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GBP Coba/Akumal Review 26/04/2010 LONG!!

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#1 HereFishie

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    Posted 08 May 2010 - 12:36 AM

    Here is my review of our wedding and honeymoon. We stayed at the Coba but our wedding ceremony was at the Akumal Cancha (beach location)
    Our honeymoon was at the Sandos Caracol Eco Resort and Spa.

    Our group was booked with Signature and from what we heard there were no complaints. Because of the timing, DH and I booked with Fun Sun and Continental. Usual tight seating and 50 pounds baggage allowance. We had a layover in Houston so we ended up going to Duty Free and getting some bottles for our reception. It was really inexpensive and a nice touch we thought.

    Arrival into Cancun:
    Cancun airport was a relatively quiet when we got there. Basically no real lines and we were on our way to the resort in no time! We both got green lights so it was a nice easy walk through.

    Ride to the Bahia:
    Our group came in on the Signature bus. Apparently they had 4 stops before our resort. No one had any complaints other than it was a long trip and they were happy to just be there finally.
    We took an outside airport transport with 1 other couple in our group. HIGHLY recommend them and we will use them again in the future. They were called KinMont Cancun Shuttle. For 4 transfers to GBP, then 4 transfers to the honeymoon resort, then 2 separate 2person transfers on different days back to the airport was only $125US per couple for ALL of it!! They were always early from when they said they'd be there, the transfer was quick and private. I'd do this again over a group bus ANY day!

    Coba Main Lobby Checkin:
    For DH and I it was really quick because we were returning guests. For the rest of the group, it seemed to go a little crazy but in the end, everyone got their rooms and were off with their luggage in no time. My only complaint was that nothing regarding our room requests was honoured. It wasn't too much the hotel's fault though... they had a bunch of people that couldn't leave from the UK because of the volcano so the hotel was overfull. Not sure what they did to accommodate more people coming than leaving but in the end, our guests rooms were *somewhat* close to each other. Villas 17/18/20/23/25/30.
    Our room was beautiful as usual with champagne and fruit and flowers waiting for us. There was a letter informing us of our meeting with Eugenia the WC at the Akumal waiting on the table for us.

    Wedding Coordinator Meeting:
    We had already met Eugenia once when we came down for our site visit in December. She is an absolute sweetheart. Very professional, easy to understand, explains everything thoroughly... she knows her job really well. We went over the details of our wedding day again with her and she explained more about how the ceremony we wanted was going to play out. We had the Mayan Symbolic Blessing so it's a little different than the reviews most of the gals that went had.

    Hotel: COBA
    We had been there before so we knew what to expect and again the Bahia did not disappoint. They take very good care of the rooms, grounds, beaches, lobbies... The trams run all through the 3 properties and while many of our guests used them alot, we knew the resort well enough that we walked everywhere unless we were in a time crunch.

    Our wedding day:
    I got ready in our room and hubby stayed and got ready with his son in his room. A couple of friends of DH did my hair and my MOH/BM's hair for all of us. I was pampered and surrounded by lovely ladies!
    At 1pm, all of the bridal party met at our building for pictures. We did our pics before our ceremony because our ceremony wasn't until 5pm so we wanted nice bright beach pictures. We did the "First Look" picture and DH bawled his head off when he turned around to see me. It was the sweetest thing ever. He said that I surpassed everything he expected and more.
    We went to our wedding location with our BP took alot of photos, the typical and untypical types for about 1.5 hours. Apparently the temperature broke records that day. It was SO HOT! After our pictures, we separated again for awhile to freshen up before the ceremony.

    All of the guests and the Groom met in the Premier Lobby (lobby between the Akumal and Coba Main) and were transported to the wedding location which was the Akumal Beach Hammock site. They sent private transportation for me and my two gals. I was panicking a little because when we talked to Eugenia she said the bellboy would be there to pick us up at 4:50 for our 5pm wedding. By 5pm he still hadn't shown up and I was phoning the Akumal reception freaking out a little. He showed up shortly after that and we arrived at the site. We were greeted by Eugenia, my dad and the men from the BP. Eugenia lined us all up and reconfirmed how we would all walk in and where to stand. Then she gave the signal for the BP to start walking the path to the site. I waited excitedly for it all to start. I was rather impatient and wanted to get down to my groom! It was our turn next and when I rounded the corner I was overjoyed at all our guests waiting for us. I was trying so hard to take it all in and when I saw my hubby crying… man, it was hard to focus on anything else!
    When we got there, we really had no idea what the ceremony would be like because so few people had done the Mayan blessing so there wasn't alot of info about it but it was absolutely perfect for us. We had the opportunity to do our own vows mixed into the ceremony of the flowers and I don't think there was a dry eye in the place! The Mayan couple was so spiritual. You could actually feel them speaking to the 4 directions north/east/south/west, to the earth, the sun, wind, sky, ocean... the conch shells resounding with the crashing of the ocean and the chanting of the woman... it was a very unforgettable experience.

    Everything was awesome… literally everything we had dreamed it would be! The weather was hot, the skies were clear, the breeze was cooling, our friends and families there, an amazing authentic Mayan ceremony …simply amazing! We had mimosas after the ceremony right there on the beach behind the location site and managed to get a great group photo of all of us!

