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Looooong trip report 6/2-6/12

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by intipuca, Jun 13, 2002.

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  1. intipuca

    intipuca Tourist

    Mar 5, 2002
    College Park, MD

    My Trip Report

    Just got back from Vegas from an 11 day trip with my wife. We had gone for the first
    time 3 months ago, but had only gone for 4 days in my virgin trip, which was way too
    short and I swore I'd be back. My flight was overbooked on my first trip, so I
    volunteered to stay and got a $500 travel voucher. So, this trip includes a free airline
    ticket, 9 free nights thanks to Wagerworks, and 6 free buffets via Wagerworks. I will
    mostly summarize my trip report, since it was so long.

    Our plane ride was very smooth. We were one hour ahead of schedule, but instead of
    getting to Vegas an hour early, the pilot took us on a scenic tour of the Grand Canyon,
    Lake Mead, and Hoover Dam. My wife loved it, but I just wanted to get to Vegas as
    soon as possible. We still got there half an hour early, so that was good. We headed
    straight to the Hertz counter, which had no one in line. Dollar, on the other hand, was
    packed. I had booked a luxury car for $239 a week with my AAA membership. I got
    a 2002 Lincoln Towncar with 9,000 miles on it. The car displayed the current
    temperature and it was 113 degrees F when we got there! I have never experienced
    this kind of hot weather in my entire life. It was ridiculous how hot it was. It stayed
    hot for the next 6 days (105 degrees at 5AM!), but it cooled of on the last 5 days.


    NYNY (two nights Wagerworks, two roller coaster passes Wagerworks)
    I got a very nice room facing the MGM Grand in the New Yorker Tower. Quickly
    checked in the "invited guests" line. The room was very clean, and adequate size.
    I didn't like the small TV, but I was compensated because they carried Univision and I
    could catch the World Cup games in Spanish. The roller coaster noise bothered me a
    little, but it's off at 11 PM. The pool is very small and very crowded. You only need to
    show your room key to get into the pool if you're coming in from the 3rd floor entrance.
    Anyone can get into the pool from casino entrance, but you won't get any towels. I
    didn't like the fact that the room key had to be used every time you use the elevator.
    The casino is very live and happy. I mostly used the self park garage because it's
    convenient to get to the casino. There's always a security guard checking ID when
    you get into the garage, but I think it's useless. I showed my wife's ID many times
    and he let me through. I flashed my work ID and he also waved me through. I
    always do terrible at this casino, even on my last trip. I did real bad here on
    Paigow Poker, BJ, and slots. Found many $5 min. tables on Sunday and Monday.
    Drink service was ok.

    Mirage (three nights Wagerworks, two Secret Garden passes Wagerworks)
    I love the Mirage! Checked in the "invited guests" line. I got a Tower room facing the
    volcano. The volcano is very nice to watch from the room at night when it erupts.
    I liked this more than NYNY and the central location is a plus. The king size bed was
    very comfortable and the room was extra clean. The pool at Mirage is very nice and
    very big. Always used valet parking because the garage isn't convenient to the casino
    and it was too hot to walk from garage to casino. I didn't like the Dolphin Habitat or the
    Secret Garden that much. The dolphins weren't doing anything special and the
    tigers were just laying around. Maybe the extremely hot weather didn't let me enjoy
    it. I only went because I get the passes through Wagerworks. This is one my favorite
    casinos to play in. It just gave me a good feeling as soon as I walked in. The place is
    real big and there were always empty seats in many tables. I won about $500 playing
    $10 BJ for about 40 minutes, and the dealer must have made about $100 on my bets.
    I lost about $100 on Let it Ride. The drink service was very fast.

    Golden Nugget Fri. and Sat. ($74 per night plus $50 hotel credit)
    The rooms at GN are just as nice and clean as the Mirage. But I don't think I'll stay
    there again, because I'd rather be on the strip than downtown. Downtown is a nice
    place to visit, but I'd rather sleep somewhere on the strip. Freemont Street is great,
    but other than that, downtown doesn't look too great. I had just been at the pool at
    Mirage, so imagine how I felt when I went to GN pool. The casino at GN felt like a
    strip casino. It was hard to find a $5 table with an empty seat. Most tables had
    $10 min. Maybe it was because it was a Friday and Saturday night.

