My family and I will be traveling from Chicago to New Orleans next month on Amtrak. It is the first time we have ever even been on an Amtrak train. We did book the family bedroom. Some of my excitement for the trip has been tempered by the most recent reviews I have read - mostly that it is a really rough track after Memphis and that the chef has been replaced my microwaveable meals. So I was hoping to get some answers/advice:
- How is the food? How is the ride?
- Even though we booked with our reward points, our meals should still be included, right? Both the dining car and cafe car? Are non alcoholic drinks included as well?
- How does the whole dining reservation thing work?
- Is there a limit on how much bottled water you get? I ask because we will need some to mix up formula for our baby.
- How are the blankets and pillows? Should we bring our own?
- I would love to upgrade to a superliner bedroom suite. Is that realistic? If so, how would I go about that and how much might it be?
- You tip your attendant right? Before or after the trip? I once heard tip up front to ensure good service. Not that its guaranteed.
- How early do you need to arrive at the station? It is a 2 hours before airport type of thing?
- Can you bring a small cooler with ice? For baby food, milk, etc.
- Any advice and what we should bring/do to make it an enjoyable experience or just in general.
Thanks in advance for your help. I like to be prepared!