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Wynn and Mirage Birthday Trip

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by AliGee, May 11, 2012.

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  1. AliGee

    AliGee Low-Roller

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
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    Location:
    South Carolina
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    20

    My Trip Report

    Background: we’re older (56 & 62) and go to Vegas to play slots and VP and just soak up the atmosphere. We’re not foodies, but I can rave about good sandwiches. Trip was Saturday Apr 28th to May 4th. First 3 nights room comp and some freeplay at Wynn, last 3 we treated ourselves to a 2 bedroom Penthouse suite at Mirage (holy crap, it was as big as our house!). A link to some photos of both places are at the end.

    Day 1
    Having had enough of Delta losing our bags, making us haul butt to make connections because the first leg was late taking off, and just providing generally miserable service, we decided to bypass Columbia SC Metropolitan airport and make the two and a half hour drive to Charlotte NC for the reward of a direct flight on US Airways. It wasn’t bad. No complaints, and internet was available (for a charge) on the plane so the time passed quickly. Arrival in Las Vegas was just after 1 pm.

    Because we’d splurged on a suite at the Mirage, we had our return trip to the airport booked in their limo, and I’d decided that a cab to the Wynn on arrival would be just fine. Except the more I thought about the high possibility of being long-hauled and how we’d then have to argue with the driver and how much I hate confrontation and certainly didn’t want to start a vacation that way… at the last minute I booked a Presidential Limo town car. So there was our driver, waiting at the bottom of the elevator holding up our name. The luggage came down fast, and, as usual, Presidential service was outstanding. We were whisked away to the Wynn quickly and painlessly. Well worth the investment.

    We checked our bags with bell services and stepped inside the beautiful Wynn resort. And for the entire 3 day stay we never left. This was not intentional. The place had everything we needed, and we had such a great time the thought never popped into our slot-addled brains to leave. I have read another TR from someone on this board in which the same thing happened – or at least for two days. I now know how that can happen.

    But back to some detail. We are not huge players, exclusively slots and VP, but we had a nice padding to our bankroll this time out (lucky Wynn). Because my birthday was Apr 29th, we had our rooms upgraded to Panoramic View (DH always has his own because he snores so loud I’d get more sleep if I pitched a tent on the main runway at McCarren) . Only my room was comped, but we only paid casino rate for the second and is that ever worth the price for a good night of sleep. The view was lovely, as were the rooms. All creamy-beigey. The only thing we did not like, and this is purely personal preference, was that the beds were on the hard side. They are probably great for a bad back, but neither one of us found them very comfortable to sleep on.

    Settled in at the Wynn we did our usual ritual of ordering room service; DH got the traditional club sandwich which he declared awesome and I got the soup and something else, but only remember the soup – tomato bisque – because it was so outstanding. It came with a little basket of bread rolls, one of which was a pistachio and cranberry thingy which I became quite addicted to. I ordered that same soup and bread basket several times. Yum!

    Next it was time to go play some slots. We only expected to stay in the Wynn casino for a few hours and then wander off somewhere else, but we stayed all day and night before crawling off to bed with numb slot button fingers. There was such a nice selection of machines to play, and we did our usual thing of playing side by side then drifting apart, then meeting up again.

    It was a really great session, starting off with a bang when I hit a royal flush still playing my freeplay! I had found many DDB machines with 9/5 pay tables at dollar level, which is what I play. I also found some 9/6 DDB later. Still not the very greatest pay back, but still decent so I was happy whittling down my freeplay when I was dealt four to the royal (clubs) with a winning hand showing of a pair of aces. I know that the only play to four to a royal no matter what else you have, including a straight flush, is to hold the four. And bugger me, I got the 5th card! This was my first and only royal in Vegas and I must say it was a rush. Loverly, and a great addition to my bankroll.

    I gave some of my winnings to DH, and we both went off on a tear for the evening. I played Vibrant 7s, and won some on that – though I still haven’t figured out how. Played lots of versions of Wheel of Fortune, including a penny version that looked like a community game, but it wasn’t. It had a shared top screen with three overlapping wheels on it that looked like everybody should share in the win on top. In fact, that was just where each individual player got to watch their own individual bonus. Okay, but if two or more players hit at close to the same time now you have to wait until the other one(s) play through to play yours. Add the fact that yes, theoretically, you could win spins on all three wheels but you usually didn’t – yet the wheels would still spin through and it made for slow bonus rounds. I found it slightly irritating.

    Sometime during the evening DH and I met up and headed for a quick bite at ZooZoo Crackers deli. I had a reuben and fries which was melt in the mouth delicious, but of course I couldn’t eat it all. We then headed back to the casino and played the Wild Sapphires version of Megabucks together. This is our favorite version, $3 for three games hosted by a very loud fellow called Bill Cash. He cheers you along when you get two 7s until you either loose (awwwwww) or win (dingdingdingdingding). Both DH and I hit quite a few minor jackpots where Bill paid us, sometimes by pulling it out of his arse, which we thought was funny as hell.

