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8/1-8/4 Planet Hollywood, Matt Goss, and Million Dollar Quartet

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by lithium78, Aug 14, 2016.

  1. lithium78

    lithium78 High-Roller

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2013
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    Location:
    New Jersey
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    My Trip Report

    My wife and I were celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary, so we decided to fly out to Hawaii and return to the same resort where we had our honeymoon. That's a six hour time difference from New Jersey though, which was absolutely brutal 5 years ago, so we decided to stop for three nights in Vegas on the way to have some fun and help with the jet lag. Here's my report:

    8/1:

    We caught the 6:30 am flight out of Newark Liberty International because it was the cheapest available flight at the time and we wanted to have an extra day in Vegas, so we arrived around 9:30 am Pacific. I'm still leery of Uber and Lyft because I worry about jumping into an unvetted stranger's car from the internet, so we got a cab and I offered the cabbie a $5 tip if he didn't long haul us. The cabbie ended up being a really nice guy and we had a nice talk about his family and dogs on the way to Planet Hollywood.

    When we got to PH, we stopped at the Total Rewards desk too, so I could pick up the VIP Access card I earned for having over $10,000 spend on the TR Visa over the past year. It basically gives all the perks of Diamond status except for the Diamond Lounge, 2 free show tickets, and waived resort fees. After picking up the card, we went to Diamond check-in but there weren't any rooms available yet. I gave them my phone number and we checked our bags with the bell desk, then went out for a bit.

    I had a $50 gift card for Cheesecake Factory thanks to my AMEX card rewards, so we headed over to the Caesars Forum Shops for lunch. Two burgers, a Blue Moon, two desserts plus tip minus the gift card came to about $10. I can live with that. The cheesy animatronic Fall of Atlantis Show happened right in front of us while we were eating. I still have absolutely no idea what any of the characters were saying because the acoustics suck there. The Atlantis aquarium is a lot of fun though.

    After that, I used a My Vegas reward for 2 free passes to Siegfried and Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat over at the Mirage and we spent about an hour or so there. The dolphins are cute, but we are suckers for the kitties, so we took a lot of photos to share with family and friends. We remember when the leopard was born, so seeing how big he's gotten was a big surprise. I also really appreciate the free water refills they offer in there, because I think it was about 105 degrees F outside that day.

    We had gotten the call from PH that our room was ready and they had upgraded us so we headed back over after visiting the kitties. The lady at the Diamond registration desk was actually from the same town we're from in New Jersey, so we got talking about the pizzeria around the corner from our house. She upgraded the comp room from a Hip Room with Strip View to either a Resort Room or a Resort Vista room. I'm not sure which. It was a room on the very end of the South Tower sticking out in front with a huge separate bathroom with a soaking tub with a television and two sinks -- one in the hallway between the bedroom and bathroom and the other in the bathroom next to the shower. The room itself was in pretty rough shape with scuffed up furniture and wallpaper and a stained runner around the bed, and it had an awful theme of that 1990s Flintstones movie with John Goodman that I remember being really terrible, but the room was free, so I won't complain.

    My wife was pretty tired by that point so she decided to rest for a bit and I decided to go pick up my freeplay and hit the casino. As a dollar slots player, I was happy to see that the south tower elevators open directly into the dollar slots section of the casino and I got to work playing some Double Jackpot quick hits machines at $2 a pull. Drinks service was outstanding on the casino floor. The CWs were so attentive and polite. They did a great job of providing drinks and keeping my buzz going. I played for about four hours and finished the first night ahead by $17. I hit for $400 right before calling it a night.

    After getting my game on, I was feeling pretty hungry. It was around 6 pm local time, which felt like 9 pm to us East Coasters. I had another gift certificate of $75 for P.F. Chang's thanks for AMEX reward points and whatdya know? Planet Hollywood has a P.F. Chang's! So we went there for dinner and just barely managed to avoid the dinner rush. Two entrees, two cocktails, and two desserts and the gift card covered everything but the tip. Not too shabby. I usually try to avoid chain restaurants while I'm in Vegas, because I can eat at chain restaurants anywhere, but free is free. Free is my favorite price.

    After dinner, we went walking through the Miracle Mile Shops, which in my mind are the absolute best shopping in Vegas. Unlike Caesars or Crystals or the Venetian, the Miracle Mile Shops is full of stores that normal people can actually buy stuff from. I can go into any store in that mall and actually purchase things. It's average income shopping. Plus, they have the ABC shops, so we were able to pick up some really cheap water (even cheaper than what the folks hawk from the coolers on the walkways between casinos.)

