For the cost I expected more. I was excited to sleep on a train as part of our adventure to... read more
For the cost I expected more. I was excited to sleep on a train as part of our adventure to... read more
Positives: beds are comfortable, room is clean (albeit very small), you arrive in Scotland/London... read more
How would you feel if you’d pay way too much money for a poor service?
Where do I start? Let’s go with a biggest issue first. Our Caledonian Double cabin (which is also called Superior Double En-Suite Room on their website) had broken down (not working) thermostat. It was very uncomfortable feeling to take any body part from underneath duvet. I’ve reported this issue (there’s a button “Call Host” on the panel next to the window that I’ve used) to a contact person on the train, subsequently I was asked if turned the thermostat to the right, the hot temp section. No I did not, it’s a first time in my life I see a thermostat and I have no clue how to operate it. At least that I wanted to shout back but instead I calmly replied that Yes I turned thermostat’s knob both ways but it doesn’t do anything. I was told train technician will be notified about it. An hour later, no update (I get that it was 1.30am and maybe they felt uncomfortable knocking on passengers doors) and still freaking cold air is blowing from underneath our bed into the “superior room”. So I called the host again, this time train technician answered and came to our room shortly afterwards. After being asked again if I tried turning to knob on the thermostat….I replied politely that yes I did. The guy then went somewhere and returned after couple of minutes and said that he changed settings from summer to winter so it should help. But then he said he did the same thing the first time I rang (meaning it doesn’t work). I asked how long do I need to wait to notice any change, he replied that I should feel it already (I didn’t). I then asked when I shall call him if nothing’s changed, he said to do that after about 30 mins. I also
asked what will happen if we the heat is not on then, to which he said that they will probably try to move us to another room. At time it was already after 2am and we both were exhausted after walking around Edinburgh for the whole day and then having to deal with that. My and I partner have simply cuddled under duvet and somehow managed to fall asleep.
What a terrible experience it was to wake up though. Our “superior room” was still very much cold. It took a moment to muster enough courage to get from under the duvet and dress quickly. We both skipped shower (btw temp in shower area was even lower), we couldn’t handle it in such low temp. I woke up with symptoms of cold and I’m hope
to get rid of it this weekend. That wasn’t how we planned to spend the night before our full day of activities in London to finish off our well deserved and log awaited holiday. We were both more exhausted now then before “The journey of a night time” as it is romantically called on their website. I fell asleep couple of time during river cruise and we couldn’t fully enjoy all the things we planned to do. I will definitely five the Caledonian Sleeper customer line a call and complain and try to get some of our money back of which I will update here.
For the £400 we paid for this ride I’m sure we deserve much better service and ride quality. We were both ok with a tiny cabin and not being able to keep our legs straight (we’re 5’ 11” at highest) and having to be creative how to lay down (just like when we were younger). We didn’t mind the small size and odd placement of a window (above the sink to the right of the room instead in the central part). Toilet and shower combo was cute and we actually wanted to experience that. These things we kinda expected to happen. We took this train for experience and not for the luxury, but some things we won’t compromise on, working heating in the bedroom being on one them of course. And for that reason we won’t return to Caledonian Sleeper or rather Caledonian Reaper.
The supposed luxury train journey is a complete rip-off. Cabins are tiny, windows (from which travellers are supposed to admire the view) are equally small and sit on top of a sink. There is currently no restaurant car (a selling point on the website) and the much more limited snack bar was not open as a result of “staffing difficulties”. Breakfast (not being offered in the restaurant car) is a choice between a pot of muesli or a bacon bap. For the price you would be much better off flying Scotland, staying in a nice hotel and catching a train from Glasgow for the final leg of the journey to Fort William. The website is an utter misdescription of what is actually on offer. Unbelievably disappointing for what was supposed to be a treat.
This was the first time I had travelled to Scotland on the Sleeper train (we went from Euston to Glasgow), and there were pros and cons. I want to start by saying, I would do this again, but I can also see a few of the cons. It defo isn't the cheapest way to travel to Scotland, at first was a little surprised by the price - but we felt was a good option so we didn't have to travel and lose a full day doing so.
COVID restrictions were still in place, food cart was still closed, but you could order drinks/food to your room by using the call button. So is alot of time in quite a small room. In the communal areas they asked that every wore masks - for example when going to the toilets.
The cabins are rather small, not alot of room to move about when you both are in there (with your bags), BUT if you are happy to be in a small space, and are happy to spend most of the time in bed - it works ok. They have a mirror on the inside of the door to give the illusion of space - which helps a little - but it IS small.
The communal toilets are in each carriage (unsure how many Cabins to one toilet - is quite a few) so not far to travel to get there in the night, but quite noisy - so you wouldn't want to be right door to it. There was always toilet paper, and they were clean enough. (You can pay more for a en suite)
The staff were friendly, and check in on the platform was simple, and easy. We were told we could board at 10pm, but both ways we were not able to until 10:30pm (not a huge deal). The free coffee that they bring to you in the AM came literally as we were departing the train - would have been nicer to have these a little earlier so we could enjoy them on the train - but again staff were very friendly when drinks were delivered.