    Bellagio (four nights Wagerworks - two on my name, two on wife's name)
    Bellagio is king. This has to be the best hotel in Vegas. Forget Venetian, forget Four
    Seasons. The rooms might be bigger at Venetian, and you might get more personal
    attention at Four Seasons, but the atmosphere at Bellago is king, the service is very
    nice, and the rooms are beautiful. I used the "invited guests" line to check in.
    While I was waiting for the person before me to check in, I overheard the front desk
    clerk say that Lakeview rooms were not clean yet and that they would be available
    by 3PM. I requested a Lakeview room and she told me they were sold out. I told her
    I had overheard her say that they were not clean and not that they were sold out.
    I said I was in no rush and that I would wait for my room. She gave me a Lakeview
    room on the 26th floor, but I had to wait until 3PM to get the keys. After my two
    nights were done, we went to the front desk and told them that my "friend" also had
    two free nights and we requested to stay in the same room. Front desk clerk said it
    was no problem to switch the room to my "friend" with my same last name and
    same home address and same credit card. She switched the room over to my "friend"
    (wife), and she got a $20 tip. I loved the pools at the Bellagio. This is the only place
    that I can actually swim and not just lay around on the pool. I got plenty of exercise
    swimming here. I think there are six pools here and we often got one all to ourselves
    on the evenings. They check room keys every time we went to the pool. They even
    inserted them in a slot to see if it was valid. I used self parking because the garage
    is very convenient to the casino. They always check your trunk before you enter the
    garage. The Bellagio has the fastest elevators in all Vegas. I never had to wait more
    than 10 seconds for an elevator. The casino is beautiful with fast drink service. The
    casino layout is very nice and there were many $5 tables. I enjoyed playing here,
    especially after winning about $400 in BJ and Paigow Poker. I loved the sportbook
    because of the extra comfortable chairs and huge TV screens to watch the World Cup
    games. I saw the USA-Korea game and the place was packed with all of us rooting
    for the USA.

    Too expensive for me. The Palace casino only had $25 min. tables and the Forum
    casino had a small selection of $5 min. tables. The casino is big and slots are plenty.
    The sports book is very big and nice. Drink service was adequate. I racked up
    525 points with my slot card and only played about 5 minutes. How is that possible
    do you ask? Well, I forgot my card on a $1 VP machine. I remembered later on the
    day and went back to see if it was still there. I found a man playing there with about
    800 credits on the machine. He kept playing for a long time and finally cashed out.
    I took the card out and it was my card with 532 points on it!

    MGM Grand
    This place is huge! Countless number of tables and slots. Drink service was ok for
    the size of this place. I found many $5 tables on any day I went. The lion habitat
    was closed every time I went there.

    Binions Horseshoe
    This place felt old and I only went inside because of the match play coupons I had.
    I had four $5 match play coupons and one $25 coupon. I lost all $5 coupons, but I
    won on the $25 match play. I stayed a little longer and came out with $200 ahead.

    This was one of my favorites to play. The place is real big and found many $3 min.
    tables. The drink service is very fast and the cocktail waitresses were the best
    looking in all casinos I'd been to. There is also a lot of room between the slots as
    they are not bundled close together. Wife played $0.01 slots and with $1.00 pulled
    out $133.06! I did real well on BJ as well.

    Decent casino, but the table limits were usually $10 on a Sunday afternoon.
    Fast drink service and lots of slots.


    "O" @ Bellagio:
    Wow! This is a must see. Forget about the price and go see it. I was thinking that
    it was mostly a girlie show and I only went because wife really wanted to see it.

    Blue Man Group @ Luxor
    Double WOW! I liked this better than "O", but wife liked it less, but she still loved
    BMG. We got to take lots of pictures with the blue men.

