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TonyandTricia's Moon Palace Review 02-26-10

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Wedding Date / Time – Friday, February 26, 2010 / 2:00 p.m.

Wedding Coordinator – Angelica Martinez Mauricio

Wedding Package - Complimentary

Gazebo – Bugambilia

Cocktail Hour - Bugambilia Terrace 3:00-4:00 p.m.

Reception - 6:30 p.m. – Aqua Salon


Total number of guests including Husband and I - 30.


Our stay – February 23 – February 28th

Most of our guests stay – February 24 – March 1

Honeymoon – Excellence Playa Mujeres from February 28 – March 4

Photographer – David Pena (resort photographer)


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Overall Experience A+++++++++

I canâ€t not begin to express how wonderful our wedding was at Moon Palace!!! It was absolutely perfect and I wouldnâ€t change a thing. I have to first of all thank all of the BDW brides that helped me with my planning!!! It wouldnâ€t have been the same without all of the great tips that I got from this site. And I have met some amazing friends (WhooHooo February Brides!!!). I think that Moon Palace was absolutely perfect for us. We have a large divided family and not necessarily every guest would have wanted to spend their whole vacation hanging out with their exâ€s, so the size was perfect for us. It is large so you werenâ€t right on top of each other, but it was still fun to occasionally run into guests as you walked around. After the wedding a lot of guests told us that it was the best wedding that that they had ever been to and some are even planning a return trip for our one year anniversary!!


Travel Agency B


The travel agency that we used was destinationweddings.com. I have mixed feelings about them. They did help a lot, but their prices were more than what we found on internet discount sites (in particular Orbitz) so they agreed to price match Orbitz and get our guests pretty low rates. In general it was a little under $2400 for flight, transfers, and oceanfront accomodations for 6 days and 5 nights. So at times, I wondered why we were even using them because our guests could have just booked on Orbitz. Their response was 1. We had a representative to call if we had questions, which was true and she would help if she could and 2. We were guaranteed not to be bumped if the hotel over booked.


Airline C


We, along with our guests, flew American Airlines. DH and Iâ€s experience with them was pretty uneventful. 18 of our guests however had a different experience. 18 of them were on the same 10 am flight from KC to Cancun. 30 minutes into their flight they had a failed engine and had to turn back to KC. Their flight ended up being cancelled and about 4:00 pm 4 of them caught a flight to Cancun. The other 14 of them had to go to Chicago and arrived in Miami after midnight where they spent the night and arrived in Cancun a day late. Iâ€m glad that they all made it safely and am not giving AA a bad grade because of that. I am giving them a C because the next day the same plane caught on fire!! I also had a friend taking an AA flight from NYC to KC, which also caught on fire. 2 planes with fire equals bad grade from this bride.


Wedding Coordinator B


Our wedding coordinator was Angelica Martinez. Through out the whole process I was very frustrated with MP because they have rules of not getting your WC until 90 days before your wedding. Iâ€d get on the forum and read about brides getting married MONTHS after me who were in contact with theirs. I finally threw a fit to MP and from then on they pretty much worked with me to get what I requested. Angelica did a good job, my frustration was with the whole system in general, not necessarily her. I know some people tip their wedding coordinator, but my hubby wouldnâ€t let me. He said we gave them enough of our money.


Customs A


I was so worried about going through customs with all of our stuff!!! (7 bags plus dress!) I was very prepared with folders with receipts of OOT bag contents in each suitcase. I took 128 cups of rose petals with me and was super worried that they would be confiscated. As my bags went through the machine the lady asked me how much all of my wedding gifts were worth and I said $200 because I thought that I read somewhere that $300 was the limit. She said ok and then I hit the green light so my bags werenâ€t checked. Thank goodness!!


Transfers A


Our transfers were with American Express and they were very helpful and didnâ€t push sales on us too much. Because all of our guests were coming in at odd times the American Express rep from the hotel (Martin) sat with us in the lobby and called his coworkers who were at the airport and gave us a heads up when a guest was on their way. We have no complaints about them.