    After DH’s machine turned cold he wandered off to play Goldfish (where he won, see picture on FB). I stuck with Bill Cash on Wild Sapphires, and I was still plugging away when a lady from the red card club came up to me and said I’d been picked to get $10 in freeplay. And since it was my birthday tomorrow, I got $10 on top of that. Well how nice is that? You’re just sitting there and they (figuratively) hand you money. You can’t play any freeplay on machines that have a progressive jackpot so I abandoned Bill to go find something to sink my new-found $20 into. I found out that’s not so easy to do – but I plonked for a penny machine call Fire Opals in the end. I’ve never played it before, but it’s pretty. And good grief, if I didn’t turn that freeplay into $259 after an amazing run of free spins! I took that and hit for $250 more on another machine – wish I could remember which one, but I can’t read my notes. Pretty darn good night.

    You may have noticed there I haven’t written anything about drinking yet (rare for me). The drinks service was frequent and fast – but every time I tried a glass of wine I got a bit of the colly wobbles (sick tummy). Switched to “champagne” – same thing. Even Bailey’s, couldn’t handle it. Darn, guess this is one of my Vegas traditions (getting tipsy) that won’t happen tonight. Can’t say I missed it though, it just left me more observant so that I noticed when the club crowd started showing up.

    So, you already know we’re old fogies. And the Wynncore has a reputation for attracting the club crowd. But instead of seeing this, as we usually would, as an irritant we had decided to treat it as an entertainment bonus instead. I was playing on the peripheries of the casino, and here they came: crowds of twenty-somethings, mostly girls, tarted up young things in tight mini-skirts tottering on skyscraper high heels. They had trouble walking in the darn things and they weren’t even drunk yet, ahh hahahaha. I called DH: “They’re heeeeere”. He bolted over. We sat and watched the parade for a while, then I patted his arm and told him to enjoy before going to play somewhere more peaceful. Apparently he did enjoy, in fact he said he ended every night at the Wynn with a stroll along the walkway where the clubs were. So, youngsters: that dirty old man with a big grin on his face oogling you? That was probably my husband. And the old lady sitting at a slot machine laughing her ass off? That was me.

    Day 2
    You already know we didn’t leave the Wynn, so I will just synopsize the highlights. The first was the fact that I got 8 great hours of sleep in spite of the hard-ish mattress and the slight boom-boom of the club noise (this was on the 31st floor!) that I managed to mask with my ever trusty white noise machine. DH called, and I was already up and ready to order breakfast from room service and he came up to eat with me. He got huevos rancheros (sp?), which were done perfectly sunny side up. I had what I will easily declare the best room service breakfast ever. I ordered biscuits and gravy (to die for) with soft scrambled eggs on the side. I am not a big eater, but I couldn’t stop shoveling this wonderful food into my mouth. I had to tell myself aloud to stop before I exploded like Mr Creasote. Yum!

    We played slots and VP all day. Lots of DDB 9/6 to be found today, and I got some FOAK but nothing big again. I did find a lot of penny games where the max bet was quite low, a change from even my trip last year where max bet would be 350, 450 or even 600. These were in the 150 range, which made them playable for long periods of time. One of my favorites was something called Kings Crown, for max bet of 140. Yet it had 4 bonus reels you could play (you had to get 3 to get to the bonus round) and there were some pretty impressive jackpots to be had for such a low buy in. The top one was over $25,000. I did have many good wins on this cheap little machine and was to enjoy it again at the Mirage and Palazzo. Sometime during the session DH stopped by to tell me the slot club lady had given him $10 freeplay too.

    I still couldn’t drink, so stopped ordering anything but water. I was actually starting to enjoy doing Vegas sober – you get a completely different perspective (and as a bonus you can always find your room!) But it wasn’t just alcohol I couldn’t handle. My system was about to revolt, and it did it right after we ate at the deli for dinner. It wasn’t the tuna sandwich because I hardly had two bites of it. I’d started to feel slightly off even before it arrived. DH suggested walking through to the Encore and I followed reluctantly, got there and then told him “I’ve got to go back.” I’ll spare you the details of this Van Wilder moment, but I did end up taking a break in the room after the mad dash back to it, with some back-up meds and couple of hours watching Puss in Boots (great movie) on my DVD to make sure my gut had settled back down.

    Exhausted, but still determined to gamble, I went back down to the casino. Late (very late) in the evening I came upon a Wizard of Oz community game and got completely caught up in it. Max bet on this was higher than most games I’d played so far but I bought in and played fast. It was so much fun and I got lots of bonus rounds at very high multipliers. I cashed out at something like $450 ahead, looked at my watch for the first time in hours and saw it was 3:30 in the morning! I had not intended to stay up so late, and I also realized I was very hungry. Up to the room I went and ordered that delicious soup. Perfect end to the night.

    Day 3
    Ah, we’re still at the Wynn. It’s a good job you can order breakfast anytime because it was close to noon when I creaked my way out of bed and ordered the same breakfast I’d had yesterday. Just as good. I’d heard nothing from DH, so I called and found out he’d been up almost as late as I had, and had treated himself to a trip along the promenade to watch the drunks come out of the clubs. He said it was hilarious.

