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MGM - August 13th - August 20th

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by BurlingtonDoodle, Sep 3, 2013.

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  1. BurlingtonDoodle

    BurlingtonDoodle Tourist

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2012
    Messages:
    66
    Location:
    Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    9

    My Trip Report

    Hi all - thought I would post a Trip Report on what had to be my favorite trip to Vegas so far.

    A little background on the players:

    Me: I've been to Vegas a few times since the early 90s...love to gamble (mostly slots and Blackjack), and I come into the Big Lights every single time with a view of cutting loose and just enjoying the ride. I really enjoy the atmosphere of the Strip - have never made it to Fremont street before this trip (I know, I know). Have stayed at the (old) Aladdin, Planet Hollywood, NYNY, Mirage and Palazzo.

    The Wife: She's been to Vegas with me once before, and really loves to vacation. Grab her a decent drink (or three), a good book, and a pool and she's set. Enjoys gambling. Stayed with me at the Palazzo.

    The Sister: Like me, she really enjoys to gamble. And drink. And smoke. She's been to Vegas once before. Doesn't know the meaning of Cashing Out. And the wins are NEVER big enough.

    The Brother-in-Law: Great guy, loves to gamble. Prefers cards to slots (especially a low-end Poker tournament). Second time to Vegas.

    The Brother: Gamble, drink and smoke. Y'know - now that I think about it - there may be a genetic disposition to Vegas that runs through our blood. His second trip to Vegas (I surprised him with a pre-wedding Bros-in-Vegas Trip in 2007).

    The Sister-in-Law: Amazing. In that she puts up with my brother. Enjoys the gambling, drinking and soaking up the sun by the pool.

    The Planning:

    I usually make a run to our local Canadian casino in Niagara Falls each year with my brother and brother-in-law. Last year, we decided that we would do Vegas this year to celebrate my 40th. We decided to make it a 6-some since we have 2 wedding anniversaries as well, and hey - makes it a lot easier to sell to the wives :)

    There were 4 things we absolutely decided HAD to be included in this trip.

    1. A really really really great swim. Since we were going with the wives and this wasn't going to be a 24/7 gambling marathon with no sleep, showers or food - we decided to look at a hotel that had a really decent pool.

    2. Shows. I'm notorious for going to Vegas and living inside the Casinos (except when I need to go for some fresh air and run the Porn-Slapping Gauntlet down the Strip). We decided to plan for something funny, something magical, and a Cirque show or two.

    3. Fremont. Can't believe I haven't done it before this trip. And man....I've been missing SOOOO much!!!!

    4. Limo Service. Since there were 6 of us, and the cost of 3 cabs was pretty comparable to the cost of a limo, we decided we were going to crash into Vegas in style.


    I've spent months on this Board asking advice and reading reading reading - wanted to thank you all for making the planning part of this trip so much easier. Great members, through and through.
     
  2. BurlingtonDoodle

    BurlingtonDoodle Tourist

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2012
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    9
    Day 1 - The Limo, The Lion and the Dueling Pianists

    The Hotel:
    We decided on the MGM Grand - primarily because of the amazing pools, and it's location on the Strip. The last few trips have had us North End near Venetian/Palazzo, and we really wanted something closer to the South End. Can't say enough how amazing this hotel was - and that really surprised me, since I'm a bit of a resort snob and wasn't expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. Absolutely fantastic stay, great customer service - no issues at all. This may end up being my home away from home :)

    The Flight:
    We had booked an early Southwest flight out of Buffalo - MUCH cheaper than anything out of Canada, with a 9:35am (local) Vegas touchdown. Airport check-in and security was a breeze, and the flight was pretty uneventful. Southwest offered the 'free' streaming television to your tablet (which really helped The Brother who is absolutely The World's Most Nervous and Anxious Flyer). Pretty uneventful flight.

    The Airport in Vegas
    On arrival, we had planned an hour at the airport - so that we could use the conveniently located MGM Airport Check-In, and take all of the obligatory Airport Pictures. Once we touched down, and saw that amazing Vegas skyline that brought the blood rushing back through our veins - we were ready to start our journey...only to have a bit of a set-back with transportation.

