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Monte Carlo - May 24-26 -- Not dead but definitely not a live report

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by bsbaz, Jun 28, 2015.

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  1. bsbaz

    bsbaz Tourist

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    My Trip Report

    Here's a report from my Memorial Day trip in 2015, slightly delayed. I have another partially complete report from December of 2014 that I hope to post sometime soon as well. Hope you enjoy this read:


    The wife and I headed back to Vegas for our third Memorial Day weekend. The trip was a Sunday to Tuesday trip, as per our usual m.o. We headed out of PHX a bit earlier than scheduled and a smooth four hours later were pulling into the Monte Carlo. The first thing (after popping a beer in the parking garage of course) we do usually is meet up with S and go grab some grub. Since we were a little early, S was not there, so we tried to hit the check in line to get an early room. Unfortunately, a lot of people had the same idea, or were checking out, so we passed. Luckily, S was there shortly, and we headed over to Shake Shack so my wife and S could trip it. We got there just before the rush and had minimal waiting and no issue finding a table. By the time we were seating, the line was out the door. The food was good and would definitely go back again. Also, my wife is vegetarian and she was pleased with the option for a veggie burger, so heads up if you are traveling with a vegetarian. The one minor negative about the Shack Shake experience is that they can't (won't?) take your mLife card so you can get points for dining there. I later had to submit my receipt to the mLife desk in order to get credit, which can be a pain depending on the lines.

    After Shake Shack, we headed to check-in again, but it was again too busy for us to wait in line, so instead we had S take us down to the Encore so we could wander the Strip a bit. Nothing noteworthy on the way, had a few drinks, saw the Bellagio fountains / conservatory, etc. Oh and saw a likely not famous actor, but it was someone that I recognized from a couple of bit parts. So, nothing noteworthy. We got back to the Monte Carlo and played a little non-noteworthy video poker and headed to check-in. The line was not too long and we only waited 10-15 minutes before getting called up.

    We got called up and were being helped by an assistant front desk manager so he knew what was up when I handed over my card, DL and $20. He was very smooth about how he separated everything and then how he eventually made the $20 disappear when I wasn't looking. Anyways, he asked me what type of room I was looking for and I told him I was hoping for something with a spa. He then went on a long spiel about how only Hotel 32 has spa tubs anymore and they had removed them all because of Legionnaire's Disease and they just couldn't sanitize them well enough between stays, and I definitely don't want to look up Legionnaire's Disease on google because it is disgusting. He then said, he could get us into a free upgrade into a Monaco Suite, as long as we didn't mind it being handicap accessible and a low floor (no view) room. Sounded good to us. So he quickly got the keys and tried to send us on our way without explaining anything about the resort fee, having us sign any paper work or anything else. I asked him about the free drink coupons that come with the resort fee and he says, 'oh we stopped doing that, but let me see if we have any left over'. Of course, he had no problem finding those. We went up to our 5th floor room and other than a maintenance guy wrapping up a quick project, we were in quickly. He was right, no view, but close to the elevators and it was a huge room.

    Note 1 about check-in: I wasn't buying his story about Legionnaire's Disease for a minute and of course as soon as I got to the room I googled LD and Vegas. I did find some articles about it at the Aria, but that was from several years back. Also have since seen on the reservation site that spa suites are available and have heard from others that they have spa suites booked.
    Note 2 about check-in: The resort fee stuff was weird. I briefly mentioned it in a survey MC sent me after our stay because in addition to no explanation and trying to send us without the drink coupons, there were no bottled waters, coffee in room or newspapers available. The MC reached out to me and credited one nights resort fee back so that was nice.

    We got settled and while my wife got ready to head out for the evening, I went down to the mLife desk to redeem my freeplay from MyVegas as well as the nominal freeplay that came with my room offer. I set off to convert my whopping $35 into some cash and drinks. I settled on a variety of red, white and blue 7's that was $.50/pull as I figured that would last me awhile and I saw a cocktail waiter plying her trade in the general vicinity. Of course, she didn't show up until about the 65th spin, but that's okay. The freeplay session went well and I walked away with $62 in cold hard cash and one cold drink.

