Vegas Trip Report: The good, the bad, the ugly!
I’m going to do this report a bit different from my others because I didn’t take notes this time around. I will just detail a few areas of the trip. We went May 7 – May 10 for our 15th wedding anniversary. First night at MGM and last 2 at NYNY on MyVegas rewards.
Having read others’ experiences with MyVegas room rewards, I wasn’t expecting much and good thing I didn’t. I didn’t want to bother with the $20 trick but I was very nice to the check in agents to see if that would make a difference. It didn’t. We got to the desk early at both places and knew that we wouldn’t be able to come back to our room until the afternoon, which was fine. The room at MGM was one of the West Wing rooms. It seemed smaller than I remember but it was only for one night and the bed was really confortable. We did have to wait over an hour for our luggage to be brought up, which was kind of a pain. When I called to see what the deal was, it sounded like they had either forgotten or lost our request.
The agent at NYNY engaged us in conversation about our wedding anniversary and said she’d give us a nice view. We ended up in the New Yorker tower with a view towards the south. Not really what I was thinking but oh well, it was just a room! It was about a million miles from the elevator with lots of twists and turns, which was hell to walk to and from. The bathroom left much to be desired with a tiny bathroom. Rooms are not a big deal to us when we go to Vegas because we don’t spend much time in them anyway but I was totally underwhelmed.
The slot play was awful this trip. The Mlife casinos seemed much tighter this year than ever before. I did not leave any of their casinos with more money than I walked in with except for a good run on a bank of Willy Wonka machines and a decent bonus on a 1 cent Cleo II at Monte Carlo – also a few small wins on Mystical Unicorn, Tarzan and the Mummy at Excalibur. MGM was probably the worst as I didn’t win a penny there but must’ve cycled hundreds through their machines. We did the Lions Share for $42…gone in 3 minutes (no line at 10am) and tried the Cherries Jubilee machines as well. Almost peed myself when two progressive symbols appeared and then hit nothing on the third reel.
Did the best at Bally’s and Planet Hollywood, which is a change from past trips. Spent about 3 hours grinding out low roller bets on a bank of WMS G+ deluxe machines at Pho, hitting a small minor progressive for $30 once and a final 87 spin bonus on Nepoleon and Josephine which put me over $100. I had started with a TITO for $7 so I consider that a good profit. (although it could’ve been soooo much better!)
I played several Aristocrat machines this trip and only did well on a small bet on Buffalo Deluxe at Bally’s. Timber Wolf Deluxe took a bunch of my money…I hit bonuses but they were mostly dead spins. I’ve decided I hate Bally’s machines and most IGT. The Konami machines sucked my money away and we even tried a few of the new Ainsworth machines. They’re pretty and all that but unless you are betting big, there’s not much return on them.
We did play some $5 blackjack at Excalibur. I had a good run for quite a while until these guys sat down and started playing crazy. Got back down to my original buy in and walked. I really hate when people do that. They were also chain smoking – as an ex-smoker, I get it. Smoking in Vegas is one of God’s gifts to smokers. I hope they enjoyed every single puff but after a while I was starting to feel sick and glad I left when I did. Never got to a craps table although I really wanted to.
My husband discovered super times pay poker and had a good run on a 10 cent machine at Pho. I lasted for a while on a $20, hitting a couple of good hands and he was able to walk away with a little under $100 profit from his initial investment. The next day we went back to see if the luck would continue but it was no bueno. $60 lost in about an hour. Vegas giveth and Vegas taketh away.
We tried a bit at the high limit room in NYNY on the 9 line $1 Texas Tea (I mean we’re from TX so why not?) Got a small hit for around $30 and then nothing. Didn’t risk more there. Played a $1 5 line Ainsworth machine room the HL that gave us a $15 hit and nothing more. Played a $1 5 line jumbo machine somewhere, I can’t remember where it was and hit for $173. Good thing too because my husband had already lost his daily bankroll that day and it wasn’t even lunchtime yet!
We had good play at TI and the Venetian with some memorable bonuses as well as a good Gems Gems Gems win for my husband at the Plaza downtown. I’ve put the videos up on my YouTube channel…not all are big wins (most are not) but I like to show that it’s not all winning when you go to the casino!
Click here to watch all of our videos!
We had some good food this trip. With over $200 in Total Rewards credits, a MyVegas reward and some end of trip comps from Mlife, we only paid out of pocket for 2 meals the entire trip which totaled just over $55. We hit Starbucks several times and only paid for the visit in Downtown.
Monte Carlo Buffet – GROSS. Since my husband had just started playing MyVegas he didn’t have the points necessary for one of thie higher end buffets so we settled for the one at MC. We ate at around 1130am on a Wednesday. There were flies swarming the desserts, no crab legs or shrimp….the fish they had was undercooked, the lo mein was nothing but a glob of congealed noodles and there were numerous items on the buffet that were totally unrecognizeable. I felt as if I were eating with Cousin Eddie from Vegas Vacation (“Bread puddin’s extra runny tonight!”) If you have a choice – don’t waste your coins on this buffet!
House of Blues Mandalay Bay – Lunch here was excellent. We ate around noon and they were still serving breakfast as well as lunch. My husband had breakfast and I had the shrimp poboy. It was really good. We paid for this one from our bankroll (forgot all about charging to our NYNY room!) and it was $40 for the 2 of us.
Pizza/Bakery place @ Paris – This was awful, at around 10pm on Wednesday night the had one lady working and a line of about 15 people. We waited forever for my husbands pizza and I ordered the clam chowder bread bowl. I had to wait another 20 minutes for that. When I got it, I couldn’t tell if it was my stuffy nose or what but it had no taste whatsoever. My husband got bad heartburn the next morning from the extra greasy pizza. The bill was around $24 covered by TR credits. We won’t be going back there.