    The Limo
    ...And so the nightmare began.

    After doing lots of research and reading 100s of Trip Reports, I had pre-booked a 90-minute Presidential Limo ride - with the request that we be met at the airport 1 hour after our flight touched down.

    I was careful to order the Hourly Rate (vs. the Flight Special) and our plan was to check-in, jump in the limo, do the Vegas Sign picture, and hit a Liquor Store. Unfortunately, the Limo Driver (Adele - who has received a lot of positive reviews) showed up at the Baggage Claim at 9:35am instead of 10:35am.

    Adele told me that Presidential Limo ONLY shows up and starts their clock at Flight Touchdowns - vs. the 10:35am scheduled time that I had requested and had confirmed.

    I will say this - I have NO good things to say about Presidential (after speaking/negotiating/screaming with their supervisor) - but Adele did us right and extended the time we had so that it was at least CLOSE to the 90 minutes I had paid for.

    Real disappointment here - and I expect to have to deal with this for the next several weeks.

    We didn't get to stop at the Sign (although we did take pictures through the window), and the Liquor store that we stopped at was Uber-Expensive...Definitely not the start to the trip I was hoping for.

    The Lion
    Man - I've been in the MGM several times - but I have never before this trip really checked it out. It's an amazingly huge resort - and while I've read a lot about how some find it 'too' big - I really found it to be a great resort. I didn't find the walking to be an issue at all.

    The Lion in the Lobby was a cool picture opportunity, and the Lion Progressive was fun to play as our 'first' real Gamble. The picture turned out great, the Gamble not so much. Headed over to mLife to get our cards.

    We did some quick gambling in the casino while we waited for our rooms, and had lunch at 1812. Great food (although pretty expensive) - was a good spot to get our Vegas on - especially after the disappointment of the Limo ride. We had our room keys from the Airport Check-In, and the rooms were all ready (3 of them, 19th floor) by 1:00pm.

    Hit the rooms, unpacked and the 6 of us drank a few beers. Gambled a bit more (mostly slots, and mostly unlucky), then headed over to New York New York. One of my favorite night-spots on the Strip.

    Drank and ate some more at 9 Fine, then hit VP and slots. Did okay on VP, but I lost my wallet somewhere near the bar.... I will tell you this - you have not shit your pants in Vegas until you lose your wallet with close to $2000 cash within 6 hours of touching down in Vegas! Luckily, it had been turned in (money and all) and I got it back....this would turn out to be the only real 'win' in Vegas for me :)

    With our drink on, we hit up the Dueling Pianists, and had an absolute blast. Being from Canada (and it was pretty slow for a Tuesday night) - the players were all over us. Certainly made for a great first night in Vegas.

    We stayed at NYNY until 1, then headed back to MGM.
     
  3. weluvvegas

    weluvvegas Vegas Slot Junkie

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Dallas/Ft.Worth, TX
    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    Wow. 7 days in Vegas? Looking forward to hearing more! Pics, pics!
     
    40th Birthday Bash!
  4. BurlingtonDoodle

    BurlingtonDoodle Tourist

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Trips to Las Vegas:
    9
    Day 2 - Magic, Mon Ami, and The Brother Gets Lucky

    Buffet Breakfast
    Our plans for Wednesday were to unwind, relax, and then wind ourselves back up with some gambling. We did the MGM Buffet for breakfast - which in my opinion - was just okay. Good selection, and reasonably priced, and the service was fantastic. But I've done lots of Buffets before and nothing really made this one stand out for me.

    I did manage to turn $20 into $160 en route to the bathroom which is conveniently located just outside the buffet and across the casino floor - I did mention earlier that I like to gamble, yes? - thanks to a Deal or No Deal slot machine that was calling my name. Unfortunately, The Wife also found the Deal or No Deal slots in every casino we visited, and they would eventually pull all of that new money right back in. To Quote The Wife: I Don't Care WHAT It Costs - I'm Getting That Damned Briefcase Bonus!

