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Northernflashers Dreams Tulum Review 26th March 2010


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#1 northernflasher

northernflasher
  • Jr. Member
  • 499 posts

    Posted 16 May 2010 - 05:04 PM

    Firstly let me say that our wedding day truly was the happiest day of my life. I know that’s what people expect a bride to say but I can honestly say it’s the truth. Of course this means I could easily mark the whole thing 10 out of 10 and leave it at that but I have tried to be really honest and objective here.
    I would like all future brides to know that I would recommend a destination wedding at Dreams Tulum to anyone.
    Even the areas where I have pointed out the negative were minor issues that in no way affected our wedding day or our holiday overall.
    I guess that what I’m trying to say is that any wedding, anywhere, will have issues, mishaps and hiccups, but if you go into it with the right attitude then it really will be the perfect day you hoped for…

    I also send out my thanks to this forum and its fantastic members. I gained so much inspiration and so many invaluable ideas from here. I really don’t think my wedding would have been such a success without your help. If any of this info helps one other bride the same way it did for me I’ll be thrilled. Let me know if you have any questions, I’d love to spread the joy…

    HOTEL REVIEW

    DREAMS TULUM OVERALL: 9/10
    It’s the most beautiful location. One of the most relaxing and laid back hotels I have ever been to.
    Our party ranged from 11 – 63 years old and everyone loved it.
    By far the best customer service I have ever received at an all-inclusive resort.
    We never once felt obliged to tip, although we did because so many people deserved it and are genuinely grateful for whatever they were given.
    Everyone works so hard to ensure that the guests have everything they need and we felt really well looked after the whole time.
    The place is immaculately kept, though the overall structures and d©cor are a little tired looking in certain areas.
    The gardens are lovely and attract an abundance of butterflies, birds, geckos and iguanas!

    TRAVEL AGENT: THOMAS COOK: 2/10
    They get 2 points for getting us there and back again. They were awful and made the whole booking process so stressful and upsetting. We will never travel with them again.
    U.K brides feel free to PM for details.

    WELCOME AND CHECK IN: 8/10
    We got the usual wonderful welcome on arrival, fresh towels, champagne, cookies and juice for my stepson.
    We were also given complimentary upgrades for our whole party which the majority of us were thrilled with.
    Unfortunately despite my sending them the required room configurations 3 times prior to our arrival they had assigned all our guests into king rooms despite one of them being aunt & nephew and the other being parents with a teenage boy!
    Our room was correct, we requested two beds as my 11yr old stepson was with us for the first week but the other people requiring 2 beds were given the option to downgrade or pay for further upgrade into rooms with an extra bed. At this point I started to object and the on call manager came over apologised, assured us it was not a problem and said they could organise an extra bed to be delivered to the rooms.
    We gratefully accepted this and imagined they would deliver another queen bed but unfortunately the rooms were purely set up for one king bed so when they delivered it was a makeshift single bed which they put in the lounge area which blocked access to the patio doors and the sofa.
    Luckily the boys were ok with their single beds and they all made do with not being able to move around the rooms as freely as would have been normal.
    Had the people assigned the single beds been older, bigger or just a bit fussier it would have been totally impractical and we would have been back to the issue of downgrade or pay.

    OUR ROOM: 9/10
    We were given room 8310 Top floor (3rd) in the Dreams preferred section which looked onto the back of the hotel lobby and the fountains with a distant view of the sea from the balcony.
    We had a walk in shower big enough for 2, twin sinks and a 2 person Jacuzzi bath which had wooden shutters that opened out into the rest of the room. Full sized toiletries and fluffy robes in the bathroom.
    The overall d©cor was basic but nice, except I was almost taken out on my wedding day by the wooden door on our TV unit which came off its hinges as I opened it and slid down the room to the patio doors!
    The balcony was a great place to people watch and would have been perfect if we’d had a hammock.
    Unfortunately none of the rooms in that section have hammocks, not sure why because the balconies and terraces are big enough, that’s probably the only thing I would have changed about our room.
    Everything in working order except the Ipod dock had poor volume and the alarm clock was set to go off at midnight which it did for the first 4 nights until we figured how to change it!
    Privacy button by the beds which was always respected for the entire duration of our stay. I highly recommend using this as the cleaners can come any time between 7am and 5pm and turndown service from 5pm-8pm.
    Our cleaner was Wilfreda, she was really friendly and despite the language barrier always tried to accommodate or assist us, she did an adequate job with the time she had available.
    We tipped and I made her up a gift bag before we left with nail varnishes, hand cream, manicure kit etc.
    Some noise from the disco every night which is located underneath the lobby but it closes at 12-12.30 and wasn’t loud enough to keep us from sleep.
    I would say if you are a light sleeper, go to bed early or have young children it may be an issue.

    Our Jaccuzzi through into bedroom:
    Click the image to open in full size.
    View from balcony towards ocean:
    Click the image to open in full size.
    View from balcony towards lobby:
    Click the image to open in full size.
    View out back of our room from our staircase and hallway:
    Click the image to open in full size.

    ROOM 3110: 9/10
    Ground floor, Twin beds, Garden view. Didnt get much info about this room but they all seem pretty consistent and the guests didnt have any complaints.
    Click the image to open in full size.
    Click the image to open in full size.

