Jump to content

Photo

Any Gran Bahia Principe Runaway Bay Brides out there?


  • Please log in to reply
5571 replies to this topic

#3161 sbelland

sbelland
  • Newbie
  • 47 posts

    Posted 16 January 2012 - 11:13 AM

    Hello All,

     

    I was just wondering what currency you all brought down with you as I have heard mixed info.

     

    I've been told that you can bring down $CAD or $ USD and have it exchanged at the hotel, but for shopping and excursions that the Jamaican dollar is best.

     

    Any info will help greatly as we would need to order some before we leave!

     

    Thanks a bunch!



    #3162 BusyBee123

    BusyBee123
    • Jr. Member
    • 335 posts

      Posted 16 January 2012 - 11:54 AM

      He had super current music, it was more the older stuff that he was lacking sometimes.  We asked for "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey and he looked at us puzzled!  But he had TONS of current stuff.  We brought a bunch of back up CDs just in case but only used them for the first dance. 
       

      Originally Posted by Kim Deslippe 

      Thanks BusyBee,

      Another thing I am curious about is if the music that the DJ has is current a little dated; maybe we should bring some CDs with newer stuff?

      Definitely think we're going to book the gazebo and the DJ but skip the bartender (depending on the # of guests).
      Thanks

      We only brought US with us and used it everywhere.  I've only every used Jamaican on one of my trips there as I was staying close to the market in Ocho Rios and was spending more time in local shops.  That being said, they still accepted US, I had only changed as I wasn't sure. Otherwise I've used US everywhere. All excursions we paid and tipped in US dollars.  

       

      Also I would NOT exchange it at the hotel lobby as they charge a much higher exchange than you would be paying at your local bank.  Change to USD before you go.  

      Originally Posted by sbelland 

      Hello All,

       

      I was just wondering what currency you all brought down with you as I have heard mixed info.

       

      I've been told that you can bring down $CAD or $ USD and have it exchanged at the hotel, but for shopping and excursions that the Jamaican dollar is best.

       

      Any info will help greatly as we would need to order some before we leave!

       

      Thanks a bunch!



       



      #3163 GBP2012

      GBP2012
      • Newbie
      • 29 posts

        Posted 16 January 2012 - 04:55 PM

        Hi BusyBee!!

         

        Congrats on your wedding! Thank you for the detailed write up on your experience. We are getting married in less than 55 days! I cannot believe how time is flying by!

        I have a question about the cruise. Is it on a catamaran or boat and is it on the river? I ask this because we went on a snorkeling/catamaran excursion in Cuba, and I was sick the entire time! Although we boat all the time in the lake, getting out on the open sea and in the catamaran was NOT the same and I was sea SICK!

        Your excursion sounded fabulous as we were planning a trip off the resort to Dunn's River and my dad really wants to snorkel!

         

        Would love to hear back from you as I may book for our group!

        Thanks!!

        Laura
         

        Originally Posted by BusyBee123 

        Hey....

         

        The woman I worked with was named Casita and her email is as follows: sales08@caribbeanworldvacations.com.  She works for Caribbean World/Island Routes.  She was absolutely fabulous to work with and helped us SO much!  Plus she responds super fast to email.   When we first booked we had 18 people....then ended up with only 14 going on the cruise and she allowed us to still use the group rate.  She also refunded us the deposit we had already paid for the extra 4 people.   We paid $70 per person.  

         

        What we did was pay a 50% deposit at the time of booking, then paid the rest about a month and a bit before we went.  We paid for all of our guests, so it went directly on one credit card.  

         

        The cruise includes transportation to and from Ocho Rios in a bus.  It also provides all snorkel equipement, Dunn's River admission, and the cruise, drinks, snacks.

         

        Hope that helps! 

         

         



         



         



        #3164 BusyBee123

        BusyBee123
        • Jr. Member
        • 335 posts

          Posted 16 January 2012 - 05:11 PM

          Its a catamaran cruise on the ocean, definitely not on a river.  I'm not aware of any rivers nearby, especially rivers with coral reefs for snorkelling!  Dunn's River Falls is directly on the ocean.  The swells are pretty large, so if you tend to get sea sick, this may not be the excursion for you! 

