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Silver Star: What to do for meals without Diner?

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I had said I wouldn't take the SS so this week a situation arose that may require me to go to Tampa. Do I take the SM to ORL and rent a car or take the SS to TPA and improvise my meals in my room. I just do not want to give revenue to the SS showing the suits that people will travel without a DC.

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I had said I wouldn't take the SS so this week a situation arose that may require me to go to Tampa. Do I take the SM to ORL and rent a car or take the SS to TPA and improvise my meals in my room. I just do not want to give revenue to the SS showing the suits that people will travel without a DC.

Or take the SM and the connecting bus service to TPA...

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I had said I wouldn't take the SS so this week a situation arose that may require me to go to Tampa. Do I take the SM to ORL and rent a car or take the SS to TPA and improvise my meals in my room. I just do not want to give revenue to the SS showing the suits that people will travel without a DC.

 

Wow. You'd really go to that length and spend that much money on a rental car (not to mention the extra money you'd spend on the Amtrak steaks) to prove a point?

 

 

 

 

Or take the SM and the connecting bus service to TPA...

 

 

Two hour bus ride or Amtrak cafe food?

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Truth be told, even in my daily life off the train my dinner often consists of something similar to a pizza or some hot dogs or a burger or other sandwich and fries/chips. So no big deal doing one dinner and a lunch using Amtrak Cafe Chow for me. I do understand however that others are richer and rightfully insist on a higher standard of food every day of their life, or they have legitimate medical reasons for such.

 

Consequently I have never had any trouble using the SS if the schedule and route suites better for my needs. But as they say, each to his or her own.

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I had said I wouldn't take the SS so this week a situation arose that may require me to go to Tampa. Do I take the SM to ORL and rent a car or take the SS to TPA and improvise my meals in my room. I just do not want to give revenue to the SS showing the suits that people will travel without a DC.

 

Wow. You'd really go to that length and spend that much money on a rental car (not to mention the extra money you'd spend on the Amtrak steaks) to prove a point?

How is he spending money on Amtrak steaks if meals are included? And he's not avoiding the Star just to prove a point - some people want actual food when they're stuck on a train for 25+ hours.

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...Do I take the SM to ORL and rent a car or take the SS to TPA and improvise my meals in my room.

Wow. You'd really go to that length and spend that much money on a rental car (not to mention the extra money you'd spend on the Amtrak steaks) to prove a point?

Volks, how say we cut Mr. Lonestar some slack.

 

For all anyone knows, Mr. Lonestar has need for an auto to "get around" at final destination. Perhaps "two seats" instead of three (Meteor, bus, auto) is simply more convenient.

 

Also, last time I checked, Orlando is the only station in Florida with an on-premises outlet (Hertz) - none of this "on call" stuff.

 

Now so far as "Steak over Snack Bar b**f", that's a personal choice.

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Or my wife’s Chardonnay! (I stick with melting the ice with a good bourbon!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Amtrak Forum

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I go for the Muscato if I can find it. usually easier to find a Chard or a Cab Sauv.

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I had said I wouldn't take the SS so this week a situation arose that may require me to go to Tampa. Do I take the SM to ORL and rent a car or take the SS to TPA and improvise my meals in my room. I just do not want to give revenue to the SS showing the suits that people will travel without a DC.

 

Wow. You'd really go to that length and spend that much money on a rental car (not to mention the extra money you'd spend on the Amtrak steaks) to prove a point?

How is he spending money on Amtrak steaks if meals are included? And he's not avoiding the Star just to prove a point - some people want actual food when they're stuck on a train for 25+ hours.

 

 

Fare is more expensive.

 

I love the way people think café car food isn't "actual food".

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After discussing with my cousin who lives in Orlando, the plan is the SM, rental car ORL (would need one in Tampa anyway), spend night with them and drive to Tampa area in morning. Just waiting for client to confirm needing me on site. Actually, this saves me a couple hotel nights.