    Today we hit some of the movie based slots, first Ghostbusters. DH did pretty well on it, hitting lots of bonuses. I did squat, and just found it to be a lot of noise and visuals with very little return. I tried Batman and didn’t do much better. I suppose it would have helped if I’d seen the movie, but I hadn’t so I didn’t get it, and if a win of $24.50 qualifies you for the leader board I’m worried. I had a terrible run on VP, losing $400 in about 15 minutes but no worries – I bounced back on other slots. In fact my bank roll was in very good shape considering how long and hard I’d been playing – solid for almost 3 days.

    So me and DH are, for one of those rare moments, sitting side by side playing slots and this guy in a suit wearing a Wynn name tag comes up to us. He addresses us by name and introduces himself as a host. He says the Wynn would love to have us come back, here’s his card, call him and he’ll take care of us – even if we don’t have an offer. Oh, and he’s “tidied up the bill a bit, you’ll see when you check out.” The encounter was very brief and pleasant, and DH and I are left sitting there holding this gold tinted card looking at each other dumbfounded. We’ve never been rated a host before, we’ve always booked the various places we stay on offers we get from marketing. We were curious about what he meant by “tidying up the bill”.

    Did I mention they have a great selection of slots at the Wynn? The choice seemed endless, and I even ran into an old friend from my days playing in a little Puerto Rico casino I used to visit (if they’ve got a casino anywhere I go I WILL find it and play there). This game was a Konami slot called Golden Theater, actually renamed Golden Bars now. It’s a 25 cent traditional reel spinner where if you line up three cauldrons of cash you get some bonus spins. The number of spins is determined by which Golden Bar character you pick. My fondest memory of Puerto Rico was playing this one evening being cheered on by this drunk (but not obnoxious) French guy, who, every time I hit the bonus, would yell out “Peek zee girl, peek zee girl!” I thought of him now as I spun into several minor bonus picks. It was even funnier when he fell off the stool in excitement when I did finally pick zee girl for him.

    That evening we hit the buffet, and found it to be what we remembered – very good. I found this (red dot) Indian yogurt concoction, some great hummus and crusty bread and made a meal out of that. I had some crab legs too, but really liked the yogurt so got seconds on it. Lots and lots of good sugar free desserts to choose from – we’re both supposed to avoid high levels of sugar although sometimes we weaken. But these desserts were so good, this time we weren’t tempted to go for real thing.

    We went back to the slots, but we had to get up the next morning to check out so neither of us intended on staying up late again. Also, for one I was ready to move on to a new place so my excitement level was winding down. I found myself playing just to play so for a farewell to the Wynn I decided to play a slot that was totally off the wall as far as my tastes go. It turned out to be a penny slot with a truly peculiar theme of what I can only describe as vampires drawn in anime style. You got the bonus spins if you lined up more than 3 red gaping mouths with dripping fangs. Hideous graphics! Even worse was the music that played when you hit something. It was a happy little dee-dee-dee-dah-dee-dee-do tune that didn’t go with the creepy-teen-dracula theme at all. Hahaha, it was strange and I actually got some money out of it. With that I called it a night and ordered my last bowl of that delicious soup to go to bed on.

    I’m going to get this first half up on the board and write the rest tomorrow. But for now here’s some pictures of our trip, Wynn room first, and also some pics of the suite at the Mirage (oh, and a really tall Mirage Limo driver):

    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.431480866863674.106383.100000052937574&type=1

    :wave:
     
  2. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
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    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    Enjoying the report so far, but I couldn't access the FB page. "content currently unavailable".
     
    Christmas
    My wife's birthday
  3. Iamrice

    Iamrice High-Roller

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2009
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    ATX
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    I'm liking part one!
     
  4. ardee

    ardee VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Location:
    SoCal
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    88
    So glad to hear you had a great time at Wynn.
    The hubster loves the biscuits and gravy too. Waiting patiently for the rest of your report.
    Congrats on your nice wins!
     
  5. AliGee

    AliGee Low-Roller

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Messages:
    455
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    20
    Sorry, Joe! I changed the album to "public", maybe that will help.
     
  6. Tubbs

    Tubbs High-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
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    Location:
    Leicester, UK
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    No joy with the pics but I am enjoying the report. Nice hit with the Royal. How well did the host 'tidy' your bill?!!
     
  7. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
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    Pictures working. Nice room at Wynn!
     
    Christmas
    My wife's birthday
  8. AliGee

    AliGee Low-Roller

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Messages:
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    Location:
    South Carolina
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    20
    Day 4

    Today we check out of the Wynn… have we really not left the place since we checked in 4 days ago? We eat a couple of snack bars to substitute for a breakfast neither one of us were hungry for. It’s all business this morning: pack, get the bags picked up, track down to check out and see what Mr Host did for us on the bill. What he’d done was comp DH’s room too, and pick up a good part of the food. The bill was minimal, a totally unexpected bonus so we were very happy.

