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Old 06-21-2003, 02:29 PM   #1
deedum
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Amtrak Sleeper Upgrade

We got a great deal yesterday on two Amtrak Viewliner Standard sleeper cars for a Disney trip in January - $502/apiece, including tax, roundtrip from Philadelphia.

I've heard that some people have been able to inexpensively upgrade from a standard sleeper to a deluxe sleeper by asking for it at the station on the day of departure.

Has anyone here successfully done that? And if you have, how much were you charged for the upgrade?

Thanks.
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Old 06-21-2003, 09:00 PM   #2
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When are you traveling....? 502 apiece for 2 people sounds high to me....unless it is sometime in the summer...
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Old 06-21-2003, 09:07 PM   #3
deedum
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We're traveling in January. We're paying for two sleeper compartments @ $502 apiece to accommodate four people.

In the past, we've paid as much as $900 for a single sleeper compartment, but we had booked our trip a couple of weeks before departure, when prices were at their highest.

If we didn't want sleeper compartments, the cost would have been around $400-$450 for the four of us. Having spent nights in Amtrak 'recliners' before, and listening to late-night lounge hawks purge their systems in the single bathroom provided for everyone in the car, I feel that the extra money is well spent.
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Old 06-21-2003, 11:04 PM   #4
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Although we haven't requested an upgrade as of yet -- thinking about it for our trip in 10 days -- friends of our's recently did. There were 6 in their family and they allowed them to upgrade to a family bedroom for $100 more. I was first surprised that they allowed 6 of them in a family bedroom as I read that it holds four people, but she asked as they said no problem. Secondly, I think $100 is a GREAT rate for an upgrade.

They arrived at the station approx. 11:00 a.m. So, I'm sure the earlier the better.

I let you know how we make out!
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Old 06-21-2003, 11:08 PM   #5
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Question travel agent suggested amtrack

how many people can fit in the cabins? it will be me,dh,dd7,dd10months,we are not sure if my stepds12 will be able to go quite yet. :D
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Old 06-22-2003, 12:01 AM   #6
deedum
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You definitely won't get that many people into a standard sleeper. It was a tight fit when my wife, my son (5 years old), and myself bunked in one of them a few years ago. With five people in a standard sleeper, it'd be like that scene from the old Marx Brothers movie where all the people inside a ship's cabin tumbled out into the corridor when someone opened the door.

You won't have any trouble fitting into the deluxe sleeper, and you might even be able to squeeze your stepson in there, too.
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Old 06-22-2003, 10:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by kylie&haley'smom
how many people can fit in the cabins? it will be me,dh,dd7,dd10months,we are not sure if my stepds12 will be able to go quite yet. :D
Just to avoid confusing those unfamiliar with train travel, Deedum and DisneyPoly are talking about two different types of sleeping cars/accomodations, on two different types of trains. Deedum is on either the Silver Star or Silver Meteor in a Viewliner sleeper (standard bedroom). DisneyPoly is referring to an upgrade on either Auto-Train or the Sunset Limited.

Viewliner sleepers have standard and deluxe bedrooms. The standard is designed for two people and includes a "restroom" (toilet). I can't imagine more than two people ever getting in one of these tiny rooms (perhaps one adult might squeeze in with two small pre-school children (emphasis on small), but there are only two seats/bunks). The Viewliner deluxe sleeper has a more-proper restroom facility in the room (with shower), and with its additional armchair could easily seat two adults and two children. But, here again there are only the two bunks (though slightly larger). Both rooms are really only intended for two persons in each room; the idea is four people (adults & kids) would need two rooms. To this end, each of the deluxe bedrooms can be combined into a bedroom suite (with a resulting four bunks). The catch is that each Viewliner sleeper only has two deluxe rooms per car (and just 2-3 Viewliners per train), and if even one of those rooms in each car is already reserved, a suite is impossible (book early). Such a suite is also quite expensive.

You can upgrade (at bargain prices) to any available (unsold)accomodation once you are onboard, but with so few deluxe rooms you are often unlikely to find one available for the duration of your trip. Upgrading from coach to standard room is more likely, though of course anything is possible, and there are some really good deals to be had if you care to take the chance. Just always board with the intention of spending the night (or part of the night) in coach, then hope for the best. Naturally, you stand the best chance of getting an upgrade during slow travel periods (beware the first few days of January, Independance Day & all summer, etc.) and by inquiring as early as possible upon boarding.

The Family bedroom is only found on Superliner sleepers (double-deck passenger cars), and is intended for two adults and two children (kylie&haley'smom would be fine here, too). There are four bunks (but, just two adult-sized bunks and then two child-sized bunks) and seating for four (with six in here, I'm imagining there must have been four young, small children sharing two seats). Superliners also have standard bedrooms similar to the Viewliner, and deluxe rooms. These may also be combined into a two-room suite. Both Viewliners and Superliners have accessible bedrooms (1 per car), and then the Superliner has the Family Bedroom.
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Old 06-22-2003, 11:17 AM   #8
deedum
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Thanks for the great information.

Just one question: is it better to ask for an upgrade at the station, or to wait after you board the train itself? Do you ask the attendant who comes by the cabin to collect the tickets?

Thanks again.
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