Preface This was our 6th trip since 2014.We had a fabulous time but we left town thinking we need to take a break for a bit and try something different. The negatives we walked away with was drink service seems to have gone down hill since our first trip and The Strip seems bent on gouging you on food and drink pricing. Everything seems slanted towards fine and upscale dining so much that it's hard to find a decent meal for under $100 for two people. The Mirage The Tower King Experience We had 4 nights comp'd at The Mirage in a regular room. We checked in at 10:30 at night on the Saturday night. We upgraded at check in to Tower King which we stayed in before. They charged me $20 a night for the upgrade but I had a confusing conversation with the girl regarding whether she would take the $20 sandwich for all nights. We paid for the upgrade. This is where the Trouble began. Right out of the gate one our keys would not work in the door. The next day the other key would not work. We went back an forth between check in, talking to maids, the kid they sent to our room the next day and the security team Seven Times before they ended up replacing the key reader on the door. We were border line late for our dinner reservations and hockey game experience on the Sunday. The Mirage did not see to care about my inconvenience of spending a day and half of getting new keys and waiting for them to replace the doors. They could have wiped the upgrade fee but the two nights but they didn't even really go as far to apologize. Here is a video I took with my GoPro of the room walk through if anybody is interested in what a Tower King looks like. The Casino They redid the Casino a bit since my last visit. The Bubble Craps machine used to be around the right from the main desk on the way to the elevators and it was kind of a hub over there. They moved everything over towards the sportsbook and the main floor bar. I assume to make room for the Horse Racing Machine which is quite big. I have a few wins here and there but nothing to write home about. I had no luck on the Bubble Craps machine this time around and either did anybody else I was talking to. It wasn't the hub that it used to be. I found the slots pretty tight and the only consistent luck I had was playing VP at the main bar. The problem with this was that they took the chairs away everyday at 3:00 for the Rodeo viewing and live bands. There is a bartender there named Paul who is a total gem. An older asian man that works the early morning shift. He pours nice drinks and has a laugh or two. I went down a few morning and sat there. The Food and Drink The Mirage Cravings Buffet is still as good as any other medium priced buffet on The Strip. They have a ton of food choices, free booze, and a nice Omelette Station. We do breakfast buffets. We did the Cosmo and Bellagio as well as for breakfast and I will not be back to either of those mostly because of the limited food choices and price associated with that lack of food choices. We watched the first half of the Monday night game at The Still which we are fans of. The food and booze is moderately casino priced. They have a ton of tv's which is nice. You have to order your food from the food truck out back. We go here a couple of times every trip. I was on the hunt for a Lobster Roll and was not disappointed. . We also sat on the patio at The Rhum Bar for a quick drink. This was interesting. They did not have a happy hour so I settled for Vodka and RedBull for $9. It was a NFR special. I dont know what it would have been regular price. My wife just had a diet coke and the server at the inside bar seemed snotty when she ordered it until I tipped $5 and then she became my best friend telling me to just come and grab her if I need anything. We also has a late night meal at LVB Burger. We really couldn't find any other place to eat late night so we settled. It's not the best and it's expensive. They had us stuck there and we caved. Drink Service I found the drink experience fairly less than average this trip. On one of the nights I sat at a VP Machine right on the aisle towards the elevators and saw nobody for at least 1/2 hour. I moved to another spot and played some slots and saw nobody. I literally went to my room and grabbed two tallboy beers and came back down to play. It's a bit disappointing. The Bellagio We were booked at The Mirage for our last night but we had a MyVegas reward to burn so doubled book a room there and moved over there for the last night. We did the mobile check in as we didn't care where we ended up. The check in line wasn't as crazy as normal. Resort Room We ended up in the main tower on the 9th floor overlooking the mountains and pool. My wife loves the mountain view so this was a perfect ending for us. It has been a few years since we stayed at the Aria and we forgot how nice the rooms are or can be compared to The Mirage. The shower and tub in the Bellagio room is really nice and I missed the bath robe. Casino and Drink Service We were only there for night so it's hard to judge but the casino is so big