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Please Help--TA didn't block any rooms; resort is now full day before wedding!


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#1 A la Playa

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    Posted 14 March 2010 - 03:07 PM

    I appreciate all the advice given on these forums, and I've been a longtime lurker...so now comes the time that I have to ask for some much needed advice.

    FI and I are getting married in the Catholic Chapel at the Gran Caribe Real on 6/25/10. I have been working with a TA since last Sept. She has been helping me (not really as I have been doing all the work) go back and forth with the hotel to schedule the details of the ceremony, etc. As far as the travel details are concerned, I have encouraged all my guests to use her to coordinate travel plans so that if any hitches occur, she can work them out with the resort.

    I see the benefits of using a TA because I don't want any issues with my guests arriving and the resort trying to bump them to a different hotel, etc. This TA has been less than helpful at times....I have had to remind her over and over again to send me emails with iteneraries, respond to my guests, and rebook my trip so that I get the difference in the price change. However, she has finally dropped the ball to the point that I cannot forgive...

    I sent out my STD's at the beginning of January giving our guests plenty of notice to contact my TA and check out our website for rates and booking info. I sent out our invites last week again encouraging our guests to book with our TA. I let her know early on that I was mailing out more than 100 invites and we were expecting nearly 50 guests. Only seven people had booked to date. I found out yesterday morning that our resort has NO AVAILABILITY the day before our wedding! She hadn't set aside any rooms for our group or anticipated the amount of rooms that our party would need based on the number of guests we were expecting!

    She has been out of town since last Thursday, and she responded to my two frantic phone calls with an email asking me how many rooms I thought we would need?? and saying that we still had "options". I told her that having our guests stay at other hotels isn't an option for us--we are inviting them to Cancun to share in our vacation and our wedding with us. She isn't even planning on calling me back until tomorrow! I feel like my hands are tied........what can I do?? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I am a nervous wreck right now!

    #2 Sheree10

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      Posted 14 March 2010 - 03:17 PM

      Oh no! I'm so sorry to hear what is going on with your TA. Does she have experience with destination weddings? Even if she doesn;t she should know the basics of booking travel for a group. Was the idea of blocking rooms ever discussed? I hope that it all works out for you and your guests.
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      #3 *JillD*

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        Posted 14 March 2010 - 04:15 PM

        Did your TA explain to you how room blocks work?

        You can't just say "hey, hold 50 rooms for me, I MIGHT want to book them"

        You have to have a contract in place to hold those rooms and you have to pay a deposit to hold them. If you didn't pay a deposit, then no, the resort is not going to hold rooms for you, with the hopes that your guests will book.

        I understand that you may be frustrated if your TA did not explain to you how a group block works, but if she did and you chose not to do a group booking, then that's your choice, but not her fault that the resort is booked to capacity.

        Have her check with other suppliers to see if they have availability at your resort for the dates.

        #4 LCBride2007

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          Posted 14 March 2010 - 04:36 PM

          unfortunatly jill is right. TAs don't just automatically hold blocks of rooms for you w/o you specifically requesting that. perhaps she should have suggested this or brought it up, but it seems you might be at fault as well so dont' be too hard on her.

          #5 A la Playa

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            Posted 14 March 2010 - 04:45 PM

            Sheree, she specializes in destination weddings, which is why I selected her after she was highly recommended by my realtor.

            Thanks for the information, TA Jill. She never explained any of this to me--I have been relying on her to explain these things, which is why I brought my business to her. I understand that my ignorance is not an excuse for what has happened, but she is the expert. As a commissioned sales agent myself, I understand how important it is to provide full disclosure because most of the time, the devil is in the details.

            When she implied that she was "watching availability" for our dates, I assumed it meant that she had blocked a certain number of rooms for the anticipated number of guests. She never mentioned blocking rooms as an option, or that the hotel could potentially book up 3 and 1/2 months in advance if we didn't do anything. Hindsight is 20/20!

            I guess the most disheartening thing is that I was the one to bring it to her attention that the resort was full, and she didn't even realize it. Now we and our guests are scrambling to fix things. I did just get an email response from her that she has put in a call to the booking mgr at the hotel and she will see what they can work out. Supposed to hear from her tomorrow--Will cross my fingers!

            #6 A la Playa

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              Posted 14 March 2010 - 05:34 PM

              Maureen, she didn't explain the differences in the booking processes. She just booked each trip seperately as it came through. I'll certainly share the blame; I just wish that I had at least been better educated.

              She has had several people inquire, and she has yet to respond to many of them, which has been the most frustrating part. I have had to call her and ask her if she heard from "so and so" to remind her to call them back. She has said at least three times that she will start sending me a list with those who have booked, and she has never sent me one. I'm trying to give her the benefit of the doubt (and send her Business!), but I really feel like she's not meeting my expectations. I'm really not trying to be a bridezilla--All I'm asking is that you stop telling me you are going to do x,y, and z....if you only intend to do half of x. Is that too much to ask? :)

              #7 ccarmany23

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                Posted 26 March 2010 - 03:47 PM

                Oh no, I'm so sorry to hear about that!!! The good news may be that if you have a website (and maybe a nice friend and mom) who could help you spread the word if you decide to do a neighboring hotel with space that would allow you to block the 50 rooms. There are so many great hotels in Cancun- so trust me, although it STINKS right now in the moment when you are there for your wedding and everyone is together this will be a distant memory :). But I would def. find a hotel asap to reserve the rooms so you don't run into the same problem again. Good luck!

                #8 avong1228

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                  Posted 26 March 2010 - 07:55 PM

                  Gosh, that sucks! I'm really sorry to hear that. I was in the same boat ... had no idea how the blocked rooms worked so I never did and still have not. My TA keeps assuring me that its not a problem so I am a bit nervous now.

                  I hope it all works out for you.

                  #9 TammyWright

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                  Posted 26 March 2010 - 09:41 PM

                  I know TA Jill and TA Maureen have explained the group booking process and i do not want to "kick a person while they are down" but I just want to explain for future brides, expecting the hotel to be wide open and have your guests book 3 months before your wedding date is not a very good idea. you are really risking this the hotel or flights being sold out.

                  If you have people that are last minute bookers or you are slow to send out your STD or invitations it is a really good idea to inquire about blocking rooms. even if the blocked room rate is not as low as the current package rate, at least you know you have enough rooms for your guests. also, as the resort books up, room rates go up so blocking rooms at $250 early on will look like a great rate when the hotel only has 10 rooms left at $600 a night (and i have seen this happen...we blocked rooms at $290 a night and 5 months before the wedding the hotel was almost sold out and the same rooms were asking $1200 a night!).

                  It really is why having a destination wedding specialist, like the ones here on BDW, is the best way to go.

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                  #10 taranyc

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                    Posted 27 March 2010 - 04:56 PM

                    I'm so sorry to hear that. I hope everything works out. Thank you for sharing with everyone your story.




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