NBO-DXB-NBO EK F report

Old Oct 11th, 2007, 01:03 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 290
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
NBO-DXB-NBO EK F report

Nairobi – Dubai return in Emirates First Class plus Shangri La Hotel, Dubai

My partner decided to take her mother, her 78 year old grandmother and me to Dubai for a 5 night break. We flew Emirates First Class, and stayed on the Horizon Club Floor at the Shangri La Hotel in Dubai

NBO – DXB – EK 721 1705 2315

Check in

As granny is 78, she cannot walk long distances, so we had a wheelchair booked for her at both airports. At Nairobi airport, I went to the First Class counter and asked if they could bring a wheelchair to the car park, so granny would not have to walk. Sorry, their policy does not allow that, and granny had to walk. Great way to start a First Class trip. Check in was fairly smooth, and we were off to the Nairobi lounge.

Lounge

The Emirates lounge in Nairobi is a shared lounge and not great at all. There were alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, sandwiches, quiche, nuts and biscuits available. Our flight was called 20 minutes before departure, and a short walk later (plus wheelchair), we boarded EK 720.

Flight

There was no escort to the seat, nor were we assisted with hand luggage. Once settled, we were offered Champagne (Dom Perignon 1999), juice or water. Menu cards were handed out, as well as slippers and eyeshades. As this was an evening flight, no amenity kits are provided. Instead you can get toothbrush/paste, shaving kits, combs, etc., in the lavatory (one lavatory for 12 passengers). The crew then served dates and Arabic Coffee.

The A330-200 F configuration is 2-2-2 in angled flat seats. Each seat has an in-built video player.

During taxi out, the crew were very talkative in the galley, which in my opinion made the cabin noisy. This for First Class is unacceptable.

After take off, drink orders were taken (I had more Dom), and the meal service commenced. Emirates is introducing an on demand meal service (A La Carte Dining) throughout F. The menu we were given is below:

A La Carte Dining

Canapés Selection of hot canapés (including mini lobster cakes, samosa’s spicy beef brochettes and cheese croquet monsieur)

Appetisers Smoked salmon and prawn cocktail enhanced with marinated local fish, lemon, chives and cocktail sauce

Mediterranean mezze – smoked chicken, baba ghanoush tartlet, grilled courgette, asparagus, tomato and black olives with yoghurt kachumbari sauce.

Main Courses Prime fillet steak offered with mustard and black pepper sauce, fresh asparagus, carrots and roast potatoes.

Thai chicken curry – traditional dish with coconut, egg noodles and stir-fried vegetables.

Grilled fillet of kingfish with lemon and parsley butter, cauliflower mornay and jollif rice

Vegetable biriyani – mildly spiced dish garnished with fried onions.

Bread basket – a variety of freshly baked bread rolls and garlic bread

Light Bites Seasonal salad served with herbed croutons, shaved parmesan and a choice of dressing

International cheese selection

Sweet Delights Almond cake served warm with crème Anglaise

Rich dark chocolate mousse topped with curls of dark and white chocolate, offered with strawberry coulis

Fresh seasonal fruits

Chocolates to accompany a freshly brewed cup of tea or coffee

Wine List

Champagne Dom Perignon 1999

White Wine Vougeot Premier Cru Le Clos Blanc de Vougeot, Domaine de la Vougeraie 2004

Sancerre Blanc Les Caillottes, Domaine Jolivet 2005

Rijk’s Private Cellars Semillon 2004
Red Wine Chateau Gruaud-Larose Grand Cru Classe, St. Julien 1996

Gevrey-Chamertin Premier Cru, Nicolas Potel 2004

Dessert Wine Chateau Guiraud, Premier Cru Sauternes 1997

Port Warre’s 1994

The service was great. I had the smoked salmon followed by salad, then the beef and cheese. The smoked salmon was fresh and tasty. The salad too was fresh, and served with balsamic and olive oil or a tarragon dressing. A large bread basked was served to each passenger individually. The beef was tasty, but overcooked. Overall a great meal. It was washed down with more Dom, and then the Gevrey red wine.

Throughout the flight, the wine was topped u regularly, as was water. Service was attentive. Overall a good flight.