and so busy I think it's easy to get lost in there. I got off my seat twice and flagged a walking by waitress for drinks which I think they were annoyed at until they got their tip when they came back. Somebody on her awhile back mentioned the annoying gawkers and now I get it as I was always one of those gawkers. It's just too busy for me. I think I liked the quiet Aria Casino and the somewhat busy Mirage better. Food and Drink The Bellagio Buffet for breakfast was a disappointment to us and were glad it was a MyVegas comp. It is really tiny and doesn't have many different food offerings. I had a great home made omellete but only because there wasn't much else there. We had some Bailey's airplane bottles in the purse and stopped by the little coffee shops by the pool. It was $7.50 for a medium sized black coffee. The Bellagio suffers from the same thing as the Aria. There are no cheap late night food places on site. We came back pretty late and wanted some cheap food and ended up with an expensive bag of Fritos from the store and passed out. Planet 13 Last year I went to The Reef and this year I decided to try Planet 13. It's a really nice establishment that is totally protected with armed guards which was a nice feeling actually. When I walked into the store area I was immediately met by a sales girl who walked me around the store and answered my questions and showed me different items etc. She was my personal shopper and was quite nice. Price wise the Vape Refill Cartridge was $60. Last year I bought the same with the battery from the Reef for $42 so it was quite a bit more expensive. The Gummy Bears were $30 for 10 x 10 ml but on sale for $20. They were effective no doubt but on the pricey side at $30 for something comparable in Canada. Price side aside it was a really positive experience and I recommend it. Bellagio Fountains We did a day time walk of The Strip from Harrah's down to PH and across and back up to The Mirage. I have the entire walk on my GoPro but have not edited it yet. My wife did capture a great fountain video with her iPhone. The sun behind the Eiffel Tower was pretty cool as well. Vegas Knight vs Dallas Stars This was our second game. We saw Carolina last year. I bought tickets from Vivid seats and we ended up sitting in the same row and one seat over which was a fluke because I bought seats in a different row but the seller substituted them. We ate at Nine Fine Irishman beforehand and walked back through Aria and Crystals after the game before taking an Uber back to The Mirage. We ended up sitting in The Players Family Row and sat beside Ryan Carpenter's wife and little son who was really well behaved. I think she thought we knew who she was (not in an arrogant way) because everybody in the area seemed to know each other. We didn't figure it out for a bit. Anyways she was really nice and we chatted her up for most of the third period. Carpenter got a star in the game so that was cool. We go to a few hockey games each season and man every arena just rips you for booze. A tallboy is not worth $13. Battlefield Vegas We bought the Groupon Package for the Glock, Uzi and Colt Commando and I upgrade to the Ak47 at check in. They picked us up in a Hummer and dropped us off in another military vehicle. Everyone we met was more than nice and friendly. I just find it strange that you can walk in off the street and fire an assault weapon with no training or experience. Love Vegas. The entire experience of my wife firing three guns and me firing four guns took less than 10 minutes and I filmed it all on my GoPro. Yes, the AK scared this Canadian a little bit. He has me place my chin on it so that it kept blowing my ear muffs off. I chose not to go to full auto but would next time now that I know how the gun handles. My wife will kill me for posting this but she was all smiles with the soldier that picked us up. He was a good sport that was surprised I wanted to take their picture together. I highly recommend BFV and I will return there again. They had great service and employees. TopGolf Experience I booked a bay on the 2nd deck on Monday on Vegas dot com for $60. This way our bay was ready at a specific time and we didn't have to wait in line. Each ball has a chip in it and you basically hit 5 shots at the targets and then you switch players. We only stayed the hour but it would be a lot of fun if you have a bigger group. Your booth gets you a couple of couches, table and a tv so it's nice and cozy. It's like the rest of Vegas, the drink prices are completely insane and over the top. I had a large draft beer and my wife a mixed drink and was upwards of $50 with a tip. I could not imagine drinking here for too long. Laugh Factory at The Tropicana This was a classic old school Vegas experience for us. We bought VIP tickets from HalfPriced Tickets dot com. We had to pick them up a half hour beforehand. We were met by a girl and an older guy in a suit that looked like he had been there since the 50's. He told me to come back by 8:30 and he would look after us with a nice seat. I slipped a $20 and we