Author Topic: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip  (Read 12223 times)

Offline Denverite

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Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
« Reply #75 on: August 31, 2016, 09:44:31 PM »
While i dont have a ton of personal experience at higher end hotel chains, i felt that the staff at the Conrad went way above and beyond to make sure we were totally satisfied...

 
Fortunately for us the stars were aligned... we didnt pay up for the upgrade... dont kniw how freqently that occurs at the Conrad...

Eggs were awesome...hopefully moisheb left the shoprite oil spray for Denverite...

Thanks!!

Based on FlyerTalk I think getting an upgrade to a Premier Villa is a literally almost never, although I want one now so I think I'm just gonna pony up and pay for a couple nights!  As far as the Shoprite spray I considered asking if you all left it for me but to be safe I'm gonna anyway bring some Wal-Mart GreatValue spray and then I can pay that forward to the next DDFer too! :P

Offline Denverite

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Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
« Reply #76 on: August 31, 2016, 09:48:43 PM »
BarryLincoln's pictures of the Premier Villa were awesome but check out this video walk through.  The fact that he had to show all the toilet features because it was so cool cracked me up.  ;D

https://youtu.be/xFSP8N1FhYA

Offline eli5757

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Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
« Reply #77 on: September 04, 2016, 05:41:07 PM »
Heck of a TR! Good job man! Thanx for the honorable mention....

Mine will come once I retire lol.

Offline eli5757

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Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
« Reply #78 on: September 04, 2016, 05:41:50 PM »
Just wondering if all the North Americans that go to MLE are freeloaders FT\DDF etc..?!!

You always hear celebrities going more to BOB then MLE!!

Just my 2 cents.

The Kardashians were at The Conrad Maldives like 2 months ago

Offline BarryLincoln

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Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
« Reply #79 on: November 13, 2016, 07:11:06 PM »
With fall in full swing, I couldn't help but reminisce about our trip to MLE in August.  In doing so, I realized that I did not finish the TR.  That said, for the benefit of all those considering the trip, here is the final installment to Barry Lincoln's Maldives TR...

20160802_140059 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

Waking up on our last day at the Conrad was a bittersweet event.  We enjoyed the view, sites and sounds for one last time on this trip.

Conrad Rangali Premier Water Villa by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

Conrad Rangali Premier Water Villa by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

Since our return flight from MLE on EY was scheduled at 7:40pm, we asked for the latest seaplane transfer and were ultimately advised that our transfer would leave at about 5:30pm Conrad time (4:30pm MLE time).  Having the better part of our day ahead of us, we took full advantage of our Premier Villa's infinity pool one last time and also spent some more time snorkeling in the Indian Ocean.

As we has some issues we had with our original room a few days earlier, we had been comped a meal at either Vilu or Mandhoo.  Given our food restrictions, we weren't sure how we could take advantage of this offer but eventually settled on our chef's offer to cook us up some salmon and double-wrapped baked potato using the new pan/utensils/flatware and silverware he had procured for us. 

After cleaning ourselves up and packing up, we took a buggy over to Vilu for lunch.  It was a truly beautiful setting for our last meal on the trip...  While our Pom meals were great, lunch really hit the spot. 

20160802_143334 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

With a couple of hours before our transfer, we made our way to the beach for some final R&R before the 24 hour trip home...

IMG_0268 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

After settling our final bill and tipping our hostess and chef, we made our way to the seaplane platform to wait for our transfer.  While waiting, we befirended a family from Los Angeles who had been staying on an adjacent resort.  Earlier that morning, they took a boat over to Ithaa for lunch and were transiting back to Los Angeles via Dubai on EK.  They spent 2 weeks in Zambia on a safari and decided to relax in the Maldives on the way back home to LA...

(Despite leaving the Conrad, we were excited/anxious to experience the Apartments on our EY flight back to NYC.  Having never flown real F before, we were super excited for the experience.)

This picture was taken on takeoff from Conrad... not the best quality....

Conrad Rangali Maldives (TMA Seaplane) by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

For some reason that I don't remember, we had to make a mad dash from the seaplane transfer to the main terminal at MLE to catch our EY flight to AUH.  Conrad staff shlepped our luggage the entire way and escorted us through airport security at the entrance to the airport, then on to the relatively primitive check-in desk where we got our boarding passes.  The boarding process was near complete as we boarded and took our seats in J.  Within an hour or so of departing, we were provided with a Hermolis meal which we thoroughly enjoyed.  I imagine that the rest of the flight to AUH was uneventful as we passed out and woke up on final approach to AUH. 

