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JUL/AUG - Solo Trip

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by utwofan, Sep 1, 2015.

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  1. utwofan

    utwofan Tourist

    Dec 23, 2007
    Northern Virginia
    Trips to Las Vegas:

    My Trip Report

    I had posted this TR on another site but ended up receiving hundreds of Spam emails to my account everyday. Hope this site proves less disruptive.

    Just back from a terrific trip to Vegas minus a few irritations. On way to airport I stopped at Charles Town Casino for free play award I had. Played a little and lost it. Then headed to Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore for free play award and 1500 reward credit bonus. Also had the Pizza there for lunch which I always enjoy. Very thin crust made to order toppings and ready in a very short time. Came out way ahead on the free play with bonus round hits on several slots increasing my bank roll for Vegas. Can't remember which ones.

    Then on to BWI for flight to LAS. First irritation was Southwest knowing our flight was delayed failed to notify anyone in the terminal seating area until after boarding. Boarding process was a mess. I want to but won't say anything about the PREBOARDING process. I think 25% of the flight was "preboarded". Then everyone in C group trying board with the B group. Then all the families with teenagers trying to board with family boarding. Then after 10 minutes on board telling the passengers that they were going to add fuel since the flight would be longer than scheduled and we would taxi out to the takeoff area so we could be ahead of everyone else. (In reality I believe it was just to get us out of the gate area for the next plane to unload). Anyway about an hour sitting on the runway before getting clearance. Then an East and Northern route to get to Las Vegas to avoid weather issues. I am pretty sure we flew over Wisconsin since there were lots of lakes down below.

    I think the 5 1/2 hour flight ended up to be about 8 hours sitting on the plane. On top of that a very obese man sat next to me on the full flight, then had the passenger on the end switch seats so his very obese wife could sit beside him which in turn caused him to intrude even more into my seating area and pushing me up against the window wall. He would not ask for a belt extension and flew with his belt just slapped across his waist. No empty seats were available to switch to so I stuck it out and ended up with severe shoulder pain that lasted the entire vacation.Anyway, first 3 nights comp'd at the Cromwell. Room was nothing spectacular or luxurious and was based upon the same configuration as Boyd properties.

    Bathroom was nice though. Room had window directly above elevated cross walk going over to Bally's. Very interesting characters at times hanging out there. I crossed one time and the people selling water bottles were also selling cold beer and shouting it out to everyone crossing. Didn't think that was legal but I guess whatever you can get away with.

    Slot play at Cromwell was very good, especially the Gremlin Machines with the many bonus screens and good payouts of progressives. Also played a lot on Megabucks and got some really good hits. First day was late check in and no gambling, second day was playing on free slot play that was part of the offer and came out ahead playing the free play and cashing it out as I went. Since I was doing so well I attempted to hit the 1000 tier mark to obtain the 1000 tier bonus for the day. Did that and was still ahead. Third day I struggled for the 1000 points and 1000 tier bonus credit that I was able to complete without a big investment on my bankroll. Tough finding long play slots but the Gremlins saw me through.

    Played a little at Paris and Planet Hollywood but nothing amounted to much. Picked up Diamond Comp'd show tickets for MillionDollar Quartet. Show was okay but I wouldn't see it again. Jerry Lee Lewis impersonator and Johnny Cash impersonator were very good. Elvis wasn't very convincing and I didn't know Carl Perkins at all.

    Was surprised to see real food being provided in the Diamond lounges. Prior visits was a small salad offering, chips, and maybe some wings.

    Got a rental car for the weekend since I was moving to the Orleans and wanted to go to Palace Station and downtown during the weekend. Had show tickets for Friday night and didn't want to deal with the buses late at night

    Took Express Bus in front of Bellagio to the outlet mall and had lunch before walking down to the car rental. Very hot walk but not too bad.

    In an out of the car rental facility in about 30 minutes, back to Cromwell to pick up my bags and over to the Orleans. Check in was pretty quick and up to the 21st floor for 2 night comp stay. Well, just about as soon as I got into the room and unpacked a drill hammer started pounding on the wall from next door. That went on for some time. I called front desk to find out what was going on and was told no construction was going on at my floor. Said they would look into and get back to me. No response after 40 minutes.