The Resort A+++


I am sooooo happy with our decision to go with Moon Palace! It is such a beautiful resort with so much to do and great food. It was perfect for us and I wouldnâ€t change a thing. Everyone who worked there was very kind and accommodating to everything we requested. Iâ€ve heard people complain about the beach, and yes, itâ€s not the most beautiful beach, but I still thought it was very pretty. The seaweed wasnâ€t nearly as bad as I had anticipated from the reviews.


Rooms A

We, along with all of our guests, stayed on the Nizuc side. Iâ€m glad that we did it was in the middle of the resort and so we never had a hard time to get to any one area. I thought our room was very nice and we had a beautiful view to wake up to every day!


Room Service A


YUM!!! We ordered room service everyday! Our faves were the ham and cheese croissants, hamburgers, and the FRIES!! Room service came in helpful for breakfast a lot, when we needed a quick bite to eat before we went out and met people, and on our wedding day because we didnâ€t see each other until the ceremony and didnâ€t want to risk running into each other beforehand.


Restaurants A+


El Caribeno: Super good food. We really liked it here.

La Trattoria: About 10 of us went here the night after our wedding and everyone thought that it was the best meal that they had all week. The appetizers were horrible so we were worried, but the meals were delicious!!

Bambu: I didnâ€t eat here, but my family didnâ€t like it.

Arrecifes: I didnâ€t care for this at all. I know other people have great things to say about it, but I just didnâ€t think it was that good.

Los Caporales: My favorite. We had our rehearsal dinner here and it was so good. See my entry below about our menu.

Buffet in Nizuc Lobby: Not sure itâ€s name (think itâ€s El Manglar), but everyone loved going here for breakfast. They had pretty much everything that you could think of and it was really tasty!

Palapa Delfines: We ate here for lunch a couple of times. They had good Philly cheeseteak sandwiches, fries, and chips and guacamole.

Dessert bar in Nizuc lobby: They have all kinds of desserts…our favorite was the double layered chocolate cake. It was delicious!!! Someone else told us after we got home that they had chocolate frosties that tasted like Wendyâ€s…too bad we missed out on that!


Overall we thought the food was really good!! We went to a really nice honeymoon spot afterwards that was supposed to have all 4/5 star restaurants and we thought MP food was much better!! As you can tell we ate like crap!! But hey, I had been good for way to long not to break the diet a little (ok, a lot) when we were there!


Entertainment on the Resort


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Our favorite spots to hang out were the Nizuc pool and the Swing Bar on the Sunrise side. The Swing bar was always a lot of fun and we met a lot of nice people there. After our reception we went to Andromeda, the resort disco, which is located on the Sunrise side. It opens at 10:30 every night. At first when we got there I wasnâ€t into it too much because it was actual disco music. After a while, they started playing different music and we had so much fun dancing!!! There is a schedule of events posted in the lobby that had the nightly shows/entertainment that was planned. One night there was a fire show (Thursday) and a lot of the guests enjoyed that. Mondays are the Michael Jackson show and we missed that although Iâ€ve heard good things about it.


I finally got to meet another BDW bride (FutureMsMoutlon) at the resort, which was great!! We had a bridal party drinking contest at the Nizuc Pool and unfortunately

she smoked me!


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Wednesday, February 24 -


We had a Meet and Greet scheduled for the roof top bar above El Caribeno, but unfortunately it was cancelled due to the airline mishap previously mentioned. The night before the scheduled Meet and Greet my FI and I went and got a drink and checked it out. Itâ€s a large space with a bunch of lounge furniture. I think it would have been perfect for a meet and greet although it is on the far end of the resort.


Thursday, February 25 -


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This was the night of our rehearsal dinner. We had it at Los Caporales. I thought it was the perfect place to have it. The food was great (except we didnâ€t care for the dessert) and the staff and atmosphere was lots of fun! The marriache band came and played for our table and my dad had to jump up and play with them. It was so fun! Here was our menu that I had to preselect:


appetizer: chicken tacos and guacamole (very good)

soup: black bean cream soup

salad: mixed salad with tomato, baby corn, carrot, and guajillo chilli dressing

main dish: beef fillet (everyone thought this was REALLY good) or fish stuffed shrimp (only a few of us chose this and when it arrived a lot of people wish that they had. it was soooo good!!)

dessert: dark and white chocolate cake with vanilla sauce (it was flan, which most of our guests werenâ€t crazy about, but we had so much other good food no one seemed to mind. )