The beds were surprisingly comfortable, pillows and quilts were also good quality - but it is bunk beds - so be aware of this when booking if you are unable to climb to a top bunk (you can book different rooms so bare that in mind when you pick - we were fine with bunk beds). There is a sink in the room also.
The train does move quite quickly, which surprised me a little - so it does take some getting used to the rocking of the train. In parts it really does rock about quite alot - again we weren't massively phased by it. If you are a really light sleeper - this might be an issue for you. Also it is really quite loud, but they do give you ear plugs - so keep these handy!
As I said plenty of pros... and it is an experience, it isn't going to be the best night sleep of your life - but gets you from A to B - without the traffic of driving! We plan to travel this way again...
Staff were lovely and cabin was comfortable, especially the bedding. Service ran on time. Shower was a welcomed addition, feeling clean upon arrival in Edinburgh.
BUT train travels far to quickly, making for a very bumpy ride. I was under the impression the train would slowly travel the route to allow passengers to actually sleep, rather than at break-neck speed, and breaking which made it very difficult to drift off to sleep.
If any of the neighbouring cabins use their sink/ toilet, then the plumbing noises are heard throughout the coach.
Suspension of the train was also very poor, and made sleeping very uncomfortable, especially if your cabin is right above the wheels as mine was. This also made the en-suite door and window blind rattle a lot, adding to the noise in the cabin.
The potential for this service is huge, but I did not get the relaxing night of sleep that was due to the speed of the train, noises.
I hope for a smoother and more relaxed return journey to London, or it’ll be back to British Airways for me.
I booked travel for my family, including an elderly relative, based on the rooms as they were advertised in spring - club rooms with the upper bunk stowed for solo cabins. The first issue was the change - after I had paid - to the room configuration, with top bunks always deployed regardless of solo occupancy, making it much more uncomfortable for an elderly traveller. After initially refusing my request for an exception, or an explanation (as it also more wasteful for laundry), they agreed to honour the original configuration but let us down on the day by deploying the top bunk and then telling me on the platform that I had effectively imagined my previous interaction with customer services.
Customer services were a liability on our trip. When I phoned to check that services were running as planned, I was incorrectly told that the train would start from Watford instead of Euston. I spent a stressful morning trying to rearrange everything based on this, only for my wife to be told by another colleague from the same team that this was not true. No apology or explanation was given for the misleading information, which nearly cost us our journey.
The boarding time at Euston was shown as 10.00, so we arrived in time for this. However, there was no boarding, nor information, until long past this. We retreated to the Avanti lounge for a while, until we were told that it was time to board. Another 30 or so minutes with a queue to board and scant information about a delay. Eventually we were told the delay was due to health and safety checks, then after another 20 minutes the real reason was revealed to be a train fault. We did finally board, in different rooms to those booked, meaning we had staff knocking on our doors to ask us to help them sort out their own confusion for ‘breakfast’ the following morning.
The bunk cabins are not fit for purpose when occupied by two people. There is insufficient storage space and the ladder is unusable due to its vertical angle. I had to stand in the sink to gain access to the top bunk, and getting into the lower bunk required contortionist skills with the ladder in the way.
The bedding is comfortable and, along with option of an en-suite toilet in club rooms, the only clear improvement on the old sleeper.
Accessible rooms are all without bathrooms attached, though they are opposite accessible bathrooms.
The suspension is poorer than the previous rolling stock and is very bumpy at times, making it harder to sleep well for some.
Breakfast is of course not the full service one would get in normal times, but is well below the most basic standard offered in the days of the old sleeper. It’s either a bacon roll or a pot of yoghurt with granola attached. Hot beverages are mainly DIY, a real challenge for anyone on the top bunk where there is no elbow room to assemble it, nor sit up straight to consume it, nor even a fold-out tray to put it on.
After being shouted at to remind us that we had ten minutes to get off the train, we gratefully disembarked.
This is not a good service, by some way. I spent a lot of money to be given misleading information, a product that did not match what was advertised at the point of sale, unprofessional discourse and several hours in a poorly designed cabin worrying about the welfare of a member of my family. A massive shame after years of using the sleeper and looking forward to the new fleet.
My wife booked this trip from London to Scotland for my 50th birthday treat, was really looking forward to it. Just a couple of hours before we boarded we got an email to say that at 4am we would have to leave train and get a coach for the rest of journey and was served breakfast ( if that’s what you call it ) at 3:15 am. Needless to say that if you have to leave train at 4 am then it’s not much of a sleeper train, we had plans booked for early morning so getting up so early ment we were too tired to do anything so it spoiled the rest of our trip, coach replacement was a joke , customers and staff arguing outside Edinburgh station as staff didn’t have a clue which coaches we were supposed to take . Considering the price paid, room was so small you couldn’t swing a cat , definitely not good for a couple, shower was a wet room so as soon as my wife used it it was pointy using the toilet, next time I’d rather go by plane