    Hammering and drilling continued in other rooms on the floor and I called back to front desk. Was told construction was ongoing from 9am to 7pm and that was that. Found out there was a letter at the check-in counter that gave construction notice that started in May for remodeling. Well, the 21st floor was not listed as a construction area. Met a fellow guest who asked me on the elevator why I was going to the 21st floor since he was told several days earlier that they were not booking that floor because of construction. Says he always stayed on the 21st floor and was upset he was not there on this trip. Told him he was lucky. Called around to other hotel/casinos but being late Friday afternoon there was nothing reasonably priced that was even available to move to. Plus I had a show to attend soon that evening and couldn't fit in time to change hotels with such as short window. Guess how much gambling money ended up staying at the Orleans?

    Headed downtown and stopped at Main Street Station parking. Found out that now you must earn 50 points to earn a parking pass. Tried a few slots there and did super well on most of them. Headed to the show with full pocket plus the $5 parking rebate.

    Saw performance of Tommy James and the Shondells at Golden Nugget. Hope I have 1/2 of his energy at 68 years old. Outstanding performance and had everyone dancing at their seats. A little too loud for such a small venue but very high energy and nonstop performing. I would definitely see his show again. Headed back to Orleans where there was no more construction that late at night. Stopped at Subway for a late night snack (and my dinner for the day).

    Off early Saturday to Palace Station and myVegas Breakfast Buffet and free T-Shirt. Waited in an extremely long line for the Buffet. Was okay for breakfast but nothing fancy. Swiped players cards for bonus entries and daily surprise reward. Ended up with 1500 credits. Headed off to downtown and Main Street Station again and played a little with good luck on my side. Left ahead and was going to the D for the $1000 rebate offer and saw the Plaza had a $500 rebate offer on my way there so I stopped and got a card. Had never played there before. Also, since I am Diamond with Caesars I was able to upgrade my card to King level at the Plaza for 1 year. Not sure what that gets me but time clock for the rebate started when I signed into the system. Had to lose at least $100 to be eligible for any rebate and max'd out at $500. I played for about 6 hours nonstop, max bet, on many slots. Seems like I couldn't lose.

    Had a great time with other players on the Player's Party community slots at the rear of the casino. Bonus rounds were sometimes hard to get but spins could be very rewarding. Hit several progressive amounts while there. Best slots there were the Flintstone Slots with the "extra" YABADABADOO bonus feature selected for more chances of that random bonus award. Hit many many bonus rounds but only several hits on the BamBam bonus round. Couldn't hit any of the other 3 bonus features available even playing for several hours at max level. I was still ahead for the day and had to leave soon so I played $1 wheel of fortune and hit there also for a good amount on the wheel. Finally ended up losing about $250 of my own money. Not sure why that made be feel good but it did. Gave me an excuse to come back the next 2 days. Had to wait 24 hours from my initial start time to get the 1st half of my rebate. Was running short on time so I played the rebate through and lost about $20 of it.

    Next day, Since I forgot my Palace Station T-Shirt myVegas reward I stopped there on the way downtown back to the Plaza. Had the Sunday Brunch Buffet for $10.99 (used points) and it was well worth it. Good selection of good food. Got the T-shirt but tried to upgrade it to a better quality one like some other myVegas players said could be done. Clerk said absolutely no way she could do it. Very flimsy, light weight "Las Vegas" shirt but again free is free. Then back to the Plaza for the remaining rebate dollars. Lost all but about $40. When I went to the players club to receive my 2nd rebate, the clerk seemed to be very impressed with my play and took me back to introduce me to a host. Exchanged pleasantries and he said to give him a call when I return. Not sure what that equates too but will see what type of offers I receive. I hate to call a host and be disappointed with what they are able to do for me. Gave up entirely with the "marketing executives" at Caesars. Already 1/2 way to King renewal level. Won't mean anything without some decent offers. Had show tickets for the evening so had to leave without much play.

    Went to see Jeff Dunham at Planet Hollywood paying with TR credits. Big fan but was not impressed with the show. Ended up watching the screen behind him and did not care for some of his lines nor fumbling way too long with the puppets (dropping them or having pieces fall off and trying to make it look unscripted).

    Sunday I also had to check out of the Orleans and moved over to the Mirage using my Vegas 1 night free stay (well almost free considering the resort fee and $30 trick). Always liked the rooms at Mirage. Since it was very early I attempted to check in early. (Told me she was sorry but I had to pay to check-in early.) I was hot and shoulder hurting so I took the deal. Glad I did. When I went down at 3:30 it was impossible to walk through the registration area with so many people checking in.