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Friday, February 26 - Ceremony Day


My sister stayed with me the night before and FI stayed with my brother in law so that we wouldnâ€t see each other or talk before the wedding. When we woke up my sister and I ordered room service so that we wouldnâ€t run into FI or other guests. Then we went to the salon and had my nails painted. They did a decent job and it was only $8. After my nails we went back to my room and my hair stylist (FutureMsMoultonâ€s sister!!) came around 10:45 am. At 1:40 Angelica, our wedding coordinator came to our room to pick me up. She walked me to the carriage and my step father and I went for a little ride before heading to Bugambilia Gazebo. I loved the gazebo that we were in. It was close to our rooms and very pretty with a great terrace out front. I was a little worried at first because I kept reading good things about Tucan, but was assigned Bugambilia. I thought it was perfect and I wouldnâ€t have changed a thing!


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FutureMsMoultonâ€s sister did my hair and I thought she did a great job!! I loved it and got a lot of compliments. I was also pretty happy with how well it held up considering the crazy wind and humidity.

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I ordered my bouquet and FI boutineirre from Realistic Silk Wedding Flowers, Natural Touch and Silk Bridal Bouquets. I gave them an inspiration pic and ,although they didnâ€t match it perfectly, I was very happy with it and everyone loved it! They couldnâ€t even tell that it was fake! I paid $106 for both of those. I asked MP to give me the roses that they would have used in my complementary bouquet as loose roses so that we could make bouts for the dads (3) and bouquets for our moms (5!). I asked for fuchsia roses and got pink that also had a lot of white. They worked perfect for what we wanted them for, but I am so glad that I decided not to have them do my bouquet because they were definitely not fuchsia as I had requested.


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I ordered petals from Eco-Friendly Freeze Dried Rose Petals I ordered 128 cups for the aisle, guest toss after ceremony, and reception tables. They were approximately $200. I ordered fuchsia and orange ginger snap. They came in 2 big bags and were a little hard when they arrived. I ordered them at the beginning of January and stored them in a dark closet like they recommend until our wedding at the end of February. They were the same as when I got them over a month later. When we got to our room at the resort I put them in the bathroom, turned on the shower, and shut the door. They softened up and were perfect. I was very happy with them. They do have cheaper options if you get their mixes, but I was set on fuchsia and orange.


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Carriage Ride: A+++

My FI thought that the carriage ride seemed kind of expensive ($135) and suggested that maybe we skip it. We decided to go ahead and do it and he said that it was the best decision we made. He said seeing me come around the corner in the carriage was the happiest moment in his life and brought tears to his eyes. Afterward he said that was his favorite part about the wedding and still smiles today when we start talking about it.


Photographer: A

We decided to go with the resort photographer, David Pena. We just didnâ€t have it in our budget to fly someone in or pay for their stay at the resort. I am happy with our pictures and glad we went with David.


Videographer: A

I love our video! Worth the money and I cried like a baby when I watched it.




Before we arrived, Angelica dropped my pedals all over the aisle and set up my sand ceremony pieces. Guests were told to arrive at 1:30 (because we have some people that are NEVER on time!) At 2:00 the my step mom, FI step mom, my mom, and FI mom poured their portions of sand into our corresponding vases. Meanwhile…

Our carriage got over to the Nizuc side (after a short ride to sunrise) a little early so we paused behind a building to wait for the right time. We were close enough for me to hear the music begin, but not for our guests to see me. As soon as I heard my first song play (moms walking down the aisle and filling our vases with sand) I was overcome with emotion and was fighting back the tears . It was such a great feeling to hear the music that I had worked so hard picking out. It was all coming together and I couldnâ€t have been happier. Finally, our carriage song started and we were off to the gazebo! As we pulled around I saw a huge smile on my FI face and looked at the crowd and saw the water works!! All the women were crying! We pulled up to the gazebo to meet my dad and my step dadâ€s fiancé who were waiting for us. My step dad got out and walked down the aisle, while I waited in the carriage. My dad helped me out (tiny stairs by the way, I was worried I was going to do a face plant in front of everyone!) and then my song began. My dad and I walked down the aisle to meet FI and the ceremony began! We wrote our ceremony script (ok, cut and pasted pieces from BDW) we were told that MP couldnâ€t guarantee that our minister could pronounce it very well, but he did great. It wasnâ€t perfect, but I didnâ€t care. After the ceremony our recessional song began and our guests exited the gazebo while we had our champagne toast and took a couple of pics. Then we exited the gazebo to greet our guests who threw rose petals. I thought it was just perfect!! It was VERY windy and I had to take off my veil mid-vows. I only wore it for about 20 minutes total, but I still loved it. It made me feel like a bride!


