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One-Year Anniversary Trip Report (Aug 14th-Aug 21st)

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by BigSkyDuo, Aug 23, 2004.

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  1. Airline:
    Southwest – Flew out of Spokane, WA as it was cheaper to drive there and spend a night in the Holiday Inn Airport (park for free up to three weeks with a one night stay) than fly directly out of Missoula, MT on Delta, United, Northwest, or Alaska.

    From the airport – Las Vegas Limousine
    To the airport – CLS Limousine
    Up and down the strip – Our feet, except the 19th when we used the monorail to assist our tired legs in getting to the south strip.

    The Bellagio – A lakeview room on the 16th floor, with a view across to Paris & Bally’s and could see down to the MGM Grand. The bed was the most comfortable bed we’ve ever been on and found out it was made by Serta.

    Café Bellagio (Bellagio) – The amount of food we got for the price made it a good value. As to the food itself, it was very good and filling.

    Margaritaville (The Flamingo) – Fun atmosphere, as expected from a visit to the Orlando edition. The volcano erupting margarita mix was fun to watch. Three employees, in costume, were walking around on stilts making balloon hats for kids and adults as well as encouraging the entire establishment to sing Happy Birthday to a girl turning 21, applaud for couple in Vegas celebrating their 58th anniversary, and to clap and yell for the volcano to erupt. The food was very good, but they ran out of pina colada mix. Had a shot of something that consisted of Malibu rum, blue curacao, plus pineapple juice and got to keep the souvenir shot glass (excellent shot, btw, went down smooth).

    Nosh (Bally’s) – A deli-type place. The potato salad was good, but the sandwich (High Roller) could have been better. Lousy chai.

    Battista’s Hole in the Wall – Excellent food, loved that the menus were up on the wall.

    Kahunaville (Treasure Island) – They were in the process of switching to a new computer system the day we ate there so our waitress warned us that there might be some delays, etc. It was quite odd how only her customers were having delays, problems with their orders as well as getting her to bring them what they asked for (like a glass of water). The food was good, but the service was not.

    Prime Steakhouse (Bellagio) – Third best steak I’ve had behind Guy’s Lolo Creek Steakhouse (Lolo, MT) and Fairview Dining Room (Chateau Lake Louise, Banff, AB). Our waiter was outstanding and was attentive to all our needs. The highlight of our meal was when they brought out a complementary dessert for our one-year anniversary (cheesecake accented with strawberries and topped with rhubarb sherbet).

    Palio (Bellagio) – Good cheese danishes, disgusting chai.

    La Salsa Cantina (Aladdin) – Typical, generic Mexican fare. It was filling, but nothing to write home about.

    Le Cirque (Bellagio) – The best salmon I’ve ever eaten. We had an Italian red from 1997, can’t recall the name, but it was the best wine we’d ever tasted. The tables, though, are a tad too close.

    Brunch Buffet (Flamingo) – Above average for a buffet.

    Rainforest Café (MGM Grand) – Great décor and good food that came in a large amount. Ordered a green python and got a souvenir glass.

    Surf Buffet (Boardwalk) – Above average for a buffet.

    Jubilee! (Bally’s) – The backstage tour was fun and informative. As to the show itself…. at times it was over-the-top, but it was flawlessly executed and couldn’t be pulled anywhere else except Vegas. 4 out of 5

    “O†(Bellagio) – A Cirque du Soleil production that, to say the very least, is visually stunning. I have no clue what the storyline was, but I had this feeling as if I was on a wonderfully nonlinear voyage. 5 out of 5

    Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden (Mirage) – Dolphins, lions, tigers, a panther, a snow leopard, and an elephant…oh my!

    Outside Gondola Ride (Venetian) – Very relaxing when you’ve been walking all morning.

    Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art (Bellagio) – An exhibit consisting of 20 works from Monet. Excellent representative works.

    Wildlife Habitat (Flamingo) – Nice collection of birds.

    Shark Reef (Mandalay Bay) – Exhibit focusing mainly on predatory fish and other animals. Sadly, our pictures came out poorly.

    Lion Habitat (MGM Grand) – Two very sleepy lions who did an excellent job of ignoring the hoards of annoying tourists who felt it was their duty to bang on the glass to try and wake them up.

    Fountains of Bellagio (Bellagio) – While they are awesome to watch day or night, I would have to recommend viewing them at night.

    While we didn’t gamble much, Becky preferred the slots at the Flamingo as she won there our first night in Vegas. I did poorly no matter where I played at, so I had no real preference. I played blackjack one morning at the Bellagio, but the dealer just had that look of “I’ve been on this shift all night and I just want to go home†and wasn’t very talkative except to the other dealers.

    Fashion Square Mall – We went there as Becky needed to find a dress for our anniversary dinner at Prime. The first dress she tried on was amazing and to top it off she got a 30% discount on it.

    Grand Canal Shoppes (Venetian)/Desert Passage (Aladdin)/Via Bellagio (Bellagio)/Paris Shops (Paris)– We did lots of window shopping and determined that we preferred it when a store’s façade matched the architectural theme of the hotel.

    Most of the staff at the Bellagio are very friendly, but we get the feeling that a portion of the guests are not very friendly to them, particularly the cleaning staff. The staff on our floor was surprised each time we said hello to them or asked how their day was going. The baggage attendant at the Bellagio who took our bags and placed them in storage until we got our room was very polite and then just stared at us at the appropriate point in the conversation to make sure we knew it was time to tip him. The bellhop that delivered our bags was very nice, never made any mention with his body language of a tip and acted grateful when he got one. The concierge at the Bellagio quickly set-up our transportation with CLS Limousine, but was not very friendly beyond trying to figure out what I needed.

    Visitors, in general, seem to be very rude when it comes to other visitors. People walk directly in front of your path, step on your feet, bump into you, etc. and then stare at you as if it were your fault. People also seemed to like to stare a lot, not simply people watch from person to person, but pick a person and just stare at them for as long as possible. In general, we were taken aback by the lack of manners among visitors. Maybe they feel that by being in Vegas it allows them to behave however they want.

    While the architectural style of the Grand Canal Shoppes, Desert Passage, and Paris Shops matched that of their respective hotels, the renditions of the sky in each were rather monotonous and did nothing to distinguish one from the other.

    We felt the casinos, themselves, were highly similar from one hotel to the next. While some places had distinct architecture on their upper walls and ceilings, there was little to no distinctness among the machines, tables, or floors.

    Our driver for Las Vegas Limousine was very nice and talkative, but he lost points for not wanting to take us by the Vegas sign. On the other hand, our driver for CLS Limousine was quiet, but opened up the sunroof for us and took us by the sign. Also, the driver for LV Limo expected a tip while the CLS Limo driver never requested a tip and acted grateful when he got one. On a sidenote, we called the day before our flight departed to book a limo ride back to the airport with LV Limo, but was informed they would not do so without a cellphone. When I informed the person that I booked a ride from the airport to the Bellagio without being asked for a cellphone previously they just said that person had not done their job correctly and proceeded to tell me to have a nice day and hung up. We may not own cellphones, but our vacation is the last place I would take a cellphone, computer, or any other means of contacting the outside world.

    Our flight to Vegas seemed to be half-filled with obnoxious New Yorkers. At least they were quiet most of the flight. Our return flights were both behind schedule. We departed Vegas one hour late, but fortunately our connecting flight in Salt Lake City was twenty minutes late landing. I guess with Southwest you are only on time if you are the first or second flight of the day. However, the flight crews were much more friendly than any other airline we’ve been on. The pilot of our last flight even sang the passengers a song upon touchdown.
  2. dkbk

    dkbk High-Roller

    Jun 17, 2003
    Yardley, PA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    La Cirque to the Boardwalk Buffet, now there's a TR good ole elrushbo will be proud of. Never seen the words above &/or average used in conjuction with the Boardwalk's buffet, have seen some others, but not going to go there.

    Thanks for the trip report. Something to think about when we get there.
  3. ucamper

    ucamper Tourist

    Apr 21, 2003
    Sweden, gbg
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Nice report!

    I agree with your observation that some visitors just don't behave themselves as they should. Maybee they are drunk or just lost all their money on slots. Who knows...

  4. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

    Nov 25, 2002
    Twin Cities
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Sounds like you had a pretty decent trip, certainly a very nice way to celebrate your first anniversary. Of course you know, every year you have to top the last anniversary, right? ;)
  5. BigSkyDuo

    BigSkyDuo Guest

    It was a great way to celebrate our first anniversary. We had a blast. I don't know if we can top every year, especially since I'm still in graduate school. Though, now that we are back, we will start saving up for our next big adventure....Jamaica. But, that's for another board. [​IMG]
  6. KathyinNY

    KathyinNY Tourist

    Jan 29, 2002
    Upstate New York
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Hmmm, plane filled with 1/2 obnoxious New Yorkers? Do you mean those from New York City or just the State of New York? [​IMG]
  7. BigSkyDuo

    BigSkyDuo Guest

    They were from NYC. Of course, they could have been wondering since we are from Montana if we wanted to secede from the US (a bouncer once looked at my ID and responded "Montana, that's still a state?"). [​IMG]
  8. tvon

    tvon VIP Whale

    Jan 14, 2004
    Boston, Ma
    Trips to Las Vegas:

    i've noticed this as well!!! very good observation! People always cut me off, bump into us without saying "excuse me", cut me off to the slots/tables, rude in the elevator, and most of all.. STARE!! :mad:

    My theory is that these people are A) very selfish and self centered (get out of the way, this is MY vacation) and B) they are from the mid west or other remote areas where they dont ever seen "interesting" city type folk. Not saying all mid-westerners are like this, but even here in boston i notice it (we have a lot of students and transplants who have never been in a city and just STARE at you walking by)

    anyway, off the soapbox....
  9. kitson

    kitson VIP Whale

    Apr 20, 2004
    what a great trip report, thanks. a grad student couple, spending a week at the bellagio, wow.

    you are so right about the difference in manners, between amny people, and also probably noticed the positive difference in attitude from hotel personnel when you greeted them with a smile and a caring remark, it usually shocks them first, and then pays dividends.

    just want to add that i am looking forward to this fall, and making the streak three in a row. you know what i mean! go cats.
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