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ALL ABOARD! Banff To Vancouver On Rocky Mountaineer

First Passage to the West

After getting checked in, I loved how we were introduced to our traveling companions. Represented in the waiting room were travelers from Germany, England, Scotland, India, Switzerland, USA, Canada and so many other countries.

“All aboard!”

With the blowing of the horn and the “All Aboard”, so began my experience of a lifetime!

All the training I did was supposed to prepare me for the first class, white glove service, for which the Rocky Mountaineer is so very well known. I may have been informed, but I wasn’t really prepared. This holiday truly needs to be experienced! The attention to detail and personal service is incomparable.

My advice for this journey – turn it off, shut it down and never put your camera away!

In no time, strangers become friends. Everyone mingled, shared stories and enjoyed the scenery as it went by. I loved the wildlife calls! “Bear! Left!” “Eagle! Right!” It really left the impression with me that we were not enjoying this once of a lifetime experience alone, it was ours to share! Mothers and daughters, honeymooners, husbands and wives, families and of course, us crazy travel professionals!

Dining aboard the Rocky Mountaineer is not just a meal – it’s an experience!

So are you wondering how they fit a passenger rail car full of hungry vacationers into a dining car half the size? The solution is simple – separate us into two groups! No worries though, the second group are treated to an “appy” while they wait. (Don’t want to give too much away – come aboard and check it out!)

Breakfast includes eggs with flare, fluffy pancakes, porridge and fruit parfaits, and I just can’t forget the fresh croissants and jam!

Three course lunch! Start with fresh baked bread, add a sweet fruit plate, burgers, chicken, beef, seafood, vegetarian, gluten free. It’s all offered and served with a smile, and a glass of wine or two! And dessert – oh boy – delicious!

Although the five star dining shines, First Passage to the West is certainly not only about the amazing food. (Can you tell I’m a foodie)

The majestic Canadian Rockies loom above you, lush green forest surrounds you, rivers, streams and lakes so invitingly pass by you as you wish you could splash in them. So much incredible beauty and all of it easily enjoyed below in the dining car or above the dome car thanks to the endless windows. The outside vestibule offers the perfect getaway to experience the rattle of the rails, the wind in your face and nature up close. In two days, Wild Rose Country and Beautiful British Columbia unfold.
From mountains to semi-arid desert, to coastal ocean, Rocky Mountaineer brings you into the very heart of all this beauty. To that they add incredible food, impeccable service and personal attention.

I was so impressed by how professionally Rocky Mountaineer staff worked with those aboard needing assistance! Special ramps bring them seamlessly onboard. An elevator moves them safely from the dining car to the dome car and they are even offered a special wheelchair made to fit the narrow aisle of the rail car. Very, very well done, Rocky Mountaineer!

The stopover hotel was excellent – well located for dinner choices and the bed was so comfortable. You really need a comfy bed so you can overcome your “train legs” before your journey begins again the next day!

So how do you entertain yourself for two days on a rail journey? For me, it’s all about mingling. I loved getting to know my fellow travelers. Funny, funny Anne, who we waved at every time as she took the elevator up or down, Wil who kept us on our toes, Mary and Jeffrey whom I saw in Vancouver at the end of the journey and stopped to visit for a while. This is the magic of a journey on the Rocky Mountaineer. Start as strangers excited about a train trip and end two days later enriched by those you met and will always hold in your heart.

To my fellow agents, thank you, I’m still smiling!

To my fellow Rocky Mountaineer travelers – thank you, I’ll not forget laughing so hard that my face hurt!

To Rocky Mountaineer, thank you, I’m really looking forward to encouraging and inviting others to come and have their experience of a lifetime!

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