           

          Quote:

          Originally Posted by GBP2012 

          Hi BusyBee!!

           

          Congrats on your wedding! Thank you for the detailed write up on your experience. We are getting married in less than 55 days! I cannot believe how time is flying by!

          I have a question about the cruise. Is it on a catamaran or boat and is it on the river? I ask this because we went on a snorkeling/catamaran excursion in Cuba, and I was sick the entire time! Although we boat all the time in the lake, getting out on the open sea and in the catamaran was NOT the same and I was sea SICK!

          Your excursion sounded fabulous as we were planning a trip off the resort to Dunn's River and my dad really wants to snorkel!

           

          Would love to hear back from you as I may book for our group!

          Thanks!!

          Laura



           



          #3165 JayKay

          JayKay
          • Sr. Member
          • 3,472 posts
          • Wedding Date:January 13, 2012
          • Wedding Location:Gran Bahia Principe Runaway Bay Jamaica
          • LocationSouthern Alberta

          Posted 17 January 2012 - 08:41 AM

          Hey ladies!! 

           

          I'm home, and married.  I will leave a detailed review later, but just wanted to say our wedding ceremony was perfect, you have nothing to worry about!

           

          Pretty much the rest of the vacation was a disaster and I will probably never speak to my inlaws again.  I'm pretty tired (from a 12 hour travel day yesterday, not getting home until 4 am, and bawling my eyes our pretty mcuh all night) so Ill be back later for a review!



          #3166 JayKay

          JayKay
          • Sr. Member
          • 3,472 posts
          • Wedding Date:January 13, 2012
          • Wedding Location:Gran Bahia Principe Runaway Bay Jamaica
          • LocationSouthern Alberta

          Posted 17 January 2012 - 02:43 PM

          We were in Jamaica January 9-16th.  Our first day, the 9th, we flew out of Calgary at 7am and didn’t get to the resort until about 7pm.  It was a super long day and everyone was tired (from being at the airport at 4am) and hungry.  I know I’ll forget some things in here so if you have questions ask!

           

          Resort:

          This resort is MASSIVE!!!  We only had a few people in our group (a group of 18) that had travelled before so overall the reviews for the resort were pretty good as we don’t have anything to compare it to.  The majority of our group (11) had royal golden upgrades while the rest were just in standard rooms (their choice).  Our royal golden check in was a breeze, in out quick and up to our room.  My hubby and I were the first ones to check in and were whisked away to our room.  I wish at that moment I would have had my Martha Stewart room things (looking for someone, with the room numbers) I could have left one down there for everyone to write their room numbers on and went and picked it up later because basically we didn’t know where anyone else’s room was and spent a long time walking around trying to find everyone.

           

          Just a recommendation for people who are thinking of choosing this resort:  We offered standard rooms or the upgrade to the royal golden rooms to everyone coming.  My hubbys parents, grandma, and brother and his wife chose the standard rooms while the rest of us chose the royal golden.  This caused a lot of problems we had with my hubbys parents while on the trip.  When we checked in we were told that they prebooked (we hadn’t asked at all) our ala carts for the people who were in royal golden (11 of us).  The other 5 (hubbys entire family) didn’t have their books.  When they went to try to book all the ala carts were full and they were unable to join us for dinners. Also, a lot of our dinners were booked for 6pm, which we would have rather had them a bit later so you can enjoy your entire day.  When we tried to switch times or restaurants to accommodate we were unable to do so.  I think that my hubbys family felt really left out because of this (although we had no idea they were going to book them for us).  Also, we were on complete opposite sides of the resort (everyone in royal golden were in the 23000s and they were in the 17000s).  To do it over I would offer only standard or royal golden to the entire group, rather than both.