    ROOM 4125: 9/10
    Ground floor, Garden view room, Hacienda section, Mexican feel d©cor which overall was actually a more spacious, nicer bedroom and had more furniture than our room in the Dreams section.
    Enormous King bed, single sink, basic bath and over bath shower in a nice recessed tiled cubicle, bidet. Terrace with 2 chairs, table and a hammock.
    Click the image to open in full size.
    Click the image to open in full size.

    MORE TO COME, PLEASE BE PATIENT....
    Michelle X

    PLANNING THREAD:http://bestdestinati....-thread-58694/DREAMS TULUM REVIEW: MARCH 2010:http://bestdestinati....-2010-a-59147/EXCURSIONS AND SIGHTSEEING REVIEW IN RIVIERA MAYA: MARCH 2010:http://bestdestinati...com/fo...ra-...

    #2 northernflasher

    northernflasher
    • Jr. Member
    • 499 posts

      Posted 16 May 2010 - 05:07 PM

      ROOM 3106: 7/10
      Everything as room 4125 but this room had terrible problems with mosquitos and despite being fumigated twice by the hotel they still persisted. We couldn’t figure any reason why they had such an issue in this location as the majority of our party only had problems with mosquitos out and about.
      The air con also flooded the room twice.

      Unfortunately for my sister who is NOT an early riser the cleaner always insisted on coming really early every day and because they didn’t have a privacy button would knock on the door until they opened up!

      ROOM 1107: 7/10
      Everything as room 4125 except they had to request a hammock several times.
      The coffee machine was also broken and after asking reception several times they borrowed the one from my dads room as he doesn’t drink coffee.
      This was also one of the makeshift twin bedrooms so as it was originally set up for 2 people they had to request everything for three, towels, robes, coffee cups, etc.
      They squeezed the single bed into the gap between the king and the wall which made it mega cosy at bedtime and meant that they could only use one side of the king to get in and out but they really wanted to keep the free space by the sofa and patio doors.
      I didn’t see this room until the last day but in hindsight if I were them I would probably have asked to see a “downgraded twin room” because I really don’t think there’s such a thing as a bad room at Dreams and I think they would have been much more comfortable in a room designed for three.
      Click the image to open in full size.
      Click the image to open in full size.

      ROOM:...WE CANT REMEMBER SORRY! 7/10
      Everything as room 4125 except it’s on the 1st floor. This was also a makeshift twin bedroom but as they are aunt and nephew they kept the single bed pushed up against the sofa so they could access their balcony but not use the seating area. It also meant that the nephew couldn’t watch TV unless he sat on his aunt’s bed. Again I think they would have been more comfortable in a room designed for twins.
      This photo was taken kneeling on the makeshift single bed.
      Click the image to open in full size.
      Click the image to open in full size.

      I suppose in hindsight we could have got Natalia our WC involved but everyone was so tired the night we arrived and none of them made a big issue of it to me throughout the holiday so I assumed they were comfortable. It was only when I saw these rooms on the last day that I felt bad and wished I’d been firmer at reception and demanded they sort out a better alternative. In view of the fact that we all paid a lot of money for the same grade accomodation I think Dreams should have done better.

      FOOD AND RESTAURANTS: 9/10
      We found the food to be plentiful and delicious in all the restaurants at all times of the day.
      Without doubt the best quality food I’ve ever had at an all inclusive.
      Our main issues were that the food temperature was often inadequate even in the a la carte restaurants and that there are no real arrangements for vegetarians. We had 2 in our party and thankfully they are not too precious because quite frankly they would have starved! I must stress here that this seemed to be true of everywhere off the resort too and not just Dreams in particular.
      We all had “dodgy” tummies at various points throughout our stay and my sister had a week off work with food poisoning on her return home but she does have ongoing digestion problems which always flare up when she travels. I don’t want to put all that down to food alone, I think it was a mixture of over indulgence, alcohol, heat, dehydration, nerves etc.
      The hotel was fully booked for our weeks. As a result as a party of 15 we really struggled with getting tables in restaurants, even though we told them we were happy to be seated at several tables rather than one big table.
      David and I found the service and whole experience to be much better on our last week when it was just the two of us.
      A tip for you is that they often over exaggerate the length of time you will have to wait in order to put you off so you will go elsewhere. We were often told our wait may be 1-2hrs so we would put our names down on the wait list, go get a drink and go back in 30 – 40 mins and get a table.
      Sometimes you are given a pager which recalls you to the restaurant when your table is free. They dont seem to have many of these per restaurant and for whatever reason we were never given them. I personally think you get seated faster the closer you stay to the restaurant.

      WORLD CAF‰ (BUFFET): 9/10 Casual dress. Great for breakfast and lunch, we didn’t eat here at night. Be aware that on the fiesta / theme evenings the world caf© is closed and all the food is served outside on the terrace. You must get there early or you will not get a table, the area does not appear to be able to cater for the number of guests wishing to attend these theme nights. We managed to get into the Caribbean night on second week by being there an hour before it was due to start and standing in line. The food was delicious but when the rest of the family went on the Mexican night they were not as impressed with the food.

      World cafe entrance view with doorway to left annex:
      Click the image to open in full size.
      World cafe central view:
      Click the image to open in full size.

