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MAY 25, 2012 DREAMS LOS CABOS WEDDING REVIEW...KIND OF LENGTHY WITH PICS

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Everyone says it and now it's my turn, I can't believe it's already time for me to do my wedding review.  We were in Cabo for 9 days (at Dreams for 7) and had an amazing time with 23 of our family members and best friends.  It was truly an unforgettable experience.

 

May 21, 2012

 

Today was the first day of our nine day trip with a direct, departure flight from Atlanta at 9:49 am, set to arrive at SJD at 12:13PM.

 

Delta Airlines: A-

 

I fly Delta as often as possible.  I was trying to book our flights and realized that I should try to use my saved up Skymiles.  I accidentally discovered that I had enough points to cover both DH and my flights so I only ended up paying 75.00/ticket!  It saved us over 1200.00 so, of course, that excited me.

 

The reason Delta gets an A- is because when I called customer service to see about stowing my wedding gown the representative on the phone told me to put it under the seat in front of me.  I laugh about it now but I thought that was an absurd reply.

 

However, the stewardess the morning of the flight saved the day.  We got through the new international terminal in Atlanta effortlessly, the flight was on time and the flight was about ¾ full.  The stewardess got a red permanent marker, copy paper and duct tape and sectioned off an entire overhead bin for the dress and tux and duct taped it shut so that others would not put anything other than wedding attire in there.  (Funny story: Some young guy boarded the plane late and ripped open the storage bin with my wedding dress in it, trying to rush and store his luggage.  The guy in the seat across from us, who knew it was our stuff, got pissed and yelled at him to pay attention to the sign and reprimanded him for trying to put his suitcase on top of my gown.  Awh!)

 

SJD Airport: A

 

We arrived at SJD airport at 11:44am.  By the time we walked into the airport and went through the short passport check line, our luggage was already on the carousel and there was NO LINE at customs.  I got the green light, which shocked me with all the crap we had and no one harassed us in the "shark tank", other than a few snide remarks telling DH to run when they saw the wedding gown. smile72.gif Our shuttle to Cactus Rental had not arrived but the lady sent to wait on us was there, as promised, with a sign.

 

Cactus Rental: B+

amiranda@cactuscar.com

 

Okay, this is where that binder with all of your emails between vendors comes in very handy.  I heard about Cactus Rental on Tripadvisor and specifically emailed Antonio, who used to work with Alamo.  He quoted me an excellent price of 300.00 US Dollars for 9 days for a 2012 VW Jetta.  This price also included full coverage insurance with 0% deductible.  Now, my American Express covers insurance but I didnâ€t even feel like dealing with that because I have heard that when dealing with the Mexican Rental Car Companies and your credit cards, you encounter resistance and headaches.  Also, I didnâ€t want to have to worry about anything being charged to my card for damages and then having to be reimbursed.

 

Well, Antonio wasnâ€t there that day and the guy at the counter tried to give me the 300.00 price with just the Mexican required insurance and if I werenâ€t a stickler about fully reading contracts I would have missed it.  Then he wanted proof that my insurance was supposed to be included so I pulled out my emails from Antonio and the price was fixed.  When he ran my card it was for 4200 pesos which translated to 14 pesos:1 USD which was higher than the daily rate of $13.28.  It made me paranoid so I checked my credit card and it was charged at $305.65, which wasnâ€t a lot higher than the $300.00 but my Chase card has no exchange fees or administrative fees.  I know, I know, itâ€s $5.65, but itâ€s the principle.  I emailed Antonio and questioned him about it.  He claims it was my credit card fees (which I know I donâ€t have) but told me I could bring the car back with less gas to make up the difference. 

 

Geesh, I didnâ€t mean to talk this long about the rental car!  But, if you need a rental car in SJD, which I suggest you getting if you plan to explore, go with Antonio at Alamo, he is awesome!  P.S. Ask for the “Trip Advisor Discountâ€.

 

Dreams Resort: B

 

This portion is just about the arrival, rooms and a few restaurants.

