Cell phone coverage, Acceptance Day

Discussion in 'Service Academy Parents' started by Lee2015, Dec 3, 2010.

  1. Lee2015

    Lee2015 USMA & USNA Mom

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    Is there better cell phone coverage at WP by one provider vs. another?

    Acceptance Day: Can anyone give me a general run down of the weekend activities? I think I remember reading a thread that warned against having too much planned and family members there. Classes start on the 15th, so will daughter only want to sleep and rest before they do?

    Also, where will visitors park on A-day?

    We are thinking of renting a house in Milford, PA (1 hr. from WP), and many of our family members want to come in for the occasion. Would you advise renting separate lodging vs. one really big house so everyone can be together. Or, will daughter need solitude?

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2010
  2. Casey

    Casey USMA 2015

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    When we lived there, on post the coverage wasn't so bad unless you're somewhere like in the barracks or another of the stone buildings. That being said, WP is in the middle of the Hudson Valley and those hills can really screw up cell phone reception in my experience. I'll be keeping Verizon when I go next year as it was generally reliable, but just something to consider.
     
  3. WAMom68

    WAMom68 Founding Member

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    We have service with AT&T and get good reception most places outside. Inside the buildings is another story, my son has to almost hang out the window to get his cell to work so he just uses his room phone since long distance is included. I have heard Verizon works well at West Point too.

    For A-day weekend the only event to attend is the parade on Saturday morning. Most plebes want to visit with family, eat and sleep. Other than that don't plan anything. As far as your daughter needing solitude I would say no (other than for naps) but use your judgement on that since you know your daughter best. She will not be able to spend the night with you. Usually they have to be back by taps (midnight I think) but she will be told all of that. On Sunday they are usually able to leave pretty early like 6 a.m. and have to be back for formation around 5 p.m. You'll have to ask her if she wants to go back early to study or not. My son wanted every minute possible out of the barracks and did not want to go back early.

    For parking there are several options - the lots up by Michie Stadium, the lot at Buffalo Soldiers Field, the lot out by the cemetery, there is also parking along Thayer Road. If you don't want to or can't walk a long distance the shuttle busses will be running so you can catch a ride. If you are early enough there are place to park along Cullum Rd. which runs behind The Plain and the baseball field, it also connects up with Thayer Rd.
     
  4. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    My son has AT&T and I think it has been pretty good. He uses his room phone too.

    We kept A-Day low-key. They are limited as to the distance they are allowed to travel away from WP. They could eat out on the way to the hotel and on the way back to WP, but they could not shop, go to movies, etc. The focus is on being with your family. They have to stay in uniform but can change into comfortable clothes at the hotel. We did not bombard him with questions, rather we let him share how much and when. He did enjoy seeing the pictures of him taken during Beast. That brought out more funny stories.

    I shopped at Walmart for my cadet's school supplies while he slept. He actually didn't sleep that much because he was so eager to get caught up with friends from home on Facebook. I brought his favorite foods and since we were in a room with a kitchette, I was able to fix the things that he liked. I also shopped for some boodle for his boodle box!

    On that Sunday, we ate around 4:00 and then headed back to West Point. He wanted to get all of his things ready for class the next day. Wow!!! That seems like such a long time ago!

    One more thing......after the parade, the Association of Graduates served a box lunch. We ate it over by the river while we waited for our cadet. His company did not release them until pretty late and it was torture seeing other cadets show up to greet their family! They all look alike too so you get excited when you see a cadet heading your way.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2010
  5. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Milford, PA? That is far. It's not an hour away, Port Jervis is an hour. It's more like 1-1/2 hours. I don't think she will be allowed to go that far - even with expanded 'walking privledges'.
    In any case, you probably want to be a lot closer. Your cadet will not be allowed to spend the night with you.
    There are a lot of A-Day discussions. I suggest you search A-Day and 'walking privledges'.
     
  6. Livinlarger

    Livinlarger Member

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    JAM is right, thats gonna be too far away. I dropped our daughter at 11:30 pm on Saturday and went back to pick her up at 7:00 am on Sunday. We stayed in Fishkill which was still about 25 minutes away. Be careful on what mapquest says on mileage and time for driving. Those roads are tricky and VERY dark at night, especially when its all new to you. Parking was not an issue, but we arrived very early for the parade. If you don't I will promise you will not get a seat. We were in our seats in the bleachers by about 7:20am and we were far from alone (and you get to see the practice which is great for pictures :smile:).
     
  7. Lee2015

    Lee2015 USMA & USNA Mom

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    All very helpful--thanks!

    Where did ya'll stay. I found the "Acceptance Day Frequently Asked Questions" document, so staying in Milford won't work. I think I'll jusy recommend that family books at the Thayer. I would love to stay at a place that has a kitchenette. The food at the Thayer is too expensive.
     
  8. Szpieg

    Szpieg Member

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    Would we be allowed to go to NYC?
     
  9. Livinlarger

    Livinlarger Member

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    We stayed at a residence inn. Had a seperate loft and a full kitchen. I may wrong on this but I don't think plebes are allowed into the rooms at Thayer. And at about $350 a night for that weekend ( I think a 3 night min) thats pretty steep.
     
