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Quickie TR: 36 Hours in Las Vegas

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by YoungGun, Aug 21, 2005.

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  1. YoungGun

    YoungGun VIP Whale

    Aug 4, 2003
    Southern California

    My Trip Report

    Flight arrived at 9AM Sunday 8/14 and flew out at 8:30PM Monday. Not a very eventful trip so if you're expecting any sort of craziness, stop reading now. Basically it was a solo trip although I met up with some friends for a while. It was so quick I'll just list the basics.

    Excalibur: I stayed here years ago with my parents before I was old enough to gamble. That was the last time I had ever stepped foot in there. I remember it being dark and smokey back then and based on what I've been reading on the forum I expected it to be worse. Turns out I was pleasantly surprised. I chose it for the price which was lower than Boardwalk and IP. The room was comparable to IP (no cheap room service though). The walkway and tram to Luxor and Mandalay Bay also made it easy to get around if you got tired of Excalibur. The casino wasn't as smokey as I remembered and was probably less than some of the value strip hotels.

    While I found the room and casino surprisingly nice, I once again ran into horrible service at a Mandalay Bay Resorts Group property. Again, the majority of employees I encountered were great, but there were some so exceedingly bad that their actions would probably cause them to lose their jobs in almost any other line of work.

    Did OK on blackjack and slots. Was up a little for the trip. Excalibur had a good selection of machines and newer ones could be found by walking to Luxor or Mandalay Bay. Low limit ($10) BJ was 6:5 at the Excalibur on Sunday and I didn't play, but was 3:2 with some decent rules on Monday. I didn't see any single or double deck on Monday. Lackluster cocktail service though. I think its just the layout of the casino. The only other place I did any major gaming was a few hours of VP at The Orleans. It was interesting to see how strong those drinks got after leaving decent tips for the first few rounds.

    Little Jon's Snack Bar at Excalibur- Had a huge breakfast burrito there when I first got in and was starving. Not much else to say. It isn't anything to go out of your way for but it serves its purpose for those too lazy to walk to the food court upstairs.

    The Buffet at Las Vegas Hilton- Good as always. Small selection, but high quality. The prime rib at the carving station was honestly some of the best I've ever had even outside of a buffet. I have to say I would probably avoid the brunch next time. I've had both breakfast and lunch there before and I prefered the selections then more than I did the selections at brunch.

    Raffles at Mandalay Bay- The food is fancier than at the average coffee shop, but the prices for the dinner entrees were pretty high. The service was good, but on the slow side. I'm not sure it was better than Sherwood Forest Cafe or Pyramid Cafe which we passed on the way.

    Mr. Lucky's at Hard Rock- Everytime I eat there I wonder why they can't have the same menu at the Hard Rock Cafe chain restaurants. Go ahead and charge more, but at least make it taste as good as the coffee shop at your casino. This is probably one of my favorite coffee shops.

    Teahouse Buffet at Imperial Palace- Had some comp dollars from previous trips so I decided to try it out. The service was very good, probably since it was in the IP's coffee shop where the servers have fewer tables and are probably better trained. You can also order off the regular menu so if you're in a group where not everyone wants the buffet this could be a good compromise. The food wasn't great, but it did pass my "better than Hometown Buffet" criteria. I think after hearing all the bad things about IP buffets my expectation were so low, the fact that it was edible was enough for me. They advertise it as the "Prime Rib buffet" and they were very generous with the prime rib. If you aren't picky it isn't bad and comps are pretty easy to come by at IP.

    Vegashost was going to help with Body English, but plans changed so I never made it. Thanks anyways though Bill!

    Had really good luck with cabbies this trip. Everyone of them offered good conversation. The guy that took me from the MGM to the Wynn told me about several short cuts I'll have to try next time I'm in town with a car. How much do people tip cab drivers? I had several fare that turned out to be $13-15 during this trip and I'd usually give $3 tip and they all acted as if this was larger than normal.

    Ummm... I didn't see any shows although I "won" a 2-1 Folies coupon at the Tropicana free slot pull that anyone who wants can have if they message me.

    I did have some time to kill which I spent doing focus groups for CBS Televison at MGM and for E! Television at The Venetian. CBS was very professional and the group composed of mainly under 21 people with nothing better to do and a few random people such as myself. We saw the new Chris Rock sitcom for UPN. The one at the Venetian was much more casual. They offered free popcorn and water. When I got there there was a homeless looking guy putting bags of popcorn into his bag. We saw 3 new E! reality shows. CBS rewards you with some rather worthless coupons (buy one hot dog get one free at Nathans, 10% off the gift shop, etc.). The Venetian one gives you a choice of $2 or a Las Vegas souvenir. They also have a small gift shop at the Venetian one with cheap Las Vegas souvenirs. $2 mugs, shot glasses, etc. $5 t-shirts. It might be worth doing the focus group just to shop at the gift shop if you have a lot of people you need to bring cheap gifts back to.

    Okay, that was pretty boring. Thanks to those who read it.
  2. Mia4071

    Mia4071 Tourist

    Jul 28, 2002
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Thanks for the show info - My younger sister (18 yrs) is heading out there w/ my parents in Oct. She asked about this place but I never went before. Now I can at least let her know :)

    thanks again!
  3. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

    Nov 25, 2002
    Twin Cities
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Maybe not thrill-a-minute, but good info youngGun. :thumbsup:
  4. stuffic

    stuffic Tourist

    Apr 12, 2004
    I'll second that. I didn't know they had an E! showcase at the Venetian. Now I've got something to add to my "to-do" list. Thanks, YoungGun.
  5. MikeE

    MikeE The Shah's Slightly Hairy Cousin

    Nov 5, 2003
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Sounds like a good time. I've been wanting to try the solo thing myself for some time now--it must be nice to go and do whatever you want whenever you want.
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