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Mrs D To Be!

Mrs D To Be!'s Moon Palace Review - 05-28-10

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Originally Posted by emmag87 View Post
Thanks for sharing your review! Your wedding looks & sounds amazing. I think you may have persuaded me to go for Moon Palace x
yus!! Let the planning begin!!haha

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What a wonderful and detailed review!! MP is one of my top choices for DW location and after reading your review I am that much closer to choosing MP over other locations.

Was your photographer among vendors "approved" by MP or was it an outside vendor? If outside then how did you go around their "no outside vendors" policy? Did you have to book a room for photographer or get a day pass?

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it was a wonderful read!!

Originally Posted by Mrs D To Be! View Post

WEDDING DETAILS

Wedding Date / Time – Friday 28th May 2010 at 5pm
Wedding Coordinator – Rosy Lily Sanchez
Wedding Package - Complimentary
Gazebo – Tucan
Reception - 6:00 p.m. – Terrace Venado

Guests staying at the resort - 12 adults / 3 child (two 2, & 14)
Guests staying offsite - Dreams Cancun - 5 adults, 1 child
Crown Paradise - 2 adults
Barcelo - 2 adults, 1 child
Our stay – May 24th til May 29th 2010
Honeymoon – Le Blanc – May 29th til June 8th 2010
Photographer – Citlalli Rico

Overall Experience - A++
We started planning our wedding about 2.5 years in advance, and had originally chosen Le Blanc to get married at, however because there was a good chance there would be children attending, we moved to a family-friendly resort…it was originally between Dreams Cancun (mainly because of the dolphins!) and MP. They were both coming in at very similar prices, so we had to break it down, and Moon Palace won hands down, mainly because of the wedding set-up…where-else do you get to arrive on a horse and carriage?! The accommodation was a big thing for us too, as we were fully aware everyone was going to be paying a lot of money to attend our wedding, and also it was going to be our wedding/honeymoon, we want nothing but the best. We felt the accommodation at Dreams just wasnâ€t up to scratch..whereas at MP you have your flat screen, double Jacuzzi, stylish rooms, etc.

Iâ€ll be honest and say my expectations were pretty low for MP. I am an internet junkie and looked into everything with a fine toothcomb. What with reviews on here, and on trip advisor, Iâ€d set myself up to be going to a resort with a really crap beach, I stocked up on diarrhea tablets because of the reviews on the food, and because we were moving to Le Blanc for the 2nd week, I just focused on our stay there, hence the reason for us moving to Le Blanc the day after the wedding. I wish I hadnâ€t now. Moon Palace was beyond amazing. From the moment you arrived, it was just sooo amazing! We hope to return to Mexico, and it will defo be Moon Palace we stay at! The service was 1st class, and the hotel defo deserves the 5* rating it has.

Booking Process
We booked our accommodation through palaceagents.com. The main reason for this is, the tour operator we were flying with, Thomas Cook, stopped working with Le Blanc for holidays apr-10 onwards…we couldnâ€t believe it and were soo gutted at the time as it worked out a lot more expensive. However it did work to our advance as we were able to book a concierge level room which we wouldnâ€t have been able to do through a TA.

The airline, Thomas Cook, were awful. Wouldnâ€t fly with them again. We upgraded to premium class, costing us an extra £220 each, meaning we got 30kg luggage allowance, unlimited drinks on the flight, priority check-in, priority luggage drop-off, and extra entertainment in-flight. Yeah, under the circumstances the extra luggage was a god-send, but not worth £220 each. Priority check-in my bump…and priority luggage drop-off…only on the way back home! The entertainment package in-flight was terrible – we flew long-haul with First Choice normal class last year and that was better than Premium class with Thomas Cook!...Moral of the story, fly First Choice!!lol

Why we chose the Moon Palace
Like I mentioned earlier, we needed a family friendly resort, but we also needed somewhere luxurious, as it was our wedding. We come from divorced families, and the pull for us was how big MP was, because it meant everyone could stay at MP, but on different sections, so could easily go the week without bumping into each other! In the end, this wasnâ€t an issue, but I really think MP would be perfect for anyone else in this situation.