California Pizza Kitchen @ Mirage – I know it’s a chain but I really like this place. We never eat here in our own city even though there is one about 15 min from us but I try to go at least once during our Vegas trips. I had the wild mushroom pizza and my husband just had the pepperoni. Bill was just over $40 and we charged this one to the room.
Margaritaville @ Flamingo– We wanted to use our reward credits for lunch so we stopped in. I had the shrimp wedge salad and my husband had a burger. I wasn’t crazy about having to assemble my own salad so to speak but even though it took me forever to eat it, it was yummy. It’s the only place I know to get Landshark beer – which is a favorite of mine. Bill was about $40 and they used our RC s no problem.
PF Changs @ Pho – Yep, another chain but we never go to the one at home and I was dying for chinese food. I ordered the vegetarian lettuce wraps and my husband had sweet and sour pork. They brought me the chicken wraps first, until I told the lady it was definitely not tofu. (there is a noticeable difference in the color and texture) Since I don’t eat meat I had to send it back. I don’t think she heard me correctly when I ordered, as it was pretty loud in there. The correct meal came out quickly and it satisfied my craving for chinese this trip.
Chin Chin Cafe Breakfast Buffet @ NYNY – This was given to us as a back end comp on the day of check out. It is a small buffet but the items were good and I really enjoyed the red velvet pancakes. We were kind of in a hurry that day so I only had one but that’s probably a good thing because I could’ve sat there all morning and enjoyed them!
Carlo’s Bakery @ Palazzo – Not really a restaurant but we did get 2 cannoli’s and a t-shirt for my mom’s mother’s day gift here. When we arrived we saw it was the number system – they were on 85 and we picked #95. It wasn’t too long before we got our cannolis and when we left there were at least 30 people crammed in there waiting for their number to be called. Great decision by Buddy Valastro to open shop here, I can see it will be crazy popular for a really long time.
Comps – We used the hell out of our comps and reward credits this time. Like I said, we only paid for two meals out of the whole trip and all of our starbucks visits. My husband bought himself a shirt at Margaritaville with his TR credits and also got one of the pops from Sugar Factory and some extra refills for his sister’s birthday. The Mlife lady upon check out comped our resort fees and the CPK meal at Mirage. She also gave us the free breakfast buffet at NYNY and $50 Starbucks credit that we used before we left for coffee (of course) and 3 Starbucks LV mugs to take home with us.
- I was told to stop recording my bonus rounds at Mirage and TI. The cocktail waitress at TI said “you know, you’re not supposed to do that…people try to figure out how to beat the games that way” Really? Beat the slot machine? I told her, nope…not doing that, just doing it for YouTube. She then said “Well I’ve seen people get arrested for that and that’s not what you come to Vegas for” assuming she meant you don’t come to Vegas to get arrested…I chuckled at that. I’ve never heard of one single person getting arrested for recoridng their bonus rounds a a casino. There is not one sign up that I could see that said it is not allowed and I’ve recorded several times in both of those places in the past. I was really pissed that I finally got the Willy Wonka Chocolate River bonus and had to turn it off halfway through. The local here in OK actually encourages video. You would think the casino owners would like for others to see people winning. It’s good advertising! Oh well.
- A bus pass is the way to go. We got one on day 2 for 24 hours to go downtown and used it the next morning as well to hit Carlo’s before leaving for the airport. Next time I definitely will get one again.
- Downtown is a crazy place at night. I’m all for having a good time but the noise of 10 thousand bands and music all going at the same time about drove me nuts. I guess I’m just getting old!
- We did the Shark Reef as a MyVegas reward. It was cool but if I had to pay for it out of pocket I would’ve been pissed. It is definitely not worth $18 pp.
- Everyone was extremely nice…from the restaurant staff, to the Mlife desk people to the cocktail waitresses. They all had smiles on their faces and made it easy to tip them. I don’t mind tipping extra for good service.
- The timeshare people are a total nusiance! They seem much more pushy than ever before and there is one every 10 feet getting into your face. I’d much rather have the porn slappers lining the strip than these assholes. Some wouldn’t take no for an answer which was quite annoying. Why would anyone even want to do that job. I guess there is a demand for them or else they wouldn’t be out there. A sucker born every minute.
- We had a good sized bankroll for 3.5 days but truthfully it is not enough. I planned on playing more than low rolling bets this time but those $20s were disappearing fast! The money lasts so much longer at our local and I think we were getting spoiled since we’ve been going pretty regularly there and bringing home winnings each time. I chased several major WMS progressives and couldn’t get any of them to drop. Maybe next time…..
Overall it was a good trip. It sucks when you look forward to something for so long and then it seems to fly by. That’s how it felt this time around. We’ve decided that we will go back next year and bring our teens and my parents. We commonly vacation with my parents and we have a great time. Don’t flame me for this but I think our kids would really enjoy it much more than they did 5 years ago. They will be 14 and 16 by then and have been asking to go back with us. Not only will we enjoy having them with us but it would mean a more structured trip (shows/attractions etc..) which I’m thinking will be a win for all of us. My husband and I always say “we should’ve gone here…or we shoudl’ve done this” but we get so caught up in the gaming part of Vegas that there is so much more to enjoy out there. I doubt we will go back before next spring but we will definitely be hitting up the locals within a few months to get our slot fix on. First things first, we have our family vacation to California in about 5 weeks!
Thanks for reading (if you lasted this long!)