My wife and I just got back from our 13th anniversary trip to Vegas. This was our first-time visiting Vegas together and our first times in Vegas as adults (we both went as teenagers with our families). These message boards were extremely helpful to us when planning our trip, so I wanted to return the favor to other first-timers and post some reports/reviews of our experiences. This first report is going to post some of the highlights & lowlights of our trip. I'll try to post some longer reports of the entire experience later on. Although this is titled for our 13th anniversary, it could also be called "The good, the kitsch, and the m'eh" as that would pretty much summarize our experiences. The good: Presidential car service – I reserved a town car to take us to the MB rather than take a cab and it was completely worth it. Our driver, Adam, was waiting for us as we got off our plane and the bags made it to claim quickly. We were off our plane and out of the airport within 15 minutes. At our request, Adam took us to a local liquor store to pick up some supplies for our trip. Even with this stop, we were at the MB within 40 minutes of our flight landing. Carrot Top – Just plain funny. Got tix day of show through MGM online for 33% discounted rate after attempting to get a good deal from the MB concierge who could only offer us full-price seats. Great seats in the front row, but this is a small theatre, so doubt that any seats were bad. But the front row were only $8 more than sitting further back in the theatre, so worth it. His opening act was weak, but he came out and was funny from the beginning. I don’t usually like prop humor, but really enjoyed his show (perhaps it was the beer or four I had before the show). My wife’s face was hurting from laughing so hard. Some slow parts in the show, but overall, it was well worth the ticket price. Eiffel Tower Restaurant – Absolutely the best dinner we’ve ever had. My wife and I came to Vegas to celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary and chose the Eiffel Tower Restaurant as our “anniversary” dinner. I called the hotel months ago and made the reservation but was informed that they could not guarantee a window table for us; however, she would put in the request. During a search for reviews of the restaurant, I found the GM’s contact info and contacted him to see if he could help confirm a window table reservation for us – explaining to him that this would be an anniversary dinner and the receptionist we spoke with said she could not guarantee a window table. He responded promptly and said that he’d make a note for a window table for us and I was happy with that given other reviews saying that he followed through on his word. I have to say; however, that he didn’t just follow through on his word, but rather he (Lyle) went above and beyond for us and the chef and staff at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant made our night spectacular. It began with being taken to the best table in the house – the corner table overlooking the Bellagio fountains – which was decorated with rose petals. Our server came over and proceeded to ask us if we had special glasses for the occasion to which I only had a befuddled look on my face. However, my wife says yes and he comes back holding our silver flutes from our wedding 13 years ago. Apparently, my wife had contacted the restaurant and asked them if they could arrange to have our glasses ready if she mailed them out. Not only did they have them ready for us, but they also provided us complimentary champagne to toast our special occasion. If this had been the extent of the considerations we received during the dinner, we would have been thrilled; however, this was only the beginning. A short time later, our server brought us amuse-bouche, followed by a tasting tray (compliments of Chef David). While waiting for our entrees to arrive, we were approached by the photographer who stated that the GM (Lyle) wished to provide us a photo and she would come back later when the fountains were flowing to take the shot. After taking the photos, we were treated to the best entrees we’ve had in a long time (I had rack of lamb; my wife had rabbit). Figuring our night was over (we were STUFFED), our server then brought out the complimentary dessert dish to celebrate our occasion. All in all, the service at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant was top-notch from beginning to end. My wife kept saying throughout the evening that she was on “cloud nine” and the experience was “over-the-top”. I cannot thank Lyle, Chef David, and the staff of the restaurant enough! Mille foi merci! Comped drinks – I was expecting the casino servers/bartenders to be a little slow to provide comped drinks when gambling. But we were happily surprised to find that they kept the drinks flowing while we played slots, video poker, and blackjack. The kitsch: A Little White Wedding Chapel – This place was pretty much exactly what we expected (and hoped for) when planning our vow renewal. We wanted a kitschy Vegas wedding experience and this place didn’t disappoint. We made a reservation for their “Cherubs’ Chariot” drive-thru package in a pink Cadillac. When we got to Vegas we called them to provide them with our room # and a driver was sent our way to pick us up in the limo for our ceremony. Our driver, Lorenzo, was 100% professional and a great guy. We enjoyed our conversations with him to and from the ceremony. When we got to the chapel, it couldn’t have been more perfect (i.e., kitschy). This is not the place to go for an elegant wedding – but it’s perfect for that classic Vegas-wedding experience. Although we didn’t pay the fee to have Elvis officiate our ceremony, we lucked out with having him do it for us as he had 2 other “Elvis” ceremonies bookending ours and it was more convenient for him to stay in costume rather than change. Although the Elvis costume was all for fun, he was really a great officiator and provided heartfelt (and humorous) vows which even got my wife crying. Taking into consideration the great pics we had taken (included in the price of the package), it was an absolutely perfect, kitschy experience. If you’re looking for a truly fun environment and want that classic Vegas experience, this is a great option. The m’eh: Mandalay Bay (customer service, leak, wifi, kids) – Gotta say I was a bit disappointed with the Mandalay Bay. We went into it expecting to be further away from the action which would require us to walk or cab it to other destinations on the strip. But we were OK with that inconvenience in exchange for great customer service, nice accommodations, and enjoying the pool. Unfortunately, the MB didn’t live up to these expectations. First, the customer service disappointment. Right upon check-in we waited in line for about 40 minutes. We weren’t upset with the wait as it’s to be expected on a Sunday, so when we finally got up to the front desk