    Fun in the Sun
    Our first visit to the MGM pool was incredible. We arrived shortly after they opened up the bridge to the Lazy River (and for any who have never been to MGM Lazy River - it's a comical run at 10:01am as people push, shove and dive for the best chairs by the water). But it was a Wednesday, and the pool wasn't grossly busy...it was perfect.

    We spent a few hours Lazing and Rivering, and we even ordered a few drinks. I don't know if the daiquiri The Wife ordered was worth the $22, I do know that I've had some pretty good relations with beer in my time - but for $9 - I decided that all future pool excursions would be accompanied by a Coffee Travel Mug filled with any liquid other than coffee.

    I will say this - we nailed it in picking a resort. The pool was awesome - and this is from a guy that NEVER would have thought of staying at MGM a few years ago. It really made the trip for me and The Wife.

    My advice? Don't bother with the tube rentals (you can buy a tube down the street at CVS/Walgreens/Anywhere Other Than the Pool).

    The Sister-in-Law spent some time with us soaking up the sun and relaxing, while the Sister and The Brother-In-Law went walking the strip. The idea was that we would do some kind of show later that evening and they were up to picking/ordering/getting the tickets.

    What was kinda funny - I had a single call from them asking how far The Riviera casino was from MGM. My answer (as it is when anybody asks me how far something is) - turn right and walk 15 minutes.

    Now, if you've EVER walked the Strip before, you know very well that The Riviera isn't anywhere near the MGM Casino. While I found their 45 minute walk an amusing story over lunch - they, surprisingly, did not. I'm pretty sure they still have the sun burn.

    The Brother? The Sister-in-Law assumed he was in the room dealing with some post-flight trauma. Me? I'm pretty sure I heard him cursing and swearing in the casino.

    We spent the rest of the day drinking and gambling and having a blast. God, just to write that one line kinda sums up the entire Vegas experience - doesn't it?


    The Magic
    We decided on seeing Jan Rouven (the Illusionist) at - you guessed it - The Riviera. Tickets were general admission, and the show was pretty good. I would have preferred seeing Copperfield, but we couldn't seem to get any seats that we liked. While the magic wasn't anything I haven't seen before, I did enjoy Jan's overall engagement with the audience. He was funny and very personable. Didn't like having to stand in line prior to the show; tickets were First Come First Serve.

    Mon Ami
    With all the research I'd done prior to Vegas, I really wanted to eat at Mon Ami Gabi's for Breakfast. When the Jan Rouven show finished, we walked back to the strip and through a few of the North End casinos (Palazzo, Venetian, Paris).

    It was getting late, and the patio was booked. So we ate inside. While the food was good (but expensive) for the most part - The Sister-in-Law made the mistake of ordering the "Tomato Salad". She wasn't overly hungry, and figured a salad would do her.

    Turns out that the "Tomato Salad" is really just 4 slices of tomato.

    On a plate.

    For $20.

    She wasn't impressed, and I laughed my ass off.

    Overall - the dinner at Mon Ami Gabi kind of turned us off on having breakfast there. But it's still on my list for the next trip. Something about a morning in Paris on the Strip.

    Getting Lucky
    We decided to gamble a bit at Paris after dinner. I played a bit of Black-Jack with the Brother-in-Law, and the rest tried their luck at the slots. At this point, I hadn't really won anything other than the $160 earlier that morning (which The Wife re-invested right back into Howie's Deal or No Deal), and The Sister wasn't doing all that great either.

    So when The Brother hit a $400 win on a Spider-Man slot machine, it was with mixed emotions from the rest of us.

    My second favorite quote (to The Brother-in-Law): It isn't jealousy. It's outright anger. He's a prick 'cause he's winning.

    I love The Brother. I would have loved him even better if I had been sitting in the Spiderman chair instead of him :)

    We gambled some more, then made our way back to the MGM. The Strip was busy - and it was a blast People Watching on the go.
     
