This is the first post of six of my Bali adventure. For parts one through six, please see below.
Travel to Bali – Cathay Pacific
Chedi Club at Tanah Gajah, Ubud Bali
Ubud – The Tour
Amankila – Part One
Amankila – Part Two
Seminyak, Bali – The Legian Hotel, Shopping and Eating
We just got back from Bali and it was amazing – both my husband and I loved it! We can’t wait to go back and are already discussing when we could find some time to make the journey back. A journey by the way, that is quite long…which bring’s me to today’s post, my first in a series on our Bali trip – a review of Cathay Pacific.
From San Francisco, Cathay Pacific has one of the most convenient routes to Bali – a 13 hour direct flight to Hong Kong, about a 4 hour layover, and then another 4-5 hour flight to Bali. So door to door, basically 24 hours of travel time. And that’s one of the shortest routes available, from San Francisco. So my advice would definitely be to select your route carefully if you’re traveling a long distance to Bali, and not just shop on price alone. If you’re an infrequent traveler I might also suggest a layover in Hong Kong (always a fun city to spend a few nights!).
We were fortunate to be flying in first which made the trip very comfortable. The seats were small suites which allowed a nice degree of privacy.
Since I’m a shortie, the seats seemed to be pretty much the same length as United’s seats, though my husband said that Cathay’s were longer. What I definitely noticed however was that the seats were very wide.
One of my favorite details about Cathay were the amenities. I love a fabulous amenity kit (and what a great marketing tool too!).
Some of the toiletries in the women’s kit – I thought that these Aesop tubes were a very handy size and form factor. When we arrived home I immediately added the Aesop moisturizing balm to my treasured stash of mini L’Occitane shea butter hand creams.
My favorite amenity item however were the Shanghai Tang pajamas, especially since I will be first in line should Theory ever design the pajama slash business suit that I’ve been dreaming about. Our flight over to Hong Kong left after midnight, so as soon as we got on the plane I changed right into my pajamas, they were very comfortable and well made with nice details! I kept both sets that I got on the flights to and from Hong Kong.
You can also get an idea of how wide the seats are here.
Answering important business emails….or playing Candy Crush? I’ll let you decide.
Another cool thing about the Cathay suite design was the smaller seat right across from you. I heard from a fellow passenger that he had actually once taken off with his wife sitting across from him in the seat, since it’s also equipped with a seat belt.
Another nice aspect of this smaller seat was that you could actually dine with another passenger on the flight, and the attendants set up a larger table so you could eat across from one another. My husband and I each took turns sitting across on each flight, though to be honest the little seat felt a tad bit confining after a while (especially since the seat belt auto retracts and is tight on your lap). Below was the first dinner we ate together, you can see it’s quite a nice setup.
Since we’re talking about dining…onto the food! Since I’m an Asian food lover, Cathay had some of the most satisfying food I’ve ever had on a flight. There were a selection of both Western and Asian foods for all meals and snacks, and everything I tried was yummy. I started with the caviar course at the beginning of both our dinner meals, which I’d highly recommend. I liked it even more than the Lufthansa caviar starter, the salmon addition is really nice.
I’m usually not a heavy eater on long flights (it’s always harder for me to fall asleep) so I chose the lightest entree courses. Here was one of my selections, a very light ginseng chicken soup that was delicious and perfect for the plane.
Cathay also had quite a few delicious sounding snacks on the menu, and I ordered a few throughout our flights to nibble on. Here were two of my favorites. A Western selection, crab cakes (which were amazing with lots of crab) and a side salad.
And my favorite snack….roasted duck noodle soup! I love noodle soups and was so excited to see this on the menu. I actually ordered this for my entree on our return flight which caused the flight attendant to pause a bit. “You want…a snack for dinner?” she asked. “That’s your entree?” YES!
The breakfasts were all very good as well. I tried both the Western and Asian options, always with fresh fruit and a smoothie and tea. Here was my favorite breakfast entree – a chicken and mushroom congee with rice noodle rolls. Delicious!
After dinner on each flight, the cabin would be dimmed and I would watch a movie and some TV episodes (very good selection). I watched Les Mis on the plane for the first time and probably replayed Anne Hathaway’s “I Dreamed a Dream” sequence ten times. Then, I’d go to sleep! Turndown service was very nice and I’m glad that even US based airlines are now offering this service, it really makes it much nicer to sleep for longer periods.
Overall, all of our flights on Cathay were really great, with virtually nothing to complain about. The service was fantastic as to be expected, and I generally I found that attendants typically left you alone, which I prefer. However, they were always attentive at the right times, and if you pressed the call button, someone would typically come by in literally five seconds or less.
Since we had four hour layovers each way in Hong Kong, Mr. Feather and I spent most of our time in Cathay’s lounge, The Wing. I was really impressed by this lounge and wanted to share some details.
There was a dedicated champagne area and a large bar, and plenty of seating throughout.
I actually don’t like to drink too much when traveling (unless I have a really long layover), so I opted for one of the non alcoholic cocktails. If you’re ever at The Wing, I’d recommend the kiwi/coconut/mint smoothie which they can make for you at the bar – really refreshing!
There is also a full service restaurant close by, which had menu items as well as a buffet.
I usually served myself some porridge and then ordered a wonton noodle soup.
Aside from the food, another really nice feature about The Wing lounge was their Cabanas and Shower Suites.
I especially thought the Cabanas were a great idea. They each had a shower, full size tub, and a day bed so that you could freshen up and even take a nap! There have definitely been times when I would have loved a Cabana while traveling.
Overall The Wing was awesome, and I’d definitely want to come back on a future trip. It also was constantly bustling with people, and while never too busy, The Wing was clearly a very popular choice for Cathay travelers. In fact, by sheer coincidence both on the way to and from Hong Kong, we ran into friends – one couple who were heading to Tokyo, and then on the way back, some friends heading to Barcelona! It was great getting to catch up over drinks in the lounge.
That completes my review this time of Cathay – I’ve had the request to do more of these airline reviews, so I hope this was useful/interesting for some of you (and please let me know if you have any questions in the comments). My next travel posts will take place in Bali. Thank you for reading!