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Old Sep 19, 05, 7:43 pm   #1
 
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Roomette vs Bedroom - is it worth the upgrade?

I am planning a long trip, and I am just curious, what do people think about the roomette compared to the bedroom? Is the bedroom that much better than the roomette? WHich do you prefer, and why? I would love to hear people's opinions!
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Old Sep 20, 05, 9:19 am   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Train McGhee
I am planning a long trip, and I am just curious, what do people think about the roomette compared to the bedroom? Is the bedroom that much better than the roomette? WHich do you prefer, and why? I would love to hear people's opinions!
I have not used a regular bedroom, only a handicapped bedroom, so I can only compare a roomette to a handicapped bedroom.

One difference is the amount of room afforded to the traveler. In a roomettte, there are 2 across the car, with the passenger asile in between. Each bedroom is basically 3/4 of the car wide, with the asile on the side of the car.

In the roomette, you have two seats facing each other, with a table in between, during the day. At night, the table folds into the wall (this can also be done during the day if you don't want a table), the two seats fold together, and this becomes the lower berth. The upper berth lowers from the ceiling.

In the bedroom, you have a long seat (2 or 3 people wide) and a folding table next to the window, during the day. At night, the table folds out of the way and the seat folds down to become the lower berth. again the upper berth folds down from the ceiling.

I think that some bedrooms have a folding wall in between that can be opened. So if you get 2 of these, the bedroom can become a "suite" for a family.

The sleeping car attendant will change your seats into beds upon request. If convenient (late enough), I have asked this to be done while I'm at dinner. It is usually done by the time I get back!

To get into the upper berth, the traveler has to climb a ladder.

In a viewliner (single level - mostly east of Chicago) roomette (and I think beedrooms too), there is a window for the upper berth traveler, so s/he can look out at night. The superliner (bi-level - mostly west of Chicago) does not have the upper berth window.

The position of the berths require you to sleep (in relation to the train or car):

In a roomette = front to back
In a bedroom = side to side

The bedroom also has an in-room bathroom and (I think) shower in the bathroom. The roomette does not have either in the room. On a viewliner, there is a restroom and (I think) shower at the end of the car. On a superliner, the bathrooms (3 or 4 I think) on the lower level of the car.

If I have a choice, and cost in no object, I would chose the bedroom. But bedrooms cost much more. So I usually go for the roomette. For the savings, I can walk to the end of the car for the rest room.
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Old Sep 20, 05, 9:28 am   #3
 
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I had a bedroom on the Coast Starlight.. and when we walked through other cars to get to the dining car, we had a chance to peek in and see the roomettes.

They look cozy for one person.. two people might be a bit crowded for an overnight trip. Basically there's no additional space beyond the doorway. A convertible closet, I suppose.

If you're going by yourself, a roomette is sufficient.. if it's more than one person, I would go for the bedroom.

Another advantage of having a bedroom is the private toilet. Don't count on your fellow passengers to have ..um.. good toilet manners.
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Old Sep 20, 05, 9:40 am   #4
 
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As said above, the roomette is "cozy." If you're travelling alone, the roomette is just fine, especially considering how much the larger rooms cost. I've travelled quite some distance in roomettes, always alone, and always been perfectly comfortable.

If you're with a companion, then the roomette might still be fine, but it will be "cozy." Remember, though, it's a train and you can always get up and walk around--or spend your time in the cafe car/observation car/whatever.
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Old Sep 20, 05, 7:28 pm   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by izzik
Another advantage of having a bedroom is the private toilet. Don't count on your fellow passengers to have ..um.. good toilet manners.
Each Viewliner roomette has its own private toilet, sink, and vanity. (Some say that this is awkward when traveling with two people, but it's not a big deal to send the other person out of the room if it matters that much.) Viewliners have no common restrooms.

Attendants on Superliner sleepers will keep the restrooms tidy if they're doing their job correctly. There are also far fewer pax than in coach to trash them.

I've never had a problem having a travel companion in a roomette, be they friend, family, or s/o. It really depends on your comfort zone.

I would say that it's generally not worth it to take a bedroom; the extra spend tends to be huge. I've only traveled in bedrooms under three circumstances: on someone else's dime, on an AGR award, or an op-up.
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Old Sep 21, 05, 10:03 am   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoAmtrak
Each Viewliner roomette has its own private toilet, sink, and vanity. (Some say that this is awkward when traveling with two people, but it's not a big deal to send the other person out of the room if it matters that much.) Viewliners have no common restrooms.
I've never taken a viewliner roomette, so I didn't know about the private toilet in the room. I was referring to the old Amfleet roomettes. I know the Superliner roomettes do not have a private toilet in them.

Are the viewliner roomette toilets like the old single/double slumbercoach rooms?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoAmtrak
I've never had a problem having a travel companion in a roomette, be they friend, family, or s/o. It really depends on your comfort zone.
The roomettes can be quite confining for 2 people, especially if the beds are set and you are trying to change/get dressed. Unless you can change while lying down and in a space maybe 2 feet high (on the top berth), it may be easier for one person to wait in the hall.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoAmtrak
I would say that it's generally not worth it to take a bedroom; the extra spend tends to be huge. I've only traveled in bedrooms under three circumstances: on someone else's dime, on an AGR award, or an op-up.
I agree. If you are alone, and paying yourself, I would chose the roomette. If there are 2 people, and cost doesn't matter, the bedroom may be worth it.
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Old Sep 21, 05, 6:03 pm   #7
 
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I have traveled in both the bedroom and roomette. For one person, the roomette is fine. For two people, I recommend the bedroom. On a recent trip to Florida from New York, my wife and I took the roomette. When the beds are down, there is hardly any room. To change clothes, it is nearly impossible. Do check your luggage as there is barely room for an overnight bag. The storage is very high over the center aisle of the train and difficult to move luggage in and out of the area.

