tom911 goes to Rome (includes Lufthansa 747 F SFO-FRA, FRA-DEN) - includes photos

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by tom911, May 10, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. tom911
    Original Member

    tom911 Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,005
    Likes Received:
    3,183
    Status Points:
    2,070
    I booked this ticket with miles 8 days out on the UA website. I was able to get the Lufthansa nonstop San Francisco- Frankfurt in first class, connecting to Rome in business class. On the return, I was also in business Rome-Frankfurt (two class plane), connecting to Lufthansa F Frankfurt-Denver, and then UA home to SFO.

    I parked off airport and made my way over to the SFO international terminal and was the only person in the Lufthansa first class check-in line for a 1420 departure. Made my way through security (no naked scanner) and entered the United First Class International Lounge which Lufthansa utilizes. While there I enjoyed some cheese, shrimp and a Hess Chardonnay. The cheesecake that was out was tempting but I wanted to save my appetite for the flight.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    LINK to additional United First Class International lounge photos

    The Lufthansa first class cabin is on the upper deck of the 747. There are 16 seats but only 8 are sold, guaranteeing each passengers an empty seat next to them which can be converted to a bed by the flight attendant. I'm told there is a new configuration flying where the bed is fixed and there are only 8 seats, so this allows them to substitute aircraft without changing seat availability. Sadly, I did not have that configuration in either direction.

    I was surprised to find I was assigned an emergency exit row in both directions. I had not requested a seat assignment on either flight (UA website does not allow seat selection and didn't call). These rows, as you will see by the photos have plenty of legroom.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    LINK to additional Lufthansa first class cabin photos
     
    sfo1, Junca, Noland and 10 others like this.
  2. tom911
    Original Member

    tom911 Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,005
    Likes Received:
    3,183
    Status Points:
    2,070
    I had outstanding flight attendants in both directions that provided excellent service. On arrival I was provided with an amenity kit in a Rimowa plastic case and Van Laack pajamas.

    WINE LIST (same both directions)

    Champagne:
    D de Deveax Brut, Champagne Veuve Deaux, France
    [​IMG]

    Monthly Proposal:
    2006 Mompertone Monferrato DOC, Prunotto, Italy

    Apertif
    Campari
    Sherry “La Guita”

    White Wine
    2009 Schloss Vollrads Reisling Spatlese trocken, Germany
    2008 Horse Heaven Hills Chardonnay, Columbia Crest, USA
    2009 “Sirmian” Pinot Bianco, Kellerei Nals-Margreid, Italy

    Red Wine
    2004 Chateau Dassault, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classe, France
    2007 Summa Varietals, Domino de Valdepusa DO, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, Marques de Grinon, Spain

    Dessert Wine
    2009 Bacchus Beerenauslese, Weingut Neef-Emmich, Germany

    11 different spirits and a liquor (Baileys) and Port were also available.

    On the SFO-FRA flight:

    Choice of Hors d'oeuvres
    Caviar with the traditional garnishes
    Ahi Tuna Riviera style, tomato, hericot vert, basil lemon oil
    Smoked Duck with apricot vinaigrette
    Grilled Vegetables in red pepper vinaigrette
     
    sfo1, G_G, goalie and 4 others like this.
  3. tom911
    Original Member

    tom911 Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,005
    Likes Received:
    3,183
    Status Points:
    2,070
    [​IMG]

    Salad
    Seasonal Salad with dried yellow tomatoes and green bell pepper presented with dressing

    [​IMG]

    Choice of Main Courses
    Grilled Filet Mignon with sauce cabernet, tomato compote and green beans, new potatoes
    Braised Halibut accompanied by herbed fish broth, ragout of asparagus, cherry tomato and fingerling potatoes
    Grilled Chicken served with pan jus, celery root pursee, lardons, carrots and brussels sprouts
    Spinach filled Gnocchi, white wine cream sauce, pine nuts, sun dried tomatoes, olive oil and parmesan shavings

    [​IMG]

    Selection of Cheese and Dessert
    Sage Derby, Pamesan, Gruyere, Humboldt Fog and Combozola Cheese
    Chocolate Tart with Rasberry Coulis and whipped cream
    Fresh Fruits with passion fruit Sabayon

    [​IMG]

    A breakfast menu was offered which included scrambled eggs made to order with bacon and chives, but I elected for for some salmon and a fresh fruit plate, knowing a lounge visit in Frankfurt was ahead.