    Like daylight starved trolls, we walked outside for the first time since Saturday, blinking against the brightness of the sunlight. The bellman is there with the luggage and right on time, at noon, the Mirage Limo pulls in to pick us up for the shortest limo journey ever – just kitty-corner across the Strip to our new home. At a $20 tip, it was basically an expensive way to get the bags across the street but it was nice service and it is Vegas money anyway.

    Okay, a little about how we came to be staying at the Mirage, and I will admit that I had a bit of reservation about it since we haven’t stayed there before and – well, it ain’t the Wynn. But it was all a result of the Venetian not having any offers out there for us at the time we booked (they came flooding in about a week before we left) and the Bellagio not being able to accommodate the exact dates we wanted on their offer because of the damned Mayweather fight. So initially, I booked the Bellagio on overlapping nights with the Wynn, then booked the Cosmopolitan at internet rate for the second room on the dates we needed (insert bitch about not being able AGAIN to get through to a host). Then after all this complicated booking DH asks why the heck are we doing this? 3 properties, overlapping nights, paying for a room in a place that obviously doesn’t care… when we can afford to pay for a really nice suite we can share and stop chasing offers. For the last 3 nights we could pay and feel free to go wherever we wanted.

    I looked again at the pictures of the Mirage suite (he’s had his eye on it for several trips) and agreed that if the suite was as nice it looked like then it was a good deal. It was $539 a night, but we would get a 10% discount with our AAA card so that whittled it down to an even better deal. I cancelled the Bellagio and Cosmo and booked us in on the Suite Life deal, which included a bunch of amenities. All the same, it was the Mirage…

    I needn’t have worried. The suite was over-the-top gorgeous, and the service that came with it was impeccable. We were met by bell services to get out bags, escorted to the VIP lounge for check in as the bellman waited with our bags, and checked in quickly to the suite. Now, I haven’t stayed in a suite at any of the 5 star properties so I don’t have anything to compare it to. But this was incredible. Big! The master bedroom was a suite in itself with a whole corridor of rooms off it. The second bedroom had its own privacy entrance. The beds were to die-for comfortable. Everything was top-notch, and we were suitably impressed and very happy for the comparatively little we paid (having, for a laugh, priced out the Bellagio Penthouse Suite for the same period).

    There was something slightly amiss when we were getting the tour of the suite from the bellman, though. When he flipped the switch to sweep the drapes open in the main area all three of us were astonished to see one of the giant windows, the one in the corner, had a crack in it. Not a little crack, but one that ran diagonally from one to corner all the way down to the other corner. All three of us went over to see if it was sharp, but the crack was on the outside only so not a direct safety issue. We had a bit of a laugh about it and didn’t pay it any more attention, especially since the best views were looking the other way –one of them was straight down the strip to the MGM. Spectacular.

    So, we ordered room service, put Vegas Vacation into the in-room DVD attached to the giant TV and got comfortable. Yes, we had to watch Vegas Vacation at the Mirage. It had been part of our plan from the moment we booked. About 5 minutes in to it the door bell rang. I thought to myself – wow, that’s amazingly fast room service! But it wasn’t the food, it was a man in a grey suit accompanied by a guy in overalls. And they looked worried.

    They asked if they could come in, and the suit guy introduced himself as the building manager and started gushing his apologies for the cracked window (the Bellman had to have told him). He and the worker went over and we heard suit guy say to overall guy: “We’ve got a couple like this. Wonder what’s causing it?” Then he realized we were standing behind them listening and he went about assuring us that it wasn’t a problem and since it wasn’t a safety issue they weren’t going to replace it. It had not occurred to me that they might, but now I thought it would be quite something to watch if they did, being on the 29th floor. I piped up that all was good as long as “the hotel wasn’t going to collapse. Was it?” I said this with a big grin. As building manager I don’t think he found it funny.

    Anyway, after much apologizing as if he had personally hurled a brick at the window, they left just as the food arrived. DH, ever logical, just thinks it was a stress fracture caused by a small earthquake or the building settling. The actual room service server was very good and pleasant and professional – as was every Mirage employee we ever encountered. The people who work there are a true credit to the place and seem very invested in doing the best job they can because they are genuinely proud to work for the Mirage. The room service food, however, was second rate. It was okay, but only edible – kind of like cafeteria food. No problem though! The Wynn this ain’t as I’ve said before; we just needed an occasional reminder of that when the quality of the suite caused us to forget how comparatively little we were paying for it.

    It was a kick watching Vegas Vacation at the Mirage, even though the place doesn’t look anything like that anymore. We finished the movie and by about 3:30 we were ready to get our gamble on again. We had tickets to Phantom (we thought) that evening, so we had a couple of hours to kill before we had to go over to the Venetian. Even though we could have gone straight over, we decided to try out the Mirage slots first.

