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Nola Trip Report 6/29 - 7/5/13

Harlem, New York
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Nola Trip Report 6/29 - 7/5/13

Greetings: I am going to try & keep it short to the point:

Day 1 - Transport - Amtrak Crescent from NYP to NOL. Sleeper accomodations/roomette.

Sleeping Car Attendant - Charles

Amtrak longest route (31 hours or more) runs thru 12 states (including D.C.).

We encountered a delay just before Baltimore due to heavy rains & a tornado warning. Some guests reported hearing the warning sirens, I just remember the huge mass of low hanging greenish clouds and the swirling brown creeks and rivers near the tracks. Observing from the train you could see the fast moving current. It didn't help that the train lost power twice before we pulled safely into D.C. but the wait staff was professional and continued to serve my meal in a cozy dining car.

Slept well, ate well and arrived at the Union Station in New Orleans just before 11:00pm Sat 6/30. The Loyola Streetcar makes stops right at the station (for $1.25 into the French Qtr.) I was so tired I just opted for the $10.00 cab ride to my hotel (which was a short 4 minute ride away). I stayed Hampton Inn & Suites on Carondelet Street (which turns into Bourbon St. once you cross Canal Street). Was able to snag a online rate (using the Hilton site) for $79.00 a night! Assigned a 4th Floor room around the corner from the dining hall, where free breakfast buffet & nightly manager reception was held.

Although the hotel is under renovation, my room was good. I could have requested a renovated room on the 3rd Floor, but since my room on the 4th faced the street, had a fridge, flatscreen, decent furnishings, clean bathroom and intact rugs I decided to stay. I just slipped into breakfast each morining, gathered what I wanted to eat and walked a few steps back to my room to enjoy it in peace. Perfect.

Blenheim, Canada
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1. Re: Nola Trip Report 6/29 - 7/5/13

Nigelsmom--Give us all the details! Please make the trip report as long as you want! We all love to read trip reports! Good thing that you got into DC safely. That sounded pretty scary!

Blenheim, Canada
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2. Re: Nola Trip Report 6/29 - 7/5/13

totally agree with Den! And my hat's off to you for doing 31 hours on an Amtrack...I think that would have killed me! LOL! Now...what did you do in NOLA??? DETAILS, please!!!

Lewes, Delaware
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3. Re: Nola Trip Report 6/29 - 7/5/13

Enjoyed reading about the Crescent. Something I've always wanted to do. Sounded like a memorable time.

Harlem, New York
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4. Re: Nola Trip Report 6/29 - 7/5/13

Ahhh. The Crescent. I took the train just to catch up on some much needed sleep. Once we got thru the tough weather it "was all good".

The dining was ok and I was able to snag a few meals by myself, before the train got packed & I had to share a table. Was only "called" into service once to do a little light table therapy one on one with a semi famous southern lawyer. Believe me I tried to lay low. Very low, and just enjoyed being quiet for a couple of hours.

Chicago, Illinois
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5. Re: Nola Trip Report 6/29 - 7/5/13

I've never taken the Amtrak anywhere. Is there any secret to finding cheaper fares on Amtrak? I've compared it a few times and its almost always more expensive than flying, and the time takes at least two days in each direction off the vacation...unless you really like the scenery which is understandable.

Harlem, New York
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6. Re: Nola Trip Report 6/29 - 7/5/13

Getting the "low bucket" on amtrak can be tricky. I happen to call the 800 number after having trouble finding what I wanted online. The CSR put the low bucket on for me for a week. I just got lucky, as ii booked the one way ticket @ the end May. When I've booked before online & had high bucket, I usually watch the fare & when it lowers I call, get the lower fare & a refund is posted to my card.

With long distance train travel you have to be flexible, because the delays usually happen. I've been fortunate & that I always get sleeper accomdatioms. The trip was long, that's why I flew home, but I enjoyed it.

Chicago, Illinois
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7. Re: Nola Trip Report 6/29 - 7/5/13

And whatever you do, never lose your amtrak ticket. They still don't have a computer system like the airlines. No refunds given. But if you end up finding it 6 months later, you're allowed to bring it to any train depot and you'll get that refund. I speak from experience - college kid took the City Of New Orleans to and from Chicago many times ;)

Also, the earlier you book, the cheaper the tix.

8. Re: Nola Trip Report 6/29 - 7/5/13

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