    [​IMG]
     
    sfo1, Junca, NYBanker and 6 others like this.
  4. tom911
    Original Member

    tom911 Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,005
    Likes Received:
    3,183
    Status Points:
    2,070
    Upon arrival in Frankfurt I cleared passport control and security in the A terminal and proceeded to the first class lounge above gate A26. I obtained a wifi access card and spent 30 minutes uploading photos and checking e-mail over a Coca Cola Light, and then had about 15 minutes to pop into the restaurant. I did not order from the menu as I did not have the time, and instead selected some items from the buffet table before going to the gate for my connecting Rome flight (ravioli, risotto, rice, scallops).

    LINK to additional photos from this flight

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    LINK to additional Lufthansa First Class Lounge photos

    On the return FRA-DEN flight we departed Rome late, so only had about 10 minutes in the business class lounge that adjoins the departure gate. Sandwiches and drinks were available, and all I had was a tall glass of ice water. Just no time for a visit to the first class international lounge.

    Choice of Hors d'oeuvres
    Caviar with the traditional garnishes
    Lobster Terrine with Baby Leek, Curry Cream and Papaya Relish
    Beef a la Mechoui presented with Carrot Pesto
    Asparagus Mousse with mixed salad

    Salad or Soup
    Frisee, Romaine Lettuce and Arugula with Herb Mushrooms and Carrots presented with your choice of tomato and tarragon or yogurt and dill dressing
    or
    Seafood and Shellfish Bisque with cilantro

    Choice of Main Courses
    Fried Turbot in Orange and Port Sauce with braised fennel and basmati rice
    Breast of Guinea Fowl filled with almonds accompanied by beans and macaire potatoes
    Lamb Shoulder Tajine with stewed eggplant and zucchini and sweet potato mash
    Lufthansa Classics: White Asparagus served with Hollandaise sauce, Black Forest Ham, boiled ham and parsley potatoes

    [​IMG]
     
    sfo1, Junca, G_G and 3 others like this.
  5. tom911
    Original Member

    tom911 Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,005
    Likes Received:
    3,183
    Status Points:
    2,070
    Selection of cheese and dessert
    Nougat of Sainte-Maure, Reblochon, Brillat-Savarin, Rahmberg savory cream cheese and Fournme d'Ambert with fig chutney, grapes and walnuts
    Spicy chocolate delice with cherry sauce and mango sorbet
    crème of Ras el-Hanout with raspberries

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    A meal was offered before arrival in Denver but I can't find the menu (probably left it behind). I did not take photos of these offerings.

    Next segment, which I haven't written up yet, will cover hotel (booked with miles) and some Rome highlights.
     
    sfo1, Junca, G_G and 5 others like this.
  6. tom911
    Original Member

    tom911 Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,005
    Likes Received:
    3,183
    Status Points:
    2,070
    Upon arrival in Rome I cleared passport control, picked up my bag in the arrivals hall (didn't want to haul it along in Frankfurt between flights), and decided to take the shuttle bus into Termini versus the train (8 euros versus 14 euros). It arrived in a plaza outside Termini station after a 55 minute drive in and I walked over to my hotel, Hotel Nord Nuova Roma. I selected this 3* hotel because it had a favorable 4* review on TripAdvisor and was a 15 minute walk away from friends staying at a hotel on Via Veneto across from the U.S. Embassy. It also included breakfast (rolls, croissants, pastries, ham, cheese, yogurt, cereals) and wifi (pick up daily code at the front desk). It was on a quiet side street just two blocks from Termini. Met my needs just fine. I had a 5th floor room facing an interior courtyard and slept well every night. Hotel availability in Rome this week was sparse because of the Papal Beatification and a tennis event. Many I looked at were sold out.

