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Riu-Montego Bay


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#81 kfarkas26

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    Posted 10 June 2012 - 09:55 AM

    Hi Ladies! I am wondering if any of you could send me info about this hotel's wedding packages! We were planning on getting married at Iberostar Grand but we are having so many issues we heard this was a great place to get married! any help would be greatly appricated! Thanks!



    #82 laurar4444

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      Posted 16 June 2012 - 11:37 AM

      I completely forgot that I read this.  We were with the planners at the same time on Thursday and I did actually watch your wedding on Friday!  It was lovely and gave me even more confidence in all the decisions we had to make.  Congratulations on your wedding!!!  You were a beautiful bride!!!!
       



      #83 Jwed12

      Jwed12
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        Posted 05 July 2012 - 05:20 AM

        Riu Montego Bay Review

         

        Hotel: A

        I would definitely go there again.

         

        I. Rooms:

        - I have heard some complaints about the rooms. We had 46 guests with our group for the wedding, and we had NO problem with the rooms. They had AC, they were plenty big enough, balconies were great, and most of all…we were never in there! We were outside the whole time unless we were getting ready. If I had to be picky…our bed was two beds pushed together which I did have an issue with at first, but it turned out to be, “No problem, Mon!” It was totally a non-issue.

         

        II. Food: A

        - There are three specialty restaurants open for dinner: Asian, Italian, and the steakhouse. There is also a buffet. I’ll break it down by restaurant. (If you want to eat at one of the specialty places, make reservations!)

        Asian: This was my favorite! The seared tuna was awesome, there was a small selection of sushi, but it was enough to satisfy my craving. Spring rolls and lo mein were delicious. J

        Italian: I liked the salmon from here. They have a huge “appetizer” buffet-although this could have been my dinner. Then you order your main course. It’s hard to get into though, so make reservations.

        Steakhouse: We had our reception here. I really liked the food. Also hard to get into.

        Buffet: It was fine! They always had fresh fruit and delicious fresh blended juices in the morning. There is always a lot to choose from, however…you won’t want to eat there for every single meal. It just gets boring as does any restaurant if you eat there every day lol.

        Jerk Chicken Hut: This was pretty much our lunch every day. They open for lunch on the beach at 12 with great chicken, sausage, and sides. Line can get long, so get there early!

         

        III. Drinks/Bartenders A

        -One thing is for sure, they definitely do NOT skimp out on alcohol. The drinks were awesome. The pool bar was definitely my favorite, and we hung out at the Coconut bar later on. Caprini was my favorite. It’s like a mojito. J In room mini bar is included. There is also a liquor dispenser in your room which they refill every other day.

        food_drink.jpg

         

        IV. Entertainment: A

        -There is a show every night. The entertainers are awesome! They’ll play beach volleyball with you, they’ll play water polo in the pool with you, and they’re awesome dancers. If you are lucky enough to see the King of Fire show or the Michael Jackson show…you’re in for a good time.

         

        V. Beaches/Pool: A

        -Water is beautiful on the beach! We hung there every day just hanging out in the water. We usually made our way over to the pool bar around three. Then we’d head up around 6 to get ready for dinner/entertainment. Water at the beach and pool is warm and perfect. Pool is cleaned every night.

         

        VI. Excursions: A

        -Jamaica Tours is a great company to use. There are lots of desks set up in the lobby every day. You can talk to them all and get info on excursions.

        -We did a booze cruise for $59 a person (kids and teens had a lower price $25-$30). I’m so glad we went with them! Scuba Caribe offered a lower price, but their boats are soo small! All 40 people who were still there were able to go on ONE boat which had a bathroom on it (this is a big deal!). We were out for 4 hours, we snorkeled, we went to Margaritaville, we danced, we drank….everyone had the BEST time. Do this for sure if you can. Definitely compare companies, so you know what you’re getting.

        -We also did the zip line tour. This was a bit expensive, but it was still a lot of fun. You were up in the Jamaican mountains and saw some great views. I think there were 10 drops. It was about $90 per person.  

        - We did not do the waterfall. It’s 90 minutes away from Montego Bay. I’ve heard a lot of people say that it’s beautiful, but it’s not something you have to do. Plus, who wants to be on a bus for three hours? Transportation plus the waterfall climb and that’s your whole day. It can also get very crowded since it’s such a big attraction. I’m not saying don’t do it! It just depends on how long you’re there. It just wasn’t a priority for us. J

        JTL.jpgexcursions.jpg

         

         

        VII. Customer Service: C+

        -I’m giving this a lower rating because it’s just different than America. In the U.S., the customer is always right, and you want to please them. This is not the case in Jamaica. If you want something (room upgrade, help with something, question…), you need to go in CALMLY! Having an upset or angry attitude will get you nowhere. They honestly don’t care. It’s just a different culture. I didn’t need to talk to them much, so I wasn’t affected, but I could see how it bothered other people. Like I said, our rooms were fine, but I can’t imagine taking a problem to them to be solved. Entertainers, waiters, and bartenders were amazing, but I was not impressed with the customer service.

