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Live: Singapore to Vegas - Nov25 - Dec4

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by SkyRunner, Nov 25, 2021.

  1. SkyRunner

    SkyRunner Tourist

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2021
    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Singapore
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    6

    My Trip Report

    Okay, this is somewhat emotional: 21 months of international border closures in Singapore (except for essential travel) and here I am, sitting in the Singapore Airlines lounge waiting for my departure to the US and can't really believe it yet.

    The wife can't get leave for the rest of 2021 (else I’d be on-route to Hawaii now), friends were not available on short notice, so here it is: a 9-day solo trip to Vegas booked 5 minutes after the first few countries were put on a "no quarantine" list including the US (and a hand full of European destinations). I was reluctant travelling alone at first, then again, most travel companions on my previous trips were no gamblers, hence there was always some compromise to be made. Not this time

    Putting some pressure on myself, I'll try to report live, here’s the deal:


    Flights:

    Nov 25: Singapore – San Francisco on Singapore Airlines (Departure: 6:40pm, arrival 5:20pm 15 hours later on the same day -> Hello jetlag my old friend)
    Nov 25: San Francisco – Las Vegas 7:50pm on Alaska (hoping that’s not too tight with immigration but it’s a gambling trip after all)

    Dec 4: Las Vegas – Los Angeles on Delta
    Dec 5: Los Angeles – Singapore on SQ


    Hotels:

    While I’m an off-strip gambler, I definitely like being in the middle of the strip.

    Not having any gambling related status with any casino in Las Vegas (last trip: September 2019) my biggest comp ever was a buffet at the Orleans and a cooking pot (...) which I couldn’t carry to Asia and left for the Luxor maid who reluctantly accepted it :)

    I did however manage to get a free Wyndham Diamond match from a local credit card and matched that into Caesars diamond which saves nicely on resort fees.

    Nov 25: Harrahs ($33, no resort fee – wanted to start at the Bellagio but arriving late all I need is a bed, really)
    Nov 26: Bellagio (MyVegas comped, $51 resort fee)
    Nov 27-Dec 3: Paris (avg. $50, no resort fee)
    Dec 3-4: tbd – my MyVegas app says I can’t book additional rooms till the 26th, hoping to score another night. Else I regret not having made a refundable Caesars booking as rates have skyrocketed.

    Dec 4-5: Hilton Garden Inn - Marina Del Rey (doing beach selfies for the “You’re not just going to Vegas, are you?” crowd )


    Gambling Goals (ordered by priority):

    1. Playing every $10 or less double deck blackjack in town. CBJN lists out 22 casinos in total and I put them all on a map :) I’ll probably end up spending most of my time at The Orleans or Main Street Station as usual but I can't just travel half the world to Vegas without any ambitions.

    2. Take my online sports betting to Caesars (hoping to trigger some recognition for a future trip): The only gambling related activity I do when not in Vegas is sports betting using a self-built model on European football (I refuse to call it soccer) and following a few folks on their US bets. 6-12 bets/day. Online my bet size currently stands at ~$70, bumping that up to $150 for the trip. The past 2-3 months have basically been even but with drink tickets, tier credits and big screens to cheer that would be somewhat acceptable I guess (NBA matches usually start between 7-10am my time so no cheering, just silently accepting the results).

    3. Craps: More recreational than my BJ game for sure. Finding $15-$25 tables and sticking to the pass line (I prefer the don’t but I’m not sure if I can handle the looks in a real live environment ) hoping to unlock some rooms in the CET calendar

    4. VP: Not my preferred pastime but potentially for bonuses or reaching daily CET TC thresholds


    Other goals in random order:

    -Getting close to the stage at a Carlos Santana concert and getting my mum jealous in the family Whatsapp group

    -Hit the outlet malls (I used to buy my clothes overseas and not having travelled in 2 years is now visible in my wardrobe now)

    -Doing a minor roadtrip. I’m thinking of a few hours to Laughlin maybe. I can reach any point of the country here in Singapore within 25 minutes of driving, so I definitely miss open space

    -Soak up the feeling of being away from Asia for a couple of days. Not sure how to measure that, I guess I'll find out :)


    Alrighty - 45 minutes till boarding. I’m officially excited.
     
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  2. SkyRunner

    SkyRunner Tourist

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2021
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Singapore
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    6
    If there is one thing good about not being able to travel for 2 years, it's having a sh*tload of miles to burn. Feels good being back in the air. 11 hours to go.

    20211125_192707.jpg
     
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  3. bshowell

    bshowell VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Very cool and welcome back!
     
