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Old October 9th, 2011, 01:11 PM
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Hi everyone. Jim will be here in a few weeks, and has found a new job. He must take his leave time, or he will loose it, so we have decided to go to Vegas for a few days.

We have never been, so I have spent many nights doing the research. I don't want to come home and realize we could have done something that we didn't know about before we left.

Could you tell me your experiences? The todo's and the don't?

Thanks for your help.
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Old October 9th, 2011, 01:30 PM
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Rent a car and visit the Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon.... well worth the costs ! Go to the Ethel M candy factory (M & M's made there)..... Go down to the old part of Las Vegas where the Golden Nugget is and watch the light show in the ceiling. The water show at the Bellagio is marvelous. Catch a few shows..... if you can afford it !

Great thing about Vegas..... you don't have to gamble to have fun !
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Old October 9th, 2011, 01:37 PM
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Liz has been but I have not. Perhaps the Dam nearby would be nice.
The fountains at Belagio are amazing.

In the Spririt Magazine for SW Airlines there is a deal for the Aria Resort & Casino.
I can PM the details if you have not booked a room yet.
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Old October 9th, 2011, 01:51 PM
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Luanne, you and Jim have a marvelous time out there. I went many years ago with a friend who has since been taken by breast cancer. We had a wonderful time out there. So much fun even way back before Las Vegas was what it is today. We just took the bus or walked everywhere we wanted to go. We saw several great shows. Jubilee was one of them. I remember sitting there and realizing the girls were topless except for the feathers that didn't really cover anything. I was mortified! . It was just one of the best trips I ever did. Enjoy every precious moment with Jim.

Laura
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Old October 9th, 2011, 01:54 PM
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I got a good deal on the Paris, which is in front of the Belliago, so we will be able to see the fountain every night from the room.

Would love to see the dam, but serious debate on renting a car. There is a lot of construction going on, so it might be easier to do taxis on the strip, and take a tour to the dam.

One thing about it, I have done my research, so I am becoming an expert.

What is with all the Comp talk? What do I need to do to take advantage ?

What about the shows? Anyone have a favorite?
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Old October 9th, 2011, 02:17 PM
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I usually hand the guest service a $20 with c.card while asking for a room upgrade and am succesful..... If I want a suite, a $50.00 usually gets their attention as well. If they cannot provide, they wil politely push the gratuity back to you. Celine Dion Show is very good...... I like impersonators so I usually find a show that includes Elvis ! We always just rent a car for the day we are "touring" outside of Vegas.... never had a problem. The Hoover Dam is really interesting and a sight to see. Go over to Lake Mead for some beautiful photo ops as well. This is why a rental car is important to us... we go and stop at our leisure....heasd down Route 66 stop for a meal at a diner along the way to the Canyon..... all at our own leisure and time frame

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Old October 9th, 2011, 02:18 PM
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Thank you Phil. That would be much appreciated.

I just found out that the monorail is at Ballys which is connected to Paris. Does anyone know where it stops?

Thank you Laura for your kind words. Life is so short, and being with my best friend is the best that life can give.
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Old October 9th, 2011, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luanne Russo View Post
Thank you Phil. That would be much appreciated.

I just found out that the monorail is at Ballys which is connected to Paris. Does anyone know where it stops?

Thank you Laura for your kind words. Life is so short, and being with my best friend is the best that life can give.
Las Vegas Monorail - Home
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Old October 9th, 2011, 02:38 PM
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Thank you fun.. I have spent lots of time on TA but haven't seen that.
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Old October 9th, 2011, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luanne Russo View Post
Thank you Phil. That would be much appreciated.
Tried to PM you but it says you cant get them.
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Old October 9th, 2011, 05:18 PM
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Old October 9th, 2011, 06:54 PM
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Have been to Vegas a zillion times, mostly on business, have never cared for it much, like it less now than back in the day.

My advice for nice times; your experiences may vary.

