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Puerto Aventuras Dreams Badrianne (Adrianne's) May 15 2010 long wedding review

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#1 badrianne

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    Posted 30 May 2010 - 03:36 AM

    Wedding Review of Dreams Puerto Aventuras
    We got married May 15, 2010 at 5pm . We had 64 guests and chose the ultimate wedding package.

    Airlines: American Airlines B+
    We checked 4 bags (under 50 lbs.) and were not charged anything. I was able to leave my dress and FI’s suit in the first class closet. Our planes were on time and all our luggage made it to Mexico and home again with us. Only negative: no free alcohol or meals which some of the Mexican airlines provided.

    So after reading the Mexican customs thread I was prepared with all my receipts. In our bags, we had the oot bags stuff (50 tote bags, first aide kits, beef jerky, welcome passports, guestlists) , bridesmaids gifts (jewelry), snorkels, cameras, video camaras and clothes. We got a green light through customs but we were asked about the cost of the tote bags. I told them the price and they look skeptical so I said I had receipts. Once they heard the word receipts they were satisfied. However they still wanted to search our bags. A very nice customs officer asked if we had food with us… then it dawned on my that we had 50 individually wrapped packages of beef jerky. Come to find out we can not bring US beef into Mexico because of mad cow. After my FI explained how much work we but into the individual bags w/ personalized tags (in Spanish), the officer let us keep the bags after we threw away the beef jerky. Although we couldn’t keep the beef jerky, all the customs personal were nice and I felt all in all it was a good experience. All the reception decorations (i.e. vases, table stands, rocks, candles) were brought to Mexico with Josh’s grandpa and wife. Luckily I had provided them with receipt because the customs officer look over all the recipes and added it up using her calculator. In the end they didn’t have to pay any taxes all the decoratons made it through customs. Thank goodness I read the customs thread  Thanks BDW! We came in on a Tuesday at 4 pm and left on a Tuesday at 5pm and had no lines. However our guest who came in on Thursday evening had to wait in customs for at least 2 hours.

    Rent a car: Hertz-B
    It was important to FI that we rent a car and have freedom to check out all the Riviera Maya had to offer. Hertz pick up from the airport was quick and easy and very personal. It took awhile to check in at the front desk. The car was low on gas so we had to fill up to make it to Puerto Aventuras. The gas attendents said we were low on oil so we paid for more oil. May have been a scam… but we wanted to be sure. We ended up using the car to go to Playa del Carmen and to transport us to and from the resort.

    Resort: B (I’d consider going back)
    The curb appeal of the resort leaves a little to be desired. The interior has all been remodeled recently but I think the exterior is still from the original Seascape. Normally I wouldn’t be so picky but prior to arriving to the resort you pass a bunch of super fancy hotels. Of course they are probably are lot more expensive to stay at.
    Our room was a honeymoon “suite” with marina view. It was room 559. Positives: very quiet, vaulted ceiling (no one above us), luxurious bathroom with marble and double sinks, comfortable king bed with a suit case area, a long window seat to spread all the wedding and OOT bag stuff out, and a two sided balcony. The negative: the “Jacuzzi” was more like a old jetted tub on a not very private balcony. Also although we were suppose to get the perks of a preferred room because we were on the 5th floor it didn’t happen. We did tip the guy who stocks the mini frig and got some special items. Also the floor space to walk around was smaller then the other rooms that our guests had. All in all we were very happy but I want to share every detail.
    Our guests rooms: All the rooms are beautiful with marble floors, updated bathrooms, beautiful linens and balconys.
    Everyone one on the 5th floor marina view was happy. A lot of people on the 3rd floor had the leaking shower issue many have complained about. My mom had a very nice room 203, it was very private and quiet. The friends who had an ocean view on a lower level complained of noise. Also many of our guests were singles staying with other singles so they wanted two beds instead of one, however many were put into 1 king with a roll away for a least 1 night because of unavailability. I’m not sure if this was the hotels issue or the our travels agents fault. All the rooms are beautiful with marble floors, updated bathrooms, beautiful linens and balconys.
    We used our room safe and had no issues. According to a guest there is a possibility that a pair of diamond-like, costume earrings were taken.