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  4. Chrisbeans

    Chrisbeans Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
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    Location:
    Lalaland
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    Exciting! Safe travels and have a great time I’m Vegas!
     
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  5. Geauxtgr91

    Geauxtgr91 Tourist

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2017
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    Location:
    Heath TX
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    Singapore Airlines is supposed to be incredible. Looking forward to your trip
     
  6. SkyRunner

    SkyRunner Tourist

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2021
    Messages:
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    Location:
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    And we're live.

    20211125_212512.jpg

    20 hours of travelling will never be fun, but flying in at night over Las Vegas made up for it.

    Ubered to Harrahs ($15) finding out that my relative low Uber rating of 4.6 back from the days Uber offered unreliable motorcycle taxis in Bangkok has made it to the American app, lol. I'll be having a rental car from tomorrow onwards, so that shouldn't be a major concern.

    Checked in at Harrahs and got exactly what I was looking for. A cheap, clean place to sleep for the night. Rooms are of decent size and look like they had been recently renovated.

    IMG-20211125-WA0020.jpeg

    I headed over to Caesars in anticapation of my first ever Diamond rewards card just to find the rewards counter closed at 10. Headed back to Harrahs just to find theirs open, lol. Since there are no decent Blackjack Games anywhere near, I played $15 Craps for an hour (ended up $30 and 120 TCs ahead) before finally heading to bed.

    I slept a few hours and am now on the Deuce on my way downtown for old times sake, breakfast and lilely a first blackjack session.

    Have a great day everyone.
     
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  7. vegas superfan

    vegas superfan VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Welcome to Vegas! I haven't done a 20+ hour flight since before Covid and while I miss traveling, I don't miss those flights.
     
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  8. Sparky4

    Sparky4 VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Welcome back!
     
    GGWU
    Hubby’s birthday and our early anniversary trip!
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  9. SteveO

    SteveO Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2013
    Messages:
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    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    20 hours just might be the total number of hours I have spent inflight in the last 5 years.

    Go strong and hit the casinos so hard the Vegas economy suffers!
     
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  10. DiamondJim21

    DiamondJim21 High-Roller

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2014
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    Arizona
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    Good luck on your trip. Sounds like you have a great plan. Looking forward to your reporting on $10 BJ tables, as I will be there next week and typically play at about that level as well.
     
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  11. rooster42000

    rooster42000 Brady, The Goat of all Goats. repeat LVI- #8

    Joined:
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    Welcome Back, :beer: :clap: :peace:
     
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  12. SkyRunner

    SkyRunner Tourist

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2021
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Singapore
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    6
    Vegas is packed, Ladies and Gentlemen. And I mean the “having to search for open slot machines at the Bellagio” type of packed. But let’s start at the beginning.

    Took the Deuce to Downtown (with the driver shouting “What’s wrong with you?” when I held my QR code against the wrong scanner, lol), my ~2010 main gambling grounds. Had nice breakfast at Magnolia inside the Four Queens after waiting around 30 minutes in line. Not the last line of the day.

    20211126_103826.jpg

    Afterwards I walked through a couple of my old favourites. I couldn’t help it, but Fremont, Binions and the Cal felt a little sad like they are due for some major renovation works. Heck, even the El Cortez (where I used to worry about the status of my hepatitis vaccination and tried not to touch anything back in the early 2000s) felt in a better shape. Impressive though what had been achieved at the Circa since I was here in 2019. It was – despite Strip gaming limits – the only casino packed at 11am this Friday.

    20211126_110436.jpg

    I played 2 90 minutes $10 Blackjack sessions at the El Cortez and Main Street Station (where half the BJ pit had been replaced by an unsightly mess of slots) but couldn’t really get anything to go and ended about even.). In both places I had older Asian folks playing with me who were not exactly the smalltalk kind of folks. Pretty uneventful.

    20211126_110851.jpg

    Sports however went better. 4-0 in the NBA, 0-1 in the NHL for a nice start. Played 3 matches at Caesars for Tier Credits (which haven’t arrived yet and I have no idea if that plan makes any sense whatsoever) but got a better line for two at the Bellagio. Missing here is Warriors -6 for $150. I'm uncertain about the future of my sports betting plans, more below in the “Vegas and international visitors” section.

    sb.jpg

    For 20 years, I’ve had the Bellagio on my bucket list. The fountain, the casino, the décor, the scent of the place. That all created expectations for the hotel.

    I arrived at 2pm and was quickly checked in, yet told to wait for my room (more below). I asked for upgrades with a view and was told “100% booked”, so no surprise I received a Spa Tower Highway/Orleans lightshow (it flashed red AND green) room given I had used MyVegas points.