TIMELINE OF EVENTS

Monday, May 24th – We arrived in Cancun around 2.15pm, and customs wasnâ€t as bad as I was expecting. We had been told by some of our guests it took them 4 hours to get through the week before, but we were kept moving and didnâ€t take very long at all. Out of everyone, it was me who got stopped and asked to open my luggage…everyone had went through by this time, and of course, I was using someone elseâ€s suitcase (because mine wasnâ€t very big) so did I know the combination to open it when put under pressure? No! They just kept shouting at me to open it…in the end they put it back through the scanner and let me go, as they werenâ€t letting people back in, so I couldnâ€t get the combination off anyone! I had my dress as hand luggage, in a tiny box (to meet airlines dimensions) and they asked to open this too, but being a lovely white box, they did ask if it was a wedding dress, and at that point they said it didnâ€t need to be opened! I can laugh about it now, but at the time I was about in tears!ha

I booked transfers for 9 of us through Entertainment Plus Cancun-Discount Tours & Airport transfers - it was something like $60 for the round trip – I think we tipped the driver like $5-10 each way, as they were on time and very friendly. Some guests were staying at Nizuc, some on Sunrise, and some at Grand, and the driver was happy to drop us all off, couldnâ€t ask for more!

Check-in at MP was seamless, we asked for a few room changes and they were very accommodating. We were on the concierge level and we did get a bit better treatment than others, but this was only noticed because we checked in with some of the standard room guests!lol The cocktails and flowers and cool clothes on arrival were amazing! We got taken up to our rooms and all the amenities were explained to us, I donâ€t think it took us longer than 30mins to get from stepping off the taxi to getting to the room.

If you are debating whether to go for concierge level or not, GO FOR IT!! Itâ€s a top floor oceanfront room – waw! Itâ€s technically on the Nizuc section, however its on very last building, and Iâ€d say its more Grand than Nizuc. We were lucky and got the end of building room, so we would only have had one set of neighbours, but I donâ€t think we even did. It was sooo quiet…without a doubt Iâ€d go back to concierge!

The rest of the day was spent chilling in our room, a bit of time down at the pool…we found “our spot†at the nizuc pool area – we all met there every day!ha We went down to the Michael Jackson show – everyone loved it, but again, Iâ€m not really into the whole putting on a show then miming through it thing – plus this MJ kept covering his mouth, I think at the bits he didnâ€t know the words to – it happened a lot as well! It was only really at this show that we saw the place busy – the rest of the stay at MP we felt like the hotel was at low occupancy..we didnâ€t ask what % it was at, but Iâ€d say low anyway – and that was great for us! ☺ Just next to the MJ show, there was a barbeque-type set-up going on, some of our guests got some steak, and loved it. They asked for some fries, they didnâ€t have any, but got someone to go to a restaurant and bring some to us!! Thatâ€s service for you! ☺

Tuesday, May 25th – We hung out at the pool all day, we ate at the pool bar most days, I LOVED the MP burgers, second to none in my opinion! I donâ€t normally eat any burgers barr mcdonalds…so thatâ€s a big thing for me to say that!ha Some of our other guests went to the little place in Nizuc that done the bagels…they loved that..you know what its like when your sun bathing, and a waiter comes over to get you food, you normally just go with it cos itâ€s the easy option, right? Our guests were opting to get up and go to this little place to get the bagels…so they must have been good! Then went to La Gondola, Sunrise for dinner at night. It was Italian and it was good – I have to say, I am a VERY fussy eater, like plain junk food, so I am pretty hard to please, but going by the other guests reactions, it got the thumbs up!

