I finally have some free time to write about our wonderful trip to paradise!!!
We arrived on Saturday Feb 25, 2012. The airport was extremely busy but I could tell that many planes had just arrived so it took us about 2 hrs to get through everything and to our shuttle. But we were so excited to be in Punta Cana that we didnâ€™t let it get us down. There are a ton of people once you pass through customs (which is a joke!) asking to take your bags and get you a taxi. We just kept saying no thanks and headed to the delta vacations booth to get our shuttle to the resort. After a quick 15min ride we arrived at DPB.
We were greeted with drinks and cool towels. So nice and refreshing! We were then asked if we were in the VIP and I said no because we just booked the standard room. So he checked and then said yes you are so it was nice to see that they did upgrade us to the Preferred Club. So we were then taken across the resort to the Preferred Club facility. It was nice and cool and we were given more drinks. We quickly signed some papers and were given a choice to go and look at a few of the rooms to see what we wanted. We had our 11 yr old son with us so we were going to see what would work best for us all. We ended up with the two double beds because the room was larger.
The room was very clean and had tons of little goodies. We were also given fruit and a card for a free bottle of champagne. After unloading we realized that our fridge was not working. So we called and someone quickly came up. They ended up replacing it and yet that one didnâ€™t work either. So we just gave up since cold drinks are at the bar and we were rarely in the room. None of our other guests had and issues with their fridge so who knows! Lol. The rooms are humid but I think that just comes with fact that you are in the Caribbean. It seemed that at night the room did seem cooler even though the thermostat always read the same. And yes when you shower water gets on the floor but we just put towels down and were fine.
Now after comparing all the rooms there is really no difference between Preferred Club and Standard. The only perks are a separate pool, which we did not use because we wanted to be with our guests, free computer access, which I did use, and use of the Seaside Grill for breakfast, which we did not use either. So it was nice to be upgraded but I am glad I didnâ€™t pay for that.
The resort was great all around. The entertainment staff is super and they become your best friends throughout the week. All of the staff makes you feel so welcome and all of my guests commented on this. The only person I had an issue with was Vanessa at the concierge desk. And it seemed she was rude and unhelpful to all of my guests that dealt with her. The pools were very clean and we were always able to find chairs but once everyone arrived we did go out early to try and get 16 chairs together. The staff is willing to bring more chairs to your group if needed. The beach is nice but the water is clearer if you walk down towards the left for 10min or so. We did some of the activities like step aerobics, dance lessons, kayak racing in the pool, kayaking the ocean, etc. All a ton of fun. The shows at night were good. The best was the Circus Showâ€¦definitely do not miss if it is there while you are. The stunts were AMAZING!! The casino was okay. Seems most of my guests had some luck. But beware that you must pay attention at the tables. We saw the dealers take the winners chips away and never pay them. Their way of taking advantage of the people who were drinking at the tables. The disco was lacking in my opinion. I did not like the fact that it was like a dungeon. I would have rather have had it outside under a pavilion like other resorts I have been too. But againâ€¦not a huge deal just would be my one improvement. They did play good music and we even learned some new dances while there.
We did several excursions while there. We did the party boat one that included snorkeling, natural swimming pool, and viewing the dolphins. There were 11 of us that went and they made the bride and groom free but we ended up just splitting the discount amongst us and each paid $37. I would recommend this 100%. We all had a blast, even my 80 year old grandma. The snorkeling was fun and we saw lots of fish and even an octopus. The natural swimming pool was beautiful. Crystal clear water with dance music and drinks. We were able to see some dolphins but it was just to look. If we had more time I would have done the swimming with the dolphins excursion. We booked this boat through the water sports building on the beach...SeaPro I think it was. Super nice guys. Julio is who we booked with and you will find him walking around the resort pools. The whole trip was about 4 hrs. So definitely worth the money. Some of our other guests did the zip lining. They said it was fun but it took 1.5hr to get there. But they said they would definitely do it again and said the drive was long but they did get to see the country.
The resort foodâ€¦I thought it was great. The Mexican and Japanese were the best. We did not try the Italian or French (adults only) but heard good things from other people in the resort. Sure the pace is a bit slower but we did not mind it one bit. We are there to relax and enjoy. Also if you are debating on two meals or desserts, no worries order both. Hahahaâ€¦we ordered one of every dessert at each restaurant. It is all inclusive right!! The staff at the Asian were by far our favorites. They were super sweet and very attentive. The World Caf© had plenty of choices but the food does seem to get cold there fast. We ate there everyday for breakfast. The Beach Grill was very yummy. Great burgers and fries! The coco caf© was also good. My son loved the donuts thereâ€¦he said they were much better than the ones in the world caf©.
Kâ€¦now onto the wedding. My wedding coordinator was Scarlet. The beginning was a little rough because I had not heard from anyone about the wedding the first 3 days I was there. I would go to the wedding office daily and no one was there and I would ask the front desk people and they kept saying tomorrow. So on Monday I went to the preferred club building and asked for help from Yoel (the guy who checked us in). He was able to get a hold of Awilda and she came out and met me and said that Scarlet sent me a note with our meeting time. Well of course I never got it. So she assured me that Scarlet would be there on Tuesday and that our meeting was set for 10am. Finally I at least had a meeting time. So on Tuesday Scarlet was there and all of my frustrations and nerves were put to ease. She is a super sweet and caring person. We went over everything and had it all set. So not sure why it took so long but we were the only wedding all week so maybe that is why the staff was off.
