Hotel: Paris Restaurants: Margaritaville, Mon Ami Gabi, Commanders Palace Buffets: Rio Village Seafood, Paris Village Shows: O, Lance Burton This has taken me awhile to post, but better late than never. We go to Vegas at least once a year. Hope something we post here will help with your trip. Sunday - After a short 2-hour flight on SWA my wife and I arrived in Vegas at 9:00am. There was a long line at the Paris airport check-in, so my wife stood in line will I went to the MGM check-in desk to get our O show tickets. The Paris Check-in line took about 20-25 minutes. They only had 1 person working the desk. Apparently the other worker had not shown up yet. We were not able to get our room keys at that time, but we were assigned our room and told to check the “Key Desk” after 11:00am. We expected this since it was Sunday morning early and the previous day was a big Sat in Vegas due to a large convention and boxing match at MGM. Several folks in front of us in line were down right rude when told they could not get their room yet. People are so spoiled these days. Check-in is not guaranteed until after 3:00pm. Anything earlier is a bonus. Caught a cab (no line) to Paris. Had a very funny cab driver. If you ever get a Vegas cabbie named Sunny Kim, ask him how he got his name! Arrived at the hotel and immediately removed a couple of Tecate beers from my carry-on. We decided to bring a 12 pack, a bottle of rum, and a bottle of Bailey’s to help with the escalating drink prices in Vegas! With a short plane ride, the beer was still moderately cold. We spent a little time checking out the Casino. We had been in Paris on previous trips but had not stayed there. We won $100.00 right off the bat on a slot machine. We checked the key desk shortly after 11:00 with no luck. Decided to head down to Margaritaville at the Flamingo for some Conch Fritters and Coronas. The fritters are Great! (We are Parrotheads so we never miss a chance to hit one of Jimmy’s joints.) We sat on the third floor patio overlooking the strip. It’s a great place to drink a few cold beers and watch the activity on the strip. After a few souvenirs, we went through the Flamingo Casino to hit a favorite slot machine from the last trip. No luck. At 1:00 we were able to pick-up our room key. We were in 1125P, which is a corner room on the southwest wing overlooking the pool, strip, & Bellagio. Wow, what a nice room. We paid $99 per night for a Premier view with a deal from Total Rewards. The P Rooms are larger than the typical Vegas STD room and the view is awesome. If we had been on a higher floor, we could have seen the entire fountain show at Bellagio. We could see about half since the Eiffel Tower blocked the rest. The view of the pool was great. We were able to people watch from the love seat in front of our window. Hit the casino again and won a few hundred more at Let It Ride! We then headed to Bally’s to catch the free shuttle to the Rio. Waited about 10 minutes for the shuttle. At the Rio we played a little in the Casino and came out a few bucks ahead. Watched the free show (great free show) and then went to the Village Seafood Buffet using a $10 off coupon from Total Rewards. This was the best seafood buffet we had ever eaten! Everything from multiple shrimp dishes, sushi, oysters, crab legs (cold and steamed) to the best cracked lobster tail. My wife and I have always gone to the Freemont Seafood buffet, but this one beats it hands down. It is twice the price, but well worth every penny. We were so stuffed that we could barely walk to the shuttle back to Bally’s. Went up to the room to get dressed for O at 7:30. Arrived at the show at 7:00. The standby line was very long. We heard a lady say she had been in line for 3 hours. We bought our tickets about a month before our trip from the Bellagio website. The first few times I checked there were only limited-view seats. I finally got lucky and got 2 great seats (Orchestra - J 16 – 17). The view from the seats was great and O was wonderful. I think Mystere was just a little bit better show, but my wife really enjoyed the water element in O to make her say that O was the better show. (We both agree that A New Day is still our favorite show so far in Vegas.) The Russian swing and the divers were our favorite parts along with the clowns. We spent the rest of our first night lounge hoping starting at Mandalay Bay and worked our way back to Paris. Finished up the night with a little gambling before retiring after a very long and busy day. Monday – Woke up fairly early as our bodies were still on TX time. The beds in the room were nothing special. A little on the hard side. Went down to the breakfast buffet. Like many folks on this board have stated, “This is the best breakfast buffet in Vegas.” Everything was fresh with many selections. The highlight is the crepe station, where you can get crepes made to order. The cook recommended a blueberry crepe with raspberry sauce. Wow, it was wonderful. The one negative we found with the buffet was the relatively slow table service. We had slow drink service both times that we visited the buffet. (Not really a big issue.) Once again we were stuffed, so we headed up to the room to change into our swim suits so we could check in to our Pool Cabana that we had rented for the day. The cabana fridge was loaded with soft drinks, water