    At this point my wife had come downstairs and we were ready to unleash our progressive dining plans of hitting happy hours. Since we were a little earlier for Andre's happy hour, we headed over to the machines at Ignite and played there for a few minutes until it was time. We headed over to Andre's and each got a nice specialty cocktail for $6 each. They also had beer ($5 I think) and small plates ($7). I had a Black and Stormy, which is their take on the Dark and Stormy. It was good. Don't quite remember what the wife got but I think she liked it. The menus were pretty slick on ipads, and I think if you wanted you could have ordered directly from the ipad. I also noticed that if you are a mLife member, it is happy hour all day at Andre's which I think is a great deal. My one regret about Andre's is that I did not get the beef sliders. Since we were heading somewhere else for the dinner portion I passed. I immediately regretted it when the gentleman across the bar had his delivered, it looked so good. Had they been open the next day I probably would have gone back. But alas, now I know for next time.

    We left Andre's probably around six, but wanted to wait to eat dinner, so we stopped by our next choice, DVino to see how long their happy hour lasted. The hostess told us 730, which was different than the stated time of 700 online. Since we had an extra half hour, we decided to split up in the casino and meet back up. I headed back to a bankof DDB progressives by the sports book. When I got there, the progressive was barely over $1k and I saw no cocktail waitresses around, so I said forget this noise and walked a few steps to the Score bar to play VP at the bartop. In no time I had a crown and ginger and was playing away. Got several 4 to the royals (on the re-draw), keeping intact my long standing o-fer on the royal front. Shortly after that though I had a 4OAK. Ended up with a good session, had 3 strong drinks and made some bucks. The wife came and grabbed me shortly before seven and we headed down to DVino.

    We settled in at the bar there and I confirmed with the bartender that the info from the hostess was correct about HH going until 730. I was informed that the hostess was wrong and that it ended at 700, otherwise known as in one minute from then. So post haste, we grabbed a menu and got our orders in under the wire. I ordered the meatball sliders, wife had the italian fondue and we each had a beverage. The food was quite tasty, and I thought it was quite the deal for $18 pre tax / tip. Also, I was also coming from having a good amount of drinks in a short amount of time, so that could have helped my appetite as well. But, I'm pretty sure if I go back (which I will) sober (flip a coin) that I will still enjoy the food.

    After we finish eating, we decide to head down to the Luxor to pick up our tickets to see Fantasy. Usually, we will see a show every trip or two, usually in the Cirque style. This time, however, I happened to win tickets to see Fantasy via Twitter so the price was right. Well, long story short, when we go to pick up the tickets, none have been left at will call, even though we had left a message with the contact four days prior. I was none too pleased (more on this later) and decided to go down to the casino to drown my sorrows in my favorite slot machine, Winning Colors. Winning Colors is a simple three coin, Red White & Blue 7's. You can play the standard bet for $.50, or play three coins ($.75) to activate the Winning Colors bonus, which basically doubles your payout if you hit any three 7's. Over the previous two trips, my wife and I both had some very good success with Winning Colors. It's a great game to play, I never understood why there were only two of them. Or that I could never find it in any other casino. Well, to pile on to the disappointment that was not having tickets to Fantasy, Winning Colors was not in its usual space, and alas was nowhere to be find on the casino floor. Devastating I tell you. It was also made worse by other games that were prolific there and other casinos that were very similar, some variety of triple sevens, exact same game cabinet. And those games sucked. Haywire 7's? Seriously? Oh well, I was glad to know Winning Colors for the time I did, and will hope to come across it again in the future...goodbye my friend, goodbye. Luckily, Winning Colors will at least live on as the text tone from my phone that I was able to pull from the youtube commercial. Which has only like 700+ views. Which I might be like 600 of those, I'm sure. And yes, I'm only partially joking about my love of Winning Colors.

    Anywho, after getting over the whole Winning Colors thing, the wife and I went our separate ways in the casino, where I ended up playing some Super Times Pay DB for nickels (3x). Cocktail service was fine, but the Tom Collins that I got was horrible, barely had any. The gambling was quite good as I hit quad 4's when I had the 10x multiplier. So 4000, a royal flush payout! I was pretty pleased. Shortly after that, my wife decided to call it a night since she no longer had a reason (Fantasy) to be up past her bedtime. We headed back to the MC and then I headed back out for the evening. I needed to go to Tropicana since I knew my players card there was not working last time I was in town, but on the way I stopped at MGM. Played a little bit of non-notable VP and was about to leave when I got a text from a buddy who asked me to 'find a roulette table, bet 50 on red, then after the win bet 25 on black'. (Note: Knowing him, it seemed weird to do a unit, then win and bet a half unit. I later found out that he wanted 50, then 75 on the second one, but he mis-texted). Anyways, red hit, then black hit, so I got to carry around $75 for him the rest of the trip (he did toke me when I paid him...).

