Review: Emirates First Class A380-8, Mauritius – Dubai
An Emirates First Class award is one of the most aspirational award redemptions in the world today. The Emirates Airbus 380 aircrafts feature shower suites, a stand up bar and an excellent first class experience. As one of the largest operators of the Airbus 380, it’s is available on many of its long haul international routes. We had the experience to test out this world class experience on their route between Mauritius and Dubai.
This post is one chapter on our trip to South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mauritius and the United Arab Emirates. This trip was redeemed through American Airlines AAdvantage & Alaska Mileage Plan. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.
Read More from This Trip
- Trip Introduction: South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mauritius and the United Arab Emirates via Emirates First Class, South African Airways Business Class and Qatar Airlines Business Class
- American Airlines First Class: Vancouver – Los Angeles
- American Airlines AAdmirals Club: Los Angeles
- Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge: Los Angeles
- Qatar Airways Business Class: Los Angeles – Doha
- The Westin Hotel and Spa, Doha, Qatar
- Souq Wahif, Doha, Qatar
- Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Doha, Qatar
- Qatar Airways Business Class: Doha – Johannesburg
- The Slow Lounge, O.R. Tambo Domestic, Johannesburg, South Africa
- British Airways Club Class: Johannesburg – Cape Town
- The Westin Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
- Winelands of Paarl, South Africa
- Shark Diving at Gaansbai, South Africa
- The Hermanus Coastal Walk, Hermanus, South Africa
- Returning to Stellenbosch & Franschoek, South Africa
- A Repeat Visit to the Test Kitchen, Cape Town, South Africa
- Air Namibia: Cape Town – Windhoek
- Overland Travel: Driving to the Desert; Windhoek – Sesriem
- The Sossus Dune Lodge, Sesriem, Namibia
- The Majestic Sand Dunes of Sossusvlei, Namibia
- Overland Travel: Sesriem – Walvis Bay, Namibia
- The Pelican Point Lodge, Walvis Bay, Namibia
- Overland Travel: Walvis Bay – Spittskope – Windhoek, Namibia
- The Hilton Windhoek, Namibia
- Air Namibia Windhoek – Maun – Victoria Falls
- The Victoria Falls Hotel, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
- Stopping Hippopotamus on a Zambezi River Cruise, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
- Feeling the Smoke that Thunders, a day at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
- British Airways Club Business Class: Victoria Falls – Johannesburg
- The Hyatt Regency Johannesburg
- South African Airways Business Class: Johannesburg – Mauritius
- The St Regis Mauritius, Le Morne, Mauritius
- Emirates First Class: Mauritius – Dubai
- The Grosvenor House, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- The Heat of the Desert at Al Ain, United Arab Emirates
- Emirates First Class Lounge Terminal “B” Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- Emirates First Class: Dubai – Los Angeles
- Alaska Airlines Board Room Lounge, Los Angeles
- Alaska Airlines First Class: Los Angeles – Seattle
- Delta Sky Club Lounge Seattle South Terminal
- Delta Airlines First Class: Seattle – Vancouver
Review: Emirates First Class A380-8, Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Mauritius – Dubai International Terminal 3
“Emirates First Class is one of the most featured First Class products in the world today. It includes a stand up bar, shower suites and a five course meal with world class wines”
Booking the Ticket:
Our return travel back to North American from Africa was courtesy of the Alaska Mileage Plan’s partner award chart with Emirates. We booked a 100,000 point First Class Award with Emirates, which allowed us travel from Africa through the United Arab Emirates back home to Vancouver.
We found better award availability to and from Mauritius than to our departure points in Johannesburg or Cape Town in South Africa, so it made sense to take a short flight over to this island to connect to our flights home to experience a proper first class cabin. At the time of our travels, Emirates was operating a full Airbus 380-800 on the route between the United Arab Emirates and Mauritius. It would end up being a great use of Alaska Mileage Plan points.
Getting to the Airport:
We departed the St Regis Mauritius and headed back on the self drive back to the airport. It took an hour and about 40 minutes thanks to heavy rains, some debris on the road and a police road closure that needed a detour for some reason unknown to us.
We returned the rental car to Sixt. The attendant didn’t know how to add my AAdvantage number to the car rental account so I just left it at that. I wasn’t able to ever get credit after the fact due to some non existent customer service at Sixt.
