Do Not Book Your Wedding Here
First, let me preface this by saying that had it not been for the disaster of letting Special Events plan our wedding and the unprofessionalism of the Royal Caribbean Resort managers, we would have nothing but kind things to say about our stay. However, when one drops a small fortune that they work hard for, only to be met with careless results, it’s not going to be good.We’ll begin with the good: All of the employees at the Royal Caribbean who work in direct-guest care are amazing. They all tried to be accommodating to their best abilities. Our concierge, Fredery, was patient as we asked him a million questions from where to go, where to eat, how to get there, who to contact, etc. He was fun and funny and made our stay great. The hard-working housekeepers are humble and diligent. Ours was named Anacleto and he kept out suite pristine. Although we tried our best not to make a mess, he was the real hero in sweeping out tons of sand that would make it back from the beach. ALL of the employees at the TradeWinds Restaurant were just SO kind. They would be there the second you ran out of coffee and would pull out a chair for you when you first got there. The grill cook especially was the sweetest (I forget her name but she works in the evenings, has glasses, and the kindest smile you will ever see). Our bellboys Menchor and Felix were quick and efficient and kept our luggage safe until it was time to bring it up. If our interactions had only been with them, I can’t stress how nicely our trip would have been. Seriously, my only complaints with the resort was that the gym is not included and you have to pay $8 (USD) a day to work out, and that if you need to do some laundry they charge you about $6 for a load. Not cool, but really a minor inconvenience unless you’re VERY set on working out during your vacation or run out of clothes.Now to the bad: To give a timeline of our stay, we arrive on August 19, were set for our wedding on the 21st, and were due to leave the 26th. When we got there on the 19th I expected a message or some form of communication from our “wedding planner”, Karina, whom I had been emailing with extensively for months in planning this event. There was none, and by the evening I started getting a little antsy so I decide to email her to ask when we are to meet. She emails back fairly quickly asking which suite we are staying in (which I would think they would have access to) and says she will drop by tomorrow at 3pm to drop off the flowers and review the details with me. That sounds great so I let her know as such. Well the next day comes (the 20th) and we go up to the room before 3 to meet with her. Well after about 30 minutes we’re wondering where the heck she is. Fredery managed to get us an extension number, but it did not work. Finally at about 4pm, we head down to the lobby to get someone down there to get ahold of her. After two people have tried to no avail, a manager from the Royal Caribbean comes to tell us that he has found out that she does not work that day, and that she will not answer her cell phone. Her office is not located in our resort, but rather at the sister resort, The Royal Sands. The office closed for the day, and they won’t open until 9am. When we ask if he can get us a ride over there to talk to her in the morning, he says that he does not have the means to authorize that and that we will have to wait on the hourly shuttle. He says that Special Events only partners with the hotel (although they take the name Royal Resorts and not a third-party company) and that there is nothing he can do to help us. We call him out on it and tell him how ridiculous that sounds and ask to speak to his boss, the manager over the resort. They tell us he won’t be in until 9am either, but that we can leave a message for him to get back to us. Obviously I am freaking out because it’s the day before my wedding and I have no idea what’s going on and no one is helping. My family is able to calm me down, and we decide to give it a rest for the night. The next day we arrive at the lobby at 9am to speak to the head manager. Initially they tell us he is not in the office, but a few moments later he steps out to guide us into his office. He says he has already heard our complaints and point blank asks us what we want him to do about it. We tell him that all we wanted from him was to get us a ride over to their office to speak. He again says he has no means to do that and tell us to wait on the hourly shuttle. When I say that’s ridiculous with the amount of personal shuttles and taxis the resort has, he says he can call them to get Karina there, which he does although very rudely and pushes us out of his office. When Karina gets there, we immediately begin on how irresponsible and unprofessional it is to set up a time to meet only to not even be working that day. Her manager cuts us off and says Karina made a SIMPLE mistake and meant to meet with us today (the 21st) at 3pm. When I tell her how insane that sounds, to meet with me TWO HOURS before my event to run through everything, she says that they always do that, that she has everything under control. After arguing about how impractical that is, how they need to keep THE BRIDE in the