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Casinocim

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About Casinocim

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    Female
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    Colorado

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  1. Good morning. I hadn't been on the train for at least a couple of years. I sneak on the forum to still see what's going on, of course hearing of changes. So I was interested to see if my ride would be much different, which it wasn't. I was also excited this was a solo train trip, just me. I made some of my skinny oatmeal cookies to take with me and really enjoyed them for snacking with hot tea. I sort of became more healthy last year and lost some weight, yay for me! First time on the train trying to eat lower fat, lower calorie, you don't have many choices on the train. I was going down from Denver to New Orleans to meet up with my mom and sister, who flew, to go on the Carnival Dream Premier Casino cruise. Carnival had given my mom and I $1000 each to play on so we couldn't resist. I decided to take Uber to the station on the day I left, first time using Uber. The Uber driver was at my house in 5 minutes. I ended up at the Denver Station at 3:30 with a train departure of 7:10. The day was January 2nd and the station was packed full of people. I was able to see the Christmas decorations, had a latte at Pigtrain and then had an early dinner at Next Door. I had a chicken sandwich there and it was pretty good. I originally was going to eat at the Mercantile but they had a super small menu at the time with nothing that looked healthy. Then I settled in to the wood benches to wait for the train. All of a sudden people were gathering their things and heading out the door to the train, I didn't hear an announcement. I trudged out to the track and they were already scanning tickets in the line. It was really cold waiting in the line. Of course the wait seemed forever but it probably wasn't that long. It would be nice if they could put some heaters out there. I had a seatmate who got off in Lincoln which was nice that I had the two seats to myself the rest of the way to Chicago. For breakfast the next morning I had runny scrambled eggs, watery chicken sausage, croissant and hot tea. For lunch the next day I had the Romaine and goat cheese salad with grilled chicken and iced tea. I thought the salad was good. We arrived in Chicago on time I think. I made my way to the Legacy Club and it was open. Paid the $20 and relaxed in comfort until time to board the CONO. I loved the Legacy Club. I think at most there was about 20 people in there at one time. I bought a chicken sandwich with avocado at Pret a Manger, it was yummy. I like this place, this was my first time in one. We were escorted to the track at boarding time. On the CONO, I was hoping to get the bulkhead by the stairs, a family was in it and the attendant sat me by the husband. Which would have been fine but he seemed nervous and was like he was spinning in the chair So I went back down and requested a different seat and was put behind the family. I'm glad I did, the husband was constantly on the move, though he did disappear during the night. My seatmate was a quiet man who got off in Carbondale, so again two seats to myself the rest of the way in. I had the turkey sausage bowl with egg whites and potatoes for breakfast and I thought it was pretty good, hot tea. At lunchtime I made my way to the dining/lounge car and the lounge attendant told me the dining was full but I could order something to go. The dining attendant was standing behind the lounge gal doing something. I ordered a salad and the dining attendant said I could sit in the dining car, great! I had salad with turkey, Parmesan cheese, tomato, chocolate chip cookie and hot tea. I really liked the chocolate chip cookies, so I bought a couple to take off the train with me. Arrived in New Orleans a little late, took a taxi to Harrah's hotel. We stayed there a couple of nights. We went and played in the casino for a little bit, no luck for any of us. We had dinner at Fuddrucker's in the casino and went back to the room to lounge. The next morning my sister wanted to get out and see something besides the casino. We went to the French Market and had yummy corn on the cobb, a delicious healthy crab cake and then made our way to Cafe Dumonde for beignets and coffee. I had 3 beignets Took the bike taxi back to Harrah's and gambled a bit, no luck again. Cruise Day! Boarding the ship was easy, headed up for our first buffet. The cruise was nice. Since this was a premier cruise, we had things delivered to our cabin every day. Plastic cups, chocolate strawberries, cookies, champagne and a couple of other things. The casino would have drawings everyday. My mom placed second in the slot tournament for $400. The casino was always pretty crowded so I didn't spend a whole lot of time in there. We went to shows, trivia, comedy. Food on the cruise was okay. On the