Roomette with a View (or Two)
So you’ve ridden one of our great short-distance Amtrak trains, now it’s time to live a little. YOLO!
Let’s walk through just a few of the perks of Amtrak long-distance train travel. Here’s the first hint: Book a bedroom or a roomette. Our long-distance coach seats are comfortable recliners that are bigger than our traditional seats, but for this post, we’ll be focusing on the Viewliner Roomette (featured on our East Coast long-distance trains). Think of it as your home away from home on the train.
The first and best perk is you get a dedicated train attendant. It’s similar to room service in a hotel but much, much better.
Train attendants book meal reservations for you, make and take down your bed, carry your luggage, tell you when your stop is coming up and keep you company when you want to chat. They’re great and FREE with any sleeper car reservation.
In the Viewliner Roomette itself there’s ample storage to store your carry-on bags, plus outlets for all of your gadgets. Each brightly lit roomette has huge double-decker windows and sleeps up to two people. The lower level chairs collapse into a comfortable bed, and there’s a drop-down bed directly above them. Both are complete with their own bed linens, pillows, temperature controls, lights, bed-side storage nooks and beautiful views.
OK, we know what you’re thinking. Yes, there’s a toilet. Yes, there’s a door that locks. Yes, there’s a sink, vanity, coat hangers and a service button if you need help. All just for you; no sharing required.
If you have a lot of luggage you can check your heavy bags and bring a smaller carry-on into your sleeper car to save space. Uniformed Red Caps provide free baggage-handling assistance at many major stations and can help you when you board at your departure city.
Finally, you should know that all your meals are included. That’s breakfast, lunch and dinner when you book in a sleeper car. Your train attendant will make you a reservation for any or all of them during your journey. So what are you waiting for? Miami, Los Angeles, Portland, and hundreds of other destinations are calling your name. Start your adventure today!
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We are travelling from Chicago to Memphis and we have a roomette. We are disembarking very early at 6.15 am approx so will breakfast be included and will we be able to have it that early? Thanks for any help.
We had a roomette on the last trip but it was too small for us....my spouse is 6'7!! :) On the way home, we rebooked into a room with a bathroom/shower and we loved it!!!!!!!! We always go to STL by room, and business class from Chicago to STL.....
Hey Leeski, if you are traveling alone you will have the roomette all to yourself. And it may include the cost of your meals.
Hi, I'm thinking of travelling on the Empire Builder next year - if I book a Roomette will I have it all to myself?
@JoePower There's not enough room. Also, the new Viewliners don't have toilets in the roomettes anymore.
@JoePower For on e thing they are too small and i wouldn't want a toilet it the roomettes
@WilliamLong I will find out for the first time in March.
@Jedling In my experience, breakfast service on the southbound City of New Orleans starts AFTER Memphis, unfortunately.
I think it starts at 7AM. Your room steward or dining car manager should make an announcement and come by your room to take your reservation. Once onboard, I'd let your steward know that you'd like to eat at the earliest time. (Just noticed the date of your post). :)
@JedlingWhen we took this same trip in Sept. '13, we did NOT get breakfast......If your getting off at Memphis, there are many fast food restaurants open at that time...Hope this helps!!
@Jedling I arrived early in Memphis last year but didn't eat breakfast because I didn't wake up early enough :)
@Jedling gree with you
@Jedling My recollection is that if you're disembarking that early, they do not include breakfast. Assuming you're on the City of New Orleans, I've taken that route twice, once disembarking at Fulton, KY (before Memphis) and once at the end of the line in NOLA. You'll get dinner shortly after leaving Chicago, but I'm pretty sure no breakfast. I second Evilkitty's suggestion, the Amtrak FB folks are pretty responsive.
@Jedling Get on Facebook and click on Amtrak. They have helped me on a lot of my questions. Maybe they can answer your question.
@Jedling Don't have a clue. I do not work for the railroad.
@RobMartin1 I sure hope I am going to like the roomette. I can't afford the bigger room. i'm using guest rewards points to get the roomette. Thats 40,000 points round trip from Effingham, Il to San Diego, Ca. i can't come up with the 80,000 for the bigger room. I will be travelling this route 1 time a year for 4 years. So the 40,000 is the best I can do. I'm 5'6" and weigh about 200 lbs. My sister-in-law that is coming with me is bigger then me. So hope it will be ok for us.
@Leeski HI... yes... absolutely!! I had a roomette by myself from Pasco, WA to CHI and it was a slice of heaven!! so quiet!!! And yes indeedy,,, meals are included! :)
@Leeski, Absolutely the only time you will have to share something is when you go to eat, unless you have four people. They seat 4 people to each table.....so be prepared to meet some really nice and unique people on your travels........
@RobertRegan @Jedling They don't take reservations for breakfast. It's first-come, first-served on every train. Since "quiet hours" don't end until 6:30, they usually provide the breakfast hours the night before so you can set your alarm appropriately. Some trains start serving at 6:00, but I've had to wait until 6:30 before since the cooks aren't quite ready.
Thanks Blair. Though from what I am hearing even if you had woken earlier it would be too early for the breakfast start time. So far I understand that breakfast is not available until 6.30 am so as we get off at approx 6.15 am it looks like even if we get up earlier there will be no breakfast available for us ! If anyone knows different please put me right. Thanks all.
@Evilkitty I travel on the SWC all the time. It will be fine. I'm 5'6" and around 275 pounds, and my boyfriend is 5'8" and 180 pounds. We have enough leg room during the day, and the bunks are comfortable.
It's a bit of a twisty climb into the upper bunk, so you might want to take the top (unless you're claustrophobic). Even though I'm bigger, though, I don't have an issue climbing up and down. You could ask your sister-in-law to try it out first and then offer to take it if she can't make it up there.
If you feel a bit cramped, you can always sit in the lounge car too.
@RobMartin1, Have you ever use the roomette on the Southwest Chief? just wondered what they were like. I will be sharing with another person
@Jedling thats seems awful early for breakfast. I don't usually eat breakfast. So I'm not too worry about it. I just snack in the mornings. But there is others who do. I suggest you bring some pop tarts or something to get you til you can go somewhere to get something to eat later.
@Jedling No problem! Have fun on your trip!
@Jedling you are very welcome. Hope you have a wonderful trip>
@Evilkitty The seats are quite comfortable, just as soft and padded as Coach. They do recline (the lever is under the seat), and you can prop your feet up on the stairs to the upper bunk or the other person's seat.
Since the bottom seats form the bottom bunk, they are 28" wide. (You might want to let her know this if she is normally concerned about seat width - I carry my weight in my hips and thighs, so seats are a primary concern for me.)
When the bottom bunk is set up, it's 28" wide and 6'6" long. Also, the sleeping pad for it goes on top of the seats, so it has more padding in general. Since she is larger, she'll be much more comfortable on the bottom.
The top bunk is 24" wide and 6'2" long. It has a little less padding since it's just the bed roll, but it's still comfortable.
@Evilkitty @jpakala @RobMartin1 The Superliners are all the same. Being two-storeys their ceilings are not as high. No roomettes in them have toilet or sink facilities in the room (some folks think that's an advantage, owing to the small size), and the new single-level Viewliners will have only the sink.