  5. BurlingtonDoodle

    BurlingtonDoodle Tourist

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Location:
    Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    9
    Day 3 - A bit o'Texas (de Brazil) and Going Old School

    The Day
    The Wife and I had planned to purchase a throw-away coffee maker so that we wouldn't have to spend all that money on very expensive coffee every morning. Unfortunately, we never made it to CVS for the coffee-maker purchase, and every morning was a run through the casino to Starbucks.

    I say 'run' - when what I really mean is a 'stop at every machine and throw a $20 in making the daily Starbucks Run even MORE expensive'. I think I said it before - I have a bit of an inclination to gamble when I'm in Vegas. Just turns out I'm not very good at it.

    We did coffees, food court and another morning at the pool. We could see the weekend crowds starting to materialize as Southwest Flight after Southwest Flight started rolling their passengers into the MGM. Pool was still amazing - we hung out at 2 different MGM pools before hitting the Lazy River up again. This time, the whole crew made time to relax in the sun.

    I was thinking of doing the Titanic exhibit at Luxor and The Wife and I headed over there (via Tram from Excalibur). While I'm not a fan of the rooms at the Luxor (never stayed, but they just look....weird to me) - I do like the casino itself. Kind of a cool concept. We checked out the Titanic gift shop, although we didn't have time to do the tour that day.

    Gambled a bit, drank some more, then walked back through Excalibur. Man - that place is looking pretty run down. Stopped at NYNY to do a bit of souvenir shopping. Gambled a bit more - since, y'know - I had to win SOMETIME.

    Didn't win.

    Best Little (Brazilian) Steakhouse in Texas?
    We had reservations at Texas de Brazil for dinner - this is a restaurant that The Brother and The Sister-in-Law had tried before in Aruba and just loved...so we jumped in 2 cabs and headed down.

    The restaurant is beautiful, and the service was great. We had a great little table near the buffet. For those of you who have never done a 'Flip the Card' kind of dinner - you are given a card at your seat and you turn it Green if you want meat, Red if you do not. Waiters come around with a huge selection of different meats (Steak, Lamb, Chicken, Sausage) and you gorge yourself until you're done. The buffet portion (salads, sea-food, pasta) was just okay, but the experience and the meat portions were amazing. It was a really enjoyable way for the 6 of us to celebrate being in Las Vegas - and I'd highly recommend it. Close enough to the Strip ($18 cab ride), but still far enough away that you can enjoy a nice dinner.

    Going Old School
    After dinner, we decided to hit Fremont Street. I've read enough on this Board to know that each and every one of you has your favorite spots in Vegas - and now I know where mine is. I can't believe I've never gone to Fremont before.

    A little preamble: In preparation for Vegas, I've been taping and watching countless reruns of the Vegas Strip (Cops, but in Vegas) and Casino Confidential (Binions). I was really looking forward to seeing some of the older Casinos, and hoping beyond all else that Priscilla would serve me a beer at Binions.

    We hit all the main haunts - 4 Queens, Sam Boyds, the Nugget - and spent a lot of time just walking the street. The crowd had such an amazing energy and all the street hustlers were incredibly friendly (and funny!). $1 Margaritas, cheap beer and just an indescribable atmosphere that all of you know so well, and that I've finally had a chance to experience. They did the Queen tribute light show while we were there.

    Finally hit Binions - and chatted it up with the bartender while playing some VP. Great casino, great attitudes....and YES - Priscilla was working and I had a chance to meet her! Bucket List #33 complete.

    Fremont is now a regular itinerary item for any and all future Vegas trips. I'm an idiot - I should have done this years ago! One of the best nights I've ever had in Vegas.
     
  6. BurlingtonDoodle

    BurlingtonDoodle Tourist

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Location:
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    9
    Day 4 - The Wife and The BJ and Spade shines.

    Starting the Morning of The Last Night (for some)
    The Wife and I had planned a 7 day trip, while the Brother and the Sister (and the rest) were only staying until Saturday. We wanted to spend a few days together alone in Vegas. That meant that this would be the last full day / full night before the rest of the group made their way back home.