 

Soo, on the way to Dreams, we forgot to take the toll and drove through San Jose, yeah 40 minutes.  If you take the toll, which is 26 Pesos or 2.10 US Dollars, you can be at Dreams in 18 minutes.

 

I had stayed at Dreams before for the site visit so I knew what to expect.  Dreams is beautiful.  Some people complain about it being dated but I love the resort and it is very much a fun resort during the day.  Check in went smoothly and the staff, for the most part, is amazing.  There were no cool towels but there was champagne. 

 

The room, (5526) was ready for us so we grabbed a drink at the lobby bar and went to the room.  The first thing we did was finish our OOT Bags to get that out of the way and unpacked.  I had asked for a good view of the ocean and was assured I had one in the room, but it wasnâ€t the case, however, it was good enough.  Once we were done with the bags we went to eat…

 

                Oceana Restaurant: B

The service here was not that great.  We had the calamari which was good to me and I had the fish tacos and an order of fries.  I thought they were actually pretty decent.  DH had the Marlin Quesadillas which were okay as well.  When all of my guests arrived a few days later they hated Oceana…dah well.

 

After we ate we went back to the room and changed into our swim gear to check out the swim up bar at the adult pool…

Oceana Swim Up Bar: A

The servers at the swim up bar were excellent.  I hear people over the internet complain about the watered down drinks.  All you have to do is ask for what you want.  If you want a triple, ask for it.  I did and boy did DH!  We chilled here for a while and then retired back to the room.

 

The only other thing we did this first day that could be reviewed was dinner at El Patio.

 

               El Patio: A

DH doesnâ€t remember his food, hell he doesnâ€t even remember eating, so I canâ€t review it.  But, I had the Tampequeneira (I butchered that spelling) Steak but it was amazing.  I had it several times and loved it each time.

 

May 22, 2012

 

Today was a day set aside for meeting with Magda and all outside vendors.

 

Magda: C

 

My first meeting was at 10:00AM in the lobby.  Magda was there and waiting.  This meeting was very quick and I was able to drop off my chair sashes and some other things to her.  Despite the fact that this meeting went well, Magda gets a C for her rating and would have gotten a D if it werenâ€t for the way the ceremony and reception came together.  Iâ€ll just go ahead and do her full review here even though some of the things happened after the 22nd.

 

I will give Magda some credit in that there were soo many weddings this week.  However, I think it has been well established that Dreams has lots of weddings and thus she doesnâ€t get much of a break for her sometimes lackadaisical attitude.

 

My first incident with Magda happened a week before the wedding. I was tying up loose ends with Magda and she reminded me that the day pass was 95.00 and that they had been that price since 2011.  I told her that she quoted me a price of 89.00.  I had to forward her our old emails and she did finally agree to honor that price.

 

The next incident was Thursday, an hour or so before the rehearsal.  I had 5 guests staying offsite, two of which were my bridesmaids.  Two of those guests arrived and we proceeded to check-in to get their day passes paid for.  Wendy at check in said that if guests arrive after noon, they only pay a percentage of the 95.00 day pass fee, 59.00.  I said, ok well our guest pass fees are 89.00 so what is our percentage.  She looked at me in a confused manner and phoned Magda.  Wendy got off the phone and said Magda told me that your guests do not get the 59.00 fee and that no matter what time my guests got there they had to pay 89.00. 

 

Myself, along with the other two people at the counter with me were floored.  That made absolutely no sense and I was offended.  I told her that there was no way I would stand by and watch my guests be “punished†because they were at my wedding.  Wendy excused herself to the back and came back and said, okay, we will honor the 59.00.  Then I became worried about the other 3 guests that would be coming shortly and Wendy said, I will have to charge them the full fee, you will have to talk to Magda.  I blew a fuse and was ready to skip the upcoming rehearsal to deal with this issue.  After a few more calls, she finally agreed that they would pay 59.00 but of course, I was worried.