    We both had a great deal of fun. I had never had luck at the Mirage before, but now I was doing pretty good – no great wins, but playing slots like slots should play. Low max bets on plenty of machines, winning enough here and there to keep me playing for a nice long time on a relatively low expenditure. Slot players heaven. DH found the same decent luck. I did notice some pretty bad pop music playing constantly in the background, but it was low enough not to bother me. DH and I played together at one of the “win a motorbike” carousels. The bike was one of those 3 wheeled contraptions that had 2 seats side-by-side in this wild orange cab thingy. It looked like a dune buggy on steroids and I could care less about winning it, I was just having a decent run on the Power Strike slot on which you had to get 9 Power Strike symbols to win the bike. It is very much like Quick Hits, and I got one set of 25 free games at 3 times pay that re-triggered three times. It ended off paying over 400 bucks! Whoo-hoo!

    I learned something about DH through that win-a-bike game too. And I will share it with you. After the last stab at it, as we walked away, he said “I really wanted to win that bike.” This totally surprised me! He’s not the motorbike kind of guy, he’s a happy computer tech-head type who drives a Subaru and has never expressed any interest at all in anything as pointless as a Born-to-be-Wild looking three-wheel monster. Vroom-vroom is not what anybody would think of when contemplating DH. “What on earth would you do with it?” I asked, astounded. His answer: “I’d drive it around the neighborhood showing it off.” And then it dawned on me. It’s a fairly middle aged neighborhood, and a lot of the guys have toys – motorbikes, classic cars, souped-up go-karts, that kind of thing and on most weekends you’ll see them driving around having fun and showing off. My poor DH has man-toy envy. I never knew. (I’m going to catch it if reads this TR, too.)

    Our natural instinct when we’re leaving one property to go somewhere else is to head for the taxi line, and like we were in co-trances that’s what we did on leaving the Mirage to go to the Venetian. If you know the Strip, think about that. I did after a second or two before getting to the line. I asked DH what were we doing, the Venetian had to be right across the street. Of course you couldn’t see anything through the tropical jungle the Mirage has out front, but I was sure I was right. After a few seconds I convinced him to just start walking, and sure enough once we got out of the trees there was the Venetian. Oh goodness, that would have been an embarrassing moment if we had made it into the back of a cab. We would have deserved to get long hauled and that’s for sure.

    But our chances at embarrassing moments weren’t over for the evening. With tickets to great seats at the Phantom we made it across the street and over the Venetian’s Bridge of Sighs (I call it that because a lot of people have walked the other way over it sighing because they’ve lost a bundle in the casino) and into our old haunt. What is Sheldon doing to the Venetian casino? A whole lot of slot areas had been cleared, and there was construction going on. It had seemed so vast in the past, but as far as playable area it had shrunk considerably. Now, one of my complaints in the past was that the casino was starting to get on the shabby side, so maybe it’s a good thing some of it is being renovated. We had about an hour to kill before getting in line for the show, so we started playing.

    This was when we found a slot machine so bright that when it flashed (and it did) I wouldn’t have been surprised if it had given us both seizures. It was a Panda theme, and DH put his sunglasses on just to look at it. It was fun, though – as long as you squinted. I still have those panda symbols burned on my retinas.

    It was soon time to go into the theater. Oh, goody! We’re going to see Phantom again. Except – ahhhh – no, not tonight. The lady scanning tickets bleeped our TicketMaster (little r in a circle) print outs. Blaaaahp. She did it again, same blaaahp. She looked at them, turned them on their sides, and the print was so small, bless her but she finally found the problem. They were for tomorrow night! Why the heck both of us were convinced that tonight was Phantom night, I do not know. But as DH said, better one day early than one day late. We sheepishly apologized and turned back into the casino. I really didn’t want to play there so we went back to the Mirage.

    And something had changed. Not my luck – I was still finding machines to play and doing okay. But that pop music I had heard earlier had been cranked up. It was starting to be really annoying. That is just a matter of personal taste, and I was enjoying the Sinatra era favorites at the Wynn so when I’m subjected to what I can only describe as repetitive wailing I was less than enthusiastic.

    We were getting hungry so I suggested the Carnegie Deli. Never ate there before, but we both liked sandwiches so we headed back there. Once in DH notice right away that the sandwiches were HUGE. There was a table of four nicely sized people feeding on one, and the waiter boasted that the smallest offering had at least a pound of meat in it. Good grief! We shared an egg salad on wheat and it was filling and delicious. So delicious not a day of our stay did we not get that sandwich. Yum. DH wanted some NY cheesecake just to try it. That was wonderful too.

    Back into the casino, and if anything the music was getting louder. And then the drunks started to wander in, and wouldn’t you know it one group after another decided the spot right behind where I was playing was the ideal place to linger and mouth off. Oh Keer-eyst. I was playing a nice profitable round of multi-strike poker and this group of DingleBerries parked their pack behind my chair and started to boast about thinking of playing $100 blackjack. They talked about this for half an hour. I was getting so pissed off I almost wanted to turn around and give them an effing $100 just to go away and play. But of course, I’m not giving my money away so I moved instead. Then there were the two skanks who were screaming about this guy who messed them over. I moved again. Then there was the poor waitress who was trying to bring me a glass of wine (yes, I was still trying and still failing to enjoy a drink) and she got waylaid by a drunk who proceeded to tell her the entire history of a medical operation that had been performed on him. I heard it all, and God bless her she politely put up with him until I waived her over (and she thanked me).