1. I have never gambled there or anywhere else. It has worked out well for me.

2. Do go to Hoover Dam, one way or another. It is spellbinding. If you don't want to rent a car, the tour desk at any Strip hotel can book you on a bus that will take you there.

3. Shows: they're very different now than they used to be. Once upon a time, you'd go to a show in Vegas to see a performer. Now you go to see a spectacle--a cruise ship show on steroids. I always preferred the performers. If you get very lucky and there's one playing there that you like, spend the money and go. If it's a singer, try to make sure that there's a live orchestra and that they're not singing to canned tracks.

4. One of the big positive differences lately is that there are some really fine restaurants in Vegas, even though most people still eat at the buffets (ugh) or the chain outfits that they're familiar with (and which they can find at home). When we were there last year for a wonderful reunion of old friends, we had some great meals. One of them was at Sage, located in the new Aria Hotel complex. Some of the best steak in town is at Gallaghers at NYNY. Gallaghers is a well-known Manhattan steak joint, and the branch in Vegas does not disappoint. Lots of other places like that can lift just "eating" into a very nice experience.

5. The monorail system in Vegas is a patchwork of different trains, running on odd routes, and seldom going where you want to go. But the thing about them that most people don't quite understand until they get there is that almost without exception, these trains run behind the hotels. "So what?" you may say. But the deal is that these hotels are unrelentingly HUGE. You are unwise to underestimate what it takes to keep walking from the front to the back of some of them--sort of like assuming that Arlington Cemetery is small. Since you'll be there after the heat of the summer, you will probably find that simply walking up and down the Strip, and taking cabs for longer journeys, is your best bet. Paris is nicely located, so you can strike out in either direction reasonably comfortably. But bring walking shoes, no joke.

6. Everybody talks about the Bellagio fountains, and they're very pretty, but even nicer (for me) is the lobby on a sunny day, where there's a stunning permanent installation of Dale Chihouly glasswork. Out of this world. And don't miss the adjoining garden (with the store in back where you can buy Dale's pieces if you're of a mind to). Aria is also worth seeing, even better if you're going to eat at Sage. Venice is worth a look, even though the attempt at replicating the Grand Canal is laughable. But the shops there are very nice, including a Bernard Passman jewlery store (last seen by most cruisers on Grand Cayman). Terry got a nice gold and black coral ring there last year.

7. You will find many crass, boorish people in Las Vegas. It's just a fact. Many will be dressed in a way you will consider slovenly, and their actions will match. In some respects you wind up hoping that what happens in Vegas really does stay there, because you wouldn't want it out in polite society. However, it is certainly possible to look beyond all that and see the good things which, knowing you, I'm sure you will.

Oh, did I mention staying away from the casinos? Yes, I think I did.
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Old October 9th, 2011, 08:13 PM
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I adored Dale Chihouly's art piece at the Atlantis, I can just imagine the how fabulous the installation in Vegas must be. Luanne, go, and please take pictures One thing I remember about my one time in Vegas, is how far apart the properties are, even when they looked close Listen to AR, take good walking shoes.
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Old October 9th, 2011, 09:17 PM
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About the best thing in Vegas now, next to some fabulous restaurants, is Cirque de Soleil. They are pretty much everywhere now. I think Ka (at the MGM Grand) is the best one. O and Love (the Beattles) are also very good. In my view doing at least 1 Cirque show is a must.

The Elvis show at Aria is getting good reviews as well.

As others have said, Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon are pretty much "musts" once you're that close. You could "go for the gusto" and do a heli tour of the Canyon.

There's also some incredible golf courses, but not likely what you're looking for :neutral:
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Old October 9th, 2011, 10:49 PM
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Thank you all for the ideas and advice. I have my new notebook I always use for trips, and this one is filling up fast.

I have been making a long list of todos, but realize that it would take a week or more to do it all. So, I plan to pick out the ones that are most important for us.

