Travel: Southwest from Tampa. Good flights in both directions had an empty seat in middle both ways on mostly full flights, did not use early bird, but spoke to several who did. This has become so popular at least in Tampa that early bird ticketing extended all the way to A-59. I checked in at exactly 24 hours ahead and got a B-9. Leaving Tampa there is always a lot of pre-boards (wheel chairs and walkers) While I do not begrudge the people who really need it I think it is taken advantage of in Tampa in particular. There were 30 bodies that got on preboard including some traveling with multiple companions. Then the families board before B group. If you are traveling as a group and want to sit together you are going to have to pay for it now on Southwest. Anyway I am still a fan of SWA because they get loaded and off that gate on time.z El Cortez: Arrived in Las Vegas at Friday April 2 at around 5pm. My brother T-- had already come in from Louisville, Ky 4hours earlier. I was to meet him at El Cortez where we both had three night comps. Debated taking a cab downtown but the last two trips I had taxis try to long haul me. I just didn't want to deal with it again. I bought a ticket on Bell shuttle ticket lady says," yeh we got one going straight downtown leaving in a minute or two." LIAR! 20 minutes before we left, stops at Paris,TI,Circus, Hilton, Gold Nugget and El Cortez, dropped off 1hour 25 minutes after I bought my ticket. Check in was quick, was comped for Cabana or Tower, but Tower not available asked if I could have a vintage suite (no $20 trick just asked nice) clerk said no problem. The vintage suite is not much different, just bigger than the regular vintage room. There is a small entry alcove with a large desk with chair and extra closet. The main room has a large sitting area with a sectional sofa and a couple of large chairs. The king bed shares this main room. The bath is the same as regular vintage room. The decor and furnishings are out of the 70's I could just imagine the high rollers partying here 40 years ago. Made the amateur mistake after such a long day traveling and no food went straight to the piano bar played video poker and drank about a dozen Absolute/tonics in the first 90 minutes. By the way they stopped using those 6oz comp glasses and will free pour a good strong drink at this bar. My brother who had already started hours ago suggested we take a walk down Freemont before I became permanently attached to the bar. Hit Mermaids for a hot dog then Gold Gate for shrimp. Played VP at Main Street. Walked back to Elcor stopped at Fitz. Nothing special no big hits. Ate at the coffee shop at Elcor on comp dollars (this is one of the best values in town). Hit the piano bar again and realized I had been awake 25 hours time to crash and I did. Spent most of next day recuperating while hanging out in Elcor, not hungover or sick but just exhausted. I remember when I first started making these trips I seldom slept four hours out of twentyfour. Every time I tried to sleep I just knew there was something going on that I was missing. These days I try to catch afternoon naps in Vegas that really seems to make it better for me. Next couple of days we hung Downtown doing the usual, drink, gamble,eat,repeat as necessary. The Deuce you say!: Made a bus excursion Sunday, Oh Easter Sunday, when we booked this trip neither of us realized it was Easter. I did get a lot of grief from family and friends when I told them where I would be. It just confirms for them I am a degenerate who spends way too much time in Vegas. Let the heathen rage, if you are not one of us you just don't understand. Anyway back to the bus. Took the Deuce and the driver just kept loading people. Finally the entire bus revolted every one was screaming not one more passenger! We can't breath! Then he tells everyone they have to move back he is unloading wheel chairs, people have to get off the bus to make room and people at the stop are banging on the door to get on. After 15 minutes he gets the chairs off the misplaced passengers back on, slams the door on more people trying to enter pulls away from the curb and the bus goes dead--no engine, no A/C no lights his radio worked though as he called in I looked for emergency exits. I was gauging the distance to the ground if I jumped out the window. The problem was we were so overloaded when he made the bus kneel for the chairs it never returned to it's driving position. Eventually he sorted this out and we resumed our crawl down the strip. We finally ditched the DeathBus at Mirage and staggered into Casino Royale, got my coupons but no bonus quads. Walked to Harrahs took free shuttle to Rio. If you have not noticed the servers at Rio wear a wispy night gown like uniform with very little underneath. (I for one was shocked ) If you want to sit at the bar next to the server's station where the view of this spectacle is best the machines for some reason are $1 and up while the rest of the bar sports .25cent video poker. What a strange coincidence. Later walked to Gold Coast. Played 9/6 JOB at the main bar there for couple of hours, kept switching .25, .50, $1 walked away up $150 this was my first decent session of the trip. The Hot Dog at the sports book is really good $1.25 including all the fixins. After the earlier bus debacle we split a cab downtown $21 Gold Coast to Elcor by the interstate. Had to check in at Fitz for 2 night comp, included $10 free play,$10 food, tickets to comedy show etc. Was double booked that night was not sure whre I would sleep. Went back to Elcor napped for a while. Had dinner at the Flame around 8pm it was empty, I guess because of Easter. Got free bottle of wine, I had the prime rib T got the NY strip, Caesar salads the bill came to $85.00. but we both had room credit, comp value, points and ACG 50% off, so the coupon and points paid for the meal and we split a $20 tip. Played at the piano bar the rest of the evening chasing a $2400 plus DDB progressive late into the night with no luck. Hit several quads allowing me to play with no losses. JACKPOT: Next morning I was up early drinking coffee fooling around with nickel MS VP, and nickel 3 line VP. T calls to see if I am up for breakfast I say yeah meet you at the piano bar. The progressive was still there up over $2500. There was no service at the bar til 10 but had coffee in my hand and slipped a $20 in the machine. T showed up we debated breakfast plans. Decided to sit and drink our coffee there, wait on food for awhile. A good choice because about ten minutes later I held a 10,J,K, hearts. We were talking I was barely paying attention then I drew Q,A, hearts the music started playing---I GOT THE ROYAL!! whew $2508. Needless to say my bro was very happy for me and congratulated me after calling me several choice expletives. Jackpot bonus at Elcor got me two free room nights and a draw out of the barrel for freeplay (envelopes containing between $10 and $1000 voucher for freeplay) I got $10. It was funny that we sat at that bar for 30 minutes never saw a slot rep, server, or bartender, after the royal hit had 2 servers 3 slot reps, a bartender popped out of the back room asked if we needed anything and the floor mgr came over to congratulate me. Fitzgeralds: Moved to Fitz that afternoon as we walked from Elcor to Fitz we were buffeted by 50 to 60 mile an hour wind gusts. I felt like one of those reporters on the weather channel as I leaned into the wind and my roller bag tried to become airborne. This was the time the earthquake hit Vegas that day but we didn't feel it. Strange weather. T had to catch a flight around 4pm while I still had two nights left. Hung out at Fitz til it was time for him to cab to the airport. Had a room on th 14th floor--it was OK, bed was good. The good news at Fitzgeralds is the elevator project is done, all 4 operating never had a wait, the bad news is they took out the in-room coffee makers. One of the engineers said it was a cost cutting decision. That evening I walked down to MSS and played at the Boar Bar for a few hours. One scratch off and small profit. Back at Fitz used my comps in the coffee shop. I have heard a lot of bad talk about this place but I was pleasantly surprised. They have a pasta salad bar deal but the pasta dishes are custom cooked at a station. There is a list of pastas, sauces, and ingredients you choose and the cook makes it on the spot. Played at the Vue Bar til the Fitz of Laughter comedy show it was pretty good the tickets were comped. Finished the night at the Vue bar. This bar has a progressive on BP that includes 4OK and straight flush. I have seen the str flush get over $400 before which makes it fun to chase I popped it at $92 (my secod progressive for the trip. Casino Royale: Next day, Tuesday, for those keeping count at home. Move to Casino Royale for my last night,( got mail offer comp 2 nights in April, May and June). Before I left Fitz I Was playing around with the $1 coin-in machines in the hotel lobby area playing BP caught a couple quads and made back my buy-in and cashed out for $250 in coin all in about 15 minutes. Had to lug that all the way back to the front of the casino to the cage. I didn't mind really! Cabbed to Casino Royale. I asked Cabbie to take surface streets but stay off the strip. $14.50 fare --amazing the guy knew his stuff and did not try to rip me, I gave him a $20. I like the rooms at CR: nice bed, nice TV, with HBO and a lot of stations, coffee maker, fridge safe, bar area. The first floor can be noisy but never bothers me. The bar at CR is one of my favorite for people watching because of the casino setup it is a natural path for pedestrians walking the strip. There is always a crowd standing at the end of the bar to get the free frozen drinks. Michelob is on special for $1 so people are constantly squeezing in between the stools to grab beers. It is a hectic, noisy bar but it is a party vibe so it can be really fun at times. A lot of local bartenders and servers hang out there and bar seating during big games is at a premium. After spending several hours at CR bar and breaking about even on VP I walked down to O Sheas got into a great craps game up and down ---2 hours later I had them for 6 drinks they had $30 of my buy-in. On he way back to CR I stopped at the piano bar at Harrah's. They had Karaoke going on the place was packed but I saw an open spot at the bar. It was one of those low positions designed for wheelchair accesability I sat down put in a $20 the bartender came over looked down at me about 3 foot below him took my drink order and told me " if I behave myself he would see about moving me from the kiddie's table later on". Paytable was horrible but I expected that, I played DDB and watched the singers. Got down to the end of my drink and my last 5 quarters in the machine and bang- dealt 4 Aces no kicker. Held the aces and spun --no joy. Still it was nice to hit $200. Played for another hour or so had a couple more drinks and managed to walk away with $180 for my $20 buy-in. BTW the karaoke was some of the best I have seen regulars actually show up in costume and bring back up singers. After that it was back to CR some pizza from the food court and crashed. Home Again: Had to get up early - 9:45 am flight had coffee at the bar hit a quad - used my $25 bonus coupon. walked to Harrah's cab stand and to the airport. Security was a mess they started using those see thru your clothes scanners and the back up was huge. Eventually they opened the regular metal detectors and routed about half the crowd through them. The flight was good- direct flight and I slept most of the way. Epilogue: Well that is about it. I have been going to Vegas for over 20 years. I still get Post-Vegas Depression Syndrome, which is why it took so long to do this TR. The last few years I have been lucky enough to manage 3 trips a year. This is the first time I actually put together a trip report. I left a lot out just because its old to me, and the memories blur quickly now. I tried to hit what were the highlights for me. But will be glad to answer any questions. Thank you, Thank you very much.