           

          When my hubby and I finally found out where everyone else’s rooms were (we were 23611, all other royal goldens were in the 23400s) we tried to see if we could be moved closer to everyone else in the royal golden.  They tried but couldn’t move us until half way through the week so we decided to stay where we were.  When we got to our room it we tried to use the safe and it wouldn’t work and was broken.  We waited for over an hour for someone to come and fix it.  Also, the wedding planners were supposed to leave a letter for us telling us what day and time to meet with them and it wasn’t there, instead it was at the front desk, which wasn’t a big deal.

           

          Everyone in the 23000s had great views and clean, nice rooms that were fairly quiet.  The others, who were in 17101, 17103, and 17105, were on the main floor right by the shopping centre and disco.  They said that at night it was very loud not only from the music, but because one of the walk ways through to the shopping centre was right beside room 17101. Also, we found that being in the 23000s (the newest area) we had to walk so far to get anywhere as most things are on the other side of the resort (beach, shopping center, snack bar, restraints ect)  There are also a lot of stairs at this resort and I don’t think it would be very handicap friendly.

           

          We enjoyed the shopping centre; however, found that all the stores carry the exact same thing.  And they try to pressure you into buying things you don’t want to buy.  You can barter with them quite well and usually can get the price reduced quite a lot. (The stores in the lobby of the resort, you can’t barter with them well at all (except for the jewelry store) so try to shop at the pueblo principle.

          We found the night entertainment was okay at best, not great.  We watched a few of the nightly entertainment shows and they were okay.  We enjoyed the lobby bar and the bar set up beside the one pool bar.  That’s where we spent most of our evenings.  The disco was pretty sketchy and not that much fun.

           

          We spent most of our days relaxing by the pool at one of the pool bars or at the beach.  We really enjoyed the pool and the pool bar.  The water was colder then the ocean and felt great when the sun came out.  We spent most of our time at the pool down by the 23000s as most of our rooms were down that way, it had comfy huts with wooden padded loungers and the pool bar was usually quieter.  We spent a few days at the beach.  The beach is not spectacular but it’s not horrible either.  We would walk all the way to the other end of the beach (by the nude beach) as that’s where the best spots were found.  We spent a fair bit of time snorkeling by the beach.

           

          Food:

          We had a chance to eat at every restaurant at the resort.

           

          Dolce Vita (Italian):  Our entire group sat and waited for our food for over two hours and when we did receive it not very good at all.  Not one person had anything good to say about this place. It is right on the ocean which is a plus.  My mom has a severe dairy allergy and she couldn’t find one thing on the menu to eat that didn’t have dairy in it or could be made dairy free.  She ended up with a salad.  I’d say this was our last favorite place.

           

          Mikado Teppanyaky (Japanese):  We really enjoyed this place.  We had the opportunity to sit as a group at the teppanyaky which was really fun.  Our chef put on a great show and we really enjoyed it.  The food was also pretty good, although a little bit too salty.  It was really fun to experience that though, definitely try to do that if you can.

           

          Don Pablo: We ate here our last night.  This is by far the fanciest place on the resort.  The guys had been wearing dress shorts with sandals to all the other a la carts but were not allowed in this one without pants. They were still able to wear their sandals.  This is a true dining experience with a four course meal.  Mostly everyone enjoyed the food, but found the menu to be pretty limited.  My brothers are really picky eaters and didn’t really find anything they want to eat.  Most of us had the Chateaubriand which they serve at the table side.  Most of it was way over cooked and chewy and grisly, I don’t think anyone finished it.  They also put on a show for the banana flamb©, which is neat to see.

           

          The Grill:  We had our wedding dinner here and I will review that later.  We also ate here a second time a few nights after the wedding.  By far this was our favorite a la carte out of all of them.  Most of our group is a meat and potato kind of people so it was great for them.  They have a buffet which you serve yourself and order the main course.  Just a note, the main courses are pretty tiny, so eat lots of the buffet!!  We loved the soup, beef and vegetable that we all ate like four bowls of it!  We found that the buffet had a great variety of different things to eat.  Most people had the surf and turf (lobster and steak) which was really amazing!!  Overall, this was our favorite.

