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Amtrak Roomette For Daytime Trips  
User currently offlineSW733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6323 posts, RR: 9
Posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 10051 times:

Hi, All:

My fiance and I are taking our first Amtrak trip, to Chicago for Thanksgiving to see my family. We already have coach seat tickets, but I considered bumping us up to a roomette for one leg of the trip (the return) for $119. We start in mid-afternoon (3pm or so) and reach our destination by 10:15pm or so.

Is the roomette worth it for a daytime trip? I understand the extra privacy, and that dinner would be included, but still...is it worth $119 without actually using it for sleep? I know there are some frequent Amtrak travelers on here who would know better than me!

Thanks in advance.

14 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineRICBWI From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 86 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 9999 times:

Hey there!

I just got off of a train adventure on Amtrak. Took the Southwest Chief from Chicago to Albuquerque and then the Texas Eagle/Capitol Limited from San Antonio to Washington via Chicago.

Unless you plan on sleeping during the day, personally, I never get the sleeper for day trips. As I'm sure you know there is a sightseer lounge car where you can hang during the day and that is where I typically spend most of time. As you said, aside from the privacy and meals I don't see a reason to do so.

The sleeper you can only see out one side and as one who likes to see the scenery I would the lounge car which as coach customers you have access to.

Where are you traveling from?


User currently offlineSW733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6323 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 9995 times:

Quoting RICBWI (Reply 1):
The sleeper you can only see out one side and as one who likes to see the scenery I would the lounge car which as coach customers you have access to.

Where are you traveling from?

These are good points. We're doing Kansas City to Chicago roundtrip, so there honestly isn't much to see anyways...


User currently offlinehOMSAr From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 1183 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 9879 times:

If you think you might enjoy the privacy, then definitely do it.


I was raised by a cup of coffee.
User currently offlinePs76 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 9812 times:

Hi!

It looks really nice:

http://www.nonstopawesomeness.me/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/roomette.jpg

I think if you like being alone and have the money it seems like it might be money well spent. If it includes meals then even better. You have a window all to yourselves which you can sit and stare out of for hours.

Also I don't know how crowded Amtrak trains get but from the little I heard they aren't the most popular form of getting around in the US. So if the usual coach is empty and quiet that would be fine too.

Just out of curiosity I was wondering why you were only considering the roomette for the journey back. Is it more expensive for the journey there or do you not want to pay both ways?

Anyway whatever you choose I'm sure it will be a cool trip. If you're feeling generous please write us a trip report!

Many thanks,

P.


User currently offlinegemuser From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 5659 posts, RR: 6
Reply 5, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 9765 times:

One additional point to consider. I assume your are on the Southwest Chief? This means Superliner equipment. There is NO room in a roomette for any suitcases. If your fiance is anything like Mrs Gemuser (versions 1 or 2) you will have at least one suite case for such a visit. You either have to check baggage (which you can do between Chicago & KC) or leave it in the open baggage area on the lower level.

I have booked an extensive trip of the USA on Amtrak in September & October this year and queried Amtrak on the baggage situation in roomettes, this is part of their reply:
SUPERLINER ROOMETTE
- ROOM WILL NOT ACCOMMODATE STANDARD SIZE SUITCASES, TWO SMALL TOTE TYPE BAGS WILL FIT UNDER THE SEATS. THERE IS A LUGGAGE STORAGE AREA ON THE LOWER LEVEL.

Just as extra info, if you ever head east from Chicago on Viewliner equipment, the situation is even worse:
VIEWLINER SLEEPING CARS, USED ON EASTERN SINGLE-LEVEL TRAINS (19/20, 48/49, 50/51, 89/90, 91/92, 97/98, 448/449) HAVE NO STORAGE OF ANY KIND OUTSIDE THE INDIVIDUAL ROOMS. UNLIKE SUPERLINER SLEEPERS, THERE AREN'T ANY SHELVES NEAR THE EXITS WHERE PASSENGERS AND OLD: Guangzhou - Baiyun (CAN / ZGGG) (closed), China">CAN STORE EXTRA SUITCASES OR OTHER ITEMS. AT Macedonian Airlines (Greece)">IN THE ROOMS THEMSELVES, THERE IS NO ROOM AT ALL FOR ANYTHING OTHER THAN A COUPLE OF SMALL CARRY-ON BAGS, AND ALMOST NOTHING WILL FIT UNDER THE SEATS. TAKE ON BOARD ONLY THE ABSOLUTE MINIMUM AND CHECK EVERYTHING ELSE.

I will never understand the USA's preference for longitudinal sleeper cabins!
Hope this is a useful data point.

Gemuser



DC23468910;B72172273373G73873H74374475275376377L77W;A319 320321332333343;BAe146;C402;DHC6;F27;L188;MD80MD85
User currently offlineSW733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6323 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 9753 times:

Quoting Ps76 (Reply 4):
Just out of curiosity I was wondering why you were only considering the roomette for the journey back. Is it more expensive for the journey there or do you not want to pay both ways?