Last part of the installment will focus on the EY-F experience back to JFK....

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Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
« Reply #80 on: November 13, 2016, 09:08:35 PM »
Just read through this whole TR, wow! Every time I read a TR about MLE it makes me want to go even more. Can't wait for the final installment.
"JS [is] a fetid cesspool of unvarnished linguistic manure, with lots of useless drivel and post-padding." -Moishebatchy

Offline BarryLincoln

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Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
« Reply #81 on: November 13, 2016, 10:31:25 PM »
Just read through this whole TR, wow! Every time I read a TR about MLE it makes me want to go even more. Can't wait for the final installment.

Final installment coming momentarily...

Offline BarryLincoln

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Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
« Reply #82 on: November 13, 2016, 10:32:07 PM »
Final Part of the TR - EY F Experience in AUH and On-board the A380 F Apartments

Immediately after deplaning, we tried to make our way to the F lounge.  Now that was easier said than done.  We landed in a different part of the terminal and the signs were super-confusing, or atleast they seems confusing.  Eventually we found our way and proudly displayed our boarding passes for access...

20160802_232339reva by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

To be totally honest, we were exhausted but there was no way we were going to pass up the F experience at AUH. 

20160803_005617 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

Our first stop was to make appointments for our complimentary massages.  The lounge was empty and we had ample choice of times. 

20160803_005508 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

We had an hour to kill before our spa appointment so we had drinks and took some pictures of the lounge...

20160803_005428 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_002258 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_002254 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160802_232311 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160802_232248 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160802_222338 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

Made some small talk with the bartender (who had just arrived from Serbia - never been on a plane before until traveling to AUH for the job).  He mentioned that 80% of those employed in and around Abu Dhabi are foreigners.  They put him up in a newly built dorm with several roommates who all work for EY in different capacities.  They give them one free plane ticket home a year.  Turned into a super interesting discussion...

Now, I have to admit that I am not much of a massage person.  And the massage at AUH didn't change that.  I was in more pain when it was over than before it started.  Luis' dug his elbows into my back and I almost screamed in pain.  I thought maybe he somehow figured out I was a yid and decided to give me the royal AUH welcome... either way I was happy when it finally ended.

About 45 minutes before the flight, we were advised to proceed towards the USA pre-clearance facility to clear US immigration.  This is a HUGE timesaver because you do not have to clear customs in the US - you enter the US as a domestic passenger.  Process was pretty quick.  Once we cleared immigration, there's a second EY lounge on the other side (much smaller and no where near as nice as the F lounge).  At this point, we were anxious to finally board the A380 behemoth and head to our F Apt. 

As we approached the boarding gate, an official looking gate agent made a b-line towards us and immediately asked us if we were Mr and Mrs Barry Lincoln.  I thought it was a little strange that he knew exactly who we were.  I thought he was going to escort us on board.  Nope... he explained to us that there was a family of 4 travelling in F and wanted to know if we'd be willing to part with our 3A and 4A seats for another pair of seats in F in order to accommodate the family to allow them to sit together.  To which I quickly responded no.  We had expressly booked these seats as these are one of two seat combos in F where you can lower the divider between seats and literally "share" the APT with the seatmate on the other side.  Once we said no, he didn't push us any further.  At the time, I thought about trying to extract some value in exchange for making the accommodation but ultimately decided that it wasn't worth the bother.

Within a minute or two, boarding began and we proceeded down to the F jetbridge.  While I won't go into extreme detail about the flight, I will post a ton of pictures for everyone to see.  The experience was totally incredible and in a totally different league than any experience offered by a US or European airline.  From your dedicated, well-trained hostess who makes your bed every time you get up to the on-board chef who made every accommodation possible to ensure we enjoyed our Hermolis meals, EY does not cut corners in serving their F passengers.  The privacy offered by the enclosed suite, to the onboard bar/lounge, to the shower, you truly feel like royalty on board EY-F.  We had two leftover Pom meals that we took with us - the staff offered to heat them up - and we ended up eating across from each other in one of our apartments. 

There is tons of storage space with every amenity well-planned and thought-out.  Before retiring for the night, I asked to hold a "reservation" for the shower 90 minutes before landing, giving me enough time to shower, change and daven so that I'd be ready to get to work after landing.  Showering at 38k feet was incredible, albeit a very short 5 minute shower.  But it made a huge difference getting off the plane reasonably rested and refreshed ready for a days work.

