This is going to be relatively short being that writing a detailed report just takes too long but sometimes there are people out there who can benefit from a perspective on a particular thing, I know I always do! Rooms: Stayed at Mandalay Bay one night, the first night, because I got the room at a really low rate and was given a $50 dining credit. That said, I didn't really do much here, no gambling was done and the only food consumed was getting some sandwhiches to go at the citizen place.. ohh and my wife got a desert via room service. Our friends we were traveling with booked the Monte Carlo so I didn't get to spend much time at Mandalay Bay, though I really like the place. We were upgraded to the Spa suite for free without asking and it was a great little room. I look forward to spending more time my next trip at Mandalay Bay, I would be willing to even pay another $15-$25 a night to stay in the spa room, I felt it was a lot nicer. Next we moved to the Monte Carlo, we were upgraded to the Spa suite again here, it was larger than a regular room but from all other accounts it was fairly basic. There was a little spa tub, in the bathroom not near a window like some videos and pictures show, and it took about 45 minutes + to drain. The Spa suite at the Monte Carlo, it was a bit larger, just as worn and outdated as regular rooms.. I wouldn't pay any more to stay in this room than a regular one though. We took the weekend to visit some people in Arizona, then came back on Monday. When we came back they didn't offer to upgrade our room to a spa suite which was fine with me, but they didn't have a king room available until 5:00PM (it was like 1:30PM or something), I really needed to sleep and we knew we much preferred a king to two queens. A queen room was available but they did offer for an additional $10 per night to put us in a King room on the 31st floor (top floor of the MC, not the 32 hotel monaco floor or whatever). Initially I was like, whaaaaat the helllll... "So you DO have a king room, you just think you should be able to charge more to get into it at the normal check in time rather than wait until dinner time to get into my room" Normally I'll just take my bags to the bellhop and go enjoy vegas for some hours then get my room later, but I really needed to sleep. After explaining how we thought that was kind of silly they agreed to just charge $10 once. Partially on principle I wanted to just say no (though it's really not like they were doing that huge of a disservice to me, it just seemed weird to me) but I was freaking exhausted and all I wanted to do was sleep for 4 hours. I agreed and paid. We got a view of the pool and the 31st floor had some obviously updated and newer rooms. This room was much better than even the spa suite we had the previous week. 31st floor rooms I would recommend, for $10 additional, definately worth it. Gambling: Played: - VP - Roulette - Craps - Poker (one tournament, played cash twice) - a little bit of random slots. Random slots produced nothing and didn't really hold my interest long, just sucked up my money fast. I played these when my friends were playing them just to hang out with them a bit. Video poker was in the end decent to me. I've always been a Jacks or Better kinda player, sticking to the basics, but after always just bleeding out money on these, never hitting a royal and always walking away with a fraction or none of my initial buyin I decided to give Bonus Poker a try. I figured this was the game with a little more volatility, less survivability in that two pair pays even money but the added benefit of increased quad payout was appealing. Well, I spent the first 80% of the trip losing money on JOB and the last 20% winning money on Bonus Poker. In one day I got quads four times, once it was quad 4's, the others will non-premuim, this put me up for the day on VP but slightly down overall for the trip anyway. Roulette... This game.. It's just one of those things that you know is bad for you but is the perfect example of using your gambling money for it's entertainment value. I don't understand why I enjoy it so much, I just do, and this trip, it enjoyed me as well. For roulette I was up overall for the trip, in fact it made up a significant portion of my losses. I love you roulette, I shall return. Craps is one of my all time favorite casino games. Sometimes you get down and out so fast though that I find myself avoiding it but I really do enjoy it. This time I only had the chance to play once and I doubled my buyin over the course of an hour or so. It was a lot of fun and I was able to get away when I was at my high point. Live poker.. I played the Aria 1:00PM tournament, made it to 28th out of 107. I was sucked out on pretty bad a couple times and it really crippled me.. The worst part wasn't losing half my stack to a guy shoving his chips without having a clue what he was up against, the worst part was having to spend the next hour trying to build back up to where a was instead of building a stack for the later rounds. In the end I was knocked out when in the blind it was checked to me, I checked to see a flop and it came out A/A/5 I had a king/5, I had about 4-5 big blinds left and since there were two callers and no raisers, I figured this was my best chance to effectively double up without competition as the probability that someone had an ace was low (two were out there and nobody seemed that interested pre-flop at what was a relatively aggressive table). I pushed and was called by a guy holding A/Q of all things. So that was that, I stand by my assessment and move. I would play this tournament again, I think it's the best in this price range and gets the most players. Cash games (poker).. I took the advice of the poker forum here and tried the Monte Carlo room. The room was fine, the servers were good but there was hardly ever more than one table going. When I did play, everyone was popping off for like $15 preflop as a standard raise from $1/$2 blinds. It was crazy. To me a normal pre-flop raise is $7 with the occasional $10 pre-flop raise, this $15 crap got old after an hour I left, down. The next time I played we were 5 handed at one point.. It was like 9:00 PM and they had hardly any players. I left after a while then as well, down. I don't think I'll be very interested in playing at the Monte Carlo poker room again. Food: We ate at Emerils New Orleans Fishhouse or whatever, BurGR (at PHo), Aria Buffet, Bellagio Buffet, I ate at Ellis Island one night and everything else was pretty much just grab a bite wherever. For the most part we ate 2 meals a day so not a lot to report here. Emerils (sp?) was good, I'd eat here again. The salmon I had was cook perfectly, my wife had the tasting menu with wine pairing and her food was all very good, and huge portions. She was stuffed, barely had room for 1/10th of her desert and the wine pairings were a generous full glass, so she was pretty toasted by the end lol So much so that we had to take a taxi from MGM to the Monte Carlo... lol BurGR was overpriced, even for vegas. The food we get at Burger Brasserie is better and a fraction of the cost. Our bill with a beer, a couple cocktails, app and a burger each came out to over $100 with tip and there wasn't a thing I ate or drank that I found even sort of noteworthy. None of it was bad, but nothing was great. The truffle fries are lame/boring btw getting all flavor from the "aioli" which was poorly made, turned out more the texture of eggless mayonnaise (hallow and airy texture.. really hard to describe but definately strange to eat) with little chunks of truffle. Bellagio Buffet dropped below Aria for me this time. I used to hold the Bellagio buffet in high esteem (as far as buffets are concerned) but now I think I rate Aria slightly better. They were buffets so it is what it is but the Aria had more appetizing food than the Bellagio for me. Ellis Island was as expected. I just got the club sandwhich and it was a club sandwhich, good price though. I went downtown too, saw Binions, Golden Nugget, Golden Gate, Sams and 4 queens. Golden Nugget was the cleanest and smelled the least like cigarettes, Golden Gate was the next best. Noticed there are a lot of grunge or "punk" type people downtown, it was a bit surprising. If anyone has any questions about something I didn't answer or would like some more info just let me know. Hope someone gleens something useful from this little report.