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Any Gran Bahia Principe Runaway Bay Brides out there?


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#3251 imajoseph

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    Posted 27 January 2012 - 08:39 AM

    does anyone know how much it is going to cost to have the photographer come on the hotel grounds to shoot our wedding and the TTD session the following day? do we have to pay 2 separate fee's and how do we pay that?



    #3252 ashley490

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      Posted 27 January 2012 - 10:52 AM

      Since we were only a small group of 23 we booked when we got to the resort.  I also wanted to wait to make sure that once we got there everyone still wanted to go on the excursion.  The catamaran (yes the company is called cool runnings) holds about 200 people so if you book when you very first get to the resort you shouldn't have any problems.  We didn't look around for prices, we just booked through our travel reps.  We were able to compare prices from our travel reps (Air Canada) with another travel rep (WestJet) and the prices were exactly the same.  Hope that helps!

       

      Originally Posted by tamandrob 


      Congrats on being a Mrs!!!!! Thank you for the review and I am glad that most things worked out. I am shocked about the hot oil incidence. I want to plan a trip to Dunn's River Falls for your group and I was wondering did you organize this before your trip or did you organize this when you were there? Also just to confirm the company was called cool runnings? Did you look around for prices? Thanks
       



       



       


      Gran Bahia Principe Jamaica, Runaway Bay - January 18, 2012

      #3253 acw271011

      acw271011
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      • Wedding Date:October 20, 2011
      • Wedding Location:We tied the knot in Runaway Bay, Jamaica and renewed our vows in Mexico on our 4th Anniversary
      • LocationToronto Area

      Posted 27 January 2012 - 12:22 PM


      not everyone gets a replacement. I know back at the beginning of last year there were a couple of brides that asked about that and were refused. I don't remember what it was that I asked about - something fairly small - and was turned down. it wasn't a big deal but just don't rely on the fact that they'll replace one thing with something else. their policies don't seem consistent on quite a few things and where Donnalee is involved, you definitely seem to get wrong information!
       

      Originally Posted by Kim Deslippe 

      It is so great reading everyone's different reviews about the resort and how everything plays out, it definitely gives you a heads up about things to be aware of.

      Loving the fact that they will give you something else if you choose not to use something included with the packages.  I think that we will be bring a photographer from home with us (my FI cousin, but she's just starting out so were gonna test her out in the spring with some engagement pics I think!!) and I'm still debating on what I want to do about flowers.



       


      I said "yes" again to the love of my life at Grand Coral Beach Club, Playa del Carmen, Mexico on our 4th anniversary - October 20, 2015

       

       

      http://www.bestdestinationwedding.com/topic/78874-acw271011-so-this-is-not-a-planning-thread-but/

       

       

      event.png


      #3254 acw271011

      acw271011
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      • Wedding Date:October 20, 2011
      • Wedding Location:We tied the knot in Runaway Bay, Jamaica and renewed our vows in Mexico on our 4th Anniversary
      • LocationToronto Area

      Posted 27 January 2012 - 12:25 PM

      we paid $75 for a pass for our photographer, Merrick Cousley. supposedly that's it as long as your vendor isn't using any of the bars or restaurants. having said that we paid the fee for Merrick, but he was then included as our "guest" for dinner because we were only 2, no guests or wedding party. so Chandlyn didn't charge anything extra for him. I don't know if they would charge the same rate twice, but I wouldn't think so.

       

      Originally Posted by imajoseph 

      does anyone know how much it is going to cost to have the photographer come on the hotel grounds to shoot our wedding and the TTD session the following day? do we have to pay 2 separate fee's and how do we pay that?



       


      I said "yes" again to the love of my life at Grand Coral Beach Club, Playa del Carmen, Mexico on our 4th anniversary - October 20, 2015

       

       

      http://www.bestdestinationwedding.com/topic/78874-acw271011-so-this-is-not-a-planning-thread-but/

       

       

      event.png


      #3255 acw271011

      acw271011
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      • 3,128 posts
      • Wedding Date:October 20, 2011
      • Wedding Location:We tied the knot in Runaway Bay, Jamaica and renewed our vows in Mexico on our 4th Anniversary
      • LocationToronto Area

      Posted 27 January 2012 - 12:29 PM


      congrats! glad to hear things went well for the most part. it does sound like you had a wonderful day! looking forward to seeing pics!!
       

      Originally Posted by ashley490 

       

      Well ladies, I’m back!  We stayed at GBP from January 14-21, 2012 and got married on the 18th.  We certainly had the most beautiful day to get married...hardly any wind at all.  I don’t want to repeat everything that some of the other ladies have said to I’ll just do some highlights.

       

      Meeting:

       

      We met with Chandlyn the day after we arrived.  She had placed a note under our door the night before to let us know when our meeting with her was booked for.  At the meeting she pretty much had everything written down that I had emailed her about.  Just a few last minute corrections.  Since I hired Paula and Damian from Sungold to do our pictures I told Chandlyn I did not want the resort photographer present and that I didn’t need the 5 free pictures that come with the package.  Since I was skipping the pictures she offered to give me an extra layer of cake for free.  Then I gave her our wedding favours and we paid for everything on credit card and we were set.

