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Secrets Maroma Beach Review from Trip Advisor


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#1 saza175

saza175
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    Posted 20 April 2010 - 12:27 PM

    Hey every1, I just read this on Trip Advisor, and I copied and pasted ............








    This review is for those of you who are considering Secrets Maroma Beach as you wedding destination. In brief, you will not be disappointed!
    We decided (after reading about 30 trip advisor reviews) that SMB was the place for us to get married, and wow, did we get it right! 15 of us spent 2 weeks at SMB, and we never wanted it to end.

    To summarise, the resort was beyond expectations and our wedding was absolutely perfect, I wouldn’t have changed a single thing!

    The atmosphere , the staff, the service, rooms, food and restaurants, entertainment and quality of everything was fantastic. We were given a free upgrade upon arrival, and had a beautiful swim-up suite, which (I can’t stress enough) amazing, and worth the money if you are deciding to book one! Spent more time in our swim-up pool than the main pool. So relaxing, and warm! Just loved it.

    THE WEDDING DETAILS;
    We met the wedding co-ordinator the morning after we arrived (a letter was waiting for us in our room, with an appointment arranged). Cecilia was sweet, she tried hard to please, and met all our needs. It only took 1 Hour to make all the arrangements, we then went for our blood tests which were required for the legal wedding ceremony. The blood tests were quick, clean and painless procedure, although I think it’s just a money making rip off, and we never did see any results from these.

    We had the basic wedding package (normally $799.00 usd), which was free as we had booked more than 5 rooms at the resort. (It didn’t have to come under 1 booking, as long as you all booked through the same travel agent (we used ‘Caribbean Warehouse’) and say you’re with the ‘Smith’ wedding party.)

    The things we paid extra for to make our day special were;
    -The photographer (beautiful pictures - more on this later)
    -The Caribbean Trio musicians, live music for 45 mins, and well worth every penny! It made the ceremony so authentic and very special, I could have saved myself 10 months of sorting out ipod music that we never used!
    -Button holes for all the guests and x2 large floral arrangements to decorate the pool gazebo where we married.
    -My hair-up appointment, which went perfectly, and well on time - I was thrilled. I took a picture with me of what I wanted, this helped the hairdresser.

    We kept the colour scheme simple, everything was ivory, no need for extra fuss.

    Everything included that was relevant to us;
    The bridal bouquet, the grooms buttonhole, the wedding cake, champagne, use of the beach or pool gazebo, the judge to marry us, the wedding reception at one of the restaurants, preparation of the dress and grooms outfit and a room for the groom the night before the wedding was all included in the free wedding package. We also has 15% discount at the spa and on all treatments, fruit, flowers and champagne in our room on arrival, and fresh petals on our bed the first night! Very nice.

    THE WEDDING DAY;
    I had my hair done at 12 midday - it took 1.5 hours, I wanted plenty of getting ready time! The ceremony was at 4pm, perfect temperature, it was very warm, but wasn’t too hot and it was a beautiful sunny day. My bouquet and all the flowers were delivered by 2.30pm to my room, they were absolutely perfect. The co-ordinator came to collect my Dad and I from my room all in good time and escorted us towards the pool gazebo. We chose to use the pool gazebo as apposed to the beach one because it was much prettier, less windy, easier to walk on the surface and not the sand, and the whole layout worked much better. The pool staff moved the sun beds so far away, and we felt it was such a private ceremony, it was simply beautiful and definitely the right choice. People did watch, but from a distance, not that I even noticed people watching! They were so quiet, and totally respectful.

    Straight after the ceremony we had champagne served, and cut the cake. The cake we chose was a cheese cake and it was delicious! It wasn’t important to us to have a big fancy wedding cake, although you can pay extra and chose to upgrade your cake if you wish, but we didn’t see the point. We had photos with all our guests by the pool side, then left our guests to have private photos on the beach, barefoot! It was romantic, absolutely beautiful and very private on the beach (no guests watching us have our pictures taken!)

