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Laura's Dreams Riviera Cancun Wedding Review


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#1 Laura22610

Laura22610
  • Jr. Member
  • 468 posts

    Posted 15 March 2010 - 03:34 PM

    Dreams Riviera Cancun, Mexico
    February 2010

    First, let me start by saying my wedding was completely perfect and fantastic! I loved every minute of my stay at DRC and my wedding!! I don’t have many pictures yet but I will post them as soon as I do!! This is pretty long...I wanted to give a review of the resort also, since I think that there is only one other on the forum.

    FLIGHTS
    We flew on Continental out of Newark airport in NJ. We left on Monday, February 22nd and had absolutely no issues with our flight. When we boarded the plane, I didn’t even say anything about my dress to the flight attendant and when she saw it she immediately told me that the flight was full and there would be no room for them to hold my dress so I would have to put it in the overhead compartment. Well, the flight was not full, we saw a bunch of empty seats. I did put my dress in the overhead compartment and luckily, no one put anything on top of it!! One lady did ask if she could put her suitcase on top of it and a guy a couple of rows back offered to help her put her suitcase in the compartment above his seat (thank you, thank you!!). Traveling through the airport with the dress was a pain but it made it there fine and didn’t even need to be pressed! The majority of our guest flew out of Newark on Thursday, February 25th. There was a big snowstorm here that day and they all made the last flight out of Newark before flights started getting cancelled...Yay!! The only issues we had with flights was our friends who flew on Delta from Rochester airport in NY. Their flight actually made national news because it was cancelled due to the flight attendants getting in a fight with each other! Crazy. They made it to Mexico 16 hours after they left their house! They were definitely happy to get to Mexico and it was an added bonus that they got a GREAT upgraded room when they got there! They also had some bad luck on their flight home...Delta again...the steering mechanism on the wheels of the plane was broken so they had an emergency crash landing at Rochester airport. Luckily, everything worked out fine and nobody was hurt!

    We had tons of luggage...4 suitcases to check! We had all of our OOT bags stuff and decorations for the wedding. My mom also brought an extra suitcase with our centerpieces. None of us had any trouble in customs with the extra luggage. When one of my suitcases went through the xray machine, the airport employee asked me if I had notebooks in it, which I did for my OOT bags. I told her that they were favors for my wedding and she did not ask anymore questions. When we pushed the button, both of us got a green light!! I was so relieved because I was very worried about our bags getting searched!

    On the advice of lots of people, we did not talk to anyone in the airport, so we made it out very quickly! Our transportation was there when we got outside and the ride to DRC was about 15-20 minutes!