    Played some off the wall game called Bet Your Ass where you have to bet Max at your level of play 1 cent, 5 cent, etc to receive all the bonus rounds. Started with 1 cent and hit bonus after bonus and moved to 5 cent and bonus rounds kept me playing a long time. After some long play time I left way ahead.

    Was going to go to Monte Carlo steak house for the $50 my Vegas credit but figured I would leave there spending much more than that plus tip. Instead I went to Double Barrel outside the casino and ordered a Margarita (frozen), and brisket sliders for a starter. They were enough to fill me up. I ordered a full rack for ribs since it was only a few dollars more than 1/2 rack. Way too much food. Ate half and took the other half in a to-go box.

    I really hate to encourage the panhandlers in Vegas but I gave the to-go-box to a very thin homeless beggar on the walk back. He really seemed to appreciate it. I don't give money as I figure that just goes towards drinking or drugs. I tried to use as much of the $50 reward as I could. Left a nice tip. (By the way I also leave a tip for housekeeping and buffet servers). Housekeeper at Cromwell went out of her way several times to thank me (not that I needed thanks) but it was nice. I also ended up with lots of toiletries. Some I brought back to donate to church mission group for those volunteers participating on church sponsored trips.

    Also the remainder I dropped off at the Airport USO box right outside the security checkpoints for military personnel/family using the USO facilities. Packed them in a big zip lock baggy and dropped them off before going through the checkpoint. Highly recommend the gesture if you have the time. They also accept unopened drinks in the donation box.

    Back to the Mirage but went across and walked through Paris, Bally's, Cromwell, Line, and stopped at Flamingo TR Booth and picked up comp tickets for August shows. Since I was traveling solo, I picked one for Legends in Concert and one for Mac King and show ticket option.

    Finally back to the Mirage going through Hurrahs. Much cooler walk through the casinos than walking the strip directly. I went to the Legends in Concert show at Flamingo and enjoyed it very much. Michael Jackson impersonator was great and could have a show just himself. Elvis impersonator was a dead ringer for Elvis in appears, voice, and movements. Steven Tyler impersonator did a great job. Celina and Barry White impersonators were great with the voices but just didn't click with me. Played some and enjoyed the Big Fish Bonus community slots in Margarita Ville casino.

    Had breakfast buffet myVegas reward loaded on my card the day before and stopped around 8 am to eat. I was surprised that there were only about 20 people in the entire buffet on Monday morning. Didn't realize they changed to self serve drinks and think that would be very crowded during busy times but okay for my visit. Had fresh cooked omelet and lots of good food. Desserts were okay.

    Checked out of the Mirage for last 2 days at Harrahs. Had to return rental car so went to rental car facility and walked down to the South Terminal Bus stop. Much longer walk in the heat than I expected but needed some more exercise. Waited for the SDX and it ended up with no Air Conditioning at all. Only some warm air blowing around. Glad it was the express.

    Got off at Paris and walked over to Harrahs to check in. Fortunately I dropped off my bags while I had the rental car and didn't have to lug them down the street or on the bus. Diamond check in was fast. Got 2 cold waters that I really needed. Room was nice. An inside corner room with king bed, sofa, computer desk and dining table. Also a nice view towards Mirage and Venetian. About double size of normal room but bath was relatively small. No complaints. Free is free.

    Ate at the new Fulton Street food court. Had the pizza using reward credits (small discount when paying by card). So good I had it my last day before leaving for the airport. Unfortunately the Pizza, Salad and Sandwich stations don't open until 11am. Not sure why. Breakfast area opens much earlier and I don't know what options they offer. I forgot I had free play there also so I played it my first day and did well turning it into cash I could use at other casinos. Not much luck at Harrahs so moved back to Cromwell and did very well on Gremlins and Megabucks.

    Went for late lunch at White Castle. Was disappointed. I think the frozen ones from Wal-Mart are more tasty. I think it was the larger size onion squares that ruined the taste for me.

    I was going to attempt reaching 2500 tier credits for the 5000 bonus tier reward. Took about 5 hours to make it to 1000 level and I didn't think I would continue. Went to Mac King for the afternoon show. Nice break but was able to figure out several of his tricks after seeing him on several occasions. Was more prepared for the deceptions. Then walked down to MGM for the myVegas buffet reward.

    On the way back I played Gremlins at Cromwell again and did well but not enough to justify continuing the 2500 attempt. Just about gave up when I played Megabucks at Harrahs and on the 2nd spin hit a 10 free game bonus round. On the 2nd spin it hit for the $500+ progress bonus level. Played some more and kept going and going. Moved over to the Brittany Spears slots and did okay with a few good bonus rounds. Since doing so well I decided to try and hit the 2500 level.

