We just returned from a national convention in Vegas and spent 5 nights at the Paris Hotel and Casino. Do you know that you can almost go on a premium deluxe cruise or a romantic and picturesque river cruise through Europe for about the same amount as a trip to Las Vegas will cost you? If it’s been a while since you’ve been to Vegas it has changed! It’s not like the good old days when there were lots of bargains; those days are gone. You will no longer find $59 per night luxury hotel rooms, or all you can eat steak and lobster buffets for just $8.99. Since Las Vegas has welcomed the culinary invasion of Chefs like Wolfgang Puck, Emeril, Bobby Flay, Gordon Ramsey and others, the prices in Vegas have sky rocketed. These days you will have to look long and hard to find a basic dinner buffet for under $33.99 per person.
I have attached a copy of our breakfast receipt. You will see that my wife and I did not over indulge. We each had a cup of coffee and a glass of juice. We shared one croissant. Lanette had a quiche and I had the Skinny du Jour which was a crepe with fresh berries and crème – that’s it – and it cost over $60 with a tip for just 2 people. So it’s VERY easy to spend over $30 per person for breakfast for a very average size breakfast. Dinner at Roy’s was supposed to be less expensive since we decided to eat off the strip that night. A cocktail was almost $11 each; the “canoe for two” at almost $27 was an appetizer plate. My Roy’s Trio was a very small sampling of three different fish portions and we split one dessert. Again, almost $85 per person by the time we paid a tip.
I hate going on vacation constantly budgeting every drink, beer, and menu item that I eat and drink throughout the day with the fear of what my bill will be at the end of my vacation. Vacations are supposed to be stress free…not stressful !!!
Let’s be honest, if you’re going to entertain yourself in Vegas you will have to purchase expensive excursions to the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, or spend lots of money on admission fees, cover charges to clubs, gambling and shows. And good luck finding a decent show for under $75 per ticket. A good seat (I stress the word “good”), will cost $125-$300 for shows like Blue Man Group, “O”, Elton John, Celine Dion, Jersey Boys, etc.
For those of you who say you can drink for free in Vegas, are you really drinking for free when you’re sitting on a stool pouring money into a machine?
So if you think a trip to Europe on an upscale line is too much money and a trip to Vegas is cheap you are wrong! I included a spreadsheet table below that will provide you with a comparison. Now I will admit that airfare to Europe will cost more money than a trip to Vegas but that’s about the only benefit Vegas has over Europe, in my honest opinion.
Lets’ be honest here. When you are on vacation you want to let your hair down, relax and enjoy yourself. You won’t enjoy yourself that much if you’re constantly watching every dollar you’re spending, or limiting yourself on drinks, sightseeing options, shows, etc.
So I encourage you to expand your horizons the next time you’re planning on taking a vacation.
|Las Vegas||River Cruise||Azamara||Oceania||Regent||Crystal|
|Hotel w/ taxes||$176 or $88 p.p.||$399 p.p.||$408 p.p.||$335 p.p.||$757 p.p.||$393 p.p.|
|Places you will visit in a week||1||4 to 6||4 to 6||4 to 6||4 to 6||4 to 6|
|Evening club entrance fees||$30 p.p.||included||included||included||included||included|
|Room service||$$$ additional||n/a||included||included||included||included|
|estimated beverage costs||$44 p.p.||mostly included||included||$44 p.p.||included||included|
|Bottled water, soft drinks, specialty coffees and teas||additional||included||included||included||included||included|
|Tours||additional||included||$100 p.p.||$100 p.p.||included||$100 p.p.|
|Gratuities||additional||$15 p.p.||included||included on most voyages||included||included|
|Price per person / per day||$450 -$500 +++||$414||$508 +||$479 +||$757||$493 +|
|Estimated beverage cost is based on 4 alcoholic drinks at an avg. of $9 each, and 4 sodas at $2 each|
|River cruise based on AmaDolce on April 13-Tulip cruise|
|Azamara based on oceanview on Quest on April 30-Med cruise|
|Oceania based on oceanview on Insignia on May 15-Med cruise|
|Regent based on balcony on May 12-Med cruise|