RIU Ocho Rios LONG Review -May 6th, 2010
Posted 29 May 2010 - 01:04 AM
I cant believe its my turn to write a review! First off, I apologize that this is happening so late, we were married since May 6th, but theres been so much catching up to do since we've gotten home, that this had been put on hold. And I have to apologize again if this review turns into me rambling. I have so much to say-and Im over tired...but I feel like if I dont do this now I never will!! And secondly, I need to thank this group.....without it, our planning would have been much harder. This was honestly this most informative site Ive come across. Im so very thankful I found out, and feel bad for those who dont know this site is here!! So lets get started!
WARNING: SUPER LONG
Who/When/How we booked
We booked our May 2010 wedding back In January 2009. We found a TA (MY FRIEND) she got us a group rate through Sunquest. I found Apryl, in Ontario through google I think, who done up our wedding invite. We done up a brochure style one, her website is: Destination Wedding Invitations that link will lead you right to the destination wedding invites. Ours is actually shown on the page....front says "Mathew and Geanine" (Marie is my middle name) Anyhow, she had our invites done in less then a week, we sent them out in Jan....asked people to book by March ...the rate was held until then, group rate flying from Halifax was 1800 per person tax in. We had 38 in total with our group.
We had a bit of trouble with them first. Mainly due to the fact we booked so far in advance and their schedules kept changing. We live in Newfoundland, and originally booked to fly out of Toronto May 3rd. We got 7 months or so befire the wedding and I was on their website and noticed they werent flying that date our of Toronto anymore....no one informed us of that....and the TA didnt pick up on it either....I did.....soooo she told us to wait it out and a flight would be added...still confuses me how no one told us this or let us know...sooo a few weeks later I noticed they were now flying to ROR from Halifax.....something else they added...again, no one told us this....even though they were aware we were a group from NL..makes much more sense to fly to Hali vs toronto.....it was myself againt o find this out....soooooo we had no trouble changing departure cities thank God. (We took diff flights to halifax and have to over night) We had to change our departure date to May 2nd....vs May 3...which sucked, b/c our Wedding was May 6th and we couldnt change the date...........
The flight and service was great aboard the flight. No delays. I did have to place my dress in the overhead compartment tho..no offers to hang it anywhere, I was told there was nowhere. They were helpful though, moved everyones bags n luggage to other compartments and gave me one for my dress to lay out flat all to itself. Our flight departed at 6am....grosss...we didnt sleep much on the plane, someone told the flight attendants we were getting married, and they made an anouncement.....right before they served us our champagne breakfast. Thats right. Hey! We're on vacation...and up since 2am...so champagne hit the spot at 5am, haha......they gave everyone on board a glass....and announced that row 20 couple were going to ROR to get married, had us stand up everyone clapped n cheered, it was sweet...got us going and woke us up a bit.
Once we landed the rest was easy..customs was a breeze, and simple..follow everyone else and the signs. Soon as you pass through with your luggage you ll see a little desk with a sunquest sign (and other reps) the person behind here will tell you where to go and once everyone is off the flight she ll join you outside and make sure everyone is on the bus and will ride to the resort with you. Its a 90 min bus ride. So grab a drnk! There were places to buy drinks at the airport....we grabbed a few and got on board. I have to say I was stressed at this point. Everyone else was aboard n listening to music, laughing and drinking (yes at 9am) and I was panicked trying to find everyone, round everyone up--fi parents were actually the last to get rhough, so he stayed back waiting for them.....I think it was a feeling of me planning everything for th last year and a half and I had no control over what was happening..I had a milk attack...cried a few tears actually...very emotional that first bit was for me.....anyways, it was a long story-but once we got going I was fine....we made a stop along the way for a pee break and beer break. The bathroom ws tiny and gross...but we laughed, ntohign was stopping us from having fun. Aannnd..umm/...well...if you wanted to buy marjuana, that was the place to do it...........
