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Feb 12-16 Excalibur

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Saskatoon, Feb 19, 2007.

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  1. Saskatoon

    Saskatoon Tourist

    Aug 4, 2005

    My Trip Report

    Who: My wife and I.

    Day 1: Arrived at McCarran 9:30 pm. Got baggage, caught cab to Excalibur and were checked in by 10:30. No lineup whatsoever for cabs or check-in. Cab ride was $14 including tip. Toured the casino, played a bit of slots, but hit the sack by midnight because that's 2 am where we come from. Our room was in Tower 1 - parallel to the strip. Nice view of MGM, Tropicana, Polo Towers, and Aladdin/Paris if you craned your neck a bit.

    Day 2: Woke up at 3:00 am to the sound of a jackhammer reverberating off the hotel walls. Down on the strip they were rebuilding a sidewalk. Didn't sleep much for the next 4 hours. Got up at 7 am. Showered and out of hotel by 8:30 am. Caught the deuce from in front of Tropicana to head to the Peppermill for breakfast. The meal was HUGE (as usual) - about 8 eggs in my omellette. Wife had french toast and it really didn't agree with her. I tried a piece and wasn't too impressed, either. One thing about American French Toast - it's deep fried. In Canada, we just fry it on a griddle. Deepfried french toast = disgusting to us. Great service and friendly staff, though. Went to Pennytown in Riviera and gambled a bit. Saw a Little Richard impersonator perform while gambling. Went over to Circus Circus and Slots for more gambling. No luck, so back to Pennytown -- good cocktail service here. Then, I wanted to take a picture of the Stardust with no windows, as sad as it was. To our surprise, in a fitting scene, a fire had started and the Stardust was enveloped in smoke. The fire was from a secondary tower, though, not the main tower. It was a sad sight as my favourite casino (the first casino I've ever been in) was literally going up in flames.

    After snapping a couple of photos, we caught the duece to the New Frontier where I proceeded to get pillaged by the Pai Gow dealers. Not too much fun going on in this Casino, and as far as I'm concerned it can be next on the death watch.

    Next we walked to Tickets for Tonight in front of the Fashion Show Mall. We bought Legends In Concert Tickets for $30 each without knowing who was performing - a bit of a risk. We walked to the IP to exchange our vouchers for tickets to the Legends. Then, we headed back across the street to the TI because my wife had never spent much time in this Casino. The best part about the TI is the chairs in the sportsbook. If it wasn't for security, we would have had a nice afternoon nap here. We needed to kill 2 hours on limited budget before the Legends show, so we went across to the Venetian to check out their sportsbook. We ended up betting on a game and watching Kentucky (+3) blow it as they lost by 4 to Tennessee. It was an entertaining game, however. I grabbed some waffle fries from the foodcourt in the Venetian at halftime to tide me over. After the game, on to IP for the 7:30 show. Rod Stewart, Janet Jackson, Elton John, Marilyn Monroe, and Elvis (of course) were the acts. Honestly, if we had known these were the five acts we probably wouldn't have bought the tickets. Neither of us cared about Marilyn Monroe (I wanted to hear good music), I couldn't name one Janet Jackson song, and we both dislike Rod Stewart. However, in spite of this, the show was great! Elvis was obviously the best, with Elton coming in second, and then we disagree over who was third - my wife liked Janet and I liked Rod. All in all - it was well worth the money (especially at half price). It included a free drink, too, which never hurts.

    By the time the show ended (about 9:00 pm), we were pretty well famished. So we headed to Harrah's to check out Toby Keiths. It was CRAZY. We got a nice private booth (not sure why - we're not high rollers or anything), and the band (Lefty Lucy) was good. The food portions (like everything else in Vegas) were enormous - my wife ordered chicken nachos and I had the BBQ rib sandwich - there were a lot of leftovers when we were full. I'm not sure if this is what the bar is like every night, but the noise coming from the bar area was incredible. Constant whistling, and 1920s car horns going off. It was madness I tell you. But in spite of the loudness, it was a lot of fun.