    DREAMS RIVIERA CANCUN - THE RESORT A+++++

    I LOVED this resort!!!!! And all of our guests loved it too...in fact, a couple of our guest are already trying to plan a trip back! I had read lots and lots of reviews before we went, and honestly, I was very nervous that I made the wrong decision in choosing this resort. I was wrong to be so nervous...the resort is beautiful. It is brand new, just opened in October 2009, so everything is very clean and neat. The resort was at full capacity when we were there and this did not effect the service at all!
    Check-In
    Check-in was very easy for us. We got to the resort around 12:00 pm and our room was ready! They provided us with cool towels and champagne upon arrival to the resort. Some of our guest had to wait until after 3 for their rooms to be ready. They had a pager, which lit up and vibrated when their rooms were ready. Mostly everybody ate lunch and hung out by the pool while they waited for their rooms so this was not a big deal.
    Beach
    The beach at the resort is beautiful too. I had read in reviews that it was rocky and we did not find that at all. The sand is so soft and white! There was seaweed on the beach but they cleaned it a couple of times a day. The seaweed didn’t bother me...it’s nature and not the resort’s fault!! There were tons of chairs available for the beach and there were also palapas. The palapas were reserved early though.
    Pools
    There are 3 pools at the resort. The infinity pool is gorgeous. It is heated and has a swim up bar. There are floats at the resort that you can use in the pool. It was a little cool while we were there (70’s during the day and 60’s at night) and we were in this pool ALOT. The bartenders at the swim up bar were really funny too! There is also an activities pool where they have a small basketball net and also organized water volleyball a couple of times a day. This pool was not heated and was a little cool but we still played volleyball and it was so much fun! The other pool was a kids pool and was only about 2 feet deep. They had a couple of ping pong tables set up on one side of this pool and there were lots of adults playing this too! There are plenty of chairs to sit in around the pools. People do go out early and reserve chairs with towels (this was a common complaint in a lot of reviews I read). This wasn’t an issue for us, we always found a place to sit. The resort does pick up towels that are left unattended for a while. Honestly, I think this happens at most resorts. We were at a different resort for our honeymoon and there was chair reserving there too. There are also a couple of jacuzzis and there are great!! We loved sitting in these! I read lots of reviews on trip advisor about kids at the resort taking over the pools and jacuzzis. The resort was at full capacity when we were there and we didn’t find this to be the case at all. The kids at the resort were very well behaved and there was plenty of room in the pools and jacuzzis for everyone!
    Rooms
    The rooms at DRC are beautiful!! They are clean and spacious. They clean the floors there with something that smells like cinnamon, so the rooms always smelled good! We were in room 2304, which is a “preferred club” room. This just means that you have a separate concierge and place to check-in and there is a private bar and computers you can use in the preferred club lounge. We brought a laptop and we also got free wi-fi. You just had to call the concierge everyday to get the code. We had a jacuzzi tub in the room that we never used and a bigger jacuzzi tub on the balcony which we used a couple of times and it was great!! The view from our room was great! We could easily see the ocean and overlooked the pools. The bed was really comfortable and so were the pillows. There was a flat screen TV in the room (we didn’t watch TV at all though). There was also a desk and a small couch and a huge mirror that takes up half a wall. The sink area was really nice, although the lighting wasn’t great. They give you sunscreen (spf 15), shampoo, lotion, bodywash, a toothbrush, a shower cap, and a sewing kit and they replenish what you used everyday. The shower is great...it is pretty big. The shower and the toilet both have frosted glass doors on them, which makes them a little less private but we had no issues with this. My sister and her husband stayed with my nephew, who is 8, and they didn’t have any problems with this either. There is a closet in the room with plenty of space to hang things. In the closet, there is also some shelves and a safe. There is not a dresser in the room, so you kind of have to live out of your suitcase while there. They come and stock the mini bar refrigerator everyday. It has corona, soda, and juice. We also had a small bottle of vodka and of tequila. They also leave pringles and M&M’s everyday. Room service is 24 hours. We didn’t use it that much but when we did, it came within 30 min and everything was good! Some of our guest had rooms with pretty crappy views but the inside of the rooms was so nice and they were in the rooms so little, that it wasn’t a big deal.
    Food
    Everything we ate at this resort was delicious. I am laughing as I write this because I was teasing my husband when we were there because he must have said “delicious” at least 3 times every time we ate! Our favorite restaurant was El Patio (Mexican). Our favorite place to go for lunch was the Seaside Grill (great chicken caesar salad, nachos, and crab won-tons!) For dinner, there were waits for dinner if you went a little later. They give you a pager while you are waiting. We weren’t prepared for this the first night we were there and had to wait an hour for dinner when we were starving but after that, we started eating lunch a little later (1:30 or 2) and then waiting wasn’t an issue. They also have, during the day, a little grill where you can get burgers, fries, poppers (yum!), etc. We would get little snacks here :)
    Bars
    During the day, the swim up bar and the Barracuda bar (on the beach with swings around the bar) are great! The bartenders are all so friendly! The lobby bar is open all day and until 1 am. This seems to be the hang-out spot at night. There are couches and chairs and tables in the lobby. The lobby, by the way, is also beautiful and very open and airy. At night, they have people singing for entertainment and everyone we heard was very good! They also have a night club called Desires. The Olympics were going on while we were there and there were lots of hockey fans watching the games there on the big flat screen TV’s. They also have a DJ there every night. It was not very crowded there when there wasn’t a game but we had some good times there!
    Service
    Everyone who works here goes above and beyond to please you!! We received prompt and friendly service everywhere at the resort. During the day, there is always someone out by the pools to take a drink order. The waiters at the restaurants are very attentive you can tell that they truly want to make you happy. I have not one complaint about the service at this resort!!
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    #2 Laura22610