AR One big difference in now, and Arlington, is that I am more than 50 lbs lighter, so getting around should be easier. I have made a list of your ideas, as well as others, so that I can make this the best vacation possible.

After 48 hours of planning, I think the hard part is over with. I have air travel, rooms, so the rest should be fun planning.

I have been reading about all the problems with taxis from the airport, so I have decided to rent a driver. Anyone have any good companies I could call?

No Kuki, No golf this time. I admire those like yourself who enjoy the game. I am to impatient. I could see myself getting upset, and throwing both that little ball and baby pencil in the nearest watering hole.

If anyone else has ideas, I sure would like to hear it.
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Old October 9th, 2011, 11:35 PM
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Not an idea but a backup to the comments about the casinos.

Though we never made it to Vegas (Fran always wanted to go) we made many trips to Atlantic City with her Niece Adelaide.

The very first one we got coupons from the paper that included a free buffet and a roll of quarters (something that I understand is now in the past). Anyway, she said she worked too hard for her money to squander it at slot machines. Well she and Adelaide walked over to a bank of machines and I just took a walk around that area. We weren't there I swear five minutes and up walks Fran. With this puppy dog look on her face, she asked, "Do you have any quarters left?" She was hooked just that fast. I never let her live it down.
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Old October 9th, 2011, 11:43 PM
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taxis have always been plentiful when we visit vegas.....Barry Manilow puts on a great show as well
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Old October 10th, 2011, 01:19 AM
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Not an idea but a backup to the comments about the casinos.

We weren't there I swear five minutes and up walks Fran. With this puppy dog look on her face, she asked, "Do you have any quarters left?" She was hooked just that fast. I never let her live it down.
When Atlantic City first opened as a gamblin' town, the Washington Post did a writeup on one of the early casinos that featured, among other things, nickel slots. The article said that this section of machines had quickly been dubbed "bladder alley," because those women with fierce looks in their eyes would gladly risk uremic poisoning rather than give up their spot at a machine.
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Old October 10th, 2011, 01:30 AM
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AR One big difference in now, and Arlington, is that I am more than 50 lbs lighter, so getting around should be easier.
Glad about the weight loss, but that's not what I meant. Simply that most people are surprised about the length of the Strip and the size of the hotels. You'll do fine, just bring very good walking shoes. Forewarned is forearmed.

Unless there's something unusual going on, I don't understand what the taxi problem would be. The airport is right at the end of the Strip, you should be able to get a cab to Paris for 20 bucks or so, depending on traffic. Is there a strike or something?
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Old October 10th, 2011, 10:28 AM
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I don't fully understand the taxi situation. It goes along the lines of a tunnel that goes under the runways of the airport, that takes longer to get to the strip, and is popular with the drivers. A regular fare is about $6.00 dollars, but with the tunnel route it can be up to 70.00. There are guidelines on Trip Advisor on how to handle the situation, but I am not comfortable having to tell the driver that I will report him, if he doesn't go the cheap way.

The more I read about Vegas the more uncomfortable I feel about certain things. I am not use to bribing hotel employees, to get a better deal than the next person. It even has a name for it. It's called the credit card sandwich.

I was also shocked at the reviews of people talking about staying for three nights, but having 4 reservations at 4 different hotels. It seems that once you have been to Vegas, and gamble, the hotels want you to come back, so they send you free room coupons. One lady said that she picked the hotel that she wanted to stay at, but used the other rooms, in the other three hotels to go to the bathroom, and to nap, if she drank to much, never intending to spend the night. She also bragged that checking out was not necessary, since she never charged anything to the room, and the room was free. Of course none of this is against the law, just different from what I am use to.

We are not very big gamblers. Josh doesn't drink, and Jim and I do very little of that, so I think this will be one of those trips where we can say," I did that"

Will work today on how to get to the dam, and even the grand canyon, although every review says that the GC that you can get to from Vegas is not worth the trip. For someone like myself who has never seen any of the GC, I am looking forward to it.

