Zanzibar & Pemba, Tanzania : A Journey on SQ/TG/LH First Class

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  1. 787Flyer

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    It's been a while since I wrote a TR on MilePoint but I believe that the community needs to know more about what Zanzibar and Pemba in Tanzania has to offer. I'll be also covering my review of the travel itinerary that I used on this Journey as well as a review of the Swahili Divers Dive Lodge in Pemba as well.

    As always in DIG/R_1K fashion I'll wish y'all Buon Apetito (Enjoy the First Class Porn).
     
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  2. Flyer1976
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  3. Flyer1976
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    Getting to Tokyo to start the Caboodle

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    7-25-2012 PBI-IAH-NRT [EconomyPlus]

    You know your flight's pretty damn early when you're getting up at 0500 but you fret not for you live about 25 minutes away from the Airport. As you drive down to PBI you take a quick glance at the standby list for the flight to see that the usual morning gaggle of NRSAs slowly trickle into middle seats.Pulling into the parking lot and notice that you've been cleared into an aisle seat (score one!) and the best part is the middle seat is open (score two!). Instead of visiting the ticket counter you proceed straight to the Gate since they're now calling for final boarding to Houston.

    Upon boarding you receive a toothy grin from the lead flight attendant who quickly shakes your hand and welcomes you on board and asks if they gave a good seat today. You reply back They sure did and he wonders where you're off to today but doesn't bother to ask because he knows it's off on an adventure somewhere as usual. Then you get settled in and start drifting off as the flight pushes back from the gate but you don't fall asleep until the wheels are up and the aircraft climbs into the skies for Houston.

    The Boeing 737-800 starts it's rapid descent since it's early in the morning and rush hour is stirring about at the Intercontinental Airport in Houston. The lead that shook your hand earlier passes you an note wishing you a safe trip to Tokyo, you're not surprised as he's gleaned this information off the manifest. You can feel the flaps setting on the aircraft change and the crew goes to work preparing the cabin for arrival as the pilots upfront do some S-turns to slow down the aircraft, the landing gear drops. After a smooth roll out on Runway 27 you arrive at the E terminal and have about a hour before boarding starts for the flight from Houston to Tokyo so what you'd do is head up to Pappadeaux's for some brunch.

    After a quick brunch at Pappadeaux's the anticipation in the air starts to peak or is that the coffee? You take another look at the United Mobile website and see where you are on the standby list for the flight to Narita and notice you're #11 out of 30 which is good considering it's going to be a full flight today. As the gate agents work the standby list you head up to the podium when they call your name and secure an aisle seat once again and get onboard.

    Now the fun starts as you get to add an exciting Houston to Tokyo to your Flight Diary as an new route you haven't flown on and the Continental subsidiary crew is all smiles this morning so it should be a good flight over the Pacific. Fortunately you manage to get some snoozes with a quick glimpse of the Brooks Range over Alaska! As soon as you get to Narita you realize you'll have a few hours to kill in between flights and changing airports to Haneda so you head into town for some sushi.

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  4. Flyer1976
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    The Singapore Girls

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    7-27-2012 HND-SIN [First Class]

    As some of you know recently Singapore Airlines updated their reservations system and their website so this led to a temporary exodus of more First & Business Class availability for star alliance partners to redeem. I originally had booked Tokyo Haneda to Auckland but eventually changed it to a trip to Zanzibar, Tanzania so I managed to preserve the Haneda to Singapore sector in First Class on the Boeing 777-300ER. Awards on United MileagePlus for Japan to Southern Africa is 60,000 Miles in First Class one way so I still got a hell of a deal out of it especially routing through Europe on Lufthansa.

    Upon clearing Customs & Immigration at Narita you head into the Arrivals Hall to find the Airport Limousine bus service to Haneda where you grudgingly pony up 3,000 Yen ($38 USD). The ride from Narita to Haneda takes about a hour and half on a good day but since it's a busy time in the afternoon this takes two hours. You don't worry because you'll be waiting until midnight for your departure to Singapore on SQ so you sit back and take in the change of scenery.

    However you realize that your time at the Haneda Airport is a bit long when you arrive and are told the SQ counters do not open for another three hours and it's 6PM. You don't regret it because there's free wifi in the terminal and plenty of overpriced but excellent sushi. Upon checking in you head to the ANA Suites Lounge where you partake in the free booze and light appetizers while waiting for the flight to start boarding.

    A few Scotches and hours pass by then it's time to board the flight to Singapore, sauntering out to the Gate you realize that your camera charger is misplaced somewhere which is going to bite you in the ass later when you get to Tanzania. Oh well so you sigh and heave but the lovely Singapore FAs help you heave your luggage in the overhead bin as you take seat 1F which is an nice suite and you notice there's only two passengers in the First Class cabin including yourself.

    Onboard you'll get blown away with the quality of the SQ First product as they feed you tons of food including Lobster Thermidor and well plenty of booze as I mentioned. Unfortunately the timing of this flight is a redeye so you quickly want to get some sleep after the meal service and the seat is so comfortable you fall asleep as the crew leaves you alone until Breakfast.
     
  5. Flyer1976
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    Touch of Thai - Smooth as Silk

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    7-27-2012 SIN-BKK-HKG [First Class]

    After enjoying the Singapore Airlines The Private Room you've managed to charge your iPhone borrowing SQ's charger in the lounge. You eventually get to Bangkok on Thai Airways where you quickly make use of the Thai Airways Royal Orchid Spa for the Touch of Thai massage that takes a hour and puts you into a bliss of nirvana and relaxation for your flight to Hong Kong.

    Boarding the Boeing 747 bound for Hong Kong you hope to get the new First Class product but alas you don't however you take in solace that they'll be serving Dom Perignon from 2003 and you can have as much as you want so you drink two bottles all to yourself on this short intra-Asia flight between Bangkok and Hong Kong.

    For lunch you're still stuffed from the Thai First Lounge so you opt for the light meal option which included pumpkin soup and rice on the side.

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  6. Flyer1976
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    Hong Kong Lufthansa Deutsche Style You Say?

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    7-27-2012 HKG-MUC [First Class]

    After an excellent flight on Thai Airways, the staff whisks you upon arrival to the Lufthansa Transfers counter. You think this is starting to become a smooth and seamless trip but that's where you're wrong as the HKG outsourced staff for LH starts playing 60 minutes with you on your travel documentation and thumbing through your passport looking for a Visa that's not necessary as Tanzania has a Visa on Arrival option but they don't believe you or what the computer is telling them. This line of questioning goes on for a hour until a supervisor for LH comes out and apologizes about the agent's inquiries and checks me in for the flight to Addis Ababa via Munich, Frankfurt, & Khartoum.

    After the Sergeant York incident you laugh it off as you realize that was going to be practice for the real Customs & Immigration folks if they bothered to ask you why you're flying such an unusual routing to get to Zanzibar, Tanzania. The LH folks escort you to the United GlobalFirst Lounge as you have about a hour to get ready before boarding started so you decide to shop around the HKG airport for an new iPhone charger and end up buying one eventually before boarding Lufthansa 761 to Munich in First Class.

    Upon boarding the Purser welcomes you and brings you to seat 1K and you realize the Airbus A340-600 has the new First Class hard product which is generations way better than the outdated First Class product Lufthansa is slowly rolling out. The flight attendants working the First Class cabin introduces themselves to you and lets you know not to hesitate if you needed anything, since this was another redeye flight I told them I'd be sleeping after the meal service so I settled in for a ride full of all I can eat Caviar and All I can drink Johnny Walker Blue Label.

    The Crew was so kind to give me a few take aways if you get the hint ;).

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  7. Flyer1976
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    Munchen Munch

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    7-28-2012 Munich [First Class]
     
  8. Flyer1976
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    Journey to Ethiopia via Sudan

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    7-28-2012 FRA-KRT-ADD [First Class]
     
  9. Flyer1976
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    StoneTown, Zanzibar
     
  10. Flyer1976
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    Swahili Divers Dive Lodge in Pemba


    07-29-2012 to 08-03-2012 Pemba, Tanzania

    If you're into Scuba Diving or you've always wanted to learn while traveling around in Africa then Swahili Divers is the place to be at... Situated in Pemba, Tanzania and the only way to get there is by flying around in the bush on airlines like ZanAir or Coastal Aviation via Zanzibar from Mombasa, Kenya or Dar es Salaam, Tanzania as well.

    The owner of Swahili Divers also known as Raf is one of us, a fellow aviation enthusiast who has wrote for Airliner World and is a frequent contributor to Airliners.Net as well so if you went to Swahili Divers you'd make a good friend out of Raf by mentioning your interest with Aviation, just don't say anything bad about Turkish Airlines ;).


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  11. Flyer1976
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    Bush Flying in Eastern Africa
     
  12. Flyer1976
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    Qat? Qatar to Doha

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    08-03-2012 DAR-DOH [Business Class]

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  13. Flyer1976
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    From the Desert to the Rhineland

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    08-04-2012 DOH-FRA [First Class]
     
  14. Flyer1976
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    Lufthansa A388 Frankfurt to Tokyo

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    08-04-2012 FRA-NRT [First Class]
     

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