Wedding Date / Time â€“ June 10, 2011 1:00pm
Wedding Coordinators â€“ Andrea Rodriguez, Paty Ulla (onsite)
Wedding Package - Complimentary with Presidential Suite
Gazebo â€“ Pelicano's Beach
I used destinationweddings.com in order to plan my wedding. My Wedding Specialist was Sue Ryan. She was absolutely awesome! I'd already done my research on the resort that I wanted to go to. My criteria was a room that had some sort of separation since there was only the two of us, a large jacuzzi in the room, a large shower, and no children. She still offered me some other options and quotes but I still ultimately stuck with the Royal in Cancun. One thing I didn't like was their hard upsale of the Karisma resorts. I'd already decided not to go with their resorts because they were way above our budget for the amount of time we wanted to stay, and their outside vendor fee is ridiculous and I knew going in that I would not use the resort photographer. When I did run into an issue with planning at the Royal (which I'll explain later) she did handle it very well. But I was considering switching resorts & I still got the hard upsale of Karisma & I just had to tell her we absolutely did not want to go to their resort. But the issue was handled and we did not need to change to a new resort. She did reply to my emails in a very timely manner and answered the many questions that I had.
Royal Wedding Sales Department: D
Through the resort sales department for weddings Andrea Rodriguez was my online coordinator. There were a LOT of issues dealing with her. Two major issues that I'll tell you:
1st issue: When we were in the planning process I asked her about the outside vendor fee & explained that I was looking into getting a photographer and assistant for our wedding day and a TTD the next day. She told me the vendor fee was per vendor so it would just be a one time fee of $350. When it came time to make our deposit, I resent her all my details that I had because she was always getting things confusedâ€¦ She sent me a balance that included a harp player and I'd never said anything of the sort about wanting one. Ultimately she sent me a balance and email saying the resort's policy had changed and now the vendor fee was per day, so $700. I was absolutely not paying it which I why we considered switching to a new resort. My DW Specialist intervened though and told her since we secured of photographer based on the old policy that she told me, she needed to honor that. And she did.
2nd issue: About 3 weeks before we left, I emailed her EVERYTHING! All the details, from appointment times, dinner, menu, ceremony script, flower photo's etc., to make sure what she had matched, and so she could send it to my onsite coordinator. She said that she had the same info and that our coordinator would contact us before we got there. I emailed her twice about this but I never got an email from the onsite person. When I did meet with my onsite coordinator she had received NONE of the information I'd sent Andrea. Luckily, I printed copies of everything and gave them to her. But it would have been a big issue had I not done so because it included our ceremony script, pictures of the flowers that I'd already paid for etc.
Overall, I think it's best to deal with the coordinators onsite first instead of the sales department. If your using a travel agent, be sure to tell them this because they use the online sales department.
We flew Delta Airlines. No issues whatsoever. I packed my dress in my carry-on because the material is chiffon so I wasn't really worried about it being wrinkled. When we got to the resort I just hung it up and it was perfectly fine. I didn't get it steamed because it didn't need to be. I had it pressed before I left so I wasn't going to bother.
The airport in Mexico is full of vultchers! I mean there are so many people who are trying to take your luggage so you better hold on tight! One guy was standing by our transfer van when we got out and took our luggage from the van and showed us the way back into the airport. Then he said I work for tips, you don't think you have to tip? I was a bit shocked because we never asked him to carry our luggage and thought he was from the travel company. I apologized and said we didn't have any cash (because we really didn't or I would have) but I wasn't expecting it.
Transfer Company: A
American Express is the travel company that we used for transportation. They were outside the airport with a big sign that had our names on them so we didn't have any issues. They picked us up from the resort the day that we left 3 hours before our flight was scheduled to leave.
As their usual, Ww were offered champagne and cold towels upon arrival. We did the online check-in two days before so when we got there they took us over to the private concierge to finish. We got there at about 2 pm and they told us our room would be ready in an hour. It wasn't ready until 4pm so we went to eat lunch at Pelicano's, but we were still sitting around waiting for sometime to get into our room. I still had not heard from my wedding coordinator yet so I was somewhat worried, so I went to the wedding center to find out when I was supposed to meet with her. My appointment was the next morning at 11am.
The resort was beautiful! The fact that the lobby is open air was never an issue for us because it wasn't too hot there. There was plenty of seating and the bar was open all day. They made absolutely great drinks! Miguel at the bar in the lobby was very awesome to us! Every night he made us shot's of Grey Goose and pineapple juice as soon as we sat down. All the staff were extremely nice!