buffet at lunch they have delicious cakes, that was my main unhealthy food for the cruise. I ate way too much cake I would not do the Premier Casino cruise again, the casino is too small and that's the idea of this cruise. On Tuesday(we boarded Sunday), my nose got stuffy, I thought it was the smoke in the casino. Oh not so, it was a cold I spent the majority of the cruise sick. Not horribly sick but still sick. I managed to get off in Jamaica with my sister but stayed on board as my mom and sister got off in Cozumel. Bummer. On the last day of the cruise I kept thinking how nice it would be to have a sleeper from CHI to DEN, I already had a roomette for NOL to CHI, since I wasn't feeling to well. When we arrived in New Orleans I looked up the price of a roomette, $329. It was a little pricey and not sure I wanted to pay that and would just manage in coach. After we disembarked we went to Harrah's again to kill time. I was super lucky, I hit a small jackpot for $500, well guess what I was getting I just hoped the price of the roomette held until I got to the train station as I was going to pay with the cash I just won! I was so happy and relieved, I could totally be by myself with my runny nose, yay. I also decided to send my large suitcase with my mom and sister on the plane so I wouldn't have to mess with it. I'm happy at this point, right, everything was good. Boarded the train and my roomette #3. It was a relief, I could just rest now. Jonathon the attendant was super nice and kept toilets clean. The only negative, I don't think there was any heat in my roomette. I became pretty cold while sleeping and had to put my sweater and coat on me. For dinner I had the Mediterranean chicken with the tomato sauce on the side. It was served with cheese polenta and a ratatouille. The polenta was okay and the ratatouille was mixed with the tomato sauce which I didn't care for, so I just ate the chicken breast. Breakfast was the continental, cinnamon roll, yogurt and fruit. It was fresh fruit, strawberries and oranges. I had 1/2 the roll and the yogurt, thinking I would get something at the station. Chicago, headed for the Metropolitan lounge. Checked in, stored my two little bags and went to Starbucks, ate and then came back and lounged. I liked this lounge also. I liked the espresso machine, I drank ambient water and later I really liked the fresh vegetables and cheese. A policeman and his dog came through the lounge twice. I thought about taking a shower but didn't have a hair dryer but I don't think I would have been comfortable in the restroom doing my hair. I think the restroom needs some plain counters a woman could freshen up without having to do this over a sink. It's not that big in there. Time to board, we were told where to go, I followed a passenger who knew. Boarded my car and went to roomette #8, so happy to finish my trip. And then... All of sudden some strange man's face is looking in my roomette, asked me if it was roomette 8, I said yes, thinking he was in the wrong car, then he asked me again, yes. Then he said he was so and so and showed me some big star of a badge. What in the heck Still not feeling well and head spinning trying to wrap it around who this guy was and what he was doing. Yep, I got questioned and he asked to search my bags, which I said I didn't want him to mainly because I didn't know how dirty his hands were but go ahead, I have nothing to hide. I don't think he saw much in my bags because they were packed so full of trip stuff. He finally left, another guy was him. This really shook me up, I think because of being sick. It took me a little bit to settle down and then I was okay, thank goodness I didn't get pulled off of the train! Arrived home, had a decent nights sleep and then was mad the next day because they questioned me. There is nothing in my history of riding that warranted a search. I did write to Amtrak a lengthy email of what I did and why this search should not of happened. I'm still mad. They did reply, it's for keeping everyone safe, they have random searches. I told them they needed a new system. The email said they would keep my email on file. I know why they do the searches but to randomly pull people is not right. I'm guessing this was because I purchased the room with cash? I'm thinking maybe looking up trip history would tell them I don't regularly ride and don't regularly buy rooms at the last minute. Does the system alert or is it the agent at the station who alerts? Came home and thought, were they watching me in Chicago? Did they know who I was or had to wait until I boarded? And who were those guys again who questioned me? Starts to get creepy thinking about it. They searched the guy in roomette 6 also. Yesterday, we noticed a work van sitting in front of our house, I told my mom, are they doing surveillance on me? I feel I need a do over for my trip. Still have a little bit of the creeping crud. Leary of riding Amtrak now, don't know why. I don't want to be watched, hope it is over. Thanks for reading!
  2. Casinocim