    We did an early breakfast (food court again, and damn - that $60 Starbuck Run was starting to hurt), and hit the pool with The Sister and the Brother-in-Law. Wasn't sure where The Brother had gone with The Sister-in-Law, but that's the great part of doing a Vegas vacation with these guys - we didn't need to spend every minute together :)

    After a morning swim, we had a few beers back in the room, then decided to head over to Tropicana (under the pretense of seeing the Mob Museum, but let's be honest - I was starting to feel the pinch of losing and that $200 Free Gambling billboard on the side of the hotel was calling me!).

    The 4 of us got our cards, and hit the slots for a few hours. The Wife and I lost / won / lost / broke even (Damn you Howie Mandel!), but then we all met up at a Blackjack table.

    The Wife and the Sister have never played Black Jack before, and what followed was probably one of my favorite table sittings in Vegas ever. We had an amazing dealer (3 in fact), and we had the table all to ourselves. The girls learned the basics of the game, and I haven't seen this kind of lightening drink service ever (or since). At one point, I was up $60 with 3 drinks going, and The Wife was in a close second.

    I think I'm starting to see a trend here - really found myself enjoying the older Vegas style casinos more than the regular Strip casinos...the atmosphere just seems a little more easy-going. Remember - I'm spoiled for the Palazzo (where I stayed with The Wife last time in Vegas) - but the fun factor in the older hotels was WAY better.

    Won a bit, lost a lot. Ended up about even.

    Ok - that's a lie. I was down. Painfully down. Started counting the days between Mortgage and Payday. But hey - it's Vegas and I will still within the budget. Just never thought I'd actually have to keep dipping into the daily envelopes. Had this strange feeling I'd win big (huge even) by Day 3.

    Apparently, I was drunk when I had that feeling. Or maybe that feeling only works in Canada.

    David Spade and Tommy Boy Redux
    The Sister-in-Law had booked tickets to see David Spade. We all made our way to Venetian with a stop at Margaritaville for dinner. Took 2 cabs (ladies in one, gents in the other). I swear we all started at the same MGM cab line, but the Gents must have gotten long-hauled because our cost was almost twice was the ladies paid. Viva Las Vegas cabbies!

    Dinner was fantastic - I've always loved Margaritaville for it's food, it's decent-priced drinks (from a Strip perspective), and it's energy. We stayed for a bit and did us some people watching, then headed over for the show.

    This is the point that The Brother realizes that his post-flight trauma may actually not be related to the Flight, and that he may in fact have a bit of an anxiety issue. Unfortunately, he decided to skip the Spade show and head back to his room. Little bit of drama here - but the rest of us made it into the theatre.

    Opening act was great (funny, wish I could remember his name) - but as we were waiting for Spade to take the stage - there was an announcement....they were bringing a second act up before David Spade.

    I wasn't sure if this was a good thing - up until they announced that the Second Opening Act was Chris Farley's brother. Holy shit - looks like him, acts like him, and he was funny as hell! I consider this now to be a great bonus on top of seeing Spade. He had his own sense of humour and approach to jokes, but would throw in a few "Chris Farley maniacal rants" for good measure.

    Best line: Hi there. As some of you may have guessed by looking at me, I'm Chris Farley's brother. And yes, I'm riding my dead brother's coat-tails.

    Spade's act was funny in a 'tell a funny story' kind of way - but his really hit his stride as members of the audience would get up on occasion to hit the bathroom. It's called Sargasm for a reason and Spade really launched into it whenever someone from the audience would walk in front of the stage. This made for some of the funniest moments of the show.

    We ended up back at MGM and drank / gambled some more. The Sister-in-Law went up to check on the brother while the rest of us found new and exciting ways to lose more money.

    By new - I mean you Howie Mandel.

    And by exciting - if I NEVER see another Brief-Case Bonus, well, that would be just like The Wife in Vegas.
     
