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Long Trip Report - New Year's Eve

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by aztoad, Jan 2, 2002.

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  1. aztoad

    aztoad Tourist

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2001
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    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ, USA

    My Trip Report

    New Year's Trip Report

    Saturday December 29, 2001

    My wife and I get to the airport two hours prior to arrival (as recommended) and have no problem checking in. In fact it only took us probably 20 minutes to get from the long-term parking lot to the gate; 15 minutes of it being the shuttle ride!! We have a beer (to help calm my wife's nerves, she isn't thrilled of flying) to kill the time before we take off from Phoenix Sky Harbor to Las Vegas, board our flight (America West) and arrive in Las Vegas at 4:30 PM, on time. An uneventful 50-minute flight.

    After deplaning in Las Vegas, it takes us a few minutes to locate Las Vegas Limousine Service, pay the $8.50 and we're off. We share the ride with five other people, and we're the last ones to be dropped off. The ride was probably around 30 minutes. I think it was worth it, considering it was a limo ride, and that the shuttles were also the same price.

    We check-in at the Sahara for the first night (great rate of $39), and ask for an upgrade since we were only in for one night. She searched, but unfortunately nothing was available. What she did do for us was check us out of our room when we checked in because she said that they are having 1200 people checking in and out on Sunday and that would save us from having to wait in a god-awful line. She wasn't kidding!! Our room was clean and average for Vegas standards, and it was on the 6th floor of the Tangiers tower. The only small quirk was that you could hear the surrounding rooms water/shower and when they were in use, the tub would make a gargling noise and a little water would come up from the drain. Weird, I know, but since we were there for just the night, I didn't complain. I would stay there again because of the low table limits, but it is a bit out of the way from anything.

    We met up with some friends who drive in from Colorado (15 hour drive!) and headed Downtown for dinner. We ate at the Main Street Station and had a very satisfying buffet meal. For $9.99, you can't go wrong with this buffet. Lots of variety, but to me it seemed like they were favoring more fried dishes than anything. They're dessert section was great!! To me, it was one of the better dessert sections that I have seen in a buffet in a long time!!

    After Dinner we head to Fremont for some Gambling. My wife plays a little Craps and I do a little gambling at the Golden Gate. They take us for $100, but no big deal, we're in Vegas right? We see The Experience, walk around a little more and decide to check out the Stratosphere for The Big Shot!!!

    My wife had never rode the Big Shot before, so I told her that it would have to be on our list, so we do. We buy our tickets, head up to the top, and right before we go on, she starts to second-guess herself. She doesn't think she can do it. Our friends and I convince her that it’ll be all right, and after some coaxing, she gives in. We had such a blast riding The Big Shot, that three of us (including my wife) ride it again for only $3.00!! To me I think if you haven't rode the Big Shot, then you're missing out!! You just haven't experienced Vegas if you haven't rode the big shot! Afterwards we head back to the Sahara gamble a little more and call it an evening.

    Sunday, December 30, 2001

    Before checking out, I place some bets on a couple of football games and then head over to Holy Cow Brewery for some lunch. I printed off some free beer coupons from their website, and we all taste their hand crafted beers. I had their red and it was pretty good. Lunch was good (basically burgers) and we hang out there for a little while longer before heading to the Casino Royale.

    We're meeting a group of about 20 others here, so we can't check-in until they arrive. I go over to their $1 black jack tables to kill some time and end up playing for about 2 hours and up $5 up. Our rooms are on the 4th floor (the hotel is only four stories) and we can see The Venetian, Mirage and TI form our room. On a side note, I found it rather interesting that the windows actually open up!! In a town where some people blow their life savings, I would think that it could be dangerous, but on the other hand, it's only four stories. I would compare the room somewhere along the lines of a Motel 6/Super 8. Very clean room; I could tell that it was recently refurbished. We had seven rooms on the fourth floor, pretty much all together. They had the heat on full blast, and it was probably 80-85 degrees in the hallway!!! The air conditioning in the rooms are seasonal, so they didn't have it running, so that window sure came in handy!!! We slept with the window wide open both nights, and it was comfortable. Street noise wasn't too bad, and we are fairly heavy sleepers. Another couple that was with us moved to the second floor, and they said that it was nice down there. We gamble a little more, freshen up and head out to dinner with five more people.