           

          Buffets:  There are two buffets, a larger one (Orchid) and a smaller one (Palmyra).  The larger buffet was much better to eat at for lunch or supper as it had way more variety then the little one, but we ate at the little buffet pretty much every day for breakfast as it was quiet compared to the big one, and closer to our rooms.  Both offer many choices to choose from, but it’s the same thing every day for breakfast, and I was getting sick of eating the same thing over and over.

           

          Snack Bar: Pisces.  This is on the beach and we ate here most of the time for lunch.  The jerk chicken is amazing, although they have some sauces that are so very hot!  They have a lot of snacky type of foods and we enjoyed it.

           

          Burger Principe:  We ate here some of the nights.  Some nights were better than others, but overall it wasn’t too bad.  We did have to wait quite a long time of the nights for a burger. 

           

          Room Service:  This is offered to the royal golden upgrades.  Please please please do not choose to upgrade purely for the room service as it is terrible!  Before 11pm you can get things like a hamburger, or hot dog with fries, or a sandwich.  After 11p basically you have three things to choose from.  It usually took at least an hour to get and by the time it arrived it was cold.  Everyone who ordered room service said it was terrible.

           

          Drinks:

          A lot of people in our group like to drink.  They drank a lot of beer and a lot of pina coladas and strawberry daiquiris.  I’m not much of a drinker but there was a big enough selection to choose from to make mostly any drink.  We also discovered rum cream and fell in love.  You have to try it at least once!! 

           

          Excursions

           

           

          We did Dunns River Falls on the day before the wedding.  It was great to go see and do but definitely not what I expected.  There were so many people, that it took us almost 2 hours to climb the falls.  Also, our group all got separated apart and I was by myself climbing up.  None of the guides helped us out and were super rude when we didn’t give them a tip at the end.  It is a must see. We ended up having to wait outside duns river falls for over an hour for our bus to come pick us up which really sucked.

           

           

          On the day before we left all us young group of people (9 of us) went to mystic mountain. We had a blast here and would recommend this to anyone.  It’s fairly close to the resort, about 30 minutes away.  You ride a chair lift up the side of the mountain.  At the top there is an infinity pool and water slide which we spent a bit of time in.  We did the bobsled which was great, almost like a mini roller coaster.  It was pretty short but still great.  We also did the zip lining.  None of us in the group had ever zip lined before but we had so much fun doing it.  The only downfall is that if you do the zip lining last you finish half way down the mountain and you have to take the chairlift to the bottom then all the way back to the top to get your stuff.  Overall it was really fun!

           

           

           



          #3167 JayKay

          JayKay
          • Sr. Member
          • 3,472 posts
          • Wedding Date:January 13, 2012
          • Wedding Location:Gran Bahia Principe Runaway Bay Jamaica
          • LocationSouthern Alberta

          Posted 17 January 2012 - 02:44 PM

          Wedding:

           

          Our wedding day was absolutely amazing and wonderful.  Please do not stress about things as the planners are nothing but amazing.

           

          Meeting:  We met with Chandlyn the day after we arrived at 10am to go over all the final details.  She had everything of ours in our file and just needed to finalize a few last minute details. This is also when we made our final payment for extra people and the minister fees.  We payed on credit card for all of it.  We gave her our final copy of our ceremony script and any other last minute things.  Before we left I asked if we needed to bring our original birth certificates with us and I was told before we left I asked if we needed to bring our original birth certificates with us and I was told yes, so I did, but she never once asked for them.   We also met with a girl from the photo shop that day who explained how long they are there for and when to pick up our pictures (which was a nightmare which Ill cover later).  We dropped off our wedding things (sand ceremony, chair ties, and music) the day before the wedding.

