Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Royal Caribbean Cruise

Su Dillon on 27 January 2006
Well the titles says it all..... First a 5 night stay in Las Vegas followed by 3 nights in LA where we picked up a cruise Royal Caribbean's Vision of the Seas and sailed to Mexico.

Ken and I absolutely LOVE - Las Vegas and if you've never been then I'd say it's somewhere that you need to see to believe it! The famous strip is I believe 4 miles long. We stayed at the Imperial Palace hotel. It is not on one of the most extravagant hotels but it has an excellent location on the strip and if you are simply using it as a base I would recommend it.

Sure Las Vegas is all about gambling - and that's where it originated from and where it gains it's income from - but the hotels themselves are like resorts and all have a different theme. To name just a few of my favourites - would be Ceasers Palace (home to all the famous boxing matches).... here statues of Roman gods - come to "life" every hour. The Venetian is stunning - and has gondolas sailing through the hotel, and the art work and decor is simply breathtaking. Paris - has of course a copy of the Eiffel tower and the hotel is lined with French cafes and designer shops. What else would be in front of the New York hotel but a copy of the Statue of Liberty, and then there's Luxor which is a Pyramid shaped hotel. I could go on - as the list is endless. If you do like to have a gamble then of course here you are spoilt for choice. Ken and I are big bingo fans here in the UK- so in Vegas we were in our element..... The prize money is staggering and yes we were very lucky! We also tried our hands in a Poker tournament just for the experience, and the most exhilarating game has to be craps. Not seen much in the UK, so we went along for lessons. The Craps table usually attracts a big crowd and there are at least 3 dealers per table, who actually help you and advise where to 'place your bets'. Again here we were very lucky as we followed of the "high-rollers" who just couldn't' seem to go wrong.

After an exhausting 5 nights in Las Vegas we had a 2 night stop in Los Angeles. Never having been before we spent the 2 days doing the whole "tourist" thing took in a guided tour and saw the famous HOLLYWOOD sign on the hill, the homes of the stars, and of course the hands and foot prints of celebrities. Looked on longingly when we went down Rodeo drive at all the very exclusive fashion shops (if you've ever seen Pretty Woman you'll know what I mean!) Unfortuantely a lot of it was closed off however as we'd timed it with Oscar week so the preparations for the big night took over.

The last leg of our trip was a 7 night cruise on Vision of the Seas. This was our first experience of a Royal Caribbean ship and we were very impressed. The standard on board was excellent, the cabin, food and service. The only comment is that the cruises are aimed mostly at the US market and the entertainment accordingly. We still enjoyed it immensely but it is very different to the UK sense of humour etc. Although there were some formal nights on-board the majority of guests did not dress accordingly and unfortunately it made us feel very out of place in our evening dress. The ports we visited were great - Puerto Vallerta, Cabo San Lucas and Mazatlan. Having done cruises before we opted for exploring on our own as opposed to organised tours and get to see and meet the locals and their way of life. We did however go on a organised horse ride in Cabo San Lucas which was amazing. We rode through the country like "real" cowboys - through streams, up mountains and along dusty roads. Ken and I are real novice horse riders but we always give it a go .... it will always stick in my mind that when I asked ken what his horse was called he said "Wwwooooooo" which I thought was a bit strange but i think he was just trying to get his horse to stop!!

If you ever get the chance - I would recommend all the above!