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Any Gran Bahia Principe Runaway Bay Brides out there?

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Part 4

Resort

The location of the resort is perfect. It is close enough to the Montego Bay airport while still being close enough to Ocho Rios to do excursions there. There are excursions within 15 minutes of the resort.

The Gran Bahia Principe is supposedly one of the biggest resorts in Jamaica. When you arrive it definitely looks large and luxurious. You definitely get the idea of how big it is as you as you walk…and walk…and walk around the resort. There are a lot steps. There are elevators, but for instance in the building we were in, 2 of the 3 elevators would not work most of the time and one was out of service the whole two weeks. Our room was also one of the furthest away from the lobby, so the walk from room to lobby took a few minutes. There were only a couple ramps so accessibility for the elderly and those in wheelchairs was poor. For example, the area where you watch the night shows had no accessibility as you had to walk up stairs to reach it.

The drinks were great at the resort, and were made very strong. So if you like strong drinks, youâ€ll love it. Some of our favourite drinks while there were the Gran Bahia Principe, Miami Vice, and Jamaican Bum Bum (not the actual name of the drink but what the bartender jokingly called it).

We enjoyed most of the night shows were pretty good. Our favourites were the Steel Drum Band and the Romantic Show. Unfortunately, the same shows were repeated the second week my hubby and I stayed.

Everyone had issues with room keys. Whether they didnâ€t work to get into the room or the air conditioning didnâ€t work consistently. My momâ€s room and my hubby and I each had to change our keys a few times and we even had to get the lock re-programmed for the key to work.

Another problem was the toilets. My bridesmaid used our toilet first, the day we arrived and came out the bathroom saying our toilet didnâ€t flush. We had to call maintenance to fix it who didnâ€t come right away obviously. It happened again twice during the 2 weeks as well. My momâ€s toilet ran the whole week. Our photographerâ€s toilet also leaked the whole week.

They are constantly doing maintenance on the resort buildings and some of the maintenance people even try to sell you things like sea shells or even marijuana sometimes. A good solid “no†works well with this.

Also, there were cats on the resort as well as one dog. The cats are there to control the mice and the dog is there for security. We heard the dog barking at night. Like 2 days before the wedding while walking back to our room, a black cat literally crossed our path. Weâ€re not too superstitious but we were already about the weather being nice on our wedding lol.

Iâ€m not sure how other people tipped at the resort, but we were told that or $1 or $2 was acceptable per day for the maids. So that is what we did. Although, we didnâ€t get Pringles every day as snacks being part of the Royal Golden Package, we did get some perks as being a Bride and Groom. My hubby told one of the maids that we were getting married. So the night of the wedding they made up our room extra special by putting flower petals all around the bathroom and bedroom and on the bed. They folded the towels in the shape of a heart. They filled the bath tub and had flower petals floating inside, and they gave us a bottle of Champagne and glasses. They also gave us a large bottle of the clear Rum.  Apparently, after my hubby told the maid, she said they would do something special for us, but Iâ€m not sure if they would have done it anyways without my hubby telling them.

Room Service was a bit of a disappointment. Most nights you could only get sandwiches and a couple pieces of fruit, while some nights they offered hamburgers and hot dogs with fries. Plus, it took up to 45 minutes for the food to get there.

One last thing to note, a couple of the guests told us that the resort had lost its 5 star rating and been dropped to a 3 or 3.5 star rating which we didnâ€t find surprising to hear.

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Part 5

Spa

The day my hubby went zip lining, I tried to book something at the spa with one of my bridesmaids. Unfortunately, we couldnâ€t book the day we wanted due to lack of staff. We booked the Reflexology and wanted to get gel manicures on the same day. The Reflexology was great and cost $80 but because we were golden club we got 20% off so it only ended up costing $63. They were out of the gel on Tuesday and didnâ€t know when they would get a supply of gel so we were told to just cancel our appointment. It was a disappointment because I wanted it done for the wedding.

Excursions

Most of our guests ended up doing two excursions: Chukko zip lining (on Monday) and Dunnâ€s River (on Wednesday). The younger crowd including us did the booze cruise and snorkelling Dunnâ€s River excursion, while the older crowd did the Ocho Rios shopping + Dunnâ€s River excursion. Everyone really enjoyed the zip lining and they even took pictures while you were doing it, so we got a cd of pictures of everyone. It was $120 for 60 pictures. We all split the cost. The actual cost of the zip lining was around $88 per person. The booze cruise was awesome and I highly recommend it. First, you go on the catamaran to Dunnâ€s River where you can do some snorkelling. Then you arrive at Dunnâ€s River falls. It was an amazing thing to see, but remember, if you arenâ€t adventurous you donâ€t have to climb it. You can just take the stairs. My hubby actually injured his ankle, but it wasnâ€t serious, just a little swelling. This was on the Wednesday, the day before the wedding so if it was more serious it would have royally sucked. He was able to walk fine after a little bit and everything was fine. Then after you get back on the catamaran and thatâ€s when the party starts. They start playing the music and dancing and drinking. It was so much fun. We also got pictures from the booze cruise. We got a CD for $70. We haggled down the price from $100, and then $80. The booze cruise was around $100 per person. My hubby and I also just did the Ocho Rios Shopping Shuttle the second week.

