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Mirage March 11-14 -- Pageant Princesses, Mimosas and No Wins

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Mrs. K., Mar 16, 2015.

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  1. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Southern California
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    9

    My Trip Report

    Day 1:

    Despite work demands and car expenses Mr. K and I planned a quick trip to our favorite city March 11-14. I booked fairly last minute so our flight cost $500 (ouch) but I hate the 5 hour drive and wont do it unless we're staying at least 4 nights. We had 2 nights comped at Mirage and paid $52 for an additional night. We've never stayed there before so it should be fun!

    Two nights before the trip, Mr. K got a nasty bout of food poisoning. But he knew he had better be really, really sick for us to cancel so he sucked it up and with almost no sleep, and no food for 48 hours, he made it to the airport. He did manage to drink a latte with no ill effects, and away we go!

    The flight was less than half full, only delayed 10 minutes and we hit some nasty turbulence on the way up. There was no drink service because there was so much turbulence. Less than an hour later we were there!

    Our taxi driver was an older white guy wearing compression/copper arthritis gloves. He was great. I asked him "which way are you taking us?" And he said " the right way!" It seemed a bit circuitous but the fare was $16.00 plus $2.00 airport fee (?). There was a lot of traffic heading to the basketball games. He was very nice and knowledgeable about events going on and hotels. I tipped him $4.00.


    Checking in at the Mirage was by far the quickest and easiest I've ever experienced. Our "premium view" room (i did not even know there was such a designation) was ready (King, smoking) and sadly I was told the Mirage suite was only available one of our three nights so we declined any kind of upgrade. Bummer, I've always wanted my own bathroom! We took the long trek to the elevators and waaaaaay down the hall and settled into the room, which had a fantastic view of the strip and the volcano. The bathroom was rather small but the rest of the room was clean and comfortable. Mr, K was feeling worse so he decided to take a nap while I grabbed a beer from the mini bar and went to go try to win some money!

    I do play VP but have never played the variations like Ultimate X so I gave it a try and promptly lost $20. I tried another multi variation which I thought was the kind where your cards you hold are transferred to all your hands. Yes! 4OAK on Deuces Wild, but I was mistaken and each hand was a separate group of cards. Crap.

    Lost another $40 or so and $20 free play on various games and decided to return to the room. At this point I was starving since I hadn't eaten since breakfast. Mr. K was still sleeping so I tested the hotel wifi, which actually worked. My resort fee is actually paying for something I will use.

    Mr. K was still sleeping at 6:30 when the volcano show started. I watched from the window (which was quite dirty, hindering the view) and went back downstairs to let him sleep in peace. Or at least as much peace as could be had with the roaring volcano erupting over and over. It's loud and shakes the window, but I love the view of the volcano and the High Roller.

    Downstairs I noticed groups of ladies in what seemed like prom dresses. Really tacky loud bling-y prom dresses. But these ladies were at least in their twenties up to their forties. They were all rushing off somewhere past the guest elevators. I stopped one and asked her where she was going and she told me that it was a pageant convention and it was their final awards show. Grown pageant princesses! That explained the tacky dresses. There were also quite a few people wearing college basketball gear because of the tournament,

    I returned to the room still hungry, hoping to convince Mr. K to come down for some food but he begged me to just bring him some eggs and toast. So I got a salad and some eggs and toast for him from Pantry and went back up to the room. He ate about a quarter of it and went back to bed. I ate my salad and watched tv for a while. The food was quite good. If I can get him feeling better we can get up early and have a great day, but if he keeps sleeping I might lose our bankroll in one night because he, being not as much a gambler as I, usually keeps me from betting too big!

    Well, he continued to sleep and I blew through 2 days' bankroll. We are low rollers so this just means we probably won't be buying a new couch this month unless things turn around. Glad this trip is 3 nights and not more. I finally got him out of the room around 1 am and he got to see the pageant girls. He was disgusted. "Those are grown women!" A few beers later and time for bed.
     
