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Repost Trip Report (5/15 - 5/21)

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by cruiser, Jun 10, 2002.

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  1. cruiser

    cruiser High-Roller

    Feb 5, 2002

    My Trip Report

    The disk crash included my trip report from our six night stay at the Tropicana 05/15 - 05/21 so I'm re-posting it. Just a warning - it's rather long winded...

    Brenda and I returned from 6 nights in Las Vegas yesterday afternoon staying at the Tropicana 5/15-5/21. This was our first trip to Lucky Land and it was the best vacation either of us ever took. We usually do our gambling either at Mohegan Sun while visiting our daughter in CT. or while cruising the Western or Southern Caribbean. Now we can add Las Vegas to our gambling locations. This is a great site and I was able to gather a great deal of info before heading to Vegas. Thank you Sonya, Vegas Jer, and all other contributors to this great site.

    Wednesday (5/15) - Day 1:

    Tuesday evening (5/14), neither of us could sleep much - too much excitement beginning to build. Got up at 3:30AM for 7:35AM flight out of Austin, TX. Trip officially begins at 5:32AM when I find wifey a chocolate donut at the Southwest Check-In counter. I get my ham, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich to start the day. Plane leaves on time and arrives in Las Vegas at 8:20AM local time. It was a pleasant 2 hr. 40 minute flight. Started off with a couple coffee and bailey's during the flight. Great way to start a vacation.

    Too early to check in. Asked about upgrade to the Paradise Tower from the Island Tower (not brave enough to try the "folded $20 trick" to get the upgrade at no additional charge). They said I would have to pay an additional $10 per night (we'll be staying 6 nights). Since we were there for our anniversary, I decided I wanted the Paradise Tower and would pay the extra cost. I was hoping that a good portion of the room charges would be comped based on how much gambling we did. We were told there weren't any rooms available at the moment in the Paradise Tower but we should check back after 11AM (check-out time). We stopped by the promotions booth to pick up our Winner's Club membership cards and two decks of cards. I was able to sign up as a member last Feb. which was the only way they could give me a better rate than that posted on their web site at the time for 5/15-5/21.

    We decided to do some walking/exploring along the Strip. I did some research ahead of time and had a list of 6-8 casinos that had the Video Poker machines we were interested in (Full Pay Deuces Wild). I also had done some research to scope out some favorable (to me) blackjack tables along the Strip. I expected to do most of my blackjack playing at the Tropicana since I wanted my rated play to go towards our room bill.

    We headed up the Strip and stopped at the MGM Grand, Aladdin, Paris, and the Barbary Coast casinos. Our first bit of gambling consisted of playing FPDW (full pay deuces wild video poker)on quarter machines at the Barbary Coast. After an hour of play, I was down $40 and Wifey is down $8.50. Another $20 is deposited in a Wheel of Fortune Slot machine. Hey, we decided to help the local economy a bit. We just didn't want this to become a habit. Ate the lunch buffet at the Bellagio. This was the best lunch buffet we had on this trip. Food/service was excellent.

    Walked back to the Tropicana and checked back with the front desk - it was now about 3PM. They had only one room available in the Paradise Tower. I asked if it had a nice view of the Strip and the guy said no, it didn't. We decided to take the room anyway. By having a room in the Paradise Tower, we could take the elevator from the casino floor up to our room on the 16th floor, saving us quite a hike to the Island Tower. We checked out the room and it had a GREAT view. We had a great view of Mandalay Bay, Luxor, and Excalibur. Had our bags brought up and unpacked. Time to head down to the casino!!!

    Here, we begin our gambling at the Tropicana. I play blackjack for 4.5 hours and Brenda plays Full Pay Deuces Wild (FPDW). There are four FPDW machines in this casino. Many of the larger Strip casinos do not have FPDW video poker machines. We head to bed at 9PM (Hey, it was a long day and neither of us had much sleep the night before).

    At the end of Day 1, I am down $40 in FPDW and up $605 in Blackjack. Brenda is down $28.50 in FPDW and down $20 in Slots. Overall, we are up $516.50.

    Thursday (5/16) - Day 2:

    Up at 3AM to start Day 2. I play Blackjack for 1.5 hours and I'm up $200. Great way to start the day. Brenda is even in FPDW and drops $5 in nickel slots. She's still not sure if she likes video poker yet (FPDW is the only video poker we've studied and therefore, it's the only video Poker (VP) we will play). Head over to promotions desk to see how they've rated me so far. I'm a happy camper... Picked up two more decks of cards and 2 free T-shirts. Each day we would come back here and pick up two more decks of cards. A kind little old lady (and I say this is a nice way) tells us we're comped for two tickets to the Folies Bergere show. We tell her that we weren't planning to go to this show but she talks us into taking two tickets to the early show (covered version) on Sunday, 5/19. These tickets would have cost us $104+ if we bought them ourselves and does not include drinks. Drinks are additonal $.

    Head to San Remos for breakfast buffet. We are very disappointed. I guess we got spoiled having the lunch buffet at the Bellagio yesterday. We will not eat at San Remos again.

    We take a cab to the Palms and both play FPDW side
    by side for about 3 hours. I play even and Brenda is up $10. We really liked the Palms. This relatively new (opened last Nov/Dec) Casino is just off the Strip. We took a cab back to the MGM Grand (next to the Tropicana) and had their lunch buffet. Very good. Back to the Tropicana for more gambling. Start this Blackjack session at 2PM. Go down, waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down. Decide to stick it out for awhile. Finally pull back even at 9PM, play another 30 minutes. Now up $600 since the lunch buffet. Brenda dropped $35 in FPDW but played for hours and hours.

    We decide to buy tickets to the Comedy show charging the tickets to the room. We will charge everything we can to the room and will check with a Casino Host after the last night's gambling to see how much they'll take off the bill based on our gambling in their casino.

    Comedy show was FANTASTIC!!! I laughed so hard, it hurt... There were three excellent comedians. After the show, we decided to call it a night.

    At the end of Day 2, I'm down $40 in FPDW and up $1405 in Blackjack. Brenda is down $63.50 in FPDW and down $25 in Slots. Overall, we are up $1276.50.

    Friday (5/17) - Day 3:

    It's our 7th Wedding Anniversary!!!

    We're up at 5:30AM. We both play FPDW for 1.5 hours. I'm down $30 and Wifey is down $20. We check back at Promotions desk. While checking our play, the girl at the desk picks up the phone and calls someone, then hands me the phone. Damn!!! It's a casino host. She tells us we are doing great!!! We're starting to pile up the hours played at both Blackjack and Video Poker. We have a joint Winner's Club membership so they're tracking our combined play. Host offers me show tickets to the Folies Bergere. I thank her but explain that this kind lady gave us two tickets to the early show on Sunday. She saids, no - forget those tickets... how about two BOOTH tickets!!! Well, while I have her on the phone, I'm explaining this to my honey when the Casino Host asks to talk to Brenda. I hand her the phone and they decide that I'm getting a Hubby gift, booth tickets to the late show that evening (that's the topless version)!!! Life is good!!! The Host asked if she could make dinner reservations for us at Savanna's that evening before the show. I explained that we were going to do that ourselves since it was our anniversary. The Host went ahead and made reservations for us at 6PM and said that at the end of the trip, we should page her (Tuesday morning at 7:30AM) and she would take as much off our bill as she could. She asked if we've been charging everything to the room and we told her yes but we hadn't eaten much in the Tropicana up to that point but we did charge the Comedy Show tickets (~$35) the night before. She said just remember to charge whatever we can to the room. We are feeling pretty good at this point.

    Walked across the street to the Excalibur and took the tram to Mandalay Bay for their breakfast buffet. It was excellent. Tram back to Excalibr, stopping at the Luxor. Okay, ready to gamble again so back to the Tropicana... Played 6 hours of Blackjack, down alot..... Finally, I get a streak going.... so far today, I'm down $1000 in Blackjack. Wifey hit "Four Deuces" earlier today ($250).

    Time for dinner at Savanna's. Food/Service was excellent. We realized sometime between day 2 and day 3 that we both felt like we were on a cruise ship. If you've ever taken a cruise of more than a few days, you'll know what I mean. We felt a moving sensation... We figured it was due to a lack of sleep. Hey, we've in Vegas!!!

    After dinner, Wifey and I play FPDW. Wifey is up a bit, I'm down $50. Time for the show. We get there 30 minutes before the show to pick up our tickets. We are shocked to see we have the best seats in the house, front row center booth seats AND tickets for 4 cocktails. I order 2 champagne flutes and Wifey gets 2 frozen strawberry daiqs. This was a $150 comp. We are feeling pretty darn good.... Show is excellent and there is an excellent comedian/juggler that comes in half way through the show. Again, this was great!!! He's also got a web site that I need to check out (www.fastwally.com).

    After the show, Brenda plays a little FPDW and goes to bed at midnight. I hit the blackjack tables and Bailey's on the Rocks! After 2 hours, I'm waaaaaay up this session. Do I leave???? No way... I keep playing and slowly my pile of chips get smaller and smaller. I finally call it a night after 4 hours this session and it's just after 4AM. I head back to the room up $435 this session. I can barely keep my eyes open. Back to room and talk with Wifey.

    At the end of Day 3, I'm down $120 in FPDW and up $840 in Blackjack. Brenda is up $65.00 in FPDW and down $25 in Slots. Overall, we are up $760.

    Saturday (5/18) - Day 4:

    Wiefy is out of the room by 8AM to hit her FPDW machines. I get up at 9AM. I have a 2.5 hour blackjack session and then we head to the Island buffet at the Tropicana. We are not impressed with this buffet and probably will not visit it again. After the buffet, have another Blackjack session (1.5 hours). I am waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down for these combined two sessions and I'm down for the trip at this point. Go find Wifey and let her know the bad news and that I'm going to lay down for a couple hours. Feel like crap - lack of sleep and dehydrated.Too much Bailey's???

    Took two hour nap and felt a lot better. My Blackjack play can have big swings (+ or -) and most times if I just hang in there, I will comeback. Of course, there are days that you're just not meant to win.

    Back to Blackjack tables... Played for 6 more hours and up $850 since my nap. Wifey hits "Four Deuces" twice today. Brenda loves playing Full Pay Deuces Wild (FPDW). She is having a great time.

    At the end of Day 4, I'm down $120 in FPDW and I'm even in Blackjack. Brenda is up $676 in FPDW, and down $45 in Slots. Overall, we are up $511.

    Sunday (5/19) - Day 5:

    We're up at 6AM. I'm slow getting started this morning so Wifey heads to one of her FPDW machines. While I'm getting ready to leave the room, Wifey hits her fourth "Four Deuces" this trip. Time to cash out and eat.

    We walk to Caesar's for their Champagne Brunch. Very good. Walk back to the Tropicana, stopping at Walgreen's to pick up another 12 pack of Diet 7-Up and 6 pack of water. Trust me here - drinking lots of Bailey's on the Rocks will dehydrate you in Las Vegas.

    Back to the Tropicana Casino. Wifey has already hit "Four Deuces" four times this trip - once on Friday, twice on Saturday, and once today (Sunday). Wifey plays FPDW for 4.5 hours and I play Blackjack for 6 hours. I'm even for the day (so far).

    Time for dinner at Mizuno's Restaurant at the Tropicana. Very good. Okay, back to casino. After a 4 hours Blackjack session, I am up $1000 in Blackjack. Decide to call it a night and go find Wifey. When I found her, she was waiting for hopper fill - she had just hit a "Royal Flush" jackpot for $1000!!!

    Head to cellebration lounge for drinks before calling it a day.

    At the end of Day 5, I'm down $120 in FPDW and I'm up $1000 in Blackjack. Brenda is up $1759 in FPDW, and down $45 in Slots. Overall, we are up $2594.

    Monday (5/20) - Day 6:

    We're up at 6AM for breakfast at Calypso's Coffee Shop at the Tropicana. Breakfast was okay, menu for late lunch or dinner looks good so we plan to come back for dinner.

    Gamble for 6 hours. Starting to feel like crap. I think it's because I need to eat something. We head to Calypso's for dinner. I have the hot turkey sandwich and Wifey has the ruben. Neither are very good. I decide to lay down for a couple hours, then hit the blackjack tables. After several (6) bottles of water (I was ordering two at a time) from the waitresses walking the casino floor, realized I probably felt like crap because
    I was dehydrated again. I'll have to work on solving this problem on our next Vegas trip.

    Play another couple hours of blackjack. I'm thinking about calling it a night at 11PM. Wifey stops by and lets me know she hit "Four Deuces" for the 5th time this trip!!! She wants to keep playing so I keep playing. Brenda comes by again around midnight. We decide to call it a night in terms of gambling. We head back to Calypso's for the third time today. I order a grilled chicken sandwich and french vanilla ice cream. Pretty good... Seems like this coffee shop is okay as long as you order the right stuff. Darn, I can't remember what Wifey ordered but she liked it. We head to Celebration lounge for a few more cocktails and the entertainment. Excellent place
    to relax at the end of the day.

    At the end of Day 6, I'm down $120 in FPDW and I'm up $2055 in Blackjack. Brenda is up $1854 in FPDW, and down $45 in Slots. Overall, we are up $3744. Head back to room at 2AM.

    Arrange for a wakeup call at 6:30AM. Before we know it, we get the wakeup call. Everything is packed up by 7:30 so we give our Casino Host a call. Uh oh... got her voice mail. We had arranged with her last Friday that we would have her paged Tuesday morning (today) at 7:30AM (we have a 10:30AM flight back to Austin, TX). We decide to head over to the Promotions desk to have her paged. News is not good. She called in today saying she wouldn't be in today. Darn... What will this mean??? Promotion Desk girl looks at our account and says there shouldn't be a problem with the Casino picking up the room charges except the $1.00 daily phone charge and $3.22 a day safe usage charge. I said I still want to talk to a host since I have some questions I was hoping to get answered. She pages another host and hands me the phone. I explain that I was supposed to call my host at 7:30AM but she's not coming in today. No problem... This host (and I didn't get her name) checks our joint account and agreed that the
    entire room/food/beverage charges on the room bill including the first night's charge already applied against our credit card back in Feb. will be taken care of. The only charges we be have to pay are any tips that we may have put on the room bill. I than asked about the $1.00 a day phone usage charge (we never used the phone and the front desk didn't mention this charge when we checked in) and the $3.22 daily safe usage fee, both of which the promotions girl just told me I would have to pay. The casino host I was talking to said they will be picking that up too. Fantastic!!! Even the Comedy show tickets we had charged to the room were taken care of.

    So, for a 6 night stay, we were comped a total of about $950. The only cost to us was the airfare, tips we charged to the room, and any meals we had outside of the Tropicana.

    We are both very happy with our first Las Vegas experience. Of course, we know we got lucky (early on, we nick named Las Vegas, Lucky Land), and probably won't be as lucky on our next trip but we shall see. We may be heading back to Lucky Land
    the end of September for another 6 night stay. I just spoke to the Host that I wasn't able to reach yesterday morning. She will be comping room and food for those 6 nights... and depending on how much and how long we gamble will determine what comps we are offered up front for the trip after that one.

    BTW, in case anyone is wondering how much we gambled for those 6 nights (5/15 - 5/21), here's the numbers:

    Nickels machines: 13 minutes

    Quarter machines: 2,923 minutes (48 hours, 43 minutes) {mostly FPDW}

    Blackjack: 3,141 minutes (52 hours, 21 minutes)

    We also had about 4 hours apiece of FPDW outside of the Tropicana. And no, we did not play any machines of any kind at the airport. We were both exhausted when we got home yesterday... but it was certainly a fun trip.

    Oh yeah, I almost forgot - we are now Gold Card members!!! [​IMG]

    [ June 10, 2002: Message edited by: cruiser ]</p>
  2. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

    Nov 28, 1999
    Western Washington
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Thanks for reposting that. Sorry about the disk problems. We're going to be doing a little more work tomorrow, but I'm doing my own backup of the board before we start. [​IMG]
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