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Old 02-22-2012, 11:37 AM   #451
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Just an fyi that you can now buy Amtrak points for 30% off. I received an email for my Chase Amtrak guest rewards card regarding it. I believe it runs thru March 14th.

Can anyone tell me the earliest you can book Amtrak? We'll be going May 2013.
How do the points work? How do you "Buy points"?
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Old 02-22-2012, 03:35 PM   #452
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If you go to the Amtrak site you can sign up for guest rewards and also apply for the Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard from Chase. You get points for getting the card and also anytime you make purchases with it. You can accrue additional points from purchasing thru certain vendors from the rewards site. And there are alot. Nice place to do your shopping.
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:42 PM   #453
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If you go to the Amtrak site you can sign up for guest rewards and also apply for the Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard from Chase. You get points for getting the card and also anytime you make purchases with it. You can accrue additional points from purchasing thru certain vendors from the rewards site. And there are alot. Nice place to do your shopping.
Thanks! I am going to check it out. Would love to have points towards a bedroom for our next autotrain trip!
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Old 02-24-2012, 09:40 AM   #454
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My DH had a meeting to go to last night, and someone mentioned to him that they always take the train from Raleigh to Orlando. We normally fly, and for our trip in September we are going to drive because we have so much stuff to take. But for our November trip, I got to thinking how nice it would be to hop on the train after work on Friday and then be able to sleep thru the night and wake up in Orlando the next morning. Plus, I thought that Amtrak would be a fun experience. I checked fares this morning, and the round-trip cost for a sleepette for the two of us for our dates in November would be $583.90 roundtrip. And right now I can book Southwest out of Raleigh for $511.20 for the two of us.

I had always thought that the train was cheaper than flying, but not in this particular instance. I do recognize that the Amtrak fare includes meals, but I am not sure just what meals we would get with boarding after 9:00 p.m.--not sure dinner would still be available.

Are there any other advantages to taking the train that I should factor in to help justify the cost?

Also, concerning your baggage, are your bags in the Sleepette with you or are they stored somewhere else? My only other recent Amtrak experience was going Cary to Charlotte, and everyone seemed to put their bags in an area at the back of the car they were riding in, but they weren't secure or anything. Is it the same with an overnight or are the bags more secure?
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:46 PM   #455
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Those pictures look awesome and my family and I can't wait to do the Amtrak and take beautiful pictures of our memories as well! It looks like you all had a really fun time and I think you sold me on the trip.
YEAH Glad to get you excited about the train! It is so much fun!
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:51 PM   #456
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Originally Posted by RweTHEREyet View Post
My DH had a meeting to go to last night, and someone mentioned to him that they always take the train from Raleigh to Orlando. We normally fly, and for our trip in September we are going to drive because we have so much stuff to take. But for our November trip, I got to thinking how nice it would be to hop on the train after work on Friday and then be able to sleep thru the night and wake up in Orlando the next morning. Plus, I thought that Amtrak would be a fun experience. I checked fares this morning, and the round-trip cost for a sleepette for the two of us for our dates in November would be $583.90 roundtrip. And right now I can book Southwest out of Raleigh for $511.20 for the two of us.

I had always thought that the train was cheaper than flying, but not in this particular instance. I do recognize that the Amtrak fare includes meals, but I am not sure just what meals we would get with boarding after 9:00 p.m.--not sure dinner would still be available.

Are there any other advantages to taking the train that I should factor in to help justify the cost?

Also, concerning your baggage, are your bags in the Sleepette with you or are they stored somewhere else? My only other recent Amtrak experience was going Cary to Charlotte, and everyone seemed to put their bags in an area at the back of the car they were riding in, but they weren't secure or anything. Is it the same with an overnight or are the bags more secure?
Hi! To answer the main question-NO, the train is not always cheaper.That said, you do NOT pay for your luggage like you do on a plane(and that can add up).We always take an extra empty suitcase for the goodies we buy!

When you are in a roomette, you can take some small/med size luggage with you and the rest is stored under the train in a luggage area not open to the public.

I hate to say this BUT if the cost difference was less than $75--and you are willing to fly(unlike myself!!)it would be much faster to take the plane.
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Old 02-24-2012, 04:47 PM   #457
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Originally Posted by lisa-upnorth View Post
Hi! To answer the main question-NO, the train is not always cheaper.That said, you do NOT pay for your luggage like you do on a plane(and that can add up).We always take an extra empty suitcase for the goodies we buy!

When you are in a roomette, you can take some small/med size luggage with you and the rest is stored under the train in a luggage area not open to the public.

I hate to say this BUT if the cost difference was less than $75--and you are willing to fly(unlike myself!!)it would be much faster to take the plane.
Faster as far as travel time is involved yes. However, if I want to be there on Friday, I can leave here after work on Thursday night on the train and be there in the morning, fairly well rested.

