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Mandalay Bay - 9/7-10 - coming home mostly even is good!

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by JosieCat, Sep 12, 2021.

  1. JosieCat

    JosieCat VIP Whale

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    My Trip Report

    Solo trip scheduled to stay in an Executive King at Mandalay Bay. I’ve booked and cancelled so many trips for the second half of 2021, for various reasons, that it was nice to be able to take one.

    I tried an experiment this trip and only took an under seat bag so didn’t need to pay for luggage. Although on both flights, there was plenty of space to actually put my bag in the overhead bin. This worked OK for a shorter trip. The fact that MB has Keurig’s certainly helped as then I didn’t need to try to bring my collapsible water kettle.

    Taxi:

    Airport rates went up. Don’t know by how much on the other strip sections, but to get to MB, it went from $19 to $20.

    On-line check-in

    I learned something about how this works on this trip. I did on-line check-in the day before. Got an e-mail at 6:00 a.m. that I was “checked-in” and that they will send room number and instructions on getting room keys when the room is ready.

    I guess I never really thought about it - but assumed at this point that as rooms became available, people who had checked-in on-line would be assigned to a room and then notified. I didn’t realize that at that point you get the e-mail, you have been assigned a room, and if every other room in the hotel is ready, but yours isn’t – you’re still going to wait until “your” room is ready. I’ve never cared much about the view, but didn’t really give thought to how using on-line check-in can prevent you from getting into the room faster than if you just checked-in via the front desk.

    Finally at 2:45 after hiking my bag around with me for 2 plus hours I waited in the check-in line. MY room still wasn’t ready, but she was able to move me to a different room. I went from having an Executive King to the Elite King, which is slightly smaller. I didn’t care. This room had a better view she said. I was in the last room on the left of the hallway and had a view of the strip and the airport. 25-233.

    I guess in the future, I’ll still do on-line check in as it worked well at Nomad as the e-mail came through when we landed that my room was ready. But if the lines aren’t too bad, I’ll probably still wait in line if I haven’t gotten an e-mail by around 1:00 p.m.

    The Elite King room:

    It was a really nice room. Comfy bed. Mostly quiet. Amazingly enough, 25 floors up and I could still hear the road work going on at 2:00 in the a.m. Loved having the Keurig. Lighted make-up mirror. Nice shower. Separate tub. I didn't bother to take pictures as it looked just like the pictures on the web-site.

    Drinks

    GO TO THE BAR! Every time I ordered a drink from the CW, it was horrible. Just tasteless? Watered down? I had already had a Bloody Mary from the bar and it was really good, and later ordered one from a CW. It was just not good! I also ordered a Bacardi diet from the CW, and same thing. I quickly learned that if I wanted a drink, I went to the bar. I actually did very well at the bar (see picture) and seemed to win a little every time I played there. I really liked the selection of games at the bar.

    Although I did learn that the slots at the bar pay the same M life points as VP. The bar was the ONLY place they had Siberian Storm, and I’ve played Siberian Storm enough to know it isn’t a specialty slot, but at the bar, it is. That’s the machine that I always counted on to earn points on.

    Food:

    I mostly ordered take-out from the to-go window at Citizens. It was OK.

    I did room service one night. That was good. They offer a “bagged” option vs. the full room service experience that has a minimum of $100. I just got the chicken quesadilla and an ice-cream bar. Very quick and it was good. They even put my ice cream bar in a bucket of ice to keep it cold.

    The $9 service fee was NOT covered by the resort credit – nor was I allowed to use EC’s to pay for it.

    I did take a taxi up to the Bellagio to give the buffet a try for breakfast. Meh! Certainly not worth $42. I also wasn’t impressed that in the middle of a pandemic – they didn’t even try to socially distance people and still had the tables 2 feet away from each other, and sat people right next to other already occupied tables.