    Melinda: First Lady of Magic @ Venetian
    I only went here because I got tickets for $20 on Ebay. The show was pretty boring
    and she performed dumb magic tricks. I best part was when one of her breasts slipped
    out of her brassiere for about 5 seconds. She said it was embarrassing, but I thought
    it was planned.

    Siegfried and Roy @ Mirage:
    This is a real magic show. Forget about Melinda. But I think it is too expensive.
    I felt sorry for the poor elephant because he looked like he was miserable.

    Jubilee @ Bally's
    I went here because we had two for one coupons. The show was good and the
    effects were okay. I can't be fair on this show because I had seen "O" and BMG
    before, so my expectations were higher.

    La Femme @ MGM Grand
    Just a bunch of beautiful women dancing around nude doing nothing. I should have
    gotten a couple of lap dances with the $50 per ticket.

    I won't mention the fast food chains like McDonald's, Fat Burger, Nathan's, etc.

    Mon Ami Gabi @ Paris
    The food was excellent and the view of the fountains is beautiful. Prices were
    reasonable, dinner tab was $65 plus tip.

    Delmonico Steakhouse @ Venetian
    Good atmosphere and the prices were reasonable. I ordered the T-Bone and wife
    ordered some salmon. Total with dessert and tip came to $85.

    Aqua @ Bellagio
    Very good seafood restaurant, especially for fish lovers. We both ordered salmon,
    as this is our favorite fish. Total with tip came to about $85.

    Tony Roma's
    We had two for one coupon, so we both had to eat the same thing. The ribs are
    amazing and dessert was wonderful. Total came to $35.

    Dona Maria Tamales (North of Stratosphere Tower)
    Very good authentic Mexican restaurant. It was voted "Best of Las Vegas" by the
    LVRJ. Real cheap tacos, tamales, and burritos. Total came to $18 with drinks.

    Esmeralda's (Charleston Blvd. And 10th Street)
    I was dying for authentic Salvadoran food on my 10th day in Vegas. We saw a
    commercial on TV about this place and quickly headed over. The place was packed.
    These are Mexicans cooking Salvadoran food, which is a no-no. The Mexican food was
    real good, especially the chicken quezadilla, but not the Salvadoran. Total came
    to $45 w/out tip.

    Bellagio Buffet (Wagerworks)
    I loved this buffet the first time I tried it. I didn't like it so much this time around
    because the food was too fancy for me. I'd rather eat cow and chicken instead of
    buffalo and duck. The desserts weren't that many this time either. The line passes
    from Wagerworks are great because the line was outrageous.

    Mirage Buffet (Wagerworks)
    Line passes are great as line was out the door. The service was excellent and the
    food was ok. They had a lot of Mexican food on a Friday night. Fajitas and tacos
    were very good.

    MGM Grand Buffet (Wagerworks)
    Line passes are absolutely necessary. The food was not that great. I would hate
    to stand in line for this buffet. Service was horrible, but the waitress apologized
    and said she was real busy. I mostly ate pizza because the rest of the food didn't seem
    so good.

    Orleans Buffet:
    Best buffet I had in Vegas. The selections are enormous. They had a USA station,
    a Chinese station, Mexican station, and Italian station. We had a two for one coupon,
    so it was about $5 for each of us.


    I saw many vehicles (at least 30) with no license plates. Does someone steal them
    or what?

    Wife dragged me to Disneyland because she said we were so close. I got on I-15
    and noticed everyone was speeding and no cops were in sight. I got the Lincoln to
    150 mph and got to Disney in 2 hr. 15 min. It was 60 degrees at Disney and we were
    dressed for 100 degree weather!

    I got a ticket on my last day in town. I was doing 53 on the strip (30 speed limit),
    but the cop reduced it to 35 mph, but still gave me a $95 ticket!

