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Amtrak, Hertz and a hotel

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Boston...
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Amtrak, Hertz and a hotel

We're taking the Amtrak from Boston to Orlando and renting a car with Hertz one way to Port Canaveral. At the end of our cruise, we have another Hertz rental to get back to Orlando on Saturday and are looking for a hotel for that night that's convenient to the Amtrak. We get back to Orlando around 11am and leave Sunday afternoon.

Is anyone familiar with the Hertz rental set-up at the Amtrak? Is it right there at the station? I've read that it's "provided by the Sheraton", I'm not sure what that means or if it makes any difference. Does our hotel choice make that much of a difference when it comes to returning the rental car in terms of location/distance?

We're thinking about going for somewhere on I Drive because we're familar with the area, but we're also thinking about doing Citywalk for dinner that night. But would getting a hotel closest to the Amtrak be the smartest thing to do?

Lots of complicated questions I'm asking :) First time doing the train, so we aren't familiar with the operation.

Thanks in advance!

Delray Beach...
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1. Re: Amtrak, Hertz and a hotel

Why are you taking Amtrak? Very slow and expensive... Just saying.

Orlando, FL
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for Orlando, Walt Disney World
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2. Re: Amtrak, Hertz and a hotel

I was of the impression Hertz was right there but I have no experience to say for certain. There are no hotels there though. It's either Downtown Orlando or the attractions area. There is no reason you can't stay at Universal, or near it such as I-Drive if that's what you want. Universal to Orlando Amtrak is probably about 10 minutes on the highway. More, of course, to account for door to door, rental car return, and to be sure you are there on time.

Colorado
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3. Re: Amtrak, Hertz and a hotel

Hooray for you taking Amtrak. We are doing Amtrak from Colorado to Miami in April. No hotel in Orlando Amtrak station area. I would probably go to I-Drive or one of the Universal hotels. Hope you enjoy Amtrak as much as we do. Will also return to Colorado from California by Amtrak after completing our Panama Canal cruise which we start in Miami. And NO TSA to deal with!

Delray Beach...
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4. Re: Amtrak, Hertz and a hotel

Amtrak takes 27 and a half hours from Boston to Orlando with a change in NYC. Checking prices, this week the least expensive ticket is $181 plus $36 for reserved business class seat which leans back. That ticket schedule leaves Boston at 6 in the morning. So that was why I just do not understand why Amtrak is appealing. We do not have a strong fast railway network like other countries. Sometimes you can find an appealing price with smart fares, but the food routes get sold out really fast. Boston to Orlando is too long and unless there were health reasons to not fly, I personally would not consider that way of going. You can find airline prices from Boston to Orlando are more attractive if you look.

Edited: 08 January 2013, 00:34
Florida
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5. Re: Amtrak, Hertz and a hotel

Amtrak is appealing to those who are scared to fly or, like myself, can't take going to an airport anymore and who as a very tall woman can't even fit her legs in because they cram so many seats in the planes these days.

I was at the Orlando Amtrak station 2 years ago and don't remember seeing a Hertz rental agent there. It doesn't mean there isn't one there - if it is it just doesn't stand out or wasnt open. You should call them and ask. About 10 years ago I got picked up by Enterprise from there but it took them a while to get there (you had to call when you got off the train - I should have called earlier).

If you stay downtown you'll be no more than 10 minutes away. I stayed at Eo Inn but if you're not into boutique like hotels that's not the one for you.

Orlando, Florida
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6. Re: Amtrak, Hertz and a hotel

There is a Hertz rental counter at the Orlando Train Station...see photo: http://tiny.cc/orlandoamtrakhertz .

You can get some discounts here: http://www.travelcouponsonline.com/hertz/

. Put "Orlando Downtown Amtrak" in as the city on the Hertz site.

Boston...
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7. Re: Amtrak, Hertz and a hotel

We dont fly, don't feel like driving home this time, and the train is already booked and paid for, so I guess that part of the discussion is moot now :) And compared to one of the other couples going with us who are flying, their flights with their son are at about $1000 (school vacation week!), so our travel will still be financially lower. Regardless - flying was never an option for us.

Anyway, thanks, everyone, for the input. I got the AAA rate on the rental, so a one-way rental for Hertz was DIRT cheap. Also got that rate for the train. It was about what we expected. We even considered the getting the bedroom, but seeing as how when we drive we're OK, we thought we'd be fine just in regular seats.

We also just booked the Homewood Suites for the day we get back - halfway between the Amtrak station and Citywalk. Free parking, breakfast included, plus we got a "friend and family rate" since one of our traveling companions works for a hotel.

Thanks again to all!

Cary, Nc
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8. Re: Amtrak, Hertz and a hotel

My family and I visit Orlando every 2-3 years. This is the second time (July 2013) we've used Amtrak to travel from Cary , NC to Orlando. I like the fact that there is a Hertz rental car available at the Amtrak Orlando station. The Amtrak ride is not bad either. My family enjoy the scenic ride via Amtrak.

I do have a question that I hope somebody could answer:

I was wondering if there is any plan to upgrade or renovate the dated Orlando Amtrak station either through Amtrak funding, private-public (i.e., Disney-Florida partenership , etc.) funding, federal/state funding or ANY creative funding initiative? The Amtrak Orlando station is in great need of renovation. To think that Orlando is one of the top world tourist destinations. Would greatly appreciate any feedback, please.

New York
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9. Re: Amtrak, Hertz and a hotel

I'm doing Amtrak in a few weeks from NYC to Kissimmee with a stop in Charleston SC first. I am not renting a vehicle but taking Mears transportation. Its closer to the Disney hotels. I have done the train before and it isn't bad at all. Pack my cooler with drinks and food for me and the boys. Electronics for games and movies. Oh and pillows and blankets. We are all set.

Have a great trip.

Boston...
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10. Re: Amtrak, Hertz and a hotel

Just wanted to report back that we did, indeed, take the Amtrak. It was the single most stressful transportation situation I've ever been in. The ride from Boston to NYC was great, but then it was confusing at Penn Station. We boarded with our daughter and luggage and not only did I have a woman on her cell phone for THREE SOLID HOURS next to me AND the a/c (no controls) blowing right on my head, but we also left on the Thursday after the Marathon Bombing, so that was fresh in our heads. Police were hunting for the suspects during our trip down, so that was in our heads as well (family back home in Boston, it was hard to relax). Bathrooms were gross, food was DISGUSTING (and waaaay overpriced) If we got a sleeper car it may have been better, who knows.

I can tell you that it was SO uncomfortable for me that we ended up canceling our return trip and keeping our rental car and driving back to Boston from Port Canaveral. Never never again.