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2013 Gran Caribe Real/ Royal Cancun Brides


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#241 LoriGran

LoriGran
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  • Wedding Date:July 25, 2014
  • Wedding Location:Rivera Maya
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Posted 30 December 2012 - 12:30 PM

Hello ladies!!! My fianc© and I are at the beginning stages of planning for our July 2014 wedding. We have decided on the Gran Caribe Real/Royal based on pictures and reviews. The chapel is what sold me. I didn't want to set anything in stone until we did a site visit but won't be able to go until the summer (I don't think I can wait that long). However in really researching deeper and looking at ALL your posts/reviews/ pictures I am REALLY tempted in just booking without going there first. What do you ladies think? Did any of you book without doing a site visit??

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#242 Marymack

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    Posted 30 December 2012 - 12:44 PM

    If you do just make sure you have done all your research and talk to real people who have used this resort for a wedding not a vacation.....

    #243 Emily11386

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      Posted 30 December 2012 - 01:14 PM

      Lori, I'm not sure if it's still the same now, but we were in a similar situation where we wanted to book and were doing a site visit a little while later. They only charged $200 to hold your date. We decided to do it and were willing to lose the $200 if we didn't love it. If you had already put your deposit down the food tasting was free, but they charged a fee if not. For us it was worth it after a lot of research on here to take the chance to make sure we got our date. Like Mary said, research is key.
      May 10, 2013 at The Gran Caribe Real/ Royal Cancun
      33 adults (including bride & groom) and 3 kids booked!

      #244 LoriGran

      LoriGran
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      • Wedding Date:July 25, 2014
      • Wedding Location:Rivera Maya
      • LocationMexico

      Posted 30 December 2012 - 04:17 PM

      Emily, Thank you for the advice! It seems like the resort gets booked up quick I am afraid that the date I want will be booked by the time I go on a site visit. In the mean time I will continue doing more research on the resort Thanks!

      #245 txbrideinmexico

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        Posted 30 December 2012 - 06:12 PM

        Lori,

        We decided to book without a site visit. We got engaged in October and our wedding is in May so for us it was a matter of not having time and wanting to save the money. We were also sold on the chapel. I'm a little nervous about booking something without seeing it first, but I did a lot of research and I'm pretty confident in the decision. I would put your deposit down in advance though. We got a date with only about 7 months in advance, but it's a Monday (holiday weekend) so it was still available.

        Good luck!
         



        #246 LoriGran

        LoriGran
        • Jr. Member
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        • Wedding Date:July 25, 2014
        • Wedding Location:Rivera Maya
        • LocationMexico

        Posted 30 December 2012 - 06:38 PM

        txbrideinmexico, 

         

        Thank you for the advice. The more and more I read about the resort I'm thinking about just putting down the deposit. It also seems like the resort gets booked pretty quickly and I fear to loose out on the date I want. We just want to be able to give our guests as much time as possible to start saving/planning for the trip. 



        #247 ornxoxo

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          Posted 02 January 2013 - 07:21 AM

          After so many frustrations on where and when, we finally decided on Gran Caribe!  I first had my date as July 27th, 2013 (same date as one of the brides here), but I was too overwhelmed so now it's pushed to October 19th, 2013.  Like many other brides, the chapel sold me.  I love the chapel scenery, but I don't really like the resort itself since it's smaller than I would like it to be.  I know I have the choice to stay at The Royal, but to cut out any complications with guests staying at different places, we're thinking of having everyone stay at the Caribe.  I hope it's not going to be too bad.

           

          Alicia - your site visit review is awesome!  Thank you!

          Emily - thank you for sharing your planning experiences.  It has been a tremendous help!

          All the brides here - you are so awesome!  It's hard for me to get off this website after starting logging in.

           

          I have a few questions and would like some advice from the brides here:

          - Do I need to establish all the wedding details before putting down the deposit?  Can I change the package, the reception site, or other things after putting down the deposit?

          - I still don't know how many people will be coming to our wedding.  Do we have to wait to know the numbers before deciding which package or booking the hotel?

          - I see $400 fee for booking a ceremony at 4pm on a Saturday, but not for the earlier times.  Is this something new?

          - Does anyone hire a MC to run your reception?  Does the DJ do that?

          - How are the photographer and videographer from the hotel?

           

          I'm really nervous that I will mess anything up.



          #248 txbrideinmexico

          txbrideinmexico
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            Posted 02 January 2013 - 09:13 AM

            Welcome Ornxoxo!

             

            Some answers from my experience so far:

             

            - Do I need to establish all the wedding details before putting down the deposit?  Can I change the package, the reception site, or other things after putting down the deposit?

             

            I put down the deposit to hold the chapel and have been slowly making decisions along the way. There are additional deposits for other things (so far just DJ for me) as you make more solid plans. If you are wanting to negotiate at all I recommend trying to do so before any deposits are down. I have found them completely unwilling to work with me on any pricing or extra inclusions.

             

            - I still don't know how many people will be coming to our wedding.  Do we have to wait to know the numbers before deciding which package or booking the hotel?

             

            I was told I had to give a final number 60 days in advance. I just guessed when they asked at the beginning of the process. The numbers will matter somewhat in choosing venues but an estimate wil be fine.