       

      Wedding:

       

      Our ceremony was at 4pm.  I almost would’ve preferred a 3:00pm ceremony just to have a little bit of buffer time between the ceremony, pictures, and dinner.  I felt a little rushed trying to freshen up before dinner.  We were supposed to eat at the Grill but they moved us to the Palmyra (buffet restaurant) which was okay since it was much quieter than the Grill.  Despite the change in location we were still able to eat the food I had selected from the Grill (chicken Caesar Salad, beef vegetable soup, mix grill, and cheesecake).  The food was good, people swapped parts of the mixed grill amongst each other to get more of what they liked which worked well.  My favourite was the soup.  They had the cake table there and brought out the cake once everyone was finished their main course.  Since we were only a group of 23 we all sat at one long table which felt less formal and as such more comfortable for us.  After dinner we went back to the gazebo for dancing, drinks, and entertainment.  We hired the bartender who was really nice but doesn’t stock Red Stripe, so if you have lots of beer drinkers you might want to skip the bartender (I wish I had now that I know).  We also hired the hat field dancers, who do some fire dancing, to perform.  I would give them a 3 out of 5.  They weren’t super but it was still entertaining to watch.  It also filled up some of our dance time which was good since we don’t have a lot of people in our group who like to dance.  Overall the wedding was great, and our guests said everything was lovely.  The only one who noticed anything wrong was me because I put so much time and effort into planning everything.

       

      Things that went wrong:

       

      They delivered all of the flowers to my room, and because I was busy getting ready I didn’t realize until it was too late that they had left the men’s bouts in my room too.  I panicked but thankfully our photographer, Damian from Sungold, offered to run them down to the guys at the gazebo.  Crisis averted!!

       

      I had given fans to Chandlyn at the meeting to be placed on the chairs at the gazebo.  I guess she had given them to Donnalee and then Donnalee gave them to a “trainee” to hand out.  My guests never did get the fans.  Turns out the “trainee” gave them to the bride that had her ceremony at 2:00pm instead of my group at 4:00pm.  Needless to say I was REALLY ticked off!  It was frustrating sorting this out as Donnalee insisted that they had been given out.  After talking to her about it a couple days after the wedding she still insisted that she didn’t know what happened but offered to have our marriage certificate mailed to us express post.

       

      I paid the resort to provide the chair ties.  I gave explicit direction on what the color should be (purple in the same shade as my orchids).  They ended up using a much darker purple which I wasn’t really thrilled about.  They also decorated the gazebo in the same color but then tied lime green bows at the bottom of the pillars, which I thought was hideous and still have no idea why they did that.

       

      My wedding cake was 3 tiers.  I had asked for coconut, chocolate, and vanilla raspberry.  I ended up getting 2 layers of vanilla raspberry and one layer of chocolate.  I complained about this to Donnalee and she said she was going to check into it with the pastry chef...but nothing ever happened.

      We had the DJ play music for the ceremony.  While he played the right songs at the right places, I assumed that he would fade out the songs before turning them off.  Wrong again!  As soon as people got to their spots the DJ abruptly turns off the music.  So if you want a nice fade out perhaps burn the CD that way.

       

      Aside from the wedding, we went to the Japanese restaurant 2 days before the wedding where the chef burned my face with hot oil.  He didn’t even ask if I was okay, just looked over and then kept going about his business.  The other 9 people around the table saw what happened and were shocked but at least showed concern and asked if I was okay.  Had I not been wearing my glasses my eyes would’ve been burned.  I didn’t report the incident right away and then when I did bring it forward the woman from PR basically called me a liar because I hadn’t reported it sooner.

       

      Things to Rave about:

       

      Damian and Paula from Sungold are AMAZING!  While they are somewhat expensive I thought (and hubby thinks too) that they were worth every penny.  Damian was so kind when I had a bit of a freakout about the flowers before the ceremony and tried to help in any way he could.  His eye for detail is second to none.  He’d always make sure my necklace was straight and that “the girls” (since I’m busty) were always properly covered, and that I was looking perfect all day.  We did a next day trash the dress shoot at Coyaba gardens, and Damian and Paula picked us up from the resort in their own vehicle and drove us.  I was feeling really sick that day and both Damian and Paula were so sweet.  They’d stop the car occasionally to let me out for some fresh air and even stopped and bought me a drink to help settle my stomach.  The few pics that I saw on their camera were phenomenal!  I really can’t say enough about them.  They are truly gifted photographers and are just fantastic people all around.

       

      Rashel Edwards is undeniably gifted at what she does.  I had her do my makeup for my wedding and next day TTD session and I felt like a beauty queen both days.  She was definitely worth the money!  If you’re unsure about hiring her, just know that she will make you look flawless for your wedding.  She was also so pleasant, patient, and understanding.  I was really late for my appointment with her (I mixed up the time I was supposed to meet her) but she just waited for me (thank god!) and quickly got to work once I arrived.  She really is a gem and her work speaks for itself!

