Amtrak Superliner Roomette vs Family Bedroom

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by 757Captain, Jun 22, 2019.

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  1. Jun 22, 2019 #1

    757Captain

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    Hello. We will be doing some Amtrak traveling this fall for my wife's birthday trip. The last leg will be on the Empire Builder #8 from East Glacier Park, MT to Chicago. We have an upperlevel Superliner roomette reserved for that portion of the trip. I recently noticed that the family bedroom on the lower lever is available for about $100 more than what we paid. After doing a fair amount of research on the family bedroom, I am almost tempted to change to that room since there will be more space to relax in as well as a lower lever window on each side of the room. I have found that most report the track noise can be a bit louder as well as the lower level scenery (vs the better upper level scenery) out the window. Does anyone have any other pros and cons to consider? What would anyone else do as far as swapping rooms? Thank you for your input.
     
  2. Jun 22, 2019 #2

    Willbridge

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    Regarding the scenery, if you were going west of East Glacier I'd recommend the Family Room for the scenery (which our family once did: Cut Bank to Seattle to Portland to Cut Bank). East of East Glacier it's mostly a question of having extra space as a nice gesture.
     
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  3. Jun 23, 2019 #3

    AmtrakBlue

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    I’d rather you leave the family room for a family. ;) If it’s still available close to your travel date, then take it.
     
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  4. Jun 23, 2019 #4

    Sauve850

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    Same reason Ive never chosen it.
     
  5. Jun 23, 2019 #5

    Maglev

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    I've ridden in the Family Bedroom twice, once with my wife and once alone. As usual for my travels, both trips were during off-peak times. I almost always see the Family Bedrooms to be vacant, so I don't worry about denying it to a needy family.

    The small windows in the Family Bedroom really restrict your visibility compared to the larger window of a Roomette or Bedroom. Also, there is only one very uncomfortable seat facing the opposite direction of the large "sofa," so there is a 50% chance you will be restricted in forward visibility. I did not notice any extra noise, except for a sound of the train kicking up ice every now and then (you wouldn't have that in the fall.) I like lower level Roomettes, and don't think the view is any worse downstairs. So for me, the main advantage of a Family Bedroom over a Roomette is the wider berths.

    I really recommend a Bedroom for a couple. It gets you a big window, wide berths, room to sit next to or across from your partner, some in-room storage space, and a private toilet/shower.
     
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  6. Jun 23, 2019 #6

    Michigan Mom

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    Family bedroom is the most spacious of the three options but doesn't have the toilet/shower. We liked the family room quite a bit when we traveled from Chicago to LAX, for three people the extra space was most welcome. If it was only 100$ more than a roomette I would grab that in a heartbeat. As noted above though, the Bedrooms are ideal for a couple - and usually are less than the Family room.
     
  7. Jun 24, 2019 #7

    CAMISSY55

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    Just my opinion of course.... but it seems the Superliner bedroom (except bedroom A) is a bit larger than the Superliner Family Room. And second I have never found the Family Bedroom accommodation rate to be less than the Bedroom accommodation rate. Maybe Viewliners are a lot different.
     
  8. Jun 25, 2019 #8

    jloewen

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    On one occasion, when I was making an emergency reservation from Ann Arbor to DC (that's via an "Ambus," actually a "limo," actually a small bus with amusing interior decor featuring fake stars and a nightclub theme in this case, going to Toledo around 10PM, then connecting with the eastbound Capital Limited after 11PM), the family bedroom, with views from both sides, was cheaper than the ROOMETTE! So I booked it, of course!
    On that trip, the CL left Chicago at 11PM, owing to a blizzard, so it did not arrive in Toledo at 11PM, but rather at 7AM. I got on, had breakfast, and did get some sleep the rest of the morning.
    Altho dramatically late, it was better than flying, which canceled altogether. Besides, I had another fabulous Amtrak conversation at breakfast, with "the world's best chainsaw artist," who was getting off at Pittsburgh and going to a competition in central PA. His business card read, "It's not just bears anymore," and his wife showed me a beautiful portfolio of his work.
     
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  9. Jun 26, 2019 #9

    niemi24s

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    Even though Viewliners don't have Family Bedrooms, the difference between what's available and what's actually offered is often surprising.

    Each of the five Superliner Family Bedroom buckets is always less than the five corresponding Bedroom bucket on each of the thirteen trains, as shown below.

    22-18 Jan 2019 Fare Buckets.jpg

    While AmSnag shows only 5 dates during the next 30 days with Family Bedrooms available on #8 between GPK and CHI, they're available at $659 for 1 adult on each of those dates. Bedrooms on those same dates range from $943 to $1741.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019
  10. Jun 26, 2019 #10

    CAMISSY55

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    Maybe I’m missing something (and that would not be uncommon). But, Bedrooms, (which I’m speaking of) NOT Roomettes are, bucket per bucket, priced higher than the Family Bedrooms.

    I realize that because of Amtrak fare algorithms work that it could be possible that the FB could, on any given date, be priced less than a Bdrm...I just haven’t encountered that. That was my point. Please advise if I am missing something. Thanks
     
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  11. Jun 26, 2019 #11

    niemi24s

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    Yes, bucket for bucket Bedrooms are indeed priced higher than Family Bedrooms.

    I got my tongue wrapped around my eye tooth and couldn't see what I was saying! :oops:
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019
  12. Jun 28, 2019 #12

    juanee

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    The fares you have on your chart niemi24s... are the fares based from where the train originates to where the train terminates, for example LAX to NOL for Sunset Limited?
     
  13. Jun 28, 2019 #13

    niemi24s

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    Yes. And the sleeper accommodation charges are just that - without any coach fare included.
     
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  14. Jun 29, 2019 #14

    juanee

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    I see... I believe I have seen your chart before in another thread. In your observation, how often does Amtrak adjust the buckets?
     
  15. Jun 29, 2019 #15

    niemi24s

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    I've noticed wholesale bucket changes at intervals of approximately 10, 2 and 11 months in that order. But it may be some time before I notice any changes as I only spot check them about once a month. And when a wholesale change is detected it may take several weeks to come up with an updated chart.
     
  16. Jun 29, 2019 #16

    juanee

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    I roughly have the same itineraries every year, so I have a feel of what a low bucket should be, based on prior trips. Although, every year it goes up by a few dollars.

    To stay on topic, many years ago, I booked the Family Bedroom because it was less expensive than a Roomette. Today, I would leave that room available for a family that need the convenience of the layout to accommodate 2 adults and 2 children.

    Having traveled with small children in the recent past, we had to book two roomettes to accommodate us because the Family Bedroom was unavailable.
     
  17. Jun 29, 2019 #17

    niemi24s

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    If you've not heard of it, AmSnag... http://biketrain.x10.mx/amsnag2.0/amSnag.php ...is the best way to shop for the cheapest travel dates in a sleeper. It's how I gather fares for the chart. F'rinstance, it shows the upcharges for a Family Bedroom can be as much as 3 to 5 times that for a Roomette - depending on the train. The ratio for Bedrooms to Roomettes ranges from 3 to about 6½.

    In addition, AmSnag lets you look at fares for a 30 day period with one search.
     
  18. Jun 29, 2019 #18

    juanee

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    Yes, I have used Amsnag for years. I figured you used Amsnag to generate your chart.

    Many years ago, the strategy was to book as early as possible (11 months out) for the lowest price. But now, in my observation, sometimes the 11 month out fare is a higher bucket. The fares gradually falls to a lower bucket months later.
     

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