Each seat had an individual LCD screen attached to the divider in front, with an individual set of headphones, so you could choose to watch/listen to the movie or not, as you choose. Soft fuzzy blankets were at least as big as those you’d put on a twin bed, and pillows were firm and comfortable. Windows all had curtains that could be drawn at night to shut out any glare from streetlights or passing traffic .
Food was very good, and (unusually for Argentina) came with an adequate amount of vegetables. (They’re big on the meat and starches here, but often skimp on the green stuff. My sister Shelley would be horrified by the lack of broccoli – even grocery stores often don’t have it.) Dessert was sinfully rich but not so large that I felt like a glutton. Your choice of beverages was provided, including wine if you wanted it; naturally I opted for the Argentine malbec. Champagne or whiskey was served after dinner; actually, they’d probably give you both if you wanted.
A charming and handsome young attendant served us at our seats, and he even thoughtfully switched on the English subtitles of the movies just for me. I should always live my life with handsome young men to dance attendance on me; any ideas as to how I could arrange this?
Quite delightful, all in all. If you come to Argentina for no other reason, come just to take an overnight bus ride somewhere, and go for the top class. You won’t be sorry.
There are other choices, of course, if you don’t want to pay the extra $8-10 that this class costs. It’s a little complicated to figure out, as bus companies seem to call the same class by different names, but there are basically these choices:
- Común: cheapest class, no frills. Seat doesn’t recline, usually no food provided.
- Común con aire: as above, plus air-conditioning. The usual option for short trips (in this country, “short” means anything less than overnight, it seems).
- Semi-cama: meets certain specifications about distance between seats and angle at which seats recline. May be “con” or “sin” servicio; that is, there will be food available, but it won’t necessarily be served at your seat (you may have to help yourself from a minibar). May also be called “Dorado” (gold).
- Cama: meets certain specifications about distance between seats and angle of recline (more stringent than for semi-cama, so your seat will go back farther and it’ll be easier to sleep). 3 seats per row instead of 4 as the seats are wider. Food and beverages are usually (but not always) served at your seat but do not necessarily include wine. There is a range of comfort in this class from “cama economico” to “cama ejecutivo” (the latter term may also be used to refer to the next, top class of travel).
- Super cama: the most comfortable (and most expensive) way to travel. Seats recline completely flat, and other amenities available as described above. May also be called “cama ejecutivo” or “cama suite” or “tutto letto” (the last referring to the seat that folds down flat).
I have a feeling, though, that I might be in for a rude shock when I cross the Bolivian border; I might be back to chicken buses again. So I`d better enjoy travelling the Argentine way while I can.