Silver Meteor 98 WPB - NYP 12 JUL 2019

Discussion in 'Travelogues / Trip Reports' started by railiner, Jul 24, 2019.

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  1. Jul 24, 2019 #1

    railiner

    railiner

    railiner

    Conductor

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    I took 180 days on a full world cruise to reach Miami, so I thought it would be appropriate to spend about 27 hours on a train, returning to New York.
    My cruise docked at about 0800 on the 11th, and while I could have caught the Silver Star that same day, I elected to spend a night at Miami Beach, unwind, and take the Silver Meteor with its full service diner, the next morning.
    I enjoyed a night at the beautifully restored 1939 built, art deco, National Hotel, beachfront, at Collins Avenue near Lincoln Road. A perfect location close to Ocean Drive on South Beach, and the Lincoln Road shopping and entertainment mall. It also featured fantastic architectural details and artwork, plus nice entertainment in the lobby in the evening. Not to mention, a 205 foot long lap pool in its courtyard leading to the beach.

    My plan was to board in Miami, but because my companion could not travel with me on Amtrak to her home near WPB, due to traffic restriction on that portion, we instead left early, and took Tri-Rail to WPB. We then had breakfast with her family, after learning the train was delayed about 3 hours, account having to replace a bad-ordered diner. We finally said our good-byes, and the train finally arrived and left .

    I was in car 9810, Roomette 1, a great location. Right behind the diner. Even though the persons opposite me closed off their curtain, I could still get a glimpse out the opposite side thru the aisle window ahead of Roomette 2. Our attendant came around, introduced himself, described the features of the car, and his services. Something new...there was a sign in my room with my name printed in large letters, welcoming me aboard, with the attendants name also...first time I have seen that. He also invited me to head to the diner, as lunch was being servied.

    I was seated with an friendly couple, and enjoyed the hamburger and cheesecake for dessert. Everything tasted great, the waitresses were friendly and efficient. The chef even came thru the car, asking everyone how they enjoyed their meals....we all did!

    After lunch, I walked the train for a bit of exercise...forward of the diner was a lounge-cafe, and five coaches, and one locomotive. Behind my sleeper, were two more, and a baggage car.
    When we got to the Auto Train yard near Sanford, they added another locomotive to the head end, and we took about a thiry minute delay doing that, which the conductor apologized for, as well as explaining why the train started out so late to begin with.

    I returned to my room, read for awhile, and took a little nap. I had originally requested dinner at 1830, but I was still 'full' from lunch, so asked if I could wait until the last sitting at 2000. No problem..
    Dinner was with another couple...a friendly pair of guys. My dinner choice was the "Land and Sea" combination of crab cake, and flat iron steak...delicious...not a scrap of fat on the steak. Dessert was chocolate cake. Once again great, and friendly service, and the chef came thru again. We all complimented her cooking.

    After dinner, I walked the train again, pretty full by this time. I thought about sitting in the lounge for a while, but did not see any likely candidates for conversation (lots of families with kids) so went back to my room. The train wifi worked pretty good, so I browsed the internet, checked email, texted some, watched our progress on the map, and then read some more. As requested, at 2200, my attendant made up my bed. I then remembered I had my scanner, and with the lights out, looked out the window for a while, and listened in on the active channel, before shutting it off, and going to bed. I woke up once during the night, and used the toilet in the room...Nice to have it there, and not to have to dress and go down the hall...

    In the morning, I used the shower at the end of the car....very refreshing!
    Had breakfast with another couple, also friendly. Pancakes, with bacon...very good! By this time, we were running about five hours behind schedule...we lost some additional time meeting freight trains, since we had long lost our 'slot'. The new crew also apologized for our delay, and fully explained it to those who had not heard it before. At about 1000, a diner attendant told us that due to our lateness, they were offering a special additional lunch, but only at 1145, and they offered us a couple of choices, they needed us to pre select from.

    The lunch turned out to be right after our change to electric locomotive at Washington. I was seated with the two guys I had dinner with the night before. Had another hamburger, no dessert this time.
    After traveling at 79mph, it was exhilarating to reach 110 on the NEC. Soon as I saw the catenary, I felt like I was 'home'. We finally arrived NYP, 4 hours and 56 minutes late...we could have made up some more time, but we were held east of Newark due to weekend single-tracking.

    Overall, I was very satisfied with my trip...so much so, that on my next cruise, from New York to San Francisco in January, I am thinking about applying my 'lateness voucher' from Customer Relations, to travel home on the CZ! :)
     
    JRR, jiml, Qapla and 1 other person like this.
  2. Jul 25, 2019 #2

    OBS

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    Great report, thanks! Welcome home. What ship were you on?
     
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  3. Jul 25, 2019 #3

    railiner

    railiner

    railiner

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    Thank you...I was on the Oceania Insignia.
     
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  4. Jul 25, 2019 #4

    OBS

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    OBS

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    Very nice....trust you enjoyed immensely!
     
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  5. Jul 25, 2019 #5

    railiner

    railiner

    railiner

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    Very much so...it was truly a 'life-changing' experience for me, my retirement gift to myself.
     
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  6. Jul 25, 2019 #6

    railiner

    railiner

    railiner

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    IMG_0634.JPG IMG_0640.JPG IMG_0643.JPG IMG_0644.JPG IMG_0651.JPG IMG_0658.JPG IMG_0660.JPG
     
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  7. Jul 25, 2019 #7

    railiner

    railiner

    railiner

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    Only took a few photos, sorry....
     
  8. Aug 4, 2019 #8

    Katibeth

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    Katibeth

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    Very nice photos. Thanks for sharing.
     
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  9. Aug 5, 2019 #9

    Michigan Mom

    Michigan Mom

    Michigan Mom

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    Indeed, Nice photos! Looks like there is direct beach access at the end of the pool?
     
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  10. Aug 6, 2019 #10

    Mystic River Dragon

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    Mystic River Dragon

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    Wonderful report, and I'm glad you had such a good trip (cruise as well as train). I love Roomette 1--nice to have neighbors on just one side. I've seen the card with my name and the attendant's name on it, but only once or twice ever--I agree, it is a nice touch. Sounds like you had a great crew, and I'm glad you got to experience it before whatever changes Amtrak may have in store for us on that train.
     
    Bob Dylan and railiner like this.

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