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Finally! 11 to 20 March

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by nbg, Mar 30, 2002.

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  1. nbg

    nbg Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2001
    Messages:
    520
    Location:
    South West UK
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    5

    My Trip Report

    At last! Sorry it’s taken so long, we’ve suffered exhaustion, jet lag, arranged and attended a family meal, arranged and attended a party for 150 family and friends (last night) and had to work.

    This is pretty rushed, I’ve skimmed over a fair bit and not proof-read it, so please do ask if you’ve got any questions.

    Day 1

    Pretty dull, got a coach from Bristol to Manchester airport and checked in at the Radisson SAS hotel. Very nice hotel, obviously designed for the international business traveller, with fax machine and data ports in the room. Went out for a couple of beers, got back and ordered room service (very good food) and then got our heads down.

    Day 2

    Glad to see next to no line at check in or security had a final full English breakfast before clambering onboard an Airtours Airbus A330 for a 5,000 mile flight to Las Vegas.

    We had very comfortable seats with loads of legroom, Airtours had upgraded us to their ‘Premier Gold’ service as they had cancelled our January trip due to lack of bookings.

    Very good in-flight food (over 11 hours this included pasta salad, lemon chicken with wild rice, cheese cake, cheese with biscuits, crisps (potato chips), ice cream, fruit, sandwiches & scone with cream and jam – we nearly had to be rolled from the plane at LV!) and entertainment, watched K-PAX, Shallow Hal & The Heist on the movie channels.

    The plane took what I considered to be an odd, but fantastically scenic route, over the south of Greenland onto Hudson Bay then south west to LV.

    We got on the plane at 10am, travelled for 11 hours, and got off at 1pm, so still all afternoon and evening to get through – very exhausting!

    Airtours transferred us to Luxor for check in. I mentioned to the nice lady at the desk that we were getting married and ‘were looking forward to a nice pyramid room with a view’, she smiled and offered a Jacuzzi suite! It was a beautiful room with a fantastic view of Mandalay Bay from the window when having a soak in the Jacuzzi.

    Becki was tired, so had a nap whilst I wondered over to the Tropicana for a beer.

    Back to Luxor to smarten up for the evening. Before leaving we asked maintenance to look at the aircon, as it was very noisy even when switched off. We walked over to MGM to pick up our wagerworks EFX tickets for the 7.30 show (as the 10.30 had been cancelled), no problems getting the tickets.

    It appears that this Rick Springfield chap is quite famous over there, a brief survey of friends and family was conducted here – no one had heard of him!

    We had fantastic seats, in a booth on the 3rd row (the first row with booths) in the centre, glad to see wagerworks don’t get the seats at the back.

    It was a really good show and I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending it, although we were slightly disappointed to see Rick miming to a couple of the songs, and the ‘plant’ in the audience is always obvious and annoying.

    Back to Luxor to get some sleep, the aircon was still noisy, but I could tell someone had taken a look at it. Had an awful nights sleep with the noise.

    Day 3

    Up at 4.30! Went down to the casino for a while then got a taxi to Bellagio to use the wagerworks buffet. Again, no problem claiming it, and it was great being able to use the comp line to bypass the queue of 40ish odd people waiting to get in.

    Excellent quality food and very good service, this is one of only two buffets we visited, but I would recommend it very highly.

    We got the CAT downtown (those busses are very hot inside, I don’t fancy riding it in the summer months) and checked out the hotels/casinos in the Fremont street area before going to the courthouse to pick up the marriage licence. We just had to complete a very basic form (in pencil) and hand over $50, they didn’t even want to see ID!

    Got a cab from the golden nugget back to Luxor and tried to get an hours sleep (due to the lack of the night before), but couldn’t due to the noise from the aircon. I rang the front desk and explained that we wanted it sorted out as we were getting married in a few days and needed some sleep. A very nice lady explained that it wasn’t the aircon after all, it was the wind (it was a very windy week) catching on the corner of the suite. We were offered and accepted a room in the east tower. WOW – what a suite, massive lounge with 2 sofas, coffee table, dining table and chairs, fridge, sink, massive king bedroom and large bathroom with large shower and separate bath, great view of the strip. This is the best suite we have every stayed in, I must drop a note of thanks to Luxor.