Arrival

Arrival was smooth, and there was a wheelchair waiting for us. Granny was taken through the “back corridors”, and we met up with her in the arrivals hall. We had a hitch with one visa, and the wheelchair assistant was extremely useful. He took us to the Visa office, Emirates office, and then back to the Visa office to sort the issue out. Our luggage was waiting for us on the carousel. Priority tagging worked.

We had pre-booked an Emirates Limousine, which was a Mercedes Van. The whole process was smooth, and we were whisked away to the Shangri La.

Shangri La Hotel Dubai – Horizon Club Floor

We had booked 2 single Deluxe and one Premier Room on the Horizon Club Floor. Check in was at 1:00 am, and done on the 41st floor of the hotel at the Horizon Club. It was a long process, but very professional.

Premier Room Horizon Club Floor

These rooms are 1.5 times the size of the normal rooms (66 sqmt/710sqft), and have a King bed, lounge area with a sofa, arm chair, work desk with ergonomic chair, mini bar area, tea and coffee facilities, lots of cupboards and a huge bathroom. The Bathroom had a separate area with a toilet and bidet. A large walk-in rain shower, a Jacuzzi bath tub and twin vanity’s. There were lots of toiletries from Aigner, including shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, soaps, toothbrush and paste, shaving foam and razor, comb, sewing kit, nail clippers, emery board, cotton buds, make up pads, cotton wool, and shower cap. Both toweling and cotton bathrobes were provided together with slippers.

There was a huge fruit basket that was replenished every day, and lots of complimentary water was provided.

There was a console by the side of the bed that controlled the curtains, and lights. There was a huge plasma TV screen that could be swiveled, so you could watch it from bed, or seated.

The room was serviced daily, and there was a turn down service in the evening.

Deluxe Room Horizon Club Floor

These rooms 45 sqmt/484sqft, and have a King bed, two arm chairs, work desk with ergonomic chair, mini bar area, tea and coffee facilities, lots of cupboards and a huge bathroom. The Bathroom had a separate area with a toilet and bidet. A walk-in rain shower, a deep bath tub and single vanity. There were lots of toiletries from Aigner, including shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, soaps, toothbrush and paste, shaving foam and razor, comb, sewing kit, nail clippers, emery board, cotton buds, make up pads, cotton wool, and shower cap. Only toweling bathrobes were provided together with slippers.

There was a fruit basket that was replenished every day with the fruit of the day, and lots of complimentary water was provided.

There was a console by the side of the bed that controlled the curtains, and lights. There was a flat screen TV that could be swiveled, so you could watch it from bed, or seated.

The room was serviced daily, and there was a turn down service in the evening.

Horizon Club Floor Lounge

The lounge area is broken up into two areas – a lounge, and a dining area. There is also a separate board room, and office with a lap top with free internet access.

Breakfast was served daily until 10:30 am in the dining area. It consisted of fresh juices, fruits, cereals, and then a selection of pastries, Arabic dishes, and Asian dishes. Eggs, etc., as well as pancakes were ordered from a separate menu. Also tea and coffee (including cappuccino, espresso, etc.) were available. Service was a bit slow, as their was only one waitress who was serving at any time up to 16 people, however after she knew your preference from the first day, she would remember them for future breakfasts.

As we were there during Ramadan, smoking was not permitted in the lounge area until after 6:00 pm.

During the day there was always fruit available, as well as sandwiches, cakes, nuts, smoothies, juices, water and soft drinks in the dining area. You could also order tea and coffee. This was a great service.

In the evenings from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, canapé’s were served (both hot and cold) together with nuts, olives and fruit in the dining area. Again because of Ramadan, alcohol was not served until 7:00 pm. They served some excellent Australian red’s and whites, as well as beer, spirits and soft drinks.

Service on the Horizon Floor was good, but not outstanding.

On the 42nd floor, there was a separate gym, and small (12 meter) indoor pool and Jacuzzi for Horizon Club Floor Guests. There was also an outside deck with sun beds. We used the Jacuzzi a few times, and each time, the trainer in the gym provided us with bottles of water, cold face towels, lots of towels and bathroom slippers. A really good level of service.

Dining

The hotel had 5 restaurants, but due to Ramadan, only the Chinese and International Buffet restaurants were open for lunch service. You could order room service at any time, and when we did once, they were more then happy to serve it in the Horizon Lounge (free drinks). We did have lunch twice at Shang Palace (Chinese). Food was excellent, and very authentic. Service the first day was great. Second day they did not take the order properly, missed dishes, asked us to order desert at the same time as the main course amongst others.

