The “Rocky Mountaineer” Train ride is a GREAT addition before or after an Alaska Cruise or Cruise Tour that stops or starts in Vancouver or Seattle.
They offer lots of options, some starting in Vancouver, some in Seattle & some in the Rocky Mountains in the Banff or Jasper areas.
We had a lovely send off in Vancouver, Canada as we boarded the train with bag pipes playing in the background and staff waving us goodbye as the train’s locomotive propelled us gently forward to start our journey…
…and from there they took us for two full days through the scenic and famous Rocky Mountains of Canada where we stopped for an overnight stay in Kamloops at the DoubleTree Hotel. (Part of the “GoldLeaf” service package)
Our second & final stop (overnight stay) was in Banff where we stayed at the stunning Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel– which we highly recommend for a couple nights for more adventure.
The moment you step onboard the “Rocky Mountaineer” into their “GoldLeaf” cars you notice how luxurious and comfortable the seats are… perfect for sightseeing!
The chairs do everything but talk. They recline, have an adjustable foot rest, adjustable lumbar pillow AND are heated seats. Here is Nancy “chillin” in hers, happy to be onboard…
After the staff introduce themselves they tell us that there is absolutely no smoking onboard but offer nicorettes for guests if they’re having trouble… Now that’s service.
And it didn’t stop there!
You needn’t leave your seat for anything. The staff were attentive & friendly offering us alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks. (check out the unlimited drink options available below) Baileys and coffee- now you’re talking! 🙂
And snacks were often served while we enjoyed the views and savored each passing moment.
When booking a Rocky Mountaineer train ride you have two choices or types of service named GoldLeaf and SilverLeaf. Either choice we are certain you will be happy with but the Gold service (which we chose and write about here) has a few more features including:
- Larger dome viewing glass. Here’s Shawn enjoying the views… as you can see pretty much everywhere you look is glass with a great view!
- An outside viewing car to enjoy the breeze (which you’ll appreciate when onboard for 10-12 hrs) & better picture taking AND…
- A two deck car with the lower as a dining room with views (SilverLeaf- you dine at your seat)
We were in Gold service so we went downstairs to enjoy a full selection of scrumptious breakfast and lunch options (click on the picture to get a better view of our breakfast options)…
The food was tasty and the service was top notch. Check out some of the meals we had…
On top of all the tasty food, the scenery had us “oooing and awing” and snapping loads of pictures like these:
Plus, we got to see eagles, mountain sheep, a bear and a deer like this one:
Commentary on the towns and historic areas we passed, by the staff, was welcomed as they would remind us of upcoming waterfalls, bridges and scenic places so we could take pictures as the train slowed for us to enjoy.
We learned so much about the area but about the train too. Did you know that Rocky Mountaineer trains are run by diesel locomotive and that it has priority on the tracks over all other trains? It’s true. 🙂
Once we stopped for the evening in Kamloops, the staff took the liberty of checking us in & giving us our room keys as we exited the train and a shuttle compliments of the Rocky Mountaineer took us to our hotel for a good nights rest before we got back onboard the next day for more adventure… oh ya, and our bags were in our room upon arrival, again great service is a big part of the “Rocky Mountaineer” experience!!
Still feeling hungry & need a restaurant recommended for Kamloops? We grabbed a smoothie for dinner to keep it light but many folks raved about the Noble Pig Restaurant which wasn’t far from the hotel.
It was an early rise this morning but it was easy when you have so much to look forward to- we packed our bags, left them in the room to be sent to the train and we didn’t need to check out either. A bus was waiting at the hotel entrance to take us back to the train – we were looking forward to another day of sight seeing and pampering.
The scenery and service was as good as the previous day and we took dozens of pictures like below:
“If we can’t export the scenery, we’ll import the tourists” ~ William Van Home, President of Canadian Pacific Railway
Word of Caution: One thing we should tell you about doing this train ride. 2-3 days is truly enough of an experience in our opinion and we would stir you away from the week long “circle” trips because as nice as it is, your body is in constant motion on the train and you feel it a bit once on land. Now, Nancy gets motion sickness in a car, but she didn’t have any trouble- but a week long trip… maybe she would. Hard to know. So just keep that in mind, K? (if you want the longer options simply breaking them up with a week in the Jasper/Banff/Calgary areas before taking the train back to Vancouver will help)
Here’s a Couple of More Tips:
- Go with layers. It can get hot (the Kamloops area was mid 30s/over 100 the day we were there) so lighter clothes is a good idea with a sweater for the dining room as it can be cool with the air conditioning.
- Your luggage will go in a separate car from you, so anything you need on the train take with you in a small day bag.
- At the time of writing, there are in fact USB plugs for your iPad and phone (contrary to what it ways on the website) so bring along your chargers but know phone signals can be sporadic when in the mountains.
- If you have binoculars- bring them! And don’t forget your sunglasses & camera. 🙂
It might seem obvious but we had a fabulous time onboard and would highly recommend for you to add a “Rocky Mountaineer” Train tour around your Alaska Cruise Vacation when visiting Seattle or Vancouver, Canada – you won’t regret it!!
If you’re interested let Shawn know and he’ll help you best fit it in with your Alaska Cruise.
We Appreciate You!
Nancy & Shawn
Your Trusted Cruise Experts!