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Very Long - ROR Bad Wedding Experience


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#1 PrecisePlans

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    Posted 20 September 2007 - 04:05 PM

    I'm not sure if this has already been posted but this was taken from Riu Ocho Rios Resort reviews - Jamaica Hotels - Debbie's Caribbean Travel & Resort Reviews - Riu Ocho Rios Resort Photos From June 2007


    We just got back for our wedding at RIU Ocho Rios Jamaica, and I am sad to say this event has been a truly disappointing experience for all parties involved in this Wedding/Honeymoon.

    My Wife had been to the RIU Bachata in the Dominican Republic last year, and fell in love with the resort and the level of service that she received at this resort. Because of her experience at this there she wanted to have her wedding specifically at a RIU. Unfortunately we were unable to book at the DR location as we were told there was not a Minister available for the time period we were looking at. Working with our Travel Agent through Maritime Travel, we booked our trip for the RIU Ocho Rios in Jamaica. We were told that as these resorts are all within the same chain and both were 5 Star, that the properties and service would be comparable.

    We ended up booking this trip for a total of 16 people, 14 guests for one-week and the Bride and Groom for an additional week. We upgraded everyone to JR. Suites (Ocean View) as we wanted to be located relatively close to each other. Approximately 2 months prior to traveling, we emailed the resort several times requesting that all of our rooms be located in roughly the same area of the resort if possible; we also mentioned in the emails that we would like our room to be upgraded if possible as we were the Bride and Groom as well as RIU Class card holders. We received no responses to any of our emails and the emails were never bounced back to us saying that they were undeliverable.

    The Bride and the Groom paid in September of 2006 and the remaining passengers paid in December. Within that group there were two issues where it took over a month for our guests credit cards to reflect the transactions; this was only completed after a number of conversations with our Travel Agent.

    The tickets for our flight were not in our possession until the evening of Feb, 7th because of errors; our flight was on the afternoon of the 10th. At this point there was still an issue with one of the tickets. We did receive drink and head set vouchers because of this delay.

    On the flight, there were several headphone jacks that did not work.

    On the plane they gave out forms to get through immigration, the Flight attendant insisted that is was one per household. Reading that it was for a spouse and children we asked a second time as my brother is 25. We were told a second time that an additional form was not needed as everyone in the household was to be on the one form. Once we reached the immigration desk we were informed that it was only to have a spouse and children under 18. After talking to the immigration agent for a few minutes and explaining the issue, they reluctantly let my family through.

    Once we arrived in Jamaica, the bus that we were to take was full and 10 of us and 4 others ended up on a taxi/bus. The driver of this bus was less than acceptable. The driver almost caused several accidents, would overtake vehicles traveling at high rates of speed on blind corners, tailgate and repeatedly cut off other vehicles, needless to say that this ride was very uncomfortable and uneasy for everyone in this vehicle. The only stop on the way to the first resort was at a bar for the sole purpose of picking up the driver’s girlfriend. This was unacceptable for a chartered vehicle to be driven in this manner.

    Once we arrived at the hotel we checked in at which point we spoke to the front desk about receiving a room upgrade. As per the information that we had received on the RIU resorts website it stated that for a Bride and Groom that an upgrade would be provided if the room was available. We are also RIU Class cardholders; our understanding is that this also entitles you to a room upgrade if available. All of this information was emailed to the resort 2 months prior to traveling. That night we were told that there was nothing available and to come back in the morning and they would help us then. Once our guests that arrived that night checked in, we found that all 4 of their rooms were on the ground floor in the center of the resort (not adjacent to each other), we were on the third floor in the center of the resort. Several of our guests were upset with the rooms that they received as everyone had paid for ocean view rooms. We went back to the front desk a second time that night to try to get our guests moved and once again, we were told that there was nothing that they could do and that we would have to come back in the morning.

    1:30AM our room was called by the front desk, waking us to see if the room was occupied.

    The next morning at 8:30 AM we went back to the front desk to ask about getting our guests moved and about an upgrade. We were told to come back in a few hours, as they don’t know if anything else is available as there was a large group of people checking out that day. At 10 AM we went back to the front desk to see if there was anything available, and we were told that there was nothing available for an upgrade or for our guests and to come back again tomorrow morning. At which point my wife offered the clerk $100US if he could find an upgrade for us. He went in the back for a few minutes and came out and told us that there was something available that afternoon and to come back in a few hours. We returned at noon at which point he gave us the room number and told to come back at 2:30 for the key. We once again came back at 2:45, where we were told that the room was not done being cleaned and waited for another 30 min before we received a room key and paid Otis the $100US, and no receipt was issued. We should not have had to pay for this upgrade that the resort claims to offer its guests.

