Hi all--so I booked a reserved ticket for the Paris-Munich overnight, a T-4 couchette with my second class railpass. The ticket came today, and it almost looks like I have been pre-assigned a cabin. Is this how it works? (I bought through Rail Europe). Now, the minute I bought that ticket, I had buyer's remorse. I'm a 25 year old woman traveling solo. I was already worried I wouldn't find other women to "bunk" with, now I'm worried they've pre-assigned me a room, and I'll end up with three strange men! Am I reading this correctly? There's no time to get a refund or exchange through Rail Europe. Is it possible to upgrade to a sleeper compartment (which are single sex, unlike couchettes) at the train station the morning before my trip? Thanks for any input!
Yes, they preassigned you a cabin, but you will be with three strange women - no men.
They assign them by sex.
As Jill said you'll be roomed with the same sex. Though I'm a guy here is my experience last year to give you an idea of what it's like. I took an overnight from Madrid to Paris, my concern was quite yours but I was worried about sharing with someone with less than acceptable bodily function issues. My experience turned out to be the opposite of what I feared I roomed with an Englishman taking a roundabout way back to London, we had the room to ourselves for the first couple of hours, we then gained a Frenchman returning home after going to visit his niece in Salamanca. He was very helpful in that he gave us travel advise we were seeking for when we arrived in Paris, mapped out our trip through the Metro, etc. We also picked up our final roommate late that night somewhere in Northern Spain, he simply settled in and just listened to his ipod. Once moving the conductor will ask when you want your bed set up and lets you gives you a dining time if you want to have dinner in the dining car
Well, that is good to know! I had done lots of Googling after the ticket arrived, and everything seemed to confirm that couchettes were co-ed, and that sleepers were same sex. Maybe they are if you don't make a reservation? I'm just thankful French trains have 4 person couchettes. 6 people, even for a budget traveler like me, is a little much.
Hi all, I wanted to update this as I am currently in Munich, having finished up my overnight train ride this morning. I learned that second class couchettes are not assigned by gender. I ended up sharing with a husband and wife who cracked open a bottle of wine and shared the same couchette! Well, it could have been worse, and they translated some things for me, and were savvy train travelers who knew not to let a strange Frenchman board into our couchette about 30 minutes after take off when he did not have a ticket. So if coed bothers you, spend the extra cash for a sleeper. I overheard some budget travelers talking about using the reclining seats to save a euro, but they were so uncomfortable and filled with several unsavory characters.