Amtrak Viewliner Roomette Trip Report: Silver Meteor 98 CHS-NYP

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  1. jmgriffin

    jmgriffin Silver Member

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    EDIT: Kept hitting image upload limit and had to strip out all but 5 of them. Be sure to check the link to the blog if you want to see the rest! Thanks for reading!

    Not sure if you guys like Amtrak trip reports too but.... took a pretty fun trip a few months ago on Amtrak--great way to travel. Hope someone enjoys reading!

    If anyone is interested, there's a good bit more detail, pictures and maps at our blog: http://www.weekendblitz.com/amtrak-silver-meteor-98-roomette-charleston-to-new-york-penn-station/

    AMTRAK SILVER METEOR TRAIN #98 -- ROOMETTE SLEEPER CAR SERVICE:

    I looked up the train schedule and found that the Amtrak Silver Meteor #98 was running 45-60 mins late which meant that we might have a chance to make it. I told McCown to run home, pack a bag and meet me in 1 hour. I hurried back to my computer, transferred the 15,000 Chase Sapphire points to my Amtrak Guest Rewards account and quickly called Amtrak to book. I was working under the impression that you had to make reservations no later than 60 mins prior to scheduled departure time (9:23PM in our case). OK, so now we’re cutting it really close. I still can’t say for sure if that limit is myth or fact but I got everything booked around 8:21PM. We booked it to the train station and arrived with just a few minutes to spare before boarding the sleeper car.

    [​IMG]
    Stats from my Garmin watch, average moving speed of 62 mph. That's probably faster than the average moving speed of I-95.

    These long-distance sleeper trains are configured with 3 sleeper cars. Each sleeper has 3 rooms & 12 “roomettes,” for a grand total of up to 45 rooms available per trip. Even with this in mind, the rooms often sell out!

    We were greeted by our car’s attendant. It is his job to see to the comfort of all guests in his section. We received excellent service from our very attentive attendant.

    [​IMG]

    A "roomette" is literally just that-- a small cabin about the width of 2 seats. It's literally just long enough for a 6 foot tall person to stretch out on a bed and can be somewhat cramped. It's great for having more privacy than the main cabin since you're able to completely close the blinds and door, secluding yourself from the other passengers on the train. Don't plan on bringing much luggage into these rooms-- there's just enough room for each passenger to have a carry-on sized bag but no bigger. You'll either have to check larger luggage or ask the attendant if there is other communal luggage storage.

    [​IMG]

    Since we boarded the train around 10:15pm, the car attendant gave us just a few minutes to settle in but didn't waste much time before asking us if we were ready for him to make the beds. I put him off a bit but it seemed as if he was ready to make the conversion. So, we took a quick walk to the dining car and explored the other cars and, about 10 minutes later, our room had been transformed.

    The most awkward thing about the roomettes, by far, is the toilet/sink combo in the room. This makes for a pretty gross experience. And, the terrible news is that the nearest public restroom is in the coach car which in our case was 4 to 5 cars away. Makes for a pretty annoying walk just to use the restroom. We found ourselves sneaking into the empty sleeper rooms or other roomettes whenever possible.

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    The all-in-one sink/water/toilet...sexy​

    After a surprisingly good night's sleep, we woke up somewhere between Baltimore and Washington and headed over to the dining car.

    When you're traveling in one of the sleeper compartments, all meals are included --up to 3x a day, depending upon your boarding and departure times. In our case, we boarded at 10:15pm (well after the dinner hour), had breakfast and then arrived in New York by 11:30am (well before the lunch hour) so just 1 meal for us. The good news is that the sleep cabins always get priority seating but they cram people in 4 to a table, so be ready to make small talk with your table mate. We found the food to be much, much tastier than airplane food!

    [​IMG]

    After the dining service, we had just a few more hours left and arrived at New York Penn Station at 10:59am--about 30 minutes ahead of schedule! And, just like that we were already in the city well before our scheduled arrival time--the airlines can't compete with that!

    BOTTOM LINE: For just 15k Chase Ultimate Rewards points, we had an excellent experience aboard Amtrak's Viewliner Roomette. We slept very well, had great service from the attendant, waiter and kitchen staff--and made it to NYC all before our scheduled arrival time.
     
    iolaire, jwsky, violist and 2 others like this.
  2. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    Great report. Thanks so much for sharing!
    It's worth noting that those beds are aligned with the direction of travel. So those who like to sleep on their sides may have trouble holding a steady position, as the train rocks from side to side. I understand that such sleeper cars are used in all trains operating in the eastern US.
     
  3. jwsky
    Original Member

    jwsky Silver Member

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    Thanks for the report!
    I wonder what the sleeper rooms were like? Are there showers?
     
  4. jmgriffin

    jmgriffin Silver Member

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    Yes, the sleepers have an all-in-one shower, bathroom and sink in the cabin. They also have significantly more space to maneuver but can be almost double the price of the roomettes.
     
    jwsky likes this.
  5. jasonmh26

    jasonmh26 Silver Member

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    I like trains and enjoyed your report. I did a double-take when I read "The all-in-one sink/water/toilet".... are you serious? Never heard of that before.
     
  6. jmgriffin

    jmgriffin Silver Member

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    Yes, pretty crazy right! I didn't manage to get a picture but here's one I found online that looks similar:

    [​IMG]

    See the shower head on the left? They sort of remind me of the public restrooms in Europe that do a full self wash after every use.
     

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