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Mandalay Bay - Extremely Delayed!

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by vbroulette, Jan 19, 2008.

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  1. Well, I received a lot of info from this site so I feel obliged to return a bit of info even though it happened quite a few months ago.
    Give me a break it is the first time since I have found 2 hours of total freedom! :cheers:

    Right, first trip to the US for us from Australia.
    There will be a bit of whinging along the way, but that is just the way we see things.

    Some points noted:

    Very friendly place.
    Many boob jobs.
    High water level in your toilets. :cheers:
    Electronic detection on paper towels, taps etc :cheers:

    This trip was also to take in Hollywood and Memphis.

    First stop LA airport.
    Saw 3 pictures of Bush on the walls there whilst passing through – think you guys must be quite patriotic!

    One of the worst airports I have gone through, based on queuing times.
    When we finally got to the front we realised why – the guy checking our passports wanted to know where we had come from where we were going and got into a full conversation of all the great places to see etc – he must have had us yapping for 15 minutes, with another 150 people behind us!

    We stayed just 2 nights in the Hyatt, West Hollywood, and the wife was hoping to see a few stars.

    Bingo! About 5 hours after settling down in the Saddle Ranch Chop House, Hugh Hefner and about 8 of his playmates arrived!
    Didn’t know who they were at the time, but have watched all the shows since, just to see if we ended up in the shoot.

    Did Santa Moniica, Venice, LA tour etc then on to Memphis – again my wifes choice, to pay her respect to Elvis.

    2 Nights staying at the Heartbreak Hotel.accross the road from Graceland.
    Beale St, and Sun City Studio also done during the stay.
    Only downside I made a big mistake with carrying all my full amount of cash and cameras with me, so was a little nervous and a little uneasy in the crowds on Beale St.

    The flight to Vegas took us right over the Grand Canyon and what a view that was.
    Got through the airport quite swiftly and got a taxi in about 5 minutes.

    Arrived at Manadaly Bay at about mid day and the room wasn’t ready.
    We called back about 1 hour later and said we could have one on the 10th floor – we said we had paid top dollar for the room and would wait for a high level floor to become available as requested.

    2 More hours wait and we finally got a room on the 27th floor – what a view over looking the strip, and it was a good quality room.
    I don’t get the window looking into the bathrrom, but I suppose they have to cater for pervs? :cheers:

    Prior to this holiday I decided to get fit, with all the flights and walking that was going to be taking place.
    The next 7 nights I discovered it was a big mistake, as I had torn something in my shoulder 2 days prior to departure and this was about to keep me awake every night and put me in agony where I was almost crying! Wont mention it again, just after sympathy :cheers:

    First night we booked a 2 hour limo tour of Vegas, with Presidential.
    What a waste of time and money that was.
    The driver could hardly speak any English, Had never heard of Coyote Ugly or Sams Town. Wasn’t even going to give us our bottle of champagne till the end and we had to ask for it prior to setting off – I am sure we should have received 2?
    After about 20minutes he wanted to drop us off at Bellagio and said he would pick us up later – we said no way keep driving.
    We had to request him to drive down to Fremont St, otherwise he wouldn’t have gone there.
    In the end we did get out to watch the fountains on the way back and the whole trip finished 20 minutes earlier and I even tipped him!

    Day 2 we did all 3 sessions with Big Elvis – great time was had!

    Day 3 A bit more time around the hotel and had good fun in the lazy river, though hiring the floating rings was a rip off at $20 each.
    Did Mon abi Gabi restaurant at night – brilliant place to dine and watch the fountains.

    Day 4 We did the Grand Canyon by helicopter flying with Maverick – absolutely fantastic and something we will never forget.
    We circled the Hoover Dam prior to landing in the canyon for a champagne snack.
    The flight back had us doing the legnth of the strip with Viva Las Vegas playing through the headhones – Highly reccomended.

    At night saw Amazing Johnathon – very funny.

    Day 5 Day 5 More walking and drinking – Carnival Court a great place for a drink and a laugh!
    Did Fremont St at night, but should have stayed longer than just 1 hour.

    Day 6 Los Lonely Boys at the beach – Ok, never seen them before.

    Day 7 saw the Superstars show at the Stratosphere .
    Great show, the only downside we didn’t use our free passes to go to the top because the queues were too long.
    During the day got our pics taken at The Sign.
    Went to see the Chapel where Britney got wed :cheers:

    One mistake we made on this trip was not knowing what the buffets were all about.
    It wasn’t until our last day at the Mandalay that we realised it was an all you could eat for a good price.
    Prior to that we had been trudging the strip, eating at some dingy café one day, McDonalds another, and probably paid the same amount.