    We go to Carluccio's Tivoli Gardens. It is Liberace’s old place, and he's kept the place pretty much the same way as old. We are seated in an atrium-like room and have a very pleasant dinner. Dinner selections run about $10-12, very reasonable. I have some Clams Casino as an appetizer; my wife just has the salad that comes with dinner. For dinner I have the Shrimp FraDiavolo, prepared spicy. Very good and spicy; they prepare it to your liking. My wife orders the Chicken Milanese, which is also very good. After dinner our group heads over to the MGM Grand to see Neil Diamond in concert. It was a very entertaining concert. He put on a show that lasted roughly 2-2.5 hours. After the show, we walk down to Monte Carlo, order a hurricane monster drink at the MC Brewery, take the Tram over to the Bellagio, walk around their conservatory/atrium, and slowly make our way back to our rooms.

    Monday, December 31, 2001

    We wake up this morning and head over to Harrah's for Brunch. The brunch is $14.99 with 99-cent Mimosas. The food was good to average with peeled shrimp among other things. We stuff our selves and head back to Casino Royale. When we get back to our rooms, we receive a letter from the front desk informing us that they are no longer continuing their mini bar service, and that the bar will be complimentary for us!!! What a deal!! Needless to say we did take full advantage of it!! I gambled at the Casino Royale, playing Black Jack for about 3-4 hours, ending up with $25 more that what I started with. My wife played a little slots (won $15) and she headed over to the Venetian to check out their virtual reality ride.

    I think she said that it was $8 and it lasted about 15-20 minutes. In the middle of the ride someone got up and the ride instantly stopped. I guess the guy was feeling nauseous so he had to get up. The ride was almost over, but the ride people said that they would start the ride over and apologized. I guess when they said that a few more people decided that now was a good time to leave also, but my wife and friend rode it again. They too got a little sick, and she had to go up to the room to rest for a couple of minutes.

    After gambling for a few more hours, I got ready for our New Year's Eve dinner at El Circo at the Bellagio. We arrived a few minutes before our reservation, and I had asked if it would be possible to add three more to our list because they had decided at the last minute to join us. They had said that it would not be a problem but to give them a few minutes to rearrange the tables. I must say that I was thoroughly disappointed with the service we received. I know that we were a large group (17), but that's no excuse. The table had a great view of the fountains, and the food was good, but not great. In fact some of the others actually did not like their meal at all. The waitress spilled a full glass of iced tea on one of us, and she apologized for it and asked if anything needed to be dry-cleaned. The lady who had this unfortunate situation happen to her and said that no it was all right. I know that you're not to expect anything, but I would think they would at least offer to pay for her meal or something. Worse off, they end up charging her for the Iced tea she got to wear while eating her meal. I think that is just classless. I know if it were I, I would have said something about it. They didn't even bring her a new chair to sit in!! Another pet peeve of mine is that when we go out to a nice restaurant, I like to have my wine poured for me throughout the evening. Not only did we not get our wine poured (aside from the first glass), it was just my wife and I drinking, but also the help avoided our table like it was the plague. Finally, one gentleman with us ordered the crème Brule for dessert, however he had asked to not have the prunes that came with the dessert. The waitress said fine, but apparently the Chef was insulted, and said that if he doesn't want the prunes then the dessert is a la carte, and they charged him $5 for a dollop of sorbet. Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever thought that we would be nickel and dimed and treated this way. Needless to say, I WILL NOT be dining there ever again!! They can keep their 13,500-dollar bottle of wine and stick it where the sun don't shine!! I could have chosen any restaurant for a nice New Year's Eve Dinner, and they treat me like this!! Anyways, let me get back to my trip report.

    After that "wonderful" dinner, we pick up our tickets for Cook E. Jar at Harrah's for New Year's Eve. The show was pretty fun, except when they said the show would go from 10-2AM, they were lying. We danced and drank for a couple of hours, and then headed out to the street to watch the fireworks. I was expecting a lot larger crowd, but it was big enough. Being originally from New York and doing the Time Square thing, puts things in to perspective. The strip is a lot longer than Time Square!! When we came back in Cook played for another 20-30 minutes and wrapped it up!! The show was over by 12:45!! I was a little upset, but we just headed back to the rooms and had our own party on the 4th Floor!! We drank too much thanks to the Mini Bar, and crashed for the evening.

    Tuesday, January 1, 2002

    Somehow we wake up without setting the clock to find it is almost 8AM and our flight leaves at 9:40. We throw all of our stuff in our bags, and our friend drives us to the airport. I could not believe how many people were leaving Las Vegas so early!! We had chosen to leave this early only because we were hoping that Michigan was going to Play in the Fiesta Bowl (and it was a good chance when we made reservations), otherwise we would have flew out much much later. Since we didn't have anything to check-in (just carry-ons) we had no problems making our flight. Another uneventful flight back to Phoenix, on time once again, and our weekend was over.

    Despite the two unfortunate happenings, we most definitely had a good time (my wife had too much fun!!). We love Las Vegas and love going 2-3 times a year. One thing's for sure, we'll come again, but The Bellagio won't get any more of our money!!!

    [ January 02, 2002: Message edited by: aztoad ]</p>
     
  2. DutchVegas

    DutchVegas Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Ruinen The Netherlands
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    Nice report.

    I also would have said something about it at the Bellagio.

    She had to pay for the spilled Ice Tea??
     
  3. aztoad

    aztoad Tourist

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    Yes, She not only paid for the iced tea, but also had to sit in the same soaked cushioned seat!! I tell you, I may never go to another Steve Wynn property agsain. I realize that the restaurant is not owned by Wynn, but he should also be partly responsible for the establishments he chooses to be part of his hotels. :mad: :mad:
     
  4. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    I can't believe that you didn't say anything about it at the time. I mean, did the server know the seat was wet? Did anyone ask for another chair? Did you point out the charge for the drink was on the bill? I certainly sympathize with the fact that you felt you had bad service, but you didn't really ask for any kind of compensation from them, did you?

    If she offered to pay for dry cleaning, you could have said, "That's not necessary, but it would be nice if the management could pick up the cost of her dinner to compensate for the cleaning." And if the chair was wet, I think it's up to you and your group to say something about it.

    I was a waitress oh so many years ago and it's hard to wait on a big group like that. You can't be psychic too. :D

    Also, Steve Wynn doesn't own Bellagio anymore. It's an MGM/Mirage property now. If you want compensation, I would write the Bellagio restaurant manager a nice letter explaining your situation and that your disappointed in the service you got there. You might be able to get a comp for your next visit or something similar. You all really should have said something while you were there.

    I don't think you had too bad a night. The iced tea thing wasn't great, but you did show up a few minutes before your reservation with extra people and they quickly accomodated you, even with a view of the fountains. Maybe I've been unlucky but most restaurants I've been at they only pour the first round of wine for you unless it's really slow, certainly when you have a table of almost 20 people. It's hard to keep anything going at a table that big. [​IMG]

    I'm sorry that the incident spoiled your evening there. I hope it doesn't sour you to Bellagio, MGM/Mirage or Steve Wynn in the future. Things do happen occasionally and you didn't ask for any kind of compensation. The server offered to dry clean and you all said it was okay and not to worry about it so they didn't. [​IMG]

    Sonya
     
  5. aztoad

    aztoad Tourist

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    Well, when the incident happened we did see if we could get another chair, but either they did not hear us or they ignored it; much like my wife saying “Happy New Year” three times to the same waiter. I didn’t point out the charge for the drink on the bill. I too was in the hospitality business for a while, and having to have a customer to ask for something to be taken off a bill is just not being customer service oriented. :( I’ve been at finer dining establishments and had much smaller instances happen to me and, not only would they offer, but take care of the situation or offer some compensation instead. In the other instance (the crème Brule) we did say something, and we weren’t offered to have that removed from the bill until we talked to two different people and then the manager. At that point when you have to almost argue about a $5 charge on a $1000 bill, it’s pointless. I guess they need that $5 more than us!! :rolleyes: I did not have a problem with the waitress who spilled the drink. She was probably the most delightful and fun person there!! It’s just that when you have to ask, beg, and argue over a $3 drink and a $5 add-on to your dessert, that’s when I feel that your customer service is lacking. Maybe that’s just me. I know that in all my years dealing with the public, I have always treated them the way I wanted to be treated. Anyways…. :confused:
     
  6. aztoad

    aztoad Tourist

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    Oh, and Sonya, eventhough the service I had there was less than average (I would expect more for a fine dining establishment, afterall that's what you're paying for right?), I did give them 20% for the shear fact that they had to work on New Year's Eve!
     
  7. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    I hear ya, aztoad. [​IMG] If you're going back there, write a letter to the restaurant manager. I'd bet they'd buy you a dinner on your next trip... but if you don't want to go back there, I don't blame you.
     
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