and juice. Plus we received a basket of fruit and had all the ice we needed. Outside alcohol is not allowed but with a flask and a little discretion, we mixed rum drinks all afternoon. We did order a snack and few beers from the pool waitress as she came by to check on us often. Ashly, the cabana host, took very good care of us all day long. She even gave my wife a tour of one of the Pool Villas when my wife asked if they were really that much better than the cabanas. They are bigger and have air conditioning, cd players, and have nicer lounge chairs than the cabana. For the two of us, the cabana was perfect. The pool itself was very nice. The pool area was clean and contained lots of well manicured vegetation. It had lots of room for sunbathing and the pool was plenty big. Paris does not have water slides and wave pools, but if you just want to catch some sun, cool off and people watch, this pool is perfect. We liked the direct access to the pool from the room elevators. The pool is located on the 3rd floor, so you did not have to walk through the casino or other part of the hotel to get to the pool area. I think most of the people who refer to the Paris pool with negative comments, have never stayed at Paris. The simple photos on the website do not do it justice. You must see it in person to really see how nice it is. At 12:00 I went to the Spa for my Swedish massage. Inga (she was from TX) gave a great massage. I was very relaxed for the rest of the day. I enjoyed the spa amenities for a while before returning to the cabana. We stayed at the pool all day before going up to the room to get dressed for diner. We went down at 7:00 and got on the list for outside seating at Mon Ami Gabi. We were told to come back in 30 min to get a pager. After checking back 2 times, we were given a pager and told it would be an hour. We gambled a bit, had a few drinks and in 40 minutes we were seated at a table along the rail with a wonderful view of the Bellagio fountains. I think we saw 8 fountain shows while we ate. The food was great. We had escargot for an appetizer and also got a bottle of French red wine. I had the hanger steak Bordelaise with asparagus and my wife had the Filet Mignon with frites. For desert we had the crème brulee. The whole experience at this restaurant was great. After some gambling and way too much to drink, we hit the room at about 2:00am. While in the bathroom getting ready for bed, I heard 2 loud explosions. I thought plane crash, terrorists? I ran to the window and towards the Monte Carlo was a huge cloud of dust and smoke. I then knew what was happening. They had just imploded part of the old Boardwalk Hotel. Too bad we did not know it was scheduled. We would like to have seen the whole thing. Tuesday – We skipped breakfast in anticipation of lunch at Commander’s Palace at the Desert Passage Mall. We did our shopping this morning. Had to make the obligatory trip to M&M World to get the kids their M&Ms. We bought a few things in the Desert Passage and then went into the Aladdin Casino. We joined the slot club and received some free play money. Time we were done; we came out $65 ahead. We arrived at Commanders Palace and were seated at a table with a view of the strip. (Commander’s Palace in the front part of the mall.) We were given a sample of the Alligator sausage. It was very tasty. Mon. thru Thurs. during lunch you can get .25-cent Martinis (up to 4 per person) These are full sized drinks that are NOT watered down. Try the Cajun Martini; it has a kick to it! We had the soup sampler as an appetizer. The soups were turtle, gumbo and wild mushroom. They were all very tasty. There is a 3-course lunch special for 18.95 where you get to choose between two items for appetizers, main course and dessert. I had a salad, red beans and rice, and beignets. The wife had a salad, filet of soul, and beignets. This lunch special is the best dining deal in Vegas for this caliber of food. Outstanding food and top notch service at this restaurant. Once again we are stuffed. We head back to Paris to spend a couple of hours at the pool. We decided to skip diner, as we are still full from lunch. We head to the Monte Carlo to pick up our tickets for Lance Burton’s 10:00pm show. We gambled a bit at the MC while we waited for the show. We broke even. Our seats for Lance Burton were great. Orchestra Row C seats 1 & 3. We had for several years said we wanted to see his show, but we kept putting it off. I am glad we finally saw his show. It was a very entertaining show and his tricks were grand. We were sitting close and could not tell you how his tricks were done. A little late night gambling and then we called it a night. Wednesday – We got up early so we could eat at the buffet one more time before we had to leave for the airport. Unfortunately, I had a little time to play blackjack and lost $400 really quick. Overall, we came out ahead $350 for the trip and received one comped night and a comped buffet. We enjoyed this hotel very much. Unlike some hotels, the rooms were very convenient to the restaurants, pool, & casino. We did not spend a lot of time walking and walking and walking. The dealers and casino staff were very friendly and the casino drink service was the best I have had at any Vegas casino in the last several years. We will most certainly stay here again.