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Any Gran Bahia Principe Runaway Bay Brides out there?


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#3691 JayKay

JayKay
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  • Wedding Date:January 13, 2012
  • Wedding Location:Gran Bahia Principe Runaway Bay Jamaica
  • LocationSouthern Alberta

Posted 04 June 2012 - 06:56 AM

Ill try to answer what I can!  Your wedding is fast approaching, you must be getting so excited!

 

1.  Our group had all our reservations pre booked when we arrived at the resort.  They handed us a piece of paper will all the dates and restraints for them.  If your tour company doesn't do this (which turned into a big headache anyway) I believe you book them when you arrive, as soon as you can if you want certain restraints and times.

 

2.  We had a few guests in section 17, which was a pretty nice section.  Close to everything.  We were way over on the other side in section 23.  It was far away from everything.

 

3.  I was really happy I brought my own shampoo and conditioner!! The stuff the resort provides is crap.  My husband didn't even use it, and he will usually use anything.  It was that bad! If you plan on doing Dunns river falls, bring water shoes.  You can buy them at the resort but they are crappy and expensive.  I also wish we would have brought our own snorkel gear.  You can rent some from the hut at the resort for free, but you only get them for an hour and the entire week we were there all the equipment was rented the entire time.  Some of our group bought some there, which was really expensive and cheap quality.  Bring your own if you plan on snorkeling!

 

4. Because we were in the club golden section our pool towels were included in our room when we arrived (From what I understand if you are not in the club golden you have to get them from the towel stand with towel cards that are left in your room).  It was really nice, however, we had no idea that you can exchange your towels once a day at the towel hut.  We used the same pool towels all week because no one mentioned that we could exchange them.  I also wish I would have known that the spa doesn't take cash.  Everything from the spa (such as bridal hair and makeup) gets charged to your room. 

 

5.  We would tip the bartenders a dollar or two every couple of drinks.  If you tip with every drink you will be really poor really quick.  The drinks they make are really tiny cups so they sure don't last long.  The maid cleans the room twice a day, so we would leave a couple bucks in the morning and a couple bucks in the afternoon (if we were back in our room, most days we left in the morning and didn't go back until the evening to get ready for supper).  We found that when we tipped the maid our room was cleaned better and our mini fridge was well stocked.  We brought about $150 dollars worth of American $1s.  We went through probably half of them in the week we were there.

 

Hope that helps!

Originally Posted by greatbritain 

Hi ladies! I haven't posted in here in a while because I've been super busy but my wedding is rapidly approaching! (June 21!!) Any ladies who have recently been to Gran Bahia (JayKay?) I have a few questions (and I super apologize if these have been answered, I haven't read through the old posts in months and months and the newer ones that I have skimmed through didn't have these answered):

 

1. When do you make reservations for the restaurants?

2. I requested to be placed in Block 13 because I wanted to be more centralized as per someone's post here, but is there a location others prefered?

3. Anything specific you wish you had brought but didn't or things you brought that you were very happy you did?

4. Anything specific you wish you had known but didn't?

5. What kind of tips did you leave for the bartenders/maid staff? Just trying to get an idea of how much to bring!

 

I am not too nervous or anxious, I feel pretty as ease but I am getting asked some of these questions and I don't really have any answers for some of the guests!

 





#3692 Kristo

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    Posted 07 June 2012 - 08:01 AM

    Sorry guys, I've been slacking since I got back from my honeymoon!  The wedding was incredible and I'm hoping to find some time this weekend to post a review and pictures!! 

     

    But just know that it truly is an amazing place to get married and I wouldn't have changed one thing about my special day!  It was just perfect!!!

     

    Stay tuned.....



    #3693 JayKay

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

    Posted 07 June 2012 - 09:04 AM

    Congrats on your wedding!! Can't wait to hear all about it!

    Originally Posted by Kristo 

    Sorry guys, I've been slacking since I got back from my honeymoon!  The wedding was incredible and I'm hoping to find some time this weekend to post a review and pictures!! 

     

    But just know that it truly is an amazing place to get married and I wouldn't have changed one thing about my special day!  It was just perfect!!!

     

    Stay tuned.....



