how is a 1st class seat in a train?

Old Nov 10th, 2002, 02:27 PM
  #1  
yyy
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how is a 1st class seat in a train?

I am thinking of taking a 1st class seat from Paris to cannes or nice. I went to the eurorail website and found out the trip will take 5:30 hours. I would like to know how the first class seats are? Will we be in a compartment or is it more like a plane? how many in a compartment?
 
Old Nov 10th, 2002, 02:39 PM
  #2  
aj
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You'll be traveling on the TGV. I have only traveled 2nd class. I saw the 1st class seats and, no you do not have your own compartment. Seats are more similar to an airplane. They are generally a more plush version of 2nd class. You have two to a row with a table and a lamp. We traveled 5 hours from Paris to northeastern France on an SNCF train but it was not a TGV, (coming back from Switzerland it was a TGV). We put up with very small seats and no table to rest our stuff or eat on for 5 hours. So you can do allright with only a 2nd class seat to Nice. You don't need to pay more just for a 1st class seat.
 
Old Nov 10th, 2002, 02:46 PM
  #3  
aj
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Want to clarify: the train we took to northeastern France is the one that had the small seats. The TGV train we took coming back was much much better with roomier and plusher seats-2nd class.
 
Old Nov 10th, 2002, 02:54 PM
  #4  
Ira
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For long trips, the first class is usually worth the higher price.
 
Old Nov 10th, 2002, 03:03 PM
  #5  
Ben Haines
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You cut your fare and save a hotel bill if you take a berth in a 3-berth second class single-sex sleeper on the Blue Train from Paris Austerlitz at 2117 to Cannes at 0729 or Nice at 0759.

Ben Haines, London
 
Old Nov 10th, 2002, 03:15 PM
  #6  
Christina
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There used to be compartments (they always hold 6 persons, I think) on some TGVs but I think they know only have cars with traditional row seating. It's more comfortable and spacious than an airplane, however, and doesn't have the armrests in-between people. However, there isn't a TGV line past Marseille, so I'm not sure how that works with the train cars (whether you change trains or they run the TGV train at slower speed).

Generally, I prefer first-class on train trips that long if the cost isn't that different, unless the cost is a big factor to you. If it is, second class is nice enough on French trains. First class is just a nicer experience, I think, and often less crowded and not as noisy and somewhat more comfortable. I've been on French TGV trains in second class with loud teens/young adults, and in one case a male who was drunk and harrassed an old man in a physically threatening manner. It was not very nice but no one did anything. That was the TGV between Tours and Paris, returning Sunday night (the drunk harasser was a punk French guy, I might add, as was his target). I'm not suggesting that is the norm, because it's not, but I don't think the price difference is very big at all on that trip and I'd book first class.
 
Old Nov 10th, 2002, 03:18 PM
  #7  
Christina
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now that I'm thinking of it, I can't swear there are no armrests between people, so maybe forget that. I seem to remember that on some French trains I've taken (espec. 2nd class), but on others, I think there were. sorry
 
Old Nov 10th, 2002, 03:40 PM
  #8  
Ben Haines
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The day trains run fast from Paris Gare de Lyon to Marseille, then more slowly along the beautiful Riviera. Paris to Cannes or Nice takes 5 or 6 hours.

Ben Haines
 
Old Nov 10th, 2002, 03:57 PM
  #9  
xxx
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Regarding the above comment about saving money by taking a 3 berth sleeper instead of a first class seat.
I'm also thinking of a similar choice for my vacation. Should I spend a night in a Turkish prison, or should I spend a day in a deluxe spa? Similar, but difficult choice to make.
 
Old Nov 10th, 2002, 04:22 PM
  #10  
xxx
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It's hard to decide between a day at a spa or the Turkish prison...
 
Old Nov 10th, 2002, 04:25 PM
  #11  
xxx
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Yea, but no harder than trying to decide between a three berth sleeper and a first class day seat.
 
Old Nov 11th, 2002, 02:22 AM
  #12  
Mari
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Reading about this train ride has brought back pleasant memories of my summer trip.

The first class seats are well worth it. Make the reservation through SNFC - price is better. Also be sure to get the seat assignment in your reservation. The seats in first were roomier and much more plush than second. It was also quieter. You can also request smoking or non - big difference as the smoking car on our trip was filled with smoke. It's also very nice to have the table seats to have some place to put a book or drink.

Speaking of reading a book , I didn't even open mine because of the spectacular scenery for the entire trip but especially from Cannes along the Riviera (the train does move slowly) that I couldn't take my eyes away from the window! Would anyone happen to know the names of the places which the train went by on this route along the Riviera? I would love to find out the name of the place with a crescent bay with the most beautiful beach and palm trees with mountains in the background. The train seemed to go pretty close to it but it was a gorgeous panoramic view. I have looked at maps but can't seem to figure out where it was. Does anyone know? Planning my next trip!
 
Old Nov 11th, 2002, 02:08 PM
  #13  
Ben haines
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It is harder to choose between a night in a sleeper and a day on a seat if you have tried both. It is easy to choose a seat if you have never tried a sleeper.

Ben Haines
 
Old Nov 11th, 2002, 03:57 PM
  #14  
lynlor
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In France we have had many first class seats in a compartment and we love it. The first class section is not always in a compartment, but when it is, it is well worth the extra cost IMHO.

My husband and I love to ride the train and see the scenery as we go along. The compartment is so roomy and comfortable and sometimes I fall asleep in spite of my intentions to stay awake.

When we have had a compartment, we have always had it all to ourselves. In other words, there is no one else with us.
 
Old Nov 11th, 2002, 04:37 PM
  #15  
xxx
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First class on the TGV train was worth the price to us. The seats reclined, we had meal service, and it was uncrowded.
 
Old Nov 11th, 2002, 05:07 PM
  #16  
xxx
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Ben, I assume your comment was aimed at me. I did a sleeper twice. Hated it the first time. Somehow got talked into it again. The second time was torture. I'm only half kidding about choosing a night in a Turkish prison. The sleeper was the worst night of my life.
 
Old Nov 11th, 2002, 05:54 PM
  #17  
kk
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I thought the first class sleeper from Paris was an adventure, but I didn't sleep. I had booked the hotel in Genoa for the same night as the sleeper, so on arrival at 5:00 a.m. I could check in and sleep. That worked great, but wasn't economical. These days, you can get cheap airfare and avoid all that trouble.
 
Old Nov 11th, 2002, 07:37 PM
  #18  
Ben Haines
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I agree that the last two posters ought not tgo takje sleepers.

Ben Haines
 
Old Nov 11th, 2002, 07:37 PM
  #19  
Ben Haines
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I agree that the last two posters ought not to take sleepers.

Ben Haines
 
Old Nov 12th, 2002, 10:04 AM
  #20  
Andre
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yyy,

The TGV trains you will be taking are OK in both 1st and 2nd class.

As already indicated on this thread by another poster, you should book on
www.sncf.com
Prepay and choose ticket pickup in FRANCE. Trains open up for booking 60 days before departure and the earlier you purchase the cheaper the fare.

In 2nd class there are 4 seats across, while in 1st they are only 3 abreast. Leg room is pretty much the same (not great). First class seats are more comfortable and most importantly to me, there are at least 25% less passengers per car, so it's a more restful journey.

You can choose between "club" seating (2 or 4 seats facing each other with a table in the middle) or airplane-style seats (single or double)when booking on sncf. com.

Personally, I would rather book a flight on Easyjet though
www.easyjet.com
Faster and probably just as cheap.

Hope this helps,
Andre
 
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