 

The next incident with Magda was a few hours later.  Towards the end of the rehearsal I get a frantic text from my other 3 guests (they were coming off a delayed flight and were late) saying that they were being held at the gate and not being allowed to enter the resort.  I told Magda and she said, I will handle it but after we are done.  Okay, I was so done at this point.  I left the rehearsal to go make sure my guests were okay.  I hated the thought of them just being held outside the gates of Dreams! 

 

When I made it to the front desk, Wendy was on the phone and I heard her saying something about 3 people being at the gate.  So I said, oh those are my guests, why are they being held at the gate.  Wendy hanged up the phone, looked at me and said she didnâ€t know what I was talking about.  I was in disbelief so I told her that I had just gotten the text that my guests are at the gate and that I figured that that was why she was on the phone and she said let me call the gate.  She calls the gate and then tells me, “No one is being held at the gateâ€.  I was in tears at this point because I had no idea what the hell was going on. 

 

At this point, Magda comes up and she tells me that your guests are in the gate now so whatâ€s the problem.  I become livid and irate and explain to her how disrespectful it is to ask me “whatâ€s the problem?†when my guests are being held and Iâ€m being lied to.  Then I go on to tell her how I donâ€t appreciate the whole 89.00/59.00 ordeal and she tells me that she never said that to Wendy and that she told Wendy to charge them 59.00.  I was ready to throw in the towel. 

Magda walks off from me and goes to DH, telling him that she wants to talk to him for a minute.  I try to calm myself down while she tells him that sheâ€s used to dealing with brides like me (Iâ€m still trying to figure out how I want to take that but I guess at this point it doesnâ€t really matter). 

 

I join DH and as I am trying to explain why I am so upset, she refuses to look at me; she completely ignores me until I wave my hands at her and ask her if she is seriously going to stand there and ignore me.  She then tells me that my guests need to be on time and if a rehearsal is at 3 they need to be there early.  Iâ€m trying to figure out what the hell that has to do with what was going on so I just walk off.

 

Let me tell you, Magda was excellent the day of, but I was worried the rest of the week because of everything that happened on the 22nd.

 

Enrique Morales: A

www.emweddings.com

 

This rating/review is based on the meeting alone.

 

My next meeting was at 11:00AM and it was with my photographer.  I was very nervous about using Enrique because there were not many reviews.  Well, at the meeting he was great and very personable and on time.  I was a little more at ease after finally putting a face to the emails.

 

Emporio Arte Floral: F

 

Sidebar:  I need to give you guys a little background about how I ended up with Emporio over Florenta. This gets kind of confusing.  We started off with Lola because Magda (WC) told me we HAD to use her as the vendor.  Well, for me, the prices were outrageous but I had to go with her so we paid the 150.00 deposit.  Then, at the site visit, Magda tells me they have a new vendor that we can use.  I contacted Alina with Emporio Flowers and their prices were MUCH better and they were easier to communicate with.  However, I already paid the deposit.  None of the contracts said non-refundable but Lola insisted it was.  I wasnâ€t going to argue anymore so I used up the deposit by letting her do the bouquet and bridesmaids flowers and the boutonnieres.  The difference in money was worth the headache, or so I thought, to use both vendors.

 

This rating/review is based on the meeting alone.

 

This meeting was supposed to happen at 12:30pm and I was supposed to pay.  Alina told me beforehand that I had to pay with check or cash so I had a check made out and ready for her.  Well, she never showed.  Two and half hours after the meeting was to take place I get a call in my room from the front desk saying she was on the phone and they would connect me and I was never connected.  She never called back.  I was so nervous because they were doing my centerpieces so we got in the car and drove to their store in Cabo San Lucas.  Boy was she surprised to see me.  She gives me a halfhearted apology about having a personal issue and I ended up just paying there.  But of course, now I am worried if she is even going to show up on Friday with my centerpieces.