SIDENOTE:Marijuana...illegal? Or legal? I asked someone down there. They explained, you can grow as much as you want on YOUR property. Smoke as much as you want on YOUR property. Thats legal. It is ILLEGAL to smoke in public or buy or sell it. So be careful! And it is everywhere....I was on the beach one day and kept getting called out in the water where these guys were set up on a floating dock....I went out of course curious, they gave me a big bag of weed...and told me to take it and try it lol...without even paying for it.....I took it, like a fool....shocked,....then realized I didnt want or need it.....and had to send fi back with it, but thats an example of how easy it is to get. Not a priority to a lot Im sure, but hey-why not include that in here there too? lol
Sunquest directed us where to check in, and gave us our meeting tme for th enext day. Explained about excursions, gave tips n hints, and told us about our departure home again, speaking of departure....the sunquest rep was in the lobby again when we left at 6am.....and theres always someone ont he resort for you 24 hours from sunquest, so you're taken care of the entire time.
Checkin & Rooms
We were directed to a table set up int he middle of the lobby....it was great, cause our whole group went there vs waiting in a line at the desk. Soon as you go in the lobby the wind is blowing through th eplace, we welcomed it and loved it. I had FI wait for luggage and I went in to check us in. Most rooms were ready, even at 1030am.....inluding ours. The guys there insisted we leave our luggage in the lobby and they bring it to our room, but most of us snuck away with it when the werent looking,.......they REALLY wanted to bring it......you were given your bracelet, and safe and towel keys or whatever...and some info, and sent on your way.
A lot of guests were in standard rooms. They had no complaints. I know they had a few things less then juniors did, such as different beer, and stuff in mini bars. The website says that junior guests have access to diff restaurants....not true.........our friends in the standar rooms always ate whereever they wanted.....including the exclusive restaurants to juniors...the only diff was the rooms.........the juniors were a bit bigger with that extra living space.
My parents had a very moldy/smelly room...I know we're in the tropics, and things get damp etc etc...but this was terrible........I dont know how they stood it, a few rooms were like that. I insisted they change but they didnt want to move They went to the desk about it once and the housekeeping gave it some extra cleaning....but...it wasnt nice....Mom was very happy she brought her febreeze and bounce sheets and lysol with her lol lol..........Our room, however, was immaculate. So very clean. We booked and paid for the king jacuzzi suite. With the 2 level balcony, oyutdoor jacuzzi, walk in closet...it was truly amazing. I never stayed somewhere so clean before. So beautiful. The views were breath taking. Our complain though...and I shouldnt say complain but it did bother me quite a bit...was it was a noisy room. Our room faced the entertainment area. Its located RIGHT next to the stage........soooo as we had a great view for the beach party and could spy on everyone at the entertainment, haha...it was soooooo loud. One night we wanted to relax in the jacuzzi...(our only night, yes we used it once toether, and once me alone) we hadthe grease show happening, super loud........we had to yell at eachother, and then when that was over at 11pm, they still play music fromt he speakers til 12......and when that was over we had a wedding party below us on the beach with their ipod going...I was so upset near tears really......we just wanted quiet alone time, it was NOT enjoyable, at all...I know-we shouldnt complain, my god...look what we had, but honestly, there was nothing romantic about it...we had to get out and go inside to speak. The night before the wedding was the same thing. We wanted to turnin early...we were so exhausted that day and wanted a good night sleep--even with all doors and windows closed, lying in bed, all we could hear was people and entrainment til 1230 going for 1am....again, I was frustrated..but we had to take it with a grain of salt and laugh about it. Soooooo tip.....reuqest the king jacuzzi away from the entertainment area if possible. I would have love to be facing the pool area at night vs what we had......we went for walk another night...all you could hear was frogs, crickets, birds, soooo romantic and tranquil.........the minute you go on our balcony-you couldnt hear a thing......*sigh* except loud music.........anyways......that was my biggest upset...likle I said we tried to enjoy it, we had such a great room!
Now, we paid for the upgrade, was it worth it? yes and no. We NEVER psent time in it....we used the outdoor jacuzzi twice, and whirlpool tub once.....closet was great,.....we had such a big group that we were always out with them and on the go, and after being in the pool ALLLLLL day, the outdoor jacuzzi wasnt important to us.....soo.....totally up to you....if we had our time back...well...we prob woulda booked it....we got a big discount with sunquest, so the upgrade wasnt too bad at all...........