    Another mistake, can I call it that, we were drinking from an early time each day and never made it to a single night club as planned – I think we were in bed by 11 every night :cheers:

    As for gambling, we hardly did that – I think about 15 minutes all up!
    We had big plans to both have a good dabble each day and see who could come out top at the end of the week but we found ourselves just too busy, believe it or not!

    With regards to tipping, we really think it gives the US a third world feel about it.
    I realised at the Mon abi Gabi restaurant I didn’t tip the lady enough - $10 for a $150 meal, and the look she gave us let us know it :cheers:

    Guys opening doors of a taxi at the hotel gave us a dirty look because we didn’t give them anything – gee, I would opens doors myself if it was worth getting paid.

    Many times at the bar I got the feeling I was the only one tipping the bar staff, and many times was receiving naff service!

    One night when drunk I gave a taxi driver $20 for an $8 fare, so I am not that bad! :cheers:

    Anyway, the best holiday we have ever done and we will be coming back hopefully to celebrate my 50th in 2009.
  2. shobi

    shobi Low-Roller

    Jun 19, 2007
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Sounds like you had a great trip. The read was worth the delay.

    Being from the Uk, I find the whole tipping business a little awkward sometime too. I'm never sure if i'm tipping enough, or if I haven't tipped someone I should. Still, 6 trips in, I'm getting better at it, hopefully more practice in April for me. Shame you're having to wait until next year for your next go, but it's something to look forward to (could be a LARGE countdown timer on that one LOL!)


  3. gmoney590

    gmoney590 VIP Whale

    Jul 8, 2006
    Tacoma, WA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Great Tr and the wait wa worth it. Your first time in Vegas you find there's so much to do and see. Once you've been there a couple of times you settle down and you find there's more time for gambling and clubbing.
    It's never a mistake to drink early or often in Vegas you just have to pace yourself.

    Tipping is a uniquiely American thing. It's taken me quite sometime to realize that you can tip anyone who provides a service for you in Vegas. That being said, it's up to the individual as to if and how much they tip and screw the dirty looks.

    Sorry to hear about your bad experience with Presidential. We have had nothing but top notch service from them. Did you call Presidential afterward and complain about the service and driver?
    Let the drunken olympics begin
  4. sunni

    sunni VIP Whale

    Feb 6, 2003
    Sunshine State
    Nice report and here is a little sympathy for your shoulder :wave:
  5. atcmurph

    atcmurph Watcher Of The Skies

    Apr 18, 2007
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Nice report! I'm ok with the tipping thing, but I can never bring myself to tip the guy who opens the taxi door. So he waved his hand and told the driver where I was going...big deal. I'm pretty sure I could have done that. Hope you're able to get back soon!
  6. vbroulette

    vbroulette Guest

    Another thing that was new to me was getting the ice down the corridoor!
    Why dont the rooms have fridges, like the rest of the world?:cheers:

    Talking about fridges the Mandalay does have one in the room.
    No ice though, so we used to empty it every day to put our bottled water in which we had bought on the strip.

    Another mistake..on leaving we were presented with a bar fridge bill for over $500. LOL

    We didnt even touch a single drink in there!
    Took a bit of explaining and we didnt realise the fridge was hooked up to a computer, and was charging us for drinks every time we took them out!
    Got the bill cancelled a week later!

    Talking about drinks, I managed a cheaper way of obtaining them in the Mandalay. Got a little fed up with queuing at the Kitty Club bar, if that was what it was called.
    We ended up just walking over to the shop in there, where you could buy al;cohol, cracked them open and went back to our seats. was expecting to get 'pinged' but nobody said anything, even though I was the only one drinking out of jumbo size cans.:cheers:

    I'm still whinging :cheers: what is it with these Mexicans on the side of the streets clicking their cards for hookers?
    You would think they would be kicked out of town!

    Didnt notice any ladies of the night whilst there, mind you we were in bed before midnight most nights.:cheers:

    The only chance we got for a free drink was when the wife lasted 15 minutes at the blackjack table on our only little dabble. She lost before the drink arrived so we walked off. :cheers:
    What do they do with them drinks, or do you normally wait around for them to arrive?:cheers:
  7. DonD

    DonD Super Moderator

    Nov 5, 2004
    So Cal 91748
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    You should always wait for your drink. If it is a beer, sometimes they can get rid of it but mixed drinks are a problem for them.
  8. swanny

    swanny Low-Roller

    Jan 7, 2008
    Outside of Philly (PA)
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Thanks for the report. I had the same issues with tipping when I went to Europe (London, Dublin) a few years back. It seems we tip more over here in the U.S. and they were shocked to receive what we consider a normal tip (15-20%).