    Laura22610
    • Jr. Member
    • 468 posts

      Posted 15 March 2010 - 03:39 PM

      WEDDING - overall A+++++++
      We went with the Ultimate Package and I think that this was a good choice! Besides the stuff for the wedding, it came with a couples massage, which was fantastic!! Also, because of the room we booked and because we were staying for a week, we got a honeymoon package, which included a private dinner on the beach, 2 facials and salt body scrubs and breakfast in bed. We did all of this, except the body scrubs, and we loved it!!

      Coordinator at DRC B+
      Ana is very nice but I think that she is extremely over-worked. She is the only wedding coordinator at the resort and they definitely need to hire help for her. Emailing with her prior to the wedding was a little bit frustrating - most of the time, it would take almost a week, sometimes longer, to get responses, even close to the wedding. I know now that this is because she gets a ridiculous amount of emails per day along with having to do the weddings and site visits and there are a lot of weddings booked and being booked here. Anyway, we met with her on Tuesday (our wedding was Friday) and went over all of the details of the wedding. She had most of our choices written down and some of the stuff we had to tell her again. I wish I had everything written down because there were a couple of things that I forgot. In the end, however, it really didn’t matter because I loved my wedding. At this time, we also chose the spot for our ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception. We gave Ana the music for our ceremony also. Because my mom was not arriving until Thursday and she had most of our wedding decorations, I had to give these to Ana at a different time. When I gave the decorations to her I told her how I wanted it all set-up but I should have written down specific instructions of how I wanted things set-up because it wasn’t exactly how I wanted. I only noticed this stuff because I knew how is was supposed to be. Nobody else noticed and it didn’t make the day any less perfect or special!! And also, Ana was a little late meeting everyone in the lobby to take them to the ceremony (which is how she wanted everyone to go to the ceremony) so the ceremony started at 5 instead of 4:30. Ana is very nice though and does try hard to please you!

      Welcome Dinner at El Patio A+
      We weren’t sure we were going to be able to have a welcome dinner because the restaurants do not accept reservations and we didn’t really have the budget to have a private welcome dinner. When we met with Ana, we asked her if it was possible to arrange for our group of 28 to sit in the same area of a restaurant at the same time. She said El Patio would be our best option and said we would have to talk to the manager of that restaurant. We talked to him on Wednesday and he said that he could accommodate us at 6pm on Thursday, right when the restaurant opened. We got there early on Thurdsday, around 5:45 and talked with the manager and he asked if we could just choose a couple of entrees for our guests to choose from and if they could stagger the dinner orders, as not to overwhelm the kitchen. That was fine with us! They brought out frozen margaritas for everyone and then brought a few different appetizers, all which were fantastic. Then, they took everyone’s orders. Everyone was served around the same time in a timely manner. The dinners were also fantastic. They also served desserts which were good also. In that restaurant they have a trio of women who sing and play guitar at all of the tables. They came to our section and everyone loved it! Also, we did not use the photographer who comes with the wedding package for the wedding but we were able to use her for the welcome dinner. Anel, from Adventure Photography (located at the resort) was WONDERFUL. She took some great pictures for us and she is super sweet! We got our pictures on a CD a couple of days after the wedding and she also posted a slideshow online for us! This dinner went way above our expectations. We loved it!
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      MORE TO COME...