  10. Lee2015

    Lee2015 USMA & USNA Mom

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    I guess you could, but by looking at the schedule from last year--in the document I referred to--the time may be an issue.
     
  11. Lee2015

    Lee2015 USMA & USNA Mom

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    Is it in Highland Falls?

    And totally not worth it :thumbdown:
     
  12. Livinlarger

    Livinlarger Member

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    I am almost positive that was in Fishkill, definitely not Highland Falls. Choices are limited there.
     
  13. TheKnight

    TheKnight Class of 2014

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    Cell phone works great with AT&T and Verizon here when you're outside. In the barracks no one really has good service unless they live on the 5th/6th floors.

    As far as A-day, there's the A-day parade and then the plebes are released to be with their families. They can go within 75 miles (as long as they're with parents) and can go to restaurants (no malls, movies, shopping, etc) or the parents' hotel room.

    Taps that night is at 0100.The next day (Sunday) they can leave at 0520 and don't have to be back again until 1900. Same rules apply.
     
  14. WAMom68

    WAMom68 Founding Member

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    Hotels in Highland Falls = not much to pick from. We stayed at the Econo Lodge for A-day and paid extra for the "kitchen room" which was a joke. It was this ancient all-in-one thing with two burners, a sink and a fridge, there were no pots and pans so you couldn't use the burners. A regular room has a fridge and microwave so I wish we would have gone with that instead.

    I have heard the Holiday Inn in Fort Montgomery is nice. They are just down the highway, about 4 miles from Higland Falls. There are lots of hotels in Central Valley, Newburgh, and Fishkill which are all within a 30 minute drive.
     
  15. Lee2015

    Lee2015 USMA & USNA Mom

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    Thanks for the replies.
     
  16. mmb5

    mmb5 Member

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    Thinking pretty far ahead here!

    For the class of 2014, the rules for plebes on A-Day were more liberal than they had been: cadets could go with family,or with another cadet's family, to any hotel or restaurant within 75 miles, so,yes, you could go to NYC. Had to wear uniform everywhere but inside hotel room. My cadet was allowed into our rooms at the Thayer,but would have relaxed more at the Homewood Suites or another place with a kitchen, rather than at the restaurants we went to.
     
  17. M2inOR

    M2inOR Parent

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    A few comments about our A-day visit. We were also there for the March Back earlier in the week.

    For both, we stayed at the Thayer. Expensive, but convenient. Pretty much were able to walk everywhere after parking the car in the Thayer's lot.

    Food? Grant Hall for lunch and coffee. Coffee and light treats also in the Library. Painters Tavern in Cornwall-on-Hudson north of West Point also was very good. Nice choice for variety of food, ambiance, craft beers, etc. Seating inside and outside.

    Food at Thayer? OK for breakfast and lunch; not OK for A-day dinner. Due to the expected crowds, dinner was a set buffet with no menu ordering. Make reservations EARLY as they booked up solid. Promised son a steak dinner for A-day, but could not deliver as this was not an option that evening at the Thayer. On our other stays at the Thayer, the restaurant meals were great. On other days during our stay, there were also limited light dinner options in the Patton Bar on the main level.

    Cell phone coverage? Same experience as mentioned previously for ATT. Also have a Virgin Mobile MiFi hotspot that was quite usable from within Grant Hall (service by Sprint); sat in Grant waiting for son to be released day before Thanksgiving. ATT in the barracks? Son's room facing Hudson in Lee 2nd floor - OK when near the window; not so OK when sitting at his desk.

    While attending A-Day, you'll still want to take a look at the Thayer for graduation day stays. They usually accept deposits for the graduation year 4-years out. The deposit is a hefty one, and reserves a room for 4-5 nights.

    The other hotel choices close in are limited. Tie to scout them out now if you want to stay nearby. Lots of choices in Fishkill, but it is still 30-60 minutes away depending on traffic. Nice drive, but not a trip you'll want to take several times within the same day unless you like driving.:smile:
     
  18. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    We stayed in the Hotel Sierra for A-Day and it was wonderful. We had a suite with a separate bedroom and a kitchette. It was so helpful for the cadet to go in the bedroom and close the door to sleep and the rest of us could still watch TV and come and go. It is across the street from Walmart and Sam's Club. They have a great breakfast that is included in your price ($$$) with wonderful cook-to-order omelettes. Not far from the train station if you arrive early and want to go into the city. DH and oldest DS also went up to FDR's home in Hyde Park. I have also stayed in the Hampton Inn several times and the Hilton Garden Inn in Fishkill as well as the Comfort Suites in Goshen and found them all to be fine.

    We always stay in Fishkill and have never found the drive to be a problem. Even when we picked the cadet up at the crack of dawn on that Sunday, it's just not a problem. We have driven down both sides of the Hudson to get there and traffic has never been an issue. I guess I trade amenities (Charlie Brown's Steakhouse, Starbucks, shopping, Taco Bell, Subway, etc., etc.) for convenience and proximity.
     

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