    Went downstairs to the food hall for pizza and salad, grabbed a yard of margarita from La Salsa and gambled a little.

    Finally, bed, and a decent nights sleep.

    Day 4

    Up and showered at 6.30, went out to get OJ & Krispy Kreme (yum!), left Luxor at 9 to get the 301 to Belz, glad to see it terminates there since Vacation Village closed. Got very little, a US charger for my digi cam, a new wallet and a couple of presents to bring back to the UK for friends.

    Got the 301 back up to The Mirage and roamed the strip a bit, lunch at Café Largo (?) at the Forum Shops, I didn’t like the pulled pork sandwich much. Went to Bellagio and unfortunately found Tiffany’s, VISA card took a hammering! Got the tram to Monte Carlo and grabbed a beer from the Brewery, not bad. Walked back to Luxor and put our feet up for a bit.

    Got a cab to Treasure Island with the intention of eating at Buccaneer Bay restaurant – not one thing on the mains menu that didn’t have meat or fish in it so went to the Buccaneer Bay bar for a couple of drinks and to check out the show – it’s OK, but pretty corny and very short.

    Checked out the volcano and Mirage, checked out O’sheas, got a cab and checked out NYNY, got the tram to Mandalay Bay, then back to Luxor.

    I felt like a night cap, I didn’t realise ‘til I got up the next day that I’d sunk half a litre bottle of vodka!

    Day 5 (the wedding day)

    Woke at 8 with a hell of a hangover! Had the Luxor breakfast buffet to try and take the edge off it, without much luck.

    Becki had a hairdresser and manicurist coming at 10, so I headed off to leave her to out. Wanted to check out the Virgin Megastore at the Forum Shops, so took a brisk walk there. Picked up the 2 DVD version of fight club (the human mind is the scariest thing!) and made my way back to Luxor. Felt fine after sinking 2 large Dr Peppers.

    Got back to the room at 12.15, Becki’s hair looked fantastic, helped her into her dress and got showered/dressed for the wedding.

    The limo picked us up at 2pm and took us to The Little Chapel of Flowers, really impressed, not a nice area, but a really nice chapel. The ceremony went very well.

    Limo back to Luxor for a bottle of champagne in the room with Becki’s parents whilst opening cards that we brought over with us. Had a short rest before getting ready for dinner.

    Got a cab to Barbary Coast, what a dive! We really didn’t know what to expect when we got into the lift to take us down to Drai’s. What an absolute contrast! Fantastic restaurant, I could confidently say that it’s probably one of the best we’ve ever eaten at. Great art deco décor, fantastic service, wonderful food, great drinks, nice chilled out music. Becki had a vegetarian pasta dish, I had 7 hour cooked lamb (that near enough fell apart as I touched it with the fork – just right!) and Becki’s parents had filet steak. It’s about $25-$30, so not too expensive, if you want to check it out prior to eating, they have a really relaxed lounge area where you can grab a drink.

    After dinner Becki wanted to go back to the Forum Shops, then got a cab back to Luxor.

    We got back to the room and …… yeah right

    Day 6

    9am pickup from Luxor by coach, first stop was a vitamin factory, what a crock! Then on to Ethel m’s for a tour and a couple of free samples – fantastic chocolates – bought some to bring home for a friend. The cactus gardens sounded very uninteresting, but we enjoyed taking a stroll around there checking out the different type that you just wouldn’t see in the UK.

    Then on to Lake Mead to board the Desert Princess paddle boat for a 90 minute cruise to the dam and back – fantastic scenery, but got very cold outside on the lake.

    We were then taken for lunch to some awful place call Hacienda, horrible, horrible little casino, even worse buffet lunch – avoid.

    Then finally on to the Hoover Dam, where we strolled and took pictures for an hour or so.

    Back on the coach and back to Vegas, being Saturday night, it took an age to drop off at the various hotels along the strip.