       

      Overall we had a nice vacation.  The resort is huge but has lots of options for things to do.  I had read in some reviews that the bugs were bad but we didn't notice this to be a problem.  The best place to eat is Don Pablo’s (get the chateaubriand).  The best snorkelling is by the wedding gazebo.  The best sand for the beach is towards the nude beach.  Relax, explore, and enjoy!  Know that not everything will go according to plan but just roll with it and you’ll still have fun.  If anything is wrong talk to your travel rep right away and hopefully they can get you some type of compensation. 

       

      If you have any questions just ask!



       


      I said "yes" again to the love of my life at Grand Coral Beach Club, Playa del Carmen, Mexico on our 4th anniversary - October 20, 2015

       

       

      http://www.bestdestinationwedding.com/topic/78874-acw271011-so-this-is-not-a-planning-thread-but/

       

       

      event.png


      #3256 tamandrob

      tamandrob
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      • 349 posts

        Posted 27 January 2012 - 02:24 PM


        Thanks for the info!!!
         

        Originally Posted by ashley490 

        Since we were only a small group of 23 we booked when we got to the resort.  I also wanted to wait to make sure that once we got there everyone still wanted to go on the excursion.  The catamaran (yes the company is called cool runnings) holds about 200 people so if you book when you very first get to the resort you shouldn't have any problems.  We didn't look around for prices, we just booked through our travel reps.  We were able to compare prices from our travel reps (Air Canada) with another travel rep (WestJet) and the prices were exactly the same.  Hope that helps!

         



         



         


        Gran Bahia Principe Jamaica- February 28th, 2012

        32 Booked.......and counting!


        #3257 tamandrob

        tamandrob
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          Posted 27 January 2012 - 02:33 PM

          When sending in the package information I requested the Dolce vita; I liked that it was more private than the grill. I really had my heart set on eating there but when I tried to confirm this with Chandlyn this week, this is the response I received As per the Restaurant Manager we have a new restaurant called the Palmyra that has now been assigned to wedding groups for dinner.The dinner will therefore be at this restaurant with the Dolce vita menu.

           

          Is this what other brides are getting as well? I have emailed Chandlyn for pictures but haven't heard back yet.

           

          Ashley490- I read in your review that this is where your wedding group ate, was the setting private or open? Where is this restaurant located in the hotel? Thanks


          Gran Bahia Principe Jamaica- February 28th, 2012

          32 Booked.......and counting!


          #3258 ashley490

          ashley490
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            Posted 27 January 2012 - 02:59 PM

            Yes, we did eat at the Palmyra.  The area where tables are is a shallow "U" shape.  They had my group on the far right side of the restaurant so we found it fairly private.  It also helped that it wasn't very busy in there so they tended to sit most other folks on the other side of the restaurant.  I enjoyed it.  They had some really nice soft dinner music playing as well.  This buffet restaurant is located closer to the 23000 section of the resort, and I found it not too far from the wedding gazebo.  I would definitely recommend the Palmyra.  As an added bonus I found the chairs a bit more comfortable :)

             

            Originally Posted by tamandrob 

            When sending in the package information I requested the Dolce vita; I liked that it was more private than the grill. I really had my heart set on eating there but when I tried to confirm this with Chandlyn this week, this is the response I received As per the Restaurant Manager we have a new restaurant called the Palmyra that has now been assigned to wedding groups for dinner.The dinner will therefore be at this restaurant with the Dolce vita menu.

             

            Is this what other brides are getting as well? I have emailed Chandlyn for pictures but haven't heard back yet.

             

            Ashley490- I read in your review that this is where your wedding group ate, was the setting private or open? Where is this restaurant located in the hotel? Thanks



             


            Gran Bahia Principe Jamaica, Runaway Bay - January 18, 2012

            #3259 tamandrob

            tamandrob
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            • 349 posts

              Posted 27 January 2012 - 03:59 PM


              Thanks I was getting nervous but glad you recommend it :)
               

              Originally Posted by ashley490 

              Yes, we did eat at the Palmyra.  The area where tables are is a shallow "U" shape.  They had my group on the far right side of the restaurant so we found it fairly private.  It also helped that it wasn't very busy in there so they tended to sit most other folks on the other side of the restaurant.  I enjoyed it.  They had some really nice soft dinner music playing as well.  This buffet restaurant is located closer to the 23000 section of the resort, and I found it not too far from the wedding gazebo.  I would definitely recommend the Palmyra.  As an added bonus I found the chairs a bit more comfortable :)

               



               



               


              Gran Bahia Principe Jamaica- February 28th, 2012

              32 Booked.......and counting!


              #3260 exquisite02

              exquisite02
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                Posted 27 January 2012 - 04:40 PM

                A big Congratulations to Ashley490 ! Thank you so much for your review. I can't wait to see pictures!!! I'm really interested in seeing pictures of your Dinner since this is an option! I only have 15 guests and maybe my photographer for dinner so I'm not too worried about the dinner and also because I don't want to do speeches either. Thank you Ashley for sharing!






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