Auto Train or Silver Service

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by David H., Jun 20, 2011.

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  1. Jun 22, 2011 #26

    AlanB

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    AlanB

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    Not so much a preference, but stay away from 9 & 10, as they are right by the door leading to the next car and therefore tend to be a bit noisier. This is especially true when people open the door to pass through.

    On the lower level I'd try to avoid room 14, which lacks the extra window facing the hall. The only way to see out into the hall is through the door. All other roomettes have both a window and the door. It can also be noisier in 13 & 14 if the family room is being used by a family with screaming kids.
     
  2. Jun 22, 2011 #27

    HotlantaAl

    HotlantaAl

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    I've got a related question on this topic. Which of the Silver Service trains are better, the Star or the Meteor? I'm thinking of going from Miami to PHL and I'm not sure which one to pick. Any recommendations?
     
  3. Jun 22, 2011 #28

    VentureForth

    VentureForth

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    Onboard service is pretty much the same. You will be spending much more time on the train aboard the Star because it makes about a 4 hour detour to Tampa and takes a longer route through South then North Carolina.

    Generally speaking, the Star is less expensive and slower; the Meteor is faster and tends to be more expensive. But it all comes down to your dates.

    If you want to go in a sleeper car, and time isn't of the essense, about the same generalities exist.

    On the Star, you get lunch, dinner, breakfast, and lunch included. If you are running more than an hour late or so, you could squeeze in another dinner.

    On the Meteor, you may get breakfast, then lunch, dinner, and breakfast.

    So, would you rather be on the train for 4 1/2 hours longer, or is arrival time (9:30 AM on the more expensive Meteor vs 5:35 on the longer, cheaper Star) more important?

    What I like to recommend folks making a round trip is to take one up and the other back.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 22, 2011
  4. Jun 22, 2011 #29

    dlagrua

    dlagrua

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    and the large luggage space above the bathroom on the Viewliners. Comparing the two trains, we prefer the Autotrain Superliners but only because we can take the car along. If you only intend to go to Orlando/Lake Buena Vista and stay local then you can just rent a car for a week arriving on the Silvers. If we cannot or do not wish to take our car we prefer the Viewliner trains; better view, smoother ride, and more nostalgic experience dining in a 60 yr old dining car.
     
  5. Jun 23, 2011 #30

    David H.

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    David H.

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    Thanks, I was about to ask which roomettes would be best on the AT. We're leaning towards getting 2 roomettes, would that make 11 and 12 the rooms to get?

    Do I have to place a phone order to request specific rooms, or can I order online and request specific rooms afterwards?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2011
  6. Jun 23, 2011 #31

    Shanghai

    Shanghai

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    Those would be good rooms on the lower level. They are across the aisle.

    I think you would need to call Amtrak to request the specific roomettes.

    I don't know of any way you can request a specific room via the online system.

    There could be a difference in price in the roomettes.

    Have a good trip.
     
  7. Jun 23, 2011 #32

    AlanB

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    AlanB

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    No matter what you'll have to call to get specific rooms, however you could first book online and then immediately call to ask about specific rooms. But frankly, I'd just call right from the getgo, it's probably easier. And you can even call the special AT phone number and deal with specially trained agents that specialize in the Auto Train. It also lets you avoid Julie and queue at the regular Amtrak phone number.

    To call the AT directly use 1-877-754-7495, which also spells 1-877-SKIP-I-95.
     
  8. Jun 24, 2011 #33

    David H.

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    Thanks guys! Booked it, got the roomettes as requested. I'm going to check on the accessible bedroom when we get within the 14 days. Any idea what the price is on that? Same as regular bedroom?
     
  9. Jul 8, 2011 #34
    We take the AT regularly, and this time we booked on the lower level because we are seven people with 3 small children, and we hoped we would be less annoying to people this way :) Any words of wisdom as to why we should not use the lower level? We could always try to change last minute to upper level if there was availability. Thanks :)
     
  10. Jul 9, 2011 #35

    AlanB

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    Well the lower level is where the family room is, so assuming that you didn't book the family room, there will be other kids for your kids to play with. If you did book the family room, well that is the best room for kids. It has a bit more space when the beds are up, for the kids to bounce around in.

    There is also far less foot traffic on the lower level, making it easy for the kids to go right down the hall to the bathrooms and allowing you to keep an eye on them. So personally I think the lower level is probably the best level for kids, and the more frequent travelers know that kids are usually on that level. Meaning that if they're bothered by kids, as some unfortunately are, they'll book the upper level and not the lower level.
     
  11. Jul 9, 2011 #36

    Devil's Advocate

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    I don't know anyone who's bothered by the mere presence of a child. I do however know many people who are bothered by the actions of unruly children who haven't been taught how to behave properly in public. The old adage about being most appreciated when seen and not heard still holds true today just as it did generations ago. Just to be extra clear, the bottom level is in no way reserved for the use of children or families. Nor do the rules and etiquette differ from one level to the next. If you want to make noise then go to the lounge car. In the sleeper cars it's important to speak softly and avoiding bouncing around because people might actually be sleeping or simply want some peace and quiet away from the rest of the train's occupants.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 9, 2011
  12. Jul 9, 2011 #37

    chandj

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    I never noticed the motion as annoying, but I am a bit prone to motion sickness and was affected (afflicted!) on one occasion.
     
  13. Aug 25, 2011 #38

    David H.

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    We finished the first half of the AT trip, quite enjoyable until sleeping. It was quite rough for both of us, a lot of bumping and rocking during the night. I didn't get to sleep until 4:00 or 5:00, just a couple of hours before arriving. To be fair, I am not the best sleeper anywhere but my wife is usually out pretty quick. Would the upper level be better with the bumps and track noise?
     
  14. Aug 25, 2011 #39

    AlanB

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    You would definately have less track noise and you might find that you feel the bumps a bit less. Of course you'll also introduce sway into the equation however.
     
  15. Aug 25, 2011 #40

    VentureForth

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    Nooooo.....

    The upper bunk is further from the center of gravity so there is a lot more moment-arm waving about. You're going to feel the bumps anywhere, but the further you get from the wheels, the more rocking and swaying you'll feel.
     
  16. Aug 25, 2011 #41

    David H.

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    How about the car position? Our sleeping car was pretty far back. Would a car closer to the front make a difference in the ride?
     
  17. Aug 25, 2011 #42

    AlanB

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    That will have little impact on the ride. However if you're going northbound, sleepers are on the northern end of the train for that run. And the further north your sleeper is, the more likely you are to hear the horn on the engine. So if you think that might bother you, your best bet is to hope that your sleeper car number ends in an even number as that will put you further from the engines. Odd numbers are closer to the engines.

    Put another way, odd numbers are north of the dining car & lounge car, even numbers are south of the diner & lounge. Being south of the food service cars means that you have at least 6 cars between you and the engines. Being north of the food service cars means that you are either the second, third, or fourth car from the engines.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2011
  18. Aug 25, 2011 #43

    David H.

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    Thanks Alan, we were in 42. The horn was pretty quiet from there.
     

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