Before this past October, I was accustomed to flying and accepting whatever cramped, amenity-free seat any airline would sell me at the lowest fare. Then I flew business class on Emirates and the experience completely changed me, and I don’t know how I can ever fly in economy again!
As soon as I boarded the A380 aircraft to Dubai, the flight attendant showed me to my seat, handed me a glass of champagne, and immediately returned with a variety of warm nuts and a sanitized heated washcloth for me to freshen up. Each seat onboard the plane had its own little pod, with sizable amounts of personal storage space, including side compartments and even a table to put your items on. After getting comfortable and adjusting my seat several times to see how many positions it offered (which was from completely upright to fully flat), I paged through the menus offering a choice of cocktails, three-course dinner selections and two-course light meals. Passengers choose when to eat their multi-course meals typically starting with shrimp or caviar, ending with desserts like chocolate fondant or seasonal fruit.
Each business class seat has a massive 23 inch personal television screen equipped with the latest films, music, and news, not to mention the personal in seat mini bar with soft drinks, sparkling water, and snack basket. A Bulgari amenity kit filled with skincare products was also placed on each seat. The flight attendants gave each passenger a light mattress, pillow and blanket, which transformed the seat into a cozy lay flat bed at the push of a button.
I spent a good part of the 15 hour flight socializing with my small group in the rear of the aircraft at the inflight lounge. At the lounge, customers can enjoy handpicked wines and spirits, as well as signature cocktails prepared by the bartender. This is where I discovered my new favorite drink, the Cosmopolitan, and enjoyed my first Bloody Mary. A light menu with a variety of snacks is also available throughout the flight including smoked salmon, cheese sticks, petite sandwiches, wraps and sweets like apple cake and ice cream.
Upon landing we arrived in Dubai, where I spent three days, experiencing all the sights, including At The Top Burj Khalifa SKY – which had spectacular views of the skyline from the 148th floor (there are 163 floors in total). The Burj Khalifa is the tallest structure and building in the world, but United Arab Emirates will soon break their own record when the Dubai Creek Tower is completed sometime in 2020, and will be about 328 feet higher than the 2,722 foot high Burj Khalifa.
Following my trip to Dubai, I boarded a six hour and 45 minute flight with Emirates to the beautiful island of Mauritius, located off the southeast coast of the African continent in the Indian Ocean. The tropical island of Mauritius is known as ‘The Pearl of the Indian Ocean”, and I can see why as its stunningly beautiful. It is a volcanic island of lagoons and palm-fringed beaches with coral reefs surrounding most of the coastline, making it ideal for swimming, snorkeling and other watersports. When you dive here, you enter the world of bright corals, multi-colored marine life, and ship wrecks dating back to the 18th and 19th Century.
Most Mauritians are bilingual, and are equally fluent in French and English, with ethnic groups consisting of Hindus, Muslims, Creoles, Chinese and Europeans. These features make the island a unique place, and the Mauritians are known for their tolerance and kindness towards all people. Mauritius is beautiful year round destination, with an abundance of luxury resorts, diverse culture and rich cuisine, making it a great extension after a safari!
I can honestly say that I’ve never looked forward to the long flight home from Africa, but found myself excited about boarding the A380 as I headed home. Flying business class on Emirates is definitely a wonderful experience, and one that I can highly recommend.
How to get to Mauritius:
Both South African Airways and Air Mauritius operate flights on a daily basis. The non-stop flight is 4 hours
From Cape Town:
Air Mauritius has service on Sunday and Tuesday from Cape Town. The non-stop flight duration is 5 hours
Kenya Airways has a 4 hour, 20 minute non-stop flight on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday
Air Mauritius operates their non-stop 4 hour, 15 minute flight on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday