You need a kid to get into the Mandalay Pools. A kid (and/or a hotel room key) is required to get you through the turnstile and into a water world you've never seen before--and might not want to see again if you're the shade loving, book reading relax by the pool type. There is no relaxing here.
NOT AT THE LAZY RIVER...
where you float around in inner tubes and bump into each other for fun.
NOT ON THE LOUNGE CHAIRS LINED UP INCHES APART ON THE BLISTERING SANDY BEACH
and all spoken for by 8:01 AM with no chairs allowed to be reserved by leaving your stuff before you go to breakfast. Any chair left up occupied for longer than a half hour will be cleared. There's a sign. This rule forced us to rent a cabana each day, (Honey and I need shade--me having had radiation therapy etc.), which cut deeply into our gambling allowance--so deeply,we didn't.
NOT AT THE WAVE POOL WHERE THE WAVES ROLL INTO AND CRASH THE SHORE EVERY EIGHT MINUTES.
We had to walk pretty fast not to get drenched while crossing to the far side to cabana #10. I never made it. I did make it into the deep end of the wave pool with an assist from my son; and I gotta say, I was getting ready to belly surf with the rest of the kids. I didn't though. I didn't want to chance the unexpected drop off that was bruising my grandkids. So I taught a light boy to do the dead man's float.
IN THE CABANA, WE COULD RELAX IN SEMI-SHADE--AND WATCH TV--AND DRINK WINE OR BEER (EXTRA OF COURSE)--OR THE WATER AND SODAS THAT CAME WITH THE RENT ALONG WITH MANY TOWELS.
Cabana #10 was strategically located to the rest rooms I might add. Important. The sand and the pavement was incredibly hot in 100 plus degrees. I was most appreciative of this gift of comfort at the pool from our California son and his incredible wife who brought along trail mix and nuts and cut-up melon. She really put out a spread.
The rooms in THE Hotel were wonderful--beautiful. We had adjoining suites, which I thought was extremely lucky in a thousand room, small-for-Vegas-big-nonetheless hotel. Every morning at five (it was really eight for us Easterners), we'd open the common door and we'd sit around chatting and bantering and being a family while the adults drank coffee from the Krups machine in the room, from Starbucks in the adjacent mall,or from the coffee bar downstairs and the kids watched their cartoons on the plasma TV. I liked these quiet hours together best. They were especially special because my son and grandson from Michigan surprised us and came as well. Sitting around together in the early hours of the morning before breakfast followed by the miles long trek to the pools was the best part of the trip.