    I purchased this hotel with AA miles. The daily cost was 23,920 miles a day if I used UA miles, 22,040 miles a day if I used AA miles without the EXP discount, and 14,700 AA miles a miles a night with the EXP discount, so just under 75,000 miles for 5 nights. The cheapest paid rate on the hotels web site was $205. For me it was a decent use of miles and saved me over $1,000 in hotel costs.

    [​IMG]

    My first full day in Rome I was down for breakfast at 0630 and out the door at 0800. I only bought a train ticket once (1 euro) and that was to get back to my hotel after 8 hours of walking about. On my second full day I was joined by friends who flew down from Gothenberg, Sweden, after accepting delivery of a Volvo there, and we purchased three day train tickets for 11 euros. We were not able to use the second day of those tickets due to National Strike Day (no trains, and good luck finding a bus).

    I arrived just two days after John Paul II's beatification and there were posters and displays all about Rome, as well as in St Peter's Square.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    On my first visit to St Peters Basilica at 3 in the afternoon the line must have been 5,000 people long, completely circling the square. You can see some of the line in front of the columns in the photo above. I went later in the week at 5pm and there were only 100-200 people and we got in within 10 minutes.

    The Pieta
    [​IMG]

    Swiss Guard
    [​IMG]
     
    sfo1, spesalvi, G_G and 4 others like this.
  7. tom911
    Original Member

    tom911 Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,005
    Likes Received:
    3,183
    Status Points:
    2,070
    Tomb of Blessed John Paul II, newly relocated to the left of The Pieta
    [​IMG]

    I particularly enjoy visiting ornate churches and took in a number of those in Rome.

    Church of St Vincent and St Anastasia next to Trevi Fountain
    [​IMG]

    The Pantheon
    [​IMG]

    Church of St Louis of the French
    [​IMG]
     
    sfo1, G_G and Casey Friday like this.
  8. tom911
    Original Member

    tom911 Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,005
    Likes Received:
    3,183
    Status Points:
    2,070
    Santa Maria en Trastevere
    [​IMG]

    walking about Trastevere
    [​IMG]

    Santa Maria Maggiore, one of the Pope's churches in Rome
    [​IMG]

    St John Lateran, also one of the Pope's chuches
    [​IMG]
     
    sfo1, G_G, goalie and 1 other person like this.
  9. tom911
    Original Member

    tom911 Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,005
    Likes Received:
    3,183
    Status Points:
    2,070
    Of course, not all my stops were at churches.

    I visited the Trevi Fountain.
    [​IMG]

    The Coliseum (it's 12 euros for a ticket for both it and the Roman Forum)
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And the Roman Forum just across the way past the Arch of Constantine
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    sfo1, Junca, G_G and 2 others like this.
  10. tom911
    Original Member

    tom911 Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,005
    Likes Received:
    3,183
    Status Points:
    2,070
    There were also stops for gelato (this one near Trevi Fountain), and we visited with a gelato eating ferret near Campo di Fiore

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We also ran into the protest march for National Strike Day circling Santa Maria Maggiore and again at the Coliseum where they ended the march.
    [​IMG]anisgh

    And the Spanish Steps

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    sfo1, Bonnie, G_G and 2 others like this.
  11. tom911
    Original Member

    tom911 Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,005
    Likes Received:
    3,183
    Status Points:
    2,070
  12. Rlpro
    Original Member

    Rlpro Silver Member

    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    381
    Status Points:
    450
    Great photos. Looks like you had perfect weather. And nice score on that LH 747 award flight! How full was FC?
    Thanks for the fun report.
     
  13. tom911
    Original Member

    tom911 Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,005
    Likes Received:
    3,183
    Status Points:
    2,070
    There were 8 passengers SFO-FRA and 4 passengers FRA-DEN. The couple that sat together up in the first row on the flight back commented that it was like flying on their own private jet.
     