Checking In to Emirates First Class:
We checked in at the Emirates First, Business and Platinum check in desks. In Mauritius, Emirates doesn’t offer a separate check in for first class. Instead, it lumps the premium check in together with their business class passengers. The check in was pretty empty, save one Indian family that was attempting to squeeze in the line a head of us. The ground staff were all wearing Air Mauritius uniforms. Our checked bags were pleasantly tagged and a manager confirmed that we wanted seats 2A and 3A, even though they were not seated side by side.
While we were checking in, we were provided with a lounge invitation for the Salon Amédée Maingard Lounge. We used the dedicated departure screening and business / first passport line, which was on the right of the departure zone. We were quickly stamped out of Mauritius and into the pleasant terminal.
The Air Mauritius Amédée Maingard Lounge:
We located the Air Mauritius Amédée Maingard Lounge. It was situated at the immediate right hand side of the concourse. I’ve previously reviewed the Air Mauritius Amédée Maingard Lounge, so I won’t be completely reviewing it again for this post. Instead, I’ll include a view brief photographs as a general overview for those wanting to know what to expect when travelling with Emirates on this route.
We attended to the lounge behind some very slow walking Europeans. We were directed upstairs as the downstairs portion was closed today. The downstairs was looking awfully dark as we passed by.
Heading upstairs, this is easily my favourite lounge in all of Africa. It’s a bright space that is nicely appointed with very good food and beverage. This includes real champagne available at the bar and a reasonable selection of food and beverage in a nice setting with lots of natural light.
Upstairs, the lounge was much busier than our last visit. It remained a very nicely catered lounge with hot and cold snacks. The bar was featuring Duval Leroy Champagne and some chippie chips as a snack.
This easily has to be my favourite lounge in Southern Africa by far. . . It’s a super pleasant area to hang out in, with a variety of seating areas to call your own for a few hours. It has great natural light, making a stay even more inviting.
MRU-DXB (Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International – Dubai International Terminal 3)
May 1, 2016
Booked: Airbus 380-800
Flown: Airbus 380-800
Departure: 4:20 PM
Arrival: 11:05 PM
We departed the lounge and walked to the other end of the terminal for boarding at gates 22 and 23. We passed by the Mauritius flight boards which have planes departing to a variety of exotic destinations.
The boarding was early and probably about 75% complete by the time of the first boarding time posted on our boarding card.
There was no delay and no line for the business / first class boarding jet bridge, with 3 jet bridges in use for the beautiful A380. We had an almost private jet bridge today as we headed to the upper deck.
Once we got to the door, we were handed off to a member of the first class flight crew who personally escorted us to the seats.
On Board Emirates First Class:
As we arrived on board, we were informed that there was only 1 other passenger in First today; seated in 2K. As a result, we were encouraged to run around like wild animals on the left hand side of the cabin and take pictures enjoy the experience.
The Emirates Airbus 380-8 First Class Cabin offers a 1-2-1 configuration. The suites offer private doors that close and a mini bar. The suites and overall cabin are some of the most interesting looking mix of wood and gold. You’ll never mistake yourself for being in a more discreet and understated Lufthansa First Class Cabin. The colour scheme on Emirates is over the top and like the beautiful Hollywood actress; it knows it.
The suite controls were controlled by a flat screen controller, that had touch surfaces on it. There was also an in flight wired remote for the entertainment.
Overall, MrsWT73 seemed to be quite pleased with the suite.
Pre Departure Services:
We had some captain announcements and a posted flight time of five hours and forty five minutes travel time from Mauritius to Dubai. We had a whole suite of pre-departure services which occurred after we had arrived on board.
We were offered a towel service, and the Arabic coffee from a traditional Arabic coffee dispenser and a date. We were also invited up to inspect and check out the shower suite and arrange a time for later.
We were also offered large Pyjamas and a men’s amenity kit were provided in the Emirates branded tote bag.
There is so much swag on these flights, Emirates gave us a bag to take it all with us.
We were also encouraged to take the writing kit and the vanity. It was essentially a dollar store give away.
A magazine offering was also made. I kept with the tradition and selected a middle eastern version of Conde Nast Traveller.
Continuing on with the pre-departure services, a glass of Laurent Perrier was offered as a pre-departure beverage on the ground with a promise of “the good stuff” in the air.
We had a quick departure and take off with short taxi way in Mauritius. We were next to an Air Seychelles A3w0 on pushback. It was a wet departure leaving Mauritius today.
I also located the neat forward facing camera on the Emirates ICE AVOD system. It’s always a neat view out the nose camera on the way down the runway.
