amtrak - california zephyr

Old Jul 30th, 1998, 02:21 AM
Posts: n/a
amtrak - california zephyr

Me and my husband plan to go with the California Zephyr from Chicago to San Francisco. I have a lot of questions:

Does anyone make this tour before
How was it
Must we look for something special on this ride
What about the meals? Is the food good or shall we take something with us on the train
At which time they serve the breakfast, lunch, dinner?
We want to take an economy-bedroom. Is that o.k.?
We want to make a stop in Denver to visit friends.
How much is the ride from Chicago-Denver-SFO?

Awaiting your answer. Thank you.
Old Oct 11th, 2006, 03:12 PM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 4
Author: miamiveteran
Date: 01/05/2006, 11:49 am
Just returned from my trip. The California Zephyr is one beautiful train ride. By the way, I ended up taking a shuttle to the train station and it was terrific, no real heavy traffic and was dropped off at the door. I have a few comments about the train. 1. I traveled in a roomette; the best value for the money but a bit cramped. Younger folks would have no problem coming down from the upper bunk, but as a 60 year old with a few extra pounds had a hard time but not impossible. 3. The meals in the dining car are really gourmet and the service is exceptionally friendly. The cabernet at $12.00 a 1/2 bottle is an excellent value. Amtrak employees really go out of their way to make it a pleasant experience for the passengers. 4. The lounge car is nice to be in and a welcome change of pace from time to time. Movies are shown at night on TV. During Christmas and New Year the train is full so I did not spend too much time in the lounge (the roomette during the day is so comfortable!) 5.The Amtrak bus in SF is excellent and it will take you to the middle of town.

Roomettes are kind of small. Once beds are down you do not have any more room!. Up and down from the upper bunk can get complicated. Upper level bathroom was kept very clean by Porter but bathrooms downstairs showed a bit of wear after the second day out. So did the shower. Soap and clean towels furnished. Plenty of hot water. No one picked up the used soap in the shower.
Overall, a great experience, if you can afford it get the bedroom with its own bathroom and shower.

miamiveteran is offline  
Old Oct 11th, 2006, 03:24 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 17,549
I'm sure someone here will flame me for what I am about to say and I hate to throw a possible monkey wrench into your plans BUT...the last time I took the Zephyr from Chicago to San Francisco here's what happened:

the roadbed through Iowa (the first night) was the roughest I have ever experienced. The shower in my deluxe double bedroom was in bad shape. The door of the compartment came off the track the last night.

I thought the food was mediocre.

The scenery is, of course, in some sections pretty great and the fact that we arrived in the Oakland area about five hours late meant we got to see the scenery longer.

For your NEXt cross-country train trip here is a suggested alternative:

the ViaRail Canadian across Canada from Toronto to Vancouver. Why?

The equipment is in MUCH better shape than anything Amtrak is running IMO. The food is excellent and the service absolutely first rate. The scenery, especially in the Rockies is even more spectacular than what you'll see in Colorado belive it or not. And your dollar goes farther.

As I trip..after you've done the Zephyr and you're looking for something even better.
Dukey is offline  
Old Oct 11th, 2006, 03:27 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 93,344
Dukey, since this post is over 8 years old, i'm guessing they're home by now
suze is offline  
Old Oct 12th, 2006, 10:52 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,108
I don't know. Amtrak is famous for long delays. Perhaps gerda and her husband are still on that train.
J_Correa is offline  
Old Oct 12th, 2006, 11:02 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 19,419
LOL J, this IS a possibility!
FainaAgain is offline  
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