My Riu Palace Riviera Maya Wedding Review- 3/26/10
Posted 07 April 2010 - 12:13 AM
Liberty Travel: D
We decided to use Liberty Travel's group department after getting a referral from our usual Libery Travel TA, who is great. From the beginning, this caused me extreme stress and frustration. The TA that we worked with RARELY returned my calls or repsonded to emails (or my guests), which unfortunately made me so irritated that it took away from my excitement. By the time we realized how horrible working with this TA was, we were already in way too deep to start over with someone else. The only good thing is that we seemed to have gotten very good rates compared to what other TA's quoted us.
Mexicana Air: A-
Everything went pretty smoothly with this airline...we were able to each check two bags without paying extra, since we booked so early AND they didn't even weigh our bags, which was really nice since I know they weighed much more than they should have. The other great thing is that you get an actual meal and drinks (even alcohol) at not extra cost. The only downside is that I heard from other brides that they were very accomodating with placing your wedding dress in a closet...my mom even called ahead to double check this; however, when I asked the flight attendent to do this when I boarded the plane, she told me there was no such closet and that the only closet they had wasn't big enough to hold my dress (and my dress was not very big at all!!!)...so I ended up having to put it in the overhead area...thank God no one threw their stuff on top of it, and it ended up being fine there.
Our Room: A
We chose to stay in a two-story jacuzzi suite, which I would definitely recommend. They first put us in room 2118, which was a nice room, but had a musty smell and not a great view...it was ocean front, but it also overlooked the roof of Chilli's. We asked to move our room, which was not a problem at all. They moved our room to 2046 two days later, which was PERFECT. No musty smell and an awesome view. This room was also on the same side of the building as the gazebo, which was great for the day of the wedding...I didn't have to walk far or across the pool to get there. The room was also very clean and had fresh flowers in it when we arrived (to the second room).
Since we were such a large group (74 total, but didn't all arrive on the same day), we tended to eat at Don Manolo's most of the time, which is the buffet. It was extremely annoying that you needed reservations for all of the other restaurants, especially since they can only be made at certain times of the day...guests are also allowed to make then for two nights in advance, which means that they fill up VERY quickly. When we arrived on Saturday, all of the reservations for Sunday night were already filled. We did get reservations for Bota Fogo (Brazilian) on Monday and Agave (Mexican) on Tuesday. Both were good, but not great. I actually preferred Don Manolo just because it gave more of a choice. Breakfast at Don Manolo's is SO GOOD...and lunch at Chilli's was also very good. There were a couple days when they also did lunch on the beach, which I always seemed to miss somehow.
Wedding Coordinator, Ael/Wedding Package: A-
Working with Ael was fairly easy for the most part. It would usually take her a couple of days to respond to my emails, which was fine. There were a couple requests that she seemed to say "no" to and I didn't really understand why, such as honoring my dinner requests since I was going to pay extra for it. We ended up working everything out on the day of our meeting and I was able to relax for the rest of the days before the wedding.
As for the wedding package, it included a lot; however, it only covered up to $60 people...I didn't find out until my meeting that we would have to pay an extra $15 for each person over that number. In addition we also had to pay an additional $9 per person to have a full open bar at our reception. The package also included most of the flowers...we added a couple more pieces for the ceremony and instead of centerpieces for the tables, we just bought extra bags of rose petals for them scatter on them instead. The cake included was more than enough and was REALLY GOOD! We got vanilla cake with strawberry filling.
Renova Spa: A-
Scheduling my spa/hair appointments with Paula through email was VERY easy and she always got back to me extremely quickly...most times within a couple of hours. The only downside of scheduling appointments before my arrival is that I also had to pay for half of all services; this normally wouldn't be a big deal, but I scheduled appointments for some of my BM's too and ended up having to front over $350. I thankfully got all of this back from the girls, but just somewhat of a pain having to ask all of them for money.
The second day we were there we ended up getting a couple's massage, which was SO RELAXING! I also had a manicure and pedicure the day before the wedding, which ended up being my least favorite part of the spa. The technicians there don't speak English very well, so make sure they understand what you're asking for. Hair and makeup the day of the wedding was great! She did my hair exactly like the picture I brought her. I had to guide her with my makeup a little more, but not a big deal...she definitely knew what she was doing, and I was happy with the end result.
Ceremony/Cocktail Hour/Reception: A+
We had a symbolic ceremony at 5:00pm at the gazebo, which was the perfect time and perfect location. We also had the harpist play, which I loved! The entire ceremony lasted around 15-20 minutes.
We had our cocktail hour from 5:30pm to 6:45pm in the courtyard area (I forget the name of the bar...the same as where the indoor stage/entertainment is, except everything was outside). We didn't pay to have food or music during this time, and it was definitely fine without both.
Our reception was at Chilli's from 7pm to midnight. It was initially scheduled until 11pm, but we paid the DJ, servers, and bartenders to stay an extra hour. We ended up just choosing the International buffet instead of paying extra for the sitdown dinner. The food was really good and I'm glad we chose this option instead of paying more on top of what we paid for the private reception.
Calypso Photography/Juan Carlos: A-
Even though he showed up a little late (was supposed to meet me in my room at 4:00pm...didn't get there until 4:30pm), I was still very happy with him. We hired him for 5 hours and initially chose the package that included 170 photos. When we went to pick out our 170 photos from the 450 that he took, we could only narrow it down to 340...so he let us purchase the rights to all 340, even though it wasn't part of a "package." The album that was included was 50 pages of 8 x 10's of your choice...the pictures look great, however the album isn't exactly the best quality. The outside cover is nice, but inside each 8 x 10 is just pasted onto each page of the album...I'm still happy to have it though. Also included is a 10 minute slideshow with music, which includes most of our photos.
Videographer (from RPRM): ?
I don't have too many comments about our videographer yet, because we don't get our actual video until next week.
The DJ who works with RPRM is great! We didn't have to give him a "do not play" or "must play" list. We loved just about every song he played, and almost everyone was on the dance floor all night!
Honeymoom at Secrets Maroma Beach: A
After leaving RPRM we moved to SMB for another three nights. This is a completely different style resort than RPRM. It was much quieter, which was a nice break from all of the excitement going on the week before. Our room here was also gorgeous! We stayed in the Preferred Club, which gave us access to the Preferred Lounge (relaxing place to hang out with a bar, snacks, computers with free internet access, etc). No reservations were needed for dinner; the food and restaurant selection was great.
Overall, everything was absolutely perfect! I can't believe how fast everything went by, and now that I'm back home I can't stop looking at all of our pictures wishing we were still there!
Posted 07 April 2010 - 06:17 AM
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Posted 07 April 2010 - 10:28 AM
My Planning Thread
Posted 07 April 2010 - 10:59 AM
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