I loved it! I ate fried bacon and chicken everyday! lol
No one complained about the food, no one got sick. We ate at Mammee Bay twice, once for the wedding and once before it. Once was plenty. I regret eating there before it. No one in our group was really impressed with it for some reason, I had pizza after it each time lol....I had the steak...which was ok......others had the chicekna dn pork..it wasnt bad, but twice was overkill.....we also ate at the asian place, the mandalay?? I cant remember sorry-that was THE BEST A LA CARTE.....OMG. It was better then home.......the pineapple chicke, the noodles, everything, I loved it. We all agreed it was best. We ate at the buffet for the most part. We always found something we liked. Great variety there at St. Annes for dinner, and lunch was at the Plantation..also loved that, again, fried chicken and mozza sticks..lol....we ate at the jerk hut a few times, everyone LOVED THAT .......and the pork, it was soooo good, I miss jerk chicken.........the Italian restaurant was open from 12-12........I always went there for fries, pizza...pasta...also great......the 24 hour sports bar is the place for snacks. There were a few nights I went there for late night nachos, popcorn and sandwiches...they have a friedge fully stocked, take what you like..this is where the asino and internet is too...nice little place but no AC......very warm.If ou want to eat at a specialty restaurant, you better be in line by 7am.........we went 2 or 3 times by 8 or 830...and couldnt get in aywhere but Japanese, a lot of people enjoyed it, but we werent interested......
I never paid attention to the names on the bars.....there were so many......there 3 near the lobby/main stage area.....we gathered there every night....the re pretty much the same, you can see all three bars...they're feet from each other.....swim up bars were great, never too busy....the beach bar, the sea grape, also great.....I always drank beer. Mixed it up with pina coladas...rum punch-everyone in the group loved the rum punch. I got sick of a lot of the mixed drinks..I guess I ws drinking too many lol.....thats why I stuck to beer after...and oh, the wine? horrible. You need 2 glasses in order to start liking it....Im a big wine drinker...so I was sad over that...lol...We were a rowdy bunch, rowdy but fun......I was inthe pool day 2, and couldnt believe I had to wait til 10am to have a drink! ha.....it was so normal there...lol.......the bar tenders are great.....I met one names Kadeen Jones, WE LOVED HIM,...he would always yell out to me..."Hey Bridey Skanes" a name my sisters put on me...and yell out to my dad,..."sweet daddy D" moms name was Donna..so thats where the D came from......We actualy req him for our bar tender at the wedding, but didnt work out........anyhow, once you know them..they treat you great....he looked out for us every day int he pool......we tipped a lot. We always went out with 15-20 bucks on us a day...everyone tended on us so much....at breakfast, coffee was refilled so fast, plates taken away, we were allowed to get up some days for water........we tipped well when deserved, same with the bars......the staff were always great to us, the front desk was a little slow at times, but always helpful........always happy...always wanting to help....we have no complaints there......now, tipping was getting out of hand at the end of it...everywhere you went and everything you did someone wanted a tip, bus drivers were asking for it, tour guides, you ll see further in an excursions review...I know they dont make much money....but we spend tooo much on tipping...dont go over board like us. Something else to add.....no one used their mini bar with the liquor dispensers, no one like naything in them,I drank the appleton rum...but that was it.....Entertainment was ok.....I was bored a few nights....My favorites were Grease Night and Steel Drum Band night..........the others I was falling asleep at and wed head to our rooms early. The beach party was the best-that one you CANNOT MISS. Disco....I was not impressed with...it was the darkest, ugliest disco Ive ever been to! That sounds harsh...and I dont mean to scare any brides who plan to use it.....but OMG.....I dont know how people would even think about spending a night in there....now mind you- a lot of our group was there every night and loved it....but personally..and Imnot that picky....I thought it was the darkest room ever, stunk like cigarette smoke....it smelled like mold, it was so damp, I hated it.... YOU COULDNT BREATHE in there (you're not allowed to smoke in our bars at home...so Im spoiled) Perhaps before a wedding they clean it up and freshen it up-and turn on the lights........I dunno know hwy anyone would want to step foot in there, even at night when you have the beach to party on! We had someone bring a guitar down with our group, so more then ocne we gathered ont he beach til 1 and 2am......we tipped pretty good for the guys to come down fromthe sports bar with trays of drinks for us. They were great, just when we were getting empty they d be there to refill......they even turned on some extra lights one night so we could see!!!! That was my fave part, hangin on the beach at night.
