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Old Jul 1, 13, 10:42 am   #1
 
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Amtrak Viewliner Roomette Trip Report: Silver Meteor 98 CHS-NYP

Took a pretty fun trip a few months ago on Amtrak--great way to travel. Hope someone enjoys reading!

If anyone is interested, there's a good bit more detail, pictures and maps at our blog: http://www.weekendblitz.com/amtrak-s...-penn-station/


AMTRAK SILVER METEOR TRAIN #98 -- ROOMETTE SLEEPER CAR SERVICE:

I looked up the train schedule and found that the Amtrak Silver Meteor #98 was running 45-60 mins late which meant that we might have a chance to make it. I told McCown to run home, pack a bag and meet me in 1 hour. I hurried back to my computer, transferred the 15,000 Chase Sapphire points to my Amtrak Guest Rewards account and quickly called Amtrak to book. I was working under the impression that you had to make reservations no later than 60 mins prior to scheduled departure time (9:23PM in our case). OK, so now we’re cutting it really close. I still can’t say for sure if that limit is myth or fact but I got everything booked around 8:21PM. We booked it to the train station and arrived with just a few minutes to spare before boarding the sleeper car.




These long-distance sleeper trains are configured with 3 sleeper cars. Each sleeper has 3 rooms & 12 “roomettes,” for a grand total of up to 45 rooms available per trip. Even with this in mind, the rooms often sell out!


We were greeted by our car’s attendant. It is his job to see to the comfort of all guests in his section. We received excellent service from our very attentive attendant.




A "roomette" is literally just that-- a small cabin about the width of 2 seats. It's literally just long enough for a 6 foot tall person to stretch out on a bed and can be somewhat cramped. It's great for having more privacy than the main cabin since you're able to completely close the blinds and door, secluding yourself from the other passengers on the train. Don't plan on bringing much luggage into these rooms-- there's just enough room for each passenger to have a carry-on sized bag but no bigger. You'll either have to check larger luggage or ask the attendant if there is other communal luggage storage.




Since we boarded the train around 10:15pm, the car attendant gave us just a few minutes to settle in but didn't waste much time before asking us if we were ready for him to make the beds. I put him off a bit but it seemed as if he was ready to make the conversion. So, we took a quick walk to the dining car and explored the other cars and, about 10 minutes later, our room had been transformed.


The most awkward thing about the roomettes, by far, is the toilet/sink combo in the room. This makes for a pretty gross experience. And, the terrible news is that the nearest public restroom is in the coach car which in our case was 4 to 5 cars away. Makes for a pretty annoying walk just to use the restroom. We found ourselves sneaking into the empty sleeper rooms or other roomettes whenever possible.


The all-in-one sink/water/toilet...sexy

After a surprisingly good night's sleep, we woke up somewhere between Baltimore and Washington and headed over to the dining car.


When you're traveling in one of the sleeper compartments, all meals are included --up to 3x a day, depending upon your boarding and departure times. In our case, we boarded at 10:15pm (well after the dinner hour), had breakfast and then arrived in New York by 11:30am (well before the lunch hour) so just 1 meal for us. The good news is that the sleep cabins always get priority seating but they cram people in 4 to a table, so be ready to make small talk with your table mate. We found the food to be much, much tastier than airplane food!


After the dining service, we had just a few more hours left and arrived at New York Penn Station at 10:59am--about 30 minutes ahead of schedule! And, just like that we were already in the city well before our scheduled arrival time--the airlines can't compete with that!


BOTTOM LINE: For just 15k Chase Ultimate Rewards points, we had an excellent experience aboard Amtrak's Viewliner Roomette. We slept very well, had great service from the attendant, waiter and kitchen staff--and made it to NYC all before our scheduled arrival time.
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Old Jul 1, 13, 10:56 am   #2
 
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Thanks for sharing the highlights of your time on the Meteor and the pics! I always have a great time traveling to and from Florida on the Silvers.
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Old Jul 1, 13, 1:21 pm   #3
 
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Smile Silver Meteor Trip Report!

Glad ya'll enjoyed the trip! Based on this I'd guess ya'll will be planning more Amtrak Trips in the Future! Riding West on a Superliner is a Great Experience, hope y'all get to do it soon !
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Old Jul 2, 13, 7:05 am   #4
 
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Nice trip report...I'll be doing something similar later this year.

Although, I have to say, this sounds uncool...
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Originally Posted by jmgriffin View Post
We found ourselves sneaking into the empty sleeper rooms or other roomettes whenever possible.
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Old Jul 2, 13, 11:37 am   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATXEagle View Post
Thanks for sharing the highlights of your time on the Meteor and the pics! I always have a great time traveling to and from Florida on the Silvers.
Thanks, glad you enjoyed it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bitburgr View Post
Nice trip report...I'll be doing something similar later this year.

Although, I have to say, this sounds uncool...
"We found ourselves sneaking into the empty sleeper rooms or other roomettes whenever possible."
Ehh, I mean if there's an empty sleeper room, it has its own dedicated bathroom so me using it before you board shouldn't really make a difference if I was staying in there or just visiting. Either way it sounds like the new Sleeper cars will have just a sink in the roomettes with 2 communal restrooms in the car.
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Old Jul 3, 13, 7:22 am   #6
 
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Originally Posted by jmgriffin View Post
Thanks, glad you enjoyed it!