20160803_020521 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_020552 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_020602 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_020631 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_020731 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_020748 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_020756 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_021228 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_022133 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_022141 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_023236 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_023240 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_023453 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_025428 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_030428 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_030526 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_041150 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_041226 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_044510 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_091006 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_095132 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_095709 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_101309 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_123834 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_123900 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_133514 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_133517 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_150626 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

I chatted up one of the F attendants and learned that the Residence was empty this flight.  She said that the Residence is typically occupied by the members of the royal family or ultra-wealthly sheiks or entertainment personalities looking for more privacy.  She said that she's worked flights where the royal family took down all of F and J on a flight. 

After soaking in the experience during the first 2 or 3 hours (of the 13 hour flight), we decided it was time to sleep.  Our beds were made and shades were drawn. 

After a great shower schachris and breakfast, we were finally on approach to JFK...

20160803_161212 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr



Deplaning was quick.  On our way to baggage claim, I said goodbye to this enormous bird...

20160803_093440 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

Straight to baggage claim we went where I was hoping a chauffeur would be holding a sign with our name on it.  Etihad had sent me several emails in the days leading up to the flight with my chauffeurs name but he was no where to be found (or didn't want to take us to NJ).  Turns out there were 15 or 20 drivers around a dispatcher near baggage claim.  They eventually assigned us a driver (Mohamed) who was very professional  and took us home...

All in all, it was a great trip.  Was great to be away for 10+ days.  Now it's time to plan the next trip...Am thinking Asia-Pacific... maybe Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong etc... 

Offline moisheyb

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Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
« Reply #83 on: November 14, 2016, 05:02:01 AM »
Final Part of the TR - EY F Experience in AUH and On-board the A380 F Apartments

Immediately after deplaning, we tried to make our way to the F lounge.  Now that was easier said than done.  We landed in a different part of the terminal and the signs were super-confusing, or atleast they seems confusing.  Eventually we found our way and proudly displayed our boarding passes for access...

20160802_232339reva by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

To be totally honest, we were exhausted but there was no way we were going to pass up the F experience at AUH. 

20160803_005617 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

Our first stop was to make appointments for our complimentary massages.  The lounge was empty and we had ample choice of times. 

20160803_005508 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

We had an hour to kill before our spa appointment so we had drinks and took some pictures of the lounge...

20160803_005428 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_002258 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_002254 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160802_232311 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160802_232248 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160802_222338 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

Made some small talk with the bartender (who had just arrived from Serbia - never been on a plane before until traveling to AUH for the job).  He mentioned that 80% of those employed in and around Abu Dhabi are foreigners.  They put him up in a newly built dorm with several roommates who all work for EY in different capacities.  They give them one free plane ticket home a year.  Turned into a super interesting discussion...

Now, I have to admit that I am not much of a massage person.  And the massage at AUH didn't change that.  I was in more pain when it was over than before it started.  Luis' dug his elbows into my back and I almost screamed in pain.  I thought maybe he somehow figured out I was a yid and decided to give me the royal AUH welcome... either way I was happy when it finally ended.

About 45 minutes before the flight, we were advised to proceed towards the USA pre-clearance facility to clear US immigration.  This is a HUGE timesaver because you do not have to clear customs in the US - you enter the US as a domestic passenger.  Process was pretty quick.  Once we cleared immigration, there's a second EY lounge on the other side (much smaller and no where near as nice as the F lounge).  At this point, we were anxious to finally board the A380 behemoth and head to our F Apt. 

As we approached the boarding gate, an official looking gate agent made a b-line towards us and immediately asked us if we were Mr and Mrs Barry Lincoln.  I thought it was a little strange that he knew exactly who we were.  I thought he was going to escort us on board.  Nope... he explained to us that there was a family of 4 travelling in F and wanted to know if we'd be willing to part with our 3A and 4A seats for another pair of seats in F in order to accommodate the family to allow them to sit together.  To which I quickly responded no.  We had expressly booked these seats as these are one of two seat combos in F where you can lower the divider between seats and literally "share" the APT with the seatmate on the other side.  Once we said no, he didn't push us any further.  At the time, I thought about trying to extract some value in exchange for making the accommodation but ultimately decided that it wasn't worth the bother.