    Our wedding package included 5 free photos with the resort photographer. The images were good, very photoshopped with effects, but we kept only the free ones because our friend is an intermediate photographer and was a guest of ours so he got alot of the same pics. He had over 1400 pictures taken of the entire wedding day!

    We chose the Dolce Vita for our reception. The restaurant was blocked off for 1.5 of the 2 hours we had it for before people from the resort started coming in. We were able to get the marimba band to play during our meal and it was such a cool touch. We were very pleased! Our dinner was leisurely and informal . Our MC took over, did a couple of jokes, some quick comments and kept it light for our guests. We didn't do our speeches during dinner. We decided to use the dessert provided and opted for the small 10 person symbolic cake. It was more than enough and many of our guests also got a taste of the Tres Leche (3 Milks) cake. It was very good... very sweet though.

    Private Poolside reception at the White Sands (Akumal):
    We chose to go with the least expensive drink package for our reception and we're very glad we did. It ended up being about 1.5 hours and it moved so fast between our speeches and the dances that we barely had enough time for the partying! Not as many people danced as I would have liked but people were all visiting, signing the guest book, and leaving a private video message for us that it was busy enough. I don't know if I would have done the private reception again but DH really felt it was worth the cost to have our group alone like we did. The location was really decorated beautifully and the iPod was MORE than enough for our group. I am very glad we didn't pay for a DJ. After the reception, several people called it a night and went to bed. DH and I went back to our room to change and then we all headed to the Hacienda and some of us stayed for the disco and danced until the wee hours but most left within an hour. DH and I left our guests dancing the night away around 1am

    Honeymoon: Sandos Caracol Eco Resort and Spa
    Everyone left us on the Wednesday after the wedding except my DH's sister and BIL who were also celebrating. They stayed for their 36th wedding anniversary and us for our honeymoon. We all moved to another resort for a change of scenery. This was a great idea. We had a wonderful week, we definitely recommend taking an extra week for your honeymoon! The wedding week with your guests is like 1 LONG reception and you never get to truly relax until they're all gone home!
    We spent our 2nd week in a lovely very organic, smaller, more personal feeling resort. Definitely wasn't the 5* GBP we had been spoiled with but overall a nice place and were upgraded to the Jr Suites within a day. The suites have jacuzzi tubs on the large balcony and our room directly faced the ocean. It was beautiful! The day after we got there we made our first large purchase as a married couple.
    We bought a vacation weeks+points club membership! We are really excited to be members of the Royal Elite Platinum and RCI group for the next 25 years! Its something we have talked about in the last year because of how much we like to travel so it was a perfect time for us. We got in on the baby beginner package but with 4 weeks every 2 years, spa and golf membership packages and 15 free weeks... it was a deal we couldn't pass up and we're already planning our next vacation down to the amazing and incredible Sandos Playacar with the private pools at every building!

    Overall wedding experience: Incredible! We are SO glad we went with our hearts and had our dream wedding on the beach. It was an amazing day and our guests can't stop talking about how unique and beautiful the wedding day was as well as how much fun they all had during their week there.

    #2 Mrs.B

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      Posted 08 May 2010 - 12:45 AM

      Thanks for sharing!!!

      #3 HereFishie

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        Posted 08 May 2010 - 01:39 AM

        Pictures are slllowwwwllyy going up a few at a time on facebook. Friday nights are DH's time with the boys on Xbox LIVE and every time I try and upload, his game freezes so I'll put more up soon! Here's the link on FB

        Cheryl Scott's Photos - 2 weeks in Paradise | Facebook

        #4 midnight24

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          Posted 08 May 2010 - 01:47 AM

          love your pic! it looks like the mayan ceremony was so beautiful!

          so glad to read everything went smoothly...and i'm so envious you guys had an extra week.
          i really wish we had did that...but i guess it's a good excuse to take a honeymoon later this year.

          congrats! you look stunning.

          #5 HereFishie

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            Posted 09 May 2010 - 10:52 PM

            Thank you so much Wendy! It was great getting to meet you! I'm looking forward to all your pics!

            #6 midnight24

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              Posted 11 May 2010 - 08:30 AM

              yes it was great meeting you too.

              hopefully should have pics up on nora's blog later today. stay tuned!

              #7 CND_Redhead

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                Posted 11 May 2010 - 08:50 AM

                I'm so happy everything went well for you. You guys looked like you had a great time.
                Your dress (and you in it) was stunning!!!
                Where did you get the GM shirts

                Enjoy married life.

                Bride & Groom + 38 BOOKED!!!

                #8 Ashley*

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                • 206 posts

                  Posted 11 May 2010 - 09:06 AM

                  everything looks beautiful & like it went wonderful!
                  Dreams Los Cabos is where I'll be on four twenty-three, 2011.

                  #9 HereFishie

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                    Posted 11 May 2010 - 09:18 AM

                    CDN Redhead - our brother in law is in the promotional business and he found those shirts among his suppliers. The maker is Bobby Chan. :)

                    #10 CND_Redhead

                    • Jr. Member
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                      Posted 11 May 2010 - 01:08 PM

                      Originally Posted by HereFishie
                      CDN Redhead - our brother in law is in the promotional business and he found those shirts among his suppliers. The maker is Bobby Chan. :)

                      thanks, they are great,
                      I am having a hard time finding something that the FI and I can agree on (style and colour) those are pretty much what I had in mind!

                      :) Cheers,

                      Bride & Groom + 38 BOOKED!!!

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