loop and not spring everything up when I’m supposed to be getting ready, and how the very LEAST she could have done after seeing 20 missed calls from work was emailed me back or called me to let me know she was not going to be there yesterday. She has the audacity to say that it would not be professional to keep my phone number in her contacts. Like seriously, that is EXACTLY what a wedding planner is supposed to do, it’s in the job description! But after an hour of arguing with these women, neither owned up to their irresponsible acts and they both kept telling me I was worrying for nothing. That was really the frustrating part, the lack of accountability. After we tried to move past all that, I asked them the million questions I rightfully had. One of them was what would happen if my event got rained out. They said I could either move the date, or move indoors in the lobby of the Royal Islander, which let me tell you is neither beautiful nor special and certainly where no one dreams of being married in. This was especially disappointing considering that various other Resorts in the Hotel Zone of Cancun do have a designated ballroom or salon of some sort when weather occurs, so to be sent to the lobby is not great. Well anyway, our event did of course get stormed out because that’s how our luck was going. The big issue was that they offered (to their credit) to let me get married that same day, which is special to us, in the lobby and they would offer a make-up photo session sometime later in the week when the weather cleared up. I told them that I could not afford to get my hair done another day, and they helped set me up with the Royal Sands Spa to get my hair done again at discount. We decided to move the even to later in the week, but then the issue was in keeping the integrity of the fresh flowers. After a lot more arguing, they agreed that they would keep them and replace any flowers that wilted until the 24th. Well the 24th came and I thought everything was going ok. I got my hair done and returned to do my makeup in the suite. Well about an hour out from the event, I realized that Karina had not come up to the room and did not seem to have any intention of doing so. I sent my poor fiancée down multiple times to figure out what was going on. It turns out that there was no florist there and that Karina was trying to fix the bouquet herself, on the beach, in the last hour. My now husband described it as a mess of flowers. He brought the bouquet upstairs to me and I noticed how horribly wilted it had gotten, especially my beloved lilies. I asked him to ask is she was going to come upstairs at all to check things with me. He replied that she told him “no, because I’m pregnant”. There is an elevator, no one asked her to trudge up eight flights of stairs, and that is no reason not to. Well anyway after this exhausting and stressing game of telephone, she comes upstairs (even though she’s pregnant!) to get me and walk me down to where I’m supposed to be. When she hands me the bouquet, she has chopped out half of it. Even the big pretty lily at the bottom which was supposed to give it a “teardrop shape” was yanked out when all I asked her was to have it face forward; it wasn’t even wilted, and she took it out. There were a total of two lilies left in my bouquet, and she added a ton of roses which I do not like. My husband’s boutonnière was also replaced with a rose. Had we taken care of it, it would not have been wilted to that degree, especially considering that when I first saw the bouquet on the 21st, the flowers had not even yet bloomed, but that’s a whole other issue. So anyway, the TL; DR is to not book your wedding with them unless you just want a bunch of stress and tears. My husband and I are pretty easygoing people who like to find the humor in everything, and we have. We now tell the story of how two sweet elderly ladies were walking in front of me as I walked down the aisle, because of course our wedding planner didn’t ask them to either wait a moment or wait to start the music for my walk. We laugh about how our family crest will now be a white beach chair because on our “private dinner” a big old speedo-toting guy plopped his chair in front of our view with miles and miles of beach to his left and right, but again that was not our wedding planner’s issue. But yes, please keep in mind that no matter what they may tell you initially, and how they edit the photos, it really IS NOT and CANNOT be a private event. It is still a public beach, even on the resort front, and they DO NOT move people or cabanas or chairs or anything. I work hard for my money as I’m sure many of your reading this do. It was not easy to drop so much money for what I hoped would be the perfect day. And it is especially even more difficult to see your hard-earned dollars wasted when someone doesn’t do their job well and doesn’t care about your special day. The resort itself and its wonderful employees are worth the expense, the high-up managers and Special Events coordinators are not. I will say though, for how laughably horrible this whole event went, it really, cheesily showed me how it all melted away when I saw my husband waiting for me at the end of the aisle. I certainly cherish that.