Day 2 Jamaica trip 2024

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I’m writing this post a few weeks after returning to Ottawa but the next few days I wrote while I was in Jamaica. It was a very busy trip but this was a day I got to stay at the resort. Jewel Paradise Cove while my friend figured out our plans for the remainder of the week.  The resort posts the activity schedule on the app, on tv’s in the room, and on a screen in the lobby. I had seen that there was a resort tour at 11:00. I have stayed in many resorts and it usually the company that you booked with doing these tours. I liked that there was no need to wait for a specific tour rep and the hotel was doing this. My friend was out up and early for the garden tour. I slept in and went for breakfast at 10:30. I wanted my friend to come in the hotel tour with me because I have no sense of direction but we later discovered we weren’t getting each others text messages and I thought she was still on the garden tour.  I had received my friends text that she was disappointed there were no plantai

First Time on BusinessClass Viarail train Ottawa to Toronto as a Vegan




Now that I live in Ottawa taking the train is something I wanted to try. I have booked the train before but due to weather and a train derailing my experience with via rail was many attempts at booking and rebooking but that trip didn’t happen. 


It is now April in Ottawa where you never know what weather you will get. Today is a beautiful day the sun is shining on through the window but you can see all the snow and ice on the ground. The sun is coming through the window. 

You all know I love a good deal and I get a 25% discount on fares through my work so I booked business class to go to Toronto. It is Easter Sunday the total with tax from Ottawa to Toronto with the discount is $146. This is more expensive than it was in December but so far it is worth it. 



I arrived to the train station perfectly on time to get boarding but too late to see what the lounge was like. There were people that got on the train late because they didn’t hear the announcement in the lounge. My train was at 11:45 and I arrived to the station at 11:20. I had to show my ID to get my discounted ticket they told me to go to the front of the line and tell them I’m business class. I then went down the escalator and a really long walk with my luggage to get to car 1 which is the business class car. I am going on a trip from Toronto so I have a bigger luggage. You do have to make it up the stairs of the train with your luggage so I don’t recommend taking really heavy luggage with you. There is one server on this car who did offer to help lift the luggage with me while I was in the stairs but I had to be the one to get it on to the train. My luggage isn’t that heavy but navigating the stairs with it was hard for me. 


After putting my luggage on the rack I made my way to my seat 11A. I didn’t pay attention when booking so I got a window seat in the two seat section. I’m glad I got this there is a lot of space between me and the person beside me and it is a little bigger than the single same section. Everyone that got on in Ottawa were seated in the same  section the middle of the train. Everyone seems nice. The host first gave us the safety instructions on how to open the window if there is an emergency. I think this is why we are all seated in the middle of the car even though there are a lot of empty seats.  



There are two large bathrooms in the back of the car. I found out later there is also a coat rack the sun is really hot in the train today but I’m using my jacket as a cushion. Lots of room in these seats and a place to keep cups between the two seats. The person in front of me keeps trying to close the curtain I like that there is a clip to block how far someone can close the curtain each person has control over the curtain in their section. The host scans tickets and it shows special meal  I requested vegan at booking. Almost everyone had a special meal request. One person asked if they could change to a regular meal and was told no because they take the meal requests seriously and only bring exactly what was requested. 

Drink orders were taken first. Someone asked if they use plastic cups and was the server responded with I will make you feel like it’s first class. Later for my second cup of tea I had put garbage in my first cup I was in told I was supposed to reuse the cup and the garbage bag is in the seat. 


We were then given a snack and I am thankful that the ingredients are on the package and these were Vegan.


We have stopped at multiple stations throughout the trip. I’m currently half way and am enjoying seeing the weather change the further we go. The stops at the station are very efficient not even a couple minutes. I used to take a commuter train in Vancouver and the stops on that train were much longer. 


Prior to meal service we were given a hot wipe and a choice of wine or water. The vegan meal was very good. The main dish was good. The salad only had a piece of lime and some apples for flavour but it was still pretty good. There was some salt and pepper packs, margarine, and creamer in the tray. The creamer didn’t have ingredients but I assume it is the non dairy ones. I had planned to eat dessert with tea but the trays were cleared prior to tea service luckily I had eaten some before and it was a good vegan Namaimo bar. I wish it was wrapped so I could have saved it. Highly recommend trying the vegan meal if you get a chance to take the train. Standard passengers had their choice of pasta in a cream sauce, fish, or pork teriyaki. I think Via does a good job of making sure everyone’s dietary needs are taken care of. 

The stop in Kingston was a little bit longer than the others it put us five minutes behind schedule. During meal service our server said that my neighbour and I had switched seats I guess I wasn’t supposed to have a window, I did get the point where i didn’t want to disturb my neighbour to put her tray table up so I could go the bathroom. Luckily she got up but pay attention when booking to the seat you select this may be the reason I would book a single seat in the future; although, it was
nice to have the extra cup space. 


It has now been three hours on the train. It is going pretty smooth. I have had two cups of tea and two cups of water, a meal and a snack. With the exception of seeing the weather change from winter to spring the view is pretty standard. I have enough data on my phone that I don’t need to use train wifi and there have only been a few spots where I didn’t have signals. When the train is in residential neighborhoods it drives at a nice comfortable pace. When it is in other area it goes very fast honking a lot which is annoying when you are in the front car. It has been a nice way to see Ontario. 


There was a period of no signals and I took a quick nap. The server brought around a tray of chocolate. I couldn’t tell when I chose but it was vegan. 



 



My neighbour left the train at a prior stop and I noticed a few people moved seats. The train ride will soon come to and end. It has been a nice comfortable ride and I will definitely choose the train as a means of travel in the future. 



Comments

  1. Yas! TO to VAN bucket list trip in the future

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