After much planning we’re on our way to Italy with Emirates, to sample Barolo’s famous red wines, dig for truffles in Alba, spend time exploring the coastline in Sardinia, attend language school in Siena, gaze at the beauty of Michelangelo’s Sistene Chapel and walk the hills of Amalfi before the grand finale – Tim’s 60th in Chianti with the family.
Now he’s in his 60th year, it seems he can do what he likes without consulting me so here we are, at the pencil tip of Emirates A380.
It’s not really my style, but I think I could get used to it…
Firstly, it might not cost as much as you think. While there’s a huge jump from Economy to Business, the jump from Business to First Class is not that great, relatively speaking. The prices are constantly change so it’s worth keeping an open mind especially now Emirates have competition from Qatar Airways.
Also, it’s a long flight. Emirates now flys 17 hours non-stop from Auckland to Dubai and then onto a number of European cities. This is the first time we’ve flown direct and it’s great. You get on, have a meal and a wine and it’s off to sleep with one less stop.
So what makes it different….
No crowds…I love it
With only fourteen private suites in First Class and only seven occupied, I did feel a teeny weeny bit special, like an Arabian Princess – not!
The First Class configuration has two suites in the middle and singles on the window side. The wall between the middle suites can come down so couples can converse, but when the wall is returned and your electronic doors are closed you are truly in the privacy of your own suite.
Just to put First Class into perspective there are 14 suites, 76 Business Class seats and about 400 Economy.
You have your own little private suite?
It’s roomy and a little like a compact hotel room. The leather chair is wide and comfortable and when it extends to a full flat-bed it’s even better, with a mattress, toasty duvet and pillow.
The console in front of the seat has a large touch screen TV, with an i-pad to drive the extensive entertainment system, but I’m was way too busy enjoying my little suite to watch a movie.
There’s also three lamps, a basket of snack food, an orchid and a mini bar of non- alcoholic beverages so where do you go to get a drink?
There’s a bar or suite service…of course
There are two option. With a high ratio of staff to guests it doesn’t take long to get a drink from a very extensive drinks menu. Whether it’s a glass of Dom, a Mojito or Expresso Martini you’ll have it in minutes or you can go to the bar, shared with business class passengers. The bar has seating for about eight, but most folk just stand around the bar and chat. Delicious oeuvres are served.
The wine list is exceptional. For the bubbles drinkers, the 2006 Dom Perignon is not bad, but the Pierro Vintage Reserve Chardonnay 2013 from Margaret River, Australia and the Chateau Cos d’Estournel 2004 Saint Estephe from France were exceptional.
Eat when you like
In first class there appears to be no rules. Just eat what you want, when you want with the cabin staff going out of their way to accommodate any request. As well as the wine list, the menu covers appetizer, mains, desserts, breakfast, lights bites, sandwiches, fruit and more. The food is excellent served on beautiful china, on a generous sized table with white linen.
Bedtime…oh to be pampered
Well-fed and watered it’s now time for a snooze, but it’s going to be a long process getting ready if I use all the goodies I’ve been given. I have a range of Bvlgari skin care products with perfume and everything I could possibly need including a hairbrush and nail care as well as another range of products by Templespa – sniff box and calming products.
But firstly, I’m off to the bathroom to put on my PJ’s, compliments of Emirates. Made from the softest cotton I’m not sure I’ll be wanting to get out of them any time soon. Getting changed was a pleasure as the bathroom is as big as the one at home, complete with shower, lavatory and basin, but more on that to come.
Showering 40,000 feet in the air
With two beautifully appointed bathrooms there was never a wait, but just to make sure we didn’t all stampede the shower just minutes before landing we had a designated shower time of our choice. With more goodies in the bathroom, including Emirates range of Voya showering product, I hoped I’ll have enough time, but I was fine. Twenty-five minute in the bathroom with five minutes of hot water did the trick!
Would I fly First Class on Emirates again?
Now that’s a silly question – you’d have to be a sad old chook not to have enjoyed this experience.