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Traveling in 2009
Old 12-23-2008, 04:13 PM   #1
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Traveling in 2009

My wife and I (ages 36/35) want to do some traveling without the kids.

Vegas is high on the list. Expedia priced out some trips for us at around $1200-$1600. Which hotels should we avoid or consider? I'd like to stay on the strip the first time (this will be our first time in Vegas).

Suggestions?

NY City is high on the list too. I'd like to do a trip around xmas time and catch a broadway show or similar as a xmas gift. Where would I look to get tickets like this?

Suggested NYC budget for a 3-4 night stay? Where to stay in the city would also be helpful. Wife has been there before, I have not. Ironically I grew up in NY (western NY) and have never been to the city, so suggestions welcome.

Boston and Chicago are "backups" if the above two trips do not pan out. I am guessing Boston and Chicago will be 2010 trips.
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Old 12-23-2008, 04:32 PM   #2
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Promotions - Excalibur Las Vegas Resort Hotel and Casino

Everyone that has stayed at the Excalibur on my suggestion has been happy and the prices are usually the best.. Great location on the corner with MGM, NYNY, and the Tropicana. Great castle theme for kids. It's also next door to the Luxor that everyone I know has complained about if they've stayed there.

And take the Dam tour.
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Old 12-23-2008, 05:09 PM   #3
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We stayed at the Excalibur this summer (2008) and at the CircusCircus 2 years ago. Both of these places are great if you have kids, and only if you have kids. We travelled with friends and 6 kids total.
If you are looking for a more adult oriented vacation then I suggest to avoid these 2 hotels.
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Old 12-23-2008, 05:28 PM   #4
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I play semi-pro poker and Ive been to Vegas many times. Excalibur is run down and Circus Circus is a total dump.

My best suggestions for a mid priced hotel would be NYNY or MGM Grand
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Old 12-23-2008, 07:51 PM   #5
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My wife and I (ages 36/35) want to do some traveling without the kids.
Without!? What kind of parents are you? I read it wrong but stand by Excalibur as of a year ago and the people I sent were childless. I do agree that I'd probably rather stay at MGM or NYNY but believe you'll pay alot more for the same location.
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Old 12-23-2008, 08:21 PM   #6
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I stayed at the Paris Hotel in April and enjoyed it. The Paris has a great buffet and a nice rooftop swimming tool. My friends stayed at Bally's next door and it was OK, too. It was right across from the Ballagio, and our room had a good view of the fountains. It was a nice show.

But I am not really that picky, in general. Depends on what you're looking for I guess.
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Old 12-23-2008, 10:19 PM   #7
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If price is no object then try the suites over at the Venetian. Also in that range is Mandalay Bay's 'The Hotel' (REAL NICE suites).
For 'Marriott' like rooms at a decent price, try Harrah's or New York New York.
A bit down market from there are Luxor and Flamingo, although prices will be close to Harrahs and NYNY.
A bit up market (for more bucks of course) would be Paris and Mirage (and maybe Treasure Island).
Stay away from Circus Circus, it's a dump. Excalibure follows close, but is much better.

It depends on what you want to spend.
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Old 12-24-2008, 06:21 AM   #8
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DH and I stayed at the MGM and it was nice. I second Honobob's suggestion about the dam tour. Pretty drive out there and very interesting.
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Old 12-24-2008, 07:26 PM   #9
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DH and I stayed at the MGM and it was nice. I second Honobob's suggestion about the dam tour. Pretty drive out there and very interesting.
ditto, MGM is also nice. big too... a good intro to LV bling
have a good time.
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Old 12-25-2008, 05:41 AM   #10
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Just went to LV in October. Stayed at Venetian. Great place to stay. Had a great time. I suggest giving them a call and asking for rates. I get emails from them about twice a month with some good deals.
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Old 12-25-2008, 11:19 AM   #11
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I would agree with those who said no to Excalibur. I last stayed there 15 years ago and would have to say it was not much for an adult then.

