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TR Vegas-First timers!

Chicago, Illinois
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TR Vegas-First timers!

I hope I don't bore you all writing this as we were first timers to Vegas and needed to learn the 'errors of our ways' on our own! :-) I hope some of you will enjoy this!

Day 1- We arrive at the airport and take a taxi to the Wynn. Upon check-in we are not surprised to be told we must give a credit card for "incedentals". We don't use CC's so we tell them we will pay cash for any such things. This immediately changes the happy face of the desk clerk. Again, expected. We are a cash only family so we expect not everyone, in fact most people, might not be familiar with not using or carrying a credit card. Anyway, the desk clerk leaves to go to a back room to talk to his manager. Comes back a few minutes later and says he has 'good news' that we can put $300 per day in CASH to hold the room. We have already paid for the room...$300 per day in our cash will sit in their bank...wow. I tell him I want to talk to the manager myself that this seems terribly high when we just want to pay cash for any room service, or other hotel charges. Desk clerk leaves and comes back with said manager who speaks with DH for a few minutes and decides we can check into our rooms for much, much less than $1200 for the 4 nights. Not the best way to start the vacation! But, oh well!

Room at the Wynn is on the 21st floor facing the strip, which is lovely. We walk across the street to Strip Burger for a much needed meal! We order very good chips with guacamole and a fantastic Butterscotch milkshake. The milkshake is the highlight of the meals for the rest of the day, for sure! Forget the burgers and order the shake, it is so good and I don't even like Butterscotch!

From there we head up towards TI and Mirage via the tram. While walking through TI a man approaches us with a card for $20 in FREE play with the chance to win much more if we get their card. We go to the card desk and get the darn card and after 30 wasted minutes of trying to get the card to give us the $20 we leave because they can't even get it fixed, not sure what the heck that was about! Anyway, we head over to the Gardens at Mirage and see that they have the 3 for $54 deal for tickets to things we wanted to see. There is a short line so we decide to get the tickets right then. We purchase Titanic, Bodies and the Dolphin/Tiger exhibit. Then we head into Mirage to explore for a while.

We go back to Wynn and have just enough time to get dressed for dinner downstairs at The Country club at 8pm. I did a separate review of the restaurant here on TA if anyone's interested but suffice to say it was not great. The service was worse than the food. We waited too long to get drinks, too long between courses and way too long to get the bill to get out of there! Not what we had expected!

After dinner we head over to get our RedCards and play our free play after talking with the casino desk for some time...very nice people there, very helpful. We have a few free drinks while playing the slots and then head back upstairs as we are crazy tired and those Wynn pillows were calling our names! Seriously, those pillows are like floating on the clouds...found out you can actually buy them and they aren't super $$$! There are two pillows one very large one and a smaller pillow on top...together they are the perfect amount of support and comfort for a great night's sleep. Trust me, use them BOTH! Slept like a baby, (not a newborn cuz they don't sleep much, but say a 6 month old here...).

Sleep is important here so you can walk your butt off during the day to get ANYWHERE on the strip! Leading to DAY 2!

Dallas, Texas
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1. Re: TR Vegas-First timers!

OK... get ready to answer the "you can afford the Wynn but don't have the ability to at least carry (not saying you have to charge on it) credit card questions.

New York City, New...
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2. Re: TR Vegas-First timers!

Sounds interesting will see were this one goes

Dallas
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3. Re: TR Vegas-First timers!

I used to be one of those people that chose not to have a credit card--it had nothing to do with money, it was simply a personal choice. So yes, they do exist.

We stayed at the Four Seasons in October and came home and bought their pillows and they have been worth every penny. Looking forward to more!

Edited: 30 November 2011, 00:05
yourstarla
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4. Re: TR Vegas-First timers!

Fortunately, save for the check in situation, LV is a cash friendly city. Looking forward to reading more. I'd like to know more about the Country Club problems though.