    G_G and Rlpro like this.
  14. sobore
    Original Member

    sobore Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,421
    Likes Received:
    33,847
    Status Points:
    16,520
    Wow! What a great TR!!!
     
  15. Rlpro
    Original Member

    Rlpro Silver Member

    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    381
    Status Points:
    450
    Thanks tom911. We have experienced the nearly empty LH first also, but not in a 747.

    Currently have FC awards ticketed SFO-BOS-FRA-NAP on UA/LH. Still trying to improve the routing and would love to snag SFO-FRA. But it might be nearly impossible to get 2 seats.
     
  16. milchap
    Original Member

    milchap Gold Member

    Messages:
    27,686
    Likes Received:
    148,144
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Thanks. Informative trip report with great photos.
     
  17. tom911
    Original Member

    tom911 Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,005
    Likes Received:
    3,183
    Status Points:
    2,070
    Lufthansa started flying the A380 SFO-FRA yesterday. I'm hoping that opens up some more seats down the road.
     
    G_G and Rlpro like this.
  18. Casey Friday
    Original Member

    Casey Friday Silver Member

    Messages:
    407
    Likes Received:
    695
    Status Points:
    645
    Awesome TR! Thanks so much for sharing! I'm getting more and more excited about my maiden voyage in F, and these photos really pump me up! Fabulous work!
     
  19. Wurm
    Original Member

    Wurm Silver Member

    Messages:
    843
    Likes Received:
    1,232
    Status Points:
    825
    Outstanding report (and photos) as usual, Tom - you set the standard very high! ;)

    Is the Pieta still behind biulletproof glass? It's hard to tell from the photo (it was damaged by a deranged man several years ago).

    Also, did you go into the tomb area under St. Peters? When I was there, I wanted to visit the tomb of John Paul 1, but the area was closed.
     
  20. tom911
    Original Member

    tom911 Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,005
    Likes Received:
    3,183
    Status Points:
    2,070
    Yes, just as you enter on the right side of the Basilica. I first saw it (and I'm dating myself here) when it was at the New York World's Fair in 1965, the same year I saw Pope Paul VI at Yankee Stadium, the first-ever visit of a Pope to the U.S.

    When we were there around 5pm on Thursday there was a Mass underway in the alcove to the left of the main altar and the entire front of the Basilica was roped off, so no access. I did get down there last trip in 2008 but they weren't allowing photos. I'm pretty sure I have a photo from an earlier trip stored on the desktop and could send you that if you'd like.

    When we left the Basilica on this visit the square out front was full of cars. I'd never seen that on prior visits. Found out later there was a concert in the audience hall to commemorate the 6th anniversary of Pope Benedict's papacy. A ticket for that must include preferred parking.

    Have been below St Peter's on the "scavi" (excavation) tour before where they take you through the old cemetery the Basilica is built upon. No photos allowed there, either, but a pretty interesting tour. I set it up at the Scavi office just behind the Swiss Guards to the left of the front steps of St. Peters.
     
    G_G likes this.
  21. goalie
    Original Member

    goalie Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,003
    Likes Received:
    7,460
    Status Points:
    5,145
    Outstanding trip report, Tom!
     
  22. Bonnie
    Original Member

    Bonnie Silver Member

    Messages:
    186
    Likes Received:
    362
    Status Points:
    450
    What a great TR, Tom...and your photos are incredible! Thanks for taking us along on your wonderful trip!
     
  23. TRAVELSIG
    Original Member

    TRAVELSIG Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,942
    Likes Received:
    5,509
    Status Points:
    4,145
    Fantastic trip report. Thanks for sharing.
     
  24. Tivoboy
    Original Member

    Tivoboy Milepoint Guide

    Messages:
    460
    Likes Received:
    283
    Status Points:
    595
    Very nice post sir. Great photos, you are setting a nice standard here!
     
  25. NYBanker
    Original Member

    NYBanker Gold Member

    Messages:
    32,725
    Likes Received:
    191,901
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Great report.
     

Share This Page