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A Cruise, a Prison Stay and a Casino!

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Trip Reports' started by fasbman, Jul 12, 2021.

  1. fasbman

    fasbman High-Roller

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    My Trip Report

    If that headline doesn’t grab your attention, I don’t know what will. Normally, I do one write up, but since my odyssey is ongoing, I will break it up into segments.

    My saga started with what was supposed to be a ten thirty AM flight to Memphis (July 3rd), for a hotel stay prior to the riverboat actually leaving on July 4th. By the time, I got to the airport, my flight was canceled, and everything was booked solid since it was a holiday weekend. Fortunately, this intrepid traveler remembered his Boy Scout training and the motto “Be Prepared”, and I had also bought tickets for a 7PM flight and a 7 AM flight the next morning on SWA. So I just used the 7PM flight and cancelled the 7AM flight scheduled for the next morning once I arrived in Memphis. Since it was SWA, I will use the flight credit another time. Still, it was a LONG travel day, and I was at the airport for almost half a day.

    Coming up, the cruise details!
     
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  2. ColoVegPlayer

    ColoVegPlayer A gentleman and a scholar

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  3. Astribling

    Astribling Alice In Casinoland

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    Very interested to hear about the prison part! :thumbsup:
     
    3 Nights at Cosmo, then Bally's to burn my comps, probably!
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  4. fasbman

    fasbman High-Roller

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    Thanks for he info! I can’t say much more, since there could be a bed check any minute, and cell phones are frowned upon in prison!
     
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  5. ColoVegPlayer

    ColoVegPlayer A gentleman and a scholar

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    Prison pocket! You can store all sorts of goodies up in there! :confused:
     
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  6. bluesdude

    bluesdude VIP Whale

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    I’m only following for the prison story! :D
     
    October 11th - 15th
    November 5th - 9th George Thorogood
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  7. smerrian

    smerrian View from Bally's

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    OMG, I should have been a boy scout! I never would have booked 3 flights. I never would have even thought of it.
     
    How could I say no?
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  8. fasbman

    fasbman High-Roller

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    Thanks for that visual!
     
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  9. fasbman

    fasbman High-Roller

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    Normally, I wouldn’t have done that. However, since it was a holiday weekend and the cruise leaves whether your on it or not, I thought that what was basically a free insurance policy was in order.
     
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  10. fasbman

    fasbman High-Roller

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    Ok, let’s talk about the cruise, while building tension for the prison story.

    The cruise went from Memphis to New Orleans. I had been on previous cruises with this Company, but not on this particular boat. The good news was that since the Company required 100% vaccinations of crew and passengers (and required proof of being vaccinated), the mask mandate was lifted effective July 1st. Before that date, masks were required in all indoor areas and you were supposed to wear your mask to meals, remove it to take a bite and immediately replace your mask and then rinse and repeat. I’m glad things had loosened up, since that doesn’t sound like a fun way to spend time on a vacation.

    PLEA- PLEASE DO NOT MAKE ANY COMMENTS OR POLITICAL STATEMENTS ON MASK MANDATES OR VACCINATIONS!

    Joining me on this trip were my brother and sister-in-law, who had the cabin next to me. So, if they were too loud, I knew who to complain to.

    The boat was filled to less than two thirds capacity. Even so, they were clearly struggling with staff shortages. For example, they only had two bartenders on the boat and this was with free alcoholic beverages being included in everyone’s fare. However, the crew were all friendly, and with a little patience, things worked out fine. The food was good, and lobster was available at every dinner.

    All in all, the the cruise was fun (leaving out the prison part).

    Next up: Fasbman goes to Prison (I swear I was framed)!
     
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  11. BlueBellThunder

    BlueBellThunder VIP Whale

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    I hope you didn’t drop the soap lol.
     
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  12. MCann

    MCann VIP Whale

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    Its referred to as a "prison wallet" in Florida, just, you know, in the informative posts department.
     
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  13. ColoVegPlayer

    ColoVegPlayer A gentleman and a scholar

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    Makes sense. You store all your valuable booty in the wallet.
     
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  14. fasbman

    fasbman High-Roller

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    Now, for the episode of Fasbman goes to prison. There won’t be much humor in this post. It was a sobering yet extremely powerful experience.

    The cruise offered a visit to Angola prison in Louisiana. Until relatively recently, it had the reputation as being one of the most brutal prisons in America. It is actually a prison farm and the inmates grow crops and raise cattle. The large majority of the inmates are doing Life. The Louisiana Death Row is also located there, which is an area we definitely didn’t visit!

    We met two trustees who tend to the horses that the guards use to patrol the fields. One had been there for over 60 years! We also met three other trustees who as part of their duties trained service dogs for disabled vets (two of them were vets themselves).

    In a conversation with the officer who accompanied us, she confirmed that all of the inmates we had met were murderers. It was definitely the first time in my life, that I had ever met anyone who, to my knowledge, committed that crime. The interesting thing was that the officer said that most of the murderers there hadn’t committed any serious crime before that act.

    The inmates we met seemed to be regular people who most likely bitterly regretted their actions and would probably never kill again. Still, they chose to take a life, and destroy their own in the process. However, actions have consequences, and they are reaping the results of their actions. Still, it was very sad, with definitely no winners.

    It was definitely one of the most interesting three hours of my life, and one I have no interest in repeating.

    Next episode: Fasbman vs. Harrah’s New Orleans.
     
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  15. LB9

    LB9 PH Blackjack Degen

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    This is a great TR, love hearing about new things such as the Angola prison which, while I was familiar with it and the reputation, never thought about going to so kudos to you! Looking forward to more!
     
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  16. fasbman

    fasbman High-Roller

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    As unpleasant as prison undoubtedly is today, it was infinitely worse in the past. As part of the tour, they showed us a barracks were they kept the most recalcitrant prisoners in the 30’s.

    The cells were only about 50-60 sq. feet, and they kept 10-12 people in each cell! One prisoner did have his own cell though. Apparently, he killed 2 prison guards. Somehow, he avoided execution. Instead, they welded him into one of those small cells and kept him there for 11 years!
     
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  17. fasbman

    fasbman High-Roller

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    Now for the final installment of my my trip report- The Casino. I think that the best summary would be a takeoff from an old song by I think the Bobby Fuller Four. The rewritten lyrics would go- I fought the casino, and the casino won! I did get in a few good licks at times, but the house advantage and a crushing losing streak ended up grinding me into the dust. I can afford the losses, but it does take some of the edge off the enjoyment of the trip. Still, that’s why the call it gambling.

    With respect to the Harrah’s hotel, it’s definitely showing it’s age, with much of the furniture showing nicks and scratches. Of course, maybe I shouldn’t talk, since at my age, my body has it’s own share of nicks and scars. A couple of other things of note. There is still no housekeeping during a visit. Also, there was no Kleenex in the room. I’m hoping it was just an oversight and not an egregious new example of penny pinching (I mean even Motel 6 has Kleenex)!

    My final comment has to do with lines. I saw a number of people stand in the Seven Stars line at the cashier who ended being turned away. Did they not wonder why the line was so short and other lines long? However, what took the cake was the lines at the airport for my return flight.

    I have TSA precheck, which is a great investment in my mind. Anyway, the regular lines were long at the airport, and the TSA line was off course much shorter. Out of maybe a dozen people ahead of me in line, two people were in the wrong line. One lady heard the news and didn’t argue, and seemed just to have made a legitimate mistake. The other person was a different story. He proceeded to argue with the TSA agent for at least five minutes on why they should be able to use that line. Naturally, they didn’t win the argument, and were sent away to the regular line. I suspect that they knew they were in the wrong line, but thought that they could browbeat their way through the other shorter line.

    Anyway, that is my report in a nutshell, and as always I will be happy to try to address any questions you may have.
     
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  18. smerrian

    smerrian View from Bally's

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    I thought the resort fee specifically states it covers Kleenex. Toilet paper, too! Now if you decide to opt-out of the resort fee it's definitely BYOTP...but only by customer demand.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2021
    How could I say no?
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  19. Ty

    Ty ?

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    I enjoyed your TR, thanks for posting.
    Do you link pictures or maybe for the cruise? It sounds like something we might enjoy doing.
     
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  20. fasbman

    fasbman High-Roller

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    I have never posted pictures, so I'm not sure how to do so.