 

Maroâ€s Shrimp House—

 

Since we were already in Cabo and this place had great reviews on Trip Advisor we walked right over to have lunch.  Now, I was dieting today because I didnâ€t want to gain any weight before Friday.  I had grilled shrimp and grilled lobster and it was actually really good.  I canâ€t give it a rating though because of the Montezumaâ€s Revenge I got that day…yeah, that story comes up later…

 

Seaside Grill: ---

I mean, I seriously think this is just supposed to be a place to go eat after you have been drinking all day and need grease.  Fries, burgers, hot dogs and a pretty weak buffet.  We ate here during the two hour wait for Alina with Emprio.  I had some lettuce and grilled fish.  This one is out of order because I couldnâ€t figure out how to fit in but felt it was necessary to mention because…

 

MONTEZUMAâ€S REVENGEsick.gif smile41.gif

 

Advisory: This may get too graphic.

 

We were headed out the door to try Himatsu and my stomach started to cramp, at about 7:30pm.  I went to the restroom and sat down and did not remove my arse from the toilet until 12:30…5 hours later.  I swear to you, I donâ€t have kids so I donâ€t know what contractions are like but after this I donâ€t think I ever want to know.  Accompanying the violent diarrhea was extreme chills and sweating.  DH stayed in that bathroom with me the ENTIRE TIME (poor thing) and wanted to take me to the hospital but the last thing I wanted to do was go to a hosptial...I don't even know if I would have made it.  The cramps, if you can call them that, seriously feel like what I would think it would feel like if a bear was clawing and chewing my guts.  At 12:30 am, I puked all of my guts out.  I havenâ€t thrown up in about a decade so I knew it was bad.  I donâ€t know what caused it because I only ate at Maroâ€s and Seaside and I didnâ€t eat much at either that day.  So much for healthy eating!  I was finally able to pry myself from the porcelain and sleep propped up for a few hours.

 

WHAT A DAY!

 

May 23, 2012

 

With a tortured stomach, it was time for mommy to get in.  If any of you are thinking of picking up your guests from the airport with your rental car, DONâ€T.  I didnâ€t even pick up all of my guests, just a few and I was exhausted.  Of the entire trip, we were the only ones that did not get caught up in customs.  We didnâ€t get mommy until an hour after she arrived.  She had a tough fight with them over the wedding rose petals but she got them in!  (They were freeze dried)

 

When we got to Dreams for check in, mommy was on the first floor which was absurd to me.  I wanted her near me so after some going back and forth, they did move her to the 4th floor, right under me.

 

Mom was hungry but by the time we got settled in, guess what?  The only place open was Seaside Grill.  I did not want to scare anyone with my illness the day before so I sucked it up and had some fries.  (Yea, diet really gone now, but I did work out!)  She hated the food at Seaside =(.

 

MexSun Spa: Ummmm B-/C+ish

 

I just canâ€t decide which one.  I had scheduled a mani/pedi and pedi for mommy at MexSun Spa in San Jose Del Cabo.  Kelli was great to work with via email and very quick to respond.  Once these appointments were set up she emailed me back and asked if I wanted to take advantage of free Shellac (which is similar to the gel polish) since it was the promotion.  I said sure and we were all set. 

 

We got to the spa and well, it was just okay.  The person checking me in tried to charge me for the Shellac (binder with emails would have been handy but I forgot to bring it to the spa)  I think she stepped outside to call Kelli and eventually agreed to do for the quoted price.

 

The manicure was okay, the pedicure didnâ€t last long.  The price was reasonable for comparables from this site (40.00USD for mani/pedi combo and 25.00/pedi) but the job was mediocre.  The manicurist was really sweet but the pedicurist was not.  Then, when it was time to pay, the lady at the front desk basically asked me if I thought the $8.00 tip was enough for the workers.  I wanted to say something really slick but I just smiled and said yes.

 

(I know this doesnâ€t seem like that great of a review so far but I promise, it gets better!)

 

May 24, 2012

 

THE GUESTS ARE COMING!!! welcome.gif

 

We discovered that we had about 9 guests getting in on the same flight so we arranged transportation.

 

Transcabo: A+

 

I mean, they were fast, efficient, and on time with my guests.  They answered all my questions.  I paid for a one way private transfer to the resort.  It was 125.00 for up to 14 people.  I have no complaints about them.