    We rested for a while and then went to check out an IMAX 3d movie at Luxor, I’d had a few drinks and the movie made me feel very sick.

    After I’d recovered, we had supper in the pyramid café.

    Day 7

    Got the CAT back to the chapel to pick up the photos. Walked back down to Circus Circus – what an awful place! Full of brats.

    Grabbed a 75 cent margarita in slots ‘o fun on the way past and walked down to The Fashion Show Mall where Becki did yet more shopping. Checked out The Venetian, I still don’t understand why people would want to get married in the middle of the shopping area?! Kept walking down the strip, feet starting to ache now, stopped off for lunch in the Harley Davidson Café, enjoyed checking out the bikes and the food (vegi-burger and a chicken/cheese/salad sandwich) was quite good. Just about managed the last stretch of the strip to Luxor before collapsing in a heap of the sofa for a couple of hours!

    Got a cab to Bellagio and checked out the fountains, a must do in LV. Went for dinner at Planet Hollywood in the forum shops, as Planet Hollywood in Dublin, very average food. I was drinking draft Fosters, the blimmin thing came green – WTF ruin a perfectly good brew by adding a green food die?

    Day 8

    Green poo – I suppose a side effect of green beer!

    Got a CAT to check out Harrah’s, then Parris (the recreation of the monuments is just as impressive as NYNY, it also has the advantage of no Parisian police (mean gits)). Checked out the passage shops, nice, but I think a better job was made of the Forum Shops. Walked back down to M & M world, Becki picked up a bag of purple.

    Decided to catch Time Machine at the UA cinema, not a terrible movie, but a disappointment, I found it quite immature and too short. We do like to catch a movie when in the States, we saw K-PAX in Florida in November, it’s still not out in the UK, Time Machine is due out in May over here.

    Back to Luxor, I put my feet up and caught the end of Somersby on the TV whilst Becki had a quick nap.

    For supper we went to the Tournament of Kings show at Excalibur (stopped off at ‘the village pub on the way through, nowt like any village pub I’ve ever been too, and that’s many!) and enjoyed every minute of it. The food was OK (chicken for me and vegetable lasagne for Becki), the show was excellent, the characters really encourage audience participation, well worth $40 + tax.

    Back to Luxor for a bit before crashing out.

    Day 9

    Our last day in Vegas, we were getting picked up from the hotel at 11.30am so decided to go to the Rain Forrest Café at MGM for breakfast. I hadn’t had a steak yet, so had steak, scrambled eggs and fried potatoes, Becki had a pizza with scrambled eggs on it (only in the US!), both were very nice. Hung out in MGM for a while before heading back to Luxor. Got the coach to the airport, no lines, hung around for a couple of hours to board the flight at 1.45. Ok flight back home, we were completely exhausted by this time so just caught a couple of movies (Zoolander & Behind Enemy Lines, both reasonable movies), ate, drank and slept. Got to Manchester at about 9am. 10.30 got the coach to Bristol and finally got home at about 3pm.

    My 18 year old sister had been house-sitting and looking after the cats, glad to see the house was still standing and the cats were ever so pleased to see us back!

    Conclusions

    The wedding and chapel were much better than we hoped for, I’d highly recommend it

    Vegas is hard work, there is so much to see, we walked many, many miles

    Don’t be fooled if it doesn’t feel hot, we both burned in the sun

    There is loads to do if you’re not really a gambler, and even better, it’s mostly subsidised by other people loosing money

    We will be back, but the world is a big place, with many places we haven’t visited, so a may be a while before we make it

    Vegetarian eating in Vegas isn’t easy, but is OK with some planning.

    Do eat at Drai’s, crap location, fantastic restaurant!

    We had no problems with cabs, only at one time did the driver go out of the way, but that was after asking if we minded as the traffic on the strip was hardly moving.

    We didn’t use half of the wagerworks bookings we made as they weren’t convenient, we weren’t going to organise out time around freebies. Do consider this whilst clicking away on your mouse button!

