Here is my review
I want to start by saying we really had a great time and feel so happy that we chose this resort. My husband said that I'm sure in time we will be able to nit-pick a few things but mostly I will say that the resort itself was beyond my expectations.
When we arrived we breezed through customs (which was not the case for everyone in our family-it just worked out good for us timing wise). We used Olympus Tours which was set up as part of our package with out TA. They were there waiting for us and took 10 of us all together who were on the same flight in a new air consitioned Sprinter Bus. It was very comfortable, and the rip only took about 25 minutes MAX.
**Not everyone in our party was quite so lucky as we were. The people who were not traveling in a big group of "our" people went together with other people to other resorts and it took them over an hour to arrive at our resort. We knew it was a shared transportation, but still some people got their feathers ruffled.
Our arrival at the resort was wonderful--there was someone waiting at the entrance with cold water, champagne and cold towels which smelled wonderful! Our party all wated in the lobby for an agent to check them in while we were taken to the preferred club to do our check in. We were upgraded from the preferred club ocean view to a honeymoon suite. Our room wasn't ready (it was about 11:00 AM) and neither were most of the rooms in our party. People went to lunch or went and hung out by the pool until the rooms were ready.
We went to all of the different types of rooms that our party had and honestly I would have been happy with any of them. They are super clean and the air conditioning worked well. The way the rooms are set up you can walk around the bed which makes it seem like there is a lot of space. The beds and pillows were extremely comfortable. Only one person in our party had any room complaint and it was about the noise from soe partiers in their hallway (another wedding party who knocked on their door and was racing in the halls and stuff) BUT the next morning the hotel moved them to another room in a very quiet section and they were all set.
The days leading up to the wedding we met with Yamina and with Edgar the DJ and they were great to talk to. Yamina was so easy going and was very assuring that she understood exactly what we wanted and where and when. She asked a lot of questions and went over the event from start to finish making sure we were on the same page. She let us move our ceremony back to 5:00 PM which made us very happy as well.
The day of the wedding we woke up to cloudy icky skies. It was very humid and didn't look great. My husband talked to Yamina who said we had until 3:00 PM to make the call for inside or outside. He went and looked at the ballroom and loved it. He said it was so beautiful and I think he was leaning toward that but he knew I wanted outside so at 3:00 PM when it was definitely clearing up we decided to go for the outdoor reception.
***We had the Dreams of Love package but we cashed in the cocktail hour for more people at the reception. We had out ceremony at North Beach at 5:00 PM and were planning on the reception at the Pool Terrace at 7:00 PM***
We brought our own photographers with us but the resort photographer went up to the groom's room and took 30 minutes of pictures with him (included in the pakage). We used Anel and she was fantastic. We really do like our pictures from our photographer and we got him for free (which can't be beat) because he is trying to build his portfolio, BUT we definitely felt a little twinge of regret when we saw Anel's. They are AWESOME. It was hard to choose just 36 from her---even if it was only the guys getting ready-lol!!
I didn't see Yamina until about 5:10 when she knocked on my door and asked if we were ready. She was so sweet and hugged me and said I looked beautiful. It made me feel really good like she really cared about the event and it wasn't "just another wedding". The ceremony didn't start until about 5:15. We were at North Beach which was gorgeous. Everything was set up just as I wanted. My brother performed the ceremony for us whihc was about 40 minutes long.
**HERE IS A COMPLAINT FROM MY HUSBAND--Jorge who introduced himself to us the day before was there and I guess he was giving my husband a hard time saying we needed to start. My husband just kept saying he hadn't seen me and assumed that Yamina was going to get me. PJ (my husband) was already aggitated when we started that Jorge had been harassing him, THEN once the ceremony started he stood off to the side (behind where I was) facing my husband and PJ said he starred him down the whole time. He said he looked exhasperated and was lookign at his watch and made PJ feel really uncomfortable about the ceremony. I didn't know AT ALL that we were on a strict time limit, but as soon as we finished they were there to set up the next wedding in the same spot and they rushed us out of the area. I wish they had let us know that or not moved our wedding back if it was such a problem. I fel like it wasn't our fault but we felt guilty anyway. Bummer.
After the ceremony we took some pictures on the beach and all of the sudden we saw the clouds coming in FAST! We had to run from the rain (the poor girl right behind us had her ceremony rained on). I met Yamina in the Seaside Grill as we watched my reception getting poured on. She said they were just about to bring the food out but hadn't yet. Thank God! We then went to Plan B--the Ballroom. She said I could wait and see if the rain passed and they could re-set outside, but at that point they were already going to re-do the set up once I didn't want it to be twice--I didn't want to take any chances. They had it all set up by 7:30 and when I walked in I felt like you would NEVER know it wasn't our first choice. It was gorgeous! And it was air conditioned, which my guests all said OVER and OVER again how thankful they were for that.
The DJ was so-so. In his defense we didn't give him a TON of information. We only asked that he play about 5 songs and he didn't play all of those, but it was fine. He watched the crowd and made sure that everyone was singing along or dancing and having fun. Fernando was the MC and he was really sweet and did a good job communicating.
The food was great-we had the Caribbean Buffet and it was super yummy. Everything was hot and fresh and clearly labled. We had the tres leches cake which was SOOO YUMMY!
We also had the cigar roller at the wedding which all the guys thought was very cool. It was fun to have and everyone said they were some of the best cigars they had had.
Yamina was great about the charges making sure she helped us substitute what we could and was understanding that we weren't looking to spend a lot more than the package price so she helped us make the most of it. All in all she was wonderful to work with. Also, Gregorio who is in charge of the ballroom facilities was great too-he was helpful and great about everythign during the reception.
The resort itself was so wonderful--we loved the infinity pool and stayed in there most of the time. All of the restaurants were yummy and pretty much everyone liked all of them. The hibachi restaurant was only so-so. Bordeaux was incredible as well as El Patio. Make sure you try the wontons at Seaside Grill--they were my favorite! All of the fruit was super fresh and room service was great--my husbands favorite thing he hat the whole time was the steak from room service at lunch on our wedding day!
**We did have just a bit of trouble getting everyone in the restaurants together. Our group mostly wanted to go to dinner together and sometimes they were fine about it and we didn't mind the wait but once at El Patio they made a stink about it saying that they had a reservation so they didn't have room. My cousin went and talked to someone and said he thought nobody could make reservations and suddenly they had room-oh well we laughed it off and enjoyed our dinner.
The grouds were so clean and the staff was so friendly and helpful. The cleaning of the rooms and turn down every evening was great! My family is already talkign about going back-we alll loved it. We had NO problems getting chairs at the pool and there were not a ton of kids and the times we did see kids they were well behaved and never ever caused any issue for us.
Please feel free to ask me any questions--you can email me as well if you'd like Katie-Bray@hotmail.com anything you want to know:)
We sent to Secrets for 3 days at the end for our Honeymoon and I will say we DEFINITELY wished we hadn't left Dreams. It wasn't nearly the same!
**Also one more thing--we went as a group to Selvatica and it was AWESOME! I'd highly recommend it. Also we went to Cozumel for a day and did the Dolphin Discovery at Chankanaab Park and a Tequilla Factory Tour which was a blast as well. We rented a jeep for $75 and drove around the whole island-was great.**
Well, that's it! Let me know anything you want to know!