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Advice please!

Ok so we were meant to be getting married in cuba not until 2015, so nothing is booked yet.

The reviews for the hotel have always been good and the hotel we picked was a recommended  wedding hotel.

We had problems with OHs family over the hotel (long story!) 

We keep looking at the reviews and have seen that there have been lots of complaints about food lately, and large number of sickness bugs including people having to go to drs out there and having injections etc!. I have also just read comments about there being protestutes and pimps!! i know its normally people moaning about things but most the time the reviews are good on this one! 


This was the second best hotel in the area, and from Gatwick they only fly to holguin and most of ours guests would be able to afford the number one hotel and its for adults only! 

Also thomson/first choice have dropped cuba because of the standardof food isn't good enough apparently!! Is this a sign we aren't meant to get married here?! What do we do?!!  

Do we look for a different country and if so where?! or do we wait and see whether over time it gets better? We will be booking in April time for our wedding.


Any advice would be greatly appreciated! 


  • PopsyxxPopsyxx Posts: 1,009

    sorry most of our guests would only be able to afford this hotel and not the one that trip advisor are classing as number 1 xx

  • lola28lola28 Posts: 175

    hi as i was reading you post my heart sunk i think if you waited to see if it gets better you will worry yourself to death its stressfull enought without worring if the food is going to be crap and the guests are going to be ill or just dissapointed with the food , as you still have a bit of tme and you havent booked i would look at getting married somewhere else you want to be able to book and then sit back knowing its all going to be fantactic and all you need to do is your personal touches , its just my opion and im sure you have loads of people giving you advice, the only thing i will say is imagen if it was someone else telling you this what would your reaction be!! good luck and im really sorry this has happend but glad you have time to fix it


  • welshgracewelshgrace Posts: 1,224

    If you do reconsider the location, I would definitely recommend Mexico.  It offers great value for money as there is so much competition.  It seems to be a very popular place for destination weddings.

    To be honest, if I were you, I would probably look for somewhere else.  You don't want to be stressing about it for 18 months. 

  • PopsyxxPopsyxx Posts: 1,009

    i am so gutted image 


    have spent most the afternoon looking at different places but everywhere else seems to be so expensive image xx

  • Jo35Jo35 Posts: 305

    Oh popsyxx

    I feel so sad for you , it's hard when you're trying to find somewhere for everyone I did a lot of research on our hotel and it is hard but if you're worrying now and you've not booked it what would you be like further down the line when guests have booked , if it were me I would perhaps look at the budget and see if you can alter anything to see if you could go somewhere else it must be so hard when you've set your heart on going somewhere , but at the end of the day the decision on where to go lays with you and H2B! You have a while to sort things out so please don't stress too much image


  • LivelifeloveLivelifelove Posts: 1,024 New bride

    Oh no you must  be so stressed out. Have you tried contacting the agent you booked through and/or the hotel? It may be that they can offer a good deal on another hotel in the same group because of your concerns.

  • Oh no!

    I went through hotel wobbles when I started reading reviews (after booking) and Virgin were useless at putting my mind at rest saying 'it wasn't that bad' - er, HELLO this is a holiday and once in a lifetime event!

    I think on balance, I had to keep telling myself that generally only the really pleased and really pissed off tend to leave reviews and so would take a risk as all dealings I had had with the hotel had been great. We'll wait and see...

    In terms of destinations, there are some places which haven't got the same standards as the UK (I remember being on holiday in Tunisia a few years back and guests complaining as the hot water was coming out of the cold tap intermitently - this hotel was next to residences that had a well and no running water or electricity and donkeys running around! Kind of puts it into perspective!!!!) and this expectation  in itself, provokes people to moan and exaggerate (if you want egg and chips and 'British' standards then stay in the UK...) so would take most of the reviews with a pinch of salt. But it is definitely worth contacting the holiday company as if there is an issue and reps have been involved, the company will have a 'standard response' on which you can make a judgement.

    I have heard great things about Cuba but bear in mind that it is a communist country too and corruption and illegal activity such as prostitution, gun crime and drug and people trafficing is rife. I haven't been myself but like a lot of 'third world' countries I think most holiday companies advise to stick to the holiday resorts or at least, organised tours so as to not make yourself a target for local crime.

    There are lots of other latin american and carribbean destinations - was there a reason for picking Cuba specifically or would you widen the search?

  • PopsyxxPopsyxx Posts: 1,009

    hi pinkstars- we havent actually booked yet, can't book until april next year when the brochures come out, its just so disheartening though when youve found somewhere you love!

    i did ring up thomas cook to see where else they could suggest and i explained to the lady my concern and she said that we wouldn't regret going there, it is there number one hotel for weddings in cuba and if it was that bad they would have pulled out the contract with it! I said well thomson and first choice have pulled out with it! She didnt really have much to say to that, but she didn't seem to want to give any other countries/hotels and was quite persistant that we wouldn't be dissapointed in cuba! 


