steve4031 wrote:I checked every day for the first two weeks of October. It appears that the park car operates on weekends with renaissance cars. I never saw availability for upper and lower births indicating budd equipment. So it looks like the best option would be to book in the renaissance cars and ride the dome.
How are the cabins for 2 without shower?
In October it will be only Renaissance equipment, indeed. The Budd set, if it returns next year, will only likely be brought back into service in early December. So if a Park car is operating on the Ren sets, that's your only dome option at that time.
As for the cabin for 2 without shower: The only difference between the cabin for 2 and the one with the shower is that, well...one has a shower. This is, however, not as dramatic of a difference as it sounds. The shower is just a showerhead mounted in the bathroom, such that the entire bathroom becomes the shower. Very efficient design. So your room with no shower is the same otherwise (dimensions, amenities, etc.) and still has a private bathroom, just no shower head.
I'm a frequent rider on the Ocean, and will personally choose a Budd set any day it is operating. As a coach passenger, the Budd is the easy choice...you then get a much more comfy seat (trust me, I've slept many nights in both Ren and Budd seats!), and access to the dome and nicer Skyline lounge. In the Ren, you only get the dome if you pay for Sleeper Plus. I have travelled in sleeper accommodations on both types of equipment, and still prefer the Budds. The Renaissance cars are very nice and modern, but I've always found them a little cramped (especially in the hallways!), and the beds don't come even close to comparing to the comfort of those in the Budd sleepers.
If you're going to travel in the Renaissance equipment, it's still a great trip, but I'd say the Sleeper plus upgrade to get Park car access is a must. I've done that particular combination a few times now, and always find myself spending most of the trip in the Park dome or lounge!