Jump to content




Help Support AmtrakTrains.com by donating using the link above or becoming a Supporting Member.

Question about bedrooms


26 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_Sheila_*

Guest_Sheila_*
  • Guests

Posted 06 December 2017 - 01:52 PM

We are traveling from McGregor, Texas to San Diego in October on the Texas Eagle (superliner).  It will be me, my husband and our 8 year old twins.  We were looking at the family bedroom which it seems is on the lower level, has windows on both sides of the car but no toilet or shower vs. a bedroom suite, which is on the upper level, windows on only one side, but also has two toilets and showers.  The difference is about $1K.  Please help me decide in which one we would be more comfortable.  My thoughts for the family bedroom is you can see out of both sides (in case something you want to see is on the opposite side) and it is cheaper, but the suite will be bigger but cost more.  Thanks in advance!  This is our first time on Amtrak. 



#2 Maglev

Maglev

    OBS Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 259 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Orcas Island, Washington
  • Interests:Trains, environmental science, planetary volcanism.

Posted 06 December 2017 - 02:19 PM

Hi Sheila!

 

Not surprisingly, I think you would be much more comfortable if you spent the extra thousand dollars.  The small windows in the Family Bedroom are not that great for viewing the scenery, and you would have only one wide berth and two very short berths for sleeping.  The Bedroom Suite would give you two extra-wide lower berths for the adults and two regular-length upper berths for the children, in addition to a lot more space and private bathrooms.  Although your windows are only on one side, you can look outside the door or just step outside to view the other side.  The scenery on the Eagle  is not especially better on one particular side, and the best place to be for viewing scenery is the Sightseer Lounge Car anyway.

 

I would suggest booking as soon as possible.


Northeast corridor Heritage, Amfleet and Acela, CN Super Continental, Broadway Limited, Lone Star, Sunset Limited, Coast Starlight, San Joaquin, Southwest Limited, National Limited, Champion, California Zephyr, Capitol Limited, Wolverine, Crescent, Empire Builder, Cascades, Lake Shore Limited, Silver Meteor, Cardinal. 

#3 Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 16,406 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Austin Texas
  • Interests:Passenger Trains/Travel/Sports/Gov't/ Politics/History/Reading/
    Movies/Music/Space-Ancient Aliens

Posted 06 December 2017 - 02:31 PM

I also think yall would be happier in the Upstairs Bedroom Suite, but $1000 is alot to pay for this Route.

You may want to look into booking 2 Roomettes across the Hall from each other, each adult would be with one of the kids and you'd still have the meals in the Diner included, use of the downstairs Shower, and while there is just one bathroom upstairs, there are several downstairs.As Maglev said, the Sightseer Lounge is where you want to be during the Daylight Hours.

This should be lower, to alot lower, in price,but if you can afford it go with the Bedroom Suite.
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 "..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#4 jebr

jebr

    Engineer

  • Forum Manager
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,780 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:"The Last Great City of the East," St. Paul, MN

Posted 06 December 2017 - 04:12 PM

It depends on how tall your twins are. If they're under 4' 7" or so, I'd go with the family bedroom. On my most recent trip I was in a lower level roomette and actually found it quite enjoyable (a departure from my last experience) and the family bedroom seems big enough for four people when two are kids. There's no private bathroom, but there's a few on the lower level that aren't used much as most upper level passengers will use the upper level bathroom if it's unoccupied. I don't think it'd be worth paying an extra $1000 for a bedroom suite.

 

I'd agree with the other posters on checking into getting two roomettes, especially if everyone's taller than 4' 7" or so. You'd still have the windows on both sides and everyone would have a full-length bed. There still wouldn't be a lot of space (arguably less than a family bedroom since you have the hallway in the middle) but I find them plenty usable for two people.



#5 the_traveler

the_traveler

    Engineer

  • Global Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 24,366 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Whatever siding I'm sitting on!
  • Interests:Looking at GPS to find out where I am at!

Posted 06 December 2017 - 05:03 PM

I agree with the advise above.

True, the bedrooms have a toilet & shower in the room, but in either a roomette or family room, you are not far from the 1 restroom on the upper level or the 4 on the lower level. There is also a shower room on the lower level. Actually, many people who are in bedrooms would rather use the shower room. Besides being bigger (more elbow room), it has a separate changing area (the bedroom does not) & the (closed) toilet and floor in the bathroom does not get wet. The longest line (If you can call it that) to use the shower room has been 1 person! Most times there is no line.