    Customer Service: A+
    Before arrival and during our stay all the staff was wonderful. They always said “my pleasure.” The concierge were extremely helpful. I emailed Jennifer Barnett concierge.drepa@dreamsresorts.com many times prior to arrival. I probably bugged her more then our wedding coordinator. Jennifer went as far has to purchase a cell phone with minutes for us prior to arrival so I could put the phone number on the guests welcome passports. I also had her scan resort maps, suggest bars in Playa del Carmen and make up spa appointments.

    check in: B
    Take into consideration I was exhausted and stressed on arrival. We had a rent a car so no cookies or champagne waiting for us.  We drove up and the one valet/luggage guy was trying to deal with a shuttle that had just arrived. He was so sweet and apologized for not getting to our bags quickly. We left the car and keys with him and went to check in. Then I look back were the car us to be (and only half our bags are on their) my heart sinks. All was figured out and we got to our room and our stuff was delivered.

    Food/bars: B
    Presentation wonderful. Portions small which was fine with me but good to know. Service amazing. Main restaurants only open for dinner. Buffet just okay. We had a 2 lovely dinners at Oceana. When the wind is blowing on the ocean side, Oceana on the marina side has a nice breeze and atmosphere is lovely. They were able to accommodate a large group on short notice. Portofina is the fanciest and the food was tasty. Just make sure you order a few courses if you are hungry. We always ended up going to the restaurant near the kids pool for lunch. I loved the ceasar salad. I only give them a B because I’m comparing them to Napa restaurants and Vegas buffets. I’ve never been to an all inclusive resort before. They bars were awesome.

    Welcome cocktail: Location Barracuda bar: Grade C but only because it was super windy and we had to share with another group. We didn’t reserve the bar. I’d recommend a poolside bar or Desires if it’s really windy.

    Late night Playa del Carmen: A
    FI arranged transportation through Dream. Van for 10 ppl cost $95. I was worried about safety about travelling late at night to Playa. However I felt very safe and the 5th avenue area of Playa was very Americanized with fancy lots of fancy clubs. Our concierge recommended Blue Parrot which was perfect. Not too crowded. We all got in free and it was ladies night (Thursday) so the girls got free drinks. It has two dance floors, swings and it’s own beach plus fire dancers.

    Tulum: A
    We ended up rented a bus for 60 people from Francisco and Martha Roque (martharoque@cancun-photomemories.com). They were wonderful. I sent them waterbottle labels which they put on the water bottles they provided for our guest. They met us at the hotel with Our monogram on the a sign and on the bus. The bus was air conditioned and one of the guys entertained our guests with mayan/Tulum history on the drive. They went above and beyond. Tulum has something for everyone. Amazing ruins, water, shops and alcohol. Our guest had an amazing time. Entrance was $5 and it’s recommended u take the $2 tram
    link to planning thread

    wedding coordinator, Sandra: A
    She met us as we were checking in. Her personality gives the impression that she is in control and get everything handled. I liked her right away. We official met with her on Thursday. I had a lot of extra details that I wanted included and multiple special requests. She was very accomadating, informative and organized. I also provided her with all my wishes written and included pictures of how I wanted the centerpieces, menus etc. My mom and FI were also impressed with her. I felt very comfortable leaving everything in her hands. Which was good because when u are in paradise you don’t feel like dealing with wedding work. The only thing I was surprised at was I thought she would direct us more during the wedding and reception. However during the reception I couldn’t find her for a bit. Luckily my husband and his best man took car of MC’ing the rest. Before she left she returned all the wedding stuff. Even on the last day (3 days after wedding) she found us in our rooms to give me my wedding dress garment bag. She was always available… she must work 24/7. I started to see why she didn’t answer my email question quickly 1 year before the wedding, heeheehee. Oh I almost forgot best thing about her is that she didn’t “nickel and dime” us for everything. And she took care of delivering all the OOT bags.

    Wedding package-Ultimate wedding package A+
    We loved it because it included everything!
    Added dinner for extra 46 people (ask about buffet options that are cheaper then the silver and gold menu). Added appetizers for extra 46 people.

    Spa B
    Couples massage was wonderful
    Hair- I want my hair down and with very little curl which she did and placed my veil
    Make up- very natural but not much coverage for zits and I did my own eyeliner. Hair and makeup were hard because she didn’t speak English and I can’t speak Spanish. I asked for Louisa twice but no one acknowledged my request… maybe she wasn’t working that day.

    Cake A
    Just had the cake included in the package for 20 people. It fed all 66 people with extra I asked for whipped creamed frosting which was WONDERFUL. The first layer was real strawberry, 2nd layer was chocolate with multiple mousse layers and the bottom was moist vanilla.