 

Checkin: A

 

I met all the guests downstairs and handed out the OOT Bags.  They were all given/offered champagne and cool towels.  The majority of them were grouped together on the first floor.

 

Rehearsal: B

 

This is independent of the earlier stuff with Magda.  The rehearsal was fine, it was about 10 minutes long and I guess it served its purpose.

 

Welcome Dinner: A

El Patio Restaurant

 

We are casual people with casual friends.  We had one long table set up and actually did not have to wait at all, which was good because they do not take reservations.  The rehearsal was at 7:00pm.  The waiter brought out a couple of each of the appetizers on the menu and then took individual orders.  I wish I would have put together a little speech or played a meeting game or something but I was out of it by Thursday and just happen to have the first three days behind me.

 

cheer2.gifMAY 25, 2012 THE BIG DAY!!!cheer2.gif

 

It went by so quickly and if you set a schedule, expect to deter from it.  I got up had a light breakfast and worked out.  Then I twiddled my thumbs for a while.  I went to the pool for a while and then twiddled my thumbs some more.  Then everything seemed to creep up and hit me at once.

 

Enrique arrived at 4:15 as promised, to start with getting ready pics.  I got ready took pics and then at 5:02 I headed down to the gazebo.

 

Reverend Arechiga: A++++

 

Everything that you have heard about this man is right.  He was awesome, amazing, wonderful, great, I mean, words cannot describe how honored and great it was to have him!  He was FANTASTIC.  All of the guests, including MOM, talked about how awesome he was and she is a tough critic.

 

Photography/Videography: Enrique Morales: A+

 

This is based solely on his delivery, promptness and overall demeanor.  I do not have pics yet to judge those.

 

Enrique is an absolute pleasure to work with.  He had a second photographer and two videographers.  They were also so attentive and Enrique gave great direction, he didnâ€t rush and you can tell he loves what he does.  I only paid for two hours of videography and he ended up having the videographers stay the ENTIRE TIME.  I canâ€t wait for the pics.

 

Cake: Jennifer Hatton: A+

 

My only sadness is that I never got to meet her in person.  I am posting my inspiration pic and my cake.  It wasn't an exact replica but I thought it was so cute and delicious.  When the cake came out, a few people had frozen pieces. =(  But, my piece was great and I am afraid to know what she put in it that it is still fresh to this day.  It was even better room temperature!! And yes, I brought the top piece home….and am not saving it for a year.  The two flavors were Vanilla with white chocolate strawberry mousse and then red velvet.  The outside was buttercream.  I was afraid of it melting but it did not.

 

I also had Jennifer make her famous chocolate cake infused with Kahlua for a friendâ€s birthday the following Tuesday and it was AMAZING.

 

cake.jpg               ourcake.jpg

Inspiration Cake                                          Our Cake

 

As for the Dreams cake; Magda did upgrade it to a two tier cake for free.  We got the chocolate cake and it was AWFUL.  We ended up leaving ¾ of the cake in our room.  It was bad.

 

Flowers: Emporio A

 

The centerpieces are FANTASTIC.  My idea came together better than I imagined.  I did by a flower for the cake but it never made it on the cake…and I never saw it again…oh well.

 

centerpiece.jpg                 centerpiecesours.jpg

Inspiration Pic                                                                                   Our centerpieces

 

Florenta:

I only had calla lilies, for everything…yellow and white ones…they were fine.

 

 

Food: A

  • Appetizer: Shrimp Puff Pastry.  TOO DIE FOR.  I had some guests get a second one. 
  • Soup: Cream Corn Soup.  DELIGHTFUL.  Everyone raved about
  • Entrée: Either Chicken stuff with tiger shrimp and chees in red bell pepper sauce or beef tenderloin.  I had the chicken and it was great.  I also heard good things about the steak.
  • Dessert:  Magda told me it was included and that I could not get a discount if I chose to just have cake so we had the brownie with ice cream.  By this time, everyone was full and dancing.  I went to our table for a bite and it was actually quite good but I was stuffed and having a blast.