Spa

We used the spa several times for treatments. They were professional and provided good treatments.

General

I had emailed the hotel before the visit and told them that granny was turning 78 during the visit, and if they could do something special for her. I also told the receptionist at check in. Nothing was done, which was very disappointing. I had also told them that she was a vegan vegetarian, and we really suffered ordering from the menu, and found that the kitchens were not too willing to accommodate any change to the menu (we offered to pay extra for it).

I did ask the concierge if we could borrow or hire a wheel chair, which they whipped out in 5 minutes at no cost for the 5 days we were there. This was excellent service.

Overall we did find the staff to be professional and courteous, but not quite up to the Shangri La experience.

DXB – NBO – EK 720 1505 1915

Check in

We were collected from the Shangri La with the Emirates Mercedes Van again. Very smooth process and ride. At the airport I advised one of the concierges that granny needed a wheel chair, and she made sure that one was brought to the vehicle, while the luggage was being off loaded. She escorted us and a porter with luggage to the check in counter. Once again there was a wait at check-in of about 15 minutes (not acceptable for first class), as there were business class, and Skywards Gold members checking in. The process once started was smooth. There were no clear bags for liquids available, so we had to send the porter to duty free to buy some for AED 0.50 each.

Granny’s boarding pass was kept by the wheelchair porter, who fast tracked all of us through immigration, and security, down the lift to a club car. The boarding pass (and us) were handed over to a driver, who drove us to the end of the concourse, and up the lift to the departures floor. Here again the boarding card was handed over to another club car driver who took us to the lounge (and he kept the boarding card)

Lounge

What can I say? One of the best lounges around. It was not crowded at all. It is comfortable, the food is good (now they have Hagen Daz ice cream), and lots to drink.
About ˝ hour before the flight, the boarding card and club car driver came and drove us to gate 5, where boarding was already taking place. He got granny a wheel chair and wheeled her to the front door.

Flight

We boarded quickly, but then took a while to sit down, as economy class passengers started using the forward door.

Once settled, we were offered Champagne (Dom Perignon 1999), juice or water. Menu cards were handed out, as well as slippers and eyeshades. As this was an afternoon flight, no amenity kits are provided. The crew then served dates and Arabic Coffee. We had a really great young lady from South Africa who looked after us very well. She was so warm and genuine, and looked after granny like her own.

After take off, drink orders were taken (I had more Dom), and the meal service commenced. The menu we were given is below:

A La Carte Dining

Canapés – Selection of hot canapés (including mozzarella and sunblush tomato risotto balls, tandoori prawns and chicken kofte)

Appetisers - Mediterranean mezze including moutabel with pomegranate molasses and walnuts, vine leaves, a carrot, date and orange salad with feta cheese, homous tartlet with olives and tomatoes, seafood kibbeh and mini chicken and artichoke pies.

Poached Gulf prawns presented on cucumber carpaccio, served with sour cream mayonnaise



Main Courses - Prime fillet of beef served with a choice of tamarind sauce or crème fraiche and horseradish sauce, accompanied by fine Green beans, grilled tomato and almond potato balls.

Lobster Masala complemented by asparagus, Indian spiced vegetables and saffron rice

Chicken picatta – wafer thin escalopes with fresh tomato and balsamic sauce, accompanied by courgette batons, fresh baby carrots and vegetable rosti potato cakes.

Spinach and ricotta tortellini – fresh pasta in Parmesan cream and sage butter, served with roasted vegetables

As an alternative accompaniment to your main course an additional variety of vegetables are available which includes fine green beans, turned pumpkin, pilau rice and rosti potato cakes


Light Bites - Seasonal salad served with herbed croutons, shaved Parmesan and a choice of dressing

Chilled pea, mint and lemon soup – a refreshing soup enhanced with crème fraiche and warm cheese spirals

International cheese selection

Sweet Delights - Sticky toffee served warm with fresh custard

Mont Blanc chestnuts and cream presented in a chocolate cup

Fresh seasonal fruits

Chocolates to accompany a freshly brewed cup of tea or coffee

Wine List

Champagne - Dom Perignon 1999

White Wine - Vougeot Premier Cru Le Clos Blanc de Vougeot, Domaine de la Vougeraie 2004