It was the cleanest Ive been on. Honestly, besides the noise in our room...we cant complaina bout anthing. Housekeeping were always cleaning and scrubbing something. The beach was sooo nice. White sands, so clean, well maintained....a few ends are deeper then others. There were a lot of locals in the water trying to sell stuff, that was annoying, I found if I lied and said I bought stuff...they d leave me alone......theres security there going back and forht ....they are not resort vendors...so they are not allowed on he property...they stay in the water, we saw the guard chase once guy......security is serious. We spent most our time in the pools, for a few reasons......the first day....it was sooo windy that the sand was blowing around too much. It was in our mouths, ears, teeth, everywhere......staff said it was cause it had not rained in so long, i was so dry and light.......we stayed ont he beach for 20 min the first day...and oh yeah, sea urchins......fi stepped on one the first 5 mins and had to go to the medic, had a sore foot the whole trip-and so did 2 others in our party....3 in total....it was bad, they were everywhere in the water.....if I were going back iD BRING SOME KIND OF WATER shoes........everytime i went out in the water I was so paranoid...you could hardly see them...they left prickly needles in fis foot that had to be pulled out...owww.......It looked sore.........so the sea urchins, locals selling things, and blowing sand kinda annoyed us. The pools were awesome!!!!! The quiet pool was not so quiet while we were there.......our second day half our group was there and we spent the whole day drinking...we had a float actually, that held 18 drinks..we dgo to the bar and fill it all the time, it was so much fun...all the quiet pool means is, theres no activities or entertainment happening....the music isnt ver loud...but YOU can be as loud as you want. It was never very busy either, which we liked, getting drinks was so easy, fi and I had the infinity pool all to ourselves a few times.....The other pool, wow..it was wild..a lot more crowded...a lot of young people..singles....a lot of activities, drinking contests, strip teases, fun to watch.....a lot of loud music......nice to switch it up...we stayed to our own side a lot.........You ll find that.....there was a lot of walking back and forth..the junior suites are furthest from lunch, breakfast, and the jerk hunt...not a big deal......but just be prepared to walk...this resort is big.........Oh-they also have vendors come in every second night, down around St. Annes buffet-where you can buy almost anything. We bought paintings, picture frames.........a lot of nice things there...so you dont have to go off the resort to buy stuff.....and dont forget to bargain.......
It is windy here EVERY DAY.....OR it was while we were there, I mean very windy...........I dont know how anyone can wear their hair down the wedding day!!!! The wind would start up about 10am...and not die down til 7pm..then there wouldnt be a breath from 7pm-10am.....but during the day? It was an actually a blessing in disguise,.....you would barely feel the wind in the shelter of the buildings by the pool..and you really needed it , cause it was so hot..but just fyi---there's never a calm day....or again, there wasnt for our 7 days there.
Fi and I only did one. We wanted to spend time relaxing and being with our family.....we regret not doing mroe now actually. We done the Reggae Culture Tour. This was great, but long........we left at 8am and dint get back til 430............take food with you (snack from sports bar) and drinks......basically we went through the moutains......made a stop at a few schools, and done the bob Marley tour. Which by the way-is not meant for kids. The whole tour is about getting high. If you dont smoke, you eat the brownies, if you dont eat the brownies, you drink as hot........3 of us , and only 3 of us opted out of all of it..I saw 3 people faint in our group-it was hot, people were too high lol..and too dehydrated....I have to admit, I was glad to be back on the AC bus.....the tour was ok....but...if you're not into getting high...like me, I didnt really care...I wouldn suggest it......honestly, ....unless of course you re a bob Marley fan.......we then stopped at a church....went into a little mass...which was interesting, we were all given instruments to play.....and we went to a marijuana plantation, to a families farm....where theres nothing but weed plants everywhere....that was kinda interesting...lol....and finally we ate lunch, which was at like 330.............they took us to a local place for jerk chicken-food and drink was included. We also stopped a local bar too. It was a cool tour, I mean, we got to go into the moutains, and see how a lot of people live, to experience the real reggae culture......but it was a long day-do not do this hungover! And again, the tip thing...we tipped the driver, the tour guide, the bob marley tour guide, the guy cooking, the guy at the bar, the minister at the church, gave money to the school kids, to the family ont he plantation, and they asked for it too.....for some reason, its never been that bad to me before, NOT in Dominican or Cuba.....I noticed it a lot mroe in Jamaica.......maybe it was just me. The bus ride was sooo incredibly scary....we were hundreds of feet up in mountains and had a foot of road.....driving thru these narrows winding roads.......wow!
