Beardgoat
Beardgoat
Joined: Apr 2, 2012
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March 22nd, 2015 at 4:55:21 PM permalink
I'll keep this report in more of a summary format instead of detailing our every move. Hopefully it will keep it short and more entertaining.

- Stayed at Harrahs from Thursday - Saturday... March 19-21... Checked in early Thursday around 10:45 am. Check in was extremely quick as there was only 2 people in front of me. The lady said there was a room available already, but we would have to pay $30 to get the keys early. Or we could come back at noon and get the keys for no extra cost. I didn't want to pay the $30, so we walked around the casino and checked out all of the new penny slots. This was our first trip in 3 years so my wife was excited to see all the newer machines.

- we received a room on the 14tn floor of the Mardi Gras tower. It actually had a fairly good view of the Mirage Volcano, however we were not in our room until after midnight each night, so we never got to see the show. Also Saturday morning 5 of the 6 elevators were out of order for a bit of time. Minor inconvenience as it was fixed pretty quickly.

- this was the busiest, most crowded time I have ever witnessed in all of my stays. Swarms of people everywhere, even Thursday. I know it is because of March Madness, but wow!

- I booked this weekend in October, with intentions of betting heavily on college basketball. But we have an infant so I didn't really watch much basketball this year. I decided not to make any sports bets due to my limited knowledge of the teams in the tournament this year.

- my wife signed up for a new total rewards card. We got married since our last trip, so her ID has been updated to reflect her married name. She got a "new" account. This enabled her to join the slot tournament for free on friday. Harrahs has a free slot tournament every Monday-Friday from 11am-2pm. It's free for new players, or for you can also join if you earned 10 rewards credits the day before. Basically they run a session about every 10-15 minutes. Each session winner gets a small prize. Overall winner gets $500 reel rewards (slot play). 2nd place $250 I think, 3rd place 200, 4th place 150, and 5th place 100. There are also 5 random winners that get $50 reel rewards.... Our session on Friday didn't go well. She placed 13 of 18, and I was 16th in our heat. Neither of us were random winners either. We enjoyed our chance and I would recommend anyone else to do it. It was super easy to sign up play in the tournament. And I'll take a free chance at $500 all day.

- I also tried to play early morning craps at Casino Royale on Friday but was sad to see all tables closed until 9 am as Spock reported. Casino Royale has apparently got rid of many tables. They now only have 2 roulette, 2 craps, 1 6-5 blackjack, 2 bj switch, 2 free bet BJ, and 1 three card poker. 10 total tables by my count. It's weird because there tables were PACKED every time I went in there, which was 4 times. Craps was $5 minimum every time I saw it, but also is back to 100x odds. Due to the insane crowds, I was never able to get in a game there. My wife and I did do the new $20 slot rebate there though. We both played .$25 wheel of fortune slots. I lost $40 (my $20 plus $20 rebate) without even getting a spin. Wife hit 4 spins and made $60 and she was gold with that.

- I was able to play $10 craps at linq, harrahs, and late at night at Venetian. Venetian and harrahs was a blood bath. I lost $200 at both places in probably 10 minutes. I didn't hit a single point or come bet at Venetian, and I hit one come bet at harrahs. I ran terribly. Linq was nearly the same, except for 1 shooter who got 3 points and 3 come bets in one roll for me and I needed up leaving there ahead about $100.

- I don't know if this is a new trend or what, but it seems like now every time someone makes a point, the entire table erupts in cheers and screams. It seemed a little ridiculous. It's like literally a new shooter makes his first passline bet, hits it, and the table goes crazy. I'm not really a fan of this, but it felt like it happened all weekend. And not just at tables I was playing at. It was everywhere I was gambling or watching.