    Played several machines but ended up on the Dragon's Voyage slots where the dragon comes down and gives wild symbols randomly. I must have played it for 3 hours nonstop going up and down continuously. It was around midnight when I was close to completing the 2500 tier credits and the slot was drying up. Moved over to Sphinx 3d slot and did well there. Adding up my points from all the casinos for play that day I had close to 2600 tier points for the gaming day and made the extra 5000 bonus tier credit award. Posted to my account the next day.

    You have to keep track of play at each Caesars property since they don't show on the screen at the other properties. Easy to make a mistake in calculations and I didn't want to miss the cutoff but a few points.

    Southwest did it again. Flight back to Baltimore showed as departing at 4:40 pm the entire time at the gate. On line it showed flight delayed until 5:55pm. No announcements at all from Southwest gate personnel. Finally announced boarding. Reason for delay was blamed on delayed departure from LA and subsequent late departure from Phoenix. Paid extra for early boarding after my horrific arrival flight and was able to snag an emergency exit seat this time.

    Notebook battery ended up not holding any sort of charge so lugged it around for no benefit. Ended up watching movie on my phone that helped to pass the time. Had free seat between us until about 1/2 way in the flight when lady up front was being crowded by another "large" passenger next to her and she moved back to our row. Only bad thing about the move she was reading on her Kindle the entire remainder of the flight and it looked like a bright flashlight shining anytime I opened my eyes.

    Arrived and had baggage around 2:30 am. Drive to parking lot seemed to take forever and a 2 hour ride back home in the dark wasn't too much fun. Long day.

    Returned home with some of my money ready for my September trip. Even though airfare was good I really hated paying the $72 parking fee back at the airport.

    Two small undesirable events while there. One was Hispanic woman stopping me at Terribles gas station saying she locked herself out of her car and what should she do. This was very late at night and just didn't feel right. I told her to call AAA and I left. She was not very happy but I wasn't about to get mugged around the corner by 3 guys waiting for me to follow her.

    She was at a gas station so should not have been difficult for her to go inside and request assistance rather than from s stranger who happened to be in the parking lot.

    Next time I was at Harrahs playing and a guy walks up to me at the slots as ask me if I am a Vet. I believe he saw my $$$ on the machine and thought he would hit me up for a "donation" to a fellow vet in need. I said no I was not a vet and he replied that I looked like one (who doesn't??). Told him I was in government service and ignored him until he finally walked away. I wanted to tell him I was retired Army and earned everything and to get lost but I figured that wouldn't have stopped him from continuing with his spiel. Also, you never know who may be a little off their rocker and end up stabbing you in the back.

    Going to repeat it all (except the bad parts) in September for 9 days. Airfare, free rooms and comp offers just too much to pass on. Will return to Plaza and try to get closer to King renewal level and will try the D $1000 rebate attempt. I understand it is paid out over a period of time but my schedule should allow it if I run out of luck and airfares remain low. Will be staying at Paris, Red Rock, and Cromwell so less moving and I have a rental car booked for the entire trip. I thought I could do a solo trip without a rental but I find a rental car is a must if you move around a lot and not want to waste lots of time. Rearranged my return flight this time so I return home during the early evening hours (provided no flight delays this time).

    Off again shortly for another trip.
  2. rutgers

    rutgers Tourist

    Jun 2, 2010
    Garden State... too close to AC! :-)
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Great report! Thanks... I'm headed out to Vegas next week and I make use of the Diamond Lounges. What kind of food were they serving? Thinking if it's decent could pop in there for more than just a drink. Thanks!
  3. 1slomofo

    1slomofo Tourist

    Sep 16, 2014
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Every-time I read these reports with all these COMPd rooms I tell myself "im going to do it! Im going to go vegas with a wad and play$ 10,000 coin in per day" but then i remember you need money to play with hahaha

    good trip man!
  4. TracyinVegas

    TracyinVegas Tourist

    Jan 13, 2012
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    This was such a fun read - thank you much! Headed there in Dec and your report put me right there with Tommy James and those Gremlins:) By the way, I am almost always there solo and rent a car. I stop at the supermarket before check-in and load up on water and whatever else. Then, at check-in I ask for a mini fridge to store my medicine. They deliver it free within 15 minutes of me being in my room.
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