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Mandalay Bay July 12-16th (Long)

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by hard_eight 24, Jul 28, 2003.

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  1. hard_eight 24

    hard_eight 24 Tourist

    Feb 9, 2003
    Cleveland, OH

    My Trip Report

    This is my first trip report but after reading several on this board for the last several months I hope this will go well for us all. It’s not my first Vegas trip (I think this is number 12) so I knew what to expect but this will be my first time trying to document it. I may tend to get long winded so hang in there….

    Reason behind this trip was my friend Murph had to go for a work conference (CA World) and what better opportunity for me to jump on a free hotel room. When I was told that the conference was being held at Mandalay Bay I was pretty certain that I had to be on board. Another friend Vegas regular Ron was also on board. So we booked our flights on Continental direct from Cleveland ($246). Nice part is that Cleveland is a main hub for Continental so they have several flights out per day and we are now spoiled to the fact that if direct is available we try and jump on that.
    So we get to the Cleveland airport about an hour and a half before the flight and you would have thought they were just giving trips away. We did the curbside check in and got through pretty quickly. I think we actually cut in the front of the line but the skycap pretty much just picked us out, so I didn’t argue. Security really wasn’t much of an issue, the line moved pretty steadily.
    Four-hour flight was uneventful. Good movie to warm up the trip though, Old School with Will Farrell and Vince Vaughn. There are some great lines in that movie for those who haven’t seen it. We also packed "The Captain" for the flight (Capt. Morgan’s rum for the non-drinkers). So after four or five Captain and Gingers, the time passed fairly quickly. I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t any clapping when we touched down in Vegas. Normally it seems like people are fired up when they get to Sin City. But we had nothing.
    Took a cab from McCarron to Mandalay (we screwed up and forgot to tell him no tunnel but he was yapping on the phone the entire time) We did get to see the “Welcome to Las Vegas†sign, that was a first for me.
    Checked in and got our room right away. We didn’t try any bribes but we did ask for the Fiji Tower and had no problem getting one. Had a great view straight down Las Vegas Blvd.
    Let me preface and say that our last trip in March, for the first time I was having a poor trip and decided to hit the “Dark†side of the craps table and on the last day proceeded to hit for about $1200 in a 36 hour period. So I was anxious to try and keep that rolling along. So we hit the tables and played for an hour or so. It was pretty much up and down and we came out about even for our first session. We took a stroll around Mandalay and stopped in the sportsbook. Grabbed a quick bite at the snack bar in the sportsbook while watching some afternoon baseball. We then tried a couple of VP machines at the bar there. So we tossed a few buck in to get some drinks. Well did we ever find a friend! One of the nicest bartenders I have met out there, Pam was now serving the drinks. It’s a beautiful thing to have several margaritas in you by 3:30pm! Then I hit 4 to the Royal, Pam noticing my disappointment, informs me that in her bar that calls for a shot! Patron Tequila, por favor!!! We are already on Tequila in the drinks so why not! Good night folks, thanks for coming!!! So we hang with Pam and cocktail for a couple hours and thankfully her shift is ending. Ron probably took his drinking easier than Murph and myself did. So he probably wasn’t in quite the same shape but he was doing okay as well.
    We had plans to grab a shower and freshen and then head to the Ghostbar or Rain. But those wonderful craps tables called us back just to see what was happening. So I jumped on one table, Ron and Murph on another. Things went pretty well for all three of us playing the dark side. I come out ahead $300 and I am pretty happy about it. Ron was comped a breakfast and we felt we had enough. It was time to go out and hit the town.
    Here’s a funny side story…I was playing and the dice were coming my way and I was leaning on the rail watching. The die pops up in the air and hit me. So I was chatting with one of the dealers and I started laughing and said, “hey can you tell that guy not to hit me when he throws the dice.†He shows no emotion and says to me, “I really don’t care.†I was floored. I am thinking to myself hey I am just trying to have some fun buddy, what’s wrong with you. Maybe, just maybe he could see my intoxication and knew better.
    So on the next come out roll I dropped the dealers a $5 don’t pass bet. I was doing well so I like to get them on the action. And he turns to me and says, “Now I care. “ He turned out to be a good guy and we had a lot of fun.
    Ron and I figured it was about time to get a shower and hit the town. Murph jumped on a blackjack table and told us he would catch up with us upstairs. Murph got hot and we hung out for a while before ending back over on the craps tables. I dropped $100 on Blackjack. I just never seem to get any kind of cards when I play that game. Cocktails are still flowing!!! Turns out Ron fell asleep and Murph and I gave back some of our earlier winnings but we didn’t get crushed. We were still on east coast time and it was a long day. We decided to hit the hay around 12:30am pst.

