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Boarding at 2:30. Lunch ends at 3:00. How make reservations to eat?


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#1 Guest_Gren King_*

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 09:17 PM

Boarding Cardinal in Charlottesville at 2:30 pm.On Cardinal to Chicago. Sleeper car . How make reservation to eat lunch? Lunch ends at 3:00 pm.



#2 SarahZ

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 09:20 PM

Your sleeper attendant will either tell you to head to the dining car as soon as you board or will have a reservation card for you. Since lunch ends at 3:00, they will probably just have you head to the dining car.


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#3 Ryan

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 09:23 PM

In the general case, lunch reservations aren’t required.

In the specific case, there are a million better options then waiting until you board, hoping that the train is on time, and hoping for a meal.

Just eat at one of Hooville’s fine establishments at a more reasonable hour. The food will be better and there will be less stress involved.
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#4 the_traveler

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 10:01 AM

I have boarded many times around the end of meal time.

If reservations are required (like for dinner, most trains do not require them for lunch), your SCA should have made a reservation for you. If reservations are not required (breakfast and/orlunch), as Sarah said your SCA may tell you to head to the Dining Car as soon as you put your bags in your room. (I have had this said in Charlotteville, Orlando and Portland.)

Edited by the_traveler, 06 July 2018 - 10:13 AM.

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!

#5 cpotisch

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 10:56 AM

I would get play it safe as Ryan said and get a decent meal before you board. The Cardinal has pretty poor food and service, so I don't think it's worth waiting until 2:30 and hoping the train is on time. That said, if the train is on time you will drop your stuff off in your room and head straight to the dining car.


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#6 Mystic River Dragon

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 11:20 AM

I, too, agree with Ryan in this case. You are leaving from a university town, so it must have some good eating places. And the Cardinal might be running late, so easier to do the sure thing and eat before you board. You could also have a light lunch in Charlottesville and then go to an early dinner on the train--I think it starts at 5:00?

 

cpotisch--I have had a different experience than you with the Cardinal service--I've been on it a few times now (I've done the LD for a short distance, getting off at ALX, as well as my one trip to/from Chicago), and the service has ranged from quirky and erratic to efficient and well organized. But I've always found it friendly and welcoming. 


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#7 cpotisch

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 11:43 AM

cpotisch--I have had a different experience than you with the Cardinal service--I've been on it a few times now (I've done the LD for a short distance, getting off at ALX, as well as my one trip to/from Chicago), and the service has ranged from quirky and erratic to efficient and well organized. But I've always found it friendly and welcoming.

Hmmm. I’d heard that it usually takes forever to be served and that quality is very mediocre.


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#8 Ryan

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 12:33 PM

And thus a valuable lesson about passing off advice based on what you’ve read on the Internet was (hopefully) learned.

Sticking to what you know by experience is what you get credibility for. (Well that and not talking about politics, I guess. :D)
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#9 Mystic River Dragon

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 12:39 PM

What I found from experience is that the food is about the same as a good frozen dinner (like Stouffer's, for example) and yes, it can take a long time to get served. But hopefully you're not taking the Cardinal to get somewhere quickly--the whole point is to relax and unwind and enjoy a leisurely meal with the beautiful scenery outside the window. :)


Edited by Mystic River Dragon, 06 July 2018 - 12:41 PM.

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#10 cpotisch

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 12:42 PM

And thus a valuable lesson about passing off advice based on what you’ve read on the Internet was (hopefully) learned.

Sticking to what you know by experience is what you get credibility for. (Well that and not talking about politics, I guess. :D)

In this case, I got the info from multiple AU members' experiences, including one who rides the Cardinal every year and blogs it, which I assumed could be considered a good source overall, but I will certainly let someone who is on this very thread and has firsthand experience in the Card's diner-lite take the floor on this one.


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#11 Mystic River Dragon

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 12:45 PM

Thank you, cpotisch--that is very gracious of you :). (That is, if you meant me! :P)

 

I do tend to have a special fondness for the quieter trains (like the Keystone and Cardinal) that don't get a lot of the limelight but just trundle along trying to do their best with what they have. :)


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#12 cpotisch

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 12:50 PM

Thank you, cpotisch--that is very gracious of you  :). (That is, if you meant me!  :P)

 

I do tend to have a special fondness for the quieter trains (like the Keystone and Cardinal) that don't get a lot of the limelight but just trundle along trying to do their best with what they have. :)

Firstly, thank you and I did mean you.  :)

 

Secondly, that's a large part of why I want to take the Cardinal. It's a tiny little train with great scenery that's often neglected and overlooked. It's just something about those characteristics that make it so appealing to me.


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#13 Mystic River Dragon

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 01:03 PM

Take it eastbound if you can, because it gets too dark to see much westbound.

 

Eastbound you come into West Virginia early in the morning, and you have daylight through the lovely gentle mountains and get to watch the river keeping the train company and the fishermen waving at you from the boats.

 

In either direction, you meet the most courteous conductors with the most beautiful accents.



#14 pennyk

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 01:06 PM

I think it depends on the passenger.  I personally (through personal experience) do not care for the (prepackaged) food on the Cardinal.  I am allergic to garlic and most, if not all, of the entrees contain garlic.  Last time I was on the train, I had a bowl of lettuce.  However, I found the service to be very good.

 

On the other hand, I have a friend, who is an extremely picky eater, but always seems to find something on the Cardinal that he enjoys.  Although he is picky (no vegetables, no seafood), he is OK with eating preservatives.


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#15 the_traveler

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 01:41 PM

Although he is picky (no vegetables, no seafood), he is OK with eating preservatives.

YOU TALKING ABOUT ME? :huh: :giggle:

I also have ridden the Cardinal many times, and although different, I have found it has acceptable food and good service.


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!

#16 Johanna

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 02:06 PM

If you choose to eat before you board, you can still go to the dining car and get just a coffee and a dessert (or whatever).  That's what I did when I boarded the EB near the end of dinner service.


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