One problem while we were there was they had to turn all the power off for repairs, which was only supposed to be from 12am to 2am. Well the power was off until 6am. We were very uncomfortable. We were extremely hot and of course couldn't find out what happened, no lights, no phone, no elevator operations, and we were on the top floor...
Room: Presidential Suite A
The room was wonderful! The bed was very comfortable and had plenty of different pillows. We had a fully stocked bar and the refrigerator was restocked with plenty of bottled water daily upon or request. The shower was huge with jets and big enough for about 8 people, it was awesome. The door in the presidential suite was perfect so my now-husband got dressed in the living area and I got dressed in the bedroom.
We did the Romance Ritual package which included a couple's 50 minute massage, in-suite jacuzzi experience, a moon bath, champagne, and jumbo strawberries (that we never received). The massages were not of good quality at all. I get massages on a regular basis at home and the massage I received just was not relaxing. It was also very uncomfortable for my husband because the guy who did his massage had also been one of the entertainers at the lobby night show the previous night. I really felt that it was $280 gone down the drain.
Maria Marie: A
Excellent restaurant! We had the chicken and fried rice, steak and shrimp fried rice and the tempura ice cream. All the spring rolls with strawberry sauce were awesome. It was all delicious.
Pelicano's was pretty good. We pretty much ate the same things here. The potato wedges were always good. The shredded beef taco's made my queasy after eating them, but I don't usually eat shredded beef either...
Loved it! We had steak and shrimp for lunch on most days and they always cooked it however we wanted. We also had burgers sometimes, it depended on the cook. They are not very raw/cooked food conscious and would touch raw food then touch cooked food, and I didn't see much hand washing or utensil washing. I'm a super clean person about food, so I wouldn't eat if I didn't see the cook using safe cooking practices.
We didn't eat here because the menu was extremely small.
Loved it! The grand marnier suffle desert was the best!
Didn't eat here either because you can never find out whats being cooked beforehand. I didn't want to waste my time.
Coffee House: C
The pastries were usually dry and cold.
24 Hour Lounge: B
The food was hit or miss. Sometimes it was hot and fresh, sometimes not. We did eat the nachos' with beef and cheese and if was awesome. Everything else was usually not hot or not appetizing.
Gran Caribe: C
We went over to the Gran Caribe to have lunch one day but did not like it at all. The lobby there was always extremely crowded and uncomfortably hot. We wanted to go eat at the new restaurant the Sunset Grill but it was closed. It would have been helpful if the staff at the Royal knew when the restaurants would be closed but we just went somewhere else but they didn't have any food that we liked, NONE. In my honest opinion, the food at the Royal was much better.
Room Service: A
Room service was really good. We ordered breakfast a few times (fruit, hashbrowns, american omelette's, waffles) if was really good. We only had the burgers, fries, and club sandwich during other hours, and we got the cheesecake. They will custom make something if they have it. My husband wanted a chicken club sandwich and they made it and he liked it.
Wedding day breakfast (buffalo cheese omelettes, hashbrowns, fruit, waffles, orange and pineapple juice, and a breadbasket) We didn't eat it all, but we knew it'd be a long day so we tried!
Nightly Entertainment: C
We watched the shows on most nights that we were there and they were nice. We watched the Mexican show & the Caribbean show and some others that I cannot remember the name of. What I didn't like, that I found out later, was that one of the male's dancing was also a "massage therapist" in the Spa. Jack of all trades I guessâ€¦ :/
The pool was always a cool temperature, it was never freezing cold. There was the side where they played volleyball but it was never too loud that I couldn't enjoy myself. I did see an issue with people who wanted the blue floating things, people would come to the pool early and put them next to or under their chair with towels so nobody would take them. And there were only a few so many people didn't get to use them. A woman offered to let us use the one under her chair but the sun was beaming and I wasn't trying to tan anymore...
The beach was just okay. It is rocky when you go more towards the ocean and there's only one area where there's an even slope, you have to be very careful when walking to the shoreline because there's a large dip in the sand.
Wedding Day: Overall A
Overall, my wedding couldn't have been better because I married the love of my life. There were a few mishaps but nothing that could have taken me out of the element of excitement.
We used the resorts florist and our flowers were perfect, exactly what I asked for!
Ceremony Location: A
We used the beach location by Pelicano's. Perfect! It was very secluded! Initially I wanted the gazebo, but because of advice I read on bestdestinationwedding.com, I thought about the lighting issue and looked at other pictures, and I'm glad I went with the beach. I did walk past a bunch of people, who just shouted congratulations and watched, but nobody was around the actual ceremony. The music played loud enough to be heard from where I walked and there were no issues. It was very hot that day!