    Not a bad first day in Vegas.

    8/2:

    We slept in a bit because why not? (It still felt much later than it was due to the time difference but the jet lag was starting to wear off.) Then we went to Starbucks for breakfast because we had a $100 gift card (thanks again to AMEX rewards). Thanks to the VIP Access card, we got to skip the entire line, which pissed off a whole lot of people jonesing for their cup of joe. Sorry, folks. Sucks to be you.

    After that, I went back to the casino floor to play some more. I was playing a Blazing 7s game for $3 a pull but not having a whole lot of luck, so I switched things around a bit. Drinks service was still amazing. My luck was not that great, though, and I ended up down by $700 after about four hours.

    At that point, we decided to go hit the pool, so we got suited up, grabbed my beach bag, and we headed over to Caesars because their pool is about 10000% better than what they have at PH. Flashed the VIP Access card and they handed us beach towels and we went in. I absolutely love the Temple Pool at Caesars and it wasn't overly crowded, which is nice. There also wasn't any of the loud party music, which we liked because that stuff is annoying when you just want to relax. We went swimming for a few hours then grabbed drinks at the pool bar and lunch at Snackus Maximus by the pool (love that name). Charged everything to the room. Very relaxing and enjoyable time.

    My host had booked us a 7:30 pm dinner at Gordon Ramsay's Pub and Grill at Caesars, so we headed back and got changed. We had tickets for Matt Goss that night, so we decided to get dressed up all Rat Pack 1950s-like. I had new suit and a stylish brand new British trilby hat that I bought at Hattitude at the Miracle Mile Shops and my wife had a new dress from Tatyana's and a new fascinator. We looked a little out of place at Gordon Ramsay's, but we definitely looked great at Matt Goss's show. Gordon Ramsay's Pub and Grill ended up being a real disappointment. There was nothing especially "gourmet" about it and it was badly overpriced for what they offered. I don't recommend it. We charged the meal to the room.

    We had reserved cheap seats for Matt Goss (charged to the room) but his bodyguard took one look at us all dressed up and moved us to "Matt's table" in the VIP section instead. We got talking with the other people there and one of them was Matt's twin brother Luke's neighbor when they were teen idols in Britain back in the 1980s-1990s. She was really nice.

    Matt's show was awesome. He performed a mix of old standards and his own material and he has so much charisma. Everyone was cheering and dancing. He shook hands with absolutely everyone in attendance and had a little fun at our expense. At one point, one of his dancers stood on the railing right next to my seat and Matt came over to me and shook my hand between her legs so my face was inches away from her ass. "Is that your wife sitting next to you?" Matt said as he shook my hand firmly and didn't let go. It was hilarious.

    After the show, we stuck around and got Matt's autograph and he called me "dapper" for the way I was dressed. What a really cool guy. During the show, he talked about how Caesars was replacing him with a dance club and asked if we would like to see his show again if it was picked up by another casino. Hell, yeah! It was an absolute blast.

    8/3:

    We slept in again then got breakfast at Starbuck's again. After breakfast, I went to the Total Rewards desk and got my 2-for-1 ticket voucher for Million Dollar Quartet as a Platinum TR member, then went to the Axis box office at PH and purchased tickets with reward credits. We'd been wanting to see that show for a while now.

    After that, we dressed up in 1950s clothes and walked over to the Linq Auto Collections to take some photos with the classic cars. Man, that collection is something else. They have so many beautiful and historic vehicles on that showroom floor. There was an old 1970s Caddy that was very tempted to buy, but my wife talked me out of it because it would have required a lot of extra restoration. It's nice to dream, though, right? Total price for admission to the Auto Collections: $0, because you can print off free passes off their website.

    We grabbed a quick lunch at the Linq and then charged it to the room at PH, then we headed back to relax a bit. I headed back to the casino floor for round 3 and I did really, really badly. I couldn't hit on anything at all on the slots. It was some pretty awful gaming. I ended up losing another $1300. Okay, time to stop playing.

    For dinner, we ate the leftover from our massive lunch (the portions at the Linq are ginormous and we needed to eat it before it went bad because there was no fridge in our room.) I watched a little soccer on my iPad and then it was time to head to the show. We caught a cab over to Harrah's because it was about a thousand degrees F outside and I didn't want to try walking there and die of heat stroke.

