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.
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