    The remainder of our guests were arriving that night, because of the issues that we had already experienced we tried to confirm that their rooms would be in the general area as the remainder of our rooms. They refused to tell us any information even though all of my guests were booked under my party. One of the rooms was to have a cot in it as there were 3 Adults sleeping in the room, once again the front desk refused to ether confirm or deny that this request had been accommodated, just that if it had been requested that they guaranteed that it would be in the room. Once our guests arrived, the room that was to have the cot did not have one. This room was also missing the towels in the bathroom as well. The rooms for all of these guests were all over the resort. 2 rooms on the 2nd floor on the far left end of the resort and 1 on the 4th floor on the far right. Our 8 rooms were spread out over 4 floors and from one end of the building to the other.

    Once again on the 12th, based on our conversation with the front desk the previous day we went back to see if there were any changes that could be made, once again we were told to come back tomorrow morning.

    That evening, one of our rooms 1305 was leaking water from a light fixture in the ceiling; we called the front desk to report this twice. It wasn’t until 2 days later when the Maid was picking up the glass of water and the towels off of the floor our guests mentioned what was going on, and she called maintenance and they showed up later that day.

    On the 13th we went back to the desk again and were told the same thing again “come back tomorrow morning” at which point we spoke to the Front desk manager named Stacey, and once again was told to come back again tomorrow morning. At which point our guests were tired of trying and didn’t want us to waste anymore of our vacation and just settled.

    The 15th was our wedding day, the wedding was great, all of the preparations seemed rushed but turned out great. After the ceremony one of our guests went back to our room to put some items away to find that someone from the Resort had filled the bath with bubble bath and flowers. When our guest made it to our room, she found it the floor wet in the hall. When she opened the door she found that whoever filled the tub did not turn off the tap and flooded our room. She called down to the front desk to have someone come clean it up before we got there, after ten mins, a second guest also went up and also had to call to have someone clean it up immediately. When we saw the first guest again we asked if the Fruit basket and gift were up there and she said no. We went to the front desk in TUX and Wedding dress to inquire about this and we were told it would be there. We went to our room still in our TUX and Wedding dress, to find maintenance mopping up the floor in our room, they were very accusatory that we were responsible for this; after denying several times, they turned and starting blaming our guests. This was unnecessary and unacceptable. There was also no Fruit basket and surprise like the advertising states on the RIU website. We did not receive our wedding basket at all at the Riu Ocho Rios and the surprise was dropped off to our door two days after the wedding and while the “do not disturb” sign was hanging on the door.

    On the 14th four of us had booked an excursion through our Sunquest rep, for the 16th. That day we arrived at 9:45am as the bus was to depart at 10am. A bus showed up and started loading people and did not announce its destination, at which point I asked if he was going to our excursion that he said no. Before he left I asked a second time and was again told no. The bus left at 10am, we waited unit 10:15 and spoke to one of the other reps as it was Andreas (our reps)day off. We were told that we just missed the bus and found out the bus we should have been on was the bus that the driver stated was not going to our excursion. She called to have the bus come back and pick us up. We sat and waited for an hour at which point the bus returned and the driver gave us a hard time about missing information on the receipt that we were given by our rep.

    Upon receiving our rooms several of the mini bars were empty.

    Over the week the staff that stocks the mini bars walked in on my wife once without even knocking, and another set of guests while they were sleeping.

    Most of our guests were solicited drugs by locals on the beach, I do understand that all beaches on Jamaica are public property; however I watched as the resorts security repeatedly turned a blind eye to these activities time and time again.

    Most of our guests ranging from 16 to 50 were also propositioned for drugs by staff members, this is totally unacceptable. One even pulled his stash of drugs out from underneath a stack of towels to show what he had.

    On several occasions rooms that were cleaned, did not receive any towels. We would call the front desk throughout the day and would be told there were no clean towels available. One of the rooms were told at the end of their week that they were at the end of the staffs set of rooms and if they had towels left they would get them, if not then they wouldn’t.

    Rooms that had the sign on to be cleaned were never touched.

    Several staff indicated that they expected tips and waiting staff would give customers dirty looks if they didn’t tip. Even though I did tip when I felt it was warranted, this should not be a requirement to receive good service in an all-inclusive resort.

    The rooms on the ground floor, 3rd and 4th floors had ant and sand flea problems we once again had to deal with the front desk to ask if they could have someone spray the rooms, at which point they laughed and blew us off.

    The Sat morning all of our guests that were leaving, someone went around knocking on their doors between 8:30am and 9:30am telling them that they needed to check out, even though check out was at 12. In some cases they received a phone call in addition to the person knocking on their door.

    At 11am there was a large group of people checking out, my wife went to see if it was possible to be moved to a Jacuzzi suit, also to complain about people being woken up and being told to check out.

    At this point she was talking with Stacey again; she showed a general lack of interest in our issues and was unwilling to help with the situations. At this point we asked to be moved to another resort. The only option that was given to us was the Tropical Bay resort with the additional fees for the room and transportation costs. This option was not available until Monday Afternoon, 2 days from that point in time.