    Million Dollar Quartet was absolutely amazing. The performers were all top-notch Broadway quality actors and musicians and they completely blew us away. All the songs were incredible and the audience was really into it. Everyone was singing along and dancing. We couldn't decide who was our favorite: Jerry Lee Lewis or Johnny Cash. The encore where everyone got to perform extra songs was the highlight of the show for us. I really, really recommend this show to anybody who loves a good rock n' roll musical. We bought a souvenir photo after the show and we're already planning to go see it again on our next trip.

    8/4:

    Time to check out and catch our plane to Hawaii. We wanted to check out at 7:30 am, but the Diamond desk wasn't open yet and I wanted to talk with the host on duty about my room charges, since I lost $2000 on the trip. Once the host came in, she reviewed my play and removed all my room charges including the resort fees. Not too shabby. I wasn't happy that I lost on the trip, but that was a nice bit of consolation.

    After the trip, I check my Total Rewards calendar and it's now showing 5 days comped anyday including weekends at all CET properties in Vegas, except for Caesars and The Cromwell. It's showing comp days on weekdays for Cromwell and some weekdays for Caesars. PH is showing comp Ultra Hip rooms, which would be really nice on our next trip because those are their newly renovated rooms.

    Overall, it was disappointing not to win, but if we were all honest on this forum, we would admit that winning trips are really rare and that's how casinos stay in business. The important thing is that we had a great time and we have some wonderful memories for our wedding anniversary. Can't wait for the next visit to Vegas!
     
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  2. NY lady- MidWest Cowboy

    NY lady- MidWest Cowboy Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Kansas City
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    I saw the Million Dollar Quartet earlier this year. Wasn't sure if I was going to like it BUT I freakin loved the show. I would see it again and I would not hesitate to recommend it to friends of any age.
     
  3. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

    Joined:
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    Nice report! Looks like you mostly won in the non-gambling department at least! Hope you had a good time in Hawaii as well! Sucks to hear they are ditching Matt Goss, but sounds like he'll land on his feet.
     
  4. sybgal

    sybgal VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Sounds like a great stay in LV...now on to Hawaii! Thanks for posting!
     
  5. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    I really enjoyed your to report, thanks for the write up. I love the idea of a Vegas stopover on the way to Hawaii.

    So does that Trilby hat and a pair of sunglasses make you resemble Heisenberg? :peace:
     
  6. Lady Fortuna

    Lady Fortuna High-Roller

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    Thank you for the report, lithium78! I enjoyed it very much.
    Hope you had a good time in Hawaii too and congratulations with the anniversary!
     
  7. WIZARD

    WIZARD Low-Roller

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    Did you get your resort fees waived because of your play or by using the VIP access card?
     
    Party in Vegas
  8. Richard Alpert

    Richard Alpert LOST

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    Thanks for the super report! A belated happy anniversary to you and your wife!
    LOL at your PH room comments...At least the Flintstone room wasn't completely true to the movie--rock slab for a bed, mammoth trunk shower, etc.

    RICHARD
     
  9. johnnytwofingers

    johnnytwofingers Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Great report, hopefully you can add your Hawaii details later.

    Question about Million Dollar Quartet, I've wanted to see it but do you think this is something kids (ages 7 to 10) would enjoy (or at least tolerate)?
     
  10. luckymanstan

    luckymanstan Tourist

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    The website says "ages 5 and up". I saw it and there are some adult themes, but they are tolerable. I would definitely take kids. It's an excellent show.
     
  11. lithium78

    lithium78 High-Roller

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    Good question. I honestly can't say for certain whether the resort fees were waived because of my play or the VIP Access card. They don't advertise it as a feature of the VIP Access card, but they also don't advertise waiving the early check-in fee, even though that's what they do.
     
  12. lithium78

    lithium78 High-Roller

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    Do the kids love 1950s rockabilly? You really need to love the music of that era to enjoy the show. Jerry Lee Lewis was kind of a wild man, so there are some risque jokes (not really a lot of bad language, though I think a few bad words, but some sexual innuendo, but I think that would probably go over kids' heads.) Alcohol is served in the theater, but not in the seating area. Adults have to walk over to the bar in a separate room on the far side of the theater to get drinks. That might make things a little more kid-friendly too, because that resulted in far fewer drunk people than I expected.
     
  13. rutgers

    rutgers Tourist

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    Million Dollar Quartet is absolutely amazing .. I thought the guy who played Elvis was phenomenal!
     
  14. casinokid68

    casinokid68 Low-Roller

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    Thanks for the great report, even though it wasn't that great gambling wise. I do not have the VIP Access Card, but as long as you are Platinum with Total Rewards, they waive the early check in fee. Mine is always waived, since I'm from NYC, and fly out on the early flight out of JFK, and end up in Vegas early.