Within a minute or two, boarding began and we proceeded down to the F jetbridge.  While I won't go into extreme detail about the flight, I will post a ton of pictures for everyone to see.  The experience was totally incredible and in a totally different league than any experience offered by a US or European airline.  From your dedicated, well-trained hostess who makes your bed every time you get up to the on-board chef who made every accommodation possible to ensure we enjoyed our Hermolis meals, EY does not cut corners in serving their F passengers.  The privacy offered by the enclosed suite, to the onboard bar/lounge, to the shower, you truly feel like royalty on board EY-F.  We had two leftover Pom meals that we took with us - the staff offered to heat them up - and we ended up eating across from each other in one of our apartments. 

There is tons of storage space with every amenity well-planned and thought-out.  Before retiring for the night, I asked to hold a "reservation" for the shower 90 minutes before landing, giving me enough time to shower, change and daven so that I'd be ready to get to work after landing.  Showering at 38k feet was incredible, albeit a very short 5 minute shower.  But it made a huge difference getting off the plane reasonably rested and refreshed ready for a days work.

20160803_020521 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_020552 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_020602 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_020631 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_020731 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_020748 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_020756 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_021228 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_022133 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_022141 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_023236 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_023240 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_023453 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_025428 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_030428 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_030526 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_041150 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_041226 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_044510 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_091006 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_095132 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_095709 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_101309 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_123834 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_123900 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_133514 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_133517 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

20160803_150626 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

I chatted up one of the F attendants and learned that the Residence was empty this flight.  She said that the Residence is typically occupied by the members of the royal family or ultra-wealthly sheiks or entertainment personalities looking for more privacy.  She said that she's worked flights where the royal family took down all of F and J on a flight. 

After soaking in the experience during the first 2 or 3 hours (of the 13 hour flight), we decided it was time to sleep.  Our beds were made and shades were drawn. 

After a great shower schachris and breakfast, we were finally on approach to JFK...

20160803_161212 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr



Deplaning was quick.  On our way to baggage claim, I said goodbye to this enormous bird...

20160803_093440 by Barry Lincoln, on Flickr

Straight to baggage claim we went where I was hoping a chauffeur would be holding a sign with our name on it.  Etihad had sent me several emails in the days leading up to the flight with my chauffeurs name but he was no where to be found (or didn't want to take us to NJ).  Turns out there were 15 or 20 drivers around a dispatcher near baggage claim.  They eventually assigned us a driver (Mohamed) who was very professional  and took us home...

All in all, it was a great trip.  Was great to be away for 10+ days.  Now it's time to plan the next trip...Am thinking Asia-Pacific... maybe Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong etc...


Wow sounds like a great trip!!

I'd love to hear about what you have in mind for the the next trip!!

Offline AJK

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Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
« Reply #84 on: November 14, 2016, 07:50:18 AM »
Fantastic TR.

Conrad, to me, looks head and shoulders above the PH.
2015: 116K bkd | 1.6M brnd | F: OZ,NH,AA,EK | J: UA,CA,TK,DL,TN,AF,VA | LIH,NRT,ROR,PEK,CNS,BOB,MEL,TLV & Pacific Hopper

Offline maxmiles

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Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
« Reply #85 on: December 14, 2016, 03:29:09 PM »
Amazing TR!!!! Probably one of the best ever written!

Offline BarryLincoln

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Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
« Reply #86 on: December 14, 2016, 06:18:25 PM »
Amazing TR!!!! Probably one of the best ever written!

Thx!!

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Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
« Reply #87 on: February 25, 2019, 06:01:53 PM »
beautiful TR
how was the weather in Maldives, my understanding is that the summer is rainy

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Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
« Reply #88 on: February 25, 2019, 06:05:13 PM »
beautiful TR
how was the weather in Maldives, my understanding is that the summer is rainy

Thank you for reviving the thread... brings back some good memories!!!

Weather was incredible - for the 5 or 6 days we were there, it rained maybe 3 times for 15 minutes... usually at night...

Good times...

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Re: Barry Lincoln's Summer 2016 Venice and Maldives Trip
« Reply #89 on: February 26, 2019, 03:03:30 AM »
Thank you for reviving the thread... brings back some good memories!!!

Weather was incredible - for the 5 or 6 days we were there, it rained maybe 3 times for 15 minutes... usually at night...

Good times...
Being that this was bumped, I couldn't resist from taking a peek into this thread. Skimmed through most or say half of the thread and loved it, really well done. Written beautifully and clear crisp pictures which are each worth a 1000 words.
 
 Making me wanna do such a trip, gatta get my act together.
 Thanks Barry L. And going to bookmark this thread and finish it later in the week hopefully.   
 A+ so far!

 When taking such flights and going to such destinations I would assume taking a J or Y fare ticket means comfort and no need to worry about baggage?
 
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