 

My concern with Sleeper passengers taking the SS is that Amtrak will think the DC could be eliminated across the board, the people will still pay and ride. As we see with other things, once eliminated, it is gone! I just enjoy, most of the time, the Dining Car experience. Yes, I have had plenty of cafe food during my years on Amtrak, that is all the TR had, which I rode many times, same with the Kentucky Cardinal, though that was not even cafe. Those two trains never had a Diner to begin with.

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I had said I wouldn't take the SS so this week a situation arose that may require me to go to Tampa. Do I take the SM to ORL and rent a car or take the SS to TPA and improvise my meals in my room. I just do not want to give revenue to the SS showing the suits that people will travel without a DC.

 

Wow. You'd really go to that length and spend that much money on a rental car (not to mention the extra money you'd spend on the Amtrak steaks) to prove a point?

How is he spending money on Amtrak steaks if meals are included? And he's not avoiding the Star just to prove a point - some people want actual food when they're stuck on a train for 25+ hours.

 

 

Fare is more expensive.

 

I love the way people think café car food isn't "actual food".

 

Technically the cafe is serving actual food. But the offerings are hardly worthy of being called 'full meals'. For me, taking the Star would be a 31 hour ride (I go almost end to end). I don't want to be eating microwave pizza ad cup noodles, for that long. I would probably have to bring a bunch of snacks in a cooler, and have some meals delivered to the train.

 

And for the record, for two people going Delray Beach to NYP in a roomette, the Star totals out at $60 cheaper than the Meteor - $460 vs $520. That's really not a big difference for that much of a trip. And Lonestar is right, if management sees that the Star has good ridership and revenue, it will just reinforce the idea that these kinds of cuts are profitable. I certainly don't want to be stuck on the CZ for 52 hours without a dining car.

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Management has already pretty much decided that the Star experiment is at least not a failure if not an outright success. That horse has bolted the barn quite a while back. Most people who ride the Star really don;t care much this way or that. Would having a Diner be better? Absolutely. Is its absence a showstopper. Not for most people.

 

As for why anyone in their right mind would ride the Star from Delray Beach to New York even with a Diner? I have no clue! ;)

Edited by jis

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After discussing with my cousin who lives in Orlando, the plan is the SM, rental car ORL (would need one in Tampa anyway), spend night with them and drive to Tampa area in morning. Just waiting for client to confirm needing me on site. Actually, this saves me a couple hotel nights.

 

My concern with Sleeper passengers taking the SS is that Amtrak will think the DC could be eliminated across the board, the people will still pay and ride. As we see with other things, once eliminated, it is gone! I just enjoy, most of the time, the Dining Car experience. Yes, I have had plenty of cafe food during my years on Amtrak, that is all the TR had, which I rode many times, same with the Kentucky Cardinal, though that was not even cafe. Those two trains never had a Diner to begin with.

I don't see Amtrak eliminating the diner on any of the other long distance trains because that would, for the most part, leave rail passengers with no alternative in the markets those trains serve. They did it with the Silver Star because they knew that those who still want a diner can take the Silver Meteor instead, as the two trains follow mostly the same route. Amtrak wanted to offer passengers two different ways of paying for meals on the Silver Service trains. This way, you can either have meals included in the sleeper fare on the SM, or you can pay for your meals as you go on the SS.

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. . .for two people going Delray Beach to NYP in a roomette, the Star totals out at $60 cheaper than the Meteor - $460 vs $520. That's really not a big difference for that much of a trip.

This comparison oversimplifies the cost difference by comparing, I think, the same or similar bucket levels. Because the coach fares for the SS and SM are the same, fare differences are due solely to sleeper differences. And, as seen below, full route fare differences for a Roomette could be as little as $72 or as much as $415. For Bedrooms, the differences range from $293 to $889. And the sleeper upcharges to DLB are same as those to MIA.

