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Mandalay Bay 8-18 through 8-23

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by lsiunsuex, Aug 20, 2015.

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  1. lsiunsuex

    lsiunsuex Tourist

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    My Trip Report

    Half way through our vacation - thought I'd write a trip report while the wife gets ready to go out tonight.

    Landed on time after a turbulent direct flight from Buffalo NY via South West. 4th time traveling via SW and I've never had any complaints, flight attendants were nice and courteous when we weren't forced to wear our seat belts; giving a free drink (to those of us drinking) as a apology for the turbulence. For someone (me) thats pretty scared of flying, it went well - drowned out the noise with music and movies and took the edge off with 2 glasses of red wine. Didn't need to use the Xanax I brought as a precaution.

    Through baggage claim and out the doors, I forgot how hot it is here (compared to Buffalo) - not a cloud in the sky and it's been in the 100s all week. For someone that hates snow - I'm in paradise right now (literally)

    Off to the car rental center - took an upgrade from a compact to a full size car (Camry) at Enterprise rental - in and out in 5 minutes with no pains. Everything went smoothly.

    Arrived at MB about 10am after getting lost 3 times trying to find the right entrance to valet (it's been 3 years since our last trip) - walk through the doors and immediately remember why I love this place - smells like sun tan lotion, lobby is nice and calm and collected - feels like home walking through those doors (3rd trip here, 3rd time at MB)

    Upgraded to a new remodeled room (for an extra $20 / day) and off to the elevators we go to dump the luggage and get to the pool. Checkin person (forget what you call them haha) got a nice view of the pool.

    Nice room - bit small (we had a suite when we got married) but perfectly acceptable.

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    Pool is exactly as I remember it and everything goes off without a hitch. Little slow around 10:30am on Tuesday - not many people by the pool. Have lunch at restaurant by the pool / entrance to the pool - Buffalo Chicken Wrap w/ fries for me and the wife had a pesto chicken panini - both were good.

    Back to the room around 12:30pm, showered and off to go shopping! Pull the car from valet, drive to and park at Bellagio. Make our way to the forum shops and it's game on! We have a rule - we allow 1 (or 2) nice things for ourselves per trip - 3 years ago, I got a Gucci Bracelet and the wife some Judith Ripka ear rings - this year, a ring to match my bracelet.

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    Explored a bit - get back to MB around 4:30pm - went down to take a nap, exhausted from being up at 3:30am EDT and we ended up sleeping strait through the night :( woke up at 7 ish, saw the clock, fell asleep again and woke up at 3:30am on Wednesday (6:30am EDT - our normal wakeup time)

    Knowing that we have now wasted our first night in LV, we decided to say F' it and go out.

    (Wednesday)
    The strip is awesome at 4am - we walk all the way from MB to Aria where we find Aria Cafe at 5:50am and sit down for breakfast - we share a Duces Wild (i think) - and it was surprisingly very good. I was (naively) expecting something on par with Dennis's, but it was great (or I was just that hungry).

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    (The wife)


    Walk back to MB and arrive at our room around 730am - gather our things and down to the pool we go. Leave again around 12 ish, to the room, shower, drive to Bellagio and park and today is lunch at Hexx in Paris - sit on the patio - I had a hamburger w/ fries (love my potatoes) and the wife has a BLT w/ fries - very good as well with a view of the fountains (bad angle)

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    Back across the strip and to Aria for Zarkana at 7pm -

    We've seen Beatles Love (twice), Le Reve, O, Crazy Horse (in the past) and now Zarkana. All the shows are great, but to us, nothing compares to Beatles Love. I now have a theory about this. I feel Beatles Love, because it's based on music, has more of a "story line" - the show flows together. Zarkana, it felt like a bunch of acts that really didn't have much to do with each other. Don't get me wrong - it's a great show - but Beatles Love just as a feel to it. We're testing this tonight (more in a bit).

    Back to MB (skip dinner) and off to Foundation Room - when we got married 5 years ago, we came here for our "bachelor / bachelorette" party so it has special meaning to us. Again, as I remembered it - kinda dead (it was a Wednesday) and a Knob Creek on the rocks was $18!!!!!!!! (to be expected though) but the wife got comped a drink (champagne) for being a women and we had a good time.

