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Any Gran Bahia Principe Runaway Bay Brides out there?

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Originally Posted by CdnBrideJoanne View Post
 
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Originally Posted by CristalyneAnkit View Post
 

Hey FutureKeese22,

 

Your review is super helpful! I'm getting married May 24th, 2014 and am beginning to plan my big Indian wedding which seems to be at a standstill since I'm not hearing back from anyone unless I call them directly. Even then I just keep getting the run around and not real answer, just "We're discussing with management" I'm not to worried since most Brides on here said everything went smoothly but I'm still a little concerned since Indian Ceremonies are quite different than Christian Ceremonies and I'm hoping they understand that and can get everything done the way I need. Anyways, I'm wondering how you bagged the free upgrades for your guests! My agent told me for Don Pablo it's an extra $75/person. I'm also wondering if the $800 Vendor Fee got waived for you because you were in the Don Pablo Section? When I spoke to the planners over the phone and asked the difference between Don Pablo they basically said it was a resort within a resort. Any ideas? Thanks so much!

 

My agent (Marlin Travel) told me we can't upgrade to Don Pablo because Transat considers it a different resort.  I thought that was very strange.

 

I also can't get an answer from the wedding coordinators at the moment.  Very frustrating.  I wish Stephanie was still there.

 

We booked through Marlin Travel (Transat). We're paying for the Royal Section and getting the new package that upgrades the Bride and Groom and the parents. The wedding coordinator confirmed when I asked, that since we booked the Royal section we would be upgraded to the Don Pablo section. We don't have to pay an extra $75 per guest since the room upgrade for us is included in the package and we didn't book that section. None of our guests, other than our parents will be staying in that section.

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I also booked the New Package that upgrades the Bride and Groom and the Parents as well. I'm not to worried about that because I'm going with the resorts Romance Extravaganza Package that upgrades us automatically and is a confirmed upgraded room to Don Pablo (If you read some of the fine prints it says subject to availability for some of the packages) so even if Marlin promised something they couldn't keep I've been assured by the hotel that it's included for us and our parents.

 

We had originally asked for Don Pablo for all our guests however and were told Transat owned that section. I honestly just don't trust a thing MarlinTravel says anymore because it's literally been 3 months of requests and planning with them to the point where I thought I had everything all sorted, booked and no worries. I discussed with them the start time, 4 different events, decor, getting a white horse for my Groom as per tradition, food requests, florals, musicality, etc. I literally planned everything with them to find out from the Resort that they didn't even know I was having a Hindu Wedding and nothing was booked not even my Hindu Priest! All they knew was a wedding was taking place on May 24th in the morning slot. Now my time conflicts with another bride and I'm waiting to hear back from the resort if they can accommodate my request to start at 9am instead of their regular 11am start. Vinnette assured me it shouldn't be a problem as they can get staff members in a little earlier but said 10am would be more doable, so now I might have to cut out parts of my ceremony to accommodate MarlinTravels lack of communication.

 

I booked with MarlinTravel only after they told me there was only one spot left in the morning and they assured me I could start at 9am. They promised that to me and didn't even ask the resort before doing so! The same way they promised a Horse, Food, No Vendor Fees, No Day Pass Fees for people, etc. I feel like they promise a lot and don't actually live up to it all. I know a lot of people said Luxe is no better so I'd really suggest people to just use agencies for booking rooms and flights for your guests but honestly when it comes to your wedding don't use the Agents as your planners, use the Resort planners. They're the best resources, even if they're a little slow at emailing you back they make you feel so much more at ease and they can tell you exactly what their policies are and how things really go. 

 

I'm so much happier now that I'm dealing directly with the resort. I'm still waiting for confirmation on a lot of my requests but now I feel like it's actually being looked after and things will run smoothly. :)

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Hi there! I think we got the free upgrade to the Don Pablo section because we booked through a travel agent who booked us through applevacations.com

I do not think I was able to not pay the $800 fee because I was in the Don Pablo section. The Don Pablo employees told me that Arifice studio was an outside vendor that was in the resort. Almost like they rent the space inside of the resort and can charge what they want. 

They called my room a couple of times telling me they were going to do a background check on our photographer who was a 'family friend' and they did and I was fine with that, but I told them they would have to get the payment from her. 

She never paid it and she left the country before I did. 

It's a BS fee and no one should ever have to pay it!

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We did not get married in the US before we left. A marriage in Jamaica is completely legal in the US. We paid $80 US cash to the resort to have our marriage certificates mailed to us within two weeks and we got two copies. I was very glad I did this so I could change my name faster. The copy the resort gives you before you leave also worked to change my name on things! Hope this helps!