The Family Room does have 4 berths, but be aware that there are only 2 adult sized berths. The other 2 are under 5 feet long. And although it has windows on both sides, each is only 1/2 as wide as in the bedrooms or roomettes.

Be sure to book train 421 westbound and train 422 eastbound. This way you can sleep overnight during the stop in San Antonio. (Your car will be automatically switched between trains.) Otherwise you would have to get off and wait for the general reboarding to get back on.
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead and enjoy the ride!

The view is much better at 3 feet than it is at 30,000 feet!

#6 Lonestar648

Lonestar648

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,678 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 06 December 2017 - 07:52 PM

When we have traveled with our two granddaughters, we take two Roomettes.  The girls loves the upper bunks, also we made sure the rooms were cross from each other there were views out each side.  At times the girls were together during the day in their own room when we were not at the Sightseer Lounge.  Showering was not a problem using the down stairs shower.  They worked together in the shower changing room, having a great time with a little supervision from outside the door.  We had rooms upstairs so their was a toilet across from the beverage center.  This worked out well for us and the girls had a great time.  We have traveled together many other times, always in roomettes.



#7 bratkinson

bratkinson

    Train Attendant

  • Training
  • Pip
  • 25 posts

Posted 07 December 2017 - 01:08 AM

Be sure to book train 421 westbound and train 422 eastbound. This way you can sleep overnight during the stop in San Antonio. (Your car will be automatically switched between trains.) Otherwise you would have to get off and wait for the general reboarding to get back on.

 

Definitely make sure you're on train 421 & 422.  Unless you're a light sleeper, you'll sleep through the entire stop at San Antonio.  Also, the 421/422 sleeper is at the rear of the train west of San Antonio, so watching out the rear window (on the upper level) is a great pasttime for adults and children alike.  In recent years, it's location has changed between Chicago and San Antonio from last to ahead of the diner.

 

Should you decide to ensuite bedrooms, or two roomettes, or 1 of each, be sure to call Amtrak to make the reservation, do NOT book online, as there is no guarantee the bedrooms you get assigned online CAN be opened up together, or, that roomettes are across the hall from each other.  Only a human reservation person can guarantee that. 

 

Also, if you have flexibility in travel dates, do a price check online a couple of days each way before booking.  I moved my usual vacation trip from early May to mid April for 2018 and saved several thousand AGR points in the process, and about $200 dollars on the return leg. 


Edited by bratkinson, 07 December 2017 - 01:10 AM.


#8 willem

willem

    Conductor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 826 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 07 December 2017 - 09:27 AM

I also think yall would be happier in the Upstairs Bedroom Suite, but $1000 is alot to pay for this Route.

You may want to look into booking 2 Roomettes across the Hall from each other, each adult would be with one of the kids and you'd still have the meals in the Diner included, use of the downstairs Shower, and while there is just one bathroom upstairs, there are several downstairs.As Maglev said, the Sightseer Lounge is where you want to be during the Daylight Hours.

This should be lower, to alot lower, in price,but if you can afford it go with the Bedroom Suite.

 
Another variation would be to get one bedroom and one roomette on the other side of the train. The bedroom could accommodate four people in the daytime configuration, and two or three people could move to the roomette if the better scenery is on that side. You would need to call to make sure that you get an odd-numbered roomette.
 
You will probably want to call in any case, unless you get the family bedroom.
 
If you reserve two roomettes, you want to make sure they are opposite each other. These would be 3 and 4, 5 and 6, 7 and 8, or 9 and 10. I once had a telephone agent tell me that 6 and 7 are opposite each other. They are not.
 
If you reserve two bedrooms, you want to make sure that they have a door between them. These would be E and D or C and B. Bedroom A cannot be part of a suite, and C and D cannot be part of the same suite.
 
If there is one room (bedroom or roomette) available at the current bucket, then two rooms booked together will, by default, be at the higher bucket price. Check the price before calling, and ask the agent for the individual room prices. If both room prices are higher than the price for a single room on the web site, ask that one of the rooms be priced manually. Some agents might not know how to do this, in which case you should ask the agent to get help.



#9 Guest_Sheila_*

Guest_Sheila_*
  • Guests

Posted 07 December 2017 - 01:55 PM

Wow you all are helpful!!!!  Thank you so much!

 

I ended up booking the family bedroom yesterday but reading through the responses has me second guessing. 