representative, we were in good spirits. But, just our luck, as soon as we get up to the desk, the rep’s computer freezes and we stand there for about 5-10 minutes waiting for her to get it back up-and-running. Through that time we were still in good spirits and blew it off, even cracking jokes with her that it’s probably my fault since I have bad luck with computers and I bet if I walk away it’ll come back and start working with no problem. But the rep didn’t seem to be in a great mood so we didn’t try to crack any more jokes with her while she fixed the problem. Once it was back up and running, I handed her my ID & AMEX with a $20 bill sandwiched between hoping to maximize our room view. Once she saw the $ she acted offended and pushed it across the counter towards my wife stating that “you can’t ice cream sandwich me – we don’t do that here” – something that I know is blatantly false given that I’ve read posts about successful $20 sandwiches at the MB (often for an upgrade to a suite at THEhotel). Although disappointed, I wasn’t going to push for it, so I just left the $ on the counter. She then asked what type of upgrade we might be interested in and we told her all we really wanted the best strip view (i.e., highest floor) we could get – which wasn’t even that big of an upgrade since we had already booked a strip view room. She proceeded to offer us an upgrade to a suite at THEhotel – for a $40 upgrade fee. When I declined, saying that we wanted to stay in the MB tower since the strip views were better there as we could look directly up the strip rather than from being back off the strip a bit at THEhotel, she argued with me to tell me that the view from THEhotel was better. I politely denied the upgrade again (since I didn’t feel like paying $40 to upgrade to a room that I could have gotten for the same price as the strip view MB room when I originally booked our reservation). We ended up with a high-floor MB strip view room, so she may have hooked us up with a higher floor than what we may have originally received, but I was a bit disappointed with the service at check-in. It wasn’t as much that the $20 sandwich didn’t work, rather it was the impersonal service and the “offended” attitude that we received which disappointed us. Regardless, we figured that she was having a bad day and that any future interactions we had were be more to expectation. Unfortunately, that was not the case as every time we had to call the front desk (for a persistent leak in our bathroom – which I’ll mention later) and our check-out experience was very “just-the-facts” impersonal. And given the fact that we dealt with a leak in our bathroom for 3 days, I expected at least some sort of room or food credit to be offered upon checkout but we were offered nothing other than a “thank you” for letting them know of the problem. Speaking of the leak, here’s our second quibble with the MB. We noticed upon return to our room one morning that there was a large puddle of water around the base of the toilet. We called down to the front desk to let them know and they promptly sent up an engineer to address the problem. He said the toilet was a bit loose and tightened it up. We’re thinking “problem solved” and went on with our day. On the way back to the room later that afternoon we noticed that the wallpaper in the hallway by our room was peeled up from the bottom suggesting water damage. I went into the room to check if the leak was back and was happy to see that there was no puddle, so we assumed that the leak was fixed and the wallpaper issue was unrelated. However, the next morning we again noticed the leak in the bathroom and this time, it was larger and spilling water out into the main bathroom area. We again called the front desk to report the leak again and they said they’d send someone up. We left the room before the engineer came up, but assume that s/he did as the leak was not present when we came back later that day. Coincidentally, we noticed on the way back that day that the wallpaper in the hallway had peeled a bit more and there was crumbled drywall on the floor, but didn’t think much of it especially since the leak appeared to be resolved once we got to the room. However, on our last morning, I noticed after my wife got out of the shower that the leak was back again – and bigger than before now covering a significant portion of the floor in the bathroom. Putting 2+2 together, I began to think that the leak may be coming from pipes in the wall when the shower is running. We didn’t call down to the front desk at that time as we were getting ready to check out, so I just waited to tell the clerk about the continuing problem at that time. Although she was thankful for us pointing out the problem, I was disappointed that they did nothing to compensate us for the inconvenience through some sort of food or room credit (especially since I’m a Mlife member and we earned a significant amount of points in our few day stay at the hotel). And onto our third complaint about the MB – the wifi. Wifi service in the room was absolutely horrendous. We ended up using our phones for all of our web searches as there was too much competition for the bandwith in the hotel. When a page finally did load, it loaded quickly, but it was very slow in sending the requests and often timed out. We only had our phones and iPad so we couldn’t check the wired service to see if that was better. And finally, the most disappointing thing was the huge # of kids/families at the pool. We booked the MB because we wanted to enjoy the beach/lazy river/pool experience. Although we expected some kids/families we didn’t expect “Disney in the Desert”. Don’t get me wrong, we are comfortable around kids (as we have 2 of our own), but we did not expect so many kids/families at the MB beach and the inability to find a single open lounge chair at 11:30 in the morning. We were hoping for a more “adult” experience without needing to spend the $ to go into the “toptional” Moorea Beach Club but that wasn’t possible. We did get up another morning and get down to the beach at 8:30 which was better, but the ratio of families/kids to couples was still very high at that time – just with lower total #s. Burger Bar – Perhaps the worst $15 burgers I’ve ever had. The meat was undercooked (ordered medium, got rare; wife ordered medium well, got medium) and underwhelming. Onion rings were amongst the worst I’ve ever had. Was disappointed with this place given the recommendation we received from our driver and the fact that it’s a Hubert Keller restaurant So that's the short-short review of our trip. All in all, we had a great time and were pleasantly surprised that our hangovers were minimal/nonexistent given the amount we imbibed while there. For our next trip we'll likely look to go with a couple of friends and stay in something more in the central part of the strip and more adult friendly. We're thinking the Cosmo, Mirage, or MGM for our next trip.