    I know this is Vegas, but the crowds weren’t such that they couldn’t have skipped a table until it started filling up more. Several people complained when they were seated and insisted on a different table. They now have self-serve beverages too. I never even saw a waitress.

    Gambling:

    I did quite well, 2 hand pays. M Life shows me as being down $8.15. Tips, taxis and snacks meant I came home having spent about $300.

    Bummers of the trip:

    I’m not trying to whine, as I was happy to hit both of these. But, both hand pays had slight bummers attached.

    I was playing $3.60 a spin on a 2 cent Buffalo Gold. I had shitloads of buffalos, enough so that 3 of the symbols would change to buffalo - and around 15 spins left when I went over $1,200. I figured this could be really good. But it was like as soon as it went over $1,200 – it just shut off. I hit really NOTHING on those 15 spins after that. Kind of disappointing. The total was $1,310.

    AFTER I hit the royal on Ultimate X on an 8x hand at the bar, THEN I noticed that I had forgotten to change my denomination from nickels to dimes. So the 32,000 coins that I thought would pay $3,200 was actually going to pay $1,600. I never play nickels, I play either dimes 5 hands, or quarters 3 hands. Oh well. Maybe I wouldn’t have hit it playing dimes. Or maybe it would have only been on a 4x hand instead of an 8x.

    That’s what I tell myself :rolleyes:.

    M Life Platinum:

    As I consolidated two trips into one, I allowed myself a bit more bankroll to try to make sure I hit Platinum. I started out with 103,000 – and just assumed I’d hit it. Didn’t give it much thought the first day and a half.

    Starting my last full day, I realized that I was only at like 160,000 tier credits – so then I worked to only play games that paid full points (1 point for every $3 spent). That’s just not that easy to do. Barely anything pays full points anymore. I finally just gave up and realized it was stupid to play machines I didn’t enjoy just to earn points to reach a level that offers me NOTHING anymore. I have NO intentions of taking a cruise in 2022, and they have removed the one platinum perk I did use – which was the VIP line at the M Life windows. (MB still has an M Life desk. Luxor is now at the cashier).

    The difference between 20% and 30% point bonus would get me what, an extra $10 in free play per trip, maybe?

    So my last morning I was even bankroll-wise and was at 190,000, and I did consider going for it, but I also knew that I could piss away 1K or more trying to hit it. So I didn’t. I spent like $300 that last morning. I got to 193,500.

    My last trip with my sister in May $40,000 coin in and I earned 103,000 tier credits. This solo trip, same coin in, but earned about 91,000. I cashed in $100 in free play on my last morning. I earned about $72 in express comps.

    October????

    I’m debating. I was scheduled to go October 3, but SC changed my flight out from 8:15 a.m. to 6:20 a.m. I used that as an opportunity to move my trip up a month. I still have my M Life offer booked – a kick-ass one with $800 in free play booked at MGM Grand in a one bedroom tower suite. I also still have my flight home, paid for with a Delta credit. So it would cost me only $31 of my $180 in SC credit to book a flight on Monday. I already have that week scheduled off for PTO at work.

    If I go, I would cancel the first night, and just go for 2 nights, and a smaller bankroll – and still have part of my unspent bankroll to put towards my January trip. I've got a little time to decide.
     

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    Last edited: Sep 12, 2021
    23 night winter working trip
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  2. Ezzy711

    Ezzy711 VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the TR. Congrats on the hps but that is a bummer on the dead spins and nickels. It is sad that comps are surely dropping, but it’s still a comp so I’m not going to whine too much.

    I love a good view so never do the on line check in so at least I have a choice. I have a few requests and know I won’t get them all but I have them prioritized in my head so will give up the view for close to the elevator. I can’t chance them putting me in something I’d want to change. It will save us both time if I don’t have to go the room and return to the desk if it isn’t what I want.