Of course given the choice of a roomette or coach, yes, go for the roomette!!
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Old Sep 21, 05, 6:19 pm   #8
 
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omg, coach is a pit. DO NOT take coach on a long-distance amtrak trip !!
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Old Sep 21, 05, 6:55 pm   #9
 
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by izzik
omg, coach is a pit. DO NOT take coach on a long-distance amtrak trip !!
I find coach is OK for 1 overnight, but not much more.

However, I would much rather have coach on Amtrak instead of coach on any airline for the same time spent traveling!
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Old Sep 21, 05, 6:56 pm   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_traveler
I was referring to the old Amfleet roomettes. I know the Superliner roomettes do not have a private toilet in them.

Are the viewliner roomette toilets like the old single/double slumbercoach rooms?
Uhh... you mean Heritage? There have never been revenue Amfleet sleepers (though Amtrak's business car has bedrooms and is a converted Amfleet).

Slumbercoaches were before my time, but I have been in Heritage sleepers. The Viewliner roomette toilets are between one of the seats and the corridor, making that seat slightly narrower than the other. There's a fold-up sink above the toilet, much in the style of Heritage roomettes. There's also a small vanity, mirror, water spigot, hand towel and hanger, and electrical outlet. The top of the folded-down toilet doubles as a step into the top bunk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by izzik
omg, coach is a pit.
In many cases, yes, but it sure beats Greyhound! It does get pretty bleak back there (visually and olfactorily) beyond the first day and if the load factor is high.
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Old Sep 22, 05, 8:46 am   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoAmtrak
Uhh... you mean Heritage? There have never been revenue Amfleet sleepers (though Amtrak's business car has bedrooms and is a converted Amfleet)
Well, not exactly true. Many many years ago, there were at least a couple of amfleet coaches with two bedrooms in one end (and sold as revenue space) - a sort of test run for what was to become the Superliner economy bedroom/roomette. It was kind of fun to get a 'sneak preview' of things to come.

They were on the Cincinnati-Washington route (via Cumberland, MD) that no longer exists. I'm sure the coaches were ultimately converted back to a regular configuration.

In terms of roomette/bedroom (and coach/bedroom): for single level service, probably not worth the upgrade to bedroom as the Viewliner roomette is quite nice and feels roomy enough with the high ceiling. for bi-level trains, the in-room restrooms and sink and overall space makes a bedroom tempting.

would not take a coach overnight on a single level train if at all possible - that really is a grim experience. for bi-level routes, I coach can work, but probably difficult for more than a night. whether the train is crowded - and thus if you don't have to share the other seat with a stranger - is another big consideration here.
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Old Sep 22, 05, 1:04 pm   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoAmtrak
Uhh... you mean Heritage? There have never been revenue Amfleet sleepers (though Amtrak's business car has bedrooms and is a converted Amfleet).
Yes, I think I may have meant Heritage. But I think the single/double slumbercoachs were in fact before they were called Heritage - maybe in the 70's and 80's. I took them between NYP and Florida.

The description of the location of the toilet, sink, etc... in the viewliner roomettes is very similar to the location of them in the slumbercoachs, in fact identical. On viewliners recently, I have only been in a handicapped bedroom, so I was not aware of the roomette layout.

I find a single level coach acceptable for 1 night (hopefully the 1st night for that run). What I usually do if I travel from the east coach west is go coach for night #1 (single level), then in Chicago switch to a roomette or bedroom (Superliner) for at least night #2. This helps lower the cost quite a bit. Plus, it allows me to get a good night's sleep prior to arrival.
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Old Sep 22, 05, 1:33 pm   #13
 
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Another big plus (IMHO) for the bedroom is the fact that you can see out both sides of the train. Good for the scenic trips.
If you can afford it get the bedroom.
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Old Sep 22, 05, 11:18 pm   #14
 
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Sleepercoaches

Quote:
Originally Posted by the_traveler
Yes, I think I may have meant Heritage. But I think the single/double slumbercoachs were in fact before they were called Heritage - maybe in the 70's and 80's. I took them between NYP and Florida.
About 1961, New York Central converted ten 22-roomette sleepers to 16 single and 10 double room "sleepercoaches". For instance, 10364 Dunkirk Harbor became (unnamed?) sleepercoach 10810. I was in that type of car for my first sleeper experience on the Wolverine from New York (GCT) to Detroit in 1962. B&O operated "slumbercoaches" with 24 single rooms and 8 double rooms built new in 1958-1959. I think Amtrak used the ex-B&O cars for the Florida service, but I'm not certain. I might be remembering the 16 Duplex Roomette/4 Double Bedroom cars built in 1954 and named for birds (Oriole, of course, Cardinal, etc.), although Amtrak may have called these "sleepercoaches". A few other sleepercoach-like services operated, too, I think, but not many. (Reference: "Car Names, Numbers, and Consists", Robert J. Wayner, Wayner Publications, 1972).
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