    There's not really a particular reason why we chose Cuba, but it was just somewhere we always wanted to go, the beaches are beautiful and we want to get married on the beach. But now we have our heart set on it and planned everything we want there, we don't really want to choose anywhere else image 


    But i guess we best look elsewhere is case thing do continue to go down hill, so ladies suggestions please!! 

    We are after the holiday to be about £1300 each for 14 nights, can push upto £1500 if we really have to! 

    The wedding package to be about £800- although we were going to pay £800 for the wedding package, then probably about another £800 when we were out there for flowers, the wedding breakfast, music etc. 

    Wedding on the beach, any would really love to have the evening meal on the beach too (we were going to have a bbq!)

    And hotel to be all inclusive! 


    Any ideas would be really appreciated!!xx

  • Santorini seems to be a really popular destination right now. One of my OH's friends is getting married there next year and I was looking to go there for honeymoon. 

    I would suggest really thinking about why you chose Cuba to begin with. If there is lots of things about it that you couldn't find anywhere else, then I think that's your mind made up. Personally, I wouldn't risk my one wedding being tainted by people getting ill from dodgy food, so for me I would definately rule out Cuba if there wasn't another suitable hotel you would be happy to stay in. But again, it's your wedding and only you and your fiance know for sure what you want from the day. 

    Best of luck with your decisions x

  • Hi Popsyxx

    I didn't know until we actually booked with Virgin, but apparently you can book the holiday and 'express interest' in a wedding package then as soon as the brochure is out for weddings, add that onto the holiday.

    If I were you, I would make an appointment at a few agents and pop in to ask them their opinion. They are generally really knowledgeable about destinations (having  been to a lot themselves). I can let you know what Barbados is like in a few weeks! image

    Good luck with the search and don;t give up! X

  • maggi68maggi68 Posts: 166

    Which hotel was it that you were looking at if you don't mind me asking?

    My parents have just returned from the Blau Costa Verde in Playa Pesquero and my auntie has been to a few hotels in the cayo coco area.

    I work in travel and as far as I am aware Thomson/ First Choice will still be selling Cuba for the forseeable future, do you just mean that they are stopping this hotel? It's very rare for a Tour Op to stop selling the hotel purely based on the food. It's likely that they have given Thomas Cook or someone else an exclusive contract or that they don't sell a lot of the rooms at the hotel. Thomson / First Choice have narrowed down their hotels lately so that could be why.

    Also when it comes to food poisoning, it's likely that there are a lot of people jumping on the bandwagon and claiming sickness in the hope of getting some sort of compo. When people go AI they tend to over indulge and that added to excess alcohol and the heat is what makes them ill, not the food itself. I used to work as a rep in Turkey and it amazed me what concoctions people would put together on their plates at the AI hotels. It would be chicken curry, mixed with omelettes and lamb casserole all one plate! And then they would wonder why they felt ill!!

    My parents have been lucky to have travelled to lots of destinations, and they did say that the only downside to their stay in Cuba was the prostitution. They went to Thailand a couple of years ago and saw quite a bit of it out there, but they did say that in Cuba it was even worse. My dad said he was a bit disgusted by some of the older men that had 'bought' young girls for a few days. He said some of them barely looked like teenagers so he said it made him feel uneasy. They were however very impressed with the hotel, as it was only a 3* and they'd only paid £700 each for two weeks AI. They said food was decent enough, although they did get a bit fed up by the end of the fortnight but they said that was more down to the fact that they have never done two weeks AI before and prefer to be able to try somewhere different each night.


  • PopsyxxPopsyxx Posts: 1,009

    we really want a caribbean island/ and to be further afield! don't really fancy greece, cyrpus, turkey etc. 


    oh barbados thats great, thanks for letting me know! think we are going to go into thomas cook next weekend and see what they say/ come up with! 


    maggi it was hotel playa apparently they are dropping the whole of cuba from april 2014. The lady said because they grow their own food which is used in the hotels and it isn't up to standards and too many people were coming back ill and complaining.

    I don't normally listen to all the reviews because i know that most the people tend to have a nag! and like to post the negatives, not positives. I can cope with people posting the food gets a bit boring after a week, and there isn't much choice! just panics me to read people getting seriously ill! image xx

  • PopsyxxPopsyxx Posts: 1,009

    these are some things that have been posted- 

    I'm pretty sure I got food poisoning at the Caribbean resturant...I've been back 8 days and I'm still suffering!




    My partner and I stayed here from the 9th to the 23rd. We are both well travelled and I have to say ive never suffered from any illness whilst abroad.

    Within 48hrs Sarah was ill and I was 24hrs behind her. At least 90% of guests that we spoke to were also ill. 

    People were on iv drips including old and young. Most had injections to stop the diarrhoea. We know it was food poisoning from the restaurant but trying to point the finger at any one food was near on impossible.

    There were people due to get married who were bed bound for 5 days, all in all a holiday from hell. Hotel is very tired and I felt sorry for the staff as they do try hard to be helpful.

    If your thinking about booking this place don't.