After the ceremony we took group pictures and then we went to the beach for pictures and our guests went to the cocktail hour.


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Cocktail Hour:

3:00-4:00 pm. They started a little early for us after our group pictures (about 2:45). Our cocktail hour was held at the Bugambilia Terrace right next to the gazebo. We chose the Superior Hors D'Oeuvres Menu:

pimiento piquillo relleno de queso crema y nuez / bell pepper filled with

cream cheese and nut

camarón con piña / shrimp with pineapple

blue cheese hors D'oeuvres

brocheta de pollo / chicken shish kebab

medallones de res / beef medallions

volován relleno mariscos / seafood vol au vent

It was a lot of food! Honestly I couldnâ€t†tell you how good it was because I didnâ€t eat much. I heard that the shish kabobs and stuffed bell peppers were good.


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Reception: A++

Due to the wind and temperature (it was a little chilly at night) we chose to have our reception indoors. Iâ€m glad we did! Our reception was held in the Aqua Salon in the Nizuc main building. We chose the French menu and I thought it was great and a lot of people complemented us on it. Afterwards we went to the disco to continue the party!


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Music: A

Ceremony playlist:

1.Somewhere over the Rainbow/What a wonderful world-Israel Kamakawiwoâ€ole (moms walking down the aisle)

2. Youâ€re So Cool-Hans Zimmer (Carriage coming around the bend!)

3. Canon in D (bride)

4. Iâ€m Yours-Jason Mraz (Sand Ceremony)

5. Beautiful Day-U2 (Recessional)


Reception Music: We got the iPod hook up and made our own playlists. We got a Dj and a microphone as well.


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Cake A

We decided to upgrade the cake. We chose a smaller version of one out of the catalog because we only had 30 people and didnâ€t want to pay a ton for the cake. Not very many people ate it although I thought it was tasty. We got one layer of chocolate and one layer of vanilla. I think people were just so full from dinner and dinner came with a ton of desserts…really good desserts too. My hubby says that if we could go back he would have just got the complementary one, but I still would have gotten it just because it was so pretty.


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Centerpieces A++

I brought rose petals and tea light candles (Pier One) for the center pieces and I thought they looked beautiful!! Definitely would have blown away had we chose to stay outdoors. Our original reception location was supposed to be the Venado Terrace. It is right next to the ocean, but also right next to Grand so it was far.





Carriage Ride: $135

Cocktail Hour: $600

Reception: $1200

Cake: $130

Photography: $950

Dress steamed: $35

DH clothes pressed: $25 (not worth it!! Came wrinkley anyway.)

iPod hook-up, microphone, DJ: $220

Ship Pictues: $70

Nails: $8

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Honeymoon – Excellence Playa Mujeres B-

Just a word about our honeymoon spot…it was absolutely beautiful!! But also very expensive ($700/night!), food wasn’t as good as moon palace, slow service, and far away from things if you wanted to do any excursions. We enjoyed our time there, but won’t go back.


Overall, we are sooo happy with how everything turned out. It was definitely the wedding of our dreams!!

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Love your review! Sounds like (& looks like) you had an amazing wedding. I have the same color scheme, so I'm definitely stealing some ideas. I'm so glad you had such a great experience. Just over 2 months to go until my MP wedding...thanks for all the great tips! Congrats!

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What an absolutely gorgeous wedding! Your flowers looked amazing! So glad that even with the minor mishaps, you and your guests were able to have such a great time. Congratulations!

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Congratulations!!! You looked incredible and sounds as if it was your dream day. I'm so happy for you. Your review was well worth waiting for. We initially picked Excellence Playa Muejeres as our wedding site, but due to ids in the family changed to MP. So glad I did! Thank you for taking the time to put the review together!


Congrats! Chelle

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