A lot of other people went to dolphin cove-they loved it, my one regret....I should have went........they also went into town to shop........they done zip-lining, all this stuff was 3 hours or less....nice little trips, another day trip people went on, and another one we regret not doing, is the cool runnings boat tour, almost the whole group went, unfortunately it was the day after our wedding-so we decided against it-but they loved it. Said it was the best part of the trip.......and finally......
We dealt with Chandlyn the entire time. She was always great responding to my emails. Before we went down I had arranged to meet her day2 at 9am.
She was there in her office when we showed up. I found her quiet, nice, but quiet. Only for I done my research on here, I would never have known you could upgrade the chairs, or the cake or bouquet.....etc ......she had all our paperwork, said she didnt need our copies of docs because she had gotten them from me via email.....we sat and discussed the days events, she was so calm and professional. I told her I wanted to upgrade my flowers...I found that overwhelming looking thru their samples on spot, luckily i knew what I wanted...she suggested NOT upgrading the cake, so we didnt (and hardly anyone ate it), we agreed on champagne being served after the ceremony, I asked for the white chairs, the aisle runner, steel drumband.........the night before I had seen a beach reception at the seagrape, and they were using the blue lounging chairs, they had them put in a semi circle..... I found it so odd...that could not have been comfortable, I asked Chandlyn if that was the set up-and she said yes,....she asked why I didnt like it......I explained, and asked if we could use the ceremony chairs there instead....her response," No problem". So she confirmed our requests, and payment...we paid in travelers cheques, rinted us our receipt....I told her I had decor I needed to get off people, so she told me to drop it by again early the next morning.
The total cost was $1768.
Free Package $350
Reception $15 per person
White folding chairs $5 per chair
Steel drum band $350.hr
Aisle runner $45
Upgraded Boquet $133
I thought we'd have to pay for the champagne...but we didnt, it was included too. She asked if we were interested in rehearsal, we said yes and planned it for the day before the wedding at 5pm. We were to meet her at the gazebo. I had gathered all decor before this and brought it to her and wrote notes for everything. We had a guest book, pics of us for the cake table, our cake cutter and server, decor for tables (lanterns, candles, flowers, sea shells), I had done fans for the ceremony, as well as ceremony programs (Apryl done those too) as well as bubbles. Everything was placed perfectly. We met for rehearsal...funny story.....I had been going on and on all that week making sure the bridal party and groom werent drunk for this..again, we were all big drinkers.....(we know how to relax on vacay).....anyhow, I had been having somewhat of a rough time, I think I was stil overwhelmed with all our guests, we were pulled in every direction, we had so many meetings with Michale, Chandlyn, organizing decor, the rehearsal party, my hair trial etc....that I was stressing day before the wedding...soo..........someone forgot to tell the bride not to get drunk...well, I think I had the most fun that evening...I got so tipsy I had to get a friend to write up my questions I had for Chandlyn that day..I showed up in my bikini...and drink in hand......giggling like a child....the bride was drunk........lol....I never laughed so much.....it was good for me, I needed to lighten up a bit, and the guys loved that side of me, the bridal party were shocked, I had been so stressed all week, they werent expecting that.....anyhow..........rehearsal was a good idea....she explained when we would walk up, and where we would stop etc.......I would def suggest it...(and even have drinks before hand, haha...) We then arranged to eat together, about 18 of us ate together.the rest done their own thing.