 

post-9586-0-27014500-1523657966_thumb.jpg

 

There's no reason to expect sleepers on the two different trains to be at the same bucket level on any given day.

 

I think it's even remotely possible for a Roomette on the SM to be $8 less than on the SS!

Edited by niemi24s

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There's no reason to expect sleepers on the two different trains to be at the same bucket level on any given day.

 

I think it's even remotely possible for a Roomette on the SM to be $8 less than on the SS!

 

 

I know that. My point was that the lowest roomette bucket on the Star is $60 cheaper than the Meteor.

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The differences between the SS and SM upper buckets seem to be substantial. Does the SM always have higher occupancy rates to drive the higher rates? In theory, the difference between buckets should be equal across the board to compensate for the lost meals, otherwise the buckets would be the same. Is the SS priced lower to draw more passengers or is Amtrak leaving money on the table?

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There's no reason to expect sleepers on the two different trains to be at the same bucket level on any given day.

 

I think it's even remotely possible for a Roomette on the SM to be $8 less than on the SS!

 

 

I know that. My point was that the lowest roomette bucket on the Star is $60 cheaper than the Meteor.

 

A minor point, but the lowest Roomette bucket on the Star ($187) is $72 cheaper than the lowest Roomette bucket on the Meteor ($259). See Post #40. Do the math.

Edited by niemi24s

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Another point about the Silver Star is that it has a unique cafe car menu that went into effect about 4 months after the dining car was pulled. This menu which is on-line under the route descriptions, NOT the dining information tab, lists hot entrees for $10.00, ask server for availability.

 

Has anyone out there tried one ?? I would assume they are similar to the “tray meals” that were once served on trains that had “Amdinette” service, like the Montrealler had after it lost its full diner.

 

Ken

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Amtrak Forum

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I’m going to be doing the Silver Star PHL-MIA in a couple weeks solo in a roomette and I’m planning to do the picnic basket option with a collapsible cooler. Figure I can grab a hot sandwich for lunch at the 30th Street Station Jersey Mike’s and maybe a cold one to toss in the cooler, some Uncrustable frozen PB&J sandwiches, cereal in a cup for breakfast, etc. Viewing it as an adventure where if I fail I get to eat a bunch of hot dogs and the like from the cafe car as punishment for poor planning.

 

I am curious what the hot entree is like though.

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I am curious what the hot entree is like though.

Although I never tried a hot entree, I looked at the ingredient list and opted not to try. I have food allergies and the list contained ingredients I did not want to consume. Although I did not look for the entrees the last time I was on the Star (January 2018), I did not see the hot entrees offered. They may be been discontinued, but I am not sure. I do know that the sandwich menu had changed since the last time I had traveled on the Star.

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Another point about the Silver Star is that it has a unique cafe car menu that went into effect about 4 months after the dining car was pulled. This menu which is on-line under the route descriptions, NOT the dining information tab, lists hot entrees for $10.00, ask server for availability.

 

Has anyone out there tried one ?? I would assume they are similar to the “tray meals” that were once served on trains that had “Amdinette” service, like the Montrealler had after it lost its full diner.

 

Ken

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Amtrak Forum

I believe they cancelled the tray meals on the Star after a few months, due to low demand.

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Here is the Cafe Menu that is unique to the Star and has been verified on the Silver Service Facebook page by

people who have ridden the Star recently.

 

It does have some additional items not offered the National Cafe Car Menu, earlier versions of this menu listed the heat and eat entrees,

it now lists to check with the server, as they cut back the variety per trip to 2, or 3, as opposed to the original offering of 5.

 

Actual trip reports on this menu from forum members would be appreciated.

 

https://www.amtrak.com/content/dam/projects/dotcom/english/public/documents/menus/routes/Silver-Star-Cafe-Menu-0417.pdf

 

Ken

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Don't know why the link doesn't work, but if you search for Silver-Star-Cafe-Menu-0417.pdf, that link shows up and works.

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