      #3 Laura22610

      Laura22610
      • Jr. Member
      • 468 posts

        Posted 15 March 2010 - 03:46 PM

        Ceremony A+
        We chose to have our ceremony on the beach. I had read some reviews about the ceremony location not being private and people would be sitting practically at your wedding. This was not true for us at all! Ana allowed us to choose which part of the beach we wanted to have the ceremony. We chose to have it near where they have all of the kayaks and catamarans (they put these all out of sight before the ceremony). This is kind of out of the way of all of the activity that goes on at the beach and on the opposite side of the beach from the beach bar. There are palapas right near there (about 3 rows of them) but they started reserving those around 1pm so that there wouldn’t be people sitting there and there was not one person sitting at any of the palapas behind our ceremony. They had me waiting to go down the aisle in the presidential suite, which is on the bottom floor, facing the ocean (and our ceremony site). Because of the palapas, nobody could see me. I decided to use their sound system and had given my music to Ana on a CD. The music was played at all the right times and sounded great! I am so glad that we used this because it was extremely windy the day of my wedding and the ceremony was very close to the water. If our officiant hadn’t been using a microphone, I am not sure anyone would have been able to hear any of the ceremony. The ceremony set-up looked beautiful! They have a huppah (sp?) with white cloth on it, tied on each post with a starfish. The aisle was lined with starfish and conch shells. There was a table underneath the huppah with a beautiful flower arrangement on it. The guest chairs were white and I had brought light aqua chair sashes to tie on them. It was everything I wanted...beautiful and simple!

        Some non-pro pics...
        Click the image to open in full size.
        Click the image to open in full size.
        Click the image to open in full size.
        Click the image to open in full size.

        Cocktail Hour
        We decided to have the cocktail hour on the Desires terrace. There is lounge furniture on there that is really nice and it is a nice big area. We had the Mexican appetizers and had the Mexican trio playing during the cocktail hour. Unfortunately, I missed most of the cocktail hour because we were getting our pictures taken however, our guests raved about it. They loved the Mexican trio. They had all of the appetizers set-up outside and the set-up looked great! The appetizers were soooooo good. For the rest of the weekend, everyone was talking about how good the food was at the cocktail hour! I saw a few other weddings during my stay at DRC and the other cocktail hour locations are very public. We don’t really like being at the center of attention and we wanted as private a location as possible for our events. This was completely private and really nice too!

        Click the image to open in full size.

        Reception
        SO MUCH FUN!!!! We had the reception on the pool deck. I think there were some concerns about there not being enough light....there was definitely plenty of light. The palm trees surrounding the deck all have lights wrapped around them and then there are spotlights in them too. We were supposed to have tiki torches on the beach but it was too windy and they weren’t able to light them. Our centerpieces also had candles in them and we weren’t able to light those either because of the wind. I saw a couple of other receptions where the tiki torches were lit and they looked great! The chairs at the reception had white chair covers and the light aqua chair sashes I had brought were tied around them. We also had table numbers that were supposed to stand up with holders but they had to just be laid on the table because of the wind. We went with the Caribbean buffet and it was really good! They had the buffet decorated with some of those light up stars and it looked really pretty. All of the food was labeled so that everyone knew what they were eating. There was also a station with ribs and bbq chicken (I think?)...again, everyone loved the food! We didn’t upgrade the cake since there were desserts on the buffet. It was just a plain white 1 layer cake and was decorated nicely. We cut the cake for the videographer before he had to leave before dinner and we were supposed to finish cutting it later. For some reason we never got around to doing that so I have no idea what kind of cake it was or how it tasted. Haha :) The desserts on the buffet were really good. I had gone back and forth about whether or not to use a DJ or my ipod. In the end, picking out all of that music was too stressful and I decided to use a DJ. Best decision ever!!!! We used DJ Dorremixx. He was awesome!!! Here is a review that I wrote for him... http://bestdestinati....ml#post1215617 I really had the best time at my reception and was so sad for it to end! We went to Desires afterwards and had a lot of fun there too!
        MORE TO COME...