    But the night had been ruined. Plus the staff wasn’t keeping up with cleaning the machines (I stuck to one). I was not in a good mood. Poor DH came upon me in this state and I declared that I was done with this place, I was going to bed, and I was going to pick up a bottle of wine to cheer me up. I was actually hoping that if I paid for a better grade of wine it might treat me better. It didn’t. To top it off I was hungry again and I ordered room service breakfast. I’ve had better food from a military chow hall and then some. The toast was good.

    But then I settled back in the suite, looked out at the incredible views and it all went away. This was still a nice place to be, what an idiot I was to let little things get to me – and Wow! I was in Vegas in beautiful surroundings and enjoying life.

    Day 5

    Goodness, I’m sorry to take such a long time to detail day 4. I will try to be briefer. Today we were really going to see the Phantom. But to start off with I put it to DH that one of the reasons for booking at a new property was to have the freedom to gamble wherever we wanted to. And today I wanted to at least start at the Bellagio. I honestly did not remember what we had for breakfast, but it sure as heck was not room service.

    We cabbed it there, and walked inside. I had forgotten how many people went into that place! It was teeming with people. It had always been like this, but after being at other properties that were not as busy it really caught me by surprise. Not a big deal, we were there for the casino where the crowds thinned out just a little.

    But this time the Big B just didn’t do it for me. It actually played like the Bellagio usually did for me – take my money for long periods of time, then pay me back with a run of good luck. Except I didn’t have time to stay around for the luck. We played for about 5 hours with small rewards and then cabbed it to the Venetian just in time to go in to see Phantom.

    I was so excited I could hardly contain myself. I have seen the Vegas show one time before and we had only booked tickets to it because we thought Mom would enjoy it, which she did. What I didn’t expect then was to become completely hooked on it myself. Since then, we have seen the movie many times and also the 25th anniversary performance at the Albert Hall on DVD, both of which filled out the story nicely. We had been maybe three rows from the front on the first visit, but thanks to that experience and a lot of help from Gregrio here (thanks Greg!) I had booked stellar seats this time. We were in row G, middle. Outstanding view of the stage. And when the chandelier pieces swirled over our heads to join together just behind us, I rubbed my hands together and looked at DH: “This is going to be GREAT!”

    And so it was. Unbelievably DH had become a major fan too, thanks to the movie. The show positively gallops along, what they’ve done is take out scenes that don’t serve to forward the plot and shorten at least some (if not all) of the musical numbers. It really did help that this was not our first exposure to the Phantom because we knew the full story – otherwise this version could leave you out of the loop on some points. Good grief, some fans really get into it, too. The ladies behind us actually hissed whenever the Phantom would show up. We knew to look up when the Phantom was dangling from the chandelier, and towards the end when the chandelier came down it was a heck of a rush. If you were sitting right underneath it and didn’t know it was coming you would quite likely poop your pants.

    We enjoyed the dickens out of that show. It closes in September, and since we’re thinking of booking another trip in August we have a chance to see it one more time. But I’m not sure I will – this experience was so good, I think I just want to leave it as my final memory of the Vegas version and hope we can see the full version live somewhere else at some time in our lives.

    We emerged from the theater with the rest of the audience, still feeling the emotion and the flush of seeing such a spectacle, and of course by now hungry. We had planned on eating at Grand Lux, but knew better than to join the after show crowds at the Venetian Grand Lux (it’s practically next door to the theater). We went through to the Palazzo instead and found the Grand Lux there to be without a line – we went right in. Ed ordered his club sandwich (we’re like old people now, we’re predictable) and I got the cream of chicken soup and crab cakes. Everything was absolutely delicious, but we would have been disappointed if it had been anything else. Grand Lux really is a great casual place to eat. Also, we were seated next to this very gregarious guy from Canada. He was just a little older than us, and just loved to talk. We – and several tables around us with whom he had also made friends – thoroughly enjoyed the company. As we left, after such good food and good company, DH remarked that all Canuks were like this. I want to move to Canada.

    I ran into Mr Canada again on the slot floor. We had decided to stay in the Palazzo as it looked inviting. I was playing a King’s Crown machine and he plopped down at the machine next but one to mine. Nice bloke pure and simple. I did pretty good on that King’s Crown, and cashed out at double my money. Both Ed and I enjoyed our session at the Palazzo and decided we would be back tomorrow. And that’s how luck goes – it determines whether you like a place or not. We HATED the Encore (and in association, the Wynn) for the longest time because the two times we stayed there initially we had horrible luck. The machines sucked up our money, we couldn’t get anything going. This time – golden, so we love the place. Same thing with the Palazzo. It did the “giant sucking sound” with our money last trip, so we hated it. It treated us decently this time so we now love it. Your impression of a casino has everything to do with how your luck goes there.

    Canadian guy had told us that America’s Got Talent was filming at the Palazzo – I love that show! It must advertise for audiences in the CA market, because I had no idea it filmed that early before it was shown on TV. I would have got a ticket to it. As it was I sat close to where the acts came out and got to see some really neat costumes. I will be following the acts I saw exiting eagerly, I can tell you.