I had a hair trial 2 days before the wedding. The ladies at the spa were fantastic. They made me so comfortable there. The room is small yes, but they loved having my family n friends pop by, they would say 'come in, come in" the bridesmaids fetched drinks for us all, including the women lol....and we chatted n laughed, it was excellent, and I loved my hair, I forget her name...but she knew exactly what I wanted, I showed her a few pics, and had my hair flower (ordered it off some random ebay seller lol) After the hair trial my only concern was too much volume on top and she was so accommodating....telling me no problem over n over and fixed it oerfectly, I loved it. I was so glad to get that done, cause I was woried about my hair. I made the appointment online before I went and paid half of it thru paypal then the remaining at that appointment. The day of the wedding, ti was the same thing all over but more excitement, I had 3 bridesmaids andone friend in the room, we were all drinking n laughing again and my hair was nicer again...I loved it.......the women in there kept asking to do my bridesmaids hair too, the were a bit pushy ont hat, but a firm no thanks done the job, and we joked about how my sister was like lady gaga with the hiar thing and was tkain care of everyone, then we went into a big lady gag convo, it was hilarious......dont worry about your hair, they're professionals, best Ive ever had my hair done, I got so many compliments. NOTE: It costs 14 bucks for a french manicure....super cheap, a few guests paid a lot more for them before they went and it started chipping, my sister got hers done by Joy while I got my hair done, and my ahir took 1 hours tops, trial was 30 mins.........I decided to put it all up off my neck, and thank god for that...it was so humid...and agian, I saw all the wind down there, and a lot of brides had such beautiful long hair and by the time the ceremony was over......it was so wind blown, I felt so bad! My ahir did not budge....I mean not one hair moved off my hair, I was sooo happy I put it up.
We booked Michael a year in advance. He wasnt what I was expecting, hes actually German, I just assumed he was Jamaican? I dunno why....Anyhow, we had arranged to meet him before the wedding, we showed up and he was waiting, we confirmed everything, a timeline, and where we would meet him and when and what we wanted done etc, we confirmed the video..and paid for everything in full. We paid cash and travellers cheques again. We also set up a photo viewing for 2 days after the wedding, this sucked....it was aour last day and we spent over 2 hours looking at pics and waiting for them to upload.....so be prepared for that.....We went with the blue mountain package and an additional hour. with the video and photos we paid $1440. He was great, we got some awesome sots, super professional, knows what he wants and what he wants from you.....Id apologize every now and again for not paying attention to him..I was laughin at someone who waving at someone hes reply with "you re the bride, you do whatever you like". We booked him to come back after dinner to get us cutting the cake and heading to the reception.It took forever for everyone to meet us on the beach, a lot of people changed, so Michale went back to the shop to work and asked us to get him when we were ready- I thought that was great. We done the boquet toss, garter toss and first dance, and too some great party pics. You should bring a disc or memory card too, for him to upload the pics, all the proofs...luckily we had an extra memory card....so we took the proofs back with us. Def suggest the video too, we werent gonna do it, added it last minute, so worth it. The day is such a blur, and when i WATCH that I cry everytime, not kidding,...and its funny the little things that it catches...the signs, the tears, the deep breaths, you can see my husband on there saying "YOu look so beautiful".......I love it.....it was a great purchase! I think I tipped my hair dresser 20 the wedding day and 10 for the trial, she really was great,....I wish I remembered her name...
Was delish! Def no need to upgrade, we had 38 people.......hardly anyone ate the cake...we done the cake cutting at Mammee Bay, and then arranged to take it down to the reception with us to pass around and eat. I forget what flavour it was, canilla...with a whipped cream icing, again, we loved it........
Chandlyn came up to get me at 4...right on the button...Michael was up with me at this point getting some shits, the guys had been done prior.....we had written our own ceremony and vows, so the groom made sure the minister had a copy. Chadnlyn led us down to the gazebo. Embrace this feeling..Ill never forget what it was like..I was so excited....and as we walked down around the pool, all the crowd cheered for us, and shouted and shook my hand, it was priceless....I think mom enjoyed it more then I did!!!Chandlyn motioned for the girls to start walking and off they went, then it was my turn.....our wedding day was the hottest day down there,....so humid.......about an hour before the wedding it clouded over, and as I was walking with dad i started to rain!!!!!!!!!! Chandlyn was there looking at me whispering "its fine.." shaking her head...it was pecking hard now lol...but was sooo refreshing, it rained lightly during the whole ceremony......we had to stop once to wipe the camera lens we all laughed, it was so care free......I kept looking to the sky...Chandlyn shot me a look as if to say 'Shut up! Pay attention, ignore the rain" so I did....and it went away again as quickly as it came......she really was great, again, so calm...she had back up plan Im sure the whole time..people commented later how greatful the were for that rain, and how it cooled them all off.........so immediately after the ceremony, they brought us champagne....It was delish..after missing my wine all week the champagne was ok...lol...I was so thristy I wanted to down it..but had to hol don to it for pics....lol.........I wish we had to order more champagne, so we could have a couple glasses....a few guests helped themselves, ......but we never got seconds. One thing I was disappointed about, was, SOON as the ceremony was done, it was picture time......we were nabbed right away for pics, no time for mingling and hanging out and relaxing....firs we were grabbed for our first dance.....apparently they do this for the video, which Im grateful of now..the steeldrum played a song and we danced.....Im so grateful for this actually, cause I honestly couldnt remember and still cant remember hearing them play-so Its nice on the video. Aat this point Michael organized everyone for a group photo, which I was also happy for.....soon as it was done tho we were off again doing pics on our own.....all I wnated to do was run to the bar and relax! But thats all a part of it iI guess. One daring pic he had us do was at the infinity pool....we climbed up on the ledge and had pics taken up there.....Michael knew his bride was getting bored and thirsty so he had someone fetch us beer, and tool pics of us drinking them up there-they turned out the best! ha..Im such a lush!