         

        Wedding: A++

        -Wedding was everything we imagined it would be. It was perfect. I would recommend it to anyone.

        I. Hair: A

         -We did the Caprice wedding package so my hair and nails were included. Since I wanted tips, I got my nails done before I went, but I did use my pedicure which was very nice. If you do the Caprice, you also get a free couples’ massage. We did this the day before the wedding. It. Was. Awesome. My hair turned out great. I took some pictures, a hair flower, and my veil. She was very fast, and I loved it.

        wedding hair.jpg

         

        II. Flowers: B

        -I was not a fan of the free flowers that come with any of the packages. Plus, you have to buy the bridesmaids flowers, and they were soooo expensive. I wanted nothing to do with Tai Flora. I’m sure they do beautiful work, but I wasn’t willing to pay. I made all of the bouquets and corsages. I got the flowers from Hobby Lobby for $1 a stem. It really wasn’t bad to make. I definitely recommend it. They were beautiful, looked real, and of course they held up under the heat. Traveling with them was no problem. Each bridesmaid took her own bouquet down. Plus…I had them the next day for the TTD. So…on the flowers I made…I give an A. J

        flowers.jpgbridesmaids.jpgbouquet.jpg

         

        (This was the free bouquet pictured above. We used it on our sweetheart table as decoration.)

         

        III. Decoration: A

        -Ceremony site is beautiful all by itself. Wedding coordinator put some fresh flowers, tulle, and petals around which added to the beauty.

        -We were going to use the beach gazebo until we got down there and saw the plaza. It is absolutely gorgeous! We changed our site right away. The view is awesome. Also, I was a little disappointed with the beach gazebo. There is almost no beach after the gazebo! Your guests are sitting on the grass. Also, there’s no isle. You come in kind of sideways. Also, there was seaweed all around and beach people literally right next to you. It was nice, but I still think the plaza was a better choice for us.

        -I brought centerpieces, votives, and tea lights for the reception. Again, it’s just so beautiful there, that you hardly notice the decorations, but they did add to it. Very happy with the way it all turned out.

        reception site.jpg

         

        IV. Ceremony: A

        -Great ceremony! Minister was funny, but he did keep it religious. We did traditional vows, and he even had us bless the rings which I thought was special. You sign your marriage certificate right there as part of the ceremony. It was great.

        ceremony.jpg

         

        V. Cake: A

        -So happy with the cake! I honestly wasn’t expecting much. It was a vanilla cake with strawberry filling and butter cream icing. I do not like cake, but this one was awesome! All of the guests were saying how good it was. I brought cheapo tiger lilies from Michael’s and leftover ribbon from the bouquets. They did a great job with the cake decoration I thought. If you want fondant, you have to pay extra. You just get a white cake, so bring decoration for it!

        Cake 2.jpg

        Cake.jpg

         

        VI. DJ: A+++

        -We used Kevan Stewart from JA Events. DJ.jpg

         

        VII. Photographer: A+++

        -Similar to the DJ, I can’t say enough good things about Stacey. She is professional, friendly, and so funny! She knows exactly what she wants which I love. Every now and then she would flip through her pictures and show us, and they are amazing. I honestly check my mailbox every day hoping to see the pictures in there. I can’t wait to see them. Sorry I don’t have any to show you. She is willing to break down her time to give you a TTD the next day. Please check her out!!!!

        Stacey Clark.jpg

         

        VIII. Reception: A+++

        -We opted to have our reception at the steakhouse. It is $1000 to do this, but it is worth it! That includes the entire top floor of the steakhouse which is beautiful and overlooks the ocean, food, and drinks for all of your guests. Your dinner is waiter served. The waiters set it all up and took good care of my friends’ beverage needs. They were constantly bringing pitchers up to us. It is a four hour reception and you can have music. With the free reception you can’t since you’re sharing the restaurant with other guests, and it’s only two hours. The dance floor is on the roof which was awesome. It’s worth the extra cost to have a real reception.