If I fly out on Friday, I have to be at the airport very early, after probably doing last minute packing the night before, get the baggage checked, get thru security, head to the gate, wait to board and then see how many screaming babies there are on board (almost always because of the destination) and then arrival is usually close to noon.

So, I see the train as a more restful form of travel, maybe I am just trying to talk myself into it.


And, the train would be an adventure/
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Old 02-24-2012, 05:25 PM   #458
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Originally Posted by RweTHEREyet View Post
My DH had a meeting to go to last night, and someone mentioned to him that they always take the train from Raleigh to Orlando. We normally fly, and for our trip in September we are going to drive because we have so much stuff to take. But for our November trip, I got to thinking how nice it would be to hop on the train after work on Friday and then be able to sleep thru the night and wake up in Orlando the next morning. Plus, I thought that Amtrak would be a fun experience. I checked fares this morning, and the round-trip cost for a sleepette for the two of us for our dates in November would be $583.90 roundtrip. And right now I can book Southwest out of Raleigh for $511.20 for the two of us.

I had always thought that the train was cheaper than flying, but not in this particular instance. I do recognize that the Amtrak fare includes meals, but I am not sure just what meals we would get with boarding after 9:00 p.m.--not sure dinner would still be available.

Are there any other advantages to taking the train that I should factor in to help justify the cost?

Also, concerning your baggage, are your bags in the Sleepette with you or are they stored somewhere else? My only other recent Amtrak experience was going Cary to Charlotte, and everyone seemed to put their bags in an area at the back of the car they were riding in, but they weren't secure or anything. Is it the same with an overnight or are the bags more secure?
Well, you wouldn't have your own private sleeping room on a plane though, right? If you did coach on Amtrak, it would be more like $200-$300 round trip, maybe less. The train has a lot more room than a plane, even in coach. We were able to stretch out when we did coach a couple years ago. We got a roomette last August and I was so cramped, it wasn't even funny. It wasn't a very restful trip, at least for me. The food was good, but nothing spectacular.
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Old 02-24-2012, 05:32 PM   #459
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Faster as far as travel time is involved yes. However, if I want to be there on Friday, I can leave here after work on Thursday night on the train and be there in the morning, fairly well rested.

If I fly out on Friday, I have to be at the airport very early, after probably doing last minute packing the night before, get the baggage checked, get thru security, head to the gate, wait to board and then see how many screaming babies there are on board (almost always because of the destination) and then arrival is usually close to noon.

So, I see the train as a more restful form of travel, maybe I am just trying to talk myself into it.


And, the train would be an adventure/
I couldn't agree with you more!!! I will never fly and love the adventure As I wrote at the beginning of this thread-we LOVE to wake up, pull the curtain back and see palm trees!
We LOVE the roomette and sleep great in it! Have a blast!
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Old 02-24-2012, 06:39 PM   #460
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I couldn't agree with you more!!! I will never fly and love the adventure As I wrote at the beginning of this thread-we LOVE to wake up, pull the curtain back and see palm trees!
We LOVE the roomette and sleep great in it! Have a blast!
Well, no decisions yet, we have a while to go, not taking this particular trip until early November.

Do train fares work like air fares do, get higher the closer you get to departure time?
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Old 02-24-2012, 07:35 PM   #461
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Faster as far as travel time is involved yes. However, if I want to be there on Friday, I can leave here after work on Thursday night on the train and be there in the morning, fairly well rested.

If I fly out on Friday, I have to be at the airport very early, after probably doing last minute packing the night before, get the baggage checked, get thru security, head to the gate, wait to board and then see how many screaming babies there are on board (almost always because of the destination) and then arrival is usually close to noon.

So, I see the train as a more restful form of travel, maybe I am just trying to talk myself into it.


And, the train would be an adventure/
I really think it is an adventure and you should consider taking the plunge. It is a mini vacation in itself to be on the train. THe atmosphere, watch the world go by. Now I did auto train and the cost was $$$ and I did not sleep. but loved the experiance. If it were less expensive and time was not an issue, I would do it.

Just like on the old movies, only the sleepers are much nicer then a bunk, lol.
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Old 02-25-2012, 06:31 AM   #462
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Well, you wouldn't have your own private sleeping room on a plane though, right? If you did coach on Amtrak, it would be more like $200-$300 round trip, maybe less. The train has a lot more room than a plane, even in coach. We were able to stretch out when we did coach a couple years ago. We got a roomette last August and I was so cramped, it wasn't even funny. It wasn't a very restful trip, at least for me. The food was good, but nothing spectacular.
what's running up your cost is the sleeper....we've done the roomettes a few times.....they are very small.....tough climb to the upper berth for sleeping....the little room (with open toilet) narrow aisle between the roomette in the car got quite claustrophic to me and we don't do them anymore.....for one night in the coach car, tons of air and space reclining seat.....just overall more comfort.....so others snore...no big deal, earplugs work for that.....and for one night.....never mind booking a sleeper larger than a roomette....just ridiciously priced and not necessary for an overnighter....check coach prices and you can still do the dining car or club car out of pocket...we pack a lunch and snacks and drinks and just stay in our coach seats.....very affordable and doable...it's all about personal preferences and what you're willing to pay....