    Total amount spent on this trip, including gambling wins vs. losses was $195.
    Pretty good, huh?
  2. Go Blue

    Go Blue Tourist

    Sep 23, 2001
    Boston MA
    Sounded like a fun trip! I can't imagine 11 days in Vegas...I guess it would be fine if you weren't partying and getting wasted every night! [​IMG]

    We'll be at Bellagio in 2 weeks and I have some questions. Were you happy with the lakeview view from your floor? Do you think it's better to ask for a higher or lower floor?
    Also, did the bellagio buffet only have fancy foods, or did they have normal stuff such as pizzas and pastas?
  3. pattiinontario

    pattiinontario "PATTI-O-LANTERNS"

    Mar 17, 2002
    ontario, canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Sounds like u had a fantastic time. You sure did a variety of things and took full advantage of the 11 days u were there.
    We have stayed at the MGM several times and have never had bad service or a meal at the buffet. Sorry to hear that it wasn't very good when u were there.
    Thanks for taking the time to write the report I really enjoyed reading it.
  4. intipuca

    intipuca Tourist

    Mar 5, 2002
    College Park, MD
    I really enjoyed our room on the 26th floor. I stayed on the 28th floor last time I was there, so I can't comment on a lower floor. I glanced at a suite while housekeeping was cleaning it and I will definately stay there next time.

    The Bellagio buffet had some very good pizza, which I ate a lot of. They had pepperoni, sausage, tomato, olive, green peppers & onion. The only thing I didn't like about the pizza was that it was thin and crispy and I prefer the pan pizza instead. They also had pasta with meatsauce, meatballs, or alfredo. I Bellagio buffet was good, but I'd prefer the Orleans buffet that had pizza, fajitas, BBQ ribs, prime rib, General Tsao chicken, beef & brocoli, orange chicken, burritos, tacos, enchiladas, and even hamburgers.

    About the service at MGM Grand, we ordered orange juice as our drink and they promptly brought it out. The problem is that orange juice comes in an 8 ounce glass, and I generally need refills quickly. Well, the waitress was no were to be found for a long time. I asked the bus boy to get her for me and she took a while to get to us. We asked her for a refill and she said she'd get it promptly, but she stopped and chatted with other folks on her way. She made up for it because she brought some really big glasses with our refill and she apologized and said she was real busy. Also, as we were leaving, she whispered on my ear that she gets off in about an hour and that I could go and pick her up if I wanted, which of course I didn't. Wife asked me what she said and I just told her she had wished me good luck on the casino floor.
  5. CFioren317

    CFioren317 Low-Roller

    Jun 13, 2001
    Philly, PA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    My rental car did not have a plate on it because it was brand new...it had 3 miles on it when I drove it off the lot. It did have this 30 day temporary inspection sticker on the front windshield. I guess June is the time the rental companies buy the leftovers from the previous year and haven't received the plates yet? I don't know, just a guess.
  6. 12paws

    12paws Guest

    Great trip report. question on Blue Man group; what row were you in and how did you get pictures with the blue men? We are headed out on July12th for our first ever trip to Vegas for 6 days... can't wait.
  7. intipuca

    intipuca Tourist

    Mar 5, 2002
    College Park, MD
    We were in row H on the main level. The Blue Men pose for pictures after the show.
  8. Fritz

    Fritz Guest

    Excellent trip report. It was a good idea to divide it into categories, especially for as long a trip as you took. You did great with Wagerworks. I don't know how you racked up that many points (I tried but couldn't do it) but more power to you.
    Which show do you think would be best for a guy trip? I saw Mystere on my last trip and the women loved it but it wasn't for me. I'm planning on taking my youngest brother on his first Vegas trip this fall and would like to take in one show.
    Did you take a look at the wine list at Delmonico? It was incredible. We had a $75 bottle there and had a hard time finding something under $100. Also, did you have to dress up to get into Aqua? I'd like to check it out but I'm not putting on a jacket and tie in Vegas unless I'm getting married there.

    [ June 17, 2002, 06:38 PM: Message edited by: Fritz ]
  9. intipuca

    intipuca Tourist

    Mar 5, 2002
    College Park, MD
    I would definately recommend BMG for a group of males. BMG is funny, weird, awesome, etc...

    As for Aqua, we ate there before the "O" show, so we were dressed for it. Practically everyone was dressed up, but I did spot some khakis around. I had a tie, but no jacket, and fit in. Prime at Bellagio does require a jacket.
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