Time Check, Holiday is finally over I can say. I am currently writing this on the first sector of my flight, SQ007 from LAX – ICN in Business Class. Not as spectacular as it sounds, so stay tuned for that flight review. I did get many post done though, between chitchatting with the crew, getting coffee, I actually managed to write about 5 to 6 post. Back to the point, I would like to share with you the ICE product of the German Deutche Bahn! ICE is also known as the high speed train of the famed German DB. It is the name for the Germans train where they could go up to 300km/hr. I had really high expectations for the European rail system but trust me, after this Chapter Wanderlust of mine, I totally reconsider my view on them. They are not as trustworthy as it seems, totally bullshit where I thought train would leave on the dot and arrive on the dot! If you are following this trip of mine, you will know why I am so disappointed with it in the end. On the bright side, the perks of taking a train in Europe would be the ease, stations located almost right in the heart of the city, no borders control and ample space, I got to point out that the various staff that I had encounter, the service of all of them, Germans, Austrian, Brussels, Italian train service personnel are pretty good. For those who have not tried it before, usually high speed train would need a seat reservation but for the ICE it is not compulsory. I almost got it the hard way where previously I almost couldn’t find a seat on the train from Cologne to Brussels.
While second class is usually perfect for travelling, I would say that it is pretty worth getting first class if the price difference isn’t too high and I am so glad that I have got it for this journey where I will explain later on in the post. On the contrary to flights, both Second Class and First Class train seats are available for promotions, it is usually a lot cheaper when you get it in advance! To give a preview first, I find that the main benefit of First Class would be the extra luggage storage space which sometimes can be really challenging to get in Second Class especially when it is full. Not to mention on luggage storage, I almost couldn’t even get a seat on one of my journey. Having extra space also means that you could put your baggage in a “good spot” by that I mean a good spot where you can look at them with ease. YES, HAVING LUGGAGE STOLEN ON TRAIN IS A LEGIT THING! Another tip that I would like to share would be on the usage of toilets onboard train, while it is advantages to use the toilets onboard since they are free, use it only when trains are in the middle of the journey between stations, unless you are travelling in group, this is to prevent people from grabbing your stuff and run out of the train.
Depending on your journey, another advantage of getting a first class ticket would be the lounge access that you get, sometimes it will be super useful, especially for this journey of mine where I will share with you why is it so soon. By getting a First Class ticket it also gave me a free seat selection. The journey of mine is super long, taking around 10 plus hours to Salzburg, which is why I choose to get a first class ticket. Taking a train is easy, check the platform for your train and if you have a seat reserved, head to your coach and seat. If not you can just take any empty seat. You can know whether it is reserved by looking at the display above the seat.
ICE first class seats are in a 2-1 configuration, they are comfortable leather seats with a good head support. As with the norm on the trains in Europe, you should be able to find a power plug and also a coat hanger. Leg space is comfy, for my size, I can easily cross my leg, it is comparable to an extra leg room seat on economy flights.
Surprisingly, time pass pretty fast onboard a train, regardless whether you are alone or somehow you made a friend onboard. Yes this is a legit thing, I have made some friends onboard trains where sometimes a 2 hour journey could seems too short when you are sharing and chatting with your seat partner. Yes I could still remember the French guy I made while heading to Brussels! There are also wifi available onboard high speed trains and I would say that the speed are usually pretty good. Sometimes I could even use Instagram with ease. That is another perk for taking the train instead!
There are usually menus where you can order of on trains and the personnel would walk thru the coach! In first class you also get some sorts of mini snacks. Earlier, I mentioned the perks of having a first class ticket, one of them is the lounge access, this time around it is really a huge perks for me. SOMEHOW MY TRAIN FROM AMSTERDAM GOT DELAYED DUE TO A FAULT! With that I miss all my subsequent connections! I learned a hard lesson, never book such a tight connection! Thankfully, if your train is being delayed, you could just board any other train to get to your final connection with your original ticket. However you really got to find out the alternative train on your own since staff are not that friendly at the station and you don’t have much time.
Connecting and worrying for the whole day, I had barely eaten. Since I had an hour of connection time in Munich while waiting for my train to Salzburg, after I have corrected my ticket, I head to the DB Lounge. This is the perk, since you can use the washroom and also grab some food. Honestly, I was hungry for the whole day, if not my whole journey from Amsterdam to Salzburg would really be from 8am to 6pm.
I hope you guys have a brief insights on how the First Class is like on the German ICE train, next up I would be sharing on the DB Lounge that I visited in Munich! Stay tuned.