    Chicago Union Station

    Thank you so much everyone. Sorry I missed the below information, thought I thoroughly looked at all information. Who is Eligible for Lounge Access? Amtrak passengers with a same-day ticket (departing) or ticket receipt (arriving) in First Class or sleeping car accommodations I will probably do the Legacy Club going out and the Metropolitan Lounge on the return trip. Depending on my mood and what I find at Chicago will determine if I eat in the dining car on the way to NOL. I also think, whether good or bad, the dining car gives you something to do. Although a bit pricey. Thanks again!
  3. Casinocim

    Chicago Union Station

    It's still showing on Amtrak it's open. I'll check it out when I get there.
  4. Casinocim

    Chicago Union Station

    This is really good information, thank you.
  5. Casinocim

    Chicago Union Station

    Beginning of January
  6. Casinocim

    Chicago Union Station

    Well shoot!
  7. Casinocim

    Chicago Union Station

    Thank you. I'll probably try the chicken on my northbound trip and maybe take something on the train for the southbound. Decisions!
  8. Casinocim

    Chicago Union Station

    Good morning everyone. It's been 2 years since I have been on Amtrak, my mom has insisted on driving and now I have a trip reserved, I'm so excited! My question is about Chicago and the Legacy Club and Metropolitan Lounge. I will be in coach from Denver to New Orleans. On the trip back I will have a roomette from New Orleans to Chicago, coach from Chicago to Denver. I know I can pay to be in the Legacy Club $20 and have read you can get a day pass for the Metropolitan Lounge for $50(also have read just for sleeping and business class in Metropolitan). If that's right and I can purchase a pass to both, which lounge is better to wait in? I think I have read I can be in the Metropolitan on my return trip free since I will have been in a Roomette? Also on the CONO what is with the dining car? Being in coach can I still eat in there? Thanks everyone!
  9. Casinocim

    family bedroom vs regular bedroom on CZ

    My mom and I have had both. I like the regular bedrooms for the toilet/shower and sink in them, privacy and cleanliness. Two of you can sit by the window in a regular bedroom. To me, for just 2 people, the family bedroom just has a longer couch.
  10. Casinocim

    DEN-RNO round trip

    I'm experimenting here with this picture. This is from my phone where the other I posted from my computer. Of course it is small on my phone!
  11. Casinocim