    .be warned if you are visiting with children,this hotel has pimps and prostitutes working from the lobby area,when we mentioned it to our hotel rep,he was aware of what was going on,but shrugged it off..(for a family hotel i think this is disgraceful)..i would say nearly 75% of the holiday makers at the hotel when we were there all came down with some kind of sickness/tummy bug,it wasnt until people were dropping like flies




  • Gosh no wonder you are having second thoughts.

    There are loads of places in the Carribbean... you'll have lots of fun looking! image

  • maggi68maggi68 Posts: 166

    I have to say that hotel doesn't sound too promising so I can understand why you wouldn;t want to go there. I have just had a google and from reading some travel trade press it seems thomson have dropped it as they just didnt have enough people booking it, obviously they only have so many planes and had introduced new destinations so decided to drop cuba.

    I honestly dont think they would drop the whole of cuba because of the food standards as some hotels would be fantastic. Its more likely that the fantastic hotels are out of the standard Thomson customer price range and from a business point of view it made no sense to sell something that no one could afford.

    I would suggest looking at somewhere like Mexico, try the Riviera Maya rather than Cancun, maybe some of the less travelled Caribbean islands like Aruba, St Lucia or the Grenadines although they are more costly. Or what about Miami, or the keys area of Florida or Cape Verde even?

  • I knew you was going to say that hotel name before i got to where you had wrote the name of it.. If you look up playa pesquero food poisoning..  Travel agents have been sued many times for this hotel and got bad press. Go on solicitor sites and you will see them asking if you was ill while at this hotel as its common, I dont see the point in them selling it, if people then have to go to the hospital have tests to comfirm they have salmonella or worse, and then comfirm it with their doc back home with samples when they arrive home then sue with proof as no solicitor will take you on with no proof as they are not stupid enough to have to pay your legal fees when they lose for some1 who say maybe over ate, To sue in itself, takes years and, the legal fees when the travel agent backs down is thousands its not worth their time or money/ins prems unless the travel agent is dumb and in money trouble most of the time. I got food poisoning in another place i booked with thomas crooks and i read the reviews and didnt listen to them, Wasnt a good idea everyone was true. I cant say the situation but i have sued a company last year i got 5k and the company had to pay all my legal fees which was 21k, So u can see how expensive it would be for a travel agent if they say had to compo some1 say 5k to 7k the legal fees r up in the 20k area and thats if they back out of court otherwise the fees go though the roof. My sil was going to this hotel in cuba then changed to one in turkey and the reviews were just as bad, the reviews said the hospital was full of their hotel guests,Did she listen no.. Guess were her husband and 2 kids ended up.. In the hospital on drips. She said the doc hated her hotel as so many need treating so often. She said she will never go with thomas crooks agains. I wouldnt risk your wedding day honeymoon and health for anything. I would save for longer so you have more money and go somewhere you will never forget or go for 7 or 10 days.  Also try carribean warehouse wedding deals see if any you like iv heard there good. Just want to say all this is just my opinion/experinences and i know most companys have good and bad press all the time. Iv been mexico this year and barbados last year both were out of this worldimage, Let us know how you get onxx  

  • lola28lola28 Posts: 175

    My friend got married in Mexico and it looked amazing thay stayed in a 5x all inclusive for 2weeks £1600 each and the wedding was free even the evening disco I have been to several places in the Caribbean and where thay stayed was as good if not better so def give it some thought , I'm getting married in santorini and it's around 5k but my guests have only paid £350 for a week so if your guests are happy to pay around £1600 each then your wedding is free ! I would of loved to of done that but I have a lot of people on a budget so wasent possable good luck looking I'm sure you will find something even better in the end x

  • I would definitely look elsewhere as it is not worth the risk for the most important and beautiful day of your life.

  • PopsyxxPopsyxx Posts: 1,009

    image everywhere else seems so exPensive! Never really fancied Mexico or Jamaica! Aruba seems to be expensive and I can't get any results come up for st Lucia or Antigua?xx

  • Bubbles91Bubbles91 Posts: 120

    I think if a certain place overseas means alot to you as a couple, then a desintination wedding is worth it.  If you just fancy getting married abroad, its probably more trouble than its worth, although it likely guarantees the weather, its doesnt guarantee guests and it makes planning much harder and much more expensive.  Also, the last thing you want is your guests remembering your wedding as that time they had food poisoning ...maybe condsider somewhere you have been before if you really want a destination wedding? xxx

    Please see this post as me playing devils advocate  image xxx

  • PopsyxxPopsyxx Posts: 1,009

    hi ladies, just thought i would give you a update!! 

    we have been looking at dom rep, but think it will work out too exp as they don't include legal fees etc in the actual wedding package. 

    But we have been keeping our eye on the reviews, and just wondering whether the hotel had a bad week or something, other people have left reviews being out there the same time as the bad reviews and have good things to say. Yes there have been some of the normal moans about the food but i expect to read that anywhere! 

    There was one more bad reviews, lol but we know who that is and there is a reason they have put that review and to me its just completely pathetic! (if you look in my threads you will see big story about OH's family!)


    So anyway we are still looking for a back up hotel incase it does happen again before we can book, but our hearts are still saying cuba xxx

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