New dining options (flex dining) effective October 1

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by SanDiegan, Jul 13, 2019.

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  1. Nov 2, 2019 #1276

    crescent-zephyr

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    crescent-zephyr

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    You can get hot water and hot tea from the diner / sleeper lounge as well as coffee, soft drinks, etc.
     
  2. Nov 2, 2019 #1277

    Twinkletoes

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    For me one theme recurs in this and other discussions: although Amtrak is one company, there is no (enforced??) uniform service standard in practice. On each trip and with different sleeping car attendants or dining car people, the service is variable. Example: previously for some, attendant's meal service in the room meant getting a white bag that may or may not have included the meal you ordered standard condiments such as a butter or margarine for baked potatoes or bread or, salt/pepper/sugar; ketchup While for others it meant getting a tray lined with linen napkins with a thoughtful provision of all condiments and the right order. Lately there has also been inconsistent diner service: from reservations/no reservations; announcement/no announcement of the diner sitting time. I won't continue. Overall it's difficult as a passenger to have to deal with having people express their impatience with you because whatever you were instructed to do or were told is the process on the last trip is "wrong" the next time. I expect the chaos to continue. In the dim past, I recall that there was more consistency.
     
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  3. Nov 2, 2019 #1278

    pennyk

    pennyk

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    I agree with Anderson. I would not personally use a water boiler for fear of blowing a circuit. I agree that you can get hot water from the sleeper lounge.
     
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  4. Nov 2, 2019 #1279

    me_little_me

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    What a wonderful idea! Especially if that were passed on to management viafeedback.

    On the other hand, many might consider that inappropriate in that subjecting non-premier travelers to that food might be considered to be an act of terrorism. :)
     
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  5. Nov 3, 2019 #1280

    bratkinson

    bratkinson

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    I would suspect that since the outlets in the roomettes are likely built with heavy enough wire (12ga?) to handle hair dryers, there shouldn't be any problem with using a small cup-of-water type heating device. Check the wattage on your hair dryer...1200 to 2000 watts, usually. If your water heating device draws less, you're in luck! If not, I'm sure the SCA knows how to reset the breaker. Perhaps asking the SCA in advance if hair dryers are OK would be the best path to follow.
     
  6. Nov 3, 2019 #1281

    Pat Harper

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    Actually, the outlets in the roomettes were intended for electric shavers, not hairdryers.
     
  7. Nov 3, 2019 #1282

    FrensicPic

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    During October we experienced the Lake Shore Limited* and Crescent** trains (and the new menu) for the first time. Food quality aside, lunch and dinner shares 4 items (5 if you count the "Kid's Meal" (pasta and meatballs) rather than separate lunch and dinner choices. In our trip mentioned, we had 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 3 dinners from the flexible menu. A little more variety would be nice.

    On the LSL, the "serving" of meals was was problematic. We lined up at the entrance to the kitchen (galley) placed our order which was prepared; one person at a time. We received our food and returned to a table. When done, we bused our own table. The line for food extended past the first couple of tables (people standing next to you if you were in one of those booths) which restricted movement through the car...the conductor and others had to squeeze through that part of the car.

    On the Crescent, the 2 SCA's assisted the LSL in the diner/lounge for dinner and the LSL seemed to be more organized. She would come to your table, take your order and return later with the food. Smoother operation and I tipped her at the end of the trip.

    Disappointed that hard boiled eggs were removed from the breakfast menu. How complicated are those to store and serve?

    *#48(14) CHI>BUF; #48(16) BUF>NYP
    **#19(21) NYP>NOL
    This trip was book-ended by #4(11) LAX>CHI AND #1(23) NOL>LAX

    On the LSL...
    20191017_124147.jpg 20191017_130331.jpg
    We later learned that those "trays" were washed and used again!
     
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  8. Nov 3, 2019 #1283

    crescent-zephyr

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    So as usual.... all the crews are making up how they want to personally do the job.
     
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  9. Nov 3, 2019 #1284

    Cho Cho Charlie

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    Even with a sign, I can see the trays that have been dumped into the garbage.
     
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  10. Nov 3, 2019 #1285

    Thirdrail7

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    Or modifying things to help the flow of the train. What may work flawlessly on the LSL may be a hindrance on the Cardinal. From everything I've ready, the crews were not supposed to wait tables. yet, some are, If it helps the flow and eliminates a line that cuts off the through passage, it may be the better way.
     
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  11. Nov 3, 2019 #1286

    crescent-zephyr

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    I don’t disagree with you. As with the traditional dining, some crew modifications made a better experience for the customer, some made it a worse experience.

    I think there should be a standard experience that guests should expect.
     
  12. Nov 3, 2019 #1287

    FrensicPic

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    Some of us interpreted "tray" to be the large cafeteria type tray we used to carry 2 or more meals back to our tables, not the little individual tray!
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2019
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  13. Nov 3, 2019 #1288

    Dakota 400

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    McDonald's provide a more appropriate tray for dine-in meals than the photos show of those Amtrak trays!
     
  14. Nov 3, 2019 #1289

    Austruck

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    Late this month, I'm heading south from Pittsburgh to Tampa on the Silver Star. Then back north on the Silver Meteor three weeks later.

    It's been a year since I've taken this trip, so I assume some of the meals are now changed over to the new system. What should I expect in either direction on those Silvers? I'm okay with eating in my roomettes.
     
  15. Nov 3, 2019 #1290

    Palmetto

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    Expect the flexible dining situation northbound. What you experienced on the Silver Star last year is still in effect this year. (Eating in your roomette is an option, not a requirement.)
     
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  16. Nov 3, 2019 #1291

    Austruck

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    I experienced standing in line for a new-fangled meal back in May (back from Fort Lauderdale), and frankly think everyone would prefer I stay in my room rather than clog up the line. :) :)
     
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  17. Nov 4, 2019 #1292

    me_little_me

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    McDonalds also provides far better breakfast sandwiches (and I'm anything but a fan of their food) as well as better service and also allows one to customize its meals. I never saw a McDonalds person be demanding as to doing service "their way".
     
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  18. Nov 4, 2019 #1293

    PaulM

    PaulM

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    @Austruck

    Did you mean Silver Meteor or did I miss the announcement that the Silver Star now has a sleeper lounge with "enhanced" dining?
     
  19. Nov 4, 2019 #1294

    VentureForth

    VentureForth

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    They are getting one but not sure if implemented yet. I heard 2020 for the Star.
     
  20. Nov 4, 2019 #1295

    Austruck

    Austruck

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    Took one in one direction and the other coming home. So... I end up using both on the same roundtrip.
     
  21. Nov 6, 2019 #1296

    MARC Rider

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    Uh, I've been to plenty of McDonald's where the level of the service was, shall we say, less than optimal.
     
  22. Nov 6, 2019 #1297

    jis

    jis

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    McDonalds provided trays? The last three McDonalds I went to had only paper bags irrespective of whether you were eating in or taking out. Maybe they ran out of trays (how?) or something.
     
  23. Nov 6, 2019 #1298

    Rasputin

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    In my experience with contemporary dining on the Lake Shore this past May I would have definitely preferred breakfast at McDonalds.
     
  24. Nov 6, 2019 #1299

    Palmland

    Palmland

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    If Amtrak had Chick-fil-A quality of food and service, I suspect it would be preferable to Flex dining.
     
  25. Nov 6, 2019 #1300

    lordsigma

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    I have to confess I kind of like the Jimmy Dean muffin sandwiches they have on Amtrak. But I also like McDonalds biscuit sandwiches so I'm not sure which I'd prefer!
     

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