630 came fast-and we went off to dinner. We ate at Mamme Bay-fi and I sat right in the middle of the table, no t table thingy for us.......we werent done our meals til about 830-done a couple speeches, cut the cake and went down to the reception. All our decor was placed perfectly. The servers were great. Semi private dinner was fine, but if I had my time back......I would have paid the 55 per person and had a private buffet on the beach........Im not sure hwy, but for some reason I wanst fussy ont he food at Mamme Bay...no one complained and fi enjoyed it.....the setting was beautiful, Mamme Bay os pretty..lookes great on our pics......but I think if your budget allows it-You should def pay for the private dinner.......
Chandlyn checked on us around 830.....My fi went down with her to the reception to test the ipod....and the docking station we had..we rented speakers as well..I forgot to include them, 75 bucks per hour....we had trouble in the beginning with the sound system, the setting or something werent right..the sounds was all distorted, we were getting worried, by 930 the problem still wasnt fixed, Chandlyn was running around and on her cell figuring out what the problem was, next thing you knew she was coming down the stairs with a new sound system which worked perfectly with the ipod......I wish I could tell you the problem so you can avoid it-but I really dont know what the problem was..either way, it was solved...Im telling you-shes great..she felt so bad for us worrying over it, everytime I came near the sound system asking questions she shoed me away lol.......told me to hang out with my guests, relax........I thanked her for that later the next day with a cash gift and thank you card for her! She helped me unwind so much, it was nice being taken care of like that......She set up the white folding chairs around the sea grape for us, and covred up the little beach tables with white linens, and had all our decor brought down from dinner, laid it out on the bar n on tables...it looked cute-like a beach party. Michael came back and finished his pics....and Chandlyn gave us an extra hour with the bar tender because of our troubles. YOu will def need speakers if you party at the sea grape-the nightly entertainment is extremely loud...our docking station would never have drowned it out
I have to say, we re a pretty wild bunch. You'll see pics of us cutting our dresses everything, it wAs so warm that night n there were so many layers in m dress I cut them all out lol....so did the bridesmaids...with the cake knife......Michael caught it all on camera, those are everyone's favorite pics,.......shocking! We danced the night away ....we left at about 130am and the group were still there, this time playing the guitar...Chandlyn dropped by and told us we could keep the sound system as long as we wanted, and that security were keeping an eye on it-they would lock it up soon as we left......we gave up on th eipod around midnight and got out the guitar again.....
This was literally the best day and night of my life. I was such a stressed out bride this last year and then every day leading up to the wedding, but I WAS THE most stress free bride the wedding day. Nothing could have ruined that day for me. Yo should see pics of me, laying in the sand that night, cutting my dress apart lol.........my fi actually got sick from heat exhaustion middle of dinner, I tried taking him tot he room for the night but he fought it and came around, my sister/bridesmaid missed the whole day before the ceremony in bed with heat exhaustion, so was my brother in law, a groomsmen....I would highly recommend having your wedding sooner then later....we waited til day 5....and by that time the heat had gotten to a few.......If you take nothing else from this review....take this:let the small things go!
