Review on Eurostar
Our first trip on the Eurostar took us to Paris in France from London St Pancras International Station. Overall the train was comfortable and took us just under 2 hours to arrive in Paris. The ticket's can either be purchased on the Eurostar website directly or through other travel websites. We used Lastminute.com and the process was quick and easy. Travelling via Eurostar is a great way to travel around Europe and would definitely use them again.
The price for the trip was reasonable, with the train and accommodation included in the package. The advantage with the package deal is a great way to budget for your trip. When we were booking the tickets, we had the option to choose the time of the train, the first train leaves at 5:40am. For us to get to St Pancras wouldn't have been practical, so we chose a later train. The only negative we would say is that with choosing a different train time ie leaving at a later time, will alter the price so if you are on a budget, then paying extra may not be something you can consider and unfortunately there is no other price option for a later train. However having said that, we paid an extra £43 to catch the train at 7:55am. Although it is an extra fee, this is worth it, as it turns out we were seated in premium class. Premium class is equivalent to first class, and for an additional £43 for the two of us doesn't sound a lot but it can eat into the budget, it is worth considering, but in our opinion it was definitely worth it just to be seated in nicer conditions with more space.
When boarding opened, we headed up to the platform to find our coach, and someone checked us in. Once we got onto the train and found our seats, we just thought this is standard seating and was lovely but little did we know, we were actually seated in premium coach, with a small table in front of me and Shams sitting opposite. Just as the train starts to leave the station the steward attend to a light breakfast to be served. We never expected to receive this, and was pleasantly surprised by the great service we received on the way out. There was plenty of space, with over head shelf to place your luggage. There is a coach which serves food and drinks, and with bathroom facilities at the end of our coach.
On the return journey, we were seated in standard class, which is equivalent to economy class. It is a little more compact with no table but a tray table which pulls down. The over head shelf is there to place the baggage, but also extra storage at the end of the carriage to place baggage. Unfortunately on my foot rest there was chewing gum which isn't pleasant, and a little cramped but comfortable. The return journey was just under 2 hours. In standard coach, there is no food served, and if you do become peckish, the food coach is available to buy some food.
We of course preferred the premium coach over the standard coach, as the differences are vast. However the only negative with it, was that it wasn't clear on the website when purchasing why we were paying more on the way out to Paris compared to the return journey. This is now evident to us, but we feel we should have had the choice of standard or premium coach, and it explained in detail on the website. We also think that choosing a different time shouldn't have an effect on the price you pay.
We felt that travelling via Eurostar was reliable, and a lovely way to get to Paris. When we arrived at the station it was smooth running, boarding and the departure of the train seemed to be on time. There is always an element of waiting around, and for some reason, it felt like we were waiting in the departure lounge for some time, but the seating area was comfortable and there was plenty of places to find food and drinks. We did have difficulty locating the departure lounge at Gard Du Nord, as it just didn't seem there were any signs. We ask someone for directions, who told us we had to go up in the lift to the next floor, but there was no signs around to show us where to go. Luckily they gave us the direction, and found it in the end.
There are many destinations across Europe that depart from London, and will definitely be using the Eurostar again for our travels.
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