My husband and I used to go to Biloxi a couple of times a year but had not been back since Katrina. I decided that I wanted to go there for my birthday on June 15. I enjoy reading trip reports on this forum but have noted that there are not as many posted as there used to me. So I am posting mine. I hope it is not too boring.
We had decided to fly to Biloxi instead of driving, since Allegiant started service from the Orlando-Sanford airport to Biloxi. The rate was only $49/each way. Departed Sanford on Friday at 5:00 (EDT) and arrived in Gulfport at 5:30 (CDT). The flight was smooth and uneventful. The Gulfport airport is undergoing a lot of renovation and was a real mess to say the least. I had a car reserved from Budget. After getting the keys, we had to go outside and find the car ourselves. There was no one manning the rental car lot outside.
Arrived at the Grand Casino and checked in. We received two nights at $89/night and the third night at no charge. We used to only stay at the IP, but I had not received any offers since Katrina. I was able to get the cheaper rate at the Grand because of my Total Rewards card. The Grand got the majority of my business, and we will most likely continue to stay at Harrah’s properties. I have a free room booked at Ballys in Las Vegas for September.
We were extremely pleased with the Grand. The rooms were very comfortable, and the bed and pillows were wonderful. Every staff member we encountered was very pleasant. I think they did a great job with the casino. It does not look at all like a temporary casino the way some of the others do. It looked like it had been there all along.
After checking in and throwing the luggage in the room, I was off to the casino. My husband likes to relax in the room and watch TV. I started on my favorite machine, “Triple Lucky 7” (quarter) and won $550 within a few minutes. I can’t remember everything I played but I did OK that first night. I cashed a few more tickets for around $100.
Headed to Boomtown for the breakfast buffet. This used to be our favorite breakfast place, but no more. The buffet was of poor quality, so we won’t eat there again. There are many, many slots at Boomtown, but I didn’t have good luck there. This is the only place where I found the Wheel of Fortune Super Spin. I loved this machine in Vegas, but it was only a penny there (or used to be). This one at Boomtown was a nickel. It really eats up the money. A twenty bill can go in a few minutes if you don’t hit a spin.
We then went to check out IP. The lobby is beautiful. They still have a great selection of slots. The first slot I tried was a Triple Double Moolah and won $417. I was really hoping this hot streak would continue. I slot-hopped a bit but didn’t have any more wins.
I played at the Grand the remainder of the day. We decided to eat at the Barbeque place at the Beau Rivage. We had trouble finding a parking spot (although we did only go up a few levels) and decided that it was too crowded so we just headed out of the garage. We next went to the Palace Casino. There wasn’t anyplace there to eat other than the buffet and the fancier restaurant, so we decided to go to Outback in D’Iberville. We arrived right after they opened and didn’t have to wait. The food was great, and our server was exceptional. Since every place was extremely crowded, we decided to stay in for the evening and watch a movie.
We ate breakfast at the Waffle House and then drove to the Silver Slipper. I really liked this place. They had a good selection of slots, and it just felt comfortable. I won some and lost some. It is really out in the boonies, though. On the way back, we stopped at the Island View. It was a nice place, but a little too crowded for us. Then on to the Treasure Bay. I know this is a temporary casino, and they had to make due with what they had, but this place was definitely the worst casino we went too. I didn’t feel comfortable in there, so we didn’t stay long. Plus, they are working on the parking lot and building, and it is really a construction site. I know they are making a lot of improvements, so we will definitely check it out next time.
We decided to go to the Isle of Capri to check out the dining options. We opted for the buffet, but it was a waste of our money. We paid around $40 for two of us, and probably ate about $5 worth of food. They had a lot of seafood. We are not seafood lovers, so it was hard to find anything else to eat. There was a very limited selection of vegetables and desserts.
We ate breakfast at the Grand’s buffet. It was very good and well worth the money. After breakfast, we headed to the Beau. I played there for about an hour. We checked out of the Grand around 12:30. Since our plane wasn’t scheduled to leave until 5:00, we decided to spend some more time at Boomtown. I immediately lost $80 in the WOF big wheel but was able to get some of it back from the other slots.
We arrived at the airport and found the rental car return lot. However, I was surprised to see that no one was there to check the cars in. I went to the counter inside. There was no one at the counter, but I called out, and a young man appeared. I gave him the keys and told them where the car was parked. He asked me what my fax number was. He said their computer was down, so they would have to fax me a receipt. It took several days and more calls to them, but finally the charge appeared on my credit card. It was only $74 (with a day free coupon) but we never did get the receipt. We headed over to the Allegiant counter. They didn’t have a computer, so everything was being done manually. The clerk checked our names off of a list, and then was assigning seats from a schematic. They then gave us pre-printed boarding passes with the seat number handwritten on the form. We wanted to sit on the side of the plane that has two seats. She said they only thing they had available was the last row. Mind you we were there more than 2 hours prior to departure time. I was about to object to this, but my husband told her those seats were OK (grrrr). The plane was late due to weather. We were scheduled to depart at 6:05 but didn’t leave until about 7:00. I was really miserable sitting in the last row. I noticed that there were still multiple rows that had both seats on that side of the aisle available. However, before I could ask about them, the flight attendant had let other people move around.
After we got back home, my husband noticed that his camera was missing. He had packed it in his check-on bag. He called the airport the next morning, and the gentleman said that unfortunately, they have no surveillance cameras now. My husband told him he just wanted them to be aware that one of their employees was stealing. A couple of other people from the Gulfport airport called to follow up and told him to contact Allegiant. I sent them a letter but don’t expect to hear from them.
Our next trip is Las Vegas in September, but we’ll definitely go back to Biloxi toward the end of the year or beginning of next year. After two years, there is so much that is still in ruins, that it is hard to imagine what it looked like right after Katrina. My heart goes out to all the people who were affected. I’m looking forward to see the changes that are coming.