Choosing an airline while booking a flight is largely irrelevant. All of the companies try to screw you over in one way or another, so as long as you're not flying with a shady corporation like Spirit or Frontier, you shouldn't be boinked up the butthole too hard (not that there's anything wrong with being boinked in the rear end with a lot of force.)
Selecting a hotel? Well, that's a different story. I had never been to Vegas before, so I had no clue where to begin. Fortunately, my girlfriend's parents provided some guidance. They stayed at Mandalay Bay before and had a great time there. "They have a lazy river," her dad said.
I was immediately sold. As a fat man, any phrase with the word "lazy" in it is something I can get behind.
Getting into Mandalay Bay, however, was another story. We couldn't find the front entrance to save our lives. We drove around for what seemed like hours, yet all we could find were service entrances and shady parking lots where they were doing construction. There were no signs, or anything. It was ridiculous.
I don't know how we did it, but we managed to locate the parking garage. There weren't any signs for it; we just happened to drive up to it by sheer luck. We parked the car on the second floor, but we once again had no idea where to go. There weren't any directions for an elevator or a casino entrance, so we just wandered around the garage until we finally saw a staircase. If there's a stairwell, there needs to be an elevator, and sure enough, it was on the other side. See? I knew handicapped people were good for something!
Unfortunately, for the third time in the same hour, we were once again lost. We found the casino, but couldn't locate the hotel lobby. Is there a Mandalay Bay and a Mandalay Casino? I wondered while traversing through various slot machines. I was worried enough not to be distracted by all of the blinding colors and blaring sounds from those contraptions; I'll have more on those abominations later.
We eventually found the hotel lobby, and yes, it was in the same building. Mandalay Bay, much like all of the other casinos, want their customers to gamble on their way in and out, which makes sense, I suppose. They just made me walk what seemed like a mile as a result, and as a fat man, I was not pleased about this.
We checked in and were given our card keys. "You're on the 13th floor," a young, Asian man told us. Uhh... 13th floor? Isn't it bad luck to have a 13th floor? You'd think that a casino, of all places, would believe in those superstitions. I mean, outside of betting on football and basketball, I'm not a gambling man, but if I were, I would consider it terrible luck to be placed on the 13th floor. I don't think I'd even make a single wager if I happened to be one of these people.
Nevertheless, we ventured up to the 13th floor and entered our room. It looked great - it was huge for one of their regular suites. The first thing we did was attempt to locate the refrigerator to store some of the items we purchased at the local supermarket while driving in (breakfast stuff like yogurt, fruit, etc.) The thing was, we couldn't find the fridge. We checked everywhere, including the closets. Just as we were about to give up, my girlfriend shouted, "I found it! No, wait, that's a safe."
We scoured every inch of the hotel room, yet there was no fridge.
Girlfriend: Am I going crazy? There has to be a refrigerator, right?
Me: Yeah, I've never been in a hotel room without a fridge. I don't know where it could be.
Girlfriend: That's it. I'm calling the front desk.
My girlfriend spoke to a person at the front desk for a couple of minutes and then slammed the phone down angrily.
"You won't believe it! It's $35 per night just to have a refrigerator in our room! The guy said he'll bring it up in a couple of minutes."
As ridiculous as that was - I still can't believe they charged anything for a fridge; I can't even say they're nickel and diming customers because $35 per night isn't something to take lightly - the wait was nearly as frustrating. You know how the guy said he'd be a couple of minutes? It took him half an hour to deliver the fridge. I had money in my pocket to tip him, but decided against it because he took too damn long. As a fat man, I need my refrigerators to arrive quickly.
Excluding the whole lack-of-refrigerator thing, there were three other issues we had with Mandalay Bay...
1. I awakened at 4 a.m. my first night there to an odd noise. The more I listened to it... the more I realized that there was someone snooping around in our room! It sounded like someone was walking in water, and it was getting louder. The footsteps were so close at one point that I sprung up and shouted, "Who's there!?"
No one was there. As I sat up, I realized that my mind was playing tricks on me. Those noises weren't coming in from inside the room; they were emanating from the floor above.
"Yo, a**holes, shut up!" my girlfriend yelled to those above us. It was to no avail, however, as the banging and the splashing continued throughout the night.
The following morning, my girlfriend and I ran into an older couple a few doors down. They must have noticed that we looked exhausted.
Older Man: Did the construction keep you up, too?
Older Man: Yeah. They're doing construction on the 14th floor. Tell the front desk; they should be able to give you a refund.
That's exactly what I did. When we were checking out, I told the Asian woman at the front desk about the annoying construction. And she did reimburse me a bit, though that brings me to the second item...
2. "For your trouble, I'm going to waive the resort fee for you," the Asian woman said after I told her that we had to deal with construction the first night.
According to the statement, we paid $60 in these "resort fees," so we were reimbursed that amount. I don't mind getting $60 back, but why were we paying that in the first place? Why is there a resort fee? Or, more importantly, what is a resort fee? Seriously, what the hell is that? Is that like the refrigerator fee - another way for Mandalay Bay to nickel and dime its customers?
