Wedding Date - April 29th, 2011
On the inbound flight to Cancun, we were given a tourist card and a customs declaration form to fill out before we landed. At the airport, our first stop was be Immigration where the officer took take half the tourist card; we put the remaining half and passport in a safe place as we knew we would need them for the return flight! We headed to baggage claim were we found our luggage had already been unloaded to floor. Next, we went through customs. We put our bags into a scanner. I had brought home-made bouquets with me (lots of wires!), so they scanned my bags a couple of time before they let it go through. They never did open it. Next, we handed the customs form to the agent who asked us to press a large button. A green light means â€œgoâ€ and red means â€œinspectionâ€ in which case officials perform a quick baggage inspection. I was told one in seven people typically get red. We got green, but we had two couples get the red light (out of 30 guests total). Though both were nervous at first, they said it was a synch. After customs, we proceeded down a long hall lined with timeshare salesmen; we just keep walking and ignored them. Once outside, we located a representative from our shuttle company and showed them our transfer papers. The trip to the hotel took about 45 minutes because of construction on the highway; not bad.
The resort is gorgeous and the location right off of 5th Ave in Playa is perfect. The rooms are all gorgeous with their own Jacuzzi, ample bar, iPod docks, and comfy beds. The housekeeping staff was excellent and a small tip went a long way. We especially loved the nightly turn down service with chocolates and your choice of an aromatherapy scent. The night of our wedding, we returned to a full Jacuzzi tub with rose petals in the water and all over the room and bed. Gorgeous! Our room came with a dedicated Cabana on the beach. Though beautiful, the beach at the resort is very small and crowded compared to resorts in Cancun, so our cabana was behind three rows of other cabanas blocking our view a bit.
The Royal had activities to suit everyone. My aunt and uncle booked tennis on the lovely rooftop grass court and other guests enjoyed biking, Pilates, volleyball, and nearby tours. Many just lay quietly by the beach and had a blast! Everyone loved the proximity to 5th and being able to walk along the shops and visit local clubs.
The food tasted good. Unfortunately, we had 10 guests get food poisoning over the week including me (the bride! - two days before my wedding). The symptoms were rough. Iâ€™m not talking about a tummy-ache â€“ Iâ€™m talking Montezumaâ€™s revenge (no one could stray from the bathroom â€“ yuck!), but after visiting the resort doctor, we found it was food poisoning. He said it most likely came from food that was left out too long in the heat, growing gobs of bacteria. We reported it to the resort, but never received any response! Luckily, my fiancÃ©s dad travels to many third-world countries for work and was able to correct my issue with just two â€œmagicâ€ pills. I was good to go by the afternoon of our wedding â€“ just in the nick of time! Other guests were not so fortunate. They were given pills from the resort doctor. Not only were they extremely expensive, but they also required 7 days to finish the treatment, no dairy products, and a mostly liquid diet. Many had to fly home still not feeling well. What made things worse it that we were all sick at different times throughout the week and had eaten at different places and times (not all together at the same restaurants). No one who was sick ever ate off the resort. That made us feel like the resort had a food storage issue. I was very disappointed that no one from the resort ever even contacted me or any of my guests during or after our stay!
Off-site Wedding Coordinator â€“ Denisse Campos: B-
Denisse was fantastic at getting right back to me after every question I asked. I always received a response within a day, never more than two! However, I rated this B- because I was so disappointed with the lack of upfront information provided by the resort. I had to do all my own research to find out what to questions to ask (thank goodness I found this site!). They apparently have no brochures or information about what to expect. Though they do have some .PDF files that can be downloaded with some basic options and prices, the brochures really only get you about 20% there. My co-worker booked a destination wedding at another resort and immediately received a 20 page brochure with all the information she would need to get started. It even included a few pages for her to fill out and return to the wedding coordinator asking her basic information about what she would like for her wedding and reception. That would have been amazing!
On-site Wedding Coordinator â€“ Denise: B-
My onsite visit with Denise was fantastic (so I thought). She asked lots of detailed questions to make sure my day would be setup just the way I wanted. I had brought huppa fabric, chair bows, programs, fans, and had ordered rose petals for the isle. All of it was setup nearly perfect. Unfortunately, like any wedding, a few things did go wrong. During this meeting was the first time I found out that cocktail hour comes with hâ€™orderves. I had never heard that before! Denise showed me a menu and we picked at random. Boy did I feel dumb since Iâ€™d scheduled it for the hour following my wedding, just before my reception. Unfortunately, hardly anyone ate dinner since theyâ€™d just eaten lots of appetizers. Next, I had wanted the programs and fans wrapped beneath the fabric of the chair bows, but instead, I found out someone was there handing them out; not a big deal to me. Also, I had asked to rent vases for the reception dinner tables so I could reuse my bridesmaidsâ€™ bouquets as centerpieces. I specifically asked for a size suitable for a hand-held bouquet and reiterated that during my on-site meeting. The vases that ended up on the tables were huge- 24 inches tall and 8 inches diameter. The bouquets looked so ridiculous in those vases and I was embarrassed and disappointed. We had also discussed the schedule for the day and I felt good that she understood exactly what we would do. Unfortunately, our schedule fell to junk too. Denise was coordinating three wedding happening simultaneously. She stopped by immediately after out ceremony to see how things went. I was happy so she said sheâ€™d come back by after appetizers to drop off the microphone for speeches. She didnâ€™t return until we had already served desert. She apologized profusely, but my fiancÃ© was a bit annoyed as he felt like our guests were sitting around wondering what to do next! The cake cutting and dancing all started late and I felt like we lost precious reception time.