      Natalia did mention that it may be possible to use the side annexes in the world cafe as a wedding reception location on fiesta nights when its closed to the public. I think they are really pretty.
      Left side annex inside World Cafe
      Click the image to open in full size.
      Right side/bar annex inside world cafe
      Click the image to open in full size.

      MORE TO COME, PLEASE BE PATIENT....
      Michelle X

      PLANNING THREAD:http://bestdestinati....-thread-58694/DREAMS TULUM REVIEW: MARCH 2010:http://bestdestinati....-2010-a-59147/EXCURSIONS AND SIGHTSEEING REVIEW IN RIVIERA MAYA: MARCH 2010:http://bestdestinati...com/fo...ra-...

      #3 northernflasher

      northernflasher
      • Jr. Member
      • 499 posts

        Posted 16 May 2010 - 05:11 PM

        PORTOFINO (ITALIAN): 9/10 Formal dress. Delicious food, amazing service when just the two of us, horrendous slow service when we booked a table for 13 of us in the wine cellar. Our waiter several times in the last week was Mauricio and he’s wonderful. The crusted salmon and tiramisu are amazing.

        HIMITSU (ASIAN): 9/10 Casual dress. Delicious food. They were definitely the most accommodating to a large party and would often say there was a wait and then seat us within 15mins.

        EL PATIO (MEXICAN): 8/10 Casual dress. Better in the evenings but overall probably my least favourite in terms of service, portion sizes and menu choice.

        COCO CAF‰ (COFFEE SHOP): 9/10. Amazing frozen chocolate and frozen baileys. Really cute cakes, cookies and sandwiches. Really nice place to keep cool and chill out with a book or to catch up with the girls.
        Click the image to open in full size.

        BORDEAUX (FRENCH): 9/10 Formal dress, we did see people turned away due to dress code. Delicious food. Its advertised as adults only but we ate here on our 2nd week with a 15year old without issue.

        SEASIDE GRILL (SEAFOOD AND STEAK): 9/10 Casual dress. Once again I preferred the menu here in the evenings. Steaks were delicious. Open sided feels like you are dining outside.

        GOHAN (SUSHI): None of our party tried here.

        ROOM SERVICE: 9/10 Always well within the 30 min turnaround. Always hot.
        The burgers and club sandwiches with fries are delicious.
        My tip is be specific when you order, one day we ordered the American breakfast but didn’t specify each item individually and all we got was eggs and a hash brown!

        BARS AND DRINKS 10/10
        We went through the cocktail menu, they are the best I’ve ever had at an all inclusive hotel. They will also make virtually any cocktail without alcohol which were delicious and refreshing throughout the day. You can also tell them what cocktail you want and what’s in it and if its not on the menu they’ll make it up for you.
        No probs getting International brands e.g Jack Daniels. The only thing we struggled to get was Baileys which they only appear to have at Coco caf©.
        House wine is always available but the premium wines in Portofino are at extra cost and expensive.
        As a condition of us being able to book a table for 13 in the wine cellar the manager requested we buy a few bottles of wine. We ended up paying $25 dollars a bottle for the same brand we buy at home for $9.
        Not sure if you can get champagne at the bars as part of the all inclusive, we never tried.
        The bar staff are fantastic. Our favourite was the open air sugar reef down by the beach and pools.
        Click the image to open in full size.

        The only issues we had was that they are constantly running out of drinking straws which makes it really difficult to drink frozen cocktails. And they work so fast and hard that the cleanliness of the glasses was a bit dubious.
        I would advise you to ask for drinks without garnish or remove it, more often than not it had insects on.
        Also on our wedding night in the desires disco my sister got a toe/finger nail in her mouth from her drink !!!!
        Our Travel rep assures us that all the ice is made from purified water.

        BEACH: 8/10
        Lovely beach, not the softest sand, a little bit rocky entering the water but fine once you’re in.
        The sea was lovely and warm and looks stunning from the shore all shades of blue and green.
        It was often too choppy to go snorkelling but on the one day our photographer went out he saw a stingray and lots of fish just off the beach. We walked up the beach (to the right if facing the ocean) and its very quiet with only a few other walkers and further up some apartments which are virtually empty. If you’re up for it we walked this way for about an hour and just past the white apartments (which you can see in the distance from the beach at dreams) and there is a deserted looking hotel with the most beautiful area where the herons nest and the rocks form your very own private cove. Take plenty of water, towels and sunscreen cos there are no facilities here we had the place to ourselves apart from a family of locals. We did a self portrait TTD session here on our last day and it looks stunning. Wear beach shoes for the walk, some areas on the way get a little nasty with rubbish, rocks and shale.

        THE VIEW ALONG THE BEACH TO THE RIGHT. REALLY NICE, QUIET AREA AROUND THESE APARTMENTS IN THE DISTANCE. APPROX 1 HRS WALK.
        Click the image to open in full size.
        OUR SELF PORTRAIT TTD WAS SHOT AT THE ABOVE LOCATION.
        Click the image to open in full size.

        POOLS: 9/10
        Both pools are really nice. Lots of activities going on in the Dolphin pool, all day, every day if you like it loud and fun this is the one for you. All the entertainment team are based here and do a fantastic job.
        The relax pool is definitely not an adults only pool but doesn’t ever have any activities going on so you can swim lengths and relax. The relax pool starts really shallow which is appealing for young children.