  7. BurlingtonDoodle

    BurlingtonDoodle Tourist

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2012
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    9
    Coming Up

    This is really more a place holder for me :)

    - The rawness of NYNY
    - Fond Farewells
    - Walking the Strip with The Wife
    - Beer Bonanza
    - Michael Jackson One
    - The Comp Factor
    - Making the Way Home
     
  8. vegasqc

    vegasqc VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Great report man

    I would have freaked out losing my wallet with 2000$

    Shocked to see theres still some honest people out there
     
  9. Watts

    Watts Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2011
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    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    Great report so far.
     
  10. TJ1980

    TJ1980 Tourist

    Joined:
    May 26, 2012
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    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    7
    Awesome report....can't wait to read more!
     
  11. dfalk

    dfalk VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    I was just about the say the same thing. That would be scary as hell.

    Keep it coming, enjoying the TR.
     
  12. LV2GAMBLE

    LV2GAMBLE Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2012
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    Land of 10,000 Lakes
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    Liking your report so far....waiting for more... Glad you got your wallet back intact. Ouch, that would have hurt.
     
    Always seems so far away............
  13. BurlingtonDoodle

    BurlingtonDoodle Tourist

    Joined:
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    Day 5 - The Rawness of NYNY and Fond Farewells

    The Morning of Mourning
    I think the Brother-in-Law summed it up best when we went for our $40 cup of Starbucks on that Saturday morning when the all but The Wife and I would be leaving Vegas:

    I can't believe we're leaving - it feels like we just got here.

    Their flight was scheduled for late afternoon (thank you, Southwest, for being considerate enough to have 6 zillion flights in and out of Vegas!) which left plenty of time to clean 2 rooms and migrate all of their luggage into mine.

    We had purchased quite a bit of beer and Vodka and wine during our Day 1 Never-Riding-Presidential-Limo again ride - so with the luggage came lots of extra alcohol - more than I could ever hope to consume in the remaining 2 days I had.

    The 6 of us made a run for the Food Court, and spent the morning at the pool - which now was filled with the Party Girls and the Weekend Warriors.

    It seemed that some of the magic of Vegas had left our little group - always the case with an impending departure, and the 4 Departees knowing that they would need to limit their fun. We still had ourselves some fun in the sun (have I mentioned just how amazing the MGM pool is?)...although The Brother was beginning to sweat and pace, knowing that in a few short hours he would once again be hurtling through the air, 34,000 feet above the ground.

    We decided to finish the first part of our trip the way we began it - shopping and gambling at New York New York. Lots of tourist-y pictures in front of the hotel, beside the piano bar (now silent), and 9 Fine Irishmen.

    How do you like YOUR burger?
    For lunch, we decided to hit up Broadway Burger. We were seated immediately (which was nice, given the size of the crowd wandering through the hotel), and our waitress was very fast and friendly. I ordered the special (Burger and Fries). The meals were served pretty quickly...this was shaping up to be a nice farewall luncheon.

    Until I took my 3rd bite and realized there was blood dripping down onto my plate.

    I've had meals (mostly steaks) that haven't been prepared as well as I would have liked them to be - but I have to tell you - this Burger was more than raw...I'm pretty sure I saw an udder or two.

    To her credit, the waitress did remove this item from the bill when I mentioned it - but I also spoke with the manager who didn't really seem to care that I'd been served a meal that was fresh off the farm. This really crashed the last hour in Vegas for our group.

    I'm still emailing NYNY about this issue - and I'm quite surprised that they aren't really taking the time to address the issue to my satisfaction. I'm not even looking for any freebies (although an extra week in Vegas would be happily accepted) - I would just like them to acknowledge the issue and hey - maybe throw an apology my way.

    I'm still a big fan of the New York New York hotel/casino - but this experience really left a bad taste with me.

    Bidding Adieu
    We made our way back to the MGM, and the Departees grabbed their bags from the room. We bid our farewells in the lobby and it was with mixed emotions that we saw them off - I was sad to see them leave, but I won't lie - I was really looking forward to a few solid days of alone time with The Wife.

