My review of this new tour PART ONE
DESERT OASIS NEW TOUR FEBRUARY 2022
BKMD, No extra spaces due to size restrictions of a post.
This is a personal reflection and review of our experiences
We took an early flight from Philly to Vegas. Drama began when we failed to notice my ticket did not reflect my trusted traveler pre check, so we went to the TSA pre approval security line, Mr B goes through, I get challenged, no TSA approval, the agent tells me if I want to use the line I have to go back downstairs and get a new ticket, it wasn’t on my phone ticket either. I said I did want to go downstairs, show me where regular security was, it wasn’t obvious, it was round the corner. She mistook this for me wanting to use her line and got angry. Mr B doubles back, says I was with him. She tells me I have to pay for pre approval, I say I did. I give up and leave her, she follows me and again says to go downstairs. Mr B wants to follow me, he comes back, his ticket is checked again. I have to give up on that agent as I fear the next minute she will arrest me and speak to a more sympathetic security person and ask her to direct me to the regular security line where there is only a short wait anyway. Later, we find that my Trusted traveler number is no longer on my profile, I re-entered it.
We head for the Amex Centurion lounge, they want to see out vaccination cards to enter, that was new from just three weeks before. The lounge was not busy but really noisy with several big groups, all heading to Vegas no doubt for Super Bowl weekend and Valentines. Yikes!
We arrived at the Four Seasons hotel about 12-30pm and our room was ready. We were able to secure a couples massage for later. This hotel is on the top five floors of the Mandalay Bay hotel and they share facilities like the swimming pool complex. Their is no casino here. To get to the casino in Mandalay, you take an elevator down to floor C where this is a small lobby with a door that leads you straight into the casino. This is also a short cut to the Strip. You need your room key to re-enter through this door. We booked a dinner reservation in the nearby Mandalay Bay.
We arrived a day early but there was a Tauck envelope with an introduction to our tour director, a 35 year Tauck veteran who joined Tauck on leaving college! The Welcome Reception was to be at 5-30pm.
The next day we went to the very good but compact aquarium in the Mandalay. Several types of large fish on display that we had not come across before and large turtles and a Komodo Dragon….maybe we can cancel our Singapore Bali trip now 😀 Senior admission was $27 and it takes about an hour to stroll around.
We have been to Vegas before. Tip, do not underestimate how long the Vegas Strip is, it’s very deceiving. We spent most of the afternoon walking around, first getting the short shuttle and then walking the remainder of the strip over several hours. We stopped at Eaterley for a large gelato, yummy. There are numerous places to eat and browse.
Last time we visited Vegas was when friends had an Elvis wedding. we stayed at the Bellagio, so we went in there to admire the Dale Chihuly glass ceiling, worth a stop. Everywhere was very busy including the homeless and plenty of showgirls in skimpy costume and tall feathered headdresses asking if you wanted your picture taken with them. We saw a guy have his picture with them and refusing to give them a tip, an argument ensued, time for a quick exit!
The Welcome dinner was in a private room, nicely presented, with both a portion of chicken and beef and the trimmings. There are 21 people on the tour, several Tauck newbies, a few that this is their second tour and then us and another couple who are Tauck veterans. The dinner was thoughtfully scheduled to finish at 8pm so that if people wanted to go to a Vegas show, they would have ample time to get there since most begin at 9-30pm.