Review: Royal Air Maroc Business Class 787 Casablanca To Doha

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It was 12:55PM by the time we made it to the plane, at which point we took the stairs up to the L1 door. Once there the cabin crew verified our boarding passes, and directed us to our seats in the far aisle.

Royal Air Maroc 216
Casablanca (CMN) – Doha (DOH)
Sunday, July 31
Depart: 1:10PM
Arrive: 10:15PM
Duration: 7hr5min
Aircraft: Boeing 787-8
Seat: 3K (Business Class)

On this flight we had selected the aisle & window seats in the last row on the right. While Matthew had the window seat on the outbound, I had the window seat on this flight.

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RAM business class seats

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RAM business class seats

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RAM business class, seat 4K

Since I was in the window seat this time around, I had the awkward elevated ottoman, which Matthew had on the way out.

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RAM business class ottoman, seat 4K

On the outbound flight I was wondering whether the crappy blanket was a fluke or the norm. I guess it’s the norm, because we had the same blanket on this flight.

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RAM business class pillow & blanket

By the time we settled in they had already served the initial pre-departure beverages, since everyone else was settled in. So they came around with the bottle of rose champagne and a bunch of glasses, as they did on the outbound.

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RAM business class pre-departure champagne

Moments later we were offered the same great amenity kit as on the outbound flight.

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RAM business class amenity kit

While only one other seat was taken on the seatmap in business class the day before the flight, every seat was taken by the time the door closed. I suspect it was a combination of operational upgrades (since economy seemed to be oversold) as well as perhaps some “friends & family” upgrades.

By 1:20PM both of the cabin doors were closed, and moments later the cabin manager informed us of our flight time of seven hours, and then screened the safety video.

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Taxiing to departure runway Casablanca Airport

As we taxied out we passed a beautiful Royal Air Maroc 787 with its engine cowling open.

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Royal Air Maroc 787 Casablanca Airport

Then we taxied past a Royal Air Maroc 767…

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Royal Air Maroc 767 Casablanca Airport

…also with its engine cowling open.

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Royal Air Maroc 767 Casablanca Airport

Hopefully it’s just routine maintenance and not a bigger issue!

Our taxi to the runway was pretty quick, and included crossing runway 35R.

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Taxiing to departure runway Casablanca Airport

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Taxiing to departure runway Casablanca Airport

By 1:35PM we made it to runway 35L, where we were cleared for takeoff behind a Royal Air Maroc 737.

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Taking off runway 35L Casablanca Airport

Our climb out of Casablanca was smooth, and I quite enjoyed having the window seat so I could watch the landscape.

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View after takeoff from Casablanca

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View after takeoff from Casablanca

About 10 minutes after takeoff the seatbelt sign was turned off, at which point the flight attendants first closed the curtains between the cabin and the galley.

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View on climb out

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RAM 787 business class cabin

As we climbed out, I browsed the airshow for our flight back to Doha, noting once again that we were flying along the northern coast of Africa for most of the way.

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Airshow enroute to Doha

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Airshow enroute to Doha

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Airshow enroute to Doha

About 15 minutes after takeoff the crew distributed the menu and beverage list for the flight, which they hadn’t done on the previous flight (I’m not sure if they simply don’t have menus on the redeyes, or if the crew forgot).

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RAM business class menu

The menu read as follows:

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The drinks list read as follows:

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The meal service began about 30 minutes after takeoff, starting with tablecloths being distributed.

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Royal Air Maroc business class table setting

We were offered hot towels to start, followed by canapés and drinks, which were served from a trolley. I just had a glass of still water to drink. In addition to the canapés, there were mixed nuts and pretzels that tasted like they were past their expiration date.

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RAM business class lunch canapes, nuts, and drinks

The selection of canapés was interesting, and consisted of about a third of a shrimp, a little salmon roll, and some foie gras.

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RAM business class canapes — prawns, salmon, and foie gras

About 20 minutes after that the appetizers and salads were served.

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RAM business class lunch — salad and starter

The scallop appetizer was fairly good, at least by airplane standards.

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RAM business class lunch starter — caremalized Saint Jacques with asparagus and cherry tomatoes

The side salad, on the other hand, was just plain sad.

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RAM business class lunch salad — fresh salad

Meanwhile there was a side of foie gras in a plastic cup with plastic wrapping on it. I’m not a foie gras fan to begin with, though I found the presentation of it to be especially strange.

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RAM business class lunch — verrine of foie gras and crumble

Once the starters were cleared, the crew came around with a cart displaying all the main courses, as they did on our outbound flight. I’m a big fan of that system.

I selected the cod fillet with saffron sauce, as well as rice and sautéed spinach. The dish was excellent.

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RAM business class lunch main course — cod fillet

Meanwhile Matthew ordered the lamb tagine, which he said was a bit of a disappointment after the incredible lamb tagine dish he had in Casablanca the night before.

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RAM business class lunch — lamb tagine

After that a cheese trolley was brought through the cabin. We were both full at this point, though still ordered a little bit of cheese.

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RAM business class lunch — cheese course

There were three options for dessert, including a tart, chocolate brownie, and cheesecake. We went back and forth about which to select, and eventually the flight attendant suggested we take all three. So we did exactly that, and shared them. I found it a bit odd that the dessert was offered with plastic wrapping on it.

