After making it to Vegas three times last year, this trip was to be the only time this year and we were celebrating my college graduation Flight: We flew from ORD to LAX and LAS to LAS on United and flew First Class It was my first time in first class and it may very well be my last so we decided to make the most of it, and by that I mean drink too much. Not way too much mind you, but too much. It's only 40 minutes from LAX to LAS and in those short minutes I managed to get four drinks. We didn’t drink quite that heavily on the first leg of the trip as it was still pretty early and we knew to pace ourselves. Trip Report: I think I’m going to do this in the order in which we visited them. I will write quite a bit about beverages and service while playing slots and video poker and I tip 2 for every drink. This trip took place Aug 6-9. Wynn: The cab line was about 20 minutes long and the trip was nothing special so we’ll go on to the Wynn. We stayed there in a comped Panoramic Suite with $300 free play. I’ve been thinking why in the world they gave us so much free play as we did not play much there previously and there is no way we covered that much based on our play there, but none the less it was free and beautiful. I had stayed there in 2007 on a work trip but it was the wife’s first time. Based on the pictures on their website it really didn’t look much better than the Augustus tower at Ceasars Palace, but it really was. She thought the room was subtle and elegant. She wanted to bring the bed back with us but alas we do not make Steve Wynn type money. Their casino has always been one of our favorites. We always seem to do pretty well there for our play. The wife was able to turn that 300 free play into 450 cash. We played slots there for a couple hours and were up and down. After three hours between there and Encore, I was down 20 bucks and she was up a few hundred. Also, I forgot to mention we primarily play slots. Wednesday night we decided we hadn’t given them much play and decided to devote about 5 hours to playing at their fine establishment. I dominated them this evening. I like to play random machines or old machines and sometimes the new ones when the wife wants to play next to me. This time led us to the hangover. I had given them about 40 when the machine decided to give me two bonuses on the same spin. With the first bonus I triggered the Stu progressive and I got it for around 80 and the second one I got credits. Then on the next spin I got another bonus. I triggered the Chow’s free spins and on this series I won another 100. I roll so tiny I may as well not roll at all so I was able to play on 20 on random machines for the whole rest of the night. Venetian/Palazzo: I know their stock isn’t doing as well as it had been and they are working on a number of construction projects but refusing to give me drinks isn’t going to save you that much money. Not that they refused, they never even offered. It was 110 degrees outside. If they want you to gamble there they should have the obligation to bring you water. I saw the waitresses walking around at both places, and after half an hour at each place with no beverage I politely asked a passing server to send the server in my section in my direction. After another half an hour at each place I still never saw my server. The wife and I weren’t together and she got one drink at the Palazzo but none at the V. I really want to like this place but this is the second trip in a row that we’ve both gotten awful service. Maybe we’ll go back maybe we won’t. The wife says its pretty so we probably will but we won’t give them any serious play. I gave them 20 and the wife 40. Casino Royale: This was the only divey place that wasn’t in a hurry to get you drunk. Problem is I really like to drink. They got a solid two hours of my play but got zero of my dollars. Harrahs: Food: We had their breakfast buffet once and their lunch buffet once. We think their breakfast buffet is, for the money, the best in town. I always get a plate of strawberries and whipped cream. It’s wonderful. The lunch buffet is nothing special. It’s not that it’s bad, just nothing stood out. All buffets there were paid with comp dollars. This is the place where the wife fell in love with hundred play video poker. While I still cannot say that I’ve ever gotten a royal flush in a casino, the wife, in a few hours mind you, has gotten three. The first time there this trip I was dealt three aces while playing DDB and managed to pull about 100 out of that hand. While she was able to hit a few royals she couldn’t get much else and for the trip was about even in their establishment. IP: I like it better in the construction. I always hated the theme in that place and not with the long white hallway leading up to the casino it no longer has the theme of a Japanese trailer park. I’m sure the rooms still suck badly though. The waitresses are quick and they have the hottest one on the strip. I don’t remember her name but you know if you see her. It seemed like she was trying to get me drunk and planned to take advantage of me. She succeeded in one of her goals and failed in the other. For the whole trip I took 50 away from the Linq construction fund. Food: HHAGG. We used a Restaurant.com certificate I had purchased a few years ago and didn’t have an issue with it. The service we got in the past there was always solid, but not this time. Our server had three tables and had trouble handling those. One table was a group of 3 old people. When one lady got her order, two pancakes, she got left and came back 20 minutes later. She then sent the pancakes back because they were cold! C’mon lady, you left for an extended period of time as soon as your food got to the table, what did you really think was going to happen? Regardless, we each got burgers. I ate the whole thing. I can eat. Margarittaville: Super hot and super quick servers. I gave them about 100 in the whole trip and didn’t mind it one bit. The view is easily worth that. Flamingo: Food: Diamond Lounge. The wings are fine. At 30 we were easily the youngest in the joint. The food is free and doesn’t cost us any comp dollars to eat, so sure I’ll eat 20 chicken wings and get some drinks. My only complaint is their wine offerings. If they are trying to give their higher spending customers a place to go where they can get great service in a nice place to relax they really should have better wine. I ordered a cab sav and it tasted like just that any other ones but it really was average at best. We’re probably not going to make diamond for next year so I was hoping to get a nice glass of pinot out of them. We didn’t gamble there. Why gamble there when you can go to Margarittaville and see their smoking hot and fast servers? Bill’s: I was feeling generous so I gave them 40. In return they gave me four really strong Bailey’s and Coffee. One of them even had whipped cream on it. I did not regret this decision when I wobbled out. Bellagio: Why do their servers move so slow? Is there some logistical reason that makes them walk miles uphill in both direction? It took 20 minutes to get my order taken and 30 minutes for her to bring it. That being said, I had ordered a Bellini and she brought it to me blended. It was spectacular. I couldn’t get another one while playing some fishing slot, but I didn’t give them any money so I guess I can’t complain too much. Cosmo: The wife likes it and always has luck in their casino. I have no luck there. Wife won 300 there on Ruby Slippers. I gave them 80 and got zero play time out of it with one irish coffee. I could’ve gotten another drink but by that point I was already down 65 and knew that I wouldn’t be playing there much longer. Tropicana: The wife went crazy there. Very crazy. She gave them 400. Her reason was that she was under the impression that they were the only place on the strip that has some version of Monopoly she really wanted to play. I told her I’d seen it at plenty of other places but apparently I don’t know what I’m talking about. I know she was just making that part up because I caught her playing it elsewhere and called her out on it. Oops. Oh well, it’s her money, if she wants to spend it there she is more than welcome. I give them a few bucks but they gave me two of the strongest drinks anywhere. They were so strong the first one was almost unpalatable. The second one, while equally as strong, was much easier to drink for some crazy reason. Planet Hollywood: Food only: Buffet. Did this place used to be good or something? Sure there were plenty of options but nothing tasted like anything. Even the salsa, which they claimed had a bunch of jalapenos, managed to taste just like mush. While there wasn’t much of a line, there was a sign up offering to let people skip the line for the small price of $20. It was 8 at Harrah’s and I thought that was obnoxious. The service there was, well, both of us having to wait for the ice in our drinks to melt so we had something to drink and collect plates at the end of our table. I really like to challenge myself to try to eat my moneys worth at buffets. I couldn’t tolerate this place long enough to do so. Dinner Break: D W Bistro Thank you for the recommendation Westie! This place was spectacular and I couldn’t have asked for anything else. My parents live in Vegas and every trip we like to go to a nice dinner with them. The dinner started with getting to choose your own bread. I got the flatbread and a garlic knot. On every table they have a number of different hot sauces and I decided to try them all. The hottest, by a wide margin, is the Calypso Sauce. This was the first I tried and despite the waiter protesting I decided to put a lot of it on a piece of my garlic knot. It was so hot I almost had to take Nelly’s advice and take off all my clothes. I was sweating for the next 10 minutes. For dinner my father and I each got the New Mexico Ancho Chili Pork Bowl. I can eat. I’ve shocked waitresses in the past with my eating ability. At HHAGG I ate my entire burger and side and I was still hungry. This was too much food for me! I didn’t even come close. The pork was tender and flavorful. The waiter said this is the spiciest dish on their menu, but it really wasn’t hot. It was pretty warm and it was consistently hot through every bite but it never got overwhelming. My wife really wasn’t hungry so she got a salad. My mother got some chicken dish and she ate the whole thing. They got a piece of carrot cake which looked amazing but my gut was so packed I couldn’t imagine eating one more bite. They loved the cake and are already talking about coming back very soon even though they live on the other side of the valley. 4 Queens: We like this place. I like El Co much better but the wife likes it here a lot and so do I so it’s one of our go to’s downtown. The wife likes it so much because it has some Star Trek game she likes. I like it because the waitresses are quick. They’re not much to look at but they sure can move. Anyway, the wife couldn’t find the stupid machine she likes so we didn’t stay there too long but I didn’t give them any money. If you’re noticing a theme I broke even or came close at a lot of places, and I played plenty of slots. Plaza: It really was hot this week. I needed water. Instead I got to never know what outfits their waitresses wear. I lost 60 on some Alice in Wonderland machine where you collect tokens toward bonuses. It wasn’t hitting a damn thing. I won it all back on Roulette plus 20 which paid for our trip back to the Wynn. Cab back to the Wynn: I bring this up because it could have become an issue and I have a backstory. I nearly got into a fist fight with a shuttle driver a few trips ago because he let us on the shuttle, drove for a few minutes, got a call from dispatch that someone wanted to take a private shuttle, turned around and brought us back to our hotel. We weren’t running late to catch our flight, but because of this delay we were very close. Since then I have a problem with a lot of vegas cabbie’s. Why do they feel the need to take advantage of every customer? I don’t like it and I don’t have a problem asking for surface streets every time I sit down in a cab. The cab line at the Plaza puts you in the cab facing south on Main Street which I know will hit the Strip just north of Sahara. I sit down and say “Encore on the Surfaces please,” making sure to enunciate clearly because English wasn’t his first language and I had been drinking. What does he do? He turns the car 180 degrees in the opposite direction. “No” I say,”no, on the surfaces.” He says “yes, on the surface of the highway!” I was dumbfounded. “No, no, take Main to the Blvd.” He keeps going, passes Freemont and Ogden and turns right on Stewart. “I take the highway” he said. No I tell him, “just take this to the strip and go south.” He says the “strip is south of here, I take you there on the highway!” I can’t tell if the language barrier is getting between us or if he fully understands what I am saying and is trying to make it look like he doesn’t understand. I tell him “I have $20 for this trip and that I recommend he takes the route which gives him the biggest tip.” What does he do? He turns onto the Blvd and goes south, smirking as he turns. What a ******. A $15 dollar ride costs us $18.50. He did not get that $20 I referenced earlier in our trip. He got $17 and a pocket full of change. I made sure there were enough quarters to cover the difference, but if he wants to act like a ******, I’m sure as hell going to treat him like a ******. Rivera: The Riv was one of the few places on the strip we’ve never seen. Now we have. Hooray for us! I gave them 20 and they may have given me lice….. Slots-A-Fun: See above, only I gave them 40 and they may have given me really aggressive lice….. TI: I signed up for a players card. I had only played there previously on the MGM card. Signing up got me 10 freeplay. This freeplay lasted quite a while, but I never got above 15 on any machine so I didn’t have a problem letting them keep their ten bucks. Mirage: We really like the Mirage. If we could get free rooms to stay there we would in a heartbeat. They have an Uncle Sam slot machine that I really like. This machine has never let me down. It never pays out more than 30 on a single hit, but I’ll win 20 then give it back then hit for 15 then give it back then hit for 20 and, well you see the pattern. End of casinos visited, miscellaneous thoughts: Why does the Wynn not have a Starbucks? There is no damn way I’m going to pay 5 bucks for a single cup of coffee in the morning. Every morning I walked over to the Starbucks at the Fashion Show Mall and was there waiting for them to unlock the doors at 6. While we’re only 30 years old the wife and I refuse to get on PST for a few days just to have to go back to CST, so we are sound asleep by 10 and up by 5 every day. The strip really is beautiful when its empty. It was a very nice trip. Gambling wise I spent less than half of what I planned on spending. It seemed like most places I would put in 20 and that 20 would last for at least an hour. I think that’s it. I should have taken better notes.