    We made our way to the Italian restaurant at 6pm after photos. Our guests were at the lobby bar and met us at the restaurant. We occupied the whole outdoor, circular patio area section of the Italian, which was private and laid out so beautifully. I previously handed the co-ordinator wedding favors (lotto tickets for the boys and pearl stud earrings for the girls) and table sprinkles for decoration. These were all in place when we arrived at the restaurant. They set up x2 large tables which worked really well in the area. We spent about 2 hours there, had exquisite food, then made our way to the lobby bar for more celebrations. We went onto the disco, which was so much fun and really finished the day off perfectly!

    I would like to just go back to the photographer briefly, as we all know how important this part is! The pictures were breath taking, we were thrilled with them. We met the photographer 4 days later and he presented us the 50 (6x4) photo package we’d paid for, in an album and on a disc. We were happy with what we had seen, and he offered for us to take our time and look through the rest of the pictures on his laptop (all 1100 extra pictures!!), and if there were any extra we liked then we can pay extra for them. Until we looked through the photos, we didn’t realise just how many beautiful pictures were missing from the 50 he had given us, and we started noting down the numbers of the extra pictures we fell in love with. Since the photographer had chosen the 50 in the album and we couldn‘t swap any, there were loads (about another 100) that we wanted. It wasn’t until 2 hours later that he told us that if we wanted any extra photos at all, then we had to buy them all! We had already paid about $750 usd for the 2.5 hours work and the 50 in the album. He wanted another $800 usd the rest of the pictures if we wanted any more at all. My new husband and I felt like we were being ripped off, and didn’t like the way the photographer conducted this sale approach. In the end, we bargained with him, and he accepted $350 usd cash, which we were happy with in the end.

    THIS IS IMPORTANT - THE PHOTOS WERE PERFECTION, SO BRILLIANT, PLEASE DON’T BE PUT OFF USING THE PHOTOGRAPHER (Junophotography). I just wanted to make you aware of the sale scheme at the end! Don’t be afraid to bargain, at the end of the day he wanted us to be really happy.

    We hope to go back next year to Secrets Maroma Beach!

    I hope this was some help to anyone who is considering SMB as their wedding destination, look no further, you can’t beat PERFECTION! Good luck with your wedding plans.

    #2 mlynnea

    mlynnea
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    • 62 posts

      Posted 20 April 2010 - 05:36 PM

      Just an add-in to the review about the photography....I'm assuming this person booked their photographer through Secrets, because I had a similar situation with the photography included in my wedding package. I had the Ultimate Wedding Package and included was a photographer from Juan Navarro's company. It was for 1.5 hours. Same as this TripAdvisor review, we got 50 photos provided to us in an album (photographer picked the 50 photos to print)...he gave us the album to look through, and then showed us the remaining 200 photos he had on another DVD, selling for an additional $250 over our Ultimate Wedding package price.
      I also felt scammed because he purposely left out photos of the Cake Cutting and the Father Daughter dance, and I promise you there were plenty of not-so-good photos in the 50 that he could have easily traded for the more important events. So they definitly scam you into buying the DVD negatives.
      Luckily we had hired another photographer that we hired on our own (cecilia dumas) that captured the majority of our event, and Alex from Juan Navarro was only there from cocktail hour -reception.
      ~ More to come in my full review to be posted soon. Just wanted to add my two cents.

      #3 julie channon

      julie channon
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      • 2 posts

        Posted 02 August 2010 - 01:44 PM

        Hi

         

        Just wanted to say I'm honoured you've cut and pasted my Secrets Maroma review!  Interesting you had a similar experience with the photographer - they were seriously cheaky - tempting you by showing you the rest of the photos then telling you how much they want extra.  Anyway we did some great haggling and managed to get a total of 1200 photos for about £700.00 which was a result!

         

        If you would like to see a few of my wedding pictures you can go to 'photobucket' username - babydell280, password - 3pmpinacolada.

         

        Kind regards x






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