        Our main issue is that both the pools and the beach need more sunbeds and infuriatingly people are so selfish with claiming the sunbeds which is a practice I HATE and strongly feel that it should be banned. The staff would occasionally move towels that had been left unattended for a while but were nowhere near vigilant enough with this issue.
        There are literally no loungers free by 7.30am with people saving them and then not turning up until the middle of the afternoon. We started off very polite and then got wise and ended up dumping peoples stuff on the sand or moving it all onto one sunbed. More often than not it would still be there in the evening when we were leaving our area meaning the beds would have stayed empty the whole day AAARRGGGHHH RANT OVER!!!!

        SPA: 10/10
        The spa is beautiful, a truly relaxing and pampering environment. We had the couples full body massage which was included in the ultimate package and wonderful, probably the best I’ve ever had. We enjoyed it so much we did the same later in the week. Our therapists were Francis, Flavia and Nidia who were excellent.
        Leave plenty of time for booking in, reception was always busy and the computer booking system seems so confusing that the staff struggle with it and mistakes are made. You are advised to use the facilities, steam, sauna, Jacuzzi etc before your treatment and it takes a minimum of 1 hour to do it the way its recommended. I suggest getting to reception a minimum of 90mins before your treatment.
        Some of the attendants don’t speak English at all so it can be a bit confusing when you enter the locker rooms. Once you’re changed into your robe go through to the main area where you can take your steam and sauna together with your partner. My parents in law won a spa day while we were there but the attendant made out like they had to use the male and female designated facilities inside the individual changing rooms and nobody pointed out that there were joint facilities in the main area so they didn’t really enjoy the day.

        Activities and Entertainment: 10/10
        Hubby and I are really not the kind of people that need organised entertainment but based on our groups opinion and the things we did see, there really is everything you need at this resort.
        There is something going on all day every day but unlike other all inclusives we've been to the entertainment staff here respect your privacy and will not hassle you into participating.

        Our favourite was the fire show. The first week we watched it on the beach chilling out on beanbags which was awesome and made for a fantastic atmosphere. The second week it was too windy on the beach so the show moved to the patio, it was a different group but still excellent.
        We also enjoyed the capioera show at the plaza.
        Activities and entertainment our group tried and enjoyed were:
        Aqua aerobics
        Salsa
        Canoe races in the Dolphin pool
        Tequila Tasting
        Tequila Darts
        Taco making
        Beach football and volleyball
        Mexican Theme Night
        Mechanical Bull Riding
        Caribbean Theme Night
        American Idol
        Live Rock Band in Desires Disco
        My one recommendation would be to double check when you get to the resort what entertainment is organised for the same night as your wedding, at what time, in which location. They of course have to cater for the entire resort not just the weddings so all the entertainment goes ahead as planned regardless of where the weddings are located. In the time I was there I saw a few things that could possibly affect the atmosphere of a wedding or reception.
        If you would like to know whats on when I saved approx 10 days worth of Dreams entertainment news sheets from my stay.

        Excursions and sightseeing: 10/10
        I will post a full review of all our excursions in the main Riviera Maya section but we really enjoyed everything we did.
        Tulum Ruins
        Tulum town
        Xcaret
        Hidden Worlds Cenotes
        Playa Del Carmen
        Diving both in Playa Del Carmen and with Dreams Diveshop
        Xel Ha

        The main thing is that the hotel is really well organised in this respect. All the fares from the hotel are regulated so your driver knows what he will be paid, no haggling, no hassle. For return journeys you pay the driver when you return to the resort. We hadn't organised transport for the majority of our trips and we just went to the bellboys in reception and within minutes they had organised cabs, mini buses etc.
        As you exit the gates the security take the taxi drivers name and ID and also the guests room number. They do the same on the way in, kind of like a clocking in system and also in case you have any complaints about your driver they have his details so you always feel really safe. It seems to be a system the taxi drivers respect and are familiar with so I really dont think any of them will be willing to ruin there livelihood with negative feedback.

        WEDDING REVIEW: 26TH MARCH 2010 .

        ULTIMATE WEDDING PACKAGE = $2,760.00
        SET UP CHARGE $3 PER PERSON (WE HAD 15 PEOPLE IN TOTAL) = $56.25 INC TAX
        CAKE UPGRADE $50 + TAX = $55.50
        TOTAL = $2,871.75
        OTHER CHARGES:
        BLOOD WORK: $175 PER COUPLE
        JUDGES TRANSPORT FEE: $60
        MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE TRANSLATION: $120
        26TH MARCH 2010

        PRE-WEDDING EMAIL COMMUNICATION: 5/10
        Due to distance and prices from the UK there was never an option of a site visit so we did the whole thing “blind” which added to both the stress and the excitement.
        We booked our wedding date with Dreams shortly after we were engaged, 20 months in advance because we really wanted our specific date. Natalia said we were lucky to get our specific date and when we told her how far ahead we booked she said this is the only way to be assured the date you want at this time of year.
        With this in mind communication really was slow and stressful because it was so far ahead of time.
        In those early days I got the majority of my info from this forum. The communication got much better closer to the date but often things were lost in translation or frustratingly vague. Several pieces of information we were given turned out to be incorrect when we arrived at Dreams. They do work very hard but this is an issue that needs to be addressed. All my communications from 9 months out were with Aurora but my actual WC in the resort was Natalia. I believe it would be a better system to have couples assigned to an individual WC that deals with you from start to finish.