    #3694 greatbritain

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      Posted 07 June 2012 - 10:18 AM

      Can't wait for the review!! Exactly two weeks from now I will be getting married :)



      #3695 SarahJ

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        Posted 08 June 2012 - 06:00 AM

        Originally Posted by Kristo 

        Sorry guys, I've been slacking since I got back from my honeymoon!  The wedding was incredible and I'm hoping to find some time this weekend to post a review and pictures!! 

         

        But just know that it truly is an amazing place to get married and I wouldn't have changed one thing about my special day!  It was just perfect!!!

         

        Stay tuned.....

        Cant wait to hear all about it and see the pictures...many congratulations...:o)



        #3696 kfarkas26

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          Posted 09 June 2012 - 10:06 AM

          Hi Ladies! I am wondering if any of you could send me info about this hotel's wedding packages! We were planning on getting married at Iberostar Grand but we are having so many issues we heard this was a great place to get married! any help would be greatly appricated! Thanks!



          #3697 SarahJ

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            Posted 10 June 2012 - 10:22 AM

            I will try and dig out the original email I got sent listing all the different packages but if you email this address they are usually pretty good and reply within 2 days and if you ask they will send you their electronic brochure listing all packages and prices - weddingplannerbpjam@bahia-principe.com. I hope this helps.

            #3698 exquisite02

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              Posted 10 June 2012 - 01:45 PM

              So very sorry that I’m late with my wedding vacation story but here it is…. Overall, I’m extremely happy with my experience. Okay, let me back track a bit. We stayed at the gran Bahia Principe from Saturday May 19, 2012 to Saturday June 2, 2012. My wedding day was on Thursday May 24, 2012 at 1pm.  We had a group of 12 including me and my husband. We flew from Toronto using Transat holidays.  I will break up my review story into parts.

               

              Part 1

              Arrival/Check-in

               

              When we arrive at the Montego Bay airport, there was a large bus shuttle waiting to pick us up. Most of our group got on this shuttle, but me, my hubby and family friend had to go on the smaller bus because there was no room on the big bus. I had no problem with this as long as I got to the hotel. However, when we arrived we realized that the rest of our group got their welcome packages that included their golden club resort bracelets and room keys. The rest of the group got to go straight to their rooms while the three of us had to wait to check-in. Not the resort’s fault but after a long day I was tired and a little annoyed since we were the bride and groom.

              When we final got our room keys. We went to the fifth floor. We stayed in room 18519. The view was the beach views not the gazebo view/ pool views. The rest of our guests were on the 4th floor below us, No problem! When we tried to get into our room the room key wouldn’t work and we had to get the housekeeping person to let us in our rooms. Then I found out that my mum, family friend, and bridesmaid that was staying in triple room didn’t get three keys and did not get the third bed and my bridesmaid had to sleep on the room couch.



              #3699 exquisite02

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                Posted 10 June 2012 - 01:47 PM

                Part 2

                Wedding

                We met with Chandlyn and a person from the resort photography company on the Monday. We saw her right after another couple’s appointment. Even though we do not agree with it, since we booked the wedding over a year in advance, we paid the extra $50 dollars for government/minister fees plus 10% tax. In total the free package fee was $275. We didn’t want to take the risk of anything going wrong over $50. We were told that we had to have our wedding dinner at the dolce vita because the grill (where we thought we wanted it) was closed that day. At the end of the meeting we gave the lobby a suitcase filled of all the supplies to her or Donalee would need for the wedding and reception dinner.

                Donnalee was with us on the day of wedding. My hubby-to-be was down at the gazebo at around 12:20 PM (our ceremony was scheduled for 1 PM) to make sure everything was being done properly. Donalee had brought all of the supplies. She draped the gazebo with purple fabric that we weren’t expecting. She set up all the guest’s chairs the way we wanted it with the purple chair sashes and green starfishes that I brought with us. The sand ceremony frame and 4 containers that I also brought down (2 filled with beach sand as we requested, and 1 with our purple sand and 1 with our green sand which we had brought) set up on the table nicely. Since I didn’t need a bridal bouquet that was in our free package they gave us a flower table centre piece in our colours which was great at no extra charge. She also had The DJ was there and he had the CD we brought with our ceremony and first dance songs. They played our cd for us and everything worked perfectly. Donnalee then went up and picked me, my parents and my two bridesmaids up in the cart as the resort photographer and the photographer we hired arrived and started taking pictures of the group. She was running late and I was early so I was dripping in sweat in the lobby waiting for her. Still no problem mon! The minister read from our ceremony script that I brought with us and gave to chandlyn at the meeting.