Coordinator: D (Paty Ulla)
I probably would give her an F is she (Paty Ulla) hadn't helped me get into my dress (which she actually didn't do correctly) but I will give her a small amount of credit. She never contacted me prior to my arrival, which I was told was supposed to be when I paid my final payment 2 months before arriving. She did make sure to get the flower picture I gave her to the florist. She is also the manager and wasn't very friendly and didn't seem to want to work outside the office. My photographer gave me a lot of info about her and how she is which was very negative but very true. I wouldn't have worked with her if it was my choice.
She was also very unprofessional. I'd already discussed with her the times my photographer would be at the resort, and after we returned from our trash-the-dress session, she would not allow him to come to my room to be paid. She came and spoke with him in front of me in SPANISH! I do not speak Spanish and thought it was very disrespectful of her to engage in a conversation with him regarding MY WEDDING and I not know what was being discussed. Very frustrating. In the end, we had to handle all business matter in the lobby. Ridiculous.
Hair & Makeup: F
My hair would have been okay if she had really been a professional and knew how to work with hair textures of different ethnicities. I got extensions put in before I left but had a small amount of my natural hair left out. The salon did not have any professional styling tools except plug-in curlers and straighteners. Needless to say, she was not able to blend in my natural hair. She used a ridiculous amount of hairspray in my hair and we were in an enclosed space so it was very difficult to breathe, they finally opened a window after about an hour. My wedding night I took out all the pins she put in my hair and there were over 40. Not to mention the few that fell out over the day. The amount of hairspray that was put in my hair did nothing for it anyway, because the curls fell about 2 hours later.
I absolutely hated my makeup. The same person who did my hair did my makeup. I brought my own makeup but I had a tan after being there three days so I wasn't sure if would still look the same. She used a shade that was totally not my color and I had her take it off. I showed her a picture of how I wanted my eyeshadow and I brought the only colors that I wanted her to use. She tried to add extra and I finally just told her to stop. I went to my room very unhappy after being there 3.5 hours and still had to do my own makeup.
My wedding coordinator requested a partial refund for this service and it was denied by Andrea Rodriguez and whoever her supervisor is. Very unprofessional
Romantic Dinner on the Beach: B
The dinner was pretty good. There were 2 issues, the romance concierge told us we couldn't pick our own menu (which I was previously told by Andrea we could) and she didn't even know what the food would be only that "it would be good." The other issue, the food wasn't very hot because the server had to walk so far to bring us our food and was serving two other couples so it lasted a long time. It started raining while we were waiting for desert and it took him about 15 minutes to get back to us. Not really worth $250 in my opinion.
The cake was delicious! My husband even liked it and he is a cake hater. We had vanilla with vanilla buttercream.
Photo locations: B
These were pretty limited. We took some photo's on the beach, but there were lots of people around. We took photo's in the garden area by the spa, which were also limited. We got some really awesome photo's in Puerto Moreles (thanks to my photographer) so everything ended up perfect!
Gift Shop: C
The gift shop in the lobby was quite expensive. The exchange rate at the resort was 10.90 Peso's for 1 American Dollar. I did exchange my travelers cheques there only because I didn't do it at the airport. But the gift shops across the street at the La Fiesta Plaza were MUCH cheaper. I paid $16 for a t-shirt in the Royal's gift shop but got 3 t-shirts for $15 at one of the stores in the strip mall. Big difference. I also purchased a bag for $11 at the Royal's gift shop which ripped within 2 weeks.
Photographer (Juan Navarro): A++++++++++
I will review him separately, but I am extremely happy with my photo's and would recommend him to anyone. If you have any doubts, please don't, he is awesome!
Total disaster, everything that we did at the resort was paid for before arrival. Yet they told us we had a balance of over $1200. I showed her all my receipts and emails stating that everything was paid for and she still made many callsâ€¦ It took us an hour to check-out. I also complained to the manager about the poor service we received from the spa, the wedding coordinator and the hair and makeup, but nothing was offered to make up for the issues.
Overall Experience: A
Overall, despite the hiccups, I truly enjoyed myself, as did my husband. We had a great wedding day, took awesome photo's and had a very relaxing honeymoon. I would have done a few things differently, and one of them would probably have been switching to a different resort (Secrets Maroma was where we were going to switch too) but things did work out and I am very happy that they did. It was definitely a very memorable day!
Here are a few of our pics from our photographer!