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    2 whiskeys in (I'm a light weight) and the cravings kick in. Being from Buffalo, nothing ends a night like a slice of pizza. Obviously, nothing at MB is open so it's time to take a walk! Ask front desk to run a search for me - Secret Pizza in Cosmo is open!

    Back to the room, put on some crocs and get out of my suit and we walk the distance / take the tram in 20 minutes - sit and eat at Cosmo, pass some crazy dude screaming and cursing at some cops and get back to MB at 2:30am exhausted.

    (Thursday)
    Rinse, repeat - back to the pool at 8am - lunch again at the pool restaurant - just chicken fingers for me and the watermelon salad for the wife around 12. Up to the room to shower - wife needs a nap but I've got some energy - needed to make some changes to one of my websites, catch up on email, etc... chill in the lounge outside of the elevators getting stuff done. Run down to Luxor quickly to buy a Zippo on my wife's recommendation (she doesn't like my Playboy bunny one) only to be informed by the sales women Zippo fought the TSA in 2006 and won in 2011 to allow Zippo's on planes - both checked and carry on! Learn something new every day! So no worry taking it on the plane.

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    And now we're sitting in the room, relaxing a bit - a friend of my sisters moved to LV a few years ago - going with her to Social Hour at Cosmo for happy hour and dinner after. Tonight is LAX at Luxor (due to proximity) and maybe another walk to Aria at 1am for breakfast haha.

    (Cirq theory) - As Beatles Love is the only Cirq show we've seen thats set to music, we think that is why it's our favorite and all other cirq shows seam sub par to us. To prove this theory, Friday night we're gonna see Michael Jackson One. Not die hard fans of his music, but if our theory is right, and it's similar to Beatles Love, it should be a good show!

    Gripe 1: There are a lot, A LOT, of kids here at MB. I was in the lobby working on my stuff and a child was literally running through the lobby crying. What is this, Disney land? Why would you bring a child to a casino / LV. What's next, hookers hanging outside the gates of Disney land? This isn't an appropriate place for them. I know MB is more kid friendly then some of the other properties, but come-on...

    Gripe 2: People dressed really poorly at Foundation Room - When we got married, I was wearing my wedding suit, but my feet were killing me, so I was wearing leather sandals. The bouncers didn't let me in until I went and put leather closed toe shoes on. So why are people allowed in wearing jeans and sneakers? When we goto LAX tonight, should I even bother dressing up? I have half a mind to wear grey linen pants, a white polo and my crocs. What incentive is there to dress appropriately?

    Do the gripes matter? No. Does anyone care? No. But this trip cost me a good buck - our only vacation in the last 3 years. Still happy to be here, still having a good time, but control your damn kids if you must bring them and dress appropriately. When a drink costs more then the bottle itself, maybe it's a good idea to at least wear shoes and not sneakers.

    ... Till tomorrow!
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2015
  2. ExVegasLocal

    ExVegasLocal Low-Roller

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    Harbor Boulevard, the main way in/out of Disneyland has long been known for its abundance of hookers.

    Great trip report so far! Looking forward to the rest!
     
  3. Vegasaddict2014

    Vegasaddict2014 Low-Roller

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    I highly recommend Michael Jackson ONE. It is a-maz-ing!

    It's a shame about the kids. Last time I went I was in a buffet queue and a kid threw a full bottle of water into the line. That's not something you want in Vegas!

    Did they update the bathrooms in MB?

    Enjoy the rest of your trip
     
  4. broncofn

    broncofn VIP Whale

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    Agree with above about MJ1. It's a must see
     
  5. 96seahawk

    96seahawk Tourist

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    +1. Saw it Sunday night. Incredible. Enjoy.
     
  6. 6Mermaids

    6Mermaids Low-Roller

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    I want to know what your wife treated herself to on your shopping day. :)

    Looks like a fun trip!
     
  7. Raptor

    Raptor High-Roller

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    Nice report thanks for sharing. We were in Vegas a week ago and thought the same thing about the kids. So many of them....why? We would never take our kids to Vegas....
     
  8. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Nice start so far!

    And I struggle to find any flow to Cirque du Soleil shows. I definitely liked MJ One better though! When I watched LOVE, part of me wished I was high.
     
  9. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    Me too!