I was so worried over the steel drum bands playlist, the ipod play list, the decor, planning excursions for everyone, worrying over meeting for breakfast, dinners,at night.....I was always worried. If I could do it all over again, I would never have brought down decor. It was a pain in luggage...and it was a pian trying to gather it up off everyone (everyone brought something for me) I spent so much time going from room to room gathering it...then meeting chandlyn with it, writing up notes about it......wasted my time) I def would have paid for the private dinner, I would have arranged more champagne, would not have went to the photoshop for 2 hours trying to view pics, drop off your memory card, drop back and get it...would have had the wedding at least a day earlier, and I would have went on the cool runnings excursion the day after the wedding! lol But my biggest piece of advice.....relax, don sweat the small stuff, font let things bother you, go with the flow and enjoy it, dont try to make it something else....
Something else Id suggest, we bought a video camera before we went down and my bridesmaid had someone video the whole reception and video through out the day while we were getting ready, she had her fiance do it for us actually, and then she....while being drunk at the reception, went around the whole night asking everyone advice for the bride and groom....our guests, the bar tenders, strangers...its absolutely priceless!!!!! Some of the responses are wild....lol.....
-Do not depend on wake ups......we called for one every night and got one, once, and it was 20 mins late. Even when I insisted getting one for 5am because we were leaving, we still didnt get one....no one ever got their wake up son time.
-Bring an alarm clock...hardly any rooms had one...you ll miss it, we did.......& bring a watch, no one has the time in Jamaica lol.
-Dont drink too many drinks out of these travel mugs. Thats what got me so drunk the second day I was there. They were mixing them too big and strong. I used my mug later int he days for water.
-The minute you open your your balcony door, the automatically shuts up.
-Your mini bar and fridge is stocked up every 2nd night.....
-Have a pen for the plane for filling out tourist cards..luckily I had one, the whole plane used it.
-When meeting with Chandlyn have your notes/questions with you, along with any decor-and if yu want to keep any decor, make sure YOU pick it up yourself that evening...we forgot stuff at the bar and oculdnt get it back.....it got lost apparently...........
-Pick up some blot pads for your face during pics, get a good light foundation, I used Vichy-super light and 12 hours lasting, also use a good transclucent powder and primer...i USED gosh........
-Bring your own puse with accessories. The bridesmaids carried my stuff tht day like camera, lip gloss, bloting papers....everytime I went to look for something I could never find one of them. I didnt have gloss on for any pics.
-Let people know it is possible to get a last min deal. Frinds booked 5 days prior and got it for 1000 tax in .....we paid 1800!!!!
-Get to the pool by 10 or 11 if you want a lounger...lay your towels on them to save them all day.
-Blue Mountain Package with Michael was not enough...he took over 1000 pic and we can only pick 100---and we love them alll...he gave me a quote last week of 400 bucks for an additional 50 pics!!!!!!
-Be prepared to receive gifts,...fi and I specifically told people not to get or bring anything...but they all did....we had no idea where to put anything..I left it all with mom...but maybe you should designate somewhere..?
-Theres a photographer ging around the resort all day every day, photoshop tshirt will be on, so you ll know him....get him/her to take your pics...its worth it. We got him to do a couple good ones in the ocean, another couple in the pool..got some good group shots......you then pay 9 bucks for it at the photoshop that night.....we got a couple alone, and a group one....
So Im forever writing this now-its a lot of info I know but I enjoyed reading long reviews Im hoping you find this one helpful the way I found others helpful. Unfortunately I cant post pics.....but I can give you the link to my pics on facebook, I added them to a group called RIU Ocho Rios Weddings.......
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Hope that works, should start at pic 41...it should be a pic of my fiance/husband up on the shoulders of the guys at night...for some reason they're all posted backwards, but oh well...so if you click next then should bring you right on thru to pic number 97--these numbers may change cause theres pics added all the time................just in case you still cant find them or are reading this down the road...Im the one cutting my dress..lol........my hair is dark and up with a white orchid and my dress is ivory and slim fitting, bridesmaids are in brown dresses.....Im also the one standing on the infinity pool drinking lol........they re from an album called " Professional wedding pics (unedited).....if you STILL cant view them, Ill add you to fb just so you can see them, I HAVE TONS on there........feel free to msg or email me.........Id love to help you.....
Hope you enjoyed!
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