    After eating, we were pretty much stuffed so we went to take the deuce back the Excalibur to crash. It was POURING rain outside as we ran across the street. We didn't come to Vegas to get rained on! We caught the deuce back to Excalibur, gambled a bit, and crashed. There was no jackhammer when we went to bed because of the rain. I thought... thank goodness.

    Day 3: Woke up at 4:00 am to the sound of a jackhammer reverberating off the hotel walls. Unbe****inglievable. Managed to get back to sleep after putting the AC/Heater fan on. A little white noise helped. Got out of bed at 9:00 am and went to Greenwich Village at NYNY for a muffin/bagel/juice breakfast. The muffin was delicious. Then we strolled over to Gameworks in front of MGM and played Air Hockey and Pinball for about an hour. (We got a buy $10, get $10 free coupon from the "What's On" magazine). This was about the perfect amount of playtime - we were both getting bored when we ran out of points. Then we headed to the MGM casino where we stumbled upon one of my favourite gambling devices - automated horse racing. We spent about an hour there - almost breaking even and coming away with several drinks - great service here! Then over to the Tropicana Players Deli for a soft ice cream cone. We had to meet some friends at the Burger Bar in MB so we headed across to Luxor where I played a little VP and got another drink. Then down to the Burger Bar for lunch w/friends. WOW - probably the best burger I've ever had - black angus w/cheddar and bacon. Wife had black angus w/portabella mushrooms and jack cheese. We would definitely make a point of going back here next time we visit.

    Then my wife wanted to check out the CBS tv review in MGM so I went with her to save money from gambling. Watched a half hour program, gave them our thoughts, and then back to the Excalibur to bet on a basketball game and play some more video poker. We lost this basketball game (again), and then crashed for the night. I turned the AC fan on before going to bed this time, and managed to sleep through to the alarm.

    Day 4: Got up really early (7:30 am) because we wanted to check out the Paris brunch. We contemplated taking the deuce but decided to go for the walk because it was a beautiful morning. This was one of the most pleasant walks I've ever had in Vegas. The streets were quiet, the sun was shining, there was minimal breeze. It was just beautiful. We made it to Paris by about 9:00 am and had their breakfast brunch. It was very impressive and well worth the price. They had pretty much everything we were looking for.

    Then we walked across to the Bellagio to check out the Conservatory and the big chocolate fountain. Then it was off to the Barbary Coast for gambling. This is my favorite place, now that the Stardust is gone. I played Pai Gow while my wife lost her life's savings on the slots. This casino seems tighter than ever right now. Must have something to do with Harrah's being in charge. I managed to almost break even at Pai Gow. If I hadn't lost my last 3 hands to a new dealer, I'd have come out of there happy.

    Then we headed up to the Venetian for a Gondola ride - outdoors. We bought tickets to share a Gondola with another couple. However, when it was our turn for the ride, there were no other couples in line who purchased tickets to share. As a result, we got a private ride for the price of a shared ride. SWEET. First time we've ever won anything in Vegas! The ride was very enjoyable, particularly because our Gondolier was very pleasant and totally genuine with his singing and conversation. This was one of the highlights of our trip. Next we headed down to Carnaval Court (after stopping for a couple $1 Michelob's at Casino Royale) to sit down and enjoy the music. On our way we placed another wager, this time in the Harrah's sportsbook. It was Lefty Lucy again so we didn't stay too long. We then went to the Flamingo Gardens to relax on a lounger in the sunshine. It was very pleasant. I probably could have crashed here for a couple of hours, but it was time to head back to the BC for "Big Elvis". My wife bought a massive piece of chocolate cake from Ventura in the Flamingo and we were on our way. Big Elvis is BIG. He has a tremendous voice, and it is definitely worth checking out if you're in the area in the late afternoon.

