Hello all!!! Well we made it back and have recovered finally. Thank you all for the ideas and inspiration you have given us over the past year...we couldn't have done this without you. And thank you Tammy for creating this forum and being such a fabulous TA for us!!! Now, on the review....I hope this is detailed enough. It's funny what stands out after you get back. Please feel free to ask questions if you have any....I'm still around!
Miami Coordinator: Claudia
On-Site Wedding Coordinator: Rosa Lily
Wedding Date: Saturday, July 17, 2010
Wedding Week: July 13 - 20 @ Moon Palace
Ceremony: 1:00 p.m. Tucan Gazebo
Reception: 6:00 p.m. Arrecifes Restaurant – Brazilian (on the Terrace)
Photographer: Joseph Leonard (my brother-in-law)
Guests: Bride & Groom + 15
Well, most of you know have probably seen my posts regarding destinationweddings.com, so I won’t go into detail on my experience with them. In a nutshell, they provided poor level of service – if any at all, and their pricing was higher than I ultimately received elsewhere.
We started planning our wedding back in August of 2009 at which time we booked our wedding and hotel with the Excellence Playa Mujeres resort. This resort was all-inclusive and beautiful in the photos with great reviews. However, it was adults only. Out initial thought was that most people wouldn’t come to our wedding....we were wrong. Although our wedding was small, it was half made up with our teenage nieces and nephews. So we cancelled our contract with Excellence and switched to Moon Palace. Our best friends had been married there just two years ago, so we had a good resource of information and pictures to base our decision off of.
After a great deal of complaints from our family members regarding TA at dw.com I took a chance and switched to Tammy Wright at Wright Travel (you know....our one and only Tammy who runs this site!). She was awesome!!! Not only did she always communicate with me in a timely manner, but she also saved us about $800 on our reservation. Looking back, I’m not quite sure what our previous TA was doing to have our pricing that much higher.
She emailed all of our documents right away and responded to my emails when we found ourselves in a crunch on our return flight. (See Airline) I never worried after we changed TA’s and would recommend her in a heartbeat!
Our flights were booked through Continental. Long story short, we decided to take my 9-year-old daughter with us in January. However, we had already booked our flights back in August. So to give you an idea on the pricing....our round trip tickets cost $258 a piece. My daughter’s cost a little over $700 by itself. Crazy how a few months can change the price so drastically! The positive note was that she was free at the resort the entire trip due to their Kids Stay and Eat Free promotion.
As far as service, Continental was great. I had an overhead bin to myself for my dress and the flight was smooth. No upgrades, but we were happy! The trip back was pretty interesting as our flight from Cancun was delayed an hour. We had 35 minutes to make our transfer through immigration, customs and get to another terminal in Houston. But we made it!!! I emailed Tammy our potential problem and she emailed me right way to make sure we were ok. I believe if things had gone awry she would have stepped in and did what she could to get us home.
Aaaahhh...Moon Palace! What a wonderful resort Moon Palace is. I am not a very seasoned tropical resort traveler, so I don’t have much to compare it to...but here are my thoughts. When we arrived we were picked up by the transfer company (they were holding a board with our names on it) and taken straight to the resort. The ride was super short, maybe 10 minutes....but the thing I noticed was the road construction right in front of Moon Palace. We found out that the construction is building a bridge over the current road to clear access directly to Moon Palace due to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change that will be being held at the Moon Palace on November 29 – December 10, 2010. So for those of you planning weddings during that time I would recommend you talk to your wedding coordinators or travel agents about this. I can only imagine that the hotel will be booked at a high level and have security like crazy! See website (http://cc2010.mx/swb/)
While we were there the Atlanta Falcon cheerleaders were also there to photo shoot their 2010 summer calendar. Just for them they installed metal detectors at the front doors of the Sunrise section (where the cheerleaders were staying). It was kind of bogus because we could walk right in through any other door in the hotel. However, I imagine while the United Nations is meeting....the security will be much tighter.
Back to my opinion on hotel...so we arrived finally. The drive in was beautiful...you are literally driving into a compound in the jungle. Lizards and animals all over! We pulled up to the Sunrise section, the driver got our bags out and then the bell boy said...”Wait....they are at the Nizuc section.” So the driver put everything away and we headed over to that section. We pulled up...same thing...the driver got our bags, the bell boy tagged them and told us we could check in. No cloth...no flower...no drink as I had always read on here. (This is where my expectations had to just relax - or I would have started saying...HOLD ON!!!) We checked in and they gave us our key, explained the resort and told us we could go with our bags to our room. So we did....no mention of honeymoon desk...no mention of us getting married. Hey, maybe they didn’t know. SO we went to our room....LOVED IT!!! We had second floor room in the Flamenco building with a partial ocean view. It was fabulous!!! The bellboy brought our luggage and showed us the room. The mini fridge was nice...but we never touched the alcohol in the room. Heck, we didn’t need to! LOL We were busy the rest of the day and decided to do all the other check-in items the next day.
The next day we checked into the activities desk to turn in the points. We decided to go on the ferry to Isla Mujeres for shopping and the bus to Tulum. We had previously booked a couple’s massage as well for that afternoon and had to check into the Spa desk to turn in our points for that. (TIP: It is a long check in process for the spa if you don’t check into the Spa desk at the hotel and have your booking slip they give you when you arrive at the spa. This is something my brother found out the hard way the day before!) Then we checked into the honeymooners desk. (I’ll tell you that we tried to do this like 4 separate times and either they were gone or they didn’t understand us when we tried to check in and kept pointing us to the activities desk). Finally a lady understood that we were getting married (sheesh!!) and handed us two t-shirts and scheduled to send over “amenities” the next day. The amenities were a bottle of champagne, a white rose on the bed and a small cake that said “Enjoy Your Honeymoon”. (We weren’t married yet, but oh well! LOL)
We received turn down service 3 nights out of our 7 night stay and no cool towel animals or any other surprises that I remember. All in all I felt as if the staff never really knew that we were there to get married. We were just another couple with a kid on vacation. But we had a great time and I would stay there again as the resort was beautiful.
***This review will be in several posts so please wait for them to post before commenting! Thanks!