Thursday, September 27, 2012

Amtrak Sucks...Part Two

Okay, so on our last day at Disney our town car arrived a little before 5:30 p.m. to pick us up for our train that was due to depart Orlando at 7:24 p.m.  We were practically giddy with the fact that it was on time and I was extremely optimistic about the ride home - even if I never got anyone to approve the upgrade.

Michael and I had purchased our dinner while still at Disney's Coronado Springs and had planned on having a picnic on the train once we were moving.  They lined us up, the boarded us...and we sat.  And sat.  And sat.  At the station.  


Within 15 minutes, my bold twelve year old boy went in search of an attendant and asked when we were going to get moving.  The first response was that they were getting some elderly passengers settled in their sleeper cars.  

Um...I'm sorry.  But last I checked the CONDUCTOR does not tuck passengers in their beds for the night.  Sleeper car or no sleeper car.  Uh-uh.  Try again.  

The next thing we were told was that we were waiting for a Southbound freight train (Oh, how I LOATHE the freight train) to pass us but nobody knew where it was or when it would pass.  

Someone should have just shot me with a tranquilizer dart at this point because I was just vibrating with anger.  My son kept me sane.  We ate our dinner, I texted anyone and everyone I knew and let them know we were hostages AGAIN and then Michael and I settled in and watched some TV via Netflix on my iPhone.  


At 11:56 p.m., we finally pulled away from the station.  Turns out with the torrential rains earlier in the day, part of the tracks had washed away/there was a sink hole, no one REALLY knows for sure but the fact is, we are once again leaving 4 1/2 hours late.  The train was much less crowded this time around and so Michael and I each took two seats and I did get a good bit of sleep.  

Our train had originally be scheduled to arrive at 8:40 in the morning and by noon (and several more "unscheduled" delays") we were told that we wouldn't be getting in until almost 3 in the afternoon.  I was ready to peel my own skin off!  The crew came around and offered us a complimentary meal in the dining car.  Okay, this could work, right?  We're hungry and could use a good meal.

So Michael and I head down to the dining car (about 4 cars up) and get yelled at to sit down at a specific table.  Actually, I realized that Michael wasn't with me and so I stood back up to look at the car behind us to see if he was still in there and this same woman yelled at me again to sit down!   Seriously??  He joins me, gets yelled at to scoot in because they have to seat 4 to a table.  There were three empty tables...I think we were safe for the time being.

We looked through the menu, decided what we wanted when two plates were thrust in front of us with what can only be described as tiny portions of canned Dinty Moore beef stew (sans beef!) over rice a roni!  Oh, and unsweetened iced tea.  Did I mention how much I despise iced tea or tea of any kind???  So clearly, we are not entitled to a real meal of our choosing.  We ate it but it just added fuel to the fire.

My older son was supposed to meet us at the station but since we were going to be so late, he had to go to work so Frank was going to have to leave work early to get us.  The train finally arrived at 2:40 and Frank couldn't leave work until 3:00 so we had no choice but to SIT in the stink hole of a station and wait.

So I finally heard back from Amtrak and you know what their solution is?  A $150 TRAVEL VOUCHER for my next Amtrak vacation.  

I kid you not.

I asked the woman, "Do you seriously think that I EVER want to get on one of your trains ever again???"  She gave me corporates address.  They will be receiving a letter from me.  

I'll keep you posted.  

1 comment:

Roo said...

I've always wondered about taking a train somewhere... just for the "thrill" of it. After hearing of your experience and knowing what another friend went through last year, I think I'll take that one off of my bucket list.

I'm glad you had a good time at the hotel and the parks, but this just puts a shadow on your memories.