Las Vegas, Mexico Cruise & L.A. – February 2019

Thanks to JTA Travel I was fortunate to enjoy 3 Nights in Las Vegas, 3 Nights on board the Carnival Inspiration from Long Beach and a tour of LA on our last day.

I flew from London Heathrow to Las Vegas with Delta Airlines. After we checked in, we headed to the Upper Class Lounge at London Heathrow which is complimentary when booking Upper Class flights with Virgin Atlantic. This was a great start to the trip, very relaxed atmosphere with complimentary food and drink, here you can enjoy their signature cocktail: A Virgin Red Head.

While in Las Vegas we spent 3 nights at the newly refurbished Park MGM (Formerly the Monte Carlo). The hotel is located in the centre of the strip, opposite the T-Mobile ARENA which is a good base to explore the strip.

While we stayed in Vegas we paid a visit to a few different hotels:

MGM Grand: The biggest hotel in Las Vegas with over 5000 rooms and one of the biggest hotels in the world. It was refurbished in 2010/11. At this hotel they have a particular room type called the ‘Stay Well Grand King or Queen’. These rooms combine the latest in wellness technologies. They come with Stay Well Shower Infuser, Dawn Simulator Alarm Clock and Air Purification System plus more. It is also home to KA by Cirque du Soleil and Hakkasan Restaurant and Nightclub which is home to famous DJs.

New York, New York: A taste of the Big Apple in Las Vegas. The perfect hotel if you want a base to stay on the ‘The Strip’ for a reasonable price. Underneath the bedrooms you’ll find the casino ‘The Big Apple Arcade’, here you’ll also find a little bit of New York, cobbled streets lined with bars including an Irish Bar, restaurants and pizzerias.

Aria: Beautiful 5* hotel located in the middle of the strip set between the Bellagio and the Park MGM Grand. All rooms come with a tablet which controls the lighting, temperature, room reservations and more. If you are regular guest it will remember your preference from you last stay and will have them set up for when you next arrive.

The Venetian: Absolutely stunning as soon as you walk through the door, you may be in Vegas but you feel like you are in Venice. We had dinner at the Canaletto Restaurant which is located in St. Mark’s Square, the food was lovely! I would highly recommend paying a visit here.

While we were in Las Vegas we saw the famous sights the Little White Chapel, the famous Las Vegas sign and went to the top of the Stratosphere Tower, for the thrill seekers you’ll find here three rides:

Big Shot: One of the world’s highest amusement ride! It will shoot you 160 feet in the air a 45 miles per house as you overlook Las Vegas, 921 feet above the ground!

X Stream: Propels you 27 feet over the edge of the Stratosphere, after being shot over the edge you’ll dangle weightlessly over the Las Vegas strip before being pulled back and propelled forward again!

Insanity: A massive mechanical arm extending out 64 feet over the edge of the Stratosphere at a height of over 900 feet. Its spins you in the open air at over 40MPH!

I would highly recommend taking in some shows while you are in Las Vegas. We were lucky enough to see and meet Matt Goss he had a residency at 1OAK at The Mirage hotel. I would definitely recommend looking for a performer with a residency as the rooms are a lot smaller, it’s a really intimate setting. We also we saw The Beatles: LOVE by Cirque de Soleil at The Mirage. It’s amazing from start to finish with so many acrobatics you’ll be watching on the edge of your seat!

Down town Las Vegas is a must see.  Freemont Street was probably my favourite part of Las Vegas. Home of the Heart Attack Grill, where you’ll find the World Highest Calorie Burger (9982 Calories) they have weighing scales outside the restaurant so you can weigh yourself on the way in and out to see the damage and if you weigh over 350lbs you eat for FREE. It is also home to ‘Slotzilla’. A Zipline which is 7 stories up and a Zoomline, 11 stories where you fly through the air like Superman and takes you 5 blocks long. It’s also worth taking a trip here at night so you can catch the light show.

We went on a Foodie Tour while we were there, with Lip Smacking Foodie Tours which went to three different restaurants in the Downtown Area: Carson Kitchen, Therapy and Carson and 7th. The food at all three places was amazing. Therapy was my favourite restaurant and their Chicken and Red Velvet Waffle Slider was delicious!

After three fantastic nights in Las Vegas we flew with Alaskan Airlines into LAX to meet the Carnival Inspiration at Long Beach Port to go over to Ensenada in Mexico for the day.

The ship has great amenities with lots of restaurants and bars. BlueIguana Cantina, home of freshly stuffed tacos and burritos. Or if you’re in the burger mood, try Guy’s Burger Joint. For the adults, there’s RedFrog Rum Bar, BlueIguana Tequila Bar, plus the borderline-magical Alchemy Bar.

We found ourselves most evenings in the Piano Bar, where there is a live singer who sings requests and you can even join in with him.

For the children they have the Carnival WaterWorks, they have two waterslides and for the adults they have the Serenity Adults Only Retreat.

After disembarking the cruise, we finished our trip with a day tour of LA with Hollywood Sightseeing Tours. Our tour included seeing the following highlights:

Stars’ homes such as Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley and more. The Hollywood Walk of Fame and Famous Chinese Theatre. The Griffith Observatory and the Hollywood Sign. The amazing Rodeo Drive lined with all the designer shops you could wish for including Harry Winston and Louis Vuitton. We finished our tour at Santa Monica Pier, the end of Route 66.

Overall, it was a fantastic trip! For more information on Las Vegas, Carnival Cruises and Los Angeles contact sophie.keay@holidaylounge.co.uk or call 01455 233935