    We decided to start walking south at about 4:00 pm so we could catch the basketball game in the Monte Carlo Sportsbook. After watching the first half in the most uncomfortable chairs on the strip, we said enough's enough and headed to the NYNY. Our basketball game wasn't going well and we were both hungry so we went to Gonzalez Y Gonzalez in the NYNY - great Mexican food here! Highly recommended. Then we went to the Excalibur so my wife could watch Survivor and CSI in the hotel room while I watched the end of the basketball game (we WON!) and gambled some more. My wife came down to join me in some late night gambling but we had minimal success.

    Day 5: Slept in until 9:30 am because we had to check out at 11 and our flight didn't leave until 9:40 pm. When we got down to the hotel lobby the check-out line was very long. We had spotted some Self Check Out machines earlier in the week and decided to give these a try. There was no lineup, it took us about 30 seconds and we were checked out. I'm not sure why nobody else uses this feature. I highly recommend it! Then we checked our baggage for the day and headed to the Sherwood Forest Cafe for breakfast - this was a mistake. The food was bad to OK, and we probably won't be back.

    My wife wanted to go back to the TV review thing at MGM, so I gambled and watched the NBA stars check in for the weekend while she watched the same program she watched two nights before. Haha - serves her right for watching tv while in Vegas. Then we had to go back to Harrahs to collect our sportsbook win from the night before. There was an incredible amount of vehicle and pedestrian traffic by this time, so this walk took a while. It was very warm out (about 74 degrees) and we were soaking up the sun and loving it. We thought we'd check out the Aladdin casino, saw the rainshow in the mall. Then we headed up to Casino Royale for low limit gambling and cheap beers. Next we went to Harrahs to get our dough, and then sat in Carnaval court for a couple hours. We ate their appetizer basket which was good but very small by Vegas standards. We walked over to the Mirage to check out the Casino but didn't do any gambling here. Then we walked back south, stopping at the TNT all-star set at Caesars and Bellagio fountains. Then back the Excalibur to waste our last bit of gambling money. I'm happy to say I couldn't get rid of my last $10. We tried to dump it but kept getting little wins on Wheel of Fortune and "Catch A Wave" slots. We grabbed our baggage and headed back to the airport to say goodbye to Vegas.

    The Excalibur
    The Good:
    - Security was top notch - needed to show key card to get into towers
    - Big bathroom, big shower - no tub, but I wouldn't sit in a hotel tub anyway
    - Clean room, smoke free - no scent of cigarettes
    - Good view
    - At times, the cocktail service was exceptional in the casino
    - Low limit games
    - Easy room access (no long walk like at the Flamingo)
    - Decent food court
    - Sportsbook was a surprising plus
    - Great location with easy access to MGM, NYNY, Tropicana, Luxor, MB

    The Bad:
    - Smoky Casino
    - Tram noise to Luxor/MB at night was tough to block out
    - Jackhammer!
    - Smelly towels - they were laundered but the detergent they used just didn't smell fresh.
    - Poor cable selection - doesn't affect us too much but others may not like having only 12 channels.
    - Timeshare people running amock

    Overall, 3.5/5. Would stay again.
  2. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

    Feb 24, 2002
    North Carolina
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    I've never heard of deep fried french toast--must be a Peppermill thing, not an "American" thing (I make mine on the griddle with just a little nonstick spray) Other than the jackhammer, sounds like you had a nice trip! I make fun of the trashy castle, but I like to hear good reports because it's one of the few almost-budget places in a decent location!
  3. 21wins

    21wins VIP Whale

    Aug 16, 2002
    Good TR. Sounds like you had fun. Congrats on the basketball win-it's sooo much nicer when you can cash'em and not trash'em.

    I think the The Excalibur gets a bad wrap. The location is good and the rooms are priced ok. I'm not in love with their food offerings(except Krispy Kreme-upstairs) but overall it's a good place to stay.
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