        PREPARATION OF WEDDING OUTFITS: 8/10
        I requested the outfits be returned 2 days before the wedding in case of any issues. I just sent my dress as the train was detachable and pleated with a diamante floral detail which I didn’t trust them with.
        I had requested with Natalia and pinned instructions to my garment bag that the dress was to be delivered back to my sisters room due to reading on here a few brides who were gutted when there dress was hung in full view in there room for the groom to see. Natalia said it would be laid out on the bed with a sheet covering it. Im so glad I sent it to my sisters room and highly recommend this to all of you cos they just hung my dress from her bed canopy in plain site. I mentioned this to Natalia and she tried to say it was because it had gone to my sisters room and they didn’t think it would matter but beware, I think this is standard practice.
        Other than this both my dress and David’s suit were returned in perfect condition.

        PRE-WEDDING MEETING WITH WC: 9/10
        Natalia had left a welcome letter and appointment at reception for us when we checked in. We met her at 10am the next day. You just need your passports, birth certificate and tourist visa, bring your witnesses with passports and tourist visas, they only need to be there for about 10 minutes. You will also be taken for your bloodwork if it’s a legal ceremony so bring $175 cash which you pay direct to the Doctor.
        It would also be useful to bring your wedding planning file with photos to this meeting.
        Natalia walked us around the resort and talked through our choices, locations, preferred setup etc. At this point I would double check locations and timings for other weddings and entertainment scheduled for your day.
        We then met Natalia the day before the wedding to review the contract, pay the balance, hand over all our decorations and do our informal rehearsal.
        Bring copies of everything, double check your contracts, be prepared for elements of your plans to change slightly. Be prepared to go with the flow. Speak up about extra charges and don’t be afraid to omit things if you’re not happy. When we reviewed our contract we had chosen two floral arrangements which Aurora had told us were included but actually were $65 + tax extra, we decided not to have them and got the charges removed no problem.

        We tried to request the Portofino wine cellar as our rain location but were told by Natalia the manager wouldn’t allow it. It seems to us now that the only rain locations are to hire the seaside grill (conditions and extra charges apply) or use the convention centre.
        Luckily for us our wedding day was the warmest, with the clearest skies all week so this issue never crossed my mind but a few days after our wedding we went to see the convention centre in an attempt to review it here. It is locked up unless they are hosting an event so we couldn’t get in but I can honestly say that if you are having a small to medium sized wedding I would certainly consider the convention centre entrance as your covered location.
        It is beautiful and very private surrounded by lovely gardens. It reminds me of a smaller version of the lobby with a semi circle arch balustrade with steps leading up to it and a floral display in the back. You approach it past the spa through a lovely tree lined pathway. I don’t know if this is a possibility but I would certainly recommend considering it. As I understand it there is no extra charge for using the inside of the convention centre so provided there is not another wedding inside I cant imagine why they would charge to use the entrance. You would also be able to string lights up and I think it could really be made to look spectacular. Not sure if anyone has ever used this area before but if not I think Dreams are missing an opportunity.
        TREE LINED PATHWAY TO CONVENTION CENTRE
        Click the image to open in full size.
        CONVENTION CENTRE AND SURROUNDING GARDENS
        Click the image to open in full size.
        SIDE VIEW OF TERRACE
        Click the image to open in full size.
        TERRACE DETAIL
        Click the image to open in full size.

        MORE TO COME, PLEASE BE PATIENT....
        Michelle X

        PLANNING THREAD:http://bestdestinati....-thread-58694/DREAMS TULUM REVIEW: MARCH 2010:http://bestdestinati....-2010-a-59147/EXCURSIONS AND SIGHTSEEING REVIEW IN RIVIERA MAYA: MARCH 2010:http://bestdestinati...com/fo...ra-...

        #4 northernflasher

        northernflasher
        • Jr. Member
        • 499 posts

          Posted 16 May 2010 - 05:16 PM

          SPA HAIR STYLING 9/10
          This was included in the ultimate package but as I have very short hair I gave it to my sister who was my MOH. She brought photos and diamante hair jewels and they did a fantastic job, only issue was that the only hair flower they had available was off pink which didn’t go at all with my colours and a bit wilted looking around the edges. I basically think when I booked the service the reception hadn’t made a note of it and they were winging it with a leftover flower.
          Click the image to open in full size.

          Unfortunately my hair, which I did myself, didn’t go so well, partly due to not doing enough pre-wedding practice, mostly to do with the wind. Basically it stuck to my forehead with sweat and I hate my hair in the wedding video and almost every photo. I have 3 words for you ladies… HAIRSPRAY, HAIRSPRAY, HAIRSPRAY!
          No-one used the make up service and I forgot to ask if I could trade it for another service so I kind of missed out on that one.