    Flowers: C
    1st off we spent a day in Playa del Carmen trying to find our own flowers to save money. I don’t recommend doing this. We went all over including 2 local florist and couldn’t find any flowers our color. Of course they could order them but they were as expensive as the resort prices. So we went w/ the Dreams florist. I never spoke directly with the florist. Like I said by the time I arrived I was ready to pass on wedding work to Sandra. I provided inspiration pictures and color fabric swatches to Sandra and she seemed to know exactly what to get me but it was Thursday and the wedding was Saturday so she didn’t have much time. The bridesmaids bouquet were perfect. My bouquet looked like white cally lilies that had been spray painted purple with yellow orchids which luckily looks nice in pictures so I’m happy but was not what I asked for. Also I had brought all these vases and candles and inspirational photos for drawned purple flowers. Sandra assured us she could do it but the water looked cloudy and all the flowers floated to the top. The flowers on the gazebo were orange and pale pink instead of orange and purple. For the most part everything looked nice but flower were they only thing that wasn’t exactly what I wanted so it stood out.

    Carribean trio: B
    I never really listened to them because we were taking pictures. However visually I wish I’d gone with the mariachi band. I avoided them because I thought it might be tacky and I wanted my wedding to feel elegant. However since they perform at the cocktail hour away from the formal dinner. I think the Mariachis would have added a touch culture and would have been visually interesting. Carribean trio=kinda boring.

    Photographer: A
    I got the photographer included in the wedding package. I haven’t seen the pictures but I saw some of his previous work that was really good. He’s name was Rodrigo Del Rio (let me know if you want more info). He is very experienced and even did a trash the dress session and let me borrow a dress so I didn’t have to trash mine. What’s funny is that I had all these ideas to get the most out my 1.5 hours with him however he gently persuaded me to do it his and the videographers way and I’m glad I did. He was way better then expected

    Videographer A+
    We got the videographer with our package his name was Augustin. He let us record our vows prior to the wedding to make sure they were clear. I am so happy with the video. He is very talented. We also requested our songs be included. It’s perfect I’ve shown everyone. YouTube - Adrianne and Josh's Puerto Aventuras Wedding (msg me if you want to c more)

    Cocktail hour: At Barracuda bar A
    It was less windy then Thursday but it was still too breezy for a few people. After the photog finished we met our guest at Baracuda. We ended up taking pictures with all our guest who wanted a picture with us with the beautiful water background.

    Reception: ( room above portfino) A+
    I’m so glad I went with this room. It has beautiful picture windows and we watched the ocean as the sun set. Our guest were happy to get out of the wind, have AC and be able to hear everyone. I liked the room vs the beach because we could project our photo montage, hear everyone’s speeches and keep our candles lit. The room was full with our guests with a buffet set up and about 7 servers. There was a cake table and a small area for our first dance and father daughter. We used an IPOD w/ speakers and the sound was ok. Sandra scrambled to get a microphone for our speeches at the end of the night. FYI you have to go up 2 flights of stairs to get to the room and down 2 flights of stairs to the nearest bathroom. Buffet was super tasty and I even got my wish of churros. Avocados stuffed with shrimp were also a favorite.

    Dancing: Desires A
    We decided not to pay for a DJ and just use the one provided by the hotel in Desires Lounge. It turned
    into an awesome dance party. Exactly what I wanted. Desires closed at 12:30 or 1 so we took the party
    to the beach. We ended up swimming in the ocean and later in the pool without a problem. Even though the first couple nights some of our guest were told not to swim in the ocean and the pool at such a late hour. I’m not sure if we got leeway because it was our wedding our because we tipped all the desires bartenders.

    We didn’t have a rehearsal: I’m iffy on if the ceremony would have gone better with one but I do know that the day before I definitely would have rather been celebrating with my guests then worrying about a rehearsal.

