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Full trip report April 16-21

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by IWannaBeInVegas, Apr 23, 2017.

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  1. IWannaBeInVegas

    IWannaBeInVegas VIP Whale

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    My Trip Report

    For those not into live reports or who did not follow, here is my full report. I will be adding a link to all photos once they finish uploading.

    Trip Report 4/16/2017-4/21/2017


    NOTE: Once my photos finish uploading to Flickr, I will share them all here.


    This trip started the planning/preparation phase around October 2016. At that point I was just deciding I wanted to hit up Vegas around the time my son was on spring break and therefore I started planning it. I was originally denied the days off work but was able to sure them a bit later and took the planning more seriously. I have been driving Uber/Lyft as supplemental income and when it became feasible I started taking all of those funds and putting them into my savings for the trip. In February I confirmed everything was a go and really started putting things together from airline reservations to hotel reservations to redeeming MyVegas rewards.



    Travel: I flew Southwest Airlines round trip, leaving April 16 at 620am and arriving at 745am. Originally had an A44 boarding pass and was not convinced it would get me the seat I wanted, I paid $40 for upgraded boarding and received an A1 pass. I got the emergency exit on the right side of the plane. There was about 10 people in wheel chairs needing assistance on the plane and each had 2-3 people boarding with them. I personally witnessed one wheeled back and he thanked the guy with the chair and said he could walk and the guy told him if he kept the chair he would be first on the plane and he made it a point to keep the chair and tipped him graciously for that advice. Upon arriving at LAS only two of those that needed wheeled on the plane had to be wheeled off, the rest were long gone by the time I got off the plane. Made it to baggage claim and not even five minutes later the bags were coming out of the shoot and mine was the first bag.


    Return flight was 510pm on April 21 and we arrived about 10 minutes early at 1150pm. Only three had to pre board and one was on crutches and the other two again were off the plane very quickly. I had a seat in row 10, no window in this section on the left side of the plane and almost had the row to myself but another guy told a lady he was saving seats for his friend and wife and then he allowed another random guy to have the window seat and his coworker had the middle seat.


    Honestly this pre boarding scam is getting bad. Like the 10 that had to be wheeled on along with their family/friends all getting on and yet only a couple had issues getting off. Miracle of light heals them I guess. In my opinion if you need extra time to board you should be the last one off the plane, case that typically would say you are going to hold up everyone getting off the plane, that would encourage those that are using it for better seats to change their mind possibly. And a suggestion to Southwest, charge for carry one bags. If it were not for carry on’s and people looking for space and fighting for space, boarding and exiting the plane would go much quicker and smoother.


    Lodging: I had a myvegas reward that I used for my first two nights at Mandalay Bay. Upon check in I asked for a room facing the strip and he said he could do that, he gave me the keys and told me he would text me the room number when it was ready but he suspected it would be soon and he would have house keeping make it a priority. Well, just before 1p, I got the room, 12th floor looking toward the strip. I do not remember the room number though. The room was nice, remodeled and your typical Mandalay Bay King non-smoking room. It was comfortable for me and I would not see anything anyone could complain about in this room. They did require a $100 cash or credit security deposit. I opted for cash. On Monday night I walked down and asked what time Tuesday I could get the deposit back. The lady told me she would get it for me right then, it took her 45 minutes because she had no cash in her drawer and when she finally gave me to me, it included 50 $1/bills. I changed those at the cage and went on with life but the big joke was she was trying to get me to a strip club.


    The last three nights I stayed at Harrahs. I had a comp and check in was somewhat slow but I checked in and was given my room around 1230pm. She said she required a $50/day deposit but if I did not want charging privileges to my room she could waive it and I told her that was fine, so no deposit. I made it to my room, Carnival tower 1152. I originally asked for an upgraded strip view room and she said it would be an extra $20/night and I declined. Got to the room and went in and found a room not much better than a motel 6 room. I could live with it, I don't need fancy rooms but the kicker was I was over the valet and over looking the top level of the parking garage. I came back to the room for a bit and all I heard was whistles and car horns/alarm for 20 minutes. I made a comment about it on twitter and their online team had me DM them my name/room number and said a manager would call. A few minutes later I get a call and the gentleman ask me the problem and I let him hear the horns honking and he says he can move me to a higher floor. A bellman brought my keys and I was moved to room 3537 in the Carnival tower. I had no clue what I was getting but when I opened the door I was in amazement. It was a suite on the top floor, strip view and huge bathtub and separate shower for two. Went to use the jacuzzi later that night and there was no hot water. I called facilities and he came up and looked at it and said the valve that controls it is bad and they do not have anymore and cannot get them, its a 30 year old unit and parts are no longer made for it, darn it. I walk down to the front desk the next morning and let them know and they took one day resort fee off my account.



    Honestly I am not sure I will stay at Mandalay again. The rooms are nice and I love the property but the location was hard for me, I felt confined even with the trams. This was my second time staying there. As for Harrahs, I wont stay there again unless I can get a remodeled room. I was told the Carnival Tower was suppose to be going through a remodel and if it does it will be fine. Location was great.



    Gambling: I wont talk much here. I took $2000 with me with the goal of bringing at least $200-300 home but had high hopes and expectation. I just could not catch a break this trip and could not win for the life of me. I had control and stayed within my budget but it was bad. Only good gambling I had was single deck blackjack at the El Cortez. I bought in for a small $20 bucks and sat there for about and hour and turned it into $120. Took that and cashed in and then decided to take $20 and play on another table and turned that into $50 or $60, cashed out and then took $20 to another table, lost and quit. The next morning i took and Uber back to I could try my luck again and just had none. The last hand, dealer had a 7 up and I had a 16. I hate 16 and hit, I had a $50 bet on it and busted out. Dealer flips a 6 and bust. Otherwise I played a bit of everything, some tables, some VP a few slots, all was bad.


    Food: On Sunday I had 550 pizza and was very unimpressed. I thought I could get better at SaBorro (sp) and for $20 for two slices and a soda, not good. For dinner I had FatBurger and thinking I got ripped off. I bought a large which the photo showed 2 beef patties and mien only came with one beef patty. I asked and was told it was right. I was going to do a buffet but with it being easter Sunday, it was crazy. On Tuesday I had a Cinnabon for breakfast and then a slice off pizzza from the shopping area between NYNY and Luxor and then for dinner buffet at Mandalay Bay free from Myvegas. The buffet was uninspiring and the food at the carving station was cool to cold. Did not have much of a selection and was happy to not pay for it.

    Tuesday i walked to the Mlife desk and asked about resort fees being comped and they could not do it, but she comped me a breakfast buffet, I took it and it was better than the dinner buffet. Very good. For lunch/Diner I had Virgils BBQ. It was good, a lot more food than I could eat and although kinda pricy BBQ usually is. They claim its smoked on site but I did not notice and smoke rings in my food and so I question if it was really smoked or liquid smoke, still tasty for sure.


    Wednesday I went downtown and all I remember eating was Pizza Rock. Good as normal. Thats all I ate on Wednesday.


    Thursday: I took and Uber down Elco, lost and had another Uber take me to Lucky Dragon. I walked from Lucky Dragon to Peppermill where I had a NY steak and fries. Love the environment old Vegas feel. Really feel sad of it being in the dead location but it was busy, a line going clear out the door, unless like me you were willing to take a seat at the counter, at that point walk up and sit down. My server was slow but no complaints due to how busy it was.


    For dinner I had In and Out Burger, don't know is so great about this, I would not stand in line for it again.


    Friday: I just had a couple slices of pizza at the food court between Harrahs and Casino Royal. Average at best.




    Shows/Entertainment. I had a show ticket for Zumanity from Myvegas. I have seen this show before but first time I was right behind the love couches and this time I was in the balcony, this proves there is not a bad seat in the house. They changed up some of the content and quite a bit is still the same but it was enjoyable and I would again see it again.


    I watched some street performer and the dueling pianos at both NYNY and Harrahs along with some of the other performers at Harrahs. Quality entertainment for free.



    Random: I used Uber/Lyft to get around anytime I needed a ride. I think the hotels put the pick up spots in inconvenient locations to try to push the cabs. I only had one driver I had to rate low and he nearly got us in several accidents and took the long way. BUT I was cheap and was using Uber Pool/Lyft Line so the prices are set and even taking the long way the price was the same.


    Kids. way to many kids in Vegas. A few times I seen kids just sitting outside the gaming areas on the floor waiting for parents. That is not oaky in my book and the parents should be held accountable.


    The smell of marijuana was over powering quite a bit. I know they legalized it but I wish people would have some respect for those that don't smoke. Don't need to walk through a cloud of smoke


    The escalators down by MGM were all closed and boarded up while I was there. Had to use stairs to get around that area, no way a handicap person was going to be able to get around and I think the ADA could get involved. They forced you into casinos as well. Down by the Cesars, they all worked. I am assuming they are doing and overhaul but all at once is bad for business and tourist.


    Weather was perfect. We had a wind advisory one of the days and it was not bad but over all 60s at night and 80s during the day was perfect.


    I found the dealers this trip to be less than friendly and quite a few sloppy and slow at dealing. I work in the casino business and they would not last long in our casino going that slow, even on the strip which I thought was suppose to be the best of the best. Guys were hitting 18s because the dealer did not tell them their count and the player thought he had 16, I had to start counting for him.


    The street performers and promoters or whatever you want to call it gets worse and worse every trip I go. On the strip I saw a guy using his 10 or so year old kid dance and solicit tips from people. The kid would do a dance and then walk up to people with his hat and out right tell them to tip him with his sweet kid voice. Speaking of street people, I noticed more and more homeless and even more mentally unstable people. One guy about got a beat down from a group when he walked up and got into the guys girlfriends face telling her she should stay in her race. It was not good.


    Dont jay walk in Vegas, they take it seriously.




    I cant think of anymore to add.


    Might find more details and things I forgot at my live report: https://www.vegasmessageboard.com/forums/index.php?threads/fun-times-low-rolling-lots-of-pics-live-4-16-to-4-21.140650/
     
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  2. ogksteve

    ogksteve Tourist

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    Nice report. I'll come back for the pictures.I was there the same days as you. I agree about the kids. There seemed to be A LOT of kids walking around this time.
     
    Flamingo
  3. Richard Alpert

    Richard Alpert LOST

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    Great synopsis, IWannaBe!
    I so enjoyed following along on the live version, too!

    Two questions for you, if I may:
    Being an Uber/Lyft driver yourself, do you get a discount when using Uber/Lyft? Just curious...
    When's the next Vegas trip? :poke: :D

    Thank you again for sharing your adventures! :cool:

    RICHARD
     
  4. IWannaBeInVegas

    IWannaBeInVegas VIP Whale

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    No discount for me being a driver, we are considered independent contractors therefore we are not employees of either. But in Vegas they have Uber Pool and Lyft Line which saved me about $20 bucks over the course of the trip. Divers don't like Line or Pool because they don't make as much but its great for the consumer.

    Not sure when next trip will be. I need to regroup and figure things out. I am a single parent so I have to do things around when I can either take my son or have him at his grandparents or moms.
     
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  5. loonytoony

    loonytoony VIP Whale

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    Just a piece of advice from my point of view on the wheel chair seating. My wife had to use a wheel chair in the airport to get on the plane. By looking at her no one would know she had metastatic breast cancer. But if she walked long distances (like inside the Atlanta airport) she would be exhausted and pain levels increased. On the flip side when we land it typically is not as long a walk and the airlines tend to be behind on meeting you at the gate. So take a deep breath and don't let little things like this bother you. Heck its Vegas and everyone feels better arriving in Vegas. You never know what ailment someone has, its not always visible.

    Thanks for listening to my opinion
     
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  6. IWannaBeInVegas

    IWannaBeInVegas VIP Whale

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    I get it, trust me. But the Columbus airport is much smaller than Vegas. If you need help in Columbus which has 6 gates and not Vegas would lead the lay person to question the validity. It cannot be denied that people take advantage of pre boarding so they can get the best seats. If you look at the airlines with assigned seating, very few take advantage of it. Its a huge problem on Southwest due to open seating.
     
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  7. IWannaBeInVegas

    IWannaBeInVegas VIP Whale

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    Alright guys, the photos are uploaded. Here is a link to them all:
    https://flic.kr/s/aHskTqPQqj

    There will be quite a few of the same thing, I was using two different camera apps on my phone trying to get the best results. Again all were taken with an iPhone 7 plus.
     
  8. RockyBalboa

    RockyBalboa Front Line Winner

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    I wholly agree about the pre-boarding scam. Obviously I don't include those who really need it but I've seen way too many people take advantage of this. At the very least I'd wish the airlines would limit the amount of people boarding with the pre-boarder. No reason three adults and teenagers need to get on with the person.

    The situation with the blackjack players not knowing their count? I think I'd have to get up and find another table there. Friendly dealer or not I could not stand watching someone try to add 9+7+A.

    Good report and pics!
     
  9. buckeyetodd

    buckeyetodd High-Roller

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    In January I stayed at Harrahs and was comped one of the remodeled rooms, I think it's called the Valley Tower? Anyways, I was truly one of the nicest basic rooms I've ever had in 40+ trips. Describing the older rooms you used the exact phrase I did, looks like a motel 6.

    Enjoyed ur report.

    Todd
     
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  10. IWannaBeInVegas

    IWannaBeInVegas VIP Whale

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    Yeah, I was not as shocked on easter Sunday as I was the rest of the week. Pics are up. All unedited and ready for your viewing pleasure.

    Agree 100% on both, especially the pre boarding. With blackjack I am sure if the player would ask the dealer the count he would have told it. Its simple math but some brains, especially with alcohol do not work. I left the table not to long after.

    I wish I could have seen one of the remodeled rooms. I have seen it in photos and I would stay in one, I don't think I would want the Carnival tower again.


    One other observation. Any property I was in, I could ask a cocktail waitress for a water weather I was gambling or not, if she had one she would give it to me and I would tip, at Harrahs that was not possible, I got nothing but attitude for asking. I was told it was standard at CET to charge for waters when all others were happy to provide the simple necessity of life.
     
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  11. IWannaBeInVegas

    IWannaBeInVegas VIP Whale

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    Gave more play to CET than Mlife and the tier points just do not make sense. Also note I can confirm that my table game play at Luxor was not put in like it was at all other Mlife properties or I may have gotten Peark.
     

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  12. Jon E Coyote

    Jon E Coyote Low-Roller

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    I was there 16-20th, had quite a few of the same observations.

    I don't recall ever seeing as many kids on the strip as I did this past week, and the weed use has gotten increasingly bad and will probably get worse.

    We saw some street performers out in front of PH that I swear I remember seeing on Americas Got Talent several years ago, guys were damn good, but were very aggressive in trying to acquire $20+ tips from the audience and got a bunch of them..

    Ya, that pizza place between Harrah's and CR sucks pretty bad, way better options out there
     
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  13. VPDana

    VPDana High-Roller

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    Enjoyed!

    About pre-boarding on Southwest: There was a time when I couldn't walk the distance to the gate, so I would get wheelchair assistance. But at the gate, I gave up the wheelchair and boarded with everyone else with the boarding pass system. I was able to walk the ramp to the plane, so I did. At the other end, I was met at the plane by a wheelchair assistant. I only took advantage of the help I needed, no more.
     
  14. emmada

    emmada Tourist

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    Wow, I just looked at your 1319 pictures. I have 170 days to wait before my trip. Your Flick page is now on my favorites.
     
  15. IWannaBeInVegas

    IWannaBeInVegas VIP Whale

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    Yeah, average at best. I forgot about the pizza by the slice place at the Linq shopping area or I would have gotten it there since that was where I went after eating.

    Yeah, I have severe issues with my ankles, arthritis is really bad. At CMH I was fine since I had just got up but at LAS when I was departing I could have easily gotten pre board but I was able to walk and did not think it was fair that I get on first if I can walk. The ramp to the plane is not to long of a walk. The gate people saw me get up to walk to the rest room and offered to call a wheel chair for me long before my flight but i refused. Call it pride or refusal to acknowledge I have issues, but if I can move on my own power I will.

    Thanks, much appreciated. There are other albums for my past trips as well on there if you get bored. These pics were all taken with the iPhone 7 Plus. Someone on another group made the comment I should have used a real camera, the whole goal was not to rely on anything except on what I can carry in my pocket which was the iPhone.
     
  16. pebbles

    pebbles VIP Whale

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    Thanks for posting. I followed your live report too. Great photos, can you tell me which apps you use please?
     
  17. IWannaBeInVegas

    IWannaBeInVegas VIP Whale

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    I used the stock apple app for some images and procamera for others. Procamera allows for shooting in RAW and has some extra features like reduced noise night images and a fairly good HDR option. The iPhone camera did decent with HDR as well. For any editing which none of the Flickr account has gone through, I used Snapseed or Lightroom mobile.
     

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  18. pleasemum

    pleasemum High-Roller

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    Thoroughly enjoyed following along on your trip. Great Photos!!
     
  19. pebbles

    pebbles VIP Whale

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    Thanks very much.
     
  20. ahalifko

    ahalifko Tourist

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    Welcome to the shitty world of Total Reward tier credits lol. After my last trip I'm convinced they don't even rate table game play at $50 a hand or lower. Mlife treats table players much better.
     
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