to the dive location near the hotel zone, and the storm came over us. We waited in the pouring rain until the storm ceased, then we jumped into the water. But the waves were so rough and tall (my friend estimated 2 meters), I was getting washed away by the current. It was really dangerous for a novice diver like me!!

I didnâ€t enjoy the dive at all. I had trouble acclimating my ears from the pressure. The water was dark and the visibility was very bad. I was wearing 5 mm wetsuit, and I was still freezing. I kept getting washed away by the current even underwater, so the guide held my hand the whole time.

I felt nauseous by the end of the first dive, so I lay on the boat during the second dive. Many people came back from the dive early, because they were getting sick too.

The friend that came with me has done over 100 dives. According to her, the tour should have been cancelled under those conditions.

I later regretted that I should have gone to the “swim with the dolphins†tour instead. I saw my friendâ€s photos, and they let you do a whole lot more than just pet their heads.

 

Etsy Vendors:

Birch Angel Pinatas

Birchangel on Etsy - Birchangel Custom Pinatas ** Made With Imagination **

She makes custom piñatas. She was great to deal with, and we were very happy with the piñatas.

 

Be Something New

BeSomethingNew on

Etsy - Be Something New

Jill made my headband and my comb for the wedding. She is an absolutely wonderful vendor! Sheâ€s very communicative, and returned my emails promptly. My hair was too much for the first comb that she made. I returned it to her, and she replaced the comb with the one that worked better for my hair.

 

Click the image to open in full size.

 

Other Vendors:

Mercurio Brothers Printing, Berkeley CA

Mercurio Brothers Printing - Affordable Letterpress

I created my own letter-press invite, and they were great. It took us about 2 weeks to receive our order. They even gave us a tour when they were printing our invites. Their prices were much lower than other printers.

 

Click the image to open in full size.

 

Weddingveil.com

Affordable Wedding Veils, Headpieces and Wedding Favors from WeddingVeil.com

I purchased my mantilla veil from here. Theyâ€re located in San Jose, CA. They mailed me free fabric samples, then they custom made the veil. I had a good experience with them. Sure beats the $400 veil that my dress designer offered…

 

Luchador Masks

Lucha Libre Masks

This place offers the best prices and selections. I knew that these masks were available in town, but I bought them beforehand because of time issues. Iâ€m glad I did because I was too busy once I got to Mexico

 

Gentle Arts Fabric Restoration, New Orleans LA

Gentle Arts - Complete Antique Textile Service in New Orleans

I didnâ€t tell my mom about trash the dress, so I need to discreetly clean the mud off my dress. Iâ€m waiting for my quote right now, but the prices seem to be much lower than other places Iâ€ve researched. Theyâ€ve done fabric restoration for museum pieces, so they should be good.

 

 

Ok, I'm done! DO YOU THINK I WROTE ENOUGH?!

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Amazing Review! You looked beautiful ! I love the picture of you against the blue wall-just stunning!

 

I am soooo sorry that El Dorado didn't do the upgrade- I wish that you had contacted me from the resort and let me know as I would have raised holy heck to make sure that you & Bill received it!

 

I am glad that everything else went beautifully

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GREAT review and thanks for adding pics - they really help us to visualize! Everything sounds like it was amazing. Those pools by the rooms that are also right next to the walkways seem a little weird. Hard to relax with people constantly walking by, I presume...

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Awesome review! Very detailed and this should certainly help other brides!!

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