    Close to midnight I was getting tired, so went in search of DH to tell him I was making my way back to the Mirage. I found him at some machine he was having great fun at, and where he had made best buddies with the guy next to him. He was having so much fun with the machine and his new friend, but insisted on coming with me even though it was a simple and safe walk back alone. The guy next to him had to have been a lot of fun, I liked him immediately too. He also mentioned the Panda game that blinded him as it had done us.

    When we got back to the Mirage we were strangely hungry again – or maybe just craving that egg salad sandwich. We went to the take-out window and ordered one to take to the room. We got another slice of that cheesecake too and had a feast up in the suite. And so another day ended, with us as happy folks in the land of Oz.

    Day 6

    Goodness, our last full day in Vegas already!?!?!? We played a little bit at the Mirage, but then headed directly to the Palazzo. Gone were the plans to see the (long ago) renovated Tropicana. And that trip downtown. We just wanted to play slots at a place where we liked. Before we left for the Palazzo, though, we ate at Cravings. My, we had gotten up late! By the time we meandered in there they were already on the dinner service. Cravings was one of the things I had been looking forward to at the Mirage as we had eaten there before and been blown away. The décor of the place didn’t have any more ambiance than a high school cafeteria, but we knew not to be put off by that. It was good, no – wonderful. I got hooked on this seafood bisque soup (yes, I like soup). I had a few other dishes but came back to another bowl of this delicious soup. Then we hit the desserts and were just as pleased as we had been with the Wynn buffet. Oh, my tummy is dreaming about this meal now!

    The Palazzo let us play for hours, but as the night came to an end I was just about done with playing slots and VP. I knew this was the case because I had started to up my bet just to get the same kick out of it that I had before. Instead of dollar machines, I was playing $5 machines. Instead of dollar VP, I kicked it up to $2 VP and I was thinking of going for $5 VP – but I said no. This was a clue that I was done. There was nothing to chase, and nothing to really gain (although a royal flush at these wagers would have been amazing). At about 10:30 pm I stopped. I went and cashed in my freeplay, and played it (fruitlessly) on $2 VP. Then Ed came up and asked where my “gift of the month” was. Heck, I didn’t even know the Venetian/Palazzo had a gift of the month. They’re playing for locals now? Ha, good luck with that! He’d picked up a pretty nice backpack with the Palazzo logo on it, so I went and got mine. It’s in the closet now, I doubt I’ll ever use it.

    Even though we had eaten at Cravings earlier, we were still hungry as we walked through the Venetian on our way out. Then I remembered the excellent food court at the V, and off we went to stoke up. I got a couple of slices of pizza, DH got a sandwich. We took them back to the room and enjoyed it all. Darn, it’s almost over.

    Day 7

    Goodbye Vegas! We actually played a bit at the Mirage – last rounds so to speak. But we knew we had the bankroll still enough intact to make another trip this year and we had already settled on August. Then we went to the MLife players club to see if we had any comps we could apply – we had only played at the Mirage for a day and a bit, but you never know. Goodness, were we shocked. First of all, I had forgotten about rapid rewards – or whatever it’s called. We had charged all the trips to the deli, room service and cravings, plus a couple of purchases at the all night store to the room. I had completely forgotten that I already had over $100 in instant comp yourself money before I arrived, and we had clearly accumulated more since we’d been there. That had just completely escaped my already shaky memory.

    But that’s not where it ended. The lady at the desk called a host, and we waited, and waited, thinking that this couldn’t be worth it, we hadn’t gambled that much at the Mirage. But then this host shows up and says she’s been trying to do the best for us. And our final bill was just over $500. Say what?!?!?! They had comped two of our three nights in the suite and most of our charges to the room. Again, what was that?!?!?! Oh, and I still had $75 of my birthday freeplay, plus a couple of hundred points play between the two of us. We could play it now if we weren’t coming back… Oh heck we’ll be back. Maybe not to stay but we’ll come back just to play this at the Mirage. We both think we had been seriously over-comped. Maybe the host saw our offers at the Bellagio and figured, well let’s see if we can keep them here. I don’t know, but that was a heck of a bargain for what we got.

    So we left Las Vegas very happy campers. Granted, our bankroll was a little bit bigger than it had been and at our first property, the Wynn, we had uncharacteristically played the whole time at the same place. But the Mirage comp just blew us away. The return flight was fine, and we drove back to South Carolina planning our next trip out. Thanks for sticking with me, a bit lengthy I know. I’ll be reading everyone else’s TRs to keep me stoked up for next time.

    Cheers, AliGee!
     
  9. Iamrice

    Iamrice High-Roller

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    What a great end and getting two thirds of your stay comped is a huge bonus!

    Thanks for the report.
     
  10. Dean Martin

    Dean Martin VIP Whale

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    AliGee, I loved your TR!:nworthy:

    As a long time Mirage fan and current Wynncore fan I could relate well to most everything in your report....plus, we're around the same ages...50 & 58. Our trips also contain a LOT of VP and some slot play...only difference for us is we always spend 4-5 hours at the euro pool in the morning.