    [ March 30, 2002: Message edited by: nbg ]</p>
     
  2. cterral

    cterral Tourist

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    nbg- great report! Glad to hear you had a good time! But hey, you should know better than to drink green beer!
     
  3. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    Sounds like your trip went very well! Congrats to the newlyweds :D
     
  4. nbg

    nbg Low-Roller

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    Thanks HoyaHeel, for a first trip we were glad at what we managed to see [​IMG]

    I suppose that now I'm married I should stop chasing women around the board - at least I can stop hiding from Dane ;) [​IMG]
     
  5. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    Well, Dane hasn't stopped drooling over cocktail waitresses, so I don't suppose you have to either....

    You did manage to see lots and lots. Boy were you up early! We get like that too--we can't ever stay up late in Vegas, but boy can we get up early and beat the breakfast lines :D Each time we visit, we SWEAR we're going to get over our jet lag so we can stay up. Dane is better than I am--he'll be dropping me in the room at 11 pm then going back down to gamble for another 3 hours...Even with afternoon naps I can't seem to make it past 11...Is there some sort of training I can do before our next trip to help me stay up late? :D
     
  6. nbg

    nbg Low-Roller

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    <blockquote>quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by HoyaHeel:
    Well, Dane hasn't stopped drooling over cocktail waitresses, so I don't suppose you have to either....<hr></blockquote>

    I can't say I noticed the cocktail watresses, especially the ones in Caesers ;)

    <blockquote>quote:</font><hr>You did manage to see lots and lots. Boy were you up early! We get like that too--we can't ever stay up late in Vegas, but boy can we get up early and beat the breakfast lines :D <hr></blockquote>

    Aye, that was great, just walking into restaurants [​IMG]

    <blockquote>quote:</font><hr> Each time we visit, we SWEAR we're going to get over our jet lag so we can stay up. Dane is better than I am--he'll be dropping me in the room at 11 pm then going back down to gamble for another 3 hours...Even with afternoon naps I can't seem to make it past 11...<hr></blockquote>

    jet lag was awful, but you don't know jag lag until it's 4pm LV, midnight back home :(

    <blockquote>quote:</font><hr>Is there some sort of training I can do before our next trip to help me stay up late? :D <hr></blockquote>

    I think Dane & I need a quiet word - I've got a cunning idea ;)
     
  7. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    Problem is, you have a good excuse to have jet lag. In our family, 2 or 3 time zones isn't a good excuse--and most of my family are out west, so when we see them, we're the pathetic "early to bed" crew and miss the fun stuff. If we had to fly 11 hours (how many movies did you watch? 3?! But I won't get Dane going again on your direct flight :D ) we could just write off a day and start anew. But the way we've been flying, we leave here first thing in the morning and (weather permitting ;) ) get to Vegas before lunch. Then we have all day.....Which is great, BUT we just want to take a nap.....I'm going to work on it, really I am!!!

    I don't remember the waitresses at Caesars; we haven't really gambled there. Do they wear little togas? I wonder where the online poll is for best cocktail waitress outfits....Or would that be inappropriate for me to suggest?
     
  8. LV Terry

    LV Terry Captain Flop'N Fold

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    Sounds like a great topic to start! hahaha! :D

    This board is kind of like being in Vegas, and if you can't do something inappropriate in LV, where CAN you??!

    :D
     
  9. Andsen

    Andsen Well-Known Member

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    I'd hafta vote for the Orleans with the Rio running a close second.
     
  10. nbg

    nbg Low-Roller

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    Still gotta be Caesars, just the one that knocked every guy in the place over - not that I noticed of course Becki ;)
     
  11. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    Now didn't I warn you about the green beer? :D

    Sounds like you had a great trip!
     
  12. nbg

    nbg Low-Roller

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    <blockquote>quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Sonya:
    Now didn't I warn you about the green beer? :D

    <hr></blockquote>

    That you did, and it was all true [​IMG] <blockquote>quote:</font><hr>

    Sounds like you had a great trip!
    <hr></blockquote>

    Hell yeah :D

    Thanks [​IMG]
     
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