It's the same price each way, but I didn't feel like spending $119 x 2. The way back goes through dinner time, so the meal would be more substantial (for the same price) as the lunch it would cover on the way out. I'm...frugal...with my money  
Quoting gemuser (Reply 5):
One additional point to consider. I assume your are on the Southwest Chief? This means Superliner equipment. There is NO room in a roomette for any suitcases.

Good to know! That could be a pain. And we're actually going to/from Naperville, not Chicago itself, so there isn't checked luggage available out of Naperville.


I think we might stick to the coach seats and keep the $119 for the wedding or honeymoon  

Thanks, everyone!


User currently offlinehOMSAr From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 1183 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 9737 times:

Quoting Ps76 (Reply 4):

Also I don't know how crowded Amtrak trains get but from the little I heard they aren't the most popular form of getting around in the US. So if the usual coach is empty and quiet that would be fine too.

Trains aren't "the most popular" way to travel in the US in part because there are so few of them available, and the distances covered are quite large. But that doesn't mean the trains that do run are empty. Especially during the holidays (such as when the OP is traveling), the trains are going to be quite full.



I was raised by a cup of coffee.
User currently offlineBraniff747SP From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 2982 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 9691 times:

It looks like you'll be on the Southwest Chief, operated with Superliner equipment. Coach is quite comfortable--I've done overnights just fine. Sleeper, naturally, is always better--but if you don't want to spend money, there is no reason to have it on a daytrip. On an overnight, it's much better--if you can spend the money, you should. Keep in mind that meals are included in the diner if you in Sleeper. Eating on the train is not that expensive, but it's not the cheapest thing; sometimes it's worth an upgrade just because of the included meals.


The 747 will always be the TRUE queen of the skies!
User currently offline747400sp From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3615 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 9680 times:

I say, take it. I love riding on Amtrak, but the train rides are very long, and you going to wish that you had that bed to take a nap in. Just my   

User currently offlineSW733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6323 posts, RR: 9
Reply 10, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 9672 times:

I think we'll just throw some movies on the iPad, grab some snacks, sneak off to the cafe if need be, and enjoy the extra $119. Perhaps I'll change my mind later but for now...I think we'll stick to coach seats.

User currently offlinetype-rated From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 5033 posts, RR: 19
Reply 11, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 9661 times:

In another thread I mentioned I worked as a Customer Service agent for Amtrak at CUS in the early days of Amtrak.

That picture looks more like what we called a bedroom back then. At the time there were no Superliners or Viewliners. All they had was a mish-mash of leftover rolling passenger stock from all the railroads participating in Amtrak. Back then a roomette was just a room with one seat for one person and that was it. When you lowered the bed from the wall, it took up all of the room. But at least up on the wall opposite the seat was a rack where you could put a full sized suitcase.

Knowing this, I remember a woman who took the Super Chief fom CUS to Los Angeles with two Great Dane dogs in a roomette. Can you imagine that one? Especially considering that the train cars at the time often had failing air conditioning systems and were usually built around WWII or the fifties at best.

And at the time CUS itself wasn't air conditioned. On hot days all the ticket agents and CS agents would be just dripping in sweat.
In the summer I'd frequently leave there with my underwear soaked from sweating all day long.



Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
User currently offlineglid4500 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 587 posts, RR: 7
Reply 12, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 9611 times:

from Kansas City to Chicago, I think you would be served breakfast and lunch instead of dinner.

Ive taken the Southwest Chief from LA to Chicago many times. Each time ive gotten the roomette, on an 8hr journey, I suggest getting a roomette. You can always go car to car and check out the sightseeing lounge. Although coach is equally comfortable, you may /may not get a chance to sit next to your significant other ...since they do assign seat numbers ( well at least from L.A. ). If you do get the roomette, theres a couple things to know

-Good for catching up on sleep and privacy.
-Complimentary newspapers, bottle waters, unlimited juice ( apple, orange, and cranberry ), coffee, and ice on the upper level
-Rooms are good if you have a small bag or personal items. If you have larger suitcases, you may bring them on board the car, BUT you would have to place them in the luggage racks lower level next to entry doors. You can check them in with the station agent in KCY ( Kansas City ).
-Prior to arrival in Chicago, the car attendant will come around to each room and make sure the beds are made up



http://www.facebook.com/ea90744
User currently offlineBraniff747SP From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 2982 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 9607 times:

Quoting glid4500 (Reply 12):
Ive taken the Southwest Chief from LA to Chicago many times. Each time ive gotten the roomette, on an 8hr journey, I suggest getting a roomette. You can always go car to car and check out the sightseeing lounge. Although coach is equally comfortable, you may /may not get a chance to sit next to your significant other ...since they do assign seat numbers ( well at least from L.A. ). If you do get the roomette, theres a couple things to know

Due to the way Amtrak runs their trains, if you bought tickets under one reservation you're likely to be able to sit next to each other.



The 747 will always be the TRUE queen of the skies!
User currently offlineBraniff747SP From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 2982 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 9513 times:

I forgot to add--if you want to see what your train will be like, the accomodations, etc., here is an excellent 'virtual tour': http://tour.amtraktrains.com/


The 747 will always be the TRUE queen of the skies!
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