Originally Posted by ndvidul
Wow - thanks for the feedback, ladies! It really helps.
I love the idea of the ease of a TA (and how it'd be free for me). Teresa sounds great (thanks for the advice about Deanna, too), and I may call her to get some info. Mochamakes - you say that using the membership would be a couple hundred more than using a TA? Did your parents have a certain amount of "rooms" that guests could use? What sort of benefits do you get from a membership that you wouldn't be able to get through a TA - it seems like other girls are saying they still get booking perks, but I'm still unclear.
I got assigned a WC! Geraldine Flores. Anyone else have her or have heard of how she is as a WC?
KR Smith - We will fly in on the 15th. I'd be willing to meet up for sure - schedule permitting! Man, it DOES feel so good to cross things off this list!
I did all the bookings, since I am listed as a beneficiary they let me do everything. When I priced out the options a few months before the wedding, the price for a package deal from Canada vs. booking our own flights and using the membership was a little bit less. My MOH booked through a TA and she said it was a couple hundred less. Looking back, I would have offered her the difference. We were only 5 nights away from the 75 night mark.
But, here was the process. About 8 months before our wedding I contacted Palace Resorts and arranged a room block for 30 rooms with a wide range of dates. We did not have to pay any deposits to secure the rooms, and I could have booked as few or as many as I wanted. When we booked our room, we had to pay 20%. The balance was due two months before arrival. The unbooked rooms were released one month before arrival. We were still able to make reservations within our block up until a few weeks before our arrival.
For the additional benefits with a membership, everyone in the group takes advantage of all the membership benefits. This is usually two free excursions, a free mani, free pedi, free 25-min back massage for each person. Even my 7 year old nephew went for a mani and pedi. Everyone gets the $1500 palace dollars, no matter whether they book with a TA or directly. As long as you have a group booking, you're entitled to the booking perks as you reach the different room levels. We had a few guests book outside our membership, and they were not included in our room night count.
We had Geraldine Flores, she is not a WC. She is only the wedding sales contact in Miami. She was actually the third person to handle our reservations. From my experience, nobody in the Miami office knows a thing about how to treat customers. They were all slow and made mistakes. That office was the only reason that made me regret not getting a TA.