- we saved about $15 in quarters over the last few months because we like to play the sigma derby at MGM. We played for about 45 minutes or an hour on Friday afternoon at about 3pm. We actually hit a 135-1 long shot and a 63-1 longshot. Our 55 ish quarters turned into 220 quarters. We cashed out at 200 quarters. We split the money and each put $25 into slots. I found a Peter Pan slot called never land isle I think. I hit the Hook progressive for $58 and got another bonus for $39. I cashed out at $125. My wife played batman, wizard of oz, Peter Pan, and Wonder Woman and ended up running her $25 into $75. So our $15 in quarters turned into $200. We were both really excited about that.

- I purchased 2 cosmopolitan $25 slot play coupons on ebay for $11. My wife and I used them on Friday night. We each put our $25 into a new gold fish penny slot and we combined to make over $100 on our free play. That was a pretty good hit for us. Cosmo was packed. They had at least 4, and maybe 5 or 6, $50 craps tables going that we're completely full. I didn't see anything lower than $50. This was around 10 pm on Friday. We only stayed long enough to play out our free play and we left.

- we saw Zarkana Thursday night at Aria. The lower deck had to have been sold out, but it looked like they didn't sell any tickets for the balcony. Or maybe it was just empty? It was a pretty good show I thought. My wife and I enjoyed it. It ran about 90 minutes which I thought was too long. Some of the acts I didn't care for, but most were really good. There were clowns that had little comedy skits between acts, Im assuming so they could prepare the stage for each new act. Anyway I found their routines to be very funny

- Friday we had dinner at Giada inside the Cromwell. We really enjoyed the bacon wrapped dates. We also tried the orzo meatballs, mortadella pizza, & bucatini. We enjoyed it all, but thought the dates were the highlight. One complaint was where we were seated. Giada is located on the 2nd floor of the Cromwell, right on the corner. It overlooks the corner of Las Vegas blvd and flamingo rd. At night, it's a fantastic view and you can even see the bellagio fountains I believe. However we were sat in a little corner, separate from the main dining area. This sucked. It really lessened our experience. I'm not sure how I should handle this in the future. We had reservations and we saw empty tables in the main dining area, but we were still sat in the room. Do I slip the front desk check in ladies a $20? Do I just refuse to be sat in this shitty location? Do I need to know somebody? These nice dinners are not common occurrences, so I would like any feedback on what I should do next time to improve our experience.

- Overall it was fun as always. I was down about $600 overall and the wife $100. I pretty much lost at everything I played, with the exception of the MGM and Cosmo summaries. I would have liked to play craps but I didn't have the chance this trip. My bankroll doesn't really allow me to play higher than $10 tables and with the crowds it was hard to find a spot at a $10 table.
bw
bw 
Joined: Aug 9, 2012
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March 22nd, 2015 at 4:59:59 PM permalink
$30 to get the keys early when the room is ready is pretty scummy.
SOOPOO
SOOPOO
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March 22nd, 2015 at 5:19:17 PM permalink
Quote: bw

$30 to get the keys early when the room is ready is pretty scummy.



Agree---- I find this practice more despicable than 'resort fees'. I believe that in the Platinum/Diamond check in area they don't do this ridiculous early charge....
helpmespock
helpmespock
Joined: Mar 6, 2010
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March 22nd, 2015 at 6:33:45 PM permalink
I'm glad you got the crowds instead of me. 8-) Crowds weren't too bad for us, but we were out by Noon on Thursday.

Sounds like you poked around more properties than I did. Did you ever see a $5 craps game in any of them besides Casino Royale?

--helpmespock
Beardgoat
Beardgoat
Joined: Apr 2, 2012
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March 22nd, 2015 at 6:39:18 PM permalink
I never saw under $10 besides Casino Royale. I was able to get on a $10 table at harrahs both mornings, and the linq in the afternoon. But by the evenings the $10 tables were gone or jam packed with another 10 or so people just waiting for a spot.
aceofspades
aceofspades
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March 22nd, 2015 at 8:40:50 PM permalink
Nice report beardgoat - sucks when an entire dining area is open and they sit you out of the way of the view - also, $30 room key charge to get in the room an hour early - I guess they want you annoyed and lugging your luggage around instead of settling in and getting ready to play ughhhh
sc15
sc15
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March 22nd, 2015 at 8:46:16 PM permalink
It's one to offer early check in only to your premium guests, but geez, telling you a room's available but you can't have it for another hour unless you cough up extra money, that's pretty crappy.