           

          Hair and Makeup:  My MOH and I went to the spa at 1pm (ceremony was at 4pm) to have our hair and makeup done.  We both brought pictures of what we kind of wanted and they were able to reproduce it pretty well.  I did have to end up going back to my room and re pinning a few pieces of hair, but over all I was very happy.  They also use an amazing spray that makes your hair stay and now go anywhere, they call it Jamaican cement. I also told the girl I wanted my makeup natural and not too much and it was just perfect.  The two girls doing our hair were a little rude and grumpy.  The only complaint I have is that when we got there they told us the prices had gone up, which I already knew about because they had emailed me.  The problem was that when I booked my appointment I told them I didn’t want to do the trials for the hair or the makeup (both are included) so they gave me a cheaper price for both.  I guess since they increased the prices in 2012 they also now charge you the full price whether or not you get the trials done.  They also don’t take cash but rather change it to your room.  Also, to do it over I would have gone to the salon earlier.  By the time we had finished it was 3pm and I had to rush to put my dress on and make sure everything else was ready to go.

           

          Photographer:  We knew that we got 5 free photos from the resort but we still hired our own.  We hired Merrick Cousley and we couldn’t be happier about our decision.  He came to the room I was getting ready at after we returned from the spa and before that he was with the boys taking pictures.  From the few pictures he showed me they look amazing!!  He was super easy to work with and we had some really good laughs with him.  I had a few pictures I really wanted to do and he was more than willing to do them.  We also invited him to our dinner and we were happy we did as he fit right in with our group and took some pictures during dinner. I’m really excited to see our photos from him.

           

          Flowers:  After much debate during planning we decided to just go with the free flowers in the package.  I was going to have my husband and his best man wearing starfish boutonnieres I got from etsy, but my fianc© decided he would rather have flowers, which I was fine with.  At the initial meeting Chandlyn had a book of all the bouquet choices for me to choose from.  I was really extremely happy with my flowers and glad I didn’t pay to get them from someone else.  My bouquet and MOHs bouquet were delivered to our room at about noon that day.  I was a little stressed out that they forgot the boutonnieres but the wedding planner will pin them on down at the gazebo, so don’t worry.

           

          Gazebo decoration:  I had brought my own chair ties, turquoise, that they put on all the chairs.  Chandlyn asked me if I wanted to have the gazebo decorated with turquoise and I said sure.  It looked really great and loved the color.  I would say definitely do the chair ties as they really make everything pop.  Without them it would look pretty blah and plain I think.

          Ceremony:  Our ceremony was at 4pm and I think it was the perfect time.  We still had lots of sunlight for pictures after and it wasn’t too hot.  At 345 we had to be in the lobby.  My mom and dad both walked me down the aisle so they both came along with my MOH.  Donnalee was there for our wedding day and she drove us down to the gazebo in the golf cart thing.  I had made CDs of our wedding music and they did a great job of playing it.  I clearly labeled which song was for what.  They were supposed to play a song during the sand ceremony but they didn’t, but it wasn’t a big deal.

           

          We wrote our own script and the reverend read it word for word.  I guess my husband had time to chat with him before the ceremony started and he said he was really nice.  The only thing that was kind of annoying was that he kept saying my name wrong.  My name is spelt Jayne but pronounced like Jay Knee, but he kept calling me Jane.  It’s not a bit deal as I’m used to being called that.

           

          It was so super windy down at the gazebo, even though it wasn’t a really windy day.  I’m really glad I had my hair out of my face or I would have not been able to see.  It was nice though as it wasn’t super hot due to the wind. 

           

          Dinner:  We had our dinner at the Grill at 630pm.  We had the chicken Caesar salad, beef and vegetable soup, mix grill, and the cheesecake.  The food was fantastic and everyone was raving about it for days after!  The only issue we had was with my mom, who has a severe dairy allergy.  They kept bringing her food that she couldn’t eat, but they quickly realized it and gave her something she could eat.  All of the food was delicious.

           

          We were all on one long table and kind of off to the one side of the Grill.  There was no one close to us at all which was really nice.  We were able to have short, informal speeches and be as loud as we wanted to be.  We had our own personal waiter, Adam, that was fantastic!  They transferred our chair covers and ties onto the chairs at the grill and it looks good.

