Will post as reply
OOPS--forgot to mention, also POKER!!!Edited: 11 June 2014, 00:48
Will post as reply
OOPS--forgot to mention, also POKER!!!Edited: 11 June 2014, 00:48
Have done over 50 Vegas trips in over 20 years...(lost count...) This trip was DM (69) & I (48)
Instead of a daily play by play, will categorize:
Ballys Jubilee (south) tower, comped
Great room. Always love Ballys huge rooms. Nicely done in reds & browns. 2 Q beds & still tons of space. Of all CET properties this room is 2nd only to Caesars Palace Tower or above. (tho I have not stayed in a Red room at Paris, so cannot compare)
Faced north strip--could see Drais partying every afternoon & night.
There is construction but you had to make your way to the strip one way or another before--and we haven't taken those escalators in years.
DM & I agree--we love Ballys location, huge redone comped rooms (even north tower was done 10 years ago & is done in timeless neutrals), the casino is drab & really needs a facelift--though we always enjoy the bartenders at the VP bar by the poker room
Loved Cromwell--DM spent many happy hours playing VP there. They had a bank of .05 progressives near the main entrance that kept us playing quite a while. Mom did well on .25 too.
Walked up & down the LINQ area. Went during the day--think it would be really cool at night, especially.
Love the new OSheas--GREAT bartenders at VP bar.
Saw Zumanity with BOGO w/ myVegas (DM doesn't play). Saw it last year w/ DH & really enjoyed it. We were given balcony seats, but the balcony was closed so we got 4th row on the end! Sweet! The 2 scenes we found odd last year seemed weirder this year & sexy isn't very sexy when you are with your mom!! She enjoyed it nonetheless--but LOVE is definitely her fav Cirque.
We were supposed to go to Human Nature but they cancelled their shows this week. :-(
CET Buffet of Buffets (PH, Paris & Bacchanal)
We are NOT buffet people--we generally find them overpriced for mediocre food. BUT Mom got 2 free BoB with her TR credit card, so free is good. DH & I did this last year also, so my reviews are based on both trips.
Have never done Harrahs or Flamingo--they get average reviews at best, so why bother, and they weren't as convenient. Haven't done Rio either, due to inconvenience.
I don't eat wheat (choice--feel lots better for it) so I cannot comment on pastas, breads or pastries for the most part.
Breakfast--was unimpressed. How do you screw up breakfast?
Lunch--DH said it was a bit better than breakfast.
Dinner--Mom & I went at 10PM & it was packed, lots of kids. We were again unimpressed. We DID like the peeled shrimp & cold split crab legs. But nothing else stands out & dessert was almost entirely cupcakes. The only dessert choices for me were cheesecake & ice cream.
Have done all 3 meals & find the quality to be quite good at all meals. Food flavorful with lots of choices. DM tried it years ago & loved it; tried it a few years ago & felt the quality had gone down. She felt the quality was back up again. Our server (Galo?) at lunch was amazing. You do get free wine for lunch & dinner, and the white was surprisingly smooth. He also brought us 2 chocolate eiffel towers to go. The only knock is the shrimp must be peeled & it wasn't all cleaned well.
Got there at 10:45 on a Tuesday--no line. Paid $15 each ($25 lunch, $35 dinner upcharge above the price of the BoB) We came at this time for several reasons--to save $, to sample both breakfast & lunch items, and to cover 2 meals. 11-12 is a transition time. Even by 11:45 they had not fully transferred to lunch. We were very impressed here--so many items to choose from, flavorful & inventive (major reasons I dislike buffets--rarely flavorful & inventive!) HUGE peeled shrimp, oysters on half shell, cold crab claws--even when we got there at 10:45. BEAUTIFUL sushi. The ONLY thing I didn't like was the fruit salad--it had a basil dressing that marinated it almost like a ceviche. We ate at Wicked Spoon at Cosmo last year, loved it & feel Bacchanal food is comparable--Bacchanal has nicer atmosphere. (overlooks pool area)
Do I think BoB is worth it? No, we just don't spend $50pp/day on food unless we eat a nice meal out. And within the ones included in the BoB, I would ONLY eat at Paris. If I can get BOGO coupons for Paris, Wicked Spoon or Bacchanal, then I feel it is worth the price. But at regular price I can get a better meal with better atmosphere.