    I do miss the days when people dressed up in the evenings in Vegas. I have read a few trip reports where parents have done Vegas responsibly with children with child appropriate activities but when I'm in Vegas, some of what I see is downright abusive...dead tired children being dragged all over the strip late at night. How is that fun for kids?!
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2015
  10. Brick

    Brick Low-Roller

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    This. As a parent myself, when I see kids in Vegas, I can't help but look at my watch and wonder why these parents are dragging these kids around the strip at 1 am. Really?

    Makes me wonder if there is an untapped demand for a hotel/casino that offers childcare and nannies. It would have to make sure parents didn't go on tilt and leave their kids for good.
     
  11. retro

    retro Low-Roller

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    I'm with you on the Cirque shows. Loved Love!! The music was one of the main reasons. I've enjoyed their other shows except for the annoying singing of sounds, not words. Hope you guys have a great time. You look fairly young, but definitely have an old soul. Referring to your dress code views, not disagreeing, but it is the desert. Think you would have preferred Vegas in the 50's-60's. Seen pics of everyone dressed in suits and evening wear.
     
    Eighth & final trip for the year. This time with real wife
  12. justo

    justo Tourist

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    Congrats on the 5 year anniversary! My wife and I are headed to Vegas this Tuesday to celebrate our 5 year as well, we got married at Caesars with the reception at Spago and return every year to the scene of the crime :)

    You should definitely check out Michael Jackson ONE, I'm not a huge fan of his music but the show is great and the more dance oriented/hologram angle is a nice change from most Cirque shows. I've never done Beatles Love (more of a Stones guy myself) but will have to check it out.
     
  13. lsiunsuex

    lsiunsuex Tourist

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    Just landed back in Buffalo, NY - so000 nice to be home, but missed the pool this morning (left MB at 7:30am for a 9:50 flight)

    So... the rest of the report!

    Thursday (continued)

    Ended up meeting our friend out for a drink - Went to D.O.C.G for a drink (red wine for me) and white for the wife - the girls shared Watermelon Tomato bruschetta - the wife says it was really good (I need to stay away from cheese on trips :( ) - trying to decide where to actually have dinner, we ended up going back to MB for dinner at Lupo - this was surprisingly good - as a first generation italian, it's hard for me to like restaurant italian food (mom's sauce is the best, right?) but I was pleasantly surprised. I had the spaghettini and meat balls, the wife had the chicken picatta and our friend had lasagna. We shared a bottle of Wolfgang Puke's white wine which was good as well.

    Walked our friend to valet and we went to go refresh some pictures at the Valley of the Falls from our wedding. Crashed early and in bed by 10.

    Friday!
    Beach 8-12:30 ish. The wife wanted to check out the Linq so we went there. Grabbed lunch at Chayo - was good. Had beer, couple of taco's - sun was starting to get to me and I was getting "cranky" so we sat inside. Wife stopped by Sprinkles (shes a baker by day job) and scored us some mini cupcakes. Walked the promenade, bought some souvenirs and back to MB we go to see Michael Jackson One.

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    Great show and the theory proves right. MJ was on par with Beatles Love. Still think Love is our favorite, but MJ was by far better then Zarkana. We weren't sure about the show so we got a cheaper ticket ($120 ish) and when we got into the theater they bumped us up about 8 rows, which was nice. First half hour was a bit slow (IMO) and some of the songs were a bit obscure to us (might be a generation gap) but the last half hour 45 minutes? was damn good and worth the price.

    Back to the room to change and shower and we pull the tigger to go to Light - I'm a huge EDM fan but never would consider myself a partier or clubber or etc... Nice to see a real vegas club, even with the hour wait to get in. Women get comped a drink and the 2 ladies in front of us got sick of waiting in the line, so they gave my wife their drink tickets, which was awesome - only had to may for my whiskey on the rocks.

    Stayed until about 1:30 ish to see the main act and called it a night.

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    (Saturday - Last day!!!!)

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    Supposed to be a chill day (yeah, right, haha) pool from 8-12. The wife, being "the wife", insists we go see Beatles Love and so we do. Tix 4 tonight had them rather expensive and she didn't wanna pay it - then we remember theres a student discount and goto Mirage anyways to see.