Chicago, Illinois
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5. Re: TR Vegas-First timers!

Katman- not using credit cards anymore as studies have proven that people spend more when using a plastic card than when using actual cash. We want to control our spending, but can see why it can be easier just to have a CC for things like this.

yourstarla- our service at The Country Club was awfully slow...for instance, we waited over 20 minutes from our last bite of food to get our bill and it was close to 10pm by then (midnight our time) and we just wanted to leave! It wasn't awfully busy either. Just that the service was not real attentive. I loved my salad (arugula) and that's about all! For some reason we expected the lights to be on outside on the patio so that we could see outside but it was pitch black out of the windows and kind of weird to sit there starring at nothing but your own reflection! With the weather being cold we didn't expect to sit on the patio but still expected to see out, like at Lake Side.

DAY TWO- Wake up starving as we didn't eat much for dinner the night before! Head down to the Cafe, DH gets a bagel breakfast sandwich with a coffee and I get a yogurt parfait and a white chocolate latte (very good!) bill comes to about $26. We sit and chat with an elderly couple from San Fran while we eat.

We take a taxi down to Mandalay Bay ($20 w/tip) we explore MB, play some slots and head over to Luxor. I somehow love Luxor, but this is the first time we get hit with the timeshare people. They are very friendly but we clearly don't have the time for their offers and they let us alone and meanwhile take some snaps of us in front of the statues. We walk around until 10 and then hit the Titanic exhibit. My little sister loves everything Titanic so I know I will find her something special in their exhibit. It's a very interesting exhibit and we found it to be one of the good things on our trip. I think it is worth the time/money to see it. I did end up finding the perfect gift for my sister too!

Next door to Titanic is the Bodies exhibit. Not sure that we liked or disliked this. Yes, it was gross at times but for us it was amazing to see the developmental phases of a fetus, baby. It was indeed sad to think of those babies dying in uerto, but I don't think anyone can argue when live begins by looking at the growth stages of a baby. Really astounding. When we had purchased the tickets the ticket agent had said he spent close to 3 hours in Bodies exhibit. We buzzed through in 45 minutes, as we didn't feel the need to examine everything.

We stop for lunch at Tacos and Tecquilla (very good veggie options there!) and everything was good, including the fantastic service. Lunch for two was about $30 with no alcohol.

From Luxor we take the tram to Excalibur and walk up the strip to NY NY and then cross the road to MGM. We take a leisurely walk through all these resorts and decide to head to M&M World and Coca Cola World to pick up gifts (namely, chocolate!) for the kids back at home. M&M World is sooo huge, with 3 floors of stuff. You could find M&M ANYTHING there! And the place is crazy busy (of course this WAS black friday!) and I can't wait to get out of there!

From there we walk down to Bellagio as we have to pick up our show tickets for Sunday. Bellagio is so beautiful but it is massive. Walking from the moving walk way to the area for picking up show tickets is a good hike when you've been walking since 8am. After we pick up the tickets we decide to take a taxi back down to Wynn. (another $20 due to horrible traffic!).

We chill in the hotel room for some time and then decide to put some good use to the huge bath tub (love that tub!). BTW, gotta love the smell of their Bambu shower gel, which also makes a good bubble bath! :-)

We have dinner reservations at 6pm down at Hawaiian Martketplace so we take a taxi back down the strip. ($15) We check into be seated at the Indian restaurant, Tamba and are told there is a special holiday buffet. I don't love buffets, of any kind. But, we have a restaurant.com certificate that is good only for dinner so we decide to go for it and hope for the best. Plus, I'm really hungry and we love Indian food. Buffet is $18.95 pp and guess what!? We can't use the certificate because it's good only for dinner. We say, 'umm...well, this IS dinner!?' they say, 'oh well it's a holiday.' Ummm...since when is black Friday a holiday!? We decide to let it slide since we're not in the mood for arguing, though it is off-putting to say the least. Turns out the buffet is actually pretty good, though somewhat mild, most likely made for tourists!