    Only “plans†for Day 2 were to hit the spa at Hard Rock. We have made that a ritual over our last several trips to get a massage and spend some hours in the spa. A little relaxation is always a good thing.
    We woke around 10 and had a 12:15 appointment. We also planned to see if there was a break in pool security at HRH and see if we could check on the talent level at the pool. So we checked in and hung out in their spa/locker room area. I was actually disappointed in the spa. We have previously visited the Canyon Ranch Spa at Venetian and also the Rio. Both were outstanding. So I had high hopes for Hard Rock. It just seemed small and not as luxurious as the previous trips. The message itself was good but I think I was expecting more.
    Afterwards we gave the pool a look but it was under tight lock and key so no pool for us. We decided to have some lunch at Pink Taco. Good food and reasonably priced ($38 for each of us, no cocktails). I then jumped on a craps table there but it wasn’t very pretty. I was on the dark side but it was just up and down. I lost about $50 and then tried to chase it back. And dumped another $50. Boo! We cabbed it back to headquarters and tried to figure our gameplan for the evening. We got cleaned up and hit the sports book (Hey Pam’s working, shocker) to make some sort of decision. We all agreed that maybe we should make our way out of our hotel and see what these other casinos have to offer us. So after 4 or 5 drinks with Pam we decided let’s get on the tram to Exclaibur and walk down the strip. We discuss that food tonight might not be a bad idea. We can stop at a steakhouse later and take care of that right? Sure we can!
    First stop on the tram is Luxor. Ron and Murph discuss how they haven’t been in there for years, so off the tram we go. We cruise through the casino and see a $5 Pai Gow table. Ron is anxious to learn the game. The table is empty. Plenty of room, no pressure from other players and we can teach him as we go along. How bad can that be? We sit down and start playing. It is 6:30 pm Cocktails…sure! Let me see what can I drink? Absolut and OJ please.
    Hey, push hand …what a game! Dinner in a little bit right guys? We have a few people sit down and play for a while with us. We are still drinking! First couple of times we have to get up and go to the restroom we ask the Pit Boss where the restroom is. The answer is “Past the Mercedes, past the shoeshine, it’s on the right hand side†Remember that quote….
    After about 5 hours we are still there. Then it all started falling apart. We had a few more guests join our table. Turns out it was a brother and sister that were out to have fun. And they were doing just fine. We knew that we were in trouble when the waitress stopped by and Angela dropped the hammer on her. Shot of Tequila and a margarita please. OK…she’s not screwing around!!! (Ron and I are big TV and movie buffs. We have this annoying little habit of dropping movie and TV lines constantly. People have to get annoyed when we do this but we really don’t care) So it turns out that the brother Joel is the same way. The wheels really are starting to fall off the wagon. We started with quotes flying back and forth and it was absolutely hysterical. I think all five of us were crying from laughter. It was really great when Ron dropped a line from Old School, “you’re my boy, Blue!†And we actually got a response from the table next to ours! We were obviously loud enough and they didn’t miss a beat.
    Murph decided that he was through at 2am and said he was jumping on the train home. Ron and I stuck around for maybe an hour more and said we should shut it down ourselves. Definitely Good Times! That’s the kind of fun you have in Vegas that is hard to explain to people. So we ended up playing and drinking for a grand total of 9 hours!!! How did you enjoy your dinner fellas? Wasn’t that our goal when we started out?
    So we took the train back to the Bay and gave The Island Bar a quick look over. After 3 it is filled with ladies of the evening. We were not purchasing, just window-shopping to mess with them.
    Turns out we run into a section of the casino that is shut down and has cameras and lights all over the place. After browsing we find out that Fear Factor is filming another Vegas episode for this fall. So we were ready to sleep but now we are curious. Hey there’s Joe Rogan! It’s neat to watch them shoot the show, but man is there a lot of standing around for what will probably be ten minutes of a TV show. Same concept as last time, the guy that won the stunts is playing one hand of blackjack with half his winnings. So we hung out and they had everybody gather around to fill in the background. So when you see this in the fall you will now know that it was shot at 4:30 in the morning. I was gonna spoil it and tell you what happened, but I will let you see for yourself! Sorry! We rolled upstairs at 5am. What a full day!
    Monday we planned on using as a pool and relaxation day. We rented a cabana at the Mandalay Bay pool. The cost was $150 for the day (Weekends are more expensive) but we were splitting between three of us so it wasn’t that bad at all. I would suggest this to everybody it was well worth it. The cabana had cable TV, tables, chairs, and the misters to help keep cool. Also juice, soda water were all included in the package. It was a great purchase. If you haven’t been out to the Mandalay pool it is quite impressive. They have a lazy river that is a nice relaxing break, a wave pool and beach and two regular size pools. We just kicked back in the 115-degree heat and enjoyed ourselves. The staff was almost overly attentive, so it was a very positive experience. Again well worth it.
