Vegas Vacation Spring 2009

Jenn and I went to Las Vegas for three days this week (Tuesday through Thursday) and had a great stay at the Paris Las Vegas. As usual, we walked our asses off, so bad that I can still feel the pain in my hip sockets. I’m pretty sure I never got fully recovered from the previous trip to Vegas a couple of weeks back for MIX09. The Las Vegas Monorail saved us a lot of wear and tear, but apparently not enough.

We saw the “Criss Angel: Believe” show at the Luxor. Neither of us really knew what to expect, but we came out liking it. It’s probably better described as a “magic show with a story” where the assistants and dancers are all Cirque du Soleil performers. For the folks looking for a Cirque show, it’s really more magic than Cirque. Great dancers, really cool costumes, and some great effects… but definitely more “magic” than “Cirque.” We both liked the show a lot, though I feel a bit like it cost a lot for what you get. It’s the most expensive show Jenn and I have seen down there and I think Ka was probably a better value.

There were really only two things that colored the trip for me.

First, when I stayed at The Venetian for MIX09 (and MIX07), the front desk offered to print my airplane boarding pass for me when I checked out. Both times. No charge. It’s a little thing, but so nice and convenient it definitely makes a difference. The Paris Las Vegas insists you use either their business office or one of the myriad internet kiosks they have around so they can charge you $5. Is $5 a huge amount? No, but then, it’s just two pieces of stupid paper. Do they really need to nickel-and-dime me for $5? It’s the little things like that which make a “good” hotel into a “great” hotel. I talked to the front desk about that and “that’s the policy.” Needless to say, I filed a complaint about that. I’ll update this entry if I hear something back, but I’m not holding my breath.

Second, after we checked out, we wanted to leave our bags at the front desk until our shuttle bus arrived. The conversation around that went something like this:

Travis: Hey, we’d liike to leave our bags here until later when our bus thing comes to get us. Bellhop: [condescending] “Bus thing?” What is a “bus thing?” Travis: The, uh, the shuttle bus. To the airport. Bellhop: Ah. I see. I can help you with that. Let me tag those bags. Travis: OK. Bellhop: [after tagging the bags] Here’s your claim ticket. Around when will you be back to get them? Travis: Well, the shuttle leaves a little after 5:00, so around then. Bellhop: I won’t be here at 5:00 when you come back. Travis: Uh… [thinking: So what? I just need to… OH. He’s asking for a tip. Wow, that’s a little forward.] Right. Um… [thinking: All I have is a $20 bill. I’m not giving this guy $20 to check two carry-on bags.] Can I get some change? Bellhop: I can give you change. Travis: OK, I need change for $20. [hands the bellhop the $20 bill] Bellhop: [hands me two $5 bills and stops] How much did you need? Travis: [thinking: What? You seriously think I’m giving you $10 to hold two stupid carry-on bags? Seriously?] Um, $18. [thinking: $2 is way more than enough for you, asshole, considering I’m going to also have to tip the guy I pick this up from.] Bellhop: [glaring at me] $18? Travis: [thinking: You know what, shithead? Why not give me all $20 back and take a different tip - don’t be an asshole. I don’t owe you shit. You’re a fucking bellhop. You get paid to take my God damn bags. Take them and shut the fuck up.] Yes, $18. [taking the last $8] Thanks.

Now, I know it’s a tip-oriented culture down there, but this guy was pretty demanding and blunt about the whole thing.

I filed a complaint about that, too.

Other than that, our stay was great. The room was great, the rest of the service was great, the food was great… Hopefully the Paris won’t turn into a low-end nickel-and-dime you sort of establishment. I’ve loved my stays before, and aside from these two issues it was another good stay.