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Harrah's June 7 - 11

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by jvv, Jun 14, 2009.

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  1. jvv

    jvv Tourist

    Mar 2, 2009
    Trips to Las Vegas:

    My Trip Report

    Since this forum provided me so much information about Vegas, I figured I at least owed you a trip report. It's my first trip report ever, so be kind. :)

    My 4 day stay in Vegas was an add-on I booked in addition to a 10 day guided coach tour through several national parks (Rocky Mountains, Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Bryce Canyon, Zion, Grand Canyon). The contrast between all that nature and Vegas couldn't have been bigger, but I liked both. :thumbsup:

    Pictures of my trip can be found here.

    I'll just post by topic, since that seems easier to me than day by day.


    Stayed at Harrah's in the Carnival tower at the 21st floor in a 2 queen bedroom, with view of the mountains. I had read on here that some people think Harrah's rooms are small, so I was a little worried, but it turned out they're pretty much the standard Holiday Inn rooms, which is plenty enough space for me. The room was clean and quiet, the beds comfortable, shower worked well. I think it was very good value for the $39 a night I paid for it through Hotels.com .

    The casino itself was rather smoky, but it had a good vibe. There seemed to be lots going on and people having fun at all times, night and day.

    Getting around

    Took 3 taxi's during my stay
    (all prices mentioned in this report are excluding tip.)

    - From Circus Circus (drop-off point from my tour) to Harrah's ($9.30)
    - From Palms to Harrah's (too late to catch the Rio shuttle, $9.70)
    - From Harrah's to the airport ($12.50)

    Used the shuttles from Harrah's/Paris to and from the Rio 3 times. Bought a day pass for the Deuce ($7) 2 times and did a lot of walking (ow, my poor feet).

    The Deuce is quite slow, but if your feet are hurting and you look at it as a sightseeing excursion it really is rather nice.

    A lot of people mention that in Vegas casinos seem closer than they are. I have to disagree here, to me they seem to be about as far as I think they are. That is, as long as I stay out of the buildings. As soon as I enter a casino my mileage skyrockets, because I have a terrible time getting out of it again and for some reason always end up at the back of the casino and have to walk all the way back. :rolleyes2:


    I mainly ate at buffets and since I really have next to no selfcontrol there, that often was the only real meal on a specific day.

    - dinner : Rio, Carnival World Buffet ($23.99 ex. tax, $5 off with coupon from Harrah's funbook at check-in)

    Was a bit disappointed with this buffet. There was indeed a huge selection of foods available, but it all tasted rather bland to me, even the desserts. Not that the food was bad or anything, but I guess my expectations were too high. One thing I missed in this buffet is that there was no labelling of the dishes, so sometimes you had to guess what it actually was.

    - lunch : Wynn, The Buffet ($22.95 ex. tax)

    Excellent buffet, the best I went to on the trip. Large selection of foods, the ones I tried were all fresh and well seasoned. My mouth still waters if I think about the grilled flank steak and the chocolate desserts. I totally overate at this buffet and would return within a heartbeat.

    - breakfast : Mandalay Bay, Bayside Buffet ($15.99 ex. tax)

    Lovely buffet, with nice view over the garden. Again good selection of foods, very fresh. They had some kind of cooked salmon with a crunchy crust which I loved and went back for twice ! I also liked that they had fresh berries.

    - dinner : Stratosphere , McDonalds ($3.00 incl. tax)

    Had only eaten breakfast and a snack during the day, so got a little hungry at 1 AM. 2 hamburgers and a small drink, cheap and filled me up.

    - breakfast : Harrah's, the Cafe ($14.99 ex. tax)

    Had the 4 aces and a kicker breakfast : 2 eggs, bacon, toast, hashbrowns, 2 pancakes and a milk. Solid food, nothing special. Seems a little pricey if you consider that the Flavors buffet is the exact same price, but I wanted to keep some room in my stomach for a buffet later in the day.

    - dinner : Bellagio, the Buffet ($27.95 ex. tax)

    I had high expectations of this buffet, but was a little bit disappointed again. Lots of food to choose from, but much of it not interesting to me (I'm no pasta fan and I'm not particularly fond of food drenched in sauce). The salmon they had was good, but not as nice as what I had at Mandalay. At my favourite part of any buffet (meat carving station) they carved rather big slices of meat, making it difficult to sample a lot of different ones (I hate throwing away food). The desserts were very nice though. :thumbsup:

    - breakfast : Harrah's, Flavors buffet ($14.99 ex. tax)

    A good hearthy breakfast, perfect to start a day where you're going to be on a plane most of the time. Good selection of foods, including some typical American stuff like chicken fried steak. I really liked their eclairs and profiteroles (even though it's kind of decadent to eat those at breakfast :evillaugh).

    One thing I found out from eating at all those buffets is that I really don't care about crab legs (no surprise, since I'm not into shellfish) or prime rib (too much hassle to remove the fat, plus I prefer my beef grilled).

    Entertainment and attractions

    - Checking out casinos

    Just walking through all the casinos is entertainment in itself. Love the canals in the Venetian, the conservatory in the Bellagio, the flamingo habitat in the Flamingo and so on. Unfortunately I didn't have enough time to check all the casinos, but that leaves something to do if/when I return to Vegas. :eek:

    - Rio, Masquerade show in the Sky

    The floats were cool, but I thought the show itself was rather lame, just some guys and girls trying to be sexy. It didn't help that the music/sound was so loud, you couldn't understand what they were saying.

    - Fremont Street Experience

    Loved the energy level in Fremont street. Live music, lots of people having fun, really good vibe. The show I saw was on American Pie. Very colourful show, highlight was the rocket that went from one end of the street to the other.