    We went directly over to Andrea with our issues, and explained that we were not happy with the way that we are being treated and that our guests are leaving disappointed with their experience here. We went over all of the issues listed above with her and told her that we were not receiving the experience that we were promised and paid for and needed to go somewhere else. At this point Andrea took us back over to talk with Stacey. Andrea was only able to stay briefly as she needed to travel to the airport with a group that was leaving, but were to call her at 9pm that night as she would talk to her boss and tell us what our options were. At this point we were not able to resolve any of the issues again with Stacey.

    That afternoon, we sat down with the Resort Manager; I believe her name was Susanne. Once again went over the issues with her and she seemed to be surprised at the issues that we were having but she didn’t seem like she really wanted to help us. She said she would see if there was an upgrade available and was told there was not. I had to ask if there was something else that they could do for us at the hotel eg. Scuba Diving at which point she said she could something like that for us. We told her that we did not want to stay any longer at this resort and the only other options she gave us either move on Monday afternoon to RIU Tropical Bay and incur all additional expenses or to move to another resort, pay for the other resort at our own expense and receive a voucher to stay at a RIU at some time in the future for the time remaining.

    We called Andrea at 8:40, 9, 9:20, 9:30 and 9:40 with no answer and left her a voicemail to call us back.

    Sunday morning the remainder of our guests were woken up between 8:30am and 10am and told they needed to check out. We went back to see Andrea who apologized for the previous night. We told her that we were not happy with the resolution that the resort was offering and that we wanted to move to another resort that day. At this point we were told that it is Sunday and that nothing could be done for us on Sunday. Sunquest Canada and all of the sales offices are closed. This was unacceptable as we told her that we wanted to move about 24 hours prior. At this point she put me on her cell phone with her boss Celest. I explained the same thing again to her and that staying at this resort another day is another day that was wasted on our vacation as my wife did not feel comfortable with a number of the staff. Once again we were told that everything is closed, that she was coming in the next day and to see her in the morning.

    After talking to Andrea, we went back to our room to find that both our room keys had been deactivated. We had to go back, get in line at the front desk to get new keys.

    While we were in our room for the remainder of the day, with the “do not disturb” sign on the door, a staff member knocked to bring us a mug and a small bottle of rum, at which point he wanted to know what time we were leaving that day, even though we were not scheduled to leave for another week.

    Spoke with Celest first thing in the morning, who did not seem surprised that we were having issues. We went through the whole list of issues again, she told us that we should not have had to pay the $100 for this room and was going to try to get that money back. We have not heard any resolution to this yet. I also told her that I expected to be compensated for the additional days I was stuck in the resort. In total in the first 8 days on our vacation, we spent 3 full days dealing with issues that should not have happened. We ended up taking the Tropical Bay choice as all of our finances were already spent on this resort. We were told that the taxi would be paid for and that we would be given the VIP treatment at the new resort and all of our information would be given to them eg that we are on our honeymoon. The taxi arrived at noon for our 3.5 hour drive to Negril. Once we arrived at Tropical Bay they had a hard time finding any information for our arrival, we finally received a room key but did not have any safe key. Upon opening the door, a heavy musty odour hit you. Looking at the room we did not believe that this was the correct room, went back to the front desk and spoke to someone else and they told us that we were given the wrong room and that the correct room is at the other end of the complex. After repacking and retuning the original keys we confirmed that the front desk knew that we were on our honeymoon and they had no record of this either. At this point it was now 6:30 and we had now lost a 4th day of our honeymoon. The next night we received our so-called fruit basket and surprise. The basket consisted of a plate, with some melon, kiwi cut in half and an apple all wrapped in cellophane. All they did was grab some of the food off of the buffet, and the surprise was a $2, 200ml bottle of rum. This was very misleading as on your website you state you will receive a surprise gift and a basket of fruit.

    While at Tropical Bay we did not receive any special treatment, the Sunquest rep would show up at 9:30am and leave around 1pm. The day of our flight we were told that she wouldn’t even be at the resort and had to get flight information from other rep. When our guests were departing Ocho Rios, one of the flights was delayed for 3 hours, the guests were informed and the bus was postponed to accommodate this. Our flight was also delayed for about 2 hours however we were not informed about this unit we reached the airport. Once we had checked out, our bus arrived at 5:15 however there was no secure location to put your luggage or a location to hang garments like wedding dresses between 12 and 5.

    For a trip that is supposed to be the time of our lives, we are upset at the fact that overall this was a disappointing trip. We have found lack of commitment and accountability through this whole process. Issues have not been resolved, we dealt with staff that could care less and who have shown unacceptable behavior.

    We have spent a lot of money on this trip and are upset and disappointed with our wedding/honeymoon.