Sancerre Blanc Les Caillottes, Domaine Jolivet 2005

Rijk’s Private Cellars Semillon 2004
Red Wine Chateau Gruaud-Larose Grand Cru Classe, St. Julien 1996

Gevrey-Chamertin Premier Cru, Nicolas Potel 2004

Dessert Wine Chateau Guiraud, Premier Cru Sauternes 1997

Port Warre’s 1994

I had the mezze followed by soup, then the beef and cheese. The mezze was excellent, though only had two small cubes of feta and I could not taste the dates. The soup was served heated (???) but was tasty and with some Tabasco was good. A large bread basked was served to each passenger individually. The beef was tasty, but overcooked again. (I also tried some of the chicken. That was superb and moist and flavoursome. The cheese included a good Australian Feta and smoked cheese. This was served with a separate bread and biscuit basket. It was a good meal. It was washed down with more Dom, and then the Gevrey red wine. We finished 3 bottles of the red.

Throughout the flight, the wine was topped u regularly, as was water. Service was attentive. Overall a good flight.

Arrival

Arrival was surprisingly smooth, and there was a wheelchair waiting for us. Granny was
Fast tracked together with us. As usual in Kenya, Priority tagging does not work. We waited a good 15 minutes and our luggage appeared with business class and no priority tagged bags. Customs was fast and hassle free (surprised).

Overall Impression

Emirates has a good First class product, that would be compared to other airlines International Business class (Singapore, Qantas, Virgin, BA). The price difference is less than US$200 between J and F return, so it is really worth the upgrade.

I am not sure if I would use the Shangri La Dubai again.
roadwarriorafrica is offline  
Old Oct 11th, 2007, 02:01 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,402
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for your report!

As usual in Kenya, Priority tagging does not work.

So true. We fly KL WBC and I swear they always make a point to off load our luggage last

OT, but while I have your attention, do you have any seat recommendations for KQ's 772, 763 and 737 in business? I think the 772 is 4(?) rows of 2-3-2, 763 is ? rows of 2-1-2 and 737 is 4 rows of 2-2. Do you know how far in advance they assign seats? The answer seems to differ depending on who I ask. Thanks!
Patty is online now  
Old Oct 11th, 2007, 04:54 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,341
Received 79 Likes on 8 Posts
Thanks for the report (which I also saw on FT.)
Gardyloo is offline  
Old Oct 11th, 2007, 10:06 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,528
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Roadwarrior,

They still seem to have the A330-200 on some routes(i had one on the DBX-Munich-DBX route last month). I have to agree, this is one of their older aircrafts. They do use the 777 on the JNB route and also on the JFK. Those are much better .... the 777 is also the aircraft with the ICE entertainment.

I hear they are upgrading the lounges in DBX. They were doing a survey of passengers travelling thru this past September.

Hari
HariS is offline  
Old Oct 19th, 2007, 04:49 AM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 290
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
OT, but while I have your attention, do you have any seat recommendations for KQ's 772, 763 and 737 in business? I think the 772 is 4(?) rows of 2-3-2, 763 is ? rows of 2-1-2 and 737 is 4 rows of 2-2. Do you know how far in advance they assign seats? The answer seems to differ depending on who I ask.

772 is 4 rows 2-3-2. Fully flat seats.

763 is also 4 rows, but 2-1-2.

737 is 4 rows 2-2 (except 737-200 which is only 3 rows). 737-300 has no entertainment screens. 737-700/800 have overhead screens.

They assign seats (same as KLM I think) 2 months prior to travel.
roadwarriorafrica is offline  
Old Oct 19th, 2007, 04:56 AM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 290
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
HariS - EK used to operate the 340-300 for one flight, and the Airbus on the other, but now we only get the airbus. The seats are getting dated, video players do not eject properly, toilets are small, but the new meal service is great, as is the general service. Just wish they would get their own lounge in Nairobi.

In Dubai, the new lounges will come when EK move to the new terminal.
roadwarriorafrica is offline  
Old Oct 19th, 2007, 09:23 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,402
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks!
Patty is online now  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
jgmc
Air Travel
7
Oct 17th, 2010 09:18 AM
pyerkes
Air Travel
12
Jun 30th, 2008 06:34 AM
loisco
Air Travel
8
Dec 11th, 2006 12:40 PM
Patty
Air Travel
17
Jan 10th, 2006 10:11 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -