Just got back from my 15th Vegas trip and 7th with my college roommate. We are both 45 yo and our trips are eating, drinking and gambling and not much more. I am strictly a craps or BJ player. My bankroll was $8,000 cash and a $5,000 line of credit to only be used in an emergency. We have typically stayed at Bally’s, Flamingo or Paris but wanted to try Cromwell. I was booked in a basic room with a small amount of free play. Almost long-hauled from the airport- Got into the taxi and it looked like the driver was going to take the freeway, which led to this exchange: Me – Are you taking the tunnel? Him – Yes. Me – No! Him – No? Me – No! Not another word was spoken the rest of the ride. He didn’t even try to convince me that his way was better. The fare was $20.53. I gave him $21 and told him it would have been a lot more if he didn’t try to rip me off. The Cromwell – There was no line when we got there so check-in was a breeze and the woman at the desk was very pleasant. Nice short walk to the elevator and then to the room on the 5th floor with a shitty view of the support wall holding up Drai’s. The room itself was nice, clean, new on the small side and DARK. Dark floors and furnishings and not a lot of lights. I kept thinking that there had to be some light switch we were missing but nope. The bathroom was fine, also on the small side but the shower was great. The TV was really big and the beds very comfortable. The free coffee by the elevators was nice but it grinds the beans and brews each cup separately so it takes a little while especially if there is a line in the morning. Everyone I dealt with was pleasant. What I don’t like about the Cromwell is the lack of dining options and the size and darkness of the rooms. I will say that overall I was just a little disappointed based on my expectations going in (mostly due to the darkness and size of the rooms). Would I stay there again? Yeah, probably (mostly because I love gambling there – more on that later) but on my next trip if someone wants to stay someplace else that is fine too. The drunk people coming out of the beach club around 6pm are equal parts annoying and entertaining but I think I could do without them. Dining- Giada’s – The first night we had dinner at Giada’s and chose the tasting menu. A 4 course meal that included antipasti, a choice of pasta, an entrée and dessert. The antipasti was a goat cheese stuffed roasted pepper, a bacon wrapped date and a beef tenderloin on a crostini with a pickle and something else. They brought one of each of those for both of us. All 3 of them were very good. For the pasta I had the spaghetti with shrimp. It. Was. Perfect. Just a fantastic dish. For the entrée I had the beef tenderloin and it was excellent, perfectly cooked and seasoned. The entrées came with sides of roasted potatoes with cheese and corn with spicy sausage. Both were very good. For desert they bring out a cart and you can select what you want. I had the chocolate sorbet (or was it gelato?) and a small cheesecake. Both were fine but IMO the desert was the weakest part of the meal. Not bad by any means but nothing special. And by that point I was pretty stuffed and didn’t really want dessert. Overall it was a FANTASTIC meal but not cheap. The bill for 2 of us including 2 beers each was $360. Secret Pizza (at the Cosmo) – I had heard this mentioned a lot in the conversation for the best pizza in Vegas. If that is the case then Vegas doesn’t do pizza very well. I had a slice of cheese and one with meatball and ricotta. Don’t get me wrong it was good but I didn’t walk away from there thinking the next time I want pizza in Vegas that I have to go back. 2 slices and a diet coke was around $15. BurGR (PHo) – Similar to Secret Pizza, I had hear this place mentioned in the conversation for the best burger in Vegas. I got the burger that had 3 different kinds of cheeses on it (2 that I had never heard of). And it was a good/very good burger. But similar to my Secret Pizza experience, the next time I want a burger in Vegas I will not insist on going back. My biggest complaint is that fries are not included so for a burger and fries plus 2 beers it was $42 for just me. I just think $42 for a cheeseburger is a little much. Beijing Noodle (Caesars) - We walked by this place going to the pool at CP and it looked nice, like a moderately upscale Asian place. So we went there for dinner. And quickly realized it was a poor man’s PF Changs. It was fine. Nothing more than fine. The best part was the seafood/pork dumplings we had for an appetizer. I had general Tsao’s chicken and again that was ok but nothing special. Shared appetizer, entrée for each of us and 3 cocktails total was $120. Café Americano (Caesars) – We had breakfast there one morning. It was very good. I had the banana’s fosters Belgian waffle with a side of bacon. More food than I could eat. $72 for the 2 of us, which similar to the comment about the burger, that is a bit much for breakfast. I am not a big breakfast eater and would prefer a $5 sausage, egg and cheese. Pools – We don’t spend a lot of time at the pools but did go to the one at Cromwell and CP. Cromwell pool – We went on a Wednesday afternoon and it was pretty dead. Small, nice views and next to zero shade. The bouncer letting people in by the lobby elevators was giving the people in front of us a hard time (not sure why) but we had no problems. $25 for 2 domestic beers was a bit much and you couldn’t charge it to the room (I am assuming that is because it is owned by Victor Drai and not the Cromwell). Caesars Palace pool – I thought it was much nicer than the Cromwell pool. Obviously much bigger and there was shade and you could charge beer to the room. They had swim up blackjack. But good God are the rules horrible, 6:5 of course, double on 10 or 11 only and no double after split. I am sure it is fun to play BJ while sitting in the pool. But at those rules? There are very few things I can think of that would be enjoyable enough to do at the same time while playing BJ like that. Gambling – For the first time that I can remember I did all of my gambling at one place. I only played at the Cromwell, I just love playing there. The dealers and bosses are friendly and the drink service is fantastic. My gambling varies between craps and BJ, sometimes more BJ, sometimes more craps. This time was probably 80/20 craps vs. BJ. I ended up gambling 15-18 hours total for the 3 days (I haven’t gotten the actual numbers yet). Craps was good, won around $500. BJ was an unmitigated disaster, lost around $10k at BJ for a total trip loss of around $9,300. So yeah I have part of a marker to pay off soon. Victor Drai – Victor Drai was at my craps table twice (I had no idea who he was the first time but all of the dealers knew him so I pieced it together and googled him when I went to the bathroom). He was very non-descript, he bought in with $1,000 both times played for 20 minutes or so and left and didn’t talk to anyone. He didn’t seem like a good or bad guy and just kept to himself. I thought it was funny that a guy worth $50 million was playing at a $10 craps table betting $25 on all of the hardways. Comps - Before I checked out I went to see the host on duty at the Cromwell (my assigned host does nothing for me) to see if she could take any charges off my bill. Originally she said she could take off the resort fees and the restaurant charges (excluding the tips) but not at Café Americano (because she didn’t think it was owned by CET) but not the charges from the gift shop (3 or 4 charges for beer we bought there). She made a few phone calls and typed a bunch of things on her computer and ultimately she took off the resort fees, all of the restaurant charges including the tips at Café Americano (but not the tips at the others – very strange) and the gift shop charges. So around $700 in total. I then asked if I could get a ride to the airport and she said sure, she would have the house car take me. Even though that was “free” I tipped the driver $20 so it cost me pretty much the same as a taxi but was much better than a taxi. Overall – Another great trip and I had a blast. Its a little sad that I don’t know when the next one will be, but I feel lucky that I have been able to go as many times as I have and already looking forward to the next one.