I picked out the songs I wanted for the wedding with Scarlet too. She had about 5 or so to choose from. I picked Somewhere over the rainbow for the maid of honor and then Canon in D for me.
I had my hair trial on Monday at 4pm. I definitely took advantage of this free trial because I wanted to see how good they would do. Well I was there for 2 hours and had figured everything out. The girls in the salon speak very little English so communication is quite difficult. Luckily I had 4 years of Spanish in high school so I was able to explain some things. Now the best part is (not reallyâ€¦this is me being sarcastic) when I show up on my wedding day there is another girl there to do my hair. Ughâ€¦so why did I spend so much time at the trial. But I had Bella this time and she definitely knew how to do hair in comparison to Rosa who did my trial. Overall I liked my hairâ€¦not going to say I loved it but I wasnâ€™t in tears redoing it all. I did my own makeup so I cannot comment on that. I just went to sephora at home and had them do my makeup and I also watched you tube videos and practiced the month before. Then on the trip at dinner each night I had my fam rate my make up so I would know what looked best when thurs came.
They do offer to setup a rehearsal dinner at one of the restaurants. Well we chose the Italian and then found out on the day of the rehearsal that it was closed that day. So we just skipped it and did our own thing.
Our ceremony was at 5pm so we all just hung out by the pool that morning and then around 10:30am I left to go shower and got everything set in my room. I ate lunch with my fianc© at 12:30 and then headed to the spa at 1pm for my hair appointment. I left the spa at 2:30 and headed back to the room with my maid of honor to start my makeup. My photographer was supposed to show up at 3pm but we ended up meeting on my way back to the room. He said he always gets there early to be sure. Then him and the videographer showed up in the room at 3pm and started their stuff while I finished getting ready. Around 4pm I was ready to go meet Mark. We met in the hotel lobby before the ceremony because I wanted to get as many pictures as I could. So we took pics for 45min and then Mark headed down to the beach while I went back to the room to wait for Scarlet to get me for the wedding.
The wedding was on the beach. It was beautiful. I added the sheer drapes hanging off the trees, chair sashes, and petals for the aisle. All very simple but who needs a ton when you have the ocean behind you. The staff did a great job of keeping people from walking behind us along the water while the ceremony took place. We did have people from the resort watching from a distance but that did not bother me one bit. J We had Pastor Rick York perform our ceremony and he was great. Everyone loved him and he did everything we discussed.
Oh yeahâ€¦I forgot to mention that on your wedding day you get a cell phone to contact your wedding coordinator at any time. It was very nice to know that I could call Scarlet if I needed anything.
After the ceremony was over we did our champagne toast immediately after and then did group pictures. Well just after we finished the group pics and started to get more of us two it started to rain. Booâ€¦but it let up 20min later so we then just continued our pics. I was just happy that it did not rain during the ceremony. Funny thing was it was clear as could be and it just came out of nowhere. So we just stood under a hut on the beach and enjoyed being married!! Hehehe. The guests told us there was also a rainbow after the rainâ€¦so guess it was our blessing from above! J We finished pics around 6:15 and then headed to the room to grab a few things and then meet our shuttle at 6:30 to the Jellyfish with all of our guests.
I hired Photosouvenir for our photographer and videographer. Reno was a pleasureâ€¦definitely fun and quirky but a super sweet guy. He contracted Florian Koetter to do the video and he was super sweet as well. I am still waiting on the pics and video since we left 2 days after the wedding. But we have been in contact since I have been back so I have no worries. I will let you all know how they turned out and I will post a few pics once I get them. I did have to pay a day pass for them which was $79.
The flowers were beautiful. I picked them out from their book that they have. I am not very picky so was able to find something I liked no problem. I went with roses and lilies for me and with gerber daisies for the boys and my maid of honor. I also ordered a daisy for my hair too. These were brought to the salon when I was getting my hair done.
They steamed my dress for free. It came back perfect. We did not send his pants and shirt to be steamed only because after being there for 6 days the humidity took out all the wrinkles.
We headed to the Jellyfish Restaurant for our reception so I cannot help all of you out with the reception on the resort. But while we were there I saw a private dinner poolside and the setup was very pretty. I think it was for a company that came down for the week.
For those of you going to the Jellyfishâ€¦it was SOOOO BEAUTIFUL!! I am so glad I decided to go off of the resort. The food and service was excellent and my guests loved that they had more premium liquor choices. But I will write a review on this under the Jellyfish forum. You definitely cannot beat the price for all that you get.
Oh yeahâ€¦I forgot to mention the cake. We choose the chocolate cake and it was delicious. It has chocolate cake with a chocolate mousse in the middle. The white frosting was so fluffy and good. And as most have said the cake was huge. I got the one that said for (10) people, that was included, and it was a 2 tier cake. So no need to order any extra. That cake could have been for 30 people. I do have a pic of this I can post. I also brought a cake box down from the US so that I could transport it to the Jellyfish. So if any of you are doing this you must bring a box because the resort does not have anything. They also included 4 roses to decorate the cake with once we got to the restaurant. A nice little touch.
Well I guess that about sums it up for now. I promise all of you that you will fall in love with DPB. I would go back but there are so many other places I want to see I am not sure I will. It was a great trip and all of my guests had a ball. I am so happy I did a destination wedding!! Best of luck to you all. Feel free to ask me any questions and I will post pics once I get them.