  2. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Day 2:

    Mr. K and I woke up around 10 and I headed down to get some coffee and bagels for us. Played some VP at the bar to get a comped red bull and broke even, then tried the electronic roulette and lost $20. Brought the coffee up and we started getting ready for the day. I was ready first (lol!) so I ran back down to get some mimosas. Yes, he is feeling well enough to drink! Played some great slots which were fun but I got two zero bonuses. That is the worst! Ended up down about $100. This bankroll is going fast and I am seriously considering the envelope system next time. I confess I also went to the ATM but only because I didn't have a chance to go to the bank before I left and I could only take $600 out of the ATM at home. I swear :rolleyes2: . Drank one mimosa and brought a second up for him.

    Off we go to explore this part of the strip. We've never been to Harrah's, Casino Royale or TI and want to poke around to see if there's anything we're missing there. (spoiler: not much)

    We stopped at Rhumbar first to get some tasty rum drinks for the walk. The Rhumbar patio looked nice but we decided to keep to the plan. First up, Harrah's where we signed up for Total Rewards. Since we always go to Mlife casinos we didn't have a TR card. With the card came an invite to the daily slot tournament and we put it on our "maybe" list for the next day. Played some Jetsons slots and won $10. Checked out the Fulton Street Food Hall, which looked pretty good. Went up to the pool to check it out and it was pretty lame, but they did have loungers in the pool, which we love. There was nobody checking hotel ID so we could come back if we wanted to but the Mirage pool is just slightly nicer. And by slightly I mean a lot.

    On to Casino Royale, which was all I thought it would be: cramped, loud, and full of obnoxious yahoos. Not necessarily a bad thing. A sign above the bar offered $1 Michelobs and we mentally filed that information for later. We poked our heads into White Castle just to see it and a security guard yelled at us to step to the left, away from the line. We're not sure what he thought we were going to do. It wasn't even very crowded.

    On to Venetian. We walked up the non-moving people movers to the Grand Canal Shoppes. Why don't these things move? It seems more dangerous to make people walk up and down them like ramps. We were unimpressed by the shops and tried to find Barney's New York. We followed the signs and ended up walking in circles, then just gave up. Three times I passed the lady trying to hand me those diamond-shaped skin care samples. Down to the casino and played some Empire slots. Wonder if these are going to preclude the inevitable Empire TV show slots. Back up to Lobster ME for a late lunch/early dinner and some Shandys. Mr. K chose a grilled cheese since he wasn't sure how lobster would settle in his stomach, and I had fish and chips which was not that great. The fries were good but the fish seemed like grocery store fish sticks coated with batter and re-fried. So we went to a lobster place and neither of us had lobster. Lesson learned. Watched the gondolas and wondered how gross that water was. played a little electronic roulette, winning nothing, then back to Mirage for a nap. We even managed to sleep through several Volcano eruptions. If you like to take a disco nap the rooms facing the volcano are not for you. I woke up around 9PM and Mr. K. slept through two more volcanoes. We took the tram over to TI and I found one of my favorite slots, Dolly Parton! Played that for a while and then decided TI had a weird and bad energy so we returned to Mirage. We spent the rest of the night hanging out at the Mirage casino playing slots and people-watching. We also forgot to eat dinner.
     
  3. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Low-Roller

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    Our last full day and we decided to take the monorail to SLS and back down, checking out casinos we hadn't visited before and a few we hadn't seen in a while. We headed downstairs to get some drinks for our journey. Mr. K went to Rhumbar and I played at the sports bar VP and drank a mimosa. A woman next to me ordered what will probably be my new drink: champagne and chambord. I told her, "that drink sounds good!" She replied cheerfully, "it will F you up!" After I ran through $20 we left for the monorail. One side note about the VP at the sports bar: the pay tables are horrific and the max bet is ten credits, with a progressive royal. The progressive was around 1100 every time I played. I was betting "max bet" before I was fully awake one morning and wondering why I was losing money so quickly.

