We'd been counting down to this day for months. Over half a year, actually. Finally, it was here - we were making our way to the Maldives...on Etihad Apartments. It was the ultimate Queen of trips (#tripgoals and all that). I was chomping at the bit to get going.
My chauffer picked me up from home whilst Jarv's met him at work, yet we managed somehow to arrive within 2 minutes of each other. Don't ask me how...I left earlier than him and arrived after! We were checked in, made our way to the lounge, had some lunch and headed for the plane when it came time to board.
We were escorted to our 'seats' (rooms, to put it more accurately) and presented with a cool towelette, sweet dates, a welcome letter and drink of choice. Left to my own devices, I stood up and began to explore. This look never left my face:
I was seated in 4A and Jarv in 3A, meaning his seat faced backwards so that our 'room' divider could be slid to one side to allow for a more open and shared space between a couple.
The main doors to each individual room can also be shut, allowing for privacy between passengers and from the crew. Although it's not like you can really see your neighbours anyway unless you stand up and lean over. If you want privacy, it doesn't get much better than this. Perhaps a private jet, if this doesn't quite meet your needs!
Along with a generously sized seat and a sofa on the opposite side (to be turned into a bed should you want a few hours of sleep on your flight), each room has a vanity area stocked with Le Labo amenities and all your usual sleep aides and the like.
First class also has access to a shower, should you want to freshen up before landing. I didn't take one on the way out but indulged on the flight home. After all, how often do you get to shower at 40,000 feet?! Both First and Business also share access to a lounge area where you can converse with other passengers or simply enjoy a cup of coffee and a magazine.
After having about an hour to settle into our seats, my table was set up for dinner.
For Jarv to join me, of course! I love being able to dine together in the air, restaurant style. It's one of the best things about first class, having the space to sit opposite each other during a meal and enjoy the experience together.
The food was excellent.
This carrier bag is placed on your sofa by a crew member soon after boarding and contains a pair of PJs and slippers should you wish to get comfy straight away. Doesn't the idea of snuggling down to watch a great movie...in your pyjamas...in your bed...with a drink sound just divine?
As our flight was an overnighter, we begrudgingly decided after dinner that we should probably get a few hours of sleep so that we'd be ready to explore the Maldives upon arrival. I didn't want to waste even an hour of the first day napping ;)
So, off I went to the bathroom to get changed whilst an FA made up the beds.
I had a restful few hours of sleep, and was gently woken by an FA offering some breakfast before landing. Sitting up, I squinted at the light beaming in and marvelled at how waking up to a sunrise through the windows of a plane is one of the best, most calming feelings in the world. Especially when you have the adventure of a lifetime waiting for you when you land.
This is Part I of a series on our Conrad Maldives trip. See also:
Part II: A Beach Villa at the Conrad Maldives
Part III: Diving with Mantas in the Maldives
Part IV: An Overwater Villa at the Conrad Maldives
Part V: The Quiet Island (Conrad Maldives)
Part VI: The Quiet Zone, Conrad Maldives