My wife and I were planning on travelling from Albany to Chicago aboard the Lakeshore Limited Amtrak train. The price differential between 2 seats and a roomette was minimal so we thought we'd buy the roomette instead. What I was wondering is: Are the roomettes assigned or is it similar to the seating (first-come-first-served)? (I know it says "reserved seating" but very often, when we reach late, we have to sit in two different coaches because of the crowd). In other words, would we know for sure that we would be getting a roomette assuming we paid and had a confirmed booking for one?
Roomettes are indeed assigned, and which one you get will be indicated on your ticket (as highlighted below):
You can request a particular roommette (or bedroom, family bedroom, bedroom suite, etc.) by calling Amtrak or seeing an agent at the station; as with airline seats, the earlier you do this the better if you have a preference.
The car number will be indicated with a rollsign or some other indicator at or near the door of the car, and the attendant will direct you to the proper compartment.