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RAM business class lunch — dessert selection

The best dessert by far was the chocolate brownie.

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RAM business class lunch — dessert selection

After that we ordered some Moroccan mint tea, which was served in a special glass. The tea was exceptional, and I regretted not ordering it on the outbound flight. I thought it was actually better than the tea we had on the ground in a Moroccan restaurant the night before, as it was significantly less sweet.

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RAM business class — Moroccan mint tea

After that, bottled water was distributed.

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Bottled water

The meal service was done about 90 minutes into the flight, and the service was exceptional. We had two really fun and charming young female flight attendants. They were efficient and attentive, so all around I have nothing but positive things to say about the service on Royal Air Maroc.

By the time the meal was done, we were about 90 minutes into our flight.

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Airshow enroute to Doha

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Airshow enroute to Doha

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Airshow enroute to Doha

I spent quite a bit of time just gazing out the window, given that we were flying right along the coast of Africa for much of the flight. It’s not often you have such a consistent view of land and water on a flight for an extended period of time.

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View enroute to Doha

We knew we had a long few days ahead, as we’d be flying for about 72 hours straight. So we figured it would make sense to try and get a nap in.

I tried to nap, but found the seats to be so awkward. While I was on “bottom” on the last flight, this time I was on “top,” since I was in the window seat. I’m not sure which position is more awkward, given that you’re either looking down at someone, or otherwise looking up at someone.

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Awkward bed mode in RAM business class

The problem with being in a window seat is that when you’re reclined you really can’t “climb” over the person in the aisle seat. There’s no gap between seats, so you quite literally have to “jump” into the aisle, assuming the person in the aisle is reclined.

I managed to sleep for a bit, and fully woke up about two hours out of Doha, as we were approaching Saudi Arabia.

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Airshow enroute to Doha

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Airshow enroute to Doha

I went to the galley to order a coffee, and realized that they actually had the choice of either drip coffee or Nespresso, though they didn’t have cappuccinos. I ordered an espresso, which was served with a chocolate.

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RAM business class espresso

About 1hr20min before landing the crew came through the cabin with a pre-arrival snack. It wasn’t listed on the menu, though the flight attendant described it as being “like lamb shawarma.”

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RAM business class pre-arrival snack

Personally I’m not a huge fan of lamb, so I didn’t eat most of it.

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RAM business class pre-arrival snack

The meal was served with a side of fresh fruit.

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RAM business class pre-arrival snack — fresh fruit

There was also a sweetened yogurt.

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RAM business class pre-arrival snack — yogurt

Then there were some Moroccan sweets, which were tasty.

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RAM business class pre-arrival snack — Moroccan sweets

By the time the meal was done we were about 50 minutes out of Doha, so I got a bit of work done on my laptop.

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Airshow enroute to Doha

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Airshow enroute to Doha

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Airshow enroute to Doha

About 30 minutes before landing the captain made an announcement providing us with updated arrival information, anticipating we’d be landing at around 10:20PM.

We began our descent moments later, and sure enough, touched down in Doha at 10:20PM. From there we had a roughly 10 minute taxi to our remote stand.

Interestingly the same station manager we saw on the way out also greeted this flight at the remote stand, and proceeded to give hugs to several of the business class passengers who he seemed to know.

Fortunately there was a separate bus for business class passengers, so within about five minutes we were at the terminal, ready for our layover before our flight to Colombo.

RAM 787 business class bottom line

This was another very pleasant flight on Royal Air Maroc. The warmth of the crew really impressed me, much like on the last flight.

While the seats in this configuration are strange, they’re perfectly fine when you consider that Royal Air Maroc doesn’t operate many flights over eight or so hours. They’re also a huge improvement over their old angled seats.

The food on this flight was very good overall, despite the strange presentation at times. I love that they use a trolley to display the main courses, cheese cart, and dessert, and that you can select what you want from there.

Overall I’d unequivocally recommend Royal Air Maroc. They generally don’t have a good reputation, though I enjoyed both of my flights on them, and wouldn’t hesitate to fly with them again.

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Comments

  1. @BD Rather I should say to avoid Libyan, Israeli, and Syrian airspace? Gets a bit complicated over there.

  2. Wow Lucky! Great trip report. I look forward to your seeing PIA and Saudia reviews.

    Greetings from London!
    Chloe

  3. @Hugh B, I will never be on that route. I hate the 767. Probably because the only decent product that can fit is the vantage style seat with tiny cubbyholes and narrow seats.

  4. “The only problem with the Israeli airspace is the rockets being fired from Palestinian territory”

    Not to mention the bombs being dropped on Palestinian territory…

    Looks like they have a good, solid product. If only their seats were less…strange, they might be valued better overall.

    But those seats are just strange.

  5. Verrine de Foie Gras always looks like that … Verrine in French means “jar” and that dish is always served in a cup like that.

  6. Lucky,

    Have you been keeping track of the demographics on flights to/from the Middle Eastern countries/carriers? Your photo seems to indicate only male (and mostly older male) travelers. Are female passengers in business class treated the same way as men? Also, you noted the flight attendants were female, is this a characteristic of carriers in this region/culture?

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