It's like the Auto Train....why would I pay the high price to put my own car on the train and haul it to Florida when I could just as easily and cheaply just rent a car in Florida....and not worry about dings and dents in my personal auto....it ain't cheap putting your car on the train when you can take regular Amtrak, go to the same destination, rent a car and save some money....it's all in what you want and are willing to pay for...I won't fly and Amtrak has served us great for 20 years, coach, and no car ever needed in 46 trips to WDW...Off my soapbox now...
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Old 02-25-2012, 05:58 PM   #463
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what's running up your cost is the sleeper....we've done the roomettes a few times.....they are very small.....tough climb to the upper berth for sleeping....the little room (with open toilet) narrow aisle between the roomette in the car got quite claustrophic to me and we don't do them anymore.....for one night in the coach car, tons of air and space reclining seat.....just overall more comfort.....so others snore...no big deal, earplugs work for that.....and for one night.....never mind booking a sleeper larger than a roomette....just ridiciously priced and not necessary for an overnighter....check coach prices and you can still do the dining car or club car out of pocket...we pack a lunch and snacks and drinks and just stay in our coach seats.....very affordable and doable...it's all about personal preferences and what you're willing to pay....

It's like the Auto Train....why would I pay the high price to put my own car on the train and haul it to Florida when I could just as easily and cheaply just rent a car in Florida....and not worry about dings and dents in my personal auto....it ain't cheap putting your car on the train when you can take regular Amtrak, go to the same destination, rent a car and save some money....it's all in what you want and are willing to pay for...I won't fly and Amtrak has served us great for 20 years, coach, and no car ever needed in 46 trips to WDW...Off my soapbox now...
I love when you get on your soapbox Pepe!!!
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Old 02-25-2012, 06:17 PM   #464
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what's running up your cost is the sleeper....we've done the roomettes a few times.....they are very small.....tough climb to the upper berth for sleeping....the little room (with open toilet) narrow aisle between the roomette in the car got quite claustrophic to me and we don't do them anymore.....for one night in the coach car, tons of air and space reclining seat.....just overall more comfort.....so others snore...no big deal, earplugs work for that.....and for one night.....never mind booking a sleeper larger than a roomette....just ridiciously priced and not necessary for an overnighter....check coach prices and you can still do the dining car or club car out of pocket...we pack a lunch and snacks and drinks and just stay in our coach seats.....very affordable and doable...it's all about personal preferences and what you're willing to pay....

It's like the Auto Train....why would I pay the high price to put my own car on the train and haul it to Florida when I could just as easily and cheaply just rent a car in Florida....and not worry about dings and dents in my personal auto....it ain't cheap putting your car on the train when you can take regular Amtrak, go to the same destination, rent a car and save some money....it's all in what you want and are willing to pay for...I won't fly and Amtrak has served us great for 20 years, coach, and no car ever needed in 46 trips to WDW...Off my soapbox now...
Totally agree with you here. The roomette we got last year was tiny and although we didn't have to hear others snore, the whistle blowing every few minutes was much louder and distracting than snores, at least to me. I have never felt claustrophobic, but I did in that roomette. We won't ever get one of those again.
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Old 02-26-2012, 07:34 AM   #465
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Not sure if this is the new norm........

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Totally agree with you here. The roomette we got last year was tiny and although we didn't have to hear others snore, the whistle blowing every few minutes was much louder and distracting than snores, at least to me. I have never felt claustrophobic, but I did in that roomette. We won't ever get one of those again.
We always use the Kissimmee station, and the last trip (January) our waiting stop to board was usually way down on on spot 8.....just about the furtherest from the station and close to the end of the train....but that January trip...we were at stop 3, close to the train engine.....don't know if they figured sleepers (first class) we complaining about the engine noise or what, but they were the ones with the long walk to board and were at the end of the train...

Either way doesn't bothers us, train whistle wise....but it was nicer boarding closer to the station than walking clear down to the end....just wondering if that was the case in moving the sleepers to the end of the train or just a fluke...

As for my soapbox....alot of posters come on here feeling they really need a sleeper....it's personal preference and what you're willing to pay....I found no real comfort in the sleepers other than the meals are included (OOP it's pricey) plus in coach going to the dining car, I don't care to drag my personal stuff with me nor leave it at my seat....so we bring our food...

One night on a train in coach is not as bad as some make it out to be.....we try to keep our travel expenses to a minimun...and sleepers are ridiculously priced...plus in coach you can look out both sides of the car and the sleepers (especially the roomette) you have one side only and someone has to ride facing backwards....just makes me feel like a sardine in there...soapbox put away....
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