Check-In/Room: Monday 8:30am, fast and friendly. They took our cell # and we were off to breakfast and the pool within 5 minutes. They called us at about 12:30 with Room 17307, king size bed and a view of of the pool area. Not bad at $69 per night. If you are a light sleeper, helicopters do start flying by very early in the morning. Pool Area: When we arrived, the Beach, Wave Pool, and Lazy River areas were a zoo as others have mentioned. If you want a free chair you need to arrive before 8:30am.(Line starts forming about 7:15 for 8am opening) We kept walking to what was called the South Lagoon Pool. We found this to our liking. It did not get crowded until about 11:00 and we were always able to get chairs poolside. It had its own bar for quick and easy access and one day we were entertained by a woman who was an Adult Film actress posing for pictures in and out of the pool. We did get up early on our last day to try the wave pool and lazy river. 8:00 am got us a couple chairs up front and we spent a couple hours at the beach part. Our conclusion was that we liked the South Lagoon better than the chaos that surrounded the more popular areas. Dining: Breakfast/Lunch: Raffles-Monday 8:45am, Sit down cafe, we had stuffed french toast and Eggs Bendict, short wait, good selection, huge portions and good taste. Red-White-Blue To-Go-Tue/Wed 10am, We had Breakfast Croissant Sandwiches and fruit bowls, they also offered salads, sandwiches, and assorted desserts for lunches or snacks. Quick service. The cookies are awesome. We stopped several times to treat ourselves. Red-White-Blue Cafe-11:30am Sit down cafe, we had a Turkey Club sandwich and a Mushroom Burger. Huge portions, sandwiches are triple decker and could probably feed two people. Dinner: Burger Bar- Monday 7:30pm, we ate at the Bar(No Wait), Pick your meat, Pick your bun, Pick your toppings, and then they cook it to order. Nice atmosphere, a little pricey, but burger bars seem to be the trend and this restaurant appeared to be the best of the bunch. Stripsteak- Tuesday 6:30, early dining prior to 9:00 show, had reservations but none were needed. They start you with gourmet fries and dipping sauce instead of bread. We chose blue crab lettuce cups w/spicy sauce and lobster fritters for appetizers, for the main entrees we had a filet and a rib-eye cap steak, and for dessert we forced ourselves to try the candy bar dessert and chocolate delice with roasted bananas and cashew ice cream. Very spendy but well worth it. ($50 gift certificate for $10 through coupon cabin and Restaurant.com helped lessen the cost a little.) Joe's Stone Crab and Prime Steak- Wednesday 8:00pm, The restaurant is at the Caesar's Forum Shops. We had to try the stone crab legs. Being from Seattle we found the crab to be good but the mustard sauce was what made the meal. No reservation, but we were immediately seated in the bar area. Shows: The only show we paid for was Peepshow w/Holly Madison at Planet Hollywood. We got the tickets in advance for $40 off each and I am glad we did not pay full price. While the show was entertaining it was painful to watch Holly try to dance and act. The other dancers were great. Her name got us in the door, but she needs to stick to still photography with airbrushing. On stage she was definitely out of her element. The theater was only partially full. They moved people that bought balcony tickets down to the lower level. It was a fun night, but we wouldn't see that show again. On Wednesday night we spent a couple hours at the Paris Hotel Piano Bar. While there is no cover, the drinks are $10-12 each and you pay for requests if you want them played. We have been here several times and it is always a fun stop along the way. Gambling: Tables and machines were plentiful all up and down the strip. $5 minimums seem to have been replaced with $10 and $10 with $15 and so on...We like BJ and played at Mandalay Bay for the most part. We tried our luck on the $.25 slots once and we placed some NFL futures bets at the Planet Hollywood Sportsbook.(Highest odds we could find on the strip). Gambling was not the biggest focus of our trip. We would find the $10 BJ table each night and play for a couple hours. We only ended up $30 behind after 3 nights. Pretty cheap entertainment for many hours of gambling. Crowds: We were in Vegas the same time last year and it seemed empty. This year people must have been taking advantage of low prices for a cheap vacation. The casinos, restaurants, and adult venues were not full. It was the fringe areas that seemed to be packed(Pools, walkways, elevators, strip sidewalks/overpasses, etc.) Anywhere things were free or cheap there were people. There were families with kids everywhere. We don't have a problem with kids but we chose to leave ours at home. It has to be hard to enjoy vegas with strollers and whiney kids in tow. Overall: Mandalay Bay was great and we would stay there again. We seemed to have had good timing thoughout our stay and kept a relaxed pace throughout. Drinks were plentiful and there are good deals to found throughout the strip. Mon-Thurs is the best time to avoid higher prices and some of the crowds. After placing several NFL futures bets at 50-1 to win the Superbowl...All we can say now is Go Seahawks!!!!!