It doesn't even make sense. If they give you the room right away you're very likely to utilize that time to blow your money on slots.
tringlomane
tringlomane
Joined: Aug 25, 2012
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March 22nd, 2015 at 9:47:31 PM permalink
Quote: sc15

It's one to offer early check in only to your premium guests, but geez, telling you a room's available but you can't have it for another hour unless you cough up extra money, that's pretty crappy.

It doesn't even make sense. If they give you the room right away you're very likely to utilize that time to blow your money on slots.



CET has some real backwards thinking sometimes. If they ever pull that crap on me, I'm more than happy to check my crap in at the bell desk.

Good report Beardgoat!
beachbumbabs
Administrator
beachbumbabs
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March 22nd, 2015 at 11:49:20 PM permalink
I can't imagine the $30 early access charge to the room. What the hell was that??? You're making me want to call my host and ask him about it; never heard of it in 20+ years staying there, gold, plat, or diamond. (Not that I don't believe you experienced that.) I'm genuinely offended on your behalf at such poor hospitality. Better they lie to you and say the room's not ready than to do that. Put the bags with the bell desk and redeem them later for a $5 tip delivered to the room, but geez....

Re: Giada. I think you can do several things to avoid the bad seating. Ask for a view when you claim the reservation; follow the host/ess initially but express your disappointment when you see your seating; better yet, have your wife be the disappointed one, especially since women are supposed to go first in finer restaurants - but say something before you're physically seated; if necessary have a folded bill in your palm.

But, really, the way it works is that servers have tables assigned to them, and the host/ess is obligated to seat you in whoever's section is next unless you give them an out by requesting, even insisting on a view (or a booth vs. table, or whatever), when you can see there may be availability. You're there once a year; that host/ess has to work with those servers every day and attempt to be fair in distributing customers. But the customer usually can overrule that order, because they do want you to have a nice dinner if they can.
If the House lost every hand, they wouldn't deal the game.
Gabes22
Gabes22
Joined: Jul 19, 2011
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March 23rd, 2015 at 7:29:08 AM permalink
Quote: beachbumbabs

I can't imagine the $30 early access charge to the room. What the hell was that??? You're making me want to call my host and ask him about it; never heard of it in 20+ years staying there, gold, plat, or diamond. (Not that I don't believe you experienced that.) I'm genuinely offended on your behalf at such poor hospitality. Better they lie to you and say the room's not ready than to do that. Put the bags with the bell desk and redeem them later for a $5 tip delivered to the room, but geez....

Re: Giada. I think you can do several things to avoid the bad seating. Ask for a view when you claim the reservation; follow the host/ess initially but express your disappointment when you see your seating; better yet, have your wife be the disappointed one, especially since women are supposed to go first in finer restaurants - but say something before you're physically seated; if necessary have a folded bill in your palm.

But, really, the way it works is that servers have tables assigned to them, and the host/ess is obligated to seat you in whoever's section is next unless you give them an out by requesting, even insisting on a view (or a booth vs. table, or whatever), when you can see there may be availability. You're there once a year; that host/ess has to work with those servers every day and attempt to be fair in distributing customers. But the customer usually can overrule that order, because they do want you to have a nice dinner if they can.



One thing I tend to do, when I make a reservation, especially to a place that there is a view, I claim it to be some form of occasion. This way they tend you go out of their way to service you A) with the view, but furthermore, places tend to either give you a desert on the house, or perhaps a free round of drinks or something like that.
A flute with no holes is not a flute, a donut with no holes is a danish

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