    We pretty much killed the day lounging by the pool. Murph went and attended a seminar (He had to do some work while we were there) as Ron and I relaxed for a couple more hours. Evening plans were to head to Bikini’s at Rio for a convention social gathering.
    We cleaned up and hopped in a cab and stopped at All American Grill for a meal. I had the Filet Mignon. It is just a huge hunk of meat for around $30. Very good stuff!
    After dinner Ron and I played some dice. We were on the dark side again. This table was rolling in our favor. We really wanted to play longer but had to get going to the cocktail party. I think we both came out around $75-80 ahead on that session.
    Bikinis is a nice little establishment in the Rio wait staff usually wears the aforementioned attire while working. Seeing as this was a “work’†party the staff was a little more reserved and was just wearing shorts and tank tops. Boo!!! But how can you argue with a free cocktail party? We had a nice time of drinks and dancing. Party ended at eleven, but we have a large group of people still ready to go. “Hey folks, 51st floor is open. “ VooDoo Lounge!!!
    Ron and I stopped and played some more craps before heading up. It again went pretty well. We killed about an hour or so on the craps table and won some more money. We actually got comped into the VooDoo Lounge (which from what the one dealer told me doesn’t happen too much). Went and enjoyed the view for a while. It’s fabulous if you have never been. But it was only a Monday night so it’s wasn’t too crazy up there. But we had fun nevertheless. We stayed up there until closing and then I met a couple of gals that still wanted to hang out so we stopped at Club Rio to see what was happening there. They actually had a flare bartending contest so we stayed and watched that for a while. Some of those guys are really amazing throwing glasses, bottles, ice etc all over the place. The guy who did win is a bartender at Carnival Court at Harrah’s. The dude won $1000 for his efforts! Maybe a career can be made in that kind of stuff?
    After Club Rio, we stopped at the tables again! This time it didn’t work out so well for us. But you know those free drinks they hand out in the casinos? I think they were doing most of my thinking. We dumped some money back. I actually got lucky and nailed a hard eight parlay bet to hit a $450winner!
    We had lost Murph, so Ron and I took a cab back and hit the sack. It was somewhere around 4:30am
    Tuesday morning we had plans to meet Murphy’s sales rep and get some breakfast/lunch. So we met her around 11:30 and ate at Raffle’s Café in Mandalay. It’s a nice place that has the average 24-hour menu. Just about everything from breakfast to burgers. After eating Murph had a few things that he had to take care of with work, so Ron and I had some time to kill. We made our way down to Paris. It is usually one of my favorite places to roll the bones. We jumped on a table and just couldn’t get anything going. We tried both sides of the line and nothing seemed to work. Ron and I both were doing some serious chasing. Bad Times!!! After a while Murph came and met up with us and we headed down to the Coast to see “Big Elvis!â€
    Got a nice bar seat and played some VP while listening to him croon. He really is a talented guy.
    After that we were a little in the dumps from our gambling woes. We wondered back down the strip towards Mandalay. Stopped in Bellagio for a quick walk through and then made our way back to NYNY.
    We thought maybe we could find a bar seat in ESPN Zone to watch some of the MLB All-Star game, but it was closed for a private party. So we had a meal at America Café instead. Ron absolutely loves their steak and eggs! It might be cause for professional help. He usually likes to eat there 3 or 4 times per trip. He must have really been in withdrawal, since he hadn’t been there on this trip yet. We poked around there for a short while and then made our way back to our hotel to get cleaned up for the evening party.
    The convention had rented out The House of Blues in Mandalay for an evening party and again we had food and drinks on the house. It was another very nice party. So we took advantage of that for a while and then we wanted to hit the tables again. We stopped at the craps tables and rolled some bones for a while but nothing exciting happened. After a while Murph suggested we make our way to Boardwalk to see Purple Reign. We are big fans of the group. They put on a heck of a show. It’s pretty cool for a free show. Also they added a Morris Day that performs in the second set. It really is a must see for anybody that is a Prince fan and grew up in that era like myself.
    After hanging out there we made our way back to NYNY and jumped on the craps tables again. But it just wasn’t to be. The tables were just up and down. It turned out to be another down session and we were pretty much whipped at this point. All the drinks and lack of sleep were catching up to us. We rolled back to Mandalay and shut it down around 1:30 knowing that we still had to pack and leave in a few short hours.