Nosh: grabbed sandwich/salad, always reliable if not memorable.
Ballys Tequila bar: order $14 special of smaller nachos & 3 tacos. Nachos are smaller than $16 ones but still way too big. Tasty meal, $3 beers nice too
Margaritaville (join Fins Up club for free appetizer, no purchase necessary, expires 60 days after you join): had free crab asiago dip with gluten free bread & order of sweet potato fries. Very good. Cost was $2.69 plus $5 tip. Nice.
Nine Fine Irishman (NYNY) $25 credit (myVegas) Had beer cheese dip & irish nachos with corned beef. SOOOO rich, SOOO good--still too much food for 2. $15 including tip.
PF Changs--10PM the last night, grabbed some lettuce wraps to go. I usually love this meal. It was VERY salty, and the meat quality seemed poor.
We figured with comped we only spent $20 + tips on food for the whole trip--NICE!!
DM played .05-.25 VP almost exclusively, and is perfectly happy to wander around herself. She probably played 10-15 hours/day within her budget (similar to my daily poker budget), so she was happy. Racked up several hundred CET points (over 400 one day!)
I played 7 tourneys:
Ballys, 2x ($65, 5K chips, 20 min. blinds) Worst structure & worst play of the ones I played. Never made it past break (VERY unusual for me), but pocket As took me out both times.
Planet Hollywood, 2x ($75, 6K, 20 min) Horrid play Sunday night, didn't make it past break (see a horrid pattern here??!!) Tuesday night play was a bit better (tho still some fast & lose players that I typically find here), made it to 2 out of the $ when 10s sucked out on my Ks
Mirage, 1x, ($65, 8K, 20 min.--BEST structure on the strip at this low level. Barely made it past break when Qs sucked out on my As. Did have a bizarre thing happen. A surfer-looking guy sat to my right, sat his speaker down (looked like a boom box), and proceeded to plug his iPod in & turn it on! I turned to him & said "Seriously?" He responds , "What?" Now, it wasn't loud but the bass was distinctive, just adding more to the casino chaos. The dealer made him turn it off since I commented & he was quite put off. I told him it was about etiquette & courtesy to the other players. He was pretty rude about it. But as we played together me mellowed some. Have certainly never encountered that!
Aria 2x ($125, 10K, 30 min) This is my FAVORITE tournament as the large chips stack & slow blinds allow me my patient game. BUT it does require typically 8 hours minimum to cash. Because the WSOP is in town, they had tournaments in an area on the casino floor, which is not nearly as nice. Tuesday there were 260 entrants, and I outlasted over 82% of them. Wednesday there were 238 entrants. I cashed 15th. It paid almost $7K for first, and the top 6 pay well but it drops off sharply after that. The most interesting part of this story is that quad 6s took me out of BOTH tournaments!
Not my most successful tournament run by far. But I do realize that I really would rather play Aria twice & Mirage once, and maybe cash games or VP to fill my days....
I hope "finally" meant you were done and I'm not posting in the middle of your TR! :)
Sounds like a pretty nice trip, quad 6's twice, yikes better than three times I guess ..not a good number! Can't say I've ever seen a guy just busts out a speaker on a poker table, WTH, come on dude, not cool.
Spending that much on food for two people, awesome. My DW and I will be seeing Zumanity (myvegas) in August. Wasn't the first on our list but we've seen most of the other cirque shows.
I've stayed at Bally's a couple of times but not in years, have always like the size and location of Bally's on the strip. Mirage keeps giving me the good rates, or comps. :)
Thanks for the TR!
Nice report...any noise from Drai's?
I had to smile at the "too many trips to count" comment....I lost count many years ago as well.
Glad your Mom did well at the VP.....can be tough at CET to hang in long enough to accrue many points.
Great report! Thanks for sharing! I have thought about giving poker a try one of these days. Would the Mirage be a good place to start?
Enjoyed your report. So glad to hear positive comments on Paris buffet. I am not big on buffets at all but Paris used to be my favorite for breakfast. Then over time many were reporting it had gone downhill. Thanks for the good details.
boom-box/speaker at a table? Wow some people just don't get it, he was probably a youngster who lacks common courtesy/respect.
Thank you for a wonderful read.