We had a beautiful departure today with some excellent views of Mauritius and the coral east of the airport as we climbed to altitude. Mauritius is a place I’d really like to return to someday to spend time exploring for a more in depth experience. Before long, it was beautiful skies ahead.
There were 3 crew assigned to first to take care of us. As we levelled at cruising altitude, Dom Perignon 2006 champagne was brought around. We had two glasses with strong efforts by the staff to make sure that they did not go empty. The crew also delivered the individual snack basket, which was placed on the console by the television.
The On Board Bar:
We placed our dinner order “as it takes some time to warm up”. The Emirates Airbus 380-8 First and Business Class experience allows for a stand up bar at the rear of the top level of the upper deck.
We headed back to the bar where we had some funny photos and offers to take our photographs by the senior pursers. While at the bar, First Class passengers get access to the top level premium liquor and champagne. We took our First boarding cards with us and the purser pro-actively and discreetly bought down the bottle of Dom Perignon from the First Class area for us to enjoy. The bar was pretty quiet today with lots of opportunities for photographs.
In addition to the bar, the area offers snacks and canapés. It’s a great social way to kill time in a flight. There is also a large flat screen monitor that allows you to track your flight path.
While at the bar, I enjoyed a Marmalade martini while MrsWT73 had a Grey Goose Cosmopolitan.
We finished up our drinks and headed back to our seat. This is a quick shot of passing through business class on the Emirates A380-800.
The Meal: A Full Five Course Dinner
We settled into the seat and had a closer look at the menu and saw what food and beverage was on offe The Menus were presented in a very elaborate menu similar to a fine restaurant.
I have no idea what “job fish” was but it sounds interesting.
The wine list was super impressive. It had MrsWT73’s favourite Chateau de Tracy, which was an unexpected treat. It also had a solid Chateaux Margaux, which was excellent.
As they say, “show time”. We started with appetizers and canapés.
After the canapés were finished, the First Class table setting was prepared and set. It is a beautiful setting with a proper charger plate and simply looks luxurious.
I couldn’t pass up on caviar, so I had the order served with traditional garnishes paired with Dom Perignon 2006 champagne. The breadbasket was also served.
While I was enjoying the caviar, there were some outstanding African sunset views.
The caviar was followed by potato and leek soup.
Instead of the interesting job fish, I had the main as the Mauritius Curry Chicken with Rice, paired with the Condrieu wine
After dinner, I went for a little nap afterwards. I slept really well for 2 hours under an Emirates starred sky.
Towards the end of the flight, I was woken up for shower suite as requested. What a bespoke experience to be showering on board a plane at 39,000 feet. The water was nice and hot and the towels provided were almost 5 feet long with a heated floor. The shower itself was not too roomy and I felt almost guilty using up all 5 minutes of water but it was more than enough. I forgot to bring my camera to the shower suite so regretfully, there are no shower spa photos. Please see the next segment of Emirates First Class Dubai – Los Angeles for shower suite photos and a write up of the shower suite experience.
I returned to the suite and had a green tea after the shower, just like a real spa. I decided to have dessert and asked for the raspberry cheese cake although they had run out. They must cater light as they also had ran out of Arabic mezze as the other first class passenger whom we ended up chatting with in the immigration lines didn’t get any herself.
Instead, I had a pineapple dessert with a glass of the Bordeaux Margaux.
The fast track cards were also handed out while I had napped. I took some last cabin shots before we started the descent.
Landing at Dubai International Airport:
We landed quickly at D5 and took the train to the main terminal at Dubai Airport. I have to say it’s a shiny place! The bags were out fairly promptly. We also took a look at the Duty Free on arrival in the baggage hall. It’s well stocked with nice wine so if you need to grab some on landing in Dubai (flying Emirates only), it’s certainly an option as there isn’t any in the local store out on the street.
My Thoughts on the Emirates First Class Experience:
The Emirates First Class Mauritius to Dubai flight was a great way to test out the Emirates First Class product. Since we had the whole cabin (save one person) to ourselves, we had a really high level of service and attention. There is nothing like having access to a shower suite, a stand up bar and a terrific food and beverage menu to enhance your travel experience.
For once, MrsWT73 summed up her thoughts about the experience as: “I have nothing to complain about… …for once I am speechless. This makes Air Canada seem like Ryan Air.” This statement in itself is a tremendous rarity, so we’d have to give two thumbs up for this flight. Even though this version of the Emirates First Class suite is nearing the end of its life cycle, it’s still a pretty neat way to go.