    Woke up at 5:30am, cleaned up, packed up and left for the airport. Not much action going on at that fine time of the morning, so the trip home was uneventful. The only noteworthy performance was from some guy sitting next to me on the flight home. He was supposed to be on the aisle and got stuck with a window seat. He had to drop 10 or 12 F-Bombs as he took his seat. I couldn’t help but laugh at him under my breath. I think it was the lack of sleep so I was still a little giddy. He was pretty bent out of shape about the whole thing. I felt like telling him to stick a sock in it, but I just had to sit and laugh at how childish he was acting.
    And we arrived back in Cleveland at 2:30pm EST. Hooray!!!

    Overall Notes:
    Bad Trip for the gambling (I was looking into new golf clubs but that will probably have to wait)
    Pool/Cabana at Mandalay Bay was outstanding!
    Saw Fear Factor taping
    Good Times at Mandalay Sports Book
    Free Cocktail parties
    Hard Rock Spa = Thumbs Down

    We talked about it and I am not sure when the next trip is planned. The greatest probability will be a Super Bowl/Birthday trip next January. We shall see.

    Thanks for taking the time to read,
  2. HurricaneMikey

    HurricaneMikey A-List Buffoon

    Jan 25, 2002
    Southeast of Sin City
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Hey HE24...

    Great Trip report!

    I laughed out loud with the 'YOU'RE MY BOY, BLUE!' Sounds like ya had a great time!

  3. Lmadrid

    Lmadrid Tourist

    Feb 21, 2002
    Boston, MA but originally from San Antonio, TX
    "Do you think KFC is still open?" :D
  4. TeddiJam

    TeddiJam Newbie

    Jul 22, 2003
    Louisville, KY
    Really fun trip report! You guys sound quite a bit like the crew that David and I go to Vegas with--plan to do some things(like eat)--but just end up drunk instead.

  5. Dougie

    Dougie I am IN!

    Sep 18, 2002
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Great report!! You lay some clay on the darkside, and then get hit in the eye. Coincidence? Mikey, what do you think?

  6. KathyinNY

    KathyinNY Tourist

    Jan 29, 2002
    Upstate New York
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Sounds like you had a great time. How is it though that everyone who has been to Vegas gets to see the "Prince" impersonator and yet that was to be one of my highlights of my trip back in April 2002 and he never showed up for the show that night. :confused:

    I'm like so bummed :( I guess I will just have to get my butt out there again. [​IMG]

    Being from upstate NY it isn't always easy to find a decent flight to Vegas but there is a new airline coming out of Syracuse, NY called TransMeridian with a direct flight to Vegas for $220 pp. Now just to convince the hubby to go. :cool:
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