Hello, All! After hearing about the Strictly Slots Aladdin special, we decided to try the Aladdin instead of the MGM. This was to be our 8th trip to Sin City, May 4th thru 6th. We landed a $49 room rate for 2 nights and I got a $15.99 a day car from Dollar. Traveled from Buffalo on a Southwest Rapid Reward Coupon for me and a Companion Pass voucher for my wife. Southwest landed according to plan, at the airport, right on time at 3:30pm. We got our luggage and ran out to catch the Dollar shuttle. We arrived at Dollar (right across from our normal outlet, Hertz). The driver just told us "walk over there" and pointed at he pickup area. We waited for a mid size car (booked a compact, had an upgrade coupon which was sent to us when we signed up for the Fast Lane). Got into a Dodge Stratus and pulled up to the counter. First surprise-Transmission light on. Had to swap it, attendant offered my wife a free upgrade to an SUV (a V6 Suzuki Grand Vitara). On the road at about 4:30, first order of business was to go to Fry's electronics. Last trip on Superbowl Sunday, we left with a suitcase full of good deals. This time the deals were harder to find. Left Fry's at about 5:30 and went to the Aladdin. When I booked this trip thru the aladdin promotion desk, I was told that I'd receive a free upgrade to an Aladdin gold card, so I need to get the card before I check in. Big mistake. I went to the players club and was laughed at, they said I only had two points from my last trip and there was no way they'd give me a gold card. I asked to confirm my room rate, they said $49 based on your play. I told them wrong, it was not supposed to be based on play. Growing very frustrated I asked for a manager and was given a business card--told to "call him tomorrow after one pm." What about my free show tickets which were only valid tonight (shows dark on Mon)? They don't know anything about free show tickets. they insisted I show them my coupons or offer received in the mail. I told them this was from Strictly Slots magazine. After about half an hour, they finally called someone up who basically said "yes this genetleman is correct, he needs his free gold card to checkin and receive all his fabulous offers." This lady looked stupid and started arguing with the manager, saying that offer or no offer they don't want to give me the deal. I finally got my gold card (victory) and went to checkin. Lady at the checkin desk looked at the gold card and said wow you must stay here alot. I smiled and slipped $20 onto the counter for an "upgrade" I thought it would work until she threw the room upgrade book on the counter and said look at all these nice expensive rooms. No free upgrade even when I asked directly. Plenty of unsold rooms. I was disappointed but still remembered to ask "South tower, upper floor, odd room #." She said no, I could only have North Tower but it would have a partial view of the strip. Went to room, good view of Bellagio fountains. Went downstairs to play $20 slot tournament. We lost, as most others seem to do. Picked up a $20 food voucher which was used at Zanzibar cafe for a quick meal (hamburger/chicken tenders, all american for us). Used the $10 free slot play--Lost. Went to use our free $25 slot play coupon from the Stay and Play package--Lost (surprise). We cashed out after using the promo $25 and left with $8. Next we went in search of our free show tickets. convinced the wife (amazingly) that "X" would be a good show to see. guy at the ticket counter reassured her that half the audience would be female and "only 65% of the show is actually topless". We had a great time. 2nd row seata, as we always happen to get (pays to get tickets at the last minute). Even my wife , who is definintely not into topless shows, said it was a pretty classy act, and the 8 or 9 sketches done to music were done very well. The comedian wasn't bad either. We finished off the night with some gambling, at the London Club (2nd floor, Aladdin). We felt like high rollers even though we sat at a $1 video poker machine for an hour. The drinks are the Biggest and Best anywhere in Vegas, and the service is second to none. We actually walked away from those machines even, or up a little. Monday morning we got up, waited 30 minutes for Valet to bring car, then drove to the Excalibur for Krispy Kreme donuts. Free sample donut. Stupid people giving samples just cut into their profit, since we only bought one donut each :-> That's when I had a fight with a "100 or nothing" $1 slot machine. Easy in theory you either win $100 or lose. Last trip I lost $20 while everyone around me was winning $100. I figured I never win a jackpot, and this time I won't leave a loser. Well, I left a loser. $140 to be precise, while some guy next to me put $1 each in the machine to the right and left of me and won in both. My wife took my wallet to avoid any further humiliation, Then we walked to Mandalay Bay for the Shark Exhibit, that was very good, alot better than I had imagined it. It was now nearly lunchtime, she wanted Fatburger. We remembered seeing a Fatburger while driving last time, off from the strip so hopefully not as packed as the one near MGM. Well the Magellan GPS we brought with us found us a different Fatburger, this one was kind of in a scary part of town. They had pay toilets, a coin slot built into each outdoor restroom handle. Tacky. Lunch was good, then we drove around a bit more, and headed back to the Aladdin. Slipped the valey guy a few bucks to write "NW" on our ticket (No Wait). Strolled through the mall a bit, then walked to MGM. Last trip I played $25 blackjack for an hour, walked away with a free buffet comp for three people and was up $400. This trip, bought in for $500 and lost most of it within 30 minutes, couldn't bring myself to ask for a comp with only 30 minutes of play. We paid $19.95 each for the Grand Buffet (inflation, in Jan. it was 16.95 I think). Dinner was great, as always. A million times better than the Boardwalk. We then walked straight past Aladdin, way down to Harrah's Carneval Court. Had a good time, althought the bar was packed for cinco de mayo. Had some strong drinks as usual. Bartenders there weren't as wild as normal (no setting drinks on fire or aerobics). Walked (sorta) back to Aladdin around 1am. Sunday we woke up, checked out (bill was correct,surprisingly, $110 or so for two nights). then waited only 2 minutes at the valet before we hopped into the Not-So-Grand Vitara, and drove to Sam's Club for gas (had to show my friends my receipt to prove that I found a Sam's club with gas pumps). Then we set out for our 300 mile trip thru the desert to Scottsdale, Arizona, for a two day meeting, the real reason for our trip... Sorry to bore anyone with all the details. This trip, just like the past 7, were alot of fun. What we didn't do that we'd have liked to: Won. Visit Fremont street for the first 2 shows of the night. Play $1 blackjack at the Sahara. Moral of the story: Aladdin $49 a night was a deal only because of the two free $55 show tickets and $25 slot play. Otherwise, we could have booked MGM on their web site Emerald tower for $49 a night, then we could have used some MGM coupons that we get thru players club mailings (two free buffets, worth $40 total). MGM is really picky about you not being able to use these offers unless you are also stay overnight using one of their discounted players club rooms. Doesn't make sense all the time, especially on our last trip which was a one night trip, we were planning on staying up all night. Well that's it for now. Already planning the next trip. Maybe in July/Aug. Probably MGM unless we get a better offer via mail or hear about another good Strictly Slots offer. Cya!