Ehh, I mean if there's an empty sleeper room, it has its own dedicated bathroom so me using it before you board shouldn't really make a difference if I was staying in there or just visiting. Either way it sounds like the new Sleeper cars will have just a sink in the roomettes with 2 communal restrooms in the car.
If the room is unoccupied, it's probably not getting turned over before the next guest.

You missing the mark while standing on a moving train and spraying the blanket or seat (that won't be changed/cleaned before the next guest) would make a difference. I probably wouldn't want to board my otherwise clean room and find a bunch of streaks in the bowl either.

But yeah I cant imagine why anyone thought this design was ever preferable to actual standalone restrooms.
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Old Jul 3, 13, 2:26 pm   #7
 
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Originally Posted by ne52 View Post
If the room is unoccupied, it's probably not getting turned over before the next guest.

You missing the mark while standing on a moving train and spraying the blanket or seat (that won't be changed/cleaned before the next guest) would make a difference. I probably wouldn't want to board my otherwise clean room and find a bunch of streaks in the bowl either.

But yeah I cant imagine why anyone thought this design was ever preferable to actual standalone restrooms.
I think the design is a legacy from when roomettes were single person only compartments days (pre-Amtrak).
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Old Jul 3, 13, 2:32 pm   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ne52 View Post
If the room is unoccupied, it's probably not getting turned over before the next guest.

You missing the mark while standing on a moving train and spraying the blanket or seat (that won't be changed/cleaned before the next guest) would make a difference. I probably wouldn't want to board my otherwise clean room and find a bunch of streaks in the bowl either.


ne52 is right... not a very courteous idea to use the toilets in unoccupied rooms! The rooms are made up at the beginning of the trip for passengers boarding downline.
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Old Jul 3, 13, 5:39 pm   #9
 
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Originally Posted by You want to go where? View Post
I think the design is a legacy from when roomettes were single person only compartments days (pre-Amtrak).
That would make a lot of sense.

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Originally Posted by AGR Insider View Post


ne52 is right... not a very courteous idea to use the toilets in unoccupied rooms! The rooms are made up at the beginning of the trip for passengers boarding downline.
Ok, ok. Point taken. In our defense we mostly "snuck" into already vacated, not yet remade rooms. Lesson learned for next time!
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Old Jul 3, 13, 9:41 pm   #10
 
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I think the design is a legacy from when roomettes were single person only compartments days (pre-Amtrak).
Actually, I think that they are a legacy of the pre-Amtrak Slumbercoach double, which had two beds and one unenclosed toilet. As opposed to the Slumbercoach single, where you sat conveniently facing your toilet.
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Old Jul 5, 13, 7:08 am   #11
 
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Actually, I think that they are a legacy of the pre-Amtrak Slumbercoach double, which had two beds and one unenclosed toilet. As opposed to the Slumbercoach single, where you sat conveniently facing your toilet.
You may be right. I only traveled sleeper from Washington to New York on pre-Amtrak built (but Amtrak-operated) cars. They may well have been slumbercoaches, but I don't think that term was used by Amtrak. It was a great service - Left Washington at 10:00pm and arrived in New York at 3:00am. You could stay in the car until 8:00am. They killed it, not long before they killed WAS-BOS sleeper service.

Last edited by You want to go where?; Jul 5, 13 at 7:15 am.
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Old Jul 17, 13, 4:32 pm   #12
 
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Congrats jmgriffin on the pickup by the official Amtrak blog!
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Old Jul 20, 13, 10:47 am   #13
 
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Took a pretty fun trip a few months ago on Amtrak--great way to travel. Hope someone enjoys reading!



The all-in-one sink/water/toilet...sexy

Cute blog! I enjoyed reading your other blog entries too.

For the benefit of readers who may not realize, please note the sink is not meant to be used as a toilet. Ewww!
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Old Jul 21, 13, 4:19 pm   #14
 
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Congrats jmgriffin on the pickup by the official Amtrak blog!
Thanks! We were excited to participate!

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Originally Posted by Globehopper View Post
Took a pretty fun trip a few months ago on Amtrak--great way to travel. Hope someone enjoys reading!



The all-in-one sink/water/toilet...sexy

Cute blog! I enjoyed reading your other blog entries too.

For the benefit of readers who may not realize, please note the sink is not meant to be used as a toilet. Ewww!
Glad you enjoyed the blog! Yeah, I exaggerated a bit with that picture, the toilet is actually under the sink--still an interesting setup to say the least.
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Old Jul 22, 13, 1:26 pm   #15
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Originally Posted by jmgriffin View Post
Thanks! We were excited to participate!



Glad you enjoyed the blog! Yeah, I exaggerated a bit with that picture, the toilet is actually under the sink--still an interesting setup to say the least.
It is funny, though, how much the shape of that sink does look like a toilet bowl...
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