 

Our dates are not flexible as we are heading out to get on a Panama Canal cruise on Friday.

 

The family room is $1282.00.  It looks like the small berths are 4'9" and 4'7".  My girls are 4'1" but will like grow a few inches before October. 

 

Two roomettes would be $1039. 

 

It looks like the bedroom suite has dropped in price to $1895 today, so instead of the $900+ difference it was yesterday it would be $613, which I am okay to spend if it is worth it.  It sounds like we will likely not really be in the room much, however.

 

We are on the 421 to LA then we change and take the Pacific Surfliner to San Diego.  The customer services rep I talked to said yesterday that we could only do carry on luggage and the dimension has to be 28x22x14 or less.  However, it looks like the Surfliner restricts luggage to 28x22x11.  When I heard only carry on size I was concerned how we were going to pack for a two week cruise, but it appears that that carry on size in the size of our largest luggage pieces. 

 

If we were to change the room is there a fee to do so?  With the additional information would anybody offer different advice. 



#10 Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 16,406 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Austin Texas
  • Interests:Passenger Trains/Travel/Sports/Gov't/ Politics/History/Reading/
    Movies/Music/Space-Ancient Aliens

Posted 07 December 2017 - 02:12 PM

With the additional info provided, I honestly feel that you should go with the Family Bedroom, that's not a bad deal for 4 persons.. The $600+ difference can be better spent during your California stay.

Second choice would be the 2 Roomettes across from each other as was said.

As for changing your Rez, if you do call in, tell the Agent you want to "Modify" your Rez,DO NOT Cancel it and start over!

Keep in mind that Supply and Demand can make the Prices change constantly, either Up or Down.
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 "..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#11 PVD

PVD

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,065 posts

Posted 07 December 2017 - 02:18 PM

As long as they will fit in the berths for sleeping the family b/r is fine, since you have the Sightseer Lounge as a place to "hang". There are multiple bathrooms and a shower in the downstairs of the car, directly adjacent to the room, and it is usually pretty calm down there (unless a noisy family is in the family room, but of course that is not going to be an issue here!)



#12 jebr

jebr

    Engineer

  • Forum Manager
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,780 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:"The Last Great City of the East," St. Paul, MN

Posted 07 December 2017 - 03:38 PM

I'd stick with the family bedroom, especially if you want to have an area where the entire family can be together privately (or without having to worry too much about disturbing others.) The roomettes are nice, but the only place to hang out as a family of 4 would be the sightseer lounge car. For the extra bit of money, it'd be worth it to have the family bedroom where everyone can hang out together, at least from my perspective.



#13 willem

willem

    Conductor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 826 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 07 December 2017 - 04:43 PM

It is possible that you will not be able to sit together in the Lounge, and also possible that you will not all be able to find seats in the Lounge, even separated from each other.
 

We are on the 421 to LA then we change and take the Pacific Surfliner to San Diego.  The customer services rep I talked to said yesterday that we could only do carry on luggage and the dimension has to be 28x22x14 or less.  However, it looks like the Surfliner restricts luggage to 28x22x11.  When I heard only carry on size I was concerned how we were going to pack for a two week cruise, but it appears that that carry on size in the size of our largest luggage pieces.

 
I have never had an Amtrak employee measure the size of a bag. Only once have I had an Amtrak employee weigh a bag; that was the day after the weight limit was decreased from 70 to 50 pounds. On the other hand, I believe I have been on a Surfliner only one time.
 

If we were to change the room is there a fee to do so? With the additional information would anybody offer different advice.


I hesitate to say there is never a change fee, but I am not aware of one and have never paid one on Amtrak. If you ask to be refunded the difference after changing to a lower-priced reservation (including canceling), there is a penalty.



#14 the_traveler

the_traveler

    Engineer

  • Global Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 24,366 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Whatever siding I'm sitting on!
  • Interests:Looking at GPS to find out where I am at!

Posted 07 December 2017 - 05:24 PM

On the Surfliners, there is along 1 wall (3/4 of the car wide) on the lower level a luggage rack that you can place your bags in. I have placed a large 28 inch suitcase in it with no problem! I believe those given measurements are if you want to keep the bags above your seat on the upper level.

When you board the Surfliners, you may want to sit on the right side. Much of the trip is within feet of the ocean!

Edited by the_traveler, 07 December 2017 - 05:26 PM.

Take it easy .......

Take the train instead and enjoy the ride!

The view is much better at 3 feet than it is at 30,000 feet!