    Off to Harrah's and a quick stop at some VP. I found a triple play deuces wild game for $.25. I had not played this particular machine before and I was leery because of my disaster the first day with new VP machines. But it was a good one, and easy, and I taught Mr. K how to play deuces wild. Now, I had previously taught him JOB and he enjoyed it but I had moved on to deuces wild. He agreed that it was more fun than JOB. I drank more mimosas and he sipped on his rum drink. We went upstairs by Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill to people-watch and mosey (an appropriate verb for Harrah's) to the monorail. Our observations: this bar still sells "freedom fries." Most of the people walking by look like Midwestern frat boys. When freedom fries came about these boys were barely teenagers or younger. Are freedom fries still a thing in the Midwest? Also we noticed that the little gift shop/convenience center sold better beer than any of the MGM properties. They even had Rebel IPA which shocked me. It's not a great beer but one of the best I've seen in a hotel gift shop.

    On to the monorail. We redeemed our myvegas reward easily at the booth and hopped on to SLS. We were told there was no view, so we figured the monorail was just a transportation system. Wrong! Going north from Harrah's you get a great view at several points.

    We arrived at SLS and saw a sign that with sign up for their player card you would get $5 free play if you showed a monorail ticket. What the heck, right? We were only planning to tour the place but I can't pass up free play. The free play promotion was a "spin" to win $5 to $5000. Of course we won $5 and went through it, then spent another $20 and I ordered another mimosa. I'm usually not a mimosa drinker but for some reason they appeal to me when in Vegas.

    We found the hotel quite beautiful. The photo gallery is fantastic but small. The whole place is visually appealing but devoid of energy. I am sure it will pick up this summer and in a few years (or 10) when the north strip develops it will find its niche. The restaurants did not appeal to us because we've lived in LA and eaten at Katsuya, Cleo and Umami. We're not sure why Sam or anyone else thought putting these here was a good idea if you want the LA crowd, unless they are banking on people wanting familiarity, which is the last thing I want in Vegas!

    We returned to the monoral and down to Bally's. A few quick minutes in there and we realized there was nothing of interest to see. We walked over to Margaritaville, which looked fun, and Flamingo. We stayed at Flamingo many years ago and did not recognize it at all. From Flamingo back to Harrah's to the Fulton Street Food Hall for lunch. I picked up a make-your-own-salad and Mr. K. got a slice of pizza. We took it to-go back to our room and then had a small nap. I woke up after only about 20 minutes with the gambling itch to scratch ... went downstairs and continued to lose.

    We had dinner reservations at Stack so we freshened up for dinner and arrived. What a beautiful restaurant! We loved that they had a DJ playing since it was Friday night, and the service was great. I had a pina colada martini which was delicious and we loved the steak and potatoes we ordered. We usually only splurge on one meal when in Vegas and we were pleased with our choice. After dinner we hung around the Mirage some more, playing slots (my new favorite is Wonder Woman) and VP. We never won much but put a slight dent in the losing at least. Off to bed early (2AM) and sad to be leaving.

    I will continue later on with our last days' events and anything I may have forgotten.
     
  4. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    10 quarters and $1100? I hope you meant $2100...lol I've seen it up to $3800 once for 10 quarters, and even at that level the games are still pretty bad.

    Deuces are 94.82% before the progressive there, and that's not even the worst choice available. Deuces are the same for CET bartops unfortunately. Other MGM properties usually offer 96.77% or 97.06% for quarters. Best deuces for low rollers is the 100-play pennies at Cosmo (98.91% - not all 100 lines need to be played to bet 5).
     
