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A Vacation to New Orleans – Gambling With An Edge

This yr, Caesars Leisure merged with Eldorado. I have 7 Stars status at Caesars and haven’t performed at any Eldorado property for numerous several years. 

Since of the pandemic, I performed not at all at Caesars in 2020. My 7 Stars standing was extended to January 1, 2022, and any 7 Stars unused added benefits that would normally expire in 2020 could be applied in 2021. This was extremely generous of Caesars/Eldorado.  

I believe since they uncovered my identify in the Eldorado method, I was awarded numerous of my 7 Stars benefits 2 times — as soon as for my Caesars account and at the time for my Eldorado account, even while my Eldorado position experienced under no circumstances been really high and any unused advantages from there experienced lengthy given that expired.

The double rewards of most interest to me are a 7 Stars journey (a four night time remain at just about any property in the procedure, which include up to $1200 in airfare and $500 in food items credit history), and my normal five $100 Seven Stars Celebration dinners became 10 this sort of dinners. 

Bonnie and I had presently taken a person 7 Stars excursion (and performed adequate to maintain Seven Stars status through January 2023) when I found out I experienced the supplemental Seven Stars excursion in my delivers. Because we delight in New Orleans, but haven’t played there in rather a even though, we resolved to take our excursion to that certain Harrah’s from Thursday by way of Monday of Halloween weekend. 

There are a number of diverse techniques a house can award $500 in food stuff for the Seven Stars trip. Ordinarily, it is a make any difference of charging meals to your space and they just take off people charges at the stop. At Harrah’s New Orleans, it’s really a little bit different, and has been for a number of years. They simply include 50,000 Reward Credits to your account, and you can invest them wherever you want. If you don’t invest them all at New Orleans, no problem. They keep on your account as typical Reward Credits to be redeemed anytime you like.

I generally preferred this characteristic of Harrah’s New Orleans. They employed to have a seriously great Diamond Lounge in the Large Restrict area where by you could try to eat and consume for free every evening. It wasn’t gourmand food stuff, but just about every night the range was distinctive and it was suitable, abundant, and absolutely free. Each and every night there was a line to get in at 4 p.m. (or when it was that they opened), but if you had been Seven Stars, the line wasn’t too terrible.

The Diamond Lounge, renamed the Laurel Lounge, is absent now — alongside with the buffet. The home seems to be a great deal distinct than it did five many years back. However, we experienced $500 to devote on foods in excess of 4 times — alongside with many $100 Celebration dinners if we decided to go that route.

Sort of. 

We experienced $500 in food stuff if we went to the Steakhouse, which is the place the John Besh cafe applied to be. Together with a Starbucks-like coffee store in the resort lobby, these are the only locations in which 50,000 Reward Credits are really worth $500 due to the fact they demand 100 RCs for each $1 in food items. And, as is quite typical, but nowhere near universal in casino restaurants, the tax goes absent when you pay with your points.

For about 30 other dining establishments in the casino or fairly nearby, you can expend your Reward Credits at a fee of 200 RCs for every $1, this means our $500 food credit score is only value $250 if we expend it at individuals places. And at many of these, the tax does not go away. Some of the off-house dining establishments would take your Caesars card for payment, but others insisted you get a voucher from Harrah’s beforehand. No alter is specified if you get a $100 voucher (shelling out $200 worthy of of RCs) and the invoice only arrives to $87.

Need to you be a lover of Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in the lodge foyer, the level is 300 RCs per $1, so our $500 food credit score would only be truly worth $167 if we employed it there.

So to me, the technique was straightforward. Find something at the Steakhouse to try to eat. It’s a little bit expensive, but because a $50 food stuff product there charges as a lot of RCs as a $23 food items merchandise at a single of the other restaurants that include things like tax in the bill, it’s by considerably the most economical meal. It’s only open up at meal time, so we’d require to consume in other places previously in the day, but for dinners I built reservations for all four nights.

Sad to say, Bonnie was not outrageous about their food stuff on the initially evening. She found the gumbo a great deal way too spicy. (I liked it. Taking in the foodstuff is a massive purpose I take pleasure in New Orleans.) She needed to consume elsewhere where she could get “regular American food” instead than New Orleans delicacies. I advised a few other products on the Steakhouse menu that would most likely be really superior for her, but she was not interested in likely again.

We’re not small on resources. We can afford to consume anyplace and fork out retail. But continue to. Paraphrasing ol’ Ben Franklin, an RC saved is an RC earned! I didn’t want to make a Federal circumstance out of this. In any relationship, it is essential to pick your battles, and this a single was rather small improve. 

So we 1st seemed at nearby Gordon Biersch, Manning’s, and the Grand Isle. These are all on Fulton Street, significantly less than 100 yards from a lodge exit. Manning’s was closed when we checked at 3 p.m. Friday. We did not discover out right until the upcoming day that it opens at 5 p.m. on Fridays. Most of the food items at Grand Isle was fried (which is a no-no for us). So, Gordon Biersch it was. 

Bonnie suggested that she try to eat there, and I eat at the Steakhouse. This is an abnormal way for us to eat, but it labored wonderful. We traipsed all as a result of the French Quarter all through the times there. We danced to quite a few of the various jazz bands observed in the course of the Quarter. So we nevertheless experienced a holiday collectively, even though we ate independently on Friday evening. She experimented with Saturday night all over again at the Steakhouse, but was not any much more thrilled with it than she had been on Thursday. So, Sunday night, we ate alongside one another at Gordon Biersch.

It was a odd way to do matters, but it labored for us.

Other functions that ended up various from what we have been applied to had been masking and evidence of vaccination. The mayor of New Orleans lifted the mask-donning prerequisite on Friday, Oct 29, but Harrah’s casino (not the lodge) and a lot of of the institutions in the French Quarter expected proof of vaccination (or a recent PCR exam) just to get in the door. Perhaps other locations do the similar in New Orleans, but we didn’t undertaking out past the French Quarter. Fortuitously, I have a duplicate of our vaccination data on my cell mobile phone. It was not a problem for us, but it could have been for specific folks not organized for this.

A further intriguing part of the trip was we took the St. Charles avenue trolley (which is a bus for aspect of the journey now since of road building) west from Canal Street. This established us again 60 cents apiece each way mainly because we’re seniors and wandered for miles all through a huge swath of the metropolis. One message that was crystal clear is that Halloween is a vacation properly-celebrated in New Orleans. A substantial percentage of the porches and lawns had pumpkins, scarecrows, and other holiday getaway paraphernalia. Really cool!

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