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“First Class Trip” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Coast Starlight

Coast Starlight
Ranked #992 of 8,579 things to do in California
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Attraction details
Owner description: This Amtrak route goes from Seattle, WA., to Los Angeles.
Sonoma, California
Level Contributor
134 reviews
72 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
“First Class Trip”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 10, 2013

I took a trip from Martinez, CA to Portland OR with my family. We had a Deluxe Bedroom and a Roomette. On both trips we experienced excellent service.

Northbound train 14: Departed Martinez 15 minutes late. None of the restrooms worked in our car for the whole trip which meant that we had to use the facilities in the cars before or behind us. The beds were firm to hard, as usual, but we had brought extra padding to use under the sheets. The air conditioning worked very well and pushed a lot of air all night. If you don't like this, a little duct tape can fix the problem as the air cannot be slowed or stopped. The Pacific Parlour car did not have working wifi. This is ok because I like to be off the grid while on vacation. Breakfast the next day was good and our server Craig was in good cheer and provided excellent service. He also served us for lunch and we enjoyed his good attitude as he wanted to please us. As the scenery rolled by we viewed Klamath Lake, the Cascade Mountains and the Wilamette Valley. All were excellent. On this trip we were able to check our bags and it made it easier to board. When we arrived in Portland, we just picked them up and off we went.

Southbound Train 14: We were able to store our carry on bags in the Metropolitan Lounge free of charge. The lounge has soft chairs, coffee and soft drinks and a television. We did not use this but instead spent two hours shopping in downtown Portland. Upon our return, Amtrak staff directed us to the diner for lunch. Although it as at the end of the lunch service, they make sure that first class passengers who board in Portland have the option to eat lunch (a nice touch). Maurice provided us with excellent service for both lunch and dinner. After lunch, our car attendant Lorna met us in our room an helped us get acquainted with the facilities. She also offered a complimentary champagne and cider for our son. She was attentive to our needs during the trip and made sure our son was comfortable in his own room. The ride and views were excellent. At dinner, we at a very good steak dinner served again by Maurice. In the morning, we were service breakfast by a very friendly man named Joy. He had a good sense of humor and did his job well. On this train, we experienced Amtrak at its best. All of the service staff was on their A game and were professional and courteous at all times. It was an excellent trip.

On Tipping: If you experience good service as we did, please do tip the service staff on the train.

PS: Portland failed to put two of our bags on the train. Thanks to Scott and Mo, Station Agents in Martinez for tracking them down and putting them on the bus to our hometown. The were both friendly and professional in their work as well.

Visited August 2013
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3 Thank watchman01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Florence, Italy
Level Contributor
734 reviews
308 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 466 helpful votes
“From LA to SF during the day but with "roomettes": a pleasant experience, as expected”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 9, 2013

We used the Coast Starlight in July 2013 for our planned travel from Los Angeles to Oakland (San Francisco) and the experience was pleasant, corresponding to the expectations.
We were two families and five people. Although the trip was during the day, we purchased three "Roomettes" (sleepers), two beds each, whereas the cost of which was partially offset by the benefits they include: free meals (lunch and dinner); access - throughout the journey - to panoramic "Parlour Car"; wine and cheese tasting that takes place in Parlour Car on afternoon.
On departure from LA (Union Station; 10.10 am) we took advantage of the space reserved for Roomette travelers at the waiting area "Traxx", with free tasting at the bar, and with transportation both of passengers and of carry-on luggage on specific trolleys up to the coaches.
Another advantage for Roomette passengers is that - unlike the seats passenger - they don't have to make lines for check-in, having anyway their assigned place. So, don't care - inside the station - about the sign "Check-in train no. 14 Coast Starlight" and split the long line that is formed there: go directly to the "Traxx" area, at the opposite side af waiting room.
It worth noting that I had purchased online in advance only two Roomettes, and that I could buy the third on last minute at the LA station: the queue at the ticket office isn't long at all.
As soon as we boarded, we were offered a welcome drink by the employee of our coach; throughout the trip we could count on him for any need (so a tip was obvious).
It has been necessary to state in advance the favorite time both for lunch and dinner, given the large number of customers of dining car.
The first half of the journey takes place mainly along the Pacific Ocean, with exciting views. The second part is far away from sea, but is equally interesting, because of the hairpin bends of the tracks after San Luis Obispo, of the views of well-cultivated country, or even of the fields of oil extraction with their distinctive towers.
As I expected, with the other passengers on the train many pleasant conversations have taken place, particularly in the dining car, but also in the Parlour Car.
Between San Luis Obispo and Salinas, the train has recorded an hour and twenty minutes delay - which has kept up to Oakland - for a malfunctioning of traffic lights. This has meant that we arrived at our hotel in San Francisco just before midnight, instead of at 10.30 pm, as we had expected.
However, a bus "Amtrak Thruway" parked in Oakland station, is dedicated to the passengers on this train, so it leaves only after the train has arrived.
Overall it was a very pleasant way to make the journey between the two major California cities: a way that allowed us to dispose of the effects of jet lag (we had arrived the night before from Europe to LAX). I highly recommend this experience.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
8 Thank Brun066
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
105 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Disappointing”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 5, 2013

We were looking forward to the trip from San Jose to Portland, Oregon, on the Coast Starlight but we were disappointed.
We stayed in a Superliner Bedroom, the best accommodation available. We were not greeted on board but had to find our own way to our room. We did not receive the "complimentary welcome drink and fruit bowl". The bed was not made at any time. We converted the seats to beds ourselves - and vice versa in the morning.
We were a party of four adults and three children and we had three bedrooms. We all experienced the same problems.
There was not enough staff to attend to things in the Parlour Car or the Dining Room.
The quality of the food in the Dining Room was good.
The views were extremely good but there was no commentary.
Overall it was very disappointing.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank anthonyp994
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint George, Utah, United States
Level Contributor
54 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Best Trip Ever!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 30, 2013

Travelling by Train is the way to go! The Service, accomodations and views are spectacular; the food is great too! I had a Angus Burger for lunch with Cheesecake and Ribs with Sorbet for dinner. Excelent Service, Complimentary Champagne/Sparkling Cider when you board the train and 24hr Juice/Coffee/Tea Service. Bathrooms are a little bigger than airplane bathrooms but, very function. There is a shower onboard, I didn't use it but others did and they said it worked well for them! The ride is smooth. Your meals are included with a sleeper car reservation, great during the day and the two chairs in my private sleeper came down to make a bed, the attendant comes to your room and sets that up for you and puts a matress pad over the chairs, very comfortable. I kept my curtains open and could see the stars as we rolled along. Its an experience I will never forget and will do it again and again!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
5 Thank Tav T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lytham St Anne's, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Brilliant way to travel”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 26, 2013

We had a sleeper on the coast starlight and it was great. Our train manager Linda was fabulous and so friendly. The family sleeper was spacious and we all slept ok. Room was clean as were the toilets on the coach that were kept well maintained. The parlour car was great as was the service in the dining car. Only downfall was the intermittent wi fi but the scenery and overall journey made up for it.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Liz_lsa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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