                Dinner at the dolce vita was great. They had the menu with our names printed in our colours. We picked our menu the day we met with chandlyn because of the issue with restaurants being closed and also the menu options have not changed in a really long time. They also had set up the tables and chairs exactly how I had wanted it. Also, since I decided not to use their bouquet, they made a very nice floral centrepiece using purple and green flowers to go with our d©cor. Everyone thought it looked fabulous. The cake was good but the raspberry filling was disappointing because it is like pink frosting. The free cake was very simple like others had posted. The cake wasn’t important to me but I did bring some extra coloured starfishes to decorate the cake with. The starfishes made the cake look cute. Dolce vita was semi-private but for most of our meal we had the restaurant to ourselves. 

                After dinner, we did our sky lanterns that I brought with us. The resort doesn’t care about sky lanterns at all. Many couples do sky lanterns off the piers.

                We didn’t rent the gazebo because it wasn’t worth the extra money. The resort photographer is good. I think his work is just as good as the photographer we brought with us. If you don’t want to pay the new vendor fee just hire the resort photographer because the work is good.



                #3700 exquisite02

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                  Posted 10 June 2012 - 01:48 PM

                  Part 3

                  Restaurants

                  For day 2 of our trip (Sunday), I had arranged for a welcome /rehearsal dinner at the Japanese restaurant (Mikado) for the Japanese dinner show (which is referred to as Teppernaki or some spelling like that on the receipt.  So if you see Mikado on one a la carte reservation receipt and Teppernaki on another, it is the same restaurant). I should mention that I booked this a week in advance. When I first tried to arrange this I wanted to have this dinner the day before the wedding but they told me that the Japanese restaurant was closed on Wednesday so then I asked for Sunday. They emailed me saying I could have Sunday, May 27th. I sent a reply reminding them that my guests leave on May 26th, so that wouldn’t work.  So they finally agreed that I could do it Sunday May 20th. So when we arrived at the hotel, we got dinner reservation slips that the resort booked and the dinner I booked. When I looked at the dinner reservation for day 2 Sunday May 20th. We had all had different time slots for the dinner I thought I had already arranged. My hubby and I went to the golden club and asked them to change the time slots and they did this promptly when I had told them I had emails to prove that I had arranged this ahead of time.  The dinner show did end up being pretty entertaining as the chef is very funny and talented.

                  We all had the Royal Golden Package so we each had 4 a la carte dinners for the week. However, we all had different time slots and restaurants booked on different days. When we confirmed the Japanese Dinner Show, we also tried to see if we could match up all the group’s times and restaurants.  The golden club staff member told us that she would try but due to staff members over booking the dinner restaurants that it may be difficult and that our whole group would have to come and change their tickets.  That never happened, but we were able to get some dinners with a small part of the group. Other guests at the resort mentioned to us that they couldn’t even book any a-la-carts because of overbooking issue and lack of staff.

                  The restaurants in general look very nice, and had some good food, but my hubby and I found they were not worth the hassle the second week during our Honeymoon and we just ate at the buffet. The big issue is that they are understaffed. This causes the restaurants to be closed on certain days because they don’t have the staff. Another issue was that they seemed to randomly enforce when you had to be formally dressed to eat there.  My hubby was refused to eat at Don Pablo when he was wearing long shorts (passed the knee, a little above the ankle), even though the previous day we saw people go in there and eat in shorts and he was showing less leg than me and my hubby! One final thing is that they would not have certain things on the menu available to order. But that was a very minor thing.

                  The buffets also had some minor annoyances. The smaller buffet Palmyra was only open for breakfast. They also were without air conditioning a couple days so you were sweating when getting your food because of all the people and the heat from the food and humid weather.






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