    After I cashed out the roulette win, I headed over to the Tropy. After quickly getting a working players card, I headed to the sports book to place a futures bet, but alas they were closed (at 1030p). There is a bank of video poker right near the book, so I decided to play some nickel VP (I bounced around between nickel, dime and quarter all trip). Surprisingly fast drink service for being in a remote area of the casino. I was playing for a bit and was down a little so I switched to Deuces Wild from DDB. I got dealt three to a royal of hearts after a few hands. Was dreading yet another draw to four to a royal, and hit the button and the fourth card came up with king of hearts, but imagine my shock when that next card came up as the jack of hearts completing my first ever royal! I was shocked, I could not believe that it finally happened after so many years... I just sat there, literally with my jaw dropped looking at the screen and watching the credits. Finally snapped out of it and took a picture. But it was great, I still smile thinking about it. I even told my wife I was going to print out the picture and hang it on my wall at work. And yes, I'm only partially joking about that as well. I thought that when I hit my royal (I figured it would happen eventually) that I would be mad if I hit it in nickels not quarters. Nope, it didn't matter. If you haven't hit a royal, I highly recommend that you try it!

    I played for another few minutes before I left to head back to the MC. I left the Tropy and a slight drizzle was coming down. As I began to climb the stairs to get on the bridge to the Excalibur I heard someone behind me say "hey baby" or "wait up". Since I was all along, I figured it wasn't anybody talking to me, so I continued on my way. Imagine my surprise when I was just passing the tram on the Excalibur side of the street when I got tapped on the arm by a lady of the night asking me if I wanted to have some fun. I politely declined and continued on my way, but silently enjoyed my good fortune, my first ever royal and my first ever legit proposition by a hooker. Oh what a night, late in May in twenty fifteen. I cut through NYNY and decided to get the MJ slots a quick play since I was having some luck that night. Won a nominal amount after a bonus round. I continued back to MC for a breakeven session of video poker before finally calling it a night.

    When up to the room and went to sleep, and can't remember I didn't mention it earlier, but this might have been the most comfortable bed that I have ever slept on. I think it was a pillowtop mattress, covered with some sort of pillowtop mattress pad. If all Monaco Suites have that bed, then that is what I'm asking for next time. The one unfortunate part of the room is that the location kind of close to the elevators. I think someone coming and going woke me up because around 3am or so, I woke up and could not go back to sleep. Since I was in Vegas, I decided to go walk around. Headed out and decided to head up towards the Cosmo. I was surprised to see how packed both Ignite bar at the front of MC and Double Barrel were at that time of the night. I guess I'm never up that time of night in Vegas very often, so maybe it is normal. Had an interesting walk to Cosmo where I saw a very drunk girl getting into with the cops and I was propositioned by two hookers at once! Yes, ladies, I'm sure I look like I could use a massage, but I'm good, thanks. Played some slots at Cosmo and had no luck (this is where I learned that Haywire 7's is a pretender...) so after I bet I headed towards Aria. I got to Aria and tried my hand at repeating my Super Times Pay luck from earlier, but had another losing session. Decided to head back to MC but before jumping on the elevators, decided to play some WOF. I was literally playing only to spin the wheel, which I never got to do. The good news is that I did have a winning session, so no complaints there. I headed back up to the room and napped for about an hour before my wife woke up and was ready to get an early start on the day.

