I had a wonderful experience at the Gran Caribe Real for my wedding!
Having never been to this resort prior to my wedding, and never having been to a destination wedding, I had many hopes and also a few fears about what to expect upon my arrival to the resort. Although our experience at the front desk/check in was lacking, I was absolutely blown away with my wedding experience! I met with my coordinator, Elizabeth (who was amazing!), on the first day and she walked me through all the planned details of my welcome cocktail, rehearsal dinner, ceremony and reception. She then showed me to all of the venue sites. I really felt that she was on top of things. I also met with the Catholic priest who would be officiating the ceremony in the chapel (which is gorgeous!) and loved how personable and friendly he was. When I arrived at my welcome cocktail reception and saw how beautifully it was put together, I knew that the rest of my events would also be well done. Each of my events exceeded my expectations! The details were flawless and Elizabeth took care of everything. I didn't have to worry about anything! The only flaw I had was that at my rehearsal dinner all of my vegetarians were served salad dishes with meat in them, but it was a simple mistake that was quickly resolved. The service at each event was exceptional! I have to especially thank Jesus, who served us through every event and was absolutely wonderful! My 60 guests were amazed at the whole experience and I heard many if not most of them say that it was the best wedding they had ever been to. I cannot praise Elizabeth enough for her hard work, kind demeanor, organization and overall flawless coordination of our wedding. I'm sure she has made many other brides very happy. Here are my individual comments on my overall experience:
Resort: B+ Beautiful resort which is great for families and kids. We had children in our wedding so needed this type of atmosphere. THe kids zone is amazing with waterslides and a big pirate ship to play in. They also hold activities for the kids. Our nephews (3,3,5) had the time of their lives! We also had fun going down the adults water slide. If you are only having adults at your wedding I would suggest using the sister resort The Royal Cancun next door. It is gorgeous and a bit of a step up from the Gran Caribe. We had a high enough suite level that we had access to this resort and loved sneaking away there occasionally. However, the Gran Caribe, in my opinion has the best wedding venues of all the Real Resorts and wouldn't have changed any of my choices there!
Check-in and the front desk experience were pretty bad, but it was a holiday weekend and the resort was booked solid so I imagine that effected our experience a bit.
Rooms: A- The rooms overall were pretty nice. The higher level suites were great, but the basic junior suites were ok. We upgraded to a Gran Master Suite Ocean Front....it was gorgeous! We had plenty of space to get ready in, the double jacuzzi, a wonderful view overlooking the main pool and ocean and my rooftop reception venue. We also had access to the Royal and VIP lounge which were wonderful. On two different nights we had about 20 people in our room to hang out and it was a blast.
Wedding Coordinator: A++ We had Elizabeth! She is a live saver. She was on top of every detail and was there to help for whatever I needed. I didn't have to worry about anything. She was very kind, and was great with my mom (who was panicked about the whole destination wedding at first), who also absolutely loved her! After meeting Elizabeth my mom said that she had no worries about how my wedding would go.
Welcome Cocktail: A+ We had it on the Villas Terrace which is beautiful. They served all of my guests welcome margaritas with little umbrellas as they entered and of course had a bar set up to serve anything else my guests wanted. There were also cocktail tables, tiki torches and a buffet of mexican appatizers served. My guests (many of which I saw for the first time at the cocktail) were in awe at how beautifully it was done. I don't think people knew what to expect of this type of wedding, but they were blown away. We also brought our own ipod and a pre-made song list and they had a sound system set up for us. It was perfect.
Rehearsal Dinner: A+ We had our rehearsal dinner on the beach for all 60 or so of our guests. It was again beautiful. I was worried that it being on the beach that random resort guests would be able to walk through but it was very private. There were rope lights in the sand surrounding all of my tables and kind of roping off our area. The palm trees surrounded the area and also had lights around them. Tiki torches surrounded the perimeter. Once it got dark it was very beautiful with all the lights. The food was excellent, aside from the misunderstanding in which my vegetarians got salads with meat in them but it was fixed so quickly that it didn't really matter! Again they had a sound system set up in which we prepared our own music on an ipod and it was perfect. They also had a microphone so that the groom and I could give speeches and pass out gifts. At the end of the night we hired fire dancers as a surprise to our guests. It was awesome and everyone loved it! Great night overall.
Ceremony: A+ Our ceremony was held at the Catholic Chapel. It was gorgeous! The flowers far exceeded my expectations. We had flowers on the pews, at the alter and on either side of the alter and they were beautiful. The weather was hot but I provided raffia fans for my guests and they seemed to be fine because there is a breeze that goes through the chapel. (I was dying in my dress but I knew that was gonna happen) The view of the chapel overlooking the ocean is the most beautiful thing! The priest was awesome! He had some difficulty with his microphone but it wasn't too bad. We also had a harpist play for our ceremony which was perfect.
Cocktail Hour:?? A+ Because we were off taking pictures we missed it completely but our guests raved about it. We hired a mariachi band to play for the hour and they were a big hit! We also had hot and cold h'ordeurves and they were apparently very numerous and amazing. Supposedly better then our meal itself (i'm sad i missed it!)
Reception: A++ Our reception was AWESOME! It was easily the best time I've ever had. We had it on the rooftop terrace which was beautiful. The perfect location. The pictures on the website still show this ugly indoor outdoor green carpeting, but it was changed to a pretty tile and it made all the difference in the world. We rented the light up dance floor which was such a huge hit! We have a wild group and everyone was dancing all night long. The food was OK. All of their beef fillet options are good but I wouldn't recommend the chicken stuffed with seafood (not that great) The cake looked beautiful but I never got to eat it! The service again was wonderful and no one ever had trouble getting a drink. We hired DJ DOREMIXX. They were awesome! We gave them a list of songs that we wanted to hear and they filled in the rest. They did not disappoint. Our guests loved them...and they didn't talk throughout which I liked. They handed out balloons and masks during the dancing which was a lot of fun. At the last song they shot off cold fireworks and my guests went crazy!! Awesome DJs.
Photographer: A++ Sascha Gluck. Sascha and his assistant were wonderful to work with. He was right out there on the dance floor capturing great moments but never seemed to be in the way. I hardly noticed him. My husband and I were very pleased with him and many of our guests made comments about how much they liked him. Great guy! I would definitely recommend his services. Can't wait to see the photos!
OVERALL A+. Wonderful experience...wish I could do it again. This resort group (REAL) obviously puts on a lot of weddings and definitely know what they are doing. I hope this helps ladies!!!