          FLOWERS: 9/10
          I requested with Natalia that the flowers be delivered asap for photos.
          I wasn’t too fussed but asked for shades of white and green, that they all match and specified that I wanted a small bouquet that was light enough so I could hold it in one hand. I chose number B-003 from the flower brochure and was pleasantly surprised. I thought they were lovely. It should have been the kind you hold over your arm but I asked her to have it made into a posy instead
          The men’s buttonholes were number G-002 also really nice but the ladies wrist corsages were number C-007 and had too much ribbon on for my liking and the bracelet part was a bit of a weird fit.
          If this is an area that’s important to you bring photos and be specific. I think this is especially important with regards to the table decoration flowers included in the package which for our event were not very impressive.
          We saw some truly beautiful bouquets at various weddings whilst we there, it seems that anything is achievable. We saw all shapes, styles and colours. Not sure if these brides had paid a lot extra for these but rest assured if this is an area you are worried about they rival any I’ve seen in the UK.

          MY BOUQUET
          Click the image to open in full size.

          BUTTONHOLES
          Click the image to open in full size.

          LADIES WRIST CORSAGES
          Click the image to open in full size.

          WEDDING SET UP: 9/10
          I think the chapel is beautiful and totally private I highly recommend it. The really good news is that on our last week at the resort they installed brand new air conditioning, making it more of an option in the hotter months.
          Our set up included a Memorial poem and photo of my mum, Memorial candles, Sand Ceremony, Also each person had a place setting in the chapel with a personalised handkerchief, order of service, fan and maraca to shake at the kiss.
          If you have very strict ideas about how you want things to look bring lots of pictures and very precise instructions. I started off being mega thorough, before we left I did mock set ups which I photographed and included these photos with detailed instructions written on the reverse and I bagged everything together, unfortunately I ran out of time towards the end and just gave her verbal instructions for some of things which didn’t turn out so well.
          Just minor details really but David had to move some stuff around in the chapel cos he knew it wasn’t set up like I wanted. Some of the items from the guest’s seats in the chapel were missing and she set up my memorial plaque for my mum so that you couldn’t see the picture properly. They were also quite late setting up so when I sent my sister down 40mins before the ceremony to check out the set up and light her memorial candle for mum the chapel wasn’t ready.
          The end of pew aisle flowers were included, I originally wasn’t bothered for having these because the only promotional picture I’d seen of these they were big and garish but mine were discreet, matched my colours and very pretty.
          PEW END FLOWERS
          Click the image to open in full size.

          They also included two small flower arrangements and tea-lights on the candelabras, which are located either side of the ceremony table in the top corners of the chapel and really add to the ambience.
          We also had one small floral arrangement with a candle in the centre on the ceremony table. This was originally supposed to be our memorial candle centrepiece but there was some confusion with this. Aurora told us it was included but without candles, we brought the candles thinking they would incorporate the floral arrangement around the base but Natalia had added $65 dollars plus tax extra to our contract for this as the arrangement included in the ultimate package is much smaller and other than specifying preferred flowers and colours, cannot be changed. I think this was one of the issues that got lost in translation between Aurora and Natalia. It didn’t look like the one we had picked in the flower brochure which was number CP-002 and we didn’t care enough about it to pay the extra so we stuck with the one that’s included, placed our candles around it and got the charge removed.
          CEREMONY TABLE ARRANGEMENT
          Click the image to open in full size.
          Had I thought to bring a copy of the Dreams flower catalogue I could have argued that the advertised arrangement was supposed to be included but I was so stressed by the details at this point that I didn’t want to get into it.
          We left everything set up in the chapel afterwards and asked Natalia to look after it for us. It was delivered to our room a few days later in perfect condition.

          CEREMONY TABLE SET UP
          Click the image to open in full size.

          MORE TO COME, PLEASE BE PATIENT....
          Michelle X

          PLANNING THREAD:http://bestdestinati....-thread-58694/DREAMS TULUM REVIEW: MARCH 2010:http://bestdestinati....-2010-a-59147/EXCURSIONS AND SIGHTSEEING REVIEW IN RIVIERA MAYA: MARCH 2010:http://bestdestinati...com/fo...ra-...

          #5 northernflasher

          northernflasher
          • Jr. Member
          • 499 posts

            Posted 16 May 2010 - 05:19 PM

            CEREMONY
            CHAPEL @ 4PM: 9/10
            I arrived at the ceremony by walking through the gardens, past the fountains to get the best possible background for photos.

            THE WALK THROUGH THE GARDENS FROM ROOM 3310
            Click the image to open in full size.
            Click the image to open in full size.
            Click the image to open in full size.
            If you don’t request this the WC takes you around the back way through the building next to the chapel which doesn’t make for great photos.
            This also meant that the “aisle” started in the chapel courtyard so I had a proper entrance which made it feel really nice because the actual chapel aisle walk is only a few seconds long.
            I WALKED AN "L" SHAPE FROM THE FIRST ARCHWAY THROUGH THE SECOND ARCH AND UP TO THE CHAPEL.
            Click the image to open in full size.

            I entered to my brother in law singing and playing guitar. He did a beautiful acoustic version of Guns n Roses, “Sweet child o mine” Inspired by Trace Bundy's version.
            Click the image to open in full size.

            We didn’t like any of the Hors d’ouvres on the menu so I asked if we could have something Mexican style and it was great, nachos, salsa, guacamole, sour cream, cheese sauce and mini tacos. There seemed to be a lot for 15 people and everyone enjoyed it.
            We also set up a silly props table for the guests to amuse themselves taking photos whilst we were with our photographer.