    First stop of the morning was at Sambalatte for breakfast, as I had a myvegas reward for a free pastry. We both got coffee and the wife got an oatmeal. Similar in price to what you'd find at Starbucks, but it was a nice location sitting out of the patio before it got too warm. I'd imagine that patio is a pretty good place to hangout in the non-summer months. After breakfast we headed over to the Tropy, Excalibur and back to MC for some gambling. Just losses or breakevens for me on all these sessions. The only thing notable was an interaction I had with a roulette dealer at Ex. I had hit a couple of numbers and was up a few bucks, when the dealers switched. The first thing the new dealer said was 'it's freezing in here, brrrr'. Then she continued talking about it, to the point of sticking her arm out and making me feel her arm / hand to see how cold it was. Weird. Then she started making normal small talk with me and when I mentioned that I was from Phoenix, she then said, 'oh, your hockey team will be moving up here soon'. I politely informed her that she was talking about news from a couple years ago when moving was a possibility and thought to myself how she crazy she was. Then, a few weeks later, the City of Glendale breaks the lease with the team, so who knows. (I still think that is a very small chance that they leave (until they have the ability to exercise the team out clause...but that's another story for another time).

    We headed back to the MC to hit the pool, wasn't too crowded early in the day and we just hung out at the loungers and read. Once we finished at the pool, we got ready for lunch and strolled over to Greenburgs at NYNY for some deli grub with S. Greenburgs was good, decent deli sandwiches that is probably a little bit off the radar. After leaving there, we had S drive us down to Mandalay since we had not made it quite that far south on this trip. He dropped us off and we did some sightseeing on our way back to MC. Managed to take our shot at the nice VP progressive right in front of the Playbar at Luxor, but alas, it wasn't too be. After a losing session there, the wife headed back to the room to get ready for that nights dinner and I went to Tropy to make my futures bet. On the way back I went through NYNY and decided to play some craps ($10) there. The shooter that was rolling hit a few points that I was able to jump in on and then I rolled next and hit a few as well. It was fairly choppy after that though, and once the dice got back to me and I seven'd out, I cashed up with a tiny win. Went back to the room to also get ready for the night out. While we were trying to figure out where to go after dinner, my wife suggested that I should call the people over at Fantasy to see if I could get tickets for that night. To my surprise, I called the contact and she picked up. She told me she never got the original message about redeeming for Sunday nights show, but should would definitely put in for Monday nights show. So that was nice.

    We headed out for some gambling before our 630 reservations at Sage and played a little bit at MC and Cosmo. Losses for me, but if I recall correctly this is when my wife hit some kind of 4OAK on her favorite machine at the front of Cosmo. We headed over to Aria and were seated right away at Sage. The room was relatively empty but picked up as it got later and later. Part of the reason we went so early is that they listed a early-bird (i.e. pre Zarkana) menu that interested me. While we did have to ask for that menu (as well as for the vegetarian menu for my wife) the service was just about impeccable all evening long. I 'upgraded' one of my course to a flat iron steak and I could not believe how much meat was on my place. There was a tiny tiny dallop of their mashed potatoes, but 6-7 pieces of the flat iron. I actually would have had less meat for more potatoes I can't believe that I'm saying that. I also got the beer course with my menu and that was pretty good, but the dessert stout was quite heavy. Sorry for the lack of details on the restaurant food, but being 4 weeks later I'm having a little trouble remembering. I do remember that we very much enjoyed the meal and would recommend Sage. The only snafu with Sage was that someone my mLife points have not yet been credited to my account from these meal, even though I charged it to the room. I've reached out to mLife and as of now, still waiting to hear back from their A/R department. (Though I don't know why it was referred to that dept, I mean a general accounting department, but A/R seems weird for this inquiry...).

    After dinner we played a little losing VP at Aria and Tropy before hoofing it down to Luxor's box office to try to pick up our tickets. Luckily, they were there and we were able to go to the show. First off, I'm not sure if the contact felt bad about what happened the previous night or these were just the tickets I won, but we had great seats. We were three rows up almost right in the center. The way the auditorium was tiered, our row was basically directly at boob level. Uh eye level. The show started off and it was fine, the girls were good dancers and it was obviously enjoyable to watch them at work. The singer that night was fine, but the star of the show by far was the comedian that came out about halfway through the show. He was extremely funny and as far as I could tell, everyone was enjoying his comedy very much. He also had some good impressions as well (though not so relevant, James Brown & Michael Jackson) and he was involved with most of the show the rest of the way. He also had a great interaction with a guy / gal in the front row (although the gal got removed from the theatre at one point as it looked like she was taking live pictures or video of the show). All in all, it worked out fairly well and we saw a great show. I would recommend on the basis of the comedian alone. We headed back to MC and called it a night after this.