We stayed at the Bellagio earlier this year. The room was nice and the pastry shop was to die for, however would not stay there again due to the crowds downstairs.

If I was planning a trip I would aim for something like the Venetian. If the rooms are like the casino, which is less smoky than most, I would imagine it would be a great place to stay.
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Old 12-25-2008, 04:19 PM   #12
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Question for Vegas pros. We have been thinking about a trip there without kids this spring for wedding anniversary #5. Probably three nights or so. We don't plan on spending much time in our hotel room. Is excalibur and circus circus a dump in the sense that travelodges and red roofs and ramadas are dumps? We don't really need the marriott - just a place to lay our heads at night and take a shower in the morning. Sans roaches.

Also, is circus circus and excalibur on "the strip" - where I assume we would want to stay? We aren't big gamblers, so would we be able to occupy ourselves with checking out the scenery of all the glitzy hotels for a few days, plus a trip to the dam? Other must sees if we have a few days there?

<**crossing fingers that southwest still has that cheap non-stop flight to vegas!!>
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Old 12-25-2008, 06:27 PM   #13
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Question for Vegas pros. We have been thinking about a trip there without kids this spring for wedding anniversary #5. Probably three nights or so. We don't plan on spending much time in our hotel room. Is excalibur and circus circus a dump in the sense that travelodges and red roofs and ramadas are dumps? We don't really need the marriott - just a place to lay our heads at night and take a shower in the morning. Sans roaches.

Also, is circus circus and excalibur on "the strip" - where I assume we would want to stay? We aren't big gamblers, so would we be able to occupy ourselves with checking out the scenery of all the glitzy hotels for a few days, plus a trip to the dam? Other must sees if we have a few days there?

<**crossing fingers that southwest still has that cheap non-stop flight to vegas!!>
DH and I are not gamblers either. We went for our wedding anniversary just to check the place out and because we got a great deal on the airfare and hotel. One thing we loved was the Valley of Fire State Park. Being east coasters, we were amazed by the scenery. The Star Trek film Generations was taped there. It's like being on another planet. Here are a couple of links about the park:

Nevada Division of State Parks - Valley of Fire State Park

Valley of Fire State Park - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 12-25-2008, 08:37 PM   #14
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For NY, I would aggressively shop hotwire and/or priceline. I have to believe that after the holidays hotel business will be down a lot, so you should be able to pick up rooms for cheap. In the last recession my BIL stayed in the Algonquin for about a hundred bucks a night. If that does not work and prices in manhattan are too high, look in Jersey city.
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Old 12-25-2008, 10:34 PM   #15
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Question for Vegas pros. We have been thinking about a trip there without kids this spring for wedding anniversary #5. Probably three nights or so. We don't plan on spending much time in our hotel room. Is excalibur and circus circus a dump in the sense that travelodges and red roofs and ramadas are dumps? We don't really need the marriott - just a place to lay our heads at night and take a shower in the morning. Sans roaches.

Also, is circus circus and excalibur on "the strip" - where I assume we would want to stay? We aren't big gamblers, so would we be able to occupy ourselves with checking out the scenery of all the glitzy hotels for a few days, plus a trip to the dam? Other must sees if we have a few days there?

<**crossing fingers that southwest still has that cheap non-stop flight to vegas!!>
being a degenerate gambler and occasional business traveler, my dw and I have stayed at many places in LV. On our dime, ... not spending a lot of time in the room, we would go ' on the cheap '. When traveling on business, we would go where the company assigned us to stay (usually some nice places).
Circus Circus and excaliber ARE on the strip. CC is further 'up' the strip then the 'main attractions', but close enough. Excaliber is on the other end of the strip, but also 'close enough'. NOTHING is REALLY walking distance to anything. Although if you are joggers or power walkers, you might not mind walking to the next one or tow casino/hotels 'next door'.

My wife will NOT stay at CC at all. She 'might' stay at Excaliber if she had to (like everything else was 250 a night and E was 100).

You will find that prices in LV are very date dependent. If you are flexible, go onto the Harrahs.com web site and check out the differences in the date/hotels (Harrahs owns a bunch of places). Then go ahead and book your hotel and airlines for the best prices.

To answer your question, I would rate CC a bit below a motel 6/holiday inn (lowest level).
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Old 12-26-2008, 12:37 AM   #16
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My wife and I (ages 36/35) want to do some traveling without the kids.

NY City is high on the list too. I'd like to do a trip around xmas time and catch a broadway show or similar as a xmas gift. Where would I look to get tickets like this?

Suggested NYC budget for a 3-4 night stay? Where to stay in the city would also be helpful. Wife has been there before, I have not. Ironically I grew up in NY (western NY) and have never been to the city, so suggestions welcome.
There's plenty of hotel rooms at the $100 mark in NYC Manhattan that I see on Travelocity but don't forget the parking cost which is pretty steep by any standards. Staying near by around within public transportation to NYC will save you some bucks for a minimal hassle.

As for b-way shows, if you have to see the most popular of the shows then it'll be difficult to get tickets since they are booked way in advance. If you're flexible and don't mind waiting on line (we do that a lot here in NYC) then you can visit TKTS and pick up 1/2 price tickets for shows that day.
TKTS - half price theater tickets on Broadway

Not sure what your tastes are in terms of entertainment but there's plenty to see and do.
Popular tourist stops from my observation are:
-Empire states building (little Korea near by for great lunch/dinner)
-Rock center/Christmas tree/NBC studios/St Patrick's church/
-Times Square/Broadway
-many museums (Met of art, Natural Science, Guggenheim etc)
-Chinatown and little Italy (next to each other)
-Wall Street & financial district (go on the Federal Reserve bank of NY tour to see all the gold...ala Bruce willis in one of the die hard movies)

Good luck

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Old 12-26-2008, 05:51 AM   #17
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The cruise industry is beginning to discount fairly heavily.... They need the cash flow.


I would not be surprised to see consolidation in the next year... too many rooms will go empty.

If you live near a port (or in driving distance)... a cruise will be difficult to beat on price (relative to other vacations).
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Old 12-26-2008, 09:41 AM   #18
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We always stay at the Flamingo - moderately priced, decent rooms and ideal location right in the middle of the Strip - across the street from Ceasars, easy walking distance to the major casinos. Often has mid-week promotions with rooms as low as $89 per night (we haven't been there in two years so prices may be different now.

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Old 12-26-2008, 12:16 PM   #19
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The Flamingo got good reviews from wife's brother and wife's cousin (2 different people). LOL.

I think we are delaying vegas until 2010 (so wife's brother and maybe cousin can join us) and focusing instead on NYC or Chicago.

A few questions:
NYC- we would fly in (saw the comment about parking- I had heard that before), I assume using cabs is a good way around town?

I saw a train tour which started in Boston and stopped for a day in Boston, NYC, Philly and Wash DC. Has anyone done this before ? With or without kids? Use a hotel in each city, but the train takes you from city to city.

If we wanted to fly into NYC, then stay downtown, catch a show, good eats and maybe catch a site or two... how many days? weekend better than weekday or weekday better than weekend?

Can similar shows be caught in Chicago (broadway types)? I have been to Chicago suburbs for work before (Schaumburg and maybe one other). I know chicago has the L (I have seen it in movie Running Scared)- does this get to all parts of city?
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Old 12-26-2008, 12:42 PM   #20
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If you live near a port (or in driving distance)... a cruise will be difficult to beat on price (relative to other vacations).
We do most of our cruising on Princess, especially since my wife has elite status out there (for completing her travel agent education program, not because she's a big spender). We were bummed when they pulled out of Galveston last year. Now if we want to cruise on Princess we pretty much have to fly.

Oh, well. After one more cruise with them, I'll be up to Platinum myself. At least once I feel comfortable enough to blow a couple grand on a vacation again (keep putting your resume out, dear)...
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