             

            - I see $400 fee for booking a ceremony at 4pm on a Saturday, but not for the earlier times.  Is this something new?

             

            I don't know if it's new, but I don't think there is a way around it. Be careful as there are also fees for outside vendors and a time gap between wedding and reception...

             

            - Does anyone hire a MC to run your reception?  Does the DJ do that?

             

            I'm counting on the DJ to do this... but I haven't confirmed yet.

             

            - How are the photographer and videographer from the hotel?

             

            I've heard bad things about the hotel photographers. We booked Sascha Gluck. There are a lot of popular photogs reviewed on this site to sift through and find the style you like.

             

            Good luck! Can't wait to hear more about your plans :)



            #249 Christen Jean

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              Posted 02 January 2013 - 10:56 AM

              How excited I am to find this website!  I am getting married at the GCR in just a few weeks, on January 26, 2013. I can't wait to share my story and hear what past or present brides have to say about it!

               

              So we picked this hotel because of the chapel.  I am not (was not) Catholic, but took the classes through our church so that I could get married before God.  My fiance is divorced, and after making all final payments and solidifying everything, our Priest informed us that he would not write the letter of approval becuase his anullment would not be done in time.  I will say that this was a really big deal for me and NO fault of GCR's at all.  However, I do feel that my corporate wedding planner through Real Resorts could have been a little more kind about me having to change my wedding package.  We had already finalized a Royal Catholic Wedding with 43 guests, and because I could no longer get married in the chapel we had to change our package.  She was not very quick at getting me the new contract and while I was waiting for it to be sent over she threatened to cancel my wedding?  We worked it all out, but only because at 6pm on a Saturday night I was in front of the computer sending her the new contract and other required documents I had never even seen before (a rooming list with each guests confirmation code?).  There are several instances in which she forgot to send me payment confirmations and then asked me where they were, which I thought weren't even needed if your payment was under a certain dollar amount.  There's also been instances where she's sent me multiple, different emails, but on the same topic, so I was confused on what was what.  Now that everything is finalized, I have been informed of the local, on-site, Hotel wedding planner that will be helping me and I am hoping for a better experience.  We have not spoken yet, but I have found the same thing as other brides- this hotel/wedding facility is not very accomodating with discounts, extras, or negotiating.  I can't even get reservations in one of the restaurants for a "rehersal" dinner the night before without being charge $15/person.  So instead I am having everyone meet in the Lobby Bar the night before.  My fiance is taking all the groomsmen fishing that morning, but I haven't found much else to do on site.  There is a spa, but my bridesmaids get in throughout the day on Friday, so I found that just inviting all of our guests to hang in the lobby bar on Friday before heading out to dinner was a good way to get everyone together. 

               

              We did pay the $400 fee for having a weekend evening wedding.  This is non-negotiable for all weddings on Fri or Sat at 4pm or later.  We also paid a $400 fee for the minister.  This is non-negotiable if you choose the Classic Wedding Package, but had been included on our Royal Catholic Wedding Package.  I also sprang for the DJ for our reception, and so far he has the best customer service of everyone!  He contacted me immediately, includes fireworks, and also is the MC for the wedding introduction!  He has song lists he sends you in advance, schedules time to meet with you once you arrive at GCR to go over the wedding plans, and isn't pushy on the light-up dance floor or any other "extras". 

               

              I did NOT hire the hotel's photographer or any local photographer.  I have a very dear friend that owns a photography studio and offered to pay her and her husbands trip if she would do my photography, and believe it or not, the cost is the same.  It was $1500 to bring her and a guest for 2 days and $1500 to hire a local photographer.  She opted to bring an assitant instead of her husband, which certainly works out in my favor!  I am anxious to see if the hotel charges us the vendor fee after everything we've spent already & knowing she is a guest of the hotel!  Plus there are more items we'd like to add (bridesmaids bouquets, maybe a different cake) to our wedding package that I didn't want to do through the corporate wedding planner.  I am hoping the on-site planner is easier to work with.

               

              We also decided to extend our stay in Mexico and send our kids home with our parents.  I contacted reservations to see if they would give us a discount if we stayed the extra 4 nights at GCR.  The discounted rate for just the hotel stay was $1100.  I thanked the reservations specialist for the discounted rate, but let her know we opted to stay elsewhere for less money.  We love Cozumel, so we are heading over there for $800 for the 4 nights instead.

               

              All this being said, we are just as excited for our vacation here as we are for our wedding.  The beach is gorgeous, the rooms are sleepable, and there are plenty of choices for food and drink.  And with 43 of our closest friends and family, what else could you need?!



              #250 Emily11386

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                Posted 02 January 2013 - 02:03 PM

                Did anyone else notice that they have completely changed the menus? We went down and did a site visit and food tasting and I was on the site and just happened to notice. Don't get me wrong some of the choices sound good, maybe better than the originals I picked, but my wedding coordinator should've told me and I feel like the food tasting was a waste.:confused:
                May 10, 2013 at The Gran Caribe Real/ Royal Cancun
                33 adults (including bride & groom) and 3 kids booked!




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