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“A great way to travel from Seattle to Portland”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Coast Starlight

Coast Starlight
Ranked #1,060 of 8,634 things to do in California
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Attraction details
Owner description: This Amtrak route goes from Seattle, WA., to Los Angeles.
Gold Coast, Australia
Level Contributor
756 reviews
371 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 422 helpful votes
“A great way to travel from Seattle to Portland”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 13, 2014

The train was 40 minutes late leaving Seattle but they explained why over the public address system, so we were not left wondering. Once we departed Seattle's King Street station, we were given some superb views of the upper reaches of Puget Sound, its many waterways and lakes, before settling in to mostly rolling countryside replete with cattle, waterfowl and the most superb views of entirely snow-capped Mt Rainier. The seats were very comfortable, the restrooms spotlessly clean, the available snack foods of high quality and moderate price, and the train - on the day we travelled - far from crowded. As Seniors (Amtrak allows for 62 years and older) we paid a total of $73.10 for two reserved coach seats. As with an airline, they took our luggage (maximum weight permitted: 50 pounds) and delivered it to the destination safely and well. It was a great experience overall, and you couldn't fault Amtrak's efficiency in processing both us and the queues wanting to board.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
5 Thank mccorquinn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
78 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“What a relaxing trip!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 12, 2014

We took this train at the last minute after deciding not to take a Princess Cruise we had previously booked (due to a norovirus outbreak on the ship). We took the train in 2 legs. The first from L.A. to San Francisco. It took the day to get to San Francisco and we got off, spent 24 hours in San Francisco and then got back on the next train and in another 24 hours, we got off in Seattle. on the first leg of the trip we rode in coach and were pleasantly surprised with the legroom in the coach section. We make reservations in the dining car and had a very good meal with several entree options. For second leg of the trip from San Francisco to Seattle, we boarded in the evening do we booked a sleeper. The sleeper unit was ready for us and the staff were excellent with welcoming us and showing us where the washrooms were and the parlour car and dining car. We had a comfortable sleep and enjoyed the views from the parlour car the next day. There was free wifi in the parlour car and comfortable seats and tables to work on or just relax. The only 'bad' thing that happened was when the locomotive hit a tree and it shattered the window that the engineer needed to look through. We were delayed by about 3 hours however, they did a great job and made up time so we ended up just being an hour behind our scheduled arrival in Seattle. I would definitely take the train again.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
9 Thank Suebri_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Estevan, Canada
Level Contributor
21 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Coast Starlight, Amtrak”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 11, 2014

We left Seattle two hours late. Couldn't figure out why as the train originated in Seattle.

Once we settled into our sleeper, it was time to explore the Parlour Car for only sleeping car passengers. Amtrak got this car 100% for comfort, WiFi, service lady and window viewing. In the evening, we watched a movie, "Captain Phillips", in the lower level movie theater.

The dining car was adequate, but the menu was the repetitive offering of the same meals that are served on all long distance Amtrak trains. Service was excellent, a saving grace for Amtrak. We were pleased to see the wine selections, while very limited, were Napa Valley wines.

Sleeper accommodations were adequate: a chair, not to comfortable, and the bed/seat where one can stretch out. A major ongoing complaint was the thickness of the mattresses - way to thin. Sleep was most uncomfortable! If you have ever traveled on VIA's "The Canadian", with thick comfortable mattresses, there is no comparison.

Waiting for freights is a fact of life on both Amtrak and VIA. Surely some kind of deal could be worked out with the first class railroads if the politicians in Washington and Ottawa didn't hate long distance passenger trains. The tracks over which the passenger trains run were originally laid for passenger trains, not freights.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank patchdriver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dayton, Ohio
Level Contributor
92 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Amazing Vista's”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 8, 2014

...took Coastal Starlight from Los Angeles to Portland. Stunning views from oceanside to valleys and mountains...VIP lounge in Union Station in LA was wonderful. Roommette set up for evening sleep was tight quarters. Parlor car dining-bar service with Greg was welcoming. Dining car service was good. Due to the problems with tracks, we had to depart the train in Eugene and took the bus to Portland which made us miss more train experience...For those who want to try more laid back travel experience..train will do justice...!

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank tasilo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Spokane, Washington
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Very Pleasant Laid Back Scenic Way to Travel”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 2, 2014

My friend and I took the Coast Starlight from Los Angeles, CA to Portland, OR in April 2014. Friends had taken it from Portland to LA a few months earlier and had a great time, but gave us a lot of "if we did it agains" that made our trip even better.

The night before we stayed at the Millennium Biltmore in LA. Little pricey, but includes a nice room, wonderful 'buffet' with wine and lots of substantial munchies (= dinner?) and a very good breakfast. Just hope the 'Big One' doesn't interupt your stay. Only a short Metro ride (Hint - take a trial run to learn how it works before you need to get somewhere in a hurry!).

They advised we book a sleeper with a bathroom - which means it is somewhat larger than sleepers without a bathroom. While not spacious at all, it was 'adequate'. The smaller sleepers would be REALLY tight. And the lower bunk is wide enough to sleep two comfortably. There's not much (any?) room to store suit cases so make them small or soft.

The food was 7.50337 on a scale 1 - 10. Pretty good! We quickly discovered the dining car menu options were greater than the parlor car, and liked being seated with two other people rather than at a table for two in the parlor car. We met a bunch of interesting people. Advise bringing your beverages (and snacks) aboard as the wine, for example. is $32/bottle.

We spent a lot of time in the Parlor car, with great big windows and 6 swiveling seats and a bar tender. Good place to meet folks.

The service was great. When we were looking to board the train a nice guy gave us cheery directions, and when we got aboard our friendly 'hostess' Bonny was right there to show us to our roomette. Throughout the trip everyone was efficient and pleasant.

The scenery was great - interesting, beautiful, and diverse. The 'coast' part of the trip is only a small portion - maybe 3 hrs - of the entire trip. But is beautiful, and at times you look out and see only water even if you look straight down! But the longer section through central CA was gorgeous too. It was getting dark as we left Oakland and light again just after we almost had passed Mt Shasta. From there the trip through the Siskiyous and Cascades was gorgeous.

As an added bonus, while traveling through the less spectacular urban areas, you will get to see some of the most amazingly cluttered, junked, trashed back yards unimaginable.

The train was also on time.

In summary - if you are looking for a laid back, scenic, pleasant trip, this is for you.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
9 Thank ninemileeric
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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