Cathay Pacific 747 photo via Flickr
Cathay runs daily 747 service from Hong Kong to Denpasar. They only sell Business Class and Economy, but after asking at The Pier, we had seats in the First Class cabin. The service and meals were Business Class. (Note, Cathay has since retired their 747s, and now generally flies regional-equipped planes to Bali)
The morning departure time didn’t work great for our inbound flights from Chicago, which arrived in Hong Kong in the evening. I had originally intended to have a one night stopover in Hong Kong, but there was no availability for the HKG-DPS leg on the day I wanted, so we booked it for 2 nights, although our delay turned that into only one night.
Cathay Pacific 747 First Class Cabin
Once we boarded, we turned left and headed to our seats, 4A and 4D.
In business class, instead of being offered a drink of our choice as in first class, there were a few options on a tray, including water, orange juice, champagne, and their signature drink, a Cathay Delight. Cathay Delight is a tasty mixture of coconut milk, kiwi juice, milk, and garnished with mint leaves. I first had this on the long flight from Chicago, and couldn’t pass it up when it was right there on the tray.
So tasty I couldn’t get a picture before taking a sip
Before departure flight attendants visited with a selection of newspapers, as well as a menu for lunch and a wine list.
Welcome on board Cathay Pacific
Your Business Class menu today offers a choice of carefully selected and prepared seasonal dishes. We are delighted to be able to offer youa choice of authentic Chinese Favourites or contemporary international quisine, complemented by a variety of fine wines and beverages.
We hope you enjoy your flight and should there be anything you require, our cabin crew will be delighted to assist.
No pork, or products containing alcohol are used in preparation of meals on this flight. All meats are prepared according to the Halal method.
Soya-baked salmon with asparagus and wasabi mayonnaise
Mixed salad with citrus vinaigrette
Roasted lamb chop with jus, polenta mash, diced tomato and fava beans
Prawns in turmeric sauce, coconut rice with shallot and stir-fried kailan
Wok fried chicken with black bean, steamed jasmine rice and Shanghaiese pak choy with chili
Spinach and saffron tortellini with tomato roasted pepper sauce and olive concasse
Cheese and Dessert
Fresh seasonal fruit
Haagen Dazs Ice Cream
Tea and Coffee
orange, apple, tomato
Coke Zero, Coke, Coke Light, Sprite, Perrier water, tonic water, soda water and ginger ale
freshly brewed coffee, espresso, cappuccino, and caffè latte regular or decaffeinated
Hong Kong style milk tea, Ceylon, Japanese, jasmine, organic selection: camomile, earl grey and peppermint
Wine list (I did not type up the description of each item, let me know if interested)
Champagne Billecart-Salmon Brut Champagne
White Wines Domaine des Malandes Chablis 2009
Mount Riley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Red Wines Moonvine McLaren Vale Shiraz Cabernet Merlot 2009
Château Taffard de Blaignan Médoc 2009
Port Dow’s Late Bottled Vintage Port 2006
Gin * Rum * Vodka * Martini Rosso * Martini Extra Dry * Campari * Sweet and Dry Sherry * Bloody Mary * Screwdriver
Chivas Regal 12 Years Old * Johnnie Walker Gold Label * Jack Daniel’s * Canadian Club
Cognac Hine “Rare and Delicate’ Fine Champagne
Liqueurs Cointreau * Drambuie * Bailey’s Irish Cream
Beer International Selection
Signature Drinks Cathay Delight * Pacific Sunrise
The First Class Suite
As we were preparing to depart, settling in, realizing that it is always great to be back in the wonderful Cathay Pacific First Class suite.
Unlike the flight from Chicago, there was a fresh orchid in the seat, and the configuration was slightly different with 9 seats on the 747 versus 6 on the 777-300ER.
Once we leveled off, the seatbelt sign was extinguished, and service began. They started with an offer of drinks, which were served with nuts.
Glass of the Sauvignon Blanc with warm nuts.
After serving the drinks, the flight attendants went around the cabin with a tray containing each of the main course options for the lunch service. This was actually kind of nice to see what the options were beyond the description in the menus. My wife and I did not dine together on this flight, nor were we offered to. No big deal.
I actually waited a little while to eat since I had some food in the lounge before the flight. Once I was ready to dine, they began to set my place.
Nice crisp linens, but the Business class place mat looks tiny on the huge First Class table
Lunch on a tray, with the first course containing a salad and a salmon starter. The Flight attendants offered a choice of bread from a basket, but unlike first class, there wasn’t an individual bread basket for each passenger. The salt and pepper shakers are unique, porcelain dispensers looking like stones.
Lunch first course in Cathay Business
For the main course, I had the Chinese option, the wok fried chicken
Fruit and Cheese
Finally, ice cream. Options were Chocolate and Strawberry
Overall, the meal was tasty. Pretty nice for a 5 hour or so business class flight. The service was good, and not significantly different from First Class, although it was noticeable that the flight attendants had many more passengers to serve for all of business class than just dedicated to First Class.
Looking towards the nose of the 747
Touring the Queen of the Skies
After the meal, I did a little exploring. I noticed that of the 9 seats in the first class section, 2 were open, and the lower deck of business class was about 50% full. The First Class lavatories are behind the cabin, between doors 1 left and right. These are noticeably larger than typical airplane lavs, even than what is on the Cathay 777 in First Class.
The large 747 lav, with 2 windows. There is only ‘frosted’ shades over the windows.
As on all Cathay Pacific flights, the Studio CX in flight entertainment system is a good way to pass the time. There is no camera view available on the 747, but otherwise the options are the same as I experienced on the 777. After lunch I watched a few sitcoms, and eventually we began our descent into Denpasar.
Arrival In Bali
Once we arrived, we first headed to the somewhat chaotic arrival hall, where we had to buy a Visa on arrival. This cost US$25 per traveler. This is available for up to a 30 day stay, with one extension allowed. More details on which countries are eligible for this option as well as other information is available here. We then queued up for passport control and immigration where there was a rather threatening warning:
“DEATH PENALTY for those who carry drug to Bali”
We cleared relatively quickly, then collected our bags, and went through customs. Outside the customs hall, we found the driver we had booked through the Bali Hyatt, who after a brief wait, gave us some water and then escorted us to the car. On the way, we walked by the moped parking area, which provided a good preview of the typical transportation method for locals in Bali:
Soon we were on our way to our hotel. The first few nights of our stay at the Bali Hyatt, in Sanur.