After dinner we decide to explore the strip by foot and we go in and out of the buildings that look interesting, stopping to gamble a bit at the Flamingo, basically because DH has to use the restroom at that point! No big winnings of any kind, just fun! We also had stopped at Paris because my sister was begging for one of their ceramic balloon shaped drinking mugs and she was watching our kids so I got her one! While in Paris we stopped to see about the Eiffel Tower ride and decided against it when they quoted us a 2 'or more' hour wait to get up there. No thank you, I'll just enjoy my view from the 21st floor of Wynn, thank you!

On the way back to Wynn, we catch the fountains at the Bellagio (from across the street!) and the pirates show at TI and another winter show at the Venetian, which I have to say is really beautiful. With its winter in Venice theme it is really a sight to see! And they also have ice-skating rink set up outside.

Back inside Wynn we do some gambling at the slots but stop when we are ready to fall asleep in the chairs, plus we know tomorrow is the Grand Canyon and we want to rest up for that!!

Brisbane
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6. Re: TR Vegas-First timers!

Enjoying your TR so far...looking forward to reading more!

virginia
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7. Re: TR Vegas-First timers!

Great TR so far. Looking forward to the rest!

NJ
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8. Re: TR Vegas-First timers!

I agree 100% with OP. Charging 300 per night to waive incedentals is BS.

And using a credit card will place a hold of that sum for your entire stay whether you use it or not, thus locking those funds to be used at other places in Vegas.

BTW how much did they wind up making you pay for cash deposit for the 4 nights. I called them twice for my upcoming stay and got different response everytime. One person said 250 for the entire stay.

Chicago, Illinois
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9. Re: TR Vegas-First timers!

DAY THREE- Grand Canyon!

I decide to order room service before our Grand Canyon tour since I know they are taking us to McDonalds for breakfast and having Arby's for lunch, and I don't do fast food so I want to eat well before heading out!

Room service at Wynn is fabulous. I ordered the Swiss Bircher Museli and an omelet and was surprised to know they have gluten free bread that actually tastes good! Breakfast was $58 w/tip but well worth it. I actually packed the toast in my backpack with the jam just in case I needed it later (can in VERY handy!). I love breakfast room service at Wynn. And the room service staff is very friendly and welcoming, probably more so than anyone else we talked to there.

The tour van (10 passenger) picked us up at 7:55am. We paid $150 pp for the sunset tour with Grand Adventures Tours (that we found here on TA!) and our tour guide was Tracey. She was great. We stopped for the McD's breakfast and waited while everyone ate (about 15 minutes) and then stopped for about 5 minutes at Hoover Dam for photos. Then drove about 1 1/2 hours to that little town where Cars was 'thought up', can't remember the name of it now! Just that it is off of rt 66. That stop was about 15 minutes as well! Then another 1 1/2 hours to the Canyon.

The Canyon was spectacular, of course. Everyone ate their Arby's sandwiches on the edge of the Canyon and then we walked for some time on the trail to get to our sunset spot. Really a beautiful sunset view. Weather was cold and windy but being from Chicago we had come prepared with winter coats, hats and gloves. Well worth the trip up there.

Ride back was dark and boring and everyone was tired, for sure. We drove for about 3 hours and then stopped for gas at a station that housed a Subway. Some people got sandwiches and we were on our way again. Suffice to say we were returned to the Wynn at close to 10pm. Exhausting.

Hate to say it but heading to bed tired and slightly grumpy. Maybe it was the dramamine!? :-)

Chicago, Illinois
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10. Re: TR Vegas-First timers!

VegasfanNj- ended up at $150 for the 4 nights. When you check in, make sure you talk to the manager and not the desk clerk, wouldn't even waste your time on anyone else. In fact, it might be worth your while to call and ask to talk with a manager and get their name so you can toss it out there when you check in. Good luck!