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I also booked the New Package that upgrades the Bride and Groom and the Parents as well. I'm not to worried about that because I'm going with the resorts Romance Extravaganza Package that upgrades us automatically and is a confirmed upgraded room to Don Pablo (If you read some of the fine prints it says subject to availability for some of the packages) so even if Marlin promised something they couldn't keep I've been assured by the hotel that it's included for us and our parents. We had originally asked for Don Pablo for all our guests however and were told Transat owned that section. I honestly just don't trust a thing MarlinTravel says anymore because it's literally been 3 months of requests and planning with them to the point where I thought I had everything all sorted, booked and no worries. I discussed with them the start time, 4 different events, decor, getting a white horse for my Groom as per tradition, food requests, florals, musicality, etc. I literally planned everything with them to find out from the Resort that they didn't even know I was having a Hindu Wedding and nothing was booked not even my Hindu Priest! All they knew was a wedding was taking place on May 24th in the morning slot. Now my time conflicts with another bride and I'm waiting to hear back from the resort if they can accommodate my request to start at 9am instead of their regular 11am start. Vinnette assured me it shouldn't be a problem as they can get staff members in a little earlier but said 10am would be more doable, so now I might have to cut out parts of my ceremony to accommodate MarlinTravels lack of communication. I booked with MarlinTravel only after they told me there was only one spot left in the morning and they assured me I could start at 9am. They promised that to me and didn't even ask the resort before doing so! The same way they promised a Horse, Food, No Vendor Fees, No Day Pass Fees for people, etc. I feel like they promise a lot and don't actually live up to it all. I know a lot of people said Luxe is no better so I'd really suggest people to just use agencies for booking rooms and flights for your guests but honestly when it comes to your wedding don't use the Agents as your planners, use the Resort planners. They're the best resources, even if they're a little slow at emailing you back they make you feel so much more at ease and they can tell you exactly what their policies are and how things really go.  I'm so much happier now that I'm dealing directly with the resort. I'm still waiting for confirmation on a lot of my requests but now I feel like it's actually being looked after and things will run smoothly. :)
Marlin travel doesnt specialize in wedding like luxe does, you may have an agent that "specializes" in weddings. I actually work as a travel agent and that's what I am. I prefer my clients deal directly with the resort co-ordinators, I feel that's the best way to ensure your wants and needs are communicated. Of course if a bride is ever having trouble I will step in and deal with the resort but I always tell my brides I handle the travel and am here for any extra help if needed but I feel a middle man between a resort wedding planner and yourself just adds more stress. I'm glad your dealing with the resort yourself now and can get things straightened out :) however I would file a complaint with that agent because that's certainly not good service for your big day! Hope it all falls into place :)

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Hey STemple,

 

You're absolutely right Marlin Travel does not specialize in weddings BUT they own Absolute Wedsite which is their wedding division that does specialize in Weddings. It's pretty much structured in the sense that you deal with Absolute Wedsite who will be your wedding planners and they book your flights and rooms through their Mother Company, Marlin Travel and take care of everything else for you like a wedding planner. The only problem is they really don't do much more than booking your ceremony time and in my case didn't even book that correctly! They tell you to deal with them directly instead of the Resort which is a complete waste of any Brides time since nothing actually gets done.

 

Even the agents at Marlin for the flights and rooms haven't gotten back to my guests who emailed and called 3 months ago! I'm equally disappointed in Marlin Travel and Absolute Wedsite as both divisions of the company do not do their jobs as expected. I'm just happy I saw this all well in advance of my wedding and not days before. :S

 

I think the planners at the resort are fabulous and they're much more experienced having 4-5 weddings a day and I strongly urge all Brides to go this route as it's so much more stress-free! 

 

I never thought about filing a complaint against Absolute and Marlin, I don't even know where I would complain any suggestions? Thanks for the well wishes! :)

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I was also wondering what's included in the decor. I was told it's ribbons that will be draped on the front columns of the Gazebo, chairs with white chair covers IF you request them. Chair ties are an extra $2.50/chair. Some of the packages include your bridal bouquet and boutonniere from Tai Flora who you can email and they will EVENTUALLY send you a catalogue with their bouquets and tell you to choose from #149-164. Everything else is considered an upgrade and unfortunately you have to contact Tai Flora directly to get a quote on what you have in mind. They take forever to get back to you though! If you email the resort planners your ideas they can also look into and get quotes for you from Tai Flora but honestly would probably take even longer to email you back. I'm actually going to start calling everyone to find out what's going on with their emails cause they take way to long to respond but on the phone you get instant answers! There isn't any florals in the decorations really but I was told whatever I get for the ceremony the resort staff will be able to take apart and re-use for the reception, which will be a bonus! Hope that helps. I also attached a picture of what the ceremony setup the resort gives looks like, minus the chair ties. You can choose your own ribbon colours. I found it on Google! :)

 

1000

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