    I have made friends with a CW at MB and know they are stuck with the automatic drink machines. I stick with easy stuff like wine (usually sparking) or mimosa on the floor. My friend makes a mean lemon drop. She told me if I ordered from anyone else to tell them to push the button twice. If I want a real cocktail, like you I go to the bar.

    Hope your next trip is more profitable, though this one is a huge hit in my book.
     
    REAL Wynn offer! (Not even a match) I am not worthy but will enjoy.
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  3. pressitagain

    pressitagain VIP Whale

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    I’ve got you beat on the HP. I think it was $1242…crappy feeling/great feeling….LOL.

    Thanks for the TR
     
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  4. JeJas

    JeJas VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the recap.
    I can relate to so many things you mentioned, like Bellagio's breakfast buffet not worth the price, not even half of the price,
    drinks on the floor are sub-par.
    It's bad that the "service fee" for room service can't even be covered by EC.
    You are right about hitting platinum: not worth chasing it.
     
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  5. Aces and Eights

    Aces and Eights VIP Whale

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    It is true that the extra amount of time (or difference in time) it would have taken for you to switch the wager amount to dimes instead of quarters, would have changed the RNG so you would not have hit the royal. Although it might have changed other hands from getting a royal, but those chances are really slim.
     
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  6. ReTriggerMe

    ReTriggerMe VIP Whale

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    Nice trip report.

    I was at MB a few weeks ago. FYI: Boothlings at MLife told me that they too will be combined in with the cashier cage soon.... no more separate MLife desk.

    Agree about Platinum being of little value. For me, the best benefit is one few members know about ... or care about. I use the bank EFT withdrawal program VIP Preferred at the cashier's cage; Platinum means no fees. Beyond this, I care about or get very little benefit being Platinum.
     
    May give moving between properties a try
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  7. WWGB

    WWGB High-Roller

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    Thanks for the recap! Bummer to hear about the Bellagio buffet. It used to be one of the better MyVegas awards for breakfast. Great discipline not chasing the platinum status. I wish I had similar discipline when I was trying for 70 points to get a "free" Binion's t-shirt last month.
     
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  8. Chuck2009x

    Chuck2009x VIP Whale

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    Not really a reason to make another trip, but if you go in October you'll make Platinum.

    They're changing the points calc on November 1, so it could be much tougher to make Platinum next year.
     
  9. JosieCat

    JosieCat VIP Whale

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    Yes, I would make Platinum. But trying to make Platinum is not a factor in whether I go back or not. It's really just that I already have a really good offer booked, have the flight coming home already, have the time off work already scheduled, and have the bankroll. Airfare with a seat chosen is currently $45. Then there is the degenerate thing - in that I am one! :)

    I can't think of a good reason NOT to go!:woohoo:
     
    23 night winter working trip
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  10. kkinwi

    kkinwi VIP Whale

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    So glad you did a report....I was looking for it! Nicely done on bringing the bankroll home, tho the crazy handpays are a bummer. I just had one for $1308.....was happy/bummed so I get it.
    Good info about the drinks....and check in.....and the buffet. Good luck planning your next venture!
     
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  11. rm22

    rm22 High-Roller

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    Thanks for sharing your trip w.us. Somethings having the right airfare or hotel will make a difference for a future trip. I look almost daily at aifare and hotel although airfare booked and still tend to change it up to exactly when i want to go.
     
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  12. MCann

    MCann VIP Whale

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    That's relatable - I got my hand pay last weekend on grand free games on Tarzan at Cosmo betting $5. My 4th spin paid $1,180 by itself. I ended up hitting a retrigger for a total of 30 spins, and it paid $1,257. Only 2 or 3 small line hits in the subsequent 26 spins. Also had a similar experience when I got all 15 gold buffalo a couple years ago. Passed $1,000 around 75 spins, ended up with 90-something total, and every spin after I passed 1k was 4 columns of buffalo but none in either columns 1 or 2 lol.
     