went down to the casino for a bit. When we came back he escorted us to a large booth that seats 6-8. We sat in one corner and he came back and told us the entire booth was ours to enjoy and he wouldn't seat anybody with us. There wasn't that many people there and I probably didn't have to grease his palms but we ended up with a nice seat. The comedians were really good. The only thing is that they pack the chairs close to the stage so it's hard to maneuver in and out and they didn't really take a break between comedians so it was hard to get up and down to get a drink. They should break before the headliner at least and give everyone a chance to refill. And again $12 Vodkas. Fremont St Experience Our Fremont St Experience was shorter than normal this time around. We were there a little bit early but it was still dark out. We went to the El Cortez as I wanted a Silver Strike which I got for less than $20. We went to the Container Park which is a complete waste of time in my opinion. There was nobody around except meth heads and losers and we really didn't feel overly safe. There aren't a lot of people around and its noticeably seedier down that way. Headed back to The Four Queens where I wasted $40 trying to get another Silver Strike before I threw in the towel and left without one. We then went to The D to play Sigma Derby. This was the highlight of our Fremont St trip. We probably stayed for close to two hours. The drink service is off the charts and I probably drank six bud lights and we had a blast. They actually have a staff member whos only job appeared to be to fix the machine as it broke. Two seats across from us broke about every 5 minutes. It will be a shame when this goes for good. Such a treasure. The new game isn't nearly as fun or easy to play. Before leaving we went to Nacho Daddy for a Scorpion Shot but just our luck they were closed for a staff Christmas Party. We didn't make it to one on The Strip. 107 SkyLounge at The Stratosphere We stopped in here on our way home from Fremont St. There was nobody in the place. Maybe 12 people tops. One total side of it was roped off and vacant. Again, gorgeous view and old school Vegas feel. Bungee jumpers going by were entertaining. The drinks are off the chart expensive. My CC was $99 for about 4 drinks. I don't regret the experience and I would go back as a group but wow they really tag you for the booze. Peppermill Lounge Last trip we did Hash House to this time it was Peppermill. There was about a 20 minute wait for breakfast which was perfect for us as we got to sit in the lounge area and enjoy an old school Vegas drink. The lounge is really nice. I wish I would have got better photos of it but I didn't want to be a gawker. I spaced by getting a clubhouse and should have had something else as it wasn't anything to write home about. My wifes Omelette was epic. I ordered a Caesar and got a Bloody Mary but that was okay and I didn't complain. Cosmo Buffet This was our second kick at the breakfast cat and our last. I am starting to think that people rave about this place because they are told to rave about this place. Like people are buying into it because a rumour starts that it is good. They don't offer a ton of different foods. They were missing some breakfast staples. That red noodle thing on my plate was lukewarm. Some of the seats they have touch other tables. So I was on a curved bench seat sitting too close to the person beside me. I don't like the set up. I liked the Angry Mac and Cheese but really it's just Mac and Cheese with Frank's Red Hot..... Chip Collections I picked up many of the chips I was missing but both Binions and Tropicanna would not sell me a chip and I didn't have it in me to pretend to play craps or chase down a waitress. If anybody wants to send a $1 chip from either of these places I would take it. Ride Shares and Cabs Please read my Uber Nightmare thread about our ride from TopGolf. It was over the top to us. Mostly everything else was pretty decent. Loved being picked up for Uber/Lyft in a Mercedes and Suburban. We also had a couple of cab rides which weren't at all bad either and nothing to complain about. Final Thoughts I'll spare you the Vegas sign in the airport and the Bellagio Conservatory pics. We have all seen them a zillion times. We love Vegas. You can pretty much do whatever the hell you want to do, nobody bothers you much and you can find whatever the hell you want. This trip we hung out a few different lounges etc and it's too bad they squeeze you for the food and booze so bad. We resorted to the Subway and White Castle or just pharmacy snacks a couple of times because we were tired of $60 lunches or $100 dinners which were sandwiches and fries. It's changed since 2014 for sure and it's not getting cheaper. We might take a year off and not do a December at all anymore. Our next trip to Vegas will be during pool season and probably go if we find some friend or a group thing. We had a ton of fun and lots of laughs, met lots of nice and interesting people and ate some decent food which is all you want on a trip.