Travel by train or greyhound anyone with experience?

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the Star City
7,910 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Originally posted by Rainbowfalls
I could deal with the decor, cant deal with rudeness specially when people say things are not in their job description that is a pet peeve of mine lol, I work in guest services so to me if you are someone dealing with guests, customers in any way shape or form you should always go above and beyond what your job title says. Also the idea of stinky people is a definate downgrade in going with amtrak, I have a problem with sweat and the smell of b.o.
I get the impression it's kind of a crapshoot and also depends on the route. Sometimes you get nice new trains full of nice people, and other times you end up like I did with a major delay on an old train with no amenities. The restroom thing really go to me along with feeling really bad for the older people that needed help with luggage and couldn't get it. The route I was on didn't offer checked luggage, so they basically had no choice other than hefting it up over your head into storage.

Maybe the Florida routes are nicer. But the one that starts in Chicago and comes through WV, VA and then up to DC and Baltimore wasn't so nice.
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This is the Carnival Code for Amtrak, V602, good through December 2012. I believe you have to submit your cruise booking #. Amtrak also has different specials so check their website.
Another thing you can do is search for an Amtrak forum, lots of great info on those.

Greyhound, well, it's an icky way to start and end a vacation. About five years ago I really wanted to go to Vegas. I should add I don't like to fly. I decided to try Greyhound and the trip was actually pretty good there and back. I tried it again about 3 times and on each of those trips there were some not so good experiences. Creepy people, actually just scary people, buses breaking down, drivers who didn't know where to go. Not good at all.
I don't think it's changed but you can have a ticket but you are not guaranteed a seat. If the bus fills up and you don't get on, you may have to wait until the next bus unless they call for another one for your departure. Or you can go early and stand in line for an hour or longer to get on the bus which is a pain in the neck. Their customer service stinks. You have no rights on Greyhound, it's like shut up and ride, really

I decided never again on Greyhound. I have been taking Amtrak though it's been from Denver to the west. Amtrak is a lot better than the bus. It is very comfortable, although at night it gets a bit rough having to sleep in a seat. Sleepers are great if you can afford them, to me they are very pricey most of the time. However your meals are included if you get a sleeper.
Amtrak employess are generally ok, there are some great ones and not so great.
I have had good luck with trains being on time but I have heard and read of some nightmare situations with trains being late.
Check out the Amtrak(unlimited) forums, there are tons of people who can give you advice on which stations to use, if the trains are normally late, etc.

I really like riding the train, it is one way to really relax. I will have to say I feel a bit embarrassed admitting to riding Greyhoud but I can pass on my experiences with others.

Good luck with deciding on which way to go. Whatever way you go it will be an experience! Hopefully a great one.

Another thing on the forums, they have good knowledge of cancellation policies and changing tickets and whatnot.
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Hi guys!

My family and I took the Amtrak to Miami in '08. It was great because we were able to coordinate with family members so we were all on the same train from Pa, NC, SC through to Miami. We loved the ride down to Miami (we scheduled to get there the night before so we would have no issues about missing the ship!) We were travelling with family from all generations...singing, playing games and having a great time! Cell phones worked the whole way, so even the teens were pleasantly occupied with dvd players, and other gadgets which plugged in right at your seats. And unlike flying, the seats were nice and comfortable, plenty of legroom and storage space.

Now, the return trip was a completely different story, as we returned in the midst of Hurricane Fay which kept circling Miami, so our train's departure was delayed by 24 whole hours! When we eventually left the next day, the tracks were so flooded that we sat for hours on the tracks at different random places to wait for clearing. The craziest delay was about 3 miles from our final destination, we could literally have walked home from the tracks and got home faster, but we had to wait until a signal light was fixed. It was sad because there was a service animal onboard, and his companion had to literally BEG the porter (are they still called that?) to let the dog off to relieve himself while we just sat and sat and sat in the middle of nowhere.

In the midst of it all, we were all pretty frustrated with Amtrak, especially the relatives that had to go the entire distance. In fact, a few family members got off the train and rented a car for the remaining portion of their journey, it was just that miserable!

In hindsight, thanks to Amtrak, we have some of the greatest, fondest, most memorable moments from that experience that we all laugh about today! Mind you, I havent been able to convince my husband to ride the train again for subsequent cruises, I would still highly recommend the mode of transportation AND journey to anyone...just pack alot of patience and a sense of adventure and you should have a great time!

Happy sailing,
Angie in SC