    Got up early on Tuesday morning to check out and head to Sunset Station to meet S for breakfast and get that last minute gambling in before we hit the road. Had a little trouble checking out...when I turned the TV on, it could not connect to TV or guest services due to 'antennae issues' so we had to do express checkout in the lobby. Not that big of a deal, just frustrating. Anywho, had a quick drive to Sunset and went to the Feast Buffet for our traditional get out of town breakfast. Good value as usual. After that I headed to the tables while my wife went to play some VP. I started out at some blackjack tables, but it did not go well at all. I was getting bad cards, dealer was getting good cards, just wasn't my shoe. (Note: this was my only blackjack session of the trip. Mainly because all I saw on the strip was 6/5 and if possible I prefer 3/2 if I can. Which is kind of stupid I know since I was playing many other games like roulette and slots that have worse payouts). After the blackjack beating I headed over to the craps table to see if I could get something going there. There was a guy shooting when I got there and his first roll was a point, so I got in right after that and he ended up hitting a few more. The dice got passed to me and I had a pretty good roll. I hit at least four points at was rolling a ton of numbers. So many numbers in fact, not only did I hit the all small...not only did I hit the all tall, I hit the all or nothing at all. And I won a whopping $0 since I didn't have any money on it. DOH! Luckily for the other shooter, he had $3 on each, so I believe he made over $500 on the alls. Played a little bit more after that and ended up walking away from the table with a good portion of the cash I dropped at the blackjack table. After that we wrapped it up and headed back home. A smooth drive as usual.

    Potential to be back towards the end of August and / or beginning of October. Thanks for reading. Sorry for grammar and spelling and did not go back and re-read. #AllInOneTake
     
  2. TIMSPEED

    TIMSPEED !địt mẹ!

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    pics or it didn't happen.
     
    Palace Tower Suite!
  3. BiGP

    BiGP Low-Roller

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    Thanks for sharing.
     
  4. bswim

    bswim High-Roller

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    IIRC The Legionnaire's Disease outbreak that really shook things up happened at the Luxor.

    Yup, looks like it actually killed someone
    http://lasvegassun.com/news/2012/jan/30/guest-who-stayed-luxor-dies-legionnaires-disease/

    ETA: Looks like 6 people at Aria got it the year before
     
  5. bsbaz

    bsbaz Tourist

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    Bswim - Interesting. My brief research did not show that. Still, the clerk was giving me a line (for whatever reason) b/c MC is still booking spa rooms.
     
  6. jr7110

    jr7110 VIP Whale

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    Great report! By the way I was actually staying at the Aria in a Sky Suite when the Legionnaires Disease outbreak hit (luckily did not get sick). It is a very real thing that has happened at several Vegas properties (it also happened at the Polo Towers timeshare a few years back). While MC might still have rooms called "spa rooms" it is possible they switched out the type of tub in the room because that is how Legionnaires disease is spread - by breathing it in through mist in a steam shower or tub etc. It's possible that the reservations clerk might have been telling the truth.
     
  7. Jinx

    Jinx VIP Whale

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    Nice report, a lot of detail and appreciate the paragraphs.
     
  8. sajones79

    sajones79 Tourist

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    Nice TR - lots of great info and perspective
     
  9. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Lol yeah, thought we might see the royal at least. 10X quads are pretty too. I didn't take a pic of my first one though. :(

    Remember pics for next time! Good report!
     
  10. bsbaz

    bsbaz Tourist

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    Tringlomane & TIMSPEED: https://twitter.com/ismebsb/status/602709726929944576 (I'm not smart enough to figure out how to upload pics to this...)
     
  11. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    You have to copy the images address and add "image tags. {Img]https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CF1BOtPUMAAnp7J.jpg[/img} with any brace replaced by a bracket. Here you go. Nice hit! The paytable was what i feared though (94.82%).

    [​IMG]
     
  12. bsbaz

    bsbaz Tourist

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    I get your point, but like I mentioned in the report, I play some slots too, and it is pretty likely that those don't pay anywhere near almost 95%. Besides, it was a nickel game on the strip, so I knew what I was getting. If I was only going to Vegas for good gambling odds, I'd just park myself at Sunset Station and play there.
     
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