        #4 *Linds*

        *Linds*
        • Sr. Member
        • 5,776 posts

          Posted 15 March 2010 - 03:47 PM

          thanks for the review! Congrats MRS!!!!
          Loving married life! <3

          #5 Laura22610

          Laura22610
          • Jr. Member
          • 468 posts

            Posted 15 March 2010 - 03:51 PM

            Videographer A++++
            The videographer came with the package for 1 hour. The company DRC uses is Cancun Wedding Video. Alejandro Gonzalez was our videographer and he was terrific. I cannot say enough good things about him. I didn’t even notice he was there. He took video of our ceremony and got there early so that there was video of our ceremony set-up before everyone got there. He got everyone walking to the ceremony and then the whole ceremony. All of the songs we used during the ceremony, he found and put into the video so that it would sound nice and it is perfect! He was also filming while we were doing our pictures after the ceremony and it is soooo nice to have all of that on video. I paid extra to have him at the reception for an hour too and I am so glad that I did. I love having our first dance on video and he went around and had people talk on video. He asked what songs I wanted played on the video and I told him to choose them. He picked great songs!! Alejandro delivered our video to us while we were still in Mexico a few days after the wedding. He brought a portable DVD player to show it to us. I LOVE my video. I cried when I saw it...he captured my wedding perfectly. The video is beautiful. Their website is www.cancunweddingvideo.com

            Photographer - Claudia Rodriguez
            I will come back to this because I haven’t gotten my pictures yet. However, I can say that Claudia is so nice!! The email communication I had with her prior to the wedding was all positive. During the wedding, she was very professional and very helpful! I have no doubt that my pictures won't be anything less than great!!

            Maracas - Mishka Designs - A++
            Mishka is so nice and her maracas are beautiful! She is so responsive and easy to communicate with! I sent her my logo and asked if she could make the maracas to match. I loved them and they were perfect! Here are pictures from her blog (mine are the blue ones)... Mishka Designs' Blog: A Tale of Two Maracas....

            Spa - B+
            The spa is really, really, really nice!! I didn’t have my hair and make-up done at the spa because I had a friend at the wedding who is a hairstylist, so she did my hair and make-up (and did a great job!). My bridesmaids and my mom had their hair and make-up done there. They did a great job with make-up for everyone. They did a great job with my mom’s hair and with my one bridesmaid’s hair. They did an okay job with my sister’s hair. She has really thick hair and she wanted it curled and half up. They did a good job putting it half up but they didn’t really curl all of it...it looked like they got tired of curling and just stopped. Haha! My friend was able to fix it and in the end it looked really nice!! We had the couples massage that came with the wedding package and it was fabulous! After your spa treatment, they have hydrotherapy pools and a jacuzzi which are really nice. There is also a juice bar and lounge chairs you can lay in to relax. The whole atmosphere is very relaxing!

            Flowers - A+
            I got a tropical bouquet that came with the package...it was gorgeous. I loved it. My bridesmaids’ bouquets were orange roses and they were also gorgeous. The guys had an orange rose for a boutonierre. I loved the flowers and they looked great on the beach!

            Favors - A+
            We got our favors from Ah Cacao in Playa del Carmen. It was a package of 3 chocolates. They were so good! I contacted Ah Cacao before I left for Mexico via email. I paid for the chocolates by paypal and then they delivered them for me the day before the wedding. The delivery charge was only $8 - way cheaper than a taxi ride to PDC!! They delivered them to the resort concierge and then they were delivered right to my room. So easy!


            I think that is it! Sorry this was soooo long! I was trying not to forget anything! If anyone has any questions, feel free to PM me and I will be happy to answer! As soon as I get my wedding pictures, I will post them!

            #6 roxmysockz

            roxmysockz
            • Jr. Member
            • 418 posts

              Posted 15 March 2010 - 03:56 PM

              Fab review - Thanks so much so useful!

              Congratulations!! You looked lovely

              Cant wait to see review on Claudia also x

              #7 Cindy*

              Cindy*
              • Sr. Member
              • 2,655 posts

                Posted 15 March 2010 - 04:01 PM

                Sounds like you had a great wedding, congratulations!