            HAVING FUN WITH PHOTO PROPS
            Click the image to open in full size.

            Once our pictures were done we came back to the courtyard and did our first dance here as we had worked on a salsa routine and needed to do it on concrete rather than sand!!!
            I highly recommend not going straight into the cocktail hour and having at least an hour to do group photos then bride and groom photos and then you get to come back and spend some time with your guests.

            Click the image to open in full size.

            PRO PHOTOGRAPHER. CHRISTIAN SINKINSON 10/10
            Click the image to open in full size.
            Click the image to open in full size.
            CHRISTIAN SINKINSON PRO PHOTOG TTD TEASERS :: CHRISTIAN SINKINSON PRO PHOTOG TTD TEASERS slideshow by northernflasher - Photobucket

            MORE TO COME, PLEASE BE PATIENT.....
            Michelle X

            PLANNING THREAD:http://bestdestinati....-thread-58694/DREAMS TULUM REVIEW: MARCH 2010:http://bestdestinati....-2010-a-59147/EXCURSIONS AND SIGHTSEEING REVIEW IN RIVIERA MAYA: MARCH 2010:http://bestdestinati...com/fo...ra-...

            #6 northernflasher

            northernflasher
            • Jr. Member
            • 499 posts

              Posted 16 May 2010 - 05:24 PM

              RECEPTION SET UP: 9/10
              We kept it very simple. All our guests on one long table. I provided a seating plan which got muddled up so when we got there I had to move people around which caused a few problems with the food service. For some reason Natalia was convinced that we had sat in the wrong seats and that the way she had laid it out was correct!
              I brought homemade wine glass luminaries one at each setting, silver heart shaped spoon favours for the ladies and playing cards in metal cases for the men. The place settings were the 2nd personalised maraca so that along with the one they received in the chapel each guest had a pair. I also printed everyone an individual menu with there choices on it which proved invaluable due to the seating plan issue!
              I provided a photo of how this was to be set up and it was perfect.
              When we viewed the site we expressed concerns about the light so Natalia had organised for an extra set to be put up, they were flood lights but what they lacked in ambience they made up for in power!!!
              We had the flower arrangement included in the package which was tiny and really not worth having. It was number CP-001 in the flower brochure. This isn’t an area I was fussy about but the tiny arrangement in the centre of the table looked pathetic.
              Click the image to open in full size.
              If you want your tables to have wow factor expect to have to pay extra.

              I also brought luminaries from home to be set out in a circle on the sand to mark out the dance floor, these looked cute but due to the wind blew in on themselves and extinguished the candle or burned the bag. During our stay several times we saw the plain paper ones the hotel provides and they were much better. In hindsight I would pay for these at the hotel or do more research at home.
              Click the image to open in full size.

              There was another small wedding by the Dolphin pool the same night which is not too far away from our set up but we never heard or saw them, not sure if they can say the same for us! Ha ha

              RECEPTION
              BEACH 6.30PM: 10/10
              I cannot tell you how much I loved my reception. We knew all along it was going to be informal but I never imagined we would have such an awesome time!
              I knew I was going to dance barefoot all night but literally so did everyone, they all got into the spirit and for 15 of us, man did we show Dreams how to party!!!
              Due to the delay with the judge we started our meal late so the mariachi and resort photographer turned up at 7.30pm as we requested but we hadn’t even been served our main course. The idea was that we would have finished eating and be ready to party… so we just went with the flow and left our meal to get up and dance!!! We were all up, shaking our maracas, clapping the mariachi and having photos taken it was wonderful.
              The Mariachi are excellent, they were a total surprise for our guests. I would definitely recommend organising your timetable so that you don’t miss them. They are a definite crowd pleaser and really got the reception off to the best start. We eventually sat down for long enough to eat our main course and then I know I ate my dessert on my feet dancing to the band cos I’ve seen the photos!!!

              WEDDING MENU
              ENTR‰E
              PROSCIUTTO BRUSCHETTA: 8/10 Well presented, good portion size and looked delicious.
              V = MUSHROOM BRUSCHETTA: 7/10 Nice but kind of small. I ordered this but wished I’d had the prosciutto one when it came

              SALAD
              CHICKEN CAESAR: 3/10 This was weird. We had the most delicious Caesar salad on our last night but this was nothing like that! It consisted of 3 slivers of chicken and an entire head of romaine lettuce per person!! I’m not joking, I’ve never seen so much lettuce on one plate in my life! No croutons, no bacon, no parmesan and a tiny drizzle of dressing, I’m convinced the waiter brought this out before the chef had finished!
              V= RICE WITH GRILLED VEG: I was too busy looking for the rest of my chicken Caesar to see this so I can’t comment

              MAINS
              SURF’N’TURF: 9/10 Delicious, steak was amazing, shrimps were a little undercooked for my taste or I would have marked 10/10.
              PORK MEDALLIONS: 9/10. These looked appetising and were apparently good
              V= VEG LASAGNE: 0/10. This was awful, at first I was a bit surprised by how small the portion was but that didn’t matter once they tasted it cos it was disgusting. The layers were made with chewy, congealed cheese rather than pasta with very little else in it. Both our vegetarian guests tasted it and left the lot.

              DESSERT
              APPLE TART AND COCONUT ICE CREAM: 10/10 Delicious, the ice cream is to die for.