    DEN-RNO round trip

    I know. Usually when I go in there the seats are full.
  12. Casinocim

    DEN-RNO round trip

    Here you go. Thanks so much, looks better!
  13. Casinocim

    DEN-RNO round trip

    Sorry that picture is huge!
  14. Casinocim

    DEN-RNO round trip

    The original plan was my mom and myself traveling in lower coach for both ways. Rooms were priced high then sold out. We have decided that roomettes are too small for us, so I don't look at those, unless they would be super cheap and we could get two. My sister decided to go to Reno with us, flights were priced high for the leg to Reno so she decided to ride the train with us and fly home with sticking to the plan of coach seats. After watching for a few days a family room opened up and had a more lower price. I was worried about allowing 3 adults in a room but no problems there. We pretty much boarded on time. Some people in the sleeper car line were a little irked they let the coach passengers on first. I didn't care as long as I got on. Once onboard we dropped our things in our room and headed up for breakfast. We ordered and then the power went off. So we sat there listening to the crew tell everyone no coffee until the power went on. After a while I grew restless and went down to our room to organize. Went back to the diner and after waiting a while more, we were served breakfast. We all had the scrambled eggs which I think is fairly good. While eating we were told we had to hook up some cars to ours. After a couple of hours we left the station. Our train had 6 engines, two were Siemens, I had to ask what those were as I had not seen them before and we also had a baggage car attached. After breakfast we went to our room, plenty of space for 3 adults. My mom decided she could sleep on the bottom child's bed, I said I would take the top bunk since my sister has bad knees, although she did offer to get up there. We also lowered the upper child bed to store our makeup bags. I was amused as to how my mom sat by a window and my sister sat at the other window leaving me in the middle, in front of the mirror to stare at myself the whole trip The thing is, I love riding the train and staring out the window, both of the window seat riders played on their Ipads for most of the time I could have spoken up and asked to trade but it's just not done with those two. It didn't ruin my trip but I started thinking about all of my solo train trips and how I loved the peace of being alone. With other people it's not the same but I still love it. We had lunch and dinner in the dining car, for lunch my mom and I tried the turkey and mashed potatoes, I liked it, my mom didn't. For dinner we all had the steak which I think is good but again my mom didn't like it. I don't remember what my sisters thoughts on food was. I'll have to say I don't sleep well on trains, I wake up all night long but still enjoy being able to lay down flat. One of the best things about this trip is we had an attendant who while quietly friendly kept the bathrooms clean! The trash never overflowed, it was wonderful. I also think this was part passengers also, clean group, hooray! Breakfast again, scrambled eggs, before Reno. We had made up about an hours time arriving in Reno. Reno! We stayed at Atlantis our favorite hotel/casino. First time in the Concierge Tower, it was nice. They have a lounge which offers a continental breakfast each morning, afternoon desserts and hors d'oeuvres in the early evening, loved this. I used the lounge more than my mom and sister. For some reason they really didn't eat much this trip. One morning I skipped the lounge and had a solo buffet breakfast. I love their buffet here, very good food. We visited a few other casinos while there. I had some great luck and some not so great luck but really had a good time. And yes, that's all we did, gamble and I ate. My sister left Reno one day ahead of us so on our return trip it was my mom and I in the lower level coach. The train arrived early. Chose our seats and settled in. Dinner reservation offered was about 7:30 so we decided to skip but right after our coach attendant came and offered to bring food down. So my mom spoke up and said we will share a hamburger The attendant kept questioning my mom about wanting the lounge burger or the dining car burger, they were the same he said but one was cheaper. Uh no, they are not the same to me. We had the dining car burger and it was good. After we ate, we both had a hard time getting comfortable, my rear end seat cushion didn't seem very cushiony. After a bit my mom sat in two empty seats and was able to stay there the whole trip which made it more comfortable. I have to make note to myself to bring a third blanket, my mom used the two blankets I had brought for us. I was a bit chilly at night while trying to sleep but it wasn't horrible. Did I say I miss my solo trips After Provo everyone in the lower level had two seats to themselves, it was a nice group of people. I have to add, our attendant was nice but he never cleaned the bathrooms. There was a can of foaming cleaner in one that everytime I went I wiped down the toilet, I had to, there were people in those toilets all the time, they were super busy and they, the people, weren't very clean. By Denver, the trash was starting to come out of the bins. We were early at all stops until Grand Junction I believe. We were able to get out at Winnemucca and Elko. The conductor said he had never been so early arriving in Winnemucca, I wondered if that was good or bad thing. Need for speed at the controls Attatched to this train were three old California Zephyr cars. Didn't get a picture of them. Had scrambled eggs again for breakfast. Then had a more kind of solo trip since my mom was in another seat. At lunch we shared a burger again and both had side salads. I wanted dessert but didn't want to pay for it so we bought a Snickers bar. Enjoyed the scenery through the mountains. On the way out to Reno, we got our 'moon'. but not on the return. Arrived in Denver a few minutes late. My nephew, who picked us up, asked if we would please schedule our arrivals into Denver not on the weekends. The train station was very busy. It was a good trip. I'm ready for a train trip to New Orleans, hopefully that will happen pretty soon. Thanks all for reading. Sorry I couldn't figure out how to turn my photo
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