Reminds me of something I read last night, about cruising. One time a lady came to the Pursers desk to complain. She was upset that when she booked the cruise, she thought it was going to the Grand Canyon, not Grand Cayman.:o
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Old October 10th, 2011, 10:35 AM
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Another option outside of Las Vegas is Mount Charleston. There was a ski resort there and it is a lovely drive from dessert to mountains! We enjoyed it. Get a Mount Charleston coffee for me!!


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Old October 10th, 2011, 10:36 AM
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Lol.....similar to the woman who booked a Magic cruise...ended up on the Carnival Magic, looking for Mickey Mouse!
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Old October 10th, 2011, 10:45 AM
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Paris is a nice hotel, but less then half of the rooms will give you a view of the Belliago fountains. Another good thing to do(if you rent a car) is go to Red Rock Canyon. It is less than 30 minutes from the strip, and well worth the trip. Do not pay full price for shows, go to any Tix-4-Tonight location in the morning, and they have a running board of all the shows and prices(usually 40-50% off). They have locations all around town. In fact there is a location about a 10 minute walk from Paris(go left, it's just past Planet Hollywood). Enjoy your trip !!!!
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Old October 10th, 2011, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruisingalong View Post
Paris is a nice hotel, but less then half of the rooms will give you a view of the Belliago fountains. Another good thing to do(if you rent a car) is go to Red Rock Canyon. It is less than 30 minutes from the strip, and well worth the trip. Do not pay full price for shows, go to any Tix-4-Tonight location in the morning, and they have a running board of all the shows and prices(usually 40-50% off). They have locations all around town. In fact there is a location about a 10 minute walk from Paris(go left, it's just past Planet Hollywood). Enjoy your trip !!!!

Thank you. That is very good info.
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Old October 10th, 2011, 03:30 PM
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Quote:
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Lol.....similar to the woman who booked a Magic cruise...ended up on the Carnival Magic, looking for Mickey Mouse!
Might be the same one who thought her Med cruise would stop within walking distance to the Vatican.
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Old October 10th, 2011, 03:42 PM
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You are very welcome Luanne. As many have said, you can have a great time without gambling or drinking. The first time we took our daughters they were 10 and 12. Now they are 21 and 23 and are going themselves next week. One of their favorite thinks to do is eat dinner in the revolving restaurant at the top of the Stratosphere.

Hope you, Jim, and Josh have a blast!
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Old October 10th, 2011, 07:16 PM
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All great advice on what to do there! However, please ask about the tours to the Grand Canyon.......I heard that many tours do not operate beginning of October through March/April......weather permitting. The weather at the Canyon can be considerably different than Vegas and it's quite a drive....would hate for you to get there and find that the National Park Service has closed it.....By all means though, go to the Hoover Dam and take the tour.

Oh, and don't sweat the room upgrade thing too much, you won't spend that much time in your room (kind of like a cruise), you'll be touring and site seeing and just using your room for sleeping and changing your clothes.

Enjoy!
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Old October 10th, 2011, 08:06 PM
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Okay all, It is time to teach the student... Are you ready?

The question of the day is How do I gamble? I am so confused. I have been reading reviews all day, and I am more confused than ever.

I heard over and over again, about Players club cards, and no coins involved. If you don't put coins in the machines, how do you play? Do you actually put the Players CC in the machine?
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Old October 11th, 2011, 10:50 AM
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Sign up for a players card(free) at the players club station(any casino empoyee will direct you). Insert card into machine and make sure it says "card accepted". Insert cash(no more coins) and play. The card will track your play and comps will be issued based on play. Win or loss does not affect comps, only time played and amount of bet(higher bet = higher comp). A lot of player clubs are tied together; example is Total Rewards. You can play at Paris/Ballys/Flamigo/Imperial Palace/Harrahs/Caesars/Rio/Planet Hollywood without signing up for another card. All play at any of the listed casinos will go into the same account.

Hope this helps,
Bill
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