    Walking the Strip
    The wife and I had wanted to walk through some of the new(er) hotels on the Strip (Aria, Vdara, Cosmo) and spent most of the late afternoon / early evening checking these casino and shops out.

    I will say this - Aria is beautiful - and didn't feel nearly as snooty as I would have expected it to. The Wife and I had been thinking about a room at Aria before we booked MGM and I do think we would have enjoyed it.

    We ate at a Little Slice of Italy (which was good, not great) and watched the Fountain Show in front of Bellagio. Stopped in at the new Gordon Ramsay Pub looking for a souvenir shirt for our son (he's a huge fan) - but they told us we'd only be able to get one at BurGR. Bit of a bust.

    The Strip was incredibly busy, especially down by Caesars (it was Saturday, after all) - and made for some pretty crazy people-watching. We returned to MGM, gambled a bit on slots and ended up winning $200.

    And no - we did not win it on Mr. Mandel's Deal or No Deal :)
     
  14. BurlingtonDoodle

    BurlingtonDoodle Tourist

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    Day 6 - All about MJ

    Michael Jackson One
    Our final full day in Vegas was all about seeing the new Michael Jackson Cirque show. We had ordered tickets via MGM Concierge ($150 per), and have heard incredible things about this performance. We had decided on the 10pm show, hoping to avoid some of the younger crowds.

    Our day was spent Pooling, Gambling, and Drinking.

    We made our way back to the room and drank a little more, although I didn't make even the slightest dent in the mountain of beer that The Brother and Brother-in-Law had left me.

    Quick side note: I've never seen lightening or heard thunder so cool as the storm I watched in Vegas that Sunday afternoon. It was a really awesome site to see the streaks of light crashing down just beyond the silhouette of the New York New York Casino. The rain didn't last long, but it certainly lifted some of the heat from the air.

    Dinner and The Show
    I had managed to accumulate enough points on my mLife card for two free buffet tickets and we did dinner at the MGM buffet. I must say, the dinner service was far better than the breakfast buffet we had eaten earlier in the week. Service was great (as usual), and we had an assortment of meats, fish, crab and desert.

    Second site note: The Wife only eats (and drinks) Gluten free. We were pleasantly surprised at the options for food and drink available in every casino and hotel that we visited. She even ended up buying a case of Gluten-Free beer.

    After the buffet dinner, The Wife and I made our way to Mandalay Bay for the show (man, those Trams are incredible). We had some time to kill before the doors opened, and visited the MJ gift store, and also played the Giant $2 Slot Machine just outside the MJ theatre.

    Managed to turn $20 into $260. And to that I say - Screw you, Howie.

    Damn it. Spoke too soon as The Wife Managed to lose $80 into a Deal or No Deal machine that was 3 slots over. I guess that's just Howie Do It.

    Michael Jackson
    Let me start by saying - I LOVED this show.

    The sound, the sites, the sheer immersion with the audience - I don't think I can say enough positive things about the MJ experience. I've done a few Cirque shows during previous Vegas visits, but nothing compares to this (and I'm a big LOVE fan). I will say that it was the least "Cirque"-y show, but the experience was just...awesome.

    Funny MJ Story: There was a guy sitting 2 seats over, and he was obviously "Someone of Importance". The ushers were bringing him special hand-delivered food and drink, and he was throwing European kisses at them with every opportunity. When the performers made their way into the audience, they would literally stop and hug him.

    At the end of the show - people were getting their pictures taken with him and I had no friggin' idea who he was. So I asked this lady who just finished posing for an iPhone momento.

    "Hey - who is that guy?"...says I.

    "No idea - but he's gotta be famous so I'm getting my picture taken"

    The Wife later Googled him - he was the Producer of the MJ Cirque show. Kinda cool.

    My advice - if you haven't seen it, go. If you have seen it, go again.

    It was that good.

    We left, gambled a wee bit (no major wins/losses) then headed back to our room a the MGM.

    Beer Bonanza
    Back in the room, I was faced with a mountain of beer that I couldn't even think about finishing (30+ cans). So, being it was our last night in Vegas, I grabbed a dozen and put the remaining beer (and half bottle of Vodka) out in the hall.