          We had our cake after our dinner and by then everyone was really full and hardly ate any.  We had the chocolate and vanilla and it tasted good.  The cake was decorated like all the pictures, but we didn’t really care about the cake.  They ended up serving the cake and then delivering the rest of it to our room, which we snacked on for a few days!

          After dinner we all headed to the pool bar by the 23000s where they have music and drinks until 11pm.  There were only a few other people there so we were able to turn up the music and dance right there.  We had a lot of fun there and after that headed to the sports bar. 

           

          We were at the sports bar for about 10 minutes then my hubbys mom started dancing on a table and pulling her dress up and being a crazy bitch.  So needless to say my hubby was super embarrassed, frustrated and was crying so we ended up going to the room early which everyone else stayed out and partied. It was the beginning of all the family drama.

           

          We were told to head to the photo shop in the shopping area the day after our wedding in the late afternoon to pick up our 5 free wedding photos.  We went there around 5 pm and were asked if we had an appointment.  According to the girl at the first meeting she said just show up you don’t need an appointment.  They ‘attempted’ to find our photos and then we were told that they didn’t know where the pictures went so they told us to come back the next day.  We went back the next day at 4 pm and sat there for over an hour for them to load up the pictures.  The photographer took 95 photos of us that day and we were allowed to go through and pick the 5 we wanted.  The photos were okay, but definitely not great.  I think this new company is a little better then the last one there, but I still wouldn’t trust them with all the pictures of my wedding.  We ended up choosing 5 photos and they asked whether we wanted them on a disc of printed.  We choose to have them on the disc.  I also asked out of curiosity how much it would be if we wanted all 95 photos on a disc and was told it would be $950 dollars!!!!!!  That’s like 10 dollars a pictures to put them on a disc.  They were not that nice so we only got our 5 and left.

           

          I think that’s everything.  Although my week was filled with drama and in the end it basically tore two families apart and I’m left in the middle between both, I still had a blast with the people that came and will enjoy all the good memories.  We had an absolutely beautiful wedding ceremony and we are married and that’s all that matters!

           

           



          #3168 JayKay

          JayKay
          • Sr. Member
          • 3,472 posts
          • Wedding Date:January 13, 2012
          • Wedding Location:Gran Bahia Principe Runaway Bay Jamaica
          • LocationSouthern Alberta

          Posted 17 January 2012 - 02:54 PM

           

           

           

           

           

          DSC_9138.jpgDSC_9172.jpgDSC_9230.jpgDSC_9223.jpgDSC_9175.jpg

           

          These are the 5 free photos from the resort photographers.



          #3169 JayKay

          JayKay
          • Sr. Member
          • 3,472 posts
          • Wedding Date:January 13, 2012
          • Wedding Location:Gran Bahia Principe Runaway Bay Jamaica
          • LocationSouthern Alberta

          Posted 17 January 2012 - 02:56 PM

          I was going to come creep on your wedding and say hi, but by the time I realized what day it was, and the time (NO Clocks anywhere!!!!) we were already up in our room.  I think it may have been you taking pictures on the one pool bridge?! Maybe?! haha. 

           

          Originally Posted by BusyBee123 

          Thanks so much ACW! Hope you're doing well and enjoying married life!  I still can't believe it is all over!  It felt like a dream come true!  

           

          I somehow missed jaykay completely!  I had planned to go and congratulate her on her wedding day, but ended up with a horrible migraine!  I watched a bit of her ceremony from our balcony before I headed to bed!  It looked lovely from what I could see!  Loved her bright aqua chair ties!  

           

          Quote:



           



           



          #3170 Kim Deslippe

          Kim Deslippe
          • Newbie
          • 85 posts

            Posted 17 January 2012 - 04:07 PM

            JayKay - I have been looking forward to hearing your review all week and it makes me so sad that there was problems during "your wedding trip" and anyone that ruined it for you, shame on them....that is so unfair.  I am glad that there were no major issues with your ceremony and you look beautiful, as does the gazebo decorations.  Congrats to you and your new hubby!!

             






            0 user(s) are reading this topic

            0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users