    As many great trips and memories that we have at the Mirage, I just can't get into the place anymore. MGM changed it up so much from the cool ambiance (Vegas Vacation style as you mentioned) that it once had that it doesn't even seem like the same resort to me anymore:rolleyes2:

    We've converted to Wynncore and pretty much decided that we love just about everything Steve builds....until he sells them anyway:poke:

    My guess is you two gamble more than you think (comp-wise) because Wynn is a pretty strict on their comping and I know from personal experiences that these days the Mirage is much more generous than the Wynn. I'd be surprised if you didn't get similar comps w/ similar play in the future. As an example of the differences between the two, we get room and a small amount of the food bill at Encore but can get RFL and limo service at the Mirage...two pretty different levels. Even w/ the extra comps, I still prefer Encore to the Mirage though. It's sad but the Mirage just doesn't have the cool tropical feel, nor does it attract (as you mentioned) the same clientel that it used to.
     
  11. loonytoony

    loonytoony VIP Whale

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    Great report and glad you had a great trip
     
  12. pebbles

    pebbles VIP Whale

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    Sounds like you had a great trip. We were there at the same time as you, you missed some good weather by staying indoors for all that time.
     
    First trip of 2017.
  13. AliGee

    AliGee Low-Roller

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    Thanks, guys - glad you enjoyed it. Dean, I completely agree with your take on the Mirage vs Wynncore. Mirage comps would be much looser, they don't have as much to offer in the high end range where the big boys (not us) like to play.

    I am almost afraid to accept anything bigger from the Wynn in the future because our gambling there was a complete anomaly, we were playing on wins and we played no-where else, so they got our whole bankroll plus some for 3 days. And even though I didn't care for the casino environment at Mirage, hmmmm if they offered that suite again? Maybe...

    Thanks all for reading.
     
  14. BeeeJay

    BeeeJay President of The Red Lobster Hostess Satisfaction

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    At least you finally got to meet Gaggles! :evillaugh

    (great TR BTW, loving it!):beer:
     
  15. hla

    hla Tourist

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    Really enjoyed your TR! Very detailed and fun to read. Looks like you had a great time at the Wynn! The Mirage pics of the room were very nice. Good for you for splurging. I know too many people with money who never spend it on themselves so it makes me happy when people are enjoying life and spending a little for luxurious vacations.. :thumbsup:
     
  16. Mikey Morris

    Mikey Morris Tourist

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    TR

    WOW, that was a long Trip Report. But Great.... Thx for the insight..:thumbsup:
     
  17. blizzard96

    blizzard96 Low-Roller

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    Loved the TR. I will be at the Mirage in two weeks to start my next Vegas adventure. I have been wanting to head over to Wynn to give them some play and see what happens for a couple years but just haven't made it. I can totally relate to not getting far from the hotel you are staying in! Definitely want to check it out this trip thanks in part to your glowing reviews:)
     
  18. serenasea

    serenasea Tourist

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    What a wonderful trip report! You are an entertaining writer, and it felt as if I were right there with you -- and, in fact, I thought as I was reading that you and your husband would be a lot of fun to hang out with.

    Being of that certain age, I could relate to so much of what you wrote (the club parade; the swaggering, bragging groups of yutes that decide to stay awhile, not playing, on the slot machine bank that houses the machine you're itching to play; the midlife men in the neighborhood with their toys). Those girls spend hours getting ready for their club nights (yes, I remember those days too), so I suspect they're secretly delighted to note that somebody is appreciating that effort.

    It definitely takes the pressure off when you're paying for a room upfront, as you did at the Mirage. As others have noted, nothing really compares to the Wynn properties in quality and service, but it is much easier to score a suite upgrade at Mirage. What a welcome surprise to have a host track you down at Wynncore and follow through adjusting the bill! And to have so much comped on your Mirage bill, very nice.

    Thanks for taking the time to write this report. Loved it!
     
  19. AliGee

    AliGee Low-Roller

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    Yes, do check out the Wynn, especially if you don't have a Red Card (their slot club) yet. They have some really great benefits for new players. I noticed they still have the Big Wheel you can spin once you've earned some (low amount) of points. I saw some guy win the $10,000 freeplay on that a couple of years ago. Also, although I don't know if they still have this (it was 4 years ago), but for the first 500 points you earned you got two free buffets. That was on each card, so for 2 nights we ate on the Wynn.

    Oh, and BeeJay - ya know, I was thinking about you lot on more than a few occasions :faint: If I'd heard Hookers and Blow just once it would have made my night!
     
  20. AliGee

    AliGee Low-Roller

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    Thanks for reading Serenasea, you've brought up something I hadn't thought of - the young ladies probably do secretly appreciate that they are noticed. And my remarks about them were not made in mean spirit, although it was easy for me to have a laugh at their expense wearing my flat heeled old lady shoes. The youngsters do look pretty. And I too remember wearing a mini-skirt that short. Except that was when mini-skirts first came out. EEEEK!
     
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