Amtrak Family Room & Full Bedroom Pros and Cons

Before you book your Amtrak Sleeper Car you may be asking, “which room is best for my trip?” I asked this many times, and want to share the details of our experience to help make your decision a bit easier.

I booked the Family Room from Emeryville > Grand Junction & the Full Bedroom from Denver > Chicago > Boston. There’s only one Family Room per train car. The Family Rooms consist of A-F room options and we had D & B. We learned from our attendant on the Emeryville> Grand Junction leg that “A stands for awful.” The Family Bedroom A, at least on the CA Zephyr, is 6” shorter than the rest, and when you’re only working with 49 sq feet, and trying to fit a travel crib in this space, 6” matters.

Family Room, CA Zephyr 


  • Biggest room in the train, minus the handicapped bedroom. There’s windows on both sides of the room, making for really nice vistas, lighting and feeling more spacious than it is.
  • Pack n Play easily fit between the two seats that face each other, and still allowed for enough room for my husband and I to lay down.
  • The closet can actually hold some things, to help in unpacking/organizing the room.
  • The couch pull-out opens to about 1.5 single beds.
  • The room is always on the first floor, which provides easy access to luggage that is also on the first floor. 
  • Being on the first floor means less swaying than the second floor.


  • Only one plug in the room
  • No bathroom in the room
  • First floor, so closer to the tracks and the rickety noise is louder than second floor 

Full Bedroom on CA Zephyr


  • Private bathroom with sink and shower
  • Quieter than the first floor since you don’t hear the tracks 
  • 3 plugs


  • Can hear your neighbor flushing their toilet
  • Room swayed more than Family Bedroom because you’re on the second floor 

Full Bedroom on Lake Shore Limited


  • This room was much taller than the CA Zephyr full bedroom, in large part because the train only has one floor., This provided more space in the top bunk for sleeping, sitting up, as well as storage above bathroom that the CA Zephyr didn’t have. It also provided two more extra top windows, making for additional natural light, views and therefore pretty pictures.
  • Less rocking than the second floor CA Zephyr bedroom, since there’s only one floor.
  • Our room was the last on the aisle and no one stayed in the bedroom next to us, so it was nice and quiet (except for our daughter crying of course). We also used that room’s bathroom when the Pack n Play was set up in our room.
  • 3 plugs


  • Smaller room footprint than the CA Zephyr, with the Pack n Play open, it was very tight to open the bathroom door and people bigger than my husband and I probably couldn’t fit.

The Best Room

I booked the Full Bedroom for the second and third part of our trip because I wanted to have our own bathroom. At the end of our entire trip we weren’t sure if we liked the Family Room or Full Bedrooms better. Having the bathroom was nice, especially when we had a 5.5 hour layover in Chicago and we both showered before that, but the Full Bedroom is very tight with two adults and a Pack n Play. It really comes down to personal preference, but I hope all the details I provided helps in making your decision.

3 responses to “Amtrak Family Room & Full Bedroom Pros and Cons”

  1. […] Our Graco Pack & Play fit perfectly between the two seats that face one another in the Family Bedroom. We set this up as soon as we got on the train and had our daughter in there during naps, and for a large portion of the trip. She loved playing in there, standing up and looking out the window. This helped in keeping her in our room for the length of the trip. Want to know what room to book for your train trip? Check out the Pros and Cons of Amtrak’s Sleeper Cars. […]

  2. This is the most helpful thing I’ve been able to find as we plan a trip on the Lake Shore Limited train with our baby! Thank you!

    Question: what size Pack N Play did you travel with, and did it fit with the bottom bunk bed set up?

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