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HELP!! only T6 Couchette available on ARTESIA PARIS TO FLORENCE TRAIN

HELP!! only T6 Couchette available on ARTESIA PARIS TO FLORENCE TRAIN

Feb 22nd, 2010, 08:45 PM
  #1  
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HELP!! only T6 Couchette available on ARTESIA PARIS TO FLORENCE TRAIN

Can't believe my luck ( or lack of)! Planned on travelling Paris to Florence on Artesia night train, unfortunately all double sleepers booked up ( 2 months out). Reluctantly accepted we would have to stay in a T4 couchette, only to discover they're booked up too!
Now have to decide if we want to accept a T6 Couchette ie 6 people, 6 bunk beds for 12 hours.

Didn't really want to fly as flying can eat into a whole day of vacation and low cost airlines don't seem to fly into Florence anyway. Would also have to find an extra nights accommodation- we're already booked into Florence apartment for 7 nights.

Wondering how bad a T6 Couchette could be??? Any experiences?

Also am thinking about the day train instead- please tell me your experiences- good , bad and ugly!

Thanks
lavender is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2010, 08:52 PM
  #2  
 
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What website are you trying to use to book this?

I think many times tour companies block off a bunch of sleeper cars and couchettes. If they don't use them all, they will get released.

EasyJet flies Paris Orly to Pisa.
kybourbon is online now  
Feb 22nd, 2010, 08:58 PM
  #3  
 
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Byron at BudgetEuropeanTravel.com might be able to tell you if you are really limited to that configuration and if or when others might open up. He's a pretty knowledgeable guy.

But maybe the Easyjet flight is a good option.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2010, 09:44 PM
  #4  
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kybourbon I'm in Australia and using railplus.com.au

Yes it was suggested to us that a tour had probably booked everything up, but it seems too risky to do nothing and hope that something opens up later as we are locked in with all other accom and travel dates.

We are definitely restricted to travelling Paris to Florence on a particular day. Didn't expect a midweek day to fill so soon.

I'm trying to negotiate the scnf website to see if that shows anything.

Anyone booked direct with scnf website and picked up tickets from machine in Paris..any dangers with this. (it does save a bit of money too)

Trying to avoid the EasyJet route if I can but have not ruled it out. EasyJet would mean arriving a day earlier than our Florence apartment is booked for so would have to factor in added expense of another night's stay somewhere and travel from Pisa to Florence.

Thanks all for such prompt responses!
lavender is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2010, 11:58 PM
  #5  
 
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It's very rare for a train to be so fully booked two months in advance. Which date is this?
Another alternative is the night train from Paris (at 2033) to Verona, from where you can get day trains on to Firenze.
GeoffHamer is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2010, 11:59 PM
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I would never ever take a 6 person couchette. You are guaranteed someone will want the window open no matter how cold it is or someone will want the window closed no matter how hot it is. Someone will want to talk all night, play the mp3 or radio, snore, fart, etc etc. I did this once Venice to Geneva but never again. I would hitchhike first. I would rework my itinerary to avoid it. Maybe I would take a day train and stop somewhere enroute for a day.

Larry J
LarryJ is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2010, 03:36 AM
  #7  
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Thanks guys- had to make a quick decision and have decided to fly EasyJet to Pisa! Was put off by photos of T6 Couchette on Artesia's website- looked VERY cramped...and your comments (especially Larry) sealed the deal.

Moral of the story- book very early for a double sleeper on Artesia night train- I thought 2 months advance for a Wednesday was plenty. Not so! Although days either side of my date did have the doubles available.

Now, anyone recommend a hotel in Pisa?
lavender is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2010, 03:40 AM
  #8  
 
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Check Tripadvisor and Venere for Pisa hotels. They have current user reviews.
primeranoche is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2010, 07:20 AM
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You wouldn't have to spend the night in Pisa (unless you wanted to). You can take the Terravision bus from the airport directly to the Florence train station. It costs 10 euros and takes about 70 minutes. It would be very convenient and there are plenty of hotels close to the Florence station.
You can book the bus directly on the EasyJet website.
Lynnaustin is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2010, 07:26 AM
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IME it's the opposite that more pricey private doubles are easier to book than the much cheaper T-4s or T-6s so find it perplexing - i echo the advice of calling Byron at www.budgeteuropetravel.com to see if indeed doubles are available or whatever.
Palenque is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2010, 07:56 AM
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I did this from Paris to Verona and thought it was ok (from a getting along with other people/lack of privacy point of view). Everyone in my couchette was very friendly and shared food, chatted etc.

However - as pointed out above it can be difficult if you are the one wanting to stay up late (as I was) and everyone else wants to pull down the blinds at 10:00pm and turn in. Plus, you won't get a lot of sleep in a 4 or 6-berth cabin as inevitably someone will be getting up, or tossing and turning all night, or will snore.

If you can't get a lower occupancy compartment, I'd just resign yourself to the fact you probably won't sleep, and go for the reclining seat option instead.
RM67 is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2010, 07:57 AM
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PS - just seen that you have the day train option as well.

Go for that instead and enjoy the scenery.
RM67 is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2010, 10:55 AM
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and go for the reclining seat option instead.>

The Artesia Night Trains do not have reclining seats do they? I've ridden several and never say that option on them- but maybe they are new?
Palenque is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2010, 01:52 PM
  #14  
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Had already thought about reclining seat but according to the Artesia website there are only sleepers on this train.
lavender is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2010, 02:53 PM
  #15  
 
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The Artesia night trains (Paris-Venezia and Paris-Firenze-Roma) have only sleepers and couchettes.
There are no reclining seats, though these would be much less comfortable than a couchette.
GeoffHamer is offline  
Feb 25th, 2010, 08:51 AM
  #16  
 
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I have taken the Artesia night trains several times and in T-4s and T-6s - T-4s are vastly preferable IMO

And if boarding at Florence like i did recently you may find that the T-4 or T-6 may already be full (except you) by other folk who boarded in Rome - that was my case and the others seemed bothered by my entering, etc. Just not a welcoming atmosphere and their luggage was strewn all over the floor, etc.

Artesia night trains used to serve Florence and terminate there but a few years back were merged with the Rome train.
Palenque is offline  
Feb 25th, 2010, 10:33 AM
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Couchettes are a crap shoot really - depending of course on who is with you in a fairly small compartment - loud snorers - folks who are noisy late at night and early in the morning and even in one memorable case a French guy who stunk so so much the conductor took him out and moved him somewhere else.

But in hundreds of couchette experiences 90% have been nice - met and talked with many nice Europeans (and Americans and many nationalities) so i am positive about taking them - but you can never be sure.
Palenque is offline  

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