    ALL in ALL I'd love to go back to same resort and do my wedding all over again. So I would definitely recommend Dreams and Sandra WC to everyone

    More about the video/photog tidbits
    videographer/photo met in brides room and took pic of getting ready
    and of the one mother in law in the room at the time and the bridesmaid
    josh and i had a first look in the garden by the adult pool
    which was nice. pic with out wind while my hair was still nice
    josh left and I walk with my dad down toward the gazebo. i thought since we didnt have a
    reception sandra would be more incharge of how we walked down the aisle but
    we just followed the flower girl and it went well. we had our on officiantes and one
    of our friends was able to rent a guitar from one of Sandras vendors to play the during the ceremony
    the wind which had been afraid of was realatively calm. it kept us cool but my veil stayed on.
    after we finished they had champagne for josh and I will we took pictures
    61 guest booked+ bride and groom

    Click for planning tread:http://bestdestinati....c-heavy-58636/
    Click for my wedding review of Dreams Puerto Aventuras http://bestdestinati....9/#post1311321
    check out my photos http://www.photograp.../JOSH-ADRIANNE/

    #2 Cindy*

    • Sr. Member
    • 2,655 posts

      Posted 30 May 2010 - 01:07 PM

      Sounds like overall, you had a wonderful wedding. Congratulations and thanks for the detailed review.

      #3 AishaB

      • Sr. Member
      • 2,350 posts

        Posted 02 June 2010 - 08:11 AM

        Just wonderful... congratulations! Thanks for sharing your review
        BDW the best place for my TYPE A personality!

        #4 Future Mrs. M

        Future Mrs. M
        • Jr. Member
        • 319 posts

          Posted 03 June 2010 - 11:49 AM

          Great review!!! I'm also planning a trip to Tulum or Playa for our guests. How much was the bus?

          Wedding Date 11/12/2010- Riviera Maya - Hacienda Tres Rios

          #5 Knbell22

          • Newbie
          • 129 posts

            Posted 03 June 2010 - 11:22 PM

            Great review..sounds like everyone had a good time! Can't wait to see your pics :)

            #6 badrianne

            • Jr. Member
            • 252 posts

              Posted 03 June 2010 - 11:49 PM

              Originally Posted by anacj13
              Great review!!! I'm also planning a trip to Tulum or Playa for our guests. How much was the bus?
              The A/C bus cost $850 and held 60 guests. It had tv screens so it would have been fun to bring a movie or something.
              61 guest booked+ bride and groom

              Click for planning tread:http://bestdestinati....c-heavy-58636/
              Click for my wedding review of Dreams Puerto Aventuras http://bestdestinati....9/#post1311321
              check out my photos http://www.photograp.../JOSH-ADRIANNE/

              #7 badrianne

              • Jr. Member
              • 252 posts

                Posted 06 June 2010 - 10:45 PM

                I got my pictures back. Josh and Adrianne (resort photog) and if you want pic of the reception room msg me.
                61 guest booked+ bride and groom

                Click for planning tread:http://bestdestinati....c-heavy-58636/
                Click for my wedding review of Dreams Puerto Aventuras http://bestdestinati....9/#post1311321
                check out my photos http://www.photograp.../JOSH-ADRIANNE/

                #8 Future Mrs. M

                Future Mrs. M
                • Jr. Member
                • 319 posts

                  Posted 07 June 2010 - 09:48 AM

                  Originally Posted by badrianne
                  The A/C bus cost $850 and held 60 guests. It had tv screens so it would have been fun to bring a movie or something.
                  Great pictures! You must be so excited to have them back:)!

                  Was the bus nice or was it more for a fun excursion? We are going to need to rent buses to transport our guests from the hotel to the chapel reception.
                  Would you happen to have any pics of them? THANKS!!

                  Wedding Date 11/12/2010- Riviera Maya - Hacienda Tres Rios

                  #9 gowiththeflow

                  • Newbie
                  • 125 posts

                    Posted 09 June 2010 - 12:49 PM

                    Awesome review! I love your planning thread too. You had so many great ideas! I see that your grandparents brought all of the vases, etc. How did you make sure they didn't break? I would love to bring some vases down, but I'm worried about weight and breaking! Your photog took wonderful pictures too. Lovely.

                    #10 Oscar_Ernie

                    • Jr. Member
                    • 266 posts

                      Posted 31 August 2010 - 10:37 AM

                      Hi Adrianne, if you're still hanging around these parts...photography question: Your pics are stunning! We're planning to use the resort photographer as well. I've asked this question to others, but am looking for confirmation of their answer. I believe you got 50 prints included with your package, plus the CD. Did the CD really only have the 50 pictures you chose? Or could you pay extra to get all the photos on the CD? It just seems crazy o me that all you get is those pictures! How could you possibly choose just 50 out of all those gorgeous pictures?! I'm sure you paid extra for the TTD, but I'm curious about your actual wedding photos. Thanks for the help!

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