              WEDDING CAKE: 10/10. This was possibly the nicest cake I’ve ever had. It looked exactly as I described it and well worth the extra $50. I requested a single tier for 15 people with 15 chocolate roses on top. It fed 15 of us twice over. Our guests are still raving about it.
              One tip is to tell your WC you want it delivering that night to your room or better yet, what I wish I had done is take it with us to the disco cos by midnight we were ready for another piece. We told Natalia at our meeting that we wanted it delivering, we then told her at the reception and told the waiters as we left. We didn’t see it again until we bumped into Natalia by chance the day after the wedding and asked why it had not been delivered. It then appeared in our room that night. I’m guessing they must have stored it somewhere for us cos it was still delicious and moist, so much so that we stored it uncovered in our room fridge and took it to the world caf© the next night for dessert with the whole family and it was still perfect. I think if we hadn’t seen her we would never have seen it again, no big deal except it was so good we really wanted the rest of it! Ha Ha
              Click the image to open in full size.

              The only thing I will point out here is that we never had the champagne that should have been included in the package. The only reason I can think of is that we told her at our meeting that we were not having official speeches but that didn’t mean to say we didn’t want the champagne! Come to think of it there was not even any champagne glasses set out. A few people made toasts so it would have been nice to have it but it didn’t occur to us till days after.

              RESORT PHOTOGRAPHER. 8/10
              We had emailed the resort photogs in the planning stages and requested that we use their services during the reception to capture the atmosphere of the night and allow Christian to chill out and party.
              Our pre arrival communication via email with Angie Anders was excellent. He was very friendly, excited that we were photographers and very accommodating to our requests.
              Our photographer on the night was Teo and he didn’t quite know what had hit him!!! He kept saying how amazing it was, how our family are all very nice “but a little bit loco” and how nice it was for him to be able to do something a bit different and much more informal than the norm by shooting a reception in full swing. We just had fun, using our photo props and enjoying the moment. I have to say that most brides would probably be horrified at my sweaty, dishevelled appearance in these photos but they just make me smile every time I see them and in all honesty I was having the time of my life.
              He knew he was up against it a little bit not only the Bride and Groom being photogs but also the grooms father, step mum and Christian! It must have been his worst nightmare but he is a great bloke, held his own and worked well.
              We managed to pick our 50 shots easily and had no need to buy the extras with so many people (including the groom) taking them throughout our day.
              The remainder were offered to us for an extra $450.
              We were supplied with our chosen 50 images, unedited on disc and then the same 50 images as 6x8” prints. Some are cropped, black and white or sepia with a border around. These effects are applied to the prints only, your disc is unedited so all the images are supplied at full frame in colour.
              The album that’s included is sweet and we’ll probably use it for holiday snaps.
              We saw him shoot several weddings during our stay and he always came over and chatted to us.
              He seems to really enjoy his work, knows the hotel well enough to get the best locations and is a pleasure to be around. He seems to like to try something a bit different and in my opinion is striving to give his clients a bit more than the standard routine resort photographer style.
              Click the image to open in full size.
              Click the image to open in full size.
              Click the image to open in full size.
              Disco Inferno :: DISCO INFERNO slideshow by northernflasher - Photobucket

              I have included a slideshow below of images of the resort that may help you in your planning or at least give you an idea of scale, locations and layout of the resort.
              Hotel images :: DREAMS TULUM WEDDING PLANNING IMAGES slideshow by northernflasher - Photobucket

              Any questions i'll be happy to help.
              Happy planning I wish you all a truly wonderful day.

              FINISHED!
              Michelle X

              PLANNING THREAD:http://bestdestinati....-thread-58694/DREAMS TULUM REVIEW: MARCH 2010:http://bestdestinati....-2010-a-59147/EXCURSIONS AND SIGHTSEEING REVIEW IN RIVIERA MAYA: MARCH 2010:http://bestdestinati...com/fo...ra-...

              #7 Cindy*

              Cindy*
              • Sr. Member
              • 2,655 posts

                Posted 16 May 2010 - 05:31 PM

                Wow, what a detailed review. SOunds like an amazing wedding. Congratulations and thanks for posting so much detail on everything.

                #8 wendyjd

                wendyjd
                • Member
                • 968 posts

                  Posted 16 May 2010 - 07:42 PM

                  what a detailed review. sounds like a great time!!

                  #9 Helen_S81

                  Helen_S81
                  • Member
                  • 985 posts

                    Posted 16 May 2010 - 08:10 PM

                    What an amazingly detailed review! So well organized and with pictures to illustrate the highlights! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and I'm positive it will help many future brides. Congratulations on what looks like a very fun wedding!

                    #10 Thomasjsgirl

                    Thomasjsgirl
                    • Sr. Member
                    • 1,098 posts

                      Posted 16 May 2010 - 08:29 PM

                      First, Congratulations!! Second, Wow! You get top prize for such an amazingly detailed review! I don't think you missed one thing! I'm sure there are many DT brides on here who are or will be very grateful to you for providing such a thorough description of your wedding.
                      Lucy & Tom - Married 24.11.08
                      Wedding Review - Dreams PC:
                      http://bestdestinati....24-08-a-35102/
                      Leftover Wedding Items FS:
                      http://bestdestinati....g-stuff-56124/




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