Wednesday, May 26th – We had our meeting with the wedding co-coordinator, well I thought at 1pm, but it turns out it was at 11am. We went to the pool at Grand in the morning..amazing btw…if we go back, weâ€d be there ALL the time! This is where the comfy beach-beds are! Anyway, I went up to the room at about 11.30 to get ready for our meeting, there was a voicemail asking where we were cos the meeting was at 11 – I checked my paperwork, and yeah, I got it soo wrong! So I called them and said Iâ€d run over. So didnâ€t have time to shower or anything, just grab our stuff and go! I swear, we were walking in to the wedding area and the nurse was walking out!! We JUST got her!! If weâ€d missed her I think weâ€d have had to pay for her to come back, so we were super lucky! The jags were fine, honestly, nobody should be worrying over this part! Lily went over all the wedding bits with us, tbh she was really just confirming everything as we had A LOT of communication for a long time, from last year tbh. She was absolutely fantastic – always answered emails within a few days. A few weeks before the wedding it did take her a week to answer one email, but I didnâ€t think anything of it, because I knew it was busy season, and when she did reply she was very apologetic..so yeah,we got very lucky with our coordinator, so if your able to request someone, go for Lily! We had went for the free package, as we wanted to bring our own photographer. The reason I got contact with Lily so early actually was because I asked my contact in Miami to confirm we could have an outside photographer with one nights stay, and she copied Lily in to get a reply…Maybe do this if your wanting to make contact early ☺. Anyway, the free package was perfect for us. We used the dinner reservation at Arrecifes on the Wednesday, and we went with the flowers and cake included. I took pictures of flowers a bride on here had had, and said I wanted mine exactly like that, and thatâ€s what I got! I didnâ€t have any requirements with the cake, because I didnâ€t want to spend extra money. Iâ€ve seen too many people on here saying they paid extra and showed pictures and werenâ€t happy with what they got, sometimes getting lop-sided cakes, so I played it safe and didnâ€t ask for anything. We added on the horse and carriage, a bestman boutonniere, flowergirl petals, and the bridesmaid bouquet. We debated whether to get the videographer, and decided against, and went for the paper lanterns instead. Reason being, Iâ€ve seen a dvd done at mp a few years ago, and found it quite cheesy and not very well done, especially for the money. One of our guests filmed it all, havenâ€t seen it yet, but Iâ€m sure it will be good enough for us. We had an outdoor reception, with 2 additional hours – for this we got to choose the menu (which Iâ€d already done by email). We also booked our morning after breakfast at the meeting. We also used Zuniga for the paper lanterns and firedancers. I took our wedding suitcase and left this with her, and also left my dress with her. This was good, because up until this point it had been hanging in the cupboard, in the dress cover, but Iâ€d told hubby to stay away from the cupboard, which wasnâ€t really fair, so it was good to get out the room! She had a look at it and I was surprised to find she didnâ€t think it needed steamed. The travel box it was in was super tiny because of the airline hand luggage dimensions, so I was delighted to save the $$ on that! I left the wedding suitcase with her, which had the favor tins ready to be filled with sweets on the day, Bose sound system, lots of childrenâ€s toys to put out for them, whiteboard for guestbook, memorial candle…and other things I canâ€t think of. We didnâ€t have to pay any extra for using the Bose sound system – I know its been said on here before that you need to pay for the plug, and you need extra speakers, but we didnâ€t. Hubby did want to get other speakers on the night, but I said no, because I honestly donâ€t think we needed them. We had 26 guests and I didnâ€t make a table plan because I wanted it to be really informal. I quickly done one when in the meeting because otherwise you donâ€t know what layout your going to get. I really wanted round tables, but needed it to be 9,9,8 with a top table for us. So try get this done before you go, print it out and make it look better than a wee drawing like I done! I also didnâ€t make table name cards, again because I wanted it to be informal. Iâ€d probably do that if Iâ€d to do it again, purely to help the coordinators out. Because they didnâ€t know where to put the childrenâ€s favors, so just put them on a table at the side, which was fine, but the kids didnâ€t know they were for them until we got there. The translating of the marriage certificate cost more than I thought, $45 for one copy, so we just went for one copy. We worried incase we needed more, but so far no-one has asked to keep the original, so Iâ€m glad we didnâ€t pay for anymore. We then went over the music. Hubby walked in to “Wild Boys†and Lily said theyâ€d only be able to play the first 30 seconds…Hubby wasnâ€t happy with this, so their entrance was longer (!) so they could walk in to the full song! Then we had a song playing for my arrival on the carriage, and another for me walking down the aisle, then another for us walking out…I think that was everything! I can check the CD if anyone needs me to.

After the meeting we went and hung out at the pool again, then at night Dinner was at Arrecifes, Nizuc. We chose this restaurant because of all the wonderful reviews I read on here, and I wasnâ€t disappointed! We booked a table for 15 on the terrace for 6pm, and I was excited to see theyâ€d set it up to have my husband and I at the top! Lol the little things… Anyway, we all got a beer mat type card, which was green on one side, and red on the other. They bring out all types of meat, any type you can imagine and more, and when youâ€ve had enough, you turn your card over to red…it was hilarious!! I only had the chicken as Iâ€m not a big meat-eater, but it was amazing! If weâ€d been staying at MP the following week Iâ€d have ate there every night and been happy as larry, and thatâ€s just based on the chicken!lol

We were there till about 8-8.30 – then we all got a taxi up to Coco-Bongo. I, like most of our guests, thought Coco-Bongo was a nightclub with some crazy events going on during the night around you, so I had tried to discourage my mums 60 year old partner to come out with you…Iâ€m soo glad he came now! It wasnâ€t my thing, but all our guests LOVED it! It isnâ€t a dancing at all, its more a themed night…but it is an amazing show that gets put on. If anyone is thinking of going, upgrade your tickets to have a table, not sure how much extra it costs, but whatever it is, its worth it. Because otherwise youâ€ll be standing crammed together the full night!