    It was gone in 6 minutes.

    To those who's night we made with free booze - I wanted to extend a belated "Cheers"! Hope you enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed the trip out.
     
  15. BurlingtonDoodle

    BurlingtonDoodle Tourist

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2012
    Messages:
    66
    Location:
    Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    9
    Day 7 - Good-Bye Las Vegas and Some Final Thoughts

    All good things, even those surrounded by the lights and magic of Las Vegas, must eventually come to an end.

    The Wife and I had booked an early flight home on Tuesday, so our morning was spent finishing the packing and getting the room ready.

    I did visit the mLife desk prior to check-out. Special thank you to all you VMB masters who suggested we bill as much as possible to the room, and walked me virtually through the 'Comp' checkout process. I guess going from Brand-Spanking-New-Card-Carrying-Member to Platinum in a week has it's rewards :) The service at the mLife counter and at Checkout was fantastic...really took their time to see what they could do for the bill.

    We shopped a bit, hit the taxi, and flew on home. No issues, no major or funny stories - just one heck of a great trip.


    Final Thoughts

    - We didn't walk the Strip as much this trip as I have on previous excursions...and given the size of the MGM resort - didn't really feel like we needed to.

    - MGM - Really super impressed (and honestly - surprised) with how great this hotel and the staff were. The pool was exactly what we were looking for, and the rest of the hotel made for a very relaxing getaway. Cannot recommend it enough - from a guy who swore he would only stay at Palazzo.

    - Fremont. Can't believe I've never done it before. Probably the best night out in Vegas in 20 years. Glad I made it out to Binions to see Priscilla :)

    - Gambling. I didn't win, but didn't lose my entire bankroll. Lost most of it - to be sure - I think it's time to look at adjusting my play. I don't think I hit enough tables this time around - and didn't get to play in a poker tournament like I had wanted...but that's definitely on the list for the next trip. I will say this - the older casinos certainly seemed to be a lot looser.

    - The Strip. Didn't see nearly ANY porn slappers. Must admit, I think I kinda miss them.

    - The kids. Wow. I can't believe how many people had their children in Vegas, and how late they kept them out at night. The Wife found this to be her biggest issue with the trip...not that the kids were bothering us - more on why so many people would keep their kids out soooo late.

    - NYNY - great night-life, disappointed with the raw burger. But it won't stop me from enjoying the casino on my next trip.

    - Presidential Limo. Wicked disappointment right off the plane. And all the great reviews - I would have expected they would be a little more flexible in working with me to address it. Adele shouldn't have had to do it herself, but glad she did.

    All said and done - it was the best (by far) trip to Vegas I've done yet, and I've learned a lot that will shape our next trip up to be even better. I wanted to extend my personal thank you to everyone whose posts I've read and who helped us plan the trip. This Board really made it work for me.


    Cheers!
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2013
  16. weluvvegas

    weluvvegas Vegas Slot Junkie

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2003
    Messages:
    2,985
    Location:
    Dallas/Ft.Worth, TX
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    24
    I feel like I was there with you. Great TR! Still want pics..... :)
     
    40th Birthday Bash!
  17. IWannaBeInVegas

    IWannaBeInVegas VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2002
    Messages:
    2,639
    Location:
    Between here and there
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    20
    Awesome report, read the whole thing. I know changing hotel's is a pain, but you may want to think about spending a night on Fremont Street. My last trip (sadly over 2 years ago now) I spent the first 2 nights on the strip and the last night downtown, loved it
     
    Tentative Arrival
  18. mganut

    mganut High-Roller

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2012
    Messages:
    518
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    23
    Great report. Thanks for sharing.
     
  19. VickiMargaret

    VickiMargaret Tourist

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Messages:
    32
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    3
    One of the best Trip reports I've read. Loved it!
     
  20. Tammy58

    Tammy58 Frugal Slot Jockey

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    Messages:
    2,223
    Location:
    Mass
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    16
    I loved reading your report!
     
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