         

        Overall, we would definitely recommend this hotel for your destination wedding. We are not big spenders, but our expenses were…

        Caprice Package: $2,300

        Steakhouse Reception: $1,000

        Flights (depends on airline and when you book)

        Hotel (depends on room and # of nights)

        We brought down with us…

        OOT bags

        Favors for guests at reception

        Flowers

        Guest book

        Centerpieces

         

        Good luck as you plan! I hope this review is helpful. Take everything you hear (good and bad) with a grain of salt. It is your day, and it is about how you feel. When it is all said and done, you will have memories & pictures that last a lifetime as well as a beautiful start to your marriage.

         

        ~Alli

        Additional Notes: We had a "Welcome Dinner" (/Rehearsal Dinner) the night before the wedding at Rose Hall which is the buffet place. They set up tables for us before we came in. So happy we did this. It's a nice chance to have all your guests in one place before the wedding. Hubby gave a little speech thanking everyone for coming.

        rehearsal dinner.jpg

         

        OOT Bags: We did one bag per couple. We included...a brochure (info about excursions and restaurants as well as an itinerary), cups for all guests (these were a great idea! You can fill them up at the bars. Everyone used them every day.), mini hand sanitizers from Bath and Body Works, chapstick with SPF, and a CD of island music and love songs from our wedding that we made. I think it came to around $9 per bag.

        oot bags.jpg



        #84 MsIslandBride

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          Posted 05 July 2012 - 08:23 PM

          Congrats, Jwed12! Your wedding looks beautiful! Thank you for posting your review and pictures! I cannot wait to see more pictures. Can you PM more details about your photo package with Stacey? Also what day was Riu's beach party? I cannot wait. Three months and counting to our big day!



          #85 mrlddst

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            Posted 07 July 2012 - 03:36 PM

            Jwed12, your wedding was beautiful!!  If you don't mind me asking, how much was the DJ?  Did you get video services as well?


            Thanks!


            Its done.....you can read my planning journal or the review...long over due.

            http://www.bestdesti...ego-bay-jamaica


            #86 Jwed12

            Jwed12
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            • 251 posts

              Posted 07 July 2012 - 08:53 PM

              Thanks Mrlddst!

                 The Dj was $750. He came around 3ish to set up and began playing music at 3:30 for the guests. Wedding was 4-4:30, so he played for that. Then he broke down his whole sound system to take up to the reception and played from 6:20-10:30. He was so great. :)

               

              Videographer is separate. You'd have to talk to your photographer about that one. Stacey works with a videographer who is $200 for the whole thing which I really didn't think was bad, but we ended up not going with that.



              #87 Kmh0523

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                Posted 08 July 2012 - 03:26 PM

                JWed...

                Your wedding was beautiful and I am starting to get really excited about ours in November.  Did you have to pay an extra vendor fee to bring the DJ in to Riu? 
                 



                #88 Jwed12

                Jwed12
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                  Posted 09 July 2012 - 03:19 AM

                  You should be! I'm excited for you. :) We did have to pay a vendor fee. It's $350 to bring in a photographer, and $200 to bring in a DJ. Sometimes, the vendors will split the fees with you. Our photographer had a wedding on Wednesday before ours on Saturday, so she just stayed at the resort as a guest, and the vendor fee was voided.



                  #89 emilyj

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                    Posted 09 July 2012 - 10:51 AM

                    Thanks for the GREAT review Jwed! It makes me even more confident in my decision to have my 2013 wedding at RIU Montego Bay!!!!!! I had a couple of questions.

                     

                    Did the WC set up all of the decorations your brought with you? 

                     

                    Is the top of the steakhouse that you reserved for the reception open air space? I'm worried about it being too HOT!



                    #90 Jwed12

                    Jwed12
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                      Posted 10 July 2012 - 03:41 AM

                      Yup, the WC set up everything. Well...not her exactly. She had some helpers, but it all got set up. I gave her place cards and a seating chart, centerpieces, the guest book, tea lights, and votives. The Caprice package also comes with flower petals that she laid as I walked down the isle and later used on the tables. It also comes with fresh flowers that decorated the gazebo as well as our table.

                      The top is open air, but I totally recommend it. The reception won't start until 6:30 (we were a little late taking photos, so it didn't start till 7).  There was a great breeze, though, and there's also ceiling fans. Once the dancing started, I was literally just dripping sweat and so was my hubby, but we didn't care. We were having too much fun. The groomsmen and the dads all got changed into shorts and polos after the photos were done.  

                      Honestly, all of the restaurants are open air pretty much. The Asian and Italian are sometimes "air conditioned" but it was soooo warm when we ate in there.






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