I enjoy the trip reports here and appreciate the insights, so here’s mine.
We were in town with about 50 others - mainly young professionals (30s) - as part of a conference. It was really just a boondoggle. Most attendees were staying at Treasure Island, but a few were staying at other resorts.
Thursday. Arrived on Alaska Airlines at 10:15 p.m. We had arranged for two limousines from Presidential Limousines. One stretch Expedition and one regular stretch. They were a little late meeting us, with a driver arriving at the baggage carousel about 5 minutes after we had collected all our bags. He was apologetic about being late saying the previous trip had run late while the second limo had a dead battery. But we were in the vehicles soon enough and on our way to Treasure Island. The Expedition was pretty cramped with 14 people. Champagne was provided plus roses for the ladies. On the whole a good experience and I would recommend Presidential Limousines. The drivers were polite and professional and the vehicles were in good shape.
Check-in at TI was fast as there was virtually no line at the time we arrived. Room was great. We were staying in a petite suite which is a largish room with a couch and two bathrooms. We had a reception for the conference attendees in a larger suite immediately after check-in. The neighbours finally complained about the noise around 1:00 a.m. and security arrived to politely ask us to be quieter or be dispersed. We decide to disperse ourselves to the Mirage casino. Played there for a couple of hours. I was the only one winning at blackjack (although I lost at roulette - a stupid, pointless game IMHO).
At around 4:00 a.m. a group of us headed over to the Wynn where one of us was staying to see his standard room there. Very nice. I played with the automatic curtains for some time. We went down and had breakfast at the 24 hour restaurant in the Wynn (forget its name). Servers were pleasant and friendly but service was sooooo slow. Finally finished around 6:00 In bed by 6:30 a.m.
Friday: Up at 9:15 to sign in for the NLHE tournament at Harrahs. $40 gets you $1500 in tournament chips with one $40 rebuy in the first hour. I was surviving until about the hour and half mark when some crazy person possessed me and I went all-in with a questionable hand and was knocked out. On the whole, I thought this tournament was way better than the Luxor tournament (but its 2.5 times the cost). Some good players. Very few complete jackasses.
In the afternoon played blackjack with a buddy at TI. I have to say that I really enjoy like the casino at TI. The dealers are usually personable, it's pretty easy to find a $10 table most times plus I always seem to win money there.
That night, we had dinner at Jasmine at the Bellagio followed by "O". It was a group of 14 at Jasmine in their private room. Service was excellent. Food was good. There are a fair number of quality Chinese/Asian restaurants where I live, so it was unlikely that Jasmine would blow me away, but I thought it was good.
We had seats in row D (fourth row back) in the centre section for "O". I enjoyed it. People often say that they can't describe these Cirque shows but I would describe "O" as a show involving old-time circus acts (trapeze, high diving, contortionists and clowns), plus synchronized swimming, all in elaborate costumes and set to music. Now that I've seen one of these Cirque shows, I doubt I'd drop the cash to see any more.
After "O" we met up with the entire group at the House of Blues at the Mandalay Bay for its 80s night. Most people liked this bar/club. It had a good crowd. The music was 80s dance music. I left early to play blackjack in the MB casino. We found some $15 tables by the Raffles cafe and played until about 5:30 a.m. Won again.
Saturday: We had a catered brunch at the TI conference rooms. That afternoon, the official conference activities were on. I was not officially part of the conference (my wife was), so I skipped out. The guy staying at Wynn gave me his room key, so I headed over to the Wynn pool (the TI pool is small and unspectacular as many, many people have said here). The Wynn pool is pretty sweet. I did need to show a room key and they swiped it to make sure that it was still active. The pools were pretty crowded so I kept walking until I hit the topless pool. "I guess I'm forced to use this pool", I said to myself as I found a lounger. Sadly, the Wynn's demographic is slightly older and the only ladies going top-optional were older European looking women. Pools are nice. Loungers are padded. Free water bottles are distributed. There's also outdoor blackjack in a huge "cabana" - $15 limits and not too crowded. If I had brought cash I would have played.
After a couple of hours I returned to TI, met up with some buddies (conference activities were now over) and headed over to the Imperial Palace for more blackjack. The IP seems to have rearranged their gaming tables since June but I found a table soon enough. Had a very grumpy Korean lady dealer who snarled at us a lot. Won some money from the Imperial Palace.
Walking back through Harrahs to TI, we made a terrible mistake. We sat down to play some Let It Ride Poker. This is an evil, stupid game. We each lost $100 in about 10 minutes before staggering away from the tables in horror. Never again.
We had a group dinner at Francesco's in TI. Service was excellent, food was so-so.
Our group was on the guest list for Tangerine but we had a few hours to kill so it was back to the black jack tables where I won back my $100. One complete clown came to play at our table. He cashed in for $90 and then bet $60 on his first hand. He then stood on a 16 against the dealer's ten. Needless to say he lost his $60 and then his $30 the next hand.
Drink service was extremely slow. But I learned this trip that if your are unhappy with the drink service, you can complain to the pit boss who usually will track down a server for you. In this case, the pit boss actually went half-way across the casino floor to bring the waitress over to our tables. So all was forgiven.
Went to Tangerine. Big line-up but we went through the VIP line so we were in a few minutes. I hated this place. As I walked into the club, they had Bon Jovi's "Livin' on Prayer" just cranked on the sound system. That was bad. But what was worse is that everyone was really, really into it. So much for a cutting edge club. The place was packed. There is no where to sit unless you get table service but worse than that there's nowhere to stand. The balcony/patio area is 100% better with better music but again there’s nowhere to sit and you end up standing right in front of the bar so people are constantly brushing past you. We bailed on Tangerine after less than hour and a group of us went to Gilley's at the New Frontier. This is a basic country bar. Smaller than I though it would be. Mechanical bull provides good free entertainment - some people should not go on that bull - it ain't flattering. Beer tub girls are spectacular. Headed home around 5:30 a.m.
Sunday: Woke up, got food, checked out. Headed to the airport too early as usual. There was thunderstorm on, so we were delayed an hour before take off and had the usual rollercoaster experience before hitting cruising altitude.
Overall a great trip. We're planning to return in November. We will probably stay at TI again.