Thursday, May 27th – I think we just hung out at Grand this day, and being on concierge level we got use of a private beach area, so we went down there for a wee while. It was soo quiet we fell asleep! Again, the mattress-style beach bed are just soo amazing! At night we went to Los Caporales, Nizuc, for dinner. This was a Mexican restaurant. Firstly Iâ€d like to say, we were going for dinner quite late at night, around 9 probably. Being in semi-large group, we were arranging to meet at 8 in the lobby bar each night at Nizuc, but you can imagine what its like, some people run late, ordering more drinks etc…so I donâ€t think we went into the restaurant til after 9, but one of our guests had went in and top them we were coming in, so they were expecting us. As we walked in, there was another large table getting their meals taken to them, and they all roared and clapped, we just thought they must have been a rowdy crowd…turns out the service isnâ€t that great in this restaurant, or at least it wasnâ€t this night. 11pm and we hadnâ€t got by our starters! They had cleared the plates away, but hadnâ€t came back near us, not even for drink top-ups! People were getting annoyed, but didnâ€t want to say anything as we were all-inclusive obviously, but eventually someone did, and within 5mins the dinners were brought to us…and we left about 10mins later…either the food was cold, or well-done to the point of not being able to chew it! Very disappointing, because we were all hungry..but thatâ€s the beauty of room service I guess!ha

This was our “night before the wedding†and we had asked our coordinator if weâ€d get a room for the night, but was told this wasnâ€t a Mexican tradition, so weâ€d need to pay the nightly rate if we wanted this. Tbh I was pretty disappointed with this, because we hadnâ€t had any group benefits at all, but hey. So hubby stayed with his cousin, and his auntie stayed with me.

Wedding Day – Friday May 28th – Had my hair appointment at 12..there were 7 of us getting our hair done, and they couldnâ€t get us all together, and one of the appointments was a single, so I took it. I got my hair done in the Nizuc hairdressers, and like most things, wasnâ€t expecting a lot. I took pictures of a bride on here that I wanted my hair like, and she said no problem. There were 3 or 4 other girls in getting their hair done, one a bride and I guess the others were her maids. We all got started at the same time, I needed my hair washed tho, but still my hair was ready in the same time as them. She put me not facing the mirror, which I was pretty scared about, because it meant if I didnâ€t like it, sheâ€d need to start all over again! I kept trying to get wee peaks, and the only comments I made to make were for more volume and more fallen loose curls at the front…apart from that it was all perfect..worrying over nothing! I think as long as you go with pictures of what you want, they canâ€t really go wrong.

I headed back to my room to get ready for my bridesmaid arriving. She was staying offsite, and was arriving just in time to hand in the table runners and chair sashes to Lily, then go for her hair appointment. She came to my room afterwards, and we had some cocktails. The reception area was right outside my room, so we watched them set up…which was pretty good because we saw that they ran out of sweets for favors!ha I made a call to one of our guests to bring more though, so that was fine. I done my makeup while waiting on my bridesmaid. I had heard too many bad things about make-up getting done at MP. Iâ€d tried to look into going to a MAC counter in Cancun, but couldnâ€t work out how close it was, so done it all myself. I donâ€t generally wear a lot of makeup, so opted for eyelash extensions instead of mascara. LOVED them, Iâ€m addicted to them now, getting them done every few weeks. Make up was all MAC. Iâ€d went for some trials with Estee Lauder, NARS and Laura Mercier, but MAC won hands down. I didnâ€t have a foundation on, I just feel even a light foundation is too heavy for me…my skin isnâ€t perfect, I have large pores, but a tinted moisturizer was enough for me, and going by the pictures Iâ€ve seen, has came up brilliant. I did have a mineralized finishing powder on, and some blusher and bronzer…I swear by all this on a daily basis now…oh and a lovely lip gloss…I donâ€t think Iâ€ll ever use anything but MAC now…well except for my Smashbox primer!lol If anyone is wondering, there is a MAC store at one of the shopping centreâ€s up at the hotel zone…the one across from Luxury Avenue, canâ€t remember the name of it…but itâ€s about a 30-35min taxi drive from MP if anyone is interested in getting their makeup done there for their wedding. Iâ€m happy with the way mine turned out, but if Iâ€d known beforehand how close MAC was to MP, Iâ€d probably have went for getting it done there. Ooh I also wore Armani diamonds perfume on the day….I didnâ€t know what perfume to wear, knew I wanted one I hadnâ€t worn before, so had a look through the duty free on the flight, and that was the best option, and I loved it. I wear it everyday now, so it doesnâ€t particularly remind me of the day, but hey, I loved it.