#15 Guest_Sheila_*

Guest_Sheila_*
  • Guests

Posted 07 December 2017 - 05:39 PM

Can I request the right side ahead of time?  I had the option of an unreserved coach seat or an assigned business class seat for $76 more.  I went with the assigned seat when she told me that I may not get a seat if not.  She did not tell me which seats we would be in for that leg of the trip.  It is the 7:25 am train.  Should it be busy?



#16 KmH

KmH

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,708 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Is this heaven? No. It's Iowa.
  • Interests:Astronomy, photography

Posted 07 December 2017 - 06:03 PM

Superliner cars can be added to the consist with either end forward.

That means there is no way to tell which seats/sleepers side will be on the right side until the train is put together.


Edited by KmH, 07 December 2017 - 06:08 PM.

1963U. S. Congress - underground trolley system • Disneyland train (1968/various other dates) • Old Tucson steam train (1969)

Amtrak: California Zephyr Coast Starlight •  Southwest ChiefSunset LimitedTexas Eagle • Illinois Zephyr

. . . . . . . Amtrak miles - 16,383, so far.

 

 

 

 

 


#17 Tennessee Traveler

Tennessee Traveler

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,025 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Franklin, TN

Posted 07 December 2017 - 10:17 PM

I have ridden business class on Surfliners and only "a seat" is reserved not a "specific location".  When boarding it is "first come, first served".  If you are wondering, all coach seats on Amtrak long distance trains like 421 are "reserved" but a seat location is not guaranteed.



#18 the_traveler

the_traveler

    Engineer

  • Global Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 24,366 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Whatever siding I'm sitting on!
  • Interests:Looking at GPS to find out where I am at!

Posted 07 December 2017 - 10:59 PM

The thing is, on the Surfliners, coach is UNreserved (unlike most of the rest of Amtrak trains) while business class is reserved. They will only sell as many reservations as there are seats in the business class car, but they will sell as many coach tickets as there are people who want to take that train. Thus, in business class you are guaranteed a seat (and other extras), while in coach, there is a possibility you may need to stand.

All seats are first come/first served.
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead and enjoy the ride!

The view is much better at 3 feet than it is at 30,000 feet!

#19 ehbowen

ehbowen

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,135 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Houston, Texas

Posted 08 December 2017 - 06:43 AM

We are traveling from McGregor, Texas to San Diego in October on the Texas Eagle (superliner)...


We are on the 421 to LA then we change and take the Pacific Surfliner to San Diego.  The customer services rep I talked to said yesterday that we could only do carry on luggage and the dimension has to be 28x22x14 or less.  However, it looks like the Surfliner restricts luggage to 28x22x11.  When I heard only carry on size I was concerned how we were going to pack for a two week cruise, but it appears that that carry on size in the size of our largest luggage pieces.

 
While I know it's very convenient to leave from your own home town (or close to it), if you could get a lift into Fort Worth or Austin you would be able to check baggage both ways. [If you choose to do this, though, MAKE SURE you have your reservation modified...if you just show up at Austin with your tickets from McGregor your reservation could be canceled as a no-show!]

 

I agree with the other posters that the Family Bedroom is the best choice for your trip given the current fare buckets. My sister and B-I-L with their two youngest used it on our Big Family Trip in 2006; it was their first Amtrak trip and they thought it was wonderful.


broadside-1.jpg 16 inch Armor Piercing...When you care enough to send the very, VERY best!
Visit Streamliner Schedules - Historic timetables from the Streamliner era.


#20 Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 16,406 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Austin Texas
  • Interests:Passenger Trains/Travel/Sports/Gov't/ Politics/History/Reading/
    Movies/Music/Space-Ancient Aliens

Posted 08 December 2017 - 09:13 AM

You could also go to Temple ( closest stop to McGregor/staffed) and check your large bags if you have stuff you won't need until you get to LAX.

If you don't need to check stuff, the Luggage rack is right outside your room by the boarding doors.

There is a great Rail Museum upstairs in the City owned old Santa Fe Station and old Rail equipment parked outside.Good way to pass the time till the usually Late Eagle arrives.

Plenty of Free parking if you drive your car,the friendly agent can advise you about where to leave your car.I know McGegor is rural and isolated, unsure of the parking situation @ that un-staffed station?

Dinner starts after the Temple stop ( Austin is last call),so when you board check with your SCA about Reservations in the Diner.
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 "..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay



Reply to this topic



  

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users