    Played musical rooms
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  13. MCann

    MCann VIP Whale

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    Oh, and does anyone know for sure if the $10 per point affects tier credits as opposed to just spendable points? In my 2 day stay last week, I did about 2/3 the coin in of my previous 4 day stay (in July), spent exactly zero in resort spend both trips, and got just about exactly 2/3 the tier credits this time even though I played a lot at Aria where most of the games I played are $10 per point. I havent seen anything about the changes affecting tier credits earned? Playing the bartops probably did affect them though, counting the coin as VP instead of slots.

    Also, did the Bellagio buffet include mimosas? I know for sure the weekend brunch does, but a couple of videos I saw on YouTube got them, and judging by crowds or lack thereof, didnt seem to be weekend, but none said for sure. Even though their buffet is super overrated in my opinion, I still think it's not so bad of a deal for breakfast with unlimited alcohol under $50. At least if paying with resort credit lol.
     
    Played musical rooms
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  14. JosieCat

    JosieCat VIP Whale

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    Buffalo Revolution is even worse. When I was at Park MGM, I started the bonus round with like 12 buffalos. Ended up hitting a hand pay (of course, slightly over $1,200). Went to the other side of the same bank, had the same thing happen. Hit nothing :). I learned not to count my chickens, but apparently I didn't learn well enough :).

    Points - I guess I thought it was always - whatever true points you earned (not counting bonus points) determined your tier credits. So whether you earned that single point from $10 in VP or whether you earned it from playing $3 on a 3 reel slot, that one point would get you 10 tier credits. @Chuck2009x is the expert.

    I really don't know on the mimosas. I was never told that or offered it, and I never even saw a waitress. When I was seated, it was pointed out to me where the self serve beverages were located. I kind of wonder if that is on Friday through Sunday, when the cost is $49.99.
     
    23 night winter working trip
  15. MCann

    MCann VIP Whale

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    Hmm yah, when it is included, the alcohol is delivered by servers so I figured after I posted maybe you didn't know. The weekend upcharge isnt very high to include unlimited alcohol vs not, but that may be the case. I was going to have it for breakfast one morning last week for free and find out, but I ended up not going. Either price is not too bad for center strip with unlimited alcohol in my opinion, and much more so if you're a party of 2 and get the MyVegas BOGO and pay the balance with comps. I think that's limited to weekdays and therefore moot if alcohol is only with the weekend brunch, but I saw 2 videos where they had unlimited beer, champagne, and mimosas included in the price and neither said what day of the week it was though the dining room wasnt crowded at all on either of them.
     
    Played musical rooms
  16. Chuck2009x

    Chuck2009x VIP Whale

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    We won't know for sure until they implement it, but I think TCs have always been tied to points rather than directly to coin-in. I haven't been able to find an MGM document recently that explicity says that; as time goes on they get more and more fuzzy about everything.

    Even if they are currently tied to points, it's possible they could start (or keep on) basing TCs on coin-in when they implement the points change. That doesn't seem to be the general direction they're moving though.
     
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  17. MCann

    MCann VIP Whale

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    Well, I don't claim to know for sure either, but I can say from experience that in Biloxi, I earn way more points than Vegas but far fewer TC, so based on that, I'd say they are not currently related at least on a 1:1 basis. At Beau Rivage, prior to the changes, I usually rack up a ton of express comps and points, > $100 in each category, but maybe only 1,000 to 2,000 tier credits, whereas in Vegas, I earn about 40 or 50 bucks in express comps and or points but average about 50,000 TC per stay give or take.
     
    Played musical rooms
  18. Chuck2009x

    Chuck2009x VIP Whale

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    Yes, I should have added a qualifier "in Vegas." The calcs at the regionals have been different for a long time, I don't really track them so I don't know how far back.

    It'll be easy enough to test come November 1.
     
  19. The Rumor

    The Rumor VIP Whale

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    They already consolidated other casinos - MLife desk was in the cage at Luxor and I think also at Excal. Still separate at Aria
     
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