  5. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Low-Roller

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    Final day. The previous day we had obtained a late checkout, but it took two calls. I called the first time and a snippy desk clerk told me "we're sold out." Mr. K called a few hours later and was told, "yes sir, 1PM or you can pay for 3:00 or 6:00." So we slept until 11. I groggily went down to get Starbucks and play out the last of my PointPlay and damn, that Starbucks line was insane! So I bought sodas at Essentials instead and went back up. We packed and checked out. I always check out at the front desk to get additional comps and sure enough the resort fees came off and the $14 in express comps I still had and had forgotten about.

    We went to Starbucks since the line had diminished and then to the Secret Garden. We used a BOGO from myvegas and thought we could cut the line. Nope! The line moved fast enough and soon we were watching the dolphins in the underwater viewing area and then...we ran into Siegfried, who was posing for pictures at the entrance of the garden! I have no idea if he does this all day but damn I must get a pic. He practically demanded we take pics with him so we did! Afterward we looked at the pics and thought . . . Is that really him? This guy looks too young ....

    The lion cubs (about 170 lbs) are adorable still and were playing with melons and a palm frond their trainer waved at them like you'd wave a feather wand at a housecat. The trainer told us the melons are not good for their digestive systems but the cats like to play with and sometimes eat them so they let them and just "deal with the mess." Also, the leopard was upset and pacing, which was disturbing. But overall the animals seemed healthy and happy. A portion of the grounds were under construction but there was still a lot to see for $10. I don't know if I'd feel the same if I'd paid full price.

    Another hour to kill so we played some VP and Wonder Woman and then left to get our bags from the bell desk. On the way out, literally, I turned to the right and saw the Elton John slot, which I'd been looking for the whole trip. But we had to get to the airport! Sanity ruled and we got our bags and a taxi. Our driver was an older white guy from New York who got us stuck in some traffic on the strip but still got us there on time and not too expensively. The horrific security line and the walk of shame down the C concourse, a Whopper Junior (I forgot to eat again) and we were on our way home, with airplane views of the sunset in both Nevada and California.

    Lessons learned: order lobster at the lobster joint, use the envelope system, don't forget to eat, ask where the slot is if you are looking for a specific one, don't take no for an answer when asking for late checkout, freedom fries might still be a thing, the Harrah's pool does not check ID, do not get a volcano view room if you take evening naps, order champagne and chambord, leave at sunset.
     
  6. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Low-Roller

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    No, it was 1100 credits. At least I think so. Thanks for the tip about Cosmo. I have a weird affinity for Deuces, and now I find JOB boring.
     
  7. alecia0917

    alecia0917 Tourist

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    great report! Rhumbar is definitely on my list of places to stop by on my next trip
     
  8. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Low-Roller

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    It's quite nice. The patio was very inviting and on a longer trip or with a group I would highly recommend it.
     
  9. momnkid

    momnkid Tourist

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    First info I had on the new food at Harrah's, thank you. Maybe we won't be venturing to Flamingo every few hours for a stromboli!

    Also thanks on the drink idea. I like to drink champagne out there, it provides the strength I need to play new games. Got me onto a craps table once, I will try your version to get back with the dice again. :)

    Good report and boo on not having any big wins. Next time for sure.
     
  10. Drambler

    Drambler High-Roller

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    Thanks for the report. I like the fact you kept forgetting to eat....
     
  11. msujen12

    msujen12 Low-Roller

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    I was at the food court at Harrah's in September and was really impressed with the offerings. Nice space and the food was quite good. Definitely a reasonably priced option for TR hotels.
     
  12. weluvvegas

    weluvvegas Vegas Slot Junkie

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    We ran into Seigfried last week too. He looks great for his age. And yes, that was definitely him. To meet a Vegas legend, it was the highlight of my trip! I'll put our pic on my tr I'll be posting later or tomorrow.

    Sounds like you had a good trip and we were there around the same time. Weather was great!
     
    40th Birthday Bash!
  13. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    We must have got unlucky when we visited as it sounds like he comes by occasionally. :(
     
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