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WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN GETTING MARRIED AT THE GRAN CARIBE REAL IN CANCUN MEXICO

I recently shot a wedding at the Gran Caribe Real resort, it is a hotel on the "zona hotelera" (hotel zone) of Cancun Mexico.  If you want to know the pros and cons of having your wedding here, you need to read this un-biased article. 

I was at the hotel in late August, the high was 90 degrees.  I don't know the exact % of humidity but it was horrible, 90 degree weather and high humidity is not a good mix.  The bride that I shot loved the steaming hot weather, but I think she was the only one.  I remember during the ceremony while the group was waiting for the bride to arrive, they stood in the shade to get out of the heat.  All brides getting married in Cancun during the months of June through August need to rememeber it will be HOT and HUMID.  The other problem with the heat and humidity is that people sweat, when people sweat there is glare in the pictures.  A towel is useful to dry off, so if you are getting married during this time be sure to bring one!  The fact that it was hot is obviously not a reflection of the Hotel El Gran Caribe Real.  Without further adeu, here are the pros and cons of staying at the resort and having your wedding there...


PROS


1. The beaches, they are beautiful.  The sand is soft, and the hotel provides plenty of beach chairs and towels.  The beach in front of the hotel pool is a cove, one half of it is rock, but its good because it creates a convenient closed in area to swim and enjoy.  The beach has a perfect depth as well, it gets waist deep about 20 feet out, and a slow slope from there out.  The color of the water is the Cancun style aqua, teal, and dark blue, it's amazing.  Some might think that all the beaches in the Cancun area are that well known bluish color, well they are not, read a few of my other Cancun wedding hotel reviews to see which ones.

2. The staff, they are really friendly.  When I checked in the front desk put my name up on a big screen, it was very welcoming.  The food servers and cooks were funny and cool, I gave them a chance by speaking a little spanish to them, and they impressed.

3. The view, its one of a kind.  When you are out at the edge of the water you can look left or look right and almost as far as the eyes can see... hotels.  In a way seeing that many hotels is comforting, you know your getting married in a place a lot of people do.  There are plenty of rooms, and it looked like most of them have a beach view.  The hotel is setup like a V, so some of the rooms are on the ocean side and some are on the lagoon side.


CONS


1. They wouldn't stop hounding me about my "welcome packet" which obviously had something they wanted to sell me in it, or they wouldn't have called me literally 6 times in the three days I was there.  I don't blame the employees, I just think the mangement needs to stop making their employees hound the guests.  When I called to setup my transportation back to the hotel they told me I couldn't set it up without getting my welcome packet, not cool.  So I went down and told the guy I was not into the whole time share thing, and he said that is exactly what it is and to not worry, so he "signed me off".  Refer to the above reference to how I liked the staff. 

2. Cheezy activities.  Nothing is worse than headache loud showtunes on crack blasting at the pool area right outside your window after a long night.  They mixed in a few good songs, but they should wait until later on in the day to start the madness.  I didn't actually go down to the pool and partake of the activities, again they looked too cheezy.  When I am on vacation I don't like to see people dressed up as clowns making people dance. 

3. The food wasn't the best, which is basically a nice way of saying it sucked.  The only thing that I liked to eat was the breakfast food, one dish in particular, the chilaquiles (pronounced chee la kee lays).  When you go to an all inclusive you have to expect the food to be mediocre, but this food was one step below mediocre. 


I give El Gran Caribe Real Cancun a 5 out of 10. 


When it comes to the wedding I saw more good than bad.  The Ceremony location was on a really nice terrace, so if you are looking for a beach wedding this is not the place.  They may offer a beach ceremony, but the wedding I shot was not.  There was a nice shaded spot for family photos down at the beach after the ceremony.  Dinner was held under a palapa by the beach.  The reception/dancing took place right next to the palapa after dinner so the guests didn’t have to go far.  The bartenders/servers were really cool guys, they joked around, danced, and had a good time with all the guests.  The wedding coordinator didn't give me a hard time for not being a "resort wedding photographer", which was a nice surprise.  Some of the other all-inclusive resorts have hassled me for being an outside photographer.  There are only a couple things that could have been better at the wedding.  There was no spot to cool off after the ceremony, its always nice to have that.  I like weddings right on the sand, and the Gran Caribe Real has such a beautiful beach, I wonder why they didn't have the ceremony right there.  The neighboring sister resort, which looked a lot nicer, was not accessible, which I thought was weird  It seemed like I was in coach and first class was right next door and they closed that little curtain that says you can't come across, in this case it was a gate with a keycard.  People from the neighboring property were allowed to come over to ours, but our room keys wouldn't allow us there... weak.