    Service in London was excellent. The Dublin service, not so good.
  9. ghetto71

    ghetto71 Tourist

    Apr 11, 2007
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    :thumbsup:Great TR!
  10. Quispy

    Quispy Tourist

    Aug 7, 2007
    Denver, CO
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Consider us Americans crazy, but if the notion of rewarding good service (after you receive it) is backward, than what do you consider the practice of automatically including service in the bill--thereby removing any incentive for the server to provide good service? Progressive?

    Apparently, if you believe in EARNING your wage you are considered "third world" by the European and Austrailian elite.
  11. vbroulette

    vbroulette Guest

    Scuse bringing this back, I've been away! :)

    I probably tipped 100 people on this trip.
    The only ones who really deserved a tip were,

    The host at House of Blues West Hollywood.Great guy.
    Heartbreak hotel driver Memphis, who sang Elvis songs on the way to Gracelands.
    A big chick singing in an Irish Bar on Beale St Memphis.
    Maverick helicopter pilot who took us to the Grand Canyon - Probably cos he didnt crash :)
    The bar staff at Carnival Court.
    The host who got us front row at Amazing Johnathon.

    The other 94 were lucky - they were just doing their jobs! :)
  12. sin

    sin VIP Whale

    Jun 25, 2004
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Yeah we do do things differently over here. I know its confusing for those of you that come from countries where tipping is not an everyday thing. So for future reference I present you with my standard tipping practices:

    Dinner at a sit-down restaurant where you have an actual person serving you: 20% for adequate service, 25+% for exceptional service (I rarely get exceptional service so I rarely tip this much).

    Taxi Driver: usually $2-$4 depending on the length of the ride and their level of friendliness.

    Taxi Hailer: If I have a bunch of drunk asses with me I'll give this guy a buck, but if its just me hopping a cab he's getting nada from me. I'd be perfectly happy to put my hand up in the air, open my own door and tell the driver where I'm going without you!

    Cocktail Servers/Bartenders: Minimum $1 per drink. At Carnaval Court, I seriously over-tip though (like $5+ per drink) because I love them so much!

    Bell: $1 per bag if they aren't extremely heavy. If they are heavy $2 or $3 per bag. If I only have one bag I'll tip them around $3 since they had to schelp it for me when I was perfectly capable of schlepping it myself. (the difference between these people and the Taxi Hailer is that I don't HAVE to use the Bell Desk. I choose to use it.)

    Omelet guy at a buffet: Not tipping him. This one is HIGHLY controversial. There are many, many people who tip him and feel that one is required to tip him. I am not one of those people. If you would like to tip him though I believe most people give him $1 or $2 for making your grub.

    Housekeeping: I leave $5 a day minimum on a pillow for these fine folks if I let them in my room to clean everyday. If I've made a very big mess that amount goes up in proportion to how messy the room is. If I don't have my room cleaned everyday I usually just leave a $20 for them.

    There's my take on it and I hope its of some use to you.

    I enjoyed your report and I look forward to the next one not having any torn shoulder issues!:peace:
  13. FredGarvinMP

    FredGarvinMP Motorhead

    Dec 12, 2006
    Southeast Michigan
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Tipping Cabbies

    Not sure how it works in Vegas, but when I was driving cab here in Metro Detroit, if I didn't get tipped, I didn't get paid but a pittence.

    We paid 55% of the farebox, PLUS $15 a day dispatch, PLUS $2 per Credit Card.

    Out of the remainder, we had to buy gas. That usually ran from $30 to $60 a day.

    If we did an airport pick-up, we had to buy a $10 parking pass, for which we were given $5 credit on our lease, so it still cost $5.

    A $200 day full of stiffs and untipped account runs would net, depending on gas, about $20 to $30 profit for 12 to 15 hours work. Some drivers would literally LIVE in their cabs, catching naps whenever they could. 24 hour shifts really are the only way to make a living wage.

    But, on the bright side, the company owner got to hire some of the hottest hookers in town while playing blackjack with Bens!
  14. StickyFingers007

    StickyFingers007 Namer of T2V Gatherings

    Aug 30, 2002
    Seattle (Formerly Edmonton, AB CANADA)
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Great TR!

    I lived in Perth for not quite a year ( Wembly Downs area, just off Scarborough beach ) I remember the opposite while down there. We would try to tip and nobody would accept it. Cab drivers driving in reverse realizing they had an extra 5 bucks, bartenders giving exact change and not just holding it there in their palms ( Like your going to take 1.25 out of someones hand)..
    Glad you enjoyed Vegas and hope you are able to return in a short time. That's quite a distance!

    Give perth a big ol blow kiss from me! I love that city more than, well.. almost more than toast lol..

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