    IMG-20211126-WA0011.jpeg

    The room itself though falls a bit short of expectations and even feels a bit worn and tired. Definitely not like the Aria or the Venetian where I had previously stayed and in somewhat need of an upgrade. Beggars can’t be choosers, I get it, but paying the $500 standard rate for this on a weekend – not me.

    IMG-20211126-WA0013.jpeg 20211126_225920.jpg 20211126_233053.jpg

    Downstairs – with casino and Christmas decor - is as impressive as ever yet fully packed. Getting a players card? Sure, wait in line with 50 others and only 2 manned counters.

    20211126_195628.jpg


    Resting a little and walking over to Planet Hollywood for a late night Craps session.

    Quote of Day:
    (Me and my Uber driver waiting 20 minutes at the Bellagio driveway looking at a thousand people witnessing an afternoon fountain show)

    Me: “20 years and nobody has even come close to building something that catches as much attention as the fountain show”

    Uber Driver: “Yeah man, Steve Wynn is a genius… (pause) unlike the guy who designed this driveway”


    Is Las Vegas ready for international visitors? I don’t think so.

    Incident 1: Trying to obtain a players card at the Cal (something I did for 20 years).

    Players Club: “There is no address on your ID, I can’t accept that”
    Me: “Well, my country doesn’t put addresses on IDs. I have a passport”
    Her: “We cannot accept passports, new rules”
    Me: “But for 20 years, I…”
    Her: “Sorry, new rules. NEXT IN LINE”

    Walked over to the Main Street Station
    Players Club: “Sure, here’s your card. Good luck”
    (though she questioned the sovereignty of Singapore as a country, lol)


    Incident 2: Sportsbooks

    In both, Caesars and the Bellagio I was approached by people promoting their app. The problem: They cannot sign up international users yet (“we can’t even accept Canadians”). I don’t think the gambling commission gives a damn about it, sounds like company internal issues.

    What that means: I won’t be able to catch the best lines / closing lines for my games unless I camp at the Caesars (which I don’t want as my BJ games take me off-strip). That’s really disappointing as they advertised their apps for the past few weeks via email since I booked my rooms.


    Incident 3: Bellagio Check-In

    “Your room isn’t ready, we’ll text you a code to print out your keys in 30 minutes”

    30 minutes…

    60 minutes…

    90 minutes…

    (by now a 100 pax queue had formed at checkin so I walked to the Internet check in helpdesk and waited 20 minutes )

    “Yeah, we cannot text to international numbers, thanks for dropping by your room has been ready since 2:15pm”

    So much for “MGM International”


    Other than that I walked too much today. Looking forward to getting my car tomorrow.

    Enjoy your night!
     
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  13. bshowell

    bshowell VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    You are remarkably cheerful given all the waiting and "no's." Even so, loving how much you're getting around.
     
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  14. justaguy

    justaguy Tourist

    Joined:
    May 16, 2021
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Brazil
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    I had a completely different experience at Bellagio last week. Except for check-in, I used my Brazilian driver’s license for everything with no questions asked. MLife desk and even a hand pay, with tax forms being presented and such. Gave my phone number on a number of occasions and always got the texts like “your table is ready” and the likes - granted that sometimes this happened later than it should. I found it really depends on the people working with you, everything is of course domestically oriented and sometimes the easy answer is “we can’t accept that, next in line, please”.
     
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  15. julia

    julia Craps, VP & Microbews

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
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    Location:
    NW
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    ...I can guarantee this is an amazing experience! I caught the show on a whim, buying the only tickets left (the Zona Festiva) on day of show, actually, 2 hours before the show. Had an awesome time dancing with a whole crew of middle-aged folks enjoying Santana. Hope you have an equally awesome time.

    If Uber fails you...try Lyft. I've always had better experiences with Lyft in Vegas, no idea why though.
     
    Lunar New Year Trip
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  16. teacher10

    teacher10 Tourist

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2020
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    Location:
    NY
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    10
    FOLLOWING!!!! WELCOME BACK!!
     
  17. eksantirik

    eksantirik High-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2011
    Messages:
    763
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    16

    As for Boyd, I cannot even open their website from my home country. They must have banned a number of international countries, in order to reduce their investment on cybersecurity etc. Whenever I want to login to my account, I have to use VPN. They seem to have zero interest in international players but I like myself some cheap craps and blackjack :)

    As for the room-ready texts at MGM, I had the exact same experience at Park MGM 2 years ago. I was waiting for the text to arrive. After losing my patience, I checked with a check-in machine attendant, who said my room was ready already.