                #8 saymyname74

                saymyname74
                • Newbie
                • 86 posts

                  Posted 15 March 2010 - 04:16 PM

                  Quote:
                  Originally Posted by Laura22610
                  Ceremony A+
                  We chose to have our ceremony on the beach. I had read some reviews about the ceremony location not being private and people would be sitting practically at your wedding. This was not true for us at all! Ana allowed us to choose which part of the beach we wanted to have the ceremony. We chose to have it near where they have all of the kayaks and catamarans (they put these all out of sight before the ceremony). This is kind of out of the way of all of the activity that goes on at the beach and on the opposite side of the beach from the beach bar. There are palapas right near there (about 3 rows of them) but they started reserving those around 1pm so that there wouldn’t be people sitting there and there was not one person sitting at any of the palapas behind our ceremony. They had me waiting to go down the aisle in the presidential suite, which is on the bottom floor, facing the ocean (and our ceremony site). Because of the palapas, nobody could see me. I decided to use their sound system and had given my music to Ana on a CD. The music was played at all the right times and sounded great! I am so glad that we used this because it was extremely windy the day of my wedding and the ceremony was very close to the water. If our officiant hadn’t been using a microphone, I am not sure anyone would have been able to hear any of the ceremony. The ceremony set-up looked beautiful! They have a huppah (sp?) with white cloth on it, tied on each post with a starfish. The aisle was lined with starfish and conch shells. There was a table underneath the huppah with a beautiful flower arrangement on it. The guest chairs were white and I had brought light aqua chair sashes to tie on them. It was everything I wanted...beautiful and simple!

                  Some non-pro pics...
                  Click the image to open in full size.
                  Click the image to open in full size.
                  Click the image to open in full size.
                  Click the image to open in full size.

                  Cocktail Hour
                  We decided to have the cocktail hour on the Desires terrace. There is lounge furniture on there that is really nice and it is a nice big area. We had the Mexican appetizers and had the Mexican trio playing during the cocktail hour. Unfortunately, I missed most of the cocktail hour because we were getting our pictures taken however, our guests raved about it. They loved the Mexican trio. They had all of the appetizers set-up outside and the set-up looked great! The appetizers were soooooo good. For the rest of the weekend, everyone was talking about how good the food was at the cocktail hour! I saw a few other weddings during my stay at DRC and the other cocktail hour locations are very public. We don’t really like being at the center of attention and we wanted as private a location as possible for our events. This was completely private and really nice too!

                  Click the image to open in full size.

                  Reception
                  SO MUCH FUN!!!! We had the reception on the pool deck. I think there were some concerns about there not being enough light....there was definitely plenty of light. The palm trees surrounding the deck all have lights wrapped around them and then there are spotlights in them too. We were supposed to have tiki torches on the beach but it was too windy and they weren’t able to light them. Our centerpieces also had candles in them and we weren’t able to light those either because of the wind. I saw a couple of other receptions where the tiki torches were lit and they looked great! The chairs at the reception had white chair covers and the light aqua chair sashes I had brought were tied around them. We also had table numbers that were supposed to stand up with holders but they had to just be laid on the table because of the wind. We went with the Caribbean buffet and it was really good! They had the buffet decorated with some of those light up stars and it looked really pretty. All of the food was labeled so that everyone knew what they were eating. There was also a station with ribs and bbq chicken (I think?)...again, everyone loved the food! We didn’t upgrade the cake since there were desserts on the buffet. It was just a plain white 1 layer cake and was decorated nicely. We cut the cake for the videographer before he had to leave before dinner and we were supposed to finish cutting it later. For some reason we never got around to doing that so I have no idea what kind of cake it was or how it tasted. Haha :) The desserts on the buffet were really good. I had gone back and forth about whether or not to use a DJ or my ipod. In the end, picking out all of that music was too stressful and I decided to use a DJ. Best decision ever!!!! We used DJ Dorremixx. He was awesome!!! Here is a review that I wrote for him... http://bestdestinati....ml#post1215617 I really had the best time at my reception and was so sad for it to end! We went to Desires afterwards and had a lot of fun there too!
                  MORE TO COME...

                  Who put the sashes on the chairs for you?

                  #9 Laura22610

                  Laura22610
                  • Jr. Member
                  • 468 posts

                    Posted 15 March 2010 - 04:20 PM

                    Quote:
                    Originally Posted by saymyname74
                    Who put the sashes on the chairs for you?
                    I gave them to Ana (wedding coordinator) and she took care of it. She did it for the reception too!

                    #10 MsSunshine

                    MsSunshine
                    • Jr. Member
                    • 415 posts

                      Posted 15 March 2010 - 04:34 PM

                      Congratulations! Glad to hear you had a great time :)




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