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Travel Gripes! Gripe about cruises or getting to one.(airlines, taxis)

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  #31 (permalink)  
Old September 22nd, 2006, 02:10 PM
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We've taken Amtrak overnighters at least 4 times that I remember, all up and down the West coast...from L.A. to Seattle Washington. When we cruise we then go from Seattle to Vancouver BC via Grayhound bus...(I said I hate to fly!!)

Plus side:

1. Didn't mind at all the sleeper cars or the showers...really an adventure and sorta fun
2. Beautiful scenary...
3. Lots of time to read, meet other travelers...
4. Amtrak provided movies, games etc.
5. Even had a snack time...wine, cheese, etc. for adults, and special stuff for the children.

Minus side:

1. Our cabin service was lousy....I mean LOUSY...the worst from our cabin attendents, every time! Bad attitudes...acted like they hated their jobs and hated you for being there. (remember I only talking about our experience on the West Coast runs)
2. Many many track delays...(at least in California)preventing us from ever arriving on time anywhere!
3. Food...buffet quality...after all it's a train! One trip they ran out of food, and even though my husband and I paid extra for a sleeper car which included meals...they had NO food to feed us for breakfast or lunch. We only had a couple of dougnuts that were left over. Luckily we arrived in Seattle right around noon so we had time to get something before boarding the bus.
4. Expense....the train is expensive.
5. Speed...there is none. One of the Train Porters told us..."You don't ride the train for speed...but to experience the journey". He's right!
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 02:20 PM
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I love trains. We used them all the time, when we lived in Germany. Not much experience with them in the states. Thanks for telling us what it's like.

Luanne
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 02:29 PM
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Yeah, that was a really good honest post from Fieldmouse, agreed Luanne. Some folks may think trains have nothing to do with cruising, but a lot of cruises out there include part of it being on a train for certain visits or excursions including split trips train / ship and days on a train.

It would be good to hear from anyone that has actually done one of these, as it appeals to me to see more than just what's on the shoreline of the places I visit.
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 02:40 PM
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What about the train trip in Panama? Could someone talk about their experiences while on this excursion?

Luanne
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 04:43 PM
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Here is my personal opinion of the Panama Canal Train excursion. If you like nostalgia and want to spend $100 to $150 then go ahead. If you want to see the canal and really learn something about the canal zone don't bother.

I found it a complete waste of my time. I LOVE trains but you go to the canal to see the canal and the train speeds along at 50 mph and you really miss most of the canal. The bus tour at the end is boring and non-informative. It was nice to ride on the railway that help build the canal but that "mystique" wore off in about ten minutes. Plus the delicious box lunch of was a joke. (Remember this was the "Executive, Dome" car that advertised a delicious lunch. It was a box with an apple, some sort of juice box, and I think a cookie and I can't remember if there was a sandwich.

If you want to experience the canal; either take a full transit or take an ocean to ocean excursion in which to take a boat from one end to the other.

In regard to the OP's question: I find that many folks do what feels comfortable for them. If that's what they like then go for it. I personally find that I am burned out on the Caribbean and unless the cruise is for the people or the ship then I have really no desire to cruise there again. Living in "flyover land" I have to fly to any port so it doesn't make any difference if the cruise leaves from Miami or London, I still have to pay for airfare.

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  #36 (permalink)  
Old September 25th, 2006, 03:28 PM
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I am going to be taking Amtrak's auto train. It goes from Sanford, Florida to Lorton, Va.
That's essentially going from the Orlando area to the Washington, D.C. area.
It leaves Sanford at 4:30 p.m. -- but we have to be at the station by 2 p.m.
It is supposed to arrive in Lorton at 8:30 a.m. the following day. It can take an hour or more after arrival time, however, to get your vehicle.
We have a HC sleeper cabin. There is no shower, but there is a bathroom.
The cost is just over $1,000 for two [plus the vehicle].
The only reason we're doing it is because we have to get to Ohio, and this cuts about 10 hours out of our trip.

I'd rather be spending the $$$ on cruising!
And I'm another one who is not tired of the Caribbean!
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