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    #2 Wisco4

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      Posted 20 September 2007 - 04:37 PM

      Wow that made me really depressed.

      That sucks that they had so many problems, man they really had a string of bad luck. But then again some of that stuff happens at an AI and you just need to relax and have a good time. Get your fill of the free booze and sleep in a hammock on the beach!

      ~Amanda

      #3 gkashmira

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        Posted 20 September 2007 - 04:45 PM

        Oh no! I'm so sorry to hear that you had so many problems. Well the good thing is that you are married t6o the man you love and in the end that's all that counts.
        Kashmira & Dan
        Happily married since June 16, 2007
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        Our mini-video: http://www.bajavideo...m/Kash_Dan.html
        Photo slideshow: http://www.tomasbarron.com/recent.php

        #4 jmhein

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          Posted 20 September 2007 - 04:46 PM

          Wowzers, that does really suck for this couple and it is pretty worrisome... however... it also sounds like they could have really relaxed about some stuff and they would have enjoyed their stay a lot more! They should have drank a whole lot more pina coladas and not worried so much about their free fruit basket! But they did have a lot of really crappy things happen...
          I do keep reading some concerning reviews about the service at the ROR and it makes me a little nervous...
          ------------------------------------------------MARRIED at the Riu Ocho Rios - Feb 12, 2008 - Best day of our lives!Honeymooned at Sandals Whitehouse European Village - Feb 16-23


          My Riu Ocho Rios Wedding Review with Pics

          #5 Wisco4

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            Posted 20 September 2007 - 04:47 PM

            Wait...who did this happen to? I'm confused.
            ~Amanda

            #6 Wisco4

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              Posted 20 September 2007 - 04:49 PM

              Quote:
              Originally Posted by jmhein
              Wowzers, that does really suck for this couple and it is pretty worrisome... however... it also sounds like they could have really relaxed about some stuff and they would have enjoyed their stay a lot more! They should have drank a whole lot more pina coladas and not worried so much about their free fruit basket! But they did have a lot of really crappy things happen...
              I do keep reading some concerning reviews about the service at the ROR and it makes me a little nervous...
              You'll be fine. You already have the right attitude!
              ~Amanda

              #7 Spazz

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                Posted 20 September 2007 - 04:55 PM

                It's crazy...the reviews of ROR on Trip Advisor are either totally negative or totally positive, never in-between. I do get a bit worried reading these, but it seems like a lot of it is people who are a little "anal". Like come on now, who cares if some of the headphones on the plane don't work?!?? And, the fruit basket... You just got married to the man/woman of your dreams and your one big concern is where your free fruit basket is!


                My concern, which I keep reading over and over, is about the lack of customer service at the front desk and from management at RIU Ocho Rios. But, hopefully, we're all prepared enough to deal with it.

                #8 Wisco4

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                  Posted 20 September 2007 - 04:57 PM

                  BTW, you get approached in Cabo too by drug dealers. Maybe not at the resort but the last time we were there my FI got asked over a dozen times by different people! It's funny because he's never touched a drug nor would he. I kept telling him he must look like someone with $$ to spend.
                  And when we stayed at Breezes in Runaway Bay in Jamaica for my brother's wedding, immediately upon arriving our shuttle driver offered to sell us pot.
                  They must get a lot of American's that do buy it so that's why they do it, we just laughed it off.

                  ~Amanda

                  #9 Wisco4

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                    Posted 20 September 2007 - 05:02 PM

                    Quote:
                    Originally Posted by Lizz
                    It's crazy...the reviews of ROR on Trip Advisor are either totally negative or totally positive, never in-between. I do get a bit worried reading these, but it seems like a lot of it is people who are a little "anal". Like come on now, who cares if some of the headphones on the plane don't work?!?? And, the fruit basket... You just got married to the man/woman of your dreams and your one big concern is where your free fruit basket is!


                    My concern, which I keep reading over and over, is about the lack of customer service at the front desk and from management at RIU Ocho Rios. But, hopefully, we're all prepared enough to deal with it.

                    Exactly. I can't stand it when people complain about their view from their room, there are no bad views at these resorts. We had a garden view at the Riu in Cabo and it was beautiful, it we wanted to see the ocean we just needed to walk outside! Who stays in their room all day anyway?
                    ~Amanda

                    #10 BrittneyD

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                      Posted 20 September 2007 - 06:01 PM

                      I quit paying attention to the reviews. I think you just have to go into a vacation with an open mind. We went to Mazatlan, Mexico a couple years ago, and we thought it was amazing. I recently read a bunch of reviews, and they were pretty negative. Each person will have their own opinion. I imagine it would be hard to have fun when you worry about every little detail. Sometimes you just have to roll with it.
                      Brittney & Peter
                      July 12, 2008
                      Riu Ocho Rios

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