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Question re booking CityNightLine from Amsterdam to Munich

Question re booking CityNightLine from Amsterdam to Munich

Old Mar 30th, 2013, 04:16 PM
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Question re booking CityNightLine from Amsterdam to Munich

I have been trying to book an overnight train trip that would occur the evening of June 14, 2013. We have 5 people travelling (2 adults, 18, 16 and 12 year old) and wish to travel from Amsterdam to Munich. Our Amsterdam hotel kicks us out on the 14th so I need to find a reasonable way to get to Munich and felt that CityNightLine would be ideal (we get to sleep and save cost of two hotel rooms).

I read that the best place to book this train (which is supposed to run every evening) is on the DB Bahn website. Unfortunately, it seems that I am unable to get the website to offer me any CNL options. I see options for many other products (ICE, IC, ERB, EC), each of which has multiple transfers. I am looking for the CNL option where we can get some sleep without being awakened for transfers.

Thinking that maybe the CNL train is fully booked (oh crap!), I tried changing dates to see if I can get a CNL option to come up on a different day. Nothing, so i'm hoping that there is a problem with the site or I am doing something stupid!

Any suggestions?

thanks!
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Old Mar 30th, 2013, 04:44 PM
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I took this train several years ago and had trouble booking on DB Bahn. Try the Netherlands train site instead: http://www.nshispeed.nl/

It's a great train, a very pleasant and cozy little compartment.
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Old Mar 30th, 2013, 05:17 PM
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There must have been a problem withthe website because all of a sudden CNL options are showing up. The only thing I did was refresh the search

I do have another question though. I do not want to use the unsecure ordinary seats so it seems we have two options given we have five travellers.

First option is to use 5 spots of a 6-person couchette (336 Euro). I hate the idea of a stranger sharing the couchette with us and i'm assuming that the only way to keep this from happening is to pay for 6 people even though there are only five of us. Unfortunately, the website doesn't seem to let me enter a party greater than 5.

The second option is to have one 3-person sleeper and one 2-person sleeper for a total of 501 euros. This seems to be the way to go unless there is another option for 5 that I am missing.

thanks
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Old Mar 30th, 2013, 06:01 PM
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When I booked this, I got to choose my seats. So you could book 5 people in a couchette and then add 1 fake person in the same couchette, ensuring that nobody else was in with you. it's a little risky because that empty seat could be sold between the time you complete your two bookings. And it could also happen that no couchette is completely unbooked at this point, so you would find out after you pay that you are split between different compartments.
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Old Mar 30th, 2013, 06:04 PM
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Look below the dropdowns for Adults and Children and click on the section "more than 5 passengers"
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Old Mar 30th, 2013, 06:12 PM
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OMG, we decided to go with the 3-person and 2-person sleeper option. I went through the whole process getting an account, entering payment data, checking, rechecking. Finally, I accept the whole thing to get an error message saying to try again later. So, I try again. This time I get an error message saying it is fully booked!

I need a drink....
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Old Mar 30th, 2013, 06:25 PM
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So, hoping this is a computer glitch I start over. First, I login to "my Bahn" account to make sure that I do not somehow have a booking already entered. I don't.

I go through the process again and this time the price increased from 501 to 586 euro! It doesn't seem to be sold out??? We are desperate to get this purchased so I proceed only to get another error message saying to try again later!
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Old Mar 30th, 2013, 07:11 PM
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I know this won't do you any good until Monday, but I would contact Byron at http://www.budgeteuropetravel.com/ or
Call Toll-Free
800-441-9413 or 800-441-2387
in KS & MO, Call 877-441-2103
9am-5pm Eastern Time
Monday-Friday

I have had great success with Byron in the past... I hope things work out for you.
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Old Mar 31st, 2013, 07:18 AM
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Thanks for telling me about Byron - i'll be giving him a call on Monday!

I did get an email from DB Bahn saying they were experiencing problems with their website and that I should try again in a few days.
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Old Mar 31st, 2013, 07:58 AM
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Why not try nshipseed.nl in the mean time and see if you have more luck there?
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Old Mar 31st, 2013, 10:50 AM
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If the train becomes impossible or too expensive Lufthansa has a late flight June 14th that leaves after 9pm and gets into Munich before 11pm. A one-way fare is over 400e per person, but the round-trip is currently under 100e per person. Some people have been known to miss the return flight (though if you happen to be heading back that way, you are in double luck).
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Old Apr 1st, 2013, 06:45 PM
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No luck with the nshipseed.nl website. Not sure why, but I had difficulty opening this site and when it did open it was locking up.

I spoke with Byron today - he was helpful but unfortunately was not able to help out. It turns out that DB Bahn will not allow anyone to purchase CNL tickets leaving Amsterdam. Evidently there is construction that is supposed to be completed prior to my departure date but to be conservative DB Bahn is not booking any departures from Amsterdam till they know for sure. I checked and the CNL is available from Cologne.

Unfortunately the inexpensive round trip plane tickets are not as cheap once tax and handling are added. Plus, we then need to rent rooms in Munich! But, at least we can book the flights and know that we have a plan.

So, the options appear to be:
Wait and hope that the CNL from Amsterdam becomes available.
Take one of the other trains that has multiple stops and uncomfortable seats.
Take an earlier train to Cologne and pick up CNL from there.
Take a Lufthansa flight from Amsterdam to Munich and rent room.
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Old Apr 1st, 2013, 07:41 PM
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Maybe another alternative is to take a stopover somewhere en route from Amsterdam to Munich - via train?
I realise that a lot of posters dislike one night stops - but sometimes it can be good to stop in a smaller place and enjoy a break from cities.
The DB Bahn website provides a map and details of intermediate stops - might be worth a look and also booking ahead might make these tickets less costly.
I do appreciate you prefer to travel overnight - just adding another thought.
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Old Apr 8th, 2013, 05:10 AM
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I know this is stale and you have probably already moved on, but have you tried booking starting in Utrecht? I believe that is where the CNL is actually starting given the construction in Amsterdam.
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