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    Score a great ticket with her student discount for $100 each. About 5 hours to kill until the show - we go and walk the Vanetian. The wife stops at Carlos bakery (takes almost 45 minutes to get through the line) and gets herself a cupcake and cookie. Make our way back to Mirage and wait a while until 5pm and have dinner at Tom Colicchio's Heritage Steak - I love steak and would never order an expensive steak medium well, but leaving on sunday, I didn't want to eat anything that would upset my stomach. I order the 10oz filet medium well and the wife orders a new york strip. Both were good but the medium well definitely dried out the steak :( We should of went earlier in the week (then i would have gotten it medium or medium rare)... We share the BBQ onion rings which were amazing and hand cut fries - a drink for her and a glass of wine for me and we finish dinner just in time to see Love.

    Nothing to say about Beatles Love. It's the best show ever. E V E R. :) I'm sure they change small parts every once in a while (or my memory is going) - just as good as I remember it with some small things I don't remember.

    Leave Love and we both get stomach ache's (from the steak? :( ) - back to MB and crash for the night.

    And thats it!

    We were chatting today on the plane about the trip and we think this is the last August trip - We got married in May (5 years ago) and there were a few kids, but not this many. In May, most kids are still in school. So we think if we go back next year, it'll definitely be closer to our anniversary day. Plus it wont be so damn hot out.

    And the wife never ended up buying herself anything (didn't find anything she liked) - she claims seeing Love was her something to buy so if that makes her happy... ok.

    Till next year!
     
  14. lsiunsuex

    lsiunsuex Tourist

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    We're 35 and 33 (me, her)

    This is my thing. Look at these places - they're mammoth. Any city would be lucky to have 1 building as big as MB (let alone a Ceasars or Bellagio) and LV has how many in 1 4 mile strip? Everything is made of marble, granite, effort goes into what the place smells like, how fresh the carpets are, remodeling rooms every couple years to keep them fresh / give people something new to stay in. These places are made of money.

    So my thing is; your going to a fancy place - dress appropriately, would ya? Completely agree - your in the middle of the dessert - it's damn hot out. During the day, I wore crocs (literally $20 worth of rubber molded to fit a foot) cause of all the walking.

    Dress how you will at the pool. Dress how you will walking the strip and going souvenir shopping. But a nice dinner or a nice club? A bit of respect is due.

    During the day, I stopped at whatever table is in MB to learn more about Light Night Club - asked what the dress code was and he said it was roughly what I was wearing - white button down, linen pants, dress shoes. Get to the club - of some 400+ people waiting to get in, 4 of us were wearing a suit (including me)? Group of guys in t-shirts I wouldn't wash my Acura RDX with. Most (all) the girls were dressed up - the guys should be too.

    But... maybe it's just me.
     
  15. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Given your ages, I'm surprised you liked LOVE more. We're about the same ages and we struggled to connect with any song in LOVE because we've never made an effort to listen to much music from the Beatles. But ever since Michael's death, we periodically hear his music on the radio, so at least we are pretty familiar with his biggest hits. When at LOVE, I was wishing I was high at the time (and I don't get high...lol), so I could possibly enjoy it more.

    And the lull in the middle wasn't a generation gap in MJ One. You were actually old enough to remember most of that part originally. Most of that was his weaker hits. A lot of stuff from the early/mid 90s that no one really cared about at the time.

    The highlight of the show was "Billie Jean" and that came way too early in the show, imo.

    Nice TR! Glad you had a good time!
     
  16. Piech

    Piech Tourist

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    My only gripe with LOVE is that they don't play enough of each song......too many times we'd just be getting into a song and singing along and.....oops - onto another song - other than that - great show......
     
  17. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    May is one of the best months in Vegas imo. We went last July and found the same thing.....so many kids.

    Thanks for sharing your Vegas adventures!
     
  18. Blueberries

    Blueberries Low-Roller

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    Gripe 1: There are a lot, A LOT, of kids here at MB. I was in the lobby working on my stuff and a child was literally running through the lobby crying. What is this, Disney land? Why would you bring a child to a casino / LV. What's next, hookers hanging outside the gates of Disney land? This isn't an appropriate place for them. I know MB is more kid friendly then some of the other properties, but come-on...

    I was at Mandalay Bay on 8/19. The Taxi Driver warned about a Magic Conference and a lot of Children.
    Not certain if the two were connected, but I'm not in Las Vegas to hang with Children and it does make me think twice about staying at MB in the future.
     
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