    - Luxor, Bodies and Titanic exhibitons ($58 incl.tax, $2 off with coupon from taxi)

    BODIES...The Exhibition, which showcases real full-bodies and organs, provides a detailed, three-dimensional vision of the human form rarely seen outside of an anatomy lab or a morgue.

    Very interesting exhibition if you're into science like I am. Gives good insight into how the human body works and might give you a few suprises. I for one hadn't realized how small arteries and veins actually are.

    TITANIC... The epic story of the “ship of dreams” is revived through Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition. These actual artifacts, recovered from two and one half miles below the surface of the North Atlantic, tell the story behind the legendary Titanic’s short journey from construction and destruction to eventual recovery. Walk her decks, peer into her cabins and meet her passengers and crew.

    I actually enjoyed this exhibition more than I had expected. Besides the artifacts which were cool to see, especially the piece of the Titanic's hull, they had done some things to make the experience more interactive. For instance they had recreated the outer promenade deck (including refrigeration to feel the cold as how it would have been on the Titanic) and you also got a copy of a boarding pass of a real Titanic passenger, for which you could check at the end of the exhibition if he/she survived (mine did).

    - Bill's Gambling Hall and Saloon, Big Elvis

    Wow, this guy has a terrific voice. Thoroughly enjoyed hearing him sing all the old Elvis tunes.

    - Mirage Volcano

    Cool show. Music builds up quite well to the eruption. Pity the show doesn't last very long ... and I didn't see any of the virgin sacrifices people were talking about on here. :wink2:

    - Bellagio Fountains

    Very nice to see the fountains dance to the music. I watched it while they played Proud To Be An American and some classical piece of music. Does anyone know if they use more uptempo music as well ?

    - Stratosphere Tower ($15 incl. tax)

    No, I didn't do any of the rides on there (way to scary for me), but the view over the city at night with all the lights is spectacular. Unfortunately my hands are a little shaky, so my picture didn't turn out too well.

    - Imperial Palace, auto collections (free with coupon from Harrah's fun book)

    They've got quite an impressive old auto collection at the IP. Loved to see the vintage cars, even though they're way out of my price range (and I don't have a driver's license anyway). The old jukeboxes in the back were cool as well.


    I had practiced FP Deuces Wild video poker at home in preparation for Vegas. I played 2 sessions at the Palms and 1 session at Binions. Unfortunately the cards weren't very lucky for me.

    - session 1 at Palms : $20 in, 2 hours play, $20 out
    - session at Binions : lost $40 in less than an hour
    - session 2 at Palms : lost $200 in about 6 hours of play

    So, total loss at videopoker : $240

    Luckily I had more luck at slots. Most of the money I put in slots was from freeplay I got for signing up for player's cards.

    - Rio, waiting for Masquerade show to start : $2 own money, lost playing $0.01 (1 line) at Lil Lady (cute little bugs)
    - Wynn, the big win! : $10 freeplay turned into $184 playing $0.01 (40 lines) Witches Ritches, $0.05 (40 lines) Lil Lady (yay for the bonus) and Megabucks (to get to 100 points fast for spin at wheel, which gave me $10 freeplay again)
    - Riviera, Golden Nugget, Harrah's : total $12 freeplay, which I all lost
    - Le Bayou : $2 own money lost
    - Binions : $20 own money lost on deep pockets, some Australian themed slot machine
    - Airport, waiting for plane going for an even $100 loss or a big win :ssst: : $20 own money lost after getting up to $30 playing $0.01 dragonfly (slot machine with butterflies, I like pretty pictures) and then gambling it all away on $0.25 Wheel of Fortune.

    So, total win at slots (thank you Wynn) : $140


    Don't know if I will return to Vegas or not. So many other places on earth I want to see first, but I'll be sure to drop in if I happen to be in the neighbourhood, since I had lots of fun.
  2. jgates8

    jgates8 VIP Whale

    Jun 25, 2007
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Thank you for the nice report. I envy your Nat'l Park tour.
  3. Blondie76

    Blondie76 Low-Roller

    Sep 19, 2008
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    I enjoyed your TR. You covered a lot for your first trip. I bet you'll go back. :) Thanks for posting:)
  4. Tammy58

    Tammy58 Frugal Slot Jockey

    Jun 16, 2004
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    I love reading "first" trip reports. It gives you a new perspective as far as what wows a first timer. You are right about the buffets. Breakfast especially...you pay the same for cafe or buffet...you are deciding between big choice and hot food. I don't like cold eggs so breakfast buffets are not my favorite. You covered a lot your first trip! Rio..yup the show in the sky is way too loud and last month when I was there was by far the iciest casino I was in. Didn't need a sweater for the a/c anywhere but there.

    Now that you have your first trip under your belt...the big question is...Are you hooked and dreaming of going back? Many of us are dreaming of our next trip before we leave the airport. LOL.
  5. ghetto71

    ghetto71 Tourist

    Apr 11, 2007
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Nice TR!:peace:
  6. delo

    delo Low-Roller

    Apr 19, 2006
    Dallas area
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    "As soon as I enter a casino my mileage skyrockets, because I have a terrible time getting out of it again and for some reason always end up at the back of the casino and have to walk all the way back."LOL....That sounds like me.

    Some of your observations are the same as mine.
    Rio's Show in the Sky - not so great - has really gone downhill BTW.
    Harrahs rooms - ain't all that bad.
    Harrahs Flavors Buffet - serves up a great breakfast.
    Big Elvis - his voice is very, very close to the real thing

    Enjoyed your report. I'll bet you'll be back - sooner than you think.
  7. gotavegasjones

    gotavegasjones VIP Whale

    Jan 16, 2004
    South Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Great first Trip report. I, too, envy the wonderful tour you made this summer. Thanks for posting.

    later, GVJ
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