We didnâ€t book the excursions in advance. While we were at the resort we went to the tour room which was beside the Golden Club, we booked the excursions with the Transat rep.

One thing to note is that excursions are only offered on certain days. Our friends couldnâ€t book the Dolphin Cove because it conflicted with the booze cruise. So you really have to prioritize which excursions you want to do.

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Part 6

Weather

As I talk about the weather I will just remind you that we were there between May 19th and June 2nd. During the first week the weather was great. It was sunny and warm, although humid, and only sprinkled rain a little bit. In fact, our wedding day had the best weather of the whole week. It was sunny all day which made for some great bright photos. The second week was another thing all together. The Saturday everyone else left, it started pouring like an hour after they left. And it continued raining the whole week. It was alright when we did our shopping though. We felt bad for brides during the second week because they definitely got rained out, so hopefully they could re-schedule a time for the gazebo. Just a note, we were told hurricane season starts in June and ends in November, for people going during that time.

Summary

Overall, we had a fantastic time at this resort. It is a very nice resort and the people are very friendly. Although, there was a few hiccups along the way they can be easily ignored. The resort had an excellent fun vibe and was very clean. Our wedding was perfect and we couldnâ€t ask for a better wedding. I wouldnâ€t have changed a thing.

 

On a best destination wedding note, I got to meet Kristo/imjoseph couple of days before our weddings. I saw her on her wedding day and she looked stunning! So glad that I got to share my wedding journey with her through this website and through email. Please feel free to ask any questions to me and i will try my best to answer them. Don't worry about the wedding! Just Relax and have fun!

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Part 7

Pictures

I have attached the free package photos from the resort and I have attached the link to the photographer that we brought with us from Toronto. We didnâ€t tell the resort about him and we didnâ€t pay any vendor fee because he stayed the week.

Chris Lee-4.jpg

Chris Lee-3.jpgChris Lee-2.jpgChris Lee.jpg

 

Here is the link: http://paulnelsonimages.com/gran-bahia-principe-runaway-bay-jamaica-ashley-and-len/2012/06/

I forgot to mention that we did do a trash the dress seesion on the friday at the coyaba gardens. it cost $10 dollars person to get in plus taxi service there and back for $80 dollars. all dallars in my posts are US DOLLars. Again if I can help, please feel free to contact me or post questions. Thank you again to all the brides before me who helped out and those brides to be that helped me on this thread.

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Congrats!!! Your photos are beautiful!!  I'm glad to hear you had a great time!

Originally Posted by exquisite02 View Post

Part 7

Pictures

I have attached the free package photos from the resort and I have attached the link to the photographer that we brought with us from Toronto. We didnâ€t tell the resort about him and we didnâ€t pay any vendor fee because he stayed the week.

Chris Lee-4.jpg

Chris Lee-3.jpgChris Lee-2.jpgChris Lee.jpg

 

Here is the link: http://paulnelsonimages.com/gran-bahia-principe-runaway-bay-jamaica-ashley-and-len/2012/06/

I forgot to mention that we did do a trash the dress seesion on the friday at the coyaba gardens. it cost $10 dollars person to get in plus taxi service there and back for $80 dollars. all dallars in my posts are US DOLLars. Again if I can help, please feel free to contact me or post questions. Thank you again to all the brides before me who helped out and those brides to be that helped me on this thread.

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Hi JayKay!

 

THank you for posting this info. its really helpful. I was wondering how come you didnt have to pay a vendor fee for your photographer? What did your photography package include?

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I'm not sure why we didn't pay a vendor fee for our photographer.  I was expecting I would have too.  They asked who my photographer was, I told them, and they never said anything more about a vendor fee or charged us for it.  I hear they have now drastically increased the vendor fee from $75 to $800 or something like that.  Our photography package included coverage from before the ceremony, ceremony, photos after, and dinner.  We also received all the photos on a disc for our own printing.

Originally Posted by CandaceB View Post

Hi JayKay!

 

THank you for posting this info. its really helpful. I was wondering how come you didnt have to pay a vendor fee for your photographer? What did your photography package include?

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Glad I could help! Can't wait to see more of your photos!

Originally Posted by exquisite02 View Post

Thank you JayKay! that means so much to me since your review really helped me out!

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