Our photographer Citalli came to the room at 4pm. I had done all my make up, so only had to get dressed for the photos. Bridesmaid was ready before she came, and our flowergirl arrived after Citlalli. Hubby didnâ€t want pictures taken in his room, so Citlalliâ€s assistant, Tammi, her sister, went straight to the gazebo. My bridesmaid headed to the gazebo, as my flowergirl, my mums partner and myself went down for the horse and carriage at about 4.45pm. It took us a de-tour, as the gazebo was literally round the corner from the room. It was nice, because hotel guests were soo kind saying good luck etc, and it got our 2 year old flowergirl more time on the horse and carriage.

The wedding went so fast, I canâ€t wait to see the video footage, because honestly, I canâ€t remember the order it all went!

I think for the next part my timing was way out. Ceremony ended at 5.30, and we went to the beach for photos. Iâ€d set dinner to start at 6, meaning we kinda got rushed off the beach up to the reception. Iâ€m gutted now, because thereâ€s a lot of beach pictures we missed out on, but hey, canâ€t change the past. But Iâ€d say to leave maybe an hour between the ceremony ending and dinner starting.

The reception was brilliant, Iâ€d defo do the outside reception again. I wasnâ€t even aware of any people walking by, although Iâ€ve been told that guests were stopping and watching a lot, particularly during the firedancers! This was a surprise for everyone, we didnâ€t tell anyone weâ€d organized it. It was good, but wasnâ€t what we expected. It was traditional firedancers, and everyone made jokes about them doing fertility dances, but it was fun and something a bit different, and we all got our pictures taken with them, but we were looking for the firedancers with the sticks blowing fire and stuff. Funny story, one of the kid guests, 2 years old, talks about “our party when the monsters came with candlesâ€â€¦how cute is that?! I LOVE that sooo much. After the dancers, we cut the cake, hubby “found†my garter, and we went on the beach for more pictures. Hubby actually got thrown in the water halfway through the reception…it had to be done really, we were right next to the beach! Like I said earlier, hubby wanted to get more speakers, but I honestly donâ€t think we needed them, the sound off the Bose system was perfect for our party size. If you had a bigger reception area outside Iâ€d say you probably would need to hire the other speakers though. We had the photo/wipeboard guestboard which I got the idea from here, where we passed out a wipeboard for everyone to write a message to us, then get photographed with it. We kept ourselves occupied when this was going on, so donâ€t know what the messages are. Citlalli took the photos, so we wonâ€t see them til we get our discs, we are itching to see what they were! The plan is to make a collage of them and have hanging in our house somewhere, beats having a guestbook you never look at! Our favors were the little personalized suitcase tines, and we filled them with haribo sweets and personalized “mr & mrs†and “just married†rock…we were stuck for choices as didnâ€t want to go for sweets that might melt in the heat. For the kids we had colouring in books, crayons, sand buckets, pirate set, lip glosses, and a pop-up pirate ship and pop-up princess castle…think the kids were kept happy! The reception ended at 10pm, and the guests with day passes left, some went to bed, and the rest of us moved on to Sunrise. We went to the lobby first, which was soo much fun. Everyone clapped as I arrived, which Iâ€d seen happen a few nights earlier at Nizuc and Iâ€d cringed at, but on the night I loved the attention, soo not like me! Thereâ€s a piano in the lobby and I allowed to go up on it and get some pictures taken, such a loser but theyâ€ve turned out great. The congo came on and everyone done that…it was just a great atmosphere, if your partying, sunrise is defo the side to be at. We then went into the disco, which was amazing! There were another 2 brides in dancing, and it was just a great atmosphere with fab music…they even played a Scottish song, none of us requested it, maybe they knew we were there!lol

Just a fantastic day and night, I honestly canâ€t sum it up, couldnâ€t have went more perfect, Iâ€d do it a hundred times over at MP.


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Mrs D To Be- this is so immensely helpful. Great details! I'm really looking forward to ours in June 2012, but I'm so confused about the booking process. We wanted to do the complimentary wedding and just add on what we want too, so did you have to pay for your stay in full prior to booking your date or did you have to pay a portion?

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