 

Overall Ceremony and Reception: A

 

We were married at the gazebo.  It is quite close to the restaurant but they do clear the area out so that people arenâ€t sitting right there gawking at you.  Having the waves in the background was gorgeous.  I must say the ceremony and the reception flowed seamlessly.  I handed Magda a suitcase filled with wedding crap and décor and she set it up as I requested.  I think the only thing out of place was the fact that the flower was not on the cake. 

 

gazebo.jpg

This pic was before they put down the rose petals.

 

The reception was held at the Cascada Terrace, despite the fact that we had a small group.  At the time that I reserved Dreams, there was another wedding happening that day so it is all that was available.  I loved it.  We had five round tables and a sweetheart table along with the bar set up on the top level and the sound system and white and yellow lanterns adorned the bottom level which served as our dance floor.

 

To Magdaâ€s credit I also asked for a yellow signature drink and she made it happen.  It was served at the cocktail hour and during the reception.  She also had one waiting for my mother and me when we got downstairs but I couldnâ€t drink anything.

 

alanaandbrandon.jpg

 

We has so much fun at the reception, everyone raved about it and we had a few wedding crashers as well.

 

Other Randoms:

 

Himatsu Restaurant: A+

 

By far my favorite place restaurant.  I love sushi and theirâ€s was awesome.  There is not a huge selection but it was good.  The pad thai was awesome and they have this fried shrimp stuff with cream cheese that just made my mouth water thinking about it.  OMG, the fried ice cream…yes people…It is a small restaurant but we never had a wait.

 

OOT Bags: B

 

Um, yeah a big pain but they were appreciated.  People used the Sudoku/crossword books and they loved the little facebook I put together.  I did see a few people working on a crossword puzzle that we put together with facts about us.  I wish that I would have incorporated that into the welcome dinner and given a way a prize or something for the most correct answers.  People also used the survival kits and cups.  No one used the beach balls or water guns.  The bags were fun to put together though!  Well, kind of.

 

Gym: B

 

It gets an “A†among hotel gyms.  For a hotel/resort gym I was satisfied.  There are 5 treadmills, 4 elliptical machines, 3 bikes and lots of free weights.  They have cool towels and towels to work out with.

 

El Patio Breakfast Buffet: B

 

This is the only place I had breakfast and I like it because there is a lot there.  Is it the best breakfast I have ever had?  No.  But, we have to remember that we are in a different country, at a resort that has to feed a lot of people.  I was definitely satiated after eating there each morning.

 

Tipping

 

Myself and all of my guests always tipped a little extra.  The staff, especially the bartenders, are so nice and we made friends with many of them.  I usually tipped the bartenders one or two dollars and housekeeping didnâ€t get tipped everyday but maybe 3 times, about 5 dollars each time.

 

Ladies, my biggest advice, try not to sweat the small stuff and please please enjoy your day…it FLIES by. 

 

I humbly thank all of the brides before me because I am sure that 90% of my ideas came from this site!

 

rosepetalsandgroomsmen.jpg

Groomsmen Outfits and yellow Rose Petals

 

bridesmaidsandboo.jpg

My BFF/BM sang as I walked down the aisle

 

momandme.jpg

Mom and Me

 

us.jpg

My loverboy and Me

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Wow! What a thorough review. Sorry to read that some of it wasn't quiet as planned..... but the fact that your days was amazing hopefully makes up for it!  :) Welcome back and to married life!

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Thank you so much for taking the time to write this review! Sorry to hear you got sick and had some obstacles during the week The photos you posted sure make it look amazing! Congratulations!
 

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Great pics! Love your cake!! I didn't notice in your review if you got your hair done at the salon at Dreams or not. If so - what did you think? thanks - hope married life is treating you well :)

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McLecker: My bridesmaids, my mom, and MIL are getting their hair done at the Dreams Salon for our 9-22-2012 wedding. I will be sure to include a review of the salon. I am having Neysa Berman do my hair and make up, as well as make up for my mom and MIL.

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