Previous Trip Notes:
25K Mile (with Baby) Trip Report: Part 4 – Dubai, Al Maha & Sheraton Mall of the Emirates
25K Mile (with Baby) Trip Report: Part 3 – IAD & EK232
25K Mile (with Baby) Trip Report: Part 2 – Trip Report Setup
25K Mile (with Baby) Trip Report: Part 1 – Planning
The category 5 hurricane that we refer to as NSPpeanut necessitated we catch up on as much sleep as possible, so the original plan of waking up at 4am and departing Al Maha early in order to spend as much time as possible experiencing Emirates First Class Lounge was changed, and we opted for a couple more hours of sleep. We used the car service from Al Maha to the Sheraton Mall of the Emirates, which wasn’t a bad price at about $75 – particularly since we could charge the taxi + sparkling waters we drank to the hotel and essentially receive a 50% discount by using our Barclaycard Arrival miles.
At the Sheraton, we picked up NSPbabysitter and NSPpeanut, switched taxis to a large minivan, packed up the hundreds of bags that we brought, and headed towards DXB. Traffic was worse than I had expected, and we arrived only about 2 hours before our flight. A couple airport porters took our bags and escorted us to the special First Class check-in area. Five minutes later we were on our way through a short security queue, and about 90 minutes before our flight we were checked into the Emirates First Class Lounge, which in size, resembles the size of Cleveland’s entire airport.
The Emirates First Class lounge is actually an entire floor above the main terminal, and spans the entire length of the terminal. In addition to standard drink areas, there are shops, Duty Free areas, a Cigar Lounge, kids play area, snack areas and a full-serve complimentary restaurant offering a la carte ordering or a buffet.
Despite being around 8am, I asked if I would be able to order something off the lunch and dinner menu. The server had to check with the chef, but came back and said it wouldn’t be a problem. After a Wagyu burger and grilled prawns, we set off to our personal first class boarding area, separated from everyone else boarding the plane.
Unlike our previous Emirates flight which was more than half empty, both economy and business class were 100% full. I had luckily booked the very first bulkhead row for NSPbabysitter and NSPpeanut, allowing for a very quick walk from our seats right upstairs.
The next thing that happened was just amazing. The purser said that the approved airplane seat we had brought for NSPpeanut wasn’t allowed to support NSPpeanut during take-off, so she would have to come up with us. He also stated that since we had bought her own ticket, she was more than welcome to stay with us upstairs – allowing NSPbabysitter her first sleep in 48 hours, and also calmed NSPpeanut down to the point where she took full advantage of her upgrade:
The flight attendants were again phenomenal. Attentive, helpful and provided a great experience. Of course I took my 2nd shower on a plane in almost as many days, and rather than a 2006 Dom Perignon, opted for the 1986 Ducru Beaucaillou Bordeaux. Absolutely amazing.
While nearly seven hours, the flight flew by, and before I knew it, we were descending toward Mauritius.
Again, I can’t emphasize how awesome the flight attendants were. This truly is what set Emirates apart from other airlines. Next stop, our second Indian Ocean island visit in two years…