I accepted the $60, but I was really hoping they would comp us a free night. Or, at the very least, charge us nothing for having a refrigerator in our room. I still can't believe we had to pay for that. At this rate, Mandalay Bay is soon going to charge its patrons a fee to have running water. And after that, an oxygen fee! Hey, hotel guests, do you want oxygen in your room? Well, you better pay $35 per night for the oxygen fee, or you all will suffocate to death!
3. I spend about three hours of each day on the toilet, so I need to do a review of the bathroom. The hotel bathroom, quite frankly, stunk - and not because of my feces.
First of all, the bathroom door closed automatically. Like, if you tried to leave it open, it would just shut on you. This isn't a problem if you're dropping a deuce, but there were numerous occasions when I was in the room by myself and wanted to take a leak. I would've preferred to keep the door open just to save myself the energy of turning the light on. Like I said, I'm lazy.
Even worse, there was no fart fan. I like to have the fart fan on when I poop so no one can hear what comes out of my a**hole, but my girlfriend was able to listen to everything. I get the door closing on its own because that's whatever, but how could this place not have a fart fan? What are they, not fans of farts? Get it? Fart fans... fans of farts? Eh, I'll move on.
One final gripe with the bathroom: There were no folding chairs in the hotel room, and there wasn't anything in the bathroom except the toilet itself, so I wasn't able to use my laptop while dropping a deuce. This is one of my favorite pastimes, as I often buy stuff on Amazon while squeezing poop out of my butthole. It's exhilarating. Unfortunately, I was robbed of this pleasure while on vacation.
Perhaps I could've called the front desk and requested both a folding chair and fart fan. Knowing Mandalay Bay, however, they would've charged me a folding chair and fart fan fee.
Anyway, I need to discuss the lazy river and the other attractions at Mandalay Bay. My girlfriend snapped this picture from our window:
See the sand, chairs and adjacent pool? That was a facsimile of a beach, and it was awesome. They had real sand, and they even had real a**holes trying to steal beach chairs. I'm serious. I wasn't there because I met up with a friend, but my girlfriend told me that some people stole this family's chairs, and the angry dad rallied his kids by shouting, "Let's take back these chairs!" I wish I was there to see it, but I imagine the battle being something like in Braveheart.
Meanwhile, the waves created by the pool felt like the real thing. There wasn't any sand in the actual pool, but that's probably for the best.
My girlfriend and I tested the wave pool out right away. The water was pleasant, and though the waves weren't frequent enough, they were cool. We quickly discovered that it was fun to sit on the "ocean" floor where it was shallow enough to do so because the waves would knock us back with considerable force. We were having a blast until one of the lifeguards approached us.
Lifeguard: You can't sit there.
Lifeguard: You can't sit on the wave pool floor.
Me: Why not?
Lifeguard: Rules. You can sit in normal pools, but not the wave pools.
Surely enough, I glanced at the rules, and one of them said "no lounging."
No lounging? What the f***? Why the hell not? And what's next, "no having fun?" At this rate, the Mandalay Bay lifeguards are going to kick guests out if they think they are having fun. Seriously, no lounging? What is this, Communist Russia? Is Joseph Stalin the head lifeguard?
You know what else kind of sucked? Well, two things:
First, the pool area closed at 8. Yep. Everything shut down at that time, so you couldn't go swimming or take a dip in the hot tub at night. Lame as balls.
Second, the lazy river. Yes, it's true. I mean, the lazy river itself was nice, but unlike other lazy rivers I've been to, people couldn't just rent a tube or pick one up that's floating around. They had to actually purchase one. For $24.99.
And I thought the refrigerator fee was bad. Mandalay Bay should just change its name to Nickel and Dime Bay because they will find any way to extract $20s from customers for seemingly trivial things.
The worst part of this entire ordeal was waiting to purchase a tube. I was behind just four people in line, yet I had to wait a half an hour. I'm not exaggerating. There was one person working behind the desk, a black chick with buck teeth and thick glasses named Rodman, and it seriously took her about eight minutes to serve each customer because she had to inflate the tubes herself, and as you can imagine, this took a while.
I was in line for so long that my girlfriend actually came over to see if I was OK. I told her that I was fine, and that I was waiting for Dennis Rodman to service me. She walked away confused, while I developed sunstroke.
Just as I was about to collapse, the family in front of me approached Rodman and asked for three tubes. An ugly Asian teenage girl then told her mom that she didn't need a tube, so they requested two instead. The Asian teenage girl then flipped out her phone and took a selfie of herself.
Really? A selfie of yourself in the tube line? I hate selfies more than most things in life, but I can understand if you want to take one when A) you land your dream job, B) you graduate from school, or C) you're a hot chick and want to post your cleavage on Facebook, but what's the significance of snapping a picture of yourself while in some stupid line where a poor, overwhelmed girl named Rodman is taking forever to sell horribly overpriced things that should be free?
Come to think of it, I'm willing to bet that the Asian girl took a selfie to commemorate yet another instance that her family was nickel and dimed by Mandalay Bay. If so, I'm willing to commend her for taking a selfie - even though she was ugly enough that no one would ever want to see that picture.
Check back next week for Part 3 of Walt Goes to Vegas!